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 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 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. […]

Cheap Dates with Toddlers: Nature “Shopping” and scavenger hunts

Are the long months of winter/spring/rainy season getting to you and your kids? Are your kids starting to make you crazy? Here’s a quote I love: “If your kids are bouncing off the walls, remove the walls.” Even if it’s pouring rain, you can still go out in nature. That’s what rain coats and boots […]