Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tyke Hike #21 - Loew Lake

The February winter-themed Tyke Hike was 55 degrees and bright. The March spring-themed hike was low 30's and flurrying. Gotta love Wisconsin! Throw in the latest edition of my toddler's "threenager" tantrum which may or may not have been exacerbated by an unexpected dip in the Oconomowoc River and you've got the ingredients for a memorable Tyke Hike.

Nineteen hikers of all shapes and sizes trekked beautiful Loew Lake on this chilly last day of winter. With signs of spring on our mind, the kids led the hike from the get go, often breaking away a little more than usual.

Collecting sticks and pointing out every pine cone in sight kept the pace reasonably attainable. Once we made it to the river, we used the bench for our group photo and took a break with the picture book And Then It's Spring, by Julie Fogliano. After a quick snack, it was on to the boardwalk and the surrounding area for a squishy session of natural play. Traversing the sticks and broken boards of the boardwalk, we were able to find many wonderful signs of spring, from the chorus of birds to the presence of the odoriffic skunk cabbage.

As I mentioned to the visitors, one of my favorite sayings in forest kindergarten is becoming a regular phrase uttered during the Tyke Hike's natural play time. "Dirt won't hurt." This might be my catch phrase.

Quite the "cheesy" smile

Now falling into the river might. Now, "falling" is a bit of an exaggeration. While I was answering some questions,  Embry followed the creative  lead of other children and was using a stick to "fish." She got a little close, slipped on the mud, submersed one hand into the drink. This was not her finest moment, but just one of the drawbacks of nature play. Luckily for me, her, and the rest of the hikers, nature offers way more benefits, so a little mud and river water is nothing.

Though I ended up carrying her for most of the return trip, she did get to continue "bopping those blazes" and insisted on doing something we call a stump jump as we approached the end of the hike. Fortunately, her stump jump did not end in a rump bump. She is going to be an excellent rhymer. :)

With another Tyke Hike in the books, we will see what the April 23rd hike at Lapham Peak has in store. Based on the Tyke Hike weather so far this year, I'll bring my snowplants and sunscreen.

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