Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Growing in the Outdoors
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they encourage their children to connect with nature and dig in the dirt. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I would love to grow some of my own vegetables. I got very interested in container / square foot gardening last year. I checked out some books on it and did lots of online research. I figured I could do container / square foot gardening in our apartment. Then if/when we moved, we could just take the garden with us! This was about the same time that I was looking into living on the road... the one outcome that makes taking a garden with us an impossibility. Also, as the season was upon us, I realized we get NO sun at our apartment. We've even moved across the courtyard and we STILL get no sun!
We do not get outside as often as I feel Sasha should. I have the best of intentions, I really do. I even work less hours now. My older daughter often asks to go outside (and does). Sasha isn't old enough to go out without me. Once I get home and settle into the house... I tend to just stay inside. The fact that I walk in and immediately strip probably exacerbates the issue.
When we DO get outside, I see a major difference in my perspective and patience levels between my last two children. Tyler is now 12yo and when I would take her to the zoo we'd likely be with a homeschool group so we needed to stay together. If we weren't with a group, then I still wanted to take advantage of all the exhibits. Lots to see, lots to see!
This last time that Elmo and I took Sasha (1½yo) to the zoo, we knew we didn't want to stay all day, but we also had no set expectations on what we wanted to see. We took the stroller, but once Sasha was done being in it, she never had to get back into it. She also didn't want to be carried. I let her walk, at her own pace. I thought she would slow us down, but she actually kept up quite well, setting the pace for us.
Along the way, Sasha stopped a few times to pick up a small stick and poke at the dirt. The younger me would have scooped her up, talking about all the animals there were to see. But you know what? Dirt and sticks are a part of her world to explore, too! I was amazed with my own patience with her as she stopped to do these things or just wanted to climb on a bench!
We still got out of the zoo within a couple of hours. We saw plenty of animals, we played in some dirt, and we left before any of us were exhausted or dehydrated. A definite outdoor success in my book!
I so envy Lauren of Hobo Mama for living within walking distance of the beach and just WALKING! I also admire Darcel of The Mahogany Way for getting her kids into the yard so often and getting so many wonderful photos of them playing in nature! And I also have to mention Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama who always seems to have the most amazing photos of taking their baby into nature for her Wordless Wednesdays!
Why is it that outdoor time always seems to require a special trip somewhere? Do you have trouble making the time for outdoor adventures? How do you get past it?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants: