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Monday, April 23, 2018

The Best Group Games for Camping (with free printable)

The Best Group Games for Camping // In Our Pond // card games // tile games // active games // outdoor // camping // camping games // memorial day weekend // 4th of july // labor day weekend


I was chatting with my mom about summer camping trips, and she suggested this blog post.  We play a lot of games on our camping trips, and encourage people who camp with us to bring their favorites.  There is always a lot variety, since we try to stay "unplugged" during our trips.  Below, I'm sharing group game ideas that wash easily, pack down small, and involve the whole body.



Stormy Day Games
We always hope for beautiful, sunny days when we're camping, but we don't always get them.  Great rainy day games are ones that won't blow away in the wind and that can be cleaned if they get muddy/gritty.  Most of these games have some form of tiles.

The Best Group Games for Camping // In Our Pond // card games // tile games // active games // outdoor // camping // camping games // memorial day weekend // 4th of july // labor day weekend
This game is like Scrabble but doesn't need a board.

I think this Star Wars version is so neat!

This is a bit like Tetris, but more competitive.  

This is my favorite game.

This camping version would be good for kids.

My dad's favorite game, so ask him to play.

  The math version of Scrabble.

This classic game won't blow away.

                                                                          My sister used to drive me crazy with this game!




Best Cards Games
We also play quite a few card games when we go camping.  While these don't always work well at the picnic table, they're great for recreation vehicles and tents.  They don't take up very much room so you can pack a lot of them.

The Best Group Games for Camping // In Our Pond // card games // tile games // active games // outdoor // camping // camping games // memorial day weekend // 4th of july // labor day weekend
This classic game in available in many versions.

You want to be the person who names something last before the timer goes off.

This is a silly comparison game for kids and adults.

Draw 2 cards and find the similarities between them.

This would be a good road trip game too.

Watch out!  This can be a fierce game!

I have been known to get quite animated with this game.

There are SO many games you can play with a plain deck of cards!

You've Got to be Kidding!
A funny "would you rather" game for all ages.




Full Body Games
When the weather is nice, but it's not time for swimming, these action games will get everyone moving and participating.  Many of these are classics, but there are a few old favorites.

The Best Group Games for Camping // In Our Pond // card games // tile games // active games // outdoor // camping // camping games // memorial day weekend // 4th of july // labor day weekend
This portable version would be great for travel.

This yard bowling game can be played anywhere.

Get points for landing balls on different levels.

This set is glow-in-the-dark.

This game could be played with a large group.

This giant set blows up and packs away small.

The game of kings and queens

Look for an open fields suitable for a game of catch.

                                                                         Throw a rubber chicken and aim for a target.




Free Printable Game

Animal Tracks Matching Game in an Altoid Tin // In Our Pond // kids games // DIY // printable // free printable // crafts // camping // summer camp // learning // summer learning // homeschool  // montessori

Recently, I've been working on a lot of printable games that will fit in an Altoid tin (you know how I love my tins).  This matching game features animal tracks from Etsy shop Digital Art Card and animal pictures from Pixabay.  I put the animal names on both cards to make the game useful for learning and not just challenging.  Put your tracking skills to use and make some matches!


Animal Tracks Matching Game in an Altoid Tin // In Our Pond // kids games // DIY // printable // free printable // crafts // camping // summer camp // learning // summer learning // homeschool  // montessori
Click on the Picture to Download the Printable

This game is suitable for ages 4/5 to adult.  Just print (I recommend cardstock), laminate, and stick it in a tin.  The printable comes with a label for the tin as well.  Either modge podge or hot glue the label onto the tin.  To play, lay all cards face down in rows and columns, then take turns flipping over two cards at a time to make a match.  If you're successful, keep the match as evidence and play again.  If you're unsuccessful, turn the cards back over and let someone else have a turn.  The game is over when all the cards have been matched and the winner is the person with the most matches.


As always, this printable is only for personal use.


