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We have been using Sweetbrier Farm healing salve since Stephinie sent out her first samples and we love it! In fact, my son has gone through multiple tins and keeps one on his bedside table all the time, and I always have one in my purse and another in my backpack!

Imagine our excitement when Sweetbrier Farm offered up three tins to give away to our readers! Yay!

Here is a bit more about this amazing salve from the Sweetbrier Farm Shop: “This incredible herbal salve is good for all sorts of skin ailments and folks of all ages :: Bumps, bruises, scrapes, insect bites, burns, itchy spots and dry skin. It smells amazing too! Made with all organic herbs & oils and beeswax from our own honeybees. Finished with practitioner grade essential oils for their healing properties and lovely scent. Handcrafted in small batches. Preservative free. Healing herbal goodness!”   Three of these 1 oz tins are up for grabs in this giveaway.

Use the rafflecopter below to enter to win one of the tins!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be announced on December 3rd.

Sweetbrier Farm has all kinds of great herbal goodness, soaps, silks, and pottery in the shop. Follow this link on over there see what they have in stock!    Don’t forget to enter the Roost Books Bundle Giveaway and the Easy Macro giveaway announced earlier this week. Check back all week for new giveaways. Below are some of the great things we have in store for you!

 

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

Roost Books Four Book Bundle

Easy Macro Lens

Check back tomorrow for another giveaway!

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Giveaway: 3 Easy Macro Lenses

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Those of you who follow me on Instagram know I am a big fan of the Easy Macro Lens! It has been a fantastic way to get up close and examine the little details of nature and has opened up whole new worlds for our nature study.

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  For us, it basically acts as a portable microscope allowing us to meet nature right where it is instead of bringing it in to our bigger microscopes indoors, which is not always possible. And as a bonus, we can take photos and record video with it to easily share with others and add to our online nature journals. Perfect! As a huge bonus, it is super easy to use and does not require me to remove my phone case. It is simply a band with a little lens. So simple! I love simple!

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  The amazing folks over at Easy Macro have given us THREE lenses to give away to readers! So fun! 

Use the rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced on December 3rd.

But wait… That is not all! We know that even if you win you are going to want to share Easy Macro with friends or family, and for that reason we have been given a special discount code just for you! As a Mud Puddles reader you can use the code “Mud16” over at Easy Macro.com to get 25% off your order of a macro lens (or three). 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! And…

Don’t forget to head on over to the Roost Books Bundle Giveaway post to get your entries in there before December 2nd!

Check back all week! A new giveaway will be posted each day!

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Giveaway: Four Book Bundle by Roost Books

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Eeeek! We are so excited to be giving away not only a copy of our book, Whatever the Weatherbut also three other amazing books by our publisher Roost Books! The winner of this giveaway will receive a copy of Whatever the Weather, Raising Wild, Home Grown, and Stars! How exciting is that? Read on to learn more about each title and enter to win!

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About Whatever the Weather: Science Experiments and Art Activities That Explore the Wonders of Weather by Annie Riechmann and Dawn Suzette Smith from the Roost Books website: “The weather around us offers a perfect starting point for exploring nature: paint in the rain, send kites soaring in the wind, build ice orbs, and become a snowflake scientist. The engaging science experiments and open-ended art activities in this book provide a hands-on approach to exploring and understanding the weather we experience every day. This guide to weather science encourages creativity, questioning, and a spirit of curiosity; it will inspire a sense of wonder and adventure—no matter what the day brings.”

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  About Raising Wild: Dispatches from a Home in the Wilderness by Michael P. Branch from the Roost Books website: “For over a decade Michael P. Branch has been writing about life in Nevada’s Great Basin Desert with an audacity, lyricism, and wit all his own. In Raising Wild, Branch offers an intimate exploration of the western high desert. Here we find the wild and extreme land of caliche and juniper, where pronghorn antelope run and mountain lions stalk, where wildfires and snowstorms threaten in equal measure, and where Branch, his wife, and their two curious little girls brazenly live among the packrats and ground squirrels, rattlesnakes and scorpions. In this inspired and hilarious exploration of natural history and parenting, Branch reveals a desert wilderness in which our ideas about nature and ourselves are challenged and transformed.”

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About Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World by Ben Hewitt from the Roost Books website: “In this most personal of his books to date, Ben Hewitt shows us how small, mindful decisions about day-to-day life can lead to greater awareness of the world in our backyards and beyond. In telling the story of his sons’ unconventional education in the fields and forests surrounding his family’s northern Vermont farm, he demonstrates that the sparks of learning are all around us, just waiting to be discovered. No matter where we live, Home Grown reminds us that learning at any age is a lifelong process, and that the best education is never confined to a classroom.  Hewitt’s story will inspire you to reclaim passion, curiosity, and creativity, not only for your children, but for yourself.”

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About Stars: a family guide to the night sky by Adam Ford from the Roost Books website: “Who isn’t fascinated by the sheer size of the universe? Stars offers a straightforward guide to what we know and how we know it—from the Big Bang to star nurseries to the beginnings of life on planet Earth. Find out why you can’t draw a diagram of the solar system to scale, discover how gravity holds our planet together, and learn why we’re all made of stardust.” Included inside:

    • season-by-season guide to stargazing
    • double-sided star chart covering the northern and southern hemispheres
    • pull-out activities, including “Test Your Eyesight” cards and a “What Do You Weigh on Other Planets?” spinning wheel, plus four sheets of stickers

The winner will receive all four books! Awesome, right? 

Use the rafflecopter below to enter in a variety of ways. Remember the more things you do the more chances you have to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be announced here on the blog December 3rd!

Check back in throughout the week to toss your name in the hat for some amazing giveaways!

Look at what we have to offer for the rest of the week!

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Giveaway Week is Almost Here!

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We are very excited to announce that we have a fantastic week of giveaways coming up!

With a little help from our friends we have pulled together SIX fantastic, nature inspired, giveaways and it is all going to kick off tomorrow!

 

Check back tomorrow for details on the first giveaway, a four book bundle by Roost Books, publisher of our book, Whatever the Weather!

Then pop back here each day for a chance to enter a new giveaway all the way until December 2nd!

All giveaways will remain open for the week and winners will be announced on December 3rd, so be sure to share with friends and family!

See you tomorrow for our first giveaway!

 

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November is right around the corner! Can you believe it?

This is a great time of year to be out exploring, but with the weather cooling some extra inspiration can certainly be helpful!

I have made of Four Fun Prompts for November 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 Free November Desktop Calendar for You!

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November is a month filled with cool, frosty mornings and shorter days, sitting by the fire and watching the last of the leaves blow off the trees. There are a few lingering orb weavers making their webs and the colourful rose hips dot the landscape here and there.

It was a bit harder this month to pick our calendar photo. There were a few that stood out for November (I shared our top three on Instagram and Facebook) but this web with the rose hips was a winner at home and the clear winner on Instagram and Facebook. We hope you enjoy it 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 check your inbox for those. If you want to sign up to receive them you can do that right here.

Happy November!

Dawn

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It’s Here! The Migration Activity Guide!

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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

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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!

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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).

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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!

Dawn

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Free October Desktop Calendar

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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!

Dawn

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.

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