Walking and outdoor play with toddlers

“Let us now turn to the child of two and his need to walk. It is natural for him to feel this need, for he has to prepare the future man, and must therefore build in himself all the essential human abilities. The child of two is well able to walk for a mile or two, and also to climb, if he is in the mood for it. The difficult parts of walking appeal to him most. We must remember that the child’s idea of walking is quite different from ours. Our belief that a long walk is beyond him, comes from making him walk at our pace. This is as stupid as it would be for us to go out on foot with a horse, and expect to keep up with it. The latter seeing we are out of breath, would then say (as we do to the child): “This is no good. Jump on my back and we will both get there together.” But the child is not trying to “get there.” All he wants is to walk. And because his legs are shorter than ours, we must not try to make him keep up with us. It is we who must go at his pace… The child has his own laws of development and if we want to help him grow, it is a question of following these, not of imposing ourselves upon him.”

“Walking is an exercise complete in itself. Other muscular exertions need not be added to it. A man who walks, breathes and digests better, enjoys all the benefits of health that we pursue in sport. It is a form of exercise which brings beauty to the body, and if, by the wayside, you find something of interest to collect and classify, a ditch to jump, wood to gather…, this movement – of extending the arms and bending the body – make it the perfect gymnastic. Little by little as man’s knowledge increases, his intellectual knowledge widens and with this the activities of his body.”  

“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning.” 

– Maria Montessori (The Absorbent Mind and The Discovery of Child)

As children come home for holidays, let them walk at their own pace and play outdoors~!

Leave a comment with your thoughts.

Live a GoodLife!

Nduoma

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One thought on “Walking and outdoor play with toddlers

  1. Looking forward to my son walkin! But I’m not sure I can trust myself to allow him to run out when raining! He could catch something?! And the raving sun kinda makes it dfficult to allow kids to stay outside 4 long periods !

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