Change of Seasons
I love this time of year, the change in temperature, the different colours of the leaves, the colder mornings and the difficult decisions of what to wear, cardigan or jumper, coat or waterproof, bobble hat or umbrella, flip flops or wellies?
Even the shorter days and darker evenings fill me with a warm glow knowing that my winter wardrobe will be out soon and I can hibernate under a blanket, light a candle and lose myself in sequins and glitter that is Strictly!
I love the outdoors too, especially at this time of year! Raking the leaves brings back memories of my Dad doing the same thing as the first leaves start to fall, picking up the apples before the slugs and birds eat them all so that I can bake an apple cake that I will eventually complain I shouldn’t be eating and preparing my garden and winter baskets ready for the colder season.
Walking my dog is one of the joys in my life, whatever the time of year or weather condition. We are blessed to live in an incredible part of the world. The sea is a 5-minute drive away, the woods, lakes and nature reserves are on our doorstep and a bustling, beautifully landscaped town nearby all allowing us opportunities to explore every natural element and revel in the world around us.
I’m outside every day, I walk for hours and choose different places to go, mud or not. I have learnt to take the time to look up, to see the leaves changing, to wonder at the amount of fruit on the brambles and the conkers falling on the ground that in another time I would have collected and taken to the children in my setting. Walking is my thinking time and I know that after years in a setting, that not everyone has these opportunities, not everyone loves to be outside and increasingly so and not everyone has the opportunity either. It is up to us to show our children the awe and wonder of the world around them, to embrace the weather in all its guises, to help them to build memories in a fun and exciting way.
Now is the time to prepare your children and your teams for the change in season, to provide them with the right clothing for all weathers so that they want to be outside, to plan ahead, to organise trips out and offer resources that promote their curiosity and interests. Just because it’s colder or wetter doesn’t mean there is less to do, see or explore. Life outside is gloriously exciting, children will be more inclined to explore the outdoors and play outside if us, as adults are enthusiastic and interested.
In February we are hosting our Exploring The Power of Play Conference we can all meet and support each other and learn new ways to implement season-changing activities within our settings, with incredible workshops and keynote speaker who focus specifically on the importance of outdoor play and mental health and well-being, we would love to meet you there
I realise that not everyone loves this time of year and we must also be mindful that the darker evenings, shorter days and colder and wetter weather can make people feel tired, sad and isolated. Be aware of those around you and how they are feeling. Find ways to help those that struggle, listen to what they have to say and find ways to compromise.
My husband hates Strictly but he also hates the darker evenings. I make fun but it is a real thing for some people and even though we are still clinging optimistically to the light at 7 pm at the moment, the end of October and the change of clocks is fast approaching and the time of year where there is much to celebrate but also a lot to consider.