While I was once cooped up inside a classroom teaching, I now have the freedom to teach outside! Luckily, my daughter loves to be outside exploring. If she is ever restless or bored, I simply take her outside. She could sit calmly for hours and just take it all in. She feels the texture of the grass, tastes the grass and leaves, feels the breeze against her skin, listens to the cars pass by, and learns so much. She sometimes crawls off on her own and is perfectly content to explore.
Yesterday, we went out and did just this. She started by inspecting her stroller from all angles. She found every screw, every strap and buckle. She touched the wheels and got her hands dirty. She then moved on and started picking up leaves. If they got stuck to her hands, she had to figure out how to get them off before continuing in her adventure. She wandered off across the path and tried to get into the ivy. We then walked around the pond and stood at the fence looking out on the water. She crawled under the benches, found gum stuck to the ground (found out it was difficult to pick up), tried to do some climbing, and waved to the people walking by.
This is such a great way to entertain a baby or a toddler, and there is so much learning that can be done outside! While Caroline isn't old enough yet for much other than doing her own exploring, I am so glad that we have started this as a regular activity in her life at such a young age. She really enjoys it, and as she gets older we will incorporate even more learning. We will do scavenger hunts and focus on more specific learning concepts such as comparing a soft, green leaf to that of a dry, crunchy leaf (as explained in this awesome blog post).
We were outside doing our exploring for a good hour and half. She is only 10 months old, but she was happy and content. She could have continued this activity for longer, but it was getting to be nap time, so we headed home. We always have such an amazing time on these adventures, and plan to do as many as possible before the winter comes! Although, that being said, we will be out in the winter snow exploring as well!