Hey families! It has been such an incredible pleasure for me to participate in The Wild Woods journey with your children over the past few weeks. With my background in school psychology, I have tremendously enjoyed watching each child’s fine and gross motor skills (physical skills) put to the test within the natural setting of the woods. While the first few days of school evidenced some hesitation to climbing the hills and stepping over logs, each child quickly adapted to the environment and found their own ways to conquer nature’s obstacles. Some of my favorite moments have been spent in the area referred to as “The Fort,” where there is a large-steep dirt hill. The hill has acted as grounds for races to the top, a slide to the bottom, and a track for rolling acorns and other miscellaneous items down. Every time a child steps up to tackle the hill, I watch their confidence grow. If a child has difficulty climbing the hill, others are always there to provide encouraging words and cheer them forward.
Angela Hanscom, the author of Balanced and Barefoot, emphasizes that physical movement (e.g., jumping in puddles, climbing hills and trees, spinning, crawling, hopping, dancing) is fundamental for sensory development and proprioception. Be assured that in The Wild Woods, your children are engaging in at least one of these types of movement, naturally, through exploration and play, every time they enter the woods!