Nature For Kids wholesome recreation and experiential learning Tue, 05 Jul 2016 16:17:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nature For Kids 32 32 St. George, Utah | Where To Stay And Play + Vacation Giveaway Tue, 21 Jun 2016 15:18:26 +0000

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It’s summer vacation time! And today we’ve put together a MUST see destination for you!

St. George, Utah

We recently got back from a week long stay there and have all the details on where to stay and play! First off this is a portion of a much longer road trip we took through 7 states in Nessie the Van (more on that later). When we plan a road trip we usually do a mixture of camping and staying somewhere nice. We find camping to be much more fun when you can mix in clean sheets, warm showers and a swimming pool every once in a while!

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Where To Stay

Five Seasons Vacation Rentals was our home base while we explored a lot of what St. George had to offer.

Something we learned from this whole experience is that these vacation rentals are more affordable than hotel stays. The 3 bedroom 2 bath rental we stayed in is listed at $150 -$225 per night. The rate varies due to seasonality and holidays but sharing the expenses with friends or family you’re vacationing with makes it a no brainer. Having a large family I was wildly aware of the perks that come along with the vacation rental like a full kitchen, washer and dryer, BBQ, private rooms and a large gathering area.

And the kids won’t let me forget to mention the swimming pools you get to choose from. Our rental had 2 pools and also came with passes to a clubhouse that had an even bigger pool and fun things like pickleball, miniature golf and jumbo chess! We spent a full day just playing together there.


Five Seasons Vacation Rentals has a lot of variety and locations throughout the St. George area. You can go together with friends and family and get up to an 8 bedroom rental or keep it small. Your choice. I can already tell we’ll be back with grandparents, friends and other family. Our rental is pictured below on the right. I couldn’t get over how big and functional the island in the kitchen was. And I have to say sleeping in the master bedroom for the length of our stay was divine!

five seasons vacation rentals utah

To get a closer look at our vacation digs, the swimming pools and the crazy places we explored watch this video below. It seriously covers it all.

Do you like how Axel says “Adventures”? UHVENTURES. I love that kid.

Where To Play

While at Five Seasons Vacation Rentals  we explored a lot of what St. George had to offer. Each picture below is linked to a video of our experience there.
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Glitter Mountain Video

This awesome mining location is pretty close to town and gives kids and parents the opportunity to chip their way into the mountain to collect the mineral gypsum. We were able to take chunks of it home for our nature box!

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The Crack Video

The Crack is located in Pioneer Park right in St. George next to the iconic DIXIE mountain. It’s a fun place to explore. We accidentally ended up there after dark but it made it that much more exciting for everyone. Luckily we had some headlamps in Nessie the Van.

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Kanarraville Falls Video

Kanarraville Falls is a 40 minute drive north of St. George but oh soooooo worth it, especially on a hot day. The canyon walls and water provide cooler conditions and lot’s of fun! We invited a lot of friends with us on this hike and ended up having a total of 18 kids complete it.

I’m currently working on individual posts about each location so keep an eye out for those on the blog soon! 

We also went down to the St. George town square for a movie night! We took all our sleeping bags with us and all had a blast watching “The Good Dinosaur” on beautiful summer in town square

Zion National Park is close enough to St. George to allow some fun day trips and honestly you could spend a lot of time there. Here are a few of the hikes that we did during our visit there…

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Emerald Pool Trail Video

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Watchman Trail Video

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Angel’s Landing Video

Other places to add to your list are Snow Canyon and Sand Hollow State Parks. There’s a lot of hiking to be had at Snow Canyon and fun in the water at Sand Hollow.


We’re giving away (one) 2 night stay at one of the Five Seasons Vacation Rentals in Saint George, Utah for your family vacation!! Excludes holiday weekends.
Two Night Stay At Five Seasons Vacation Rentals


Are you ready to book your vacation now? Well thank Five Seasons because they’re also giving everyone 20% off their reservations through the rest of the summer!! (Use promotion code “Nature16”) Good through September 2016.

Thanks for hanging out with us you guys! And we hope you all have a fabulous summer vacation ahead of you!!

