Fall #4 -Special Page Peek – Nature Alliteration Adventure


This is the book you need to jump into your P.L.A.Y.-filled Fall Season!

Nature Alliteration Adventures: The Fall Guide

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This is sample blank page #4 from the Fall Adventures BEFORE the P.L.A.Y. begins . . .

AFTER taking these 3 “P” words out in nature and searching about with my Capkin for this description this is the colored pencil drawing of what we found to match:

AND

BELOW is the sample matching photo post put on P.L.A.Y. for you, your kiddos, your family, and everyone to follow along.


A September treasure quest for you & your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for . . .

Puffy +Plain + Pedestal

Bonus Color Challenge Yellow 

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

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

*Remember we can all find different solutions to match the alliteration phrase on our own adventures out in nature. This photo shows today I found a “puffy plain pedestal mushroom”, perhaps you found a flower or a tree or ??? that matches for you.


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Tadpoles + Summer Storms + P.L.A.Y.

Tadpoles at the river’s edge in the summer sunshine.

What happens to the toad tadpoles when summer storms rain down and the river momentarily rages with white rapids?

For a few years now I’ve visited this same river location on our community property and witnessed the before and after tadpole populations and patterns. Typically I will see large pockets of tadpole groupings at specific spots when they all hatch out of the egg casings. Then over time they begin to redistribute and spread out just a bit along the river’s edge or they get caught up in a current and are brought down river just a little ways if there is a gentle rain and slight rising in the water levels.

What I hadn’t done yet was actually go down to the river during a full on storm to observe first hand what was happing at the river’s edge. Recently I had the opportunity to do just this as fate would have it Mother Nature provided a gap in a series of storms so I could skip the torrential down pours or threat of thunder and lightening.

What I discovered was that most of the tadpoles actually stay in place! Serendipitous!

The water levels rise and the river turns into rapids, however the river also widens and the tadpoles end up gently rocking in the river grasses where the water remains only a few inches deep. I’m sure there are some that get redistributed down stream as the populations in pockets do seem to alter after a storm. However, not as many as I had originally thought.

I was so relieved to discover that not all the tadpoles were being tossed about every time a storm came through and now I have this sweet image in my mind of them being gently rocked amongst the river grasses and weathering the storm together.


BONUS


It is fascinating to me that after five summers of observing this process of the life cycle of the American Toad, here in my neck-of-the-woods, that there is still so much to learn and observe. Exciting and grounding at the same time.

Truly every season simply has so many opportunities to put P.L.A.Y. into action, connecting to nature and my own curious nature too. Love it!

I hope you are taking a moment to make your own P.L.A.Y. discoveries and tap into your curious nature too. Perhaps it is a bird’s nest in a bush outside your front door, walking in a local garden, hiking the same trail at a nearby nature center, or watching cloud and weather patterns right out your window.

Wishing you and yours many P.L.A.Y. days throughout this summer and the seasons ahead!

Next question of the day – Did the rock dam hold up or will we need to rebuild? Stay tuned!

P.L.A.Y. – Pass it on!

SALE – Summer Season Starter

P.L.A.Y. Nature Adventure Books now only $5.25 each!

Consider these to be your simple portable SUMMER P.L.A.Y. plans to keep everyone engaged wherever you may be!

Purchase HERE today!

Includes stories and activities for your whole family to enjoy and encourages daily connection to the great outdoors. Bonus!

See sample of a completed Book Page


Nature Alliteration Adventures: The Summer Guide

Over 90+ outdoor adventures designed for June + July + August

*Access to water is recommended for this P.L.A.Y. guide book with adult supervision for water safety as needed.


And try these P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity STORY Adventure Books too!


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book

From Old Mr. Toad’s Music Bag and The Smiling Pool Playground to Old Mr. Toad’s Odd Tongue you will find plenty of engaging and entertaining chapters in this nature story activity book created for the young and young at heart.

Thornton Burgess’ 100+ year old original characters have been updated in this edition for the 21st century family to model mindfulness and loving kindness throughout their adventures in the Green Forest and beyond.

Bonus Materials includes:

  • The opportunity to illustrate each chapter
  • Photos of the life cycle including shiny egg strands, tadpoles, and toad!
  • Curious question prompts to challenge the reader and family
  • Recommended resources to continue on the P.L.A.Y. path to discover more about toads!

