Great Ideas

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 […]

On Raising Resilient Kids: 10 Ways to Let Go

There is a lively discussion in the parenting world about how much parents need to manage their children’s lives, but there is no doubt when kids are left alone with a new idea or skill they are more engaged and willing to tolerate mistakes.  This leads to resiliency, a skill we all need to face […]

What to Do with all that Halloween Candy?!

by Bridgette Blakey It’s that one night a year where every child in America is rushing to finish every last bite of dinner, just to be set free throughout the neighborhoods to collect candy in a rampage! After the last “Trick or Treat” they rush home to dump the entire bag of candy out on […]

Manners Matter! Kitchen Table Etiquette for Kids

My 3-year-old grandson and I were eating dinner together. His father is British and manners matter in their household. “It’s important not too chew with your mouth open,” I said to Finn. “Like this,” and I smacked and chomped noisily, a little piece of chicken dangling from my lips. Finn looked at me solemnly. “That’s […]

10 Tips for a Successful Photo Shoot

by Fiona Yates Photographs are visual history, and catch a moment in time that we can turn back to again and again. Whether it is a wedding, a birth, a kiss or a grin, the image can catapult us back to the celebration of life. Here are some tips that will make it a good […]

Back to School, Back to Routine: 4 Ways to Ease the Transition

School had started and I got a phone call from a teacher who said that she was concerned about the recess behavior of our son. He was overly challenging to another boy and often interrupted other kids’ peaceful play. I hung up. I was exhausted, a little angry with the boy. He came home from […]

Blackberry Infused Vodka: A Taste of Summer

It is a stellar year for blackberries, and here is a special drink for Mommies and Daddies who spent all day playing in the hot sun. A 10 Minute Recipe with year-round flavor! What you will need: 3 cups washed blackberries 1-tablespoon sugar Liter of good vodka Quart jar and lid Muddle (slightly bruise) the […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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