Quilted Yurt Classroom in the Forest


Well, it has been a few months hasn’t it! So much has been happening though.  We are now enrolling for September 2013 and are super excited about the coming year.  This is the first nature school in Charlottesville and I am so excited to see my dream unfold.  If you would like to know more about the school click here for the school website (or check out the tab for Ivy Forest School!)

quilted yurt in forest

Our other exciting news is that we are launching a campaign to raise fund for our new classroom.  It is a forest program, which means that most of the time we will be in the forest. However we do need some inside space to regroup and for rest time.  Our dream is to build a yurt and for the children to help in the designing of the quilted walls! It has been a long time planning but today the project was officially launched!  We need to raise $13,000 to make the project happen.  We think it is an awesome project and the children are super excited about it.  Please spread the word to anyone you think may be interested in supporting this endeavor.

Click here for the kickstarter campaign

Thanks so much


Paskris – ‘Feather Trees’


feather trees1

Did I mention how impatient I am getting about spring?  We had more snow this week, yet there are some flowers starting to pop out of the ground. Time to decorate the house for spring!  We made these sweet ‘feather trees’.  Traditionally used in Scandinavian countries as ‘Easter trees’ they are used to decorate at a time when not much is blooming. Basically you decorate the branches and then keep them in water to watch the buds grow into leaves. It involved colored feathers and pipe cleaners so my kids were thrilled!

As always, free instructions are available here

Bird Nest Balls


bird ball1

Spring is on it’s way (well, aside from the snow yesterday that I am choosing to ignore!).  But, little buds are emerging on the bushes and trees.  Crocuses are popping up everywhere and we are very excited by every new thing.  This is the first spring in our new house and so we have no idea what is planted here!  Plus we do not know a whole lot about plants so we are learning a lot!

Anyway, that is me going off on a tangent.  I wanted to share with you a sweet little project that the birds seem to be really enjoying. We used some young and pliable branches to create a ball-like structure. Very organic and a great team activity! We have lots of young branches on the ground from last week’s storm which would be great for this project.  you do not want to harvest too much from the trees. Simply fill with wool and hang outside.  We will be watching in the coming weeks to see whether the birds are using this wool to line their nests.  Maybe we will even see a rainbow nest around here – I know a certain little girl who would be thrilled to discover that!

Check here for instructions and some other fun spring-time projects.

Cork Boats


A few months back, when visiting friends, we were introduced to these little cork boats. Our friend brought his on a little visit to their creek.  My daughter was captivated and loved to watch it sail downstream and has talked about it many times since.  We finally got around to making ours a few weeks back.  All it took was a little glue gun, some corks and string.  I really don’t know why I put it off for so long!  But the boats are so sweet and truly loved. After any rain we happily trudge down the hill with our rain gear and boats looking for good puddles to sail in (we have a drainage problem here so there are plenty of puddles!). My littlest daughter has a little boat also (minus the sail) and it seems to be so sturdy as it is dragged along the path, often with her ahead of it in the puddle!

If you want to make your own then check out the free pdf instructions I put together.

Here’s to a rainy springtime 🙂