Fall Find It

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We’re always up for a good nature walk, so loved this suggestion from our latest High Five magazine. Their Fall Find It page, featuring a checklist of items to find, added a whole new element to our stroll. The treasure hunt was so engaging for Travis, who loved finding the things on our list (“We still need a pinecone…” he would muse, as we ambled).

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Even better, this time I brought along the instant camera so he could snap pictures as we went!

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Pretty soon we’d checked our way through a neat assortment, including:

A squirrel

A chipmunk (two actually, chasing each other!)

Acorns

Funny twigs

A leaf with two different colors

Pinecones

A yellow leaf

We never did find a few items on the list, including a woolly bear caterpillar and a pumpkin, but this in itself made the hunt exciting! We added a few things not on the list, like this cricket:

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By far the best part was taking a pause to sit so Travis could “draw” what we’d seen. Older children can no doubt truly test their art skills here, but it was great fun just to see Travis wield a red crayon and say he was drawing the red ants we’d spotted in the dirt, or a tree across the way.

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Once home, continue the fun by going back over your memories as you glue the items onto construction paper.

Travis loved overlapping his leaves..

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…And was so proud to incorporate the instant pics we’d snapped, and a little bit of his drawings.

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What have you found on your fall hikes so far? Please share in the comments!

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Glow-in-the-Dark Jars, Two Ways

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We seem to be having endless fun with our glow-in-the-dark paint lately. To add to a budding collection of gleaming creations, we put two additional mason jar projects together! Basically this is just two different methods of using the same two materials, so I’ve combined the crafts into one post.

First, we made a glow-in-the-dark lantern. This one was simple as can be, but giddy fun. Squirt glow-in-the-dark paint into a mason jar.

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Now seal the lid, and shake shake shake, like it’s a maraca!

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Travis loved seeing how this dispersed the color. Once your jar is coated, you can make a handle out of pipe cleaners: Twist one pipe cleaner in a U-shape in the center of the other.

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Wrap the long pipe cleaner around the jar’s neck securely.

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Charge up, and enjoy the lantern! This would be fun to add to any Halloween patio scene.

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For the second version of jar + glow paint, we wanted to replicate the old tradition of collecting fireflies in a jar – without harming any fireflies!

Put glow-in-the-dark paint into containers; a few different colors will make the prettiest result.

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Dip your paint brush into one color, and place in a mason jar; tap against the jar (almost like you’re ringing a bell), so the paint splatters.

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Repeat with the remaining colors – very Jackson Pollack-esque!

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Set your jar under direct light so your “fireflies” glow once the sun goes down.

Banana-Seed Pudding

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I’m always on the lookout for desserts that pack a nutritional punch, alongside a chocolate-y smile. This one wins on both counts!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • Banana slices

1.       In a bowl, whisk together the milk, agave, cocoa powder, and salt.

2.       Stir in the chia seeds, then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and up to overnight, stirring occasionally (this helps to smooth out lumps).

3.       To serve, place about ½ cup pudding in bowls, and top each serving with thinly sliced bananas.