Toad BOOK LOOK #7: More Activities + The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated)

 


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The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

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

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.


Karen’s P.L.A.Y.ful preview & P.L.A.Y.-filled activity suggestions.


P.L.A.Y.ful preview (short):

Toad Tales for the Young and Young at Heart

Singing at the Smiling Pool Playground

Old Mr. Toad’s Odd Tongue

P.L.A.Y.-filled companion activity adventure suggestions (long):

  • Challenge: Read this lively story of Old Mr. Toad’s adventures with his friends and illustrate each chapter with your one-of-a-kind super special drawings.
  • Super Challenge: Using the black and white photos in this P.L.A.Y. book and color photos on this website see if you can discover Old Mr. Toad and his tadpoles and toadlets outdoors near to where you live in late spring and throughout the summer. Remember – toads lay egg strands and frogs lay egg clusters!
  • Super-Duper Challenge: Visit Pinterest to see videos of the Toads in action HERE.

Share the smiles by emailing or snail mailing your original drawings of Old Mr. Toad’s adventures to Karen at P.L.A.Y. and perhaps you’ll see them posted up on P.L.A.Y. to pass the fun forward!


Capkins LOVE to be read nature stories AND to P.L.A.Y. outdoors.

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These TOAD-ally awesome books are a highly recommended way to extend your P.L.A.Y. adventures.


This picture book, The Hidden Life of a Toad by Doug Wechsler, compliments The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated) by providing color photographs and great factual details about the daily changes of the life cycle of a toad.


Mary Holland‘s book Naturally Curious Day-By-Day is a fabulous resource to have on hand if you live in New England or are simply curious about the flora & fauna in the Northeast USA.

Pages 36, 55-57, 73, 118, 159, and 196 specifically share great information about TOADS.


If you’d like to compare toads and frogs then this is a fun (with some facts) frog fairy tale chapter book titled The Prince of the Pond by Donna Jo Napoli. This story is an excellent read aloud with a few characters to add in funny voices if you like. Enjoyable for the whole family!


TOAD Pinterest Board HERE 

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Winter #8 – Nature Alliteration Adventure


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


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A December treasure quest for you & your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for . . .

” Treasure Trove of Tracks “

Bonus Winter White in the Woods

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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? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

BOOK LOOK – The Mitten by Jan Brett


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 The Mitten

by Jan Brett


Karen’s short + long of it with P.L.A.Y.ful story preview & P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions.


P.L.A.Y.ful story preview (short):

See How A Story Can Stre-e-etch and Keep You In Stitches!

Elbow Room for Everyone

A Winter Wonder P.L.A.Y.scape

P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions (long):

  • Challenge: Set-up a tent in your backyard or make a fort in the woods and guess how many people can fit. Test your theory!
  • Super Challenge: Have you ever worn something with stitches and watched it stretch and then shrink back when you wash it? Try knitting or crocheting a square to see how the mitten really could expand and if you can help it retain the original shape by washing it.
  • Super-Duper Challenge: Knit a mitten and see how many stones can fit inside and at what point can it no longer expand and will it really go back to the original shape once it has been stretched.

Capkins LOVE to be read to – especially P.L.A.Y.-filled nature themed story books!

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  Be sure to visit and support your local library!


 

BOOK LOOK – Winter Is Coming by Tony Johnston


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Winter Is Coming

by Tony Johnston


Karen’s short + long of it with P.L.A.Y.ful story preview & P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions.


P.L.A.Y.ful story preview (short):

Watching + Waiting + Wishing for Winter

Fleeting Fall

Childhood Charm

Animals in Action

Sketching Through A Season

P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions (long):

  • Challenge: Experiment with patience and quiet and “see” what you can “hear” visiting one spot daily.
  • Super Challenge: Focus simply on one type of plant, or specific weather feature (temperature/precipitation/etc), or telltale sign of one common local animal as a way to specifically observe seasonal change.
  • Super-Duper Challenge: How do you know when one season is over and another has begun? What clues do you experience on your Nature Adventures?
  • Super Spectacular Challenge: Does the shifting of the season happen at the same time each year? Or does it feel like it changes a bit? Be a citizen scientist and look back in your nature adventure journals to see if there are any changes to when a season begins and ends.

