Tending to Milkweed: Pods, Floss and Magic

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Likely I am not among the majority, but I think milkweed plants are a bit of magic. This is not all that obvious at first. Milkweed, as the name implies, is considered a weed. It grows along roadsides, edges of landscaped lawns where no one cares to tend or lots or fields abandoned to their…

Postcards from Abroad

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Have you ever received postcards from sock thieves? I recently interviewed Zara Picken and Alex Everitt on their new ebook app (Where Did the Oddsoks Go?). In it, a little boy named Jimi, a fancier of fancy socks, notices that one of each of his pairs of fancy socks has gone missing. Soon he begins…

The Running of the Sugar Maple Sap

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Few can adequately describe the New England springtime as it is mostly fickle. One day might look like any other winter’s day and the next might be summer. Out about now, though, as late February enters into March, we notice signs of change. Backyard chickens are laying eggs again as the days lengthen, bird calls…

Enter the Brimstone Forest!

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If you (or your kids) like bug-hunting adventures, chasing dragons or flamenco-dancing witches, you may wish to take a peek at Ngaire Elder’s children’s book: The Adventures of Cecilia Spark: The Brimstone Forest. It is the first book in a series of adventures featuring ten-year-old Cecilia Spark, tree-climbing and creepy-crawly enthusiast who is taken on…

Building a Paper City

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Carolyn Stearns has a wonderful post up on her blog on a Paper City Project that she was a part of that introduces kids to a three-dimensional map of their home town. In an after-school program in Connecticut, the kids make paper houses that are placed within a 3D representation of their town, with black…

On a Winter’s Morning: Connecting through Storytelling

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This past Saturday Massmouth, a local nonprofit that promotes the “timeless art of storytelling”, hosted the 3rd Annual Boston Storytelling Festival at the Boston Public Library. Ever intrepid in the search for good stories, I decided to take my two little ones (the older one, who I guess is not so little any more, is…

Interview with Scott Bedford, Author of Made by Dad

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In a prior post, I mentioned Scott Bedford’s book Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff as a fount of inspiration for “making things” with kids. It is terrifically refreshing in a world in which many of us really do not make much ourselves. If you browse through the book you’d also notice…

Raising Butterflies

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~ Guest Post by Robin Hardy ~ I invited author Robin Hardy in today to tell us about her encounter with swallowtail butterfly caterpillars and how she came to raise them. I was mesmerized the first time I saw Robin’s pictures of her swallowtails. The act of tending for the caterpillars from tiny crawling things…

Waldorf Education in China

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This week’s issue (February 3, 2014) of The New Yorker magazine provides a perceptive look into the spread of Waldorf education in China. For those not familiar with Waldorf education, it is an educational approach based on the writings and lectures of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925). Waldorf schools are distinctive in their emphasis…