Taking a garden tourPosted: 08/02/2014
You don’t have to go far to explore the outdoor world… You’ll be surprised what there is to discover right in your own back garden when you look through the eyes of a toddler! Whatever the weather, taking a garden tour is an easy, fun activity to do together.
It’s a good job that the UK is already an island, otherwise we would definitely be floating off somewhere after the seemingly endless rain we are having at the moment. I have to admit to feeling rather dreary; it’s so much easier to feel happy and energetic when the sun is shining!
We’ve been staying with my parents, who have a lovely large garden, about five or six times the size of ours at home. It was perfect for taking a tour during one of the rare points in the week that the rainclouds lifted. There was even a flash of blue in the sky as we donned our wellie boots and set off to do some exploring.
We stopped by the back door to breathe in a lovely lungful of fresh air and listen to the sounds of the outside world. ToddlerGirl immediately identified birds singing, so we went a little way into the garden to see if we could spot any and were rewarded with several sightings: a beautiful collared dove, a blackbird, a robin and a crow. The crow is my least favourite but, funnily enough, the one ToddlerGirl was most interested in!
There used to be a pond in the garden that has now been drained, but the rain has started to fill it up again! This was a big draw to ToddlerGirl, so we headed towards it to peer over the edge. We could see the clouds reflected in the puddles of water inside the pond and spotted a couple of snails, which were particularly fascinating to ToddlerGirl.
We then headed further up the garden, following a path of round stepping stones that ToddlerGirl had to leap onto one at a time. This proved a great game and we skipped up and down the garden a couple of times, trying to keep to the path. At the top of the garden, we examined Grandad’s rather straggly vegetable patch and I explained that in the summer we would be able to find vegetables growing there. ToddlerGirl is beginning to understand where some of her food comes from – she knows milk comes from cows and that bees ‘get’ honey – and I’m introducing the idea of growing fruit and vegetables now, so she was very interested in what we might find in Grandad’s garden in the future.
There were lots of steps and low walls to climb up and jump down from. A pebbly patch to stomp on with our wellie boots and listen to crunching sound under our feet. A bed of daffodils beginning to poke their way out of the ground to investigate (oh, I can’t wait until all the daffodils are out – then I know spring is on its way!). Sticks to be collected and then thrown into the remains of the pond, although I put a stop to that after a couple of goes, as I thought Dad might not appreciate his nearly drained pond getting clogged up with extra debris!
Soon we were dodging rain drops but, as we were only in the garden, it was easy to escape the downpour. We headed back inside, having whiled away a happy half an hour or so and successfully dealt with ‘cabin fever’ for another day!
It’s amazing what you can find in the garden when you look with fresh eyes. I sort of ‘write off’ heading into our garden during the really soggy winter weeks but I definitely won’t overlook it again as a simple activity to get us out of the house. Although our own garden is much smaller, I am already thinking about the different things we can investigate together on our next garden tour.
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