The Nature Connection | Book Review

The Nature Collection book for kids

The Nature Connection by Clare Walker Leslie has been part of our book collection for over a year, and it's been such a worthwhile book for our nature-deprived family that I thought it was high time to review it here. This book is responsible for getting my kids excited about spending time outdoors, and the activities inside are so well designed that once underway it's close to … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Have Creative Fun with your Kids this Summer

10 Ways to have Creative Fun with your kids this summer | Tinkerlab

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”   - Henry James, Author Today is the last day of school for my kids before the start of summer. Not only is summer a school-free time for many children, but it can also mean warm weather, long car trips, digging up lots of beach sand, and long empty … [Read more...]

Inspired by Nature: Four Easy Steps to Follow a Child’s Interests

Inspired by Nature: wasp nest and bumble bee art

Do you have bees, birds, squirrels, deer, possum, or other creatures milling around your neighborhood? It's been wild animal week here at Casa Tinkerlab. We had two big discoveries at our house: a wasp nest in the eaves by our back door and a bird nest tucked into a hole along the siding of our house. Sad story, we found the bird nest on the ground today, and all of the … [Read more...]

50 Earth Day Activities for Kids

Upcycled Box Bugs

Earth Day is our annual reminder to slow down and appreciate the bounty of the earth. The following 50 Earth Day Activities for kids will encourage children to create objects from natural and recycled materials and spend more time outdoors. I hope you'll find some inspiration here, and if you have more ideas to share, please add them to a comment so that others can enjoy … [Read more...]

Fall Crafts: Glycerin Leaves

How to make glycerine Leaves

We're ga-ga for all the multi-colored maple leaves of the season, and my older daughter, N, is likely to burst into a chorus of "red and yellow leaves" as we drive down the road. I've been reading up on how to preserve the leaves so that they'll last more than a couple days and it turns out that you have a few choices, some of them being : preserve them with a glycerin … [Read more...]

Nature Table: Where Art, Stories, Memories, and Peace Unfold

make your own spiritual nature table

Today I'd like to introduce you to Rashmie Jaaju, the mama behind the creative learning blog, Mommy Labs. I've known Rashmie since I started blogging and always appreciate her sincerity, mindful approach to parenting, and the passion she brings to raising a creative child. Furthermore, Rashmie lives in New Delhi, India, and I hope you'll enjoy peeking into Rashmie's colorful … [Read more...]

Crushed Flower Experiment

Crushed Flower Experiment

Now that summer is coming to an end (sniff -- I'm kind of in denial -- you?), it's a good time to harvest some of your last blooms for some flower-painting experiments. We took a walk around the neighborhood and picked some weeds from wild roadside gardens, and also selected a handful of flowers and leaves from our own yard. Materials For this project you'll need: … [Read more...]

Make a Terrarium

How to Make a Terrarium

Today I'm joined by my friend and colleague, Amanda E. Gross, who I've had the pleasure of working with at the San Francisco Children's Creativity Museum. She has an incredible eye for all things related to creativity and kids, and today she's here to share some tips on how to make a terrarium. I've wanted to make one of these for a long time, and thrilled that Amanda is here … [Read more...]

Natural Playground with Tree Stumps

natural playground with tree stumps

Let your walks now be a little more adventurous. - Henry David Thoreau Do you have a natural playground in your yard or near your home? A natural playground is an outdoor play area that's landscaped with materials such as logs, dirt, grassy hills, sand, natural bridges, and streams instead of plastic playground equipment. Aside from our beloved plastic playhouse, our … [Read more...]