Unplugged Play: Paper Plate Farm


This Unplugged Play idea comes to you entirely from the imagination of my five year old daughter Lucy.

She had been awfully quiet one recent afternoon, working steadily on something at our crafts table, engrossed for a long time with her project.  When I went to go peek at what she was up to, I discovered that my animal loving girl had been creating a farm made out of paper plates.

(Proving, once again, that you just never know what kind of crafty magic is hiding in ordinary household objects, waiting for the mind of a child to release it.)

She was inspired by a recent trip to my parents’ house, where we took a drive through Indiana farm country one afternoon and saw all kinds of animals.

Of course my animal loving girl, who tells me that she is either going to be a farmer or “the Pioneer Woman” when she grows up, wanted to bring a little bit of that home with her.

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Playful Learning World Tour: Hello from Indiana, USA #PlayfulTour


Greetings from Indiana, USA!  The kids and I are so happy to be the current stop on

If you”ve never been to the Simple Kids blog before, welcome!  If you”re a regular reader, then you might recognize long-time Simple Kids contributor Mariah Bruehl and her .


To introduce ourselves, my name is Kara and my kids are Amelia, Lucy, Max, and Jillian.  We live in Fortville, a small town in central Indiana (close to Indianapolis) in the United States.

We love our town because it has lots of green space, including two parks, a wonderful community arts center, and a terrific library.  We love our local ice cream parlor and on Wednesday evenings in the Summertime there is a classic car “cruise in” right on Main Street.

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Summer Bucket List: The Pink Elephant (Small Town Living)


This has been the summer of walking for our family, as I mentioned a few weeks ago. Yes, we’ve been ditching the car, saving on gas, and putting our sneakers to work.  And we’ve loved it!

Walking has given us a chance to better become local tourists and really get to know the ins and outs of this wonderful small town where we live.

One of the local gems we’ve discovered this summer is the Indulge Ice Cream Parlor and Cafe.  Shortly after we discovered this lovely ice cream shop, we put “eat a Pink Elephant” on our Summer bucket list.

Eat a pink elephant?

Yes, a pink elephant – a giant strawberry ice cream concoction named after our town’s mascot, a huge pink elephant statue.

You’ve been introduced to the Pink Elephant before, when I shared our Indiana Bastille Day adventure:

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Shake, Rattle, and Roll (Ages and Stages: Babies)


The following post is part of the Summer ReRun series and originally appeared in February 2012, back when Amelia was just six months old.  I have to confess, as she turns TWO this week, I’m rerunning this in part so I can see the pictures of my sweet baby girl.  Enjoy! – Kara

Amelia is six months old.  Can you believe it?  At this age she is starting to become a bit more self aware, especially as it relates to cause and effect and her own power in this regard.  This means rattles and shakers are a big hit right now.

One of my favorite things is the expression of happiness on Amelia’s face when she realizes that she is the one creating the noise with the rattle, that she is causing it. That means rattles and shakers are some of this mama’s favorite toys right now, too.

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Unplugged Play: a morning at the park and my current favorite bag #FEEDUSA


This has been the summer of walking for our family.  It is excellent exercise for all of us, especially for this mama who spent far too much time indoors over the long winter.  After months of being fairly sedentary, getting outside and walking nearly every day has been so nice for our whole family.

Plus, walking has given us a chance to better become local tourists and really get to know the ins and outs of this wonderful small town where we live. 

After a string of rainy and then super steamy hot days, we were more than ready for some unplugged play at our local park, so yesterday morning we loaded up my new favorite bag (more on that in a bit) and grabbed the stroller for Amelia, who would love to walk all by herself but can”t quite cover the distances just yet.

Then, out the door we went!

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