Summer learning can be fun! - paid partnership with Leapfrog 

Can you believe summer is already here? Spring came and went in a flash and now we’re soaking up the sun and staying up later with those late sunsets peeking through. Summer might be my favorite season! Naturally, I’m pretty sure it’s my kids favorite as well. They get to wear minimal clothing, stay up late, splash in the pools and play in the sand for hours at a time. They’re also learning too but they have so much fun that they don’t even know that part!

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LeapFrog Academy is a subscription based learning program that has so many fun activities for the kids to play and learn. They are learning math, reading, creativity, science, problem solving, and so much more. One thing I love is they can do this on a variety of devices like a computer, tablet, or smart phone. It's recommended for ages 3-6; Rolando, my 5 year old, loves to do his on our macOS and I feel its helping him learn how to navigate an actual computer which is a win - win. 

I’m pretty convinced that Alejandra’s quick letter sound learning has come from these activities. She’s definitely going to have a jump start for when she goes to kindergarten in a couple years. She now reads the letters out loud to me and I just get so giddy. It’s the little things like that in life that are truly memorable.

LeapFrog Academy has a parent portal where you can view what your kids have done and see their progress. It’s fun to go in periodically and see their movements. One thing Alejandra loves is that she can select her own avatar, dress it up, pick its hairstyle etc. It's unique to her and that one avatar saves all her progress and rewards, keeping them separate from Rolando's so that they can each learn at their own pace. You see that serious face there? She cracks me up! She gets so into what she’s doing and then as soon as she completes something she looks up smiling and clapping, I love it. 

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How is your summer going? Do you want some fun learning activities your kids can enjoy? You can try LeapFrog Academy FREE FOR ONE MONTH to see if it’s right for you and your kids. Check it out and see if you love it as much as I do. It’s $7.99 a month after that first free month and you can cancel at anytime. 

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Cheers to your summer days of learning and having fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

keeping cool this summer - in partnership with Big R Stores

  • Though this post is sponsored by Big R Stores, all reviews, thoughts, and opinions are 100% my own! I have linked most products for you and if I couldn't find the exact one I have, I linked what I felt was similar.

Have you ever noticed how the cold winters will seem to drag on but the warm summers just fly right by??? I feel that way every year! Summer has definitely showed up here in Colorado and we are feeling the heat. It's so nice here though because once that sun sets our temps drop quite a bit and it feels so good to lay in bed at night with the windows open.

Today I'm sharing some ways we keep cool outside in the heat and at the same time it keeps the kids happy and entertained... and most at very low cost so total mom win!

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- water balloons!

water balloons are fun for both kids and adults... right? if you're having a bad day, go fill up some balloons and throw them at something (or someone!), I promise your day will get better immediately! just don't throw them at your spouse or you may be sleeping on the couch tonight!

They have these water balloons at Big R Stores that are super easy and quick to fill up now. you attached the whole thing to the faucet and it fills up 100 balloons in 60 seconds and even ties (or seals them somehow). and the best thing is they don't cost much and I feel the investment is worth the laughter you get in return.

- sprinkler!

who doesn't love a sprinkler? Sprinklers are great to keep the kids cool but also water your lawn =). double whammy goodness! Alejandra is still scared of water being sprayed on her so I am hoping that by doing these sprinklers all summer, she will eventually love water splashed on her. ugh, she is a hot mess when it comes to splash pads. send me any advice your way to help get her over this.

Sprinklers can be as elaborate as you want or as simple as you want. my favorite is actually a simple green circle we got at Big R that is super simple and super cheap - see it HERE

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this unicorn sprinkler cracks me up!

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- stay hydrated

of course staying hydrated is a must with the heat outside. we let our kids drink from the hose (and also which in turn usually leads to splashing each other). just make sure the hose you have is lead free please! You can also get actual drinking water hoses to be safe. 

do you remember those days when we all drank from the hoses and ran around naked without a care in the world?? 

