Outdoors

Night of the Shooting Stars: Perseid Meteor Shower

It was a hot night in August. The weekend had drawn to a close on the heels of a long family hike in the Olympic mountains near our island home. I was tired. With boundless boy energy our son declared he was going to sleep out on the trampoline that night with his friend and […]

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 […]

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 […]

By the Shore: Explore the Pacific Northwest Like a Local

“If you’re looking for a guide to all things Pacific Northwest that’s just about perfect, this is it…”  Kristine Morris in Forward Reviews Mama Nancy has been exploring the Pacific Northwest this past year from Vancouver, British Columbia right down the Salish Sea and into mid-Oregon hugging the shores and beaches, discovering the best off-the-beaten-track […]

Outside the Backdoor: 10 Easy Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

I was exhausted. I had just had baby number 4 and my husband was in Alaska. I felt the days river past with me scarcely keeping afloat. Baby’s older brother was 21 months, pre-verbal (his older brother and sister did all the talking for him), and he took every opportunity to ‘hug’ baby really hard, […]

3 Fresh and Lively Birthday Party Games

Games are the glue that holds a birthday party together and make it memorable. Kids are wired to move, and parties that allow big body movements are the most engaging and fun. The following games and activities are simple and require only a few materials to put together. They are best done outdoors where noise […]

Play Outside! Why It is Important in All Weather

That’s right, in ALL weather. It’s easy to spend time outdoors when the sun is out and the temperature warm. There are fewer clothes to contend with and we are drawn to open that backdoor and step outside, but time spent outdoors in winter is almost more important and when we need it most. Not […]

A Measure of Work

I’ve worked hard in my life. I’ve been what you could call poor. I never went hungry or without shoes, but I’ve been poor enough as a child to consider a Barbie doll an uncommonly generous gift, and new shoes a real splurge. I’m not poor anymore, but those lean years have added something to […]

Pool Play! Outdoor Water Games

Is there a better combination than sunshine, a swimming pool and children in the summer? The following games will add to outdoor water fun, with several of the games possible in a wading pool for younger kids. Paper Cup Race What you will need: 1 plain small paper cup per child Felt tip markers Jelly […]

Best Beach Activities: Collect Stardust!

It’s dusty out there in our Solar system. Every day up to 100 tons of cosmic dust falls to earth, mostly micrometeorite particles that have collided with our planet every day since its creation, leaving a surprising amount of debris. It is possible to collect a few of these meteor particles because they are composed […]

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