Latest Posts….

Creating a Flexible Summer Schedule for Kids

What words come to mind when you think of summer? Fun. Relaxing. Sitting by the pool. Eating Popsicles. Sleeping in. Summer is only a few weeks away and my kids are counting down the days. We are all very excited. Though, I have to admit I’m also a bit worried.

How to Be a Successful Stay At Home Mom

Being a stay at home mom can be hard. It can be challenging. It can be outright frustrating. But we all know that there is also endless joy to be had. Do the joyous moments outnumber the tough times? Not always.

Gardening with Kids – The most common questions answered

Gardening with Kids - The most common questions answered Written by Noreen Greimann ardening with children can both be very rewarding and enjoyable for you and your child. However, it can also be rather frustrating as you many have already...

6 Creative Pine Cone Crafts & Play Ideas

Have you ever walked over an area littered with pine cones? In our yard, we have about a dozen very, very tall white pines. And on those very, very tall white pines grow many, many pine cones. And when those pine cones come falling down, it can be hard to...

How to Dry Acorns, Sticks and Pine Cones for Play

When the cool breezes of autumn begin to blow and the leaves show the first specks of yellow and orange, my children and I turn into gatherers. Not because we have to like our friends the squirrels but because we love it and just can’t help ourselves. Acorns, pine...

Solar Eclipse Story for Children

The Solar Eclipse is coming! It's hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime event. I witnessed my first total solar eclipse hiking in the Italian Alps in August of 1999. I remember coming out of the woods as our trail was winding down the mountain. We stopped every few minutes...

30+ Travel Activities and Games for Kids

30+ Travel Games and Activities for Kids Written by Noreen Greimann Traveling with young children..in a car for 6 hours, on a plane across the Atlantic for 9+ hours. OH MY!!! Don't get me wrong. The idea of vacationing with my family brings me utter joy BUT the actual...

Lady Spring’s Journey – Stories, Pictures and Inspiration

Our Spring Countdown has begun and Lady Spring is on her way to the Spring Equinox. We follow her on this 10-day journey as she tends to the tender spring flowers, welcomes the birds, and wakes up the animals that have been hibernating all winter. For instructions on...

How to Create a Spring Countdown

How to Create a Spring Countdown Written by Noreen Greimann “Mama, come look. I have to show you something. Come!” shouted my 4-year old as he dashed back outside. I followed him as quickly as I could around the house and past the garden. We finally came to a stop by...

How to Nurture a Growth Mindset in Children – FREE Printable

How to Nurture a Growth Mindset in Children (Free Story & Activity) Written by Noreen Greimann When I scrolled through my inbox two weeks ago, a sentence caught my attention. Take your kid from negative self-talk to confidence. Negative self-talk is something I come...

The Mitten Activity Pack – Story, Crafts & Activities

Did you know that the well-known story The Mitten by Jan Brett wasn’t Jan Brett’s idea? No? Me neither! “The Mitten” is in fact an old Ukrainian Folktale, which features a wood cutter and a variety of animals. In Jan Brett's version, the main character is a boy named...

Winter Books for Young Children

Winter is upon us and it's time for me to share our favorite winter books with you. As with our spring books and autumn books, these made the list not only because of their wonderful stories but also because of the amazing illustrations and photographs. Some of the...

Halloween: A Cut-and-Tell Story, Pumpkin Playdough and Knitting

Every morning on our walk to school, my children are on the lookout for new pumpkins appearing at the front doors of our neighbors. “Look, there is a white one. I’m going to call it ghost pumpkin,” says my 4-year old. “And there is an orange one peaking out,” shouts...

The 12 Most Marvelous Autumn Books for Children

The 12 Most Marvelous Autumn Books for Children Written by Noreen Greimann After the heat of the summer, we always look forward to the warm colors of autumn, the cool and crisp mornings and the abundance of comfort foods. And with that comes much more time spent...

