Thursday

Nature Walk: Pine Cone Ornament

Children's imaginations are amazing. It is one the very special and unique aspects of having young children. Of all the ways I help my children continue to develop their imaginations, my favorites are playing outdoors and reading. There is no disputing the benefits of reading; but the benefits of outdoor play for children seem to be less well known.

Beside the more obvious health benefits, there are also social and academic benefits. With the holidays in full swing, it can be especially hard to make time for the outdoors. So to help my kids and I make being outdoors a priority, I decided to combine our time outdoors with a simple pine cone craft. My inspiration this year came from the new-to-us book A Wish To Be A Christmas Tree.
Nature Walk: Pine Cone Ornament

I was looking for new Christmas books this year and stumbled upon A Wish To Be A Christmas Tree at our library. In the story a tree is decorated using natural materials for Christmas. I won't give a way the whole story, you should read it. The drawing are beautiful and it shouldn't be hard to find a copy.
Nature Walk: Pine Cone Ornament

As luck would have it, we went hiking last week at our local nature center and happened upon these beautiful berries that reminded me of the book. I had been wanting to do some sort of Christmas craft and these seemed perfect. If you are looking for decorating materials, you can just as easily find decorating options on a walk around your neighborhood, hiking is just my favorite.
Nature Walk: Pine Cone Ornament
You never know what beautiful things you will find when you step out your front door. I love the red rock here in Oklahoma!
If you are using pine cones you collect, don't forget to bake them. This gets rid of bugs and hardens the sap. Refresh Style has a great tutorial.

Materials

Pine Cones - any size will work
Green & White Paint - I used finger paint
Berries - or other natural materials for decorating
Ribbon
Hot Glue Gun or other craft glue

Directions

  • Paint pine cones green, although my son ended up painting one read. Got to love that imagination. Allow to dry completely. You can skip this step. Ours weren't completely green and I still like the way they look. 
    Nature Walk: Pine Cone Ornament
  • Paint pine cone tips with white, to look like snow. Allow to dry completely. 
  • Glue berries onto pine cones using hot glue. I placed the glue, the kids just told me where to put it. My kids are too young to handle hot glue on their own. 
  • I made "ice cycles" with hot glue then glued them to the pine cone, with the kid's directions of course.
  • Glue a loop of ribbon onto the top of the pine cone so it can be hung from your Christmas tree. I also added a bow using recycled ribbon for fun. 
What have you all been doing to get outdoors this holiday season? We will be starting my 12 Day of Outdoor Play Advent Calendar on Monday. Lucky for me Day 3 is now complete. I will be posting our adventures via Instagram. Please join in.

Check out these fab DIY ornaments from fellow bloggers:



If you are looking for even more inspiration for kid-made ornaments, check out the plethora fun projects over on Mama Miss.

Subscribe for New Post Notifications:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Wednesday

The 12 Days of Outdoor Play Advent Calendar (free printable)


Spending time outdoors as a family can sometimes take a backseat during the holidays. Even though a lot of holiday events and activities include family, it doesn't always allow for quality, one-on-one time. Pretty soon the whole season has passed and you feel nothing but relief when it is over. But simply spending time outdoors as a family can be a great way to relieve stress and enjoy quality time together. I have never been into advent calendars but I thought it would be fun to combine spending time outdoors and counting down to Christmas with my kids this year.
The 12 Days of Outdoor Play Advent Calendar (free printable)

I rounded up some very simple outdoor activities that can be adjusted according to the amount of time you have. Most of them don't require special equipment or snow. We live in an area with only in

Friday

Gift Guide for Outdoor-Loving Moms: Under $50 + a Giveaway

I have to admit, I am not a huge shopper. I don't like the crowds and I am frugal. But it is the time of year when it can't be avoided. So if you are looking for a few ideas for yourself or other outdoorsy moms, here are a few things I would purchase again if I had the opportunity. And don't forget to enter to win a $50 gift card to the Sierra Trading Post.

For Going Out: Outdoor Research Oasis Sombrero


Because our "going out" means spending time outdoors in nature. This is my most used outdoor item.

Wednesday

Tips for finding new-to-you outdoor recreation areas.

I LOVE exploring new places and trying new activities. I am like a kid at Christmas when I get to try a new trail or camping spot. It has been one of the best things about moving; getting to find new places for exploring and adventure. But not all websites are created equal and it can be hard to find new natural areas or all the information needed about those places.

Through our moves over the past couple years and I have spent a lot of time finding new outdoor recreation areas. On the one hand it has been awesome getting to see so many new areas of the

Tuesday

20 Ways to Explore the Forest Using Your 5 Senses

I can't think of a place I would rather be than the forest. I think one of the best ways to enjoy and explore the forest is hiking. I have two little ones who are generally with me when I am hiking, so I am always looking for ways to keep things interesting and fun for them. One of the best ways I have found to entertain kids while hiking it help them learn how to explore the world around them, and the part is you don't need any extra equipment.
Explore the forest using your 5 senses.

Just this past weekend I was hiking with my kids and we discovered we could see fish in a river when hiking over a tall bridge. My two year old daughter was the first to see them. This same trail also has an observation tower that the kids love to climb. At the top I pick them up and let them feel the bark

How to Keep Your Kid Safe on the Water: 9 River Float Tips

Today I welcome Dave from Camping Stove Cookout to the blog. He has been leading river trips for years and I am excited to be able to share his tips for keeping your kids safe on floating trips. Please head over and check out his blog, he has a ton of good information about camping and outdoor adventures. He is also offering my readers a free copy of his camping guide for beginners, more information at the bottom of the post. 

If you plan on camping near water or going on a whitewater rafting trip, here are a few tips to help make it safe.  When will your child be ready for a rafting trip?  I was 5 years old when I went on my first river camping trip, and have pretty much been addicted to the river ever since.
9 Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe on River Trips


So, I get how special it is to get kids out there at a young age and the beauty of them

Nature Walk: Autumn Leaf Masks

Today I welcome Helen from Craft Ideas for Kids to the blog. She has a ton of awesome craft ideas for you and your kids. Many of which can be done outdoors. Please head over and check out her site. 

Autumn is easily my favorite season: the splendor of color, the crisp air and the fun of crunchy leaves. When Mae invited me to write a guest post for Mommy Loves Trees, I couldn't wait to ditch the pom-poms and glitz and take my family on a woodland excursion to collect natural crafting materials, such as leaves, twigs, pine cones and anything else that sparked my kids imaginations. 
Nature Walk: Autumn Leaf Masks
Whilst out, we stumbled across a gorgeous wooden play hut, which became our pixie hollow and the

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...