With school out or almost out for children in much of the South, our minds turn to entertaining them for three long months. It's surprisingly more simple than we think. Put away their screens and camp sign-up sheets. Let go of their chore charts. And simply take them out to spend time in nature. Don't worry if you don't have fancy fishing poles or an elaborate picnic spread. Just be together outside. To illustrate, we took notes when one of our resident 4-year-olds asked to spend the day out and about at Splinter Creek. Here is her agenda and thoughts on the property.
"The road has dirt and soil, trees and leaves. Look! The gate is open. A dump truck! It’s red! Red is my favorite color. I want to pick up these sticks and throw them in the water."
"Ooh look, daisies. Let's pick some. I'm going to make a bouquet. The first thing I want to do is dip my feet in the water. Then I want to have a picnic. I’ll find a good picnic spot for us."
"I just noticed the water! It’s green! Maybe it’s algae. Maybe it’s seaweed. We're definitely on the right path."
"Let’s splash our feet. Now let’s stop and dip our toes deep in the water. Fish don't like it when your feet are in the water. Let’s take our feet out and look for fish. Fish like it when you’re quiet. When you’re quiet you can hear the birds!"
"Let's put the umbrella up for shade. Shade is good for a picnic. Let's relax on these chairs and have a peanut butter and jelly. We can play I Spy while we eat."
"Oh look, a sculpture! Can I climb it? This is a great day! Goodbye fishies! I’ll miss you!"