The Open Post

I thought our first week of open posting went really well. Thanks to all who commented last week. For those who are jumping in, we’re trying out a new feature called The Open Post on Mondays. It’s an opportunity for anyone to comment, ask a question, or offer a link on the topics of parenting, marriage, self, kids, etc. We’re using the comment section as the forum.

One thing I liked about last week’s Open Post was that people contributed to it throughout the week. So if something occurs to you later in the week, don’t hesitate to put it out there. Everyone will be able to see that there is a new addition to the post in the Recent Comments section on the side of the home page.

I’m looking forward to hearing about what’s going on in your world!



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4 responses to “The Open Post

  1. dcslugabed

    I’ve been thinking about play and outdoor time since the recent posts about the subject. My friend and neighbor was interested in the Washington Post article about kids not getting outside enough too–she and her husband recently instituted “Project Nature” to try to get their child outside more in natural settings. To her, this means not only outside, but outside in spaces that are not filled with plastic play equipment or backyard plastic play houses. Another friend who is a landscape designer specializes in creating children’s outdoor spaces that are not filled with traditional playground equipment, but that contain natural things that stimulate children to play. When she was discussing her work with me, she said that if you asked people what they remembered about playing outside when they were children, no one ever talks about play grounds. This struck a nerve with me, because what I remember most about playing outside when I was little was creating a house within the roots of an enormous tree outside my elementary school, and later, when I was a little older, playing along a creek that ran at the edge of a friend’s yard.

    However, my 3 year old daughter loves play grounds. She begs to go to the playground every day after school; she has always loved swinging, and her arms and legs have gotten so strong from climbing and sliding and tackling the pole. She is also intrigued by the interactions with kids required to secure a place on the swing when an elementary school class is using the playground along with us or to get a shovel when previous arrivals to the sandbox are already using all the toys.

    In our own little “project nature” my husband and I took our daughters and three other girls on a walk over to the woods near our house this weekend. These are all very active and outdoor-oriented girls–and yet none of them except our daughters had been to the woods before. They loved the adventure. They crawled through a space in a rotted tree, inspected a spider hanging off a branch, jumped onto and then off of a log on the ground, and ate a snack on the dirt.

    This morning, on our urban walk to school, my daughter remembered to pick a “caterpillar tail” piece of grass and to look for the mushrooms that long ago briefly appeared by the side of the sidewalk and have never come back, two of her daily routines she does either by herself or with her friend she often walks to school with.

    When I spend a weekend day taking the girls to a concrete, people-filled swimming pool, which they love, are we missing out by not going row boating on the river on our own? I’m glad all of these activities are available to us, and I see the kids actively engaging in creative play in each, but I’m going to try to be more mindful about throwing in some activities where the entertainment is not so ready-made; maybe when the kids have to work a little harder to create their amusements, the experiences will stay with them longer.

  2. I have similar memories from my childhood of playing at a creek at the end of my street. I spent hours there with friends, jumping from rock to rock and making up games. “Project Nature” sounds like a good idea to me.

    We took the boys hiking yesterday. In those times, I try to let Sage’s creativity and curiosity guide him without interference with me, as much as I can. There are always safety concerns, but then no one was policing my every move and I managed to survive. I don’t want to be one of those helicopter parents you hear about.

  3. sadie is on summer break from school. two days into it, i am already losing my mind. she’s landed on a highly effective torture technique. constant babble requiring my rapt attention at unpredictable and intermittent intervals. help. me.

  4. oh man, that’s rough. hang in there friend. preschool summer camp is on the horizon.

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