This morning the attachlings and I headed off in search of a new place to walk and play.

Rock Creek Park is so nearby (and so large) that it seemed such a logical choice. So we parked near a little neighborhood park and played for a bit.

Afterwards, I put Whinnie in the ergo and off we went down the trail (Rock Creek Trail) to see what we could find.

As a part of Theo’s first week of kindergarten with Oak Meadow, we are using our nature walks to find materials. Yesterday it was twigs and branches shaped like a Y — we’ll use these to make capital A’s with by adding a piece of string. Oh and ‘squirrel helmets’ which is what Theo has always called acorn tops and walnut shells. 🙂 He’s funny that way.

Today we looked for more squirrel helmets, as we have found many, many acorn tops, but really need those walnut shells for a project in a few weeks.

We also found many seeds and leaves to discuss and a couple of seed pods completely new to us. We brought a seed pod and that tree’s leaf along to use in identification.

A short walk down the trail we found a bridge over the creek and a sandy area where the creek has obviously flooded many times. Here we stopped.

I don’t know about other children, but my children find sand play the most fascinating way to spend a morning. And here we could do so without being out in the sun (which is my major problem with beach-sand play…too darn much sun.)

So here we sat, with the kids digging and shaping and burying and finding. Each of them found their own way to interact with this environment.

I sat in the shade nearby enjoying the quiet and the surroundings and their joy of my children.

Eventually, of course, it was time to leave. We made plans to come back, though, and with snacks and art supplies and a potty — all things that are quite necessary for our family to stay in one place for a while.

Once home, Nic found a dead caterpiller and brought it to the dining table.

All children were huddled around the table, seeing if the caterpiller was really and truly dead, and then eagerly digging into the crayons and paper. It was enjoyable and enlightening to hang back, not interfere and watch each of them process the experiences of the day in his/her own way.

I am enjoying Oak Meadow; I am enjoying DC life; but mostly, I am really, really enjoying my children.