I always find that it gets to a certain point in February – crocuses and snowdrops are popping up everywhere, daffodils are appearing in gardens and by supermarket checkouts, the days are suddenly feeling longer and lighter – when I start to really crave spring. Do you feel it too?
Unfortunately, the weather man tells me there is a (very) cold snap on its way to the UK, but undeterred I’ve been dreaming about spring, and being outdoors more. Now Frida is a little older I would like to try and start a habit of regular nature walks, separate from our usual time outside in parks. I’m thinking more time in local woods for a start, and more of a focus on really slowing down and observing what nature we can see around us, and in time recording those finds through nature journalling.
Although I hope this becomes a year-round habit, for us it makes sense to start in spring when the weather is warmer, as Frida struggles if we are outdoors for too long when it is very cold or windy, especially if there is no cafe nearby!
In my anticipation, I have prepared a little nature walk bag for Frida to take out with her on our walks.
In her bag I have put:
- A plain notebook and colouring pencils (Lyra Ferby are the best I’ve found so far for little hands, the pigmentation is superb)
- RSPB First Book of Flowers and First Book of Trees (I’ve also ordered the pond version for our pond trips – I am REALLY looking forward to those pond trips, the ones we took last year make up some of my happiest memories)
- A magnifying glass
- A small container of nuts (the perfect out-and-about snack, especially if you meet a hungry squirrel)
- A small Klean Kanteen for water.
My primary concern was not wanting the bag to be too heavy; I purposely bought her a small toddler size bag (to give you an idea of size it just fits the notebook), as I didn’t want her to get tired carrying too much around.
My thinking is that we will start with this, and then see how Frida gets on. I like the idea of adding her tin of Stockmar paints and a jar for water sometimes instead of crayons, or maybe swapping the books for her Usborne tree and flower cards. I’m also planning on swapping the water Klean Kanteen for a small insulated version to take warm milk or herbal tea on very cold days, though I may carry this so it’s not too heavy for Frida.
Let’s hope spring turns up soon; I’m so ready to feel more sun on my face. I’ve just bought an apple tree and a cherry tree to plant in the garden (that will be our activity for tomorrow afternoon!) and I’ve been thinking about changes we can make to our outdoor space to make it more child-friendly too. I will keep you updated!
PS. Have you seen that I’ve started a Facebook group? It’s called A Beautiful Childhood and it’s designed to be a supportive space to discuss peaceful parenting, Montessori, home education, outdoor play, gentle discipline, open ended toys, beautiful books, and much more. Come and join us!