School Age

A Gift is Something You Make: 3 Easy Presents

The greatest gifts cost next to nothing, are infused with love, and require only a little hands-on time. Save an afternoon for your family to create the best kind of gifts–the ones made and given straight from the heart. Clothespin Vase What you will need: I package of peg clothespins Duct tape Large tuna can […]

Building Better Brains: Kool-Aid Play Dough

This is a multi-sensory activity perfect for rainy days when there is nothing to do!  Playing with  dough also is good for small motor skills.  Pull out old kitchen utensils (rolling pin, cookie cutters, etc) to add to the fun. What you will need: 4 packages Kool Aid 3 cups white flour 1 cup salt […]

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 […]

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 […]

Summer Fun Learning Crafts and Activities

By Paula Solis Krock These Summer Fun Crafts and Activities, come to you courtesy of The Lake Washington Toddler Group, and all the creative teachers over there. The teachers at LWTG designed these projects for toddlers and preschoolers, but I found these ideas entertaining for all ages! These games, projects and crafts not only keep […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

10 Fun and Fabulous Springtime Adventures

True exuberant fun for children does not take a great deal of money. That tickly monster game you play before bath? Jackpot! Kids in the kitchen helping to make cookies? Fantastic! More often than not it is the spontaneous and goofy asides that make the best memories. But then a stretch of days like spring […]

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