December 2011 Blog Posts (20)

The Poetry of our Soul

                            The Poetry of our Soul
      My schedule for many years has been quite simple. I begin my day at 4 a.m. with a few stretching exercises. Then, I practice various yogic postures and pranayama. Once I have finished this routine, I…

Added by wes james on December 31, 2011 at 7:27am — No Comments

True Meditation

                                                                                True Meditation


     True meditation is the art of being creatively present.  What does it mean to be creatively present?  We must live in the present moment, without being a prisoner of  past conditioning.  Do not be misled by what you see in the world around you, the passing show with its violence, greed, and lust for power.  We are incarnations of the light of the cosmos, and within that…


Added by wes james on December 30, 2011 at 2:36pm — No Comments

New Year's Resolution: Spend More Time in Nature

Happy New Year!



I recently had the opportunity to take two very special hikes on Mount Tamalpais, the mountain near my home that is laced with trails for seemingly every mood and workout. One I took when one of my closest and oldest friends came to visit, and the other I took on…


Added by Suz Lipman on December 29, 2011 at 4:00pm — No Comments

My dream classroom ...

A friend of mine forwarded this photo to me and I quickly fell in love with the concept. I dream about having a classroom in the middle of a forest for children, with walls that could be moved, windows that could be opened or closed,  and roofs that allow the natural light in. Or is it again indoorizing children? A false assumption that they're outdoors, in nature while they're actually in a box? Or can we use the concept but allow a natural osmosis between indoor…


Added by farveh ghafouri on December 28, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Garbage In, Chocolate Out: Children and Anti-Nature: Of Trash and Treats in Ghana

At first glance, it seems a trophy pose, particularly as the boy in the photo…


Added by Randy Eady on December 28, 2011 at 12:42pm — 1 Comment

BFF's 100th Post

This is my 100th post. I have been anticipating this milestone for a long time. As I wondered about the 100th post and possible topics, my mind would fill with ideas. I wanted it to be moving, meaningful, and inspiring. The 100th post idea started to develop a pressure-filled voice of its own. "It's got to be big—balloon-big, band-big, knock-their-socks-off meaningful. This…


Added by Ann Courcy on December 25, 2011 at 7:53pm — No Comments

Lessons from Professor Snowman - Inquiry Based Learning

Lessons from Professor Snowman

Inquiry learning focuses on the idea that the learner generates their own questions about the world and the teacher…


Added by Harmony on December 24, 2011 at 12:21pm — 1 Comment

Early Nature Immersion Experiences are Critical

It is essential that any Forest Kindergarten teacher or Nature Pedagogue have passion for the natural world and be able to convey a sense of awe and wonder to the children. The inherent curiosity that children have about nature must be stimulated and expanded. I believe that all children are born with an affinity for the natural world and want to immerse in it however this natural tendency needs to be stimulated before age five in order for it to be a lifelong connection.

 When humans…


Added by Erin Kenny on December 22, 2011 at 3:43pm — No Comments

Ohare's Oasis; Up Up and Away in an Urban Garden

Blogger's Note:   Nature can show up in the most unique places. 

For those transiting alone or with family via one of the USA's busiest aviation hubs, be sure to visit and learn about sustainability.  Chicago's Depart. of Aviation has made a solid commitment to sustainability with an innovative urban garden design that "strengthens the local economy and job market, provides a unique learning opportunity for travelers, and reduces urban sprawl, traffic…


Added by Randy Eady on December 21, 2011 at 12:40pm — No Comments


From the Project Learning Tree Site:Why EE is important.

Tomorrow's leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow's challenges, and we must adequately prepare our children for the future they will inherit. That requires a commitment to providing children with environmental education that helps them become the educated thought leaders of tomorrow.



Added by George Jefferson on December 17, 2011 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Hiking activity with kids: Scavenger hunt

Exploring and discovery comes naturally enough for kids, but sometimes even they can grow bored and become restless. Remember that they have shorter attention spans than adults. Fortunately, there are lots of tried and true activities you can do on the trail that'll keep kids from getting bored. The scavenger hunt is one such activity.

