Celebrating Easter Mindfully

Check out these articles for info on celebrating this fresh, life-giving season in an eco-conscious way: Natural Easter Basket Stuffers             Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs              Healthy Easter Paska                  

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A Garden of Learning: Will Your Seeds Sprout?

Gardening with kids comes with many benefits – connecting with the land and their food, connecting with each other in a fun way, academic learning, and the end result – eating the food they have planted, cared for and harvested. If you’re jumping into this A Garden of Learning series now, head back to the first post for tips on planning the coming season’s garden with your children. This is a great time of year to grab any seeds you have on hand and check to see how viable they are. Head over to EcoParent Magazine none to get the full how-to article!

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A Garden of Learning: Planning the Garden with Kids

If you’ve ever thought farming is a summer-only job, think again – our farmer friends are cozied up indoors during these months carrying out the important task of planning for the season ahead. You don’t have to let them have all of the fun; next time there’s a cold day keeping you indoors, gather your gaggle of kiddos and get started on your own garden plan! Gardening offers myriad learning opportunities in the areas of science, social studies, math, and art. If you’re homeschooling, you may like to connect this activity to your provincial curriculum. Head over to EcoParent Magazine...

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battle of the temperaments

If anyone else is stuck in the same boat I'm about to describe and has some tips, or even some snacks, please share! So, the solid side of the boat, the strong side, the side we really prefer to be on is made up of a super strong bond of brotherly love. On that side of the boat, we find two brothers cuddled up, and the eldest is reading to the youngest. We find them playing board games, lego, and spies. We find the older teaching the younger how to play solitaire, and the younger eagerly giving half of his birthday money unprovoked to his older best pal. And oh my, we see moments of clasped...

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Maple Tapping with Kids

Most kids love the sticky, sweet Canadian goodness that is maple syrup. My kiddos certainly do. I always feel a little bad limiting their use of such a down to earth, delicious and nourishing natural food – and for some reason they never quite understood what all the fuss was about when we would say that it is pricey and to be used in moderation. Until they made their own; until they did the work of tapping trees, trekking out to do the daily bucket check and hauling the loot home, patiently boiling it down... to find that their several 4L milk jugs produced about 100ml of syrup! Ouch. Are...

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six times around the sun

With this little guy being our baby, we're feeling those sentiments of childhood going just too fast... we'll miss those cute chubby cheeks and that sweet sanguine nature. He is our dreamer, climber, imagination rich, generous and sweet soul. For this birthday the thing he wanted most was a nurse outfit with a babe to care for. He is a healer and caregiver at heart. He lives for play and and isn't bound one bit by our silly adult boxes and logic. The other day he very earnestly asked me: Mommy, can you take me to the universe tomorrow? Like, to where nobody has discovered yet? I want...

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mini snow people

If you've read any of my other articles over at EcoParent you'll know that I am a huge proponent of kids spending time outdoors. Whether that means time in the backyard, the park down the street, a farm, or wildnerness area, I'm a true believer in the benefits – to kids and to our planet – of connecting with nature. That said, there are days here in frosty Winnipeg, Manitoba where the gauge dips down below -30 C (which can mean -40 C with the windchill!). There are very few days when we don't send our littles outside – even if for only 15 minutes at a time – yet on those -40 days...

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lake love & lately…

We love our annual tradition of going to the family fest out at the lake and participating in the curling bonspiel. This year our team won (Mike, our 8 and 15 year olds and grandpa)! A very excited 8 year old put many of the adults to shame with his several on the button shots. The sense of family, community, and teamwork that is growing is so amazing to witness. And then there's the beauty of the lake, the time spent outside. Time spent visiting new friends. So lovely. Other days have seen... snowboarding and sledding in the city, a visit to the electrical museum, a compass rose project, visits...

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Bringing Backyard Birds Into Focus

We often think that the birds have wisely journeyed to fairer weather during the cold of winter. You might be surprised to find, upon looking more closely, how many birds actually stick around. One of the simplest and most rewarding ways to learn about animals in winter is bird-watching. It can be done indoors or out, and is a great activity to engage little ones. Try creating your own bird-watching basket or station and creating an inviting backyard for your neighbourhood birds. You'll be set up for hours of educational bird-watching fun, including an upcoming citizen science project you can participate...

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shelter

We've been thinking a lot about home lately as we learn about types of shelters and create models of those dwellings. And as we search for our future farm and grapple with the idea of leaving our home – the only place our littles have known. The other night I listened in as the younger boys brushed their teeth together after a day of being out and about. I smiled at our five year old's comment on how good it felt to be home, and his brother's words of agreement. Our three kiddos who learn at home ooh and ahh in amazement as they watch videos of people crafting dwellings out of natural materials...

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