Fall #82 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A November treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

“Ten Times Taller”

BonusP.L.A.Y.-ing with Shadow Shapes

❤ ❤ ❤

My curious Capkin and I found this treasure to match the description.


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

White-tailed Wonder of the Woods: A Deer’s Adventures

This will be my fifth winter walking in these woods and following the many deer tracks in the snow. It is such a joyful and P.L.A.Y.-ful activity to do on a cold winter’s day and it helps me to add variety to my daily walks by simply stepping alongside the hoofprints and seeing wherever the trail may take me.

On some outings I even discover coyote and turkey tracks right beside the deer tracks and I wonder at how this encounter looked or who came through first or last or if someone was being followed.

I’ve only actually seen the deer a few times up close as I approach the babbling brook and my sounds are muffled. More often I see them at a distance in the corn fields as I drive along the roadway out of town. Either way I am always thankful for knowing they are there in our fields and forest and also call this place home.



To give gratitude for the many years of awe and wonder this P.L.A.Y.-ful practice of tracking the white-tailed deer has provided I have created a new story series based on Thornton Burgess’ 1921 book The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer. It is a great way to introduce your family, and get curious together, to another local creature living on the land.

Look for new story chapters from

The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer

to appear every

Tuesday + Thursday

for the remainder of 2020.

Time to P.L.A.Y.!!!

Enjoy!!!

Fall #79 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A November treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

“Curious Climbing Configuration”

BonusFun Fungi in the Forest

❤ ❤ ❤

My curious Capkin & I found this treasure to match the description.


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Goat Duty Days – No Social Distance Required!

Little Bear and Rowan peeking out to say “Good Goatie Good Morning!”

These two fine fellows have been greeting me each morning with a quizzical look as I care for my fellow community member’s six goats this week. For although I was given a fine tour and took plenty of notes on how to care for them before their owners left I am sure they are fully aware that I am simply the “temporary help”, doing my best, with each placement of the hay, water, minerals, and attempt to mimic their daily routines.

At times I have helped with some of this routine goat care for my daughter’s four goats as well over the years and so it is all familiar to some extent.

However what has just occurred to me, in just a few days time of doing double duty, is that our animals continue to provide that opportunity for close contact and connection while our human connections feel the strain of “social distancing/physical distancing” as the pandemic continues in 2020.

Caring for the goats requires no mask and they love to get up close in your face, nose-to-nose, to check out your minty fresh breath (or breakfast breath!). They keep their ears perked and really listen in on your morning chatter, singing or whistling too, as you go about your chores. They are also always up for plenty of scritchy-scratches on their chin, back, and pretty much most any place on their body and can get a very relaxed Zen look in their eyes if you brush their backs long enough.

Starlight gathers the latest from this group of ducks that patrol these parts of our community meadow.

And if you are lucky, as we are in our community, there are other animals that come to pay a call routinely visiting the goats and chattering amongst themselves about the latest news in the animal world. And they are probably talking about those silly “new beaks” on the humans too. What happened to their faces? What is this thing called a mask?! Why do they stand so far apart vs. getting together like they use to circled up like a gaggle of geese?

Oh what a world!

Truly, although there is a time and energy commitment beyond house pets like a cat or dog, goats are fine companions for times like these and very appreciative of human attention.

This “granny goat” is giving gratitude for the opportunity to connect to these sweet creatures, thankful my fellow community member and daughter have taken on these responsibilities all these years, and I am so happy to be a part of their larger herd!

Time to go P.L.A.Y. with the “(grown)kids”!

Sending hugs & smiles to help light the way,

Karen ;0) ❤

Fall #47 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

A November treasure quest for you and your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for

“Simple Silent Stone Sitting in the Sylvan Setting”

Bonus Get Curious Like Your Capkin and Try It!

❤ ❤ ❤

My curious Capkin and I found this treasure to match the description.


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Purchase HERE P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

Fall #78 – Nature Alliteration Adventure


Purchase P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books


❤ ❤ ❤

A November treasure quest for you & your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for  . . .

” Tilting Table Top Tufts “

Bonus Fun Fungi Finds in the Forest

❤ ❤ ❤

My curious Capkin & I found this treasure to match the description.

❤ ❤ ❤


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Beaver BOOK LOOK – Chapter 24 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 24

Paddy’s Winter Tail Trail


And so Paddy had cut down the trees he needed, engineered a dam to make a pond, built a canal, created his storehouse of foods, and completed his lodge. It was now time to hunker down and settle in for the long winter. He thanked Sammy Jay again for his help, said he’d see all the little four footed people in the spring when the ice thawed, and then dove under the water to his cozy home.

Paddy stayed mostly under the ice of the pond all that winter eating from his storehouse of tree branch bark, nibbling at some leftover water lily roots here and there, and staying warm and dry in his lodge.

Once in a while during the winter, if the ice melted back on the pond and there was an opening, Paddy would wander down along the Laughing Brook. On this rare occasion all the other four legged little people and feathered friends of the Green Forest knew he had taken a stroll and that he was well as he always left behind a wonderful trail with his tail. What a true tell * tail * sign!

When Paddy did make these rare ventures out he always had two things in mind: Keeping an eye out for Old Man Coyote who was active at that time of year and setting his sights on finding a mate for life and creating a family to share his new home deep in the beautiful Green Forest.


Purchase your copy of this P.L.A.Y. story adventure HERE!


The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Story Activity Book

by Karen L. Willard

Learn all about amazing beaver behaviors in this P.L.A.Y.-filled nature story activity book based on the Thornton Burgess animal adventure series.

❤ ❤ ❤

This P.L.A.Y. guide book provides hours of entertainment as a read aloud to share with the whole family, a community group, in a classroom, or to simply curl up with solo.

