Activity: Nature Bracelets

nature bracelets

The other day I was searching for some inspiration for a project or activity I could do with my Forest Friday group. I had a few thoughts but nothing was sounding really exciting to me at that moment. Then I saw Kelly’s post about nature bracelets and it reminded me that it was something I had been waiting to do with the group (trying to stick snow to tape did not sound appealing when I first came across the idea).

It is an activity low on supplies but big on fun. The kids (and parents) really got into it, even some of the reluctant older kids.

Here is what you need:

– Tape

– Nature

Yes, that’s it!

You simply make a bracelet with the tape so that the sticky side is out, then head out to collect and decorate as you go. I had both green masking tape and duct tape for the kids to choose from (most of them picked the green).

Nature Bracelet 1-1

I went ahead and brought along some colorful card stock so the kids would have a way to display their bracelets once they were complete (and they were ready to take them off). Some of the kids even decided that they would rather just decorate the paper, so we taped tape sticky side up on their paper and they created masterpieces of collected nature finds.

Nature Bracelet Paper-1

It was very exciting to see the kids engaged and really keeping a keen eye out for what they could find for their creations. Along the way we discovered insect galls, spittle bugs, and even a bright blue flower that just did not belong in the woods (from a bouquet of store bought flowers at a picnic maybe?). We talked about the things that could be picked and things best left in the forest (pink lady’s slippers). The kids were constantly coming up to show me what they had discovered and added to their bracelets.

When we arrived home my son wanted to hang up his nature art so we decided to put it on the cork board.

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I was having so much fun helping kids make their bracelets and attaching them to paper, all the while talking about what they were discovering along the trail, that I did not really get a chance to make my own. Everyone loved it so much I was inspired to go out into the yard and made one of my own design when I arrived home.

Nature Bracelet 4-1Nature Bracelet 5-1

It was a lovely little meditation on the little things out back. I highly recommend it for you adults out there too!

For those of you who are interested in more specific details about how this activity engages kids, Kelly was a Montessori teacher and explains how this activity is done in her nephews Montessori School summer camp in her post here.

Try it and let me know how it goes!

I would love to see pictures in the Mud Puddles Facebook group!

Happy Exploring!

Dawn

P.S. Our Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp starts July 6th!

Click on over to find out more about this online camp and how it can help you and your kids make nature study a fun part of your summer days!

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Nature In Your Neighborhood

Nature In Your Neighborhood is a feature that focuses on the nature that we all interact with in our everyday lives. Through the window of these posts you can catch glimpses of nature in action in locations across the country (and sometimes beyond). Send us an email at kidsandnature (at) gmail (dot) com if you are interested in sharing your neighborhood nature here!

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The spring flowers are finally starting to fade and be replaced by the early summer blooms in our Nova Scotia neighborhood! The sky has also been offering quite a spectacular show, when it is not raining!

Sunrise-1

Sunrise is very early these days. The sun was well up by the time this picture was taken at 5:50!

Blackberry buds Spittle-1 Blackberry buds with spittle from a spittlebug!

lupins-1

Lupins are covering the countryside right now. We have a few in the backyard.

Moss Spore Capsule-1 The moss spore capsules are almost ready to burst!

Queen Annes Ant 1-1The ants seem to love the Queen Anne’s Lace.

Star flower 1-1We have been seeing star flower for awhile now but they have only recently shown up in our forest!


Asperatus Clouds 1-1

Asperatus clouds over our house.

You can learn more about this proposed new cloud formation here on the Cloud Appreciation Society website!

If you would like to share what is happening in your neighborhood you can leave a link to a post in the comments here or pop on over to the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook group and share a little bit of your world.

Not a member of the FB group yet? No worries. Just request to join and we will add you ASAP!

~ Dawn

 

P.S. Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp Starts July 6th! You can participate no matter where you live and it is going to be a great way to help connect your family to nature this summer! Check it out here!

 

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Mini-lesson: Spiders

Mini-lesson

We have had such great feedback about a mini-lesson we offered to those on our mailing list we wanted to share it with all of our blog readers.

It is a little sneak peek of sorts for what is in store for those of you who join us in our online Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp.

Our camp days will be spent exploring information, activities, and worksheets like those found in this mini-lesson, along with so much more (including games, projects, book lists, and many other resources).

When we asked members of our Facebook group which topics they would like to see in Summer Camp spiders came in fifth place. While we could not fit them into our camp schedule, we figured with that kind of interest our arachnid friends deserved a bit of attention, so our mini-lesson is all about spiders and their webs!

You can click here to download your mini-lesson about spiders!

If you are looking for nature study inspiration this summer, head on over to our Mud Puddles Nature Camp page to learn more and sign up for a month of summer nature fun!

~ Dawn & Annie

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Nature Around the Net

Dragonfly emerged-1

This week truly felt like the first week of summer here in Nova Scotia and we are looking at a beautiful weekend ahead!

