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i love dirt! (a little book review)

Hurray for summer!  My family and I live in a big city in Canada and there is nothing more exciting to us than watching our trees and flower beds come to life after a long snowy winter.  Our city is blessed with many green spaces, lots of great paths thru ravines, creeks and rivers.
When I first saw this book I thought, “I don’t need a book to tell me how to enjoy the outdoors with my kids.”  That’s the beauty of it right?  Simple, uncomplicated nature.  And while one may not need a book to tell you how to get outside and enjoy nature with the kids, this book does have a lot of great ideas and prompts to fall back on while your out there.

It lists over 32 activities to do with your kids and organizes by season.  There are lots of open ended questions and activities to do with the wee ones.  I liked the chapter on worms which I know my kids love, and provided me with useful information about worms that I forgot from grade 4 science class.  As much as I like to think I’m this ever creative mom, my sleep deprived brain does appreciate some fresh ideas.

I do find the activities to be more for younger kids but there are lots of good ideas there to build on for older kids.  Even for the younger kids, there is loads of room to expand on themes they show a particular interest in.  Over all I found it to be a sweet little book and was happy to have found it in the library.

My kids have been showing a keen interest in seeds so I’ll pull out some little planting trays and we’ll start some seed from inside.  We did this last year with mostly herbs, we found cat grass to be the most satisfying!  While the weather holds out we will spend as much time outside, exploring the amazing outdoors, examining rocks, tree roots, buds, imitating birds, running from imaginary ‘pumas’, finding the perfect spot for a snack…

How do you enjoy nature?  Are there any special activities you do with the kids outside?

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Natural Family Living

Sitting outside today, I found myself wondering what I would write about natural family living. My fingers sifted through the soil, I was planting seeds with my children. Our baby Orion toddled around in the grass while his brother picked up rocks and drove them around in his dump truck. My daughters squabbled mildly over who would do what and when with the pots and soil and seeds and all the while the sun shone down on us and the sweet smelling breeze tickled your neck – one of those beautiful Oregon spring days. I realized then, sitting on a mound of earth with my children and enjoying a moment in nature with my family, that this was exactly the kind of living I was grasping at straws to write a story about. The things that we do, those small choices that we make in our own little families are what create the communities that we are a part of. Connecting with the earth and making natural and sustainable choices is part of a daily impact that we make. The way that we spend our time and what we choose to set as an example is in our behavior. I know that every time I wrap Orion in a soft cloth diaper instead of a crinkly plastic ‘disposable’ I am teaching natural family living: instilling the value by living the choice. From the smallest seed to the biggest tree, choosing to live naturally is a way of life and every decision we make adds up to a whole lot for our own family, the community that we are connected to, the future of our children and of our earth. Every touch of a natural fiber educates us, it acclimates us to what is acceptable to be around us. So every time we expose a child to a wooden truck instead of a plastic car, a wool felted ball or a soft cloth doll, we are teaching a valuable lesson in living naturally. Hopefully by these small choices and changes we will continue to create healthy families and a healthy planet for them to live in and that is natural family living at it’s best. Many Blessings Families, Alyssa of Codilollyskye

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Mini Monday : Natural Inspirations

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

What is the difference in *my Amber necklaces*?

I use natural harvested Amber that has not been heated, pressed nor reconstituted. Many producers of Amber and Baltic Amber teething necklaces are using pressed Amber. This reduces the healing properties of the Amber. My Amber is weighty, natural and stunning. You will find “debris” in almost every piece of Amber, which gives Amber its character and charm.

Wishing you a great week!