Free Play's Sensory-Focused, Abstract Play Structures Inspire Kids to Get Creative

by 06/13/14   filed under: art, eco play

Read More >

'The Land' is an Adventure Playground Where Kids Can Run Wild, Light Fires, Explore Independence and Take Risks

by 06/12/14   filed under: eco play, green family, green kids, parenting

adventure playground, brave kids, free play, free playground, free range kids, freedom for kids, kid freedom, kids inside, kids outside, obese kids, over protected kids, stranger danger, the land

At first glance, The Land, a Welsh “adventure” playground, seems like a modern-day parent’s worst nightmare. The Land is riddled with what looks like trash and the walls are covered in graffiti. There are kids jumping over unsteady barrels and mud puddles, and youngsters poking sticks into fires or hammering wood with (eek) sharp nails. The Land, in my opinion, is exactly what’s been missing from most childhood experiences for at least a decade now. The realm of the overprotective “helicopter” parent has been going strong for years and it’s so depressing. By “overprotective” I mean kids being banned from independent (ADULT-FREE) outside play. I’m talking about how kids are barely allowed to attend sleepovers, eat real sugar or god forbid walk to school or ride a city bus alone.

Kids today are encouraged to sit inside and stare at screens because it’s “safer” than venturing outside. Playgrounds have been dumbed down and parents are constantly spraying kids with antibacterial junk to protect them from scary germs. As someone who grew up in a much freer time and lived to tell the tale, it’s all so ridiculous. This era of helicopter parents has created a lackadaisical generation of kids who can barely climb trees, hate getting dirty and who almost never play outside. Most significantly, over-protection has resulted in kids who aren’t brave enough to head out into the world and explore on their own. Personal, independent exploration may seem like a small ideal, but when kids miss out on the chance to take risks on their own, it’s detrimental. Adventure, risks and exploration are the stuff that makes life fun, interesting and amazing. To deny kids freedom is to raise kids who will very likely choose to live a sheltered, unexplored life – is that what we want as parents? Places like The Land aim to change this life-lived-in-a-bubble dynamic.

Would You Let Your Child Play at The Land Adventure Playground?

  • 291 Votes Yes. Kids today are too sheltered and need to branch out.
  • 6 Votes No. Taking risks is overrated. I'd rather keep my kid safe.
  • 54 Votes Maybe. If adults are around to make sure kids don't get hurt.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Read More >

Are National Parks and Public Lands Becoming Too Hands-Off for Kids?

by 06/12/14   filed under: education, green education, kid friendly

nature playgrounds, nature, nature education, parenting

The children at my son’s school makes a weekly pilgrimage from the urban jungle of Philadelphia to a local nature and environmental education center. Once there, in addition to learning about topics such as growing and harvesting vegetables and collecting rainwater, the kids work together to build some type of fort out of fallen branches, rocks, and other surrounding natural materials. Sounds harmless, right? But these hands-on, creative constructive play zones are increasingly rare, and such free, unstructured activity is often discouraged among public lands and national parks. The rules designed to preserve our natural spaces may actually be pushing our kids even farther away from falling in love with nature.

Let’s be clear… there are obvious benefits to the Leave No Trace Movement, and since much of the country seems less than concerned with the future of the environment, it was created out of necessity. But are national parks and public lands becoming just the sort of look-but-don’t touch museums that will eventually discourage our children from seeking them out?

Read More >

HOW TO: Grow a Lemon Tree From a Lemon Seed

by 06/11/14   filed under: diy kids crafts, gardening, how-to, video

Here’s a fun spring time project you can do with your kids to connect them to nature and teach them a bit about how food is grown. Growing a lemon tree from scratch is super easy! All you need is a lemon and some potting soil and Mother Nature will take care of the rest. I have grown about 10 different citrus plants with my Kinder-gardener Petey, and I love the quick pay-off of getting a baby plant to sprout within just a couple weeks. This works equally well for lemons, grapefruits, oranges and, I assume, probably any other citrus plant!

Read More >

NuuNest is an Around-the-Clock App for All Your Newborn Needs

by 06/11/14   filed under: baby feeding, birth, breastfeeding, health & body

nuunest, apps, technology, breastfeeding

Even though people have been raising babies since the dawn of man — the little bundles of joy still remain a mystery in myriad ways. They arrive into the world a few weeks early or several days late, they wake up just when we have finally drifted off to sleep, and they get the urge to poop right after you have changed their diaper. And since many hospitals lack lactation consultants and their advice hotlines are only available during certain hours, new parents often leave the hospital or birthing center with questions on nursing and diapering and how to generally care for their adorable but slightly intimidating precious baby. NuuNest, an iPhone app that’s currently #1 in apps for parents of newborns, can give you the round-the-clock help you need during those first few weeks of parenthood mayhem. Once you put in basic info about your baby, NuuNest guides you through daily changes in baby, what to expect for mom’s recovery from labor and delivery, and other common challenges or questions.

