Toddler

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 […]

10 Homemade Valentines to Make with Kids

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you are like me, you will wait until the last minute, then rush to the store to buy a package of those little rectangular valentines for your child and let them add a few sweetheart candies, lick the envelope and you’re done. But, if you have […]

Curiosity Cures Boredom

There is no cure for curiosity—Dorothy Parker If I were a Fairy Godmother bestowing a precious gift upon a child, I would choose the gift of curiosity. Plink! And you shall go out and ask why, and what would happen if….. You shall receive skinned knees and dangle from trees. You will lift up rocks, […]

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 […]

10 Easy Gifts Kids Can Make

Handmade gifts are the best, but finding the time and the energy to put it all together can be daunting. Here’s help! These simple ideas are perfect for grandparents, your kids’ friends, the pup in the family, and Mom and Dad!   Clove and orange pomander: poke cloves into an orange, tangerine or other citrus […]

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 […]

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 […]

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