Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I am happiest in nature. Whether barefooted in our garden, or hiking up a wooded trail. The best place for me is outside, surrounded by my family. As a child, my most fond memories are of being outside: climbing trees, exploring, gardening, waiting for the big rainfalls that would flood our backyard and turn it into an amazing imaginary rain forest through which my sisters and I could paddle our pool floats. Now that I’m nearly 6 years into being a parent, hardly a day goes by where we’re not outside. Even on the most inclement days, we often find ways to spend a few moments with nature. There’s something about being close to the earth, the plants, the trees, which recharges your energy. Nature connects you, in a world where people, so close in proximity, can be so disconnected from each other and the world. I want my children to be one with the planet – to feel energy that we all share. I want them to love being outside as much as I do. The best way to do this, quite simply, is getting outside as much as we can.
Right now, we live in a small condo in New Jersey, without much land to ourselves. Sometimes I feel sad about this, and yearn for a big backyard – for the acres of woods, and clean streams and lakes we had in Maine, where my daughter was born. In our current space, we have a small front flower garden and an enclosed back yard – both of which we’ve filled with flowers, plants, and as of this year, tomatoes & strawberries too! I know that we are fortunate to have our backyard right up against a bit of woods where we routinely see deer, squirrels, and other wildlife. When I tend to the plants and flowers in my little garden, with my children playing around me, it is easier to come to terms with the realization that the best place I am, we are, is where we are – right now. I realize that there is no sense in feeling sadness, when there’s so much to be grateful for. So, for today, we treasure being in, around, and enjoying the nature we DO have access to; realizing that many people live in places without such nearby access to wildlife.
I’d love to share a photo story of a typical after-school afternoon around our place doing our favorite things – outdoors:
My son, filling the birdbath – one of his favorite outdoor tasks!
My daughter, watering the annuals out front (which she helped to plant).
My son, lovingly watering the tomato (he talks to her while he waters).
Heading out to the woods – feeling the soft, long grasses.
Stopping to taste the wild honeysuckle!
My daughter, finding (and later chasing) a ladybug!
My daughter climbing a very large, almost prehistoric-looking vine!
My son, hanging from a neighborhood tree.
In all, it was a lovely day. One of many ahead as the weather gets more and more lovely, and we spend much of our waking hours outside. I truly hope that by spending time outdoors playing and working, my children will take with them as they grow, a love and respect for nature and all she has to share with us!
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants: