Take It Outside!

How much fun is it to ramble around in nature? I had the opportunity to watch my six-year-old out and about in nature over the Thanksgiving long weekend. We were in a bit of woods that I know well, so I let him lead the way. Over stump, under fallen log, up the path (that wasn’t really a path) with a maximum number of spider webs in our way – if it moved we investigated it. We both had an amazingly good time, despite getting doused by a passing rainshower along the way.

Allowing children to lead the way, and plot their own course outside of the confines of cars and pavement is a great gift and joy. The folks behind National Take Me Outside Day want kids across Canada to share in the fun. They are teaming up with the Child Nature Alliance to promote the day and they want teachers all over Canada to take their classes outside for 40 minutes or more.

Which really means that even if you don’t have woods, forests or beaches in your backyard, take it outside anyway. We don’t all have time and access, but kids are usually (if given the opportunity) able to create their own fun outside, even in a small area. My same six-year-old had a friend over recently and they spent their entire hour and a half of play time together climbing the spindly trees in our backyard, finding nuts on the ground, and smashing them just to see if they would open. It may have depressed the squirrels in our vicinity, but the kids sure had a good time.

So get outside today, and send us a comment to let us know how it goes. Happy Take Me Outside Day!

Samantha Hartley-Folz
Manager, Policy and Programs
October 2012

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