Kids at the creek equals resilience

Cold wet socks, pants and wet mittens, plus a project that takes much more work than expected, plus convincing your 3 year old sister to help you; Equals resilience, patience and conflict resolution skills by the end of a day at the creek.

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Caleb decides he wants to build a big boat.  He collects logs and sticks, and plans his project.

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Caleb begins putting together his boat, weaving smaller sticks through the larger logs.  The pieces keep floating away.  He keeps getting soakers (water filling his boots).

He notices his sister, (also known as “his extra set of hands”) climbing up and down the logs and tree roots.

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Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, he practices his communication and negotiates to get her to come down and help him build the boat.

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He explains what he needs her to do.  They work together, and in exchange he offers her the first ride on the boat.

As you may have guessed, this resulted in Belle taking the earliest creek swim this year!

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You too will be amazed at what nature can teach little ones.

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Toddlers in the forest

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Owen found his first ladybug.  He just about lost his mind with excitement.

Belle was very worried about the ladybug’s safety and kept trying to hide it under leaves.

… she was right to be worried.  Owen trued to eat it!  But I quickly re-homed our new friend a few feet away.

Kids or Coyote snacks?

Coyote information to keep your kids safe when hiking or playing in the forest

Enjoying nature with your little ones can be wonderful.  Worrying they are going to be eaten by a coyote, not so wonderful.

How do you keep your kids from being a bite-sized coyote snack?

First, here is a short video on what is called Coyote Hazing, produced by our town.

We tend to stick to the same general area to play in the forest.  This allows the kids to leave bigger projects like building shelters or obstacles courses or bridges they can come back to another day.  In our familiar area of the forest we have never seen a coyote.  However, a mountain biker we see a few times a week, told me that another hiker had been surrounded by a few coyotes just up the trail from where we go.  Scary!

So we have taken a few steps to make sure the kids learn how to deal with coyotes.

  1. We have practiced putting your hands way over your head, (with a big stick is extra points) and yelling “GO AWAY!”
  2. We have played coyote many times, with the above, and making sure no one turns and runs, because apparently that can encourage coyotes to chase you.
  3. The two older kids, who occasionally go a little further than the younger kids, have very loud whistles.
  4. I have an air horn, which should scare off most animals.
  5. We are double checking any new areas we play in for brush or little shelters that could be used as coyote dens.

Has anyone come across a coyote in Oakville or otherwise?

This recent sighting makes me a little extra cautious, but it won’t stop us from enjoying the outdoors, and it seems to add to the adventure.  The kids are even enjoying our new “Coyote” game and have added it to their rotation.