Shannon has a M.S. in Geology, is a teacher in a Waldorf School and has background as a children's yoga teacher.

She is passionate about connecting children to themselves and to the natural world.

About Backyard Mama

Backyard Mama's mission is for every child to spend time outside every day.

The intention of this blog is to offer inspiration to do that. Take this tips and tools and use them, or contact me and I can run a program at your center.

Our programs take many forms:
* classes in your school or childcare center
* classes for camps or nature centers
* professional development through conferences and workshops
* professional development designed for your staff
* community workshops at libraries and agencies

We're always excited to design something special just for you!


Nature and Children Blog Carnival Rules and Goals

Spring is so wonderful. Everything is bursting with life and vitality. The sun is warming and it seems impossible to get enough outdoor time.

I’ve been doing everything outdoors: my laundry, working in the garden, coloring, tending chickens and taking walks in the woods.  This doesn’t leave much time for blogging and less time for looking around for all the great things you write.

But I love this community that enriches my life and so I am really excited to share my newest idea: create a weekly blog carnival!

The rules:

1) The carnival is open to all outdoor enthusiasts.

The topic with change weekly but the theme of connecting children (and adults) to nature will remain constant.

2) I will announce the topic each Wednesday for the following week.

3) Write your post at your convenience.

Each Wednesday come over and enter your permalink through McLinky. Please include blurb at the end of your post such as “this post is part of the Backyard Mama Wednesday link-up” and link back to me.

The Goals:

1) Create Community.

The primary goal of this carnival is to encourage a community of nature lovers to share ideas, offer support, ask questions and communicate.

2) Offer one-stop “shopping”.

I want to encourage a “grand central station” of ideas and information for connecting children and nature. Each specific topic will have links to a an array of blogs which will offer a variety of perspectives and experiences.

3) To have fun.

This is an idea, keep it fun, creative and vibrant. We’ll try it and see how it goes!

Last Wednesday I announced this weeks topic: learning through play in nature.

I can’t wait to see what we all muster up!

Come on over and link-up on Wednesday, then see what’s in store for next week!

Thanks for joining me I look forward to learning from you!

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21 Responses to “Nature and Children Blog Carnival Rules and Goals”

  • jenny says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea :) I started blogging to try to find a network of people on the same page as me to share ideas so this is right up my alley! Thank you for organising it.

  • Shannon says:

    thank you! I am so excited about it! Help spread the word!! Thanks for tweeting and commenting!

  • Mel says:

    Sounds fun! Count me in.
    .-= Mel´s last blog ..Make a bug house: part II =-.

  • Shannon says:

    oh I am so excited! I have to stop by and learn about making a bug hut! So fun Mel! Fingers crossed that we’ll see you wednesday!

  • I’ll be up at the cabin with the kids Wed., but I just did a post on bird watching/ bird identifications with your kids! Check it out on

  • Shannon says:

    this is just awesome! would you mind if I add the post to the link up myself on Wednesday? Take care and have fun. delighted to have found your blog. I have a feeling that I’ll find some great projects there!

  • I love your blog! Nice to see you :) What’s your twitter name?

  • Kelly says:

    Great idea! Hoping to join in the fun!

  • Shannon says:

    nice to see you too! @backyardmama (but I think you have found me by now!) It’s a small world!

  • Shannon says:

    Kelly, I really hope that you do join us! It would be so so fun to see you! And if you don’t have time this week, stop over next week! or the week after!

  • Stacy of KSW says:

    Just found your link up through the #playoutdoors twitter feed. I’m super excited about it but want to make sure I follow all the rules – is there an button I should be adding to my post or a specific link you would like me to link back to?

    .-= Stacy of KSW´s last blog ..My new Spring Wardrobe =-.

  • Shannon says:

    no button, just a line at the end of the post something like “this is part of the nature and children blog carnival at Backyard Mama” then link back today’s post. Dont’ worry about it for today since it’s new (unless you can quickly ad it in through editing). I am excited to have met you and learn about your blog. Hope you come back next week too!
    Thanks Shannon

  • Hello, we found you through our new blogging friend, Jenny, over at progressive early childhood education and we’re so glad we did. Count us in!

  • Michele says:

    Fun! Thanks for putting this on, Shannon.
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..Learn Some “Mad Skills” at Anytime-Art’s April Photography Workshop =-.

  • Shannon says:

    thanks for participating! It has been fun reading all the posts today and feeling a community of voices growing!

  • Kathy says:

    I love this idea! I’m hoping if I commit to the carnival that it will make sure that I plan at least one outdoor family activity each week which is hard for a mom who works 8-5!
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Windowsill =-.

  • Shannon says:

    kathy- it is tough to find time to get outside! Some of my suggestions for busy mama’s are to take everyday tasks outside like: hang out the laundry (if you can), have a weekend (or dinner time now that it’s dark later) picnic. A few weeks ago my son and I went to our local bakery for an egg sandwich breakfast, then we parked across the street and ate on a little strip of green- he has a blast watching the big trucks drive by while eating his favorite breakfast! Take a short (10 minute) walk after dinner. Yes, spending an hour or more outside is great- but if we work with what we have to do then it becomes more attainable. Right? Good luck and I hope you join in! Maybe that will be a topic one week- how to “fit in” nature! Thanks for stopping over! Are you under water?

  • Gabby says:

    I am SO excited that I discovered this from the “let the children play” blog! We are always looking for more ways to connect with nature and look forward to participating!!
    .-= Gabby´s last blog ..Get Outside North Carolina! =-.

  • Shannon says:

    I am excited you found us too Gabby! Can’t wait for you to link up with us!

  • [...] children and nature into the broader Rhode Island community through workshops; and 3) starting a blog carnival each Wednesday here at Backyard [...]

  • [...] you’re here to participate, please remember to follow the rules and link back to this [...]

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