Magic happens when parents set aside agendas and allow children to engage with the world around them. They wander in the backyard or along a sidewalk, never in a straight line or with a consistent cadence. They pause, squat, put their face in a bush or stick their hands in the dirt and always emerge with a treasure and a smile. Sometimes their faces crinkle with a question and broaden into giggles when the unexpected occurs. They throw and stomp, grab and squeeze, smell and listen, always testing, always learning. The sensory play in which they engage is vital work of knowing themselves and their world.
What we’ve learned from them is that we don’t need a lesson plan for the day or an exhaustive gear list for an outing, simply the willingness to open the senses and open the imagination. Let the Kid Guide: Putting Nature Back into Our Lives provides an approach as well as activities for families to harness and unleash these natural tendencies. As parents we must trust our children and allow them to lead explorations in an unstructured way. Children also need our support to ensure their innate ability to connect to the natural world doesn’t fade.
Richard Louv’s landmark work on Nature Deficit Disorder enlightened parents on how screens interfere with children’s connection to natural places, resulting in a number of behavioral and health issues. This and numerous studies about the positive effects of nature play compel us to get outside, and yet in our busy lives it is difficult to venture out. Why? We were pros as kids. What are we forgetting as adults; how can we help our children now?
Let the Kid Guide is a response to these questions. Many guides will tell you where to go with your family. However, what are you supposed to do when you arrive? How will you get out the door with a child dragging his feet? Join seasoned educators, Lisa Kosglow and Margot Angstrom, and whimsical visual storyteller, Sarah Uhl, as they share their approach and activities that cultivate a sense of wonder in the natural world, trigger creativity and gather everyone playing outside, together.
Check out the blog for excerpts and tidbits from the book.
Published by Gatekeeper Press, Let the Kid Guide will be available spring 2020. Retail Price: $13.95
Lisa Kosglow ~ Rooted in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, Lisa Kosglow is an outdoor educator and director of Let’s Get Out summer camps. Her camps specialize in fostering a love of the outdoors, cultivating a sense of wonder and learning outdoor skills that last a lifetime. She is a Leave No Trace instructor and co-author of Kidding Around the Gorge: The Hood River Area’s Ultimate Guide for Family Fun, 3rd Edition. In her past life, Lisa represented the United States on the US Olympic Snowboard Team in 1998 and 2002. She coached both kids and adults in snowboarding on and off for over 10 years. She leads by example and shares her passion, drive and personal ethic–a true community guide.
Margot Angstrom ~ Grounded on the eastern shores of Virginia, Margot Angstrom, MEd, has educated children and adults for two decades, using an integrated and inquiry-based approach. A founding faculty at the preK-12 Journeys School in Jackson Hole–the first non-parochial, independent school in Wyoming–Margot designed and taught rigorous and vigorous curricula to prepare students to make a difference in the ever-changing global community. Margot is the Director of Place Network Online, a school which provides access to innovative, place-based projects that promote core academic content, design thinking skills, and community engagement. She is a leader in guiding students, both young and young at heart, to discover, inquire, and act. To read more about the Place Network initiative click here.
Place Network in the news: Teton Science Schools expands rural school network. Jackson Hole News & Guide (September 2018)
Sarah Uhl ~ Nestled in the Colorado Rockies, Sarah Uhl is a visual storyteller, commercial artist and self-proclaimed joy evangelist. Sarah harnesses her love of wild places and desire to propel human connection as a means to motivate her imaginative works. Sarah partners with brands and organizations invested in causes like the protection of public lands, clean water, climate issues and mental wellbeing. She’s partnered with iconic brands such as Subaru, REI, Outdoor Research, PrAna, YETI Cycles, Aspen Skiing Company, Visit Denver, Conservation Colorado, The Access Fund, American Alpine Club, and American Rivers. Find more of her incredible work at sarahuhl.com