What’s so great about the great outdoors?
During the long hot summers growing up in Ohio, my sister and I would watch cartoons in the mornings for as long as our parents would allow. We would inevitably grow restless, push each other’s buttons, and generally cause trouble until our mom would command, in her I’m-at-the-end-of-my-rope voice, “Go play outside!”
And we did. For hours and hours. Sometimes she wouldn’t see us until after Kick the Can wrapped at 10 pm. Other times she would bring us snacks in the woods down by the river behind our house and catch us playing “Explorers”; I was always Francisco Pizarro.
Mom didn’t make us play outside because it was good for our health, though. She just wanted us out of her hair. But what we know now is that those three words, go play outside, are the most important three words you could say to a child. (Ok maybe second place after, “I love you”.)