Outdoors

Go Outside! 10 Great Backyard Activities

The outdoors is one big world of YES. Kids can be loud and magnificently rambunctious. There are fewer stop’s and more GO!. Outside they can stoop and race, climb and swing. Kids can jump as high as they like and land hard. They can yell and scream and play chase and tag. Outside is where […]

Grow Potatoes in a Tire

Never gardened before? Potatoes were the first thing we ever planted. My then three year old son took a few from our cupboard and simply stuck them in the ground without telling anyone. They grew beautifully into a bumper crop of potatoes in the fall. Potatoes are one of the easiest and most satisfying plants […]

PVC Pipe Structures

PVC pipe and fittings are an inexpensive medium for kids to create on a grand scale outdoors.  Provide a variety of pipe lengths, and fittings to join the pieces.  Let the ladders and forts and free form sculptures begin!   What you will need: 1/2” or 1” PVC pipe at least 50 feet) wire saw […]

The Power of Green Time: 10 Ways to Play Outside

Watch kids play outside with no rules or coaches to govern their behavior and you will see the magical unfolding of bodies swinging, stooping, throwing, racing, twirling in space. A study by the American Journal of Public Health of 452 parents of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity order found that one hour of unchecked movement […]

Top 10 Ways to a Happy Childhood

I had what I consider a happy childhood, but when I lay out the facts, it looks miserable: I was the oldest of five and my father was an alcoholic. We had very little money and I was expected to pay for everything discretionary–from a bicycle to a prom dress—myself. We uprooted and moved constantly […]

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, […]

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