Eavesdropping on Today’s Childhood

Love this! Anja Geelen sent this to me from NZ. She took a quote from my blog and attached the sign to her family's tent.

I was at the airport the other day on my way back from The Conference on the Value of Play, which made what happened all the more poignant.

A little girl no older than seven was telling her grandmother about all the activities she was involved in. She rattled them off like an executive rattles off meetings and conference calls: judo, dance, soccer, gymnastics and church activities.

Plus, she said as she rolled her beautiful green eyes, “I always have homework.

Her mother looked on with pride. Her grandmother looked apprehensive at best.

The Grass Stain Guru bit her tongue.

How, I wondered? How can this poor little girl keep up with all of that? She must be exhausted.

Why, I wondered? Why would her parents schedule this poor little thing within an inch of her life? And themselves? Somebody has to drive her to all of these activities.

When, I wondered? When does this bright-eyed little girl have time to be a kid?

Where, I wondered? Where did we go wrong as a society, sending the message that this is what childhood is supposed to be like? That this is what parenting is supposed to be like, a veritable Cruise Director?

At the airport that day I eavesdropped on society, and I didn’t like what I heard. At all.  I’m not sure why I was so surprised at what I heard. I’ve heard it ALL before, time and time again. I’ve written about it before…spoken about it.

But coming off that conference being surround by others who are play advocates and scholars, the reality of today’s children’s reality hit me like a ton of bricks. And I didn’t like it one bit.

Simply put, what passes for childhood today is simply not good enough. It’s not good for the children, the parents/families, the teachers, and society as a whole.

I found this video the other day. This, my friends — this is what childhood should look like.

So folks, where do we go from here? Let me know your thoughts.

And now if you will excuse me, there is a tree I need to go climb.

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru 

Video credit: Right Where You Are Now from Craigmore Creations on Vimeo.

Mystery Critter #77

I see no ships
Howdy my favorite nature detectives! Can you believe we are up to our 77th Mystery Critter together?! Thanks to you all for playing along with me!

So, let’s get down to business, y’all. Put on those thinking caps and remember — no cheating! ;-)

CRITTER CLUES:

  • I am the largest of  my kind in North America
  • My colors include red, bronze, green and gold
  • I was on the verge of extinction in the 1930s
  • You will likely hear me before you see you
  • We number approximately 7 million today!

So, what am I?! 

Make your guess then go here for the answer and more interesting facts.

Did you get it right? 

If not, no worries. You will have another chance soon!

Remember, when looking for wildlife, keep your eyes and ears open! Look high and low, and most importantly, enjoy yourself.

Fall is the perfect time to explore the natural world. Ablaze with color and a nip in the air, Mother Nature is at her finest.

What critters can you spot in your neck of the woods? Be sure to tell us!

And don’t forget! Join the Wildobs community and share your wild adventures with the world.

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

Creative Commons License photo credit: treehouse1977

Mystery Critter #58

Kindergarten scout

Greetings Nature Detectives! Hope you have lots of outdoor fun planned this Halloween weekend!

This week, I picked one of my personal favorites…So put on your thinking caps and let’s get to it! And remember — no cheating. ;-)

CRITTER CLUES:

  • Me and my kind get a bad rap, but were very beneficial
  • I am swift
  • I like a bit more room than my cousins…
  • I do not hibernate
  • I live in the desert, but I have no doubt you can find one of my cousins near you

So, what am I?

Make your guess then go to eNature for the answer and more interesting facts.

Did you get it right?

If not, no worries. You will have another chance next week!

Remember, when looking for wildlife, keep your eyes and ears open! What critters can you spot in your neck of the woods this weekend? Be sure to tell us!

And don’t forget! Join the Wildobs community and share your wild adventures with the world.

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

PS: Click here to read a cool story from eNature just perfect for Halloween! And, just for a little Halloween fun, let’s do the Monster Mash!

Creative Commons License photo credit: matsber

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