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Mass Audubon Class Late Fall II

Must. find. gloves. And more hats

The second Mass Audubon Late Fall Toddler Class was a bit nippy, and I hadn’t bothered to bring mittens. At least both kids were encased in fleece, little baby UGG boots, and the cutest little Smart Wool socks in existence. Annette Swain read us Fairy Houses in the pleasantly warm Nature Center. Very nice book, and an excellent introduction to going outside and… building fairy houses.

I never knew they were called fairy houses. I’d always built them as models to show friends and students how to build outdoor shelters as part of surviving in the Great Outdoors. Ours got quite elaborate, but only in a functional keep-warm-and-dry kind of way. It’s much more fun to pretend you want to encourage wood fairies to come and live in your fairy house, compared to envisioning yourself shivering and wet and avoiding hypothermia. Doesn’t that sound cheery? And to think I’d look forward to doing that for a lot of my spare time. 🙂

I might have gotten into the activity a little bit too much – not sure that Alex had all that much to do with “our” fairy house in the end. But I think he enjoyed it: we used sticks and pine needles and leaves and dirt and nuts. It was AWESOME.

Mass Audubon Class Late Fall I

Mass Audubon Class Late Fall II

Mass Audubon Class Late Fall III

Mass Audubon Class Late Fall VI

Mass Audubon Class Late Fall V

Mass Audubon Class IV

The fourth installment of the Mass Audubon Early Fall Classes for Toddlers was exceptionally pretty (you can read the first HERE, second HERE, and the third HERE). And eventful. Annette Swain (still my toddler wrangling hero) brought sunflower seeds and everyone got to feed some chickadees.

Mostly this involved the two and three year olds tentatively holding out their fists with a couple of seeds peeking out. A couple got “lucky” and birds landed on their hands, took a sunflower seed and left the child in a hurry when he or she freaked out, LOUDLY.

We also saw a few ducks, a whole armada of chipmunks and squirrels (anyone know what the collective term is? – herd? – parliament?). AND A BLUE HERON. The latter was trying to take a nap in the sun – until a bunch of preschoolers, and a very loud, squeaky Jen arrived.

We saw ducks eating duck weed, a lot of swamp plants growing in swamps, some very pretty ponds,  and superlatively pretty autumn foliage. And for some reason we found a large zucchini growing among the water lilies.

We wobbled over board walks – there’s no other way to cross these things with a one year old in a carrier and an almost three year old darting around looking at berries, rocks, and sticks. We climbed up into the rockery. We walked through the biggest, bestest, (only-est) rock tunnel Alex has been in.

We loved it.

Mass Audubon Toddler Class II

Tuesday was the last day of summer and it was sunny and 80deg F – perfect for a walk at the Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary with the Mass Audubon Early Fall Classes for Toddlers – second session (Blog of the first session is HERE). The theme was flowers and we found one or two. The Sanctuary is beautiful with everything from grass and flower fields, forest, and swamp, which is in fact exactly what we walked through. Annette Swain was again a superhero toddler wrangler and everyone had poked and touched and smelled a huge range of leaves, pine needles, mosses, water plants, seeds, flowers, lichens, fungi, acorns,…
Again six thumbs up from Angelika, Alex, and Jen (who’s getting extremely good at pointing out all the cool flowers)

The Great Outdoors

Mass Audubon has awesome classes for toddlers!  We went to the Early Fall Classes for Toddlers by Mass Audubon. Today was all about bugs and we played outside since it was warm and sunny, with just a little breeze.

We got insect nets and containers and to Alex’s amazement caught lots of crickets, grasshoppers, ladybugs, small bouncy bugs, and one large red bug. You can tell where my entomological education ends. Alex thought it was the best thing EVER!. He got to wave around the net, and even though we caught most of our bugs by forgetting our containers in the grass, he enjoyed looking at each and every one. He loved

Incidentally, Annette Swain the instructor is my new toddler wrangling hero. She had every one of those kids helping, looking at chipmunk holes, touching trees, looking at leaves and birds, interacting, poking and holding, coloring, and applying stickers to butterfly cut-outs.

We finished off the morning with a picnic on the Ipswich Visitor House lawn. JenJen was asleep five minutes into the drive home, and even no-nap-Alex was asleep before we got home. What an excellent morning, what an excellent nap. I’ve signed us up for the Late Fall Toddler classes and naps.