We all know the importance of getting our kids out-of-doors.  We’ve heard the studies about childhood obesity and ‘screen time’ in front of tvs and computers.  Of course, in Houston, it’s harder to get outside when temperatures are in high 90s.   But, we try occasionally anyways.

When I started studying Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy a few months ago on my search for a homeschooling model that worked for me, I was surprised at her strong thoughts on nature.  She adamantly encourages children under the age of six to have no formal schooling, but to spend as much time as possible every day OUTSIDE.  And, as they get older, that portion of their ‘schooling’ is still important enough to get its own subject – Nature Study.  She promoted Nature Study not only as a way to use up some of that extra energy that all kids seem to have, but also as a way to learn about our world, science, and our creator.  And we all know how a walk in the woods or a beautiful garden can help us regain perspective in life and reconnect us to God.

It seems as though current studies have finally confirmed some of what Charlotte has been saying since the 1800s.  I was just introduced to this site, Children & Nature Network, and have been thoroughly impressed with the information found there.  Check out this video clip from The Today Show about kids and the outdoors.  Makes me wanna go on a hike.  Anybody want to go with me?

So, how do YOU get your kids out-of-doors for free play on a regular basis?  I’m looking for some more creative ideas, especially for our hot, humid city.  Share them in the comments section below.