It’s Here! The Migration Activity Guide!


We are exceptionally happy to announce that we have created an exciting new activity guide for you and your family and it is ready to share!

This guide is all about migration and is filled with adventures in art and literature, activities for math and science, and so much more!

Click on over HERE to get all of the nitty gritty details on the over 50 pages of migration fun and download a free sample from the guide (a super fun game we made just for you)!

As always, let us know if you have any questions!

Let wonder lead the way…

Dawn & Annie

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Join me for a free 30 days of inspiration and motivation as we Fall Outside!

As we will soon be turning the calendar page to November we will find ourselves in a cool, busy month. It is right in the middle of the transition to winter, and the month we often begin to get pulled into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. There is no better time to slow down, resist the temptations to take on one more thing, and take a moment to connect with nature. It will help your family feel happier, get healthier, and connect with each other.

To learn more check out the Fall Outside 2016 page here.

Or if you are all in for free daily emails of inspiration and motivation to get outdoors sign up right here!

I am looking forward to sharing bits of fall inspiration with you!

~ Dawn


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Fall Nature Bracelets & Nature Study


Last summer I shared about making nature bracelets and what a good time we had doing it with the Forest Friday families. They are so simple and engaging!

Last Friday we made fall nature bracelets and I was thinking about ways to take this project a step further for nature study when one of my Forest Friday kids mentioned that she wanted to identify everything on her bracelet. Of course! (Kids are so awesome!) While we talk about the things they are putting on their bracelets as they go, they might not remember everything and it would be great to have not only the bracelet but a visual guide to their discoveries.

In the past we had taped the bracelets to paper and displayed them on our cork board. Taking that to the next logical step, my daughter and I labeled the bracelets we later made at home collecting nature specimens from around the yard (because making my own bracelet during Forest Friday is a hopeless endeavor – I am having so much fun making discoveries with the kids).

Now that we have done it at home I am so excited to share this next time we do it as a group. I think the kids are really going to love having their nature finds identified (and maybe have a few mysteries to linger in the wonder of their minds until they do solve the mystery).

These bracelets are so simple the impact can be deceiving, but they are fun and even addicting for some (mom and dad you will not be able to resist making one of your own).

What you need:

  • sticky tape (duct or painters tape)
  • card stock (we used half sheets)
  • nature

That is it!

I told you it was simple!

To make the bracelet:

To make your tape into a bracelet wrap it around the wrist with the sticky side out and secure the ends together.

As you walk along the trail collect things that attract your attention. You can simply put them on the bracelet any which way or you can be a bit more artistic about it and attempt a design. It is totally up to the creator!


When you finish gently cut the bracelet off at a good spot (it is not always where the two end meet so ask the kids where they want the cut).

Use some more tape to attach the bracelet to the card stock with room on the top and bottom for labelling.

Label what you already know, then grab the guides and you are off!

If you can’t find the answer you might ask the kids who they know that might be able to help them learn about the specimens on their bracelet. Is there an elderly neighbor that is a gardener and might know what the flowers are? Do you have a natural history museum nearby that might have someone who can help? Would grandma know? Maybe a group on the internet could help (like the Mud Puddles to Meteor Facebook group).


Have fun with this and let me know if you make a nature bracelet, or two, or three. I would love to see them! (You can also share them in the Mud Puddles Facebook group linked to above.)

Happy fall!



Free October Desktop Calendar


October is a month of color and light and fresh air. As my son and I looked through past fall photos to find just the right one to use for a desktop calendar this month this photo stood out and was an instant pick. He loved it as much as I do and we hope you do too!

Download the Sunday start version here.

The Monday start version can be found here.

Simply download and right click on the preview, then select “use image as desktop picture.”

For those of you signed up for the Free Nature Prompts check your inbox for those. If you want to sign up to receive them you can do that right here.

Happy October!


P.S. Everyday Nature for Families starts Monday, October 3rd! This two week online workshop will be filled daily inspiration to bring nature into your everyday family life, increase mindfulness and help unplug your family and plug into nature. Learn more and sign up here.


Four Fun Prompts for Nature Exploration


I have made of Four Fun Prompts for October Nature Explorations.

These are super prompts for engaging kids, and their adults, in nature and are a great jumping off point for further explorations.

If you would like to read more about what prompts are and how I use them with my own kids you can check out the post Nature Prompts & How to Use Them.

Click right here to sign up and download the prompts.

As always, if you have any questions or want to share your nature experience you can get in touch with me in the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook Group or email me at

Happy Exploring!



