Tag: outdoor fun

From space exploration to circus arts: 10 outrageously cool summer camps we wish we had as kids

For many of us, summer means heading off to our go-to camp where our kids spend their days playing outdoors, going on nature hikes, swimming in ponds, and singing goofy camp songs with all their friends. But if your kids would prefer a less-traditional or even totally off-the-wall summer camp experience, we’ve found loads of the coolest, most outrageous summer camps — both day camp and overnight — that fit every child’s idea of fun. Whether or not you take the plunge, or just fantasize about what your kids could do one day, these are all pretty awesome. But before you pack...

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The best bug sprays for Zika virus protection and how to apply them safely. Because we’d like to panic as little as possible about our kids, thanks.

This year, the Zika virus is on my mind (and everyone else’s, I imagine) so I’ve been avidly researching the best bug sprays for Zika virus protection. It happens that my daughter is extremely allergic to mosquito bites, so when she goes outside in the summertime, I make sure she’s covered head to toe in insect repellent — and for extra precaution, she wears one of those wristband mosquito repellents too. So you can see that this is an issue for me.   Do Non-Toxic Bug Sprays work against the Zika virus? Because she wears so much spray, I...

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5 inspiring new picture books for National Readathon Day that make kids want to get out and play

As someone who grew up with her nose in a book, I sure spent a lot of time hearing my parents tell me to put down that book and go outside to play! So in honor of today’s National Readathon Day, I’ve rounded up five wonderful new picture books for kids that not only make great stories but also inspire kids to get outdoors and explore this big, beautiful world. Because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that books do a darn good job of expanding our world views way beyond the walls and comfort of our homes. Related: 3 brand...

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We found the most adorable baby rain ponchos to get rid of the rainy day blues.

We’re fond of baby rain ponchos as easy, pull-on-and-off alternatives to the traditional raincoats with all those snaps and buttons. You too? Well then your rainy day blues are about to get a little brighter since we discovered these bright and totally charming baby rain ponchos from Seattle-based small biz, Satsuma Designs. We’ve been fans of this company for a long time now, since featuring their gorgeous bamboo blankets wayyyy back in the dark ages 2007. But we think their USA-made rain ponchos for babies take cuteness to a whole other level. With six different designs and an easy-to-wear style, you’ll be out strolling in the...

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May the Fourth be with you as you fly one of these cool Star Wars kites!

You don’t need to live in a galaxy far, far away to grab one of these cool inner-space worthy Star Wars kites from Think Geek on May the Fourth or any other day. And you won’t even need the force to get one of these babies into the air — just a decent breeze and an open field. Made of nylon sail material, they’ll be durable to withstand just about anything except for enemy fire and power lines, so keep them free from both. Related: More than 40 cool Star Wars The Force Awakens birthday party ideas! Word at the cantina...

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3 great new albums for your next family road trip

There are few sounds as jarring and mind-numbing as super bored kids whining, Are we there yet? (I mean, could we be little more cliché, kids?) So, with spring break here for lots of families and summer vacations and other road trip opportunities on the way, I’ve rounded up a few new album releases by some of our kindie music favorites to help make the miles a lot more enjoyable. Whether you’re embarking on a long weekend adventure or a cross-country road trip, we think you’ll have fun with some of these sing-a-longs. Related: Family road trip tips: Tons of sanity-savers, tricks, and essential products to keep...

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7 of the absolute coolest new ride-on toys for kids. Let’s get cruisin’!

With a hint of spring in the air, it’s time to take stock of the cool ride-on toys out there so that our kids can stop hibernating with their handhelds and enjoy the great outdoors instead by pedaling, gliding and zooming around our sidewalks and driveways. And if your kids shot up a few inches this winter, you may have a good excuse to consider some new wheels. Here are some of the latest and greatest new ride-on toys that have zoomed into our view that we are certain will make our most adventurous young riders very, very happy. Related: Best gifts...

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Have bike, will travel: The super cool Durban bikes

Anyone who has seen my garage knows that we do not lack for bicycles. But, I always wished for a bike small enough to just toss into the trunk of my car alongside the kids’ scooters for weekend rides in the park or on the boardwalk. Which is why I was extremely excited to try out the Metro Special Edition foldable bike from Durban (yeah, the one seen on Ellen), a snazzy looking set of wheels that folds down to a portable size. What could be cooler? Made primarily for urbanites who may not have room to store a big bike in their apartments,...

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14 of the best outdoor toys for kids of all ages: 2015 Holiday Toy Gift Guide

Some of our very favorite gifts for our active kids are the cool outdoor toys that get them up and moving all year round. And, wow, we have found a bunch of great outdoor toys for kids of every age at Fat Brain Toys, our fantastic sponsor for this second post in our mini holiday toy gift guide series. From bikes to scooters to toys and games that get you off the couch, we love that Fat Brains Toys is a one-stop shop for a ton of the best outdoor toys from so many of the brands we love and trust — as...

