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Why Anna Farris wants her son to be a good cook might inspire you, mama

"I see it as sort of a gift to whatever future partner he may have that he knows how to clean a bathroom and that he appreciates how to do his laundry and he knows how to cook. It's just very important to me because he does have a lot of help with things," Faris explains.

Why Anna Farris wants her son to be a good cook might inspire you, mama

Anna Faris is one successful mama. She's been in a ton of movies, is currently starring in the CBS sitcom Mom, wrote a hilarious memoir, and hosts a podcast, Anna Faris Is Unqualified, that is heard by millions.

With this kind of success comes a certain level of privilege, not just for Faris, but also her son, 6-year-old Jack.

Let's be real: Anna Faris doesn't have to cook or clean, and that means neither does her son (at least at this point in his life). But she is making sure that he knows his way around the kitchen and the laundry room because, to her, instilling those life skills is a measure of parenting success, something her own mom taught her.

"I grew up without a nanny or somebody to come over and change my sheets or whatever. It's really important to me that he becomes self-sufficient," she tells Motherly.

Like most parents today, Faris cooked and cleaned as a kid, but she's in the minority when it comes to passing on these skills. A national phone survey by Braun Research found 82% of respondents said they regularly did chores as children, but only 28% percent expect their own kids to do them now.

At the same time, other research suggests doing chores in childhood is linked to professional success later in life, so it really is in our best interest to have our kids pitch in around the house.

As a #boymom, Faris is making it very clear to Jack that she expects he'll have to look after himself someday, and that everyone needs to know how to make a stirfry and work the washing machine.

"I see it as sort of a gift to whatever future partner he may have that he knows how to clean a bathroom and that he appreciates how to do his laundry and he knows how to cook. It's just very important to me because he does have a lot of help with things," Faris explains.

Cooking together is a family tradition 

When Faris was growing up, cooking with her mom Karen was a time to chat and enjoy a shared activity. Jack's grandmother started cooking with him when he was just two-and-a-half, so the tradition continues.

"My mom is an amazing cook and that was our bonding time when she would get me in the kitchen and we would cook together. I love to cook, I'm not nearly as good as she is. I mean she used to work with a catering company and she taught bread making classes and she loves what she's doing. She's won like eight pie competitions, but it was our time to really bond and talk," says Faris, who is happy to relive the experience with her son and her mom.

"He's learning, although he doesn't realize it, about not only life skills and self-sufficiency but, also math skills, oddly, like measuring and the chemistry of cooking," says Faris, who adds that Jack is more likely to try a new dish if he's helped make it.

"A couple of nights ago, we made curry with Uncle Ben's basmati rice and it was delicious. I've always loved curry but that was something Jack wouldn't have necessarily tried if he wasn't involved in cooking it," Faris tells Motherly. "I didn't make it very spicy, I put a lot of cream in there, butter. So it was delicious."

Photo Credit: Uncle Ben's. Anna Faris has partnered with Uncle Ben's to support the Homework Pass Challenge, where kids swap homework for cooking healthy meals with their families, like Faris and her mom are doing here.

Helping Jack eat healthier 

Even as a grownup, Faris still loves cooking with her own mom, who is helping Jack expand his palate a bit by finding new ways to get him interested in healthy food as he grows.

"My mom, in a stroke of genius, got him for his last birthday—which was in August, just turned six—my mom got him a little pair of kid's chef knives and an apron and a cookbook and an adorable chef's hat. And so he's more excited, he loves vegetables now because I let him chop vegetables because he just wants to use the knives."

Faris is totally on the right track here. One study by Britain's Children's Food Trust found that kids who learn to cook before age 8 are 50% more likely to have a healthy diet later in life.

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These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Detective set

Plan Toys detective set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

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