Taking time to play

When I’m outside, I like to get some miles under my feet. Sure, I appreciate the view, and like to meditate on life, but I like to do it while I’m moving. The boys are turning into pretty good hikers, but they’d rather play in the mud and throw rocks than hoof it all day.

I’ve been making a conscientious effort to include some of that unstructured time in nature they love into our weekly schedule (ironic, huh?).

A play space with a view.

Anders doing his thing.

There is a lot of research out there showing that unstructured time in nature is important for a child’s development. Synapses fire, brains grow bigger and coordination increases. They become better problem solvers, and perhaps most importantly, develop an affection for nature that carries into their adult lives. Kids who care about nature grow into adults that take care of nature.

Once a week or so, we’ve been hanging out at a fishing access/campground near Livingston. The boys play while I kick back in a chair and read magazines (when I’m not chasing my wandering dog around). They are often too enthralled with their imaginary world to even partake in the snacks I bring. More for me.

Rigby falls through the dam.

Finn falls through the dam.

Not happy about falling through the dam. At least I pulled him out before I took the picture.

Down to his underwear and throwing rocks. All is right with Finn’s world.

Week 2. The dam is gone, but the play continues.

Rigby has to be on lockdown after I get tired of chasing him around.

Old dogs need a mid-play nap.

Now Anders is in his underwear. Who will be next?

One of their creations…

Week 3. A new play place after the other one flooded.

We’ll still be hitting the trails and making miles, but we are also having fun hanging out by the river.

One thought on “Taking time to play

  1. Debi

    Awesome! What a fun spot you’ve got to play. I know it seems weird to have to “schedule” time to play, but I do it, too. And I pick hikes that come with spots to hang out along the trail, too.

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