Leopold has found a new favorite activity, and it’s one that fills me with mom guilt.
He LOVES playing with his animals. If you check out any photo on our Instagram, chances are you will see him clutching an animal. They go everywhere with us and sometimes he even takes them to bed.
Now that he is engaging in more imaginative play, he likes to include me and his dad. That’s great, I love it that he wants to play with us! I really do love just sitting on the floor playing with him. Lately though it’s ALL he wants to do. He will follow me around 24/7 it seems like, saying “talk it mama, talk it! want mama talk the elephant? Talk it mama!” If I do ‘talk it’, I seem to run out of material pretty quickly. If I take a breath or take my hand off of the animal, he says “talk it! Talk it mama!” I hate telling him no or that I’m busy but I truly cannot sit and talk it all day long. I mean…I’ve tried. I just can’t.
This morning he woke up, ate breakfast, and immediately started asking me to talk the animals. I suggested that we go for a nature walk instead. My little homebody (no thanks to his super introverted father) has started saying “No mama, I wanna stay home”. I told him we could find rocks, sticks and leaves, and he quickly changed his mind!
We are lucky enough to live in a bit of a ‘forest’ area and have about 12 miles of walking paths right behind our house. It’s fantastic. I have two routes I usually stick to because I’m still a bit afraid to get lost in there! I still want to walk to the mall one day, it’s pretty close, apparently! There is a lake with lots of ducks and a few playgrounds here and there too.
I’m not totally smitten with my city or anything but I do love that we live so close to the city and still have space between our houses and nature to explore!
Leopold could spend all day scooping up pine straw, crunching leaves, collecting rocks and screaming at bugs!
I went out this morning with the intention of collecting items from nature to use in our crafts, but I foolishly took both dogs with me. They are SO difficult to walk together but they got so excited about walking that I couldn’t leave them!
For the first half of our walk I pushed him on his little bike, but then I took him out and let him walk. He is at the age where he is figuring out how to run, so most of the time he just wants to run! But then he notices the fallen leaves around him, or a stick on the ground, and it’s instant fun. He loves to drag sticks around and pretend to cut the leaves. Lately he has gotten into making piles. Piles of sand, piles of mulch, piles of leaves, etc.
We have been hitting up the playground this week with friends and he will play with everyone for a while, then branch off on his own to make piles or play in the dirt. I love how social he can be while still maintaining a love of independent play.
Time out in nature is so important! I wish we lived somewhere that offered forest school as an alternative to preschool! Anyone willing to start one up for me? Please? I have thought of starting up something like that but it just gets SO HOT where we live that I wouldn’t want to go to the classes 6 months out of the year!
Does your child have a favorite ‘activity’ to do in nature? (Like making piles)