wordplayhouse® – Heather Cahoon on Creativity and Family Time
Heather Cahoon, the mother behind wordplayhouse®, takes a different approach to family time by promoting creativity, do-it-yourself activities, and scheduling unscheduled time in her everyday routine.
Tell us more about yourself, your site, and your family.
I am a mother of a few children (with another on the way), designer, and New York Times bestselling children’s book illustrator. I treasure our growing family and our slow, under-scheduled days. We share our simple ideas for family time and creative play ideas on wordplayhouse.com and our printables for party and play on you-make-do-shop.com.
Your site has a lot of really creative crafts, food ideas, eco-friendly party ideas, hair ideas, and so much more. How do you come up with your ideas?
We are a do-it-yourself family that likes to make things and try new experiences and when we do, we share with those who visit what we share. We approach our days differently than many, and always with a dose of creativity. Somehow those ideas just…happen. When you leave enough time to play and explore—creativity and inventiveness grows. Families have become too busy and scheduled and have squelched their ability to surprise themselves with their own creativity. Families must remember to schedule un-scheduled time to enjoy each other and to nurture natural talents and the simple joys that bring them happiness.
Do you have any favorite craft, food, or DIY ideas for moms?
Paper. Have stacks of paper available, and you will have the means for your children to be creative. Paper can be cut, drawn on, taped together, and folded into whatever children can think up. And, what children can think up and make with paper is endless. Plenty of paper = plenty of creativity.
Tell us more about your “You Make Do Kits™”. What inspired you to create the kits?
We often make our own toys here. And, the children plan their own birthdays that we design together. So, we had all these things we have made; and we decided to share them. Not everyone has the time to design birthday parties from scratch, but our paper kits let families have handmade parties they can make together just like we do. And, really, making the special celebration together is as memorable as the celebration itself. Our instant download “You Make Do™” kits in our shop are wonderful for last-minute party planning and on-the-spot project making. I don’t know who has more fun—me when I am designing them, or those that download them and make them at home!
What are your favorite activities to do with kids?
Do-nothing activities. We like making a pile in the hammock. It always leads to giggling, talking, storytelling. Those do-nothing moments are the ones you really take a moment to savor. We also have a serene natural playground among the branches of our maple grove where we spend swinging and climbing together.
How do you relax when you can find time?
We take a walk up to the pond everyday to see how far the tadpoles have come along changing into frogs. Walks always relax and bring me joy. I come back energized, kissed with sunshine and fresh air, and filled with renewed creativity—Being outside renews me inside.
What are your top 5 tips for all moms?
Slow down. Slow down. Slow down. Slow down. Slow down. Make time to remember and share this fleeting part of childhood with your children. Add some unscheduled time to a part of your everyday.