Sample P.L.A.Y. TOAD stories and activities today!


The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated) –

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book

From Paddy the Beaver building a home and building a new friendship with Sammy Jay to creating a winter tail trail in the snow you will find plenty of engaging and entertaining moments in this nature story activity book created for the young and young at heart.

Thornton Burgess’ 100+ year old original characters have been updated in this edition for the 21st century family to model mindfulness and loving kindness throughout their adventures in the Green Forest.

Bonus Materials included:

  • Opportunities to illustrate each chapter
  • Photos of beaver activity
  • Tree themed coloring and nature journaling pages
  • Curious questions and prompts to challenge the reader and family
  • Recommended resources to continue on the P.L.A.Y. path to discover more about beavers!

See more P.L.A.Y. Nature Adventure books for only $5.25 each!

CAPKINs


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This is a CAPKIN.

Capkins are curious & creative and are happiest outdoors on

P.L.A.Y. nature adventures with you!


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This is how you make a CAPKIN in 5 simple steps.

1. Draw a cone shape, that roughly fits in a 2 inch square like above, on a piece of paper.

2. Cut this template out and roll into a cone shape to see if you like the size.

3. Then place the paper pattern on red felt to cut out your cone.

4. Sew the cone up the back seam with roughly 15+ stitches.

5. Then add two wiggly (or felt) eyes with hot glue.

*Young children must be assisted in this craft due to sewing needles and hot glue usage.

**Children 3 and under must be supervised when playing with Capkins due to small parts choking hazard.


That’s it – all done!

Yay You!

Time for a P.L.A.Y. nature adventure!


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Red Capkins appear most often as they can be seen both near and far.

Rainbow colored Capkins appear

for special seasonal & magical moments.


❤ ❤ ❤  Origin of Capkins ❤ ❤ ❤


Capkins were originally created by Karen beginning in 2016 for her own outdoor P.L.A.Y. nature adventures.

She has carried them with her every day on her nature walks and is so very glad to share them with you.

You are invited to make your own Capkins and encouraged to bring them on your adventures with friends and family.

Capkins like to be handmade and put into this world with loving kindness. ❤

They are not sold or found for sale in any stores, rather they are given away freely.

Please be mindful of this practice and be willing to make a few extra Capkins and pass them forward to new P.L.A.Y.-ers.

THANK YOU!

❤ ❤ ❤ KAREN ❤ ❤ ❤

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I’d love to see your Capkin on an outdoor adventure!

Please send a snapshot of your Capkin in nature and perhaps you’ll see it on a future P.L.A.Y. Postcard post and have it pinned on the P.L.A.Y. PINTEREST boards. See the how to steps below.


If you would like to share your Capkin nature adventures with the P.L.A.Y. viewers please send a nature photo postcard providing the following:

  1. Your curious Capkin must be in the photo – no humans or human structures.
  2. Your first name and your last name initial (example: Karen W.)
  3. The location you took the picture (example: Yellowstone National Park or Connecticut River or my backyard in Massachusetts,etc.)
  4. Please send in a JPG File format as an attachment.
  5. You must be a follower of P.L.A.Y. with your email already signed-in (see HOME page with box to enter your email).

THANK YOU!

Send to: Karen@passionatelearningallyear.com

By sending this photo postcard you are giving P.L.A.Y. permission to post it on this blog and on P.L.A.Y. PINTEREST page and any other public forum that aligns with the mission of P.L.A.Y.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING THE P.L.A.Y.-full JOURNEY!!!

P.L.A.Y. Project: Snowflakes + Cool Crystals #12

Welcome to my P.L.A.Y. Project:

SNOWFLAKES + COOL CRYSTALS

Geometric lines forming down at the river’s edge in January
Cool crystals creating “lanes” of different ice types along the river’s edge.

January and February have provided some interesting opportunities to continue my crystal and snowflake observations this year. You just never know what you’ll find on your daily walk!

I am fascinated with how Mother Nature magically “overnight” creates new artwork in the ice both down at the brook, the river, and in random locations found on my walks through the fields and forest here at our hilltown home in New England.

Geometric angles and curves formed in cool crystal fashion!

I’ve also found it takes great patience to capture photos of snowflakes and wait for just the right storms to arrive so being able to go out any day of the week in the winter and visit the ice is a bonus treat to see me through.