Creating a Nature Habit TEDx Talk & PDF


Back in April I had the privilege of giving a TEDx talk in Moncton, New Brunswick. It was an unforgettable experience. My hope in giving the talk was that my story of moving from California to Nova Scotia, and experiencing nature with a new sense of wonder as I explored with my own children, would inspire even one person to deepen their connection with our natural world. A few people have already told me that they have watched and enjoyed the talk, and some even took notes. This was thrilling for me to hear!

With that in mind I am sharing not only the talk but a PDF which will provide you a few key notes from the talk and room to take your own notes.

You can watch the talk below and find the PDF right here.

I would love to hear what you think and how you think these ideas might be applied to your own life.

Let wonder lead the way…



Nature Every Day


When people hear that we incorporate nature into our daily life they sometimes think that we go on a long hike or nature walk every day of the week.

While that may have happened when the kids were very young, because I had a certain little one who, when more demands were put on our schedule that time was reduced considerably. We had to find more creative but simply ways to incorporate nature into our daily lives because I knew the great benefits we all gained from even short daily connections. In the process it became a part of our family culture to be outside whenever we could and simply notice the nature around us, even when we were not on a dedicated nature walk.

I wanted to share three very simple ways we do this in our family with hopes that you will be able to incorporate these things into your days and bring more nature awareness to your family.

1.Don’t kill time, fill time… with nature.

At some point throughout our day we will have to wait, for something. Fill that time instead of kill it. Fill it with nature!

Most of the times we find ourselves waiting, there is nature to be found somewhere nearby.

– a narrow bit of sky between buildings
– tree branches popping over the rooftop of a building (signs of a rooftop garden)
– birds overhead

Take the time to…
– stop at a park with big trees
– sit under a tree in a grassy areas outside of a building
– watch the birds come and go
Talk about what you see.

The “pond” in the photo below was really just a ditch between the road and the railroad tracks but we took a moment to stop every time we walked by on our way home. So many discoveries were made in that little ditch of a pond.


2. Stop and Look

While in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the day just stop and look! It does not take long to spot a little bit of nature, or draw attention to something easily missed when hurrying along.

– Walking down the sidewalk? Check out what is growing in the cracks.
– Driving home from sports practice? Stop on the side of the road for a short break to take in a scene.
– Walking into a building? Take a moment to look up before you go inside.

Find little moments to be mindful of your surroundings and the nature all around.

We were on our way home from the dentist and decided to stop at the boat ramp for a moment. While we were there we saw a mink in the rocks. It was very exciting! Can you see it there in the rocks to the left?


3. Find a window

Windows provide an interesting view of the world. By looking out a window one can focus on the visual information coming through while closing off the other senses (to a degree). More importantly, one does not have to actually be outside to gain the benefits of what the outdoors has to offer. And let’s face it, there are times when you just can’t be outside, for whatever reason.

While not all windows offer spectacular views, through most windows there is at least a tidbit of nature to be found.

– a birds eye view of trees
– the underside of a fly
– raindrops trickling down

Next time you and your kids have to be inside, seek out a window to frame the world outside and see what you can see.


Considering our busy lives, it can be good to give these things some forethought. Thinking about your typical day, or week, when do you have opportunities to connect with nature in simple ways?

I have made a PDF with these ideas, along with a few extra tips and a printable sheet you can fill out to help you discover where you have opportunities throughout your day or week to connect with nature.

You can download the PDF right here.

I hope that you will find these little moments build up over time and become part of your family culture. You don’t need exotic vacations to far off places to connect with the natural world. In fact, small daily interactions are more beneficial over the long run and can be found all around.

Let me know if you have any questions or need help with any nature related hurdles.

I am happy to help.



P.S. The Everyday Nature for Families online workshop is now open for registration. If you register before September 24th you can invite a friend to join you for free! Yay! Learn more and sign up here.


8 Ways to Celebrate Autumnal Equinox


The autumnal equinox is quickly approaching and the change is in the air. The breeze has chilled just slightly, there are trees starting to change, and beach days have been replaced with hikes through the forest to the lakes that are retaining that last bit of summer heat.

There are two equinox each year. The autumnal equinox marks the first day of fall in the northern hemisphere and the first day of spring in the southern hemisphere. It is also called the September Equinox and falls on Thursday, September 22 this year. In March the vernal equinox brings spring to the northern regions and fall to the south.

Of all the seasonal shifts fall seems to be the most pronounced and requires not only a shift in wardrobe but also a slight shift in mindset. While there are those who relish in the coming of the cooler weather, especially those who have very hot oppressive summers and more mild winter, there are some who work to wrap their mind around the coming cold and all the changes that come with it.

