Making muddy marks in the parkPosted: 27/11/2014
I love our local park. It has been a brilliant space to have on our doorstep since I had ToddlerGirl. When one or both of us are climbing the walls after an uneventful day at home, it is a real sanity saver to pop over for a play!
We made good use of it one afternoon this week. With BabyGirl tucked up napping in the sling, I could give my attention to ToddlerGirl, who skipped around trying all the equipment.
Her current favourite is a roundabout type thing that she spins around on like some kind of whirling dervish! It was so funny to watch her with her hair flying, giggling like mad.
Once this started to wear thin, we wandered over to what I call the ‘mud mounds’. This is a good-sized area of concrete and several mounds of compacted mud, great for scooting or riding bikes over or simply running around on! They are even better at the moment with piles of huge leaves on the ground, perfect for shuffling through and kicking up into the air.
Armed with nothing more than a big stick and our imaginations, we managed to while away nearly an hour there. The stick proved useful for swishing in the leaves and some very vigorous stirring of muddy puddles, or ‘puddle soup’ as ToddlerGirl called them. (Actually, the stirring was undertaken a little too enthusiastically and she ended up a tad wet… Luckily I had a change of trousers so we didn’t have to cut short the fun!)
After that, I decided it was time to tone down the puddle stirring (although I still caught her trying to dip her toe in!) and we discovered that the layer of mud on the ground made a lovely blank canvas for some mark making with the stick.
ToddlerGirl dragged it through the mud to make long lines, then carefully drew circles and, with a little more difficulty, triangles. She also pretended to do some writing, making a series of marks that she said were her name. She then asked me to write her name for her and we decorated it with hearts and stars (me) and wavy lines and circles (her).
We thought about some creatures that we might find at the park. ToddlerGirl drew a number of wiggly worms and requested I draw an elephant. We had a little giggle at the idea of finding an elephant there one day as I attempted to make a reasonable likeness! I’m no artist and it proved quite hard to draw one with the stick, but ToddlerGirl was kind enough to tell me that it did indeed look like an elephant! I’m not so sure…
As the light started to fade and thoughts turned to teatime, we headed home – with our big stick, of course, which was added to the growing pile outside our front door.
It just goes to show that you don’t always have to go far or to anywhere special to have an outdoor adventure. Our quick trip to get us out of the house turned into so much more as we explored and had fun together.
I love our park!