Spring: A Season of Simply Magical Outdoor Play

Spring: A Season of Simply Magical Outdoor Play

It feels like just yesterday we welcomed spring. Our Spring Solstice party was part celebration of all the growth and greenery to come, and part goodbye to the end of our snowy, white winter. Literally, it was both as it began snowing at our welcome spring picnic. But now here we are, a season later, with a new transition upon us. The Summer Solstice is a few days away. Summer brings with it many new adventures, but saying goodbye to spring is bittersweet. This was a season of simply magical outdoor play – the kinds of messy + wondrous moments of which childhoods are made.

Here is some of what spring play looked like in our neck of the woods.

 

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Family Camping with Friends

Family Camping with Friends

In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir

We recently went camping with a group of friends, about a handful of families. This is something we used to love doing before having kids. But, what used to come so naturally, seemed like just another adventure that would take time to come back around to or possibly a chapter of life that had simply passed. When we found our community of outdoor families – many of our forest playgroup friends –  group camping suddenly felt doable, enjoyable even, to plan. So, we made it happen. It was such a memorable weekend.

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This Week in Outdoor Play: Foxes, Forests, Friends + Family

This Week in Outdoor Play: Foxes, Forests, Friends + Family

Welcome to This Week in Outdoor Play, where we share our outdoor adventures to inspire families to play outside. Join us by sharing what your family is up to and check out these and other ideas using the hashtags #outfam, #raiseawildchild and #playoutdoors. The more inspiration, the merrier!

I really loved This Week in Outdoor Play as a winter series. The colder months seemed to fit nicely with a little extra dose of inspiration for ways to spend time together outdoors. Except every season is so stinking fun that the series is back.

Here’s our spring week, full of foxes, forests, friends + family.

Splashing Friends

– because what creek doesn’t want to be crossed? –

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12 Bloggers Share Favorite Benefits to Outdoor Play

12 Bloggers Share Favorite Benefits to Outdoor Play

 

There are countless takeaways from spending time together as a family outdoors. And many of these benefits show themselves immediately. Happiness, creativity, engagement, respect for our earth, you name it – it’s all happening, right there in front of you. So with all this goodness floating around, I asked some fellow outdoor family bloggers to share what strikes them as the greatest benefits to outdoor play – both for kids and for families. Here are their responses, our dozen reasons for getting outside as a family, whenever you can.

 

01. Biddle&Bop

 

Biddle&Bop –www.biddleandbop.comJessica Schaefer, Northern NJ, two children 5+2

 

What is your favorite benefit of outdoor play for your KIDS?

When they are free to play – truly free, unhindered from structure, adult ideas and ideals, and the supposed “musts” – my kids become the very best of themselves. Immersed in outdoor play, they are brave, confident, selfless, caring, creative – naturally. It really happens! They calculate risks. They explore without imposing limits on themselves, looking over their shoulders, or searching for “the right answer” in their heads. They take care of each other – yes, sometimes they also challenge each other, butt heads, and get angry – but they also come up with their own solutions – because otherwise, play ends. And they love play – they come alive in it. Who doesn’t want to see their children truly come alive?

 

What is your favorite benefit of outdoor play for your FAMILY?

Outdoor play for our family is exhausting – but it is also the must rejuvenating time we can put in a day. It refreshes our spirits – we often enter busy, rushed, sometimes frustrated and sometimes just on crazy life highs – but it all balances out when we spend time playing together outdoors. I don’t know how people peacefully cohabitate without it!

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Maple Sugaring with Kids

Maple Sugaring with Kids

Mom, did you know trees have veins in them, just like us? Except they are filled with sap.

Last year, we missed the chance to go maple sugaring. It was late spring by the time I realized, oh, let’s go. Determined not to have that happen again, we planned to go with our forest playgroup well in advance. But plans are always tricky. We got more snow on the day of our event than on any one day that entire winter. So, of course, with roads impassable, we played in the snow instead.

As early spring weather would have it, though, the next week was warm and sunny, with most of the snow having melted. This is exactly the kind of weather that starts the sap flowing through the trees again, which is why maple sugaring happens most during this change of seasons. (more…)

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