Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Summer is right around the corner. After surviving a ridiculously cold and windy winter, followed by a ridiculously rainy spring, I’m looking forward to the sunshine (and ridiculously hot temperatures that I’m sure I will hate in another month). Thinking about the things I hope to do with my children this season, I realized that they are all things I enjoyed doing with my mother as a child.
Nature walks – We’ve all been looking forward to taking walks again, except for my husband. He’s afraid we might see a snake. The kids and I plan to hit all of our favorite nature centers and parks this summer. One of my favorite pictures of my mother and me is an old newspaper clipping about her that shows a picture of us walking hand in hand.
Berry picking – I’m not certain where we will go berry picking, but we really want to go. Growing up, we had our own berries on our farm, and my mother used to make the most wonderful blackberry cobblers. I took my children berry picking a few years ago, and we brought home a lot of blackberries. It was the first time my husband had ever had any, and he couldn’t get enough.
Fireflies – What could be more fun than going out at dusk and chasing fireflies? My mother would always hand me a jar and some foil so that I could keep a few overnight, releasing them in the morning. This year, we plan to use our insect habitat.
Gardening – We don’t have a garden yet, but I have such fond memories of sitting near my mother working in the garden or flower beds. This was our quiet time and when we would talk. It was a great time to connect. We plan on painting the house this Summer, but after that, we have plans to build flower beds off the back of the house. I hope to get a second season garden planted. Regardless, I’m looking forward to spending that quality time with my children.
Swimming – My mother was a swim coach and synchronized swimmer at one time. She was offered a spot on a rather prominent team at one point, although she turned it down. She had me out in the pool by the time I was two weeks old. When I was older, she was always willing to not only drive a car full of kids to the pool but to also be in there swimming with us and helping those who didn’t know how to swim. I’m not certain how much pool time our family will get this year. Our local pool is more like a small water park, complete with water park prices. However, the kids are already looking forward to it.
Sprinklers – I can remember my mother smiling as we raced through the sprinklers during the summer. The water was cold and we would dare each other to race through, cooling down from the hot summer. While most of the other mothers sat around in their lawn chairs, my mother would work out in the garden and then occassionally race through the sprinkler herself.
Picnics and grilling – I love the smell of a grill. When my mother spent the time to grill, she would grill a lot. We would eat it for a week and still have more in the freezer. I introduced my husband to the wonderful world of hickory chips early on in our marriage. That smokey flavor is like none other. I love it when we grill or just eat outside for a picnic. It feels uncaged.
Evenings outside – Summer always seems more laid back and relaxed just because of the added daylight hours in the evening. We’ve been taking advantage of our extra time outside.
BLTs – My favorite summer food growing up was bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. Sometimes we didn’t have any lettuce on hand and we would just make bacon and tomato sandwiches. Divine. I also plan to track down the recipe that most mimics my mother’s macaroni and tomatoes – it sounds gross until you try it. It has elbow macaroni, stewed (I think) tomatoes, bacon, sauteed onions, salt, and I don’t know what else.
Popsicles and Ice cream – I have to admit that we have already made ice cream. I’ve never been a huge ice cream fan, but I can make exceptions for homemade ice cream. I also want to find some popsicle forms like we had growing up. Better yet, I’d love to find some freezable slush making mugs like we had.
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Garden Treats — Asha at Mom Costume has once again been bitten by the gardening bug — and this time her baby’s tagging along for some fresh air and dirt exploration. (@titbagsandsnoot)
- Outdoor Free Roam — Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting follows her daughter’s lead whenever they go outside. (@mamapoekie)
- Summer fun in Austin with a toddler — Jessica at This Is Worthwhile is brainstorming ways to beat the heat in Texas. (@tisworthwhile)
- summer fun… — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children is looking forward to spending the summer outside with her children the way she used to spend summers with her mother.
- Outdoor Fun for Pre-Walkers — Maman A Droit has figured out ways to let her pre-walker enjoy the outdoors. (@MamanADroit)
- Summer Homeschool Fun at Camp Review — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now discusses how Camp Review motivated and captivated her homeschooling family. (@DebChitwood)
- Digging, Tree Climbing and Puddle Jumping — Laura at Laura’s Blog bemoans the loss of her girls’ climbing tree but knows they’ll find something else just as naturally tempting.
- The Sweet Smells of Summer — Erin at A Beatnik’s Beat on Life is looking forward to the many smells of summer she and her daughters enjoy and identify. (@babybeatnik)
- June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor Fun — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker is a confirmed couch potato who can’t help but be inspired by the outdoor opportunities Seattle offers her family. (@sybilryan)
- Take a Hike — Michelle at The Parent Vortex connects with her family and the Earth on frequent hikes in their Pacific wilderness. (@TheParentVortex)
- Following Paul — Julie at Simple Life gives her kids unstructured time to dig in the dirt and pick mulberries. (@homemakerjulie)
- Instilling a Love of the Outdoors in Your Baby/Toddler — Tessasdad at Stay At Home Dad in Lansing offers a photo book of tips for helping your little ones enjoy the outdoors. (@tessasdad)
- Camping, baby! — Jen at Grow With Graces has easy tips for tent camping with a little one. (@growwithgraces)
- Think Outside the Easel for Summertime Fun — Acacia at Be Present Mama finds several ways to bring art fun to the outdoors.
