Some days I have some fun activity planned for A & S. And some days we just do instructured free play.
I truly love listening & sneaking glimpse at the kids when they are playing. (I try not to interrupt too much when I can help it.) There is so much (& researched backed) that they are learning through play.
Cardboard boxes have always been a big hit with us (see activities like Bulldozer), but they don’t always need to be elaborate creations. Lately A & S & friends have been using simple boxes for tons of imaginary play. This includes: speed boats, restaurant, trains, spaceships, etc.
We decided it would be a fun day to paint, but wanted to try something new. So, after a bit of Googling we decided to try painting with coffee.
I made up 3 cups because I didn’t want to miss out on the fun! Then we grabbed some leaves and acorns with our paper & paint brushes and got to playing!
Today we cleaned up our front area and collected all of the sticks that A has collected. So with these sticks we decided to build a house from the sticks. Then of course we added all of our collected evergreen branches.
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With these rare extra nice Spring like days in February, we have gotten outside top enjoy it. I am trying hard to instill a love of nature in my kids. I feel that it is very important to care & appreciate our world. I also want them to enjoy it so they can come & love going to the National Parks, Camping, & overall love being out there.
So, we have gone exploring! Some days it is right behind the house, other days it is to some of the local parks. I try and make sure we have times that that can set the pace and the route. It is really neat to see what catches their eyes!
I would call these trips a success!
SKILLS: Nature, Independence, Observing
We have a friends birthday coming up and I decided to make a Let’s Go Exploring bag. I learned that I create much like I live my life….I an idea in my head, figure out a few of the details, and then pretty much just wing the rest. And for the most part I am pretty happy with the results. 🙂
First the bag. I saw a few patterns/ ideas online & decided to pick little parts of each. The bag is made out of 1 leg of a pair of cargo pants & 1 men’s shirt. (Thank you Goodwill). Since I didn’t really plan it out, it turned into a messanger bag instead of a backpack. Other than that I am pretty happy with how it turned out.
Next, the binoculars. Many thanks go to my neighbor for helping figure out how to create the vision in my head. The main part is from PVC pipe. Then we had to figure out how to attach spacers & the strap. (Thank you Goodwill for the belt we used as the strap.) I am very happy with how these turned out! (The kids were sad they could not play with them! )
Then we just added a drawing pad and a couple nature scavenger hunt activities. Happy birthday & adventuring B!
Today, mid November, was in the 70°’s . So I & the kids headed up to the Smithsonian National Zoo. There were a fair amount of field trips there, but it was never too crowed.
We started off in the Asian Trail with the Elephants, Pandas, Red Panda, & the Otters. From there we wandered some of the big cats, zebra, & others. Then we found our way to the American Trail. We spent a long time watching the Beaver & Seals.
After a bit of lunch we strolled around for a bit mre before heading home. Both A & S fell fast asleep on the way home. 🙂
What a great day & A is already asking to go again!
SKILLS: Appreciating Nature
Tags: Animals, Nature, Zoo
Today we spent over an hour outside playing in the leaves. And all of this was lead by A. I love watching and participating in all of her stories and adventures.
At one point we were all sitting on the ground and we were pretending to roast marshmallows for the birds. It does not matter if I understand all of the thoughts & stories in her head. It does matter that I encourage and play with her!
We also spent time raking, scooping, pouring, throwing leaves in the air, making music, & talking about the different seasons/ weather. What a great day!
SKILLS: Imagination, Loving Nature, Storytelling, Learning Seasons, Gross Motor, Fine Motor.
I have been trying to instil in both A & S a love & appreciation of nature. We spend a lot of time outside (right from when they were infants). We find things to look for, sounds to identify, music to make, & things to imagine. And there are times we might follow our neighbor cat or just sit & watch the world with him.
A & I took a walk the other day & we had a blast! It started with making music by stepping on the fallen leaves. Then pretending we were horses & galloping down the path. At the top of one big hill we decided it was a roller coaster, threw our arms in the air & yelled “weeeeeee” as we ran down! Which then we had to go back up & logically we were a train (taking turns being the caboose/engine) and chugging up the other side. Which then lead to seeing cracks in the trail & needing to stop & fix the tracks. And then there was the spontaneous dance performance!
Now we are working on making a photo nature scavenger hunt & A is helping to point out things to take pictures of. So tonight she comes running to me all excited & says, “I got nature!” And shows me the acorns she has collected!
My heart is full of love & joy!
SKILLS: Loving Nature, Imagination
So I & the kids joined some friends for a trip to the National Arboretum in DC. This was our first time there & were amazed that all of this is in DC. There was no way to see all of it, but we saw & enjoyed a lot of it! The Capitol Columns, The Bonsai Garden, & a lot of time in the Youth Garden.
We meet one of the gardners in the youth garden & she helped A pick a fresh tomato. And we learned that all of the harvested food gets donated to the Capital Food Pantry. Then the kids played in the natural playground and couldn’t be happier!
We walked around the Capitol Columns from 1826. Then headed to the Bonsai Garden & saw the wide variety of trees. Along with one Japanese White Pine from 1625!
The traffic was crazy heading out that way, but we would love to go back & explore more!
SKILLS: Appreciating Nature, Independence, Exercise
We looked up how to do Water Balloon Painting today. After realizing we didn’t have some bottles that would make it easier, we tried it anyway. (Will get the right stuff & try it again). Then when we realized it was not going to work, we grabbed the paint brushes & went to town.
I loved watching A & then S get in on the fun. Even better was watching A grab bits of nature & see what happened when she painted with that. (Leaves, twigs, sticks, etc).
SKILLS: Fine Motor, Sensory, Painting, Exploring, Imagination, Nature.