Monday, October 3, 2011

Take the kids camping but leave the toys at home!

Ladder Toss, cornhole, paddle ball, croquet, badmitten, bocce ball, Frisbee, horseshoes, ring toss, wiffle ball.  These are just a few of the many outdoor games you'll find at your local sporting goods store.  I admit I have more than a few of them. But recently I've started leaving them behind when we go camping.

When we started camping more, especially in large groups, I thought I needed all these great games for the kids to play in the outdoors, but what I discovered is that kids are creative enough to invent their own games. Quite often I would cart the various bags full of bright, colorful plastic pieces only to spend time assembling, searching for lost pieces, taping up broken (cheap) pieces and eventually disassembling...after very little actual usage.  

Finally I've realized that many of these games and toys are actually only serving to further separate or cushion children from nature. Do I really need to constantly provide forms of entertainment and organized activities for them? No, I don't.  It's time I take a step back and allow children the freedom to explore, investigate and create while I kick back, relax and refuel my spirit!  Now there's a concept. I'm going "old school."

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