Saturday, May 21, 2011

The changing face of childhood

A couple weeks ago I read an interesting USA Today article about how childhood is changing for kids today. It's part of a larger series about how many aspects of childhood are changing for kids.

The quote that caught my attention in this article was, "In only a generation, kids have stopped spending most of their playtime outdoors. It's one of the most profound changes in the history of childhood..."

Along with, "We very quickly realized that outside was where they were happiest."

As a child I recall spending hours outdoors - riding bike throughout my neighborhood, playing with friends, getting sweaty and dirty and enjoying endless hours of fun.

My kiddos are still very young and of course, can't be left to play outside by themselves.....but they love love love to play outside. Swinging, running, taking walks, going to the park, riding toys in our driveway, playing with water, sliding, climbing, blowing bubbles, coloring with chalk, raking, digging in the dirt, climbing hills, and playing with trucks and cars in the sweet green grass that's part of God's gorgeous creation. The options are endless outdoors.

Last week we ate two of our three meals outside in our backyard. It was glorious.

It makes me sad to think that my kids might not experience the joy of the outdoors the way I did. We live in the city. I worry about safety. Things are just different these days. Television, movies, video games and electronics of all sorts draw our children in and keep them from even desiring to go outside. 

My kiddos watch shows/movies, but the joy of the outdoors is way more attractive to them - as it should be!

The outdoors is where creativity and imagination and play happens. Of course it happens indoors as well, but there is just something about the fresh air and enjoying God's creation as we smell the lilacs, touch the worms and inspect every fly, bird and creature that crosses our paths.

And my kids truly are happiest when they are outdoors.

1 comment:

Joelle said...

Sweet Ryan LOVES to be outside. Lately he wants to hug everything. Tulips, ants, bees, birds. It is so cute when he is chasing after a rabbit saying, "hug, hug, hug."