"Enjoyment is a catalyst for owning what one is learning."
- Sally Clarkson, The Lifegiving Home
We are big fans of Wild + Free in this house, and in February's BELOVED bundle was a fun article by Tara Rondinelli about winter nature activities. Ice sensory trays in particular caught my eye as both easy and enjoyable (I had all the materials!) so on a recent surprise of a warm day we went on a nature walk - basket in hand and littles in tow - to gather some bits and bobbles for our excavating. Seed pods. Baby pine cones. Leaves of every sort. Everything interesting went into the basket for the big freeze.
We wandered home, got out bread pans and gently laid our finds. Alice poured the water and I placed them in the freezer.
The next morning a fresh coat of snow and ice blanketed the world! We rejoiced over having foraged the day before. After laying down a drop cloth, I ran warm water over the bottom of the glass pan to release our ice block and place it in a bigger pan. The littles got warm water in a jar and the aspirator bulb from their doctor kit and went to town slowly applying water in the places they wanted to "dig out." So much fun! And so much patience. They refilled their jar many times to get everything out.
After their newly thawed - and now soggy - flora were released, they marveled again and cleaned up, composting our gatherings from the day before. No mess. No waste. Just lots of fun and wonder.
Thank you, Wild + Free, for the great ideas and continuing to inspire our life of learning!