This makes the celebration of the Autumnal Equinox an important marker to help make that shift and get ready to enjoy all that the months ahead have to bring. It is a time to celebrate the bountiful harvest of local foods, the preparations nature is making for the season, and settle into routines that will carry over into the cooler months ahead.

Below are a few ways to celebrate the equinox. Some are fun and a few are practical. Don’t let the list overwhelm you (we certainly don’t need any more of that). Pick and choose a few you think will make the transition to the new season something to celebrate.

Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox

  1. Eat a locally harvested meal. This is a great time to stop into the farmers market and see what is available or look for those “locally grown” signs in the grocery. Even if you just add one item to your equinox meal and talk about how it was grown right were you live that is a great way to celebrate.
  2. Prepare for the season by scheduling things that need to be done around the house. Kinda boring for a “celebration” but like I said, some of these are practical. Does the flue need to be cleaned? (Ours is getting cleaned today.) Do you need to try on cold weather gear? (You might schedule to do that the Saturday after the equinox.) Do you need to freshen up the house with a deep clean? (There never seems to be a good time for this so I tend to just pick a random day and put it on the schedule.) What else needs to be done before the onset of the cooler weather?
  3. Gathering family and friends for a bonfire is another super way to celebrate. It does not have to be extravagant. It is amazing how a fire alone creates a celebration!
  4. Hunt for fall. A few members of the Mud Puddles to Meteors group on Facebook mentioned that they will be doing a fall nature hunt and it is a wonderfully simple idea. You can make up your own as you go or search for a fall nature hunt on Pinterest.
  5. Do a fall nature craft. You can find inspiration here.
  6. Make a list of gratitudes for the season. The Hello There Friend community on Instagram is a wonderful place to find gratitude inspiration. You can search #htfgratitude to find wonderful photos with bits of gratitude.
  7. Stock the bookshelf with fall inspiration. This list is a great one for children’s books. Please do share your favorite fall reads for kids or adults in the comments. We would love to see which books inspire you in the fall.
  8. Pick a few fall nature study projects & clean up the nature table for new fall finds. Fall brings a new bounty of finds for the nature table and collections. This is a good time to clear some space for them and use the summer treasures in projects or to create shadow boxes to remember the days past. Fall is also a great time for leaf and tree studies. Fungi are also plentiful and a popular fall nature study. The equinox is also a great time to start tracking the sun as it moves across the horizon so you can make note of how it shifts during the year. There are really so many possibilities!

Kicking off the equinox with a study of the equinox is a great way to start the season ahead. We have talked about it and done various projects over the years but as the kids grow they add on layer after layer of knowledge. It is a wonderful thing to see develop!

Below are some resources to get you started.

Time and Date is not only an informative resource but also allows you to search for the exact time the equinox will be in your city.

10 Facts About the First Day of Fall is filled with both science and fun facts.

This National Geographic video is a wonderful look at the equinoxes.


Let us know in the comments how you celebrate the Equinox!

Enjoy the fall,




The Everyday Nature for Families online workshop is now open for registration. Click on over here to learn more.


Four Fun Prompts for Nature Exploration


I have made of Four Fun Prompts for September Nature Explorations.

These are super prompts for engaging kids, and their adults, in nature and are a great jumping off point for further explorations.

If you would like to read more about what prompts are and how I use them with my own kids you can check out the post Nature Prompts & How to Use Them.

Click right here to sign up and download the prompts.

As always, if you have any questions or want to share your nature experience you can get in touch with me in the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook Group or email me at

Happy Exploring!



Free September Desktop Calendar

09 September 2016 Sunday Start


Whoa! September is here! Before we know it the leaves are going to be changing. In fact, some of our little maples are getting a head start on that project.

Along with those changing leave we tend to see all kinds of interesting fungi popping up in September, so I thought this beautiful one would make a great September calendar.

We hope you enjoy this lovely bit of nature on your computer this month!

Download the Sunday start version here .

The Monday start version can be found here.

Simply download and right click on the preview, then select “use image as desktop picture.”


For those of you signed up for the Free Nature Prompts, I will need a few more days to get those out. This nasty head cold, coupled with some deadlines, has delayed me a bit. They will land in your inbox soon. If you want to sign up to receive them you can do that right here (and get last months prompts).


Happy September!



P.S. The Mud Puddles Monthly Newsletter will be going out soon. Sign up right here if you want it to land in your inbox. When you sign up you will also receive a great PDF with 21 Ways to Get Your Kids Unplugged and Engaged with Nature.