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Showing posts from June, 2018

Kids and Independent Play: How Parents can Create Hospitable Neighborhoods

In order for kids to freely engage in independent outdoor play, parents have to take the time to fully engage with their neighborhood,  integrating it into their daily lives.

Reading the independent play literature, I see a lot of references to adults who either generally disapprove of kids playing independently outside, or who have actually inhibited kids from playing in any number of ways including stopping the kids to ask what they're doing, haranguing the parents, or worst of all: calling the police.  Allowing kids to play independently outside is an important issue to me, and I'm glad to see it's being addressed, not only by concerned parents, but also by governments--Utah recently passed a law that 'legalizes' kids playing outside on their own.  Kids playing outside is an odd thing to have to legalize in a  'free' country, but in the face of the police being called when kids are spotted alone, I suppose some guidance is necessary.

While I've also …

Catnip Reservoir, Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada

We spent our first night at the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge at Catnip Reservoir.  The reservoir and its resident avian conglomeration are gorgeous! We saw Canadian geese, wood ducks, and sandhill cranes.  (OK, I didn’t just see sandhill cranes, I was loudly escorted out of one section of the reservoir by a pair of sandhill cranes who had decided I was just too close to their hidden nest.) 



The campsites are ‘primitive’ which in this case means they don’t have running water, but they do have a tent pad of sorts, and a fire ring.  The campground also has a lone bathroom.  The eaves of the outhouse are populated by nesting (cliff?) swallows.



ProTip: If you take the campsite in front of the outhouse, the swallows have decimated the local mosquito population.



We hiked up and across the bluff bordering the reservoir in search of an attractive looking fishing spot and a trail down to it.  We found neither, but the hike was a blast nonetheless.  The gang—(7 y.o. No. One, 5 y.o. No. Two, …