Saturday, February 2, 2013

101 things to do #18...Don't try so hard!

While there is great value in trying something new, exposing children to new ways to enjoy their time outside, remember that they are really good at finding their own fun! Often, educators and parents tell me that they are somewhat stuck when it comes to finding things to do outside. (Thus, I started this blog!) Sometimes children don't need activities or plans. Just letting them mess around outside is often enough. They'll find their own fun! Some children will have an easier time with the lack of structure. Others may be a bit "lost" if you don't offer them a plan. I believe this is because children have become so used to being told what to do, how to do it, where to do it, with whom and when. Adults manage so much of their time. My hope with this blog is to provide you with enough open-ended activities and ideas that you can play around with free, relatively unstructured time outdoors and see what happens. Despite my many creative attempts to provide my children with fun new activities and ways to enjoy winter (and let's face it, in Minnesota we need variety! These winters are long!) -the best fun happens when we're outside "doing nothing"
--here is J, engaging in what he has recently decided is his "favorite outdoor winter activity" -yes, he's sliding on a patch of ice in a city parking lot. Although we had bitterly cold temperatures all week, yesterday we spent a good 20 minutes in the sun, sliding around in his shoes on a patch of ice, which was conveniently located on a slope in a parking lot, making for some pretty impressive "speed sliding" I have to say, it never would have occurred to me to try this. In fact, I hadn't even really noticed what a perfect "sliding ramp" it was, until J showed me. I love it when nature fun arises spontaneously and completely of the children's own doing.

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