Winter is a season that, when we’re not in it, makes us think of beautiful snowy landscapes, happy kids playing in the cold with red noses, Christmas lights, cookies, and love….. Buuuut when it actually rolls around, we often find ourselves struggling with the desire to bundle up and go outside, determine what to say yes/no to doing to have the “Best Christmas EVER,” and deal with the dreaded cabin fever.
I reached out to my Facebook Group audience to find out what they find themselves struggling with the most in the winter months, and I’m answering with some tips to the top 3 responses….
For years now I’ve seen posts and photos of gorgeous wax-dipped Fall leaves; and I have always wanted to give it a try. Finally this year, with my sons’ obsessive leaf-collecting habits in full swing, it was time!
This is a great activity for kids starting around the preschool/kindergarten age. The wax is hot, but solidifies as soon as it touches skin, so it’s not dangerous. My 5-year old handled the project with ease. The 2-year old helped with leaf gathering on our nature walk and laying them out to dry.
How many times in a day do you tell your child to “hurry up?”
Rushing out the door. Get your shoes on. Eat your dinner faster. Walk quicker. Chin up, eyes forward, let’s go! We’ve got to HURRY…..
To where? To what?
Do you stop and ask yourself what you’re rushing for? What is so important that you are pushing your child so quickly through their childhood?
The other incredible thing that happened in this moment is that Charlie had a tangible reminder of a memory. You see, young children have incredibly short attention spans and are very quickly moving from one moment to the next and one emotion to the another. Because of this fluid movement of our thoughts as young children, we have few memories that we carry from our early childhood for the rest of our lives. However, what this seemingly worthless crab shell did in this moment was give Charlie a tangible object that he could feel and see and hold, to bring the memory of that adventure back to life in a very vivid way.
Do You Have A Morning Routine? Oh, you mean stumbling out of bed when you hear the kids rummaging through the fridge and praying your husband already started coffee doesn’t count? No, no it does not. 😉 One of the most proven ways to have a positive outlook for your day is to start off your day with a good and consistent routine.
You know that it’s important to get your kids outside. You love to plan awesome family adventures. You have a beautiful vision in your head of being that awesome hippie mama living out of a decked out camper van with your family traveling around the country visiting national parks, foraging for mushrooms, and drinking from freshwater streams.
Except for one problem…. you actually hate nature
As you know if you’ve been following me for some time now, I talk a LOT about the benefits of nature play, loose parts play, and bringing nature indoors. So when I met Brian and Erna of Water & Lightning Toy Company, I was SO excited to see the amazing natural, handmade toys that they are creating to celebrate nature and give children the opportunity to play and explore with nature whether indoors or outdoors!
As you know, it’s incredibly important for your child to get time outdoors every day. This week during the Outdoor Learning Event we talked about how to enjoy your yard and elements you need for an outdoor learning space. But what if you don’t have a yard? Millions of families live in apartments or urban homes with no outdoor spaces… if that’s your family – how can you make outdoor learning a priority if you don’t have immediate access to nature right outside your door?
Here are a few simple ideas for making outdoor play and learning a bit easier if you’re a city dweller…
Have you ever been so excited to send your kiddos out into the rain to stomp in puddles, only to find that their big, clunky rain boots either slowed them down or made them constantly trip over themselves? That’s the problem that we had over and over again, especially with my youngest son who was still getting steady on his feet. Every rain puddle adventure ended in soaking wet, tearful babies. 🙁
That was until we found MyMayu!
Living in Oregon, we have a significantly long rainy season to deal with each year. Obviously, my family gets outdoors in any kind of weather, so having the appropriate gear for doing so is incredibly important. And gear that lets us stay outside longer without getting wet and cold is the best!
That’s why we LOVE our Biddle and Bop rainsuits!
Water. Loose Parts. Plant Life. What do these three things have in common? Well, they’re three essential components of an absolutely amazing outdoor playspace! Here are my top three tips for creating an outdoor playspace at home that can mimic a natural landscape and give your child all of those beneficial opportunities to play and explore.
All this week we will be celebrating the joys and wonders of getting outside and exploring through the wonderful world of nature with your kids! Join us as we discuss things like how to get outside even in bad weather, how to enjoy the outdoors when you live in an apartment or urban environment, how to set up an amazing outdoor learning space, and so much more!
This outstanding week-long event is sponsored by Biddle and Bop, Water & Lightning, and My Mayu, and is hosted by Your Natural Learner and the Nature-Inspired Learning Group.
I spend so much of my time here and in my Nature-Inspired Learning Group helping other families make changes in their lives and their homes to embrace a child-led, natural learning experience. I figured it was about time to pull back the curtains and show you a glimpse of what the day-to-day life looks like in my home! Enjoy this sneak peek!
Our days begin early, but joyfully slow.
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you are stuck inside! Learn the very best ways to keep you (and your children) warm when enjoying nature in the winter, even on the coldest days! I’ll tell you all about how to layer, what materials to avoid, and how to make sure you’re being safe at all times. Plus – get a FREE downloadable Activity Guide with 5 Outdoor Winter Activities for Cold Days!
Child-Led Learning. At first glance, it seems like a wonderfully simple way to educate your child – find out what they are interested in, and teach them that! Easy peasy, right?
But… when many families begin to implement this type of learning, they often become quickly frustrated:
“My child’s interests change all the time! How am I supposed to plan for anything?”
“How in the world can I come up with enough exciting activities to keep my child engaged if they stay interested in the same topic for a long time?”
“I feel like we’re doing the same thing every day.”
These are EXACT snippets of conversations I have had with families who really want to follow their child’s interests with learning, but feel overwhelmed by the actual implementation of it.
So, I’m here to tell you:
CHILD-LED LEARNING CAN BE EASY, FUN, AND DONE WITH A PLAN.
And in this post, I’m going to teach you the 5 essential elements to having a successful child-led learning experience!
As I talk with my fellow homeschooling friends and peers, there is one common fear that continues to pop up on an almost daily basis – “Am I doing enough?” But. You know what? You really are more cut out for this than you think. It is because of that constant feeling of inadequacy that makes you the absolute BEST teacher for your child. Here’s why: