Four Fun Prompts for June Nature Explorations

Oh, June!

I have to admit that I swoon for June. Summer is by far my favorite season. The kids love it too and it is never a problem getting them out the door in June!

To help you and your crew get out the door I have made of Four Fun Prompts for June 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 dawnsuzette@gmail.com.

Happy Exploring!

Dawn

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Last Day to Bring a Friend!

Everyday Nature Promo 6 JPG

Just about everything is better when a friend comes along, right?

We are going to be having all kinds of fun in the Everyday Nature for Families Workshop and it would be great to share that fun with a friend!

Today is the last day you can bring a friend along for no additional cost.

You can gift a spot to your friend, or the two of you could split the cost. It is totally up to you but don’t delay! Today is the last day for the friend offer!

Learn more about this fantastic online workshop and sign up by CLICKING HERE.

 

Let me know if you have any question by leaving a comment below or email me at dawnsuzette@gmail.com.

Happy Exploring,

Dawn

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Little Steps to a Daily Nature Habit

Dylan yarrow obesrvation

When my kids were younger we spent a lot of time outside, but we also spent a lot of time finding ways to bring nature into our daily family life.

We would look out the car window when we were driving into town, spotting nature along the way.

We would take a few moments to stop by the creek on our way back from the grocery store.

We would make a moment to drive to the best sunset spot if we knew the clouds were telling us it was going to be a good one.

 

All of these little things became a part of our family culture. They became habits for us.

Habits are created whether we put intention into them or not. Our day is run by our habits.

Stop to think about some of your habits.

Do you brush your teeth before bed? Do you automatically walk into the kitchen to make coffee or put on the tea water in the morning? Do you pick up your phone each time you hear a ding, or even when you don’t?

I am sure you can think of many more habits that make up your day. We have to have them or our minds would be overwhelmed with thinking of all the possible things we need to do next. Thank goodness for habits!

With that said, “bad” habits can creep into our days and before we know it we are living a life we had not intended, or certain aspects of life are not looking like we envisioned they would.

So, one of the best ways to go about setting ourselves and our families up to create the habits we want is to set the intentions for what we want.

This applies to every aspect of family life, including the time we would like our family to feel a connection to our natural world.

The intention has to be set and a plan has to be made for a new (intentional) habit to formed.

 

One of the best ways to create a new habit is to attach the thing you want to do to something that is already a habit. In the book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg calls this a keystone habit. That habit that is already set in stone. That thing you already do each day without thinking about it. Find one of those, attach a new behaviour to it, add in a reward of some sort of positive feedback (happy kids and fresh air), and boom… you are on your way to developing a new habit.

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Now, I encourage you to take an assessment of your intentions around nature connection and the desires you have for your family.

Are you and yours getting enough time in the day to connect with nature–something we all need to live healthy, well balanced lives?

Next, look for one or two of those keystone habits you already have in place.

Looking at daily habits: Do you have morning basket story time each morning after breakfast? Is there quite time after lunch each day? Do you all clean up the kitchen after dinner?

For the weekly routines: Do you go to music lessons each Wednesday afternoon? Is there a gathering you attend each Friday? Do you grocery shop every Thursday morning?

Pick a few of those solid items in your day or week and see how you can fit some nature connection into those times.It might mean looking out the window after story time to talk about the weather. It could be going for a short walk after quite time to get the muscles moving and fresh air in the lungs before moving on to the afternoon activities. Maybe there is a creek down the road from music lessons and it becomes a new routine (habit) to stop by and check how things have changed from last week. (Tip: always keep a change of clothes-including socks- in the car for each kiddo, this becomes especially important when water is involved.)

Once you start looking, the possibilities will open up and you will be amazed by the nearby nature opportunities.

 

Go ahead and give it a try.

What are your intentions around nature connection for your family?

What keystone habits can help you bring more nature into your daily family life?

Pop into the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook group and let me know what you come up with, or share in the comments here.

If you are interested in learning more about our family nature habits you can watch my TEDx talk here.

If you are feeling suck, reach out. I would love to help!

Dawn

 

P.S. There is only one more day to Bring a Friend for Free when you sign up for the Everyday Nature for Families online workshop.

I would LOVE to have you and your friend join us!

CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up.

 

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Happy World Migratory Bird Day

winter robins

Today, May 10th, is World Migratory Bird Day!

In honor of the day and our flying friends I did a roundup of bird-related posts you might enjoy today.

First, a short video about World Migratory Bird Day from the people who started the campaign!

Now for the Roundup!

– What is World Migratory Bird Day? 

– The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website is one of our favorite bird resources.

– Check out your Regional Migration Forecast here.

– This Pop-up Birder’s Life List is a great project to start this time of year.

– Learn more about Flocking Birds here (with printable PDF included)

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And, if you are interested in delving deeper into migration grab the Migration Activity Guide right here.

 

Do you have any favorite bird-related resources? 

Please share in the comments.

I would love to see and learn about what you are using to learn about birds.

 

Happy World Migratory Bird Day!

Dawn

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05 Four Fun Prompts for May Nature Explorations

With everything springing back to life May is a great month to be out exploring and learning in nature.

I have made of Four Fun Prompts for May 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 dawnsuzette@gmail.com.

Happy Exploring!

Dawn

 

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A May Desktop Calendar for You!

05 May 2017 Sunday Start

April showers bring May flowers.

Here in Nova Scotia we certainly got the showers in April. Now we are ready for Mother Nature to bring on the flowers!

With that thought in mind, the May desktop calendar is full of flowers! These little forget-me-nots are among our favorite spring flowers.

(Do you have a favorite spring flower? Please share in the comments. I would love to know!)

 

Download the Sunday start version of the calendar here.

