Grammy works in the gardens at the campground. For first year gardens, they are producing quite nicely. While she is busy watering, mulching and weeding, Brady P. and I go visit her. And help if we can.
Braeden likes to help by throwing his ball into the plants. He throws it right into the broccoli patch. He chucks it right through the rows of corn. He sinks it deep into the kale plants.
And then he has to find it.
When his ball is too hidden for him to find, he will interrupt our chores by pressing his palms together, moving them up and down and grunting "uh, uh." His sign for "help."
"I will help you Braeden," I volunteer, so Grammy can keep moving along. "You threw the ball in the broccoli!" I tell him. "Let's find it."
He stands next to me as I pull the leaves back and look under the plants. "Baa-aall, where aaaare you?" I sing as I duck under the foliage.
I want Braeden to know we are looking through the broccoli. And when he throws it in the corn, I want him to know it's in the corn. No matter which vegetable the ball lands in, Grammy and I tell him the name of it. The chances of him memorizing all the plants by fall is minimal, but I think it's a great opportunity for him to learn where his food comes from.
Brady P. takes his ball throwing seriously
Soon enough we find his ball. "Here it is, Brady P!" I shout to him. "Now stay on the path."
The only way we can allow him to stay in the garden at all is because he learned what the path is. Now it took laps of Grammy and me marching through the garden with him on our heels to learn what the path was. "Marching on the path," we sing to whatever nursery rhyme was stuck in our heads that day.
And he walks right behind us on the dirt path. That way, when he goes to find his ball in the corn, we can yell, "Stay on the path!" and he looks down, and finds a path to the corn. It's fun to make a game out of it. Sometimes we zigzag through like a maze, and I ask him where he thinks the path goes from a certain spot. He can usually find one.
Grammy reminding him where the path is
He certainly likes the challenge of learning, and he loves that ball. Uh oh, where did it go this time?