40 Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids {w/free printables!}

40 Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Kids {w/free printables!}

Inspire your kids with these awesome outdoor scavenger hunts (many with free printables!) and time outside will soon be something that happens on a regular basis!

It's those long school days that always get me thinking about how much time our kids are stuck indoors.

Even with recess (which has so many caveats these days - too hot, too rainy, etc), the majority of their seven hour school day is in the classroom.  So once they walk in the door, I love to have some outdoor activities ready to go!

And scavenger hunts are some of our favorites (as you may have guessed :)  They can be done together, as an independent activity, with a group of friends and are so darn easy :)  Just grab a list & go!

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Books that Inspire Kids to Learn

Books that Inspire Kids to Learn

Many thanks to Hallmark for sponsoring this post and helping to create communities where all children have the chance to grow up as healthy, productive & caring persons.  All book choices and thoughts are mine alone.

 

Today's book list was inspired by a young lady who fights for quality education for all children around the world.

Malala Yousafzai was 15 when she was shot by the Taliban for attending school in Pakistan.  It was against the law for girls to go to school and yet, every morning Malala would get up and not only get herself to school but encourage other girls in her village to attend as well.  She survived the attack and has since become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient who now travels the world with her father to share their story.

In honor of both Malala & Ziauddin Yousafzai, I wanted to share a book list that will inspire kids to speak up for what they believe, to change the world and to appreciate the opportunity to get an education.

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36 Summer Sensory Experiences

36 Summer Sensory Experiences

Explore some of these summer sensory activities this year with your kids no matter what their age!

My kids are "touchers" -- as in, they always put their hands on things.

 

When they were young, I can't tell you how many times I said "Don't touch that one!" -- barbed wire, live animals, dog poop!

Yes, dog poop -- who knew it was such a kid magnet?!

But I did know that letting them touch as many things as they safely could would allow for wonderful learning opportunities!  They've always learned best when they can have a hands-on experience which is a very familiar thing for so many kids.

So when we plan out our summer activities, I love being able to give them lots of sensory experiences! It's the perfect time to get wet, sticky and try new things -- to paint, walk barefoot and explore the night.

It's the time of year when I initiate some of our creative family projects and plan some out-of-the-ordinary day trips.

So come explore with us as we share 36 Summer Sensory Experiences: fun ways to inspire kids, tweens & teens to touch, taste, smell, feel and hear the beauty of summertime!

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Layers of the Ocean Project: Under the Sea Science

Layers of the Ocean Project: Under the Sea Science

Learn about oceans zones and layers of the sea with this hands-on science project!

Every summer, we seem to gravitate toward ocean science projects and learning about the various ocean layers and animals .

My kids have always been fascinated by ocean animals -- probably because we hardly get to visit any large body of water :) 

But this year, we'll be vacationing at the ocean! 

So we are very excited and doing some fun learning activities before our trip.

Today's activity focuses on some under-the-sea science questions that will help your kids understand the five layers of the ocean, who lives there and how light travels -- and it's one amazingly beautiful project!

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20 Printable Scavenger Hunt, Car Games & Life Skills Activities for Kids

20 Printable Scavenger Hunt, Car Games & Life Skills Activities for Kids

We're so excited about this Printable Activity Pack with TONS of fun summer activities for your kids!

And right now, you can get it at a special price (50% off) for a limited time!!

Because it's never too early to start preparing for summer break, right ;)

Since we're all about helping to make family life easier while your raise curious kids, we've combined those two goals to create a Summer Printable Activity Pack with activities the kids will LOVE along with time-saving printables for parents!

 
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The Ultimate Cabin Trip Packing List: 50 Things to Bring

The Ultimate Cabin Trip Packing List: 50 Things to Bring

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreeToBe #CollectiveBias

 

If you're like our family, this free printable cabin packing list is the perfect way to get you organized & out the door!

As I've mentioned before, I don't do tents (not a fan of bears & snakes) :)  But when I married my husband, I was well aware that he came from a camping-type family.  The whole tents-in-the-woods boys-peeing-behind-the-tree type of thing.

I prefer a door on my bathroom and a bedroom where I know I won't be visited by wild animals in the middle of the night!

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27 Travel Hacks & Road Trip Tips

27 Travel Hacks & Road Trip Tips

These awesome travel hacks and road trip tips are sure to make your next car trip easier & more enjoyable!

Summer's here and that means road trips!  Woohoo!

When I was a kid, my parents would to take us to cool places every summer and I loved getting away from the 'ordinary days' of home life.  Travel allows for adventure, inspires us to explore new places and is a huge learning opportunity for your kids!

Seeing new places, reconnecting with the kids, trying to keep everyone happy in a small (sometimes too hot and crowded) area ;)

Just kidding ... you know I LIVE for road trips!

But man, it takes a small army to get a family ready to hit the road -- all that packing, organizing, finding rest stops along the way. 

