Fall is here! It’s my very favorite season, and because of that I tend to go *slightly* overboard with all of the fall things. (Can you relate?)
I put together a list of all the things the boys and I have done over the past few years, as well as some on our list for the future. All of these are simple, no-fuss activities, and a great way to lean into the season.
Dandelion crowns in spring, flower crowns in summer… and these leaf crowns are so perfect for your autumn prince or princess.
Exploring Moss and Lichen (Free Printable)
When the weather turns cooler and damper, it’s a great time to study moss and lichen. Go on a nature walk, bring a magnifying glass and see what you can find. Bring this free moss and lichen printable with you.
Friends, it’s here! The Pond Guided Nature Journal is in my Etsy shop and ready for your little explorer.
Inside are posters, flash cards, coloring pages and journaling prompts covering 5 different topics (frogs, dragonflies, turtles, aquatic plants, aquatic minibeasts), and I’ve also included ideas for activities, sensory play and a book list.
Here’s a little boredom buster that’s sure to keep the rock-lovers happy in your house. This is a FREE Rock and Mineral Properties Activity Sheet for immediate download. My boys loved testing the rocks from their collection – I hope your kids love it, too!
My boys share a room – and they’ve been collectively asking for a space room for, well, years. So a few weekends ago, we sent the boys away to their grandparents’ house and surprised them with their new space room.
By far, the coolest part of their new room is this Constellations wallpaper from Coloray.
This isn’t traditional wallpaper. This is actually PEEL-AND-STICK wallpaper. That’s right, folks. Slap it up there, and then when they change their minds or change rooms or if we decide to move – it PEELS RIGHT OFF. And, it’s REUSABLE.
(I am talking in all caps because I have spent a month slowly scraping wallpaper off four walls and THIS IS A BIG DEAL.)
So, yes, this is a life-changing home décor product – but, you do need to know how to hang it properly or you are going to get yourself in trouble. Ask me how I know.
**Note – make sure to remove all jewelry before hanging the wallpaper. We noticed our rings made tiny scratch marks when we first started out – so learn from our mistake!**
Step One – Clean and Prime Your Walls
This is the most important step.
I repeat – the most important step!
Wipe your walls down with a wet cloth (because you know if it’s in a kid’s room, it’s going to be covered in all sorts of grime). If the wall is painted with a latex paint (especially a gloss paint), the wallpaper won’t stick properly. Your best bet is to lay a quick coat of primer on the wall and let it dry completely.
Step Two – Remove Baseboards and Outlet/Light Switch Covers
Our baseboards were a bit tricky to remove in one piece, but we were able to get them off without doing any damage.
Step Three – Lay Out the Wallpaper Panels
Carefully lay out your wallpaper panels on the floor (with clean hands). Make sure the design on the edges line up and double check the length of your wall. If you have slightly more length than you need, you may be able to overlap the panels a bit, as long as the designs still match up.
Step Four – Start Hanging
Once you’ve determined your left-to-right panel order, get ready to hang. Starting at the top of the wall (and working in a left-to-right fashion), peel back the first four or so inches of the backing.
(Note: I would NOT recommend peeling the backing on the carpet or bed or any surface that may have dust or hair on it. The first time we did this on the floor, all kinds of little things immediately stuck to the back of the wallpaper and affected its sticking power in those spots.)
Line up the top of the panel with the top of your wall and press it down, making sure it is straight across. Have someone step back and verify that it’s straight. If not, you can peel if off and try again.
Step Five – Work Your Way Down
You’ll want two people for this step – one person to pull the backing off from behind, about a foot at a time, and one to smooth down the paper by pressing from the middle out to the edges. Smooth out all those little creases and bubbles.
If you’re finding that the paper isn’t laying flat, peel it up a bit and try again. Continue smoothing it down, one foot at a time, until you get to the bottom of the wall.
Step Six – Cut Around Outlets and Light Switches
If you run into an outlet or light switch as you’re laying the paper down, make note of where it is and lay the paper right over it.
Then, before you do anything else – GO TURN OFF THE POWER.
Seriously, don’t try to cut the hole out with the switch power on. Use a flashlight if you must for this part (we did).
Using a sharp utility knife or a single edge razor blade, carefully cut a hole as big as the opening in the drywall. The cover will give you some leeway to work with, so don’t worry about it being perfect.
Step Seven – Cut Off the Excess
Once you reach the bottom of the wall, cut off the excess below where the top of your baseboards will be. (You’ll want a little wiggle room.) Then, press really well and voila! You’ve just finished your first panel.
Step Eight – Repeat Steps One Through Seven
Keep following this process with additional panels until you’ve finished your wall.
You may want to run your hands over it once more to smooth out any additional bubbles. If there’s a tricky spot, you can run a blow dryer over it and then try smoothing it out – this works surprisingly well.
