From the Magazine

As we ring in the New Year, let’s remember “Great Kids, Great Outdoors” highlights of 2012: the posts that were read and shared most widely. I’ll start with posts that were written in the last 12 months, then revisit some classics from previous years. 10 Great Appalachian Trail Hikes with Kids topped the list this…

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A few times recently, my daughter has corrected me when I have referred to the winter weather. She knows it’s still autumn, although it doesn’t always feel like it. But on Friday, the seasons will officially change. It is the winter solstice, the shortest day—and longest night—of the year. We mark this day as the…

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Autumn is the showy time for many trees, when kids, teachers, and parents talk about and collect their bright leaves. But what about winter? You can keep the tree conversation going through the colder season by making observations on walks and other outings. Follow your budding naturalist’s lead when you can, but bring a few…

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In the current din of parenting advice—from tiger moms and drinking mommies, hipster daddies and tool-belt fathers—parents looking for advice on raising outdoor children may not realize how much their corner of the parenting bookshelf has grown over the past decade. Books for outdoor parents now go beyond guidebooks to include manifestos; new research in…

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Ready to get a Christmas tree? The national forests are full of them—and you’re invited to hike in and cut your own. Tree-cutting permits cost just $5; in the Northeast, they are available for the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. In addition to cash or…

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While walking in Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge on Thanksgiving, my 3-year-old spotted some birds that neither my husband nor I could identify. To my delight, she responded to our ignorance by asking for a bird book for Christmas. I spent much of Black Friday walking in another local conservation area, rather than starting my…

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For six weeks this fall, my husband and I wrangled our just-turned-3-year-old to “soccer class” in the local park each Saturday morning. When we signed up, I thought we had appropriately low expectations. We wanted a structured reason to get our girl outdoors and active on a morning when errands often intrude. We pictured her…

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Last summer, my daughter and I spotted a flock of wild turkeys at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, Mass. The Mass Audubon property includes exhibits of rescued wild animals, such as owls and foxes, in addition to farm animals like chickens and pigs. So when we noticed the big brown birds in a fenced…

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Are you trying to get your kids outdoors and active in the winter? Here are a dozen fun ideas to keep them moving and connect them with the natural world, recommended by AMC experts. All these activities can be done in the backyard or around the neighborhood. 1. Make snow angels and snowmen. If snow…

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As the seasons turn, I try to keep ahead of what my 3-year-old needs so that she can enjoy being outdoors. But she grew 4 inches in the past year, so the winter boots we bought big last spring were already too small when we tried them on this fall. Time to go shopping again!…

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