On Saturdays, when we're in Brooklyn and not on the road, Ohm and I visit Prospect Park.
It is important to me, to expose him to the many green spaces the city has to offer. Spaces that encourage the imagination and develop an appreciation for nature.
When we travel to the park, I leave all toys and distractions at home because I want Ohm to be present in the discovery and wonder of the park's beautiful environment.
At two, Ohm is a natural explorer. Once safely inside the park, he's out of the stroller leading the way. He is allowed to choose the trails we walk along and the direction that we amble. I stop when he stops and point out interesting observations along the way.
"Wow! That is a very tall tree! I wonder how tall that tree is. You look very small compared to such a large tree."
"Tall tree! Big!" Ohm squeals with delight as he runs to touch the trunk.
"What does the trunk feel like? The bark is so rough. This must be a very sturdy tree."
"Rough." Ohm repeats, while rubbing the trunk of the tree.
We meander some more, make some more observations.
"Look at the apples. What small apples. I wonder what tree they came from?"
"Where are the flowers? What color are the flower's petals?"
We happen upon a clearing. We take a moment to collect sticks and bark. I begin to draw shapes in the earth with the sticks. Ohm follows suit singing his ABC's. I draw each letter and help him trace the shape with his stick. We make it to O before he becomes distracted by a group of children blowing bubbles on the lawn behind us, we join them.
The children weave around each other in an attempt to catch a bubble before it disappears. Running in circles after clusters of bubbles that vanish before nearing him, Ohm seems to have developed a strategy. He stands still, watching the bubbles hover above before slowly descending around him. Keying in on one or two bubbles he waits patiently before the satisfying pop. "Boom!" He giggles popping the bubbles. "Boom. Boom!"
A minute later he is off, chasing a golden retriever down a path towards a tunnel. "Dog. Woof woof." He calls. Soon he realizes that once he's in the tunnel, his voice creates an echo. "Hello." He calls standing perfectly still. "Hello!"
A second later, he's off once more.
It's a beautiful thing to tag along with a toddler in the process of discovering the world.
Every city and suburb in almost every country around the world has some sort of open green space. When we're not in Brooklyn, we get to discover new green spaces all over the country and world. It's the perfect free of charge, low maintenance, accoutrement-free toddler friendly activity.
What activities do you engage in when going on an adventure to the park with a tot?