Backyard Water Fun

Beaches are great. Water parks are a blast! Municipal pools and the high school natatorium are an invaluable public service. The drawback with each of these, for our family anyway, is that they are all places to which you have to go. We’re not against going anywhere—Grace has been taking swimming lessons at the local…

The Practice of What You Preach

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” —James Arthur Baldwin They say if you give a woman a fish, she’ll eat for a day. But if you teach her how to fish, she’ll eat for the rest of her life. We’ve all heard…

Getting Comfortable with Being… Uncomfortable

Discomfort. I know, it’s not a comfortable subject (Ugh. Sorry!). Seriously, though, when we talk about kids and the outdoors and teaching them about activities that we do outdoors, we as adults need to recognize something. Sometimes the things we do outside involve just a bit of suffering. And for grown-ups (some of us, anyway),…

Perseids Meteor Shower

Every August that I was up north as a kid, we were allowed to stay up late to watch the Perseids meteor shower. It always fell near my grandmother’s birthday, which is how hers is one of the only birthdays I can remember beyond immediate family. We’d set up lawn chairs in the sand crest…

Swimming Lessons: Why Bathe with the Fish and Frogs?

Parenting is all about teachable moments, wouldn’t you agree? Every parent wants to use everyday life to teach their kids about living, don’t they? And I’d say that probably skews even more true for those who are attracted to this website. Anyone involved enough (don’t say attachment parenting… don’t say attachment parenting…) in their child’s…

Our Kids Have Their Own Gear

A big part of getting kids involved is letting them be involved. While I am not entirely on board with creating a need for “stuff” in kids, letting them have a few pieces of equipment just for them can go a long way toward generating ownership in outdoor activities. If you’re anything like our family,…

Taking Babies Outdoors: Two Options

This one takes a step back from my advice on how to teach a kid to ride a bike, and is for you newer parents. So, you’ve got a new little bundle of joy. You’ve stayed at home coo-ing and feeding and loving them for months. And you don’t love them any less, but… is…

Teaching Kids About Fire

My friend Rob once said guys like to smoke pipes simply for the pleasure of lighting and maintaining a small fire in their hand. I didn’t need Grace asking me if she could “light all the candles [referring a box of wooden matches]” to know that people seem to have an innate attraction to fire….

Kelty Child Carrier Review

I love my son (he is my boy, after all), but I have to admit that when it comes to hiking, he’s completely useless. His form is sloppy, he has absolutely no stamina, and when it comes to carrying a pack? Forget it. As parents, we don’t want to push our kids too much, but…

Creek and Orchard

Inspired by Grace ‘N’ Tater’s Dad, I want to tell you about the outdoors where I grew up. And keeping in mind the sort of guiding principle of the website this will be published on, I’m thinking about the parts of my outdoor upbringing that I’d want my daughter to know about someday. I live…

Discovering Nature at the Zoo

Looking back over what we’ve done as a family since last summer, I was surprised to find that we’ve made it to three different zoos within the past nine months. Zoos come in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to zoos in large urban areas, you might expect them all to be pretty…