put down that book and go play outside!

I’ve been cleaning out crud from my college-bound son’s collections, making room for his sister to take over his space.  Erik is heading towards an Environmental Studies degree.  I am reminded, as I sift through his stuff, of the vast number of hours my children have spent playing outdoors as they’ve grown up.  In Quebec.  In West Africa.  In Minnesota.  My philosophy of raising children includes plenty of grubbing around in the great outdoors.

 

Scooping up pond water to find frog eggs.
Watching a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis.


Collecting berries and seed pods for use in outdoor play kitchens. 
 Building igloos and sleeping in them overnight. 
Drifting quietly in the canoe, watching loons, or beavers, or osprey in the northern lakes.
Building miniature volcanoes from the mud in the yard.
Shimmying up papaya trees.
Tramping through the snowy woods on New Year’s Day. 

All this to say, there are plenty of occasions when I hope you put down those books and get outside with your kids.  To the playground.  To the backyard.  To the nature center or the state park or the zoo or the beach.  Enjoy and look and learn from the magnificent world of nature.

I’m putting a link here to a fabulous blog I’ve found called The Magnifying Glass, dedicated to exploring nature with kids.  I think it is very inspiring.  I wish someone like this had lived next door to me while my kids were young and included them in her ramblings and peerings!  My efforts pale in comparison.  Perhaps if you have young children, you can benefit from their passion for nature learning.

http://themagnifyingglass.typepad.com/weblog/#tp

Check it out!