10 life lessons learned on the playground (& a giveaway!)

The following is a guest post written by Sarah Olmsted of Imagine Childhood.

I‘ve always thought children are better teachers than yoga instructors. Don’t get me wrong, I love yoga.  It’s something that makes a huge difference in the way I feel on a daily basis. It strengthens my mind, my body, and my spirit. It helps me shake off the worries and cares of my day.  It reminds me to breath deeply and intensionally.

But my yoga instructor still can’t hold a candle to a kid when it comes to teaching me how to be open, present and engaged in my life.  In my experience, children are the definitive authority in this arena.

So, on days when I’m feeling particularly stuck, I tend to gravitate more toward the sandbox than Savasana.

Here are ten life lessons I’ve learned on the playground.

  1. Everyone you meet is a potential friend (no matter how many legs they have)
  2. Spontaneity is a quick way to change up your perspective (especially when it involves climbing trees)
  3. Both caterpillars and butterflies are equally amazing
  4. Getting your hands dirty is a good thing
  5. Circling the same spot over and over can be enlightening
  6. Illogical processes can lead to wonderful discoveries
  7. Every path is worth investigating (even if it leads to nowhere)
  8. The reward of the slide is worth the effort of the climb
  9. Cloud watching is a form of meditation
  10. When all else fails, running through the grass will always make you feel better

Chasing the Magic of Childhood

“Something about the place is familiar, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Off the bat, there aren’t any landmarks or striking features that jog your memory to a specific time or event, but still, it feels like you’ve been there before. The way the trees move when the wind goes through them, the smell of damp earth, the deer trail stretching up the hill—they all point to something you can’t quite reach.

With each step down the path, the colors get richer as the light becomes more and more filtered by the green canopy of aspen leaves above. Under your feet, leaves from seasons past crunch and crackle, and for just a moment, gravity feels different. As if somehow it’s pulling a little less. As if the space between your feet and the ground has widened by the width of a single hair.

With this new sense of gravity, your steps are quicker, more playful than the daily gait you’ve become accustomed to. Their rhythm is a syncopated cousin to the pace you know, to the tempo you’ve settled into after decades of traveling from place to place.

It’s almost as if your feet have a mind of their own, a memory that your brain can’t connect to. They lead you through the woods with a sense of purpose, a directive you can only hope to be clued in on at some point in the near future. Your hands pick up sticks and throw them in the air so your eyes can see them float through the branches, weightless, if only for a millisecond. Your arms pull your body up the trunk of a tree. Your lungs breathe in the scent of leaves and sap.

More and more, you realize you have been here before. Glimpses of faded memories float by your eyes like passing clouds, changing their form with the wind. At first it’s like an old movie, a story you learn as the scenes unfold. Then the characters slowly begin to come into focus—inch by inch, frame by frame.

In the foreground, there’s a small figure wearing a blue shirt and a pair of jeans. It’s running and laughing, building forts from fallen branches, lying in the grass and gazing at clouds. Turning your head, you see the same shapes in the sky. Looking down, you see the same blue shirt.

The faded memories have become focused on the world in front of you. On the grass where you’re sitting. On the landscape of childhood.”

~ From Imagine Childhood: Exploring the World Through Nature, Imagination, and Play

You have to go away to come back.  I’ve heard that phrase over and over again throughout my life but I don’t think I really felt the full truth of it until I began writing this book.  Until I began wandering through those woods again, until I began playing again.

This is a book of projects, but it’s also a book of experiences.  It’s as much about making and doing as it is about being, but mostly. . .

. . . it’s about living. . .

. . .  in the magic. . .

. . . of childhood.

It’s beautiful here, won’t you come out and play?

IMAGINE CHILDHOOD: Exploring the World Through Nature, Imagination, and Play-  25 Projects that Spark Curiosity and Adventure.

This book is a celebration of childhood through the crafts and activities that invite wonder and play. The twenty-five projects and activities in this book are meant to speak to the way children engage with the world.

These projects are not about what is produced in the end (although that part is fun too) but rather they are stepping-off points—activities that spark curiosity, an adventure, or an investigation.

