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Getting out to play and engage with nature

Do you have memories of yourself playing as a child? What do you think of your child’s memory of his/her childhood will be when he/she grows up? Bet it will be a mass differences compared to ours.

Read the details taken from website:
The researchers found that compared to 1981, children in 1997 spent less time in play and had less free time. They spent 18 percent more time at school, 145 percent more time doing school work, and 168 percent more time shopping with parents. The researchers found that, including computer play, children in 1997 spent only about eleven hours per week at play.

In another study, mothers were asked to compare their own memories of their playtime, to their children’s current schedules. Eighty-five percent noted that their children played outdoors less frequently and for shorter periods of time than they had. The mothers noted that they restricted their own children’s outdoor play because of safety concerns, a fact echoed in other surveys where parents mentioned child predators, road traffic, and bullies as reasons for restricting their children’s outdoor play. 

Adding to the problem, Gray notes, is our increasing emphasis on schooling and on adult-directed activities. Preschools and kindergartens have become more academically-oriented and many schools have even eliminated recess. It is not that anyone set out to do away with free play time. But its value has not been recognized. As a result, kids’ free play time has not been protected.
How do you feel after reading the above? Sad or just shrugged your shoulder and proceed with what you have been doing routinely with your child?Personally, I did feel sad and frustrated because what was mentioned above was all so true. I am a mother and I do concern about my children’s safety, hence I do not allow them to run out and play on their own. With our system here and the city lifestyle that we lived in, our children stay indoor so much that they forgot how fun it is to be outdoor.I told myself:
I need to bring back the little children in my children.
I need to give them the freedom to connect to themselves.
I need to give them the freedom to play, to run, to get wet, to get dirty.
I need to take action!

How do I do it?
The first thing I did was to bring them out of course! Since I am concern about their safety, I shall go out with them. Yes or yes? Not indoor playground or shopping malls but bring them to engaged with nature. Nature provides positivity ions to humans. Playing in the natural environment allows the child toย be more diverse with imagination and the creative play (without pre-prepared toys) fosters language and collaborative skills.

Over the weekend,ย we made this outdoor trip possible. We planned for a relaxing cycling trip along East Coast Park.

But the moment they saw the beach in front of them, they gave me that longing look, asking for permission to get onto the beach. Of course, I agree (reminding myself no restriction). Without any prompting, smarties quickly took off their footwear and headed straight to the water.

Look at their faces!

We didn’t bring any sand toys or beach toys or whatsoever. They just made use of their own creativity and imagination to come out with their own game.

That’s what they did with what they found on the beach.

Tired of playing? Feeling too hot? No worries. Smarties had an idea. They went to soak themselves alongside the shore and…

chit chatting there. Aww, sweet isn’t it?
I know, some of you might be thinking:”What? Chatting under the hot sun?”.

Don’t ever think I’m holding any umbrella to avoid the sun or hiding under some shady area. I was under the hot sun with them as well!ย Here’s my prove with my feet in the water with smarties. Yes, I took off my shoes too! With their parents joining them, they were even happier ๐Ÿ™‚

Smarties had some interesting finds on the beach. They examined it and googled for more information about it (learning on the go).

We spent hours on the beach exploring and enjoying the moments. Before we headed for our lunch, smarties showed me how happy they were with these poses.

Are they happy or not? You can tell from the pictures and we are definitely going for more outdoor activities from now on, not only for their well-being but also for mine as well ๐Ÿ˜‰


This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. survivingbutterfly

    I feel the same way. Our children don’t get out enough, especially since computer, games, and gadgets are so popular. When I take my kids out, they love it! Even though it’s hot Arizona. Lol?

    1. Totally agree! In addition to technology, there are loads of homework too. It’s hot here all year round but regardless of the weather, kids definitely love to play…in the outdoor ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. It makes me sad that the value of play and especially outdoor play, is overlooked in today’s world. So glad you got out to the beach! It’s often unbearably hot here in Arizona, but we try to get outside when we can.

    1. Yes, is really sad to see the world compared to ours have changed so much. Yeah, heard that weather in Arizona can be superbly hot. Weather does play a part but as much as we can, we try to get out too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. June

    Always so nice for the kids (and us too) to get out and soak up the great outdoors. I agree our kids need more of that, and I can see the difference that it makes to their moods, and overall well-being. So cheers to more outdoor time!

  4. I think we share the same sentiments about the lack of outdoor play and having the kids hot and bothered ๐Ÿ˜› But once we step into the sun, it really does wonders to them! The fresh air, sea breeze and sun suddenly seem like a different environment altogether. Glad they had fun at the beach – looks like you guys will be heading there more often now ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Shub

    So nice to see them playing in the open air. Love the way their imagination blooms when outdoors.

  6. Can’t help but feel sad when reading the statistics..sad but it’s so true ๐Ÿ™ That’s y as long as our schedule permits, i’ll bring him to the playground to play or scoot with his classmates aft his class. In fact, I also notice that each time my boy does some outdoor activities, he always has so much fun that he’ll even tell me let’s do it again soon!!

  7. When my parents gave me free time, I would dash out and jio my neighbours for some outdoor fun. When I give my kids 1 hour of free play, they ask me do-what! (their defacto free-time is TV and Internet time ๐Ÿ™

    Agree with you that we parents must actively lead by example and enjoy more outdoor Fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    cheers, Andy

  8. I have to agree that outdoor time is very much lesser than our days back. Sometimes I do feel guilty of not being able to bring the kids out because I just want to stay at home or due to the hot weather.

  9. Outdoor play is the best for everyone to bond together without any toys, gadgets. Just enjoy your surrounding and enjoy till you drop.

  10. The outdoors is for everyone and certainly for kids! Thanks for reminding that parents need to consciously expose our kids to the great outdoors to experience play and following that laughter, joy and….love.

  11. I love this. Free unstructured play outdoor is definitely what our kids need more of. I’m inspired to take my kids out too!

  12. You are so right that nature does wonders not only to kids, but to us parents too. We especially love sitting by the sea and listening to the waves, and of course, hunting for sea shells.

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