This morning we planned to go hiking but didn't make it. Deric had a late night event for the students last night and he was up past midnight, plus he spent most of the weekend running from one thing to the next. So while we tried to go hiking, about halfway there he finally admitted that he thought he might be getting sick. We got home and he slept most of the afternoon, then laid on the couch for the rest of the evening. Hopefully a day of pure rest will help him dodge whatever sickness he might be on the brink of. Fingers crossed!
While Deric was sleeping, Jake and I played outside in the backyard because it was thankfully not too hot out. I recently read yet another article online about how kids are so disconnected from nature now and the impact that's taking on them. My thesis for grad school was along these lines so I've always been aware of the importance of being in nature, but I hadn't made much effort outside of regularly taking him to parks and occasionally going for walks through our backyard and our neighbors' lot next door. And even then, most parks have manmade play structures so that's really not getting Jake involved with nature. The article I read recently outlined some pretty simple ways to help kids interact with nature, rather than just being in nature. Things like having an area of the yard solely devoted to the kids, where they are free to explore and move things around and do what they please, and incorporating movable elements like logs, sticks, and rocks for them to manipulate.