I made a thing!


Hello, Nature Friends!

It has been a long time since I have been in this space. I’ve missed it. And you. Today I am clearing away the cobwebs to share some exciting news…

Some time ago I received a very sweet and encouraging message from a blog follower asking if I had all my monthly nature prompts in an easy to find collection, which I didn’t. Why had I not thought of doing that?! Well, I’ve been working on it for the past couple of months and it is now available.

The Noticing Nature: Nature Prompt Bundle contains a year’s worth of prompts to nurture your child’s natural sense of wonder & curiosity and cultivate deeper nature connections.

If you are…
Invested in helping your child fall in love with nature; you understand the importance of time spent outside; and you are looking for some creative activities to help your child get to know nature in meaningful ways, this is the perfect tool for you.

Each prompt has been carefully crafted to encourage children of all ages to notice nature, perhaps in ways that they haven’t before. They are designed in an open-ended format to spark curiosity and promote self-driven exploration and there is little to no prep needed.

Noticing Nature prompt bundle cover

You can view some sample pages here and you can find the bundle for purchase at


(It is being offered at an introductory price until February 28th so click on over)

Thank you so much for checking it out! And for sticking with me. I’ll be seeing you again soon…

With gratitude,



Noticing Nature 2018 is beginning!

Noticing Nature 2018
 I began Noticing Nature as a private group on Facebook in January of 2017 soon after the idea popped into my mind and there are currently 310 members from all around the globe.
What is Noticing Nature? It is a family-friendly space – meant for adults and children alike – for sharing interpretations of weekly open-ended provocations and prompts. Each of us will find our own unique relationship with nature and that’s what this journey is all about.
So how does it work? Every Monday I post a thoughtfully selected, open-ended provocation in the form of a single word for you to carry with you throughout your days. With some mindfulness and openness, the connections will present themselves to you.
This year I will also be offering…
  • A monthly theme. The themes can serve as structure for the weekly provocations or as an additional spark for noticing nature throughout each month. It’s up to you!
  • Occasional prompts related to the weekly word that are more specific and actionable.
  • Occasional challenges (simple and easy to incorporate into your days).
  • And perhaps a surprise or two…
We start Monday, January 8th.
You can join us on Facebook or sign up by email at any time. I’m looking forward to sharing with you!


From my family to yours, Happy Holidays! ❤️

Wishing you all the hope, wonder and joy that the season can bring!

Happy Holidays and best wishes for a New Year full of love, happiness and prosperity.


Monique ❤️

Unique Gifts for Young Nature Lovers

Unique Gifts for Young Naturalists: A gift guide from Green Acorns

Every year my children spend hours compiling their holiday wish lists and every year I search for the perfect unexpected gifts that I know they will love but would never have thought of. Is it the same at your house?

Below are some gift ideas for the young nature-lover in your life – all either items we own or have tried or that I have come across in my own searches and fell in love with. I hope it helps with your gift buying or at least sparks some ideas…

Unique Gifts for Young Naturalists: A gift guide from Green Acorns

For the Adventurers

Young explorers will confidently lead the way with this classic compass.

Keep track of National Parks visits with this Explorer Map.

If your family travels a lot, Scratch Your Travels posters (world, European, Canadian and United States versions) are a fun way to record places you’ve been.

This headlamp is perfect for camping and other nighttime adventures.

Nature-inspired bandanas like these or any of these will add a fun twist to any outing.

Why not give an outdoor adventure like one of these?

Add a little whimsy to your outings with a leaf or fox backpack from Leafling.

Unique Gifts for Young Naturalists: A gift guide from Green Acorns

For the Crafty & Artsy Kids

Weave flowers, leaves, and other treasures from your nature walks into this beautiful circular weaving frame to create seasonal displays.

Choose any one of these embroidery or sewing kits. They are all so lovely!

The Stick Book: Loads of things you can make or do with a stick.

Hello Nature: Draw, Collect, Make and Grow is a creative and engaging nature activity book from Nina Chakrabarti.

Incorporate flower petals, leaves and other nature bits in hand-made paper with this lovely kit.

Unique Gifts for Young Naturalists: A gift guide by Green Acorns

For the Book-Lovers

Small Adventures Journal: A Little Field Guide for Big Discoveries in Nature. Fully illustrated—with visual reference pages, checklists, and more—the journal packs in tons of drawing and writing prompts to document discoveries made as close as the front steps.

