This summer, bring back the art of the fort

Building a fort with my kids takes me down my own memory lane of summers in the 1970s. Maybe you can relate.

Cherry Creek Shopping Center Clears the Table for a New Kids Play Area

Breakfast is no longer on the menu at Cherry Creek Shopping Center. The giant eggs, waffles, fruit and bacon that made up the mall’s roly- poly kid zone are gone, soon to be replaced by a menagerie of familiar, larger-than-life characters. The popular play area in the southeast corner of the mall’s lower level never had an official name, but youngsters and their parents gave the toddler-friendly playground their own names, like “The Breakfast” or “The Bacon Place.” A cozy pit outside of Macy’s, “The Breakfast” moved into the mall in 1998. But now, without the happy noise of kids jumping on ottoman-size chunks of banana and sliding on bacon slices, the area is oddly quiet. Suddenly the mall feels, well, all grown up. But the businesslike...

Mama Drama: Sibling Rivalry and Playtime Struggles

Dear Mama Drama, I recently took my 6 and 8 year old daughters to a pumpkin carving contest. It is a wonderful family event that focuses more on community than competition, but the pumpkins are judged and there are winners. My 6 year old won and my 8 year old did not.  At first, the 8 year old was very supportive of her sister, but then she started crying. When we finally got to the root of the problem, she was upset that she had given her sister ideas and that her sister had won and she didn’t. This sibling competition expresses itself frequently in negative ways in our family and I am unsure how to react or what to do about it.  Growing up most of my life as an only child, I really don’t understand and am not very sympathetic to sibling rivalry. How can I encourage my childre...