That Agape Family

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Tag: outdoors

Tick Key – A Great Stocking Stuffer

Hello Friends! Have you ever heard of ticks? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 3 years, you’ve probably heard of them, or even encountered them. As we’re no stranger to the outdoors, we have been exposed as well. When Little Miss was 3 years old, we found a tick embedded in the back of her neck, right along her hairline. Eek! Once I had composed myself, we went straight over to the ER, as I didn’t know how to remove it properly.

** Warning: A slightly graphic tick story **

When we arrived, the nurses were so excited, as they had yet to see a tick! They kept calling others over to check it out. When we were seen by the emerge doctor, he said “wow! This is my first time seeing a tick in my 10 years working in the ER!” I must say, that was not exactly a comforting thing to hear… In the end, the head came off as he was trying to remove the tick with tweezers, so he had to make a small incision to remove the rest of it. As he was trying to pull it out, I knew in my mind that this was not the best way, but I didn’t say anything. However, I did decide that I would not be coming back to remove a tick, if ever the situation arose again. Little Miss ended up developing her first double ear infection 2 days later, and I think that that was largely due to the stress of the situation. She did not develop Lyme Disease, thank God.

About a year later, we were at a conservation area, and they had the Original Tick Key available for purchase in their gift store. I immediately bought it, and put it on my keychain, just in case.

Tick Key

Lo and behold, the following year, Tipper (our handsome Goldendoodle) had a tick embedded on his chest. I grabbed my handy dandy Tick Key, and out it came with no muss, no fuss. I got the whole thing with one steady pull of the key. You put the key over the tick, with the tick in the large hole. You then pull along the skin (not away from the body) in one steady motion (don’t start and stop – one swift motion).

Tick Key 1Tick Key 2

Folks, if you live anywhere near a wooded area, or if you ever go exploring in the great outdoors, this is an amazingly simple, effective, solid piece of equipment. I’ve had the one in these pictures for about 3 years as a keychain, and it hasn’t bent whatsoever. I highly recommend having one on hand “just in case”. They make a great stocking stuffer!

Blessings!

Liz

 

Balanced and Barefoot

I started reading Balanced and Barefoot by Angela J. Hanscom nearly a year ago, and I couldn’t put it down. It really spoke to my intuition that my children need to be outside. That the outdoors is an essential part of their development, and that I needed to be mindful of getting outside on a regular basis. And not only getting outside, but allowing them to explore with their whole body, mind, and soul.

I borrowed a copy from our local library, and devoured it quickly. In fact, Hanscom’s Timbernook forest play program was the inspiration behind a local forest free play group that I initiated after being a part of an established Forest school group, here in Toronto.  If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll have seen many  of our forest experiences that I’ve shared. I treasure our time in the Great Outdoors. It is calming, invigorating, energizing, balancing, and grounding.

Little Miss (4.5 years) and Sweet Pea (16 months)

The main focus of Hanscom’s book is that children NEED to be outdoors to develop appropriately, physically and psychologically. She noted that children today lack simple coordination skills because they aren’t given the opportunity to develop them. Simple things like walking on an uneven surface, rolling down a hill, and balancing on a log – things we enjoyed as children – are deemed “too risky” nowadays, depriving children of the opportunity to develop physiologically. The impact this has later on in life is remarkable. Did you know that children have started falling out of their chairs, while simply sitting in them, because they haven’t developed their core balance when they were younger? Children are more accident prone now than ever!

When children aren’t given the opportunity to “get messy and make mistakes” (thank you Miss Frizzle, of the Magic School Bus), they lack resilience later on. While we think we are protecting our children when they’re younger, we are actually putting up barriers for them later on in life.

The other component of Timbernook, and the reason I started a spin off group, was the idea of imaginative play. At Timbernook, the students are given the freedom to become pirates, astronauts, knights, and explorers. The only thing we bring to the forest is a bag of simple water toys. I have seen the children make a “hot tub”, bow and arrows, castles, etc.  When given time and freedom, children’s imaginations will blossom. and fun will ensue. We try to be as hands off as possible, allowing the children to understand their own limitations, and establish their own risk assessment. We also span a wide age range of 1 to 7 years.

I was truly inspired by Balanced and Barefoot. I highly recommend it to all parents and educators as an encouragement to make getting outside a priority. Our children will be better off for it.

Blessings,

Liz

How often do you get back to nature?

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