We #LoveBooks Summer 2014 Exchange: Thornton Burgess, red squirrels, and “Not Alvin”

LoveBooks2014insidebookNote: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Hooray, hooray, it’s Summer #LoveBook Exchange day! This is our second year participating and it is becoming one of our family’s favorite annual traditions.


This year we were matched up with the Tripp family from the amazing blog Teach Beside Me.  They sent us the book The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel, which was fantastic because we are fans of author Thornton W. Burgess at our house, and this was a book we hadn’t read yet. I just love that it worked out that way, like we were simply meant to be matched up with them and this book was destined for our shelves.

(If you’d like to see what book we sent them, you can head to the Teach Beside Me blog and find out).

If you guys are Burgess fans like we are, you’ll definitely want to head to Teach Beside Me and check out her Burgess Animal Guide resource page.

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Looking back at June 2014

HHFiberFestsmileKIDSIt was a lovely, laid back month of June for my family and hanging out here on the blog. We’ve settled into our Summer rhythm and the warm days are a welcome mix of rest, activity, and fun.

Just the way I like my Summers to be.

So, what did the month of June look like here on the Simple Kids blog?

Well, to recap the month, we ….

… shared a quick sneak peek at our Love Book exchange package that we sent. I’ll share what we received in a few days.

… got ready for a Summer of fun with Kiwi Crate and our annual Backyard Summer Nature Camp.

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Backyard Nature Camp, Weeks One and Two

Color walk bumble bee

It is that time of year again: time for the Fleck Family Backyard Nature Camp!

It was a long, cold Winter and the kids and I are ready to soak up every bit of the outdoors while the sunny skies and warmer days are here.

We’ll be using an ecourse that we used last year, the Backyard Nature Camp from A Natural Nester and Friends As one of those “friends,” affiliate, and camp counselor, I feel like this is a really special, fun, and simple program for families looking to enjoy nature together and to recreate some fun summer camp elements at home – like a staycation with a nature study twist.

The kids excited to repeat their favorite things from last Summer, like solar oven s’mores. I’m excited to share some new activities and books with them that we didn’t get to in 2013.

This ecourse is chock full of ideas and there really was no way we could get to them all last year, which is totally fine.  This is a fun, no pressure experience. And fun and no pressure is exactly the way I want this season to be for the kids. We’ve had a busy year. It’s time for some fun in the backyard!

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5 Ideas for Unplugged Summer Play

5 Ideas for UNPLUGGED Summer Play {SimpleKids.net}

Please note that there are some affiliate links in this post.  Thanks!

For today’s post, I’m writing about some of our favorite Summer Fun Unplugged Play Ideas:  the things that have been keeping my four little kiddos occupied and happy, that don’t require a power cord or batteries.

While I certainly don’t mind the occasional movie marathon day or (my son’s favorite) Minecraft night, I prefer that my kids get plenty of unplugged, child-powered play opportunities.

The Summer is a perfect time for some of these sweet ideas:

1. The box fort is a big hit.  Back in March the box was mainly used as a special reading spot but today, thanks to a few more larger boxes, it is growing into a SUPER fort!

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Come follow, follow us to … a fiber festival

HHFiberFestMaxWELCOMENote: there are some affiliate links in this post. Thanks!
I‘m so happy to share another post in this series all about our family field trips and adventures: Come Follow, Follow. Do you recognize one of the littlest Fleck’s favorite songs?

Where have we been so far? Well, you can take a peek at our new Pinterest board to catch up.

Today the kids and I wanted to share with you our recent trip to the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.

I don’t think it is a secret that I love knitting, so I’ll admit that originally I wanted to go to this festival even before I thought of it as a family activity.

However, my oldest daughter also knits and all the kids enjoy doing handwork projects and working with wool for wet felting and needle felting. Add in the appeal of the very cute fiber animals plus ponies, and it was a date I had to mark on the calendar, for sure.

So, while it might seem like a mostly knitting mama-centric activity, I knew that there would be plenty for everyone to enjoy at the fiber festival.

Plus, much like our farmers market experience, I want the kids to know how the products they see in the store get there. I don’t want them to know yarn as just a colorful skein in mommy’s yarn stash, but to know the animals, plants, history, and processes behind it.

So, we loaded up the kids and Aunt Angela in the family minivan (affectionately nicknamed “Trolley” by my two year old Daniel Tiger fan) and headed out for some fibery adventure!

So in today’s post, the kids and I invite you to come follow, follow, follow us to … a fiber festival!

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