Outside - It's so important!
How fun it was to stand on the very spot I grew up on. It brought back all the great memories I had of being outdoors and playing in the stream, climbing trees, building forts, and so much more.
I recently purchased a book called Last Child in the Woods. Here is a link describing the book and giving more information (http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/pdf/LastChild.pdf). The author talks about how the children of this generation no longer know how to find joy in or connect with nature. They don't enjoy being outside. This is so sad to me!
My challenge to you is to let your kids go outside and get dirty. Let them build using cardboard and packing tape or boards and nails. Give them a shovel and challenge them to dig a huge hole. Try not to hover or worry that they may get hurt but rather give them freedom to learn and explore.
Take them on hikes in the woods or on trails near you. If you can stand it--let them be outdoors without their shoes on (I hear they can soak up some great vitamins this way!). Our children need to have their own connection to nature, not one we plan for them.
So...open that back door and shoo them out. Let me know how it works! Tell me what you do to encourage outdoor play in your own family. :)