Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top Fourteen from 2014

2014 was a great year to get outside or spend time inside learning about our natural world! Our popular posts from 2014 include the following:

1. Inside Outside Michiana Summer Guide--This compilation of places to go and visit during the summer in Michiana is a must see for ideas and inspiration for getting outside in our local area. Check out our Winter Guide as well!

2. Nature Play: 11 Ways to Play Leaves!--Fall is a fun time to explore leaves! In this post, I compiled various ways we enjoy playing with leaves! It's fun to look over the seasons through blog posts!
3. Finding Nature at the Elkhart County Fair--The Fair is a staple in Elkhart County. Nature is everywhere! Read how we found nature at the Elkhart County Fair in this blog post.
4. Defries Garden--In this summer visit to Defries Garden, the boys and I just explored the many things to offer at the site. It's a great place to visit any time of the year!
5. Curious Kids Museum--About an hours drive from our house, this is a fun, hands-on place to visit. We went in the winter, though I'm sure it's fun any time!
6. Early Learning Center Natural Playground Open House--I love this natural playground at Granger Community Church. It's open to the public on weekends and after 5:30 pm. It's one of my happy places!

7. Going a Little Stir Crazy: Ideas for Inside Nature Study--We had a brutal winter in 2014! After many days of -35 degree weather with the wind chill factor, we found many ways to study nature inside.
8.  Natural Playscapes--This round up of natural play spaces in the Michiana (and beyond) area inspires our family to get outside. Find a kid and help them explore the outdoors through these kid friendly natural play areas.
9. Junior Ranger Program at Shenandoah National Park--We took a family vacation to Shenandoah, Virginia, this year. The Junior Ranger programs are a fun way to connect with nature while at a national park. Our state parks have similar programs for children, adults, and families.
10. Certified Interpretive Guide Training--I went to training at McCormick Creek State Park on how to be a CIG, adding more natural skills to my education background. It was fun to be around all the great naturalists from our state parks! I was able to help in a bird banding and let this bird go!
11. Twig Sculpting at Fernwood Botanical Gardens and Nature Preserve--Fernwood is a great place anytime! To work should to shoulder with a renowned twig sculptor was wonderful! The sculpture will still be up for about another year and a half. Visit it any time of the year!

12. A Spring Walk at Wellfield Botanic Gardens--We enjoy Wellfield at anytime of the year. Spring is especially beautiful!
13. Fairies at Nature Preschool--I've been involved at this nature preschool program at Woodlawn Nature Center in Elkhart for about 3 years. This post about fairies was popular in 2014.
14. Curious Kids Discovery Zone--Curious Kids has a Discovery Zone. With water play and rock climbing, the kids had a blast! Looking at returning soon!