Tuesday, December 30, 2008


UPDATE: Unfortunately, Lookybook is no more. But you can still page through the book by clicking here.

Exciting news—i get around is now on a cool site called Lookybook, where you can actually page through a wide selection of children's picture books (try it out above—just click on a page to turn). The idea for this site comes from graphic designer and illustrator Craig Frazier, who recognized that there are a whole lot of great children's books out there that people never get a chance to look through—unless they are among the few that get a prime spot in a bookstore (or are books people are already aware of and looking for). Lookybook allows you to look through as many picture books as you want, create and share your own library and comments, view those of others, purchase books, and more. (Lookybook was also chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 50 best websites of 2008). Take a look!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nature words extinct?

The Canadian Press reports that "a British Columbia environmental group is flabbergasted that the publisher of the Oxford Junior Dictionary has sent words like 'beaver' and 'dandelion' the way of the dodo bird. In the latest version of its dictionary for schoolchildren, Oxford University Press has cut nature terms such as heron, magpie, otter, acorn, clover, ivy, sycamore, willow and blackberry.

In their place, the university publishing house has substituted more modern terms, like the electronic Blackberry, blog, MP3 player, voicemail and broadband." I'm flabbergasted too. All the more reason for an emphasis on getting kids back outside and connected with nature. For more of this article and others, visit the Children and Nature Network.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crisis Nursery

Occasionally, I volunteer at our local Crisis Nursery. On a recent visit, I read i get around to the kids. They helped complete each rhyme, then we did some art, and later we acted out each activity in the board book--they really connected and had fun with it! I love connecting with these kids.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Look closer, see deeper

Back in October, I went on a Renewing the Creative Spirit retreat led by my friend, Doug Beasley. It was significant for me in many ways, at a time when I really needed it. My younger brother (and only sibling) had passed away from cancer in September at 47. And I was about to turn 50 myself. I love Doug's approach and way of seeing (and you can see his beautiful photography as well as learn about his Vision Quest workshops that are offered in many appealing locations here). The photo above is one photo of many I took, and represents something I value doing and inviting—to look closer and see deeper. The other is a photo of my little brother and me from long ago.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

getting around in Ecuador

A couple of years ago, I took a trip to Ecuador, and had lots of wonderful experiences (and adventures!) there. This little girl is an example of the spirit of the place, people, and the vast beauty of nature.

And she really knows how to get around outside!

These photos were taken near the Black Sheep Inn, an eco-lodge high in the Central Andes, off the beaten path. The whole area was spectacular, with lots of opportunities for hiking.

A few days later, we traveled to the village of Banos (at the base of Tungurahua volcano), and after a day of biking, we returned to find that the volcano was erupting. In the middle of the night, I awoke to the sound of lava rock falling on the roof of our little hotel. Our village was evacuated, and sadly, three villages on the other side of the volcano were destroyed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kids, nature, and the GREAT outdoors

I'm really excited that there's a growing movement of people and organizations working to reconnect children with nature!

I love i love dirt by Jennifer Ward. And I'm currently reading Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods—it's a wonderful, comprehensive look at the importance of outdoor play and nature in kids' lives.

The website childrenandnature.org, which provides access to the latest news and research in the field, continues to build on this movement. (A desire to encourage connection with nature, outdoor exploration, and basic physical activity—in a lighthearted way—is a big reason I felt compelled to create i get around.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

the world of blogging

I'm still new to this world of blogging, so I've been looking around for some info to help me better understand and work within the blogosphere (impressive lingo, eh?). So I thought I'd pass along a couple of resources in case you're learning too. One helpful site to learn about blogging in general is Blogging Basics 101, "Where there are no stupid questions!" (Thank you Chilihead/Melanie and Shannon.) And, being a visual person, I was still having a tough time comprehending RSS feeds, so this YouTube video (also posted on BB 101) was really helpful. Check it out:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mom Culture

Looking for a fun outing for you and your little one in the Twin Cities? Mom Culture offers moms and dads a variety of parent-oriented daytime arts + entertainment events that are intended to be shared with children. East Coast native Lenore Moritz has long believed that creativity – regardless of whether actively doing or actively observing – leads to greater balance and productivity in life. Agreed! So check out the music events she has planned for fall at momcultureonline.com

Thursday, August 14, 2008

FUN IDEA #5 Ways to use stickers!

