Kids Create a Backyard Game ~ Win a Bike & Trip to San Diego from CLIF!

Clif Kid Backyard Game of the Year

Looking for outdoor play ideas, now that your kids will soon be out of school on summer break?  I've recently learned about the CLIF Kid Backyard Games Contest, and wanted to pass along these exciting details for your own child to participate.   There are great prizes, and a neat website full of inspiration on backyard games to play. Create!  Play!  Win!  Get outside and dream up a fun backyard game. CLIF Kid Backyard Games Contest This contest is for kids ages 6-12, and is a great way to encourage your kids to get outside.   Not only will your kids have fun participating by creating their own backyard game, but they can also get new ideas of other games to play by checking out entries from previous years. To enter, have your child dream up a fun backyard game for them and their friends to play.  No fancy equipment, just use basic things like balls and hula-hoops.  For inspiration, you can check out past winning game ideas, and even download instructions on how to play them. You … [Read more...]

Nature’s Legos ~ Play Time During Kid Hikes

Natures Legos Kids Play on Hike 2

As grown-ups, when we go for a hike we're typically all about following the trail.  When you take your little ones along, do you find yourself constantly saying, "Com'mon!  Let's go!  Gotta stay on that trail.  We need to keep going..." But if you stop and think about it - in the world of a small person, the hike isn't about reaching a destination, or getting some exercise. It's about being there.  There.  Right there, where they find themselves at any given Nature Moment.  With cool rocks to climb, pretty weeds to pick, and tiny [insert local, crawly habitants here... for us, it's very speedy lizards] critters to chase. Or Nature's Legos to stack!     So I'm trying to learn to relax in this regard a little.  I still like to keep some forward momentum along the trail, for part of the time.  I think that's a reasonable request, and it is good for them to get some exercise. But I also let them stop and play.  Because what a marvelous playground the … [Read more...]

Imagination Library ~ Free Monthly Book for Preschoolers

Dolly Partons imagination Library

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library offers to help your preschooler start off on the right foot with a love of reading.  How?  By providing them with their own personal library, at no cost to you. Started in 1996, initially to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA, Dolly's vision was to foster a love of reading in young kids and their families.  Her idea was to mail a gift - a specially selected, high quality and age appropriate book - to kids once per month.   Her hope was that this would foster excitement about books.  She wanted every child to able to own their very own library, regardless of their family's income. Both of my children have benefited from the Imagination Library, and I can't say enough good things about this wonderful program!  I believe that a love for books and reading is a beautiful gift to pass on to our kids, and is something that will serve them well in life. The program has been a huge success, and has now spread throughout the … [Read more...]

Remember to Play in the Rain

Playing in the Rain in Kids Patagonia Torrentshell Raincoat 2

Do you remember, as a kid, how much you loved playing in the rain?  Ominous gray clouds, thunder, lightening, and rain... "Bring it on!", I say.  I've always loved rainy weather. During my childhood summers, playing in the rushing gutters filled with rainwater, during lovely warm weather, was a seriously good time. It's been terribly, dangerously dry here in Western Colorado this year.  So we just had to get out and do a little Happy Rain Dance the other day when we finally got some moisture! DANCIN' IN THE RAIN So what if it drizzles And dribbles and drips? I'll splash in the garden, I'll dance on the roof. Let it rain on my skin, It can't get in - I'm waterproof ** by Shel Silverstein, from "A Light in the Attic" ** Do you let your kids play outside when it rains?  Better yet, do you join them? *o*     *o*     *o* That raincoat is a Kids Patagonia Torrentshell Raincoat.  We love it and got it from a kids gear shop called Tiny Trekker (I believe right … [Read more...]

Kids Party In a Box ~ Just Add Food & Enjoy!

