Outdoorsy Parents - How to Get Your Kids To Wear Sunglasses! Why They Need To & The Risky Business if They Don’t

Protect your kids eyes!
Cue Tom Cruise in socks and undies sliding across a hardwood floor in shades…. Do I have your attention now?

Cut to chasing your kids around the house every morning with a giant tub of sunscreen to protect their skin from those pesky UVA & B rays.

Now put those two things together (minus T.C. in socks and undies) – how many of us have put that same energy into protecting our kiddos’ eyeballs with a sensible pair o’ sunglasses?

Ummmmm. Me neither.....

Which is why I’m psyched to be teaming up a nonprofit called The Vision Council to spread the good word about the importance of keeping our kids’ eyes protected while we partake in all of these awesome outdoor family activities: skiing, hiking, biking, bungee jumping. (Ok, maybe we take them off for bungee jumping.)

My real question for these experts was: Ok, I'm understanding the importance of sunglasses for kids, but HOW DO I KEEP THE SUNGLASSES ACTUALLY ON MY KIDS’ FACES? 

As, certainly, especially when they were younger, the glasses became a chewy-toy and/or missile aimed at some unsuspecting stranger’s head. And, definitely, now that they’re older, the glasses absent minded-ly get left on the bench at the beach, again.

Well, we could start with super-gluing them to my kids’ noggins – that was my initial, what I thought was a very-practical solution, which didn’t go far in most circles. So, here's my interpretation of what the experts had to say:

  • Include the kids in the shopping experience – let them select their favorite color, style, Sponge-Bob design.
  • Make sure they’re comfy & actually fit their little noses – the minute the glasses bother their noses, they’re whipped off the kids’ faces and used for target practice, as previously discussed.
  • Lead by example – which means, wear them yourself, of course!
  • Talk to your kids about how it’s like using sunscreen for their eyes – educate them about how important it is to protect their baby blues or browns or greens...or reds...
  • And how not to lose them? Keep them in cases in your bag and pass them out like snacks.
Ok, super helpful!

And, if we can get our kids to do this, we will be MUCH BETTER PARENTS for having saved the future of their orbs. Seriously.

Look for durable, “polycarbonate” lenses (that are impact resistant, because we know our kids are constantly crashing into something or another) that you buy at a reputable store, like a sporting goods store – and skip the flea market pair.

Teach the kiddos early, model sunglass wearing, and your kids’ gorgeous peepers will thank you later!

Namaste & Three Cheers! –OM

Disclosure: In this post I've teamed up w/The Vision Council, a nonprofit organization, to spread the word about the importance of eye protection and I was given compensation. Hurrah! However, any opinions expressed are my own and I wouldn’t be writing this if it didn’t follow the taste and spirit of Outdoorsy Mama completely. Cheers!

For the real nitty-gritty on why we must protect our kids' eyes & more, click here:


Getting to the Summit - A Journey of Small Triumphs and Blunders

Stormy Day Looking Out from the Summit of Ajax - Aspen, Colorado.
Photo Credit: Annie Yearout

“Before you reach the summit, you slip a little on the trail, scratch your knee. Blood oozing, you use the favorite t-shirt you're wearing to wipe it, which rips as you stretch-it down to reach. 

Your sunglasses crack in half when you put them on a rock to wipe the sweat off your nose and then sit on them forgetting they are there. 

The mosquitos have found the one DEET spot you missed and all 17 bites are near your left elbow. 

It starts to rain and you’ve left your shell in the back of the car below because there was no way in hell it was going to rain today.  

Thunder rolls in and you start the 'oh sh$t' pace upward as a soaring hawk’s poop lands on your head….. 

This is what getting to the top is all about. 

It’s the journey of blunders and small triumphs along the way before the summit that you share and remember at the end of the day.

Live it.”   

–Outdoorsy Mama


Shark Stories: Surviving the News of a Shark Sighting and Not Dressing Your Kids Up Like a Seal

Stinson Beach, California. Photo credit: Annie Yearout

As summer winds down and the last few weekends that are not dominated by soccer and more soccer are here, the plan was to squeeze in a few last beach days.

And when I say Squeeze, I literally mean squeeeeeeze my children’s bodies into full, neck-to-toe wet-suits ($10/day rental!) for some last body-surfing & wave catching at our favorite, glorious, local, hike-to-it-if-you-want-to beach.

Alas, today’s headline sent to me by on-it reader D.S. put the giant ka-bosh on that 1984-Sunkist-commercial, carefree-Coppertone-vision I’d had…

“Giant great white shark spotted circling waters of Favorite Beach due to beaching of giant, delicious, seen-better-days whale. Water closed for many, many days, people.”

Or something like that.

I bring this up due to a conversation I’d had earlier in August with East Coast family members, discussing the more recent, “frequent” sightings of these massive watery-carnivores on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

Do we forget that JAWS, the horror movies that killed the water skiing business in the ocean for an entire generation, was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard??

I forget frequently. Denial ain’t just a river….

Anyway, back to the current situation. Seems these great whites are just doing their usual business. Just getting “caught” at it more often with our Google Glasses and hunkier lifeguards...

Which doesn’t make me sleep better at night, so I try to problem solve: with the current neon 80’s trend, couldn’t we shove our kids into wet-suits that are retina-burning, hideous-glow-stick, neon colors so they’d be SURE not to get mistaken as a chubby, spastic sea-lion on a boogie board?

Alas, again, after a quick WWW search… Yup, those teethy creatures called sharks are as colorblind as an early contestant on Project Runway.


So methinks, just as (oh god this is too easy to resist) Heidi Klum has.... that as good parents, when the local alarm is out, we too can be sure that anything that looks like a Seal, acts like a Seal, or sings like a Seal, stays far, far away…. from the ocean, of course….  

Namaste & Happy Swimming! – OM 

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Farm Fresh, End of Summer Dinner Party Menu from the Fields and Farms of Vermont

In the final days of summer break, the final moments of extended family visits, the last seconds of NOT thinking about Trapper Keepers and No 2 Pencils and Glue Sticks…… 

...we take a moment to savor the farm fresh, end of summer Vermont flavors that make an evening BBQ dinner party menu sing with deliciousness. Fresh. Outdoors. Food.

Picked 5 minutes ago, twenty long ears of sweet corn

A spirited discussion about Nor Cal vs. Vermont Cheese

Green Pasture Meat’s Chicken grilled on the BBQ

Local brewery suds

Grande finale, picked at the Charlotte Berry Farm homemade Blueberry Pie

As we take a bite of late summer deliciousness, we know we're going to be back for seconds -- next year.

Namaste & Three Cheers! --OM