September 14, 2010

Go Outside And Play!

READY8 “The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.” ~Author Unknown

AIM8 Over the weekend, our family spent time outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather. We have a place off the beaten path that’s been in the family for years that has an old barn, an old farm house and is surrounded by a yard, fields and woods with trails where you can run and play. Everyone enjoyed riding 4-wheelers, walking in the woods along the trails and building pretend campfires with sticks and stones. (Unfortunately, it rained and we couldn’t build a real campfire.) It wasn’t until the last few hours before it was time to leave that our children finally realized they could have tons of fun playing outdoor games such as: Hide and Seek, Tag and Swinging Statues. Unfortunately, they had been previously distracted by the modern conveniences of portable video games, DVDs and music players. Technology, while helpful, had captured the young minds of our children and flashy games and catchy beats had become more attractive than simple outdoor play. Once we insisted the electronics be put away, the novelty of finding acorns, hiding behind big trees and running through the crunchy leaves gave way to earfuls of giggles and laughter. It was nostalgic for me to open the house door and holler across the yard, “Dinnertime!” Yes, as a kid, I remember my parents yelling for me to come home for dinner because I was outside playing games with the neighbors or looking for pretty rocks and playing in the creek behind our house. Kids today cannot know and cannot appreciate the outdoors if they aren’t given the opportunity to be outside away from city or suburban life. Sadly, most of children don’t even know what they are missing. Simply going to one of the state or national parks is an excellent way to safely expose your kids to big grassy fields where they can run around, wooded trails to explore and ponds or lakes to fish. It is our responsibility, as adults, to provide opportunities for our children to experience nature in ways that are similar to our childhood. No, they will never see or do the things we did as kids exactly the way we once did. However, if you can unplug yourself and your family long enough to enjoy God’s creations, you will create family memories and instill a love of nature that your children will hopefully appreciate well into adulthood.

FIRE!8 As we enjoy the last few official days of summer, be sure to take advantage of the mild temperatures and climate. Put away your cell phones, computers, and modern conveniences. Recall some of your favorite childhood games, grab your family and go outside and play, already!

Be Excellent!

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