Saturday, 10 December 2011

The River & A Late Night

After Grandpa went home this morning, I took the boys down to the river. It's a good 2km there and back, and it's a lovely walk.

How to make the most out of a walk
When we go out for a long walk, I give them each a sturdy bag to collect 'goodies' along the way. They fill their bags with anything that takes their fancy, usually stones, rocks, sticks, flowers, leaves, and seeds. If we're going to the river, when we get there they like to throw each thing they've collected into the river!

I think my boys could never grow tired of throwing stones into water even if they had a mountain of stones!

Sticks have to be the most underrated object found naturally. To a child, it can be a fishing rod, a spoon to stir with, something with which to draw in the sand, or just a great thing to hold or drag as you walk along!

I'll never forget when JJ found a curved stick and declared he had found a "banana-stick".

There's lots of different tree pods and seeds we pick up as we walk along. The boys learn about how the seeds that fall into the good soil and get good water and sun will grow into trees.

We come across red pods with tiny black seeds inside, and the boys are fascinated with opening them and picking the seeds out with their fingers.

Along the way, JJ reads the door numbers on the fences, and picks out the word "Letters". SamSam likes to run his hand along the fence pickets.

I think with going for a walk with kids, you shouldn't rush it. It shouldn't be a means to getting to your location, it's about enjoying the walk itself and exploring anything you come across. If you don't get to your desired location at your desired time, don't worry, they're learning!

Pit Stop
Half way to the river JJ tells me he needs to do a 'Number 2' Typical!! Luckily we're about to pass a cafe, so we stop in. I feel bad just using their toilets and not ordering anything, so the boys score the most Delicious Banana Pikelets ever, and I get a coffee. JJ doesn't even do his 'business' in the end!
Eventually we get to the river, and the boys have a great time. There's a small stormwater run-off that flows through the parkland and drops right into the river. It is a little murky (it is the Yarra after all!), but I let them pretend to fish in it, and push along leaves so that they fall down the 'waterfall'. It's nice and shaded and there's no one around. They are laughing with excitement. They could happily play here all day.

I manage to coax them into walking some more, and we find a nice little spot with a view over the river. JJ has packed a couple of books in his bag, so we pull them out and have a nice quiet read next in the midst of beautiful surrounds.

Finally it's time to go home. We spend a little while in a playground on the way home, but I'm a Mumma on a Mission, I have to get them fed, and in bed for a longgg nap as we have a late night tonight with friends.

This afternoon is also their performance at church for the Christmas carols! After an epic nap, they are dressed in red and green, and waving some plastic candles that light up. There are loads of people in the hall, but the boys don't seem to have stage fright. I have to say that JJ is a born-performer. He loves being on stage and knows all his words and all the actions. They sing with all the other children who go to playgroup. So cute!

Straight after church, we head off to dinner with some dear friends. My tactic of the longgg nap in the afternoon has worked, and they last really well through the dinner. They get to eat a new thing - black bean oysters! I can't believe that they like to eat them!! These boys are little mini food connoisseurs!

Our meal finishes at 9pm, so it's been a truly long day considering they walked 2km and went out for about three hours in the morning! This is the latest they've ever been up, and they get to see our Christmas tree lights in real darkness, which makes JJ say "hooorayyy!".

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