I am writing this post as I sit in a rustic lodge style dining hall over looking thousands of acres of WI woods and an incredible bird feeding station that is attracting more birds to one spot than you can even imagine!
I am in paradise!
I just finished up the keynote speaker and am taking a break to do a bit of blogging then I will head to more sessions on sustainable education, winter outdoor fun for kids and sustainable gardening! And some skiing will be thrown in there too.
Being away from my kids is always a sacrifice but one that I am willing to make this weekend in the name of environmental education! hehehe (Hope Chris and the kids are surviving!)
Anyway, on to the point of today's post.
My girls are in the hands of their dad today and tomorrow. They will be playing in the snow, seeing friends, reading great books and lots more I am sure but none of which is very interesting, earth shattering or inspiring SO I thought I would instead share some resources and links.
Here we go...
I am addicted to "The Kids Guide to Nature Activities" by Joe Rhatigan right now. Written for kids it is pretty simple but still SO informative. They do include some organized and outlined activities in there that I am excited about. For example there is a "follow the leader" activity in there that I have never seen before. It shows pictures of symbols that you make on a trail using rocks and sticks to guide the people behind you on a hike or treasure hunt. I don't have a scanner or I would share the symbols on here but they are super simple and if you copied the pages of the book to give to the participants this would be a super fun game to play out in the woods with kids.
Another hike idea that they have is the "no-moving-until-you've-spotted-something-alive-and-moving hike". That just sounds fabulous! You literally stand in one spot and cannot move until you spot something that is moving (plants don't count) and then you can hike again. You can pre-determine how far you will go until you are required to stop and find something else that is moving. I think this would be such a great way to get kids to focus on the little things on a hike and really notice all the wildlife around them.
Some other ideas in the book to entice you to check it out:
- how to make a homemade backpack out of a pair of old jeans!
- the whatever-you-find-in-the-kitchen-cabinet snack mix "recipe"
- instructions on how to make your own sleeping bag
- camping checklists for kids
- simple animal calls
- bug traps for catching and observing bugs
- the whole chapter on explore the shore!
- dendrochronology - I know you are curious what that is!!
- and much more!
But not much in this book about winter. And since I know most of us are still dealing with snow, cold and ice I wanted to be sure to share some links for great winter activities.
I don't usually share links or activities that I haven't tested out first because I like to be able to say that the activities work and give some feedback. SO if you try out any of these activities please let me know how they went, a link if you blog about it or share your thoughts with us through the January Monthly Challenge (which will be ending soon and I will compile all the shared ideas into one BIG post!).
This first one is just a super simple list of all the possible things you can do in winter! Most of them I knew but seeing them all in one spot really amazed me at how many cold weather options there really are. Winter Activities - List of 50
This one is a link of links! A giant list of resources for parents, teachers and anyone else that might need crafts, activities, games, printables, etc. for winter fun.
This one is not so much for activities or ideas, it has some really great safety reminders and tips about camping in the winter. There were quite a few that I needed to be reminded of and a couple that were new to me. If you have done or are planning on doing some winter camping I would check this out.
Winter Camping Safety Tips and Tricks - Boy Scouts of America
Okay, I can't waste this whole amazing conference on my computer! Gotta go. Be back tomorrow with more to share.