Tag Archives: nature

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Artwork Copyright Katie Daisy 2010, http://www.flickr.com/people/thewheatfield/, Visit her etsy shop at http://www.thewheatfield.etsy.com

Happy Monday!

I hope all is wonderful in your little corner of the world.  Winter is holding on tight around here but we’re planting seeds and making plans anyway.  My spring fun Pinterest board is stocked with ideas I want to try with the kiddos.

Here’s a few ways to make a little magic this week…

1.  Tie long sticks to ribbons and go ribbon dancing in the back yard or park.

2.  Make grapevine wreaths and bracelets.  Click here for a tutorial from my Victoria a few years back.

3.  Mop the kitchen floor by letting the kids sock skate.  Or take it a step farther like this family did and make some sponge skates.  If you go for the mop hockey idea (which is brilliant, if you have a large enough floor and the bravery to say yes to such a thing!), I’d definitely recommend helmets though.  :)

4.  Cheer up your bill-paying.  Have the kids use crayons or colored pencils to draw a picture on the back of each bill as you mail it in, plus decorate the envelope and write something cheerful.  You might make someone else’s day magical as well.

5.  Make some seed bombs.  You can make these little guerilla gardening goodies with shredded paper or clay, plus a bit of dirt, compost and wildflower seeds.  Then have fun flinging them into unloved areas that could use a bit of color (including your own back yard!).  Be sure to use native wildflowers that will not be invasive and follow all those commonsense sort of rules.  :)  Find tutorials at every(nothing)wonderful (with free printable labels!), The Ecologist (where you can learn the very old history of seed bombs and lots more), Mademoiselle Chaos (where you can make moldable little seed bomb shapes with recycled paper), or use this basic formula from BH&G:

Guerillagardening.org recipe: Combine two parts mixed flower seeds with three parts compost; stir in five parts powdered clay (available at art or crafts supply stores), and moisten with water. Form balls one inch in diameter; let dry for 24 to 48 hours (stash in an empty egg carton). Gather in paper and tie with raffia; add easy how-tos on a tag.

6.  Got any Harry Potter fans?  Make their day with homemade Butterbeer, complete with sugared rims on the glasses.  Now if I could only figure out how to make those tiny brooms….

7.  Start a weekly project of making homemade toys together.  These can be simple (like turning unwanted stuffed animals into puppets) or sophisticated (like making homemade dolls).  Check out my Homemade Toys board for lots of tutorials and inspiration.

8.  Start some seeds.  You can start them in egg shells, egg cartons, newspaper pots, muffin tins or toilet paper tubes (cut in half) in recycled plastic boxes (the clamshell boxes from organic salad mixes are perfect) for mini-greenhouses.

9.  Do electric griddle drawings.  These are so much fun that even I have to take a few minutes to make some melty crayon art.  :)  Click here for our tutorial and be sure to be safe.

10. Go puddle stomping!  You too.  :)

And with that, my pretties, I’m off to start a nice pot of soup to try to kick this spring cold that thinks it’s going to get us down.

Have a magical week!

6 Comments

Filed under Ways to make today magical

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

(March nature calendar by J.A. Partridge in Natural Science Through the Seasons:  100 Teaching Units, 1946, via A Holy Experience. Click to enlarge)

Happy Monday!

I’m back from my blogging hiatus.  Daryl is recovering well from his hip replacement surgery.  It will still be some time before he’s fully mobile, but it’s all going great so far.

Here’s a few ways to make some memories with your kids this week.

1.  If you’re lucky enough to live in the right climate, go maple syrup tapping.  This is a can’t-miss experience for those of us who live near sugar maple trees this time of year (here’s info for Minnesotans on how to find sites that are doing it and others can google their states for locations and info).

2.  Use recycled newspaper to make plantable muffin tin pots for seedlings.  Visit Hands are full, Hearts are full for the wonderful tutorial.

3.  Make some whimsical finger puppets.  Check out das-wolkenschaf’s photostream for more wonderful inspiration.

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/daswolkenschaf. If you want to pin this idea, please visit the original site so the proper person gets credit!

4.  Tape a length of string across the room as a net and play balloon volleyball inside. 

5.  Do some nature studies.  This is the perfect time of year for lots of spring nature fun.  Here’s ten ideas to get you started.

6.  Buy or make a blank book and start a family cookbook.  Make up a new recipe for it each week together.  Some good simple dishes include smoothies, soups and jazzed up grilled sandwiches.  Encourage the kids to think up really fabulous names for each recipe.

7.  Make a painter’s tape maze and then have the kids dribble or kick a ball through it.

(Original source unknown)

8.  Make a sticky spider web.  Hands on as we Grow came up with this wonderful activity where you make a painter’s tape spiderweb and throw newspaper balls at it and try to make them stick. 

Visit http://handsonaswegrow.com/halloween-activity-a-sticky-spider-web/ for more information and to pin this idea.

9.  Make some hand puppets from old stuffed animals.

10. Let the kids play with their food! Give them an assortment of fruit pieces and let them go nuts.  This idea is courtesy of my son, Jack.  He and his little brother even set up a store and made everybody fake money so we could all buy the ones we liked!  Look at the lovely creations my boys made this morning.  :)

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

And with that, my pretties, I’m off to tackle the next 99 things on my to-do list.  Have a wonderful week!

2 Comments

Filed under Ways to make today magical

A Little Playful Inspiration

Have you visited the blog Let the Children Play I find myself frequently pinning Jenny’s lovely posts because they are so wonderful for simple, magical, child-led fun.

