Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Kids' Outdoor Adventure Book

The Kids' Outdoor Adventure Book
by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer
I recently came across this book in my local library. It's packed with fun activities to get kids outside exploring and enjoying nature.

From Indie bound:

"Nature is a destination, but you don’t have to travel anywhere to find it. Just open the door and step outside. A fun, hands on approach to getting involved in nature, The Kids' Outdoor Adventure Book is a year-round how-to activity guidebook for getting kids outdoors and exploring nature, be it catching fireflies in the cool summer evenings; making birdfeeders in the fall from peanut butter, pine cones, and seed; building a snowman in 3 feet of fresh winter snow; or playing duck, duck, goose with friends in a meadow on a warm spring day."

The book includes checklists, challenges, projects, outdoor recipes and games. Organized by season, you can easily flip open to a random page a find something fun to do. It's a great addition to the many other books about sharing nature with childlren that I already highlighted on my Pinterest Board.

What other books would you recommend that focus on sharing nature with children?

Related posts:
Loose Parts Play
Author Interview: April Pulley Sayre
Nature Walks with Toddlers
Play Outside!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Poison Ivy Identification #2

I've noticed an up-tick in the number of people visiting my post, Poison Ivy Identification. Written in the month of May, it provides descriptions and photos to help readers identify poison ivy. (Please hop over and read it to learn more). Now that we're into the month of October, that poison ivy looks very different, so I thought fresh photos might help you learn to identify it in the fall.

What follows is a collection of photos I took on October 11th.

Here's a typical example of Poison Ivy growing along the ground.

As it climbs a tree it may look like this:

Or this. Note that in this case, it climbed more than 20 feet in the air. All of the bright leaves you see are poison ivy.

Here's a close-up of the leaves:

And here are the berries. Yes, berries.  (Do not touch them either!) 

And here's what the vines look like when climbing the trees. Those little hairy bits help me identify it in the winter when there are no leaves. When I was a kid, I learned the hard way...you can get poison ivy in the winter from touching the vines.

If you live where poison ivy grows, learning to identify it is an important skill. Some people are lucky not to "catch" it but most of us are not so lucky. The rash is, at best, an annoyance, and at worst dangerous enough to warrant being put on steroids by a doctor. It's best to learn to avoid it altogether.

Do you have any tips for identifying/ avoiding poison ivy? Are there other plants you need to avoid where you live?

Related posts:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Travel Tuesdays: Growing Family

I've been absent from the blogging world for a while. First, I blogged irregularly during our failed RV trip. Then, I stopped blogging altogether when I flew to San Francisco unexpectedly to help with a family medical emergency.Once I returned from San Francisco, I blogged a few times but then I went silent again. There's just been too much going on in my life. Something had to give and I'm afraid this blog was it.

So what's my excuse this week? Well...my nephew.
Photo taken by my sister
Last Tuesday, I flew back to San Francisco to welcome this handsome boy to the family and help my sister with the transition. I mean, really... who wants to blog when you can snuggle this guy?

Photo taken 30 September 2013
As this post goes live, I'll be on a plane back home. I hope to get back into a regular blogging schedule soon but I also need to evaluate what my schedule should be.

If you have thoughts about what you'd like to see here or how often you'd like me to post, please leave a comment or shoot me an email. michelle(at)michellecusolito(dot)com