Look for items either using adjectives (find something circular, fuzzy, rough, black, etc.) or make cards in advance.

Kids can create their…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 15, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

We Want To Learn Outdoors


Last month, whilst back home in Scotland, I heard about a primary teacher from Peebles who was running forest school classes. I was intrigued how she was able to incorporate such classes into the school curriculum and wanted to learn more. Here is my short interview I had with the wonderful and inspiring Annie Edgar. (Later in the week, I was fortunate to visit the forest where Annie holds the classes. I took my niece and nephews with me. We had the most magical time and…


Added by Marghanita Hughes on December 14, 2011 at 12:35pm — No Comments

Trail Mix Recipe: Kiddie Mix Gorp

Have kids help you make homemade trail mix, also known among backpackers as gorp. Here's how to make a kiddie mix variety of gorp. You'll need 4 cups of Chex cereal, 1/2 cup of dried fruit bits (apple chips, banana chips, or dried cranberries), 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup salted peanuts, and 1/2 cup M & Ms. Mix it in a large bowl or pour into a gallon-size re-sealable zipper bag and shake.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 13, 2011 at 10:31am — No Comments


From the Project Learning Tree Site

Project Learning Tree

by Laura Duffey, PLT State Coordinator for Minnesota, originally for PLT's Branch Newsletter in 2010

Early Childhood (from Marlee Meshbesher, preschool teacher at St. David’s Center near…


Added by George Jefferson on December 9, 2011 at 9:41am — No Comments

Keep your child comfortable on a hike by layering clothes

On all but the hot, dry days, you and your children should wear multiple layers of clothing that provide various levels of protection against sweat, heat loss, wind and potentially rain. Layering works because the type of clothing you select for each stratum serves a different function, such as wicking moisture or shielding against wind. In addition, trapped air between each layer of clothing is warmed by the child’s body heat. Layers also can be added or taken off as…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 9, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

After the hike activity with kids: High point, low point

Ask your kids what were the highlights and the boring parts or disappointments during the hike. You may be surprised by what they say. It’ll also help you make the next hike even better.

Such activities make a memorable end to a day hike. To keep kid’s enthusiasm charged, “review” the hike in kid-friendly ways. While you really can’t do this with infants, most toddlers and older kids will enjoy it.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 8, 2011 at 9:09am — No Comments

Another good reason for kids to hike: Develop character and skills

On the trail, children can learn patience, goal setting, self-sufficiency and self-confidence, all while increasing their attention spans, so challenged these days by fast-moving, action-packed television programs and video games. The physical challenge of the journey and of reaching a summit or an incredible destination generates a supreme sense of achievement in adult and child alike.

Hiking encourages creative, imaginative play. The television set and today's video games…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 7, 2011 at 8:03am — No Comments

A video series and citizen science project for KIDS!

Backyard Planet: Two Kids, a Globetrotting Ecologist, and a Series of Unnatural Events!


To help address a staggering divide between children and the outdoors,Backyard Planet combines entertaining…


Added by BigTree Media on December 2, 2011 at 10:41am — No Comments

Trail activity with kids: Tape collection

Give each child a piece of duct tape tacked to a piece of cardboard with the sticky side exposed to the elements. When the kids see something interesting, let them stick it to the duct tape. It keeps kids looking for stuff to put on the tape and makes for a good conversation starter later. Having said this, beware that one of the rules of the trail is to leave things as they are. Still, I can’t see any harm in pulling up a single blade of grass or picking an acorn off the trail if the end…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 2, 2011 at 9:04am — 3 Comments

Taiga Trekkers - Coyote Trail

Coyote Trail from Abbott Loop Community Park

After an early winter cold snap, today's above freezing temps were a welcome treat! 2 dads, 13 moms and 17 kids hit the Coyote Trail. We started at Abbott Community Park off of Elmore. As you…


Added by Harmony on December 1, 2011 at 5:51pm — No Comments

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