I just came from a lovely rainy visit to an outdoor wonderland in a city public school! A place where children can dig in the soil for worms, plant vegetables and herbs, water their plants, walk over a small bridge, or just sit on a log and contemplate their next adventure! How many of you remember doing that as kids? Remember how calming it was to sink your fingers into the soil or mud abound make mud pies? Or splash with two feet in a freshly made rain puddle?
With the increased focus on regulations I often think we have lost that sense of wonder and are depriving the next generation from experiencing these amazing sensations! I understand we want to keep children safe, and minimize accidents. But at what cost? A rubber covered playground just doesn’t seem to bring about the stimulation of senses and neuron connections that a child can have as their fingers touch the crumbly soil, smell the fresh herbs, or listen to the water spilling out of their homemade watering bottle!
The creativity and problem solving opportunity that very young children can be exposed to is endless- have a old clothes drawer that you don’t use any more, put it outside with soil and plant lettuce- You don’t have space for a garden, set one up on a fence with painted empty soda bottles! Need a place to sit, carve out a space on a fallen log! Sure, there will be splinters, and dirty fingernails that will need to be scrubbed before children have their next meal- but isn’t that what childhood is all about?
Would love to hear about your gardening or outdoor wonderland!