Tag Archives: outdoors

In a Field of Dandelion Puffs

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The Barefoot Gardener

IMG 7979IMG 7977Pulling WeedsIMG 7986Though our little miss is normally a rockstar sleeper, Grandma Charlotte is staying with us right now and sleep is difficult when excitement levels are running this high.  After a tough time getting to sleep last night, today’s nap didn’t happen.  And a skipped nap in this house is not just an ‘oh well’… This little lady needs her naps.  Desperately.  Our coping mechanism to get through the afternoon as gracefully as possible?  Getting outside and soaking in some fresh air and sunshine.  It just so happens that today it was in the {yet to be planted} garden in pajamas. White ones.

A filthy toddler and dirt-stained jammies? Totally worth a happy afternoon.  Because in the words of Miss G, “It’s okay to dirty.”


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Saturday Snippets

While our morning consisting of a drizzly visit to Granville Island, our afternoon was all about enjoying a little bit of sunshine and soaking in the sights of spring scattered about our yard…

IMG 7689Mint munchingIMG 7673DandelionsIMG 7686HopperIMG 7698IMG 7710


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Backyard Balance Beam

Simple Backyard Balance BeamLast weekend, while tidying up the backyard a little bit, I came across a random 2×4 shoved in a corner along the fence.  I don’t know if everyone thinks this way, but when I come across an item, the first place my mind goes is how could we use this for play?  Of course a long flat wooden board almost begs to be used as a balance beam, so why complicate things, right?

IMG 6531Before we got to using it too much, we pulled out our sidewalk chalk and decorated it a bit.  And by ‘we’ I basically mean that I drew while Miss G gave instructions. ☺

IMG 6538To start off, we placed it flat on the ground and Grae carefully walked back and forth a few times.

IMG 6542Then I thought it would be fun to add a little incline.  I brought out a thin cement block and propped up one side of the 2×4, but Miss G automatically said, “No – TWO blocks!  Then we can make a bridge!”  So a bridge it was.

IMG 6545This little set-up is so, so simple, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s great for balance and motor skill development too.


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Trimble Park

IMG 6486While we have many favourite playgrounds around Vancouver (like this one, this one, this one, and this one), both Gracen and I love discovering new ones to add to our list.  Especially since come spring, we spend most mornings out at a park or playground of some sort.  

So after a quick peek around the web, the three of us (yay for weekends!) packed up some lunch and headed out to West Point Grey Park, which was spoken of very highly by fellow Vancouver parents.  

IMG 6487Upon arriving, I realized that although the park was new to us, I’d been there countless times before with the children I nannied throughout my university (and beginning teaching) days.  I guess I should have made the realization based on the area and park address, but whole ‘West Point Grey Park’ title threw me off.  I, and everyone I’ve ever heard speak of the park, have always called it Trimble Park.  Who knew its actual name was something different?!  

IMG 6486Name confusion aside, this park was a lot of fun back in the day, and is even better due to some recent (or at least semi-recent) additions.  

IMG 6503Included are three separate play structures (2 big ones and a teeny tiny one for very little ones), 6 slides, 2 sets of swings (baby, toddler, and regular included), a tire swing, hanging bars, a teeter-totter, and lots of space for playing in the sand and rocks.

IMG 6492IMG 6494A fun addition since my last visit is this rock climbing wall.  Though still needing a tiny bit of assistance, Gracen loved climbing up and liked hanging out on top with all of the big kids even more.

IMG 6499The other thing I love about this park is the natural play areas.  This little cove of trees was a favourite of the kids I nannied, and Grae loves it too.  She’s hiding here.  Can’t you tell?

IMG 6502To top it all off, the park has basketball courts, soccer fields, and baseball diamonds, plus public washrooms (warm water and soap included!)

Another great park to add to our favourites list.  ☺


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Simple Mud Kitchen

Simple MUD KitchenAfter this morning’s mud soup fun down at the beach, I decided it would be fun to set up a little mud kitchen for Miss G to play with in the backyard.  Now I don’t know if you too have seen the beautiful and elaborate mud kitchens that often pass through my Pinterest feed, but ours was nothing like those.  A few items from the kitchen, some dirt from the garden, and a water source all squished onto a second hand plastic table and Miss G was pleased as punch.  After all, playing with mud is supposed to be simple, right? 

IMG 6430IMG 6432IMG 6444IMG 6438IMG 6463Gracen poured water, added greens, and gently stirred hot soup.  She scooped soil, packed it down, and added pebble sprinkles to dirt cupcakes. She tended to gooey mud pancakes, flipping them every now and again.

IMG 6443And lucky for me, I was the chosen taste tester.

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Dirt, Sticks, & Water

IMG 6428IMG 6424IMG 6417IMG 6427We woke up to an absolutely gorgeous sunny day today and immediately packed up a lunch and headed down to our favourite beach-front playground.  As always, Grae spent tons of time climbing ladders, sliding through tunnels, riding the swings, and spinning on the merry-go-round, but during this visit, she spent just as much time climbing on and off this log, adding bits and pieces, and tending to her delicious-looking mud soup.

It makes my heart happy that dirt, sticks, and water can still inspire just as much play as it did when I was little.

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Sunshine & Stanley Park

Brrrrr!  This morning we bundled up and headed down to Second Beach in Stanley Park to enjoy the sunshine.  It was absolutely freezing and the wind was so strong that my ears felt like they were on fire from the cold, but Miss G didn’t mind one bit.  She had two new playgrounds to explore and discover, plus many, many warm layers, so the cold was the last of her worries.  

Here’s our morning in photographs…

IMG 5833Bundled up for the cold.

IMG 5838Super excited.

IMG 5845‘I thought we were just having a leisurely swing, Papa?’

IMG 5856‘Everyone hold on!’

IMG 5851Mama and G.

IMG 5857Slide race!

IMG 5868The perfect hiding spot.

IMG 5871Moccasin feet.

IMG 5876‘Uh, Papa?  What are you doing?’

IMG 5873Wheeeee!


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Beach Morning

IMG 5638IMG 5642IMG 5643IMG 5646IMG 5656IMG 5660Who says you can’t spend gloomy, cold days at the beach?


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Playing Hookie

This morning as we were having our usual wake up cuddle in the ‘big bed’, Grae poked her head through the curtains, turned to me with big eyes, and exclaimed, “Mama, it’s a SUNNY day today!” Then she immediately asked to go to the beach.  I explained that it was Thursday morning, which is our usual Strong Start day, then let her know that she could make the decision.  She thought about it a moment and said, “Mama, we go to the beach instead of school.  We walk…. We play… We see birdies… We see the ocean… aaaaaand… we get hot drinks!”  So the beach it was.  

IMG 5250IMG 5247IMG 5256IMG 5258IMG 5264IMG 5271IMG 5272Some days are just too beautiful to spend indoors, even if it is at school… (Shhh… Don’t tell.)


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