Yesterday we headed out to a garden type park near our house! It was a really beautiful day! The sun was shining, the weather was pleasant in the trees, and there was so much for the kids to do. There were giant musical instruments, a natural inspired obstacle course, a bridge over a bubbling brook, a cave to crawl through, and a little play hut! All of this was surrounded by community gardens and a small wooded area! As my friend and I sat there I realized that the kids were SO happy and peaceful. This area seemed to calm them, excite them, and allow them to play without us having to get involved too much. In fact, with my girls, I could have sat there and read a book while they were happily involved in their own explorations. It really made me think alot about the natural playground movement. There is a group of people out there who have found that playground who use natural materials provide kids with a better chance to use their imagination, and move at the same time. I really do think that there is something to that. If you give a child a stick, it is amazing to see what they do with it. They make it a sword, a spoon, a walking stick…pretty much anything! Just as Maria Montessori discovered, children are draw to a respond to natural products! Nature speaks to their souls and feed their minds. It calms their bodies and inspires creativity. So much from something so simple. In fact I think that most kids need time outside. My girls need me to get them outside several days a week at least (even it there is rain or snow). What do they do? The play, they sit and think, then make things, they find peace. Have you found similar things with your kids? Does going outside seem to make them feel better?
Happy Natural Play Everyone!
I am linking up over at Imagination Tree for It’s Playtime linky party! Stop by and see all the cool things that people are playing!