The kids are still out of school, the weather is decent, and you’ve got paid time off you need to use. Sounds like the perfect time for travel plans! Except, 2020 doesn’t care about your plans. 2020 only cares about itself.

As adults, it is our job to help children learn to be awesome adults. Part of this is to have the hard conversations that make us unsure and uncomfortable, on topics like discrimination. So here are some things to keep in mind as starting points when approaching those tough talks.

I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but I’d like to go on record saying that these past few months have caused humans the most stress in the last 50 years. I’d venture to say that even the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan wars did not feel like the last few months have felt.

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Lately, the question of “to school or not to school?” (and how to do it) has plagued parents and teachers almost as much as COVID-19. As the school year approached, school districts were adapting plans for what the first day of school would look like, onsite or online. Some districts had rel…

Summer has arrived and with no sleepover camps for children, families will be looking for things to do to maintain their collective sanity. Many wonderful day trips in our area are not only fun but also educational. Pack a lunch and head for some fascinating areas of Eastern Oregon — here ar…

Summer is a great time to turn off the TV and go outside, or least that’s what I yell at my kids every day. Recently, my daughter decided to build a porch swing that she saw on Pinterest. The most difficult part of the process was getting organized.

As communities reopen and parents return to work, child care is just as important as ever – but it looks a little different in the time of COVID-19. Much of the job of keeping parents and child care providers informed has fallen on the Oregon Early Learning Division. ELD Communications Direc…

More events are planned for July, however many are still on hold. As of press time, most libraries remained closed, though some are offering outdoor activities. As always, call ahead to verify.

Imagine a couple of eight-year-old friends downing full glasses of beet smoothie for their afternoon snack, a huge bowl of kale chips completely disappearing into the mouths of preschoolers, and siblings fighting over the last baked cauliflower tot. Yes, all of these things actually happened…

Although Umatilla County is beginning to reopen, not enough events were offered this month to run the Kids’ Calendar. Instead we are listing any June activities here. As of press time, most libraries did not have firm opening dates for June, with story times continuing online and many craft …

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We all need a certain amount of attention from others to thrive and survive. The late Virginia Satir, a family therapist, said that we need four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs per day to stay at a strong emotional level and twelve a day to grow.

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“When will we go back to school?” “Why can’t I go to my friend’s house?” These are common questions children are asking us adults as the school year comes to an end. With the transition to distance learning comes unknowns about how (or if) school will come back in the fall, what child care w…

Whether you have a senior graduating from college or from high school, you may be wondering what exactly you can do that could ever make up for the loss of the last part of his or her senior year. Fear not; we have you covered.

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As face masks become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic, some families may be confused on which rules apply to them. The Oregon Health Authority, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have each released guidelines for using and wearing masks…

When thinking about playing in nature I’m immediately taken back to my childhood and the freedoms I was given. I was the kid that was outside all day and only came home when I heard my mother calling me in for dinner. My parents gave me a lot of opportunities to explore in our neighborhood, …

The Public Library Association released a survey on April 1. The topic? “Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19.” I’ll confess, I was nervous when I opened the document. It’s hard to know if what you are doing is right when it’s never been done before. More than 2,500 libraries responded to th…

Just like with everything else, we are all sitting around with our fingers crossed — and some family members are dreaming of sitting around a campfire. May is the month we typically devote to our entire issue to the Summer Camp Preview. This year things are looking a little different.

We are most certainly living through an unprecedented time unlike any of us have lived through in our lifetime. With schools closed and stay-at-home restrictions in place, parents have had to figure out how to educate their children themselves. Fortunately resources are available, thanks to …

Teaching your child to cook isn’t only so that you can sit back with a glass of wine and be waited on hand and foot. I mean, that’s a benefit, but there’s so much more to it. Teaching kids to cook leads to healthier bodies and budget-conscious adults. It supports brain function, memory, and …

With school cancelations, social distancing, and shelter-in-place rules in some areas, families are adjusting to having kids at home. Keeping children well occupied is a multi-level challenge. Many parents are working from home and need to be able to focus, but children also need to be exerc…

Sanitation and hygiene have always been useful tools to reduce the risk of infectious diseases for both adults and children. In recent years, we know they are even more vital in the prevention of spreading germs and bacteria throughout our homes and schools.

With public schools in Oregon now closed until further notice, parents are left wondering how they can ensure their children retain what they have already learned and continue to maintain grade level requirements. In an effort to provide resources for parents who want to help their children,…

From the accordion to the xylophone or, more likely, the drums to the violin, helping a child choose a musical path can be overwhelming. Should a child choose an instrument based on size? Sound? Should band win out over choir or orchestra because that’s where her friends are?

We have all heard that if you want to build your child’s math brain, expose them to music. Some parents start playing classical music during nap and bedtime to calm them, in hopes that their sleeping baby will be the next Einstein. However, did you know the power music has on building the fo…

It’s not always easy to show home economics is a true science. This diverse field includes clothing and textiles, foods and nutrition, consumerism, interiors and design, and more – all areas with a basis in both science and math. One of my favorite things is to show children (and adults) how…

“I’m dropping out of school!” My heart dropped. Can you imagine your first grader yelling this at you? Especially being an elementary educator myself. Seeing the hurt and confusion all over his little face, I took a deep breath and calmed my voice.

As a mother of boys, I am very aware of the parental struggle to find computer or video games that don’t include blood, zombies, guns or federal offenses. So many games these days are filled with killing, stealing and beating the clock that there is actually a Twitter thread (The Safe Room) …

Many families look to the new year as a time to reset their eating habits and focus on making healthier choices. However, adults aren’t the only ones who could use a menu refresh as children may also need to focus on healthier food choices.

“You can’t help your child learn anything if you don’t teach them to listen and pay attention. That’s what you have to do first.” I overheard Tricia, a mother of three as she visited with a father at a parent get-together.

As the saying goes, you should avoid talking about politics, religion, or money. But in today’s volatile political climate, our responsibility as informed citizens means having those conversations with our teens.

As we start this New Year (and a new decade), we might be tempted to set a goal for ourselves. Usually this involves life-altering choices that require us to have self-control and good decision-making skills. And about a week later we fall back into our old habits. Why is it so hard? Because…

College is expensive. So what can parents do to prepare to help their children pay for a post-secondary education? The Oregon College Savings Plan is our state’s version of a 529 plan that allows individuals to contribute tax-free to an account intended to support a child’s college education…

Gone are the days when you force your neighbors and friends to sit down for two hours to view a slightly out-of-focus slideshow of your family vacation to the Poconos. Now you post your pics on Instagram or Facebook after carefully choosing the best ones and putting them through a few filter…

When I was pregnant with my first child I was quick to sign up for childbirth classes. I read up on pregnancy and downloaded any and all apps promising to guide me through the process. It was easy to acknowledge that I had no experience growing a human and that research was required.

Did you know? The average household will go through four rolls of wrapping paper and throw away seven batteries over the Christmas season. A roll-and-a-half of sticky tape will be used per household, and three-and-a-half black bags full of packaging will be thrown out. That’s not all. Accord…