Monday, February 18, 2013
It is a little tricky at times to keep up a mamatoto group now that most of the totos are in school and most of the mamas are working. The nap schedules of the second crop of totos usually conflicts, and it's hard to find a day and time that works for everyone. Our answer to this was to add more times to meet up. My favorite of the additions is "Friendly Fridays," otherwise known as "Nature Toto." We try to get out in the beautiful nature of Santa Barbara every Friday morning and have done things like: apple picking, blueberry picking, hikes (such as Coldsprings, pictured), the butterflies at Elwood, The Backyard at the NHM, miniature donkey-riding in Santa Ynez, the beach, and White Rock. I am much less concerned with getting my girls in organized-anything (sports, ballet, other classes) as I am with getting them in nature. While organized activities can lend an atmosphere of competition, our Nature Toto has fostered cooperation (building teepees together, searching for treasure, playing house in the roots of a tree...) while still giving the children plenty of opportunities to develop their gross motor skills. And all the while they are developing an attitude of love and respect for our Mother Earth!