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imagine childhood
... a little nature... a little imagination... a lot of play. Toys, tools and activities for growing minds. TM
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5 Reasons to Fall in Love with Costumes! Emotional Support - Time Together: There is so much outside stimulus we all have to deal with every day. So many ways to connect and disconnect at the same time. Growing up is complicated enough, and all this new technology and social media can make it even harder. Just like unplugging and going for a hike as a family, playing dress up on a rainy afternoon together is a fantastic way to connect and see where your kids are at. Put on a play, or a puppet show, give funny voices your... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Fall in Love with Physics! 1. It Teaches You to Think: Thinking is hard. This may sound a little silly, but it is! Humans are naturally inclined to take the easy road and just make assumptions based on emotions and beliefs, rather than making decisions based on the facts presented. In fact it takes a lot of practice to train our brains to think critically. The internet and the app store have done an okay job of giving us ways to practice this important skill, but do you know what's even better? Physics! Physically woven into the... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Love Fairies! 1. Fairytales: Peter Pan, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, we grow up with them. From Hans Christian Andersen to the Brothers Grimm, fairies in all their iterations, have influenced the way we see the world as we grow into it. There is just something so fascinating about them. Magical, mischievous, and full of fantasy, fairies will never let you down in the play department. 2. Connection to the Past - History and Anthropology: Fairy stories were not always as they are today, full of songs, dancing, and happy endings. Some of the earliest mentions of fairies goes... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Love Nature! Outside is the Best Side - Wonder on the grandest scale: I've said it before and I'll say it again... "worms in the dirt, clouds in the sky, wildflowers in your pocket", these are the little things that make a big difference in this great wide world we call home. And for the littlest of explorers out there, these small details are endlessly fascinating. I can't tell you the amount of times I have taken my fussy 3, 6, 9, and now 11 month old outside and how the rustling of leaves in the wind... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Love Magnifiers! 1. Wonder - Start 'em Young!: For our littlest explorers everything is a moment of wonder. Want to instill this sense of wonder so they hold on to it the rest of their lives? Give them a magnifying glass, just a simple handheld one, and let them take a closer look at this beautiful world we live in! The amazement will last a lifetime, we promise! (Disclaimer for our little explorers: ages 1-5, it's important to supervise this time, as incorrect use of a magnifying glass can cause damage to their sweet little eyes.) 2.... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Write Stories with Your Kids! Basic Writing Skills - Grammar - Sentence Structure - Essay Structure: in the world of texting and twitter, the art of writing is losing some ground. Lets put a stop to that. Words get lost on a screen, but when you physically write them out, it's easy to see structure, grammar, and meaning. When in doubt, write it out! Freedom: Much of children's lives these days is very structured. Between school, sports, and extracurriculars, there's not a lot of time for free time, or freedom in which to decide what you want... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Go Bird Watching with Your Kids! 1. The Little Things: Worms in the dirt and birds up in the sky. From a very early age, kids are keen observers. My 10 month old daughter loves tracking birds as they fly from tree to tree (It's like a magic trick at that age!). As children grow it's important to nurture these observational skills, in time, these skills will help them to see the little things. Small patterns and details that indicate changes in their world. Being able to quickly perceive these changes will help them track their environment... Continue reading
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Remember when we said that picking our top 5 reasons to craft with your kids was the hardest assignment to date? Well we were wrong, so, so wrong. Forts people, forts. Our love for these wild and spontaneous structures knows no bounds. If you do one thing and one thing only with your kids (aside from loving, feeding, clothing, sheltering, and providing safety of course), build forts with them. The benefits will last a lifetime, we pinky swear on this one. So in no specific order and only broaching the tip of the iceberg on this one, here are our... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Love Stargazing! Pale Blue Dot - Lets start here: "On a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam." In 1990, Astronomer Carl Sagan uttered these timeless words. They are based off of a photo of Earth taken by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft as it left our solar system. The photo is pretty much a pale blue speck, floating in a sunbeam. But it's Earth, it's our home. And it demonstrates the vastness of space, and our relatively minuscule existence within that space. Astronomy and stargazing are all about perspective, and sharing that perspective with kids can give... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Love Card Games Winning and Losing: Sometimes you win, and sometimes, well, you don't. And that is okay. Learning how to be a good winner and looser is equally important. You never know what life will hand you, so learning how to negotiate the ups and downs with grace is a seriously valuable life skill. It may sound a bit simplistic, but card games are a great place to teach these skills in a low stress, supportive environment. Memory: Cultivating a good memory takes time and practice. Card games are a great way to nurture and grow... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Try New Crafts with Your Kids! There are so many reasons to craft with your kids! Picking the top 5 reasons why, was one of the hardest assignments to date. 1. Learn Something New: We all get stuck in patters and routines. As as we grow these patterns can become restrictive. Sally is good at drawing, so you keep giving her crayons and pencils, and she gets even better, that's great! But, what if she happens to be a gifted sculptor, or inventor? Crafting with your kids allows them to explore a new idea or process in... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Learn to Use a Compass 1. Learning the Four Directions - Orienteering: Learning to orient yourself or orienteering as it's also known is an all important skill. This necessary life skill starts by learning the four main directions, North, South, East, and West. When you hold a compass in the palm of your hand, the four directions are no longer points on a map, but living, breathing wilderness just waiting to be explored! 2. Geology - Earth's Magnetic Fields: What is so cool here is that learning how to use a compass is like a geologic conversation... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Love Old Fashioned Games! 