Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins?
The Appalachian Mountain Club's Great Kids, Great Outdoors blog has a very helpful post on kids and backpacks. How heavy should my child's backpack be?
I frequently think my kids' school packs are heavier than they should be, but they did great with the real thing on the Appalachian Trail last summer.
Bright Horizons invited Brooklyn child- and parenting-related bloggers to tour their new facility on Kent Avenue in trendy Williamsburg. I attended and must say the place is very nice, and they make a real effort to feature natural materials, calm earth tones, room for gross motor play, and nature and science themed playthings.
There's a useful post over at the blog "A Little Campy," on things that aren't "essential" in terms of camping gear, but that are almost essential for camping with kids. Top 5 Non-Essential Camping Essentials For Kids. Every one of these items is a must-have in my experience, except perhaps the checkers or playing cards.
More good stuff from Kaboom! which has a blog article up suggesting that active, outdoor play can actually increase kids' life expectancy, linked to a cute video about what kids think they would do with the extra time.
Here we are at the trailhead on Dennytown Road in Clarence Fahnestock State Park.
I'm alternately excited and a little nervous about our upcoming family backpacking trip. This will be Top Kid's first time; Tree Kid did a Trek week at Ten Mile River Scout camps, the Tarpmaster is experienced, and he and I did some bits of the Appalachian Trail together before we had kids. The excitement is about spending time in nature and with my family and introducing my boys to a new experience. The nerves are in case anything doesn't go well or anyone doesn't have fun. Will the food be enough/too heavy? Will the weather be reasonable? (We don't expect perfection!)
We spent the holiday yesterday going to, and at, Grandma and Grandpa's house in Long Island, as we usually do. This time we decided to bike there. It's just under 30 miles door-to-door from our Brooklyn apartment to their home by the scenic route through the Rockaways. Almost all of it is bike path or "greenway" through some lovely beachy scenery, and it's mostly flat. (Unfortunately the last bit is on streets with nasty Nassau County drivers who don't believe bikes belong on the road at all.) It took us just over 3 hours because we were riding at a child-friendly pace.
I received Wild with Child: Adventures of Families in the Great Outdoors as a birthday gift. It's a very readable collection of short essays and personal narratives by parents about exploring nature with their children. The stories run the gamut from rock climbing and hunting with pre-schoolers to camping and climbing trees with almost-grown teenagers, and everything in between. The quality of the writing is uniformly high, unusual for an anthology. Most of the families represented are of the two parents of opposite genders variety, but the children are boys and girls of all ages. On the author/parent side, women outnumber men about two to one. A common theme is that being outdoors with your children is a two-way experience, adults learn as much from children as children learn from adults, and often the child we introduced to nature eventually surpasses us in knowledge. Wild with Child is an enjoyable read that really brings home the endless variety and range of ways to enjoy outdoor adventures with children of all ages. To quote the introduction, "There are wonders waiting and memories to be made."