One thing I am trying to instil in my children is gratitude. Gratitude for what we have and what we have access too. Yes, it’s nice to dream, have goals and most definitely important to work hard towards reaching their ambitions but I also feel it is paramount to be grateful for what we have in front of us.
One resource that I am grateful for that are plentiful around us are gumnuts. Not everyone is lucky enough to have giant, beautiful trees towering over the paths at their local park. These tree must have been here for years and years before our estate. They offer home and food for native birds, shade on sunny days and lots of materials for our play.
This morning after walking Mr 10 to school, Miss 4, Miss 18m and Mr Canine collected a basket full of gumnuts from our local park. We were lucky enough to watch a rubbish truck empty some bins too! (Gratitude again for the small things that bring joy to our children!)
Gumnuts were definitely they main objective however we were lucky enough to collect a few other nut varieties too. It was really enjoyable watching Miss 4 eyeing off the garden beds in search of something exciting. We walk past here most days. This little activity opened her eyes to what was around her. Things that on other days, we simply just walked past.
Once our basket was brimming, we then stopped by a fenced dog exercise area for Mr Canine to have some dog time. While he played with some four legged friends, we had a little poke around the contents of our basket.
Some of the nuts were smooth, some rough, some larger than others and some a different shape. We spoke about textures and I asked Miss 4 questions such as:
- How do you think the outer of this gumnut became rough?
- Which do you think may have been growing on the tree for longer?
- Why do you think the tree dropped it’s nuts?
- Why do you think these nuts have holes in them?
- Why do you think some of the nuts are darker and some are lighter?
I love asking her these open ended questions. A child’s mind is so intriguing and is forever something that fascinates me. They see the world from a different perspective compared to us oldies!
I had four little projects in mind for these gumnuts however even with this massive basket, it turns out we only had enough to complete two – stay tuned over the next few days for part 2 after we collect more nuts!
Our first little project was to make Number Nuts! We had made these before but unfortunately I had stored them in a glass jar and they went mouldy – lesson learned!
I simply just wrote the number onto the nuts using a white paint pen. That’s it! Nothing fancy here!
I plan on using them with counting, number matching, odd and even number, number recognition and sorting activities.
These Number Nuts will be kept in a wash bag with plenty of ventilation!
The second project was to make Rainbow Nuts! I’m always on the hunt for brightly coloured tools to help make our activities more enticing and interesting. After seeing something similar on social media, I used it as inspiration to make our own.
Firstly Miss 4 and I painted the gumnuts white using an acrylic paint. This is to act as a base coat as such to make our colours really pop.
Once they were dry, we started applying the coloured paint. They were looking great! I’m so glad we took the time in applying the base coat. You could still see the grain and ridges of the gumnuts and the colours weren’t washed out against the natural tones of the wood.
Our Rainbow Nuts were are great success! I’m looking forward to using these in all sorts of activities from small world to sorting, colour recognition, making patterns, crafts and all sorts!
Miss 4 was very eager to explore them however it was time to collect her brother from school so Rainbow Nut Play will happen another day (I already have something in mind for before school tomorrow!)
What can you be grateful for today?
Dani D x
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