When stories are more powerful than a stack of parenting books

Yesterday, I found myself scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed and just when I was about to close it up, something caught my eye. “I had a great experience this past month concerning story telling,…” was what I read. It was a post by a mom in one of the storytelling...

Gardening Books for Children

Last month, I shared our favorite Spring books with you. And today I'm back to give you a list of our favorite gardening books. I have been teaching a gardening class for children for over 6 years and have read or at least browsed through most books on that topic. The...

The First Sophie & Max Giveaway!

Have you ever wondered where the stories about Sophie & Max come from? Do you wish you had more time to add the stories and activities to your child’s life? If so, you are not alone and I have answers for you. Linda from Rain or Shine Mamma asked me a series of...

Counting Down to Spring (Free Download)

Counting Down to Spring Written by Noreen Greimann After a week of temperatures in the 70's (VERY unusual for our area) we are more than ready for spring. We started our garden last week and planted spinach, radishes, peas, carrots and kohlrabi. The kids were so...

Spring Books for Young Children

While we love to make up and tell our own stories, we also love to sit together and read books. Our go-to resource for books is our amazing library. It is so rare that they don't have a book I'm looking for. Therefore, we don't actually own a lot of books and instead...

A Christmas Story: From a small village in East Germany

Last week, I found myself sitting in front of 23 first graders. My daughter’s teacher had asked me to share some German Christmas traditions with the class.

Instead of rattling off various traditions, I decided to tell them a story. A story about Christmas in a small village in East Germany. And it went something like this….

A long time ago, when I was 7 years old, I lived in a small village in Germany…

The Gingerbread Man: Storytelling, Baking and Creating

I used to read the story of the “Gingerbread Man” every year when I was teaching preschool and Kindergarten. The children always enjoyed it.

But last year, after I had found my way back to storytelling, I told a version of the story to several groups of children in my nature program. And the reaction was quite different.

The children were…

Sparkle Stories Review: How a Story Saved the Day

My three year old son was squirming in my arms. Surrounded by hundreds of other travelers after a 9-hour flight, we were standing in line at customs. With every minute, my little guy became more and more restless. He had zero strength to ‘hold it together’ with the 2 hours of sleep he had over the past 24 hours. He was MISERABLE.

When we finally reached our rental car, he naturally wanted nothing to do with being strapped in a rigid car seat. My last hope hinged on…

Irish Jack-O-Lanterns and Switch Witches

Halloween is only a few days away and the excitement in our house is rising with each and every day. Over the weekend, my daughter and I crafted a broom out of birch branches for her witch costume. As I was cleaning up, I watched her hop on and gather all her magic to...

A Simple Childhood in a Complex World – Part 3

The results are in! Based on the many responses from last week’s post, the top three wishes are: more time with our children for our children to spend more time playing independently less screen time I can certainly relate to all three of them. So, let’s see what we...

A Simple Childhood in a Complex World – Part 2

Since last week, many of you have shared their childhood memories, both on the post and via e-mail. There were two common threads that stood out: 1) experiences in nature, and 2) activities you enjoyed with the special people in our lives (parents, grandparents,...

A Simple Childhood In a Complex World – Part 1

I’m about 6 years old. I’m in the garden along with my sister and my grandparents. We are harvesting peppermint. My sister and I are in charge of washing the peppermint stalks in big buckets of water. Shaking them out afterwards and trying to get each other as wet as...

FREE Story: A stick, a leaf and a new friendship

FREE Story: A stick, a leaf and a new friendship Written by Noreen Greimann Fall is in the air. At least during the very early morning hours before the sun rises high and reminds us that it is still summer. While I savor these warm days filled with water play and...

Kids in the Kitchen: Healthy Yogurt Popsicles

Kids in the Kitchen: Healthy Yogurt Popsicles Written by Noreen Greimann It’s a hot day in mid-July. Summer campers are spread out across the yard. Some are setting up the tree fort while others are digging up dirt to make mud pies. One of the children walks over to...

