Category Archives: Natural Learning

Solti Tea Party

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Solti now has a SuperTea Line made with pure, clean water, chlorine and fluoride free, no metals or chemicals!

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The line up consists of two caffeine free teas: Rooibos Chai and Arctic Chaga. Jasmine Pearl contains 30mg caffeine, Ceremonial Matcha 34mg, and Dragon Oolong 60mg caffeine.

“Contrast to coffee which not only contains caffeine, acidity and low pH making for a burst of energy followed by a crash and contributing to acidosis, our organic tea combined with a higher pH purified water makes for a less acidic beverage. The tea containing caffeine will give you a boost without moving your body into acidosis. Pure energy in a bottle, giving you a boost with no crash and bringing you more vitality and hydration.” -Ryne O’Donnell, Founder & CEO of Solti

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Could it be time for tea? It’s ALWAYS tea time! Zaedyn was a huge fan of the previous African Rooibos Chai Latte so it isn’t surprising that he reached straight for the Rooibos Chai, a perfect choice for the fall season.

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Although I am all about these custom glass bottles with a hidden little surprise if you look at the bottom, we wanted to have a bit of fun with our little tea set.

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Zaedyn showed beautiful coordination and concentration as he transferred our vital liquids, not spilling a drop.

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It doesn’t get much better than this: learning at home with your Mama, having a private tea party taste testing the new Solti Teas while your sister sleeps, staying hydrating, and sneaking in a few little tea time raw vegan goodies!

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Not even coming up for air…

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That smile says it all :).

Drink Solti. Shine brightly.

Solti.com

Let Yourself Shine.

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Stay Salty

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Dear Ocean, thank you for making us feel tiny, humbled, inspired, & salty…all at once.

Vitaminsea

Only my little sharks today in this bay…

longbeachbay

vegankids

vegankids

“My life should be filled with wonder, discoveries, & adventure. Take me outside. Let me get to know & love nature. I will remind you what it’s like to see with a child’s eyes & open heart.”

naturalplay

naturalplay

vegankids

“Play builds the kind of free-&-easy, try-it-out, do-it-yourself character that our future needs.”

vegankids

vegankids

“Let the currents guide your heart.”

{ { V I T A M I N * S E A } }

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Coconut

Vegan Family

Vitamin Sea

Vegan Kids

Sea Life

Arohanui

Raw Vegan Tacos

Shakti

Raw Vegan

California

Bamboo Kids

Beach Kids

Vegan Kids

Tidepools

Crystal Cove

Long Beach

Vegan Kids

Vegan Kids

Long Beach

Tranquility

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Zen

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

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Another day of exploration and opportunity to connect with our natural world. What a beautiful setting to develop natural learning, a sense of wonder, and magical moments in the sunshine.

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Socal Hike

Socal Hike

Socal Hike

Natural Curiosity

Socal Hike

Socal Hike

“Framed against a backdrop of urban development, the lakes serve as reminders of the fragility of wilderness”

Barbara's Lake

Barbara’s Lake ~ Natural Lake in OC

Socal Hike

Socal Hike

Socal Hike

“All flowers grow through dirt”

There’s always something beautiful outside. Go out and explore!

Fort & Teepee

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peek a boo

A few chairs, a blanket, and some beautiful sarongs…our lounge was transformed into a magical place.

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Zaedyn was full of excitement as he ran in and out of his new hiding place. Yes, with only one gumboot! I could not help smiling and playing along as I saw his big smiles and listened to his never ending giggles. They really are the best! We spent the entire morning playing in his new fort. He definitely had a few tickles whenever I found him.

teepee

If that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, we decided to search our garage for some of the bamboo that David cut down for us. It was quite difficult trying to put our teepee together with little hands to help, but I love that he was so curious and interested in building our teepee. I literally just took some twine and wrapped it around lots of different ways. It worked for us. The bamboo alone was exciting, but I knew we had to find some sort of cover. Hmmm…

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Yip, our Winter sheet will do. We hopefully won’t be needing it for awhile anyways! Wrapped around and tucked under the twine, it completed our teepee and another new hiding place.

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After a bit of playing around, Zaedyn was telling me, “Yoga,” and went looking for the yoga mat. I helped roll it out, and we found his yoga book. He was super excited about the tree pose that he is still doing it in the picture once I turned the page. I love hearing him get excited about yoga and that he can tell me tree pose and show me what it is. I think he is a clever little yogi.

teepee
Having a teepee is really exciting enough, but if you want another fun activity, why not have a tea party inside your teepee?!
gluten free scones

Add some gluten-free vegan scones, and your tea party is that much yummier than your pretend treats.

Can you tell how much fun we have been having? I was kind of getting used to our living room being crowded by a fort and teepee, but we decided to return our dining chairs back to the table until next time. However, we still have our giant teepee in our lounge, and with this much needed rain in NZ after a drought, I think it might be staying up for awhile. We are lucky enough to have a covered deck so that we can get some fresh air and still have some time outside even when it is pouring down. Do you and your little ones build forts or teepees? Possibly even some other cool hiding places in empty boxes? Feel free to share as you might inspire us in our next fort or hiding space.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS…

If you have been following us on Facebook, you may have noticed that we are going to be doing a very special giveaway with some awesome NZ businesses. A huge thank you to BeBops, ExtraFresh, Hemp Farm NZ Ltd, and Go Bamboo! I am still sorting out all of the details so feel free to check out their websites and Facebook pages in the meantime. These are all NZ based and are amazing in their efforts to support a sustainable future. If you are a vegan, eco-friendly, or gluten-free company who would like to share your products/services, please email me to be a part of our giveaway. To all of our readers, you will have some pretty exciting news coming soon and a great opportunity to win! Stay tuned for more details…

Spirulina Ice & Chisel

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ice and chisel

After our fun with spirulina playdough, I had been thinking about something I had pinned awhile back and how perfect it would suit this hot weather. The pin was frozen ice with dinosaurs and the hours of fun using a chisel to get them out. Since we do not have any dinosaurs, I debated about using his animals. I did not want to ruin them in the water, and I wasn’t sure if it was a great idea to be freezing animals since this kind of goes against what I believe. I mean, in no other circumstance would I be freezing animals, but then I thought about how much Zaedyn loves his animals and how it would be a great way for him to help save them.

