Archive for the ‘ Outdoor Fun ’ Category

Just Out in Nature!

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Rivers, lakes, streams, ponds… we’ve enjoyed them all this summer!  The kids had a blast at our friend’s floating dock…

They got a real kick out of the fish who would come and nibble on their fingers and toes!

The kids have spent lots of time exploring and playing in the creek behind our house and looking out for critters. The tadpoles have turned into little froglets and the skinks are much larger now!

And the mushrooms are impressive (I guess that’s one benefit of the oppressive humidity, right?!)

Last Monday we spent a lot of time out along a nearby river:

So that’s some of mid-summer fun!  If you missed it earlier this spring, you might want to send the kids out on a Nature Scavenger Hunt. Here’s the free download:

You can download a copy of our Nature Scavenger Hunt here.

  • Photo Nature Hunt — I sent the kids out with cameras and had them take pictures of everything from a fence and stump, to another person’s hand and a flock of birds.
  • I made another Second Nature Scavenger Hunt that is a bit more challenging for the kids last year.  They spent close to three hours hunting for the creatures on this list… This second scavenger hunt is probably best near a creek/pond. We have one that runs through the back of our yard, so I had the kids try to find algae, a frog, toad or lizard, etc.

Be sure to come visit us at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.

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Summer Activities: Slip-n-Slide

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Slip-n-Sliding is really fun when it’s hot out, just as long as there are no water restrictions.  For some reason, ED asks all year long when we’re going to go slip-n-sliding… It will be mid-January, snow everywhere and she’ll ask when it’ll be time! This year I promised myself I’d bring it out as soon as it was warm enough. So, we set up the slip-n-slide a week or so before my ear surgery — and even *I* went down the steep hill! Whew… it was fast!  I was actually happy I was wearing yoga pants.  I included ED’s blurry picture… just to prove that Moms can have fun in the summer too!

The kids are actually off this week on a trip with Hubby out to Arkansas and Missouri. I’m holding down the fort and recovering from my surgery a few weeks ago. Hope you’re having a great summer so far!

Looking for other fun ideas for the kids?  Be sure to check out the entire Summer Activities SeriesWe have lots of indoor and outdoor activities to share with you all summer long – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!

Clipart Image Credit: SweetClipArt

Be sure to come visit us at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.

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Summer Activities: SPUD (20-30 mins.)

Friday, June 27th, 2014


My kids are the perfect age for introducing them to some of my childhood summer favorites.  For some reason, the kids in my neighborhood called this game “Baby in the Air.”  I think it’s better known as “spud.” Anyway, whatever the name, the kids really loved it.  This is a game that combines catch and dodge ball.

We played this with four of us. It seems like 4-6 players would be ideal so that everyone gets their number called at some point.

You need a ball, some folded cards with the numbers 1 to 4 (if you have 4 players) or 1 to 6 (if you have 6 players).

  • Each round all the players except the caller (with the ball) chooses a number and memorizes their number.
  • The players gather around the caller. As she throws the ball in the air, she calls out a number.  All the players (including the caller) run away except the person whose number was called. When the catcher grabs the ball, he yells out “SPUD” and everyone has to freeze.  The catcher can then take 4 steps in any direction — calling out “S” “P” “U” “D” with each stpe.
  • Then the catcher throws the ball at a player trying to tag her. If the ball hits, the tagged person gets an “S.”  Nothing happens if the ball misses.
  • The catcher then becomes the caller. Everyone again goes to the cards, chooses a new number and the new round begins.
  • The first player to reach “D” is out. 

Be sure to check out the entire Summer Activities SeriesWe have lots of indoor and outdoor activities to share with you all summer long – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!  Saturdays, we’ll be sharing our Summer Reads from a wide range of cultures and time periods.

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Summer Activities: Kick The Can

Friday, June 20th, 2014

This game instantly became a family and friend favorite!  Kick the Can is cross between hide-and-go-seek and tag with a “jail” thrown in for those who are captured! This was such an amazingly fun game to play in the woods where there are places to hide everywhere!

This is a great game for 4-7 players.

To begin, designate a place to be the “jail.” Not far away, the can should be placed.

To Play:  One person is the Seeker.  Everyone else is going to go off to hide. The Seeker counts to 50 and then starts looking for people.

If the Seeker spots someone, she yells out the name of the person found and starts racing back to the can. If the Seeker grabs the can first, the Hider is the placed in “jail.”  If the Hider gets there first he kicks it as hard as he cans and runs off to hide. Anyone in “jail” is released.

If the Seeker is able to place everyone in jail, the game is over.  You might want to place a time limit… When I was the Seeker, the kids kept kicking the can over and over! They were good at this game!!

Can you find the “can” in the picture below? Neither could we!  But to be honest it added and element of excitement to the game. You may want to decide whether you want a clear soda bottle or something a bit brighter!!

Doesn’t this sound super fun?!  My kids can’t wait to play this with friends… and I’m happy they’ve found an activity that they find so exciting and fun!

Looking for other fun ideas for the kids?  Be sure to check out the entire Summer Activities SeriesWe have lots of indoor and outdoor activities to share with you all summer long – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!

Clipart Image Credit: SweetClipArt

See you next time or at our Homeschool Facebook Page.


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Vacation at the Outer Banks

Monday, May 19th, 2014

My sister’s family also homeschools, so we take advantage of the pre-summer season prices to spend a week together. We met up with my Dad & step-Mom, my sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew at the Outer Banks.

The weather had called for temperatures in the low 70s last week, but once we arrived the forecast changed. We had several days between 85-88 degrees. Perfect for the beach!  I slathered the kids with sunscreen and off we went. (When you see bright white, ghost-like children… those would be mine. And wouldn’t you know that even with the double dosing of sun-screen, DD wound up with a bright red, peeling nose at the end of the week.)

We took a lot of walks on the beach. This was not a good season for puffer fish… we saw at least a dozen washed up on the shore.  The first year we were here we saw sea cucumbers and other things. It’s interesting how it varies from year to year.

One of my favorite parts of the week was going for long walks with each of the kids. It’s great to be able to spend some one-on-one time with them and just spend time chatting.  And, we always came back with a cool selection of shells, rocks and driftwood! Here are a couple pictures from my hike with ED. The lighting was really neat then.

I’ll save some of our other adventures last week for another post!

Here are some other posts I’ve done about the Outer Banks in previous years:

Traveling this summer? Here are some other trips we’ve taken…


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