Savoring the Season with a Spring Bucket List

Now that the real spring weather has returned to Seattle, and we are back to mild temperatures after a bout of hot weather, it’s time for us to get cracking on our spring bucket list! If you aren’t familiar with our seasonal bucket lists, here’s the scoop: Each season, we create a list of about 10 fun adventures or projects that are specific to the season.

We dig through our favorite nature books, think about our favorite happenings of that particular season, and look at our calendars as a way of being more intentional with our time and to take advantage of the best things that nature has for us. To learn more, check out our summer, fall & winter bucket lists.

Here’s our 2016 Spring Bucket List in no particular order!

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3 Things We Love about British Swim School

As I mentioned in my first post about the British Swim School 2 weeks ago, Bergen (4.5 years) and Georgia (16 months) are enrolled in lessons at one of their franchises here in the Seattle area.  The company offers lessons starting with babies (must be at least 3 months of age), and all the way up into adulthood.  Classes for children are divided by skill level with certain criteria allowing them to move on to the next program.

Bergen is working on working on introductory skills and learning basic survival techniques as a “Minnow”, and Georgia is just getting started and introduced to water in the parent-child “Tadpole” class.  While it took Georgia a couple of lessons to warm-up to having fun in the pool, I’m happy to say that they are both now thoroughly enjoying their swim lesson experience.

As a parent (and participant with Georgia), I’ve been so impressed with the format of the lessons and the skill and dedication of the teachers.  I took some time to reflect on exactly what I love most about the British Swim School, and I’m sharing here in hopes that it might help you learn more about the organization in case you’re looking for lessons for your own kids!

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Olympia, Washington with Kids: Weekend Itinerary + Photo Tour

Last month we finally got to spend some time in our state’s capital city of Olympia, Washington.  For years I’d been hoping explore this small city that’s just a little over an hour away from our home in Seattle.  As cities in Washington go, Olympia is on the small side, but it’s full of fun (and educational!) opportunities for families and so much natural beauty that shined through even though the weather (typical early spring in Western Washington) was less than ideal.

Based on our recent weekend experience and in collaboration with the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau, I put together a weekend itinerary + photo tour for families to get oriented with a quick snapshot of our capital city.  Stay tuned as I dive deeper into some of our favorites in the coming weeks!

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5 Helpful Tips for Camping with a Baby featuring Ike Kinswa State Park

We just returned from a beautiful weekend in Lewis County, Washington, about 2 hours south of Seattle.  Ike Kinswa State Park, where we stayed, is a little over 450-acres with most of it’s focus on camping.  To the east is the Cowlitz River, to the west is the Tilton River, and at the confluence is Mayfield Lake.  Mayfield Lake was created by the Mayfield Dam located in the nearby town of Mossyrock.

Along with camping, visitors also enjoy recreational boating, fresh water fishing, and swimming and water skiing in the warmer summer months.  We were just happy to enjoy some solitude and time away from the city with plenty of opportunity to hike and explore nature as a family.

Based on our experience at Ike Kinswa, along with our adventure at Samuel P. Taylor State Park in California, and all the fun that we had camping when Bergen was a baby, I wanted to share a few quick tips! As you’ll see we took some “short-cuts” here, and some might even dare to say that we weren’t actually campingbut for our purposes (vacationing and enjoying the outdoors in a park as a family), I think we did just fine!

5 Helpful Tips for Camping with a Baby

  • Stay in a Cabin or Yurt

There’s a lot of work involved in setting up camp even for just a few nights, and we appreciate taking the tent assembly out of the equation.  Also, when the weather is hard to predict (and planning far in advance is necessary), we appreciate a guaranteed warm and dry shelter! We’ve stayed in numerous state park cabins and yurts over the years, and find them so delightfully cozy, comfortable, and affordable.

We get the best of both worlds.  We still get to be immersed in nature, but also get those comforts of home such as heat, electricity, and a bed to sleep on.

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Spring Scavenger Hunt (with Printable) for Kids

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett

I recently learned that Seattle and Western Washington actually have the longest spring season in the nation.  Lucky us! We’ve been celebrating since late February with daffodils blooming, cherry blossoms popping, and warmer temperatures (plus rain of course), and will most likely see spring-like weather into the beginning of July.

With all this time to enjoy what the season has to offer, we’ve been busy compiling a list of things that we feel make it special and unique.  Here you’ll find our spring scavenger hunt! We hope it helps you enjoy all the outstanding qualities of spring in your neck of the woods, and if the lovely spring weather hasn’t quite arrived where you live, we hope it gets there soon!

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Learning the Importance of Water Safety with British Swim School

This year more than ever (since he’s not getting any younger), we are determined to get our 4-year old, Bergen, swimming independently.  He loves the water, interest and enjoyment is no problem at all, but he needs more explicit practice and experience to get some basic water safety skills in place.

We’re seeing that as he gains independence as a little person, he has the mindset that he can “do it all”, which is why learning to swim is so important at this age.  We live in Seattle, a city with water everywhere we turn from the beaches of Puget Sound to all of our lakes, and even the streams and creeks that we explore, so it’s a must that Bergen have at least a basic idea of what to do if he were to get in water over his head.

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