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Kids need outside play

Posted by Beate Frome on 12/6/2018 to News
Kids need outside play

Children need outdoor play

By Beate Frome

 

As children we roamed the fields, forest, and streams in our neighborhood. We enjoyed building with mud, dry grasses, and bark. We played hide and seek in corn fields. We came home happy, content, dirty, hungry, and ready for bed.

 

Children today very seldom get to enjoy the outdoors. Not just learn about the outdoors, really enjoy the feel of the moss between their toes, the feel of bark when you lean against it, the sound of a tree with the wind gently blowing, or the smell of a stream.

 

There is something therapeutic about being outdoors, being away from the stresses of the day. Letting go of disagreements, school, relationship worries, and so forth, simply being in the present. We do our children a disservice by withholding the rich experiences nature can offer.

 In “Magic Trees of the Mind” Marian Diamond, Ph.D. argues that we provide impoverished environments for our children. “It doesn't take the orphanage scene from Daviod Copperfield to qualify as an impoverished environment. All it takes is a toddler sitting alone and passive for hours in front of a television set, dreaming eyes of wonder glazed over, imagination shelved, exploratory energy on hold. Then throw in a bowl of potato chips and a soda...” (109).

 By keeping children safe at home, we are not allowing them to grow emotionally and intellectually. Richard Louv explored what he calls, the Nature Deficit Disorder among children. He calls exploring nature, Natures Ritalin. In his book “Last Child in the Woods,” Louv explains: “Nature – the sublime, the harsh, and the beautiful – offers something that the street or gated community or computer game cannot. Nature presents the young with something so much greater than they are; it offers an environment where they can easily contemplate infinity and eternity.” (96)

 Robin Moore, a champion for outdoor play, who has written about the natural settings being essential for a healthy child development because it stimulates all senses, integrate informal play with formal language. According to Moore, multi-sensory experiences in nature help to build “the cognitive constructs necessary for sustained intellectual development,” and stimulates imagination by supplying the child with the free space and materials for what he calls children's “architecture and artifacts.” Natural spaces and materials stimulate children's limitless imaginations and serve as the medium of inventiveness and creativity observable in almost any group of children playing in a natural setting, “ says Moore. (Louve, 85,86).

 Giving children few, but quality toys can aid parents in helping develop their child's multisensory experience in nature along with a healthy dose of imagination. Simply learning to dig sand that is wet, sand that is dry, sand that is mixed with leaves, and so on, can teach a child about natural matter. The child will playfully learn physics as they dig and dump sand. They can learn about the cut bank and the slip-off slope of a meandering stream by adding water to the sand or dirt. By being allowed and encouraged to learn in nature, the child develops a keen sense of themselves as part of nature. Sandboxes can become excavation pits and the child is the operator or CEO of the operation.

 Outdoor play is so much more for children than simply being outdoors, all their senses are involved and get used and honed out to sense changes around them. A quality toy will assist your child in spending therapeutic time outdoors.


Let Children Play Outdoors

Posted by Beate Frome on 12/1/2018 to News
Let Children Play Outdoors


Get Your Children to Play Outdoors

Deepak Chopra, a well known Doctor and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. He is board certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, and metabolism. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and a clinical professor in the Family Medicine and Public Health Department at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of more than 85 books.

He recently published a newsletter through his Chopra Center for Wellbeing, with several ways to improve your mood. Written by Emily Holland, who is a certified health coach. What she suggested, and has obviously lots of experience with from her line of work, all rang true for my children as well. Some simple things seem to make a huge difference in how well my children feel and what mood they are in.

One of the ways that stood out to me was, Get Some Sun. Yes, that simple. Go outside. She says: “Exposure to the sun boosts serotonin production which explains why some sufferers of depression notice a worsening of symptoms during winter month. Less time spent out in the sun can lead to a drop in serotonin, resulting in depressed mood, anxiety, and low energy.”

Serotonin according to Wikipedia is also called “5-hydroxytryptamine is a monoamine neurotransmitter that has a popular image as a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. Biochemically, the indoleamine molecule derives from the amino acid tryptophan. Serotonin is primarily found in the enteric nervous system located in the gastrointestinal tract. However, it is also produced in the central nervous system, specifically in the Raphe nuclei located in the brainstem. Additionally, serotonin is stored in blood platelets and is released during agitation and vasoconstriction, where it then acts as an agonist to other platelets.”

In other words, serotonin is a feel good neurotransmitter. It helps us feel happy and be in a good mood. More outdoor time, more serotonin production, more happiness and good mood.

Holland suggests you spend time outside, maybe a walk, some exercise in nature to get the most benefit out of being outdoors.

My children play outdoors for several hours a day. It helps them relax and be in a good mood, be more pleasant to be around, and more easy going. We have quality outdoor toys to lure them outside and keep them occupied for lots of imaginative play. A sand box digger can keep a child outdoors for hours simply shoveling sand, rocks, dirt, or snow. It gets used all year, every Season, just in different ways.

Another suggestion Holland brought up in the Chopra newsletter is, to Inhale a Pleasant Scent. Another super easy thing to do when you are outdoors enjoying nature. She says “Your sense of smell may have a more powerful effect than you think. In addition to the sensation of the odor itself, it may also conjure up memories and emotions you associate with them. The smell of fresh-cut grass , for example, might bring you back to summer days of a carefree childhood, evoking pleasant memories and boosting your mood. Moreover, according to research, certain scent can affect your mood whether you associate pleasant experiences with them or not.”

She adds, “Fragrances have the added benefit of not only boosting your mood but certain ones can also boost productivity or relieve stress and tension.”

Smelling the fragrances of the outdoors will assist in putting your child in a good mood. Outdoor play is a place for a child to relax, to live in the present, to explore, imagine, to make memories and to build a healthy foundation for the future, storing up serotonin and memories of the fragrances around his or her play.

The best thing you can do to help your children have a balanced happy life, get him or her some quality outdoor toys, like a quality sand digger, and send them outside to play.

References

https://chopra.com/articles/simple-ways-to-improve-your-mood-in-5-minutes-or-less?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=181127-November-Newsletter&utm_campaign=Newsletter20181127


Considerations When Choosing a Baby Carrier

Posted by on 11/23/2018 to News

The following tips for choosing a baby carrier were selected from Dr. Eveline Kikilionis?s book, ?A Baby Wants to be Carried.?  (Currently only available in German: ?Ein Baby will getragen sein.?)

 

Welcome to our online store

Posted by on 4/20/2015 to News
Welcome to our online store! Our team is excited about our new shopping cart with its upgraded features and look after several years with an older cart.  If you have any questions about this store or the products found within, please don't hesitate to contact us any time. Our website has been carefully designed to provide you with an amazingly flexible online shopping experience, and its ease of navigation is something we think you'll grow to depend on and appreciate. Feel free to browse our entire product catalog, and let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the items housed within. Our team is always ready and willing to assist our customers, and we are happy for your visit.

Kurt