Tag Archives: tina hiatt

Are your Children Experiencing Outdoor Play

In today’s world, children are playing indoors a heck of a lot more than they are outdoors.  What are these kids doing?  I am sure most of you have experienced a three year old who can navigate themselves through the computer better than some adults.  How about those computer games?  I know some children as young as two years who can beat adults at some of these games.  Then there is the TV, well I can say there are some educational programs, but we must be curious about this.  Does TV really have a long lasting affect on our children, good or bad?

To get children outdoors, a popular thing to do these days are playgroups.  I find mine on Meetup.com.  In addition to these playgroups, they are playing organized sports.  Have you noticed in your family’s lifestyle or other families that today’s kids have such a tight schedule at an early age that they are being shuffled from this playgroup to the next, and then shuffled to their organized sports team as early as the age of three years!  Life is so full and “busy” that the kids are so called “calmed down” with a movie, TV show or video game, not only at home but on the road with iPads or cell phones.  Wow, just writing it is making me exhausted.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “enough is enough and I just want to relax!” Here is the thing, your child is being robbed of their own identity, being robbed of a sense of independence and self, and most of all, being robbed of real socialization and learning.  Take it from me, I had to learn that the hard way.  We all do our very best to raise our children as best we know how and help our children be the best they can be.

There is another way.  Let’s stop pushing our children so hard, they really need time to explore to find out who they are in this world. We found the best remedy, outdoor play.  Allow them to get in the dirt and mud and let’s cease on nagging them not to get dirty.  If it is raining, hey, that is the most opportune time to send them outside for play.  Stay out of their way parents!  Allow them discover for themselves, it is vital for their health and stability.  They have only been on this planet for a short amount of time.

You are probably saying to yourself, this is all good and fine and my children are extraordinary, head of the class at age 5 and the sports star at age 6 and at age of 2 and 3 my child knows how to spell and add and nearly read!  Great! And here are some of the things that happen without a child stopping and relaxing and enjoying their natural outdoor environment.  Lose sense of self, social skills are not present, they have violent tendencies or aggressive, they have no access to creativity which helps brain function and health, physically they are not strong and dark circles appear under their eyes, hard going time sleep, loss of motivation and the list goes on. No kidding.

There is something about being outdoors, exploring, climbing, digging, playing in the mud and collecting sticks and other cool things, touching bugs and all the sorts that really has a bearing.  This gives the child a sensation of touch, which brings them into self and the present where they know their place.  It is a feeling of stability and owning their domain.  There is something to be said by molding a mug pie, which connects to their brain in a way that creativity and learning is enhanced.  Sitting and watching a computer screen, even educational, does nothing of the sort.  With outdoor play, the child understands what the natural environment feels like and is able to see the beauty of it then take it in on an intellectual level.  Ever see your child outside observing that worm or the little ants walking on the sidewalk?  Observation keeps them focused and grounded by learning in this environment without the toxic frequencies hitting them as the electronics do (Television, Cell Phone, iPads, tablets, computers).  The large benefit of outdoor play is that it clears their mind of the clutter our world puts in with advertisements, movies, plastic toys, etc. Being outdoors in nature, there is no one to impress and nowhere to get to.  It is about living in the moment and a huge opportunity for creative play and curiosity.

Learning is not only with your head but physical too? Have you ever thought about that? Growing up, the only time I actually got good grades if I was interested in the subject, where I got to experience it in real life or witness for myself. Homework and group projects assisting me in my learning as I went to public school.  Why settle for just classroom learning, let’s give your child a boost with outdoor play.  Children can pick up things quickly, academically and socially. Without this kind of play, it comes to a point that they are just now memorizing.  There were many people who we have talked to that insist that being raised playing outdoors, it is easier for them to learn in school.  Why is this? Just by being outside and touching trees, digging and finding bugs under rocks and amongst trees, children learn easier.  You may say, “my child is doing extraordinary in his/her learning in pre-school and or kindergarten.”  Let’s not dismiss your child’s unique abilities and the learning they do with you and in school at a young age.

Here is something for all parents to think about.

When it is the child’s free will, through outdoor learning and play, they tend to learn and master their education.  Need some more evidence?  The Tots Cafe has interviewed Jodi Levine, Founder of Earthroots, which is an outdoor education and learning for children.  These kids are outdoors all day long in the woods or the beaches. They get to play in mud/sand and with sticks and in streams and observe tide pools.  They are being educated about their natural environment and the instructors are giving them the gift of song, play and story.  It is a kind respectful education where there is no need for discipline, just guidance.

You may be wondering, that sounds nice but what are the differences between these nature children to the children who mostly play indoors? This I invite you to ask yourself.  There are many stories of parents and children a like that nature playing has made tremendous impact.

Personal Story. My 4-year old son and I experienced Earthroots Forest Kindergarten class.  Before we took the class, we were having difficulty with going to bed early (7:30am), as he was consistently going to bed at 9-10pm and getting up at 8-9am, which affected him in many ways than one.  Brings us to our experience at Earthroots. How it works is one parent or guardian must be present at all times. This was new to me being a city slicker and all.

