Forest Sparks Imagination

I thought it was time for an update on our new and very successful outdoor program.  We play in the forest with minimal equipment.  For the most part, we use whatever we find in nature. Being in the forest has inspired the children to think about fairies!

AH made a fairy house with her Mom
IM and AR made fairy soup

Soon after making the fairy house and fairy soup, the search for the fairies began.

AR’s Mom: What do fairies look like?

IM: Fairies are as tiny as your fingernail. I think I see another fairy house.

CW: Where is the fairy house?

JT: A fairy!

AR: (Looking intently at a hole in the log) I see a shiny thing.

Teacher Cindy: Did you find any fairies yet?

IM: I saw a flash in there.

Teacher Cindy: I see you’ve had fun pretending to make food for the fairies and now it is time to go.

IM: We’re not pretending. Its real; the fairies are real.

Thoughts from Teacher Cindy.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to go back to that time when fairies were real?

What else can we do that might inspire more play about fairies?

I wonder if the children could write a recipe for fairy soup…

Examples of learning taken from the BC Early Learning Framework (why I love this outdoor program)

-children can adapt to and enjoy experiences of change, surprise, and uncertainty

-children can build healthy relationships with both adults and other children (parents participate)

-children can explore nature using their bodies and all of their senses

-children can build, create and design using a variety of different materials and techniques

-children can develop a sense of wonder for natural environments

-children can express their own points of view and reflect on others points of view

-children can communicate thoughts and experiences creatively using many different forms of expression

-children can understand how their own actions may affect nature and the planet

Here is more evidence that learning and play cannot be separated!  Do you know an early learning program where children need to do an adult selected task first before they can play?  In my mind, this is absolutely pointless as the adult chosen task has little or no meaning for the child. When we all realize that learning is happening all the time that play is happening, then we just need to get out of the way and let children do what they do best..PLAY!

Looking for a picture book to inspire play with loose parts?  Subscribe to my newsletter (upper right hand corner of my blog) for updates on availability of my new picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker.  Follow my blog and enter my giveaway to win an advance copy!  

Giveaway Time! Giveaway Closed/Winner Announced!

Thanks so much for entering my blog giveaway.  I had tons of fun reading all your comments and now I’m pleased to announce the winner… Kelly Woods. Kelly, check your inbox! Congratulations!!!

Spring Break has arrived.  I have just passed over 500 followers and the release date for Katie Shaeffer is set for April 24th. Woohoo!  I’m giving away a copy of my picture book Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker ! Yay!  And to sweeten the pot I’m throwing in a Ten Dollar Amazon Gift Card.


Giveaway Terms and Conditions:

Must be a resident of Canada or USA; Must be 18 or over
One entry per household; Family members excluded.

Giveaway open from March 20 through March 27, 2017.

The winner will be selected by random draw and will be informed via email within 7 days. The winner must respond via email within 7 days to claim their prize. Email addresses are collected only for the purpose of notifying the winner.

How to enter:

  1. This is a Rafflecopter giveaway so you must click here to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
  2. Leave a comment on my blog that fills in the blank: I wish I could find a picture book about _____________________________.
  3. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter.

Comments are moderated so your comment may not show up right away.  Thanks for entering and good luck!

Ten Marketing Tips for Indie Authors

I am going to admit right away that I am learning as I go when it comes to marketing a book.  I’m a little nervous as my platform is relatively small and certainly not massive as it probably ought to be in order to sell a picture book.  I’m feeling like I’m going to need a little bit of luck.


Here are a few ideas I plan to try out:

  1. Get some early reviews posted on Amazon

2. Do a book release event

3. Put the word out on social media

4. Do a blog tour

5. Do school visits

6. Pass out/mail out postcards

7. Have a booth at a craft fair or market

8. Use Mail-chimp to send out a newsletter with updates on promotions/sales

9. Do Giveaways!  *This one is definitely the most fun on my list

10. Get a copy of the book into a library

Do you have ideas for marketing for indie authors?  I’d love to hear about them!


Saturday Morning Pancake Feature

Welcome to my Saturday morning pancake feature where I share a pancake recipe from another awesome blogger out there!

Why am I sharing pancake recipes each week?

These recipes are in celebration of my first soon to be published picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker. And I do love pancakes so I hope to eventually try all the recipes I share.


Don’t let the really, really chocolate-y photo above fool you- I admit I went a little crazy with the decorating- but I assure you that these pancakes taste amazing. For those of you who appreciate a good dessert for breakfast (or just need to satisfy a chocolate craving in a creative way)– then this is […]

via Quick Eats: Triple Chocolate Pancakes — Legally Redhead

Release Date: Katie Shaeffer

Yay!  I have set the release date for my picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker for April 24th.  So just over one month to go and my little book will be out there in the world. Check back here for giveaways coming soon! Want more information about the book? Check out my website.


Other news: One week after reading the book to my preschool class and making pancakes one of my five year olds asked, “Teacher Cindy, where’s that pancake book?”

If there was ever a question that could make my heart sing, that was the one.

One more reason for my heart to sing: I have now reached 500 followers on simply.cindy.  A huge thank you to each and every reader.  Whether you read my blog, follow my blog or like my posts, you are hugely appreciated!  All the more reason for giveaways.  I need to start planning 🙂



Dinner With a Philosophy Student

How can life be boring when almost every night you have the opportunity to have dinner with a philosophy student? Well, that’s our life now that our son has officially decided to be a philosophy major.

Today’s daily prompt is ruminate  which means to think deeply about something.


#1 Son:  Everything in the entire world is made of the same substance.  You, me, this table, water, the floor….

Me:  Okay, well I can buy that since it all comes down to molecules anyway.

#1 Son: So according to Spinoza, that means we are all God; everything is God; nature is God.

Me:  Whoah, that’s very deep.

#1 Son: And we have no free will.  Everything is predetermined.  We think we have free will but we don’t.  Everything is going to happen in the way that it will happen.

Me:  I still want my free will.  I mean I want to believe that how I choose to spend my day makes a difference.  I want to believe that my written words make a difference.  I’m not sure if I want to accept that I have no free will.  But I guess that would be less stressful, right?  I mean, then it doesn’t matter what I do with myself…  whether I get married or don’t, have kids or don’t, write, teach or choose to sit home on the couch… it is all predetermined anyway…

#1 Son:  People who believe that everything is pre-determined are happier.

Me:  I want to be happy.  I think I’ll choose to believe that then.  Yes, happiness makes it worth believing that everything is pre-determined.  I choose happiness.

Curious about Spinoza?  Read more here.

“Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.” -Spinoza

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