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Free Range Kids — Nature’s Calling

 By Fredrica Syren

Sometimes when people come over to my house, they are a little horrified to run into my wild kids, who love being outdoors all day long and like to make mud cakes, spray each other with water, and get down and dirty. For me, this is just part of letting kids be kids while they still can be exactly that. You would laugh at how many pine cones, leaves, rocks and sticks are accumulating in my home, all which my kids have gathered during our hikes and nature walks. They collect them for art projects or just because they are so nice looking. They love looking at bugs, worms and other creatures, and usually will name each one of them. On rainy days we bundle up and go looking for snails, find the biggest and juiciest water puddles and jump in them until we can’t jump anymore. I like to say that my kids are free-range kids. Being outside so much makes them happy and healthy.

These days, so many kids spend less and less time outdoors, and use less of their imaginations to make up games and play. A study done by the Outdoor Foundation showed that outdoor activity among children ages 6 to 17 is declining, with the sharpest fall taking place among 6- to 12-year-olds. Kids nowadays like to spend more time indoors where there are electronic devices. I firmly believe that kids who spend a great amount of time outdoors become very good at using their own imaginations, inventiveness and creativity while playing.

I think that more parents are scared of all the dangers of the outside world these days, and some just don’t like their kids getting cold, wet or dirty. But this is just a part of being a kid. My three children goes to a Waldorf School  where the kids are outdoors a lot spending time in nature is an important part of the activities. Besides playing and they also take nature walks I can honestly say I don’t think my kids of their friends are sicker than any other kids.

I’ve heard that kids who are raised on or around a farm are mostly healthier than kids who are not because these kids are exposed to germs, animals, dirt and all those things that might have modern day parents grinding their teeth. What a lot of people don’t know is that all these things are actually good for kids, not the other way around. Being exposed to dirt, bugs, animals and plants strengthens one’s immune system.

Just try it. Let your kids run free outside and let their imaginations play and watch what happens.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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