Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Embracing the seasons
I'm really enjoying our autumn this year. Our local park has a carpet of huge beautifully coloured leaves and still plenty on the trees too, gorgeous reds, yellows, bronzes and greens. It looks so pretty and is a real pleasure to walk through. It's dry and not too cold so it's perfect for being outside and appreciating the beauty of nature during this season.
It's good to engage children in the natural seasons and involve them with their surroundings. I think I've mentioned in a previous post that my son currently loves getting handfuls of leaves and throwing them in the air with a "wheee!!". I keep meaning for us to collect a few leaves and bring home to make a simple tree collage too.
Winter will follow and for me that's the most challenging season to embrace. In England, it seems to always overstay its welcome. Yet, dressed appropriately, it's fun to play in the snow and make snowmen, snowballs and maybe find a hill for sledding. Pre-Christmas, there's a certain charm in dark, cold winter nights, keeping warm and cosy inside and preparing for Christmas itself, wrapping gifts, putting festive decorations up and looking forward to some family time together. After Christmas, it's a different story though and most of us find ourselves yearning for spring.
Spring is the most uplifting season for me. Spring blossom and the first crocuses to emerge are an encouraging sight to behold. Spring flowers give a burst of colour after a dark grey winter. Lighter, longer days make you feel more energetic and able to enjoy being outside again.
Summer might be the easiest season with which to engage children. Holidays, beaches, sea, sand, buckets and spades, pebbles, paddling pools in the back garden, running in the grass and all the outdoor stimulation that summer brings makes for lots of simple fun activities.
Whatever the weather and the season, it's invigorating to get outside. It's a nice lesson for children to understand the cyclical patterns of nature and appreciate what they can see, touch and experience at different times of the year. My parents often took me on woodland walks in the spring and autumn and sometimes to beaches in the winter. I have fond memories of those times, enjoying the simplicity of what nature offers.
What's your favourite season and what are some of your favourite family activities you like to do during that time?