The Monday start version can be found here.

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

 

Enjoy this month of spring, whatever the weather may bring!

Dawn

 

P.S.

Speaking of weather!

Whatever the Weather is on sale on Amazon. This is the perfect time to grab a copy for some spring weather fun!

 

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An April Desktop Calendar for You!

04 April 2017 Sunday Start

April!

It is no fools, the desktop calendar is here!

Here in Nova Scotia we are still deep in snow this winterspring! So, I am pulling up files from New Mexico to share an apricot blossom with you this month. I could not bear to have a snowy desktop right now, even though the snow is still beautiful, I think you will agree a blossom is a better choice.

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.”

 

Enjoy this month of spring, whatever the weather may bring!

Dawn

 

P.S.

Our theme in the Mud Puddles Nature Lab this month is IN THE GARDEN!

It is the perfect month to jump into the lab and give it a try!

Click over to the Lab Page to learn more and sign up!

And…

Whether you have sunshine, rain, snow, or windy days coming your way this spring Whatever the Weather has an art activity or science experiment that will get you and yours excited to explore the weather at hand.

If you sign up for the Roost Books newsletter you will receive 30% Whatever the Weather and any other amazing book you add from their collection to make your order $25 or more. How great is that?

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April is National Poetry month in the U.S. and Canada.

What a great excuse to play with words! (As if we needed one!)

Add nature words into the mix and you have a recipe for lively poetic adventures.

Our natural world provides kids with everyday explorations that spark the senses, insight wonder, and give them tangible experiences to share through writing.

 

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Want a little inspiration?

While going for a nature walk and noticing the little details all around will provide plenty of inspiration, I made up a PDF of nature words to help inspire the addition of nature to your explorations into poetry. You can download that here.

After you download them cut them out and keep them in an envelope (in your poetry folder) or put them in a bowl or jar.

Now, what will you do with these word cards?

Word Card Ideas

Pick 5 Poem

Have each person pick five cards and use them in a poem.

Build a Family Poem

Lay them all face down, or put them in a bowl or jar. Have each person in the family pick three cards (or more if you only have 2-3 people). Taking turns build a poem together with each person adding a word as you go around a circle. Have someone write the poem to keep in a poetry folder. (You can also use these words as an outline for your poem and add words to make it all blend together.)

Create a Name

As in Build a Family Poem, take turns pulling cards and laying them out, then take a look at word combinations to make up names for the subject of your poetry. These word combos can be the names of characters, places, events, or even holidays.

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These are just a few simple ideas to get you started. I find that once I pull things like this out the kids tend to run with ideas of their own. Feel free to follow your kiddos down the poetry rabbit trail and see where you end up!

While we have sections in our homeschool notebooks for poetry we are making up a poetry folder just for this month to keep all of our Poetry Month poems together. It does not take much; you can choose an old three-ring binder you have laying around (surly there is one that needs cleaning out), pick up a simple folder at the local stationary store, or stuff everything into a manila envelop or pizza box. Whatever works to keep it all together and foster some excitement about making additions to watch it grow!

 

Nature-Inspired Poetry Books We Love

Joyful Noise

One Big Rain

Trail: Paper Poetry Pop-Up

Seeds, Bees, Butterflies and More

Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars

Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings

Birds of a Feather

 

More Inspiration

– If you are looking for more ideas on how to add more poetry to everyday life check out the Brave Writer Poetry Teatime site. You will find tips, a quick start guide and more!

– Amy, over at Mama Scout, has a Poetry Jam going for the month of April. You can learn more and sign up here.

– Many of our “What’s That?” Wednesday PDF’s have word clouds you can use for inspiration. You can find those on our printables page.

 

Come on over to the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook group to share poetry ideas, favorite books, or the poems you create this month.

If you are not a member submit a request to join and I will add you ASAP.

Happy Poetry Month!

Dawn

 

P.S.

The April theme for the Mud Puddles Nature Lab is “In the Garden.” We are going to have a ton of fun exploring seeds, seedlings, pollinators, and more. If you don’t have a garden that’s okay! You can still come play with us as we explore nature with a garden theme in mind, no garden required!

To learn more and sign up click here.

Let me know if you have any questions!

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A Book Signing in Halifax!

Whatever the Weather Cover copy

I just wanted to pop in to let you all know that I will be doing a book signing for Whatever the Weather this month!

Details

Where: Chapters in Bayers Lake (Halifax) 

When: Saturday, March 11th from 12:00 – 2:00

What: Copies of the book will be available for purchase and I can sign a copy you already own (bring your receipt so they know you have already purchased the book).

I will also have a few projects on hand to check out and answer any questions you have about the book

 

It is going to be a fun afternoon!

If you are in Nova Scotia come on out and see me!

Dawn

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A March Desktop Calendar for You!

03 March 2017 Sunday Start

 

I don’t know about you but here in Nova Scotia it has been a fairly mild winter, overall, and the warmer than normal temperatures for the past few weeks have everyone thinking about spring. This can be a dangerous thing when you live in Nova Scotia, when we normally don’t see a whole lot of spring sign until mid-May! I am taking in the warmth and enjoying time outside that does not require bundling up in multiple layers but I am reserved in my “springtime” enthusiasm. It will be interesting to see what March holds for us!

One of our first signs of spring is when the fuzzy, slivery tips of the pussy willows start to reveal themselves. They graced our calendar last March and we thought they should be the stars of the show this year 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.”

 

Enjoy this month of spring, whatever the weather may bring!

Dawn

 

P.S.

Our theme in the Mud Puddles Nature Lab this month is WEATHER!

It is the perfect month to jump into the lab and give it a try!

Click over to the Lab Page to learn more and sign up!

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