Great camping hack for kids – a bucket and rope!

Bucket and rope

When camping, I usually pack a bin with a few crayons and coloring books in case the kids need some activities beyond climbing rocks, hiking, and running around in the long grass. On our last trip, I decided to also bring a bucket and some rope. I wasn’t sure whether the kids would be into it, but it turns out this was the best camping activity ever!

Bucket and rope

I got the idea from Jackie over at Happy Hooligans. The post is full of great ideas to make your garden a fun place for your kids to play. It turns out it’s also great for camping trips, as long as your campsite has a tree with some sturdy branches!

Bucket and rope

I tied one end of the rope to the bucket, and tossed the other end up over a branch. I gave the kids the loose end of the rope, and let them decide what to do. Open-ended play is so great! Claire was the oldest kid, so she took the role of executive director. Before I knew it, the kids were filling the bucket with sticks and rocks, and pulling the rope to lift it up into the branches.

Bucket and rope

Kids are pretty incredible. This activity is as simple as it gets, yet they happily played with this for almost an hour one morning. As the other adults passed by the kids, they all commented on what a great activity this was. The kids were cracking us up, shouting, “Okay guys, let’s haul that bucket up now!” They were serious about their bucket hauling.

Bucket and rope

Our crew loved this simple activity, and it made for great teamwork amongst the kiddos. I will definitely be tossing a bucket and rope into our car when we pack for our next camping trip!

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Rhino Charge 2017: Adventuring in the north Kenyan bush

Rhino Charge

As you guys know, a couple of weeks ago we participated in the Rhino Charge, a charitable race that supports the conservation and protection of Kenya’s wildlife and mountain range ecosystems. This year, chargers raised a staggering 153 million shillings ($1.5 million dollars) to support Rhino Ark Trust’s conservation works, and a further 4.4 million shillings ($44,000 dollars) to support the Songa Community Conservancy. Jesse fulfilled a lifelong dream as a runner for Car 51, The DeRanged Rovers, and the Rhino Charge was raging success! Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Claire!

Happy birthday to this sweet, smart, sassy girl – Claire turns 6 today! We will be celebrating out in the bush, at the Rhino Charge. We got her a new board game and two new books for her birthday – I hope she loves them! Continue reading

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This is how messy my life is right now…

messy

Sometimes life gets messy. It just wasn’t my day. First, I baked Claire’s birthday cake, and it broke apart when I tried to pop it out of the pan. (Yes, ANOTHER cake fail.) Later, I was making of my kids’ favorite dinners – Thai peanut pasta. It’s easy, they love it, it has broccoli. Wins all around. In the midst of cooking, I ran out of soy sauce. I got a new bottle from the pantry, but…. something was wrong. The soy sauce was thick and viscous, like tar. I thought, well, how bad can it be?

Bad. It can be bad. Like really bad. You don’t even want to know. Continue reading

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Kids craft: crayon watercolor resist

Crayon watercolor resist

We’ve been getting really into watercolor painting in our house recently. The kids love painting, and we used to use mostly tempera paints and our trusty easel. But tempera requires quite a bit of supervision, especially with Heidi, who tends to accidentally flick paint on walls and furniture! The watercolors give the girls all the fun of painting, with much less concern about permanent mess in the house! Continue reading

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The Rhino Charge: an over-the-top race for a good cause

Rhino Charge

This year, Jesse will be participating in the Rhino Charge, Kenya’s annual 4×4 off-road race. The race raises awareness and funds to protect the rhino population in the Aberdare National Park, along with Kenya’s mountain range ecosystems, which provide water for over 2 million people as well as a significant portion of Kenya’s electricity. Continue reading

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Camping in the spectacular Chyulu Hills

Chyulu Hills

The Chyulu Hills have long been on my list. I was inspired months ago after having read a post by The Kenyan Camper, and this weekend we finally made it! We had always been put off by the long drive, but Heidi’s getting older, and we thought with the extra long Easter weekend, it was a good time to give it a try. Continue reading

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The BEST detangling brush

best detangling brush

I was talking to my hairdresser the other day about detangling the girls’ curls, and she recommended this special detangling brush. At first, I told her I don’t really believe in brushes for curly hair. In my experience, they just turn curls into a giant frizzy bush! She insisted, this brush was different. Continue reading

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Arts and crafts to keep us busy over school break

Arts and Crafts time

Ahhhh, school break has arrived. At first, I will love the lazy mornings – no need to pack backpacks, or to rush around getting everyone ready, or to dash out the door to get to school on time. What a luxury! But after a day or two of having both kids at home all day, we will all start to go stir crazy, and we will need some special activities to keep us all sane. We’ve always bumped up our arts and crafts activities during the school break, and the kids love it. Continue reading

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Me time? 

me time

This week was “hair week” in our house – a monthly event of unbraiding, washing, detangling, moisturizing, and protective styling. Heidi doesn’t love having her hair braided, and a few months back Jesse and I realized that things go much smoother if we remove ourselves from the situation. Lynne, the virtuoso who braids the girls’ hair, is supremely patient and chill. She magically gets Heidi’s head of curls braided, even when Heidi is feeling feisty and uncooperative. Continue reading

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