By Betsy Voreacos
We all want to teach our children what’s important in life. And we spend tons of time (and money!) making sure they have incredible experiences and opportunities. But sometimes we get lost in the hype and forget that some of the best life lessons can be learned right in our own backyards.
Image ©iStock.com/Kali Nine LLC
How does your garden grow?
Growing a garden is a great way for kids to learn basic care and nurturing lessons as well as fostering responsibility. You don’t need a big space and can even plant seeds in pots on your back deck if you’d rather not dig in the dirt. Watching seeds turn into plants, and plants turn into flowers (or better yet, food!) can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Image ©iStock.com/Milenko Bokan
Use Tide PODS to Tackle Outdoor Stains
Don’t be afraid to let your kids explore the outdoors – and all the stains that come with it! Tide PODS clean, remove stains, and brighten kids’ clothes all in one.
Birds of a feather…learn together.
Birds are fascinating creatures. They’re lovely to look at, delightful to listen to, and interesting to study. Birds show us a different way to live. Unlike human parents, most bird moms and dads don’t hesitate to push their little ones (gently) from the nest so they can fly on their own. They show us that “the early bird gets the worm,” and that a little ingenuity and effort can create some amazing structures, too!
Image ©iStock.com/Andrew Howe
Take a swing!
Believe it or not, even a simple backyard swing can impart some valuable wisdom. Kids figure out that there are two ways of doing things. They can ask for a push from a parent, or they can use their own power, pumping their little legs to go higher and faster. They learn that they can jump off and land on their own two feet, but sometimes taking a leap of faith might also mean falling flat on your face.
Money can’t buy everything.
It’s tons of fun to play with expensive toys, to have fancy sports equipment and be able to swim a beautiful pool on a hot summer day. But you can teach your kids that money doesn’t buy good, old-fashioned fun. Turn on the sprinklers, pull out the croquet set, and spend some time with your family in your little patch of green.
The seasons, they go round and round.
Spending time really looking at what goes on outdoors teaches kids about the circle of life, the power of nature, and how much life changes – yet stays the same.
What’s the best lesson your kids learned in your backyard?
Betsy lives with her family a stone’s throw from New York City. An overly involved mother of three children, Betsy has always been acutely aware of her shortcomings as a parent, not to mention those of her children. She documents her life in the brutally honest Old Minivans Die Hard.