Episode #5: “Rocky Road”


  • The Grand Canyon, considered by many to be one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, runs through Arizona and Colorado.  It reaches nearly 6000 feet deep and 18 miles wide at it's deepest and widest point. The Colorado River which has been cutting through the Grand Canyon for millions of years, is constantly eroding and shaping it’s steep sides!  The colorful exposed layers of rock and sediment date back as far as 2 billion years! Whoa! I wonder what the Dinosaurs thought of this places. 
  • Wildlife abounds with reptiles, birds, mammals and fish!  The Grand Canyon is full of plant life too:  fungi, moss, lichen and other cool plants can be found growing on the canyon's rocky surface. Some of the oldest layers of rock date back to nearly 2 million years, much older than Nana.


"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson



“Marking the Trail”

Players:  2+ players needed

What you will need:  A local hiking trail or wooded back yard, adventuresome kids and small pieces of red ribbon!


How to play: When early settlers began exploring America, they had to leave "markings" to find their way home. This game follows the same premise: Instead of using the existing maps, this games challenges you to leave your own trail markings to help you find your way back down the mountain or through the woods... searching for the clues you leave behind.  The "leader" takes his team on a hike and players take turns 'marking" the trail with the red ribbons.  Once you reach your destination, turn around and follow the red ribbons back to the starting point.  


Option 2: If you have a well-worn trail and relatively flat surface, make this game a bit more challenging.  Blindfold everyone except the Leader.  Make a human train and the Leader will lead the group through the woods, tying red ribbons along the trail. 

Once the "train" reaches it's destination or runs out of ribbon, everyone takes their blindfolds off, start looking for the red ribbon trail markers and work together to find their way back home!


Physical benefits: Requires large muscle movement in arms and legs to hike the mountain: requires balance and coordination (core strength) for children to maneuver over fallen trees and rocks and not fall down! 

If making the human train, this requires upper body strength to hold on, core stability for balance, and large muscle movement for balance.


Brain game: Trains children to look for visual clues and make mental notes of physical markers in their surroundings.  



“Mule at the School”

Players:  4-8 players needed


What you will need:  Playground and a handkerchie.


How to play:  Place the children in a line, one behind the other  - staying in that exact order!

Tuck a handkerchief or flag into the waistband or back pocket of the child who is at the end of the line - this is the "tail."  

The "leader" of the mule train is free to roam the playground and the mule train must follow the leader wherever he or she goes. The goal of the game is for the Leader to catch the Tail of the Mule Train   Once the leader catches the tail, the leader moves to the back of the line, puts the "tail" in his or her pocket, and the game starts over again! 


Physical benefits: Requires large muscle movement in hands, arms and legs to traverse the playground equipment.  Requires balance & coordination (core strength).



“Rock Exploration”

Players: 2+


What you will need:  A small bucket or bag for collecting rocks; a small hand shovel or stick, and a rock guidebook if handy.


How to play:  Play this anywhere you can find rocks -your back yard, a park or playground, a baseball field, a public park, hiking trails. 

Go on an exploration to find as many different colors of rocks that you can find. 

Look for rocks that have spots, rocks that have stripes, rocks of solid color, rock with only 2 colors. 

Variety is the key! If you have a rock guidebook with you, spend time identifying your collection.  Later, you can put these into a shadow box and label as your "collection."  You might even want to take home a "pet" rock. You can carry him or her in your pocket, talk to your rock, show your rock the world you live in....just let your imagination soar!


Physical benefits: Requires fine motor skills for digging and excavating rocks. Uses large muscle movement for squatting, bending, standing back up.  Requires balance & coordination (core strength).  You get fresh air!


Fabulous Foods of the Desert


Suguaro Fruit known as the "gems of the desert", the "rubies of the sands" and revered by the Native American Indians for its healing powers. Suguaro fruit is a delight to the taste buds.   When ripe, the red edible flesh is mildly sweet and the black seeds have a slightly nutty flavor.  This fruit is perfect alone or a great compliment in a Coconut Smoothie!  


The Suguaro Cactus takes nearly 100 years to reaching its vast height of 30-50 feet tall!  Providing nutrients for hundreds of years, imagine the life-giving nourishment provided by this watery, fleshing fruit found in the driest of climates - the Desert! Both man and animal feast upon the Suguaro Fruit every summer to help them hydrate their bodies during the hot, dry months! 





Suguaro -Coconut Smoothie


4 small Suguaro's, red, pulpy flesh and seeds only

1 cup coconut milk with milk fat

2 tablespoons coconut flakes


Blend 3 ingredients in mixer, serve, enjoy! This snack is a great source of healthy fats, Vitamin C and fiber!


Medjool Dates

There are over 30 known varieties of dates, but the most exquisite is the Medjool Date.  Mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible, dates were considered sacred and were reserved for royalty during ancient times.   Full of fiber and magnesium, Medjool Dates are a sweet snack alternative for health conscious eater!  Did you know they contain more potassium than a banana and are chocked full of iron?  If you close your eyes, you'll think you are eating candy! All the sweetness, none of the guilt!





No-Bake Date/Nut Energy Balls 

  • 8 dates, pitted
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 2 tablespoons oats (optional )
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash of Celtic sea salt
  • Dash of chili powder 


Grind all together and roll into balls. You can add organic shredded coconut to the outside for extra healthy fats/vitamins/minerals.


One More Way-  Eat with spoonful of Nut Butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. Very satisfying - sweet & salty:-))


These are a great on-the-go snack for kids...a great treat to pack in the lunch box or send on a field trip!