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Animal Tracks Matching Game in an Altoid Tin // In Our Pond // kids games // DIY // printable // free printable // crafts // camping // summer camp // learning // summer learning // homeschool  // montessori




What would you add to the list?
Comment Below

Sunday, April 22, 2018

What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging

What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging // In Our Pond // free printables // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday

Every year on the founding of my blog, I like to take some time to review what I've learned and look at how the blog has been doing.  For example, last year I talked about using Inlinkz to organize the blog and figuring out HTML.  I'm sure that I've learned more than I am listing here, but here are the few newsworthy items that have caught my attention.


News

Tailwind
I recently have began using Tailwind to organize and schedule my Pinterest posts.  I have only been using it for a month, so I don't have a lot of data on it yet.  One thing that I love about it is that it allows me to spread out my pins to go out on different days and times.  I can set intervals to space them out evenly or even have the same pin go out at the same day and time every week or month.  At the moment, I have 12 pins scheduled a day.

I often pin each blog post and all its pictures to more than one board, and Tailwind allows me to select which boards to put them on all in one place instead of pinning them manually and individually.

Tailwind also has a community aspect, where you can put your pins into a "tribe" and expose them to other bloggers in your niche.  It's yet another way to get your pins circulating.

There are many aspects of the plug-in that I haven't tried, but I'm excited to learn more over the next year.  For a free month, visit my affiliate link.


SEO

I'm sure I should have been more aware of SEO (search engine optimization) and using picture descriptions, search descriptions, and post permalinks to get my blog seen by more people.  Honestly, when I began the blog, playing the website development game was very low on my priorities.  I was more interested in just recording our learning.

This year, I joined a few blogging facebook groups and am learning so much from them.  I anticipate that I will continuing becoming better at SEO and marketing in the future.


Updated Printables

I have been working on updating many of my old printables.  Be sure to check out all the printables by clicking on the menu button.


Travel Time Tuesday

One of my favorite features on this blog is Travel Time Tuesday, my series of crafts, DIY, tips, buying guides, and more.  This is my 4th year doing the weekly course, and I anticipate topping 100 total posts this year.  I seem to be gaining momentum, instead of using up all my ideas.  I'm planning many more free travel printables, themed road trips, and crafts for kids.  In fact, I have almost the entire year planned already.  Stop by every Tuesday to read the latest!



What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging // In Our Pond // free printables // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday


Birthday Week Posts
As a pre-birthday celebration, I posted one article each day.
I tried to show off my most common blog topics.


Sunday- Songs that Celebrate Adoption


Montessori Monday- Coral Reef 3-part Cards


Travel Time Tuesday- Felt Travel Activities for Kids


Wordless Wednesday- Finding Nemo Bathroom Sign


Thursday- A Celebration of Bees- Homeschooling Ideas


Fun Friday- Easy Circular Felt Foods


Saturday- Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids



What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging // In Our Pond // free printables // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday


Stats
For my own fun, I like to write down to the stats for each year.
It's interesting to look back at each birthday post and see what was popular.


Number of Blog Posts: 700 (636 published and 65 coming)

Most Popular Blog Post This Week: Foster to Adopt Party Theme Ideas (read 20,000x)


Number of Blog Visitors a Month: 11,000


Most Popular Blog Post Last Month: Free QR Codes for Read-to-Me Books (read 9,000x)


Number of Visitors Total: 210,000


Most Popular Blog Post of All Time: Foster to Adopt Party Theme Ideas


Number of Free Printables: 225 (find them all here)


Number of Followers on Facebook: almost 500 (can you bump me over the top?)




Over 200 Free Printables for Home and Homeschool // In Our Pond // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday


Top 10 Printables
Here's the countdown of my most popular printables!


