Google+ Authentic Parenting: Outdoor Free Roam

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Outdoor Free Roam

Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I should give you some tips on outside activities for this month's carnival. You would think that I would be in a great place to do so, given that my child spends at least 75% of her time outdoors.
Yet I can do no such thing.

Where I find that in the house I must entertain my child to some extent or else she will be bored, outside, we follow her lead all the way.
Of course we do decide on the scenery, we make the choice to either go to the pool, or the beach or go for a walk (but only if she wants to - and believe it or not, sometimes she doesn't want to go to the beach), but from there on, it is complete free roam.
Image: D Sharon Pruitt

Lately, she's very much into climbing every obstacle she encounters.
She loves to swim and horse around with water. Some days she spends about three hours in a tub outside, although lately she's on bath strike (she would rather gives baths to the dog now).
And of course she's got the dog. That alone means hours and hours of outdoorsy fun.
She loves to gather the passion fruit that have fallen (and eat them afterward).
Occasionally, we do pull out some chalk or paint and have very dirty fun with it outside, but the outdoors is so fun and exiting already, you hardly need games or activities to make a marvelous day.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:



  1. That is wonderful! I think parents spend too much time planning their kids' time indoors and out (see my post, ahem). Most kids do just fine taking the reins and deciding on their own activities. My son has always had some difficulties with independent play, but it's definitely improving as he gets older.

  2. Following your child's lead in the outdoors not only gives them much needed time to just explore, it also allows us to reconnect with that very special time when we don't have to know what we are going to do. I think that children's time now seems to be so overly scheduled, it is perfect to let them have the opportunity to choose what to do or not to do.

    As a bath lover, I am intrigued by your outdoor tub. I would be over the moon to spend hours in an outdoor tub. Wonderful. Perhaps you could pick flowers together and bring them into the bath with her should she decide to return to that activity. Spiritual bathing with plants outside would be pure magic.

    I love your site.

  3. I love following my littles around. They are so much better at exploring and finding ways to amuse themselves than I ever could be.


  4. it's interesting the contrast between indoor play and outdoor play, because i find myself doing the same thing. inside i'm always worried about entertaining my son but when we go outside it seems easier to just let him be free and explore and observe.

    and the dog is a huge hit around here too. i feel like she could be my secret co-parent- she's my sneak attack tool to be able to run to the bathroom and back.

  5. I am so loving these comments! (I think was expecting more of the 'you didn't even try to write an article'-type comments *blushes in shame*)
    @The Grumbles: aren't those dogs miracle workers? Mine is yet a little too young to leave alone with the little one, but she gets so much fun out of him, and I am sure in a little while he'l be an ideal babysitter, if need arises

    @Seekingmother: Spiritual outdoor bathing with plants... that seems so very interesting, I want to hear more

    @Dionna: Maybe we should swap some day then... I am so not organized. Writing a secret confession about that, but not sure when I'll be able to publish that

  6. As to your comment, @mamapoekie, lol! I think this is a great perspective to add to the carnival, because it's SO TRUE. When we're outside, the play seems to just naturally happen. Even if there's just a dirt pile nearby, my son can be happy, and he loves it when I join in the play. I think that's part of it, too — indoors, I am frequently distracted by things to "do," but outdoors I have nothing important to do other than play as well. Maybe that's part of the magic.

  7. "the outdoors is so fun and exiting already, you hardly need games or activities to make a marvelous day."

    Ain't that the truth?? My son can spend ages just running in circles round the yard until he's completely out of breath.

    I just discovered you through the carnival this month and I look forward to hearing more about your life on the Ivory Coast.

  8. I'm the same way as you when it comes to inside stuff - I tend to set the stage. So when it comes to outside, I really just want to kick back and relax while my kids burn off their energy. Really, about the only thing we do together is scent identifying. Otherwise, I just hang out and make sure no one gets hurt.


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