The time U.S. children spend outdoors has declined 50% in the past 20 years (source here), and while I have friends who love to remind me (and my anti TV watching ways) that our generation–including myself– watched TV and turned out “okay”, they are forgetting that our generation did NOT have cell phones, smartphones, laptops, Ipads, Nooks, Kindles, and the like….and we didn’t have DirectTV, if we were lucky, we had 4 channels.
Our children are bombarded with screens.
And so are we.
Where have the childhoods gone? Where have all the parents gone, for that matter…everywhere I look, they are behind a cell phone, or laptop, plugged in and missing the childhoods happening right in their own houses.
This is a great path to be on if you want to wake up 15 years from now and feel regret because your kids grew up…
and you missed it.
Enter one of the things I love, love, love about a Waldorf-inspired curriculum… it gets my kids outside, (thereby getting me outside)…unplugged…everyday.
Sunny? of course.
Chilly? Throw on a sweater/coat, hat, scarf…
Some of you are still thawing from the winter storms we have had and will want to bookmark this post for later when it is safe for your kids to be outside. We live in an area where outdoor activities right now are plentiful, and our weather in the 60s and 70s each day (don’t hate me), but I am the first to admit our schedule still does not always allow for us to take advantage of all the outside offerings available. This year, we are trying to change that by spending more time outside and making time in the schedule for more outdoor day trips and experiences they have not had before.
If you are needing some ideas for outside activities, I was very excited to discover that the United States Forest Service has a campaign to help our kids Discover the Forest! On the Discover the Forest website, you will find a treasure trove of ideas and activities to help you and your children discover the forests near you and get outside this year, including this great free book, “The Book of Stuff to Do Outside” that you can download today! It is full of fun outdoor activities including matching animal tracks, how to find direction without a compass, leaf and bark rubbings, nature collages, keeping a nature journal and more!
So hop over there, check out this great site, print out your free booklet and start planning your own forest adventure for later this year. Unplug. I promise you will be glad that you did.
To read more about adapting an unplugged parenting style, check out http://www.handsfreemama.com and join the hands free revolution!