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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Teaching from Rest: a Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace {giveaway}


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

I have a giveaway today for my homeschooling readers: one Simple Kids reader will win a bundle from Sarah at Amongst the Lovely Things for her new book Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace.

I’m in the middle of reading this book myself and I think it has an important and timely message for homeschooling parents as we are in the middle of planning and preparing for next year.

{this giveaway is now CLOSED and a winner will be announced soon.  Thanks!}

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I’m in the middle of the “rest” season right now – enjoying Summer, some downtime, and recharging and feeling like I  have energy again after the toll the school year can take on me. I won’t lie friends, it felt like we came to the end of this year with a whimper and not a bang.

And yet, after a few weeks of rest and relaxing I find myself once again looking forward to the year ahead, getting excited about back to school.

From a place of rest, I can see the joy and I look forward to starting homeschool again – even the messy, noisy, less than perfect days. In fact, with the perspective rest brings, I can see that in some cases those were among our best days of the school year.

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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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Come follow, follow us to … the Farmers Market

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I‘m so happy to introduce a new series here on the blog, all about our family field trips and adventures: Come Follow, Follow. Do you recognize one of the littlest Fleck’s favorite songs?

So, where have we been so far? First we went to Community Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Last week we shared our adventures at Touch a Truck Day in Fishers, Indiana.

Today the kids and I wanted to share with you our recent trip to the Fortville Farmers Market.

As my kids get older and a little more interested in how things grow, including their own bodies, and where the food we eat comes from, the farmers market is the perfect place for a little family adventure and some tasty treats, to boot!

As a parent, I love that the kids can see from weekly visits to the farmers market over the course of the season what different things grow and how the offerings change. It isn’t like the supermarket with bananas on the shelf year round. It’s a hands on way to teach what concepts like “seasonal” and “fresh” and “locally grown” mean.

We loaded up the kids and Aunt Angela in the family minivan and headed out for some delicious adventures and to see what was available now.

So in today’s post, the kids and I invite you to come follow, follow, follow us to … the farmers market!

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