In a society of tablets and flashy toys, raise your child up to love nature. Build with sticks, balance on trees and play beyond the toy box.
More Like Jared
When I was a kid I can remember playing outside for hours. We had a neighbor about 2 years older than me who would come over every so often.
From building forts out of hay in the barn, to secret hide outs in the shed it was always an adventure when Jared came over. To this day I’m sure the wood is still there in the loft of the shed. You may even find secret notes hidden beneath the panels if you look carefully.
One of the more memorable times with Jared was when he made an insulated “house.” Obviously it wasn’t really a house, but as a 9 year old I thought it was highly impressive. Somehow he made the structure out of sticks and insulated it with hay but the entire outside was covered in snow. We played in that “house” every day until all of the snow melted into one big mushy mess.
Jared eventually moved and but the memories of our fun adventures will forever be embedded.
I find it so interesting how much of an impact someone can make on a person’s childhood. Jared brought out a different side to my brother and I. Although just a kid himself, he taught us creativity, hard work, and patience. That is something most kids are lacking these days.
But why? Why have we become a society that limits our children to exploding toy boxes and tablets? I think the bigger question here is how do we fix it?
Maybe we all just need a Jared in our life. Maybe we all need to be more like Jared.
Play Beyond The Toy Box Video
Get Our Behinds Outside
It starts with playing beyond the toy box and breaking out from the rock we are so used to hiding within.
What would happen if we put away YouTube, Netflix, and video games at least for a little bit?
“Ahhhh, but what will my kid do all day?”
Don’t lie. Some of you were totally thinking that 😉 For real though, it’s true. You all, I can’t be a hypocrite here. My 3 year old has more screen time then I care to admit but as much as I’d like to live “off the grid” at times, that just isn’t practical.
You know what is practical though? Getting our behinds outside!
I want to challenge you all with me to put away the screens and observe the world around you. No, not just on Facebook either!
Despite what some think, you don’t need outside toys to take your kids outside. Back in the old days what did kids do? They certainly didn’t just sit there! Kids are curious and observant in nature. If there’s no toys they will make some. I always thought sticks made better swords anyway.
Learning Comes Naturally
The great outdoors is the perfect location for learning! If you don’t already know this, we are a homeschooling family. One of the deciding factors in taking on this journey was the fact that we can learn any way we want to! If that means forgetting the books and worksheets then so be it.
Counting rocks as you throw them into the pond is WAY more effective than doing a worksheet. Trust me, I speak from experience.
Also, what is a better way to learn about insects than to see one up close and personal? Just ask Wyatt where honey comes from! He had so many questions about bees as he watched them buzz from flower to flower last year.
There’s Benefits Too
It should go without saying that playing outside has benefits but do you really know how beneficial it is?
I sure didn’t!
Not only does it decrease screen time, but also helps to prevent obesity and improves eyesight, among many other physical and mental benefits.
Being an environmentalist, I of course feel that it is important to raise our children up to love nature. With the way our world is headed it’s quite scary to think of what it may look like in another 100 years. By teaching your children to love nature you are impacting not only the child, but the world he is living in too.
It’s up to us and our future generations to fix this mess we have created.
For more info check out this article, covering 15 awesome benefits to going out and engaging with nature!
Who Is Up For The Challenge?
Let me know in the comments if you plan to play beyond the toy box! Are you already exploring the great outdoors? Tell me all about your fun ideas!
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