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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Go Outside and Play! 8 Fabulous Ideas for Kids

I grew up in Idaho with four sisters and brothers, and a father and mother who wouldn’t take no for an answer. On summer days, after our chores, my siblings and I were herded out the back door. Play, my mother ordered. And we did. We had no choice. We played baseball and had lemonade […]

“Can I Play at the Dirt Pile House?”

  My friend Kate gazed out at the homes in her new neighborhood as her husband drove. Each yard was neat and perfectly landscaped, complete with swept walkways and expensive playground equipment, a kid’s heaven, she mused. Clean cars were parked in the driveways. Behind those big front doors Kate imagined tidy rooms and families […]

5-Minute Ice Cream in a Bag

Nothing says summer like homemade ice cream. Make this up outside on a hot summer day and celebrate the heat! This will make enough for 4 scoops of the best ice cream ever! Add crushed berries, or some chocolate syrup for different flavors. What You Will Need 2 cups whipping cream (you can use whole […]

10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Kids

Don’t you love this planet we walk and live upon, rich with oxygen and water, plants and birds? Think of the wide sky above us and the grass, mud, and flowers that beckon us outside our door to play. Tuesday, April 22nd is Earth Day and the whole world will be celebrating this place we […]

10 Ways to Break the Rules and Why We Should Every Once in Awhile

Rules are important; they provide a code for behavior and allow us to live with others. We are a pack-driven animal after all, prone to living and arranging ourselves in groups, usually with a hierarchy governing our actions—think families and schools, companies and gangs. Think speed limits and seat belts, a teacher at the head […]

Fun Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids

The Norwegian’s have a saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Their preschools and kindergartens are held largely outdoors, even in winter when temperatures drop well below freezing. It is a culture where people hike, picnic, paddle and bike deep into old age. It is interesting to note that […]

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