Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting to Play Outside

We're happy about our new home for many reasons, but high on the list is the outdoor space for the kids.  We live in one of the least populated states in the country, but at our first house here, the girls had no room to run and play outside.  Not so anymore!  It's been so good to see them out exploring and enjoying.  Honestly, we've been a little surprised at how joyfully they've embraced the entire property.
There were still raspberries and strawberries to be picked in the garden the first couple weeks we were here, so they took that job on willingly.  When they were told that grasshoppers are a gourmet treat for chickens, they perfected their grasshopper catching technique - something that would have seemed entirely "gross" to me as a little girl :)  They have almost countless trees to climb - yeah!  We love our adopted state, but it's a hard existence for trees here, so we've learned to value them more than ever before.  
The girls have explored nearly every corner of our 5 acres, and though it makes me a bit nervous when I can't see or hear them, I do love catching glimpses of them out the windows.  Of course, they've also found the muddy, marshy parts of the property where the natural springs flow - and have explored the irrigation ditch that runs through the front pasture.  It's just impossible to keep kids away from water, isn't it?  Being girls, at least they haven't gotten IN the water, just played around it enough to end up with wet tights and shoes.  We have had to enforce a "boots only" rule when they go out to play beyond the lawn.
 One of the funniest things they've started doing is sledding.  No, we aren't covered in snow just yet.  They are sledding on grass.  We have a small dirt hill that was left-over from some project of the previous owner. The dirt has been sitting long enough that it's covered in grass and is the perfect size for all sorts of games.  They discovered that the metal sled will go down the hill quite nicely, so they've been rushing out to "sled" the last couple days.

Really, it is SO GOOD for them to have time and space to explore outdoors and make up games.  It's not like they haven't once complained of being bored since we moved, but they are definitely willing to head outside and "find something to do."  I don't know about the rest of you parents out there, but "find something to do" had been a VERY common phrase from us to them.  Hopefully we'll be using that phrase less frequently in the future.

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