How can the words we choose when talking to children outdoors encourage skills such as observation and self-reliance?
- Notice how… these rocks are slippery, the log is rotten, that branch is strong
- Do you see… the nettles over there, your friends nearby?
- Try moving… your feet slowly, carefully, quickly, strongly
- Can you hear… the rushing water, the singing birds, the wind?
- Do you feel… stable on that rock, the heat from the fire?
Image: Annie Spratt
- What’s your plan… if you climb that boulder, cross that log?
- What can you use… to get across the stream, for your adventure?
- Where will you… put that rock, climb that tree, dig that hole?
- How will you…. get down, go up, get across?
- Who will… be with you, go with you?
Image: Jordan Whitt
Josée Bergeron is a mother of three from Canada. She lives in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and writes about her family’s experience of hiking, biking, camping and skiing at backwoodsmama.com
Featured image: Josée Bergeron