Free Range Kids

My artist neighbor was being interviewed for a NH Chronicle episode and I got to hang out with her kids (4th and 7th graders) for a few hours.  It was a gorgeous fall day so I thought I’d take them to the top of one of the low mountains in our town.  That plan was promptly hijacked by youthful curiosity.  Water, a small stream to be exact, caught the kid’s attention and off we went scrambling down the banking of the dirt road to explore.  It brought back great memories of exploring along brooks and wetlands with my own kids when they were young.

It became quickly obvious that B & C didn’t do a lot of this type of exploring.  C was very uncomfortable with stepping from rock to rock or over fallen logs.  I alternated between putting a hand out to her and letting her figure it out on her own.  Times have sure changed from when we were kids and most of us were “free range kids” exploring nearby fields, streams and woods and spending most of our out of school time in “free” play undirected by adults.  Of course back in “those days” most of the neighborhood kids were home after-school and we had safety in numbers when groups of us played together.

Anyways, here are a few photos of our exploring fun.  Some of the pictures were taken by C who enjoyed capturing what she saw with the camera.

“B” figuring out how to move a rock with a lever and change the flow of the water.

“B” figuring out how to move a rock with a lever and change the flow of the water.

sweet exploring brook - what's not to love?!?

sweet exploring brook – what’s not to love?!?

B & C were intrigued by the mound of foam formed by the bubbles created as the stream flowed over the rocks.

B & C were intrigued by the mound of foam formed by the bubbles created as the stream flowed over the rocks.

this pile collected long enough that there was actually dirty dust on top!  Photo by C

this pile collected long enough that there was actually dirty dust on top! Photo by C

testing out the water with your feet is a lot of fun!

testing out the water with your feet is a lot of fun!

How cold is the water?  C's face says it all!

How cold is the water? C’s face says it all!

brook abstract by C.  I love this shot, don't you!

brook abstract by C. I love this shot, don’t you!

And this post wouldn’t be complete without including the link to the NH Chronicle episode featuring my talented neighbor.  If you need some interesting costume accessories for Halloween, a Renaissance Faire or wanted to turn your horse into a unicorn, Shannon is your gal!

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6 thoughts on “Free Range Kids

  1. Time in nature is so important for kids for any number of skills….Are you familiar with the book “Last Child in the Woods: Nature Deficit Disorder?” It speaks to the need for children to be in wild, green spaces and the problems that arise when they don’t have those. Tell C. she is a budding photographer 🙂

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    • I am familiar with it but haven’t read it. I did really enjoy The Goodness of Rain which was a wonderful read about how children develop a relationship with the natural world. I will tell her! Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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