Great Ideas

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 […]

On Strong Families: Nurture your Marriage

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived life of the parent. —Carl Jung I was exhausted. My husband had been in Alaska for the herring season, leaving me on my own, while all four kids all seemed to be going through a rough patch. One […]

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 […]

The Making of a Moral Compass

By Nancy Blakey When my children were small they moved through little fibbing phases. When I would ask, “Did you spill that box of cereal on the floor?” I would get a “No! Not me!” knowing full well it was him. I wondered about these little lies and wanted to come up with a strategy […]

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 […]

Mama Says: “I Need Screen Time!”

Dear Mama How do I handle my kids running around fighting and screaming when it is pouring rain outside, they are sick of their toys, and I need 30 minutes of peace? I love the idea of no screen time, but sometimes it seems like the ONLY solution. Confession:  I used the TV when the […]

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 […]

Kids’ Swap Shops: Trade Those Toys!

When the kids were young we would periodically set up a ‘Swap Shop’ with their friends, where all the toys, games, and books collecting dust from the holidays, or that they were bored with, were culled from closets and set out for trade with their friends. If your kids are very young, you can organize […]

Life in the Slow Lane: 10 Ways to Savor Life

Joseph Campbell once said that everyone thinks they are seeking the meaning of life, but what we truly seek as human beings is the experience, the rapture, of being alive. One September afternoon four year old Finn and I were sprawled in the car while mama and daddy shopped in the grocery store. Baby India […]

The Importance of Clean-Up: 10 Ways to Boost Help

Our young son was building tanks and trucks from a gigantic plastic bin filled with Legos. It was a multi-day process that required experimental crashes down the stairs, and head-on collisions between vehicles to see which design was stronger. On day three I surveyed the mess, the wrecks, the scattered bricks of plastic. I was […]

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