This morning we were playing a game of Elefun, the game where fabric butterflies are blown from an elephant’s trunk for the children to catch in nets.
I know, let’s go and catch butterflies outside.
My 4-year -old quickly ran outside to look around the garden for butterflies. I explained that we needed to be quiet and still if we were to find any butterflies. Butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, pink and purple so we looked for flowers in these colours and waited.
The hunt for butterflies was not very successful so they started to look for other creatures instead.
I’m trying to catch butterflies. what else can I find to put in my net?
No butterflies in here.
These leaves are really soft. We’re not allowed to pick them but we are allowed to stroke them.
No butterflies but lots of bees
They found a woodlouse (or roly-poly as the kids here call them) and lots of bees but no butterflies.
I know let’s make some butterflies out of paper.
I cut out some paper butterflies. The girls wanted to decorate them with stickers but I could only find white ones.
I know let’s draw patterns on the white ones. Now you hide them and we can find them and catch them in our nets.
We didn’t have any coloured stickers so the girls decorated white ones
The finished butterfly, without instruction my daughter decorated it with Symmetrical wings. ‘Butterflies never have 2 wings that are different’.
I hid them in the bushes. Found one! Now I have 1,2,3.4 butterflies, only 4 left to find.
My eldest daughter has been an avid potion maker all her life. We are always finding concoctions in her bathroom and when she was young she would leave them on the windowsill of her bedroom or on the side of the bath and if you knocked them off whilst having a relaxing bath the cold would give you the shock of your life. She is now a huge Harry Potter fan, having read all of the series 4 times and her potions are taking on new meaning. Her younger sister is following in her footsteps. Now that the weather is nicer I set up a little potion station for them in the garden – they love it.
It is a great sensory play activity and science experiment, they got their hands in, testing and smelling the potions and used all kinds of things from the garden. Best of all I love how the imaginary play scenarios evolved. I suggested to my 9-year-old that she might like to make a book of potion recipes.
‘Yes’ she exclaimed excitedly, ‘ But we’ll need about 70 pages, the McClary recipe book’
Today I met with a group of mums and their toddlers to play golf at the pitch and put, Willows Road Golf Course. All of the children were new to golf and most of the children were below the age of 2. My girls had a brilliant time – my 4-year-old even asked if she could come back tomorrow.
Before 11am under 12’s can play the 18 hole pitch and put for $5. The beautiful setting meant that my 2-year-old, who lost interest after a few holes had plenty to keep her occupied.
There were lots of opportunities for learning too:
Number recognition as we moved around the holes
Recognising colours – who has the red ball? What colour flag do we have this time?
Reading signs – Please rake your footprints, keep on the path.
Gross motor skills – how do you hold the club? You need to hit it hard to get it up hill. What is the best way to get it in the hole?
Counting – how many shots did you take that time?
Writing – filling out a score card.
Vocabulary – What is the stick called again? I’m in the bunker.
Turn- taking and awareness of others.
We’ll definitely be doing it again, a great way to spend a sunny morning.
Hmm, how should I play this shot?
I’m getting the hang of this now.
I’m going to take 3 hits this time.
Go on, you can do it.
You need to hit it really hard to get it up the hill.
the sand in the bunker was lots of fun, especially when they raked away their footprints.
When you’ve had enough of golf, climbing and jumping is fun.
The course is built around waterfalls, lakes and bridges – beautiful.
Getting my children to put things away when they are finished is often a struggle but sometimes it has its advantages. A tub and paintbrush were left on the driveway. After a few rainy days it inevitably filled with water. My 2-year-old picked up the brush, dipped it in the tub and proceeded to paint the garage.
On a sunny day she returned to the tub but couldn’t find her paintbrush. I brought a selection from the garage and as she discovered the different lines the brushes made. Painting on a dry driveway was a very different experience. I later found a paint roller – below are her remarks as she played.
Having recently discovered some of the amazing hikes in the Seattle area we are really keen to encourage the children to appreciate the wonders around them. My kids love outdoor play, especially in the woods but a 4 mile steep hike can be hard work for an 8, 4 and 2-year old. To keep them going on our last hike I asked them to see how many letters of the alphabet they could spot in the surrounding area. The letters had to be found in nature and they weren’t allowed to create a letter by moving an object.