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!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Family Camping Do’s & Don’ts

Camping is FUN! Next time you head out to sleep under the stars as a family, here are 7 activities to try while you are in the "wilds" (followed by a great list of 25 Family Camping Do's and Don'ts from The FamilyCampman.com)!

1.  Climb a boulder or a tree for a new perspective; have lunch on your perch, or draw, read, or watch for wildlife.

2.  Go to the ranger program as a family.

3.  Learn about the stars and constellations of the area you're camping and identify them in the night sky.

4.  Go on a full moon hike as a family.

5.  Howl like a coyote, see if you can get them to respond with howls!

6. Pick a spot to explore your campsite by laying on your belly with a hand lens. Look under rocks (carefully!), into tree bark, by a stream's edge...

7.  Make leaf and stick boats for "racing" in a nearby stream.

We think these 25 tips posted by Eric at The FamilyCampan.com site are great! They are also a timeless reminder for family camping etiquette! DO visit Eric's site for other very useful camping/family posts!

1.  Do prepare ahead of time
2.  Do entertain thy children
3.  Do reserve your site in advance
4.  Don’t forget extra batteries
5.  Do leave a clean campsite
6.  Do prepare for rain
7.  Don’t bring firewood from different locations
8.  Don’t bring video games for the kids (or any other electronics)
9.  Don’t leave your garbage out at night
10.  Don’t set your car alarm
11.  Don’t ignore campground rules
12.  Do continue your kids’ bedtime routines
13.  Do respect your neighbors
14.  Don’t set your tent up in the dark
15.  Do bring a firestarter
16.  Do pack extra clothes for chilly nights
17.  Don’t pack using cardboard boxes
18.  Do pack using rubber bins (think rubbermaid)
19.  Do explore the surrounding areas
20.  Don’t forget the first aid kit
21.  Don’t let your kids run around other sites
22.  Don’t leave your campfire unattended
23.  Do eat lots of s’mores
24.  Do take lots of pictures
25.  Don’t forget to relax and have a great time

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Clouds...

Here’s an interesting fun fact we learned from a National Geographic Society tweet: A cloud can weigh more than a million pounds (450,000 kg). Wow, that’s a lot of water floating above our heads! This made us think about other cloudy things like…

Cloud Collecting Makes You Happy
Karen Kingston’s post on “Why Cloud Collecting Can Be Good For You.” Why? Because it's etherically refreshing and psychologically uplifting…and it raises your energy. Karen also states that developing a relationship with the skies above allows your consciousness to expand to fill bigger spaces and your creativity to soar. Sounds good to us! For more reasons why clouds are so inspiring read the rest of Karen’s uplifting and informative post.

The Cloud Collector’s Handbook
A field guide and journal for collecting your favorite cloud types and phenomena.

Clouds For Climate Change
This project potentially brings many benefits, both to the global climate, and also to communities suffering from desertification, poor agriculture and forestry, low rainfall. Learn how clouds can make an immediate impact on the global climate at The Global Cooling Project.

Hey rainbow fans…behold the cloudbow!

Music For Cloud Watching
Music collected by cloud lovers deemed perfect for cloud gazing.

Partly Cloudy
Attached to Pixar’s movie UP is the Pixar short, Partly Cloudy...Everyone knows that the stork delivers babies, but where do the storks get the babies from? The answer lies up in the stratosphere, where cloud people sculpt babies from clouds and bring them to life. Partly Cloudy is about Gus, a lonely and insecure grey cloud, who is a master at creating "dangerous" babies like crocodiles, porcupines, and rams…

As Gus's creations become more and more rambunctious, his loyal delivery stork partner, Peck, must work harder and harder. How will Peck manage to handle both his hazardous cargo and his friend's fiery temperament? Watch this imaginative story unfold here!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Camping Tips for Single Parent Families

This is a helpful article for any family heading out to go camping with little ones. You'll find valuable tips and important things to consider. However, we have one big opposition as we do not agree with or condone allowing children to “sneak” out rocks or any other items from protected areas that ask you not to remove anything from the area.

There is sound reason for this rule and I know some parents feel an exception to it, or believe it inhibits a child’s experience in some way. I can relate...my son collects rocks, pinecones, leaves, etc. everywhere we go--but if we’re in a protected area, he’s reminded (ahead of time as well) that his treasures will need to be left behind when we leave. He's a preschooler, so we let him know those natural items “live there” and the plants/animals need them. We turn the “bummer” into a valuable lesson of environmental respect and ecology, and to demonstrate the fact that even our family is not exempt from keeping our natural areas protected for future enjoyment!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Backyard Beach

An irresistible idea from the Go Explore Nature blog, creating an uber-easy backyard beach for the little ones. Not only will you get a little chuckle reading about the "big explorer" and the "little explorer" (too cute!) but you'll be inspired to create some beach-y fun!