Spring is in the air and this household is definitely enjoying its benefits!!! It’s been a bit of a dramatic winter, weatherwise, and whilst we didn’t have any snow this time around, the vast quantities of rain certainly made up for the lack thereof.
2 Springs ago we had water shortages and farmers were desparately trying to get their crops growing with many a track looking like this…
Yes…I didn’t think the tractor could have made it through that section very easily looking at the depth of the track. Only for this Spring to still be looking like someone was telling fibs..
and to add 4 hail storms, some very sleety snow and lightening bolts added in the mix!
The boys have had loads of fun in the puddles and the streams (don’t get me wrong!) but I think they are ready for some dry land fun. It’s hard to play on our local green when your feet are just squelching in the mud and your wellies are being sucked off your feet as you try to walk. It’s fun in the beginning but they are a bit over that fun now.
They have been loving spotting the bulbs coming up and we are slowing (very slowly) learning that a daffodil is NOT, I repeat NOT, a daisy or a buttercup.
The willow by one of our village ponds is looking splendid as the sun catches it and the fields of bright yellow are thankfully appearing.
So, there’s a lot to look forward to these Easter school holidays and fingers crossed…the sunshine hangs around a bit longer.
Noun : A domestic fowl kept for its eggs or meat
Mass noun : Meat from a chicken as in roast chicken OR informal A game in which the first person to lose their nerve and withdraw from a dangerous situation is the loser:he was killed by a car after he lay in the road playing chicken
Adjective : Cowardly:I was too chicken to go to court
Verb : Withdraw from or fail in something through lack of nerve:the referee chickened out of giving a penalty
And there are a host of chicken-related phrases that they have too…
The above chickens are the ones that are at our local village school and they provide a variety of entertainment and opportunities for discussion on our walk home or on the weekends when it is our turn to tend to them.
The lastest discussion is what caused me to go and find the definition of a chicken. The boys were chatting about food and we somehow got to the part where ( I generalise in my food ingredients here) sausages are made from pigs, hamburgers are made from cows and chicken is made from chickens. (Brave subject with a 7 & 5 year old!)
The youngest declares that we do not eat chickens! So the eldest pipes up, very officially, that we do and went through the what is made from which animal part of the discussion again- by which time we were home.
I haven’t yet seen the side effects of the conversation, nor has it cropped up again. So for the moment, I sigh with relief and carry on cooking the sausages, chicken etc.
Throwing Stones…we are forever telling children to NOT THROW STONES! In shouty voices I rather suspect. But is is all bad ?
Well, yes it is dangerous and it can injur someone or an animal (especially if a catapult is used and I am highly against catty’s as we call them in our house). Our children must learn there is a right way and wrong way to do something and have that internal monitor within themselves to figure out which is which.
So, when the rain finally stopped and the boys and I took the girls (aka our dogs) for a lovely long walk, the boys spotted the ‘safe spot’ for throwing stones. They know the check that there is enough space between them and that nobody is coming past and there are no animals that they can see in the field.
The hunt for their ‘perfect throwing stone’ begins and they can be there for ages trying to beat each other as to who threw the furthest or highest (note the cycle helmuts stay on haha!). Interestingly enough, there is no fighting as to who won as they are too busy looking for the next stone!
Watching the sense of freedom along with building the skillsof throwing accurately is lovely to watch, but knowing that the boys are learning other life skills, like dealing with danger or figuring out whether something is safe to do or not for themselves is an even better skill that they are learning.
So, back to my original question : Throwing stones – is it all that bad?
50 things to do before you are 11¾ is a challenge that has been set by the National Trust and is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your kids. Mind you it’s also a great list to have a wander down memory lane and figure out how many of those activities you did as a child too!
We started our 50 things list about 18 months ago and as and when I have remembered, I have updated it.
It looks like we’re half way and only have another 3 years or so to tick the other 22 or so things off our list before our eldest son reaches the 11¾ bit!
Now, to be honest, I myself, have never played a grass trumpet and so I really should get a move on learning how to do that. Or perhaps I should get the boys to figure it out and they can teach me. I also need to figure out what bouldering is – if anyone knows and can let me know the answer…that would be helpful!
Some things which aren’t on the list but possibly should be considered for inclusion :
Ride a bike
Whistle with your mouth (or fingers..I can’t do the fingers one myself!)
Playing Pooh sticks
Those are just a few that come to mind… how about you? Any others you think should be added to the list?
Ah…the countryside and an idyllic place to just smell the fresh air and cow dung. Oops! I meant smell the fresh air and walk into some great things that will teach you and your kids a lesson or two.
I have previously posted about various ways of learning and I am a great advocate of learning with real tools. How else would you learn to ride a bike with no hands or that ocean currents are extremely strong even though you can see them?
Every Summer, some of the fields near our house are filled with some beautiful cows and their calves. It really is a lovely sight to see and a great change to walks and thought processes. Apart from the boys learning that animals (no matter how big) should be respected (just as the sea should be I might add), there are a few other things they could learn along the way.
Cow pats stink and provide a lot of hard work to remove from shoes if you don’t watch out for them!
Just because an animal looks docile, does not mean it is.
If you look carefully, there is wire with spikes on it that will hurt if you just ran into it but provides us with useful protection at the same time.
Sometimes, touching and feeling things gives you a better understanding and if you are careful when doing so, it won’t hurt. (apologies for the fuzziness of the photo – I was concentrating on the fingers and barbed wire!)
There are some things in life that are better learned from experience and well of course there are others that are better learnt from books (like snake bites hurt and can kill!) I want the boys to have the freedom to enjoy themselves at the same time as learning to keep an eye out for the hidden elements, both good and bad.
Puddles, puddles everywhere and not a drop to drink! Or something along those lines!
Our daily walk to and from school involves me thinking, ‘I have the same conversation every morning about avoiding the puddles and I would have thought by now that the boys have understood this instruction.’
I would imagine the boys thought process on their walk to and from school is the same which is ‘oooh! Puddle! I am sure I can make it over that one today…it looks a big bigger than the last time I jumped over it but I’ll give it a go!’
Different points of view ring a bell? My honest thought process is that on the way to school I would like them to avoid said puddles and on the way home I am not bothered that much if we are going straight home. There is no time like the present and if they want to jump about and experiment with various Physics forces and not realise it – well then all the more the merrier.
There’s nothing that a warm bath, hot chocolate and the good ol’ washing machine that can’t fix the mud and cold (even when you are in your school uniform!). Clothes will come and go but memories last forever!