Outside The Box Creation

  • young girl sitting on a dock

    Easing the Transition to Summer Vacation!

    When my kids were in elementary school, the first few days of summer vacation were always terribly unpleasant. There was lots of bickering & obstinate behavior. It finally dawned on me that they were struggling with the transition from school to the unstructured days of summer! Transitions are tough for kids, especially those who have …

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  • Girl swimming

    Easy Ways to Avoid Summer Slide

    Have you heard of the summer slide? I’m not talking about a playground slide, but rather a slide downward that kids tend to make in learning during the summer. It is sometimes called summer learning loss or summer setback. These names all refer to the phenomena that many children begin the next school year with academic achievement levels lower than they were at the beginning of summer break.

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  • Mom and Kids Unpacking Outside the Box Creation Art Projects for Kids

    Give Mommy Guilt the Boot

    When my children were little, I worked full time. Like many women, I felt guilty when I was at work that I wasn’t at home. I often also felt guilty when I was home that I wasn’t at work! But beyond that, I am a pretty high energy, type A person and I often felt …

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  • Painted Rocks as a way to find your creativity

    Painting Rocks to Create Connection and Happiness

    We moved and moved our office to Whidbey Island in September. Whidbey Island is one of the many islands off the coast of Washington. It is located about 30 miles north of Seattle, and lies between the Olympic Peninsula and the I-5 corridor of western Washington. One of the things that attracted me to the …

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  • "Street Art" using stencils and blow pens

    Indoor Icky Weather Fun

    We’re in the final, seemingly interminable, stretch of winter weather. In Seattle, we have as many names for rain as Alaskans have for snow. Parents are all looking for engaging indoor activities right now. Frankly, I don’t even really want my dogs to go outside because they get all wet and dirty and leave a …

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  • Messy hands, little guilty surrender with hands up

    The Trouble With Arts & Craft Kits

    You can find arts & craft kits, and now science and STEM kits, all over the place these days. When my kids were younger, I purchased all types of kits for them and was invariably disappointed. Here are my beefs. Perhaps they will help you decide which products to buy when shopping for kits for …

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  • Child looking out airplane window

    Tips to EaseTravel With Kids at the Holidays

    As the holidays approach, many of you who have young children are probably dreading airline and/or car travel! Here are some of my time-tested tips & tricks from a mom of 3: Model Magic Clay is great to bring: it doesn’t smell and doesn’t crumble and provides engaging sensory stimulation. Silly Putty is also really …

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  • Kids Art on a Clothesline

    What To Do With Your Child’s Artwork

    One of the things I always dreaded about the school year was the inevitable onslaught of paper! You want to save every project your child makes at school & at home but what to do with it all? Here are some creative ways to preserve these precious memories: Shutterfly & Snapfish are two we have used. …

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  • Kids Playing in Fountain

    5 Fresh Ideas for Creative Dog Days of Summer

    Want some fresh ideas for outdoor creative fun in the sun? We are definitely in the dog days of summer. Here are 4 fresh ideas for those lazy, hazy days outside: Back to the basics with sidewalk chalk. Good old fashioned sticks of sidewalk chalk can be lots of fun for kids. You don’t need …

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  • Drawing IS a Learned Skill

    I remember being told in college “anyone can be pretty good at drawing because it is an actual learned skill. We may not all be Michelangelo, but that’s ok!” While it may take more practice and instruction for some of us than for others, I definitely agree. There are really two main components: accurately seeing …

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