The phone is buzzing with a text message or an email, your kids are screaming because someone hit someone or they need this or that, the dog is barking because it's probably hungry since you forgot to feed it this morning, and all your spouse can say is "What's for supper?" Do you ever just want to run away as fast as you can? Do you ever want to find a spot and chill out for awhile? Have you ever needed to find inspiration in something so you can find yourself? Then take it outside!!!!
What do I mean you ask...GO OUTSIDE AND DO IT NOW!!!! Nature offers so much and we often forget that it's free if we just take time to use it. You can answer the phone or emails while sitting on the porch or in the yard or even on the steps of an apartment. The kids will be 10 million times happier outside and they will have other things to explore besides your "last nerve reflex".
Have you ever thought about how we learn and experience opportunities better when we're outdoors. Children can find it easier to cooperate and work together when there is a whole playground in front of them.
So this is the tale of two caterpillars, one that is truly green and another one that is covered in fuzz. Ok, so maybe they couldn't tell me their life stories but the children did tell me a ton about them. You see these discoveries were made by the children and bought to me (mainly because I'm the only teacher who would not mind if they crawl around on me). The children filled me in on where they were found, how they were found, what their differences were, what they had in common, what they thought they eat, and where we need to put them after we look at them. These are concepts that any teacher would love to have introduced but WOW these kids were now teaching the teacher. That would make any teacher proud!!!! The only input that I offered was that we looked on the internet (via that phone that you have that keeps buzzing) to find out their names, what they did eat, and what they were going to grow into. These were still things that I was being taught by some pretty pushy teachers...all 20 of them that were helping to do the instructing.
Well there goes the question again..."What's for supper?" Last week, I blogged about getting those sweet loving family members of yours in the kitchen especially the little ones. Well, look here at our creek explorers. They must have read the blog too because they are practicing it outside. With a donation of several poultry injectors (without the sharp point), these kids are exploring different ways of filling them up and releasing them back into the creek water. Why is this so interesting? These children are doing this on their own with no instruction from an adult and are drawing their own conclusions/predictions from what they are experiencing instead being told what they should believe. Yes, I threw in those big words like "conclusions" and "predictions" because if you have been following the news, we have got to instill these concepts of science and math in our children so that they may survive in our new global economy. Plus eating outside on a blanket is always better then inside.
TAKE IT OUTDOORS!!!
So the emails are piling up and the kids want to practice writing their letters and numbers on your tablet but it's stressing you out!!! Try an old favorite like hop scotch but use letters or even family members names in the squares. They don't have to know the letters in the beginning but by the end they will. Have older kids and you need to practice sight/spelling words or they have that multiplation test this week...add them in the squares and get some excerise at the same time.
Ok say it with me...TAKE IT OUTDOORS!!!!
So we have them outside, what about those important social skills like manners and politeness????? You can develop those too with a little help from well just about any toy that they have to share with someone or something else. Share the ball with the dog (after you feed him of course) so they each learn how to share, how to throw things over handed (without it being at someone when we're having a tantram), and how we treat animals with rescept as well as people. Or take that tea set outdoors to practice patience and turn taking along with some imagination in food choices that they like to serve to us (chocolate covered ants and caterpillars are the local favorite around here).
Once again it's all better in the great outdoors!!!!
Don't get me wrong, I understand sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows, sometimes it storms but... Oh who am I kidding that's a future blog so you'll have to come back to read more. Just because life is crazy sometimes the best thing to do is find simple ways to pull everyone outside and experience the best that nature has to give us because it's right outside your door. Even teachers who love to being outdoors still learn something new from time to time (aka knot tying with my son and our cub scouts.) So you are never to old or young to....
TAKE IT OUTDOORS!!!!