Read More >

HOW TO: Make Creamy, Vegan Pineapple-Colada Sorbet

by 06/10/14   filed under: cooking, food, green kids, how-to, recipe, recipes, vegan cooking

Read More >

Girls Who Join a Girl Scouts Troop Reap an Abundance of Benefits from Outdoor Experiences

by 06/10/14   filed under: green kids

girl scouts, girl scout benefits, benefits of scouting, girls outdoors, girls outside, healthy girls, healthy kids, girls, girls camping, clubs for girls, camping for girls, building girl leaders

A new research report by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), shows that girls experience significant benefits when they spend time outdoors. The report, entitled More Than S’mores explains that young girls who regularly spend time outdoors eclipse their indoor-bound peers when it comes to environmental stewardship, seeking challenges, and problem solving — the perfect combination of traits and skills for girls who will grow up to be twenty-first century leaders! Girl Scout camps have been around since 1912 and are available to girls in all 50 states. Better yet, today’s camps are highly evolved, matching the interests of twenty-first-century girls. As the Girl Scouts state, they move “At the speed of girls,” evidenced by a wide and growing range of camp offerings and activities from surf camp to Hogwarts camp, farming and sustainability camp and Camp CEO, all of which follow the Girl Scouts’ mission of helping girls to build courage, confidence, and character, while making the world a better place.

Yet unfortunately, the More Than S’mores report notes that due to, “Parental protectiveness, increased use of technology devices, and a host of structured activities competing for children’s time” many girls won’t become scouts and overall are spending less and less time outside, a problem that may cause girls to suffer physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Keep reading to see some key findings from the report and learn why becoming a Girl Scout is an excellent choice for your daughter.

Read More >

11 Year-Old Wins Doodle 4 Google Competition with Her Beautifully Illustrated Transformative Water Purifier

by 06/10/14   filed under: green kids, news

Doodle 4 Google, google winners, invention drawing, make the world better, eco design, kids art, kid inventions, eco inventions, green inventions, eco-friendly artwork, eco google, green google, water waste

Each year Google holds a Doodle 4 Google competition for kids in grades K-12. For its 7th year, the competition revolved around the theme of an invention that would make the world a better place, and 11 year-old Audrey Zhang of New York was the big winner with her transformative water purifier doodle. Zhang’s win was no small feat considering Google received more than 100,000 submissions with 250 state finalists, 50 state winners, and 5 national age group winners. Of her winning artwork, Zhang says, “”To make the world a better place, I invented a transformative water purifier. It takes in dirty and polluted water from rivers, lakes, and even oceans, then massively transforms the water into clean, safe and sanitary water, when humans and animals drink this water, they will live a healthier life.”

Read More >

Barbie's Home Birth, With Ken, Her Midwife & Her Daughter By Her Side

Barbie's Home Birth, With Ken, Her Midwife & Her Daughter By Her Side

Inhabitots: What was the inspiration behind your idea to photograph Barbie giving birth at home? Why did you choose Barbie as your model? Katie Moore: It is my duty as a human being…

READ MORE >

HOW TO: Make a Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Shake

HOW TO: Make a Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Shake

1. Gather the ingredients a bunch of spinach leaves 1/2 cup of coconut milk 1/2 avocado 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup 2 tsp of dark chocolate chips 2.…

READ MORE >

10 Easy, Natural Ways to Increase Your Breast Milk Supply

10 Easy, Natural Ways to Increase Your Breast Milk Supply

1. Nurse frequently Nursing often, regardless of how much milk you’re producing, will help tell your body to make more. Switch sides during each feeding session as well. This will…

READ MORE >

Largest Ever Comprehensive Review Shows No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

Largest Ever Comprehensive Review Shows No Link Between Vaccines and Autism

Though the ‘vaccines cause autism’ theory was debunked and referred to as an ‘elaborate fraud’ three years ago, there are still many who believe that vaccines are indeed…

READ MORE >

HOW TO: Make a Totally Unique DIY Father's Day Photo Book

HOW TO: Make a Totally Unique DIY Father's Day Photo Book

1. Gather the materials. Photo of your husband/partner/boyfriend/etc. Various types of paper for decorating, such as construction paper or origami paper Paper to mount the photos on…

READ MORE >

Encourage Your Child to Enter the 4th Annual CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year Contest

Encourage Your Child to Enter the 4th Annual CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year Contest

For four years running, CLIF Kid has been encouraging kids to get outside and stay active with their CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year contest. This nationwide initiative is fun and…

READ MORE >

Jyrobike: The World's First Auto Balance Bike Enables Kids to Learn to Ride on Two Wheels in One Afternoon

Jyrobike: The World's First Auto Balance Bike Enables Kids to Learn to Ride on Two Wheels in One Afternoon

The designers behind Jyrobike want to streamline your kids’ bicycle riding efforts with a new auto-balancing bike. Using gyroscope technology, the bike’s front wheel stays upright,…

READ MORE >

Teaching Girls How to Code, and Making Them Marketable Female Role Models in the Process

Teaching Girls How to Code, and Making Them Marketable Female Role Models in the Process

Establishing screen time limits is an essential part of parenting these days — but what if we also focused more, especially for girls, on how this screen time could be modified…

READ MORE >

The ARC Flatpack Dollhouse is Designed in Mid-Century Modern Style

The ARC Flatpack Dollhouse is Designed in Mid-Century Modern Style

Design This dollhouse is 3/4 or 1:16 (1″ dollhouse = 16″ full sized house) and designed so that it looks great from every angle. The house has one large living area on the…

READ MORE >

When Doctors Diagnose Spitting Up as GERD, Babies May Be Prescribed Medication Needlessly

When Doctors Diagnose Spitting Up as GERD, Babies May Be Prescribed Medication Needlessly

According to the Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, about 50% of perfectly healthy babies spit up more than twice a day — and though it’s natural for parents to be…

READ MORE >