Treasures in the forest

Our area had a big wind storm last weekend.  Many neighbours lost trees.  Many homes were damaged.  We were safe, but parts of our roof came off!

This morning, my littlest ones and I went for a stroll to check on the safety of our favourite trees.  The kids were worried that the squirrels homes and birds nest would be destroyed.

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Luckily, beyond a few broken branches, the kids were very happy to see all the squirrels and birds seemed to be in good shape.

While we were checking the forest though, we found our first Trilliums this season.  If you aren’t from Ontario, you may not know that Trilliums are a very big deal here.  It is actually illegal to pick one!

So I tried to grab a quick picture of the kids by the flowers.  But with all the excitement over the flowers, I was nervous the toddler might grab it…  He didn’t!  Phew.

A night in jail would not be the ideal way to spend this spring day for this lady.  I would love to hear about your spring treasures!

 

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Scaling the walls to boost Gross motor skills

Use what you have!  We have a neat wall under a bridge.  It has big rocks, and a decent slant the kids can use to climb.

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Although nature always wins in my books, sometimes architecture can be fun to climb too!

 

Late Winter Challenge

This is the last day to complete our Winter challenge!

Post below that you have completed the whole challenge, what were the best and worst moments?  Leave your email address and I will send you a link to a short video of some highlights of our spring break.

Quick dinners

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Two 5 minute meals for a busy day outside!

 

Here is a secret from one mom to another: Nachos can be 80% veggies, and the kids will be thrilled they get nachos for dinner.  And Mom, you will be thrilled because it took less than five minutes to throw together.

I mix corn chips and sweet potato chips as the base.  For our brood, I fill 2 cookie sheets with a thin single layer of the chip mix.

Sprinkle grated cheese over top.

Saute whatever veggies, beans, and/or meat you have handy.  Throw on top.  Load the veggies on, if they fall off, kids will still eat them up.

Broil for two to four minutes.  Serve with salsa, guacamole or avocados and sour cream.

Our favourite combos:

Peppers, onion, chicken, olives

Ground beef, peppers, corn, onions, tomatoes

Black beans, corn, broccoli, peppers

It is really hard to go wrong.  And if you are all too hungry to wait to pre-cook the veggies, you can toss them on raw, just chop smaller and try cooking at a lower temp (like 350) for closer to 15 minutes.

Olive Chicken in the Slow Cooker

For our gang, I place a costco-size tray of organic chicken thighs into the slow-cooker.  Add 1/2 of a jar of manzanilla olives, with the brine.  I sprinkle some italian seasoning over it.  Turn on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Go out and play.

Serve with baby spinach salad, broccoli or baby carrots.

Enjoy.

Don’t let that dinner time crunch cut into your outside play time!

 

Sit in front of a tree, not your tablet!

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A late Winter Challenge for adventurous families!

The days are still cold, but we are getting stronger and more resilient by enjoying the fresh air.  Join us by doing this checklist:

1. Find treasures under a log… hopefully some cool bugs and plants.  Don’t forget to put it back to how you have found it.

2. Look for mushrooms.  Collect a small variety to learn what they are when you get home.  We usually carry a box with us to put in interesting discoveries.

3. Make a simple bird feeder to help the birds make it through the winter.  Belle made a simple one.  She spread peanut butter on a stick and sprinkled bird seed on the peanut butter.  Then she put the stick as high as she could get it on a tree.

We came back the next day to see if birds had come to eat the seeds, but it was gone.  There was a lot of curiosity about whether a coyote had eaten the stick.

4. Find a bug.  We were gifted an amazing magnifying glass.  The kids have been enjoying checking out a variety of items with the magnifying glass.  Hands and fingers have been a favourite.  We are hoping to find a dead spider or bee to learn about the physical characteristics.

5. Climb a tree.  This is a challenge for us.  Our little neck of the woods is quite dense so the branches start quite high.  We have a decent climbing tree out front, but we will keep looking for one in the forest.

Post or msg me if you want to join in.  Complete the whole challenge, post about it and you can have a private sneak peak at how we spent our Spring break.  You may get some ideas.

Deadline for completion: March 21st 7pm EST.