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- pool!

last year we caught a clearance sale and bought our pool on a whim for a great price. we didn't even set it up last year so I was so excited to finally get it up and enjoy it this summer. a pool is a big purchase and isn't right for everybody but if you have the space and time, it's such a great summer memory maker. truly, if you've been hesitating on getting a pool, DO IT, it is so great! 

we are trying to keep our pool clean and sanitary as naturally as possible so we can reuse the water after the end of summer for the animals possibly. This was important to me cause it is A LOT of water and I am hoping to reuse it somehow. If you've done this before, send me a message so we can chat as I could use some advice!

Obviously with a pool comes pool safety so please only set up a pool if you can make sure your kids are 100% safe at all times!

so far Marco Polo is the favorite thing the big kids are doing in the pool and it's so fun to watch. I remember playing it when I was little. the littles like to float around in their floaties. they look so relaxing and in fact one day I though Alejandra was going to fall asleep in there..lol.. don't worry, I was right there with her!

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now this next image doesn't represent us staying cool but just a quick mention on some ways we keep our animals cool in the heat..

- shaded shelter is a must. a lot of times this can be done with things that are already in nature (trees!)

- our ducks and chickens love homemade cool treats like watermelon and strawberry chopped up and frozen in ice cube trays with a little water (or our extra goat milk). 

- we have kiddie pools around and though the goats hate getting in water, most our other animals do. the cows (thankfully still somewhat small in size) will just walk into the wading pool and stand there. it's quite a sight to see. 

- water, water, water - obviously just having fresh clean water for them available at all times.

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though this post was all about staying cool in the heat which meant a lot of water based activities, please note that we also care about using natures resource and are conscious of our use. when the kids play with the sprinklers, we don't let it run forever and we move it around to water different parts of the land. though there are some rules with rain water catching, we are working on some of that to have water available that the rain has brought us. we are doing some other things too and maybe I can do a post on our water conservation efforts in the near future =)

I hope you'll have some fun in the heat and stay cool and hydrated out there! what are some of your favorite summer activities to do on a hot day?

 

 

 

 

 

our homeschool curriculum - multiple ages


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you are thinking about homeschooling and maybe you've already taken the plunge, but you google homeschool curriculum and it gives you a headache. I know, I've been there! there's a gazillion options which is a good and bad thing.. like when you go to a restaurant and the menu is 30 pages long... choices are great but too many and you feel overwhelmed. but at the same time, every child and every family is different so choices need to be there so that we can cater exactly what we need for our individual cicumstances.

I'm not a fan of the one and all curriculums - I think they can be great but it kind of goes against one of the reasons we chose to homeschool - to really dive into each childs educational needs and not a cookie cutter approach. because of this, we use a variety of items. how did I choose the items?... I put on a bandanna and said eeny meeny miny moe.. KIDDING! I did lots of research (read: googling) and explored all of our libraries (you can find many homeschool curriculums at your library so that you can check it out and see if you think it fits). I reviewed certain styles that we really like (though we don't follow a particular style to the T - some examples like Classical, Waldorf, Charlotte Mason (probably our favorite), Montessori, and Eclectic) and just pulled the ones that sang to my heart the most. 

Reading in all forms is a main part of our learning and as much hands on and experienced based as possible is how we roll. because of this, you'll see a lot of our curriculum is vague but thats my favorite about schooling my children. I get to see what they want to learn and how they learn best and really maximize those. if theres one thing I recommend to new homeschooling families - its to read together and read aloud and read often. so much learning along those pages!