So we want to help make life a little smoothier with these travel ideas you'll love!

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20 Outdoor Activities & Games to Play at the Park

20 Outdoor Activities & Games to Play at the Park

Enjoy these fun activities & games to play at a local park!

It's May again and that means we're celebrating Kids to Parks Day with a whole slew of AWESOME ideas for games to play & fun activities to do at the parks!

Be sure to visit last year's idea list of 30 Fun Games to Play at the Park for more ways to explore this summer.

And this year is extra special since it's also the 100th Anniversary of the National Park system.

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Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt

Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt

We're back with our nature buddies for this wee's Outdoor STEM Activity -- and since this week's theme is taking technology outside, we thought we'd create an awesome Photo Scavenger Hunt!

This is a super easy idea that will keep the kids both busy & creative on those long "Mom, I'm bored!" days ;)

Plus, Summer is the perfect time for kids to explore something new or master a skill such as photography -- those less-scheduled days allow them more time to pick up a camera and practice.

So grab a camera or smart phone along with our free printable Photo Scavenger Hunt list and let's head outside to explore!

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The Best Books to Read with a Magnifying Glass

The Best Books to Read with a Magnifying Glass

Sometimes sitting down with "just a book" can be a little overwhelming for kids.  All those words and pages -- especially if they're just starting to read or not overly crazy about reading.

And then there's the whole sitting part of reading -- not something our kids EVER really did; they would constantly move and always enjoyed having something to do during reading time.

So over the next four weeks, we're going to feature a series of fun books for kids can read with their favorite STEM items!

Today's list includes favorite stories to read with a magnifying glass (think mysteries, nature detectives and hidden pictures!)  -- because who can resist reading a book when you have a cool science tool in your hand, right?!

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17 Awesomely Fun Things to do After School

17 Awesomely Fun Things to do After School

Enjoy these fun things to do after school including a free printable set of 20 Questions to ask your kids!

Once our kids started school, I quickly realized that time together during the week was going to be VERY limited.

They don't get home until 3:30 pm here -- and of course there are days when afterschool activities take place, plus homework, dinner prep, gathering things for the next day and bath or shower.

Which leaves a small window of opportunity to touch base and see how life's going for everyone.

And that time to connect is so important! 

But yet, asking them "So, how was your day?" is usually met with "Fine." or in our case "It was schooly."

Yes, my kids resort to making up new words to throw me off :)

I'm on to their tricks and have a few of my own to get them talking and turn a somewhat boring afternoon into an AWESOME time to connect!

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Rocks & Minerals: A Fun Testing Experiment for Kids

Rocks & Minerals: A Fun Testing Experiment for Kids

Today we are combining our Outdoor Science activities and our Simple Science Experiment series to share a fun geology experiment -- Rock Testing for Kids!

One of the easiest science activities to do with kids is studying rocks and minerals.

If your kids are anything like mine, they bring rocks home in their pockets -- frequently ;)

And you might hear the question "What type of rock is this?"

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Using Math to Create the Star Wars Galaxy {with free printable!}

Using Math to Create the Star Wars Galaxy {with free printable!}

With May the Fourth (be with you!) coming next week, we're teaming up with some geeky blogging friends to share Star Wars activities for everyone!

In addition to being Star Wars fans, we also love cool STEM activities that are related to our favorite movies .

And that's exactly what I told my daughter --

Me:  "Hey, do you want to do a cool Star Wars activity?"

Kid:  "YES!"  She's a fan girl.

Me:  "Ok, grab the calculator and meet me outside."

Kid:  "Yea!  Hey wait, does that mean you're trying to trick me into doing some math?"

Ah, the force is strong in this one :)

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Geography for Kids: 8 Awesome Atlases

It's so important for kids to understand (and appreciate!) geography these days! 

The world has become a much smaller place now that social media has taken a front seat in our lives.  It seems to be a daily discussion at our house -- a current event, the coming of the Olympics, a great photo in my Instagram feed illicits the question "Where is that place?"

And one of my FAVORITE ways to introduce the places & culture from around the world is by using an atlas.

Unlike when we were kids, atlases aren't just a 'boring book of maps' -- they include so many cool details.  In fact, the one item on our 10 Things to do Before Your Next Road Trip list that is so popular with our readers is the Kids' Atlas! 

So sit back, relax and browse some of our favorite books that explore the world along with some fun map activites the kids will love too!

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12  Earth-themed Lego STEM Projects

12 Earth-themed Lego STEM Projects

My kids have this fascination with taking indoor toys outside to play -- trading cards, dolls, building kits -- you name it!

They also think they can bring outdoor toys inside --

basketballs I'll allow but I draw the line at hula hoops ;)

With Earth Day coming up this week, taking some LEGOs outside to build a few of these STEM themed projects seems like a great idea to me!

Today's colorful activities include fun ways to learn about earth science, conservation efforts and other eco-friendly behaviors.

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