Just go outside already!

I remember one summer it started raining pretty hard. My mom called us inside the house, but I didn’t go in. I jumped into huge puddles of water, I opened my mouth wide and tasted what the rain had to offer. It was exhilarating! My hair, covered in half-moon rain bubbles. I wonder if children have those feelings anymore?  Are we so focused on protecting them that we forgot that nature can be fun? 

On Vashon Island, the largest island in Pugent sound, Erin Kenny, a former lawyer, has recreated for young preschoolers a life that I enjoyed all the way up until I was at least 12. I was a tomboy and I was always outside running with the boys.  Anyway, the preschoolers are able to surround themselves in nature. They are asking questions and making discoveries that should carry with them a lifetime of memories and knowledge. 

Since we have passed the Industrial Age and we are surrounded by neon-flashing lights, digital keyboards, Avatars, and androids, I guess we can say that we are in the Information Age. Needless to say all of that information can take us away from the little things, like the worms, centipedes and spiders.  Children need to ask questions, observe and discover for themselves.  By going outdoors children let their joyful sense of play remain unharnessed for just a while longer.


About Michaela Chatman

Michaela Chatman is the founder of Camp Roadless Summer Visual and Performing Arts Summer Camp based in the Tokyo area. She has taught in Chicago, New York City, Hiroshima, and Tokyo. She has worked with children from ages 5-16. She is a dedicated fan and supporter of the arts. She performs locally in Tokyo with Kaguratei, a blues band. She is an active member in TELL:Exceptional Parents Group, Japan Affiliate of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum (JASCD), Tokyo Investment Group, and Pink Cow Connections Networking Group. For fun she organizes The Tokyo Lovers Pizza Meetup Group.
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