Today we went to a local state park for a hike around the top. It is a .8 mile hike. It was a beautiful day. A little warm but was saved by a good breeze. The boys seemed to have a good time. We packed a picnic lunch that they helped prepare and plenty of water. We also packed their sketchbooks and color pencils. They were already familiar with these sketchbooks because earlier in the year we had called them "memory books". They would pick one thing each day to draw as a memory of that day. Sometimes it would be something from one of their books, like Blueberry Hill from Blueberries for Sal. Other days, it would be something they had seen at a museum we had gone to, like the python.
Today they drew something from their hike. We saw lots of ants, so that was one thing Pooh drew besides the mountain. Tigger actually drew Pooh climbing the mountain. The thing that Pooh drew which amazed me was the tree we had seen that had grown like a bench. It curved enough for about 3 people to sit on it before it aimed itself up again. Evidently, he thought that was cool. And I agree with him.
We talked about how i would like to visit different hiking trails. We could maybe find some with streams and waterfalls. The boys love water so that went over well.
RDI wise, I tried to keep the day as declarative as possible. Just sort of stating things i saw or giving a big exclamation "OH" and then looking at Pooh. Sometimes he would respond and other times he would just say "yeah, come on, let's go." He stopped and observed with me some type of lizard and a blue-tailed salamander. (I'm going to have to get some books so we can learn the names of these creatures) He was extremely fascinated with the ants. There were black ones, red ones, big ones and little ones. He spotted one that was carrying a big dead bug of some kind.
All in all, it was a positive experience. Several times, Pooh told me unprompted, "This was a good hike, mommy." I'm thinking about having this be a weekly activity. Travel to different trails, state parks, regular parks, etc. We'll definitely have to visit this same place in the fall. That's when the different raptors come and soar all around the top near the lookout areas. I love watching them ride the wind currents. The park had a poster up about the different raptors that visit. Pooh seemed interested so this will be an autumn activity for us.
The other nice thing about hiking is that it actually wears Tigger out. His bounciness was incredibly diminished and he's currently sleeping like a log. Now I'm off to do the same.