They’re about the process of getting there. They’re about the conversations that happen while making things together. They’re about getting to know the world inch by inch. They’re about exploring imaginary universes and running through real forests. They’re about living in childhood . . . regardless of your actual age. They’re about being a kid.


Roost Books is generously offering THREE Simple Homeschool readers a copy of Imagine Childhood!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, answering this question: “What life lesson have you learned from watching your children play?

This giveaway has now ended.

If you’d like two additional ways to enter the giveaway, here’s how:

Additional Entries

1. Follow Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Pinterest. Then come back and leave an additional comment here, telling me you did so.

2. ‘Like’ Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Facebook. Then come back here again and leave a comment, telling me you did so.

This giveaway has now ended.


  1. Enjoy the moment!

  2. Sleep comes to those who play hard.
    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Cari’s latest post: A Life Reflected

  3. To dance as if no one is watching!
    Leslie’s latest post: Two Cowgirls Preschool – Letter X

  4. Christina P. says:

    Not to be afraid to try new things; go out of my comfort zone.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. My little guy has taught me that you can make anything out of anything!

  6. abbe coury says:

    Your imagination is your best tool for any task!

  7. Cristy S. says:

    I’ve learned that the world will quickly enough steal the joy of my daughter’s childhood; it’s my job to stall it’s impact as much as I can.

  8. Every single day is a blessing.
    Jenelle’s latest post: Peek inside the new studio…

  9. My 6 yr old has taught me that new friends can be found ANYWHERE. Over the back fence, at a park, at the drs office, in an airport, in the store etc etc.

  10. My kids have taught me that its ok to stop 20 times on a 100 yard walk to investigate whatever captures their attention.
    Wendy’s latest post: break it down

  11. I’ve learned how spectacularly delightful and exciting the every-day can be. Those things we take for granted with a la-di-da attitude fill my little ones with glee!

  12. I learn to view world with new and fresh eyes.

  13. That we can be anything we want to be.

  14. I don’t know if it’s a life lesson, but as a parent I’ve learned to back off, step back, and watch; they know so much more than I think they do, and it comes out in their play. I’m always amazed at the things they think of when they are creating these new worlds in their minds. xo
    meghann’s latest post: :: these days ::

  15. I have learned the lesson that it’s never about the item, it’s about the imagination and creativity of the child. We recently spent about 5 days off the grid in the wilderness and they were playing, literally, from sunup to sundown, of their own discovery and imagination. It was wonderful.
    Sarah M
    Sarah M’s latest post: Visual Monday: Knitting

  16. there is nothing more beautiful that total freedom.
    Mary Beth’s latest post: quick and easy: orzo goodness

  17. Routines and repetition can be very comforting.

  18. Nature has so much to offer!

  19. My one-year-old daughter teaches me something new every day! Yesterday she taught me to expect the unexpected.

  20. I like Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  21. The best memories are born when you answer “Yes” when they ask “Can we…?”

  22. Don’t be afraid to try new things or talk to new people.

  23. Jennifer P. says:

    If you can scale the playground climbing wall, you can do ANYTHING.

  24. Rebecca Kayser says:

    To appreciate the seasons of life… no matter how long or how short.

  25. Rebecca Kayser says:

    Following you on FB.

  26. Jennifer P. says:

    I “like” Imagine Childhood and SH on FB!

  27. Rebecca Kayser says:

    Following Imagine Childhood on FB.

  28. By watching my children play, I have learned to be in the present moment. To not be thinking of the past or the future, but to be dwelling in the moment as it is.

  29. I have two boys and energy is an understatement. Watching them play has shown me that there is much peace outdoors for them and me.

  30. Not to take things so seriously. Life is short, enjoy it!
    faithonfyre at yahoo dot com
    Michelle G’s latest post: Iron Man 3 is coming!

  31. Natalie E. says:

    I’ve learned to enjoy the simple things.

  32. I follow Simple Homeschool and Imagine Childhood on Pinterest.
    faithonfyre at yahoo dot com
    Michelle G’s latest post: Iron Man 3 is coming!

  33. Natalie E. says:

    I’m following on pinterest.

  34. I follow Simple Homeschool and Imagine Childhood on facebook:)
    faithonfyre at yahoo dot com
    Michelle G’s latest post: Iron Man 3 is coming!

  35. Natalie E. says:

    I liked both on FB.

