Resisting the Urge…

Pink Water Crocs

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


12 Days of Christmas: Kicking it Grass Stain Guru Style!

It's a marshmallow world ...

Dear beloved readers and friends:

I think this bit of fun deserves a re-posting. After all, what are the holidays with out traditions? I hereby dub this one of TGSGS’s annual holiday posts; so it is written, so it shall be done. ;-)

Thanks for spending this play-filled year with me. For every tree you climbed, fort you built, trail you hiked. For everything that required crayons, glue and glitter. For every Mystery Critter case you cracked. For every belly laugh and gasp of awe-struck wonder you uttered. For every minute of playful spirit you modeled for those around you, I thank you. Gold stars and grass stains to you all! 

Here’s a little fun I’ve cooked up for you this holiday season. xoxo Bethe

On the 12th day of Christmas TGSG gave to me:

12 perfect snowflakes

11 stones a skipping 

10 stars a twinkling

9 children giggling

8 frogs a croaking

7 kites a flying

6 rainbows gleaming

5 forts to build

4 scampering squirrels

3 trees to climb

2 box turtles

And a grass stain on each knee!

No matter what you believe, or don’t, the holiday season is truly special. May yours be filled with much love and laughter, and warmest wishes for a happy, healthy 2013!

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru



<— Little GSG with her trusty stick. (Um, and in case you are wondering, I finally grew into that chin.)




Creative Commons License photo credit: seelensturm

10 Gobble, Gobble-worthy Things to be Thankful For

Let’s think of this post as our virtual Thanksgiving table, shall we? So let’s join hands and all share what we are thankful for.

Besides the obvious and critical items, of course:

  • stretchy pants
  • pie
  • cheesy basic cable Christmas movies (best enjoyed in stretchy pants while eating pie)
  • leftovers
  • the fact that as much as we love them, relatives will eventually leave (let’s just hope there is pie left)

OK, I’ll start…

10.  The smell of the sidewalk after a warm summer rain.

9.  The sound of leaves crunching under my feet on a fall hike.

8.  SQUIRRELS (squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!)

7.  The feeling of mud between my toes and grass beneath my feet.

6.  Crocuses sticking their colorful heads up out of the cold earth, reminding me that spring really will come.

5.  Staring at the ocean and understanding what forever looks like.

4.  The feeling of sun on my face and breeze in my hair.

3. The smell of lilacs and honeysuckle.

2.  The fact that I was raised as a Free Range kid and allowed to develop my own sense of self, love of the natural world and the type of resiliency and capacity for wonder that allows me to be a happy adult.

1.  All of my outdoor play and nature friends out there across the globe.  How amazing is it to grow up to do what you love and connect with others who believe in what you do? THANK YOU!

Thank you all for being in my world. Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings, or to those from elsewhere — a great big beautiful day! (Um, filled with pie.)

See ya outside!  xoxo – The Grass Stain Guru                      

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