Nature Time Before the Age of … As Determined by My Own Kids
There are boundless examples of children and adults alike with an obvious and seemingly almost insurmountable disconnect with the out of doors. The days of playing outside until the street lights come on or dancing in the puddles during a rainstorm seem to be fables or make believe to some children today.
Municipal parks should not be begging for attention nor should the beaten path be seen as a way to take a short cut to the mall or school alone.Now my own children are lucky enough to be outdoors kids. They have climbed trees and they have played outdoors without their parents for the length of one meal to another without the aid of a Smartphone or FRS radio.
My 13 year old girls have told me that while other girls their age are dying for to have that phone (and my girls do have them) they see going for a bike ride on the nature trails near our home without their phone as a sign of trust from their parents. A line of thought I find mature and refreshing.
So, as “experts” in outdoor play, I sat down with my kids and asked them to come up with a list of activities that they feel all kids should do before they reach certain age milestones. They put this into a Haiku Deck entitled Nature Time Before the Age of …
I recognize that depending on where you live, resources at hand and other factors your list may change but I think they did a fairly good job. And by going beyond their own current ages, they have also given me a wish list which we will start upon before this summer is over. It’s my niche as their father to encourage that outdoor time and do my darnedest to support their nature experiences.
Go ahead, ask your kids – what do they feel every kid should experience outdoors by a certain age? Let me know!