My children seem to be born with a desire to be outside. My three year old son much prefers to play outside over any indoor activity, no matter how enticing. My daughter is 15 months old and just learned to sign “outside,” and boy was she pleased with herself. Twenty times a day I’ll find her standing by the door signing to go outside. I’m sure they are not alone in her desire to be outside rain or shine, day or night. As more and more children (and adults) pass their days inside, more and more experts are showing us just how important it is for little kids (and not-so-little-kids) to be outside exploring, experimenting, and engaging their environment.
The library has several books for parents and educators about how to help children engage in the natural environment and how to enhance playscapes to include more natural aspects. Many of these ideas are meant for daycares or preschools, but many can be applied in your own backyard. So take my kids’ advice and go play outside!