I first saw this posted on the page of one of Australia’s most accomplished and best known parent educators and authors, Maggie Dent. Along with many other childhood values she believes in, she is a strong advocate for kids being in nature.
The value of kids playing outside is of utmost importance to their physical and emotional development. This quote and idea completely resonates with me as I grew up on a farm far out in country NSW and our backyard was filled with acres and acres of land to roam. There were trees, dams, paddocks, rocks, sticks, sheep and sheep dogs. We would take picnics deep into the eucalypts and explore the ants crawling up the trees, the wasp hives, throw sticks into dams, climb trees, listen to birds and be immersed in the beauty of nature. I can still remember the sounds and sights of the bush we walked through. Either in the crisp winter air or the warm, dry heat of summer.
This quote also resonates with me because I let me own kids now who are aged 9, 7 and 5, play in puddles, even if they get wet and even if their clothes get wet. I say yes to every puddle and already have the best memories of them riding their bikes or stomping their feet in the puddles when they could just walk. The smile on their faces was pure joy. I have a vivid memory of the kids standing in the torrential downpour in America and basking in the glory of the first snowfall of the season.
Kids and nature just fit together. And letting kids be kids and explore and take risks in nature is how they develop their sense of adventure, risk taking, learning through play and exploration. Next time you see a puddle, not only let your child in it but see how liberating it is to jump in the puddle with your child!
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About Anna Partridge
Anna Partridge is a writer, parent coach, school teacher and mother of three young children aged 9, 7 and 5. She is also founder of bombardedmum.com and runs parenting workshops about ‘Raising Confident and Resilient Kids’. Through her work, she is building a community of like-minded mothers who share the inspiration and challenges of raising the next generation. Find out more about Anna here. If you are a mum and need to find your ‘big picture’ of parenting or turn a frantic family into a fun family, click here to work with Anna.