Friday, June 17, 2011

Family Time: at the cabin

Every June, we trek to Estes Park for our monthly chavurah. A special treat, June chavurah means many things to each faction of the family. To the kids, the cabin means an entire day wandering in the woods, creating forts and secret hide-outs. For the adults, the cabin means a day spent relaxing, chatting, playing horseshoe, Scrabble, and of course, eating!

We noted this year that the children were gone most of the time. We occasionally needed to help in moments of strife, but in general, they kept to themselves. There were only two little ones left who need their Mamas - the rest were all outside, exploring, all day. It felt ... good!

It also felt, as it does every year, so exactly what we want for our children. The space to explore and play freely, yet safely, is hard to come by in the city. But out here, it is still safe. The children saw a deer just feet from them; an elk herd wandered up near the cabin around lunchtime. Magic!

June chavurah always inspires my inner hiker. I resolve to take my children on more hikes, to try to recreate the free, imaginative play they love so much up at the cabin. What is it about being outside, unsupervised, that creates such content children?

How do you encourage your child's free play? Is it difficult to balance safety and freedom where you live? How do you manage? 

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