Capkins LOVE to be read to – especially P.L.A.Y.-full nature themed story books!❤ ❤ ❤

  Be sure to visit and support your local library! ❤ ❤ ❤


 

In Loving Memory of CLOVER: Your Strength & Courage Will Never Be Forgotten


In Loving Memory of CLOVER


Being present with Charlotte & Starlight in the sunlight.

Often we humans become easily attached to the animals that live with us or near to us. They work their way into our hearts and make our lives all the better for it.

The animals provide us with the opportunity to be present in every moment, to P.L.A.Y. often, and frequently they show us the simple gifts life has to offer right under our noses.

Since moving to an intentional farming community our family has had the honor of getting to know a variety of animals and most especially goats.

Over five years ago a special family brought a wonderful herd of four female Nigerian dwarf goats all the way from California to begin their new adventure in a small New England farming community.

From hoof trimming to mucking out the shed, baby goats born and some bottle fed, milking goats to bringing them out to graze in the meadow it has been quite the amazing experience over these last few years. Helping to raise and care for these goats has been filled with magical moments and the opportunity to be present for so many gifts that nature has to offer.

And over time we have had to say goodbye to some of the original herd, welcome new goats as they arrive, and learn to embrace the babies for the short time they are with us and then wish them well as they find new homes.

We’ve also had moments of brief illness and long term struggles with some of the goats including Clover.

Clover required special attention and rehabilitation after an illness that left her back two legs barely functioning. She demonstrated, that along with loving caretakers to tend to her needs, her determination to be a part of the herd and lead the herd was still strong. And so she carried on as best she knew how and was always one of the first to the gate to greet folks and get her chin and head scratches.

Today Clover, the last of the original herd of 4 goats, was laid to rest with a befitting wreath made of bittersweet. Our hearts are heavy at this time with her passing. ❤ ❤ ❤

However, as with all things in nature there is a cycle of life and death, especially in a farming community, and so onward we must go. We carry our heavy hearts and turn our face to the sun and to the animals that still need our tending.

It is our good fortune that Clover’s legacy and that of the herd lives on with two offspring in my daughter’s care. When we look into Charlotte and Starlight’s glistening goat eyes all that have come before them shines through like magic as they P.L.A.Y. and carry on with the younger goats in the new herd.

And what I know for sure is that  when I see the signs of spring appearing with the passing of the seasons I will think of dear Clover, with a tear and a smile, whenever I see her namesake.

Karen

In loving memory of CLOVER – your strength and courage will never be forgotten.

 

BOOK LOOK – Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman


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Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night

by Joyce Sidman


Karen’s short + long of it with P.L.A.Y.ful story preview & P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions.


P.L.A.Y.ful story preview (short):

Adventures included: Nectar to Nocturnal and Wax to Wane

Plenty of Nighttime Nature P.L.A.Y.-filled Poetry

Engaging with Evening Events unfolding art-fully

P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions (long):

  • Challenge: Watch from your window on a summer’s night or venture out your door and listen for the swish and swoop of bat’s feasting over open fields. What are they eating in the night sky? (poem p. 26)
  • Super Challenge: Can you create a ballad for a bug or critter you find in the fields or forest? Write just a few catchy lines that share the secrets of what they are up to – day or night! (poem p. 24)
  • Super-Duper Challenge: Oh What Will We Find on the Forest Floor? Look for a spot in the forest where mushrooms grow. Revisit the same spot, especially after damp days and watch for things to magically change overnight. What changes do you see? (poem p. 22)
  • Super Spectacular Challenge: Did you solve who is the Dark Emperor? Have you seen one? or heard WHO-O-O it is?!?

Capkins LOVE to be read to – especially playful nature themed story books!

  Be sure to visit and support your local library! ❤ ❤ ❤


 

Seasonal Gifts That Keep on Giving!


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New P.L.A.Y. title available  <HERE>!

The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated) by Karen L. Willard

This new nature activity story book will provide hours of read aloud or independent reading enjoyment for kids and adults alike as you discover all about the habits of beavers in a New England setting wrapped in a fun-filled adventure spanning one year and all four seasons.

Rediscover this 100+ year old story and characters by Thornton Burgess in this new updated edition with language for the 21st century family modeling loving kindness and opportunities for the woodland characters to practice mindfulness as they go about their days.

