Woohoo! It’s Summertime!!! When I was a Toddler’s Mom, I loved the summer because of the added warmth and daylight it provided, beckoning all of us to the outdoors where it provided many carefree hours spent in our own backyard, basking in the sunshine.
During the summer months we were able to ‘Play in the Dirt,’ enjoying the many perennial and annual flowers we had diligently planted in the garden beds and planting pots in previous days and seasons. Day Lilies were always my favorites, particularly the Orange, the Gold and the Pink Star-Gazer varieties. We also enjoyed Purple Salvia, as well as Red Roses and the always sweetly fragrant White Jasmine, which was frequently intertwined with dark purple Bougainvillea on overhead trellises and arbors. Summer, just like the Spring immediately preceding it, was a virtual explosion of color, now only in warmer surroundings! Even the green grass of the lawn invited us to play and enjoy endlessly!
I think this was something handed down from generation to generation. My mother and my grandmother had both shared their love of gardens with me during my early years. As my grandmother had emigrated from England, she had fondness for beautiful English Gardens. My mother, being a bit more practical, enjoyed the flowers, but also growing tomatoes, zucchini and squash in her own vegetable garden. This love of planting something, watering and caring for it, and watching it grow was an experience I have tried to share with my own children and intend to do so with each of my grandchildren.
For me, there is no better time than teaching and sharing with my family than in the outdoors, especially in summer. Toddlers can learn much without even consciously realizing it, because of the great amount of fun they are having. While outdoors, they naturally learn many colors and smells while playing in their own backyard. Even though weeding may not become their favorite activity, it helps them appreciate the great beauty a small amount of work can create. At the same time, they also learn to identify a variety of species of worms and insects, including which ones to stay away from. They learn how to care for and take care of something besides themselves, and in doing so, also learn how to take care of themselves. What could be better?
Several of my previous blogs have written about helping both parents and Toddlers maintain optimism, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude throughout the challenging yet all important years of early childhood. In addition, I have also tried to underscore the importance that patience, basic communication skills, problem solving, caring, sharing and developing friendships have upon achieving happiness.
I would like to see an even greater focus worldwide upon teaching life skills and habits which help our children become socially and environmentally comfortable and adept at all ages, building foundations upon which they can continually expand throughout their lifetime for their own benefit and the benefit of others. Developing a sense of adventure, a healthy curiosity, physical activity, the ability to maintain calm emotions in moments of stress, eating healthy meals, self-confidence, the benefits of sharing, and all the while having fun . This can help provide a framework for better-prepared children, better communities, a better society and a better world!
I am hopeful that The Adventures of Matt and Mattie can play a small role in promoting a greater degree of health and happiness for all Toddlers and the Children, Teens and Adults they become. Enjoy the summertime and the opportunities it affords to spend many important hours with our Toddlers!
They are our Present, our Past and our Future!