Out + About with Bailey

With our master collector turning three in less than a month (!!), I decided to take my "fancy" camera (aka not my phone) with us on a family walk last night to snap some last photos of Two Year Old Bailey as she transforms like a little butterfly into Three Year Old Bailey. I also thought it would be fun to share what our nature walks usually look like, as we always post the end result of our collecting but as much of the process.

I started snapping right before we left, having just run around the backyard for awhile.

Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey
Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey

On our walks of late, B has been really into balancing on walls. She started out a little topsy turvy, but she's really getting good at remembering to put one foot in front of another She reaches out for a hand to get her balance, but sometimes she lets go and does it on her own.

Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey
Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey

We love to stop by these bushes to say goodnight to our bumble bee friend, Beatrice, who seems to linger each evening, collecting nectar after all the other bees have flown back to the hive. "Goodnight, Beatrice!"

Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey
Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey

When we come upon certain houses, she really starts to scout for things to put in her bag (which she gave her Daddoo to carry last night). Some have gardens filled with all sorts of beautiful plants and flowers and trees, all of which drop leaves and petals and seed pods she's allowed to collect. Now and then, neighbors come out to say hello while she's busy treasure spotting in their yard, which is nice because she gets to know who lives where and comes up with associations for them.

Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey
Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey

Sometimes they even welcome us into their gardens to enjoy their flowers (and sniff their intoxicating magnolia trees).

Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey

Now and then she spots some leaves she likes that are way up high, and thankfully she can't hasn't been tall enough to quite reach them yet because she's not allowed to pluck leaves off trees. She did manage to reach some last night, but was actually very gentle and didn't do anything she wasn't supposed to.

Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey

After all the collecting and chatting with neighbors, her little legs start to get a bit tired, so sometimes she takes a rest.

Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey

And sometimes, when she's really, really lucky, Daddoo will give her a lift when she just can't go any further on her own.

Little Treasures Project | Out + About with Bailey

An Introduction

Hey pals! I'm Melissa, the half of the mother/daughter duo that runs most of the facets of this operation. The other half, Bailey (B), takes care of almost all of our collecting (which is kind of a big deal because that's really where the magic happens) while balancing a busy schedule full of playing, wiggling, snacking and napping.

If you've been following us on Instagram, then you already know what we're up to. If not, allow me to explain. B and I are just a regular ol' mom and toddler pair who happen to take lots of walks. When we first started walking around our neighborhood without the stroller, I started to notice myself constantly correcting B, asking her to "hurry up!" and "keep up with Mama!" One day it dawned on me that my whisking her away was the exact opposite of how I wanted to raise her. I want to raise a thoughtful person, a curious person, a person who appreciates the world around her and who explores and discovers on a regular basis. If I was hurrying her, how was she supposed to become or be any of those things? I remembered that as a brand new human, she was seeing everything in the world for the first time. Absorbing all of those new and exciting sights takes time and, if she was going to get the most out of our walks, I needed to slow down. I needed to find patience and maybe a sense of curiosity that I myself had lost a long time ago.

Eventually B started collecting some of the discoveries she made. I found myself walking home with handfuls of sticks and pockets overflowing with rocks and acorns and all kinds of other random things B deemed beautiful. I started calling them her "little treasures." Eventually I got smart and started taking tote bags with us on our walks, but I quickly realized I couldn't keep everything she collects because there was just so much. That's when I started taking photos of her collections and posting them to Instagram, as a way for her to look back on all of the things she found beautiful without having to physically keep everything. Flash forward a year and here we are. We've amassed a collection of almost 200 images and B continues to want to explore and find new treasures. She has developed quite the eye and is very particular about what goes into our collecting bag. She only wants the smoothest rocks, the most colorful flowers and the most unique sticks.

As I've learned while watching my sweet girl, getting children out into nature is giving them a gift of opportunity. Nature offers children the chance to explore and play while giving them an immersive sensory experience. B has learned about textures by feeling grass on her toes and rough tree bark on her fingers. She has smelled flowers and seen rainbows form and heard birds chirp their beautiful songs. She has jumped for the moon and watched as ants carry leaves many times heavier than their tiny bodies. There are so many chances to learn, explore, play, and create when we usher our kids to natural settings.

My hope is to use this space to inspire someone, anyone, to usher their kids outside and into life of discovery and passion for the outdoors. I'll be sharing many of our adventures here, DIY nature activities we do that can be easily recreated in your own home, and reflections on our collections for the week, along with featured monthly spotlights on the organizations we will be giving to (they'll be receiving 5% of all profits from our shop) and how you can get involved and support them.

Thanks for joining us on our journey!

xo,
Melissa


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