iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge: Week One, Our Dinosaur Themed Week

The following is by editor Kara Fleck.

Zoom! That was the sound of this past week as it went zipping by me!  I certainly hope that the whole Summer doesn’t go by as quickly. (I apologize in advance for not taking any pictures of our reading adventures.  I’ll fix that before next week’s Summer Reading post).

We made some time to mindfully slow the week down in spots by spending some time together with books.  As I mentioned last week, we’re taking part in the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading  Community Challenge.  The challenge began on June 6th, but it isn’t too late to head over here and sign up to participate.

This week, along with the Summer Survival Guide from Life As Mom, we had a Dinosaur themed week.

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As Simple as That: Take a Walk and Explore Nature with Your Senses


The following is by Kara Fleck, editor of Simple Kids.  This post originally appeared July 14, 2010.

I want to invite you today to involve your senses on your next nature walk.  We are, of course, always experiencing the world with our senses but taking the time to be mindful of what we are seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling brings the process to the forefront and makes it meaningful.

An intentional period of observation helps us to connect to our natural world. That connection is important for both kids and adults.

Here are some simple prompts and questions to help you and your child to focus on experiencing nature with your senses on your next walk.


I want to encourage you to take the time to really look at the world around you.  Walk slowly.  Your purpose is  the journey and not a destination.

Some questions to ask your child:

  • What does the sky look like today?
  • What does the ground look like?
  • What animals can we see?
  • Any there any insects?  Birds?
  • What do the trees look like?
  • What colors do you see?
  • Have there been any changes since yesterday/your last walk?

Look carefully!  While you are observing animals, some animals might be observing YOU!

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Weekend Links

On facebook yesterday, I mentioned that today’s kids are outdoors half as much as children were 20 years ago. However, I bet that isn’t true among Simple Kids readers. I’d love to hear: what have you and your kids been up to outdoors this weekend?

Are You Up for a Challenge? Join in the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Program

The following was written by editor Kara Fleck.

Are you ready to read this Summer?  Simple Kids is joining in with PBS Kids Raising Readers and their Summer Reading Community Challenge. My family hosted our kick off party over the weekend and folks around here, big and little, are ready to go!  Won’t you join us?

Are You Ready for a Summer Reading Challenge?

PBS Kids has developed a FREE six weeks challenge for you and your kids.  Sign up at the website here, and starting June 6th, you and your kids will receive:

  • A daily email with fun activities to build reading skills
  • Tricks and advice from your Challenge coach
  • Great book suggestions for kids of all ages
  • Tips from other parents taking the challenge
  • A chance to win daily prizes

My kids and I will be participating.  Every Thursday here on the Simple Kids blog we’ll share our Summer reading adventures with all of you.

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Rhythm of the Home: An Interview with Kara Fleck of Simple Living Media

Today, I’m over at Rhythm of the Home sharing about Simple Kids, Simple Living Media, and my sister sites.  I’d love it if you popped over there to check it out. – Kara

Most parents crave easy knowledge on how to raise our kids with as much simplicity as possible. The idea of a set of websites dedicated to providing simple, easy to use information on parenting, mothering, homeschooling, eating, and living sustainably seems too good to be true, but the Simple Media Network is just that. This network of websites has countless articles, interviews and reviews to streamline the information that parents need, and make their jobs just a bit more simple. We sit down with Kara Fleck of Simple Kids for an interview about the Simple Living Media Network, and what she sees as the role they all play.

How did the Simple Living Media Network begin?

Simple Living Media is the brain child of my friend, mentor, and boss, Tsh Oxenreider. Many of you probably know Tsh as Simple Mom and the author of the book Organized Simplicity. You can read about how Simple Mom got started in 2008 here.

In 2009, Tsh added Simple Kids as a compliment to Simple Mom. In 2010 she and her husband Kyle added the blogs Simple Organic, edited by Nicole Bennett, Simple Bites, edited by Aimee Wimbush-Bourque, and Simple Homeschool, edited by Jamie Martin, forming the Simple Living Media Network. The Simple Mom podcast  just launched this past May, as well, adding another dimension to the network (and something fun to listen to while folding the laundry).

[Read the rest at Rhythm of the Home …]