Timothy is 5.5 years and, unlike most little boys, he doesn't play video games. He doesn't spend hours in front of the TV, either. He can't name a show and then tell me what comes on after it. Instead, we've always encouraged him to spend time creating, exploring, and doing.
We're excited about the new house because of the possibilities it has for open-ended outdoor play. We live on 1.6 acres with a private pond and we're bordering a lake. This morning, the kids saw a bird and five turtles in our pond right outside our fence.
We were encouraged by this blog post about how to create an ideal outdoor environment for children: http://progressiveearlychildhoodeducation.blogspot.com/2010/04/8-tips-for-creating-inspiring-outdoor.html
I like the focus on the education of the outdoors. When kids are outside, they're not taking a BREAK from learning. Instead, they ARE learning!
Ideally, I'd like our children to spend several hours outside each day. It encourages activity, lets them explore, and encourages independent play! Our goal is to make one area a big sandbox for digging and another area will have gravel and buckets, etc for dumping. The kids have a wooden swingset and a large trampoline so we want the rest of the fenced backyard to allow them room to explore the NATURAL elements. We also have a big mess of a fenced-in garden we'll eventually do something with!
Let the kids go outside and play. They'll benefit so much more from that than from Reader Rabbit!