Children are naturally inquisitive and they LOVE to explore and sometimes we have to take a step back and check to see if they are learning how to stop and savor the sweet moments in life — you know the “little things”. Funny how as a mom, I see now that many of the “little things” really are the “BIG” things. I have to stop myself sometimes and make a mental snapshot of my son’s laugh or the delight in some new discovery.
Stop. Breathe. Take it all in. Here I’ll share 10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Enjoy the View – some of the ideas may surprise you. These tips are part of a larger blogger movement to savor the unique qualities of summer – our focus is to not miss the little BIG things. We’d love to have you join us!
What is the #ETHANProject?
I’m participating in a 10 week challenge called the #ETHANProject and this week the focus is on enjoying the view. ETHAN stands for Enjoy the Here and Now. It’s a group of moms and bloggers who are getting together to encourage each other to drink in the moments with our kids, families, and friends to truly enjoy the essence of Summer.
The #ETHANProject starts June 1 and runs all summer long. You can read my introductory post here: #ETHANProject Summer Kickoff. You can join anytime and share your summertime fun with the #ETHANProject community – keep reading for details about where you can find us on Facebook and via our link-up – more details below.
10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Enjoy the View #ETHANProject
This week was my eldest first day at science summer camp. This meant some free time for me and my three-year-old. My absolute favorite park is only 1/2 mile from the summer camp, so I took my little guy to the park and that is where we practiced enjoying the view.
Tip #1: Clear your calendar. The way to have time to enjoy the view is to clear your calendar and make time. Sometimes saying yes means saying no to something else. Be encouraged to stop and “smell the roses” as they say, and enjoy the view.
Tip #2: Keep it simple. Find something you can easily do with your kids, or as a family, to teach kids how to enjoy the view. If it requires a tremendous amount of work, you may get discouraged and not take out the time at all. Don’t be discouraged. Keep it simple. For me that means visiting a place within a few minutes drive. I happen to live near a gorgeous mountain view complete with a park bordered by a sidewalk that creates a track around the park. I can easily access the park with a stroller which makes getting there and enjoying the view a simple and easy thing to do.
Tip #3: Recruit a friend. In week 1 we discussed enjoying friendship. If asking a friend to join you makes seeing the view easier or more meaningful for you and your kids, do it. You may also want to invite a family member. This is a great opportunity for some family fun!
Tip #4: Go for a walk. That’s what we did. I took my son in a stroller and we went for a walk. There is SO much to explore and so many new things to learn when you’re just starting out in life. This was a great opportunity for me to teach my son about the outdoors.
Tip #5: Explain the view. Since my little guy is so young, I can describe everything I’m seeing to him and it opens his eyes. It’s not just like he’s seeing everything for the first time, he IS seeing everything for the first time. I marveled at his delight and his joy was contagious!
Tip #6: Point out the little things. As we were walking we found pill bugs (also known as roly-polies). We caught a few in a cup and my son was over the moon playing with them during a portion of our walk. We now have a pill bug terrarium at home to house our new pets.
A portion of our walk was through a wooded area. We came across these mushrooms and my little guy loved looking at them. I was able to explain to him how mushrooms help breakdown dead plants and animals in the forest. It was a fascinating conversation.
Tip #8: Point out the BIG things. How often do we stop to look at the sky? The boys and I love to pretend the clouds are dinosaurs or flying planes. But the blue, blue sky and white fluffy clouds are beautiful to behold. I sometimes have to remind myself to look up. When I do, I find myself sending up a word of praise. We live in a wonderful beautiful creation. I want to teach my kids to look up and enjoy the view.
Tip #9: Offer a change of perspective. We often focus on the view directly in front of us but miss the beauty around us. By laying in the grass we were able to appreciate the beauty of the pine branches in the sunshine. This only lasted a few moments. Little boys are very active humans. But at least we stopped for a moment to enjoy this view looking up at a pine tree.
Tip #9: Explain the boundaries. The park is bordered by a stream on one side and parking and homes on the other. As we were walking near certain landmarks, I was able to explain to my son how our perspective was changing and the boundaries of the park. It’s great for teaching kids about depth and distance and it makes the view stand out in their experience that much more.
Tip #10: Relax and enjoy the view. Take off your shoes. Walk in the grass. Rest on a blanket and feel the warm sunshine on your face. Teach your kids to do the same.
Just looking at these pictures as I write this post makes me want to go back to the park and walk in the grass barefoot. I feel like Anna from “Frozen” – “the sky’s awake, so I’m awake.” I’m awake with a passion to enjoy the view! I hope you are too. 😉
It’s Easy to Join the #EthanProject
- Download the Schedule: Every week for 10 weeks the #ETHANProject bloggers are posting and sharing about one of the simple inspiring ways we can capture the essence of Summer. Here is a list. Put it on your fridge or download to your smartphone. Be inspired by the simple reminders to seize the day every day this summer! Just click the image to enlarge it and print it off at home. Right mouse click to save it to your computer or phone.
- Download the FREE PDF: You can also download your FREE PDF copy of the schedule and inspiring topics here by clicking the blue “Download Now” button. Download Now!
- Facebook: Join the Facebook group to share ideas and inspire and encourage each other during the summer months. Click here to join ETHAN Project Facebook group.
- Visit the Linkup: Be sure to check GroundedAndSurrounded.com every Friday for our blogger link-up and to see a re-cap of our favorite photos & stories from the week! Leave comments, engage, and encourage each other and your favorite bloggers via this fun link-up for #ETHANProject participants.
- Search #ETHANProject hashtag to find posts and bloggers participating in the project – reach out to them and make new friends online.
#ETHANproject MISSION: The purpose of the #ETHANproject (ENJOY the HERE and NOW Project) is to inspire your creativity, motivate you to be a better mom and support you through the summer months.
How do you “enjoy the view”?
Have any tips you’d like to share on ways to “enjoy the view”. Please share with other HappyandBlessedHome.com readers. Can you join us at #ETHANProject and share your summer fun memories with us? Please leave a comment below and join the conversation. We’d love to hear from you!
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