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Tag Archives: gift ideas

The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book (and a giveaway!)

KidsOutAdv_CVRMech.inddSo Stacy Tornio sent a copy of her (and Ken Keffer’s) new book to me a few weeks ago.  I’ve been reading through it ever since.  So many ideas (448 to be exact)!  So well organized!  She’s giving away autographed copies of this book, as well as kids CLIF bars (Zbars) through the end of April.  Having read through much of this book, I highly recommend you sign yourself up for the giveaway.

Why?

Let me tell you.

These guys get it.  Their book tallies up the essence of outdoor parenting blogs everywhere.  This is from the introduction: “Nature is a destination, but you don’t have to travel anywhere to find it.  Just open the door and step outside.  The tiniest of porches can house a flower container.  A backyard can provide a lifetime of natural experiences.  Nature is everywhere….”  This book is perfect for first time moms, as a really awesome baby shower gift, and for those who wish they did more things outside but aren’t sure how to start. (more…)

Good book alert: Kids First Big Book of Space

Ari (my kindergartener) brought National Geographic’s Little Kids First Big Book of Space home from the library last week. Not sure what I’m more impressed with, his book selecting skills, or the actual book? I’ve read this book a few times now. My kids love it. I love it. We’re buying it.

My boys, especially my oldest, have always had an interest in all things space related; but I find that I have a hard time explaining all things space related.

The universe is so big and amazing and complex that it’s hard to put into 3-5 year old terms. This book takes a bunch of interesting factoids combined with beautiful illustrations and lays it out perfectly.

We learned about all the planets (including dwarf planets), the asteroid belt, comets, stars, nebulae, galaxies, the future of space exploration, etc. I was most excited to learn that we have space craft set to land on a few different planets in the next five years. 

I also learned that I want to take an astronomy class.

This book is well worth the trip to the library, or the book store, or amazon.com…

National Geographic also makes a few other books in the ‘Little Kids First Book Of’ series. They have one about Animals, Why and Dinosaurs.

I’m also in the process of searching for more space related books for kids. If you know of any, leave a comment.

How to make a recycled bike chain bracelet

The last time I gave handmade gifts to my friends for Christmas I was 11. I hand painted them all little wooden rabbits.

Twenty plus years later I decided it was high time I made another batch of handmade gifts. I first came up with this idea because I wanted to make something ‘bikeish’ for my much missed mountain biking buddy in Reno. After making a bracelet for her I loved it so much I made more. Who knew  you could make something so ascetically pleasing out of  an old bike chain and some utility cord.

Here are the supplies you will need: (more…)

Gifts to encourage your budding scientist

Last year I posted gift ideas for the outdoor family, this year I’m recommending giving the gift of scientific inquiry. So, here are few items we have had (or hope to have) success with:

 

Microscope
Don’t tell Ari, but this is actually our big family gift this year. It came in the mail last week, Joe and I tore it open after the kids went to bed just to be sure it was all we hoped it would be. It was. Every day now I think of something I wish we could look at under the microscope. It’s going to be great.

We got an AmScope 10x-60x Stero Microscope. We got a stereo microscope (aka dissecting microscope) so we could look at everything from rocks to plants at a variety of magnifications rather than simply looking at microscope slides of unrecognizable cells (which can also be fun).

(more…)

My 10th Anniversary work of art

Joe and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last month. To commemorate the occasion Joe, knowing I’m a sucker for the hand made gift, made me a bit of art.

Some might look at this and wonder why on earth he would give me a bird made of dead plant matter instead of a diamond encrusted jewel on such an occasion. I think you guys probably understand.

There’s symbolism in this little bird. We met in the fall. Our first date was a hike among the changing leaves. We were married in the fall. Our boys were born in the fall. I’m somewhat obsessed with this season…

A the bird? It’s a wren. My favorite bird. So diverse, so happy. Most are rather small, palin and inconspicuous, but are known for their loud and often complex melodies. Joe thinks the wren and I have a few other traits in common. And my favorite wren? My daughter Viviann Wren. My new favorite piece of art? This one.

 

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)

Create your own ‘Olivia Bag’ (aka Survival Kit)

Olivia Bag /uh-LIV-ee-uh • ˈbāg/: a flexible container of random items compiled by Olivia for jimmy rigging anything (and just about any body) that breaks while out on an adventure.

The idea behind the Olivia bag (known to some as a ‘survival kit’) is that whether you’re hiking, backpacking, river-rafting, biking, or doing some other outdoor activity, the emergencies will generally fall into three categories:

1) Your equipment breaks.
2) You hurt yourself.
3) Something is inconvenient and annoying and needs an inventive remedy.

In all categories, the point is to fix the problem as best you can on the spot, making something that is ‘good enough’, and will get you back to the real world for a proper fix. I know it seems crazy, but I’ve used darned near every item in these bags at one time or another!

Make your own survival kit

I assure you that all these items fit into a small (5×6 or so) zipper pouch. You can use a make-up bag (found at most stores in the beauty isle, or at thrift stores), or something like a Pack-It Sac available at most outdoor stores.  You can even put all the small items into their own little baggies, purchased in the hobby section of your favorite “mart”.

My Olivia bag is actually divided up into two bags (pictured above). The first (larger bag) has all the non-medical essentials (known as the “Olivia Essentials” below). The second is smaller and fits snugly inside the first. This bag has all the first aid supplies (listed below as the “Olivia Medical”). (more…)

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    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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