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Friday, May 29, 2009

Outside Time

Here in Georgia, it's the perfect time of year for playing outside. The sun is shining most days, but it isn't too hot to be outdoors. Kids absolutely adore playing outside, so now is the time to let them get out and play.

If you give your young child a small shovel, a small rake, and a bucket, she will entertain herself indefinitely with many very important tasks.

It's important to avoid discouraging your child with your own preconceived notions. For instance, Randall hates slugs. He thinks they're gross. Kira and Marisa are fascinated by slugs. Randall took the girls outside one afternoon to play. Both girls promptly began collecting as many slugs as they were able to find. I wasn't home, but I hear that there was a slug party where the slugs were the guests and the arms of my children was the venue. Poor Randall was horrified at just how many slugs the girls found. Apparently both girls had both of their arms covered with slimy little critters. If Randall were to be obvious and outspoken about his distaste for these creatures, the girls would quickly decide that slugs are gross and would lose such a valuable experience. So Randall wisely chose to keep his thoughts to himself and let the girls play with their slug friends. Of course, he did make them return the slugs to the ground before coming into the house to be bathed.

Let your kids be kids and play how they choose to play. Enjoy their ability to look at the world without prejudice. Before too very long, they will learn the art of timidity and the days of playing with worms and slugs and other critters without concern will be gone.

(I wonder now how in the world I was ever able to swim in the ocean without worrying about all the dangers.... I wish I still had the innocence to enjoy such activities without being overcome with the fear of danger. The same holds true for your children. This is the only time in their lives that they will be able to enjoy the the world without concern for the dangers that may present themselves. Encourage that freedom. )


Corina said...

Agreed. I let my kids be themselves. What else am I going to do?