Thanks again for all your fabby comments. Joanne - I sometimes wonder whether the myths about snowballs being banned have just added to the fear of having fun in the snow. I don't know whether you've seen the Health and Safety Executive "Myth of the Month" series - well worth a look.
We're lucky up here in Inverurie - it's a play where kids do play out all year round. Perhaps not as much as in the past. The best hill for sledging is by the old pig farm where the additional excitement is the risk of sledging into the River Don.
Have you seen the Persil advert? It's a shame it's Persil and not Ecover! The YouTube clip is quite moving as it's about a robot becoming a child as he makes contact with nature and splashes in puddles.
Sal - the stories you are telling of your time outside with your daughter are brilliant. Do you ever meet other families who are out there with their children? I'm a big fan of worms and discovered that our wormery in one school was a good opportunity to engage with local fishing folk. I've blogged a couple of times about worms.
Ken, your point about repeated experiences is really important. Interestingly this is something that is beginning to be recognised. Here in the UK, our outdoor learning strategies advocate the need for frequent, regular outdoor learning experiences. Our Forest School programmes are created around weekly visits to local woods. Our nature kindergartens are outside all year round at least 80% of the time. The Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery is particularly interesting because the children choose collectively where they are going to play each day.
Thanks again for all your thoughts.
...has anyone tried humming to snails or slugs to see if they will stretch their antennae and move if you get the right pitch?