Turn off the screens—the phone, the television, the computer, the video games. Take time from work, from chores, from the day-to-day tasks that keep us busy. Adults and children, take it outside. I challenge you to see and hear new things—to hunt the woods for wildflowers, to find shapes in nature, to sit by the waterside and listen for unique sounds. So much to experience out in the natural world!
Snow melts and we are left with __________? Anyone? Mud, mud, mud. Oozy, squishy mud. Kids love it, grownups try to minimize their contact with it. The call of early spring can be heard, “Wipe your feet.” “Please don’t track mud through the house.” “Walk around the mud, not through it.”
Your assignment is to embrace mud. Remember the mud pies of your childhood? Make some with your children. Put on boots and take a squishy, mucky walk. Look closely at mud patches in wooded areas—you may find animal tracks.
Mud by Mary Lyn Ray, is a great book to read before any muddy adventure, but especially appropriate in early spring. The books clear simple sentences and rich, colorful illustrations bring the thaw of spring to life. Up-close illustrations focus on the changes that occur in nature as the weather warms. The story is carried along by a pair of feet—a child’s feet. They appear first in boots on the frozen ground, then bare standing on a hillside, and finally stomping and squishing through the mud. “Gooey, gloppy, mucky, magnificent mud.”