A Simple Gift: U-Be-U

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

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


You Be You. Period. That is it.

If we all engaged from a place of simply being our original and naturally authentic selves can you imagine what a world this would be? I can. 🙂

If everyone tapped back into what they loved to do as a youth and brought that forward and shared it in their own creative way we’d see innovation, compassion, kindness, and oodles of inspiring moments daily. We’d consistently experience peace, prosperity, and a whole bunch of love to wrap around this planet ten times over. It could happen.

We just need to P.L.A.Y. AND believe in the power of true P.L.A.Y.

From my Capkin to yours sharing a peace-filled P.L.A.Y.-full posy with you.

Think of what you loved to do in your youth. Odds are that is still very much connected to who you are today. Make magic with those special gifts. They are still there within you, just dig a little to unearth those buried treasures that lie close to your heart.

Then be brave and put it out into the world. Go ahead. Whether it is sharing with your family, a friend, a neighbor, or on the big world wide web you’ll be amazed how over time people will start connecting to your special gifts. Passing forward your special way of seeing and being in this world is guaranteed to make the world a better place. Sharing your gifts, sharing YOU, is a simple gift that keeps on giving.


And above all else while you are trying to walk this walk it is vastly important to encourage and honor today’s youth by giving them the space and grace to be themselves too.

Respect your kiddos. As is. No “shoulding”. Simply being present with who they are.

Just imagine all people engaging daily from a place of P.L.A.Y.

Would you love to see a new generation of humans living, loving, and learning on this planet by instinctively tapping into their naturally authentic gifts and sharing them for a lifetime?

I would. 🙂 Oh, what a world this could be! 🙂

Time to tuck this simple gift under your thinking cap for now and head outdoors to let nature work it’s magic.

Let’s go walk the walk . . . P.L.A.Y. time!

Sending smiles,

Karen ;0)

❤ ❤ ❤



A Simple Gift: Babbling Brook

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

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

Some of the simplest P.L.A.Y. gifts come in the form of time spent in nature.

A favorite spot when our kiddos had just reached double digits was a small pooling area that was a part of a babbling brook in our intentional farming community.

In late spring and throughout the summer we would visit this special spot to wade in and build dams and splash about.

There were plenty of opportunities to simply P.L.A.Y.

Building a dam meant figuring out how to put the rock puzzle pieces together, determining the integrity of the structure, watching the water level rise, and making adjustments as parts let go. It required weight lifting and knowing your own strength or considering the use of leverage.

A simple walking stick was used to discover the depth of the water before wading in to darker areas or to find the strength of the water flow. It could help leverage rocks for the dam or if broken be used in the making of the dam.

And when we’d return on another day these P.L.A.Y. moments would repeat themselves and be expanded upon again and again. 🙂

Years later this “smiling pool” at the brook now has a wonderful footbridge to cross over welcoming everyone to begin an adventure in the surrounding field, forest, ridge and river and to take some time out to simply P.L.A.Y.

Time to find your nook in nature, at the brook or beyond!

Sending Smiles,

Karen ;0)

Bonus Related Simple Gifts:

The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated): A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book by Karen L. Willard and others found HERE.

My love of children’s literature and being out in nature all came creatively together when I chanced upon the 100+ year old Thornton Burgess books with so many of his stories written in New England nature settings. The animal characters have their adventures throughout the Green Forest in plenty of familiar places like: Peter Rabbit with his home in the Old Briar-patch, Jenny Wren building a nest in the Old Orchard, and Old Mr. Toad visiting the Smiling Pool created by the nearby Laughing Brook. These nature scenes are found throughout the area I live in too and I visit these magical peaceful places daily to immerse in a “sense of wonder” and to make creative connections.

If you’d like to visit spaces like these in nature I’ve got great news, simply follow these two steps:

  1. Step out your door and get to know your surrounding nature spots be it in your neighborhood, local community, bordering towns, or beyond. There are so many hidden wonders to explore and adventures to be had throughout the seasons by setting aside time to connect with nature and local communities.
  2. I have started re-writing many books in the Thornton Burgess nature series. I have updated the stories for the 21st century family by keeping the same old nature settings and story line and giving the characters an opportunity to model compassionate communication and loving kindness.  I have also provided bonus materials to interact with the book such as nature photos taken here in New England, spaces for the reader to illustrate each chapter as they creatively see it, and curious question prompts for conversations with friends and family, and added resource suggestions to continue the adventure. Try a copy or gift it to a kiddo in your life or neighborhood, donate a copy to your local library or school, all simply by clicking on this link HERE. Thanks!