This weeks explore outdoors is not exactly what I had planned - I couldn't have predicted that in February we would have a mass of Lady Birds/Bugs descend on our garden fence (30+ on 3 panels!) and that J would find them fascinating but where the child's mind goes the Mummy with a camera and a book follows.
This week has been very warm and sunny and our fence was in the warm sunlight as I was pushing J in the swing I noticed a few lady birds on the fence. When J had had enough of the swing he got out and I pointed at a lady bird and asked him "What is that" - I got that look - you know the one that says Stupid Woman! "FENCE Mummy, it's a fence" was my reply - well obviously but I was actually pointing out one of the many lady birds on the fence (I didn't want to tell him what they were I wanted him to connect one of his favourite bedtime books, our nick name for T and the lady birds he had found over the summer).
The pointing didn't work - so changing tact I started at one end of the fence and moved along counting the lady birds. I got to 6 before he realised that I wasn't going completely crazy and there was something there. Suddenly he spotted one and then another on the fence. In the summer when we had masses of lady bugs flying around the garden he tried his best to be gentle but due to being under 2 and not knowing his own strength a few didn't not survive - this time I have been amazed at how gentle he is with them. He has let one crawl onto his hand and sung to it "Lady bird lady bird fly away home, your house is on fire and all is gone" - his own version of the song.
He spent ages just looking at the ladybirds - we've returned to the garden and every time we have to go and look for the lady birds - they are there and he loves counting them and seeing how many spots they have.
Our book link this week is What the lady bird heard I hear this read to J every evening by Rainy Day Dad at bedtime - it has to be one of his current favourite stories. There is such a lovely rhythm to the words and the illustrations make J laugh every time. He joins in with the farm animal sounds every time as well.