Friday, May 4, 2012

My Friday 5: Nature Fun in the Bleachers

Every Thursday at 5 p.m., the boys and I head to the baseball field for The Big Explorer’s 5-pitch practice.

How, you ask, does The Little Explorer pass the time?

Anyone who has tried to spend an hour sitting quietly with a 3.5-year-old knows that it can be a bit … challenging. Add to that the fact that there isn’t too much space to explore without venturing away from the practice area and you begin to understand my dilemma.

I’ve found that bringing a few essential items along with us can turn practice hour into an opportunity for connecting with nature.

What used to be an agonizingly long hour of whining is now a mix of laughing, learning and exploring – for both of us! These days, we never head to the field without:

1. A magnifying glass
Yesterday, The Little Explorer spent almost the entire hour examining anything he could get his hands on – trees, leaves, sticks, rocks, dirt.

2. A notebook & pen
The Little Explorer is currently obsessed with letters, especially writing them. He goes and finds something; we spell it out. Repeat.

3. A camera
Sometimes it’s his; sometimes it’s mine. But either way, taking pictures is a way for us to capture cool things we discover (like tree bark, a blooming flower or a bug). We also like taking goofy pictures of each other.

4. Silly putty
This Easter gift from grandma turned out to be just right for making impressions of everything from leaves to sticks and even rocks.

5. A snack
A hungry explorer is a grumpy explorer. We find that snacking is more fun if we’re also cloud watching.

If you want a few more ideas for things to do at your neighborhood park, check out 15 ways to connect with nature at the park.

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