By Cindy Hartwig Parenting Columnist, Canyon Lake Insider
Children are notorious for their natural curiosity and intrinsic need for outdoor exploration. Building snow forts, skipping stones, and gathering seashells are just a few favorite activities among the youth of all ages.
Adults may recall that some of our favorite childhood memories involve being outside. If we close our eyes, we can almost smell the scent of orange blossoms in a field, the feeling of sand on our toes at the beach, or the sensation of the wind blowing through our hair as we propelled our swings into the expansive universe!
Outdoor time was so valued that many of us would stay outside until dinner time. It is unfortunate that due to safety constraints, technology, academic demands, and busy calendars, this generation of children is not afforded those same opportunities.
More and more schools across the globe have responded with outdoor classroom options and an emphasis on a nature-based curriculum. Guess what? Parents can do this as well as a regular activity.
In fact, many children who are not typical classroom learners may thrive in some outdoor environments. In the past, playground time was geared primarily for large motor activity, but every other domain of learning may take place outside as well, including the following:
One of the biggest benefits of outdoor exploration is the fact that it is budget-friendly. Getting outside is free and reaps a big return in all areas of development. The next time your child is bored, consider cutting off their technological screen time in exchange for outdoor play. Guess what? As a bonus, they are also likely to sleep better and stay healthier from the fresh air and vitamin D. They may protest at first, but over time they, too, will come to cherish those childhood memories.
Cindy Hartwig is a parenting coach and consultant specializing in start-ups, growth, and expansion for churches and schools. She works with children, parents, educators, administrators, board members, accreditation teams, and pastors to strategize and implement best practices in education. Hartwig resides in Canyon Lake and is co-founder of 1 Focus Counseling.
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