"We're so consumed with flooding our children with 'opportunities' that we're robbing them of one, most fundamental childhood opportunity - to just be a kid"
- Cassandra Dorman - 'The Unplugged Family' -
When Ava brought her homework back last week, I laughed with joy. Homework and I are not best buddies. I have a half written post in my drafts about my thoughts on the matter, but like most things in my life right now, it's only half finished.
But this homework was different.
A list. A list of 50 things to do before you're 11 and 3/4, and the instructions to do one or two of them,...
So we have gone all out this week, making the most of just letting our kids be kids... They have climbed trees, made flower crowns, skimmed stones, dipped their feet in the sea, picked fresh strawberries, jumped in puddles, made a home for a wild animal, learnt about bugs and plants and rocks...
And they haven't been told to do any of it.
Ava has been ticking item after item off her homework list without even realising it.
Because the truth is, when you throw children into nature, without instructions or activity... They will do what they do best.
They will just be a kid...
They will use their little imaginations and anything can be transformed into whatever they want it to be (our Jonas has a 'Bob the Builder' obsession at the moment, and is forever 'fixing' things...!)
Just so much joy to be had in the childhood freedom of adventure and exploration.
Because there is little so wonderfully rewarding as seeing your little girls picking up fallen petals, seeking every colour variation, talking about why they aren't picking the flowers, gathering and hunting and working together, and coming home and making their own flower crowns without any adult intervention or suggestion or conversation whatsoever...
It's certainly true...
'Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding visualisation and the full use of the senses'
- Richard Louv -
Staycationing this week has been a wonderful blessing. Of being together, of exploring old haunts, and of simply letting our kids be kids.