All posts tagged: unstructured outdoor play

Fairies, Merpups and Finding Joy When Things Don’t Go as Planned

In my last post I promised to give you an update on my use of the playguide in the book Play – The Danish Way¬†by Iben Sandahl. I am not sure what happened but we went on vacation to Cape Cod and now suddenly half the summer has gone by. I am so excited that we have been electronics free for two entire weeks now (two hours after I published this post my kids were watching “Chuggington”… oops)! The absence of electronics has definitely made room for a greater imaginary universe but the summer still has not been as perfect as I imagined: me sitting in a garden chair, reading books while my children would play joyously for hours by themselves. A lot of times, I have had to dig deep in order not to get (too) frustrated with constant requests for help, questions about every possible thing (“why do people have swimsuits?”) and cleaning in 95 degrees fahrenheit with what seems like max air humidity (Maryland summers are tough for a Dane!). But I …

Play – therapy for the mind and soul

“I never want to grow up,” he (Tommy) said determinedly. “Me either,” said Annika. “No, that isn’t something to strive for. Grown-ups never have fun. They just have a lot of boring work, stupid clothes and calluses and taxes.” (….) “They don’t know how to play either,” said Annika. “Ooh, that you are forced to grow up!” (free translation from Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking in the South Seas, 1948) Last night as I was reading Pippi Longstocking to my children we came across this great passage where the children, Tommy and Annika, tell Pippi that they never want to grow up because adults aren’t fun and don’t know how to play. To this Pippi replies that growing up isn’t something to strive for and then she offers the children some magical pills to prevent them from ever growing up. This may just seem like a funny statement because growing up is, of course, something to desire and adults always know best. But do we really? Do we always know what is best for children or are there some …