Ann Courcy's Blog (61)

Trying a New Approach

Catching frogs, toads, butterflies, snakes, salamanders, all kinds of wildlife—most kids love to do it…I love to do it! But I struggle with the practice. I’ll find a toad in the yard, call the kids over to see it, they catch it, and I start saying, “Be careful,” “Don’t hurt it,” “Don’t drop the toad.” I become so worried about the animal’s safety that I squash the experience. I’m working on this and think I am making progress.…

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Added by Ann Courcy on October 1, 2011 at 7:57am — 1 Comment

Dried up bugs, gross?

For the past couple of months my kids have been finding dried up bugs and spiders. They come running into the house will something in their hand and they want to show it to me. Believe it or not, I am happy about this and I encourage it. In my mind, it means they are 1 - outside, 2 - interested in what is going on outside and 3 - tuned in enough to see small dried up things on the ground,… Continue

Added by Ann Courcy on September 22, 2011 at 5:57am — No Comments

This Book Rocks! On My Beach There are Many Pebbles



As we hang on to the last vestiges of summer, spend some time on a beach. Enjoy sunshine, rolling waves, bare feet on sand, sea air and wonderful beach finds—seashells, driftwood, dried egg casings, and pebbles, lots and lots of pebbles.



When I was… Continue

Added by Ann Courcy on September 8, 2011 at 5:31am — No Comments

Take it Outside – Make a Bouquet

Turn off the screens—the television, the computer, the video games. Take time from work, from chores, from the day-to-day tasks that keep us busy. Adults and children, take it outside. Each week I will challenge you to see and hear new things—to hunt the woods for wildflowers, to find shapes in nature, to sit by the waterside and listen for unique sounds. So much to… Continue

Added by Ann Courcy on August 19, 2011 at 7:13am — No Comments

Hip-pocket Papa, a Big Book about a Little Frog.

I love books and I love book clubs, so it just seems natural to start a book club within this blog. On the first day of each month I will announce the book we will share. Read the book and post comments.



Hip-Pocket Papa is the story of a little frog—”no bigger than a thumbnail”—with a big job. With colorful imagery and descriptive phrases, Sandra Markle tells… Continue

Added by Ann Courcy on August 11, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Let them eat fruit… and vegetables.

All winter long my kids ask me to buy strawberries when we go the grocery store. My reply is usually “those are laboratory strawberries they don’t taste like ‘in season’ strawberries.” I did cave one time when the giant red berries were on sale. The kids all agreed that they didn’t taste as good as fresh strawberries. So we made a deal, when a fruit comes into season I will…

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Added by Ann Courcy on August 2, 2011 at 6:56pm — No Comments

Take It Outside - Being in the Rain

Turn off the screens—the television, the computer, the video games. Take time from work, from chores, from the day-to-day tasks that keep us busy. Adults and children, take it outside. Each week I will challenge you to see and hear new things—to hunt the woods for wildflowers, to find shapes in nature, to sit by the waterside and listen for unique sounds. So much to…

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Added by Ann Courcy on July 27, 2011 at 6:58pm — No Comments

A Great Summer Read - The Rose in My Garden

The Rose in My Garden is a wonderful collaborative work by Arnold and Anita Lobel. This cumulative book is filled with descriptive text and detailed illustrations that draw the reader in and beg the question, “What’s going on in this garden?”



The story starts with a simple sentence: “This is a rose in my garden.” Add a bee sleeping on the rose in the garden…

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Added by Ann Courcy on July 5, 2011 at 9:41am — No Comments

Get Growing – Facts about Sunflowers

Children love giants and they love to know facts—especially nature facts they think no one else knows. Sunflowers deliver on both counts. Some varieties of sunflowers grow to 12 feet high. They are fast growing plants that almost grow before your eyes.

Share the facts below with your children, and I bet you will soon hear them quizzing their friends and grown-ups…

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Added by Ann Courcy on June 22, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Take It Outside – I wonder what’s under …?

