Monday, October 26, 2009

Outdoor Hour - Stop at the Oak

We take a lot of "walks" around the block. My kids don't usually like to actually walk. They always want to take their scooters or ride their bikes. They still stop along the way to look at, watch, pick, or examine different things. Lately I have been pushing the baby in a stroller and I find myself saying things like "don't go too far ahead" or "stay where I can see you". I realized today I can give much more specific instructions and my kids know exactly what I mean. Today I used phrases like "Stop at the skipper butterfly garden" , "don't go past the Morning Glories" or "stop at the big oak tree". We have become so acquainted with our neighborhood that the kids know exactly where these phrases are describing.

So today while the kids waited for me to catch up to them at the oak tree. I snapped this photo.
The boys were looking at a tree stump that is being pulled out while Sophie is gathering acorns which are all over the ground around this tree. When I finally reached them the boys were excited to tell me about the stump with all the roots showing. Sophie told me about the squirrels that must have munched some of these acorns.
We took a moment to look at the leaves of the oak tree which were very spikey. These should help us identify which kind of oak tree this is. (When I got home I looked it up and it is a Coastal Live Oak, I think).

As we continued on our walk the kids also pointed out a few other things they found of interest. They noticed the citrus trees and the changing color of the fruit. The lemons, grapefruit and oranges all turning from green to their usual looking colors. They are headed toward ripeness.

Henry pointed these mushrooms out to me. They are quite large and he wanted to kick them and break them up. But I kept him from doing this so we could touch them and examine them a little closer. Sophie didn't want anything to do with them. I guess I have somehow instilled a real fear of touching mushrooms into her. She thinks any wild mushroom we see is poison.
I tried to tell her as long as we wash our hands after touching them we should be alright.

So we had a nice walk and I now have a better way to keep my kids from riding too far ahead of me as we go around the block. I just need to use the "landmarks" that they know and have learned on our many trips around the block. Why didn't I think of this sooner!

2 comments:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I love your post this week. It is exactly what we do when we go for a walk...giving way points. Or we use these way points to describe where we saw something like "there were bees in the thistle patch" or "there were crows in the big V tree". It is great for kids to have this ability...at least I think it is vital.

Your oak looks a lot like our oaks in our backyard.

Great job this week and thanks for sharing.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Bibliophile said...

Good idea--to give them a stopping point. You are very well acquainted with your neighborhood. Do you know many of your neighbors themselves?