My son and I spend most of our time outdoors, even in the colder, wetter months that comes with living in the Northwest. With the proper gear, the less pleasant weather doesn’t bother us. There is always work to be done in the garden and my son actually plays much better in nature. When I nanny, I take the kids out on walks through the woods and every time it is a unique and beautiful experience. They see the grass grow taller, the insects crawling about, birds digging for worms, new flowers and leaves bursting forth and even the occasional cat or dog to chase after. I never bring toys on walks or activities to do because nature IS the activity. It has all they could ever need! Lisa Sunbury defines play as “the way children learn about themselves, the people around them, the world they live in, and how things work in their world. Play is the way children naturally explore, and the way they gain and practice skills they will use for their whole lives. BUT play is not done to attain any reward, or end goal. Children gain pleasure from engaging in play, and this reinforces their desire to play more.”
A few weeks ago I was blessed with such a magical moment. I happened to capture 5 minutes of the almost 30 that they spent just sitting and watching nature. It was refreshing. It was also a reminder that I need to follow their lead more and just sit and observe the intricacies of my surroundings. So please watch and enjoy.
“You don’t have to do anything but trust, watch, and enjoy.” ~Lisa Sunbury
Want to know more about self-directed play?