This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of OFF!®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Dear diary,

This summer, my daughter is attending Camp Hopson, which is a premiere program located at my parents’ house. Since our summer travel schedule didn’t align with our usual day camp, my parents offered to keep the kids. In addition to my daughter, my mom and dad will watch my 13- and 11-year-old nephews. There aren’t many rules. This still amazes me, since these same people didn’t let me drink soda pop and eat dessert before dinner! But my parents are enforcing one very important rule–they make the kids unplug electronics and connect with nature.

Hopscotch 1

At first, it was met with resistance. My nephews are glued to their X-Box and my daughter downloaded a new Daniel the Tiger app. The kids complained that it was too hot, and that there were too many bugs in the backyard. My parents’ backyard butts up against the woods, so we swat mosquitoes, gnats and other insects from time to time.

Hopscotch & OFF!

But bugs shouldn’t keep kids cooped up inside on a beautiful sunny day! To make sure they have fun and avoid mosquito bites, we applied OFF!® personal repellent products, which have trusted and effective active ingredients including DEET. The World Health Organization and the CDC have said DEET is effective in repelling mosquitoes, including the Aedes aegypti mosquito. DEET is found in OFF! Deep Woods®, OFF!® FamilyCare and OFF! Active® product lines.

This is huge for my nephew who seems to be a mosquito magnet. Apparently, mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide people exhale. The active ingredients in OFF!® personal repellents affects their scent receptors, making it difficult for them to recognize us as a source of food. Since my daughter and nephews are covered, my sister and I don’t have to worry about getting a phone call at work from a child crying over a mosquito bite. We only have to worry about the grandparents giving the kids too much sugar! Since the kids aren’t worried about mosquitoes, they can focus on fun–old school games their parents played in the very same backyard. Here’s how you can recreate recreation.

Hopscotch 2

1. Hop Scotch

With chalk we picked up from the dollar store, the kids drew a board on the pavement. They played around with different patterns and took turns tossing the rock and hopping through the numbers.

Hide-n-Go Seek

2. Hide-n-Go Seek

This is one of my favorite childhood games–ever! My nephews take time to find my daughter, even though she sometimes giggles or hides in the most obvious of hiding places. Before your kids hide, be sure to eliminate standing water around your home where mosquitoes can breed.

3. Jump Rope

My nephew is trying out for his high school basketball team when school starts, so he likes that he can have fun and get in shape. He was out of breath during the first week of a skills session. You can get creative by creating routines, jumping to music and mixing in Simon Says moves.

Water Balloon Fight

4. Water Balloon Toss

The kids like to have a contest to see how far each person can toss and catch before busting the balloon. They throw the water balloon back and forth until someone gets drenched. Sometimes, they have an all-out water balloon battle and bring along the water guns. Remember, if players get pretty wet (or pretty sweaty), you should reapply OFF!® personal repellents according to label instructions.

5. Shadow Tag

Much like traditional tag, players chase each other through the yard and step on the other person’s shadow Want to reward your children for winning any of the games above? Pick up a few prizes from the Dollar Store, like bubbles, stickers and candy.

Hide-n-go Seek_OFF! (2)

Hey mamas! What other old school games should we add to our list this summer? How are you having outdoor fun and avoiding getting bit by mosquitoes? Also, be sure to connect with OFF!® on Facebook and Instagram and tag your outdoor pics with #OFFAlwaysOn.

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of OFF!. The opinions and text are all mine.

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.