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

 

What Summer Should Look Like

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.  – John Lubbock

Drop by drop

Ready or not, here it comes

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: lepiaf.geo

IMG_2536

Welcome it with open arms and a wide smile

Creative Commons License photo credit: Unbowed

Sunset on the prairie

Stop to notice its beauty and be still

photo credit: timtom.ch

Marshmallows

Taste its sweetness

Creative Commons License photo credit: Brianfit

A Young Entrepreneur on a Hot Day at Portland State

Make each day count

Creative Commons License photo credit: rachaelvoorhees

Fog at the beach 4

Frolic, dance, and use your outside voice

Creative Commons License photo credit: Spigoo

Limbo Cheater

Play and make up your own rules

Creative Commons License photo credit: Harpersbizarre

Don’t miss a sunset and be grateful for each day

Go barefoot. Laugh as if your life depended on it. Sip lemonade. Go to the fishing hole. Enjoy the feeling of sand between your toes.  LIVE.

See ya outside! – The Grass Stain Guru

photo by: Moyan_Brenn

Nature Play in the Schoolyard

I have been a proponent of nature play in and out of school time for twenty years.

But you all know this. I write about the benefits of nature, unstructured play, and reasonable risk for optimal child development all the time. In fact, it’s what The Grass Stain Guru blog is all about.

I stumbled on this lovely and powerful video that explores nature play in three schools in Scotland. It bares mentioning that the narrator states how the UK is far behind European schools embracing nature play. And let it said, the USA is far behind the UK in embracing nature play and reasonable risk for children.

Well, it’s time to play catch up!

Please watch this video for inspiration and ideas to bring nature to your school or center grounds.

 

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

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