Weekending November 24-28

29.11.14 0 comments
Our week was eventful.
We did some reading...nature walks and wagon rides for the little ones.
We played iSpy and we found some interesting and beautiful things - like squirrels, pinecones and red berries
We participated in a drumming circle, and enjoyed the newly fallen snow.
We invited S for a drop in on Tuesday morning - it was also the day we went exploring.
There was no painting on Wednesday as everyone was tired...
On Thursday we baked a yummy loaf
and on Friday we relaxed from all the hoopla of the week.

Why nature?

When my sisters and I were kids outside play was not a topic, it just was. No one made a fuss about it; we were told to go play outside...sometimes we were dismissed, or felt banished in a way, but we rarely complained about it. There were small thrills - catching a frog down by the creek, climbing trees and catching butterflies. 

There were also big thrills, like rescuing a baby bird with a broken leg, or poking a bee hive - okay, I would say dangerous thrills. Of course, I would never encourage my little ones to poke at a bees nest, but the fact is that we got outside and did the things that other kids were doing outside.Today, it's a different story. Kids rarely get outside. They read about animals in books. They see pictures of nature on TV. They are growing up in, and are surrounded by mass technology, concrete jungles, and a culture/idea of indoor play and indoor safety. Free unstructured play is like a rare gift, an after-thought - sad! As humans we did not evolve sitting inside in front of electronics.  As humans we took risks, make judgement calls and learned how to adapt. Here are a few things that I have noticed about my Small Wonders and the time we spend outside:
  1. they are more physically active... which helps prevent obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues
  2. they are more relaxed and calm in nature
  3. they have more advanced motor skills, such as agility, balance and coordination
  4. they higher levels of vitamin D, which in turn strengthens their bones and immune systems - a big deal in Alberta due to it's geographical location
  5. they engage in more imaginative games, interact more and get along better
  6. they are more likely to develop a lifelong love for nature and care to preserve it
  7. they are less likely to engage in bullying when they play in natural environments
A few months ago, it was freezing. I think it was minus 35 degrees outside. I did not take the kids on our daily walk, however, as I saw them sitting and gazing longingly outside (from my kitchen window). I took them to the back door. I told them it was very cold outside, and that we wouldn't be able to go outside. I told them that I would open the door for a few minutes so they could see the snow, and feel the air. 
I opened the door for no more than 3 minutes - they stood back, then proceeded to stick their faces out...just a bit. They stuck their hands out a bit - the snow was falling down lightly. One child reached out to grab a bit of snow. 
...3 minutes was more than enough, they decided that they'd enough and we closed the door. That was 3 minutes of nature.
We need to force ourselves to get back to nature. In doing so, our children will follow our lead.


22.11.14 0 comments
Wow, another week gone. It was a good week for transitioning. Nap time has been the most challenging, but it's expected with kids under 18 months. We walked a little, played a lot, and made messes...great fun!
Some pics...

With care

19.11.14 0 comments
We ventured outside today - it's been a while. Since we all took turns being sick, I wanted to ensure that we were better, because sick little people are not really much fun-neither are adults for that matter. With a range in age, it can be interesting getting the kids out of the house. 
It was interesting because big boy goes from being really independent to clingy-and acting helpless. 
Today was a crossroad between the two. The constant changes in the weather shows the children a different type of rhythm. They become aware of clothing - what to wear when it's cold, warm, hot, etc. It is also a time to learn about dressing properly, and dressing themselves even. If a child has difficulty putting on their pants for example, then let him/her go as far as he/she can. With J and Zbear needing to be dressed 100%, I asked him to dress himself- normally he does need some help, but his eagerness makes it easier on all fronts. Today he just didn't seem interested in doing one bit of it.
I think at his age gentle guidance is ever so important. It is wise to coax a child in trying to do whatever needs to be done. I find myself saying these words at least 50x a day..."just try...". Also, perhaps putting on certain articles of clothing proves to be difficult, but it's not a bad idea to ask the child to put on his socks (for example) if he's comfortable doing this. It builds self-esteem too.
Anyways, we took about 20 minutes to get dressed and outside the door, and we didn't stay outside for even 15 minutes :). Surprisingly, the boy didn't make a fuss when I told him that we wouldn't stay long because the babies needed to go back inside.
I think the cold air did us some good though because once we got back, the kids were hungry and a wee tired
treasure found outside...we also picked up some rocks for painting.
i have no idea what this "treasure" is
Hope you had a fun day!

Outside your window: amazing worms

18.11.14 0 comments
Do you want your kids to be completely captivated by nature? There are so many ways to achieve this. One way that never fails is pointing out critters of every kind. One of the greatest things that I have experienced with kids is their ability to make up stories about just about anything.
I asked the boy to think about where the worm was coming from - where he was going -what kind of adventures he's had (and) seeing that the worm had no feet I questioned how long it would take him to get to where he was going.

fall reminders
 from our book outside your window by nicola davies

recycle: paint palettes

i hate to spend money on anything that i can make
which is a lot of things
it seems we eat a lot of chocolate in my house...who knew
we now use them as paint palettes

Outside your window: leaves & a mobile

16.11.14 0 comments
I love celebrating the changing of the seasons. This year has been different, because we had snow in we keep looking out for drastic changes in the weather. One thing that has been consistent, however, are the beautiful leaves all around.

Last week we made a Falling Leaf Mobile to honor the changing color of the leaves! 
We were able to practice a lot of fine motor skills such as drawing, cutting with scissors, glue control.We also looked at, and identified various types of leaves.

Materials List:
Stick (found on nature walk or in the park)
thread or ribbon
heavyweight card stock coloring page 
paint and/or crayons
white glue
glitter/stickers/whatever the kids want to use

fall reminders
 from our book outside your window by nicola davies


15.11.14 0 comments

This week we welcomed J into our dayhome.  J is 11 months old, and he's super smart and cute. It's a big transition for him of course. The biggest challenge is sleeping and meal-time. The kids play well together- which is a blessing.

We were house-bound as well due to me having the flu, as well as the little ones not having snowsuits to get out into the snow. But our hands and our hearts were full - there was music-making, playing and a lot of laughter.

 Week one down- here's to a new week ahead.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright & Disclosure

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright © Small Wonders Dayhome & Playschool. All Rights Reserved. You may not reproduce, distribute, alter, or republish any photos or content from my site without my written permission.

Read Disclosure here.