Image of the book Unbored Adventure, 70 Seriously Fun Activities For Kids and Their Families.

Unbored Adventure, 70 Seriously Fun Activities For Kids & Their Families - With this book your kids can never say "I'm bored!" again. This book, and others in the series, list hundreds of ways to play, invent, and explore. We use this book, and Unbored Games, as starting points and usually come up with our own versions of a game or something completely new. Written by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen their concept has grown into a group of products encouraging play and discovery.

$11-13 on Amazon

Image of playing Tenzi dice game.

Tenzi is a dice game that we play at home and take it with us on trips. You can make it as complex or easy as you want which helps when trying to include younger kids. Our four year old can even play it! Cheap and compact it's a perfect travel game.

$14 on Amazon

Image of my Kala Waterman Soprano Ukulele.

The Kala Waterman Soprano Ukulele looks and feels like a toy but actually has great sound and playability. The novelty never wears off of seeing completely through the body. For fun I played it in the rain and though I wouldn't recommend submerging it in water it fared pretty well.

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Image of Go Make Play toys.

Go Make Play toys are made by friends of mine. She's a designer and he's an early childhood educator. These toys are at the same time craft projects and toys which encourage open ended play. They make great gifts and are affordable.

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Image of Arduino Starter Kit.

The Arduino Starter Kit is a great gift for kids interested or involved with STEM. It's fun for adults as well, I learned so much having gone through the exercises in the accompanying book. Now I have a list of future projects I want to attempt with this easy to use micro-controller. The 'love tester' project was a favorite for my girls; it used a thermal sensor to detect heat and convert the reading to a display using red LEDs.

Buy on Amazon or Buy on Arduino

Image of Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets Kit.

Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets Double Wall Kit for building structures with cardboard. We have made several box forts with this clever invention. I use a drill or awl to poke a hole through both pieces of cardboard then from both sides press the two sides of the rivets together until they snap together. It takes some effort to get them apart again but they are reusable.

[See More Box Fort Pictures]

[Mr. McGroovy's Website]

Picture of entry to box fort with daughter and dog.
Picture of daughter looking through small portal in box fort.

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Image needle felting books.

Making Needle Felted Animals is my favorite needle felting book, The inscructions are clear and include the quantity of wool for each body part. A carding brushes, you'll need two, are necessary to blend the colors and to make variegated patterns.

Feltcraft has Waldorf style of characters and includes teaches wet felting and tapestry. Little Felted Animals has the most realistic sculpted animals that but will require glass doll eyes to replicate their work, which are hard to find.

Making Needle Felted Animals


Little Felted Animals

Image of my leather glove repair using Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl.

Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl Kit is a must have for general repair of upholstery, clothing, and fabric. I have used this sewing awl to create a large meditation cushion. I have also used it to repair the fabric seat of a metal framed camping chair. This tool has paid for itself many times over.

Picture of the meditaion cushion that I made with daughter playing concertina.
Picture of the meditation cushion being sewed with Speedy Stitcher.

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Image of me and daughter in the Hammock Bliss Hammock.

Hammock Bliss Double is the best portable hammock I have ever had and it can easily hold two adults. It stows conveniently into an attached pocket. The suspension lines are made from 6mm climbing rope and are long enough to wrap around any medium sized tree trunk. My kids love it!

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Image of the book The Craft of Sail: A Primer of Sailing.

The Craft of Sail: A Primer of Sailing is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated book on the basics of sailing. Written and illustrated by its author Jan Adkins this is a must-have for beginner and experienced sailors.

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Image of the book Honey I Wrecked the Kids.

Honey, I Wrecked The Kids has some great tips on dealing with adverse situations within your family. Issues like a vindictive child or when your kids withdrawal. It's helped me on my approach with my daughters.

$14 on Amazon