My years are measured in seasons now, not months or years. Each brings a flurry of activity and opportunity for growth.
Roaming the local pumpkin patch, we find the most perfect bumpy, little pumpkin for our little boy. Around campfires and hay bales, we breathe in the cooling air.
The leaves shift colors and drift down. As much as my two-year-old loves jumping on the bed, he’s never jumped in leaves before. We start with a slow-motion fall, easing our way down with giggles and flailing. After a few jumps, he piles the leaves into the wheelbarrow by the armful.
The week before, we had stripped the garden, pulling out monstrous tomato plants and prickly squash. Now, we empty the composter, scraping the sides of the dark sludge and shreds of newspaper caught there. We break down the straw bale that held our Jack o’lantern, layering it in with the compost and leaves. The pile nearly comes up to my son’s head.
This post explores the biology and ecology of seashells at the beach, including the animals who use them and how they create them. It’s part of a series I’m doing on using everyday situations to help young kids explore science – particularly ecology and biology – more in depth.
As the summer wraps up, many families head out to the beach. While you’re there, use the opportunity to learn about seashells and the creatures that once lived in them.
The Victorian-influenced sun and moon wallpaper, that I felt so grown-up picking out. The musical theater posters on the wall, including one from West Side Story signed by the touring cast. The photograph of two manatees kissing at Homosassa Springs that my dad took when I was in third grade. The glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, interspersed with painted clouds. All fundamental elements of my childhood bedroom, now all gone. Instead, it’s some other child’s bedroom, empty and awaiting his dream of what he wants it to be.
Last month, my parents closed on my childhood home in upstate New York so they could move closer to us. They sold it to a young family with two small boys. Like my parents 30 years ago, the mother and father were excited about the good school district and suburban neighborhood. While I’m glad everything worked out, it’s still a bit bittersweet for me.
Cape Cod is full of activities for children, from sand-castle building to mini-golf. But Cape Cod is also home to unique ecological habitats and natural landscapes that are wonderful to explore with kids. Our family visited the Cape last week and these were some of our favorite activities:
Encouraging my child to explore the world is one of my core values as a parent. On a practical level, explorational parenting involves exposing children to as many types of experiences as possible, providing the atmosphere to build appreciation as well as skill. It also uses exploration as a way to see the world through a bigger, kinder perspective, helping children value other people and the world around them.
I won’t make any promises, but I think embracing these ideas in our parenting have made my son more willing to try new things and appreciate a wide diversity of people and experiences than he would otherwise.
Posted in child development, family, nature kid, parenting, parenting philosophy, Simplicity Parenting, societal issues
Tagged explorational parenting, explore, exploring, free-range parenting, positive parenting, Simplicity Parenting
While our household has strict limits on kids’ screen time, there is one show we consistently allow Sprout to watch- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. This Mr. Rogers’ spin-off captures much of the charm of the original, even though it’s animated rather than live action.