I love open-ended play for kids—it brings out their unique creative abilities, and it's so valuable for them to tap into that. The i get around board book, journal, stickers and suitcase are designed to allow kids to use them in lots of ways. But I know it helps to have some ideas to get things rolling! So here are some fun ways to use stickers. (Click on any image to enlarge.)

rover and action words: Have your little one place stickers to match the corresponding images and words in the board book. (The stickers aren't permanent, so they can be moved around or removed altogether.) Or, place a rover activity sticker anywhere you like and ask your child to find the matching word (or vise versa).

object and alphabet: Take these stickers along on an outing and see how many of the objects you see. Create a story, add the alphabet letter the object begins with, or practice writing the name of each object. (Note: correct spelling is not important here—self-expression is!)

feelings+senses: Explore emotions and sensory experiences at home or away to help encourage awareness. Ask your child to choose a sticker that represents how they feel (or felt) and tell you about it. Or ask how they think someone else is feeling. Use the senses stickers to encourage noticing tastes, smells, sights, sounds, and things they touch—ask them to draw or write about the experiences.

special places: If you go to the park, remind kids to add that sticker to their journal and tell about the experience in words and pictures. Or they can stick them on the play+go case like old fashioned travel stickers to say "look where I've been!"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

i get around to kiddywampus!

On Friday Aug 8, we got around to a very cool store in Minneapolis called kiddywampus to do an event called "i get around in my imagination". The event filled up fast—Amy at kiddywampus posted it on her blog and 15 kids + parents were signed up in less than one day.

We sat down for a reading of i get around and then...

...headed over to the art tables to create stories about what we like to do. Fun! Thanks for coming, everyone!

You can see from these photos what a creative space kiddywampus is (the store includes a beautiful retail space, art classrooms, and their mission is to donate profits to organizations that help kids).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Luke's favorite book

One year old Luke has lots of books, but he chooses i get around more than any other. (Not surprisingly, Florida dad Russell T has the rhymes memorized.) I'm thrilled to have their endorsement!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Camp Get-A-Well-A

In May, i get around was pleased to donate gift sets to a silent auction supporting Camp Get-A-Well-A. Camp Get-A-Well-A provides a realistic camp experience for children in hospitals. They create a safe, fun diversion for kids and families who are dealing with difficult health issues by providing activities that invoke play, provide stress relief, create memories and engage children in a sense of community.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

FUN IDEA #4 random reading

When reading i get around to your little one, after you read the upside down "how about you?", let them turn to any page at random for you to read next. The activities can occur in any order, and it's fun for kids to participate in choosing where to go. (And if this goes on too long, you can always head for the bedtime transition at the end!)

Monday, May 12, 2008

my little brother

Several years ago, my brother Dave built a village. Literally. He constructed a 1930s-era village on his land. He laid railroad track (driving spikes himself), restored some locomotives and rail cars, built several buildings (including a depot, general store, and filling station), and called it Minerville. This was a hobby that he opened to the public on weekends. And before that, he created his business--manufacturing calliopes, popcorn wagons, and other items from long ago. (This newspaper article tells more of his story.) Now Dave has been given a challenging cancer prognosis, and will be selling much of what he has created and collected at auction in June. I am continually impressed and inspired by my brother's ability to envision what he wants to do AND to do it. He's a very talented, can-do, DIY kind of guy. Yet I know he could use some extra spiritual support these days. Please remember Dave and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

FUN IDEA #3 cheers to mom

Travelin' Fam

World travelers Kevin and Rita have settled in Iowa with little ones Buster and Azalea. Previously, they spent several years in Alaska (where Kev was a bush-pilot and Rita an award-winning teacher), traveled third-world countries, and lived for awhile in Las Vegas. As you can see, they continue to get around (and Kevin reports that Buster has multiple uses for his play+go case, including impromptu doll bed and/or snack storage).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Birth announcement

Apparently, I was born to get around. My dad created this in 19_8 (can you guess?) to announce my arrival.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Isetta-the perfect company car

Wouldn't this be a cool company car? It's a 1957 Isetta that I need to get restored (when I find the time and the right person!). The Isetta was an early commuter car—it's an Italian design and was made by BMW. Can't you just see it with a couple of "i get around" circle logos on the sides?

FUN IDEA #2 Caroline's journal

Here's just one of several entries by 6 year old Caroline (who lives in Wisconsin) showing and telling about her trip to the museum. Her mom translates: "'I go to the museum with Mikey. Boat.' (The boat at the science museum is her favorite exhibit. The drawings that resemble up arrows are actually museum buildings.)" Very cool.

Mom Kim also says: “It was really great fun watching Caroline spell out words and create the illustrations. She is just at the point where she is wanting to try to write things by herself. The size of the journal is just right. She could carry it around and the space for text and pictures wasn’t so big that it was overwhelming.”

Friday, April 25, 2008

FUN IDEA #1 Here's how we go in San Francisco!

I love this photo and idea from Minneapolis grandparents Dick and Connie, who wrote: "If two big brothers were to visit their new baby sister in the hospital, how could they bring her gifts?" They added, "This was really a hit with the big brothers and their parents. One took a stuffed animal and the other took a newborn stocking cap in the suitcases, past the security guards, nurses, etc. It was quite a production." Makes me smile.