Kids are always in motion. Except when they’re asleep. But… even then, they can run wild, preferably in their parents’ bed.
Kids start their day by jumping out of bed and continue by wobbling on their chair at the breakfast table, running through the house or the woods, climbing trees and monkey bars, crawling through dense undergrowth or tunnels. They bend down for twigs and stones, chase each other and crawl on all fours through their miniature Lego or train-set wonderlands. Spend a day watching them working on their projects and adventures - they’re nearly always in motion.
Recently there have been more and more classes and programmes motivating children to get into motion and move more. Sounds like a bit of a paradox, after claiming that children are always busy - but it’s often talked out of them. “Sit quietly please” is a sentence nearly every child has heard at least once.
Especially for the growing human - but also for grown-ups - movement is so important, but not always wanted in the adult world. Muscles, bones, sense of balance, heart and lungs and even the brain profit from daily activities. Skills and senses improve, kids can test their boundaries and surpass their own expectations. They get to know their abilities and their surroundings, experience fear, doubt and with it also triumph and self-reliance. Therefore, children need time and space to fulfil their need for movement.
That sounds easier than it is - finding time and space. The opportunities for “everyday exercise” are limited: Instead of walking and exploring the way to kindergarten or school, we drive them there because we want to protect them or because we’re on our way to work. Grocery shopping is done by car as well.
Because they’re in kindergarten or school all day, kids kind of lose interest in visiting their friends in the afternoon, so play time is lost.
If they don’t have a garden, families need to pack everything up and walk to the playground or the park, so that their kids have a bit more space to run and have adventures.
We can’t influence all of these factors - most parents have to work, and kids are at kindergarten or school. How can we change our daily routines in order to create better opportunities, and encourage our kids to explore more? How can we put more running wild back into these restrictive environments?
What tricks do you have? What’s your way of making daily life more adventurous, inside or outside the house?
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments - one way that we’ve found to get their creativity and imagination working is to simply keep them bored ;)
Run wild, with a bag of tricks!Anna, Ran und die Wildlinge
Fotos by Lotta Löthgren