Thursday, 19 January 2012

Play Outside - Collecting Sticks & Other Missions

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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!)

This post is linked up to :


  1. I like the little prompts as well ours was fairy houses - we have the opposite problem though J never wants to come home. We were on the swings and slides in the dark last week with him refusing to come home.

  2. love the idea of giving the kids little missions. Goblin is still at an age when he doesn't need an incentive to run and jump, but i will keep this one in my pocket for when he is older.

  3. Love that sermon! I think it is great that you are giving them just a little bit of inspiration and then letting them run with it. Awesome idea. Thanks so much for linking up with the outdoor play party. It would be great if you could let your readers know about the party and share the link with them. The bigger the party gets the more great outdoor play ideas we all get to check out. Benefits everyone! Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Hi Abbie,

      I have your button on my sidebar but have added it to the individual post too!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    2. So sorry I missed the button on the sidebar! Thanks so much for linking up. I just love all the great ideas that are being shared with this link up!


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