Wild Opportunities

It’s always inspiring to see programs out there that are like The Stone House. Love this blog post from Abundant Life Children. When people stop and think about their cherished childhood memories, most of the time the event took place outdoors. Did you ramble about in the afternoons in creeks and ponds? Did you dig holes to China? Did you build stick forts? Children don’t have opportunities for this kind of play any longer. Sad, but true. After school activities and other scheduled events take up most of children’s time, not to mention electronic games.
For this reason, we like to offer children extensive time exploring the outdoors, in all kinds of weather!
Posted on January 14, 2013 by Emily Plank, Abundant Life Children

I grow more and more convinced in my work with young children of their need for wildness: prolonged, unstructured time for children to have direct contact with the undomesticated outdoors. It is there that children find seclusion to dream, plot, or meander, unfettered by pressures to be, perform, or hurry. In the wild, children test their physical abilities on grounding that isn’t level or a tree with branches low enough to climb. Wildness challenges groupings of children to negotiate and solve problems without imposed human-made boundaries like the approved fall surface that delineate where children can and cannot play at a park playground.

Increasingly, a child’s contact with nature is tamed and protected. Time outside is spent playing organized activities, visiting safety-approved play structures, or frolicking in fenced-in backyards. Wildness offers something unique that cannot be found in human-created spaces.

Thanks to Emily of Abundant Life Children for reminding us of how the wildness challenges children in unique and exciting ways.

Regards,
Sarah

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