raccoon tracks

Who does this print belong to?

Here are some hints:
The track was made in Southern California
The animal has for legs
The track is about 2.5″ in long.

Here are some questions to ask:
What does the track look like?
Does it look similar to any of your own body parts?
What animal uses it’s paws like hands?
Is this print from the left side or right side?
Is it a back paw or a front paw?

Comment below with your guesses to the questions and what animal you think it is. Share this post with your friends and see if they can figure it out too. The answer will be revealed next week!.

creating art with kidsHere is the project from my last post.  We collected a variety of different flowers, leaves, and twigs and set out to create our nature creatures. You will need a few supplies:

  • thick paper
  • glue
  • black sharpie (my favorite)
  • leaves, sticks, and flowers

There really aren’t too many instructions.  Just tell the kids they are making fairies, creatures, people, animals… whatever they come up with is great.

collecting nature outside

crafting with kids and parents 

There’s one thing kids really want from their parents and it’s to play with them.  Get a piece of paper yourself and create your own little nature creatures. Your kids will appreciate the time with you and you might even enjoy creating them yourself.  One thing I noticed with Slater is that his interest seemed to continue as long as mine did. His creativity began to build and he actually had fun creating his picture.

kids creating with natural things
Slater’s Creation
My Creation

curiosity to inspire
There’s one thing that’s important to know about me and getting my kids outside.  It does not come naturally to me at all.  I have a fear of rattle snakes even though I have only ever seen one and that was two weeks ago. I fear poison oak and had my first horrible reaction a few months ago… and now I fear it more (but am more careful). I mostly fear other people.  People I don’t know and being out alone in the wilderness seems a little vulnerable.  That’s a hard one to get over but I’m slowly gaining competence and that fear is subsiding.

I actually love being outdoors but I don’t go there often enough.  Compared to my sisters, I consider myself a very “do what’s normal” kind of mom. Sometimes when I see how to’s or stories of people getting outside with their kids, they are fully in it.  Comfortable, knowledgeable, a little ‘crunchy’ if you will:) That can sometimes be off putting because they are so different from me… or so it seems. My experience comes to you from a lack of experience and I am getting comfortable outside right alongside my kids. That being said, here’s my attempt to get my youngest out of the house and off my ipad.

It’s not easy for my to lure my seven year old out of the house and go into our canyon a few streets over.  It’s nearly impossible for me to get my teenagers to get out there.  My seven year old is easier.  I told him we wouldn’t go far and we were going to collect some leaves and twigs for a project.  He came reluctantly.

I divided this event into two posts because of what happened while we were out. The whole intent was to get some natural ‘things’ for an art project I wanted to post here on the website. You just never know what’s going to happen when you finally get outside. The first thing that happened as we walked through our neighborhood was a visit to the little chicken coop in one of the front yards.  Slater does a class two times a week at a farm and is around a lot of chickens. He immediately noticed the Americana chicken and pointed her out. Love it when their knowledge comes out so readily.

Next up a few houses down was a brick wall and some high flying jumping ensued.  We made it to our canyon entrance and decided to head to the left.  Slater wasn’t that thrilled about the project…. even when I showed him what the final result was.  He was not impressed.  So collecting things was not the high point of our adventure.

jumping kidsgetting kids in nature

We did grab a handful of leaves and many of them had great smells and Slater does like plants that smell.  It was early evening and absolutely beautiful out. Yet, I could not convince Slater to stay longer and we headed back.

nature in your own backyard

As we reached the sidewalk, I saw a few lizards.  Slater immediately got down on all fours and tried his best to catch one. He has never been successful but has only tried a few times. He did everything he could to silently sneak up on the lizard.  He was very close to catching it and that was all he needed to fuel his quest to find another lizard another day.

catching lizards
boy outside

We gathered a few more leaves and flowers in the front yards of neighbors and made our way home. We were not gone for more than twenty minutes.  That was all it took to get his interests up to catch a lizard one day. I know if I wanted to go out tomorrow I could say, “Let’s go to the sidewalk where the lizards were and see if you can catch one.”  He would be all over it and not a moment of hesitation or luring would be needed.  I’ll have to test that out.

Here’s a smattering of our finds. If you want to see the art project from our collecting, go here.

collecting leaves

PS.  Once we started the project, Slater was pretty focused and into it..