We made it.
Those long winter months seem to be behind us. I am sure there will be at least one more freak snow storm that will dump inches of white onto our lawn but it will melt just as quickly as it appeared.
When I was facing the winter last Fall I was terrified of how I would fill our days. How would I keep them interested in the outdoors, in learning about nature and exploring when there would be feet of snow on the ground and temps in the single digits? But we did it! Sam and Avery both enjoyed a lot of outdoor time, tried out some new outdoor sports and learned a lot over the last few months.
But now that temps are starting to rise and the snow is almost gone we are just in LOVE with simple outdoor time. I don't have to have an activity planned. I don't have to have some creative way of getting them excited about going outside. I don't have to be right next to them encouraging their play or helping them manuveur through the backyard. They can explore, play and learn all on their own! What an amazing thing.
Today while we were enjoying a slightly windy and chilly day (but still better than February temps!) Sam made some really amazing discoveries that she couldn't wait to show Avery and I. I didn't get a picture of a worm that she dug up (my hands were too muddy at that point to touch the camera) but it was a big hit from today.
Yes, that is dog hair that you see. The rabbits are already attacking my poor little plants but I am determined to scare them off. Next step if dog hair doesn't work is a "tea" of onion and garlic juices!
Signs of spring are now abundant and we are loving it! Breaking ground on the vegetable garden soon and maybe a new flower garden as well! So excited.
The Nitty Gritty!
It is an interesting time for Sam right now. She understands that winter is over, the snow is going away and we don't have to wear hats and gloves everyday. But exactly what spring is and what the signs are that she should be looking for she doesn't really understand. We still talk about it every time I see something seasonal; an insect or worm, plants peeking out of the ground or new birds flying over head. But she is not quite ready to point out these things herself.
Which tells me that is not quite ready for a season scavenger hunt! Oh yes, yet another version of that amazing game. If you have a slightly older child, I think four is probably old enough if they have been exposed to nature a bit, this could be a great way to turn a walk around the neighborhood into a learning activity. Simply head out and encourage your little one to spot signs of spring. This could also be extended to non-nature related things too (snow mobiles being hauled off to storage, boats appearing in driveways again, people out raking or mowing the grass, etc.). If they need a bit more guidance you could turn it into a type of "I-Spy" kind of game where you take turns spotting a sign of spring, describing it to the other person and then having them try to spot what you are describing. This is a great way to work on both observation skills and using descriptive words.