Beginners

Annette LeBlanc Cate is not an “expert” birdwatcher. As she says in her new book for kids, titled Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard, “not a single pair of my binoculars even work properly! I just really love birds.” It’s that amateur’s fascination with birds that makes this new book so fun—and inviting. Cate,…

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Whether on a neighborhood walk or a mountain hike, children often notice and enjoy the local plants. You can expand their horizons—and your own—beyond the usual pine cones and birch bark by learning about these fascinating flora of the Northeast: From exploding puffballs and Velcro-like burdock to carnivorous sundews and pitcher plants, they’re sure to…

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I recently returned from a much-needed vacation on a beautiful island with sandy beaches, extensive bike trails, and the world’s best milkshakes. But what was I focused on? The bathrooms. The stalls at the campground where we stayed were way too small for a parent and child to squeeze into, so I had to squat…

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Parents have many options for bringing young children along on bike rides, even before the kids can pedal far—or pedal at all—by themselves. Here are a few ways to start biking with young children. Trailers Kids may ride in bike trailers as soon as they can hold their heads up independently. Trailers are low to…

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Just scoop some water from a pond, and you’ve got the start of some fun summer science projects. The classic activity of closely examining pond water to see what’s living there, sometimes called “ponding,” combines two kid favorites: getting wet and playing detective. It’s also an easy, hands-on way for kids to start understanding the importance…

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Getting your kids to carry a pack while hiking teaches them important skills, like thinking about what’s essential gear. And toddlers who carry their own snack or water bottle take great pride in their growing self-sufficiency. But how much weight should children carry in their packs? Medical experts say a child’s backpack should weigh no more…

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When hiking with kids, it’s always good to have a payoff to reward their effort, whether you’re offering a mountain view or a chocolate bar from your backpack—or maybe both. One of the best attractions to keep kids going on the trail is water, whether it’s burbling brooks, flowing waterfalls, or swimmable lakes. Here are…

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Philadelphia is a glorious place to be a kid outdoors, as anyone who has explored the city’s Fairmount Park can tell you. The largest landscaped urban park in the world, Fairmount is just one of Greater Philly’s many attractions. With its moderate seasons, expansive open spaces that stretch from the city to the countryside, and…

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