The BONUS P.L.A.Y. guide pages include opportunities to:

  • illustrate each chapter

  • photos shared of real beaver activity

  • tree themed and blank nature journaling pages

  • recommended resources and so much more

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


Video 44 <HERE> 

 After 3 weeks of “silence” more signs of Paddy the Beaver have appeared! Hooray he’s back!

Signs of more beaver activity close-up: gnawing, woodchips, footprints, and missing branches.


Collection of all BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 Karen P.L.A.Y.fully captured signs of a beaver’s local activities at her home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts to pin and share the adventures with you on her Pinterest Beaver Board.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

Fall #75 – Nature Alliteration Adventure


Purchase P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books


❤ ❤ ❤

A November treasure quest for you & your curious Capkin

is to search in nature . . .

” Frosted Fungi in the Forest “

Bonus Ledge-Like Look

❤ ❤ ❤

My curious Capkin & I found this treasure to match the description.

❤ ❤ ❤


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Beaver BOOK LOOK – Chapter 23 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)


Story + Videos


Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


CHAPTER 23

Paddy Finishes His Harvest


Sammy was on hand bright and early every morning. He made sure that Old Man Coyote was nowhere in the Green Forest, and then he settled himself comfortably in the top of a tall pine tree where he could see all that was going on while Paddy the Beaver worked.

“The way to make people want to be trusted is to trust them,” Paddy said to himself. “If I show Sammy Jay that I don’t really trust him, he will think it is of no use to try and will give it up. And if I do trust him, and he knows that I do, he’ll be the best watchman in the Green Forest.”

And this shows that Paddy the Beaver has a great deal of wisdom, for it was just as he thought and Sammy continued to come and be on guard. And Paddy worked away just as if he hadn’t a fear in the world.

Finally Paddy had finished his canal, and a beautiful canal it was, leading straight from his pond up to the aspen trees. As soon as he had finished it, he began to cut the trees. As soon as one was down he would cut it into short lengths and roll them into the canal. Then he would float them out to his pond and over to his storehouse. He took the larger branches, on which there was sweet, tender bark, in the same way, for Paddy likes to make use of all of the tree.

After a while he went over to his storehouse, which, you know, was simply a great pile of aspen logs and branches in his pond close by his house. He studied it very carefully. Then he swam back and climbed up on the bank of his canal.

“Mr. Jay,” he said, “I think our work is about finished.”

“What!” cried Sammy, “Aren’t you going to cut the rest of those aspen trees?”

“Oh no,” replied Paddy. “Enough is always enough, and I’ve got enough to last me all winter. I want those trees for next year. Now I am fixed for the winter. I think I’ll take it easy for a while.”

Sammy looked disappointed. You see he had just begun to learn that the greatest pleasure in the world comes from doing things for other people. Someone wanted him around and to be his friend and it gave him such a good feeling deep down inside.


Purchase your copy of this P.L.A.Y. story adventure HERE!


The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Story Activity Book

by Karen L. Willard

Learn all about amazing beaver behaviors in this P.L.A.Y.-filled nature story activity book based on the Thornton Burgess animal adventure series.

❤ ❤ ❤

This P.L.A.Y. guide book provides hours of entertainment as a read aloud to share with the whole family, a community group, in a classroom, or to simply curl up with solo.

The BONUS P.L.A.Y. guide pages include opportunities to:

  • illustrate each chapter

  • photos shared of real beaver activity

  • tree themed and blank nature journaling pages

  • recommended resources and so much more

❤ ❤ ❤


Bonus!!! 

P.L.A.Y. Beaver VIDEO Series


Video 42 <HERE> 

 Beaver channel free and clear of ice chunks as they are now stacked up on the sides after a rain storm. 

Video 43 <HERE>

Did Paddy the Beaver hang up his carpenter hat for the moment and try his hand at masonry with all those ice slabs stacked around his lodge?


Collection of all BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 Karen P.L.A.Y.fully captured signs of a beaver’s local activities at her home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts to pin and share the adventures with you on her Pinterest Beaver Board.


Purchase other P.L.A.Y. nature story books and adventure guides HERE.

Thank You!

A Community of Curious Capkins ready to P.L.A.Y.!

Hello P.L.A.Y. Community!

Just taking a moment to send out a big THANK YOU! to all for continuing on this journey of Passionate Learning All Year and having the courage to make connecting to nature with your family a priority even when the going gets tough.

The year 2020 will be written into the archives as a challenging time for most everyone for so many reasons.

And what I also know to be true is that the folks that were able to set an intention to connect to nature routinely discovered a sense of momentary calm, moving from their “head space” into their “heart space”, even in the midst of what felt like a succession of storms.

I found this to be true too. Taking a moment to look at the clouds passing by, gathering a “stripey” stone down by the river, tossing crisp leaves to the wind, visiting tiny tadpoles to talk to them daily and see how they’ve grown, countless curious Capkin snapshots in every season, and simply being present in the great outdoors daily has made all the difference in how I’ve experienced 2020. It has been a very important part of my resilience in such challenging times.

And as we head into the winter months, with a new year right around the corner and a pandemic still looming large, please know that by taking the time to connect to nature you and your family are making great contributions to your well being and that of this planet.

Every moment that we can stand in wonder of the nature spaces we visit provides the opportunity for calm, connection, and a great sense of P.L.A.Y. if we are truly present for this simple gift. Our children, already by their very nature, know how to do this thing called P.L.A.Y. and here’s hoping you will continue to join them on this journey. This is a gift that truly benefits us one and all.

Be well, be safe, and simply BEE (and please be in touch HERE)!

Sending hugs and a smile to help light the way,

Karen ;0)

Simply Bee!