The Secret Ingredient Your Kid Wants You to Know About

Here's a family recipe to pass down through the generations.

Parker Barry

Recipe for a Happy Kid


  • 1 or more loving grown-up
  • an overflowing cup of affection
  • a healthy helping of food
  • a generous supply of books (both read aloud and read to self)
  • a dash of guidance

Now it’s time for your kid to add the secret ingredient: Pure Play. Pure Play will bring out the delicious, rich flavors of creativity, problem-solving, resilience and joy.

Combine ingredients and allow to rise.

Here’s where “cooks” have to be flexible and open to new experiences.

Sometimes Pure Play produces quite a mess. Sometimes it’s loud. Sometimes it serves a crowd, and sometimes it’s just for one, lost deep in its own little world.


I followed the recipe exactly but substituted expensive extracurricular activities for the Pure Play. My child turned out fine but didn’t always seem very happy  — and it was a lot of work on my part. Next time, we’ll try it with Pure Play. — Bill, Huntsville, AL

This is the BEST recipe! I recommend it to all my friends. I was a bit worried when we included Pure Play and my child turned up with skinned knees, but it didn’t bother her and just seemed to add to the good times.— Maya, Orange, TX

Wow! This is exactly the way my grandma did it! I’ve been searching for this recipe for ages. Thank you! — Amy, Madison, WI


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