Although it takes a conscious effort to release control and allow your little one get completely immersed in the moment, it is very important! And fun!! The key is to be prepared!
Jake loves all things outdoors but what this park has to offer is a combination of construction, digging and water. Nothing better in the world! He dug, he poured, he splashed and he climbed. He tripped, he fell, he was completely soaked in mud but no cuts or bruises! He even did a face plant right into a muddy puddle mouth open and all! Not a tear, until it was time to go!
This dramatic play is so important to a child's development! They need to explore not only nature but digging, raking and shoveling. It makes me so upset to see children who are not allowed to play or who are told (yes in this environment) go play but don't get dirty! Then there are the children that are older and get to the park and do not even know what to do there! They just look around and after a few minutes ask to leave because it is boring! It is saddening! But there are the parents there that are digging along side of the kids too!
I have recently watched a few youtube programs on Outdoor Kindergartens. Even with my education background I LOVE this idea! I find that (especially with boys) we can do, learn, play so much more outdoors. Getting into nature and learning through play is the most important way to learn for small children!