Monthly Archives: October 2012

Taking a village

No Comments 31 Oct 11:01 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Nurturing a secure attachment with your child isn’t rocket science, however, providing the kind of attention appropriate for your child isn’t necessarily easy.  Children are each very unique individuals.  Parents who are uninformed, under stress, or overwhelmed by too many responsibilities may not be as capable of providing the kind of attention that their baby requires. All parents need support for themselves in order to care for their child. This can include help with childcare and housework but it also means emotional mentors to provide guidance, peers to commiserate and encourage through parenting challenges, and sometimes professionals who can provide counseling for …

Attached

No Comments 10:45 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

According to recent research studies, approximately 70% of babies in the USA develop a secure attachment. Some child development experts say this number is declining. The remaining 30% of babies born in the USA are said to have some form of insecure attachment.  Insecurely attached children are at more risk of experiencing anxiety, insecurity, behavioral problems, and relationship difficultes throughout their lifetimes.  In contrast, a secure attachment supports the child’s development of trust, confidence, empathy and self‐regulatoon (the ability to manage difficult emotions and control impulses)—important qualities for getting along in a social world. In addition, recent studies of brain development have demonstrated a strong connection between secure …

Pin a wart on the witch

No Comments 30 Oct 9:03 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Supplies:   1. Large picture of a witch. 2. Blindfold and tape. 3. A paper wart for each player with his or her name on it. 4.  Backyard Playground Equipment to keep children who don’t want to play the game  (at the same time) engaged. Rules:    Basically it’s the Halloween version of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” 1. If need be, draw a a wart on the picture of the witch. 2. Hang the picture of the witch on a wall where there is lots of space around it. 3. When it is a player’s turn, blindfold the child and give her …

Halloween outdoor party game: Goop-Scoop Surprise

No Comments 8:49 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

All you need to do: 1. Carve out a pumpkin, but put the pumpkin seeds and goop back inside of it. 2. Blindfold one kid at a time and have them reach in and grab out some messy seeds. Have small paper cups ready with each child’s name on it. Put their ‘goop’ in the cup. 3. After each child takes their turn, have each one count out their seeds. 4. Whoever has the most seeds wins a prize. (All the children get some sort of  a prize for playing –and the winner gets an additional small prize) Tip #1:  Games …

Consequences

No Comments 29 Oct 9:15 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

The benefits of play experience outdoors in natural environments are remarkable and extensive. Among the benefits: stress reduction, physical fitness, immunity boost for healing, mental health, and creativity; physical, emotional and intellectual development; bonding with nature, appreciation for nature, and heightened sense of beauty. Unstructured experience in nature is more beneficial than structured experiences and the benefits are universal across cultural and geographic areas. The consequences? Volumes of evidence suggests that outdoor play deprivation contributes to obesity and, over time, the social and physical effects of obesity contribute, in a circular fashion, to play deprivation. As the obese child grows …

The Incredible Disappearing Outdoor Playtime

No Comments 8:50 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

During the past thirty to forty years, centuries-old freedom to play has evolved into a environments crisis that threatens the health, fitness and welfare of our children. As the “Greatest Generation” (thank you Tom Brokaw referring to baby-boomer parents) gave way to the technology revolution and excesses of growing affluence, children’s play environments changed in drastic ways. school systems across America joined the rush to over-parenting and over-management, reducing or even removing recess time, restricting physical education, drilling children excessively on standardized tests.  And all this has in fact probably interfered with their overall health and development. Cafeteria diets of …

Smoked Trout recipe

No Comments 27 Oct 8:22 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping

Directions Rinse Trout filets and put them in a shallow glass baking dish. Dribble a small amount of olive oil over the filets then season with garlic and rosemary. Rub the seasonings into the fish.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. Dissolve curing salt into water. Pour the brine water over the fish. Let them marinate for 15 minutes (per half inch of thickness). Using one of the best food smokers on the market, prepare it setting the temperature for a four hour slow burn. Its  temperature should be set to 150 degrees F (65 degrees C) before you get started. Remove …

Experience is critical

No Comments 26 Oct 8:53 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Outdoor Sports and Camping, Playsets

Direct experience in nature is diminishing. Direct experience in nature is critical. Remember when you were new in the job market, (…the chicken and the egg scenario…)?  If so, you know how difficult it is to get that first job without any direct, “first hand” experience.  As human beings our job is to co-exist in the natural environment – nuturing while growing, and harvesting. So it comes as no surprise that nature is important to a child’s development in every major way — intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically. In one of his latest books, “Building for Life: Designing and Understanding …

Near is far enough

No Comments 25 Oct 8:45 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Nearby nature boosts children‟s cognitive functioning A precursor to Nancy Wells’ research, reported back in 2000, shows that proximity to, views of, and daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus and therefore enhances cognitive abilities.  The ability to focus is the core issue in children with AD&HD – Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder.  I’m familiar with the downside since 3 of our 6 children have AD&HD – in 3 very unique flavors.  Living in Los Angeles is a mixed blessing:  We are both immersed in urban sprawl and too much traffic – yet lucky enough to be …

Nearby nature reduces stress

No Comments 8:02 am Author: Richard Category:Best Outdoor, Playsets

Nearby nature reduces stress in children One study, reported in 2003, by Cornell assistant professor Nancy Wells, focuses on rural children and finds that even a view of nature — green plants and vistas —helps reduce stress among highly stressed children. Further, the more plants, green views and access to natural play areas, the more positive the results. Access to outdoor playground equipment placed into a natural green setting is beneficial for a child’s mental health as well as their physical and emotional development. Reference : Wells, N.M., and Evans, G.W. “Nearby Nature: A Buffer of Life Stress Among Rural …