Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A place with nothing to do

Both today and yesterday, I walked with all the kids to a park about a mile away. It's a ball field surrounded by grass, huge old sycamore trees, blooming crab apple trees, and bordered by woods along the river. Once, leaving there with all the kids in tow, I was approached by a woman who lived across the street from the park, who tried to recruit me to her campaign to get the town to put in "something for the kids to do." But she'd approached the wrong person. I love that park precisely because there is "nothing to do." When there's no play structure to suggest "this is what you should do here," there's nothing else to do but
pick flowers,

see what happens if you blow through bamboo into the current,

try to catch leaves as they drift by,

make a boat of bamboo stalks or sycamore leaves,

sail it on the current, holding it tethered by a vine,

or build a bridge to pirate island.

I'm a big fan of "nothing to do." I hope that park stays just as boring as it is. We'll keep coming, and try to find some way to while away the time.

Play along with us during the month of April for Children and Nature Awareness Month by posting a picture of your child(ren) each day enjoying the outdoors! Get outdoors and climb a tree! Visit the other Great Outdoor Challenge players- lisa, sanders, angelina, phyllis, sarah, christie, jennifer, debbie, dong dong, denise, luisa, joy, stephanie, cori, alex, dawn, kristen, catherine, tricia, becky, christy, ruth, kari, courtney, branflakes, jessica, renee, haiku, brynn, amy, clemencia, sherry, leslie, lise, renee, anet, jenn, marina, amy, ella, marcia, karen, beth, julie, kyndale, kelly, lizzie, eileen, ag, mari-ann, cindy, robin, nicole, debbie, julia, renee, anita, lisa, jenn, montessori, marita, jeannie, hallie, mandy, kangaroo, andrea, joey, carmen, teena, stephinie, gidget, elizabeth, emma, rosina, saminda, melissa, katie, becca, atouria, barbara, ariella, missy


apronstringz said...

here, here! i whole-heartedly agree! when will grown ups ever stop telling kids how they should play?!

5orangepotatoes said...

Nothing to do? That's an insane comment. This post really shows her! Love it!


The Mom said...

YOu are so amazing. I wish I was able to relax a little more about the kids getting wet and dirty. You've inspired me to just let go.

Luisa said...

There are so many things wrong with that woman's statement.
1. She lives across the street from the park and has nothing to do! If that was me I would consider it an extended backyard.
2. With a play structure that means more people packed in one section.
3. More people hungry, crying and whining. (children and adults)
4. I like SOME parks with stuctures but they are not all age appropiate too big for the little ones or too boring for the big ones.
5. Parks with "nothing" are for
Ages 0-99.
Parks with "nothing" keep my whole family happy :)
I'm going outside later.

Julie said...

Beautiful post Lise...keep them coming:)

Nancy / summersky said...

we are playing along, too!

you have a lot of lovely nothing at your park. :)

Child in Harmony said...

I soo agree with you. Kids need to decide on their own what to do in the environment they are in... being curious, exploring, discovering, observing, and having an active part in their ventures.

A play structure cannot compare with glorious nature and learning naturally.


Heather said...

Looks like a wonderful time outdoors, and having fun

Lise said...

Thanks so much for all your comments. This is a topic near to my heart; sounds like to yours, too! Luisa, if you can imagine, this park has NO other kids--just us and the very occasional dog walker. Must be too boring.