Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
As we wait for new, lush, green life to spring up around our home, my children have been collecting dried pods, seeds, and stalks from last year’s growth for observation and play. One of their favorite things to collect are elegant milkweed pods. They happen to have the most beautiful, swooped shape and my two find that they make perfect fairy boats.
After collecting a handful, they brought them home and used paper, glue, glitter, and string to turn them into water worthy vessels.
This one is lined with a leaf of Lambs Ear (found on our walk) and has a pillow and a life preserver.
This one is a double decker!
They sailed their fleet in a puddle behind our house and in the creek at the end of our road. Each new boat was tested and re-designed and tested again until they floated majestically in the wind blown current. We are all certain that the fairies who live behind our home will be so thankful to find new boats for their spring adventures.
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Crafts, Everyday Fun, Group Activities, Nature, Outdoors, Science, Seasonal
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
When you are out and about with your children, encourage them to search for designs and repetition in the world around them. Look for places where the same motif repeats itself and creates a beautiful pattern. Walls, trees, the sky, ceilings, city streets, and parks are all sources of inspiration.
My children feel proud and excited when they discover a naturally occurring pattern. We like to take photographs of our discoveries, and I have plans to make a photo book using our collection.
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Everyday Fun, Fun, Group Activities, Inspired, Nature, Outdoors
Monday, December 10th, 2012
Last year, our friends Kelly and Joe gave us decorations that made our hearts sing. Beautiful, dehydrated fruit ornaments for our trees±both inside and out! It is by far one of my favorite holiday gifts we’ve ever been given.
When I unwrapped and opened the box of oranges and pinks, I truly felt as if I was holding a box of natural jewels. The kiwi feels and looks almost like thin glass, the orange slices are leathery, and the white of the dried pear flesh against the thin layer of its skin is perfection—as if it was outlined with a steady hand. Our friends made sure that each ornament hangs on a loop of wool yarn, ready for hanging. The morning they arrived, the children placed some on our (then undecorated) holiday tree and bundled up to hang the rest outside on our bare birch and maple.
My favorites: the papayas and oranges
Kelly’s favorites: the star fruits and kiwis
My older daughter’s favorites: “If we choose a favorite then Kelly and Joe might feel badly about the ones we didn’t choose.”
The holiday season can feel like a burst of color and love that comes and goes quickly. When I watch these little guys swaying and dancing on the branches outside it reminds me of how far that burst of kindness and love can travel. From Kelly and Joe’s home to my eyes to my husband Tom’s eyes to our children’s eyes to the tree’s branches to the wind to the birds’ bellies and nests wherever they might be. It is a gift that spreads joy and love in the truest of ways. And, after the snow melted and mud season began, we found little bits of Kelly’s yarn in our grass, which made us a tiny bit wistful, but mostly happy.
Kelly told me that she sliced her fruit thinly with a mandoline, dried them in her dehydrator, poked little holes in the top, and tied little loops of yarn through. It would also work to dry them slowly in an oven (on low heat) or next to a wood stove or heater for a day or so. Don’t you feel like dehydrating fruit must be so simple since you always seem to find bits of dehydrated apple and pear under your kitchen table? Or, is that just me? Maybe I should sweep a bit more frequently. Ahem.
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Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Holiday, Nature, Outdoors, Seasonal