We just spent a week in the drakensberg but we didn’t get around to buying all the kids raincoats. We could have let that stop us from enjoying our walks in the mountains on rainy days BUT we didn’t. That was simply because we took some black plastic bags with us. We cut a small hole in the bottom as a head hole and a hole at each bottom corner or arm holes. We needed to tie it up a bit but it kept most of their bodies dry. (Just remember to throw the bag away afterwards as you don’t want you little ones playing with it when you not around.) We found so many exciting creatures that we would have missed if we had let the rain keep us at bay!
With spring upon us we have had a wonderful time outdoors. Our pre-schoolers have stood in awe of all the amazing mysteries happening around them. As we’ve played outside we’ve been drawn towards the new flowers budding or the tiny leaves poking through the dry earth. Leaves of all shapes and sizes are bursting off our trees and insects galore have taken up residence in our garden. Finding time to stop and look at all these amazing miracles not only leaves them with a sense of wonder and awe that will be carried into their adult lives it also helps develop a host of other skills.
By looking at these tiny developments and bursting of nature they develop an eye for detail, their visual discrimination and visual figure ground and visual constancy skills are honed. As you compare different flowers and leaves they will be developing their sorting skills. They will begin to notice different patterns and similarities and differences on the various objects. Notice how all the caterpillars walk differently and how one bird runs along the ground whilst another hops. Take some time these next few days to just enjoy being outside with your child and they will be developing a host of preschool skills that you are not even aware of!
Take time to stop and look at the little things in life. These include flowers, bugs, stones and leaves. By learning to stop and notice what is around us we learn a host of skills including the development of the habit of attention, observation and detail. Take a few minutes out of each day to “stop and stare.”