Friday, July 24, 2009

Never Be Within Doors When You Can Be Without!!!~~Charlotte Mason

I thought I'd share these websites I was introduced to this morning from one of my (many) yahoo groups.
They are all about the benefits of allowing kids to have unstructured play in nature. The Green Hearts Nature Preschools is exactly what we do at my preschool. We go outside for 60-90 minutes (longer if possible-but most of the kids aren’t used to that much time outside-we have to work up to it) and explore the woods and have a little time at the playground. Indoor activities are nature based as our yearlong theme is the Creation. Day One: light and dark, Day Two air, space and water, etc….

There is a lot of research on the Children and Nature Network website proving the benefits of outdoor play and the consequences of not getting enough time to roam freely in nature.

Check out the Parent Guide from Green Hearts. It has tons of ideas for creating a safe outdoor space kids in the safety of your own backyard. Oh the fun of a pile of dirt!

Even if your kids are too young to go out alone, you can still start now learning about these great benefits yourself and by taking the kids out now so that when they're older, it will be “second nature” to be outside!!

On the C&NN site they have a Nature Club toolkit. I may start my own with the nieghborhood kids. (Wonder how would weird that would be...a crazy old lady whose kids are all grown hosting a Nature Club for other people's kids?!?!)

I fully believe in the power of free, unstructured outdoor play and that is severely lacking in today’s childhood. I had one child last year afraid of the sunlight. He bravely tried so hard but never quite got over the shock of that first step into the great outdoors when a beam of sunlight first touched his skin. Sad, very sad!

OK, off my soapbox now, here’s the websites:

Children and Nature Network

I wonder if they've ever heard of Charlotte Mason. Her wisdom continues to hearken......

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