Curious Capkins love getting outdoors to P.L.A.Y. with you in all seasons and all kinds of weather!
So step into the sunshine, snow shower, wind or rain and enjoy the adventure.

You and your kiddos will be so very glad you did!


If you find the work and vision of P.L.A.Y. supports you and your family on the life learning path, please pass it forward to friends and neighbors as a Simple Gift that keeps on giving.

Hidden Hearts + Your P.L.A.Y. Nature

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LOVE is ALL around.

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Sometimes you just need to engage your P.L.A.Y. nature to see the hearts hidden in the shadows.

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Your turn!

Time to step out with curiosity and take a moment to truly see –

What’s waiting out there for me?

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Family Gardening #11: Weeds + Water


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan


Although you may not see it in action all of today’s photos represent a great deal of weeding and watering in order to allow the gardens the best chance to thrive. This is a required set of tasks for the next few months that can be done by many or just a few family members and reaps great rewards for all.

Thankfully my husband put down some weed block and free wood chips to keep the weeds down in his rectangular veggie garden this year. It is amazing to still see how persistent the weeds can be as they poke through randomly and need to be plucked.

The wood chips around the plants as well as the original decaying logs beneath the plants and in the soil (hugelkulture beds) have both helped retain the moisture during this dry season.

And so the pattern now is every day two of my green thumb family members get up in the morning and check on their gardens to see if they need water, pluck any weeds that are beginning to take over, and to check on the progress of all their plants. Sometimes there is even harvesting which is mostly lettuce and dark greens at this time of year with a few strawberries and some beautiful blooms to place  front and center on the kitchen table too.

Here is a snapshot of how the gardens looked after the 1st official week of summer.

Tomatoes are on the way and

cabbages too!

Beautiful blooms in the butterfly garden!


How about YOU? How’s it growing?


Hope your family’s green thumbs are all in gear!

And remember there are plenty of parts we can all P.L.A.Y. in this process including those of us with brown thumbs (aka non-gardeners) too.

For example:

Since we’ve had an unusual lack of water where we live in Western Massachusetts the crops that don’t receive irrigation by humans and rely on rainwater are suffering. This means there is a concern at this time about how much hay will be available for the farm animals, especially for storage for the long New England winter. Thankfully we still have more summer months to go to see if mother nature will bring a better mix of rainstorms and sunshine to help the hay grow before the final cutting and harvest.

So for now, to help do my small part and make use of my brown thumb, I’ve been cutting down our plentiful 3 foot tall weeds from the meadow daily and weaving them into the goat fencing so my daughter’s herd of 4 Nigerian Dwarf Goats may have extra snacking throughout the day and their hay intake can be rationed adjusting for the months ahead.


Hope your garden spaces are staying green!

BONUS!

Check out this video on Pinterest

“Hello Yellow – Bitty Bugs on Parade”!


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #9: “Bed Time”- Plants In


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!



WHO?

Some of your plants are going in the ground into those wonderful beds you have now dug, composted, and mulched while some other plants are still waiting in the wings.



WHAT?

It is that season where the temperatures can still dip unexpectedly low at night up here in the hilltowns and some plants need to be covered or “tucked in” overnight.



WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

And as your garden and plantings multiply you need to provide more covers for the night time chill and also at times to keep critters at bay. The “making of the beds” or tucking in and uncovering of plants becomes a morning + evening routine.



WHY?

My husband is seen here tending to this task and although the wind and elements can make it a challenge at times it is absolutely worth the results when the garden flourishes under your tender loving care.

Pinterest VIDEO HERE for a late spring sunshine smile amongst the merry little breezes as he “fluffs the sheets” for his new garden beds.


 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunities


How are your gardening adventures coming?

Does it feel like P.L.A.Y. in progress?

Or rather it feels more like frustration frenzy which is no fun?

This is an opportunity to pause and assess your family’s strengths and interests to see what is manageable for all of you at this time.

How many plants you grow and how many garden spaces you have each year are all things to consider as you address the following:

  • Who likes to identify and pull or “wack” weeds?
  • Who likes to water once maybe even twice a day?
  • Who likes to tuck and untuck the garden beds?
  • Who likes to maintain the mulch or fencing or other tidy up tasks?

