Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum

What is it with 3 and 1/2 year-olds and treasures? Is this a thing? Maybe its just our little guy, but lately all he can talk about is treasures, from finding treasures to receiving them as a reward.  The good news? Anything can be a treasure.  So as long as we call it such, anything can have the potential of being special to him.  The bad news? Since everything has the potential to be a treasure, we can spend a lot of time waiting around for a lollygagging preschooler investigating every nook and cranny along our way.

Sometimes it all works out though, like during our visit to the arboretum this past weekend.  As soon as Bergen was “released” from the jogging stroller to walk on his own, he requested the use of one of the bags we’d brought along for the dog’s (ahem) deposits.  I credited him for his smart thinking! He declared that he was going to search for treasures, and then for the next mile or so, he picked up anything that happened to catch his eye.  Rocks, sticks, leaves, blades of grass…they all went in the bag.

If you’re looking for a way to focus walks and hikes with your young children, you might just think about bringing a bag along for collecting! It’s easy, doesn’t require a whole lot of pre-planning, and Bergen was more than willing to toss the treasures back when our walk was complete.

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

While Bergen was focused on finding treasures, I had the chance to admire early spring in the arboretum.  Yes, while the east coast is suffering through snow, ice, and bitter cold, we are experiencing abundant sunshine, flowers in bloom, warmer temperatures, and even (it seems to me) more active wildlife.

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

 

Have any more tips on holding kids’ interest while walking and hiking? We’d love more ideas!

You can also check out our other tips for hiking with a preschooler.

 

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

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Wild Tales of…2014 Travel and Adventure Highlights

Happy 2015! We hope your new year is off to a great start. Here in Seattle we enjoyed a quiet celebration with all four of us sleeping soundly when the clock officially struck midnight.  Not to worry though: Two of us were up soon after though as someone was in search of another meal.

With a fresh start and a brand-new addition to the family, I’ve found myself reflecting often on the past year because let’s face it: Things will never be the same! Growing from 3 family members to 4 is a big change and babies create a whole new dynamic of family life.  Routines, sleep habits, and the way we go about doing life are all shifting, so I’ve actually found it fascinating to look back at 2014’s adventures.

In order to get a complete look at our year, I decided to take it month by month.  Some months were busier than others making it hard to choose just one highlight, so here you’ll find our most memorable and significant explorations.

January-Cle Elum, Washington

In search of quick cold weather getaway, we traveled just an hour and a half or so to the small central Washington town of Cle Elum.  Instead of mounds of snow, we found sheets of ice creating difficult hiking conditions, but we enjoyed the escape and chance to unplug (no phone service or internet access!) nonetheless.

Central Washington Getaway: Cozy Cabin Retreat in Cle Elum | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

Easy Backyard Activity: Pine Cone Bird Feeders

Late last week after a busy morning of running around and getting errands and chores accomplished, I realized that we were in need of some creative time.  We’d collected pine cones earlier in the week and they were ready and waiting to be a little bit more useful than just a lazy “center piece” decoration.

I’ve loved working through our fall bucket list just as much as our end-of-summer list! It feels so much easier when all your ideas and aspirations are already documented.  This way, when the time is right, I can consult the list and know just what to do.  Pine Cone Bird Feeders are on our fall list, and even though they are super easy to execute, I’d been putting them off in favor of more active adventures that had us leaving the house.

I read about the simple idea in one of our favorite outdoor activity references, The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book, and knew the feeders were something we would be able to not only accomplish successfully, but also enjoy!

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Surviving the Dark and Rainy Days: Tips for Getting Outside + Enjoying it!

Surviving the Dark and Rainy Days: Tips for Getting Outside + Enjoying it! | WildTalesof.com

It doesn’t always seem like the logical choice, but these days we are working hard not to let the rain and lack of daylight stop us from our usual afternoon walks and adventures.  After all, the boy needs to get his energy out, the dog’s gotta go, and we all need our exercise.  I fully admit that it’s hard, and sometimes a struggle. I’m discouraged when I realize we are quickly kissing the sun goodbye at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.   And yes, its sometimes a drag to spend all that time suiting up to protect against the cold and the rain. But the thing is, we can’t be limited to indoor play when its… Continue reading

Keepng Feet Warm, Dry and Supported: Muddy Munchkin Boots by MyMayu Review

I’ve been disappointed by kids rain boots ever since Bergen started to walk.

We live in Seattle.

We need boots that keep his feet dry and stay relatively dry inside.  Rain here isn’t just a once in a while thing. Boots can be necessary multiple days in a row, and often more than once a day.  We don’t have time to wait for wet boot linings to dry.

We also need boots that last.  With frequent use, we can’t worry about tears and gaps developing after just a season (or a few wears).  Our son is very active.  Between playground romping, hiking, scooting around on his balance bike, and trekking through the neighborhood, he’s quite hard on shoes.

Plus with this frequent use, the boots have to be supportive.  Clunky rain boots that cause him to trip and fall just won’t work.

Up until this recently, we made do, but we really weren’t happy with the (run of the mill) rain boots we’d purchased, and even with a lot of research for alternatives and trying to scope out what other kids were wearing, we were coming up short.

Keepng Feet Warm, Dry and Supported: Muddy Munchkin Boots by MyMayu Review | WildTalesof.com Continue reading

Western Washington Preschool Hikes: Franklin Falls

With the honeymoon phase of quiet, kid-free mornings due to our little guy (now 3 years-old) being an unusually late sleeper now officially over, we are looking at the bright side.

Yes, he used to sleep until 9, 9:30, even 10 (talk about being spoiled) o’clock in the morning, and still manage (and need) a 2-hour nap in the afternoon.  Now that he’s transitioned to a regular bed though, the late mornings are a distant memory.  Maybe it’s his new found freedom of being able to get out on his own.  Maybe it’s an age thing.  Maybe the change of space changed his mindset.  Regardless, we are adjusting.

As I was saying, the bright side is…more time for adventure! We can now mange a decent hike, a decent distance away from home, and still be able to return for nap time.

Franklin Falls near Snoqualmie Pass (about an hour’s drive from Seattle) is just on the verge of being too far for a morning excursion.  As long as we get into gear early enough and pack a lunch to enjoy en route, it’s possible to accomplish.

On this particular early October day, we found the trail (2 miles out and back) to be filled with mushrooms.  Vibrant colors and so many different varieties, thanks to the tiny fungi spotter, we probably stopped and viewed nearly every single specimen available that day.

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Savoring the Season with a Fall Bucket List

When I took the time to sit down to compile our end-of-summer bucket list, I wasn’t sure if it would actually work for us.  To be honest, I thought we might get around to a few things here and there, but ultimately would be left with some disappointment.

Not the case!

Maybe my doubts helped to drive the force of accomplishing or rather getting to enjoy each of our items, but I’d also like to think that creating the plan gave us a road map to navigate our way out of summer. Choosing items with each family member in mind also gave us some guidance on those occasions where we may have been stuck with the question, “What should be do this morning, afternoon, evening, etc..?”

A  quick wrap-up post will come soon so you can catch a glimpse of all the end-of-summer fun, but in the meantime, since our first “go-round” went so well, we’ve created a fall bucket list! Included in the list are nature and outdoor focused activities that we would like to get to this season.

With our great Pacific Northwest region in mind and with the help of the Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book, for a little more inspiration, we came up with 10 things that we think will allow us to completely savor fall.  You’ll also hopefully notice that they all involve getting outdoors in some way or another.  We want to make sure that the inevitable rains don’t keep us from taking advantage the beauty and goodness of fall in the Seattle area.

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