Wednesday, May 19, 2010

playing on uneven surfaces

After watching the video, "Outdoor Preschool in Norway" (click title to watch). I was not only inspired to get North outdoors as much as possible each and everyday, but I have also been encouraging that he plays on uneven surfaces in a variety of natural environments. City-dwelling children are often unexposed to the stones, hills, sand dunes and creeksides that provided strength, balance and muscle development to our ancestors. Please watch this amazing video if you get a chance in order to gain an understanding of the importance and beauty in exposing our children to the great outdoors.

Some ideas to get your children playing on uneven surfaces include:

Beach trips- which provide rockbeds to climb and sand to crunch through
Bushwalks- even trudging through a wooded area in your local park has them squatting and balancing on fallen sticks and branches
Tree Climbing- the age old skill (and joy) of climbing trees develops flexibility, strength and balance
Hilly Treks and Hikes- find a big hill or mountain climb and go on a day trip. Even if your children are young you don't have to make it all the way to the top. You can always head back down if you've had enough, or stop and have a break and packed lunch before continuing the journey
Homemade Obstacle Courses- if you're really stuck at home and can't get outside throw blankets, pillows, bean bags and whatever you can find on the floor and play games walking and crawling over the different surfaces
The Local Playground- even those rubber-floored playgrounds we're all so used to have some benefit. Find a playground with a variety of activities including climbing, tire jumping, deep sandpits and crawling through tunnels

Happy hiking!



Luisa @ Dance in my garden said...

Great, helpful post Meagan. I almost want to cry when I drive past those child care centre with the astro turf 'grass'. It's just so completely wrong on so many levels!
Will definitely have a look at that link, thanks.

HiHoRosie said...

Awesome! Thanks for this. Very helpful. And I love the pics you included. So stinkin cute! And I love North's walking stick in the first one. :)

HiHoRosie said...

Actually, I assumed that's a pic of North but maybe not. Still cute anyway. :)

frayedattheedge said...

Excellent advice - so many children now are ferried everywhere in buggies/cars and are kept indoors in case they fall over!!

Michelle said...

I'm loving your outdoor play posts. Very inspiring!


Andrew from the GC said...

Fantastic site Meagan!! Caitlin and I will certainly be checking this out more and more as her tummy grows. We can't wait to see more of North.

Jelly Wares said...

Another gorgeous parenting post Meagan...

Hugs - Jodie :)

Kylie said...

Thanks for this post - I went and watched that video the other day when I followed another of your fab posts:) We love getting our two out and about. W ehave a park not far away, but take the adventure track there (walking through the dried up creek bed) it is fun and the kids have a ball and often dont care much for the play things at the park when we get there.

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