{Outdoor Play Linky: Wildlife Park}


Join our weekly Friday Outdoor Play linky below and share your own ideas for getting your kids playing outdoors!


Visiting the Wildlife Park


We took the little peas to the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park today. The wildlife park takes in injured animals with the goal of rehabilitation and hopefully rerelease to the wild, as well as animals born into captivity in zoos or as pets, that are no longer wanted. It includes mainly animals that are native to Canada, though there are a few 'foreign' animals too.

Despite many visits to world-class zoos in the past, the girls were fascinated by the up-close nature of this small wildlife park, and most of these species were animals that they had never seen in zoos before, such as skunks, raccoons, and rabbits. They see these animals plenty in story books and hear stories of the 'trouble' they cause around people's homes and gardens, but have had very little real-life contact with them. So these 'basic' animals were actually the biggest attractions for them!

Some of the other animals we saw there were:

Wild Turkeys

I must admit, despite their reputations for being ugly (and admittedly they don't have the cutest faces), their feathers were just beautiful!



Reindeer / Caribou



Peacocks

There were lots of these wandering around! I kept my eyes peeled for a stray tail feather on the ground, but alas, there were none to be found! I did find a lovely goose (?) feather and two colourful peacock feathers from the back of the peacock.



Rabbits

Again, there were lots of these just hopping around freely.



Arctic Wolves



Grey Wolves



Black Bears

These definitely did not look like any wild black bears we've seen before! They were obviously very well-fed!



Baby Blue Jays

There was a whole family of these hopping around near the enclosures. Sweet Pea loved these!




Thanks to everyone who linked up to last week's Outdoor Play linky! We had almost 30 posts linked up last week, including lots of new participants, and so many wonderful ideas were shared!


Be sure to check out these posts that were linked up last week, if you haven't already:


Jenny at Let the Children Play shared some wonderful links to inspiring imaginative play areas for outdoors. Ever since we started looking at buying a house, I'm slightly obsessed with imagining how I can set up outdoor play spaces in our future garden! And Jenny has loads of great ideas!



New blogger Sarah at Life in the Unknown linked up the brilliant city nature scavenger hunt they did. I love the idea of looking and listening for signs of nature right in the middle of the city! (A perfect activity for us.)



Moving Smart shared a fantastic article about why kids need to play outdoors. I love this blog, it's my new favourite read!



And finally, I had to share this idea for making DIY fairy toadstools for your garden from Sunhats and Wellie Boots. My girls have been playing a lot lately with some fairy figurines I picked up on sale at Michael's a couple of weeks ago. I have plans to make them a special home to play in when we get back from our holidays.




How did your kids play outdoors this week?

Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us! Here’s just a few guidelines for sharing.

> Any kind of children's outdoor play is welcome. If it happened outside, then please link it up!

> Please do not share any competitions, promotions, or posts that are not related to Outdoor Play.

> Please remember to link back to this post and help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play!

> Each week we will feature an activity from the previous week. By contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished. 


By the way, if you're not familiar with blog link-ups, here is a handy blog hop / linky party info page from Pre-K Pages to get you started.

{Pool Noodle Patterning}

Pool Noodle Patterns

Playful Math Learning


Pool Noodle Patterns - title image

Pool noodles aren't just for swimming! See how we use them for playful math learning, too!

Last week I bought some pool noodles at the dollar store. I cut some slices off the ends. First we used the slices for printing with paint on the deck. They were the bumpy kind, so they made cute flower prints.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures on hand to share of the printing, but head over to Play Create Explore (one of my favourite messy play blogs!) to see some - they did the same thing this week!

Playing with pool noodles to make patterns for math learning



Then we tried using them to make patterns. I couldn't find any rope or washing line around at the grandparents' so instead we used a toy golf club to thread them onto.


stack of pool noodle slices to make math patterns


After all that math play we went swimming and used the remaining lengths of the pool noodles for swimming with.


What else could we use pool noodles for? (or as Princess Pea calls them, 'Nyoo-dles'!)

{Picking Cherries}



One of the items on our Summer Bucket List was to go to a U-Pick farm. I wasn't really particular about what it was we picked, I just wanted the little peas to have the experience of doing it. Although we have lots of fruit trees in our shared garden at home, we are always away when they are ripe, so we watch them bud, blossom, and grow the fruit, but we always miss the picking and eating time!

We just missed strawberry season around here, blueberry season is just starting, and raspberries are still around the corner. But right now it's apparently prime cherry season! (Funny, since our cherries at home are ripe in May - so we get to have two cherry seasons this year!)



We did a bit of research, called a couple of places, and finally found this great family-friendly place in Aylesford, NS, called Dempseys (or something similar?). It was a bit of a drive, but worth it!




They have baby farm animals wandering around for petting (goats, calves, chickens, and dogs), a large sandpit area, some play equipment for little kids, and other animals behind fences (sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, and pigs).




The kids enjoyed picking the cherries (red and white varieties) - and tasting is encouraged! - playing in the play area, and petting the animals. We didn't have any particular plan for using the cherries, so we just picked as long as the kids were into it, with no pressure. We had a lovely day out in the country, despite the heat. I think it might have been the girls' first time visiting a real farm, so it was quite exciting all round!

Oh yeah, and the cherries were delicious, too!


{Outdoor Play linky: Learning New Skills at the Playground}


Link up to our Outdoor Play blog hop/linky below!