I decided to freeze the animals in water, and add some colour on top after it was frozen. I was a little bit impatient letting it freeze for long enough though. I mixed a bit of spirulina into water, poured it on top, and placed the container back in the freezer. Since I did not wait long enough, the top layer mixed with the layer beneath. It actually worked out perfect to create more of a blue ocean, and the spirulina did not stain the animals.

The next day, we found the animals frozen in the freezer and brought them outside with Zaedyn’s hammer and chisel. He was very curious and uncertain about what we were doing, but he was also very interested. After showing Zaedyn what to do, he had a bit of fun, but also wanted Mummy’s help. We made sure to be very careful not to hurt our animals while trying to save them. Zaedyn loves to hold the hammer around the other way for some reason. No matter how many times you help him turn it, he makes sure to show you that is not the way he likes to do it. It was great to see him exploring with this new activity. He loved seeing the ice crack, and he had the biggest smiles on his face when the animals were free.

This is a great exploration activity for hand/eye coordination, understanding properties of water, perseverance, and having a bit of fun. Of course there are always more learning opportunities that arise with each child! I would love to keep doing this with Zaedyn and see how different or similar things go. Let me know if you do this with your children, or if you end up trying it. It is such a simple, yet fun learning opportunity that is great for warm weather (or even cold) and as an alternative to using hammers at a workbench.

Gluten-Free Spirulina Playdough

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gluten-free playdough

Ever wondered about gluten-free playdough with no food colouring? It is definitely possible! Some of you might be wondering if there is any point, but for some children even playdough is a huge concern. If a child cannot consume gluten, playing with playdough is still entering their skin and you never know what might end up in their mouth. I have never stopped Zaedyn from playing with white flour playdough as that is what we used at the centre, but seeing as we only buy gluten-free flour that is what we make at our house.

Another big concern for me in playdough is food colouring. There is a lot of controversy about the dangers and effects of food colouring, but an even bigger concern for me is the fact that they can be tested on animals or contain crushed insects.

Rather than use food dye, we opted to use some spirulina powder to make our playdough green. There are a number of ways to create your own natural dyes from juicing a variety of fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices, or even tea bags. Check out this gluten-free pink playdough simply from using raspberry tea! I would love to hear any of your favourite playdough recipes or clever ways to make your own colours.

Spirulina Playdough
Zaedyn was pretty excited to play with the playdough as we have not made any for awhile now. After exploring the texture with his hands, the animals needed to come and join the fun.

Spirulina Playdough

Spirulina Playdough

He loved making lots of animal footprints in the playdough. This really sparked lots of imaginative play as Zaedyn was chatting away and setting the scene with his animal friends.

Spirulina Playdough

Of course this including feeding his lamb….

Spirulina Playdough

as well as Lamby and Kai giving kisses. Even through his play, you can really tell how much Zaedyn loves and cares for animals. It always makes me smile to see his compassion for animals shine through in every aspect of his life.

I am also always amazed at how something as simple as playdough can create endless amounts of fun and allow for different creative play whenever it is used. Playdough involves sensory play, imaginative play, and inspires lots of dispositions.

Do you remember playing with playdough as a child? Do your children have favourite materials they like to use while playing with playdough? Some ideas include kitchen toy sets, rolling pins and cookie cutters, golf tees and hammers, popsicle sticks or matchsticks, animals, natural resources, pompoms or pipe cleaners, etc. There are endless materials to provide, and I am sure your children will be creative and find their own materials to use through this open-ended exploration.

Love of Teepees

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Has anyone else planted a bean teepee (tipi) this year?

Ours is growing pretty quickly. It isn’t too late to start now.

Teepees can be so much fun. We love them.

They are great to sleep in…

Teepee

They are a fun place to read books…

Bamboo Teepee

and kanikani (dance)…

kanikani

They are great to drink smoothies in…

Bamboo Teepee

Plus, they are great for hiding away and eating some beans 🙂

Tipi

We are still waiting for ours to come in as we planted a bit late to avoid our lamb from eating them, but they are growing so quickly. I need to get a photo update. We have yet to plant our snap peas.

Beans and peas are an easy raw nutritious snack that are fun to eat. We bought some peas that David and I have been enjoying and so has Zaedyn. He showed a lot of concentration and coordination when trying to get them out. With each one full of different amounts, we also used them as a fun way of counting. Tahi, rua, toru, whā, rima, ono, whitu, waru, iwa, tekau. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez.

Zaedyn is learning about being sustainable and growing his own food in a fun and positive way. I cannot wait to see how our bean teepee turns out and watching him pick fresh beans from the plant to eat. The garden provides so many wonderful opportunities to learn and care for the environment.

Garden Beans

There are so many teepees available to purchase and many opportunities for you to make them yourself. Do you or your children like teepees?