Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Welcome to...
...our new favorite hideout in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.  
The Children's Garden has a selection of hands-on activities, like a stream, a water pump, a water table with floating aquatic plants, and a compost pile with worms and shovels for digging, plus fragrant plants, butterfly plants, and flowers that tower over even me.
Exploring the rest of the gardens provides an escape from city living as we walk among tall trees and through open spaces.  Our favorite places so far include the Japanese Gardens for the koi and turtles swimming in the pond, the Native Species Garden for the ten foot tall walls of thick prairie flowers, and a little tree cave that covers a portion of a stream running through the middle of the gardens.  
One of the things I love most about our neighborhood in Brooklyn is that we're surrounded by playgrounds.  We have more than I can count within a one mile radius of our home- at least 10 or 12.  We can stop for a quick climb on the way home from running errands or have Tye ride her scooter to one without worrying about her tiring out on the way home.  We could easily visit a new one each day of the week.  The playgrounds provide Tye with a great opportunity to climb, run, jump, hang, and usually interact with other kids.  
Recently, though, I've begun to feel playground overload hitting.  Maybe it's just the end of summer, or maybe we need to walk further and explore some new locations.  Maybe we really have spent too much time in the chaos of kids running, screaming, tumbling everywhere we look.  Whatever it is, I feel like the BBG provides exactly the opposite- peace, greenery, quiet, opportunity to explore- while also outdoors.  
The Gardens have boulders for Tye to climb and jump from, open spaces for running, and stairs to tromp up and down.  I can put Etta down in the grass.  We can all engage our senses smelling flowers, leaves, and dirt, looking at the colors and shapes and light and space, feeling the water and plants, and listening to the sounds of nature- which Tye points out by saying, "Do you know what I hear, Mommy?  A jungle!"  

Do you know what I hear? Imagination growing.

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