The Rain or Shine Mamma Blog

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3 Reasons Introverted Kids Need Nature

There’s a classic scene in the 1938 short film by Disney, Ferdinand, where the mother of the peaceful bull asks him why he prefers to sit under his cork tree over play-fighting with the other bulls. The placid bull responds, “I like it better here where I can sit just quietly and smell the flowers.” While his peers vie for fame and glory in front of the crowds in the bull-fighting arena, Ferdinand is contented with relaxing in solitude under a tree. I sympathize with Ferdinand, and not only because he tries to evade a life of bull-fighting, a cruel

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Let Them Climb Trees! The many benefits of tree climbing for kids. Don't miss these tips for staying safe while climbing trees! Rain or Shine Mamma

Parents – Stop Worrying and Let Your Children Climb Trees!

As long as I can remember, my girls have climbed trees. Skinny trees, big trees, crooked trees, straight trees, old trees, young trees, pine trees, deciduous trees… They’ve climbed trees in snow suits in the winter and barefoot in the summer. On more than one occasion, they’ve climbed trees wearing princess dresses. And you know what? Sometimes I join them on their tree climbing missions. (Minus the Disney dresses, that is…) For my generation, tree climbing was a quintessential childhood experience, on a par with running under the sprinkler on a hot summer day and skinning your knees when riding

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Why Scandinavians Leave Their Babies Out in the Cold. As it turns out, letting your baby nap outside - even in freezing temperatures - has many benefits.

Why Scandinavians Leave Their Babies Out in the Cold

A few years ago, I got talking to a prominent researcher at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana about the Scandinavian attitude to outdoor play and nature connection. I told her about our commitment to dressing kids for the weather and getting them outside every day, as well as our obsession with friluftsliv (topics which are all covered in detail in my book There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather). The professor then asked, somewhat big eyed, “I’ve heard that parents in the Nordic countries even let their babies nap outside in the winter. Is that true?” Even though she herself

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Below you’ll find a decade’s worth of writing about connecting children with nature. Browse the categories or use the search bar to find posts on specific topics.

The birth of a blog

I started the Rain or Shine Mamma blog back in 2013, as a Swedish mother raising two young daughters in the US. I’d noticed that a lot of American children were stuck inside, plugged into their electronic devices and disconnected from the natural world. The academic pressure was high – even for preschoolers – and many families seemed to have packed calendars and little time to spare. Forget outdoor play in the winter – at school it was always “too cold,” “too wet” or “too windy” to let the kids outside for recess. At home, fear of strangers, physical injury, lawsuits and even nature itself prevented many parents from giving their kids as much freedom to explore outdoors as they’d had themselves growing up. I felt that there was a need for inspirational, evidence-based and easily accessible writing about getting outside with kids, and so the blog was born.

"We owe it to our children to make sure nature is not just an abstraction in a textbook, but a place they call home."

- Linda Akeson McGurk

Why “Rain or Shine Mamma”?

The moniker Rain or Shine Mamma alludes to the Nordic custom of going outside every day, regardless of the weather. Also, the content of the blog is to a large extent based on the pedagogical model and ideals of Swedish forest schools, which are called “rain or shine preschools” in direct English translation. In 2022 I decided to rename my website as the scope of my writing had broadened, but the blog lives on and is read by tens of thousands of parents, educators and other caregivers every month.  

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