sarahkeenihan

Go outside!

In September 2014 on September 18, 2014 at 8:56 pm

outside

Sarah: Go outside!

Not only do these two words echo from my own childhood, but they also spill out of my own mouth at least once a day directed towards the little ones in our house.

Being a ‘Messenger Mum‘ for a local newspaper in Adelaide, I was recently asked to contribute my thoughts on nature play – getting my kids outside to experience the world. Here’s what I wrote:

We believe playing outside is a critical component of our children’s lives and is valuable from a physical and mental health point of view. We also see it brings educational and joyful experiences they would otherwise miss out on.

In our own backyard, my husband has initiated butterfly watching as a hobby for the kids. On sunny days 1, 2 or all 3 of them can be found outside with small nets, trapping butterflies and working out the species and gender of the finds.

At every opportunity (sadly diminishing with the kids’ weekend sports commitments, but I digress…..) we head to Yorke Peninsula. Here the children roam about without the stress of traffic and constant ‘stranger danger’. We encourage the older two children to make small expeditions on bike or foot to explore and find friends. It’s a freedom they don’t get anywhere else.

At Yorkes we are also passionate beachcombers. Beachcombing is a hobby which can bring incredible joy and wonder to children and adults alike. From an educational perspective, beach walks can be used to explore many contemporary issues. For example, finding cuttlefish bones can lead to discussions of different animal species, why these animals die, thinking about cuttlefish breeding grounds in South Australia and whether human activities are impacting on these. Perhaps it’s just the scientist in me, but I insist on beachcombing as part of a normal childhood!

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  1. I just chanced upon your blog and this wonderful write up. Took me down memory lane. I am from Mumbai and an educator myself. The city is choking and there’s just no where kids can explore nature around here, every weekend they head to the mall. I have always been appalled at the indifferent attitude of parents around here…your article was a breath of fresh air ! love what you are doing with your kids !

  2. Thanks Priyanka 🙂

    You might also like this article, recommended by my friend Will

    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/

  3. Beachcombing is definitely a must for every child (and adult) 🙂

  4. I love the photo – looks like a beautiful place.
    Here’s a picture of my favourite place for beachcombing http://lessonsfromstemgirl.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/lunchtime-teleporting/

  5. Ngaire, that place looks amazing! I can transport myself to my favourite beach too…haven’t been for months and I am feeling desperate! October 2nd we are THERE

  6. […] Sarah posted her most recent piece Go outside!, I was drafting some words about ANTBLITZ which — among other scientific and community-driven […]

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