Using Outdoor Metaphors To Teach Your Kids

I often use metaphors in my counseling with adults and youth.  One of my favorite wintertime metaphors is cross-country skiing and following rules.


Unlike snowshoes or snowboards, cross-country skis are made for nice groomed tracks.
Having nicely groomed trails with cross-country skis help increase the distance of the kick and glide, is a great way to get out and get some exercise and cover a great deal of distance.  Without a groomed trail those long skinny skis struggle in the snow, tips cross, and travel is difficult and frustrating.


Rules are similar to these nicely groomed trails.  They give us boundaries with which to kick and glide through our lives, reach our goals, and enjoy the scenery.  It is hard to enjoy life if we are constantly worried about getting caught.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place to blaze our own trails and cut through the deep powder, but even then there are rules to staying safe and surviving the run.  If we break too many rules we get buried in the avalanche of consequences.

We don’t always need adrenaline to be happy, there is a peace and joy that comes from the smooth kick and glide in life.

How do you use the outdoors to teach your kids? In 2012 I hope you will strive to recognize teaching opportunities while outside recreating with your kids.

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teaching, metaphor, kids, outdoor activity, outdoors, outdoor education, outdoor recreation, cross country ski, 2012

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2 Responses

  1. Linda says:

    Great lesson! love your blog!

  2. greeningsamandavery says:

    What great insight! And so true. We haven’t gotten our girls out on skiis yet but I can absolutely see the teachable moments that will pop up when they are learning to ski and then connecting it back to other parts of their lives is so smart.
    I use the outdoors to teach patience and kindness all the time! When we are on a trail they can get very frustrated if we don’t see a bird or wildlife right away. But having patience and knowing the best ways to see wildlife almost always pay off! And we do liter pick ups in our favorite parks, ponds and creeks frequently to help to take care of the environment and be kind to our animal neighbors. This one does lead to some other discussions about why the liter is there in the first place! Great post, thanks so much for sharing your insights.

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