Category: nature/science

Family Hiking: Neutaconkanut Hill

Family Hiking: Neutaconkanut Hill

[ 0 ] August 19, 2013 |

Go it alone, or join RI Families in Nature on Sunday, August 25, as we explore this area together. Whenever I mention Neutaconkanut Hill, people usually look at me funny and then ask me two questions: “How do you say that?” and “Where is it?” Given that “the Hill” is one of my very favorite […]

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Myths Busted!: Just When You Thought You Knew What You Knew

Myths Busted!: Just When You Thought You Knew What You Knew

[ 0 ] May 17, 2013 |

Emily Krieger new book busts popular kidtastic myths (like dogs’ mouths being cleaner than humans!) we had to learn more.

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Roger Williams Park Zoo Seeking Citizen Scientists for 2013 FrogWatch USA Program

Roger Williams Park Zoo Seeking Citizen Scientists for 2013 FrogWatch USA Program

[ 0 ] February 26, 2013 |

Roger Williams Park Zoo is seeking volunteer “citizen scientists” to participate in the fifth season of its state-wide FrogWatch USA program. The Zoo is holding training sessions for the 2013 program on March 16 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., March 24 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and April 2 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Details…

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Thanksgiving for Nature

Thanksgiving for Nature

[ 0 ] November 21, 2012 |

Whether it’s watching football, playing a game, reading special books, or expressing our gratitude in some special way, almost every family has a beloved Thanksgiving tradition that extends beyond the festive meal that is front and center on this American holiday.

My own custom developed in early adulthood, when the political arguments and caloric intake reached epic proportions one Thanksgiving and I simply couldn’t stand to be inside another minute. Let’s face it: holidays are great, but they can certainly be intense. At least in my family!

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Family Matters: Easy Fall Craft Projects for Kids

Family Matters: Easy Fall Craft Projects for Kids

[ 0 ] November 14, 2012 |

We like to celebrate fall by making crafts that remind us of the season’s colors, shapes and textures or using natural materials found on our outdoor hikes. Many of these projects are simple and need little advanced planning. Although I show samples of finished crafts, these activities are as much or more about the process, the outdoor adventure and collecting the materials. Plan a walk and bring a bag to hold natural items along the way. Making art with kids can lead to unexpected discoveries and detours. If you want perfection, craft your own piece alongside or after the kids are asleep.

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Wax Leaf Pressing with Kids

Wax Leaf Pressing with Kids

[ 1 ] October 24, 2012 |

Wax leaf pressing is an easy way to preserve the beautiful fall foliage. Hiking outdoors this time of year to find the leaves first, is half the fun.

Supplies

wax paper
thin towel
warmed Iron
leaves

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Just add googly eyes. Simple crafting with kids.

Just add googly eyes. Simple crafting with kids.

[ 1 ] October 23, 2012 |

Buy a pack of googly eyes and buy a pack of fun. Just the words “googly eyes” easily invokes a chuckle (to silly me). These little plastic shells that contain a loose disk or black ball can quickly transform any inanimate object into a toy. Inexpensive and available at craft stores or even some craft […]

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Hidden Gem: Apple Valley Minerals

Hidden Gem: Apple Valley Minerals

[ 3 ] August 23, 2012 |

When my boys were toddlers, it seemed a bit easier to turn a nothing day into a something day. At two and four years old, even a trip to the pet store to look at parakeets and hamsters was enough to wow them but now at nine and eleven, sometimes it takes a bit more … or does it?

The other afternoon we stopped by our local library and there was a display case filled with rocks, minerals and even petrified poop courtesy of Apple Valley Minerals. Many afternoons the boys and I have passed that small business, housed in a quaint slate blue cottage with a hanging sign on 7 Homestead Avenue in Smithfield. We decided to investigate.

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Today is Mud Day: Let’s celebrate!

Today is Mud Day: Let’s celebrate!

[ 0 ] June 29, 2012 |

I’m going to take a wild guess here and bet that many of you don’t know that today, Friday, June 29, is International Mud Day.

No, seriously – it is!

In my humble opinion, it’s a genius idea. I mean, what better way to celebrate and experience the great outdoors than to get really dirty? Like, clothes-plastered-to-your-body, hair-caked-with-mud dirty. If you can let go of the clean-up anxiety that I admit is furiously coursing through this type-A mama’s blood, your kids will thank you for it. I promise! I’m reminded of my participation in the infamous mud slide incident on the “beach” (i.e. grassy field) at University of Delaware in spring of 1992… Boy, that was a LOT of fun!

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A rare moment to share with your kids: Venus to move across the Sun June 5

A rare moment to share with your kids: Venus to move across the Sun June 5

[ 0 ] June 3, 2012 |

Brown University astronomers and historians will help the community mark the historic transit of Venus across the Sun during the late afternoon of June 5 with historical lectures, viewing opportunities and home-viewing advice. The celestial event will not happen again until 2117.

Venus will transit the Sun beginning just after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, and the event will only be visible until sunset, from Providence. Members of the public are invited to join Ladd Observatory staff and members of the Skyscrapers Amateur Astronomical Society from 5 to 8 p.m. on the roof of the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center, which will provide the best view.
A limited supply of special safe solar viewing glasses will be available. A suggested donation of $1 is welcome to offset the cost. Brown’s Ladd Observatory cannot accommodate the large crowd that is expected, and trees or buildings will obscure the view for most of the event, so the public viewing has been planned for the athletic center. The Ladd Observatory itself will be open to members of the media (see below for how to access a live TV feed).

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