Monday, September 14, 2015
Our summer with our granddaughter was exhausting....but entertaining.. What I recall are the simple ways to entertain her. In nature. And free!
One day, we saw a Mud Dauber creating her nest of mud on our porch ceiling. We observed that the fresh mud was darker in color. The wasp made quick trips (we didn’t know where), came back with a little dollop of mud, and packed the new mud next to the older, lighter colored mud. This behavior was fun and fascinating to watch. The “show” was constant all afternoon. And so we sat and watched. Even more amazing is that a four year old would sit attentively that long!
Another engaging activity was listening for birds each morning. We made lists each day of all the species we heard...intent on hearing the same number from the previous day. And then, we compared lists....some days we heard a new voice and excitedly added that to the list. Fun....
And who hasn’t tried to catch frogs. That is still one of my favorite things to do!
Whether it was ants climbing up a tree or bats flying overhead at night, we always had a “show” worth paying attention to. On some occasions we went to explore other places, pretending to be Lewis and Clark pointing to a new path, hiking up a stream, or kayaking on a nearby lake. All of these activities were free and entertaining.....simple and fun
What I learned from this experience with my granddaughter is that it doesn’t take much to entertain a child in nature. And that children have longer attention spans than you might think. You just have to find something interesting to attend to. Nature does the rest.