We very very rarely take toys out with us when we have adventures because there's so much to engage with in the environment. Auggie is in to counting and giving things to people at the moment, so we followed his lead and did those things with the daisies that are everywhere this season. If your child's into tipping then you could gather flowers to tip out of something. If they're into running, they could run between two piles of leaves or run carrying twigs to somewhere! It sounds really silly but that's the beauty of heuristic play - flowers and sticks aren't a toy with a specific theme or function so you can do ANYTHING you can imagine with them.
Auggie wants to listen to and watch us count - so we lined up daisies and counted them.
BRINGING NATURE HOME.
We're all about reviewing our day and talking about it later. This is great for memory and language development. We brought some of our daisies home and put them into test tubes so that we could view them and talk about the day we had. "We picked daisies and counted them with Daddy. Some had loooong stems and some had short ones. There were lots of daisies on the grass at the park!". Keeping some of nature means that we can review the same learning tomorrow and count with the daisies. He can also give me flowers to start my day, which is a level of cuteness I need to get up early on a Sunday!
ADD WATER. Most children love water play so chucking flowers in water is one of the easiest play set ups ever. If you're out - put flowers/nature into puddles or ponds. At home, containers of water can add a new fun element - you could even add ice to one!
LANGUAGE OPPORTUNITIES IN NATURE.
Of course you can label/name things I nature, but if you're creative you can sneak in so much more learning. Ideas:
- numbers/ counting
- concepts like full/empty, big/small, long/short, first/next/last, open/closed and hot/cold.
Play doesn't have to be complicated. You don't need a stunning, insta-worthy montessori nursery full of posh toys. You can pay and teach everything your child needs to know in your back garden. Get outside!