Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Unstructured Play’ Category

Hidden Villa is one of our favorite local spots and this week we paid it a spring visit.  Hidden Villa is an organic farm and wilderness preserve founded by the Duvenecks in 1924 and dedicated to the cause of environmental education.  It’s a wonderful spot for toddlers.  There’s an awesome, enclosed Education Garden with rows of different plants and lots of natural playhouses, tunnels and hidden animals for kids to “discover”. My boys will play happily there for well over an hour, running in and out of the tunnels and playing ‘house.’

chasing the hens through the tunnel

Making lunch in the playhouse

More tunnels

Further down the path there are animals to visit: cows and sheep by the barn, and chickens, goats and pigs beyond that.  Both boys love going into the field with the chickens where they can often get close enough to touch the birds.

Chicken Chasing

Lambs

 

We go to Hidden Villa fairly often as it changes so much throughout the year. Last time we were there over Christmas, four piglets had just been born. This trip we were able to see how much these babies had grown. The boys remembered the piglets and how they had acted last time and were able to make comparisons with their behaviour this visit.  Plus, the farm had just welcomed a bunch of lambs, some in the last two weeks, and the boys were delighted to watch these little “baas” (as The Puppy Dog calls them) frolicking in the muddy field.  I love having a place like this close by to visit where the kids can see the cycles of nature in action and note the changing seasons.  It’s a great value day trip – Hidden Villa just asks for a $5 donation per car.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

On our hike this morning we came across an old plank and fallen tree branches settled in the bottom of a dried-out old pond. The boys wanted to play and the possibilities were endless.

First we made a see-saw

Nature see-saw

Then we experimented moving the fulcrum so that Daddy and The Monkey would balance each other. See, I said there was science involved!

Give me a fulcrum and ...I'll move Daddy

Then we experimented to see how we could get all four members of the family balanced on the plank with both ends off the ground. (This is the view from my end).

A well-balanced family

Then we practiced our balance as we took turns to walk along the plank/see-saw.  So much fun!  The boys were sad to leave at lunchtime, but waved goodbye to their new toy and hoped that other children would be along to play with it soon.

Tipping Point

Me too!

Read Full Post »

My boys love to build.  Beaches full of driftwood are a real favourite with our family and keep everyone occupied for hours.

First you have to select your materials:

Good sticks

Then it’s time to build

Focus

And then this bit goes there

Then relax and enjoy the view

There are many things I love about this activity: it’s outside, it engages the boys’ creative thinking, it’s pretty much self-directed and it pushes their imagination.  The fort doesn’t have to be entirely ‘finished’ for them to enjoy it.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts