Despite some recent storms, and the obvious iffy weather on the horizon, the day surprised us with some glorious warm sunshine along with a cool breeze, so with layers packed in beside the camera, we decided to take the opportunity to head out to Darts Farm (I cannot praise Darts Farm enough, not just a typical farm, but a fantastic shopping experience with wonderful eateries, and opportunities to browse beautiful produce and organic styled homewares, toys, etc, as well as a bird hide viewing lounge up in the Royal Society for Protection of Birds shop above the complex- if you are ever in Devon, take a peek around!)
My aim was to instigate some up close interest in produce. Hes been here before, but I’ve never taken the opportunity to encourage any depth of thought or association linking with what he sees mama making for dinner.
We started by spending some time playing ‘I spy’ in the produce area, a great chance to practice his words and signs, one excited boy couldn’t believe the amount of apples to begin with…
then explored further to find so many more, playing with strings of onions, excitedly spotting his new favourite vegetable- the pumpkins, though he was too worked up to remember the sign, and somehow ended up with going around and pointing out anything that was the colour “weh-woh”, the only colour he has nailed the word that seems to have stuck.
Lots of sensory touchy too!
We bought some ears of corn and ordered a toasted baguette to share for our picnic out in the animal area beside their playground of climb on tractors and other fantastic active play things, and consequently, lunch was postponed as I chased one very happy chap the length of a the area and he ambushed the cow, sheep and llamas in a merry little euphoria. This kid loves cows. He’ll moo at the very mention of one.
I just set up camp beside the fences and let him run between us with handfuls of sandwich. It seemed the happy medium of all parties.
Once he became distractable, away from his beloved cattle, I suggested we go and have a look at the crops. A fine plan, he must of agreed, as he sped off as fast as his wonky little legs could carry him towards the maize.
“Marvelous!” I thought, hoping this might be the initial, beautiful reaction to my child embracing natures harvest! Thank you, Lord, I am blessed with a toddler with innate enthusiasm for this planet and its provisions…
Ok, I’m exaggerating somewhat. Still, it was a bit of an eye roller when he reached the path just in front of the field and threw himself to the gravel path joyfully. Flipping stones, like sparkles for toddlers.
Anyway, after fifteen minutes of gravel angels and filling up my bag with particularly well approved rocks, he noticed that these fields had tall, interesting plants in it!
I tried to show him the corn but by this time he had noticed the pumpkins, and there was no going back.
Stomping up and down the immediate area of the field patting the pumpkins and stroking his hands over their stems, happy little chap applied his thinking face (eyebrows in, cheeks puffed) and gave me the satisfying sense that things were patching up in his adorable little cranium.
We briefly watched the beautiful little cabbage white butterflies drifting lazily over the courgettes, before little man yawned and signed for milk and a nap, so o took him up to the top of the shop building, through the RSPB shop to their balcony view lounge which is fitted with comfortable sofas and a huge screen, linked to the estuary bird hide, and he drifted off with while nursing and watching some ducks wading in the shallows.
This post is for Unit 2, Autumn & Harvest.