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Discover the secret of childhood from 0-3 year old:

‘Follow the Child’ On a Walk in the Park

Thursday, May 31st, 2012 4:04 pm | By Stephanie Woo

We go to the park for a walk almost everyday. It’s a time I let them be as free as possible. Generally, I don’t limit them to a certain part of the park and instead, my nanny and I each watch one so they can choose where they want to go. I want them to explore nature, so I like to let them loose where there are many opportunities to observe animals, smell flowers and people-watch. The girls are now 17 months.

We arrive at the park. I unbuckle them and let them get off the stroller by themselves. I try not to do anything for them that they can do by themselves.

Brooke immediately heads to one side of the park where the flowers are,

climbs over the low fence…

to smell the flower.

Mackenzie is with my nanny where she is walking around with her toys

She picks up a plastic cap. I’m pretty sure it’s disgustingly dirty, but I try not to run over, scream and whack it out of her hands, like I want to. Instead, I just watch.

Here is the cap – is it going in her mouth?

Not this time, thank god. As I breathe a sigh of relief, I tell her ‘good job’ for throwing trash in the trash can. If I give in to my fears everytime she touches something dirty and freak out, then she really cannot be free during our walks, and neither can I.

Brooke tells my nanny she wants something to eat

I tell the nanny to give her the whole bag and tell her to get it herself

It takes her a while to rustle through the bag. My nanny and I look at each other. I’ve trained her (and myself) to not rush to help her, even though we can do it so much faster than she can.

She finally wrestles it out of the bag. Mackenzie reaches for some too.

She takes a piece and I ask her to give me the rest

As we sit and eat, she makes the signs for “music” and

Mackenzie makes the sign for ‘bird.’ Together, they mean, “The birds are singing.” So we sit to enjoy a bit of music before moving on.

I follow Mackenzie around. Here she spots someone stretching…

Brooke plays on a patch of grass. When she is done, rather than picking her up, I tell her to “Get up by yourself.”

She does.

Observing some squirrels. We live in NYC. The animals are limited.  *sigh*

A nice lady lets us pet her dog. Brooke loves it and Mackenzie doesn’t. I let Brooke do it and leave Mackenzie alone. She doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to.

It’s time to go home. They climb in the stroller by themselves and sit as we buckle them in. That’s it for us today. Till tomorrow!

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