Monthly Archives: February 2012

Gift ideas for the outdoor baby girl!

In honor of my own baby shower a few weeks ago I’m posting 12 gift ideas for outdoor families welcoming little girls. Most of these  products (or a variation of them) I now own, others are still on my wish list. Never has pink and purple looked so good!

1. Smartwool Booties 2. Patagonia Apron Dress (or let’s be honest, anything from Patagonia would have been a hit in my book) 3. Nova Natural baby hammock 4. Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots 5. Down Bunting 6. Klean Kanteen 7. Merril Sky Jumper Shoes 8. Nalgene Grip’n Gulp 9. North Face Beanie 10. Patagonia Baby Sun Hat 11. Ergo Baby Carrier with Infant Insert 12. Kid’s Mountain Goat Adjustable (I actually got ‘baby girl’ this for Christmas, both my boys have one, we’re big fans)

Letting your kids see you fail

Last spring was the first time I’d taken up playboating with any degree of seriousness. Playboating is where you dabble in the waves, skirting the edge of tumult, and using the force of the water to move around, but never really downstream.  Truth be told I’d rather run a river any day, but unfortunately my life situation (little kids to care for, a husband with a job, and–oh yeah–the lack of rivers in Nevada) doesn’t allow much time for that. Instead I started going down to the kayak park with a friend of mine; a fellow Mom and an amazingly good playboater.

I often met her down at the kayak park just as Joe was getting off work. I’d bring the kids down and Joe would meet us there on his bike. Joe and the kids would catch crawdads, throw rocks and play on the playground. I would play on the waves and as soon as I had sufficiently trashed myself we’d all drive home together.

One day in particular Joe and the kids were sitting on the sidelines watching me. As usual, I kept getting dumped over in the wave (i.e. tipped upside down). Despite the fact that I’d always roll back up, this really concerned Ari. He kept yelling at me to “be careful!”  Eventually he caught on to what was happening. He would still get worried when I went upside down, but he also started to celebrate with me if I actually did something that resembled a trick. “You did it Mom!” became music to my ears. So was “try it again Mom”. He made me try harder. (more…)

Natures Soccer Field

We left home today without much of a plan. Just a van full of random stuff we might need. Those always turn out to be the best kind of adventures. Good day.

This post is part of our (somewhat neglected) photo series on unstructured play. For more photos in this series click here.

A Very miniVan Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day is typically one of those holidays that come and go with little notice from us. We give cards and use it as a good excuse to eat Indian food, but that’s about it.

This year things were different. Ari’s old enough to realize when a holiday is upon him, and he wanted to celebrate with great fanfare. He had plans. His plans started with wanting to decorate the van. No, not his room. Not the house. The minivan. I guess that’s how it all started. After I realized we were going to be decorating the van, I figured we better go somewhere and celebrate amidst the decor.

So Ari and I decided to plan a surprise party for Isaac and Dad. We whispered ideas back and forth, and as soon as Isaac went down for a nap, the crafting began. I have to admit, for someone with a crafting phobia (me), we did a pretty darn good job decorating.  I know I’m running the risk of becoming a pinterest sesation by showing you this, but I have to share.

Behold, the final product.

As we decorated we hatched the rest of our plan. The evening went mostly as planned, it unfolded like this: (more…)

Pre-K Lesson Plan: Hibernation & Getting ready for winter

Learn about hibernation, run around a lot, be creative, work on sorting, categorizing, counting and number writing.

Large cardboard box, or ‘den’ (procured beforehand from a furniture store)
Glue, tape, markers.
Download and print the Hibernation Activity Sheet, one for each child.
Download and print the Food Cards, cut as many as needed.
Book: Time to Sleep by Denise Flemming (Note: I’m sure there are better Hibernation books out there, I was not impressed with this one, it’s just all our library had in).

Optional: Have them bring a toy bear or other ‘hibernating animal’ for show-and-tell. I had them bring bears.

1. Read: Time to Sleep by Denise Flemming
2. Discuss: What does it mean to hibernate? What kind of animals hibernate? Why do they hibernate? Do you wish you could hibernate?
3. Explain: Hibernation is when an animal slows its body down for a long time, often during winter. Lots of different animals hibernate, not just bears: snails, skunks, turtles, woodchucks, ladybugs etc. Animals hibernate because in the winter it’s hard for them to find enough food. (more…)

A risk worth taking? I want your thoughts.

Last week Adventure Parents posted a link (on their facebook page) to an article about a woman rock climbing with a  two-year-old on her back

This article was accompanied by the photo on the right.

I wanted to comment on his post. I just couldn’t find the words… I mean, the photo looks pretty sketchy, and while I personally wouldn’t have felt comfortable with this, I sorta get why she made this decision. I know what it’s like to want so badly to continue all the outdoor hobbies you did before you had children. You crave that feeling of adventure, adrenaline, the freedom and just plain feeling like yourself!

…and lets face it, you want to prove wrong all those people who made you think your adventurous life was over the day you got pregnant.

I’ve been just as tempted as the next guy to strap a pack-n-play to the front of a raft. But it never seemed quite like the good idea I wanted it to be. For me it came down to the risks involved. Or is it because as Menna says in the article: we have become a “sue-and-blame culture” where “so many people are nervous, so afraid of getting into trouble, and taking small risks.”?

I want your thoughts on this! Does this look like a “small risk”? Do you agree with her decision? Is our culture just over paranoid?

All thoughts are welcome!

Backyard birding: Seeing the outside while staying in

Getting out with the intent of seeing birds is a fabulous past time for families–I have many fond memories of making bird lists, arguing with my dad about the identity of tiny sparrows, and seeing much of Utah through my binoculars…

But birding in your backyard can be just as rewarding.  What’s more, building a bird paradise in your backyard is helpful to the little critters–especially in cities and urban areas where food isn’t as plentiful as it once was.  And it’s a great project for you and your kids.  Migration season is just getting started in some areas of the U.S., as birds from Mexico and South America make their way north, and food is scarce in areas inundated by winter.  Spend a weekend preparing a stop-over for weary birds.  Many bird feeders can be home-made; the same is true for nesting boxes and bird baths.  Involve your kids in making suet, hummingbird nectar, and fruit feeders.  Together, map out where to put different types of feeders for maximum visibility.

What’s more, ‘backyard birding’ is something that can be enjoyed by your kids when truly getting outside just isn’t in the cards. (more…)


    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

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