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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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28 Days Outside Challenge

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I am just going to admit it, February can be hard!

I can clearly remember the first February we spent in Nova Scotia. It was icy and cold and miserable for this Southern California girl. One evening I met my husband at the door and demanded we go back home to California! I was done!

Now, here I am going into my 9th chilly February and I do manage much better these days. An appreciation for the beauty of ice along the creek, frost on the alder cones, and the intricate details of every snowflake has certainly helped. With that said, I am ready for a challenge this February.

My challenge is to get myself and the kids outside every day this month. I know many of you might think that will be easy for us but some days are easier than others, even at my house.

Each day I am going to be posting a picture to the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook group and Instagram with the hashtag #mudtometeors.

I will also be sharing tips and encouraging posts throughout the month. Pop over and join the group Facebook if you are not already in there.

 

There are no special prompts or requirements. Just let wonder lead the way. 

 

If you feel like you need some ideas you can download a PDF called 21 Easy Ways to Get Your Kids Unplugged and Engaged with Nature right here.

You can download the PDF I made with 3 Simple Ways to Connect with Nature in Your Daily Life.

If you have kids that love technology you might find some helpful hits and nature apps here.

You can also watch my TEDx talk for some extra encouragement.

 

If you don’t see this until the 3rd or the 5th or the 15th, don’t worry. Jump in anyway!

 

Let me know if you have any questions or need any help!

 

Happy Exploring!

Dawn

 

P.S.

If you would like some prompts this month, we are focusing on evergreens in the Mud Puddles Nature Lab and would love to have you join us. There is no obligtation to keep you subscription going after February so jump in and test the waters!

You can find out more about the lab and sign up right here.

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A February Desktop Calendar for You!

02 February 2017 Sunday Start

 

Happy February!

This is the first time I have had a structure in one of the calendars but when we searching for just the right one for this month this was a favorite.

We had not planned to watch the sunset at Peggy’s Cove that night but we were on the way home from an event and just knew, from the look of the clouds, that it was going to be a pretty one. Instead of heading home we turned down the road to the lighthouse and were in for an icy treat of a sunset. Dinner was late, and it took awhile before we were able to thaw out next to the fire, but it was worth the memory we created.

Enjoy this little bit of iconic Nova Scotia 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.”

 

Find some peace outside this month!

Dawn

 

P.S. The Mud Puddles Nature Lab is open for new enrollment. If you are looking to infuse your family life with more nature and science come join us. In February we are investigating evergreens with lots of fantastic prompts, activities, and experiments!  Click on over here to learn more and sign up.

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A January Desktop Calendar for You

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Happy New Year!

We are excited to put up the new calendars around our house today.

When changing them out I realized that we are a calendar family. I think the bathroom might just be the only room in the house without one (or two). I guess that is why I like making these desktop versions so much.

We are preparing for a New Year’s Day family walk, now that the rain has cleared, but I wanted to pop in and wish you all a wonderful 2017 and set you up with your January desktop calendar.

 

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!

Dawn

 

P.S. The Mud Puddles Nature Lab is open for new enrollment. If you are looking to infuse your family life with more nature and science come join us. In January we are investigating rocks and geology with lots of fantastic prompts, activities, and experiments!  Click on over here to learn more and sign up.

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Giveaway Winners!

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This week has been so much fun!

It has been wonderful to share these amazing resources and products with you all, and while I have not had a chance to read through all of the comments yet, there have been many that have made me smile, and sometimes laugh. I love hearing from you all!

I went into Rafflecopter this morning and let them pick our random winners. It was actually more fun that I imagined waiting for those names to pop up!

Now on to our winners…

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The amazing Roost Books bundle goes to:

Melodie Swope

Congrats, Melodie!

Along with offering some truly fantastic books, the Roost Books Website also has some super free projects for you! Click on over to check those out!

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The Easy Macro Lenses go to:

Jennifer Puig Schmitz

Duane Bolin

Katie Castleton

Congrats to you all!

Don’t forget that Easy Macro has given Mud Puddles to Meteors readers a great code for 25% an order over there! Use “Mud16” at checkout to get the discount.

This is only available to the first 100 people using the code so make sure you pop on over there quickly to get this awesome deal!

 

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The Sweetbrier Farms Healing Salves go to:

Tara A. 

Yanic Arsenault Berkey

Julie 

Congrats to you all!

Sweetbrier Farms has an amazing Botanical Facial Gift Set that would make a wonderful gift, along with many other salves, soaps and other herbal goodness. Click over there for some gift shopping!

 

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The Wings, Worms and Wonder 12 Month Art & Nature Journal goes to:

Libby Mathis

Congratulations, Libby!

