Are we ever happy to be able to explore outside again!!! There was a while there where it was just cruelty to even suggest taking a walk around the block at this house. Cooping up kids who are used to observing and exploring nature in the great outdoors is so painful. However, even when we were down with colds and the wind howled at our door, we found a fun way to play in the snow: we brought it in!
It’s amazing how, even the most familiar of toys, got new life when they played in the snow. We’ve done this with our avengers, our farm animals and, most recently, our dinosaurs! ROAR!
Seeking out and finding small patches of green is becoming harder in my little home town as an expansion of condos is beginning to encroach. The fields I played in as a child discovering groundhogs and grasshoppers have been filled with suburban split levels for at least 25 years now.
Luckily we have moved to a little neighbourhood with big trees and one block from our home is a small woodland space. I don’t know what you would call it. It’s not large enough to be a wood or forest but it’s not small enough to be brush either. I guess it’s kind of a thicket. My understanding is that there used to be a landing strip for airplanes in there and at one time even an orchard. Now nature is reclaiming it and we have a little path on which to disconnect, find animal tracks and listen to the birds.
We come back to our suburban world refreshed and rosy-cheeked.
We have a little solarium at the back of our house. It’s a bit cold at this time of year but when the sun shines in just right Althea and I warm ourselves back there with a “baba” and a hot tea. Watching the squirrels battle it out over our feeder is worth the pain of cleaning up all the sunflower seed shells in the spring. They are fun to watch and on a snowy day it is so neat to see a bright red spark of bird perched in the center of the white backyard.
We were inspired to pull out our book of bird song that comes with audio bird calls yesterday. We flipped through it looking at each bird and listening to its song. As you can imagine, it was a lazy Sunday. If you are inspired to do the same take a peek at the beautiful catalog of calls available free online at the Macaulay Library.
We are climbing the walls a bit as the crisp January sets in firmly. So we decided to go to the Museum of Civilization. What a lovely time. They have an incredible children’s museum there and that was our intended destination but… we took a swing round the Grand Hall and found ourselves caught up in the world of first nations history, art, origin myths and artifacts. I’ve never heard Althea say “come and see, mama” so many times in succession. Just another example of not needing to dumb down learning for kids. One of the best bonding moments I’ve had with her yet.