Communicating needs is key to growing a healthy garden and making lasting connections for you and your family.



Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Spring: “Squeaky” Spore Spreading


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

Purchase Here


❤ ❤ ❤

FREE LAUGHTER – DON’T MISS THE MOMENT!!! 

See “squeaky” spores in action HERE!

Meadow Magic with Spore Spreading in the Spring

My Curious Capkin and I found this bonus treasure while out on a spring walk in the meadow.

You just never know what fun awaits you when you wander! Love it!

Time to lace up your wander shoes and get outdoors for some fun family “wonderings”!

❤ ❤ ❤


What 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!

Family Gardening #7: The Garden Begins to Take Shape!


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!


Here is a portion of my daughter’s latest P.L.A.Y. project: a creatively curvy butterfly garden that spans 30ft x 80ft. While the seedlings are doing their work growing and preparing to be planted she continues her work by using a pick axe daily to carve out this A-mazing creation.


WHO?

This is all about you and your family.

Time to P.L.A.Y. and dig in the dirt as your garden takes shape!


These are raised beds that have been created and tended to by my husband for 5 years. Typically greens for our green smoothies and tasty cherry tomatoes that you can pop in your mouth right off the vine live in these spaces. Yummalicious!


WHAT?

Whether you use a windowbox or wide rows in your backyard there are plenty of options for getting your garden space carved out and prepared for your seeds, seedlings, or purchased starter plants.


These pots are just waiting for plants outside our daughter’s goat barn. As her second year approaches with these in this location she has decided to swap out morning glories that didn’t grow well and surprise us with new flowering plants this year.


WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

Time to re-emphasize the way to get a family to participate in gardening (or any) project is to focus on each individual’s strengths, interests, and temperament.

Folks temperament for working and P.L.A.Y.ing in regards to gardening would include: hot vs. cool days, sunshine vs. rain showers, seasonal bugs that are attracted to some humans more than others, etc. We all experience the outdoors in different ways and gravitate to certain conditions.

Lately at our household we seem to cover many of the bases between the four of us in regards to all things garden related and the willingness to participate goes up exponentially when we each step forward with our own strengths.

For me, and my brown thumb, this would be in the form of offering to help my daughter by clearing out a new 20ft x 40ft patch of brush to make way for her expansion of her new butterfly garden. Or hauling bucket after bucket, yard after yard, of free woodchips from a local pile that workers left behind to be used as mulch or on garden pathways.

My son also assists by helping clear spaces, haul logs for hugelkultur, and consistently tending to the compost throughout the year by bringing bucket after bucket from our kitchen to our compost bin. Three out of four of our household members identify as vegan and over 85% of our household meals are plant based so we generate quite a bit of organic veggie scraps to feed the compost that eventually turns into “gold” to spread on our gardens. His attention to tending to the compost, and paying attention to what goes into the compost from our daily meals, matters in the whole cycle of growing.

Both my husband and daughter continue to share their strengths in tending daily to seedlings, carving out the actual gardens, and preparing to plant after the last frost. They seek out information on how best to grow the plants that interest them most whether they are for food (veggie plants) or to attract butterflies (flowering plants).

We all benefit from the contributions of each family members strengths and willingness to step in where they feel they can best be of service.

And yes, there are those times when challenges arise in the gardening department and it feels as if no one in the family wants to tend to the situation at hand. It isn’t always a “bed of roses” to be sure.

However, this provides the opportunity for us humans to grow, make connections, work on our communication, and learn from these experiences together, and then get back to the work at hand which is ultimately to P.L.A.Y. throughout our days.


Linear garden being expanded to include some hugelkultur beds in the backyard with compost bins in the distance for easy access. Truly P.L.A.Y. in action!


WHY?

Quite simply family gardening is a great P.L.A.Y. in Place Plan at this time AND for all time.

 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunity:

Have your family members look into various garden designs or options for DIY garden planters. Have fun with it and know that you can always adjust things next year (and the next year, and next!)

We just recently bumped into a concept we’d heard about a few years back from fellow community members and just hadn’t gotten around to trying: Hugelkultur. We’ve gathered our logs, selected locations in the new linear garden beds, and plan to put this into action in the weeks ahead. Look it up and stay tuned!


Seedlings patiently waiting for their new garden beds to be prepared and for the last frost to pass.


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!