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!


  1. You are incredibly creative and inspiring...I love all the "rock solid" ideas and plan to incorporate many of them in my daily life...keep the creative juices flowing!

  2. Love the idea of putting inspiring words on rocks. Great way to get my 5 y.o. to practice his reading skills outside!

  3. THANK YOU bonitas! Let me know what evolves with your versions!

    Debi, I love the idea of taking reading outside for a change of venue. I hadn't thought of Rocku(?) as a reading lesson (duh!) simply because it is usually popular with teens and adults--so I love your clever idea! I bet your little one will get a kick out seeing written words "out of context" so to speak. It's a great twist for a new, stimulating reading environment!

    Thanks for sharing :)