This post follows on from the one I wrote last week for Ella’s Parenting Tips Carnival at Notes From Home. I’ve been guilty over the years of rushing my children from place to place at speed without stopping to smell the roses and watch the raindrops. When I make a bit more time, and it doesn’t have to be much, the rewards we reap are enormous!
I love walking to school with my Bonus Boy. It takes ten minutes, I allow at least 20.
He is curious about everything. Last week it was all the different ‘lids’ in the pavement. We had to stop and look at every one. There were drains, access lids for gas, water and cable TV, there were fire hydrants and man-sized lids which we thought led down to the sewers. He talked about the shapes, the letters and the different patterns on every one.
Towards the end of our walk a glorious sight met our eyes and we both whooped a bit! One of the covers had been lifted! There were two men looking into it! Major excitement! They were scratching their heads a bit. We had a look down too and scratched our heads.
When we returned at the end of the day there were four men, the hole was bigger and one man was leaning on his spade! There were two vans and we sounded out the letters pasted on their sides to read ‘Gas’ and ‘Water’ and we asked the men what the problem was. One of the men very kindly explained to Bonus Boy that there was a problem with one of the pipes which was leaking but that they were going to sort it out and that the gas man was there to make sure there were no explosions. Bonus Boy could hardly contain himself on the way home!
In the week running up to the Big Garden Birdwatch, we had to carry a bird identification card with us to school so we could bird spot on the way. Our best spot was a pied wagtail, which is difficult to remember when you’re five but a wagged pietail is very close and actually pretty descriptively accurate!
When it was snowy and icy we examined long icicles and watched them slowly melt when the thaw came. He broke pieces off and carried them home where they have taken up residence in my freezer and we have to take them out once a week to see if they have changed at all. (They are shrinking because the freezer freeze dries stuff and we are measuring the shrinkage)
When we walk to school in the morning and the weather is being kind we are blinded by sunshine and we cast long shadows behind us. Bonus Boy walks in my footsteps to stand on my shadow and we talk about how shadows are made and why his disappears when he walks in mine.
When it is raining we jump the puddles and he has to find the gutter with the leak to stand under it and watch the rain cascade like a waterfall over his umbrella. We’ve talked about where rain comes from and where it goes and we’ve sung many songs about Raindrops Falling on Our Heads, Pitter Patter Raindrops and Why Does it Always Rain on Me?!
It’s raining as I write this post and I promised him as we were strolling in this morning that when he comes home this afternoon we will make a rainmaker with a long tube we’ve been saving and some split peas. We’ve been looking for something special to do with it!
There are so many learning opportunities when we slow down and walk at their pace and take time to listen. Has your child astonished you with an insightful comment or told you something you had no idea they knew?