We have been doing pretty well with our 'Play Outside' goal for the year. I think we deserve an extra round of applause given the freezing temperatures and the fact that we've not even had a flake of snow to tempt us out yet!
While I love the opportunity for unstructured play outside, I have discovered a little technique to keep the kids interested in our local park, and to keep their focus when they instruct me we are to return home and make hot chocolate!
I give them a little mission, an open-ended play prompt. Like 'what sounds can we hear if we stand still?' 'what can we see if we look down?' 'I wonder what kind of creatures live in that bush' or collecting things like sticks (we are amassing a collection of stones for a future project too!)
I sort of think of myself just whispering these words in their ears, then stepping back to see what happens. They are truly finding so many great fun experiences with a reminder to look out for them.
I think this is an important message for grown-ups too. Little kids are always looking up, looking for magic and wonder. As adults we are naturally looking down, but think about all that joy we could be missing.
(and thus concludes my Buddhist sermon of the day!)
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