  36. Laughter truly is the best medicine and also to forgive quickly!
    Tara H’s latest post: A is for Apple

  37. I follow you both on Pinterest.

  38. I like you both on fb.

  39. My children have taught me about fun! It is so amazing to just PLAY with no self-consciousness!

  40. That you can’t always get what you want when you want it. Compromise is sometimes necessary and can yield unknown (but wonderful) results.

  41. I’ve learned that anything outside is magical- a frosted leaf sparkling in the sun, a rock in the empty lot next door becomes a diamond, a dirt mound is a castle and these things truly take them to a better place in their little minds.

  42. I’m following on pinterest.

  43. I liked on FB.

  44. My children are teaching me that pure laughter helps you through everything, My oldest son says daily: Breathe Deep, Seek Peace. It helps put things back where the focus should be!

  45. jenny dunham says:

    my kids teach me how to be present in the moment!

  46. jenny dunham says:

    i ‘like’ Simple Homeschool and Imagine Childhood on facebook!

  47. Thanks for the chance to win the book Jamie. Looking forward to reading your most recent book about homeschooling. Thanks for making that free too!

  48. I’ve learned that the word, “Hurry” does not belong in my vocabulary unless it is preceded by the word, “No”. That single, five-letter word has the potential to destroy an experience.

  49. jenny dunham says:

    i am now following Simple Homeschool and Imagine Childhood on Pinterest! Thanks!!

  50. That no matter how well I might put together lessons, projects and “learning moments,” they always do a better job of it when let to their own creative play!

  51. This looks like a great book and the post is inspiring. Maybe it will bring out my inner child which I so desperately need sometimes.

    • And I meant to say that from watching my children play I have learned that time can fly by much too fast. Now I need to learn how to slow it down.

  52. I follow Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Pinterest!

  53. I like Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Facebook!

  54. I “liked” both on FB. Lessons from the playground? What does not look like fun to me is definitely fun for someone else. A stick can lead a group of screaming children in any directions simply by being held by “the leader” of that moment. A playstructure can be a spaceship, a cave, a hideout, a castle, the grocery store. A razor scooter can be dragged up to the top of a slide by a 2-year-old and it can be sent down the slide, as well, while the child squeals with delight at the top of the slide.

  55. Followed on FB. :)

  56. One lesson I’ve definitely seen again and again is forgiveness and reconciliation are easy with a kind gesture and a willingness to put things in the past.

  57. I follow Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Pinterest.

  58. I follow Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  59. Watching my 2 year old at play has taught me that you don’t need much at all to be happy. He is fun, he doesn’t need stuff to have fun! Cardboard boxes, sticks and books are among his favorite ‘toys’!

  60. I am still learning to stop and enjoy the moment, because our little ones will grow up before we know it!

  61. I’ve learned that sticks can be anything.
    Jessica’s latest post: 3in30 End of the Month

  62. Following both on pinterest.

  63. Liked both on Facebook

  64. Love this! I’ve learned how important it is to help some children ease into play (like my son who is terrified of pretend play) It’s been an interesting lesson. He has taught me a lot about thinking differently and trying again and again and again.
    pepper’s latest post: plan for tomorrow morning

  65. Great book! Those child-taught lessons are certainly abundant – I think the one that strikes me know us how willing they are to forgive . . . Both fellow peers and adults. (like moms.)

  66. also I do follow and like both
    pepper’s latest post: plan for tomorrow morning

  67. I’ve learned that it is equally enjoyable (for both of us!) when I join in and also when I sit back and watch!

  68. I have learned to SLOW DOWN and enjoy the moment!!!! That is more important than getting to the destination. Thanks

  69. Not everything has to be complicated

  70. I just love watching my daughter & how lovingly gentle she is with all critters, from the little fuzzy caterpillar, all the way up to the cows in the pasture!

  71. My children have reminded me how to live. How to live in the small moments that make life worth it. They remind me of the simple pleasures of just letting things go and watch as things unfold (like the path of a bug or the bloom of a flower).

  72. Now following Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Pinterest.

  73. Wow! This looks great! Ive learned that simple is far better! My son never seems to be interested in his expensive toys, but give him some rocks ans sticks and he is happy all day. This is something we should translate in the adult life as well. find happiness in the simple

  74. Liked Imagine Childhood and was already following Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  75. I have liked on facebook

  76. When I watch my children play, whether with Legos or action figures, inside or outside, or “a game with us in it,” I learn that there is always more to the story. Problems can be solved, trouble is an adventure, and bad guys can change. Endless possibilities…

  77. Followed both on Pinterest.

  78. Becky Emter says:

    This is exactly how I feel when I get to hike through any wilderness area. I feel like me again. The me I was a long time ago. I would love to share the activities in this book with my kids.

  79. I follow Imagine Childhood and Simple homeschool on Pinterest!

  80. Becky Emter says:

    I like both on facebook.

  81. I have learned the awe of God’s creation in the outdoors! That learning is around every corner.

  82. Liked Imagine Childhood on Facebook. Have liked Simple Homeschool on FB for some time.

  83. I follow Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on FB!

  84. Becky Emter says:

    I am following both on Pinterest.

  85. Watching my children play, I’ve learned to relax about they’re learning. They learn so much from playing!
    Chessa’s latest post: Dreams and Meaning

  86. I have learned that so much learning and communication skills come from play! I love watching my children act out scenes, work out problems and grow their imaginations while playing. All without being told what to do. If adults look at the world as children do, the world would be a better place!

  87. Liked both on Pinterest!
    Chessa’s latest post: Dreams and Meaning

  88. i “liked” both on FB

  89. I follow both “pins” on Pinterest

  90. Liked both on FB! (and when my earlier comment said liked on Pinterest, I meant followed). :)
    Chessa’s latest post: Dreams and Meaning

  91. Playing with my children always reminds me to be in the moment and to enjoy it!

  92. I’ve learned that life is better when curiosity trumps uncertainty.

  93. To be a minimalist! Kids don’t need a thousand toys to have fun, just somewhere to play and be a kid.
    Melissa’s latest post: 1 down, 3 to go!

  94. You are a wonderful writer! Your description carried me straight back to my memories of walking through the woods as a child. The desire to share these joyful experiences with my children on a daily basis, is one of the main reasons I have chosen to homeschool. Now, I just need to remember to slow down and let these experiences come, instead of trying so hard to turn everything into a “lesson”. Curious children learn naturally. Thanks for the reminder!

  95. I “liked” Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Facebook!

  96. I am following Imagine Childhood and Simple homeschool on Pinterest!

  97. I love watching my children play…I feel like true play is the slight of life – and teaches us all to delight in the moment we are in. When I see my daughter act-out a story or my son wield his paper towel roll sword, I see them living fully in the middle of their day – all other cares forgotten. And it reminds me…leave the to-do list at least for a moment and jump in. I love it.

  98. My kids have taught (or reminded) me that insects are amazing creatures!
    Julia’s latest post: Batik-Style Pocket Warmers

  99. A life lesson I’ve learned by watching my children play: the sheer joy of just allowing oneself to “be.” Children open our adult eyes to things we have forgotten. While we concern ourselves with responsibilities like laundry, the next meal to prepare, chores, etc., our children point out to us the beauty that surrounds us – shapes in the clouds, the fall leaves fluttering to the ground (and the happiness you feel when you crunch through them), crouching on the sidewalk to watch a bug go about his daily activities, jumping on the trampoline until you’re laughing so hard you can’t jump anymore…. I’m so thankful to God for giving me children to help me remember the simple joys of life!

  100. How to celebrate each simple joy.
    Jess’s latest post: Coughing Chorus

  101. I’ve learned that life flies by much too quickly, and I need to enjoy my kids at each and every stage of life.

  102. Jessica jones says:

    I am following you both on Pinterest! Thanks for the inspiration.

  103. Jessica jones says:

    I also liked you both on Facebook!

  104. Watching my boys play I have learned that forgiveness is easier than staying angry and is also more fun!
    Danielle Drown’s latest post: Goodbyes

  105. I’m following both on pinterest!

  106. And I like both on Facebook!
    Danielle Drown’s latest post: Goodbyes

  107. I have learned that “mean kids” are there from an early age, and as parents, we need to be advocates for the ones who get pushed aside.
    Jenna@CallHerHappy’s latest post: A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms {Review & Giveaway}

  108. One of the many life lessons I’ve learned from watching my child play is any space is interesting: the corner of a cell phone store, the alleyway of a inner city neighborhood, the shore of a pond, the base of a tree, the nook of a room.
    Claire’s latest post: Catalog Copy.

  109. I have learned to be free and to be authentically me. I watch my girls learn, grow and create through play. Pouring out all they have within without all the walls, fears and intimidation I do. They have taught me how to heal through play.
    I dont have facebook but follow on Pinterest!

  110. I’ve learned that life is too short to worry about the dishes!

  111. i follow you both on pinterest

  112. Jeri Thurber says:

    I have learned to see everything and appreciate how beautiful it all is.

  113. I’ve learned that they don’t need me to teach them everything or solve every problem but instead to get out of their way and let them discover their own games, discover their own (endless) curiosities, and let them solve their own problems.
    Glory’s latest post: What’s Off My Bookshelf?

  114. i follow you on facebook

  115. I have (re)learned that mother nature really has the best playground… regardless of age, and she inspires the most creativity with her simple playthings.
    Dawn Suzette’s latest post: Weekending

  116. i have learnd to be completely silly and laugh lots from playing with ky children. it is so freeing to let go of appearances and adult behavior and just embrace joy.

  117. i like simple homeschool on facebook too.

  118. Amanda Babcock says:

    Watching my children play, has been by far, the best way to figure out the individual ways that each child learns.

  119. Michelle Baesler says:

    My children teach me about time…do not rush and take time to enjoy this life!

  120. Amanda Babcock says:

    Following y’all on Pinterest!

  121. Amanda Babcock says:

    I also “like” you on facebook. Keep up the good work, ladies!

  122. I have learned that laughing out loud and crying out loud are both worth it.

  123. I’ve learned from my kids that nothing is what it “seems” – i.e. couch cushions are actually the building blocks of a castle or a mighty mountain. : )

  124. I “liked” both Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  125. There hasn’t been a lot of time in my home to allow me to read many blog posts lately. However, I read this one twice! How inspiring. I often feel so guilty for not being “present” with my children when I know they are growing up so fast. This post is just what I needed to get me to slow down and take notice. A perfect wake-up call! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! P.S. Your pinterest boards are wonderful sources of inspiration, too. I’m looking forward to seeing your updates!

  126. I follow Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Pinterest.

  127. Christina B. says:

    When watching my girls play together I have learned that great adventures can be had even in the smallest of backyards. That play is the “work” of children and they are practicing and working out so many things they see the adults around them do.

  128. I “like” you both on facebook

  129. Ooh, I’d love to read this!

    One I learned recently from my 14-month-old is that you don’t have to let anyone else tell you the right way to think. I look at a toy and see one “intended” use for it, she sees an endless list of things to explore. Love it.

  130. My kids have taught me to be present in the moment/environment which is something I am continually striving to achieve. How many times do our kids point out something that we as adults hear or see but quickly dismiss … the sound of a train in the distance, an ant crawling on an ant hill … I now try to see and hear and absorb/enjoy these simple things just like my kids do :)

  131. My kids have taught me that spontaneity is sometimes better than “the plan”.
    Teish’s latest post: Sir Cumference and the First Round Table

  132. I’m a pinterest follower as well :)

  133. That children are naturally curious and don’t need to be told how to play or explore or investigate!

  134. I’ve learned from my son that play is important….not only for him, but for me also. :)
    reb’s latest post: This Week’s Links.

  135. I’m following you both on Pinterest.
    reb’s latest post: This Week’s Links.

  136. I’m following you both on Facebook.

  137. I am following both now on pintrest! :)

  138. I have learned that I cannot force my son to play a certain way. I get so OCD at times with the way I think that things need to be done, that I think I can ruin the creativity that he has. So I have learned to relax and let him explore, learn and grow – and at times make mistakes so that he can learn from them.

  139. I liked both on facebook as well! :)

  140. I have learned the amazing scope of imagination nature allows for. My kids can spend HOURS pretend playing in the dirt, with leaves and sticks and grasses. And they are so refreshed and content afterward.
    Laura’s latest post: Day Twenty-Nine / Eat Your Vegetables!

  141. I follow both of you on Pinterest! :)

  142. I like both of you on Facebook!

  143. I ‘Like’ Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  144. I learned that time is not a limit when you use your imagination & creativity. My son can play for hrs in the wood, with just stick – pretend to be someone or something. I think as adults, we use technology too much to entertain us – while the nature, creativity and imagination is the best way to entertain us instead.

  145. I follow Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Pinterest.

  146. I’ve learned that persistence is the key to mastering any skill – even if you are just walking up and down a single step…

  147. Shelly Smith says:

    A life lesson I have learned from watching my boys play is… teamwork not only makes a task EASIER, it also makes it more enjoyable!

  148. Shelly Smith says:

    I follow you both on Pinterest!

  149. Shelly Smith says:

    I “like” you both on Facebook!

  150. My life lesson learned from our son: The most mundane tasks are so much more fun when you do them in the context of play. For example, fold laundry, place it into the bed of a toy truck, have a stuffed animal “drive” the laundry to the appropriate dresser, and repeat until the wash basket is emptied.

  151. I have learned to love more deeply than I ever though was possible before having kids. I have also learned to see the world in a new way. That you have to question everything. Finally, I have learned to name pretty much every truck imaginable which is not a skill I ever thought I would need :-).

  152. I have learned to trust in yourself, and your abilities.

  153. I have learned that anything can become something else with imagination. And that it is fun to carry little things around with you!

  154. I have liked both of u on fb

  155. I am LEARNING (always learning it seems) to tackle projects or follow passions when inspiration strikes instead of waiting to get all the plans in place. My kids get an idea for a project or play activity and they take off, never worrying about whether all the supplies or materials are available – instead, they improvise along the way. I need more of that mentality in my life!

  156. I am following both of u on pinterest

  157. I have learned that simple is often better.
    (Think cardboard box forts)

  158. Melissa White says:

    I have learned to laugh!!! :)

  159. Melissa White says:

    follower of imagine childhood on fb :)

  160. Melissa White says:

    liker of simple homeschool on fb :)

  161. Watching my children teaches me that toys are incidental props in the landscape of their imagination, usually a stick or piece of fabric will do : )
    Emmalina’s latest post: Pumpkinpaloosa

  162. Tammy Eldridge MacIsaac says:

    I have liked both of you on facebook

  163. Have liked imagination childhood and SH on facebook and am following on Pinterest : )
    Emmalina’s latest post: Pumpkinpaloosa

  164. I have learned to SLOW DOWN. And to listen, because if I don’t listen when they are ready, I won’t hear it.

  165. I like you both on FB!

  166. Sounds like a great book! I love that children are still in awe and amazed by the little things and I want to be more like that!
    Krissa’s latest post: Healthy Living ebook Bundle {$29 for $300 worth of books!}

  167. Life lesson from play: The important stuff, like playing, takes time… don’t interrupt it. And follow you both on Pinterest!!!
    se7en’s latest post: Saturday Spot: Cape Town by Night Thanks to City SightSeeing Cape Town…

  168. I have learned to see joy in very simple things …. a rock, a bird flying, etc.

  169. My kids have taught me that there can be magic in the mundane. I love Imagine Childhood and can’t wait to read the book!
    Casey’s latest post: GFCF Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake

  170. I follow both on Pinterest!

  171. I Like both on Facebook!

  172. Crafty Mama says:

    I’ve learned how much of their lives revolve around play, and how important it is for them to play. A lot of things they learn throughout the day are practiced when they play, especially sharing. :)

  173. Crafty Mama says:

    I follow Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Pinterest! (StephanieW——)

  174. I’ve learned that a good day ends with dirty feet.

  175. Crafty Mama says:

    I “like” both on Facebook! :) (StephanieW——)

  176. I like both on Facebook.

  177. I have learned to take a deep breath and enjoy playing WITH my son, instead of trying to get him to go in the direction I think play should be.

  178. Great book!

  179. I like you both on facebook and pinterest!

  180. I’ve learned to pay attention to the lite things- the tiny bugs, the wind rustling the leaves and rely delight in them.
    I follow both on fb.

  181. Jennifer E. says:

    I’ve learned that it’s wonderful to slow down and enjoy the simple moments together.

  182. I’m following both on Pinterest.

  183. I have learned that we were designed by God to play, create, and enjoy life. What I deem as so important is not actually that important at all. Playing is learning. My kids have amazing imaginations because they have been allowed the time to foster their creative side through outdoor play.

  184. I have learned never to underestimate anyone, never to assume I know what they do and do not understand, and therefore to think the best of people. My daughter continually surprises me with what she can do.

  185. Two things I’ve learnt from watching my kids play –
    1. The best time is NOW.
    2. Tidying the lounge is an act of futility.
    Nova’s latest post: Little guys

  186. Following on Pinterest & “liked” on Facebook too!
    Nova’s latest post: Little guys

  187. No offense–This is kind of a disappointing website. I was under the impression that this Homeschooling site was established to discuss methods of teaching your children the importance of learning academics, such as math, reading, etc. I don’t want another website that teaches how to explore nature and make even more arts and crafts (that will eventually end up in the garbage). I was expecting copies of worksheets, different teaching methods and links to websites for such, and maybe some fun word problems. I was wrong. Again, no offense: I will just find somewhere else to go. Much success and love to you and your family.

  188. Let Go…….

  189. I have learned that exploring is so much more fun if I know I have a secure base to which I can return, and rainy days can be fun you’ve got the right boots–prepare for and embrace the disappointments!

  190. I have learned that even though my children are small, they still want to be heard.

  191. I followed you both on pinterest.

  192. I followed you both on facebook.

  193. Some books are best read cover to cover in one sitting. (Especially big thick ones.)

  194. I learned it’s OK to be adventurous even when that means getting out of my comfort zone.
    Southern Gal’s latest post: Multitude Monday

  195. I followed you both on Pinterest.
    Southern Gal’s latest post: Multitude Monday

  196. I have learned that the coolest discoveries come when we set aside the electronic gadgets and fancy toys and get outside.

  197. I have learned that making a mess IS really fun!

  198. I have learned that you enjoy life so much more when you truly focus on what you are doing IN THE MOMENT. Rather than worrying about what else there is to be doing at any given time, children put all of their energy into what they are doing in the here and now. It’s much easier said than done, but when I make a conscious effort to enjoy what I’m doing, rather than think about what else needs to be done, I realize why young children are naturally so happy.

  199. I learned to shut up, although it’s still hard to do!

  200. 2. ‘Like’ Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  201. I’ve learned that a smile can invite almost anyone in to play.
    Caroline’s latest post: His Voice and Our Voices {Five Minute Friday}

  202. I am following Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool.

  203. Angie Alston says:

    The simplest things sometimes bring the most joy.

  204. dawn finch says:

    I have learned thatypu don’t always have to be perfect. having fun can be messy and that is ok

  205. As I watch my children I am often in awe of their ability to forgive so quickly & sincerely & then continue in their play. What a life lesson to the adults in their lives! :)

  206. that playing really feeds the imagination

  207. I have learned from my daughter that just because something is familiar, that doesn’t mean it is boring. Finding new joy in the daily routines (or favorite toys) is a great lesson in contentment that she has shared with me (albeit, unknowingly!).

  208. Hoping to win it!

  209. Kimberly R. says:

    I have learned from my daughter that even things I thought I knew about…I am seeing them in a new light, through her eyes.

  210. Favourite life lesson I learned from my kids playing is tha there’s always time for a hug or a kiss!

  211. Kimberly R. says:

    I also like both simple homeschool and imagine childhood on FB!

  212. I’ve learned from watching my kids that everyone has a different way of interacting with people and that it’s ok to be yourself: whether shy, outgoing, serious, gregarious, loud, or imaginative.

  213. I already like Simple Homeschool and Imagine Childhood on Facebook. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Lorinda Davis’s latest post: Blackberry Apple Pie

  214. Started following both Simple Homeschool and Imagine Childhood on Pinterest. You both have some really great pins on there- I’m glad I started following you!
    Lorinda Davis’s latest post: Blackberry Apple Pie

  215. I’ve learned that play can be real work, and real work can be play.
    Jennifer’s latest post: Holy Ground

  216. A hill is an invitation for a wild, tumbling ride.
    I’m so blessed to have my girls help me live childhood again, this time with eyes wide open and two friends along.
    Heather Caliri’s latest post: Countdown to Buenos Aires: October

  217. Play is a simple way to bring joy to a child’s world.
    Joyce M’s latest post: Review and Giveaway: The Sparkle Box

  218. I’ve learned to re-see the wonder of the world and the outdoors.

  219. I like both of you on Facebook!

  220. I like both of you on Pinterest (just the homeschooling board for Jamie’s site).

  221. domestic diva says:

    I’ve learned that magic happens more frequently than we expect. :-)

  222. I’ve learned that there is wonder and joy in so many things that I just pass by…

  223. I’ve learned the importance of letting go and the joy and intense learning that can result from a little (okay alot) of dirt and water.

  224. I’m following Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool on Pinterest!

  225. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve learned to let go.

  226. That every used object can be recycled into a racetrack!
    Melissa Jones’s latest post: MommyBee Designs

  227. Jennifer J says:

    There’s always time to slow down and enjoy the moment.

  228. Jennifer J says:

    I follow both pinterest boards.

  229. Jennifer J says:

    I like both pages on facebook.

  230. We often learn the most form our mistakes, rather than from the things that we do right!
    Debbye’s latest post: How Your Menstrual Cycle Can Affect Your Baby’s Sleep

  231. I now have 4 children ages 6 and under. With my first, I was so worried about the mess that I never let him feed himself/dig in the mud/paint free-spiritedly. As more came along and the mess multiplied I learned to relax and enjoy the joyful exploration and learning that comes with those untidy things. Luckily for my first, the next ones came along pretty quickly so he didn’t have to spend too much time mess-less!

  232. I liked you both on FB. Thanks for this!

  233. I am following both on Pinterest. Thanks!!

  234. Almost anything can become a toy.

  235. When you really stop and look at most of the world, there is something interesting to be seen.

  236. I like Imagine Childhood on FB

  237. I like Simple Homeschool on FB

  238. lesson learned: it doesn’t take much to be happy

  239. liked (facebook)

  240. followed (pinterest)

  241. I’ve learned the lesson of simplicity, when a child plays, they teach themselves that a simple object can become the most important thing, for it can become almost anything. As we grow older, we look at the more elaborate, the more “glitzy”, the more intricate, as being the best of the best. A child learns that a simple object IS the best of the best. We need to strip away the glitz, the hype, the coverings to find that we already have the best of the best, right in front of us. I remember Cinderella when the mice are transformed into the beautiful horses for her carriage – its in how you look at the simple that defines how you look at the glitz.

  242. I’ve LIKED Simple Homeschool and have already liked Imagine Childhood.

  243. I’ve pinned both.

  244. I’ve learned that it’s important to sit on the floor every day. Thanks for the giveaway!

  245. The lesson I have learned from watching my children play is really just to slow down and enjoy everything more. It seems so simple, yet so hard.

  246. I don’t have children of my own yet (one month to go!), but I am around children a lot and have learned how much easier life is when you forgive and forget. People are always going to hurt your feelings whether they mean to or not, and children are such a good example of how to move on and keep enjoying life.

  247. Just liked the Imagine Childhood and Simple Homeschool Facebook pages!

  248. I am also following Simple Homeschool and Imagine Childhood on Pinterest. So excited to check out your boards!

  249. I’ve learned the beauty of a quiet mind and a peaceful heart. Keeping life slow so that my children can have this has taught me the immense importance of these states of being.

  250. I’ve learned how HARD simple things can be. Did you know that if you push a train from the caboose, rather than pulling on the engine, it buckles, jumps the track, and falls over? I don’t remember not knowing that, but it’s what my son is wrestling with right now. He’s two.
    Alisha’s latest post: Dress-up

  251. That laughter really is the best medicine.

  252. Liked on facebook

  253. Following on pinterest

  254. I have learned how two people can really build off of one another to create something entirely unique- a favorite game being “hotel” in which my daughter can put the babies to bed and my son can organize the restaurant, make menus…

  255. My children have taught me that its not the best toys that create fun, its the presence of each other who create the most memorable play times… Being present is all they really need!

  256. That their toys often uses phrases they heard me say first. Yikes.