Summer #37 – Nature Alliteration Adventure

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

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An August treasure quest for you & your curious Capkin

is to search in nature for . . .

“Ode to the Odd Ovals Outdoors”

Bonus Fun Find in the Forest

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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 P.L.A.Y. Nature Adventure book!

Summer Thoughts of Snow

With a summer filled with days that are either super soggy or super hot and humid it is fun to take a moment and dig into the archives to remember a cool and creative winter wonderland P.L.A.Y. day in which all the rainbow Capkins lined up to feel the love in the soft seasonal snow.

Wishing you and yours cool moments on your P.L.A.Y. adventures whatever the season may be!

A Silly Summer of Rain or Shine

We’ve had quite the odd summer so far here in New England. It has been either full on hot sunshine or full on rain for most of this season thus far. There hasn’t been too many days with clear and moderate temperatures.

We began with super dry conditions and wondering if we would ever get the chance to enjoy building a campfire in the fire pit out in our community meadow. The garden seedlings needed constant tending to with frequent watering and folks adding mulch or wood chips to help retain the moisture.

There were very hot days that clustered together to make a heat wave more than once in both May and June.

Then the rains came in and everyone gave thanks for the assistance in watering the gardens and had much gratitude for the green lushness that naturally arrived too.

And now we are in the opposite situation where we are having day, after day, after day of rain. And the rain comes in quantities that have been raising the water levels in both the brook (seen above/below) and in the river adjoining our community property. A gain of 7 inches of rain was recorded in our personal gauge in just the span of a few days.

The gardens are now well watered naturally and the hoses sit all curled up wondering when they will ever get used again. The forest has mushrooms that are not typically seen at this time of year and the red efts have been seen in larger numbers on top of the leaf litter on my walks in the woods.

My daughters 6 year old goats, who are not known to thrive in rainy conditions due to hoof rot and other ailments, are tired of being penned up at the barn and eagerly await a dry day to be back out in the meadow munching on all that greenery that has been growing “like weeds”!

And that fire pit, well it has been mowed during one brief reprieve in the rain and now it sits all soggy waiting to dry out just enough to welcome our community to circle up and sit on the benches and share stories, roast marshmallows, and return to summer P.L.A.Y. time traditions.

May you and yours be taking the moment to soak in both the sun and the rain and being present for all the P.L.A.Y. nature moments in your neck-of-the-woods this summer.

Nature Curiosity – Who Was Here?

A-mazing Outdoor Art

Who was on this tree?

It sure is a mystery to me!

A wacky woodpecker who lost his way?

An avian artist looking to play?

Or perhaps a bug gone berserk?

Who do you think created this work?

More P.L.A.Y. Nature Adventures for curious kids and those who are kids at heart = EVERYONE!

SUMMER -Nature Alliteration Adventures

BIRDS – Book Look Nature Adventure Stories

TOADS – Book Look Nature Adventure Stories

Discover even more P.L.A.Y. HERE

A Simple Gift: Resolve to Evolve

Passing forward this Simple Gift to inspire and encourage everyone on their

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

So often we feel the need to instantly resolve or find a solution to every problem that seems to pass our way, especially as parents.

While engaging with our P.L.A.Y.  filled journey, at any age, it is helpful to remember that problems are merely situations that provide us with the opportunity to learn, grow, and simply be present.

In fact there are times where simply being present, waiting and watching a situation and letting it evolve naturally, may be the most mindful and helpful thing we can do. Through non-action it often becomes apparent that perhaps you were not needed in order for a resolution to be reached.

Take a moment to simply breathe and remind yourself that as the parent you are not required to always have the answers or the solutions. It is ok to simply say “I don’t know” or to take a step back from a situation and watch from a distance while your kiddos (safely) navigate their own challenges.

Resolve to evolve and be present and let your intuition guide you. The answers will unfold right before your very eyes.

Simply focus on your true P.L.A.Y. nature and Passionately Learn All Year!

Now that is a simple gift! 🙂

Time to P.L.A.Y.!

Sending smiles,

Karen ;0)

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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.


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!

BIRD Book Look – ALL 45 Chapter Links

Jump right in to Chapter 1- Begin HERE

Chapter 1 – House Wren

Chapter 2 – House Sparrow

Chapter 3 – Sparrows

Chapter 4 – Chipping + Vesper Sparrows

Chapter 5 – Robin + Bluebird

Chapter 6 – Phoebe + Least Flycatcher

Chapter 7 – Flycatcher + Kingbird

Chapter 8 – Wood Pewee

Chapter 9 – Woodcock + Sandpiper

Chapter 10 – Red-winged Blackbird + Flicker

Chapter 11 – Woodpeckers

Chapter 12 – Cowbird + Baltimore Oriole

Chapter 13 – Orchard Oriole + Bobolink

Chapter 14 – Bobwhite + Meadowlark

Chapter 15 – Tree Swallow + Chimney Swift

Chapter 16 – Barn Swallow + Purple Martin

Chapter 17 – Blue Jay + Crow

Chapter 18 – Crow + Ovenbird + Redtail Hawk

Chapter 19 – Ruffed Grouse + Purple Grackle

Chapter 20 – Osprey + Bald Eagle

Chapter 21 – Kingfisher + Blue Heron

Chapter 22 – Bank Swallow + American Kestrel

Chapter 23 – Nighthawk + Whip-poor-will

Chapter 24 – Redstart + Yellow Warbler

Chapter 25 – More Warblers

Chapter 26 – Even More Warblers

Chapter 27 – Cardinal + Catbird

Chapter 28 – Rose-breasted Grosbeak + Scarlet Tanager

Chapter 29 – Vireo + Another Warbler

Chapter 30 – Thrasher + Mockingbird

Chapter 31 – Wood Thrush + Veery

Chapter 32 – Eastern Towhee + Indigo Bunting

Chapter 33 – Purple Finch + Goldfinch

Chapter 34 – Mourning Dove + Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Chapter 35 – Loggerhead Shrike + Hummingbird

Chapter 36 – European Starling + Cedar Waxwing

Chapter 37 – Black-capped Chickadee

Chapter 38 – Canada Goose + Common Loon

Chapter 39 – White-breasted Nuthatch + Brown Creeper

Chapter 40 – Tree Sparrow + Junco

Chapter 41 – Snow Bunting + Horned Lark

Chapter 42 – Eastern Screech Owl

Chapter 43 – Ruffed Grouse + Crossbill

Chapter 44 – Pine Grosbeak + Common Redpoll

Chapter 45 – Northern Goshawk + Great Horned Owl

P.L.A.Y. in Place Projects

Try these activities to extend your bird story adventures:

Source: Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess

P.L.A.Y. has provided a new online version of all 45 chapters of this updated and annotated 100+ year old public domain classic to:

  • be suitable for the 21st century family by having the Thornton Burgess woodland characters evolve to model mindfulness and loving kindness
  • highlight and bring awareness to the New England nature settings and offer an opportunity to learn more about birds and other woodland animals through this story adventure
  • create story extension moments through P.L.A.Y. suggested activities and investigations for making new nature connections generated by the reader’s own curiosity
  • encourage families to keep their own nature notebooks for drawing, writing, painting, and recording their own local daily outdoor P.L.A.Y. adventures.

Time to P.L.A.Y. – Pass it on!