Moments, or how to relax and let the kids have (non-toxic) fun

I had actually planned a whole other post for today, but as always with children, plans change. Today I wanted to do the first “Make it Monday” project, and in a way we did… it just wasn’t what I had expected.

Instead of making art, or creating a special concoction in the kitchen, or some other crafty goodness, we made some memories. Moments. I stopped worrying about mess and let them be the wild, barefooted, nature children they love to be…

muddy feet

muddy boy feet,

muddy hands

muddy boy hands,

less muddy hands

not as muddy boy hands for my sensory defensive child,

muddy girl feet

very muddy girl feet,

making more muddy mess

getting muddier by the minute,

picking muddy raspberries

picking our red raspberries, ripe ones I hope,

messy girl

showing off the jeweled treasure,

stuffing the mouth

before enjoying the fruits of her labor,

sneaky boy stealing raspberries

sneaking behind bushes with mouth full of sweetness,

sneaky girl stealing raspberries

oh to be a little one free, surrounded and covered by dirt, mud, green, and raspberries.

And a grateful mama that we understand the importance of keeping chemicals out of the backyard and off their playthings. I always want to make sure that we can pick raspberries right off the bush and eat them. I want to make sure that my kids can run around barefoot with no worries except for hot feet and pokey barkdust. I want to make sure that they can make a mud pit and I don’t have to worry if hands go in the mouth.

What are some alternatives we use instead of chemicals? We are by far from the expert gardeners, but there are a few simple steps that even we can take to prevent using potentially toxic chemicals!

  1. Slugs. Keep slugs out of the garden by taking them out by hand or put containers, just above ground level, filled with beer near the garden.
  2. Dandelions and other weeds. Prevent the problem by not letting plant go to seed. Get rid of them by weeding by hand, getting as much root as you can, and then spot treat with boiling water. Or just enjoy them like the kids do.
  3. Preventing pests in garden. Practice companion planting. We have often used marigolds. Attract and/or purchase beneficial insects like ladybugs. Then for my husband’s prized hops, he even uses a spray bottle with water to knock the aphids off if those ladybugs aren’t getting the whole job done.
  4. Ward off mosquitoes. Keep the mosquito population down by attracting bats with a bat house, access to water, and night blooming flowers if possible. I have to admit that this one was not done by us, but by our neighbor. We just take advantage! Bats eat 500+ mosquitoes per hour. Nothing else will be that effective and safe.
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Moments, or how to relax and let the kids have (non-toxic) fun — 13 Comments

  1. I love it!! Sheltered kids tend to develop allergies anyway. I fully intend to let my kids play in the mud…when they arrive :)

  2. It is touching to see this post simply because in today's day and age, we see a lot of people straying away from anything to do with the environment! It is clever of you to have used all those safety measures to ensure child safety. We believe that love for the planet can only develop through such childhood memories where in they learn how to understand and appreciate the world in its natural setting!

  3. So great that your kids can just be kids and not have to worry about chemicals. I really need to look into a bat house. Found you from HCHW.

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  10. Great tips for both having fun with kids but still can protect them! I love your photos a lot! It reminds me about my family when I was a kid! We loved playing around together like this all the time!

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