Outdoor Life

It has been raining all week here.  My kids are obviously getting a little stir crazy.  Yesterday, they used the play shopping cart to push each other into various walls, cabinets and pieces of furniture.  (Thankfully, I did intervene before they ran into the television cabinet or the china cabinet!)  Today, they put socks on and went “skating” in the kitchen (this was after I put my foot down after they tried to use books as their roller skates).  Z-urchin has been dragging various step stools and small chairs to the pantry, as his first priority in any type of weather is food.  He has also been climbing up on the side table so that he can do a belly slam into unsuspecting me, sitting peacefully on the couch.

I know I should really bundle them all up in rainboots and rain jackets and take them puddle splashing- it would be good exercise and good fun too (for them, anyway)!  But when I consider the idea, I think about how likely it is that Z will end up with his shoes off, eating any mud he finds.  And X will inevitably find a way to thoroughly soak all layers of clothing he is wearing and in that way transport the rain water into my house.  And K will delight in giving herself a new rain-water-mud-tipped hair style.  I find myself, at 36 weeks pregnant, utterly exhausted by the mere thought of these things.  And having to clean up after these things.  Therefore, in our household, while Mommy is carrying a child in her womb, Daddy is in charge of all puddle splashing adventures.  (Have no fear:  by the next rainy season, I am certain that I will have thought up a fresh excuse for why going out in the rain is still in Daddy’s realm!!)

If you don’t believe that Z would actually eat the mud, I present you with Exhibit A and Exhibit B:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Fortunately, the weather forecast predicts sunshine for the rest of April!  I am looking forward to sending them outside anytime they need to work off some energy.  We really enjoy being outside in our yard- we have a orange tree that is fun to climb and gifts us with delicious fruit several times throughout the year.  The kids can always find something to occupy themselves with-

Jumping in the pool!

Running in the sprinkler

This was from last April (when I was not pregnant)- they really wanted rain, so they got out their rain jackets and created rain for themselves.  I had many towels ready for them on the porch.

Good thing the "rain" washed off those feet before he came inside!

Mud puddles

The kids are absolutely delighted with playing in mud puddles.  It was soon after this that we got a sand box.  I think I thought it would somehow be less messy than this.  Now I know better.

"We are making oatmeal, Mommy!" "Oh..... good."

Yeah. Not any less messy.

Thankfully, there are other things to do that are less messy.  And they enjoy these things too!

Determined to climb this tree

Toddler with a bat... not too sure that is a great idea

He can't get anywhere yet, but he likes climbing up on his siblings' tricycles.

My little helpful princess decided one day recently that she really wanted to wash the fence.  She didn’t let the significant difference between the size of her hands (and tools) and the size of her task get her down!

Armed with a water gun and a paper towel

She is persistent in her task!

Meanwhile, her brothers are hard at work in other endeavors.


Building castles in the sand


"Yeah, I know it's awesome."

Not sure where he is going. But he's going.

Charlotte Mason said, “In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part out in the fresh air” (Vol. 1, p. 43).  (Simply Charlotte Mason has a brief and inspiring post on this idea of Outdoor Life for Preschoolers!)

It is my goal to secure for my children as much outdoor time as I can.  The fresh air, God’s beautiful creation, the exercise and the fun are all wonderful benefits for my children.  And I delight in watching (and photographing!) their delight.


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