I am not going to pretend that my children go outside to play every day. There are plenty of days in Maryland that are too cold, or too hot, or too windy to play safely outside. But today we took a little walk outside and it turned out to be so inspiring. I love how creative children are with play especially when they are out in nature.
A ladder set aside from a job becomes a natural obstacle course for learning balance. We do not have much in the way of an outdoor playground and it is at these moments when I realize we do not need one. There are so many ways to play on the farm and unlike a fixed playground, the landscape is always changing.
The children also spent time tasting the wonderful emerald tat soi and lettuce growing in the hoophouse. It is a challenge to teach a two-year old not to walk on the plants, but she is getting the idea. Her brother is helping by shouting “ouch” on behalf of the plants whenever he hears a crunch. These greens are starting to go to seed, so I was a little less protective of the plants than I would have been if they were younger.
Finally, they spent some time “paddling” an overturned kayak which might have been their favorite part, it looked like an exciting voyage even without any water in sight. These are the kind of play sessions that make me so happy that the children are growing up on a farm. It might actually be the most important thing that happens on the farm and it is so much easier than growing vegetables!