How to Attract Butterflies to Your Yard

My girls and I recently did a unit study on butterflies. Using this kit we watched our caterpillars go through metamorphosis, becoming chrysalids and finally lovely Painted Lady butterflies. Feeding, watching, and taking care of these precious creatures linked us very closely to them -- so close that when we released them, we all shed tears. My girls wanted their butterflies to stay in our yard. So we did a little research and discovered a few ways to not only keep our butterflies around our … [Read more...]

5 Fun Fall Activities for Preschoolers

One of "My Most Popular Posts" right now is "10 Fun Fall Crafts for Toddlers." That seems appropriate, yet all of images from that 2011 post have disappeared due to Pinterest's changes. Here's a 2013 update!These activities are all FRUGAL, FUN, & KID-FRIENDLY. I hope you'll try a few out with your kiddos! 1. Fall Nature CanvasWe actually made this one in September, but we keep replenishing our leaves as the old ones shrivel up. You need a foam board, straight pins, a shirt or paint to cover your … [Read more...]

Creating a Seasonal Table for Valentine’s Day {Or, My Attempts to Grow as a Homemaker}

Photo Credit: libertygrace0I want to grow in so many ways as a wife, a mom, and a child of God. One area in which I am always in need of "cultivation" is homemaking. It just doesn't come naturally to me. My mom could decorate an entire room in one trip to TJ Maxx and an hour's worth of work, but unfortunately, her decorating knack did not pass down to me. However, I desperately want my house to be a home where we can grow together as a family, and I want our children to participate in it, … [Read more...]

Days 29-30: Finger Painting & a 2nd Scavenger Hunt

We're in the final stretch of "31 Days of Play." Technically, the challenge ends today, July 31st, but we missed a day of "play" on Sunday, so I'm making up for it with one final activity tomorrow, August 1st. On Monday I made some homemade finger paints using a recipe that I've used before. They are very easy to make, and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand.Recipe: Homemade Finger Paints1/2 cup cornstarch3 T sugar1/2 t salt2 cups waterFood coloring Combine all four ingredients in a … [Read more...]

Day 25: Nature Painting

We are on Day 25 of the "31 Days of Play!" Challenge. To find out what we've been doing, click here.Today I wanted to get out the paints and head outside before the triple digits forced us to stay in. I found this idea for painting cards with dandelions at Simple Kids and thought it looked like something the kids and I could do together. However, instead of searching only for dandelions, we went on a little nature walk in our yard and picked up neat objects that we thought would be fun either to … [Read more...]

Day 16: Outdoor Scavenger Hunt @ Home

 {If you're just now following us and curious about what we're doing, check out our prior "31 Days of Play" posts.}I am always trying to find fun ways to explore nature with my kids, so I was excited when I found this idea for an outdoor scavenger hunt on Simple Homemade recently. However, I knew giving my 3 1/2-year-old and 21-month-old a written list of items to search for would not work. So, I opted for making a visual list of familiar outdoor items including plants, trees, flowers, and other … [Read more...]

Day 12: Puddle Jumpin’

{If you're just now following us, we are in the midst of "31 Days of Play," my personal challenge to play more with my kids, both through intentional activities like arts & crafts and spontaneous events that don't require any forethought. The point is to focus on playing with our kids and learning what it means to be a kid again. I hope you will join us!}Here in Tennessee we have been experiencing very hot temperatures and, until two days ago, no rain for weeks. But we have had some nice showers … [Read more...]

Day 11: Fun @ the Wilderness Station

Last night I went to bed unsure of what we would do for our "play" time the next day. That's uncharacteristic of me, the gotta-have-a-plan lady. So, when we stopped at the park and saw oodles of kids and their mamas heading into the Wilderness Station, I thought I might just be in luck. And I was. Today was "Wild Things," a hands-on, sing-songy class for young nature lovers. I took Kate a few times when she was 18 months old, but for some reason we never went back. Our leader, Miss Denise, knows … [Read more...]

Day 5- Make Your Own Bird Feeder

Kate and I made bird feeders together once before a year or so ago, but when she found a pine cone in our neighbor's yard, she remembered and asked if we could make another one, this time with her little sissy. So, we bought some birdseed, got out the peanut butter, and went to town. {If you want more detailed instructions or to try out some variations on homemade bird feeders, check out Local Fun for Kids for some great ideas.}Kate very carefully slathering on the peanut butter  Cora was much … [Read more...]