1. Old fashioned games build contemporary skills: In a world where many of the games geared for children come in app format, old fashioned games can help kiddos gain important skills, including gross motor, balance, coordination and more. Jacks, marbles, hopscotch, foursquare, kickball, and even Red Rover, all invite children to use their bodies in ways that help them to grow into skilled, coordinated, and strong adults. 2. Teamwork: Unlike many single player games, many old fashioned games invite cooperation and communication. I remember epic rounds of capture the flag as a child... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Love Geography! 1. Spatial awareness: In this age of digital navigation, knowing how to get from place to place without a satellite powered device is becoming a lost art. Teaching your kiddos the value of old fashioned navigation using a map not only empowers them with important skills that will come in handy on your next camping trip, but it also gives them a sense of place in this vast world. Understanding distance with your own two feet can inspire a pretty amazing sense of wonder, especially when looking at majestic mountains and grand oceans. 2. Geography... Continue reading
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We love knots! Here are our top 5 reasons why you should too! 1. Hand Eye Coordination: It's no surprise that learning to tie knots, from tying your shoes to essential camping and boating knots, promotes increased hand-eye coordination skills, and fine motor skills too! For the little ones just getting started, the pincer grasp is all important, while older kiddos will get a hand and mind workout by combining different parts of the brain and body to master more advanced knots. Tying knots can also help children with less developed motor skills or motor skill challenges to grow stronger... Continue reading
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5 Reasons to Love Bugs! 1. See all of those lovely bright colored flowers out there? Do you enjoy eating fruits and veggies? Well, bugs had a lot to do with all of that. Bees and other insects are amazing pollinators. Without them, many plants wouldn’t reproduce and bear fruit. That’s why we need to protect them. Teaching your kids to love bees and other insects is the first step toward insuring that we look after these ever-so-important tiny gardeners for generations to come. Learn more about bees and pollination with this fun interactive guide here. Want to plant a... Continue reading
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Now that it's officially summer, it seemed like the perfect time to launch our 5 Reasons series. Each week, we'll dive into some of our favorite topic and give you our top five reasons for why we love them so. First up: Camping with Kids!! 5 Reasons to Go Camping with Your Kids This Summer! 1. Simplicity: Simple is good, especially when it comes to kids. Once you’re out in the woods, there are only three things to think about: Food, Shelter, and Exploration. That’s it. You can spend hours picking the best spot for your tent. Your kids can... Continue reading
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As a member of my family, gardening began each year on Mother's Day. On that day we would pile all four kids in the Jeep Wagoneer and make the pilgrimage to Paulino Gardens. There we would spend the morning following my mom around as she picked out the garden's new additions, and the afternoon helping her plant them. As spring made its approach each year I would count down to Mother's Day. And being the wonderful mother she is, my mom would help me get the garden ready so that on that day, we could plant everything. We would turn... Continue reading
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May Day is just around the corner and it is one of my favorite days. It means a trip to the garden center or the backyard for a bit of green, and perhaps, some strawberries to gift to a neighbor, friend, or mom! Every year we make a May Day craft and this year our May Day Cone has a fun twist, it's plantable and it cracks open just like a seed in a garden! Seeds crack open each spring with new life once they have been planted into the ground. With this craft, kiddos crack the shells around their... Continue reading
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This week's lovely nature walk comes to us from our very own Imagine Childhood editor, Sarah. After months of rain in Southern California, what is usually an almost Martian-like landscape in the Anza Borrego desert transformed into verdant fields filled with wildflowers. The desert really is a amazing place. Each plant has such a capacity to survive on the least amount of resources possible, but when water is abundant, they really know how to put on a show! Thanks Sarah for sharing this fun trip! **Attention Nature Enthusiasts: We love to share! If you would like to contribute to our... Continue reading
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My dear girls are laying their eggs! They had a wonderful rest in the dark of winter but with the light returning I found one egg one day, then two eggs, and then all of a sudden lots of eggs each morning. They are Buckeye chickens and several years old now, but still laying well. This spring I let my grand old rooster from Mr. Ulrich in Minnesota (he's kept this breed of chickens alive and well) in with the hens. I have one hen brooding and hope one morning to arrive in the barn to hear the chirping of... Continue reading
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It's here!... ... it's here!... ... it's really here!... Spring! xox ~ i.c. Continue reading
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Can you feel it? Better yet, can you see it? Little bits of green beginning to appear on bare branches and under the snow, little bits of new life emerging from a sweet winter's slumber. Which means it's time to get growing!... ... to begin dreaming... ... to start savoring... ... all that the coming season has to offer. March is a beautiful month of transition. Full of small details worth being present for and to. We hope you'll all take a moment to stop and wonder in each little moment. Happy March Everyone! xox ~i.c. Continue reading
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Oh we love this book so! We have been friends with Donni over at The Magic Onions blog for while now, and we just love all the beautiful crafts and activities she creates and shares with the world. So when we heard she was directing that creativity into a book... ... we just had to get our hands on a copy! Donni also happens to run the Fairy Gardens website, blog, and shop, which is completely delightful in and of itself, so it's no wonder this book is simply magic. In all, Donni features seven different fairy garden tutorials to... Continue reading
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Winter is by far my favorite time for birding. Many birds have migrated from colder climates to warmer ones, but the chances of getting up close to the ones that do stick around are much better. Like this lovely adolescent hawk for instance. Silhouetted against the gray winter sky, with only the sound of feathers and air to accompany the sight, was something magical indeed. If the hills had been green and leaves out in full, this lovely moment would not have happened at all. I know it's frigid for most of us out there right now, but I promise,... Continue reading