So Much to Share…

Hello all!  It has been such a lovely fall.  We have travelled and played outside nearly to our hearts’ content ( we have tent camped 20 out of the 30 nights we said we’d camp in 2012) and so now I can manage to share some of my experiences with you! 

I was so honored that a couple of weeks ago my husband surprised me with a trip to the University of Maryland to hear Jane Goodall speak, with an opportunity to meet her afterwards!  What an amazing woman.  78 years old and still traveling over 300 days a year spreading her message of stewardship for people, animals and the environment as well as hope for the human race!  She draws that hope from the idea that human brains have such huge capacity for choosing to love and create peace.  What an inspiration she is!
Additionally, I had the opportunity to attend a free webinar through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  There is one more date for this webinar and if you are an educator or have a child in school whose teacher is open to you volunteering in the classroom then maybe this is useful for you.  I found it quite easy to do. With the webinar you can receive a free window feeder (has to be shipped directly to a school) and will learn more about the Feeder watch program and activities designed by Pennington.  I will be conducting the first of what I hope to be many activities in my daughter’s classroom in the next week or two.  Here are the links for the coming webinar and free downloads to use when planning activities…
They have additional materials for homeschoolers or the classroom available for a price!
The Arbor Day Foundation also has free Nature Explore activities that you can easily do at home with very little preparation.  They can be found here…
When I was at the Children and Nature Network Gathering this fall I had an opportunity to visit a preschool with an outdoor playscape, certified by the Arbor Day foundation.  Here are some pictures from that “playground”.  Music area with open space for creative movement and a small for performances!
Art area. Mud painting anyone?
                                                                                                   Building area, with natural materials such as a variety of tree cookies.
I don’t know about you all but I wish every school or a park in the area offered something like this!  Guidelines can be found here…
And here is a guide to help you create something like this in your own backyard!
I’ve done a few things in my own back yard just in the last few weeks that the kids really enjoy – such as cutting a wide variety of tree cookie sizes with a handsaw.  My kids ( 6 and almost 4) have built a wide variety of structures!
One last thing…I met the folks that direct these Family Nature Summits, apparently very popular.  The early registration deadline for 2013 has already passed but if you are interested in a guided family adventure in a coastal resort in Bar Harbor Maine then I suggest you check it out!  They offer them in a different location every summer.  Definitely a different kind of vacation!  Here is the link…
I think that’s all for now.  I know it is a lot and I am sorry for that but I hope there is something here you can incorporate into your lives.  I hope you are all well and enjoying the beautiful fall!

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Filed under Family, Natasha, Nature

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