This post was sponsored by Five Seasons Vacation Rentals

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The Swurfer – A Crazy Fun Stand Up Swing + Exclusive Coupon Code Wed, 08 Jun 2016 16:48:32 +0000

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We recently took a trip to Idaho and knew it was a great opportunity to bring along our new toy…The Swurfer! South east Idaho provides a lot of opportunities to play in the water. There’s bridge jumping, kayaking, fishing and the highlight of our trip was swinging into a canal!

swing over water

The Swurfer is known as a swingboard. It appealed to us right away because we love swings and board sports! You can really get rocking on it by using the handles and leaning side to side. the swurfer skateboard swing

Watch our Swurfer experience below…


When it’s not hung up we use it as a balance board on the carpeted floor in our house. The kids love messing around on it rocking back and forth. When you hang the swurfer it doesn’t have to be a permanent location. Ours is usually in our backyard but we actually prefer to travel with it and find cool places to hang it up. Swurfer has a great video on “how to” set up the swing. It’s very helpful and honestly not as complicated as I thought it was going to be.

P.S. These boards are made in the USA and made of hard rock maple. We’ve found it to be super durable! Go check them out!

EXCLUSIVE COUPON CODE!!! Swurfer was kind enough to offer all of you a 15% off coupon code and free shipping! Use code “NFK” at checkout!

This post was sponsored by Swurfer


Rock Cactus – A Simple Nature Craft For Kids Fri, 27 May 2016 14:04:57 +0000

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I’m drawn to anything related to cactus these days. Hence this very obscure Pinterest board of mine…

cactus pinterest board

We just had to bring a little of these good vibes into our home.

craft project for little girls

Watch as Ava shows you step by step how to make these rad rock cactus! Cacti? Anyway, I’m gushing over how cute this simple nature craft for kids is!!! It’s been the perfect addition to the Nature For Kids office and it won’t die like our other plants. P.S. catch the silly bloopers at the end…

This honestly was one of the easiest nature crafts we’ve ever done together. The supplies are cheap and easy to gather and it let us spend a little outside time together collecting rocks.

rock collecting

supplies for cactus craft

cactus craft handpainting rocks

We saw this similar project done at Salt and Pepper Moms but thought we’d add a sweet felt ball cactus blossom to personalize ours.

diy cactus blossom

Hope you give this project a whirl this summer with your kids! It’s our last day of school today and I couldn’t be more pumped about it! Have a fabulous day and we’ll see you back here soon.

P.S. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get more DIY nature craft ideas.

Types Of Clouds And Lightning Safety Thu, 26 May 2016 12:55:45 +0000

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Last week I taught a class on hiking prep and safety to a group of kids getting ready for a week of outdoor fun. I made lightning safety a top priority in the class because we’ve had sooooo many storms rolling through our neck of the woods lately. So I showed them my favorite lightning safety video. I just love the way this info is presented, so kid friendly!


So a quick review of what to do during a lightning storm

  • Stay away from trees and other tall objects
  • Keep your feet together and squat down
  • Stay away from water
  • If you’re in a group spread out
  • Don’t lay on the ground
  • Wait the storm out inside a building or a car if you can

Coincidentally Ava has been studying the different types of clouds, including stratus clouds, those dark looming rain and lightning makers that we’ve been seeing so much of. In the video below she gives you an easy way to remember the names of the 4 major cloud types. Also, watch as Corbin gets rained out while on his first Boy Scout camping trip. What a weekend (sigh) P.S. Notice that Ava’s facial expression in the video thumbnail below is exactly the same as Sam Cloud’s facial expression above. bahaha


Here Are Ava’s Tricks To Remembering The Names Of  The Different Types Of Clouds

  • Cirrus  – Sounds like “serious” and they are seriously high up (13,000 ft.) & wispy.
  • Cumulus – Starts with a C and reminds you of fluffy “cotton balls” which also starts with a C. These are the clouds that are fun to find shapes in…like there’s a dog eating an ice cream cone while riding a bike.
  • Stratus – These clouds are usually straight and flat on the bottom. How to remember: Stratus starts with an “s” and so does straight. These are storm clouds and usually dark on the bottom.
  • Cumulonimbus – They look like an explosion they are soooooo tall and since the name cumulonimbus is sooooo long that’s an easy way to remember it.

Do you think you have it down? If so try your skills out on this cloud matching game.

Thanks for hanging out with us today and we hope you found this helpful. Have a fabulous day!

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Planning Your Summer Road Trip + National Geographic Giveaway Sat, 14 May 2016 01:11:49 +0000

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summer road trip

There’s a saying I like that goes, “Freedom is a full tank and an empty road.” For our family the fun of a road trip begins at the very moment we start talking about where we want to go next….

travel to parks

Getting the maps out and researching online may only be the preparation stages but to us it means we’ve already begun our adventure. This brings us to the first bullet point of planning a road trip the whole family will enjoy.