Our Week Outdoors: Learning New Skills at the Playground



The girls have been learning some new skills at the playground while visiting Granny & Grandad.



Princess Pea is learning to handle the monkey bars. She can now hang, swing, and go one rung forward. It's progress, and not bad considering she'd never been on monkey bars before (and considering that she is rather...how should I put it? Wimpy? She does only weigh 13kg!). And while playing on the monkey bars, she's developing her future handwriting skills, too!



And remember a few weeks back when Sweet Pea thought she'd try walking up the slide like the big kids? Well, now she actually really can!!




(I found out when I turned my back for a moment, not imagining she could even get close to doing it, and when I turned back, there she was at the top!!)




Thanks to everyone who linked up to last week's Outdoor Play blog hop! I hope you all found some other great ideas to try for this week! I know I did! I have three favourite ideas from last week so I'm breaking with tradition and featuring all three! So there!



Make Early Learning Fun shared this great idea for making and testing boats to float in rain puddles. A bit of Pooh Sticks meets science learning!



Play, Create, Explore shared how her son had a blast with painting outdoors on an old whiteboard. Fabulously messy fun!



And Putti Prapancha shared this fun and original version of ball painting - slide painting! What a way of making a super attraction at the playground!


So,

How did your kids play outdoors this week?

Here’s just a few guidelines for sharing.

> Any kind of children's outdoor play is welcome. If it happened outside, then please link it up!

> Please do not share any competitions, promotions, or posts that are not related to Outdoor Play.

> Please remember to link back to this post and help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play!

> Each week we will feature an activity from the previous week. By contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished. 


By the way, if you're not familiar with blog link-ups, here is a handy blog hop / linky party info page from Pre-K Pages to get you started.

>Share this link-up on your site
Please share my button on your blog or website:








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Linking to: Nurturestore

{Baby Signs Giveaway Winner}

Click to Enlarge















Thanks to everyone who entered the Baby Signs Giveaway! The fabulous prize, a Baby Signs Complete Starter Kit, goes to Sam (comment # 18). Congratulations, Sam! Your prize will arrive in your mailbox shortly!


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{Strawberry Fun & Games}



Strawberry season is coming to a close here, but here are a few strawberry-themed games we played this strawberry season. I made them for Princess Pea's Strawberry Shortcake birthday party, but we played with them more before and after the party since the party got rained out!
(The kids still had fun, but omgosh I did not!)



Pin the Stem on the Strawberry - just like the donkey version, but I drew a large strawberry on red posterboard, used a marker to make some seeds, then cut out stems from green posterboard. We blindfolded the kids and they had to try to stick the stem (with tape) onto the right spot on the strawberry.



Strawberry-Scented Sparkly Playdough - inspired by this post at The Imagination Tree, but we used this non-cook playdough recipe that we've liked in the past, with the addition of strawberry flavouring and glitter. We love this! We had a playdate and made it together with a couple of Princess Pea's little friends. Very fun to make! It's had lots of use, and it smells just like strawberry Hubba Bubba bubblegum! (remember that?) Mmmmmm!



Strawberry Bean Bag Toss - I found these cute little strawberry-shaped 'bean bags' (they're actually reusable shopping bags that fold up into a little pouch that is designed to look like a strawberry) at a discount store. We never actually ended up playing this at the party, but the idea was that Strawberry Shortcake had dropped her basket of strawberries and you had to toss them back in for her. Afterwards, for a modified baby play version, I pretended to skip with my basket, spilling the strawberries along the way, and Sweet Pea had to chase them down and put them back into the basket for me. She loved this game!

Strawberry Hunt - Now that Sweet Pea is mobile and a little older, I think I'll try this next. Instead of spilling the strawberries, I'll hide them around the room for them to search for.

 
Got real strawberries still? We made the most fabulous strawberry cupcakes and served them at the birthday party - so delicious!





*Join our Outdoor Play Party on Fridays - full of ideas for getting your kids outdoors to play!



”I

{Wordless Wednesday: Sister Love}


This is how they fell asleep in the car yesterday...♥

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PS - Now that I just learned how to make that heart, expect to see it all sprinkled all over my future posts! lol

{Bundle Up and Hit the Beach!}


 
I mentioned before that we are visiting grandparents this summer. First in Toronto, and then in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Nova Scotia is almost an island on the east coast, not quite surrounded by the Atlantic. Living in a landlocked country, the ocean is not something that my little peas see much of, except on vacations. I was so excited to take them to the beaches here! I had visions of collecting bucketloads of shells to take home and ideas of what to do with the shells when we got there.

Unfortunately, we haven't had much shell-collecting luck here after all. There are almost no shells on the beaches here! What there is, however, is very, very cold water! And fog. And frigid Atlantic winds. In most places, when people arrive at the beach, they strip off to their swimsuits. Not here. Here when you arrive at the beach, you bundle up in jeans, hoody sweatshirts, and maybe even wellie boots! At least that's what we do!


Yes, there are some crazy local kids splashing in swimsuits in the background!
And yes, it is so foggy that you can barely see the ocean from the beach!


Nevertheless, we've been to three beaches so far. Not many shells, but we've had some really nice times digging around, checking out the different types of seaweed, finding bits of crab legs, and throwing rocks into the water.







  



So, we won't be doing a lot of shell crafts after all, but we have a few shells, and we've got a bucketload of other treasures to play with instead.




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