As a mom (and teacher), I strive everyday to engage, nurture, and expand the mind of my little one.
Here you will find the books, music, and activities most useful to me in my endeavors.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pinecones, Rocks, and Leaves

Oh My!

The weather here in the NW has been incredible ... very un-winter-like.  There's been plenty of sunshine and moderate temperatures, which means we've been taking walks ... and squinting as we go!  

When you're "stuck" at home with a two year old and a two month old, the chance to get outside is such a blessing.  When your walk turns into an afternoon activity for the toddler, you've pretty much hit the jackpot!

As we walked through our 'hood, NHV carried a plastic bucket and collected whatever struck her fancy ... mainly pinecones, rocks, and leaves (as the title of this post suggests :P).
When we got home, first order of business was to give her "finds" a bath.  Natalie loves to bathe things, and it usually eats up a good 20 minutes ... 
  • While running the water, we talk about temperature and feel the water change from really cold to warm.  I also remind her that colors on the faucet knobs tells us which is hot, which is cold.
  • As the sink fills, we do gentle splashes and harder splashes to see what happens  ... how is the noise different?  what happens to the water?  A big mess ensues, but that's okay :)
  • Objects go in the water one at a time.  We talk about how the color changes when it gets wet.
  • And finally, Natalie "observes" that some of the objects go to the bottom of the sink while others stay at the top.  Great opportunity to reinforce vocabulary: sink and float.
We also took the time to dry everything and wipe out the sink ... cleaning the powder room was on my To Do List anyway, and Natalie was happy to help!

And since baby sister was still taking a snooze, we decided to "take off our scientist lab coats" ... quite literally ... and get artistic.

As you can see, by artistic I mean we busted out the paper plates, brushes, and paint.  No guidelines here.  I just squirted a little paint on the plates and we gave Mother Nature a little run for her money ;)

I love that Natalie gets some fine motor practice, and she just loves that she's making a mess!

How do you turn a simple walk into an afternoon of fun?

1 comment:

Chi-town momma said...

We actually hit forty degrees here today!!! We walked home from our church playdate - a typical 15 min walk which took us 45. Can you tell that someone was really enjoying the ability to walk outside in our beautiful weather??? Simple walk with a toddler boy = the chance to put the snow boots to good use. We...
- saw the holes left in the snow by our boots
- noticed that mommy's marks where much bigger than B's
- picked up a stick and drew in the snow
- sploshed in the puddles of disgusting melted snow water! (and needed new pants when we got home)
- discussed the meaning of "yellow snow" (very easy to make sense of with a potty training toddler)
- made snow balls to throw at mommy (the reason for the discussion about the yellow snow!)
- discovered that making snow balls makes our mittens (aka socks since the boy refuses mittens and hats right now)wet
- learn that without our mittens are hands get VERY cold!
- learned that when snow is high it comes up OVER our snow boots and down in them. BRRR
- examined spots of grass where the snow had melted
- talked about what melting means
- brought some snow inside to watch it melt
- enjoyed a nice cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream together!