Encourage Self-Exploration with Toddlers

Can you believe that I have not taken advantage of all the gorgeous lakes out around the Phoenix area? Even though I am a native to Arizona I find myself still blown away with the various bodies of water accessible to us without having to drive 6 hours to California.

I can honestly say that living in Arizona for as long as I have that I have not been to our lakes much as I should. I am determined to change that since I am not pregnant this summer! Since returning to Arizona in 2015 I have been pregnant 2 out of the 3 previous summers here so this mama is ready to have some adventurous fun.

Just a little over an hour away we have Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake at our disposal for those that live on the east side of Phoenix. I grew up around Gilbert and have only been to the Salt River one time! I know… crazy. The other morning we took the boys out near the Salt River to play and kayak. It was a blast! Cole absolutely LOVES playing in the dirty and water while Camden was loving being able to ride in mom and dad’s boats.

I am truly enjoying how the kids are following in love with nature just like I have. I remember as a new mom wondering how I would be able to do anything with kids and adjust outings. Seeing the boys get so much enjoyment with simply playing in the dirt and wanting to be outside is pure joy.

For us – being outside, enjoying nature is a great way for us to decompress and just take a breathe, regroup and connect as a family. I find that the boys need their outlets too for self expression. I think it’s safe to say that mine is exploring with nature.

I want to encourage any moms out there to not let the anxiety of can they handle a child or children in the outdoors — the answer is YES! Yes, of course you can. It is empowering for you mama bear as it is for them.

Sure, it requires a little bit of planning and coordination but, those things happen even if you go to the park for a picnic. Kids in my opinion like to play in the dirt and get dirty. They want to explore and be adventurous. So many parents hinder their children by not letting them learn how to trust themselves as they are growing. It is the coolest thing to see your children gain confidence and become more secure when doing something when they know they can do it. I see it all the time, especially with Camden. I always hover LOL but, I let him try and climb whatever he wants to ( as long as there is no immediate danger or cliffs) . I am always in reach to catch him, pick him up or pull him down if the situation calls for it but, watching him gain confidence maneuvering and problem solving is worth every bit of extra planning.

I would love to learn how other moms encourage their children outdoors. How do you give them that encouragement without hindering? Comment your feedback and tips below.


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