When I was this girl’s age, my summer days were spent outside. I would ride my bike down the driveway until it banged into the garage (despite my dad’s vein popping near out of his head every time he caught me). I’d head across the street to my friend Anna’s house. We’d play outside until the neighbor’s mom would come out on her porch and yell “DOMMINIIIIIIQQUUUUUUE!” like she was an opera singer. That was our signal to go home for dinner. Possibilities were endless in the summer. I recently watched a Nature Valley commercial where three generations of families were asked what they did all summer when they were kids. The older and middle generations talked about playing outside, gardening, fishing, exploring; and the youngest generation talked about video games. They brought some of their parents to tears. One of the moms said, “I actually feel a little sad because I feel like he’s missing out on what’s out there in the beautiful world.” Of course I know it’s a dramatic sampling they used, but it was fresh in my mind as I put this family’s post together. They are explorers of the universe. Their girls know how to play in the creek… Splash in puddles… Dance and sing in the forest… Hang on trees… And look at the world around them with wonder. And the best part? They do it together as a family. They laugh and they play and they splash and they explore this world with beautiful open eyes. We spent our time together at Highbanks, playing in the natural play area and jumping in the creek. It was glorious. Nature Valley, there’s hope! This family right here!!!
If you are here in Columbus, and would like to try out one of these natural play areas, head here for more information about where to find them at each park. If you’d like to head to a natural play area (or anywhere else!) with me along to document your family’s love and fun, tell me all about your ideas here!