Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I love collecting stuff from nature. I'm a huge believer in "authentic experiences"--those real-life, hands-on moments where children can actually get their hands dirty-they can feel, smell, hear and otherwise experience things that will deepen their connection to the natural world. Both of my children have "treasure boxes" full of goodies and other delights they pick up outside. The thought of adding to a collection can transform any time outside, any place, into an opportunity for a treasure hunt.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
For Mother's Day the children gave me a hammock. I swear, there is nothing quite like lying down under a canopy of green leaves and swaying in a hammock. Why am I just now learning to appreciate this? The kids love to climb in and tip out of the hammock, turning it into quite the plaything, indeed. But they are also learning to appreciate the relaxing and comforting feeling of just being there, under the trees. Together we are learning the fine art of taking it easy. Today when I looked outside, J, who is now almost 5, was lying flat on his back in the hammock, just contemplating the patterns of leaves against the sky. Lovely. One of these days I hope we can enjoy an afternoon nap in the sun. Even if you live in an urban area, or a wide-open space with no trees, you can still get a stand for your hammock. Trust me, it's worth it.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
We've been enjoying a great deal of mud around here. The spring rains have come as promised, and right on schedule. The grass is up, the trees are leafing out, and there is mud-glorious mud-everywhere to be found. (Including, I admit, on every surface inside my home). Mud is a wonderful play medium! It feels great, can be mixed to any texture, and it appeals to many senses: touch, sight, smell, hearing, and even, if you're not careful, taste. We have a mud hole in our back yard specifically for rainy days. The neighborhood children flock to our yard, and everyone uses toy trucks, pieces of scrap wood, branches and leaves to create bridges, ferry boats, and structures along the edges of the mud puddles. Or they dig trenches and rivers of muddy water flow. Or they dig and dig, then stick their toes in deep, feeling them disappear into the squishy ooze.