February 28, 2010


The late Winter months are a good time to go exploring with your child . . when the snow has melted and before the  leaves have burst forth on the trees. The earth might seem barren and with so little color ...until you *focus* in.

Bundle up warm , bring a magnifying glass for observing up close, and a bag or basket to collect your finds.

Be sure to LOOK UP!

The deciduous trees in the north are without leaves and birds and squirrel nests are more visible now.
 Can you see any? How many can you find?

We found three nests, all in thick shrubs making them totally invisible to us in the warmer months.

On closer inspection we saw that this nest was lined with mud.

Birds use whatever they can find to build their nests. This one had a roof shingle and pieces of plastic.

The colors are so MUTED in winter, almost as if the world is devoid of color, . . .that is, until you *focus* in.

The various browns and tans of the leaves of the Pin Oaks and Beech trees still cling on until they are pushed off by new growth. They crunch and crackle and sway in the breeze.

The various mosses add a brightness, and anticipation of the greening of the earth, soon to arrive. They cling to tree trunks and rocks coloring the woodlands with their vibrant greens.

Some look like dark green velvet.

LOOK CLOSELY with the magnifying glass!
See how different all the mosses are?
Touch them, how do they feel?

The onion grass is pushing through the ground and adds a delicate green to the brown landscape.

The newer growth on some blueberry branches are a pretty red color.

Nature discoveries are all around you. . .whether you explore a small backyard, a sidewalk, a park, farm or nature preserve, you WILL discover something from the natural world .
EnJOY the journey .

I would LOVE to hear what you discover !

February 22, 2010


I fell in love with a children's book today at a toy shop I frequent and just had to share.

 COOKIES Bite -Size Life Lessons 
written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Illustrated by Jane Dyer.


It is so very precious. The illustrations are so gentle and sweet. The story gives names to the behaviors and emotions children see on a regular basis but cannot fully understand yet, and all though a *cookie*. Even very young children can relate .

This is one of my favorite pages!
"OPTIMISTIC means, This is great - I still have half my cookie left."

It wasn't long before I had TWO books in my bag, for two precious little girls that I know.


February 20, 2010


The day was so mild and much snow had melted near the duck run so we opened the gate and let them forage around at will.

They are Pekin ducks,  domestic ducks, having wings but they cannot fly.

Some people buy them as cute, fuzzy, yellow little ducklings and think they can release them to a nearby pond when they are full grown. But they are mistaken. Domestic ducks cannot stay safe in the wild. They can't fly to get away from predators.

I love how they tilt their head to see up high.They have to because their eyes are on the sides . It's a funny sight when they look up at a plane, their head is horizontal and their eye facing straight up.

Today we were up on the deck and tossed them treats of frozen corn and peas, that were thawed .

We NEVER NEVER feed BREAD to ducks, wild or domestic.
Many people don't understand that it is very harmful.

They say if you absolutely must feed them, then peas, corn, or cheerios are better then bread. But the best thing is NOT to feed them at all but just to observe and admire them and keep them wild.

Perhaps YOU can pass the word and help keep waterfowl safe...and wild .

February 19, 2010

Cartons of Sunflowers

It's never too early for the sun to SHINE . I love sun and light and SUNFLOWERS! It's a long wait until August when sunflowers typically bloom in our gardens here in New England.

One year in our small backyard at our old house  I started sunflowers INSIDE in February. Our family room faced south ,with floor to celing windows, and it soon looked like a jungle in there. It was just before the days were warm enough to transplant them outside.

It was so worth the extra time it took to stake the plants and nurture them as they grew. They bloomed earlier than normal and  kept blooming until frost, and that is late October here.

The birds were thankful too, especially the Goldfinches, as they had an earlier bounty. The birdwatchers also reveled in the glory. The smaller wildlife, chipmunks, squirrels, field mice, also came and enjoyed their share of the fallen seeds

Sunflowers and Yellow, stir my soul and just to have those glorious blooms to look at for MONTHS at a time was certainly a TREASURE.

So... this is the time of the year I save many milk and juice cartons. They are tall and provide a good root system for the sunflowers.

I cut off the tops, punch drainage holes in the bottom with an awl, nail or screwdriver and use them to start the sunflower seeds .

I also save the tops to put in the ART bin for assemblage art projects with the young children. They have been used as roofs or turned upside down and have become boats.

My absolute favorite sunflower to start inside is KONG Sunflower.

Sunflowers are easy to grow. They are very forgiving and are drought resistant. They make a terrific project for a child , or the child within  :)

The Kong plant can reach up to 12 to 14 feet tall. It has a very thick,sturdy stalk with branching stems and huge leaves and multiple 10 inch flowers . And if you deadhead the flowers more and more will bloom and reward you with their BEAUTY.

A delightful book for children and parents alike, packed full of goodness, information, and fun ideas is SUNFLOWER HOUSES by Sharon Lovejoy. A must have book!

February 17, 2010

Whose Tracks Are Those?

This is a great time, after a snowfall, to go and see who was here while we slept.
 The white, untouched blanket is just waiting to be explored.

Look closely . What do you see?

Rabbit prints

Bird prints

Horse print

Hen prints

Bulldog prints

Deer prints

and a shoe print

What did YOU find around your yard or street? 

Let me know. I'd love to hear from you. 

February 16, 2010

Creative Hearts



(cardstock, clear contact paper, tissue paper, ribbon)

(cardstock , heart shape, paint)

(chenille stems, pom poms,glue )

(whole wheat toast, honey,cinnamon, heart- shaped cookie cutter)

(small paper bags,cardstock, markers, glitter, glue, ribbon, fasteners)

(cardstock, tissue paper, gel medium)

Please let me know if you want directions for any of these creations :)

With a Happy Heart

I used to say "with a happy heart" as I spoke with a child who seemed to be less than joyful.
It was saying to him please be kind or please have a positive outlook.

But feelings are REAL .we *feel what we feel* and let's face it, sometimes we are not too happy. That's ok. What IS important, is to acknowledge what we DO feel and go from there. ....

 A child needs to be allowed to feel, to be encourged to let it all out, whether it's a good feeling or a bad feeling. It is what it is. It shouldn't be hidden or hushed up or minimized but felt with full force, unheeded, with raw emotion and awareness and not tucked away to cause anguish at another time.

How else will a child learn to cope if he can't express his emotions freely? When feelings are acknowledged, people feel valued .Our emotions are part of who we are.

It empowers a child to be able to feel and handle his own emotions, to know what he needs when he needs it. It could be yelling and screaming, going off alone, punching a pillow, or running and jumping. Only the child knows what he truly needs and we can help them all along the way.

So next time there's a cranky toddler in a store or some sibling rivalry going on or your teen has an attitude, breathe and allow them to feel. Then see what you can do to help.
Our children are our partners in the journey of life.

May you have a happy heart . . . most of the time  :)

Heart to Heart

 I am enamored with nature and for me there is never enough.

My house is full of windows to let the sunlight pour in and to see the natural world where ever I am. The long kitchen windowsill is lined with various shapes and colors of rocks, to stack and play with and to just make me smile.

A rounded glass oak curio cabinet houses most all our special finds and keeps them dust free. Various baskets are here and there filled with objects to touch and observe, from smooth white stones to spongy lichen and acorn tops.

 I am always bringing in branches and other objects that stir my soul, even though some eyes may roll, "what does she have now? "

Nature is BEAUTY.  It inspires me and energizes me. It makes me want to create. And it is how I like to decorate. 

Nature is vital and connects all of life. It is math and science and art. It increases awareness and sharpens observational skills, and most importantly, soothes the soul. It is inexpensive and available to all of us and is just waiting to enrich our lives in so many ways. And one thing always leads to another.

I am passionate about connecting children with nature, (and adults too!). I wish for each child to be inharmony... in harmony with nature, in harmony with others, and in harmony with their own unique self. And for adults, to tap into the child inside each of us, to give ourselves that *permission* to play and create and learn and dream . . . to be in harmony.

Hence the name of this blog,
child in harmony

I will be sharing inspirations in nature finds, nature activities, stories and poems, art projects, repurpose and recycling projects, learning and parenting tips and life experiences and wisdom.

It is my hope to inspire you, to expand your world, to encourage you
to fill your world to the brim with more nature and JOY