Cold Rainy days for the outdoorsy

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Usually it doesn’t take much to get kids enjoying the outdoors.  However this week, it took a little incentive to get them out on a really cold day, in the rain…

However, a puddle, a hockey stick and some bubbles kept everyone busy as bees until they found a real project.  Which was of course, splashing in the biggest puddle and getting really really really muddy!

After a big romp in the rain (but mostly mud), we all snuggled up  by the fireplace and enjoyed hot chocolate.

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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.

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.

Why I encourage messiness

Throwing your kids in the mud to make them smarter?

Forget sensory bins.  They only provide input to your child’s hands.  They will make a mess. Your kids may play for 5 minutes and get bored.  They can be time consuming and expensive to put together.  (Angela J. Hanscom)

Try a full immersion sensory experience instead!

At the end of a rainy day, we hiked over to a mountain biking trail.  There is a 10 foot drop for bikers.  Because it was rainy, it was deserted.

We turned it into a mudslide!

The kids had a blast throwing themselves down the muddy hill.  Making mud pies.  Rolling down the hill.  We lost some boots.  Kids used every ounce of their energy going up and down this hill.

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We returned home with about an extra 30 lbs of extra mud on each kid.

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