Along with lots of free activities and resources Wings, Worms, and Wonder also has some fantastic online nature journaling classes. One of these classes would make a great gift to yourself or friend looking to jump into nature journaling! You can also order your very own copy of the 12 Month Art & Nature Journal right here! 

 

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The beautiful RJT Designs Flower Presses go to:

Beth

Hannah Anderson

Congrats to you both!

Check out the beautiful presses over at the RJT Designs etsy shop. One of these presses would make a wonderful gift for a nature loving friend!

 

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The sweet pouch from the Nature Pal Exchange goes to:

Sara ‘Hinshaw’ Stockinger

Congrats, Sara!

Every nature loving family needs to check out and participate in at least one Nature Pal Exchange! (Warning: it can be addicting!)

Visit their Instagram for tons of nature inspiration and follow along to keep up to date about new exchange opportunities

 

All winners will be contacted by email.

 

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday Season!

Dawn

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nature-pal-exchange-blog-promo

Nature Pal Exchange began when two homeschool moms, who lived on opposite coasts, decided to collect and exchange nature items that they had found while out exploring. It has grown into a wonderfully vibrant community of nature loving families who not only share nature, but inspire each other to get out and explore our natural world.

Each season the amazing ladies at the Nature Pal Exchange organize a nature pal swap. They match families from different regions throughout the U.S.A (and Canadian families with others living in Canada) so they can exchange nature finds to share and learn more about the wide range of phenomenal nature we have here in North America.

Not only do they take the time to make these matches, which I know from experience is a lot of work, but they also raise money with each swap for a charitable donation.

You can learn more about the Nature Pal Exchange and how to get involved at their website.

Follow along with this inspiring community on Instagram for a wonderful dose of daily nature sharing.

They also have a Society 6 shop you can find here and a Red Bubble shop here.

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win this adorable pouch from the Nature Pal Exchange shop. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced December 3rd!

Don’t forget to enter to win the other giveaways announced this week: 

The Roost Books 4 Book Bundle

Easy Macro Lenses

Sweetbrier Farm Healing Salve

Wings, Worms, and Wonder 12 Month Art & Nature Journal

RJT Designs Flower Presses

Winner to all of the giveaways will be announced here on the blog tomorrow! 

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Giveaway: 2 RJT Designs Flower Presses

rjt-designs-blog-promo

When our presses showed up in the mail we knew they were something special right when we took them out of the box. These presses have been a joy to have on our coffee table as we wait for our flowers and leaves to be presses for projects and sharing. They are like works of art in and of themselves.

Not only that, but they are so easy to use! With the sturdy design and strong (but not too strong) rubber bands to keep everything together, they made adding new specimens to press simple and easy.

You can learn more about RJT Designs and take a peek at their other designs over in their Etsy shop.

We were exceptionally excited when the amazing folks at RJT Designs said they would give us two presses to giveaway!

Use the rafflecoptor below to enter to win one of two presses we will giving away this week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced on December 3rd.

Don’t forget to enter to win the giveaways announced earlier this week!

Roost Books Four Book Bundle

Easy Macro Lens

Sweetbrier Farm Healing Slave

Wings, Worms, and Wonder 12 Month Art & Nature Journal

Check back tomorrow for another giveaway!

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A Free December Desktop Calendar for You!

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Oh, December!

It is really hard to believe we are turning to the last page of the calendar already!

I made up a desktop calendar with one of my very favorite frost pictures. I can vividly remember the day I took this photo. It was cold, as you can imagine, and the snow was crunching underfoot, but the sun had broke through to brighten everything up beautifully.

When I showed my son he was instantly on board with the idea of this shot becoming our December desktop. We hope you love it!

 

Before we get to the download, I wanted to let you know that the Mud Puddles Nature Lab is open for new enrollment. Yay! 

I am very excited about the December we have planned in the lab!

Our theme this month is ‘Spark Wonder’ and we have some wonderful prompts to help us connect with nature and each other during what can be a very busy month for some families.

Click on over here to learn more and join us in the nature lab!

 

Now for the Calendar! 

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 they will be in your inbox by Friday. If you want to sign up to receive them you can do that right here.

Enjoy!

Dawn

 

P.S.

We are right in the middle of a whole week of giveaways on the blog right now so be sure to enter to win some of the great prizes before you click away!

A Book Bundle from Roost Books

One of Three Easy Macro Lenses

One of Three Sweetbrier Farms Healing Salves

Wings, Worms, and Wonder 12 Month Art & Nature Journal

Check back for the Thursday and Friday giveaways!

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