Mama's Musings

Seasonal Fun 2: Spring

Aug 31, 2021

 

Spring brings us longer days and an awakening world outdoors.
The arrival of colour and new life fills our spirits with a sense of hope.

Acknowledging seasonal changes is one way for humans to experience the rhythm of life. As our children witness the unfolding of each season, they grow a little and appreciate the wonders of nature. To know each season through walks, observation, activities, and games helps our children to develop a more intense relationship with planet earth. In most of Australia, the seasons are not as marked as in other climes… There may not be snow-capped rooftops or dazzling autumn leaves, but there are many less obvious signs that we are a part of the cycle of nature known as the seasons.

A seasonal table or shelf is one way to reflect the changes we witness through displaying items from nature, art and craft and dioramas. The table can also reflect festivals and other events that mark the cycle of our year. For ideas on creating a seasonal table...

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Seasonal Fun 2: Winter

May 31, 2021

Winter warmth comes from within…

Winter is a beautiful season for connecting with our loved ones and taking time to acknowledge the wonder of Earth’s cycles. While there may not be blooms of colour, scuttling wildlife, or lazy afternoon picnics to enjoy, there are many meaningful activities to acknowledge the turning of the wheel with your little ones.

If you have a seasonal table or shelf, you’ll be packing away your Autumn items to make way for some winter seedpod fairies, perhaps on a white or palest blue cloth with some favourite candles for lighting in the evenings… Sprigs of evergreens, refreshed often, will bring some life and colour to your home and brighten up the seasonal display as well. As time passes, this seasonal tableau can become an important means of bonding the family with nature, and with each other. Like all celebrations, festivals and rituals, it serves as a conscious recognition of time passing.

Nature walks can still be enjoyed in...

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Seasonal Fun 2: Autumn

Feb 28, 2021

Autumn is harvest time. Embrace nature’s abundance...

Immersing children in the rhythm of the seasons assists their unfolding as spiritual beings in a physical world. Recognising rhythms – night and day, the seasons, lunar cycles, festivals and traditions – have become less important to us as humans. For our ancestors, these were the essence of life.

If you have not yet set up your own seasonal table or shelf, as described in previous Seasonal Fun columns, it is a wonderful way to explore the ways that our environment changes through the year; and to display works of art, items from nature and books. If you have a table, it is now time to pack some of your summer items away (don’t forget to photograph the display first) and gather items for autumn. Our world abounds with gifts in autumn, take a walk with your child to gather a variety of seeds and coloured leaves for your display and craft activities.

Nature walks can be enjoyed from babyhood. Usually,...

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Seasonal Fun: Summer

Nov 30, 2020

Sun-kissed faces and sunset races,
Sand between your toes…
Memorable picnics underneath
A tree laden with mangoes.

Garden:

Grow sunflowers planted in a circle with an opening as a doorway, or tents made with climbing beans… A living place to play! Flowers and vegetables like nasturtiums, cherry tomatoes and purple beans to pick and eat while outdoors. Make daisy or dandelion chains and mini fairy gardens.


Water Play:

Use the bath tub or paddle pool with bark, walnut or seed pod boats. Explore science with hoses, funnels, cups, coloured water and float or sink fun. In a bucket or tub wash dolls clothes and blankets or dress-up items and dry them in the sun. If you have a sandpit, recreate the beach with water, twigs and shells. Imaginative play has endless possibilities and water will entertain most children for most of a long, hot afternoon…


Craft:

Seashell windchimes using driftwood, sew buttons onto hats or dye them bright colours, watercolour painting, pinwheels,...

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Seasonal Fun: Spring

Aug 30, 2020

Wake up!

Spring is here…

It’s time for blooms,

And cleaning rooms…

Spring is time to sow the seeds of new beginnings.  Begin any family traditions you have had in mind.

Garden:

Give the garden an overhaul.  Feed it well, mulch and prepare for planting.  You may be interested in finding a guide for planting by the moon.  There are special calendars designed to show the most appropriate times for particular kinds of garden tasks.  Old gardeners simply advise – when the moon’s going up (waxing) it’s time to plant above-ground crops.  After the full moon, when it’s waning, it’s time to plant your root crops (like carrots and potatoes).  If you planted some bulbs earlier in the year, you may be lucky enough to have flowers blooming already!  Enjoy the warm afternoons and get dirty in the garden with your little ones.  If your garden is a potted one - transplant, feed and try some...

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Seasonal Fun: Winter

May 31, 2020

Garden:

There are a few flowers and vegetables you can plant in winter. Do you have some produce to harvest from your Autumn planting, or seeds to save from the last surviving plants? Keeping the food garden growing during Winter gives us a good reason to venture outdoors each day. If your garden isn’t producing it’s a great time to mulch well to deter weeds and feed the soil for Spring.

Play:

If the opportunity to play outside is limited, gather natural toys. Have a box of seedpods, dried leaves and pebbles for your little ones to sort. Some of these items may become puppets, some may become money in a store, some may build a scene and others will just be held and treasured. A natural modelling material is beeswax. It can be used to create small figurines and sheets can be rolled into candles.

Craft:

Winter allows us time to be creative together. To make a snowy scene - draw or colour a page with crayon (press hard) and paint over with white acrylic paint....

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Seasonal Fun: Autumn

Apr 05, 2020

 

Garden:

Harvest your bounty and dry some seeds to plant in the Spring.  Children can draw on the labels and sort seeds into tiny containers or packets.  Their small fingers crunch dry pods as they discover nature’s treasures.

 

Craft:

The colourful autumn leaves hold the last rays of summer sunshine.  Use these leaves for making prints with paint in hues of yellow, orange, red and brown.  You can also try fabric paint on calico for bags, cushion covers or wall-hangings.

Collect a basket of nuts, seeds and twigs to create mobiles, critters, puppets, collages on boxes and other items.  Playing with nature’s gifts will inspire you to their varied uses. 

Interesting effects can be created using these items and autumn leaves to create imprints or patterns in clay.  Roll clay into a 5-10mm sheet.  Create imprints and cut them out using a plastic knife.  Pierce holes if required.  Dry slowly by covering creations...

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