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Five ways we’re developing our Nature Brain with outdoor play

Here are five ways we’ve been developing Nature Brains, helping our brains reach a new depth of skills, calm, and connections, during nature hikes and time at Nature Play Stations.  Count down to many happy memories and a future of finding green spaces where you can go to feel centered and inspired.

5.  Reaching Developmental Milestones

4.  Making Sense of Our…

Added by Deanna Novak on January 27, 2015 at 9:56am — No Comments

the hunger moon.

I write here about living a family life rich in connections to natural world.  http://muddyfootedmama.blogspot.com/2015/01/hunger-moon.html

Added by Stacey Mackowiak on January 24, 2015 at 7:29am — No Comments

Bluebonnets in Winter -

Bluebonnets in Winter -

Texas Bluebonnets are a special flower.  Most flowers germinate in the spring after the last freeze, but not bluebonnets.  They germinate in the fall, when the rain comes in September or October.  Germination is when the seed starts…


Added by Wilder Good on January 23, 2015 at 10:17am — No Comments

Winter -

Winter -
Winter is the coldest season of the year, when you have to be tough to be outside.  Winter happens when the earth is rotated farthest from the sun.  It is a time of…

Added by Wilder Good on January 7, 2015 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Hiking into the New Year

My husband, Dave, has a pair of Limmer boots. They are handmade boots that are made in New Hampshire. He has had the boots for at least 15 years. Even though they have always been just a little too tight he continues to wear them because he likes the tightness when hiking, loves the boots and the company that…


Added by Ann Courcy on December 31, 2014 at 6:42pm — No Comments

Sing Along with the Best Christmas Songs for Children

Christmas songs are a fun way to get into the holidays with your children. Many parents are intimidated by this idea because they aren't confident in their own singing abilities. You don't have to be a great singer, or even a good singer, to teach Christmas songs to your children.

Think about picking up some holiday CDs at the local library or watching Christmas YouTube videos together as a…


Added by Lynda Way on December 22, 2014 at 5:00am — No Comments

A Story About Urban Renewal to Capture the Imaginations of Children.

Our family loves the book, The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown. 


Brown tells the story of a boy living in a city without greenery where people spend all their time indoors. The hero of the story, Liam, loves being outside despite the dreariness of his…


Added by Julia Cadieux on December 18, 2014 at 10:48am — No Comments

That Time of Year

“It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love. When every song you…


Added by Kris Antonius on December 17, 2014 at 1:19pm — No Comments

DIY Coconut Oil Bird Feeders

Suet bird feeders have been on our to-do list for a while. Since we generally don’t have suet lying around, I decided to use coconut oil (not our really pure one, but a slightly refined version). A lot of the recipes that we found included things like corn syrup and we really just wanted to keep it…


Added by Kris Antonius on December 17, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

DIY Reusable Gift Wrap

Year after year, I’d go from being totally floored to carefully select or craft Christmas gifts only to slump when it was time to wrap them. Not only did I dislike using up a bunch of paper product to wrap our gifts, but the readily available, last minute – ahem – wrapping paper options weren’t stellar…


Added by Kris Antonius on December 17, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Whitetail Doe -

Whitetail Doe -

A doe is a female deer.  Does look similar to bucks, but they are graceful and beautiful in a different way.  And they never have antlers, of course.

A buck is probably chasing this doe. Whitetails are close to the end of the rut right now. …


Added by Wilder Good on December 11, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

One Vacant Lot at a Time

It was in 1993 that we first started working at our vacant lot. For 20 years we have been restoring this land that is sandwiched between a busy roadway and a bike path. Today it is about an acre in size and is a source of food for bees, birds, rabbits, dragonflies, butterflies, and small mammals.


To read more go to: www.oldnaturalist.com/one-vacant-lot-at-a-time/



Added by Lawrence Wade on November 29, 2014 at 8:00pm — No Comments

How To Change The World One Play At A Time

Image source…


Added by Jonathan James More on November 26, 2014 at 3:24am — No Comments

Texas Tree Lizard -

Texas Tree Lizard -

This is the largest lizard I have ever caught.  Sometimes called the Texas Spiny Lizard, they can be almost a foot long, even though much of that length is their tail.  They are related to the horny toad in that they have small spikes all over their body.



Added by Wilder Good on November 25, 2014 at 4:45pm — No Comments

Autumn Winds

Poets at Gatewood School open their hearts to the changing season.

Photos contributed by Gatewood 5th graders.


To read student work go to: www.oldnaturalist.com/autumn-winds/…


Added by Lawrence Wade on November 17, 2014 at 8:23am — No Comments

The Power of Play

I came across this brief article outlining the current research evidence that overwhelming supports beginning formal instruction at around the age of seven years old. Read it and see my comments below:…


Added by Julia Cadieux on November 14, 2014 at 1:46pm — No Comments

Let Them Eat Dirt

I am raising a little naturalist. My youngest daughter has always had a thing for the outdoors. From the very first time we took her camping at about 9 months old, and she ate so much dirt it was coming out of her diapers, to when she was a toddler and picking up every rock, leaf, acorn, stick, and flower in sight, to today when she can name off animal facts like an encyclopedia. This kid just absorbs nature. And she is so smart and happy because of it (no bias there).



Added by Julia Cadieux on November 14, 2014 at 1:06pm — No Comments

Bon Voyage to the Birds


"The red-winged blackbird is the true harbinger of spring." This is a sentence I repeat at least two or three times a year. I first hear it at the Connecticut Audobon's Eagle Festival. My children and I went to the festival hoping to learn more about eagles and meet the bird experts. The festival is held in February, when everyone is looking toward spring and the return…


Added by Ann Courcy on November 14, 2014 at 5:07am — No Comments

Buffalo -

Buffalo (or American Bison) used to roam all over the Great Plains in huge herds.  Some accounts say that herds could be over a million animals and stretched out on the plains for twenty miles.  I have a hard time seeing that in my mind.

As everybody knows they almost became extinct about a 100 years ago when…


Added by Wilder Good on November 12, 2014 at 5:49am — No Comments

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