Born to be Wild by Hattie Garlick

I was inspired by a book I picked up at the library:  Born to be Wild by Hattie Garlick.  It was a 'get your children outside' book.

I know that I am supposed to have my children outside to increase their strength, confidence, coordination, and grow their brains.  But sometimes, in the bleak midwinter, I find it hard to do so.  But this book, of all of the 'get your child outside' books, inspired me the most.  She divided activities by season (I chose winter), and did their activities with just a few cupboard tools.  The ideas were photographed a short ways from London, so they were not in the middle of an Eastern forest (like I am not).  I saw activities in grasslands, using dirt and grass, and snow, and sticks.  I loved it.
So, the moment I read the winter chapter, I took my children outside, even in the uninspiring last strides of winter.  I saw our grass, and we made grass crowns, like the book suggested.  I had never been inspired by the brown weeds that grew around our trees.  My children LOVED it.  I did too because I was the crown demonstrator.  It was therapeutic.


We took food coloring and painted in the snow (also suggested in the book).  They coloredYoda, sunsets, and wrote beautiful words in the last remaining whiteness in the yard.
I find that children do not always know instinctively how to play outside.  So, if I demonstrate and give ideas, they take it to the next level.  That means I cannot just send them outside and hope for success.
It takes me going outside with them, which really does brighten my mood, and expand my lungs.
A key to good outside time includes good, warm clothes, gloves and boots for everyone, including me.  If my children are missing even one article of warm clothing (i.e. gloves or snowpants) they come in that much sooner.
My preparation was worth that much less.

Knox, only painted for a bit.  He mostly ate the snow.  Gross.  Has anyone ever died of eating snow? No?  That is my solace.
Thank you Hattie Garlick.  I have checked out too many nature books to count.  I actually use yours.  Bless you, forever.

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