Check out my "back to the school day routine" hacks this morning on the Today Show!

It's always a treat to visit my pals at the Today Show and this morning was no exception. As part of their "Hack to School" series, they asked me to share some simple and fun organizational ideas to help get kids of all ages back into their school-day routine.

 The lovely and talented Jane Krakowski was filling in for Natalie Morales and she could not have been nicer.  And Willie is always a gem to work with.

 Jane has a 4 year old son, Bennet and said she is definitely doing the picture to-do list with him, which made my day. Hope some of these help you and your kiddos playfully prepare for the new busy school year ahead.




Summer isn't over...even if summer break is!

 Just because your kids may be heading back to school this week it doesn't mean summer is over!

Take time to play outside together during these last days of summer even in the midst of homework, and organized sports teams, and school day responsibilities.

A spoonful of sugar always makes the medicine go down more smoothly.  Especially when that medicine is Algebra, Chemistry, or spelling lists.

Here are five things to do after school this week to make the back-to-school transition a little more fun.

1. Go for a whole-family before bedtime bike ride.  It doesn't have to be far, even a few laps around the block. Talk to your kiddos about their first few days in their new grade, as you pedal together through the neighborhood.  Kids open up more when they are involved in a fun physical activity than they do just sitting and talking.

2. Walk to the neighborhood ice cream parlor for dessert. Ice cream doesn't end when school begins! Or use that bike ride mentioned above to get there!

3. Make a hopscotch course down your sidewalk and have your kids write as many names of classmates in their homeroom as they can in the spaces. Have them tell you a little about each one as they hop onto their name.

4. Have one last water battle!  Make the sponge bombs I shared on my Fox and Friends segment a few weeks back!  They're fun to make with your kids and even more fun to throw at them.

5. DIT: Do it Together! Make these fun and healthy Apple Sandwiches together, from cincyshopper.com, as an after-school snack and then throw a blanket down outside on the lawn, grab a delicious chapter book to read aloud and have a snack picnic under the sun. Don't forget to play the "what do you see in the clouds" game!

Our kids feel stress and angst along with their excitement for a new school year and there is nothing quite like pops of purposeful PLAY to help ease those back to school jitters, and get them to let you in on how they're feeling about the whole thing.

Be Well Played,


Coloring Books for Grown Ups...very well played.

I have become slightly obsessed with the ever-growing trend of coloring books designed exclusively with grown ups in mind.

They seem to be literally EVERYWHERE!  In all of the bookstores, all over the inter webs, in news stories, everywhere!

And for good reason.

The act of coloring not only reduces stress levels by a whole bunch (I'm very scientific), it is also an amazing way to tap into your playful side and enjoy one of childhood's biggest gifts.
The beauty of becoming an artist when you may have no artistic flair...like at all.

I hit Barnes and Noble this week with Truman and there were tables FILLED to the brim with various kinds of coloring books for big people.  From zen-ish mandalas, to beautiful botanicals, and almost everything in between.

It appears grown ups have been longing for the permission to put colored pencils to paper and get their lost in some therapeutic play.

In a world of constantly clicking keys and taping screens, there is simple bliss in the feel of filling-in blank spaces on real paper with color on color on color.

If you haven't colored in far too long... NOW IS YOUR TIME!

Go, go, grab yourself some fresh fine tip markers or sharply colored pencils, and a beautiful coloring book, just for YOU. Need a little direction? Check out these five coloring books just for adults.

And then come back and tell me how much you love it!!:)

Be well played,


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