The Parent 2 Parent Blog

It’s President’s Day, crocuses are already poking out of the ground, so spring can’t be too far off. Time to start thinking about gardening. Gardening with kids can be both fun and educational. The National Wildlife Federation has come up with 16 great tips to make the experience more entertaining and meaningful for everyone.

“When young people help plant a garden it helps to reconnect them to nature,” says David Mizejewski, NWF naturalist and writer. “Gardening helps kids and teens learn about animals and their habitats, and gardens act as outdoor classrooms where kids hone their academic skills and nurture their curiosity.” More…

Category: Categories, Family Fun, Nature, Science // Posted on February 18, 2013 // Leave a Comment

We don’t really need another reason to love Ranger Rick, the adorable raccoon mascot of the National Wildlife Federation’s kid’s magazine. But, here’s one: Ranger Rick is leading a campaign to restore recess in schools nationwide.

As many as 30 percent of elementary schools – nine million kids – don’t have recess daily, the NWF notes. “Students are missing a critical part of their development when sufficient recess is withheld from their school experience,” says Allen Cooper, Senior Manager of State Education Advocacy for NWF. “If we want to maximize our children’s potential, critical recess time must be a regular part of their school day.” More…

Category: Education, Health and Wellness, Nature, Schools // Posted on January 30, 2013 // Leave a Comment

Metro Portland folks love to go outside and play and we just found another reason to venture out. Did you know there are 45 different species of mammals in Forest Park? They range from teeny deer mice to magnificent elk, according to a report just released by Portland Parks & Recreation. More…

Category: Nature, Science // Posted on January 9, 2013 // Leave a Comment

What are your 2013 resolutions? Spend more time with the kids? Get out in nature? Exercise? Oregon and Washington state parks departments have you covered. They have organized guided “first day” hikes for New Year’s Day. More…

Category: Metro Parent, Nature // Posted on December 26, 2012 // Leave a Comment

Two studies recently caught our eye, both perfect complements to the Ages & Stages on Raising Nature Lovers we ran in our April issue.

The first study, conducted by researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, reports that preschoolers in the United States are seriously lacking in outdoor play time at home. Using a sample that represented four million kids, researchers found nearly half lacked even one parent-supervised outdoor play period per day. More…

Category: Health and Wellness, Nature // Posted on May 14, 2012 // Leave a Comment

Looking for a fun and meaningful way to wrap up Spring Break? Why not head to the coast for SOLV’s annual Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup, scheduled for March 31? As always, thousands of volunteers will gather — regardless of the weather — to help keep Oregon’s beaches clean and eliminate the waste that can be so hazardous to marine wildlife.

Events are planned all along the coast on Saturday, March 31, from 10 am to 1 pm. More…

Category: Charitable Giving, Events/Performances, Nature // Posted on March 28, 2012 // Leave a Comment

Sometimes I feel like hibernating during the northwest’s long, cold, wet winter months, but spending time outdoors is important year round, especially for kids. If you find your family avoiding the great outdoors these days, check out these links for tips on getting kids outdoors -– and spending quality family time outdoors -– even when it’s cold and wet out! More…

Category: Family Fun, Nature // Posted on December 14, 2011 // Leave a Comment

Earth Day falls on April 22 each year, but we know most of our readers strive to raise children who are responsible stewards of the Earth every day. Still, it never hurts to focus on our environmental responsibilities –- and the joys of the great outdoors -– when Earth Day does roll around.

To help you find ways to celebrate our wonderful planet, More…

Category: Events/Performances, Nature // Posted on April 11, 2011 // Leave a Comment

Heading to the beach for Spring Break? Why not do a little community service while you’re there to ensure our fabulous Oregon beaches stay clean and healthy for years to come? SOLV’s annual Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup is scheduled for March 26, with thousands of volunteers gathering — rain or shine — to help keep our beaches clean and our marine wildlife safe. More…

Category: Events/Performances, Nature // Posted on March 23, 2011 // Leave a Comment

Did you know our Family Fun Editor posts online reviews of great kid-friendly local attractions every week? From outdoorsy activities around town like Tryon Creek State Park, Kelley Point Park, Bishop’s Close and Whitaker Ponds to indoor family fun such as North Clackamas Aquatic Park More…

Category: Events/Performances, Metro Parent, Nature // Posted on January 26, 2011 // Leave a Comment

In our July issue, we ran an article called Cool Science for Hot Summer Days offering simple ways to infuse your summer fun with scientific exploration. In our upcoming September issue, we’re featuring an Ages & Stages article about raising kids who are scientifically literate. (Are you sensing a theme?) It’s not that we think all kids should aspire to have careers in science. It’s just that we think all kids (and all adults!) should be enthusiastic about exploring the world and drawing their own, well-reasoned conclusions. More…

Category: Education, Nature // Posted on August 25, 2010 // Leave a Comment

My family and I just returned from a two-week road trip, including some truly glorious hikes. We spent time in the northern California redwoods, Bend and even stopped at Crater Lake, all fabulous places for families to hike.

Of course, we have plenty of remarkable places for family hiking right here in the Portland metro area! Forest Park, Tryon Creek State Park, Hoyt Arboretum, Powell Butte and many other wonderful urban oases are easily accessible, and tempting day trips include the Columbia Gorge, Mt. Hood, the Oregon coast and beyond. But this summer, my family is determined to explore even more of the local flora and fauna, so this week we’re asking our readers to recommend their favorite local family hikes, and we’re offering a chance to win a copy of Best Hikes with Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson (Mountaineers Books, 2007) for doing so. More…

Category: Contests, Nature // Posted on July 26, 2010 // 6 Comments

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