family life · parenting

On the hunt for a Totoro

Many toddlers are obsessed with a certain TV show or movie, they crave repetition and parents end up watching the same thing day in day out. I won’t pretend we don’t watch TV, we do. We don’t have a TV though so we have good control over the screen time and quality of the programming our toddler watches. He’s an avid fan of all things postman pat, the wonderful Bing Bunny and most of all ghibli! This boys love of Ponyo is as real as Sosuke’s and his most recent favourite is Totoro (the Tree spirit). As with all things, balance is the key; some days I worry about his screen time but other days we are out all day having adventures and more often than not our days are a combination of those things.

One of our favourite activities is going on nature walks, hunting through woodland and parks (both of which we’re lucky to have close by) to see what exciting treasure, bugs and animals we can find. 

September is such a great time of year for this and we’ve been afforded some great weather this week, heading out into the woods yesterday inadvertently turned into a hunt for a Totoro, an entirely spontaneous idea which popped forth from the toddler when he spotted an acorn on the ground (which everyone knows is the obvious sign that small Totoro have been gathering and dropping them) his little face, his loud gasp and his exhale of “Totoro….” as he crouched to pick it up set the tone of the entire adventure. We searched for the biggest tallest tree we could and performed the Totoro dance (which he does to inspire growth in the crops) of course collecting acorns along the way.

The shouts of “Totoro! Totoro!” Echoed joyfully around and we brought home lots of treasure for our nature box. We’ve already been exploring the nature box this morning, rolling conkers, smelling acorns and hunting through our oberver book of trees to match the leaves we found. 

As we approach the solstice and shorter days I know there will be more adventures like this to come and I think we may need a bigger box!

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