Summertime is in full swing and that affords more time for being outside. That is great news if you have a young child. Depending on where you live and what you enjoy, there are many ways for young children to be active outdoors, and they absolutely thrive outside the house. Toddlers are naturally curious and active explorers, moving and touching and running and jumping. It is how they learn. Balance and coordination are growing rapidly in these early years and outdoor movement, on a variety of surfaces and slopes, at different heights, and varying motions all contribute to this development.
Earlier this summer I wrote about my concerns regarding children spending so much time in organized activities. As a follow up, this newsletter is about free play outside. Many parents contacted me to express relief at not being the only one with a child who protested camp or afternoon activities, or refused to go to gym class, or sat on the sidelines of activities. Others reported feeling comforted that their decision to keep summer and afterschool time uncommitted was fine, even if it went against the trends in their community. [Read more…]