Monday, September 22, 2008

The importance of outdoor play

As a mom to two boys I am slowly awakening to the importance of outdoor play. When I think back on my childhood and the memories made, alot was at my Nan's playing outdoors under the loquat tree. We spent many hours making mud pies and climbing trees. Holidays spent at the beach investigating rock pools. As we got older the many hikes we went on, and the weekends spent outdoors.

I think as I've grown up and reached adulthood I've forgotten how to play outdoors and just how much fun it can be. I think back on some parents I have met and wonder. The comments of 'No, they are not allowed to dig in the sand', 'No, jungle gyms are not safe', No, no, no!! I think that is sad! It is time reclaim those feelings, it is time to reconnect with Mother Nature and ensure my boys enjoy being outdoors and the many things the outdoors have to offer.

The sandpit is definitely a step in the right direction. Last night I had to drag them inside. LOL It was getting dark and cold. I didn't mind the dark - it was the cold that had we worried.

On the Echidna (Agenda) I love the new word - Thanks James.

* A visit to the botanical gardens
* Some nature walks in our area
* Making Journals
* Time to catch and look at some bugs. Eweeee!! Will I survive. :))
* Investigate plants
* Learn while having fun doing all of this!!


Deb said...

Now that sounds like a fabulous Echidna to me!!

You know Mich - here, over the years "play" has got very safe - too safe. Every where from kindergarten to schools have upgraded their playgrounds to meet the new safety standards.
Whatever happened to those fun swings made from an old tyre or a piece of wood hanging from a tree - the ones I remember from childhood? Ahh that's right they were unsafe.

One of my 'shortcommings' as a Mother is that I just don't buy all that BS. I guess it comes from the huge age span between my kids - & bringing them up in what amounts to two different era's.

I figure how are kids going to learn if they don't learn to differentiate what is fun & what is outright dangerous for themselves - so my younger girls have been given the same sort of freedom to take risks as the older boys were. Not one of my children has had a broken bone & the one lot of stiches was from a stupid accident on a trampoline. At 10 my youngest daughter started biking to school by herself ( that was a tough one...for me - lol!)

The irony is that here, a lot of the playgrounds are now being changed back from the cossetting ultra safe area's they have become - the so called child safety experts have realised that kids don't learn the neccesary life skills if they are always protected from everything.

angelinabeadalina said...

Mich, thanks for the reminder. We spent the afternoon outside yesterday, but the thing is that I was always an indoor bookworm type...I think my kids inherited it from me. Gotta think more in terms of what to do outside and get in the habit of doing it more often.

Deb, you and my hubby would have a great conversation about the ridiculousness of the world today, LOL! The whole safety thing chafes him, especially since he was a wild child who did things like climb out of car windows and ride on the roof while one of his friends was barreling down the road. I, on the other hand, am a strange mix of a worrier and a "okay, learn for yourself" mom.

P.S. I don't know if either of you all have had the joy of cleaning up those little rubber pellets that fall out of tennis shoes after the kids have been on the playground, but let me tell ya THOSE THINGS SUCK. If we have to cushion playgrounds, then I think it would awesome if we could just give them a trampoline-like surface that doesn't follow the kids home!