Summer Vacation
     Summer has swept us into sunny, hot days and we are loving it.  Canadian summers are awesome and we have been lapping it up with lots of free play and adventures.  I love this time of year where we can move away from the structure of our school schedule and move into a space of freedom to play outdoors with lots of swimming, biking, and creative play. 

As we spend our days together I notice that discipline is at a minimum.  It seems to solidify my theory that when we spend concentrated time with our children, when we invest in their ideas and interests we give them a sense of security.  They get the message that they are important and valued.  
     There was an article in the Ottawa Citizen a while back asking children what they most wanted from their parents and the answer was their time.  Although children are influenced by our consumer society and often ask for "things" what they really want is time spent with us in a supportive, giving atmosphere. 
Ottawa is a beautiful city and one does not need to go far to find green space to play in.  Today we walked to Dow's Lake,  spread a blanket in the shade of a big tree and played.   We specifically chose that spot for a little thicket of cedars that are great climbing trees. The branches are the perfect height for little climbers. As the children enjoyed the trees a young woman in her early 20's approached me saying that she didn't think that it was unsafe for the children to be climbing trees.  I was surprised by the comment and replied: " I think it's wonderful that they are climbing trees".  The conversation did not go any further than that but I was truly surprised to have someone think that climbing trees is unsafe.  I must add here that the children were not climbing to great heights.  It was about the same height you would find in a playground.  I believe that it is healthy for children to take healthy risks like climbing trees.  Healthy risk taking enables children to to learn new skills and tests their physical and mental limits.  Taking risks allows them to fulfill their full potential and gain confidence.  

Yes, sometimes risks are taken and met with unfavored results. Disappointments and hurts are all part of life and sheltering our children from their hurts only does them a disfavor.   If they are never faced with negative outcomes how are they ever going to deal with them as adults? 

 Whle at Dow's lake and after the tree climbing comment a great, wonderful surprise occurred.  The sprinklers came on and it was magic. We hadn't expected to be playing in water so  we didn't have any bathing suits but that did not stop us. As soon as the sprinklers came on a cry of surprise was heard and without skipping a beat little legs ran across the field right into the spraying water.   It was magic to see and people biking and walking by could not help but smile and laugh at the beautiful sight of children in spontaneous play.

Activity-Volcano Fun

Here is an activity that we did on the first day of summer vacation. With our water hose we created a puddle of water in our back yard.  The children made mountains of sand with and dug a hole down the middle.  The exciting part was pouring vinegar and baking soda in the  mountain hole and watched it erupt.  This kept the kids busy for a couple of hours.  I love letting my kids get right in there with the mud.  It washes off and they just love playing with mother nature's treasures.

White House
Things are moving along at the White House.  We are painting window frames.  Yes, they will be a wonderful proud to be Canadian red.  Shingles are being installed and paint is being scrape.  All in all working on the White House is so much fun! More later.