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now lets talk money - you can spend as much as you want or as little as you want when homeschooling your children! I will go into more depth with this in another post but just bear in mind that libraries and co-ops and local homeschool communities can really help you out. our children have the desire and want to learn naturally built inside of them, it doesn't take expensive curriculum to pull that out and nourish that knowledge!

ok enough preface, lets talk specifics..

keep in mind that this is just what I use and what works for our family... just a resource for you to look into. my children are 2, 5, 9, and 11.  I don't 'schedule' anything for my 2 year old as play is all she needs. my 5 year old, my main goal was getting him to learn how to read. now that he can read - we will be expanding his curriculum and I'll post about it as it happens. my older 2 are where most the curriculum is at. pretty much everything we do besides some specific language / phonics and their math, are together. when it comes to history, science, and a lot of the reading, the whole 'lesson' applies to all 3 boys. the youngest boy (5) will listen and then draw what he learned. with each age older, they get a little more added on but the core learning is applied to everyone. you'll see that they ask questions and really dive into a knowledge that applies to their individual level. there are occasions when we get off on tangents to tackle something for my older boys but often everyone listens (they may just not grasp it quite yet!).. that's a huge part I love, how we can actually nourish each individuals learning needs because we're at home and there's not 20 other students to tend to. 

our curriculum this year (in no particular order)...

teach your child to read in 100 lessons - I went for this one after reading all the rave reviews. even after receiving it in the mail I was a littles hesitant because it looks boring - but it works! it only took a few lessons in before it clicked for my son.

five in a row - loving learning - I couldn't find this one on amazon to link for you. you can just get the main spiral book and then acquire each individual book from your library or a local homeschooling family.  I love the concept of this... it takes particular books and helps you walk through the stories with your children and then basically analyze those stories and at the same time that teaches many, and probably most, subjects right there in each book. we now apply it to books that aren't even in 'the program'. I'll grab books from the library and we read them together, then they read individually, and then they write out a summary, and then we go through each subject (math, English, history, geography, science, etc.) and see what we learned from the book.

spectrum - I like the writing, language arts, and vocabulary from these - we do these by grade levels. this is one of those areas where if you need 'busy work', this works well. it's a worksheet type learning

Primary language lessons - I like how these are short lessons

the story of the world - there's 4 books and we basically try to do one book a year. all kids are involved as we work through each section. I don't buy the workbook with it but you definitely can get that supplement. we come up with our own work from each lesson. the youngest draws and does crafts in relation to the learnings that day and the older 2 also draw but we add to it with summaries and quizzes and such.

teaching textbooks - there’s mixed reviews on this one but we love it and my kids are thriving in math with it. this is currently their only ‘computer learning’ except for some research papers my oldest is doing .

play the forest school way - this is a nature games, crafts, and skills, book. its really fun to take along with you on your nature walks and hikes. we spend so much time outdoors and I feel like we learn so much by exploring nature, wether its our front yard or the museum or the national forest - all of it has opportunities to soak in.

lyrical earth science - (we're doing the geology one right now). with science, we work to apply so much of everyday life into our learning. I also love to google and youtube and pinterest easy and fun science experiments as those are favorites amongst my kiddos. ***we are lucky to also have a small farm where so much life based learning takes place. my kids can tell you all about how baby animals are born and the sac they're in and the placenta and all kinds of birthing details***

journals - I buy the cheap spiral notebooks and have the kids journal as much as possible. a journal that is school based and off what they learned (especially those days when it was all experience or outdoor based), a nature journal to take with us when we adventure out, and a personal journal that is all their own but sometimes I'll give the prompts.

chalkboard - we do so much here and this, along with our library, are the sweetest learning spots in our home. we used to do a letter each week and write the capital and lower case on the board and then every child would join in and draw items that started with that letter. was fun for all ages and maybe we'll start doing it again! our chalkboard was really easy to put up and if you want, I'll do a quick tutorial on how we did it.

our everyday world - not a book :) - taking your children out into the world and adventuring and sharing your experiences creates a wonderful learning environment while also bonding as a family. kids don’t need a classroom and a desk to nurture their drive to learn!

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hopefully I didn't go too random on you! leave a comment below on what you're struggling with when it comes to picking out your curriculum. or maybe what you're struggling with as a whole on your start with your homeschooling journey. maybe you have some things that work for you, feel free to comment to share with the others. and most importantly of all - have fun with your kids!