The day consisted of children socializing, the parents socializing too, the kids playing wherever they felt the need and the parents socializing, the kids and parents together singing in a circle, snack time with organic foods for all of us and eating on our blankets, more signing, kids activities which were outdoor running games and a bit of hiking. Followed by an activity and then the best part was quite time. Quite time was to give us a rest and to allow nature a chance to come in and be with us.  That was so needed.  The day was so exhausting for me and all I really did is sit on a blanket, eat outdoors, do a small hike and went exploring with my son as we collected some amazing looking sticks. Okay, that says something about me, but what about my son? The next day and the day after that and so on, he has now been consistent on sleep, falling asleep no later than 8:00pm. Huge improvement! Sleep has now been regular, his actions are now calm instead of tantrums or outbursts, and he seems to be a lot gentler.  There is nothing like the experience of outdoor play and learning.

Stories may inspire you, but if you like to really see results with you and your children, experience the outdoors is the way to go.

There is so much evidence out there toward the benefit of outdoor play, we as parents need to know this and give every possible thing to our children so they grow up healthy, abundant and secure adults. Playing outdoors is one of the most important activities.  Give them this opportunity of playing out in nature.

Written by Tina Hiatt, Director of Holistic Health & Fitness.  http://www.HolisticHealthFitness.net

The Mom Escape

Where do we find our escape from the craziness of motherhood? How do we not give all ourselves to our child where it becomes unhealthy for us? I am on a quest to find these answers.

I am a mother who owned her own business, moved to England, had a baby and moved back to the US and stayed home with my child. When I arrived back to the US, I had sold my business, had no family near me and my friends at that time were all single with no children. It was one lonely and hard path for me. What I did have was a beautiful baby boy, whom I focused my attention. Then my son starts growing up and not so needy, but I am still giving my all to him. I was about to go nuts…what happened to that woman on the go and in love with life? That was my question to myself and still my question.

Now my son is in Nursery School and I have the mornings to do what I need, I use this time to conduct business, write blogs, film and “trying” to get back into the swing of entrepreneurship again.

Being in the inquiry of what is missing, some solutions came up. One is my workouts. Usually a ritual of working out has been in my life and now has disappeared. As humans, a workout is important for vitality. Getting that blood flowing will do anyone some good.

Another thing I am missing are my friends. Just finding the space to go out and be with the “women” is a healthy outlet. I find it important to be with your friends, it brings a mental health and community. As humans, we must have community.

To start with just those two things can make the world of difference. On this path of finding the healthy medium of Motherhood and sense of self is a journey. If anyone has their own journey of finding self, I would love to interview you. Please share as other Mother’s experience do matter and we all can learn from each other.

Tots in the Woods (Season 2 Episode 3)

The Tot’s Cafe Show interviewed Jodi Levine, Founder and Executive Director of Earthroots Field School regarding the importance of children learning in nature.

Jodi has traveled all over the world learning from cultures outside our own and found that improving the relationship with the land is important. She has inherited a passion to share earth’s gifts with children.

She states “I am continuously seeking education on progressive energy alternatives, ways to replenish the soil with water, ways to build tightly woven interdependent webs of community, and ensuring our children are accepted for who they are and are treated with respect.”

Full 30 minute Episode will be available soon. Stay Tuned.

Play in Nature Develops Smart Kids

Have you developed your family’s new years resolution yet? The Tot’s Cafe Show interviewed Jodi Levine, Founder of Earthroots Field School.  She shares the vast benefits of getting our children connected to nature through hiking, enjoying the woods, snow and even the rain!  This show is titled “Tots in the Woods,” Season 2, Episode 3.

“Tots in the Woods” with Jodi Levine will be aired on Monday, January 9th at 8:00am PST.

Episode 5 Passion for Non-Violence

Sit down with Angela and Tina and be part of the discussion to forward our parenting styles. In this show you will get the skinny on how to parent our children to be happy, emotionally healthy and confident.

In this episode they discuss their past episodes and reveal new insights for parents to think about.  You can find out what the fuss is all about regarding time-outs.  Angela and Tina share the most damaging words.  Do you like to be controlled?  Learn how to be direct to your children rather than controlling.

Watch Episode 5 on Monday, October 24 at 7:00am PST and 10:00am EST right here on www.TheTotsCafe.com.

Missed the past episodes?  Can now view them on our Facebook Page
http://facebook.com/thetotscafe

Episode 4- Praise and Rewards with Tracy Roberts

Season 1, Episode 4  PRAISE & REWARDS
Are you ready to hear things that may be a surprise to you? In this interview with Tracy, she gives us rich information on the effects and outcomes of giving rewards.  We also find out why parents feel its okay to overpraise children.  Based on the findings of Alfie Kohn, Author of Punished by Rewards


WATCH EPISODE 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItoLWBQkhpg

View the Interview on Facebook