Turn off the screens—the television, the computer, the video games. Take time from work, from chores, from the day-to-day tasks that keep us busy. Adults and children, take it outside. Each week I will challenge you to see and hear new things—to hunt the woods for wildflowers, to find shapes in nature, to sit by the waterside and listen for unique sounds. So much to experience out in the world!…

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Added by Ann Courcy on June 16, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments

Get Growing - Watermelon

Planting watermelon in a backyard garden is rewarding and fun. Planting watermelon with children is rewarding, fun, and a great way to introduce the idea of gardening and growing food. This heat-loving annual can be grown in all parts of the country, but higher temperatures and longer growing seasons are more favorable.…

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Added by Ann Courcy on June 7, 2011 at 8:22am — No Comments

“Feel the Life”

My daughter Aurora wanted me to go outside with her and check on her tent. We slept outside the night before, her tent was still set up and it was raining. I started to put on my puddle jumpers and she said, “Don’t wear your boots, let’s go barefoot so we can feel the life.”  So we walked outside without our shoes, it was a bit cold, a lot wet, sometimes pokey—sticks, other…

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Added by Ann Courcy on June 3, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Rabbit Hill, a great summer read for the whole family!

I love books and I love book clubs, so it just seems natural to start a book club within this blog. On the first day of each month I will announce the book we will share—read the book and post comments.

I would like to feature Rabbit Hill by Robert…

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Added by Ann Courcy on June 3, 2011 at 10:08am — 1 Comment

What to do about the bluebird?

We have a pair of bluebirds that happily live in our front yard. They have a house on the hill and have successfully fledged at least 3 groups of babies since we put the house up last year. On Thursday, Dave came to the back door holding the mama bluebird. She has a hurt wing and can not fly. We put her in a covered box with a blanket in the bottom. Next, I started to hunt for the…

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Added by Ann Courcy on May 31, 2011 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Take It Outside - Seeing Green

Turn off the screens—the television, the computer, the video games. Take time from work, from chores, from the day to day-tasks that keep us busy. Adults and children, take it outside. Each week I will challenge you to see and hear new things—to hunt the woods for wildflowers, to find shapes in nature, to sit by the waterside and listen for unique sounds. So much to experience out in the world!…

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Added by Ann Courcy on May 24, 2011 at 11:30am — No Comments

Fun Spring Reading

Lois Ehlert is the author and illustrator of many wonderful children’s book, most having to do with nature. She creates the art for her books by cutting and pasting paper, fabric and objects onto the pages.

I have chosen two of Ehlert’s books to read…

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Added by Ann Courcy on May 19, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Get Growing - Mayapples

The mayapple is a plant with a secret, and children love secrets. A native perennial that grows in moist, rich soil, the mayapple is found in woods, thickets, and pastures.  If you plant mayapples in your yard, give them some space, as they will spread out and, over time, produce large patches. Mayapples appear before the trees leaf out in spring. When the plant…

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Added by Ann Courcy on May 17, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Get Growing - Peas and Greens

All winter I look forward to the new planting season. Yet each year I am surprised by how early it can start, and I have to rush to catch up. Peas,…

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Added by Ann Courcy on May 9, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Take it Outside - Color

Turn off the screens—the television, the computer, the video games. Take time from work, from chores, from the day to day-tasks that keep us busy. Adults and children, take it outside. I will challenge you to see and hear new things—to hunt the woods for wildflowers, to find shapes in nature, to sit by…

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Added by Ann Courcy on May 3, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Creature Feature – Fairy Shrimp

“We have fairy shrimp. They came from my friend’s vernal pond,” said the director of Schoolmates one morning as Stephen arrived for preschool. The fairy shrimp were swimming in tea-colored water in a large glass jar on one of the tables. Next to the jar was a magnifying glass. Stephen picked up the…

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Added by Ann Courcy on May 1, 2011 at 8:56am — No Comments

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