An ABC Nature Quest for Spring

1 - Spring Nature WalkI’m so happy to have my friend Elizabeth of A Natural Nester here today sharing a fun nature activity for your kids to enjoy!

“Oooh, there’s a FEATHER! That’s F, right? Ffffeather.” My six-year-old, beginning reader beamed with pleasure over her “F” nature find.

Our hike hadn’t begun as a quest to find nature items that matched with the letters of the alphabet. It started as just a family hike along a trail at a local state park. We were searching for geocaches, and heading toward a canopy walk and 75-foot-tall lookout tower (we thought… that turned out to be a different path). So, we’d been hiking for quite some time, and we’d been sidetracked one-too-many times in search of a cache. My little one, and her little legs, was oh-so-tired. The whining began right as we turned around to head back. I knew she needed a distraction… and quick!

2 - Feather

“Let’s play a game,” I suggested. “We’re going to look for items in nature that match the letters of the alphabet.” She was intrigued, excited, and thankfully, fully distracted from her aching feet. We did our ABC nature quest a bit haphazard like, including items we’d already seen along the way and skipping around a bit alphabetically. Also, we simply kept it in our heads, rather than writing it down and keeping close track. But let me tell you, it saved our hike! When we reached the parking area, my daughter was happy and re-energized; ready to take the short trek (on the correct trail) to the lookout tower.

An ABC nature quest is ideal for young hikers. While my six year old needed the engagement to make it through our walk, my 9 year old found it equally fun. And the whole family pitched in to come up with creative finds for the tougher letters. My older daughter suggested quill for Q, and I offered up vernal pool for V when we came upon a large puddle in the woods. This discovery led to a discussion about what vernal pools are, what lives in them, and the purpose they serve in the environment.

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Simple Parenting and Play Planner {giveaway}

SPPP on tour intro post

Well hello! It’s Melitsa from Raising Playful Tots and I’m super excited that Kara has kindly let me share with you about a little project that will help you take your intentional parenting and play a positive step forward! Yeah!

We know planning works. We plan our holiday. We plan our menus. We plan our budgets. We’re a pretty intentional bunch. But what about planning our play and our family actions?

During the summer, my boys were running down their enormous list of ‘must dos’ and ‘I wish we could dos’ that you do on a warm summers day. Soon I was doing the same- all the places I wanted to take them and things I wanted to do as a family. But there was no where to really catch all these ideas and in true Star Trek – Jean Luc Picard fashion- “Make it so!”

Play is often the first thing that gets squeezed in our lives and it’s easy for the good ideas and intentions to go on the back burner if we don’t have a place to let them take shape- grow some wings and fly or wheels and roll on out!

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Home Sweet Homeschool: March

Happy St. Patrick's Day from SimpleKids.netI thought some of you might like to read about what we’ve been up to in our homeschool lately.  Here’s a snippet from yesterday’s post on my personal blog.

Wow.  I think it has been 6 months since I wrote up a monthly homeschool update for the blog.  Yikes.  No time like the present to get back on track, eh?  So, let’s dive right in and talk about what the kids and I have been learning during the month of March and some of the changes we’ve made since I last wrote about our homeschool.

styleslide

Toddler Time, age 2 years 7 months – Amelia isn’t technically homeschooling, but I like to record what she’s been up to and learning each month, so I hope you’ll indulge me as I include her in these monthly wrap ups.

One huge milestone for this little style maven:  she can go down the slide at the park all by herself.  Wow!  Talk about what a difference six months makes.  She’s so proud of herself!

This month saw a language explosion and she’s speaking in six and seven and sometimes even eight word sentences.  Usually along the lines of “Mom, you give me that ____, please?” or “Mom, I have more that ____, please?”  Tacking please on the end of requests is fairly new, too.

She’s very interested in brushing her teeth and washing hands.  She’s also interested in the process of doing the laundry and likes to help me transfer it from washer to dryer and then from the dryer to the laundry baskets and then even folding it and helping me put it away.

I give her simple tasks like folding washcloths and pairing socks (which sometimes she matches up correctly and sometimes not).

[ Read the rest at K.ElizabethFleck.com ]

Rainy Day Drawing Fun

Rainy day painting | SimpleKids.netI’m so pleased to welcome Melissa Camara Wilkins as a guest poster.  Enjoy! – Kara

We love rainy days. Six kids and one mama all wearing thick socks, sipping hot chocolate, listening to the tap-tap-tapping of rain on the skylight. It’s charming… until it’s been going on for three days in a row, we haven’t set foot outdoors, and we’re starting to go a little stir-crazy.

That’s when we know it’s time to break out our best rainy day activity ideas. Here’s one of our favorites:

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Simple as That: The Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of Spring

crocus

After such an odd and dreary Winter, I’m so happy that Springtime is here!  The cold, grey days are (mostly) behind us, and in my part of the world we’re already enjoying the green, sunny days and the blues skies of Spring.

While I’m not convinced we won’t still see a March or April snowstorm before Winter truly says farewell, I see Spring’s arrival as an opportunity to use all of our senses to savor the season. I’m especially looking forward to celebrating baby Mia’s first Spring and I can’t wait to introduce her to flowers and exploring outdoors in the sunshine.

I thought it would be fun to carry on what has become a seasonal tradition here at Simple Kids, and list some of the different ways we can experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of Spring with our kids.

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