Monday, August 27, 2007

Getting Outdoors with the Little Ones

I've been thinking a lot about taking the children outside more because our little Saturday morning ritual has been somewhat curtailed lately. It's funny how life seems to get in the way, and something that is important and supposedly a priority falls by the wayside. And I do believe it is so important for children to go outside and to exercise both. It's at these times that we get a lot of our ideas and children are so stimulated by the natural world and also . . . it's just fun. I totally have childhood memories of playing outside even though I consider myself more of an indoor type of person. Even so, I remember reading books in a hammock, climbing scratchy fig trees, making forts in bushes, and digging in the dirt (by the way, for the little mud pie makers in your life there is such a great book that I love so much: Mudpies and Other Recipes by Marjorie Winslow. Not only is it a cute premise with charming illustrations, but the writing is supreme. Very dry and funny and clever. You're going to love it. I need to dig it out or just buy a new copy).
Taking young children on an outdoor outing or beach day is daunting to be sure--what with the sunscreen and sippy cups and hats and shoes and baby carriers and diapers and snacks and so on, but so worth it really. So this Saturday we just decided "lets get back into it" and even with getting a late start we did our little hike with the two babies, and Dieter played in the water and threw rocks and Rainer was just into dipping his toes in the water and being carried around.
Incidentally, I was feeling much more fit and energetic while hiking than I have in a long time--not sure why, but maybe those evening walks with both babies in the incredibly awkward and heavy double stroller are whipping me into shape at last. That thought encourages me to keep up with the evening strolls. Which brings me to another thought--although the weekend hikes with the little ones are great, they love getting outdoors at all--including the neighborhood pocket park and our own back yard.
September 24-30 is National Take a Child Outside Week and you can find more info here (scroll down). This week I plan to keep up with the evening walks and try to get a little beach trip in on Saturday. What are your favorite outdoors-with-children activities?

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