Lately, I’ve been uninspired. I’ve done everything with my children that I learned during my 0-3 training and they’re ready to move on. I start my AMI 3-6 training at Montessori Institute Northwest in September, but that seemed like eons away. I needed new ideas NOW.
Was it fate or a coincidence that the 2013 International Montessori Congress took place here in Portland OR, just 15 minutes from our home? AND it was a huge inspiration. The theme was Montessori: Guided by Nature. The most memorable parts of the Congress for me were the really cool people I met, Vandana Shiva’s closing presentation and Rusty Keeler‘s “Playscape”, an amazing play space made entirely out of simple, natural materials one can find anywhere.
After those five days, I was enlivened. I felt inspired to bring more nature into our lives. So we did just that.
For starters, we simply took more walks in nature. Here’s one that we took with my friend, Brenda, and her 5-year-old daughter, Gerren. Little did I know that Brenda, being a native Washingtonian, was a total naturalist – and she led us to amazing little treasures at Hoyt Arboretum, a forest right next to our house…
Our fearless naturalist and leader, Brenda, foraging for goodies
Did you know there was something called Thimbleberries? A tiny little red fruit that tastes delicious!
A handful of thimbleberries – gone in 2 seconds
Look at those loaded wild blackberry bushes! And they are free!
What?! You can eat these?
This valley of wild flowers belongs in a storybook. But Gerren doesn’t know that – she’s right at home prancing through the fields of blossoms! And they aren’t just pretty…
Look what they come with – wild sweet peas!
M ates pods after pods of these tiny peas. Definitely the most amount of raw veges she’s ever consumed in one sitting. Good for practicing that pincer grasp, too.
Nature walks would not be complete without slugs. And Brenda spots one right next to our car. She finds leaves for transplanting the slug to a new home.
Everyone gets an close-and-personal opportunity to pet the slug
Gerren demonstrates how to handle a slug with care. She lays it down on a patch of grass, faraway from the roads, where it can be safe..
We’ve done lots of other ‘nature’ activities since the Congress that I will share in the upcoming weeks. For those of you out there who attended the Congress, what have you been doing differently?