Posts Tagged ‘ outdoor activities for kids ’

Nature Scavenger Hunt (Free Download)

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here where we are and it was time to bring out the Nature Scavenger Hunt.  Last year it was so warm that we did this in the first week or so of March! This year, I sent the girls out on a nature hunt while LD was at gymnastics practice (he trains from 4:30-8:30).  The girls had so much fun! I loved the fact that it wasn’t a competition. They helped each other and encouraged each other rather than racing or claiming “you can’t use that, that was my __ (flower, piece of bark, etc.).” Love those moments of sibling-companionship!

You can download last year’s Nature Scavenger Hunt here:

Finding something scented — perfect this time of year!!

 Finding something white and something with a hole in it:


They even shared rain boots when DD decided she needed to wade into the creek (see ED standing on DD’s shoes?!)!


When LD heard we had done the scavenger hunt, he was pretty upset with me. My bad — I should have realized he would be keen to participate!   So, it was time to make a second page. This is pretty specific to our area — spotting frogs and toads, algae, mushrooms and things like that. This second sheet is probably better in a park-like setting that has a small creek or pond, but I’ll still share it for those who might be able to use it.

Here is the second Nature Scavenger Hunt I made for the kids this year:


We also did a photo nature hunt last year that you might be interested in:

Enjoy and have fun in nature!! ~Liesl

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Beautiful Glass Art Exhibit, Hiking, Making a Long Trip Longer, Skiing

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Sometimes it’s enough to get the bags packed and the kids ready; the snack food and water tucked into the car… but there’s not always a big plan when we head off… just a vague notion of where we have to go and who we plan to see. We definitely keep our eyes open for fun activities along the way. That’s how we wound up going into the Smokies, visiting the aquarium, and spending time at the nature center. Here are a few other wonderful things we did during our week away…

We stopped in and saw the gorgeous Chihuly Glass Art Exhibit.  It is only in Richmond, VA until Feb. 13, 2013, but I see that there are also exhibits in at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma December 31, 2011 – ongoing and Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington Ongoing. If you ever get a chance to see these huge, colorful glass pieces it is well worth a visit. The kids were in awe! It’s hard to tell the size and scale of this exhibit, but most pieces were at least 3 feet across!

We did some hiking and I did a bit of trail running…

We had packed in our ski-gear thinking we might be able to slip in some skiing on the way back home.  By putting in some long hours in the car, we were able to stop through and do some skiing before heading home.

Unfortunately, we were guilty of making a long trip longer!

Did you hear about the woman in Belgium who wanted to go 90 miles to pick up a friend at the train station in Brussels? She followed her GPS and 900 miles later wound up in Zagreb, Croatia!!  You can read about the woman who drove 900 miles out of her way-here. Hubby and I did something similar (though not as drastic mind you!).  We were within 250 yards of the check-in place for our resort when the GPS said to turn left.  We both shook our heads, said “hmm…” and took the winding road five miles in the wrong direction!  The GPS said “you have arrived” — and there were just empty fields around us! We sheepishly turned around, passed the road we had turned from and saw the resort just another minute farther on.

Once we were checked in and sorted out, we sure had fun! DD definitely has the “pizza” down pat.  And happily there we no scary incidents to report this year! (Last year on the other hand, DD didn’t get off the ski lift and had to drop down off the chair from about 10 feet in the air. Poor thing!) ED still doesn’t quite have the hang of skiing, though by the last half-hour or so she was willing to let go of Hubbies or my hands for a bit! She felt a bit more confident with ski poles in her hand.

It was quite cold (in the 20s), but we sure had a great time and reasonably nice weather. It started to snow after we were done and eating by the fireplace in the lodge. Good timing!

We had some pretty scenery along the way. The sunset was absolutely gorgeous… but whizzing along at 70mph, I just couldn’t get a good shot!!

Related posts about our trip:

Road trip to the Smoky Mountains

Aquarium of the Smokies (Gatlinburg, TN)

An Amazing Nature Center (Nashville, TN)


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3 Things I Need From School Break

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

After a busy semester, there are three things I need:

  1. a complete break from our school schedule and routine
  2. time for self-reflection
  3. time to plan
We’re currently on stage 1!! We definitely need time to revitalize and become re-inspired by our studies. I’ve been fortunate to have some good quality time by myself without kids while my in-laws were here to babysit. I spent lots of time at the library and getting some last-minute shopping in.
On Tuesday, we had a quick errand to do and then spent the entire afternoon—five hours!—outside. We stopped and did a hike along a wet-land trail. There were hundreds of birds in the water and in the air, but without a telephoto lens there wasn’t too much to show you.
Then the kids played and played along the waterfront, building bridges, tables and equipping their place on a log in the water. I could hardly haul them away to have a picnic! It was such a great day!

Today, the kids and I spent lots of time in the kitchen baking up a storm. I’ll share some of our favorite holiday treats in the next day or so!

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Last Night’s Biking Adventure

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Twice a week, I pack up the bike and take DD out into the (flat, but unfamiliar) neighborhoods where my other kids have gymnastics practice. The weather has been so mild we’re still able to go out even in December! I had just put white/red bike lights onto her bike since it gets dark so early now. So, last night DD and I set out on our usual (5pm) bike ride. Since Grams and Gramps were here watching LD and ED during their practice I felt like DD and I could venture out a bit farther away from the gym. We loved looking at all the holiday decorations people had up. After we’d been out about twenty-five minutes, I suggested we go around one last block (a route we hadn’t taken before)…we made a right, then another right and another right…the road curved…and it didn’t seem to be taking us to the road I wanted. DD rode and rode, I ran and ran and pretty soon came out at a major busy road with a McDonalds I’d never seen before! I couldn’t figure out where in the world we had come out! We weren’t ever “lost” since I knew we could always re-trace our steps (which is what we had to do), but we wound up going for an hour and twenty-five minutes! Thank goodness DD is so strong on the bike now…I got in an amazing run…and we shared a big adventure together! This morning I asked DD what she thought about our biking adventure…she shouted out, “GREAT!”

I didn’t have my camera so don’t have pictures of any of the houses we saw, but here’s our house in all its festivity!

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Fun Outdoor Game: Frisbee Golf

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

LD got a really fun game for his birthday that we’ve all been enjoying — Mini Frisbee Golf. It’s a huge hit! The weather’s just about perfect now to spend time outside (not too hot) so we’ve gotten lots and lots of use out of it.

The game comes with six colored frisbees (four of each color), so up to six people can play.  We keep our stands pretty close together, but they can be spread out to make it more challenging for older kids.

Almost every time we have friends over, the kids spend time outside playing this!

Disclaimer: We were not given this game to review nor are we Amazon affiliates, our family just enjoys this game!

Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the U.S.A.  Let’s remember the hard work, social and economic achievements and contributions of all American workers.

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