Andy and I have both always loved being outside. I remember as a child very rarely being indoors and I know that Andy was the same. We both grew up in a world without mobile phones, posh TVs and iPads. Instead we had to use our imagination to create our own games to play. I want this for Noah too. This isn’t a dig at IPads or TVS however, because they’re cool but I don’t think that they should be something that is on all day long…I personally don’t think it’s helpful. As a teacher, I do know the benefits of using technology as a resource to help teach your children and I was one for getting out the IPad if there was anything that children found tricky. Firstly because it engages a child and secondly because the educational games can be disguised as pretty fun! I do however think that when it comes to play time then a child should be set free from technology and sent outdoors; to learn, to explore and to imagine.
So that’s where this post comes in. I thought I would share with you our experience of taking Noah outside every single day; the benefits I think it’s had and how easy it is to do yourself…
Andy and I were both in agreement that we wanted Noah to be exposed to the world outside from a very young age, so from just a few days old Noah has been out in the fresh, crisp air (come rain and shine) for walks and exploring. Bailey is super handy for this because he needs a walk everyday (more than once…) so we don’t have an excuse to stay indoors. Having said that, the picture above shows our first walk. Noah was 6 days old. I was petrified…I’ve no idea why either!! I remember we had made plans to go for lunch with some friends but I’d burst into tears because I just couldn’t bare the thought of leaving the house (I’m never like that) and so Andy managed to calm me down and suggested we just went for a walk in the pram around the block instead. Despite being afraid (not sure what of) I went outside and it was the best thing I did. Being out in the fresh air gave me a whole new perspective and it made me appreciate a whole lot more. Since then Noah has been outside every single day and I’m glad.
It’s got to the point now where Noah gets REALLY excited by the prospect of being outside and will let out such a cute squeal when he knows we are heading out. He even crawls faster than I can catch him to the patio or front door whenever they’re open. If he manages to make it outside before we catch up he just sits on the patio beaming and clapping his hands. Adorable. This is what we wanted and we can’t wait to watch him grow and get dirty with all the mud, splash in puddles and make forts out of sticks he finds in the forest, play hide and seek behind the tree trunks and climb as high as he can. I will never stop him from going outside, I think it’s important…(if you haven’t got that by now). If it’s raining, I’ll just give him some wellies, if it’s snowing, I’ll just wrap him up, if it’s super hot I’ll pile on the factor 50. I want Noah to love being out more than being in – like his Dad and I did growing up. If that means extra washing of mud stains then so be it.
It’s so easy to do this yourself, I know I’ve said that having Bailey makes it easy for us but even just getting out into the garden, somewhere you can safely watch from the window will help them to breathe in the fresh air and use things around them to imagine and play. If you don’t have a garden then walk to your local park or swing set, walk to your local shops. Try to find somewhere in everyday that will allow your child to see the world. If a child isn’t exposed to the world (sadly even to possible dangers) then they won’t learn. Teach your children to cross the road safely, teach them about games they can play on the front garden – games i’m sure you played too growing up. One I used to love was throwing a tennis ball onto the side of the house and catching it – seeing how long I could do that kept me entertained for ages. I also loved to play “curby” with my friends. This obviously requires lots of road sense and a quiet road/cul-de-sac but it’s so much fun. Teach your children about being outdoors to keep themselves safe. Have your lunch outside on clear days…make a little picnic. Just enjoy it. The benefits are endless.
Here are a few shots of us outdoors just a few days ago. I’ll leave you on them.
Unless we are willing to encourage our children reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help, protect and care for it.
x A x