Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Late Fall Kinderhike by the Sea

Help him get used to a new place.
So, you have a new toddler, or maybe you are watching a niece or nephew, or grandchild, and you want to get out of the house.  Maybe you take the child for a walk around the block, or maybe you embark on a new adventure--the nature hike with toddler--the Kinderhike.  You could push the stroller around the block, or...

You can leave the stroller behind (or push it, empty) and let the toddler roam through wild places, learning the sensations of the seasons, the feel of fall, the sound of birdsongs, the sweet scent of autumnal decay, the lift of the atmospheric pressure just before rain, the chill of the air at sunset...I could go on, but I think you get it.

Walking is a new thing for this toddler!  His cousins help out.
Don't worry!  Mom won't let you fall!

Toddlers like to touch things as you hike.  Let them!
Even a handful of rough sand...
is exciting to a toddler!
You can make sure they feel secure in any new environment.

Introduce new things--like this reed--gently, letting her smell as well as feel it.

The most important thing is being outdoors with them.  Make a Kinderhike a regular part of your schedule!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gift Books for the Paranoid Parent

Buy them for a friend, or put them on your own wish list.

Bon voyage!
Free Range Kids is a book about letting go of fear.  As parents, we are bombarded every day by media messages about the dangers of childhood (and adutlhood).  This book is an antidote to the mentality of fear that possesses us to keep our kids from experiencing the sort of childhood that children need in order to grow into adults who can function in society.  Childhood should be an adventure.  (Click on the book link to watch the video, too!)

Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) is full of suggestions to help you overcome the paranoid instincts of modern parenthood.

Backyard Ballistics is a guide to launching things and blowing stuff up.  'Cause you know they want to.

The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science (with a title as bad as this, buying the book is your first step to letting go).  Simple stuff, and mostly fun.

Feeling more relaxed?  Try Ransome's Pigeon Post for inspiration--read it aloud to the children.  It's not a "how to" book, but a story of children who camp by themselves, mine for (what they hope is) gold and try to refine what they find, deal with drought, battle fires, and have wonderful conversations with total strangers.  Check out Ransome's other books, too.

PS:  Don't forget Forbidden LEGO!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Hole that My Sister-in-Law Made

With her foot. When the sea erodes the sand, be careful where you step!

At the Sea-Side


When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.
My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up
Till it could come no more.

Laughing at the Sea

My niece, Maggie, laughs at the sea. Annika holds her on the sea wall.