Tag Archives: nature

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!

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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.  🙂



Filed under neat stuff elsewhere

Lessons Learned While Camping

We’re back from our camping trip, and once again so happy to have such wonderful friends to do this with every year.

Here’s a few lessons learned this go-round…

  • If you precook your potatoes before camping, you can slice them and layer them with goodies in foil pouches and they’ll be perfectly cooked, tender and divine.
  • A handful of popcorn kernels in a hand-held campfire popcorn popper will make approximately 85 cups of popcorn.
  • There is no such thing as an air mattress that stays inflated overnight.
  • Bring extra socks.
  • Bring extra shoes.
  • You can’t rush a small boy while hiking in the woods.
  • Good friends are worth long drives.
  • Never trust women who leave the dads in charge and pop into town “for just a few minutes” to get supplies.
  • Camp stoves are for sissies.  😉
  • Roasted watermelon is really, really not a good thing.  Like so much else in life, kids won’t believe you and it’s another one of those lessons they just have to find out for themselves, though.

  • Really.

We had such a fun time we extended the fun and one of the friends came back to our house for a sleepover the next night.  We ate junk food (how ironic that we ate fancy meals cooked over the campfire in the wilderness, and then pizza and chips at home!), watched a video and put the sleeping bags back to good use on the living room floor.

It was a wonderful time, as always.  It didn’t even pour down rain!

But I love my bed.  🙂


Filed under happy stuff

Acorn Cap + Pen = Instant Fun

We had to kill some time outside with a crowd of antsy kids recently and my ingenious husband whipped up some instant fun to keep them all happy.

He grabbed some acorn caps, stuck them on his fingers and on the children’s, and drew some corresponding faces.  Presto!  Instant finger puppets!

Happy Sunday!


Filed under the little stuff

Firefly Magic

Here’s a great educational activity to do with groups of kids, especially at night.  Have each child bring a flashlight.  Explain to the kids that fireflies use their lights to communicate with each other, and that they look for the other fireflies who are flashing the same patterns.  Give each child a pattern to flash with his or her flashlight, and have them try to find the person with the matching code.

And for a fun firefly craft, check out this wonderful lantern you can make to go along with “The Very Lonely Firefly” over at The Long Thread!

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Veggie Match Cards, Mama Mojo and Perfume From Flowers

Katherine Marie Photography has the most adorable little veggie cards for you to print out and use for games like Concentration or Go Fish!  Click here to get your set.

In other news…

Nine ways to get your mama mojo back

and Making flowers into perfume

Happy Tuesday!


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How to Make a Rose Petal Crown

Today’s craft comes courtesy of Annalee, who created this lovely rose petal crown as a gift for a friend.

She says that all you have to do is gather some fallen rose petals (or other flower petals) from the ground and then gather a handful of stiff, long grass (the type that’s going to seed and looks like wheat on top).

Poke the stiff end of the grass through the rose petals and spread them loosely, weaving several strands of grass.  Loop them around in a circle and tie the ends or fasten or tuck them.  That’s it!

Here’s a shot of the crown from above, showing how it was fastened.  Anna used pliant clover stems to wrap around the grass ends and tie them in knots.

Isn’t it lovely?  It would be a perfect accessory for a fairy party — or just an afternoon in the back yard!

Happy Sunday!


Filed under crafts

It’s National Get Outdoors Day!

Happy Saturday!  It’s now officially National Get Outdoors Day!  Head here if you want some ideas of where to go (there’s sites all over with fun stuff planned) or what to do.

We’re going to Devil’s Gulch in South Dakota with some friends.  Supposedly, Jesse James jumped it in a famous getaway.  I’m not sure about that but it’s supposed to be pretty too!  🙂

What are your plans?  Back yards count!

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My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn’t make the bed,
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led.

Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little son and I,
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky.

We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood.
My kitchen wasn’t swept today,
But life was sweet and good.

We found a cool sun-dappled glade
And now my small son knows
How Mother Bunny hides her nest
Where fern and larkspur grow.

We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill,
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky;
We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was neglected,
That I didn’t sweep the stair,
In twenty years no one on earth
Will know or even care.

But that I’ve helped a little boy
To noble manhood grow,
In twenty years the whole wide world
May look and see and know.


I thought that poem was perfect for that photo from this week, and a nice one to start the weekend with!  We’re off to meet some old friends for the weekend and explore a city that’s new to us.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Filed under happy stuff

Good Stuff

#1  Here’s a plethora of printable dinner table questions to spark some fun mealtime conversations with your kiddos!

#2  Here’s a whole lot of reasons to love the lowly dandelion and why dandelions make the world more magical for children.  Here’s a bunch of recipes using the leaves and the flowers for everything from cookies to pasta to pineapple slushies.  And here’s a delightful tutorial on how to make dandelion curls from the stems!

#3  I really enjoyed this piece on preschoolers, Patience Comes with Understanding.  I’d say the concept applies to all other ages too (even spouses, I’d wager!).

And with that, I’m out of here.  With a little luck, we’re heading to Nebraska on Saturday and I have so much left to do.  Eating chocolates and yapping online all night are not on the list!  🙂

Happy Friday!


Filed under neat stuff elsewhere