  • Have the kids research books, maps and online resources. Allow them to give their input on where they want to go. They’ll learn a lot in the process and it will help them feel some ownership of the trip. They’ll no longer be just a passenger but an active participant. (scroll down to see our National Geographic giveaway)

planning road trip national parks

  • Journal along the way – We have some pretty funny anecdotes recorded in our family travel journal.  *Also if you stop in at the visitor center of state or national parks they will happily stamp your journal for you! It’s a cool way to record where you’ve been.

travel journal

travel journal for kids

  • Give the kids an old digital camera to use – Our oldest used an old iPhone to take photos throughout a 10-day road trip we took down the coast. I didn’t think much of it until we made it back home and uploaded them to the computer. They were great and it was fun to see the trip through his eyes. *The pictures I took on the trip ended up being deleted by a horrid virus on our PC but his didn’t! So wonderful to have the memories preserved.


  • Listen to an audio book along the way – Our kids honestly usually choose to listen to audio books rather than play on their own personal electronic devices. They love them that much! One that we really enjoyed a lot and that appealed to all ages is Beyoners by Brandon Mull.

beyonders audio book

Now deciding where to go on your road trip can sometimes be like standing in the ice cream aisle, it’s so hard to choose, all the options are good! Luckily there are parks dotting our nation just waiting for travelers to zero in on.

Here are some of our recent experiences at state and national parks…

Kick off your summer by pledging to take the kids in your life on a road trip to a park on May 21st! Kids To Parks Day is a nation-wide event organized by the National Park Trust (NPT) in cooperation with a host of local and national collaborators. That’s a lot of people making an effort to get kids outside! If you can’t make it to a national or even state park no problem, exploring a neighborhood park counts too! Discover science, history, nature and adventure.

There are several special events going on at parks across the country that day. The full moon hike and kite building experience at Dead Horse State Park stood out to me and sound super fun! Find an event near you here. Also everyone who signs up to take part in KTP day will be entered to win a slew of cool prizes like a Baby Bjorn Carrier.


Update: Brandy Reeder you’re our giveaway winner! Congratulations!

We’ve teamed up with National Geographic and the National Park Trust to give away some amazing books! We just got these in the mail and I have to say the national parks guide is seriously cool with 176 pages of awesome maps, activity ideas and bits of wisdom. It’s definitely going in Nessie The Van as a reference on all our road trips. Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure is a fun read for the kids too.

book giveaway national geographic kids

To enter our giveaway all you need to do is subscribe to our youtube channel and leave a comment here telling us what park you’ve been wanting to visit! Giveaway ends May 19th. US residents only please. We’ll use to choose a winner and announce it here on this post.

Thanks for stopping by and have a blast on your road trips this summer eh!


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Screen Free Week – A Family Experiment Wed, 11 May 2016 13:23:11 +0000

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We’re BAAACK! Our family experiment of going screen free for a week is over and we wanted to give you a glimpse of what it was like. Here’s a video recap

This isn’t the first time we’ve gone screen free. Each year we like to do it as sort of a reboot for our family. Here’s a visual recap of one of our past screen free weeks.

Coming back to reality I immediately did two things… First, turned off all the facebook, Instagram and other unneccesary notifications on my phone. Second canceled Netflix. We’ve never had cable television but used Netflix to fill that void. Throughout the week we realized we didn’t really miss it but I personally used it too much along with our two youngest kids. Hoping our daily productivity should increase or at least not be interrupted as often now.

Here’s what we noticed throughout our week long experience:

  • We went to bed on time.
  • Listened to a lot of music
  • Read a lot more
  • Enjoyed being in the kitchen
  • Our bathrooms have never been cleaner
  • The sibling squabbles were minimized.
  • The first few days I heard this a lot, “I’m bored”
  • I caught myself automatically flipping through Instagram and pinterest on my phone. I had to remind myself to shut it down. (didn’t realize how mechanical I’ve become about it.)
  • One whole room in our house is dedicated to the tv and computer. It was quite empty throughout the week. We spent most of our time in the kitchen, front sitting room or in the backyard.
  • I felt like I saw our kids more. Really looked at their faces more and honestly I listened better.

NOW WE CHALLENGE YOU TO A SCREEN FREE WEEK! We’d love to hear about your observations! Here is a free printable we whipped up that has a list of alternative activities you can do for when those “I’m bored” moments hit. Enjoy!