Outdoors

A Measure of Work

I’ve worked hard in my life. I’ve been what you could call poor. I never went hungry or without shoes, but I’ve been poor enough as a child to consider a Barbie doll an uncommonly generous gift, and new shoes a real splurge. I’m not poor anymore, but those lean years have added something to […]

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 […]

Best Beach Activities: Collect Stardust!

It’s dusty out there in our Solar system. Every day up to 100 tons of cosmic dust falls to earth, mostly micrometeorite particles that have collided with our planet every day since its creation, leaving a surprising amount of debris. It is possible to collect a few of these meteor particles because they are composed […]

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 […]

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 […]

Camping with Kids: Make Your Reservations Now!

There is nothing like the great outdoors to make memories!  Car camping is easy and now is the time to make reservations for this summer.  Here are Mama Paul’s best camping places in Western Washington.  There are places all over the United States that may take a little research to find, but it is worth […]

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