Posts about Play & Activities


Holiday Craft Projects with Kids

Children thrive when we slow down and do things with a "sense of spaciousness": the attitude that we have enough attention for our task AND the child(ren), and that we have all the time in the world for whatever is happening right now.  During the holiday season it can be especially hard to slow down.  We still have everything we normally do, plus holiday parties, shopping for … [Read more...]

My Oat Bar Recipe for Play Garden

I know that parents are always on the lookout for healthy snacks that kids love.  I serve these Oat Bars at my outdoor parent-child Play Garden classes, and parents always ask for the recipe.  Well, here it is!  They are super simple, with healthy ingredients, and the children love them. Healthy Oat Bars Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, mix: 2 cups of unsweetened … [Read more...]

How to Get Your Kids to Do Chores (Without Resenting It)

About a week ago, a friend pointed me to a piece on National Public Radio Called How to Get Your Kids to Do Chores (Without Resenting It).  I clicked on it, and to my absolute delight, a host of friendly researchers were being quoted!  These are researchers whose work I discuss at length in my own book in Chapter 8: Your Confident, Helpful Child.  The trick to cultivating older … [Read more...]

Pinterest for Play Yards

When I first started transforming my flat, boring, soggy yard into my Play Garden, my goals were for it to be fun and engaging for children, interesting and comfortable for adults, and beautiful for everyone. I wanted it to feel natural, and be a haven for bees and butterflies. I also wanted to grow fruits, vegetables, and other edibles. So when I got started brainstorming for … [Read more...]

The Benefits of Risky Play

A few days ago I heard an interview on NPR asking the question, "Is It Time to Bring Risk Back Into Our Kids' Playgrounds?"  (didn't hear it?  You can read about it here.)  Spoiler alert: the answer is YES!  They talked about how exposure to controlled risk through play is an important part of learning and establishing a person's risk tolerance in other areas of life even into … [Read more...]

Celebrating Advent

Advent is a time of waiting and anticipation.  For some, it's the countdown to Christmas; for others, it's the countdown to the darkest day of the year and the beginning of the return to light.  This is a journey that has many different layers to explore and many different ways to explore it.  Here I'll give a bit of an overview of the elements that many Waldorf inspired advent … [Read more...]

A Story of Autumn Light

Once upon a time there was a little boy who lived with his mother and his father and his baby sister. He played all summer long in his shorts and bare-feet, feeling the hot sun on his face. Then, one day, the ground started to get cold, and he had to put on shoes. Then the wind started to blow! He was chilly! He had to put on a sweater to keep warm. The leaves started to … [Read more...]

Quick Tip: Throwing Sand

If your child is a little too exuberant in the sandbox, what to do?  Saying "Don't throw sand" seems to have little effect, as does the ubiquitous "Be careful!"  Instead, look at what's going on and try one of these things: Is your child a young toddler and just flinging sand around for the joy of it? Try saying, "You can put your sand into a bucket!"  If that has little … [Read more...]

The Summer Play Garden

Last year I shared my efforts to transform my my large-but-boring back yard into a wonderful space that children and adults would both enjoy.  This spring I opened my yard to families when I started my outdoor parent-child Play Garden classes.  And what fun it's been!  I'd love to share some photos and things I've learned about what makes a space truly inviting. My first … [Read more...]

Make Your Yard Fantastic

When I haven't been working on my book this past spring and summer, I've been working  with my landscaper friend Tim Francis (http://www.nettle.co/) to transform our yard into a wonderful play space for children and a beautiful and relaxing place for adults.  He did all of the earth-moving and construction, and I did the planting and accessorizing.  It has been a labor of love … [Read more...]

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