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!

Forest Bathing with the Family – A Daily Simple Gift!

Have you ever stood amongst the trees in mid-autumn in awe of the wonderful canvas of color before you and wondered how the leaves change color or know when to fall?

Have you ever been in a pine forest with fog rolling in and felt the stillness of hushed sounds all around and only an echo of a bird calling in the distance?

Have you ever walked about after a winter ice storm to see the sparkling sun shine through the coated branches?

Have you ever stood under the canopy of a maple tree during a light spring rain shower and watched the water droplets roll off the tips of the leaves?

Then perhaps forest bathing may be something you’ve been doing for awhile now and the phrase is simply new to you. Or perhaps you’ve been spending a great deal of time indoors and the thought of time spent amongst the trees brings you back to childhood or a more peaceful time in your life.

Either way, now is a great time to reconnect to the idea of spending time in nature and to learn more about the benefits of soaking up your natural surroundings for a few moments each day, or as often as you can, for your health and well being and that of your family.

The bonus is you’ve come to the right place as P.L.A.Y. is very much here to help you connect and engage with this concept of forest bathing. The daily blog posts on P.L.A.Y.  are here to encourage the whole family to find the nearest nature path or patch, be present and allow for your sense of curiosity and wonder to kick in, and make the essence of P.L.A.Y.  a routine practice.


Forest Bathing For Families



Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness

by Dr. Qing Li


Dr. Qing Li, a scientist in Japan, explains in his book Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness and how the term shinrin-yoku (or forest bathing) came about in the 1980’s. He also shares the many ways spending time in the forest or in a nature setting can make a world of difference in your health and well being. As a scientist he has gathered the data over time to show skeptics why spending frequent time in the forest is beneficial for improved sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, increased energy boost, a natural way to connect with loved ones, and so much more. And as a human he has experienced these benefits first hand.

❤ ❤ ❤

I too have discovered, through simple curiosity and P.L.A.Y. , that heading outdoors daily in all seasons has had a beneficial impact on how I see and feel and experience this world. Being outdoors routinely has increased my creativity, provided a sense of calm even during challenging times, and given me the opportunity to learn so much more about my natural surroundings here in New England.

Forest bathing and nature walking have been so beneficial to my well being and that of my family that I just had to share these experiences and encourage others to join the journey. This has been the catalyst for creating P.L.A.Y. – Passionate Learning All Year and keeps me consistently returning to my neck-of-the-woods to see what new wonders have appeared right outside my door and eagerly passing forward these gifts through this blog to you and your family.


Hannah Fries, author of Forest Bathing Retreat: Find Wholeness in the Company of Trees, has also created a wonderful guide that is a great companion to Dr. Qing Li’s book and is just the right size for the whole family to engage with and be inspired by both the photos and prompts. An example of a prompt found mid-way through the book is “As you watch a tree sway in the wind, let your knees and shoulders relax. Sway a little on your own stem.” Or another example is ” Find harmony as you look closely at the natural world, you may begin to see patterns amid what seems like chaos -unexpected connections thrumming everywhere around us.” Hannah’s book is a balm in these times as we all need to find peace-filled spaces and moments to simply be present and in awe of nature which can help us feel grounded and safe on Mother Earth even in the midst of uncertainty.

Note: The foreword to Hannah’s book is written by Robin Wall Kimmerer the author of the well known and also much recommended Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.


🙂

Time to gather up your gaggle of giggling gifts, aka kiddos + family all – Fido too, and announce you’re going for a bath in the forest – together!

It’s P.L.A.Y. Time!

Please pass forward this Simple Gift to inspire and encourage loved ones, both near and far, on their

naturally curious and creative P.L.A.Y. journey. 🙂


Family Gardening #3: Food + Flower Seedlings!


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



WHO?

This is all about you and your family. Time to P.L.A.Y. and Grow!

WHAT?

This week is all about making seedlings.

~ More Inspiration Below Next Photo! ~

Reminder: 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.

WHY?

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.

WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

The specific gardening needs you have, including how to specifically grow and tend to seedlings, 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).

Nothing fancy required – simply some containers, soil, water, and sunlight.



PLANT the SEEDS and like magic you create SEEDLINGS!

  1. Remember those seed packets you were going to purchase last week? Great – time to take them out and make some magic!
  2. Be sure to read on the packets the exact timing for creating seedlings as you want to time it so they will be ready to plant in the ground when the conditions are right, not too soon and not too late!
  3. Now gather together some small containers or specifically little six packs like seen in these photos to add soil and plant the seeds according to the packet instructions.
  4. Create an environment where you can keep them, warm, watered, and in sunlight.
  5. Check on them daily to see their progress and tend to their needs.

Creative Connection Suggestions:

Suggest family members take photos and make notes or sketch in a garden journal to record the growing process including how things look – height, size, color, what seems to be working, what needs to be worked on, weather conditions when things move outdoors, and the overall seed to plant process.



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


This P.L.A.Y. series is an offering to ALL:

  • 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!