nature 

New American Girl Doll Encourages Healthy, Outdoor Play

Meet Lanie, American Girl's 2010 Girl of the Year Doll. Credit: American Girl
On January 1, American Girl will debut Lanie, its blond-haired, hazel-eyed 2010 Girl of the Year doll. Lanie Holland, who will be available for one year only, will...

Playing Outside Makes Kids Smarter

Schools are cutting recess -- that's a shame -- but parents also need to make an effort to get kids out of the house and into the yard. In the race to help kids get ahead academically, American schools seem to take a spaghetti at the wall...

Charlotte Church Using Old Wives Tales to Induce Labor

Remember Charlotte Church? I don't really, either, but I think she has one of those fabulous voices and is a large sensation in the UK. Well, Charlotte is ready to give birth to her second child and can't seem to get that baby here fast enough....

Be Thankful for Thanksgiving Crafts That Keep Kids Out of the Kitchen

On Thanksgiving Day, there are either too many or not enough cooks in the kitchen. That makes it a good day to un-invite your favorite pint-sized chefs so that they don't get underfoot, or worse, hurt. But even if they can't help carve the...

Get back to nature with "Take a Child Outside" week

Twenty-five years ago, the idea of a "Take a Child Outside" week would have seemed ridiculous. We spent most of our free time outside as it was, riding bikes, exploring, playing with friends. But today, for reasons that vary from safety concerns to...

Why take kids camping

I love camping. Being out amidst the trees, the rocks, and, yes, even the dirt is relaxing and comforting to me. If I could live in the woods year-round, I would. Not everyone is quite the Grizzly Adams type that I am, however. If you've got kids,...

Does birth order affect relationships?

A recent article regarding birth order and relationships on AOL's Personals site got me thinking of a conversation I'd recently had with my mother. We were talking about how many kids I wanted (I have one with another one on the way). I'd said...

Fertility goes Brave New World

Ever read the book Brave New World? In Aldous Huxley's science fiction masterpiece most people stop having babies the old fashioned way; instead humans are the product of test tubes, petri dishes and the like. With the advent of that...

How to recognize poison ivy (and what to do if you missed it)

Kids love a good walk through the woods to get away from the hot summer sun. If you go off-trail, though, be sure to keep a look out for poison ivy. Some studies suggest that global warming is contributing to the growth of poison ivy and its ability...

Camping while pregnant

Some friends -- part of the same group we went with last time -- are organizing another camping trip. This time, it's the last weekend in April. Naturally, I want to go. Rachel, however, is complaining that it is close to her due date and she doesn't...

Camping with kids

So we finally got to go camping and all I can say is I'm sorry we didn't go sooner. (Thanks for all the great advice!) It's a little late in the year now to be thinking about going again, even for me, but come next spring, you can bet your bottom...

Separated at birth - on purpose

Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein are identical twins. In fact, they're similar in more ways than just looks and genetics. Both studied film at university and both are writers. Both were adopted in 1968. There, however, the differences began. They...

Going campin'

Back in the day, I used to do a lot of camping and backpacking. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. As in, leading trips for the Sierra Club. As in knowing the exact weight of every piece of gear I owned (baby scales are good for that). As in, having had...

Stuck deer is freed from plastic Halloween pumpkin

A couple of days ago I was listening to the radio when I heard the story of the deer whose head was caught in a plastic Halloween pumpkin. The deer frequented a gated community where it likely got stuck in what appeared to be a feed bag, but was...

The joy of snow, good for all ages

My kids love winter and everything it brings. As the leaves turn they start to get antsy at the thought of the ski hills opening and the fun beginning. At the first sign snow they always pile on as much clothing as they can find and go out for a...

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