 

milk bath recipe


 pretty sure my kids are spoiled when it comes to pampering! I posted this photo on  instagram  the other day and you all loved it and then I got so many messages about what the recipe is. I started answering each individual but decided this would be better platformed.   you can pretty much do a milk bath however you want. I touched before on what we do  here  when I spoke about sensory baths but wanted to clarify more about milk / water rations.  so first, why milk bath? the benefits are amazing and if you try it for yourself, you'll notice how silky smooth you feel when you get out. theres an acid in milk that gently dissolves proteins to exfoliate dead skin cells. this acid ingredient can be found in some expensive exfoliating products so definitely try this before shopping for some of those!  - help soften and smooth rough flaky skin  - calm red and irritated skin  - moisturizes skin - milk contains fat and proteins that work together to help moisturize your skin  some things you can add for extra benefits are honey, oatmeal, lavender- so many options!  and now - ratio's  for just a few inches of water like above - I added a half gallon of milk. this is on the creamy side so you can start with a lot less, try one quart of milk.  for a pretty full bath - think adult laying in it or child sitting up and level going to chest - start with one gallon of milk. one gallon of full fat milk will do great for a full size bath but if you really want even creamier bath and maybe you're doing it for maternity photography or something like that, then go up to 2 gallons. I've never done more than 2 gallons and that was a full size large bath so I can't imagine the need for more.   how do I do it  I fill the tub with desired level of water first. depending on subject going in, I usually do as hot as I can. if you're adding honey, you'll want to run the honey under the hot running water into the bath. once tub level is reached with water, just add the milk and swoosh around with your hand/arm. it's really that simple. if you don't have much milk on hand or cost is an issue, start with a lot less milk and just check it out. a somewhat translucent milk bath still provides those great benefits for the skin!  a note on milks - full fat raw dairy is my first choice (we use goats milk cause thats what we raise here). I understand raw is not what some of you want or maybe you do but can't get your hands on any -  next best thing is just focus on it being full fat and preferably not ultra pasteurized.   I've received a lot of questions about powdered milk so I'll give it a try over the next 2 weeks and report back with my thoughts on powdered milk.   are you going to try a milk bath for your child? or maybe even for yourself? would love to hear how it goes!   

pretty sure my kids are spoiled when it comes to pampering! I posted this photo on instagram the other day and you all loved it and then I got so many messages about what the recipe is. I started answering each individual but decided this would be better platformed. 

you can pretty much do a milk bath however you want. I touched before on what we do here when I spoke about sensory baths but wanted to clarify more about milk / water rations.

so first, why milk bath? the benefits are amazing and if you try it for yourself, you'll notice how silky smooth you feel when you get out. theres an acid in milk that gently dissolves proteins to exfoliate dead skin cells. this acid ingredient can be found in some expensive exfoliating products so definitely try this before shopping for some of those!

- help soften and smooth rough flaky skin

- calm red and irritated skin

- moisturizes skin - milk contains fat and proteins that work together to help moisturize your skin

some things you can add for extra benefits are honey, oatmeal, lavender- so many options!

and now - ratio's

for just a few inches of water like above - I added a half gallon of milk. this is on the creamy side so you can start with a lot less, try one quart of milk.

for a pretty full bath - think adult laying in it or child sitting up and level going to chest - start with one gallon of milk. one gallon of full fat milk will do great for a full size bath but if you really want even creamier bath and maybe you're doing it for maternity photography or something like that, then go up to 2 gallons. I've never done more than 2 gallons and that was a full size large bath so I can't imagine the need for more. 

how do I do it

I fill the tub with desired level of water first. depending on subject going in, I usually do as hot as I can. if you're adding honey, you'll want to run the honey under the hot running water into the bath. once tub level is reached with water, just add the milk and swoosh around with your hand/arm. it's really that simple. if you don't have much milk on hand or cost is an issue, start with a lot less milk and just check it out. a somewhat translucent milk bath still provides those great benefits for the skin!

a note on milks - full fat raw dairy is my first choice (we use goats milk cause thats what we raise here). I understand raw is not what some of you want or maybe you do but can't get your hands on any -  next best thing is just focus on it being full fat and preferably not ultra pasteurized. 

