I have some 8-12 years old dare-devil boys in our neighborhood that I love to see outside.  They are either rapidly riding their bikes, jumping sidewalks with their skate-boards or playing road hockey with determination.  I’m sure they believe they are on a secret mission, saving earth.  Or that they are a famous hockey player – the “Nashville Predators” have a great fan base where I live!

It’s lovely to see them and I’ve learned to drive slowly in that section of our neighborhood.  I’m on the lookout for them now.  I love seeing them outside for most of the day, playing, even when it’s 90 degrees out or raining.  They are having fun outdoors, imagining things I can’t even begin to imagine in their make-believe world.

They seem to be the exception to the rule here in my part of the USA.  Most neighbors who have kids are struggling with getting them outside.  A log of schools are going towards online learning due to Covid 19.  Parents are struggling with their own issues of working from home and having the kids at home too.  Does this sound familiar?

But getting kids outdoors is so important, particularly during these challenging times.  Not only for your mental health but theirs too.  Research done by the University of Utah shows the mental health benefits of participating in outdoor activities included reduced stress and anxiety.

And for my dare-devil neighbor boys, their imaginative outdoor play can also lead to all sorts of other health benefits such as improved sleep, physical development (and maybe a few sprained ankles jumping those sidewalks), better mental health, more socialization — the list goes on.

As we’ve developed the magical story and experiences of Timbalaya, all of this is extremely important to us.  Our attractions and experiences build on the vision of stretching imagination through storytelling and heading off on adventures outside.  Our characters of Luni and Sparrow Flit as well as their wombat friend Chee, travel through the magical world of Timbalaya on all sorts of adventures.  (If you never heard an except of our story, you might want to click here: https://timbalaya.com/).  So why not make up your own adventures, go outside with your kids and let your imagination run wild.

Sylvia Matiko, Guardian of the Locket

Nashville, TN