Here are a few links to kick off your weekend nature explorations:

– Ever wonder how blue birds get their color?

5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Play Outside Even When It’s Super Hot!

Week’s Best Space Pictures. Those moons. Whoa!

How to Make Your Own Nature Scavenger Hunt!

Have you reserved your spot at the Mud Puddles Online Nature Camp yet?

It starts July 6th! Click here to check it out and sign up for the fun before the busy holiday weekend gets underway!

Happy Exploring!

~ Dawn

2 comments

Bundle Up for Summer Blog Hop

nj course logo screenshot

 

I do not consider myself an artist by any means, and because of this belief I have held myself back from keeping a nature journal filled with sketches and paintings, even though this is something I have always wanted. Up to this point I have never had the guidance needed to really develop in this important area of nature study. When I saw that Kelly, of Wings, Worms, and Wonder, was offering a new eCourse called “Draw Yourself Back to Nature: Art Journaling for Everyone” I jumped at the chance to work with her.

 

30 Days thumbnail sketches-1

 

Working with Kelly in this course has:
– helped me see nature in a whole new light
– given me foundational skills to start building confidence in my nature journaling
– allowed me to see how my photography can contribute to the art I create in my nature journal (“permission” to draw from a photo was a HUGE relief to me)
– given me a treasure trove of information and resources to draw from when needed

 

connecting w color screen shot

 

When Kelly shared her Connecting with Color mini-ecourse with us I was beyond excited. I applied what I learned about color theory right away with amazing results. It took my use of color to the next level and opened up a whole new pallet of color to me, deepening my connection to what I was painting even further.

 

Robin Nest Painting-1
My robin’s nest painting still in progress.

 

Now Kelly is ready to launch these courses as a Self-Paced Bundle just for you this summer.

 

draw and color bundle special simple

 

Both of these courses are so filled with information that they could not be better suited for a self-paced offering. In fact, I was unable to complete the course on schedule and have been doing the last half as a self-paced course myself. It has worked beautifully for me and has given me the time I desire to truly dig into the rich content Kelly has created.

 

To celebrate this week’s Bundle Up for Summer Blog Hop and new self paced eCourses,
Wings, Worms, and Wonder will be giving away 2  FREE course registrations!

 

1 Connecting with Color course registration will be randomly drawn from comments on Friday’s Wings, Worms, and Wonder Blog Hop post  &
1 Draw Yourself Back to Nature & Connecting with Color bundle will be drawn from the people who comment everyday on every post of the Bundle Up for Summer Blog Hop!

 

So be sure to follow all week and comment below for your chance to win!

 

Winners will be announced on the Wings, Worms, and Wonder blog Tuesday 6/30!

~ Dawn

P.S.
Pop over to Kelly’s post from yesterday and leave a comment.

Then, tomorrow check out the hop over on Seemi’s blog for a chance to comment and enter into the big giveaway!

19 comments

Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp

summer camp

We are very excited to announce our Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp!

Do you want to encourage your family to spend more time outdoors?

Are you looking to add more nature study into your summer?

Would you love four weeks of nature study planned for you complete with information, projects, book lists, and other resources? 

Click on over to learn more about our Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp and sign up for a month of nature fun!

3 comments

Nature In Your Neighborhood

Nature In Your Neighborhood is a feature that focuses on the nature that we all interact with in our everyday lives. Through the window of these posts you can catch glimpses of nature in action in locations across the country (and sometimes beyond).

……..

It has been a cool, wet week here in Nova Scotia. We keep reminding ourselves that the rain brings the green and all kinds of beauty with it!

Sunrise Orange-1

The stormy weather also brings some amazing mornings along with all of the rain.

Dandelion -1There are more than a few spent dandelions around the yard.

First Mushroom-1

The first little mushroom in the yard.

Jumping Spider-1

A big jumping spider visited on the kitchen window.

lilacs-1The lilacs across the street make coming and going on our walks smell wonderful.

White Clovers-1The simple, yet beautiful (often overlooked) white clover.

Yellow Bearded Iris-1A recent garden transplant, we were happy to see the yellow bearded iris in bloom.

white ladys slipper-1It was found on a local trail a little beyond our backyard, but I wanted to share this rarely seen white variation of the Pink Lady’s Slipper.

We have fo types of Lady’s Slipper here in Nova Scotia. You can learn more about them here.

If you would like to share what is happening in your neighborhood you can leave a link to a post in the comments here or pop on over to the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook group and share a little bit of your world.

Not a member of the FB group yet? No worries. Just request to join and we will add you ASAP!

~ Dawn

P.S. We are offering a free PDF about setting nature goals to our readers. If you would like to have a copy please sign up in the box above on the sidebar.