Step Nine – Install Your Baseboard
(Or convince your husband to do it thirty minutes before your kids’ bedtime while you get the kids dressed for bed. I mean, he’s a lucky guy.)
That’s it! So much easier than traditional wallpaper – as long as you follow the important preparation steps.
We chose the Constellations pattern, but there are so many beautiful categories to choose from:
**Note: I’m an affiliate of Amazon, which means every purchase from product links helps keep this website going. I only write about things I’m truly passionate about, and products I actually recommend and use for our family.**
The Wild Child’s Nature Journal ~ The Forest is done and up in my Etsy shop.
This project feels a bit like my fourth child, and I hope it’s something that can be a blessing to you and your kiddos.
Inside The Forest, I’ve included 8.5×11 posters, flash cards, coloring pages and journaling prompts for eight fascinating organisms you can find in the forest:
Autumn Leaves Forest Beetles Fungi Conifer Trees Woodpeckers Ferns Forest Animals Moss and Lichen
This guided journal is a great option for those of you who have kids just getting started with nature study and nature journaling. It presents a variety of information on species, nature anatomy and life cycles, while keeping it simple and non-intimidating (is that a word???).
Use it alongside your favorite nature study curriculum, or bring it along on your nature walks.
“We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” -Charlotte Mason
We bound ours in a pocket folder (minus the flashcards – those hang above our nature table), and when it’s time for nature study we just pull out the folder and it’s all there.
Nature study is something that is really important to our family, and I believe it’s an essential piece of my children’s education.
Please let me know how you like it! And feel free to share your experience with the journal on Instagram by using #journalingthewild ~ I would love to see and share your photos.
I’ve been working on something super exciting (and a little nerve-wracking, truth be told) over the past few months and I am finally ready to share.
First — some background info.
If you follow me over on Instagram, you know how important nature study is to our family. My husband is a forester for goodness sake. 🙂
My oldest just turned six, and he’s at that great age of wanting to discover all nature has to offer, and learn the names of everything and how it all fits together. But nature journaling was daunting for him. The interest was there — but he just doesn’t have the skill set yet to express all of his wonderful thoughts on paper.
That’s why I started putting together these little nature journal guides. My hope is that they will help children journal through subjects within a specific habitat:
The Forest, The Pond, The Meadow, The Mountain, The Garden, The Night Sky.
Each habitat will cover 6-8 subjects, with an 8.5×11 poster and flashcards (hand-painted by yours truly), a coloring sheet and a nature journaling prompt.
(Side note: I love that younger siblings can do the coloring sheet and be included in the lesson)
Sometimes my boy likes drawing his observations right on the page and sometimes he’ll draw in his blank journal. Sometimes he’ll use the illustrations as a guide to sketch out what he’s observing. Sometimes I’ll print the coloring page on cardstock paper and he paints with watercolors.
We use these a lot of ways — I usually let his interest guide how we use them.
I very much hope these little nature journaling guides can be helpful for others getting started with nature study – and trust me – they have been kid tested!
(Fun Fact: when I presented my son with the first – very different – version, he said it was and I quote, “too boring.” Ouch!! Brutal honesty, folks.)
So – friends – I’d love for you to download this Moss + Lichen pack, use it with your kids and tell me what you think.
For the past few weeks we have been studying caterpillars with our nature study curriculum, Exploring Nature With Children. I have to say, this has been one of the most exciting subjects to study (for all of us).
Along with our curriculum, here are some of the other resources we used:
Anatomy of a Caterpillar Craft with Homemade Playdough
Since we couldn’t find any real caterpillars for a hands-on study, we made one! Here is the video we watched for instructions on how to make a Swallowtail Caterpillar out of playdough.
We then used a small chalkboard to label the parts of the caterpillar.
Have you tried homemade playdough before? I just recently became a believer and will never go back to the store bought stuff! My boys played for hours after we made the caterpillar craft, literal hours.
Here is the recipe I used (taken from @wovenchildhood on Instagram):
2 Cups White Flour
1 Cup Iodized Salt
3 Tbs Cream of Tartar
1 1/2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
2 Cups Boiling Water
Food coloring (optional)
Essential oils (optional, for an extra sensory element)
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl
Carefully add in oil and hot water
Add 10-20 drops of essential oil of your choosing (we added lemon EO)
Stir together until blended
Add food coloring, then stir again
Knead and sprinkle a little more flour until your preferred consistency
What better way to study caterpillars than to observe them in real life? We’ve ordered this butterfly kit from Amazon before to grow and release our own butterflies and it was an incredible experience! (Sadly, we didn’t get to it this year)
Caterpillar Unit Study and Life Cycle Picture Books
**You can probably find most of these at your local library, but we try to add our favorites to the shelf, because ALWAYS more books!**
**I’m an affiliate of Amazon, which means every purchase from product links helps keep this website going. I only write about things I’m truly passionate about, and products I actually recommend and use for our family.**