Here’s a few examples that have inspired me for our lazy days at home…

“This sunny day we set out a couple of shallow boxes and containers filled with sand, along with a basket of goodies to create little worlds.”

series: how to create an irresistible outdoor playspace for children

“Within the Reggio Emilia schools, great attention is given to the look and feel of the classroom.  Just feast your eyes on some of the wonderful images of Reggio Emilia inspired preschools I have found lately…”

A space of comfort and privacy:
 

A space of beauty and wonder:
 
I subscribe to Let the Children Play by email, and it’s lovely to have these simple and whimsical ideas dropped into my inbox each morning.  I highly recommend going over and taking a peek.  Click on Popular Posts to see some of the viewer favorites, but don’t stop there.  Click on related pages at the end of each blog post and you’re likely to find more than you can possibly keep up with to inspire you.  :)
Happy Thursday!

1 Comment

Filed under neat stuff elsewhere

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

Here’s a few ways to make some memories with your kiddos this week….

1.  Have the kids play dress up in their most fanciful clothes and then go on an evening walk around the neighborhood.

2.  Start a snail habitat.  Magical Mama Jen shared this sweet idea years ago for the Magical Childhood newsletter…

I have always loved snails, and while out with Sage a month or so ago, we were looking at snails and how they have 2 sets of antennae, etc…and I thought…why not bring them IN?  Soooo….I searched on the internet to see what snails need to be able ot survive indoors.  All you need is a large container with air holes (of course, lol)  In the bottom, place about an inch of gravel…then a couple inches of soil on top of that.  Place some “greenery” from outside in there…it will root and grow very well….also, give them a rock to play on, lol, and lean a stick in there…..a good idea is to place some moss on some of the soil to help retain moisture for them.  They eat fruit and veggie scraps…..ours love carrot and cucumber, but do NOT like cantaloupe or celery.  It’s been quite educational for us to have them…as well and fun…you can see their mouths open up, they have a row of teeth called a Radula that they rub on food to eat it..very neat to see their open mouths as they stick to the container.  :o)

You should mist their habitat every day or so, keeping their home moist, but not overly so.  Also…the chlorine in water is bad for them, so either leave a container of water open outside for a couple days to let the chlorine evaporate, or boil water for about 10 minutes. (lid off)

You should also clean out their home every week or so…and a tip that I saw on one web site was to put their food on a little piece of wood, or something to that effect, so once it starts to get a little “icky”, you can just take the wood out and rinse it off….much easier than digging around in there with your hands to remove the left overs.

Hope that helps some…if you need more info, try typing “snail habitat” in a search engine….

3.  Go for a walk in the rain with your child.  Umbrellas optional.

4.  Have a bubble relay outside– players blow or carry their bubbles from person to person and start over if they pop.  Alternately, blow a bubble and see if you can work as a team to blow it across a finish line.

5.  Help the kids make these pretty pens from strips of their art or favorite scrapbooking papers.  Chocolate on my Cranium has the super easy instructions.  These could also make sweet gifts for Father’s Day.

6.  Make up a miniature golf course in the backyard or living room.

7.  Throw a fairy party.

8.  Find a patch of clover and find four leaf clovers.  My kids find dozens.  To preserve them, press them between a small, folded piece of waxed paper in a heavy book.

9.  Find some whimsical stickers and help the kids scatter them around the house in half-secret places.  We once used a sheet of dragonfly rub-ons this way and it was so fun to happen upon them.  You can put them inside a dresser drawer or cabinet drawer, on baseboards or mirrors, anywhere.  Make sure they’re removable if you don’t want permanent whimsy!

10.  Make tissue paper resist prints.  The Frugal Family Fun Blog tells you how.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to pretend to be productive before my doctor’s appointment.  Hopefully we’ll get an ultrasound date this time and we can try to find out a little more about our jumping bean!

Have a magical week!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ways to make today magical

Listening to Trees

Photo by Naturenet

 

Here’s a wonderful idea by Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature With Children:

If you listen carefully with a stethoscope, you can hear the “heartbeat” of a tree. Find a thin-barked tree more than 6 inches in diameter and place your stethoscope against its trunk. Be very quiet. Move the stethoscope around until you can hear the crackling, gurgling sound of sap flowing up to the branches.

6 Comments

Filed under activities

Go Take a Hike

We’ve done a lot of hiking lately, something we don’t get to do too much of in our flat little town surrounding by cornfields.

I have to say that it feeds our souls like nothing else.

We have had a habit for years of stopping by libraries of whatever nearby towns we travel to in our library system, in order to check out piles of new books.  I’ve decided from now on to also try to find hiking spots (even little and unusual ones) on our errands from now on.

Some things are just worth the effort.

Happy weekend!

Leave a comment

Filed under activities, happy stuff

Playscapes!

My goodness, we’ve been busy lately!  I’m dreaming of winter just because it will be an excuse to be stuck inside for a while.  :)

Here’s a blog that’s been captivating me and I just had to pass it on…

Playscapes ~  I’m in love with some of these play structures!  They’re just works of art.  What child wouldn’t love to play in these?




But it’s not just playgrounds.  There’s also nifties like a link to this entire book of playground structures you can build with tires (swings, water tables, tunnels, tables and chairs, a dragon…)


And whimsical things like this water funnel wall in Germany.


What a delightful blog!  It’s definitely going to the top of my regular reading list.  :)

 

8 Comments

Filed under neat stuff elsewhere