Cheap Dates with Toddlers: More “Natural” Playgrounds

Proponents of outdoor play and nature play know that one of the benefits of outdoor play is the range of physical skills used when playing outdoors: balancing on logs and climbing up trees requires kids to continually adapt their movement – reaching farther for some toe-holds than others… moving slower on slippery moss. Some modern […]

Cheap Dates with Toddlers: Nature’s Playgrounds

Sometimes, parks have to take out trees – they’re old, they’re damaged by insects or lightning or whatever. That’s always sad. But, when you’re really lucky, the park does this! At Peter Kirk Park in downtown Kirkland, when they took out a tree (or cluster of trees?) recently, they left the stumps behind, in a […]

Cheap Dates: Explore New Parks

Summer is a great time to try something you haven’t tried before! Is there a park near you that you’ve heard people talk about, but never actually gone to? Have you ever driven down a road that has a sign saying that there’s a park that-a-way, but never followed the arrow to check it out? […]

Cheap Dates with Toddlers series

I write a regular series called “Cheap Dates with Toddlers” about fun, cheap activities that kids age one to five will enjoy (and learn from!) Most of them are fun for moms and dads too, but I can’t promise they all are (see “Counting Cars” for one my child loved, but I am so glad he’s outgrown!)

Many include recommendations that are specific to Seattle/the Eastside, but hopefully most of the core ideas apply to all parents everywhere….

If you’re also looking for advice on more serious topics like: Early Literacy, Brain Development, Discipline, Potty Training, and more, check out the “Categories” section in the right hand sidebar (if you’re viewing this on a mobile device, try going to “full site” and scrolling to the bottom of the page to see categories.)

Cheap Dates: Swimming!

It’s summer time! (Well, some days it is – yesterday during my son’s swim lesson it was 55 degrees and pouring rain… but better weather is coming, right?) So it’s time to check out your local swimming pool! Here are some great games to play in the water with your child and some recommended local […]

Cheap Dates with Toddlers – Wildlife Viewing

Spring is a great time to explore wetlands parks* and see what kind of wildlife you can spot. Ducklings are a pretty likely bet at most wetlands! Often wetlands parks have boardwalks, where you’ll have to hike out a ways to see the wildlife. Hikes are great activities with toddlers, because they burn off energy […]

Cheap Dates with Toddlers: Farmers Markets

I love taking my kids on outings to farmer’s markets – the toddler and the teenagers! It’s a chance to be outdoors, walking, surrounded by people of all ages from your community. Every time we go we run into someone we haven’t seen in ages, and it’s a nice chance to say a quick hello. […]