Be There Collage



At the age of five, my mom called me a road runner. I played outside until the street lights came on. I only came inside of the house to eat or use the bathroom. Before someone could say where we were going, I had my coat and hat in my hand. I’ve passed those traits down to my daughter. When she sees my sister and my nephews, she tells me goodbye before they even extend an invitation. Recently, she tricked her pap pap into taking her outside to play. She told him to put on his shoes.  Then, she took his hand (wrapping him around her little finger) and led him to the door. She flashed a persuasive smile, and before he could process her request, he was pushing her on the swing set.  I am also easily convinced. I’ve pushed swings in high heels that were sinking into the mud at the park near our house. But believe it or not, a lot of children aren’t outside very often.

According to a national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically, especially among minority youth. That’s not hard to believe since the Internet doesn’t sleep! The survey found that 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day. That’s more than 53 hours a week. And because they spend so much of that time ‘media multitasking’ (using more than one medium at a time), they rack up 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those 7 hours.   This should stop. That’s why I’m teaming up with the National Wildlife Foundation to promote the Be Out There Campaign. 


The Be Out There Campaign is a movement to help parents and kids overcome obstacles of getting outside.  Perhaps the weather rains on your play parade or your busy schedule keeps you from seeing the sun.  Or maybe you can’t pry the remote controls and video games out of your children’s hands. Whatever the reason, the National Wildlife Foundation will provide you an outdoor alternative! Later this summer, the NRF will publish an e-book (and guess who will be a featured author?  That’s right!  Me!)

This e-book is intended to be the first resource of its kind, with the goal of encouraging summer outdoor time. Maybe you’ll visit a farm and pick a bushel of berries.



Berry Picking Collage

(Caitlynn at Triple B Farm )


Or maybe you’ll just explore the wildlife right in your backyard.


NRF Collage

(Caitlynn’s cousins and a duck–not related to us–crossing the creek)


Whatever you do, let’s pledge to take childhood back outdoors! We need your ideas to  make this book a huge hit.  So, let us know what outdoor activities we should include in the must-read book of the summer!


Hey DFTM Fam–What will you do outside today with your little one?

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.

11 Responses

  1. saige

    Outdoor games would be good. I love going outside to play games with my niece and nephews 🙂

  2. Brandi

    We love to go outside! I guess I’d just say to keep it simple sometimes. As much fun as games and activities, are, often a long, leisurely walk is even more appreciated!

    • firsttimemom

      Yes! We go to the city’s reservoir and walk around. Pretty cool place.

  3. Saidah @

    It’s so hard for us to get outside during June & July because it’s just too hot where we live plus the Mosquitos are crazy. We do get out of the house and visit the pool (indoor) as well as indoor play areas.

    • firsttimemom

      Mosquitoes are the worse! When I lived in Cayman, spray planes circles regularly, which allowed everyone to enjoy the warm weather without getting bit! Indoor swimming is a great way to still dive into the summer!

  4. Patty Goffinett

    Great topic, and there is a book that’s been recently published about getting kids outdoors. It’s called Go Outside and Play: Why Kids Don’t and Why They Should. It’s available on Amazon in paperback ($14.95) and e-book ($2.99). It’s well-researched, funny and full of great tips to help get the kids (and parents) outdoors.

  5. MELISASource

    No matter how busy we get, I try to make sure that my family gets some outdoor playtime every day. It’s a great way to relieve stress and cure a case of cabin fever!

    • firsttimemom

      Yes! Even if it’s just a run around the yard, it releases energy and relieves cabin fever. Plus, nothing’s better than your kids breathing in fresh air, especially in the summer when you can smell flowers, the ocean and BBQ’s!

  6. Arelis Cintron

    My nieces and nephew like to ride their bikes around the neighborhood. Last year we bought them rip-stiks, they are kind of like skateboards but more complex. Taking the kids to the beach with sand castle making tools was always a big hit when they were little to.

    • firsttimemom

      Wow, I gotta get my hands on the sandcastle tools. Sounds complex! My nephews would love that. They love building and burying people in the sand:)


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