This year, the Santa hired to visit and pose for pictures with children at our annual Nutcracker Faire in Homer, Alaska [and who's been working this faire for years] proved himself one of our area's strongest advocates for outdoor play. He was overheard by a parent asking her son...who'd just asked him for a bunch of electronic toys...if he played outside much. When the young many replied, "Yes, I play outside a lot," Santa said, "That's great, because it's very important to do that. Be sure to tell your friends I told you so." I certainly never imagined Santa joining our movement :o)

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Comment by Carmen Field on December 17, 2009 at 1:57am
It's nice to hear of unique ways of getting kids (and their teachers) outside. Thanks for sharing these, Juliet. At our visitor center's annual holiday open house tonight, families made holiday s'mores* outside in chiminea fires and then ate them while sitting in a blizzard on straw bales (some didn't last long in the -15F temps). The evening's highlight was helping a dad who had never heard of a s'more make one for himself and then watch him show his 3-year-old how to make one. Precious!

* S'mores are made by roasting a marshmallow over a fire then squashing it between 2 graham cracker pieces and a slab of chocolate...we added crushed candy cane to them tonight and they were marvelous.

Comment by Juliet Robertson on December 14, 2009 at 2:56pm
How lovely. At the weekend, a friend was telling me that her kindergarten class (P1 in Scotland) couldn't get into their hall to practise their party games. So she took the CD player, plugged it into a socket near a window and the children had their party practice outside. It caused great interest and passer-by started to boogie as the walked by.

I recently ran a Christmas themed outdoor maths session for pre-school staff. One teacher took my box of outdoor decorations so she could begin right away. It's great that teachers are opening up to the potential of getting outdoors all year round.


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