Archive For The “Ideas for Playing Outside” Category

At The Edge Of The Continent

By | July 18, 2013

“Low ebb, high tide. The lowest ebb and highest tide… At the edge of the continent” —R.E.M., “I Remember California” You know the feeling. You show up at the beach, and it’s a nice day with a soft breeze, and… “Hey, Dad, what is this?” And sure, it’s a crab. But don’t you wish you […]

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Autumn Escapades: Nature Centers

By | November 5, 2012

Fall at Indian Springs Metropark (White Lake, Michigan)

When Grace went back to school, Tater and I were at a loss. So much of his time is spent playing with his sister. Now that he was an “only child,” we had some retooling to do. This past summer I visited a lot of area parks doing research for a book. Many of them […]

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Car Music as Outdoor Training?

By | August 9, 2012

My daughter is slightly obsessed with “If a Tree Falls” by Bruce Cockburn. So I wanted to do a bit of a hyperlink experiment with the song. The results follow. Stay tuned afterwards for my thoughts on how this ties into the experience of all of us with our kids, outdoors. **************************************************** IF A TREE […]

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Dino Week

By | July 9, 2012

Kids love dinosaurs. I remember years back my friend’s five-year-old son reciting the names of what must have been a hundred dinosaurs. He had dino toys, posters, and place mats. He was even pointing out where lazy editors had misidentified dinosaurs in his books. I am not sure he still retains this info at 12, […]

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Bug Week

By | June 27, 2012

Kids in a Wagon - Nikki MacLeay, all rights reserved

I am without my kids for several weeks this summer. While I waste these gorgeous summer days inside, writing like a madman, Grace and Tater are in Colorado with their cousin, Amelia. To keep order, their Aunt Nikki scheduled daily outings and even went so far as to give each week a theme. Rock on! […]

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Backyard Cool

By | June 22, 2012

This started as a post on a cool way to make bubbles. Tater still hasn’t mastered the art of blowing bubbles through that small wand, so we found a way to use old 20-ounce pop bottles and socks to make bubble snakes. But then I realized that the bubble solution (6 parts water, 2 parts […]

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Living in the Trees

By | June 2, 2012

This post will overlap a small bit with my post on simplicity. If you haven’t read that one, you might give it a read. ******* These days it would be easy to think kids have changed. That all they want is video games and microwave food. Why aren’t they like we were as kids? Well, […]

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The Slingshot: Taking Aim Outdoors

By | March 29, 2012

In preparing your children for the coming apocalypse, you must realize that your month-long stores of canned goods will eventually run out. At some point they will need to emerge from the bomb shelter and hunt radioactive chipmunks if they hope to survive. To that end, they will need some proficiency with the making and […]

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Ready to Try Geocaching?

By | January 9, 2012

We’re not experts at geocaching, so we asked Val Joiner if she would give us an intro to the sport. She obliged, and we are ever so glad she did. Val is a former geologist who now spends her time as a wandering homeschooling mom. She believes travel and exploring nature are vital to kids […]

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Taking a Trip, with Your Bike as a Ship

By | November 28, 2011

“Up, up, and away[on] my beautiful, my beautiful…” The 5th Dimension Le Pre de Grace et de Pommes de terre suggested I write a little bit for you about bicycle touring. This is sort of a loaded question. Not because I’m so very knowledgeable from experience, but more because I’m long-winded and full of trivia. […]

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The Rest Stop: A Traveling Family’s Best Friend

By | November 3, 2011

Buick Rendezvous at a rest stop, Michigan

We have a Thanksgiving tradition. Every year for the past three or four years, we have loaded up the car and driven four hours north to a cabin on the water. There we meet with grandparents and uncles and aunts, and a small brood of cousins. It’s something we really look forward to. Not everyone’s […]

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