From building his home and storing foods to engaging with new friends in the Green Forest and leaving a tail trail in the winter snow Paddy the Beaver has plenty of adventures just waiting to be shared with you.

 * BONUS *

  • Each chapter has illustration boxes to be completed by the reader.
  • Curious Questions and P.L.A.Y. Photos provide opportunities for family discussions and further playful investigations.
  • Tree themed coloring and nature journaling pages to share your creative view of the natural world.
  • Recommended Resources suggesting both picture and chapter books for your P.L.A.Y. adventures.

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Time to get ready to P.L.A.Y. throughout the WINTER season!

<Purchase Here>

This is a P.L.A.Y.-filled nature guide, with open-ended activities and a fun alliteration twist, encouraging kids and families to explore and connect to the great outdoors daily throughout the winter season.

Each of the 90+ pages provides a new adventure prompt for play-and-seek in nature and a place to capture the memories of these magical moments by drawing, writing, and creatively expressing yourself in this book.

The matching daily blog pages found on this website provide support and inspiration for your seasonal outings including stories about the very curious Capkins who add charm and creativity to every opportunity taken to walk in wonder.

This book is designed specifically for the months of December, January, and February with access to ice and snow recommended.

Visiting a field or forest, a meadow or mountain, a brook or your own backyard with this book you are provided the opportunity to get curious, embrace the simple gift of spending time outdoors, and to foster a daily habit of P.L.A.Y. and connection with your own true nature.

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BOOK LOOK – The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward


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The Busy Tree

by Jennifer Ward


Karen’s short + long of it with P.L.A.Y.ful story preview & P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions.


P.L.A.Y.ful story preview (short):

Roots and Rhyme and a very good time!

Delight-filled Discoveries from Trunk to Tree Top

Who lives Here in this busy Home?

P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions (long):

  • Challenge: “Come and see!” is the invitation provided on the last page of Jennifer’s book. Select a tree near your home to visit once a month and create a basic sketch of what it looks like. Record the date and season you first started watching your “busy tree”.
  • Super Challenge: While visiting your tree look for traces of insects, animals, weather, and other changes. Record your findings by creating drawings while visiting your tree or take photos and finish the drawings in your Nature Adventure journal at home by looking at the photos for details. 
  • Super-Duper Challenge: Once you have visited your tree for a year look at all the sketches you have made through the seasons and compare what the tree looks like then and now. Make one grand list of all your recorded findings to see just how BUSY the tree has been!
  • Super-Spectacular Challenge: Try this all over again with another type of tree, perhaps a fruiting tree or one in a forest vs. backyard, and swap things up to see the different types of “busyness” that takes place with various trees. Do you see differences? Similarities?

Capkins LOVE to be read to – especially playful nature themed story books!

  Be sure to visit and support your local library!<3 ❤ ❤


 

Fall #17 – Nature Alliteration Adventure


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


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An October treasure quest for you & your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for . . .

Xtra Cool Criss-Cross “X” Marking the Spot

Bonus Color Challenge  X2 and Orange 

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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? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

BOOK LOOK – Over in the Forest by Marianne Berkes


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Over in the Forest

by Marianne Berkes


Karen’s short + long of it with P.L.A.Y.ful story preview & P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions.


P.L.A.Y.ful story preview (short):

Sing-Song type Story

Numbers in Nature

Finding Forest Friends & Footprints too!

 

P.L.A.Y.-filled activity adventure suggestions (long):

  • Challenge: Count some things on your next nature adventure, record them in a nature journal, and see if you can get to 10 (or more!)
  • Super Challenge: Cut paper construction pieces of all colors to make your own forest collage. First Look Up! into the canopy of the forest on a bright sunny day and really take in all the shadows and shades of various leaf and sky colors. Layer small paper pieces of all the colors you see to create your own one-of-a-kind mosaic memory of your day spent in the forest.
  • Super-Duper Challenge: In the snowy winter bring this book outside and see if you can draw the footprints of each animal and make a set of tracks to fool your family and friends into thinking you’ve had visitors from the forest!

Capkins LOVE to be read to – especially P.L.A.Y.-full nature themed story books!❤ ❤ ❤

  Be sure to visit and support your local library! ❤ ❤ ❤