Remember all those hot dry summer days when we as children played in the bright endless days of drenching sunshine, where school was a distant memory, and every day was play day with all of our mates as well as our imaginary friends, just being careless and carefree, oh to be young once again during summer vacation.
The tree climbing, flying kites and paper airplanes, making mud pies to rival mom, fishing for trout without any luck, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, building tree forts, putting up lemonade stands, laying on the grass and watching the clouds roll by, a ride on a roller coaster, the playground swings, jumping rope, riding a bike downhill, cheese pizzas, camping in the backyard, the neighborhood baseball games and hide n seek.
The summers of our childhood were extremely potent and set up the foundations of our lives. The hot relaxing summer days enables children to find their own personal bliss, as well as cultivating interests turning them into memories which can last a lifetime.
The gift that we received from those less-structured pointless boring summer days are forever precious, giving us the free time and space, inviting for the possibility of unexpected magical activities. Both children as well as parents can benefit greatly from this unscheduled breathing room, to be able to revisit the forces of creativity as well as restoring resiliency.
Yet, according to recent studies, the children of today unfortunately have as much as 15 hours less free time per week that we as kids did 20 years ago. So parents are urged to simplify their children’s schedules, to re-establish the “islands of being” directly back into their lives.
Everyone at one time or another needs some down time to function better. Rest and relaxation nurtures thoughtful creativity, which then plants foundations of interest and activity as we grow older. Activity nurtures rest, which then sustains creativity. Each will draw from and then contribute to the other.
Boredom and daydreaming is a gift for children, it’s rocket fuel for their minds which propels them forward. Remarkable children with vivid imaginations often turn into remarkable adults with successful life skills and careers. The lack of boredom when we’re young may even be a reason why many graduates tend to flounder when they eventually have to face the “real” world.
Boredom activates the brain to spark the discovery of finding one’s passions, tapping into inner resources, allowing for ingenuity as well as the ability to be able to be self-directed. These are all critical skills which we can all bank and use later in life.
Over scheduling for hectic days often substitutes the stimulation for being able to experience these self-discoveries which can unlock the tremendous hidden stored potential of a child’s resources, creativity and imagination.
A child when young, and doesn’t or can’t experience leisure time or even better yet, complete boredom, will constantly be looking for some type of external stimulation or entertainment. And all this in the culture of instant gratification and compulsion that we live in.
So how can we find our way back to those lazy simpler days. Those days when we were laying on our backs on a hot humid night, gazing at the stars on a clear cloudless night. Where are those days when our feet were dipped into a rapidly rushing creek while sitting on a dock, those magical places can be the entire universe to a young child.
Hiking expeditions high into the mountains, or a walk in the forest in a national park can at times compare, in a child’s eyes, equally to the mysteries of the dirt ravine cliff which is at the end of the cul-de-sac. Allow children the time and give them the space to be in nature, and to take walks, play, learn and listen. Spending time in nature will allow for all their senses to become enlivened.
That loss of being able to play outdoors and enjoying those everyday adventures can be particularly significant for children who may have the tendency to become easily impulsive or distracted. You want a child with enriched creative thinking, rather than children who needs to rely on external stimulation.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of enjoying a slow summer, for every one of us, is the play-time itself. There’s compelling evidence that we all need this essential age old pastime of our childhood.
So encourage your children to just engage in the easy simple pleasures which can potentially create as well as strengthen the most blissful, the most glorious, and the most “boring” of memories from their childhood summers, and then at the same time, we can possibly rekindle our own memories.
Thank you 100 Mile House Centennial Park for the fond memories.