Creating with Nature: Rock Towers and More

It’s a chilly summer morning in northern Germany on the island of Ruegen. Temperatures are hovering in the upper 50’s and we are wearing multiple layers of summer clothing. No one expected it to be that cold. Despite the chill in the air and the potential for rain,...

Vacation Routines for Kids – Simple Steps and Benefits

Vacation Routines for Kids...Simple Steps and Benefits Written by Noreen Greimann My family and I spent the last three weeks vacationing in Germany. We had been preparing for this trip since last fall and everyone was beyond excited. I kept having visions of myself...

Why hands-on activities are not enough (and what else to do)

Last fall, I sat under our oak tree with a group of 3 to 6 year olds that were enrolled in one of my nature classes. It was the middle of fall, the leaves had turned into warm shades of yellow, red and orange. That day, I began class by telling the children a story...

A Delightfully Simple Trick to Become a Better Mom

With Mother’s Day approaching this weekend, my Facebook newsfeed has been filled with quotes and articles about moms. Yours, too? Quotes that remind us that we are wonderful. That we do our very best and don’t need to do more. That this time when our little ones are...

How to Design a Garden Your Child Will Cherish

How to Design a Garden Your Child Will Cherish Written by Noreen Greimann You want to set up a garden for your child. You have searched online and discovered some neat ideas. But then you wonder: Is she ready for a garden? Will she just dig up everything you plant...

Stop the Battle: 5 Steps to Cut Down on your Child’s Screen Time

You know it’s not good for your child to spend time in front of screens. Yet, it snug into your life anyway. It happens to the best of us. It’s been a long rainy day. Everyone is cranky and you are trying to get dinner on the table. Watching a half-hour show is not...

Sandbox Toys – Beyond Shovel and Pail

When sandbox season finally arrives in our area, which is from about Mid-March to October, my kids spent hours playing, building and digging and today I’m sharing some of their favorite sandbox tools and accessories.

Shades of Green – Learning Colors with Ease

Learning to identify colors is part of every young child’s life. We ask: “What color is that?”  - “Blue,” our little one responds. “No, that is red. Can you say ‘red’?”, we say in an attempt to teach our child. Teaching colors is a simple concept that every mom feels...

Video: Gardening with Children

It’s here! About two weeks ago, I presented a workshop about gardening with children. I heard from many parents that they would have loved to attend but weren’t able to. So, for all of you that couldn’t come out that night, here is the promised online version. I was...

Garden Journal for Children (+ Free Download)

Garden Journal for Children (Free Download) Written by Noreen Greimann You see, in our house, we LOVE journals. Fairy journals. Sketch journals. Flower journals. Leaf journals. You name it.So, when spring was knocking on the door, I thought “We should make garden...

Finding Our Way Back to Delightful Easter Traditions

I fondly remember Easter as a child. My grandmother would hide Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, other treats and usually a pair of socks or a new coloring book in her garden. And when I say ‘hide’, I mean HIDE. We had to truly look for them. And almost every year, we...

Storytelling: A skill you will want your child to have

Last week, I talked about my passion for Waldorf education. And today, I want to get a little bit more specific by sharing what is currently one of my favorite aspects of the Waldorf approach. Storytelling. When I first heard about the fact that Waldorf schools don’t...

Does your child connect the dots? – PLUS Giveaway

I have a dream! It’s a dream that would change the way 50 million students in our country learn. Yes, I like to dream big. It all starts in a small town in East Germany, where my sister and I went to school. (Yes, that is me and my traditional German school cone when...

4 Easy Indoor Nature Activities for your Child this Winter

You want to keep your children close to nature, even during the cold winter months. BUT going outside is much more challenging. You need to bundle everyone up, find matching mittens and figure out how to get them to stay on your little one’s hands. And sometimes, it’s...

How to Keep Your Kids Busy This Winter…And You Relaxed

You look outside; it’s cold and dreary. That cup of coffee in your hand is only doing a mediocre job of getting you moving. Your kids, however, are already at a 100% and are running through the house playing tack. “What am I going to do with them today?” keeps running...

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