Thank you for visiting the home blog of Caliso Learning, a natural science-based business celebrating the beauty and ecology of our natural environments. Our goal is to connect you and your family with nature--actually, we want you to fall in LOVE with nature!

Here you will find nature-inspired articles and posts, family activities, personal stories, resources, and more--all with the goal to connect you with the benefits of nature for family fun and inspiration! Please enjoy and let us know what you like :) Follow us on Facebook for even more resources, more frequently!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rockin' Family Time

As the holidays bring family and friends together, we celebrate cherished traditions and good times with those we love. If you’re looking for some fun ideas for the whole family, try some of these “rock solid” activities to engage all ages—and maybe start a new tradition!

While gathering around the tables at my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving we found our seats by stone place cards. I loved the idea—even more when we were each asked to write on the back of our special stones (Sharpies provided) what we were most thankful for!

A childhood favorite! Use smooth stones from around the yard or purchased from the garden center of your local home improvement store to give an earthy spin to the classic card game. On one side, write family members’ names (especially fun with very large family gatherings where little ones are meeting members new to them!), draw simple symbols or patterns, or a holiday-related word in pairs. Place stones, written word down, mix them up and start matching! Non-matches get turned back over, staying in play.

This has been a popular activity at our Earth Day booths; it can also be an inspiring treat for family and friends relaxing in your yard! Create a “rocku” (5-7-5 haiku about nature, the earth, family, gratitude, etc.) by combining smooth stones with one-word prompts you’ve written into lines of poetry dedicated to celebrating nature or your family…

Many of us find ourselves making New Year’s resolutions, why not make it a keepsake rock to inspire you to hold on to your personal promise? Find a stone that fits you, fits well in your hand, one that calls to you. In one or two words, write your New Year’s promise to yourself, your mantra—now it is written in stone. Keep it with you as inspiration to fulfill your promise.

Collect rocks from around the yard and build mini-forts, make rock stacks (how tall can you make yours?), create designs (flowers, spirals, geometrics, or?) or words with the rocks you’ve collected. Arranged by size, color, shape, the ideas are endless! Great for the kids in the family, have them create and invite you to their outdoor gallery pre- or post-dinner!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Butterfly Effect

...a phrase that suggests the tiniest movement (a butterfly flapping its wings for example) creates a ripple effect of larger and larger variations or actions, forever changing the "behavior" or direction of a dynamic system. This is a distinct reminder to remain intuitive of every decision you make, every action you take--no matter how small--for it will create an impact in your life, possibly changing its course forever.

This can be quite exciting, and it is important to respond to challenges and share your gifts positively in an effort to create the life that brings about your greater good, your true nature. If something is occurring that you do not like, you can set about to change its affect on your life by initiating just one small action.

I love the metaphor of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. For the new butterfly, this is a difficult process that requires struggle (and rest) so it may successfully transform into a beautiful being that is able to take flight! How appropriate for us to remember to somehow appreciate our struggles. Emerge from your comfort zone (your cocoon), take action on something that has been challenging you so you may take flight and create the ripple effect in setting your true calling in motion!

I watched a butterfly today & admired its spirited, bouncy, magnificent effort in flight! I followed it’s path, my flight guided by instinct, my true nature.