There are many reasons we are still renting our rundown little townhome in Vancouver. One big reason is the luxury of raising a family in a space that is cut-off from busy roads, is filled with green space and lets the kids run wild. My social media feeds are filled with articles about how important play is not only for their physical fitness, but their mental health too. Watching my kids spend their summers running wild, I know I am doing something right when it comes to my parenting choices.
This long hot summer has actually made this harder for the kids. It has actually been TOO hot. So when I am not at work, we are usually hitting a local pool and leaving the outside play to the cooler evening hours. Sure the kids are up past their bedtimes, but at least they are running off steam and away from the couch potato lures such as television and the internet. Social media is great, but the hours my kids can invest on YouTube is awe-inspiring and horrifying at the same time.
We are NOT a sporty family at all. We don’t spend hours taking our kids to various organized sports, so we must burn their energy off in other ways. We have a shed full of bikes, skateboards, longboards, and scooters. We have skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk and an arsenal of nerf and water guns. If the weather is dry, they are outside, usually with a group of peers doing….something. Needless to say, we spend a lot of time at our local Canadian Tire. I love their gardening section and the kids love seeing what new fun toys are in stock. Tara picked her first ‘big girl’ bike from there just last month too.
I feel very strongly about giving kids the space to just be kids. To let them explore the world on their terms and not ours. Kids need to be able to figure out things on their own and not through our adult biases. Play is so important for teaching kids how to get along with others, to negotiate, to share and to cooperate. Most important of all…it teaches them how to laugh.
This Saturday our complex tenants committee (me plus many other great volunteers) hosted a little BBQ. Sadly this year, we did not have as many families attend, but there was a great gaggle of little kids hanging out with us and they made it fun. My daughter Caity set up a face painting station that was a huge hit and we brought out the great soccer set from Canadian Tire as well as a bunch of other fun activities for the kids to enjoy and listening to their laughter was magical. #WannaPlay