This past Friday we had our co-op outdoors at a local park. I really love this park and we frequent it often. It is not ridiculously crowded and in addition to having some very kid friendly trails, they also have a great outdoor classroom, playground, and nature center. You can even camp at the park!
During the winter it becomes pretty obvious to me that during the other seasons of the year, we are outdoors a lot. Rain or shine, we always seemed to make it outside for a sizable portion of the day, everyday. This winter however, whether from the random temperature changes or the plethora of cold rainy days (ones that are just so yucky that my kids don't want to go out)- we have been house bound a bit more than I like.
I notice it more mainly because of our daily rhythm. When we cut out outdoor time, for whatever reason, we move through our days slower. We continue to do the activities we usually do daily, school work and free play, but then there is an hour or so leftover when there used to be none. I don't want that time to be filled up with TV, so I have had to get creative (board games, scavenger hunts, play dough play ground) but I also want to get back outside.
I love the outdoors, I always have. I was forced to be outside as a child (albeit a little too much- but that is a whole other issue), so I grew to love it. Being outside in my yard was when I felt whole. I could breathe and be myself there- away from the chaos indoors. I was blessed enough to live close to the bay and ocean as a young child, so I am quite attached to the water. So for me being indoors too much, is not good for the soul.
So I resolve to do more outdoor co-op away from the house, as to not be tempted to go inside. We spent probably 2 1/2 hours totally outside. We played, we hiked, we discovered, we learned, and we picnicked! My kids also came home with a pretty sweet nature collection (which is proudly on display on our seasonal nature table) and they took a great nap. Plus, I felt refreshed.