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Category Archives: Kids

Three Things to Do to Get Ready for a Holiday Break

Art/activity books are a great choice for school holidays and vacations.

We had our first snow this weekend, and though it didn’t cause a snow day, I’m suddenly thinking about the very real possibility that snow days are coming soon and the reality that the girl is home from school all next week and two weeks for winter break. With all that in mind I’ve been thinking about ways to prepare ... Read More »

Campfire Kit for Indoor or Outdoor Play

logs out of pool noodle

When I went to the Arkansas Early Childhood Association conference last month (thanks, Better Beginnings!) one of the workshops I sat in on was all about prop boxes for outdoor play. The presenters offered more than 20 ideas for different prop collections that could be used outside, such as gathering buckets, sponges and soapy water to make a car wash ... Read More »

Three Great “Toys” for Unstructured Play

found object castle

As a blog ambassador for Better Beginnings, I am being compensated for this post, but all opinions and content are my own. Now that the holiday season is basically upon us, I know a lot of parents and family members of young kids are starting to think about holiday gifts. And while the temptation is high to buy the latest ... Read More »

Memories without Photographs

How do you remember without photographs?

At the grocery store this morning, the Billy Joel song “For the Longest Time” came on over the PA, and I was immediately transported back almost two decades to the Key Club regional convention of April 1995. There was a talent show, and one of the performers was an all-boy acapella group called The Argyles, which performed this song. (I ... Read More »

In Which My Thoughts About Talking are Completely Validated

acorns make a difference.

As part of my brand ambassadorship with Better Beginnings, I was recently invited to attend part of the conference of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association, a group of educators and parents whose focus is giving kids the best start possible. It was wonderful in a lot of ways — and I’ll be writing a lot more about it — but ... Read More »

How to Raise a Smart Kid, Part Two: Talk a Lot

tips for raising a cooperative child

As a brand ambassador for Better Beginnings, I am being compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own. I told you the story about the girl telling her teacher that a butterfly doesn’t come from a cocoon but a chrysalis. And that I said she’s so smart in part because we read a lot. But we also talk ... Read More »

Sew an Easy Blanket out of Old Recieving Blankets

receiving blanket blanket

I don’t know how we ended up with so many receiving blankets when the girl was a baby. She was a preemie, so we swaddled her for a long time to help keep her warm, but the number of little cloth blankets we had still borders on the ridiculous. When she was too old to use them any more, I ... Read More »

Making Paper Bag Puppets (Your Own or With a Kit)

playing with paper bag puppets

I like to give the girl crafty gifts and I have a lot of things on her wish list that are craft kits and other things I think she’ll like but that are kind of special because we don’t use craft kits all that often. This year someone bought her the ALEX Toys Paper Bag Puppets Kit (that’s an Amazon ... Read More »

Shaving Cream Sensory Play

messy hands sensory

When I know the girl is going to be home for an extended period of time — summer break, say — I try to have supplies on hand for a few special crafty/sensory activities we’ve never done together before. I know she had played with shaving cream and cornstarch at school , but we’d never done it together, so I ... Read More »

3 Picture Books That Aren’t (Just) for Pre-readers

journey children's book

I have made it clear that we read a lot over here, and we read a lot of different things. But sometimes there’s fun to be had in not reading at all. Some of our favorite books don’t have any words, but they’re not necessarily just for little kids. Telling the story of what’s happening in the pictures is what ... Read More »

Appreciate the Changing Seasons with a Nature Scavenger Hunt

nature scavenger hunt kiwi crate

There are affiliate links in this post. If you buy something from Kiwi Crate after clicking on one, they’ll send me some cash. Just so you know. The girl got Kiwi Crates for a full year (and I actually just resubscribed after almost a year to get the super-cute time traveler series they’re doing right now) but I found we ... Read More »

5 Classic Books/Series Your Kids Should Know About

5 great classic books/series your kids should know

Last night the girl knew just what she wanted to read at bedtime. She ran out to the living room to dig in her book basket and came back with a copy of Make Way for Ducklings (which we’ll talk more about in a minute). As we were reading, she asked why the drawings weren’t in color. I said “because ... Read More »