I always try to have Little R outside as much as possible. But it’s never long enough for her. No matter how we try to bring her in, we generally end up carrying her inside kicking and screaming. She has never, ever, asked to go in. In fact, I think I was saying “She could stay out all day…” when I thought maybe I should plan a longer time out, and make a little thing out of it. I’ve been interested in those Forest Kindergartens and I thought I could try making sustained outdoor time a bit more of a routine for us. As I said, Little R is already totally comfortable outside for hours and happily follows the chickens or cat around and when there is a limit to how long we stay out it is always us adults – either because of things that need doing, meals that need making, plans/schedules or actually, I confess, just being bored! (an issue in the winter) So in a way, it is almost more about me committing to more outdoor time. (Ah yes, so often when we think of what we want for our children we come back to ourselves…) Fortunately it is now the season of outdoor work and there is much to be done, so I knew I could keep busy for a few hours.
We started out the morning with a good walk. Back home we tended to the chickens, rambled about and had a snack. Then I set to work building a fire pit and making a fire. I had planned to boil some water for tea but I couldn’t find our camping pots, or a grate for cooking. In the end, hot chocolate was offered and delivered to us from the house. Not quite fitting into my “everything outdoors” plan but let it never be said of me that I don’t know a good idea when I hear it. Or that I would turn down hot chocolate. Anyway, we’ll get ourselves sorted with an outdoor cooking set-up for next time. Exercise, fresh air, happy and independent child; it was pretty good! I wanted to be out for 4 hours, including lunch and heading in for nap at 1, but we came in shortly after 3 hours, again because of the lack of cooking possibilities and the need to make some lunch. Still, I’d call it a success and a promising start.