Outside time is so important in getting to know ourselves. We all need that quiet time of calming introspection; time alone without distraction doing what comes naturally. Time alone with our thoughts, time to learn and really get to know ourselves. When we allow kids to have unstructured play outside and they get to do and explore with no rules or right or wrong it strengthens them.
Pile rocks, add water, they fall. Make mud, put it on the rocks, they don't fall. How high can I pile them? What if I add some grass to it? …Hey, look a grasshopper; I wonder if I can catch it. Where did it go? Cool, that bird is watching it too. It ate it. What, time for dinner? "Mom I saw a bird catch a grasshopper. That is what they eat right? It made me kinda sad."
"Don't get dirty…" was not something my son ever heard me say. In fact, I loved to see him coming home with muddied hands, the knees of his pants wet from some investigation that required a closer look. Yes, there were trips to museums and such, but most outings were just that, out-outside, out to the park, out to the river, camp-outs.
When it came to the "ins", it was in the garden planting or picking tomatoes, in the back yard building anything his imagination could foster with whatever he had in hand. Yes, in those wonderfully dirty little hands. His hands are not so little any more, but he does still get them dirty on a regular basis … he is a wildlife biologist.