 

A Note About Contributing to Nature In Your Neighborhood:

If you would like to contribute please shoot us an email with your photo(s) and a few sentences about your experience at: kidsandnature (at) gmail (dot) com. (Please also include your location – your state or country is fine).

We would also love to highlight photos and descriptions from young naturalist out there. If your child would like to contribute a photo of what they found, and tell us a little about it, please encourage them to do so and we will spotlight them in a “Young Naturalist” post. (Don’t worry so much about photo quality. We would love to share their work!)

We are looking forward to sharing your nature finds and continuing to encourage families to look high and low for nature all around.

1 comment

Nature Around the Net

Hermit crab 1-1

 

I have found another batch of great links to help you kick off summer this weekend!

June Solstice: The Longest and Shortest Day of the Year gives you to lowdown on the Solstice.

How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice by Linda over at Rain or Shine Mamma is filled with wonderful ideas!

Imagine Childhood Summer Giveaway! Exciting!

– This Hello Note & Postcard Set is perfect for summer snail mail.

Happy Exploring!

Dawn

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Thinking about the Urban Nature Experience

backyard garden

Lately, Dawn and I have been talking a lot about the general direction of this little internet home of ours. One thing that we have talked about quite a bit is the idea of moving away from our combined “editorial voice” and doing more posting here as individuals. Partially because it can be a little easier, but also because it is fun to share with you our very different experiences of the natural world now that we are living in such different physical environments. My own home is on a busy urban street with a major bus line whizzing by every ten minutes. Dawn lives a short distance from the wild Nova Scotia coast. My children experience the outdoors through backyard baseball in our tiny yard (which is a huge step up from when our yard was essentially the dumpster at the local bagel shop) while Dawn’s experience a more classic view of nature. Making the move from Vermont to the Boston area represented a significant shift in my need to think a little harder about finding ways for my kids to interact with nature. And, due to some big life changes and a new life partner, it also happens that I am now raising four kids, and not just the two I arrived here with. Our “his and hers” collection of kids all spent their earlier life in houses on acreage in what is essentially a rural state. And now here we find ourselves walking distance from subway stations.

So, what is a family that values up close and personal interaction with nature to do? Shift our perspective. That’s what. And so, moving forward, I plan to spend some time here on the blog talking about what that looks like. What is the urban nature experience like for a young family? I know that for us, a lot of it revolves around seeking out local preserves, parks, and trails. It also means spending a lot of time in our small backyard garden plot, and at our community garden plot a couple of miles from home. It means that we find nature where it finds us, and that a lot of our focus is on tiny moments and tiny things, as opposed to the big, breathtaking displays of nature’s grandiosity you might find in more wild open spaces. And that’s okay. I won’t say that the adjustment was an easy one, but two years in, my perspective is a little more flexible and “glass half full” oriented.

I’m an elementary school special education teacher by trade, and yesterday was my last day of school until summer session begins in July. Which is to say that my brain is a little addled and I’m still in my pajamas this morning. This will have to be about it for now. But I’ll be popping back in with a post expanding on my thoughts here soon. And I’m looking forward to telling you about my neighbors, my garden plot, the eggshell I found at the bus stop and more.

— Annie

2 comments

Nature in Your Neighborhood

Nature In Your Neighborhood is a feature that focuses on the nature that we all interact with in our everyday lives. Through the window of these posts you can catch glimpses of nature in action in locations across the country (and sometimes beyond).

……..

We are fortunate to be able to extend our neighborhood here in Nova Scotia to this wonderful little beach down the road from our house. It is a favorite spot that we return to again and again because it is close, but also because of the nature discoveries we find there.

Cleveland Beach 1-1

Queen Annes Lace-1

Queen Anne’s Lace

Beach Pea 1-1

Beach Pea

Seaside Sandwort 1-1

Seaside Sandwort

Hermit 2-1

Long-arm hermit crab in a periwinkle shell

Molt Carapace-1

Green crab carapace

Crab molts-1

Molts

Tiny Treasures 1-1

Tiny treasures

If you would like to share what is happening in your neighborhood you can leave a link to a post in the comments here or pop on over to the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook group and share a little bit of your world.

Not a member of the FB group yet? No worries. Just request to join and we will add you ASAP!

~ Dawn

A Note About Contributing to Nature In Your Neighborhood:

If you would like to contribute please shoot us an email with your photo(s) and a few sentences about your experience at: kidsandnature (at) gmail (dot) com. (Please also include your location – your state or country is fine).

We would also love to highlight photos and descriptions from young naturalist out there. If your child would like to contribute a photo of what they found, and tell us a little about it, please encourage them to do so and we will spotlight them in a “Young Naturalist” post. (Don’t worry so much about photo quality. We would love to share their work!)

We are looking forward to sharing your nature finds and continuing to encourage families to look high and low for nature all around.

2 comments