Play with Peppermint

Play with Peppermint (5)

I came home from the market with fresh mint, and Veronika was immediately intrigued with the smell. So we turned the morning into a little chance to explore peppermint with all our senses! It’s fun to pick one ingredient like this on occasion, and focus on it closely.

First up I asked her to use her eyes/sight, and notice that the plant was green and leafy. But more importantly, she wanted to explore with her nose/smell. First we smelled a peppermint teabag and then the fresh leaves.

Play with Peppermint (1)

Next came taste! I brewed a pot of peppermint tea and cooled down cups for the kids with ice cubes. They both loved it, and also sampled the fresh leaves, which big brother Travis loved dropping right into his tea.

Play with Peppermint (2)

Now it was time for hands/touch. Mint has that great slightly fuzzy texture and Veronika loved holding the leaves or ripping it into smaller pieces with her fingers. We decided to glue some of this confetti down to make mint art!

Play with Peppermint (3)

I suppose we didn’t really “hear” the peppermint, unless you count the sound of it crumbling between our fingertips.

Play with Peppermint (4)

Finally, I tied together a few sprigs for Veronika as a whimsical bouquet. She loved this “tiny tree” and played with it for a while. I thought it looked a bit like a magic wand, too! So perhaps the sixth sense we used today was our imaginations.

Play with Peppermint (6)

This was a nice way to pause and focus on just one food, as opposed to making a recipe together. I loved seeing her wonder as she explored the peppermint with every sense.

Play with Peppermint (7)

Sound Walk Scavenger Hunt

Sound Scavenger Hunt (2)

When we go on nature walks, I tend to draw Veronika’s attention to things we can see… a natural tendency, and of course a great way to help her hone skills of observation. But it can be easy to neglect other senses. So today we specifically focused on things we could hear on our walk instead!

Armed with a cute template, we set out on a sound “scavenger hunt”.

Sound Scavenger Hunt (1)

I loved this template because the pictures were cartoon-ish and easy for even a young toddler to understand. “Bird!” she said, looking at the drawings. “Plane!”

Sound Scavenger Hunt (5)

The template is also just right for this age because it only includes a few items, instead of an overwhelming list. Pretty soon, we could start to check items off.

We met a dog on our walk, who barked happily. “Dog!” she said. I showed Veronika the dog on her paper and helped her check it off. (Older toddlers will no doubt proudly make the check marks themselves).

Sound Scavenger Hunt (4)

Then she eagerly pointed when we heard a plane! And that earned a check.

Sound Scavenger Hunt (3)

A bird near the water caught her attention and she chased after it yelling out “tweet tweet!” So that one got a check, too.

There is ample space to add other sounds that you hear, so we drew in a little cartoon of the wind after listening to it rustle through the leaves.

Sound Scavenger Hunt (6)

Perhaps we’ll do a scavenger hunt for our sense of smell or touch on our next walk!