Summer is officially over for my family and 3 out of 4 people in my family are back to work and school routines. Our total hours for the year is around 650 and I feel pretty good about it. Towards the end of the summer, we logged a lot of hours at the beaches and pool, and it was glorious! We may try to sneak in a bit more this weekend but soon it’ll get too cold and fleeces and local hikes will make their appearance. We’ll still soak up our Outdoors Farmers’ Market for as long as we can!
In personal news, my kids are transferring to a new school this year and will get less recess and outside time. I am nervous about this change, so will need to balance it with how we spend our afternoons and weekends. Some outside time will be covered by their organized activities, though I try to limit those commitments because I really believe in providing free time where the girls can “just be kids.” But what about the rest? So reader this is where I ask you – how do you make sure your kids get enough outside time when it’s not something they’re naturally drawn to doing? We will organize playground time with friends but what else? I’d love your ideas.
Lastly, I stumbled across this NPR article today and it captured something I’ve been wanting to discuss here on GreenLifeNH. Do you talk to your kids about the changing environment, how we can help or what we can expect? There is so much going on in this world, especially with Covid, and I don’t want to overwhelm or scare my children. Yet, they ask me certain questions – like why is it so warm in January and/or why do I compost – and I feel compelled to give them age-appropriate and honest answers. In the article, Anya Kamenetz offers six suggestions, including go play outside. I will leave you with an excerpt because it’s one of the many reasons why I force my children outside and perfectly sums up feelings. – Rachel
You don’t have to live near mountains or the ocean to expose your kids to nature. You can start with ants on the sidewalk. Dawn encourages her daughter to “look at the bugs and think about what the bugs are doing … everything has a role to play here.”…She’s raising her daughter to understand the web of relationships in nature rather than dwelling on ecological damage, because, she says, “I have a rationale around this that it’s very hard to defend what you don’t love.”