- Outdoor Learning in our Urban Environment — Andrea at Ella-Bean & Co. has found ways to get grass between her daughter’s toes, even in the city.
- Outdoor Education — Alison at BluebirdMama offers parents tips and resources for making each outdoor excursion a learning experience. (@childbearing)
- Turning Inside Out — Christie of Childhood 101 finds kids get a kick out of taking indoor toys outside. (@Childhood101)
- Watching Peas Sprout — Deb at Science@home combines fun with purpose in this educational outdoor activity. (@ScienceMum)
- How To Create a Pirate Treasure Hunt & Other Easy Outdoor Pirate Activities (June Carnival of Natural Parenting) — Dionna at Code Name: Mama has pirate-themed play ideas for ye scurvy landlubbers. (@CodeNameMama)
- What We Do — Luschka at Diary of a First Child has managed to expose her 8-month-old to a wide variety of outdoor fun, even with the notoriously dreary UK weather. (@diaryfirstchild)
- Summer Fun — Darcel at The Mahogany Way finds her family’s visits to the beach refreshing in so many ways. (@MahoganyWayMama)
- Playing outside without a backyard — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes doesn’t let the lack of a backyard stop her family from enjoying the outdoors. There are plenty of things to do outside of your yard! (@sheryljesin)
- Having Fun Outdoors, Playset Free — Guavalicious at They Are So Cute When They Are Sleeping has resisted a backyard playset in favor of the regular backyard. (@guavalicious)
- Moon Gazing with your Toddler — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries is keeping her toddler up at night, but it’s for a good reason: to share the wonders of the night sky! (@babydust)
- the great outdoors — The grumbles at grumbles and grunts wonders whether her urban child can experience the same free-range childhood she enjoyed. (@thegrumbles)
- Let’s Take It Outside! — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing is looking for ideas: how can she spend time with her pre-walker outside this summer? (@BlkWmnDoBF)
- A home by the sea: June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun — Lauren at Hobo Mama is living her dream of a home near the beach, and taking full advantage of it. (@Hobo_Mama)
- An Outside Girl — Zoey at Good Goog moved her family to (almost) the middle of nowhere so that her outdoor-loving girl could have more grass and less concrete. (@zoeyspeak)
- Neighborhood Nature — Kelly at Kelly Naturally has learned to connect with the nature she has instead of mourning the nature she misses. (@kellynaturally)
- Building Lovely Memories of Swimming, Spiders and Gravestones — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch and her family are simply outdoorsy people. (@kitchenwitch)
- “Buh-Bye” Season — Danielle at born.in.japan must leave laundry behind and follow her son’s call to the outdoors. (@borninjp)
- Backyard Camping — Becoming Mamas took her family camping very close to home! (@becomingmamas)
- The Color of Dreams — Seeking Mother at Woman Seeking Mother makes gardening magical by teaching her son that each flower is a faery. (@seekingmother)
My few childhood memories are all summertime ones – bike riding and walks around the neighborhood, splashing in the wading pool, lemonade with friends – you’re right – I want to share all of these things with Kieran. I hope he has fond summertime memories too!
Now I’m hungry and am about to google pick-your-own in our area! Lovely ideas!!
Oh, blackberries! We used to go blackberry picking up the street from my grandparents. What fun!
Missing the blueberry bushes we had up in Maine.
That’s wonderful too about your mother & swimming! I love swimming & grew up near a lake.
My oldest has had swimming lessons, and we’re planning to start my youngest this summer… but wishing we had a lake near by, so formal lessons weren’t necessary.
Thanks for sharing your summer ideas!
I was just telling myself that I simply MUST find a u-pick strawberry place and go this weekend. MUST.
I’m also with you on the popsicle forms. The little one has been really into smoothies lately and I thought, as the temperatures warm, that it would be fun to freeze them for a little treat. Wondering though if there are any bpa free ones on the market . . .
This is wonderful! What a treasure trove of fond memories and good ideas. Your mother sounds like a fun person to be around. I love the image of the newspaper clipping of you two walking hand in hand.
I must say, macaroni and tomatoes doesn’t sound gross at all. If you get the recipe, you should share! 🙂
Great ideas! I just wish I read this before I ate because now I want a BLT 😉
Picking berries is so fun. I almost wrote about that for my carnival post. We first went when No. 2 was 18 months. I was a little worried I’d spend the whole time tending to him instead of picking. But he sat his little butt down between the rows and ate until his hands and face were stained red. Cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
I think you hit on all the classic memories of summer, all part of my own childhood and my favorite ways to spend summer now!
I’m guilty of having ice cream (often on a cone) almost every day of summer… We have loads of picnics and eat handfuls of blueberries after picking them!
And TOMATOES! oh, the delirious joy of a fat slice of heirloom tomato on a toasted BLT! I can’t wait!
I love reliving the activities that I enjoyed doing as a child with my own kids. There are a lot of them that my parents took part in that help me remember, as well as the things I used to do without them that I’m teaching the girls.
I just think it’s so neat how it’s all come round full circle.