Exploring Outdoors

Elias is all bundled up for our walk outside.

Today Elias and I needed a day of rest and relaxation. I was going to try out the “fun for ones” story time at the library, but Elias was napping longer than usual so I figured we just needed some rest. We’ll try it out next week. I decided that we’d just stay home all day to play and rest. But I did decide to get us some fresh air in the early afternoon. Elias and I went out to explore the beginning of the autumn season.

Nathan and I learned at a brain development/literacy session at the library that children learn much much more vocabulary if you just take them outside and talk to them about what you see rather than buying things like flashcards. Language development occurs much easier and faster when you see a real leaf rather than just a picture of one. It seems so simple and so

Elias feeling a leaf.

obvious…right? But it is a bit counter-cultural, I think. Americans want things like flashcards and dvds and computer programs that promise results. Nathan and I are trying to stay away form that kind of thing. Anyway…..I wanted to explore the outdoors with Elias. We started out just exploring the area around our condo. There are plenty of trees and bushes to look at. I let Elias feel some leaves that had fallen and we watched a dog who was playing with its owner on the lawn.

Elias exploring the feel of the pine cone.

Elias loves to touch and feel as I’m sure all babies do. He got to touch a pine cone and some pine needles. He also tasted the pine cone…..I didn’t mean to let him but he’s so quick. At least he didn’t eat any of it. He enjoyed inspecting the different specimens we gathered. But then he thought it would be fun to play a game of “take off my hat in the cold and throw it on the ground.” Because he is getting over a little cold, I insisted he wear the hat…I resorted to distracting him with cheerios. I guess using food like that is not good parenting either. But I had to choose.

Elias squirrel and bird watching.

After gathering the leaves, needles, and pine cones, we saw a squirrel digging in the ground, trying to bury something. Elias really liked watching the squirrel. Then, a big blue bird came and chased off the squirrel. We had some great times together.

Elias playing with some pine needles.

A close up of Elias inspecting some of our finds.

After our walk I put Elias on the ground as I was trying to get the stroller back in the trunk where we store it. I thought Elias was so cute that I'd snap one more photo. He doesn't seem too thrilled about it.

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