Is there a beach close by? Maybe there is a river or a creek? Water sources can be lots of fun, and an easy place to get back into nature. Whether it is collecting rocks and shells on the beach, or identifying the plants growing along a stream, water allows children a chance to start exploring. Just remember to bring the towels and extra change of clothes! Even when I tell mine NOT to go in the water, they push it. I hear pleas of, "I just want to get my feet wet." "I'll just wade in to my ankles." And the next thing you know, the pants are soaked to the knees.
My favorite water learning experience:
I took the kids to a playground/park/boat launch along the Colorado river last spring. It was a 70 degree day, but we had not planned to go to the park, and the towels and swimsuits were at home. The boys decided they were just going to throw rocks into the water... sounds safe enough, right? They made their way along the river bank watching the different flows of water as pools formed behind a rock, or in a little cove along the shoreline. They had planned to walk along the river bank until they came to the boat launch, walk up to the parking lot next to the boat launch, and then it would be time to go. They found some really cool swirling pools of water at the boat launch, and crouched to watch. Next thing I know, Little A lost his footing and slid in to the shallow pool...soaked to the waistline!
I got him calmed down and to the car.I found a towel that had left in the back of the car, and had him take off his shoes and strip the bottom half off to wrap up in the towel. He was miserable...after all, he was naked under that towel! He sat in his car seat, and demanded that it was time to go home. I made sure he was okay, and went to call in the other two kids.
We all hopped in the car (with lots of grumbling) and headed down the road. When I realized were were right by the thrift store, I decided to stop and get Little A a pair of pants so he wouldn't be so miserable. He wanted to come in with me to pick them out, and that is when we discovered that his shoes were not in the car!
We went into the thrift store and found a pair of pants, and to our delight a pair of blue (little A's favorite color) water shoes in his size! We bought our items, and he got dressed.
Next issue: The lost shoes.
We had originally been on our way to drop off some paperwork at a city office that day. And now we were coming up on the deadline of them closing. And Little A was sitting crying over losing his favorite pair of shoes. (I think things only become the favorite thing when it is forgotten or left someplace! LOL)Paperwork had to come first, but I promised we would drive back to the busy (very busy) park to look for his shoes after that.
We dropped off the paperwork, and headed back to the park. As we pulled up to the entrance to the parking lot, we looked over, and there were Little A's shoes. They were lined up at the edge of the parking space quite neatly waiting for us. It seems that he had taken off his shoes as he climbed into the car, and in all the rest of the commotion, no one noticed the little shoes sitting there.
Now I always bring water bottles, granola bars or boxes of raisins, a towel or two, and extra clothes in the car! Talk about a learning experience! FOR ME!
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