I've received a lot of questions about powdered milk so I'll give it a try over the next 2 weeks and report back with my thoughts on powdered milk. 

are you going to try a milk bath for your child? or maybe even for yourself? would love to hear how it goes!

 

dried orange garland - a nature inspired decor DIY


I love crafting. I don't think I'm very good at it but I don't let that stop me, just don't laugh at my final pieces and we'll be good friends. crafting keeps our hands busy and helps our minds let loose. I also incorporate lots of crafting and handicrafts into our homeschool rhythm as this time is so well spent and can teach so much! the kids develop their hand and eye coordination and muscle memory and their nurturing their artistic self as well as learning stress relief and accomplishment. all good things. all good things. (name that movie? ).

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nature inspires us daily and I'm always trying to figure out how to bring even more nature into our home. if you've followed me on instagram for awhile you've seen all my barn wood headboards pulled directly from the barns, we have dried flowers and dried greenery strung in random places throughout the house, it's all so natural and homey, I love it.

we do't have an orange tree here on our land though I sure hope to one day. it's still a fruit of nature so I'm still saying this is nature inspired! with this crafty decor, I not only love the final product but smelling the oranges as they spent a few hours in the oven that day sure did make the whole house smell wonderful. and citrus has a way of lifting the spirits ya know? especially days like today where it's gloomy outdoors and my to do list is a mile long - that citrus uplifting is  A-OK.

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I hear some people have burned their oranges doing this but you just have to keep an eye on it. it's a very simple project that doesn't require a lot of work but you do want to keep checking on it during the oven drying time. 

here's how we did it..

dried orange garland -

* 3-4 oranges thinly sliced (we did 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness). too thin and they seem more fragile but too thick and they'll take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to dry and possibly not dry enough. 

* pat dry

* place single layer on baking sheet and cook in oven at 250 degrees for 3 hours, flipping occasionally (again, ovens vary and also depends on the thickness of your slices. you want them dehydrated but not burnt.)

* turn off oven and leave in there for several hours. just don't forget about them and go preheat the oven at 500 degrees for that homemade pizza (possibly happened to a friend - not me, not me)

 (optional - you can pull out and place somewhere else to continue drying for 1-2 days if you need the oven).

* once completely dry (left alone a few days somewhere. they don't have to be all spread out, I stacked mine but I did rearrange the stack every day or so - mainly cause I wanted to look at their beauty =)), thread needle with yarn or jute or whatever string type material you want to use and sew it into a garland. you can also hot glue them to a wreath or use them as individual ornaments for the tree. I sew directly into the meat of the orange but you could also sew into the rind part. this looks pretty but seems much harder so I chose the lazy, errr, easy way. 

(the art of sewing is a fantastic handicraft to teach even at a very young age. you can find plastic safe needles so that even young kids can sew these oranges into a garland themselves.)

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a few notes -

thickness of the oranges matter for baking and drying times. I like not super thin but not too thick (ha, what kind of measurement is that??). if you want to make a decent size garland you'll want to double or triple the amount of oranges. I ended up with 2 batches and my garland is probably about 4 feet. this will make a great garland for the Christmas tree but can also be a decor that's held year round! cook them until they look nice and dehydrated and it's ok for a little browning on some (I like the look that gives) but be careful cause they can probably start buying quick once you see the browning. you can sprinkle cinnamon on them to enhance the smell. the oranges do still smell after drying but it is a very faint scent. if you want it stronger you could add orange essential oil!

enjoy and please let me know if you give this a try! they are beautiful! 

