Throw Away the Directions! The Importance of Open-Ended Play

“This hose is a breathing tube,” our 9-year-old son said holding up a piece of garden hose. I nodded and continued chopping carrots. “And this foot pump is part of a tricky machine that lets you breathe underwater.” “Uh-huh,” I said absently. I was used to the boy’s inventions. Mousetraps from duct tape, helicopters from […]

10 Chancy Things Kids Should Be Allowed to Do

   What’s a big life without risk? True, you can get bumped and bruised, confused and lost, but what’s the alternative? A safe life where you end up, well, safe. No risk, no lessons, no heady joy of danger met and countered, and these are the hallmarks of an abundant life. Parents are understandably reluctant […]

On Raising Kids: The Power of Running Wild

I grew up running wild outdoors. My parents rarely knew where my siblings and I were after we flew out the backdoor, probably a good thing. We were swimming in muddy ditches, having dirt clod wars, falling from trees, and biking in the dark with pop cans stomped to our feet and dragged on the […]

10 Backyard Adventures for Summertime Fun!

One bad caterpillar year in the Pacific Northwest five-year-old Finn and little sister Poppie spent long afternoons creating cardboard box condos for the critters, replete with leaf beds, a jar lid of water and tables made of sticks. “Do you want to come to our dinner party?” Poppie asked racing into the house. “It’s for […]

10 Secrets of Happy Families

There is no one way, one path, to a happy family. The rules of happiness change from family to family, and from culture to culture, but there are certain collective tenets that invite depth and meaning to our relationships. 1. Deposit the qualities into your relationships that you wish to withdraw. Think of the person […]

10 Tricks to Traveling on Planes with Toddlers

By Jenna Hall There are lots of great resources out there for traveling with children, but in our experience traveling back and forth from the US to the UK, these are the 10 best tricks to traveling on planes with young children (and getting compliments on how well-behaved they were when we arrive!) Save your […]

Help Your Child to Grow Wings

“No one else has to do chores,” my son complained. “And if the do, they get PAID.” “Hmmm…well, that is not the way we do it in our family,” I said, repeating the very words I swore I would never say to my own kids when I was a furious girl with the very same […]

Ask a Mama: The Headaches and Joys of Toddler Independence

Dear Mamas, If I hear one more “Do it, self!” one more time I’m going to scream. From getting in the car (while baby sister is crying for her binky), to getting a diaper from the drawer (which is out of reach), to scooping up rolly polly peas using a fork. I want my 2 […]

Easy Sea-Glass Votive

It’s gorgeous weather! Half the fun of this project is collecting the glass by the shore, and nothing is easier than this luminous candleholder to show off sea-glass treasures. It makes a uniquely Northwest gift.  For another view of the votive and more ideas watch Nancy’s segment on KING5 New Day Northwest Show that aired […]

The Summer of By the Shore and Getting Dirty

I have decided this will be the summer of getting dirty, going barefoot and eating plums and maybe making jam out of some of them or maybe not, I might take a nap instead. The house will be a wreck, the laundry will pile up and I may stay in my pajamas all day and […]

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