10- Paleontologist Anchor Chart

9- Bee Life Cycle 3-Part Cards

8- Be a Rainbow Reader

7- Montessori-Inspired North American Animal 3-Part Cards

6- Travel Journal

5- Zoo Train Play Mat

4- Montessori-Inspired Australia 3-Part Cards

3- Montessori-Inspired Backyard Birds 3-Part Cards

2- Montessori-Inspired Dinosaur Skulls 3-Part Cards

1- Free QR Codes for Read-to-Me Books






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What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging // In Our Pond // free printables // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday

Birthday Posts

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids

Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids // In Our Pond // Resources for Training in Righteousness // Bible // Christian // kids // children's ministry // Bible study // Christianity // church // parenting

Once a month, I got to a mom's encouragement morning, where we do a craft, talk about everything, and listen to a lecture.  This week, our topic was on "feeding our kids healthy foods, physically and spiritually.  There's a lot of information online about getting your kids to eat good food, but there is less available for helping your kids get good spiritual food.  I thought I'd share a few of the resources that we've used with our kids.  My kids are still young (6, 5, and 4) so the recommendations are going to be geared toward younger children.



Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids // In Our Pond // Resources for Training in Righteousness // Bible // Christian // kids // children's ministry // Bible study // Christianity // church // parenting


One of the easiest ways to get good information into our kids minds and hearts is through music.  We often have music playing in the car or in the house, and while it's not always "Christian" albums, we still manage to play quite a bit.  I love hearing my kids singing good doctrine, reciting Scriptures, and humming hymns.

Our Favorite Music

Seeds Family Worship- Scripture verses around a theme

Songs for Saplings- catechism questions with answers and verses

The Ology- basic Christian theology for kids

Getty Kids- modern hymns

Selah- hymns collection 1+2


We also use good books like "The Complete Illustrated Children's Bible" and the full-text Bible  We'd like to use the "The Ology" book in the near future as a companion study to the CDs.  I have also heard really good things about "Stick Figure Through the Bible" curriculum, which I'm considering for our homeschool lessons soon.  The kids also do AWANA (Bible memorization club), which has been really good for cementing the things we've taught them.


Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids // In Our Pond // Resources for Training in Righteousness // Bible // Christian // kids // children's ministry // Bible study // Christianity // church // parenting

I've been thinking about the verse in the above picture.
If we're faithful to plant good seeds in our children,
then we will see the harvest- if we do not give up.



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Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids // In Our Pond // Resources for Training in Righteousness // Bible // Christian // kids // children's ministry // Bible study // Christianity // church // parenting

Friday, April 20, 2018

Easy Circular Felt Food with Patterns

Easy Circular Felt Food with Patterns // In Our Pond // free printable // pretend play // kids play // play kitchen // crafting // diy // sewing

Continuing my celebration of this blog's fifth birthday, I've made a bunch of felt food!  And, I'm offering the patterns to you for FREE!


(fun fact- did you know that the first felt food I ever posted was on this blog's 1st birthday?)


The items in these pictures are quick mock-ups of the patterns that I made in a day.  They're put together with hot glue mostly and some machine sewing and hand sewing.  I used simple, cheap craft foam.


If I was going to make these pattern for long-term use or a gift, I would use a nice wool blend felt from Prairie Woolens.  They have over 150 colors, and give you the option of buying the felt in sheets (9" x 12") and double sheets (12" x 18"), and by the yardage (36" x 9/18/27/36" AKA 1/4 yard, 1/2 yard, 3/4 yard, and 1 yard).  At less than $10 a yard, it's a great option for the felt crafter.


My absolute favorite part of buying from Prairie Woolens is that they include the DMC floss color right on the felt buying page.  It takes all the guesswork out of it.  It's even more awesome for a country crafter like myself since the nearest craft store is more than two hours away.


My Supply List


Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Celebration of Bees- Ideas and Printables for Kids

A Celebration of Bees- Ideas and Printables for Kids // In Our Pond

I LOVE bees.  Every since I was a little girl and first saw the hive through a window, I've been hooked.  Of course, it probably helps that one of my names means "industrious like a honeybee" (which also might explain the flightiness).

As part of my blog birthday week, I'm bringing out all of my favorite things.  I recently joined the Kids Blogger Network, so this "Celebration of Bees" is a collection of all the best from those writers and creators.



A Celebration of Bees- Ideas and Printables for Kids // In Our Pond // Coloring Pages // free printables

Nearly everyone loves to color, draw, or doodle.
Here are some bee themed ideas.