Nature Walk Journal: Filled with illustrations of leaves, cloud formations, and animal tracks for easy reference, this journal provides an ideal place to jot down what you see, hear, smell, and notice on your walk. Use the pages for pressing wildflowers, pasting in photos, or making sketches of the scenery, flowers, or animals. Quotes about the woods, wilderness, and nature from writers and artists appear throughout.

Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman: This book combines whimsical illustrations with interactive activities that encourage curiosity and inspire you to look more closely at the world all around you. A must have!

The Wildlife on the Move series, a collection of well-written, engaging stories about wildlife migration, conservation, and respectful human interaction with nature, will be loved by young children (best for ages 2-6 years).

You’ll find a collection of some of our favorite nature-based chapter books here – perfect for both family read-alouds and independent reading time. P.S. If you’re looking for more ‘all things nature’ book recommendations, check out my other bookshelves while you’re there.

Every nature lover needs a collection of field guides. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Fandex guides combine vivid photographs with facts for hand-held learning.
  • Take Along Guides are great for young children (ages 4-10).
  • Laminated Pocket Naturalist Guides are perfect for bringing on outdoor adventures.
  • We have A LOT of Audubon guides. Choose the ones the best fits the area you live in and your child’s interests.

Unique Gifts for Young Naturalists: A gift guide from Green Acorns

For the Journalers

Every nature journal should have a supply of sketchpads like these or these or these. And of course paints and some good pens too.

The Naturalist’s Notebook is a wonderful resource for sharpening observation skills, nurturing curiosity and wonder, for deepening understanding of nature’s rhythms, and for developing a phenology record to look back on in years to come. It’s a must have for any nature lover of any age.

There is something about recording observations in a special journal – it lets your child know that his observations are respected and it lends to the joy of the practice. This leather-bound journal is truly worthy of holding your child’s nature chronicles.

For the Love of Learning

The cards and posters and curriculum materials from Tanglewood Hollow will help foster a strong connection with the natural world. Be sure to check out the Bird-of-the-Month club too!

A year-long journey – the Kid’s Moon Club from Nicolette of  Wilder Child will inspire your family to connect, celebrate, play and walk together through all thirteen (yes 13!) full moons of 2018.

Unique Gifts for Young Naturalists: A gift guide from Green Acorns

Bring the Outside In

Let your little one create her own mini-world with a terrarium kit.

Any of these nature-based prints and posters will make your walls a little happier!

The nature-inspired (and educational) illustrations from Alice of Twig and Moth will look lovely in any room of your home.

Imagine Childhood has a nice selection of posters, like this Tree Leaves one, that any young naturalist would be happy to have.

It may seem odd to get children a display box or frame but if they have a favorite nature collection, they’ll appreciate having a place to display it. Even better would be to arrange the nature collection for them and present the ready-to-hang product. My son was thrilled with his framed feather collection. Don’t have a nature collection? This discovery box comes with one as well as activity ideas.

Play Outside

Build outside with these natural and eco-friendly tree blocks.

Bust boredom with this Backyard Box from the idea box kids.

Whether in field or pond, this net will help children get a close-up view of the little critters around them.

Go on a nature scavenger hunt with this lovely card game developed by Sensory Trust.

If you have some suggestions to add, please do share. I’m always on the lookout for quality gifts.


Nature Word of the Month – October 2017

Nature Word of the Month - October 2017

Why do I share nature-related words?  It all started when my curiosity was peaked by a friend’s post about her ‘crepuscular‘ cat.  I wasn’t familiar with that word so I looked it up. I was so intrigued that there are single words that succinctly describe a phenomenon or emotion. I set off with great motivation to learn other nature-related words. It was also a perfect fit for my children’s nature and home-schooling activities.

Most of the words I share have been used in the English language with references found in literature and science sources. It made sense to me as my hope is that we can all use them comfortably in our everyday lives when noticing and sharing our love for nature. We are, however, increasingly becoming global citizens. And we must as we have a communal responsibility to fully understand the human relationship with the earth and that we are active participants in her well-being.

Inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s book Landmarks, this month’s nature word comes from the Lithuanian language and is most appropriate for the current season in the northern hemisphere.

If you’d like to print a copy, you can do so by clicking here.

