It’s almost here — the end of the school year. Can you believe it?!
As summer approaches, so do longer hours of unscheduled time for many children. And while the temptation of structuring every moment is ever-present in today’s society, I would like to encourage you (well me, and pediatricians, child psychologists, and many other experts) to provide plenty of time for good old-fashioned, unstructured outdoor play. Allow for plenty of daily chances for children to be in the driver’s seat, making their own rules, and creating their own stories.
Resist the urge to over-schedule. Resist the urge to hover. Embrace mess and down-time. Let children explore and find their own way out of self-proclaimed boredom.
“Play not only affords children an early source of identity, but is full of useful information about yourself and the world around you,
for once not filtered through adult minds and eyes.” — Libby Brooks (Author)
Here’s the thing: Children have spent the last nine months very scheduled, buttoned-down, and zipped-up. They’ve been tested. They’ve sat. A LOT. And they have listened — to instructions directions, reprimands, and the word “NO”. So this summer, practice saying “Yes”.
As in, Yes you may:
- go outside and play
- read comic books out in the hammock
- walk/ride your bike to a friend’s house
- camp out in the backyard
- play flashlight tag after dark
- build a fort
- plant a garden or even just dig a hole
- go barefoot
- get really, really dirty
- be a kid
Your mantra: Resist the urge.
You can do it. I know you can!
See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru