It has been far too long since I have written anything. I have blamed it on the offseason and the fact that we haven’t been doing much. But now that I think of it, I did get quite a bit done this winter.
My major accomplishment of the off season was the completion of a treehouse for my kids.
I have struggled this since we bought this property. The kids need a cool fort, but I didn’t really want to drill into a tree. I also didn’t find the right branches on the right trees to support a floor, so I couldn’t figure out how to do it.
For Christmas, my mom got me a book that had plans for a swinging tree fort. The fort was suspended by rope between two trees. So I built it. I think it turned out pretty well.
It really got me thinking about kids, safety and development. First off, the treehouse is suspended by ropes, so it swings a bit. I paid top dollar for good rope with appropriate weight capacities, etc. the fort is safe, but it is not stable. It swings a little. To get into the treehouse, you have to climb a rope ladder. To say the least, it is a bit challenging to get into the treehouse.
I think that these challenges are important for children’s development. Overcoming or conquering difficult and unstable obstacles challenge kids to develop a sense of balance and the muscles that stabilize the body. As a fitness professional, muscular imbalances and weakness in core and stabilizing muscles is a major problem among not only aging populations, but 20 something’s who spent their lives isolated from physical challenges.
So the kids have a fort that challenges their balance and forces them to use a propreoceptive enriched environment.
On a similar note, I noticed my one year old walking outside. The uneven terrain which makes her very wobbly also is going to strengthen her stabilizing muscles and help prevent muscular imbalances in the future. And when I do farm work, I often think of doing a squat or dead lift movement with a bar that only has weight no one side (a shovel or pitch fork). Exercising stabilizing muscles and working in propreoceptive enriched environments will decrease many of the physical ailments of the day…like back pain. So get outside and do real work with good movement techniques.
Oh, and here is a photo of the swinging treehouse…