Toddler

An Easy and A Hard Way to Travel with Kids

One day many years ago I was listening to NPR when a fascinating piece came on about zebras. Even though their distinctive stripes make them stand out on the African plain individually, collectively their patterns merge, making it difficult for a predator to visually isolate just one and pick it from the herd. Alone they […]

Summer Berry Muffins

The summer is packed full of fresh produce here in the Pacific Northwest, and berries are plentiful! In my house it is a crime to let one single berry go to waste. To come up with a no-fool plan to save every last berry, I use this wonderful Summer Berry Muffin recipe. This recipe is […]

Ask a Mama: “Ouch! I Have a Biter!”

  Hey Mudpie Mamas – Looking for some advice here. My daughter (19-months old) has started biting. She bit my husband for the first time last night, we told her no, explained it hurt daddy, she started crying, and I thought we were done. I just got a text from our daycare and she has […]

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 […]

Ask a Mama: Playground Manners

I have a lively 2-year-old and a 4-year-old and my parenting style is pretty relaxed. I’ve noticed when we are at the park most of the parents are hovering close to their kids, helping them to take turns, managing the sharing of sandbox toys, and making sure things are fair between all the kids. I […]

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 […]

Go Outside! Beach Glass Mosaic

Placed in a window, these mosaics are beautiful works of art. Walking down a beach searching for the water-worn glass is part of the process of these translucent beauties. See the list below for best beaches to find sea glass in the Pacific Northwest. You can also order sea glass online to supplement your stash. […]

“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 […]

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