Saturday, 13 April 2013

Dirty Ditches and Puddle Play

Yesterday morning we had a lovely time at an indoor play centre, Pickles Playhouse, with some very good friends. 
After a lovely morning indoors and with such mild weather outdoors I decided to dedicate the afternoon to some outdoor play. So we donned our waterproofs and wellies and headed outside.

Little Man isn't walking on his own yet but he does love to walk about with my support. I simply let him steer me in the direction he wants to go. First on his agenda was the swing, he headed straight for it and asked to get in. He has always loved the swing and I love to hear his giggles as I push him high. Eventually, he wanted to get down for more adventures.
I am a big believer in self directed play, particularly in the early years. I think it is vital for building confidence, developing imagination and allowing children to process the world in a way that makes sense for them. So with this in mind I allowed Little Man to decide where we were headed next. 
He knew exactly where he was headed, to the ditch that runs along the front of our house! I have no idea why he decided this was the place to go but he did and he was adamant we should get in. We stood at the edge of the bank and he repeatedly attempted to get me to walk him down into the water. This ditch is currently very deep and not the cleanest of ditches so needless to say I tried several distraction methods and tried to convince him that there were far more exciting places to go. In the end I had to carry him kicking and screaming all the way back to the swing. He immediately started to head me back in the direction of the ditch! Thankfully though he was distracted by a lovely puddle at the end of our drive.

He spent ages sat beside the puddle experimenting with throwing, placing and dropping stones into the puddle and watching the ripples on the water. It was fascinating to watch, I love watching the little cogs turning in his brain as he processes the information he is taking in. If the reality of life hadn't set in and I hadn't realised how close it was to his tea time, I would have sat there all day watching him and letting him discover the world. However, I knew he would be hungry soon and that I needed to be Mum and make sure he was well fed. Unfortunately at one, Little Man doesn’t yet understand the concept of time and we were in for another tantrum. This one didn't last long though (they rarely do at the moment) because as soon as we were indoors and washing our hands there was too much fun to be had with soapy hot water and thoughts of the puddle and all those stones soon slipped from his mind.

I’d love to hear about your latest outdoor adventures. Have they involved tantrums? Or have your little ones been completely absorbed by an outdoor activity that you haven’t wanted to interrupt them? 

*Please also check out this week's Nature Table at The Magic Onions for some more Nature inspired fun

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