Party Kit and Kaboodle Luau

Would you be excited at the thought of being able to pick from a list of fun themes for your child's upcoming party, easily place your order for one kit online, and have all of the work and planning done for you ... delivered to your front door? If you have thrown a party for your youngster, you are fully aware of the amount of work, planning, research for game ideas, driving around town looking for the perfect supplies, and considerable expense which this involves. I have only attempted this a couple of times, and each time I am exhausted by the monumental effort it takes, before the party even begins!  I also find myself trying to cut down on costs by bargain shopping around at multiple places in town, which usually gains me next to nothing.  What a waste of time and gas money. When I first caught wind of this new online business in the works, Party Kit and Kaboodle, my curiosity was instantly peaked. What Is Included in a Party Kit (and Kaboodle!) They do all of the … [Read more...]

Spring Shopping Decisions

Kohls Girls Dress Twirling Winner

  I absolutely love that my 7 year old daughter makes her new dress selection based almost exclusively on the Twirl Factor.  The best twirler wins, every time. When Spring comes it always puts me in the mood for getting out my warmer-season clothes, and maybe doing a little shopping to add a couple fun styles and colors to my closet. Remember when we weren't so critical of ourselves when we went shopping?  No, "ugg - this makes my hips look huge"... or "yuk - this color totally washes me out".  I miss those days.   … [Read more...]

1st Grader’s Perspective: Spotting Wildlife

I love when its snowing, and it just builds up on their back.

We recently got to spend the weekend at Rocky Mountain National Park.  You can often get good deals on condo rentals in the winter there, since not having a ski area nearby makes it their off season. And if you haven't hot tubbed outside, in the snow, in winter... you are missing out.  Make sure you book one with a hot tub! This is a majestic and beautiful area, and my favorite part is getting to see lots of elk. … [Read more...]

1st Grader’s Perspective: Mall Purchase Criteria

Shake It Up Sneaker Boots from Payless

Spoiling the kids.  That Big Black Hole that's so hard to free yourself from ... once you've been sucked into its bottomless vortex.  It is so hard to strike a balance, isn't it?  You get sick and tired of your child with their sense of entitlement, which you know that you have fostered, constantly asking for more.  Then discarding the new toy or piece of clothing within days - no longer meriting their interest. That's it.  You're done.  No more new stuff. The questionable object of my 6 year old's affection:  "Shake It Up" sneaker boots, from Payless. Days later (Weeks later?  Hours later??) you find yourself swinging the other direction.  You see something you know they would love.  It fun to give your child presents!  It's just something you want them to have and enjoy, purely because you are their parent and love seeing their eyes light up with excitement and (albeit fleeting) gratitude.  Is that so wrong?  Aaaand... and the cycle continues. I love … [Read more...]

1st Grader’s Perspective: Mom’s Bad Haircut

scissors haircut beauty comb

It’s not that I’m totally unselfish, or do not enjoy being pampered from time to time.   But I have never been one to spend great amounts of money on my hair at beauty salons.  There is a part of me that would love to have my hair dyed and highlighted professionally on a monthly basis.  However there is another, larger and stronger, part of me that is way too cheap to fork over the $100+ per month that this habit would demand.   Whether I have the money or not, I can’t get past all the things I would rather spend $100 on! Between that and having longish, not-a-hairstyle hair … I typically scrape by with a combination of coloring my own hair and getting it trimmed about once every 6 months.  (I know.  Who do I think I am, right?  Bragging all up in here about my gorgeous doo...) My signal to call and make that appointment is usually the morning I look in the mirror and realize, “Ok.  Your hair’s not pretty.  It’s just long.”  That means it could use a little shape up.  So I go and … [Read more...]

Keeping Track of Your Kids At Disney – Giveaway (Ended 12/31/11)

The next time you head to Disney with kids, here's an innovative way to easily keep visual track of them - and them, of you!  Why not try wearing matching striped shirts?   (Oh, how I wish there were a castle in the background, but you get the idea...) Red and white go particularly well with Minnie Mouse ears! … [Read more...]