Saturday, April 16, 2011

Daily Investments

Like I’ve said before it doesn’t take grand outings to forge a relationship between the outside world and children.  And it doesn’t have to be in completely ‘natural’ or virgin areas. For example, I live in a fairly large complex, dozens and dozens of townhouses sandwiched together in tight little rows and horseshoes. Twenty to thirty share a parking lot and back up to others with a communal backyard between them—so it is in no way a pristine natural environment, but nature abounds regardless. 

Even in this clearly urban area nature is present sun up to sun down.  My son’s highchair faces the backyard in the morning because he likes to watch the squirrels, chipmunks and birds while he eats breakfast.  Weather permitting, when he gets home from ‘school’ (daycare) we play outside and take a walk (to burn off some energy so he doesn’t destroy my house on a nightly basis!).  In the evening he’ll try to find the moon and some stars and in the summertime lightning bugs.  They’re all just tiny little details in the day that reinforce nature as a part of his life and routine. 

*Here is a list of other small daily investments made this week:

Monday—abandoned his trains to watch carpenter ants (to my delight) for almost a half an hour, while repeatedly squealing “Hi bugs!” And “Bugs are nice!”

Tuesday—played a search & rescue game with his 2” trains in the grass & later hide & seek (with the trains).

Wednesday—played I-spy & name-that-animal on our walk.

Thursday—watched Maintenance dig holes (with giant drill attached to bulldozer) to plant flowering trees & bushes as part of their Community Beautification project. We followed them around for almost an hour.

Friday—walked around and looked at all the trees & bushes that had been planted the day before, and played animal I-spy on our walk.

Like I said, alone they are insignificant little details in the day but in an age where kids spend sun up to sun down in front of a television watching mindless shows or playing video games these tiny details make an enormous difference.  How different the world might be if children itched to get outside and explore the REAL world instead of closing themselves off in their rooms and getting lost in the world-wide web.

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