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our cozy day in partnership with pedipocket


halloween has come and gone and we're all trying to catch up on our energy from that night of fun. we spent halloween painting faces and scaring each other and then we went out to a little festival near town and the kids got to trick or treat in a safe environment. we of course came home with way to much candy but so far they've each only had two pieces. I usually let them have one piece a day and then by day 4 or 5 they forget about it and it mysteriously disappears =).

since halloween is over now we have Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up and we've already pulled out the Christmas pajamas and all the cozy blankets. we stayed home all day today and we've been snuggling on the couch, making popcorn on the stovetop, drawing pictures, and telling each other jokes (the kids jokes are way funnier than mine!). we're about to search Netflix for a family friendly movie and just relax the evening away. even though holidays can be exhausting, I do secretly love those lazy cuddles when we're trying to recuperate!

our snuggles lately have been exceptionally good as we've been using our pedipocket blanket. do you ever have those moments where you're getting comfy under your blanket and then your feet pop out so they're cold? or your feet pull it down to get them warm but then it's like too short?  pedipocket has seriously thought this through and they made a blanket that has a little pocket in it so your feet have there own special place. maybe I'm just weird but my feet seem to ALWAYS get cold with other blankets but this blanket has proven golden.  that pocket also helps when my kids come under my blanket to snuggle with me and they end up moving the blanket too much and off my feet. with the pedi pocket, my feet can hold it in place so they have to snuggle up under it in a way that doesn't get my feet cold plus the fact that the blanket is almost 6ft long! mom win!  we've got the smoke color one but they have all sorts of amazing colors. check them out HERE and I bet these blankets would make for some great Holiday gifts!

hope you all had a wonderful halloween and cheers to the upcoming holidays and lots of family fun, full bellies, and lots of lazy cuddles and snuggles.

 


check out our blanket in use on Alejandra (she loves how soft it is!) in my instagram post HERE

ftc disclosure - though I may have been provided with product and/or compensation for my review, all my opinions and honest thoughts are my own!

 

 

some homeschool tips to help your sanity


homeschool is not always roses and butterflies (and festive pumpkins).. but when it is, it’s golden. I'm working on an 'advice to new homeschoolers' post but until then I wanted to throw out a few tips that really help me stay sane. homeschool does not have to be stressful and honestly one of the main reasons we do it is to live a more simple life without the hustle and bustle of everyday rushing and spending all day in a box. homeschooling with your children should be a bond of fun and educational times. of course there will be some hurdles and some moments of frustrations but when those times come - it just means it's time to step away for a minute. at those moments just get up and walk away and go bake some cookies or hang out at the park, those are the joys and leeways of being in control of how we spend our time while during homeschool.

so here's a few tips and I hope they help you in some way!

  1. spend time outside every.single.day 
  2. read aloud often (even with older kids!)
  3. don’t try to be like other homeschool families. your family is unique, just do you
  4. don’t overload with course material, kids need to learn basics and habits. everyday life already teaches them so much if they are equipped with observations and opportunities. 
  5. learning goes beyond books and pencils 
  6. have fun and truly enjoy your kids 

lovely chalkboards provided by chalk full of design . my kids love these. we have a huge chalkboard at home but these are really nice for individual work where they are free to do it elsewhere plus they are amazing during travel and trips! 

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are you homeschooling? what helps you stay sane?

 

 

farm fresh eggs and all their natural beauty



before we moved out to land and got ourselves some chickens, I just never realized the beauty of farm fresh eggs. I think they look nice and the natural colors are amazing but what makes it most unique and exquisite is that these naturally dyed and beautiful ovals come from animals that we have taken care of here with our own hands. somehow that makes it even prettier to me.. like we had something to do with their beauty...

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eggs are super healthy and even more so if you can get your hands on some fresh eggs that have been laid by good ole' free range chickens who get to spend their days basking in the sun (and dirt!) and chasing all their favorite bugs around the land.  now that we've had our own eggs, it's almost impossible to buy some from the store. I've had to do it a few times and I cringe. the store eggs are a pale yellow yolk compared to our deep orange yolks. even when they say cage free and all the notices they put on the boxes, there's just no way those hens were treated as good as some from your local natural based farmer. 

