Nature-Play City Park Thrives Near U.S. Capital

Fallen Tree in Constitution Gardens

Not far from downtown Washington, D.C., kids perch on tree branches, dig in the sand, and busily port sticks from one place to another. An adult rests on a swinging bench while someone else sniffs a drift of coriander. This is Constitution Gardens, a different kind of park.

It all started with a competition. The city council of Gaithersburg, Maryland wanted to enliven a sliver of public land that had devolved over the years into a dull, little-used cut-through. The renovation should reflect the many new cultures that now infuse the locale. The new park would be an antidote for what Last Child In The Woods author Richard Louv calls “nature deficit disorder,” a malaise that settles over children when they don’t have enough time outside. Continue reading

Amazon’s Revolutionary Fire Kids Edition

For the first time ever, a sophisticated wireless device supports parents in their quest to teach their kids life balance. On the Amazon Fire Kids Edition, reading and sleeping even get top priority.

Up until now, if you’re a parent, the digital age has been tough. You work hard to teach your kids the basics, like how to cross the street and say thank you, but the moment they get their hands on your phone you’re hard-pressed to ever reel back their full attention. Finally, though, a gadget is on your side. Continue reading

3 Questions To Consider Before Giving a First Cellphone

image by Jenifer Joy Madden

So your child has been clamoring for months, if not years, and you’re still not sure it’s the right time for that first phone. You are wise to think it over carefully because giving a smartphone has more strings attached than the most sought-after pair of sneakers.

For some kids, a phone is a necessity from an early age so they can keep in touch when transferring between caregivers. But if your child is always under the watchful eye of an adult (at home, on the bus, or in school), having a phone may be more of a want than a need.

To determine if you and your child are ready for this life-changing milestone, ask yourself these questions: Continue reading

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