Letting Go of Excuses

flip-flops
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

photo by: theogeo

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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