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you know whats funny, I never thought I'd be writing a blog post about eggs! something that is so little and fragile BUT they sure are a huge part in our lives here. we tend to the chickens, give them a safe place to roost at night, supplement their free range with healthy single grains (non gmo and no corn and no soy of course), watch them hatch babies, watch in awe as the mamas teach them everything they need to know and in return they not only give us these amazing eggs, but they also provide some serious entertainment.  my favorite is when one finds a worm and so they all start place chase and tag until someone finally eats it.  so fun!

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and lastly, the eggs sure make for some pretty pics right? have you ever had fresh eggs? 

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pumpkin baths


pumpkin baths! we love October and autumn and all things cozy and lovely and orange and cider-ish. I don't use orange much in my pictures but you can always tell when it's October because the pumpkins start showing up everywhere.. and I mean everywhere. it's just so fun and cheery ya know?! 

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so here we have pumpkins in the bath. remember the sensory post?,, pumpkins are FANTASTIC for that! did you know pumpkins float? - bam, impress your kids with that one. in all honesty, I didn't know they float and we were just having fun with pumpkins while little miss was bathing. and to our surprise they float. some like to float upside down but that's just cause they're special. the big kids were ecstatic to learn this so begged to try the large pumpkins. sure enough they float too! science experiment complete.

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and they make the baths just so darn pretty! let me know if you try out pumpkins in the bath =)

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sensory bath idea for toddlers


lets talk about sensory play...   I didn't know much about it (or really anything about it) before having kids. in fact, even after 4 kids, I'm still learning the importance and effect of stimulating sensory for children. basically sensory play is things or activities that stimulate your childs senses. it can be something that gets all the senses working or just one - like touch and feel or smell or even taste! remember back when your child was a baby and would mouth everything they could reach?... that's because from day one of birth, children are wired to learn the world through their senses. sensory play encourages neural pathways and helps grow those systems so essentially, in my words - so very unscientifically stated, it helps the brain develop and assists with continued and future learning for those later years. pretty neat stuff right?

I think it's safe to say every kid loves bath time and bath time is the perfect time to include sensory items. they've already got water for the touch and possibly the water running (and splashes) for the hearing and I like to include non toxic items that aren't plastic and flashy. yes there's some great bath toys out there but the chemicals they put in most those items make it really unsafe for our children. so.... bring forth things like organic (or local farm - pesticide free) flowers, organic (again raised without pesticides!) pumpkins (perfect for those fall months) and even things in nature like leaves and sticks. we've lived on our land for a few years and do not use any chemicals or pesticides so I feel comfortable bringing this nature into our home and bath. please make sure its safe whatever it is you decided to use and do use your imagination. as long as its safe (and you're there watching it all) then you'll know if its something good. 

our big things since my daughter has been born has been the flower baths. of course it makes for some super pretty photos which is a huge bonus for me but also the flowers are great for her to play with and use those senses. she doesn't get bored with them either! I have to be the one to beg her to get out as she'd stay in there until she was a wrinkly raisin if if was up to her, true story.

lastly, we add milk sometimes to the bath. milk is a really great moisturizer for your skin and provides all kinds of great benefits including that it exfoliates, cleans, softens, and hydrates! we use raw goat milk as we raise our own goats and have that available. if you must use store milk, organic and preferably not ultra pasteurized (that way you get all the full benefits). (I've updated with some milk / water ratios HERE).  we've never had a problem with milk baths (and do them pretty often actually) but ease into trying it as I imagine some people could have reactions possibly as with anything in life, you just don't know. 

so here's how we do it.. we use the sink, or the basin like this, or the big bath. kinda depends on the day but I love the basin lately because she can be in the kitchen with me while I'm cooking and I don't have to worry about her climbing out of the sink. I put in the water and milk (if using milk) into the bath. then cut the stems off the flowers (that way the flowers sit up better in the bath plus she's then not trying to poke her eye out with the stems! then enjoy =). I take it one step further in reusing and dump the milk for our farm animals or the garden or the compost. if we used nature items, they usually go out to the compost or sometimes they're reusable (like the pumpkins, we just dry off and put back on table). 

let me know if you give it a try! excite those senses =)