Today I was making Immy’s lunch and said to her, “After we have finished our lunch we can go outside and play.” As I said it this little light bulb lit up in my brain and said, “Aha! Why wait, just take lunch outside.” It was a little grey and overcast and had been raining earlier but looked okay so the gumboots went on and we headed out into the yard.
Immy immediately went and checked her favourite puddle jumping spots and found them wet but without puddles. So she headed round the corner onto the grassed part of our yard where she discovered that last night we had inadvertently left the lid off her clam sandpit and so both the top and the bottom (where the sand is) had accumulated a couple of centimetres of water. Usually I would have rushed to tip out the water and covered the wet sand up so that she didn’t get wet (it is quite cool here today) but instead I remembered how inspired I was by the Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery and I left it to see what she would do.
We had been only been out for these few minutes when it began to lightly rain (just my luck!)
Instead of rushing her back inside, I said, “Let’s get your raincoat so your clothes don’t get wet.’” We popped on her coat and stayed out. I took refuge under the hibiscus bush (need to get myself a raincoat if this outdoors in all weather philosophy is to continue). Immy found this highly amusing and came to sit with me under the bush to have a bite of lunch, but only stayed for a minute or two as there were too many potential adventures tempting her out of my little hiding spot.
She watched raindrops splash in the water, splashed with her hands, pushed her ball back and forward across the water, found various bits and pieces from around the yard and threw them into the water, got into the sandpit lid and jumped and splashed in the water.
We watched an interesting tiny, orange, black and white bug navigate a blade of grass. We picked tiny, ripening cherry tomatoes and Immy ate them straight from the vine (but funnily, would not eat the shop bought ones from her lunch plate!) and she munched parsley straight from the plant.
And all the time she kept coming over to takes bites to eat. Despite it being a little cool and damp it was a perfect picnic I would say.
This week I am setting myself the challenge of heading outside with Immy each day this week, regardless of the weather! What about you? Have you and your children spent time in nature today? Share your story in the comments below.
- Mother Nature as Playmate, Teacher and Babysitter
- Ingredients for a Child-Friendly Community
- Rainy Day Play Ideas