learning how to use a sewing machine

Sewing, Pretend Play and Down Time After School

Mike was out of town this week, so I scheduled extra down time after school to help the kids cope with missing him. They spent a lot of time playing with our Magna-Tiles*, usually together with the family counters you see above. It has been a lot of fun seeing their creations develop and their […]

Peekapak Creative Adventure Pak review

Creative Fun with Peekapak!

We have reviewed a few subscription kits now, and the Peekapak Storytelling Adventure Pak we were sent to review this month was definitely five-year-old Lily’s favorite! Subscription kits are a wonderful way for parents to make room for kids to get creative without having to stock a household full of craft supplies. I think they […]

instagram blog hop

Instagram Blog Hop!

As long-time readers of this blog know, I grew up as a third culture kid moving around the world. I love the United States, but I also miss many things that I loved about living outside the US. California’s incredible diversity makes my current state a wonderful place to live (I ran into someone from […]

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Montessori-Inspired Toddler Play

21-month-old Anna really enjoys Montessori-style toddler play activities! I often find her creating pouring and transferring activities on her own, and so when we had an empty gum container I handed them to her along with our pom poms to play with. She really enjoyed pushing the little pom poms through the small opening – […]

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Feeding Kids Healthy Foods: Chia Seeds

My sister Catherine (also the creator of cute Easter egg bunnies) introduced me to Chia seeds (affiliate link), and I have really enjoyed playing with this newly-popular superfood! My favorite thing to do with them is to combine them with juice, just like you find in the Mamma Chia squeeze packs (or bottles – it’s […]

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Celebrating the Outdoors with Kids

Getting outside is one of my April goals, and we spent most of our free time outdoors this week – mostly on after dinner walks. We also (finally!) tried out our local pool, and were surprised to find that it is heated to surprisingly warm temperatures. So we spent a few afternoons there. Hopefully the […]

Teaching Kids Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence was one of the most influential books I read in college – I still have my marked-up copy from 2001! In the book, Goleman explains why emotional intelligence can matter more than IQ. Here are a few things I do to help my kids develop emotional intelligence: Free play: I try […]

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After School Fun for Kids: Classic Childhood Games

My kids have spent most of their free time this past week playing classic childhood games – tag, hide and go seek, digging in the sandbox, pretending they are at the beach by running around a local beach volleyball pit we like to visit when no adults are playing, and making all sorts of interesting […]

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Using Coins to Explore the World

Mike did this fun geography activity with the kids over the weekend. He downloaded this map of the world from this free world map site, and then pulled out our foreign coins and had the kids match the coins to the map. It was a fun way to explore the world! We have a pretty […]

Sensory play: wall mosaic art

Sensory Wall Mosaic Art

Following the huge success of our pattern blocks on contact paper play, I decided to try putting it all up on our wall. Emma helped me place several feet of contact paper, and the kids and I had a blast using pattern blocks to create mosaics on our dining room wall! The wooden blocks make […]