So here in our little part of the world, we have experienced so.much.rain this spring!
I have been reading (and re-reading) so many books all around getting children connected/re-connected to nature. There are so many resources out there that promote children's interaction with nature. Don't feel like you have to tackle it all at once, one small step at a time. For example, I used to keep the "lock" engaged on my son's window in my car so that I controlled the air that he received. New perspective--- he started copying me and wanting "fresh air" so I have backed off quite a bit on that little lock. Something so small and simple, but one that makes a huge difference for him. We go the long way around to his school so that we are able to drive through the woods/local park, with our windows down, sunroof open, allowing our lungs to breathe in clean air and to feel the wind on our faces. He noticed the smell of the woods on the way to school this morning-- with all of the rain, that classic woodsy smell was obvious, and he was intrigued.
Back to this rain, and what to do with you children! GO OUTSIDE! Invest in a few pairs of rain boots, a good raincoat, and know that there will be mud and mess. Deep breathe. It is all washable. Giving your child "permission" to jump in the puddles and feel the rain on their faces- to navigate over a slippy muddy patch of grass, to witness how the animals respond to the rain.... I guarantee you will see things that you would otherwise miss if you were nice and dry in your home.
Prepare ahead of time- keep an old towel handy near your door where you/your child will be entering once you come back inside. We bought one of those black shoe liner mats and it has been a lifesaver this winter and spring. Boots/shoes come off immediately and go there. Depending on the level of mud, my son might take off his wet clothes and put them into the dirty laundry bin inside our door (which also collects our cloth napkins from meals). Sometimes he takes a bath, sometimes we cuddle up on the couch and talk about/draw what we observed, and other times he wants some alone time and plays by himself.
If you aren't quite ready yet to venture out in the rain with your child- bring back something that was a staple of my childhood--- fort building! Super easy, and so much fun! Children often need a little nook or space that is their own- this is such a great way to engage their imagination and problem solving skills. Blankets, pillows, and I have used waldorf clips in the past to secure sheets together as well.
Talk about the rain- I am sure your child is curious about it. Head to the library or your local bookstore to find some books on rain and on the weather. Encourage your child to draw/write what they observe. I have seen families make "weather calendars" before.
Know that all too soon, the heat and humid summer months will be here, this is the moment to pause and enjoy this season.
Beth is a mom first and foremost. She is also a trained Montessori teacher who is passionate about making the lofty ideals of the Montessori philosophy more real and manageable for families.