If you’d like to follow Robert and see his ‘word of the day’, click here.


NOTICING NATURE: Nature Prompts – October 2017

Noticing Nature: Nature Prompts for Children and Their Families - October 2017

“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.”
–  Nathaniel Hawthorne

This quote expresses how I feel about fall and this month in particular. It lays between the blur of September – full of transitions – and the delightful, although busy, holiday season. It is quieter, cozier, slower and full of colorful fall beauty. I hope the prompts for this month help you slow down and notice some of the splendor of the season.

Track the changing temperature

The temperature can shift quite drastically this month. From day to day and even hour to hour. Today in Maine the temperature reached near 70°F in the afternoon and is supposed to dip to the low 40s tonight. That’s a big change! Use our weather log to track the temperature and weather throughout the month and see what a difference a day can make.

Life of a log

Even after it’s life, trees continue to be a crucial element in the ecosystem. They help lessen erosion and provide shelter, food and nutrients. Examine a fallen log and you’ll see that it’s full of life. Search for signs of animal activity and fungal growth. What did you observe? Why do you think they were in, under or around the log? What role do these things play in the cycle of life?

*Note: While observing fallen logs, please be very gentle and careful. This is a living habitat.

These are some of our favorite books to accompany the exploration of fallen logs…

Go on a bark scavenger hunt

The outer bark serves the same function for all trees but there is a lot of diversity in how it looks.  So many different patterns and textures and colors to notice!  Your young naturalist will gain a greater appreciation for trees with this scavenger hunt.

bark scavenger hunt

You can take this activity further by adding some sensory elements.

  • Ask your child to feel the difference of the barks.  Do they feel rough or smooth?  Are they thick or thin?  Take some bark rubbings too.  They will aid in remembering the experience and serve as prompts for reflection and further discussion.
  • Try smelling the bark. Go ahead, don’t be shy. The bark of some trees have very distinct odors. Sandalwood, red cedar, yellow birch and ponderosa pines are some.

Notice the night sky

This month is the perfect time to get outside after dark and observe the night sky. It’s getting dark before bedtime, still warm enough to not have to bundle up too much, and the skies tend to be clear.

While time spent together simply gazing at the night sky is a wonderful thing, you can make it engaging and educational by doing a little prep work. I like this short video for generating some ideas: Stargazing with Kids.noticing the night sky

Here are some other resources you may want to have at the ready…

Happy October. Have fun exploring and noticing nature!


Hitchhiking, Flying and Other Exciting Ways Seeds Travel

Hitchhiking, Flying and Other Exciting Ways Seeds Travel: a seed dispersal study with activities and free printables.

Year after year my children are captivated by the seeds that they find, especially in the fall. There are so many interesting characteristics that grab one’s attention and stimulate the imagination. They are creatively designed packages that contain precious, life-bearing gifts. Some of them even employ quite dramatic delivery methods. As we add collected seeds and pods to our nature table once again, we are revisiting our study of the different types of seeds and how they travel. I have updated the printables we use so that I can share them with you.

Hitchhiking, Flying and Other Exciting Ways Seeds Travel: a seed dispersal study with activities and free printables.

Seed dispersal is a fascinating, fun and rich topic. With the abundance of seeds around, it’s fairly easy to find some to examine. And their diversity is sure to spark some awe and wonder. I hope after doing some exploring, your child will be curious and inspired to learn more. The resources and activity printables provided will help guide his interest into meaningful experiences.

Activities & Printables

  • Start by reading about the different types of seeds (see resources provided below) and print this chart as a quick reference.

Seed Categories

  • This activity will help your child learn the different seed classifications. Cut out the images on the second page and sort them into the appropriate category (hint: The images are arranged in the correct order. You may like to print a second copy to use as reference.)

Seed Type Sort

  • After your child has collected a variety of seeds and pods, use this printable to sort them by how they get dispersed.

Dispersal Sort

  • Animals play a huge role in helping to disperse seeds. Your child can record what they have learned about the methods animals use on this sheet.

How Animals Help Seeds Travel

Hitchhiking, Flying and Other Exciting Ways Seeds Travel: a seed dispersal study with activities and free printables.

Resources to compliment your study of seed dispersal…



On-line Resources

Hitchhiking, Flying and Other Exciting Ways Seeds Travel: a seed dispersal study with activities and free printables.

Happy exploring!