Friday, 15 May 2009

A For Effort

I did a little “spring cleaning” on our family’s nature table this week. Ever since we set up this special little spot in our home, I’ve been pretty adamant that Chi-Chi and Muffy take ownership for it. They are welcome to add and remove objects and I encourage them to interact with the items, exploring and analyzing them at their leisure. Certainly, the table includes a few fragile pieces (i.e. pottery vases, glass bottles). Both wee ones have displayed a fair amount of respect with the items that require a gentle touch. At two and a half, Muffy in particular has impressed me with his delicate handling of his treasures.

That being said, our collection of spring themed items was looking a little on the scruffy side. A certain wooden birdie had pecked a few seedpods to a pulp and some rather stinky rotten seaweed was starting to take my breath away. It was time to freshen things up a little and make room for some new discoveries!

Chi-Chi came home from preschool on Tuesday and proudly presented his project on the life cycle of the butterfly. He immediately placed his handmade pamphlet on the nature table and informed me I needed to get to work on my own butterfly project. I was instructed to re-create the lifecycle in wood and I had a five-minute deadline! The keen student that I am, I set to work right away and enlisted the help of my young budding entomologist. I missed the deadline, but was still granted an A for effort. I realize my wooden interpretations of the egg, caterpillar, pupa and butterfly are not exactly anatomically correct. I had to use my artistic license on this project. Regardless, the wee ones are enjoying the interaction and learning possibilities with these tangible objects. Chi-Chi, the great older brother that he is, has been teaching Muffy all about the life of the butterfly and has been making good use of these little “props”.

I’ve been in heaven this past week, enjoying the sunny spring weather with the boys and digging away in the garden as much as possible. The nature table has been a wonderful way to bring the outside in during those times when we simply must be indoors! I do have my limits however! Muffy decided his family of earth worms would make a lovely addition to the nature table. I feel another assignment coming on. He'll have to settle for the wooden version (:

Happy Friday everyone!

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