Spring and Gardening With A Toddler

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Spring flowers almost in bloom.

Little Miss loves outside, and puddles, and running, and puppies. All of which are great things and I generally love all of them too – though we don’t have dogs so I’m not sure why she is currently so obsessed with puppies.  With the changing of the season the gardens are starting to bloom, the flowerbeds need weeding, and there is a seemingly endless supply of outdoor projects.  We’ve been spending lots of time outside working, playing, and enjoying the warmer weather.

Doing yard work while watching an energetic toddler is a bit like trying to herd cats while wearing a blindfold.  It’s tricky and success might be the fact that no one was injured.  Little Miss is currently all about ‘helping’ so having her put stones in a buckets or make ‘art’ out of stones on the lawn worked well I was weeding.  Or at least it worked for a little while until she ran away.  Similarly, giving her a shovel to play with worked intermittently. And the whole experience made me realize why people have fenced in yards.

Challenges aside it’s also been a delightful experience.  Little Miss makes us slow down and appreciate our surroundings a little more.  Walking to the back field involves multiple stops to look at trees, feel spruce needles, and pick up pine cones.  And nothing beats hearing her say ‘Oooo’ or ‘Pretty’ repeatedly when she spots a flower or tree she likes.  Her perspective has been eye opening and serves as a constant reminder of how lucky we are to have gardens, land, and time outside.

Onward to warm days in the sun.

Science North – The Child Edition

Cross-posted from Krista’s public history blog Historical Reminiscents

I’m definitely more of a history buff than a science person, but as you might have guessed by the numerous times I’ve written about it I think Science North is a pretty awesome place.  It’s rarely crazy busy, encourages hands on learning, and is a perfect size to cover in an afternoon.  This past weekend my partner and I teamed up with some relatives and visited Science North with our daughter for the first time.

This was our daughter’s first foray into any time of museum, gallery, or science centre.  Our visit went pretty well – she’s only 1.5 years so her favourite parts were walking up the ramp, a sketch of a dog, the glass elevator, balls, and the water table.  She also liked the toddler specific areas that had toys geared to her size.  I imagine in a short time she will be loving Science North for completely different reasons.  Some of the highlights for me this time around were the Bufferfly Gallery and a couple of the hands on learn about the physical body exhibits on the third floor.

I was also really impressed with Imaginate, the special exhibit that is currently in the lobby of Science North.  Developed by the Ontario Science Centre Imaginate is all about innovation, seeing ideas come to life, and hands on learning.  It was great to see all the creative ideas that children and other visitors had created and were now part of the exhibit itself.  I loved the sound panel area where visitors could create a personal soundscape using touch panels. There was also a really interesting piece of interactive art at the entrance to Imaginate that invited users to hold onto sensor bars and the visuals in the sculpture then adapted to their heartbeat.

Overall this was another great visit to a place I love.  I’m looking forward to future visits as my daughter grows and watching the ways in which she interacts with museums, galleries, and science centres changes over the years.

Update: Travels and Social Media

Nearly a month has gone by since my last post – apparently we’ve been busy.  What have we been up to?  Traveling, playing in the snow, playing outside in what looked like the beginnings of Spring, fighting seemingly never ending colds, and trying to stay afloat. Here are some of the highlights:

  • In March I traveled to Baltimore to attend the National Council on Public History conference.  This is my favorite history related conference and my trip was full of inspiring conversations, learning, and public history goodness.  As per usual I wrote about this experience over on Historical Reminiscents, my history related site.
  • While I was away in Baltimore Andrew and Little Miss spent some time out at Basswood Lake and enjoyed quality cousin time.  Little Miss started to master the uneven surfaces of outside while there and is now running circles in our yard at home.
  • I’ve been learning how to wrangle Wikipedia entries.  At work I’ve been updating and creating new pages associated with our archival fonds.
  • I’ve also had the chance to setup social media accounts for the archives at work.  I have lots of experience using Facebook and Twitter as promotion tools so have continued using those, but also setup a Tumblr account as part of this process.  Thankfully one of my colleagues has been really helpful in explaining some of the best ways to use Tumblr and manage visual content on that site.
  • Little Miss is starting to get a ton of words.  We went on a walk the other day and she was chatting away about trees.  She was also running toward every puddle in sight. Fun times.