It’s our first full cycle of introducing a Natural Playscape to Caring Connection Children’s Center. In the spring and summer, this is a natural. Growing things, green and blooming, birds and bugs, water and shells….

As fall approaches, there is still so much to do: Pumpkins and squash, the late warm autumn weather. Mmmmmm. The grass is still surviving and play is still cool and comfortable. Yay, California!

Now, winter has arrived. And although we live in sunny California, we still do have weather. We have less sunshine, cold temperatures, cool breezes, wind, fog and even rain. This year we haven’t had much of the wet stuff, but we are just entering winter in Sacramento.

Jackets, hats and even gloves can make outdoor play easy and comfortable for kids. Let’s remember though, playing kids will not leave those coats on for long. And gloves? (Fuggitaboutit.) Eh um. What I mean is….realize that your darling gloves will likely be “glove” before the day is done.

So… my big word for this season GOODWILL. And I’m not talking about the holiday season. THRIFT STORE. DOLLAR STORE. Don’t count on these cute little hats, scarves and gloves… or even socks to stay in the possession of your little one for long.

I know, I know… teachers should be able to keep track of these things. Let’s get serious. We have 30 kids, some part time, and some full time. Matching and similar clothing, shoes, socks and accessories. We can only ask so much of our staff. Watching, teaching, playing and loving kids, not socks- is our priority.

So, back to the Playscape… Hay! (Not typo there. Not “hey” but “hay”! As we round the bend we’ve filled one of our summer sand-pond with HAY from the harvest season. The kids did all the work. Buckets and buckets of sand were transported from the sand-pond to the beach area and then the fun of moving hay into one of the ponds.

Next? We don’t really know for sure. We will keep you posted but I know that MUD STOMPING will be in our future.

So go to GOODWILL or treasure hunt in your niece and nephew’s closet. We are looking for kids’ galoshes, rain boots for those who don’t know that old fashioned word.