Play Outside

Beat the Heat: 10 Ideas for Kids to Play Outside

By Paula Solis Krock It’s August and it’s hot! Beat the heat with these 10 ideas for young children. Paint brushes, buckets and water: young children love to paint anything! Give them a bucket and some water and let them get to work on sidewalks, deck railings, themselves! Homemade popsicles: Whip up some homemade popsicles; […]

Pool Play! Outdoor Water Games

Is there a better combination than sunshine, a swimming pool and children in the summer? The following games will add to outdoor water fun, with several of the games possible in a wading pool for younger kids. Paper Cup Race What you will need: 1 plain small paper cup per child Felt tip markers Jelly […]

Easy Tin Can Stilts

Cross that mud puddle without getting wet feet! Tin can stilts are super easy to make and a fun way to walk. What you will need: 2 clean and empty cans the same size, opened at one end (tall juice cans work great) Clothes line or thin rope Can opener (to make holes) First make […]

Outdoor Art: The Best Foot Paint Ever

My favorite projects in the whole world are those that send kids outdoors, armed with color and imagination and energy. There is no better place to make art!  Outside is a mess-forgiving place that absorbs the drips and spills of budding Van Goghs of all ages and allows their imaginations full rein. The Best Foot […]

Back to Basics: 10 Timeless Tools for Outdoor Fun

Some things never change, including the way kids love to play, generation after generation.  Open ended activities with no rules, the time to do them in, and a few basic tools or ingredients can change a cranky kid into a bright-eyed, breathless child.  This summer  go outside, where there are few NO’s, no physical movement […]

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 […]

“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 […]

It’s the Process Not the Product

By Nancy Blakey One of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes cartoons shows Calvin shoveling dirt. Hobbes the tiger asks him why he is digging a hole. “I’m looking for buried treasure!” Calvin announces. “What have you found?” Hobbes asks. “A few dirty rocks, a weird root, and some disgusting grubs. There’s treasure everywhere!” Calvin announces […]

Shake It Up with a Beachside Shelter Hot Dog Roast

Roast hot dogs on an open fire when cabin fever has set in. State Parks all over the Northwest have fireplaces in shelters where you can pack up the supplies (don’t forget the s’mores), and spend the afternoon in your warm rain gear to roast the dogs and walk the beach afterwards. The key is […]

Become a Citizen Scientist! The Great Backyard Bird Count

I first ran across of the concept of Citizen Science when I was recycle-printing on the back of my daughter’s college research paper. I flipped the paper over, the words caught my eye and I lowered myself to the chair to read about the importance of every day people contributing scientific data from their own […]

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