Many moons ago, when we had only just barely begun this blogging adventure, we put out a call to our community asking for Nature Walk contributors. Dawn was one of first to share her beautiful corner of the world with us and we immediately fell in love with the way she explored nature alongside her sweet little kiddos. Over the years we've had the pleasure of watching that beautiful perspective grow and expand and we are overjoyed to be able to share her newest venture with you today, a wonderful and inspiring book written together with the lovely Annie Reichmann!
And, with Earth Day coming up tomorrow, we couldn't think of a better time to give away free copies to two lucky winners as well as a free downloadable activity for each and every one of you!
Whatever the Weather by Annie Reichmann and Dawn Suzette Smith is the kind of book that every parent needs to have in their home library. No matter what nature throws your way on any given day, this book will give you the tools to make the most out of the opportunities that come with rain, snow, sun, and wind. And, since the projects are specifically designed to be simple and accessible, you won't have to worry about having a long list of hard to find materials on hand. Sounds pretty amazing right? But that's not all this book has to offer! In addition to solving the perennial "what can I do with my kids today" question, it also provides prompts for open ended exploring (our favorite kind!) and teaches children the science behind the weather they are experiencing.
But enough from us, read more from the authors themselves in the interview below!
What is your favorite type of weather event and why?
Annie:I love a good thunderstorm. The louder and more dramatic the better. When I lived in Vermont, thunderstorms usually preceded with the most miserably stagnant, humid air. When the storm would come through I would open all of the windows in the house and within minutes it would be cool and comfortable again. The best!
Dawn: I have come to love clouds and the dramatic weather that creates some of the more fantastic cloud formations. Cumulus clouds that grow quickly into thunderheads are pretty dramatic to watch form in the distance and move across the landscape. There is nothing quite like getting dumped on by buckets of rain that soak you to the skin in a matter of moments.
What first inspired you to use weather as a jumping off point for science experiments and art projects.
Annie: I think that we first started exploring weather and writing about it in part because we were raising kids in areas with what many would consider more extreme weather conditions. Especially our winters! People so often think of weather as just a background for living (or don't consider it at all). We wanted to look at what could happen when you use the weather as a jumping off point for exploration and creativity.
Dawn: Weather is a natural jumping off point because it is so easily accessible to everyone. It is one of the many ways nature binds us together with a grand shared experience and with it all around us everyday it makes complete sense that kids would be fascinated with it. Moving from California to Nova Scotia certainly put weather on our radar and even I was completely consumed with learning as much as I could about the amazing weather we were all experiencing for the very first time.
What are your hopes and dreams for this book?
Annie: We would love everyone out there to request their local library to get a copy. We'd love as many people to have a chance to try the projects and activities as possible!
Dawn:I hope that the book becomes a catalyst that will encourage families to get outside and be inspired to create their own works of art and engage in countless hours of nature inspired investigation.
What experiments/art projects did your kiddos like best?
Annie:Ice orbs and paper canoes!
Dawn: My son is a dramatic weather kid, so the wilder the better for him. He loved the kites and pinwheels because wind is his favorite element, but he also enjoyed doing anything with rain, ice and snow.
Tell us about your "perfect day" exploring outside. What would you do?
Annie: Probably not all that much. I'm raising four kids these days, and their personal interests in terms of the outdoors are pretty diverse. We tend to do best when we just get outside without a "plan" and let everyone explore according to their whims. No expectations seems to be our best strategy around here!
Dawn: We are drawn to the beach so I would say my perfect day is one were we are exploring tidepools and swimming at the shore all day long, then return home to homemade lemon-lime soda and dinner over the fire in the backyard while our towels and suits hang out to dry on the line.
*Click the image above for your free Solar Prints download courtesy of Dawn, Annie & Roost Books!*
To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post before 11:59pm MST on 4/27/16. Two lucky winners will then be selected by the lovely random number generator! Giveaway ends 11:59pm MST 4/27/16.
*Want even more chances? Follow us on Instagram, Pinterest and/or Facebook (if you already do then you can get an extra entry by sharing this giveaway on your Instagram, Pinterest and/or Facebook page). You can also give yourself another shot by sharing this giveaway on your blog or twitter. Just make sure, whatever you do, you come back here and leave a comment letting us know how you shared.
Thank you Dawn and Annie for sharing this beautiful book with us. Good luck everyone!
** Images courtesy of Dawn, Annie, and Roost Books.