15 Minutes Outside: A Book Review and Giveaway

Books sit on my nightstand for weeks before they are ever cracked open, but I was aching to read 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Outside and Connect With Your Kids.

Why did this little gem get preferential treatment? The title alone tells me what I wish we were doing on a daily basis around here. It’s fine to skip the paper towels and embrace cloth diapers, but what do all those things mean to my kids if they don’t have an intimate relationship with the world outside their door?

The rain has been  relentless lately and we don’t seem to take the time to slip on our boots and brave the weather. We could save a stranded earthworm or find a budding pussy willow or perhaps slosh through a dozen puddles.
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Camping with Baby

yurt camping with babyAfter three summers without s’mores or hot chocolate, we finally burst back onto the camping scene this week! How did we manage camping with a six-week-old baby and an almost-three-year old? We cheated.

Instead of pitching the tent and stringing tarps across tree trunks in case of rain, we simply rented a yurt. What is a yurt, you say? It’s a rustic shelter that makes “roughing it” outdoors a bit less rough.  Ours  housed bunk beds, a small table, and two chairs.

It means you don’t have to pack or pitch a tent—or deal with airing out wet tarps after the trip.  The yurt also provides soundproofing between you and the other campers when your baby screams at 2am. Plus, since yurts come with insulation and heat, renting one can stretch the camping season to year round here in Oregon.

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The Saturday Question: How Do You Help Your Child Connect with The Outdoors?

How do you manage to build your child’s relationship with nature?  Do you spend lots of time outside as a family?  Are you brave enough to camp and/or backpack with a young infant or many children?  How do you keep your baby from eating dirt while bonding with the outdoors?