Now there's no more hole to dig in, and I can see them fidgeting for somewhere to dig.
Oh, man. You know what? I think I'm going to have to find another sandbox area. Again. This will be, like, the fourth sandbox I've designated...I keep thinking they are done with sandboxes and that we can move on. I've filled the old sandboxes with herbs, or dumped them out. And good riddance, really, because whenever we have a sandbox (or a dirt pile/hole), we have about 10 times as much dirt and sand and grime being tracked into the house.
But they just really like to dig.
Here they are digging up the path at the playground (which has no official sandbox), since I made them fix the hole in our yard. Sheesh.
I just finished reading Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play makes for Strong. Confident and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom. I love the book. It really confirms a lot of the things that I've observed and practiced with my own kids during the last decade. Mainly, kids need to be outdoors, engaged with nature, and in a less organized and controlled environments. But I think that there's a bit of an elephant in the room regarding this topic. That is: it's a child-raising practice that works best for stay at home parents. It doesn't translate so well to kids in daycare situations. Like breast feeding, elimination communication, and baby led weaning, there's such a substantial amount of cultural buy-in that has to happen to make these practices move (comfortably and conveniently) from At Home to Outside of Home. It's unlikely to happen anytime soon.
From my own perspective, this book really makes me want to move to the woods with my kiddos. For us, the woods are too far away to be practical. It would be a really long commute and the environmentalist in me just can't justify the gasoline consumption. We're sticking to the high plains and new urbanist sized yard, and working with it as best we can.
Do you wish your kids had more outdoor space? What kind of outdoor space would you like them to have?