How many times have you been out with your kids for the day only to find that they've managed to fill their pockets and yours with special rocks, flowers, sticks, and, my personal favorite: dead bugs! Almost every child in every culture goes through (or maintains) a phase in which he loves to put objects in and out of containers and, better yet, move those contained objects around. Although it can seem a little silly and even tiresome to us, the desire to find, collect and cart treasure from one place to another is a universal pattern in kids' behavior and, it turns out, brain development.We also know that kids need to learn not to remove objects from our most treasured landscape, so we need to honor their drive to collect but also help them build a practice of leaving no trace. And it is possible to walk that line. You just need the right tool and habits. So, we've found that making a "bindle" (i.e. the hobo-style sack on a stick you know from cartoons) is a great way to harness kids' drive to amass goodies while also making kids independent and freeing us of unwanted guests in our pockets. Take the bindle with you or keep it in the bottom of your pack or stroller, just get a new stick every time. Give kids the chance to notice the amazing variety of things that fall, drop, sprout and blossom at different times and in different places. Whether you consider "shabby chic" in or out, this hobo-tested way to cart goodies around will be all the rage with your kids.
We think all families should be learning outside. Try this activity with your child and begin to see the power in outdoor, play-based learning. Have fun!Email it to me