Life is Meant for Living

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“Busy is not the new black. ” ~ The Grass Stain Guru

Sometimes, all you need is a picture or a simple quote to stir something inside you. In this case, a wee blog post. Earlier today, the folks at Free Range Learning posted this graphic on their Facebook page

And I had an immediate reaction: I stinkin’ LOVE this!

It’s so true. Society today has gotten to the point where we have frankly become a bit ridiculous with our level of busy. With our need to multi-task and be connected across multiple platforms 24 hours a day.  People seem to judge you if you are not busy enough — or if your children are not involved in umpteen different activities.

I’m calling bullshit, people. That’s right. Bullshit.

  • You are not winning life if you are so busy you cannot enjoy it.
  • Your children are not winning childhood if they have no time to actually have some fun and enjoy it.

Slow down and put some life into living. Unplug and really connect. Stop over-scheduling yourself, your kids, and family. Go outside and play.

Life happens when you are too busy to notice. So slow down and notice. 

 

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

 

PSA: Can’t Miss Summer Fun

 Watermelon

 

Here they come — those incredible summer days and nights we dream of most of the year are upon us and will pass us by quicker than I care to think about.

So consider this a little Public Service Announcement from your friendly neighborhood Grass Stain Guru

GO OUTSIDE & PLAY.

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. No excuses. And seriously, the air conditioning will be waiting for you…and will feel even better when you go outside and get your play on!

  1. Catch fireflies
  2. Run through the sprinkler or have a wet sponge fight
  3. Roast the perfect marshmallow or challenge yourself to come up with a gourmet s’more recipe
  4. Head to a nearby fishing hole.  Take a child who has never had the opportunity and watch their eyes light up.
  5. Try geocaching
  6. Have a watermelon seed spitting contest
  7. Camp. Backyard, tree house or nearby county or state park — it doesn’t matter as long as you sleep outside
  8. Eat a popsicle under a shade tree and play The Cloud Game
  9. Find a nearby trail and hike when the sun is not too high — early in the morning or at dusk
  10. _________________ (Use your imagination and share in the comments section! What’s your #10?) :-)

Oh, and why not spice up your summer with a tasty adult popsicle or three?! Check out my friend Jerry James Stone’s recipe for Mango Fruit and Tequila Popsicles with Serrano. Noms! Don’t worry, he has lots of great non-boozey recipes, too. :-)

When September comes and the kids head back to school and the summer light starts to fade, you will have such fond memories of time spent in the pursuit of play — and making the most of this gorgeous planet that we call home.

Trust me — this fact will make you happy. The end.

Don’t miss out. Mother Nature has something great waiting for you…

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

PS: And because I am a former camp counselor, I can’t help but play this clip from my beloved, Meatballs. And yes, as a matter of fact I am ready for the summer! Are you ?!

photo by: viralbus

Letting Go of Excuses

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I spend a lot of time talking to parents and educators about unplugged play, unstructured time, and slowing down today’s childhood. And I’m not gonna lie, sometimes it can be frustrating to hear the explanations and excuses about why it’s not possible and how children won’t settle for it.

Children, not settling for play time? Children, not wanting to run and jump and yell and laugh with their friends? Not wanting to make a mess or have a bit of freedom?

Sorry folks, I’m not buying it. Children are born to play. BORN. Adults’ attitudes, choices, and rules often quell it, but it doesn’t make the inherent drive to play any less. Play doesn’t have to be as structured, plugged-in, or sedentary as it has become. But for this sad and ugly reality to change, so must the attitudes and behavior of parents, caregivers, educators, etc.

A restoration of the natural balance and joy of childhood will return when the adults let it happen. When we choose to limit screen time and encourage children to explore their yards, neighborhoods, parks, and schoolyards. When we re-adopt the phrase, Go outside and PLAY!” 

If you haven’t read my recent post, Resisting the Urge, I encourage you to do so. It discusses some the things we can do (or not do) to help this process unfold. And for a little inspiration and encouragement, please watch this beautiful video below. Don’t focus on the fact that it takes places in a remote area, but rather focus on the movement, laughter, creativity and sheer joy expressed by the children at play. Who wouldn’t want their children to have similar experiences?

Come on, you can do it. Let go of excuses and resist the urge… and let more of childhood unfold — naturally.

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

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photo by: theogeo