*So we had computer and internet problems and then sickness, but here I am again to let you know what we've been up to outside. I hope to keep reporting daily again but with the holidays it may be spotty.*
We were fortunate to have such a mild fall, but it seems all of a sudden that Jack Frost has come to visit! I'm not complaining- our local ski hill is finally making snow so we're happy about that. My son is signed up to take some ski lessons after the New Year, so they need something to ski on and with the nearly 60 degree weather we were having it was looking grim for a while! We have been getting out every day, though some days it has only been for a small amount of time. This happens to us every year. We have a little bit of an adjustment period once the frigid cold sets in. You mean we have to put on our snow pants to go outside and play even though there's no snow? Yes! It's starting to get that cold. And once we fully accept it we'll be outside more in our full gear.
My younger son had a croupy cough from this Friday night into Saturday, so we brought him in to the doctor. She said the best thing for him would be some cold air, so we decided to go to bundle the kids up and head to Edaville Railroad that night.
Edaville is a small amusement park (if you can call it that) that is situated on cranberry bogs and has a real train that goes around the property. Every year they do a big Christmas light show with animated lights all over the property and when you ride the train the sides of the tracks are lined with even more light spectacles and little villages. They had a lady singing live Christmas music, hot apple cider and donuts and a "cranberry" ball pit inside where we escaped to warm up for a bit. This is the second year we've gone at Christmas and I think we will make an annual tradition out of it. We were outside at night in the cold for four hours, we all had a great time and you know what? My son did not cough once the entire time we were there!
We also did some more Christmas decorating. Last time we were decorating in our t-shirts, but this time it was a bit colder. My son is Clark Griswold in a 4 year old body. We had to add more decorations to the front of our house to compete with the neighbors!
We've done a lot of playing in the back yard. We had rain for a couple of days and this is where we enjoyed it.
And yesterday we explored a playground that had opened this past summer. I like it a lot! It is a man-made playground, obviously, but many of the elements mimic nature, like the tree stumps you can see that lead up to this bridge below.
And you can see the rocks below, which are not actually rocks. Many of the other bridges and activities had "rocks" at the end of them for the kids to reach them instead of a step or pedestal. This is great- not just from an aesthetic point of view, but surfaces that are more irregular, like naturally ocurring surfaces, challange children a little more when it comes to balance and maneuvering.
But the best thing of all was the musical features. As a music teacher, I love when music is incorporated into unexpected places, however, playground musical features are usually horrible. They are either rendered useless after they get jammed up with wood chips or they have a horrible sound quality- something you'd wish your kids would stop playing with!
The xylophone like feature here sounds so beautiful. No, it's not exactly in tune, but the tone of it is great. As we approached the playground I heard a child playing with it and it just sounded heavenly. You can hear it here:
Well, off to get outside more today! Hope you've been doing the same. And if you can't get outside, maybe you can at least look at the outdoors. We had fun playing with pieces of foam that we cut out, dunked in water and stuck to our front storm door: