Is everyone else ready to put themselves in the rays of sunshine no matter the sloshy mess? Same here! Actually, as I am writing this – the week has blazed into a teasing refuge of early spring as opposed to the mushy and soiled leftovers of winter just a few days prior. And we were ready then! No more. Commence adventure! We packed up a couple of pod buddies (thanks @laundrygirl!), donned our rain/snow boots (it could have gone either way!) and headed to the park!
It helps us to save the standard playground play for after the hike. Not only does it leave something special for the kids to look forward to – it alleviates the option for the children to pull the plug on the hike after they playground. (A truth this nature mom hates to admit – “hiking” isn’t always a draw for my kiddos. Especially, when it’s my idea!)
This day. We found a sweet spot under the snow above the new buds. In some places, the snow was the perfect consistency for saving mint-condition tracks. In other places, it had melted entirely unveiling the colossal loads of dog poop, bunny skat & plenty of other stinky slimies that resulted in a plethora of both obstacles and giggles.
We hunted for antlers recently dropped by the bucks. Following their tracks hoping to lead us to an (insert correct number) point treasure. We found mushrooms that look like carcasses. And carcasses covered in mushrooms.
The waterproof shoes were full of a water/snow combo that required frequent dumping. Through the woods, around the lake and up the hill – all concerns gone. The wild set in and the chanting began. “Roll down the hill!” About thirteen minutes later, we made it to the sledding graveyard complete with a scissor-like “snowballer’ that kept everyone entertained as they heaved and hoed their way to the top…where they changed their minds and decided “running down the hill” was the less frigid option.
Mission “Hike the Park” accomplished. Mission “Play the Playground” ensued. Monkey bars too cold to hold didn’t stop anyone from trying. Using a friend’s hand as warmth was the chosen best way to hang as they glided across the mini-zip line. Sand and snow were dug together. Puddles of slush and dirt made a sensorific slide landing pad. No one else was around. Masks were off and the smiles stayed on…even when they weren’t outwardly visible.
All and all – the day was just Snow Mush FUN!
“When children play in natural spaces, they’re far more likely to invent their own games than in more structured settings – a key factor in becoming self-directed and inventive adults later in life”~Richard Louv