Monday, February 1, 2010

The art of outdoor play

This article 'Ancient Skills Inspire Kids To Get Outdoors' is an interesting look at the vanishing art of outdoor play. The Children of the Earth Foundation sponsors programs for homeschoolers and other groups to teach children outdoor survival skills.

"Decreasing natural areas and increasing dangers encouraged indoor play and the eruption of electronic entertainment has left children without the sense of freedom and creativity that play in nature brings."

As a child my siblings and I roamed the mountain top where we lived and it was nothing for us to hike, fish and build forts all day long. Mom would send us out the door in the morning and tell us not to come back until supper time. She told us, "if you get hungry, go to the garden. If you get dirty, go to the brook to wash." If we got tired we took a nap in the haystack. The older children watched over the younger children (although we were close in ages). I can remember hardly ever wearing shoes for an entire summer. I made sure my two homeschooled children had many of the same experiences I had by moving to the country and allowing them to learn from nature.

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