Nature: Day Number Eight of 20 Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

 2009-09-02 at 22-47-28 (2) Getting children outside is a key part of daily rhythm.  In a few of the previous posts, I mentioned that I bank on a extraordinary amount of outside time for small children under the age of 7.  Young children need these sensory experiences of being in their bodies, pushing, pulling, tugging, lugging, digging, moving, rolling in order to establish their lower 12 senses in the proper foundation for later academic experiences.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, here are a few of my children on a Playdate with Nature: (many thanks to my friend Samantha Fogg for taking these pictures!):

2009-09-02 at 23-04-12 (2)

2009-09-02 at 23-12-21 (2) 2009-09-02 at 22-36-46 (2)

Here is a very, very  popular post regarding connecting your child to nature:

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/11/24/connecting-your-children-to-nature/

Check it out if it has been awhile since you read it; it may spark some ideas anew.

We can start in infancy with our babies by letting them nap outside and getting them outside every day.  Nokken in Denmark has a good model for this, see more here:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/08/31/nokken-a-review-of-two-books-and-a-few-thoughts/

Toddlers and preschool-aged children need time outside every day with sand, water, mud, grass and sticks to just play and be in nature.

Here are my two favorite resources for children Kindergarten aged (age 5  through older) regarding nature exercises to heighten the senses:

http://www.amazon.com/Sharing-Children-Anniversary-Revised-Expanded/dp/1883220734/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253879640&sr=8-1

and this resource by Donna Simmons of Christopherus Homeschool:

http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/bookstore-for-waldorf-homeschooling/essential-christopherus-publications/from-nature-stories-to-natural-science.html

These two books will give you lots of fodder for nature.  If this post sparks questions in your head regarding the Waldorf approach to Science, I am a Science person and have written about this topic numerous times on this blog for your reading pleasure.

Many blessings, and get your children outside!

Carrie

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8 thoughts on “Nature: Day Number Eight of 20 Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

  1. Perfect timing – this week has been National Turn Off the TV Week and today (Saturday) is actually National Play Outside Day. Kind of a sad commentary that (1) there is a national push for outside play and (2) that it is only one day.

    We aim for at least 50% of our waking hours to be out-of-doors. Some days we spend upwards of 75% of the time outside. Once a week our Waldorf co-op meets at a local nature preserve and the kids are outside the whole time (about 5-6 hours).

    I’m excited about reading through the links you gave, as I’m relatively new to your excellent blog. Thanks for sharing the wisdom!

  2. Carrie, I wanted to ask you…how do get myself energised to go and play outside in the winter when it is really cold and frosty? I remember last winter, we holed up inside because *i* didn’t want to go outside because I hate to be cold and I just want to be indoors where it is warm and cosy. Any tips???? Sorry if this is a silly question!
    Rosaleen
    XXX

  3. Even though I have been familiar with the Waldorf method for a while your blog has been so helpful that I just wanted to thank you (especially now that I am trying to do some “homeschooling” of sorts with my 5-year-old!). Your post are always great! I have even translated parts of a few of them to pass on to friends. I live in Brazil and even though there is a growing Waldorf movement here, there is not much available other than Steiner’s original work.
    Anyway, thank you!!

  4. Rosaleen,
    I think depending upon where you live this could be very vaild; we have readers in Idaho and Montana where the temps can be very frigid indeed!
    However, I would also say this is just an area of development of your own self-will. It is hard to get everyone dressed, someone always has to go potty after they are dressed, LOL, etc, and you are right, it can be hard for us to overcome our own inertia. Perhaps thinking about what you would like to do in the cold and snow besides just going out there to watch the kids play – could you get into building snow forts, sledding, snowball fights, sticking icicles around a snow fort, looking for animal tracks and guessing what they are, putting out food for animals, etc? Sometimes I think we just need a focus to help us!
    :)
    Carrie

  5. I have found that my kids get outside and act like they don’t know what to do… but if I find some work to do out there (picking figs, painting the chicken coop, picking up big sticks/pinecones from the yard), they will begin to busy themselves too. They dragged out some scrap wood and built a “house” yesterday while I worked w/ the chickens! If I don’t have outside work to do, I will bring out laundry to fold. In the colder months it is harder… no fruits to be picked, no mowing the grass… once the fall leaves are all raked, there is not much “work” to be done. Wish we got snow… then I could shovel it!

  6. Pingback: Waldorf In The Home With The Three- And Four- Year Old « The Parenting Passageway

  7. Pingback: Waldorf In The Home With The Five-Year-Old « The Parenting Passageway

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