make-believe: nature walk.

February 14, 2018

The ultimate daydream: A sunshine-y forest walk in May even though we’re stuck smack in the middle of February. I can’t wait for sandals and buckets and days when the earth lets out its mustiness and starts to turn green again. Silas is tramping around after Faye these days and I can’t wait for long weekend afternoon romps with those two. Contemplating outdoor adventures that don’t also require wresting layers of wool onto squirmy bodies is an exercise in imagination in which I’ll gladly indulge.

Here’s how:

A book of lost words for getting acquainted with earthside wonders. 

magnifying glass for taking a closer look.

Paper packets for collecting dandelion seeds.

A goldfinch call and a skylark call.

Buckets for mud and twigs and other things.

A jumpsuit for one kid, a jumpsuit for another, and a dress for their mama, too. (Plus, sandals.)


In an effort to ground all of this make-believing in something a bit more down to earth, here are a few things we might do to get kids into nature:

To get kids in parks: Head to Every Kid in a Park and get them a pass. Every Kid in a Park is a collaborative inter-agency initiative aimed to give fourth-grade students and their families free passes to more than 2,000 national parks, protected lands, and historic sites. To help kids of all ages, head to the National Park Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids.

To find a forest near you: Head to the Discover the Forest site to make a map of local forests or parks. Then head to their activities page to get inspired for your own forest walks.

To preserve wild places: The UK-based John Muir Trust has partnered with the makers of the Lost Words book (above!) to create an Explorers’ Guide to Lost Words. You can support their mission to conserve and protect wild places here and download their guide for free!

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  • Reply Mari February 14, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    This is a beautiful thought in the middle of winter.

  • Reply Alexandra February 15, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Wow, thank you for linking to the Lost Words book. I had no idea it existed and am ordering now!

  • Reply Ellen Anderman February 15, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    I also want to thank you for the mention of the Lost Words book. I ordered two – one for myself, a grandmother in waiting, and a second as a present to a 7 year old child of a dear friend, author and mentor. It looks wonderful!

    I will also take this time and space to thank you with all my heart for your beautiful photographs, sensitive posts and collections of things you loved. I check in daily.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE February 15, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Ellen. So glad to know you’re here.

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