July 16, 2014
Children's Exploration Garden
Auntie Janice here. When Elizabeth, Matthew and I go out walking, I like to walk down to Bank Street. Our street has so many beautiful houses, and a wide variety of trees. This summer we've developed a routine: as we walk down the street I point out the major trees we can easily identify: Maple (three big sections on one leaf), Oak (acorns and leaves with pointy bits all over), Birch (white bark), Spruce (small needles all over), Pine (big needles in clumps), and... Elizabeth's favourite, the "Elmo" tree. Can you guess? The tree itself is very tall and as a whole resembles either a giant ice cream cone or an umbrella. If you guessed Elm, you're right! Apparently that's a tricky one to say.

Anyways, usually we walk around various stores while I do a few errands, occasionally stopping for a snack, though that happens less often now that BOTH cupcake stores have closed. :'(

But a few weeks ago we found a brand new park, and it's AMAZING! So new it doesn't yet have a sign, there's a spot to park strollers and a bench for any particularly tired adults by the only gated entrance. There's a little bridge to clamber over, little stumps everywhere to sit on, stand on, or jump from one to another, and generally has a very natural feel to it. On the right there are a few logs set up in front of two stages- one of which is open to imagination, and the other has musical instruments. There are drums and a really fun set of 2x4's that work almost like a xylophone. I forget the right name... Anyways you do need to forage a bit to find a suitable stick, but Matthew loves the fact that he is allowed to enthusiastically hit these things and I even clap and cheer for it. Elizabeth prefers showing off how well she can clamber on top of the drums. She's getting pretty tall.

The other awesome part of the park is the sandbox area. It's circular and flush with the ground (no tripping hazard to get in), and has a great chalkboard behind it. Volunteers replenish the sidewalk chalk and occasionally wash it down. One of them came by while we were playing the second or third time we came by, and told us that the park was mostly intended for toddlers, but that of course all were welcome. She asked E if she had found the dinosaur bones yet.

"DINOSAUR BONES?!?" This feature makes the park even more amazing. At the bottom of the sandbox, they cemented in dinosaur bones. There's a broom nearby that works both to help clean up the sandbox and to brush off the bones. I'm tempted to bring a shovel next time and find a way to do some grid mapping so we could do a proper archeological excavation.... We definitely found something but couldn't tell what type of Dino it was. I think I was more covered in sand than the kids!

Anyways, the park is still a big secret, but if you'd like to dig for dinosaur bones yourself, it's right at the entrance to Glebe Central Park. Which is a big secret in itself, and has two Catalpa trees (my second favourite tree after Magnolias). Or I guess I could show you some day...

On August 15, 2014 at 09:29 am
Auntie Janice said:
You caught the hand-washing party? AWESOME! That was fun.

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