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10 ways to make driveway bike riding more fun for kids

It’s hard to feel like King of the Road when really, you’re King of Don’t  Go Beyond the End of the Driveway! With three kids and one long paved driveway, I’ve been there!  So, whether you live on a house on a high-traffic street, or you just need to keep your kids a little closer to home for whatever reason, I’ve got 10 fun ideas to make driveway bike riding more fun for those kids who love their wheels but could use a little more excitement. And don’t forget the helmets! Even if it is “just” in the driveway....

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The end-of-summer bucket list: 9 fun, easy ways to get in some last-minute fun in August

Hey, wait a minute. Is that you, August? How did you get here so fast? I know I’m not the only one who feels like this. Wasn’t it April just yesterday? Instead of trying to wrap our collective heads around the theory of relativity, let’s focus on how we can drain every last drop of fun out of this summer with our kids. Because in a blink, they’ll be back to school and we’ll be back to packing lunches (oh. yay.) again. Unless you’re one of those families who already has kids back in school, take a look at what I think...

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Tentsile tents may be the coolest tents ever. If you’re okay with heights.

I love camping with my kids. Okay, scratch that. I love the idea of camping with my kids. But sleeping on the ground — not so much. So when I stumbled onto Tentsile tents on the web, I kind of geeked out. I cannot wait to try out one of these tents that is strung from trees, just like a hammock-treehouse hybrid, so the whole family can sleep together — without roots and rocks (and snakes) under our sleeping bags. Also, they look pretty freaking cool. Related: Handmade kid hammocks that rock. In all senses of the word. Tentsile tents use tensile strength (get it?) to...

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Trend alert: Donuts are everywhere! (What? You don’t have a donut pool float yet?)

I keep being told that donuts are the new macarons, which used to be the new cupcakes, so I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m seeing them everywhere. And my kids are clamoring for them. They are emblazoned on stationery, tote bags, t-shirts, even toys and cosmetics, making them perfect for birthday gifts, or to tuck into a camp care package for a donut-deprived child of yours. I will say that though my favorite donuts are more simple cinnamon sugar or glazed, the frosted variety with sprinkles definitely seems to be winning out in the kitschy donut gift category. Hey,...

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Great party favors for 3 year olds? Reader Q+A

If you could do a post on cool favor ideas, that’d be great!  My daughter’s third birthday is coming up this fall, and I like to get children’s party favors for 3 year olds that won’t be thrown away when the guests get home! -CMP reader Monique, via email Monique, I feel the same way exactly. The hardest part of birthday party prep for me has always been buying the party favors, because I tend to think the party itself should be the big treat. Especially if I’ve already dropped some money renting out the gymnastics studio or hiring a balloon artist, not...

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10 of the most fun, most creative pool games for kids to play this summer beyond Marco Polo

If your aim is to get the kids to spend as much time in the pool as possible before summer ends, we’ve got you covered with 10 of the coolest, most creative pool games for toddlers to teens. Not only are these ideas a whole lot of fun, but they also help kids become more comfortable and confident in the water, something that’s so important to us, since we want those little tadpoles of ours to be safe when they’re playing in the pool. Especially when they are swimming with a bunch of their giggling, shouting, jumping friends. Related: Pool safety: 11 top tips for keeping kids safe this...

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Nature Bingo! A free printable project to keep the kids busy all summer

We’re all about helping you with summer boredom busters for kids this week. First, there’s that awesome giant coloring poster for indoor creativity when the weather gets icky. But when the sun is shining and you need one more trick up your sleeve to lure the kids outside, you have to check out these smart free printable nature Bingo cards found on Handmade Charlotte. Related: 13 fun summery crafts for kids to keep away the boredom   It think this would be fantastic to send off to the whole bunk in a summer camp care package. Or, just use it at home. Now of course...

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10 fantastic, fun block party ideas to make it the hit of the summer.

We are so excited for summer, if you haven’t been able to tell from our posts lately. Swimming all day. Staying up late to play outside way past bedtime. Kids sleeping in late. (Ha, we wish.) It’s a laid-back schedule that’s so perfect for getting together with neighbors and catching up on all we miss during the busy school year. So if you’re thinking about planning a block party, or already have one on the schedule, we’ve got you covered with some awesome block party ideas to guarantee an amazing event. And we’re so excited to be working with a perfect sponsor for summer...

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7 great new beach toys for kids to make sand play even more fun

Before you pack up the kids and head to the beach (yay summer!), take my advice and do a quick inventory of last year’s beach toys. Between missing shovels, broken pails, and maybe some toys that are no longer in the best shape, it may be time to add a few new sand toys to the kids’ collection. We’ve dug up (haha) a bunch of new sand toys for our kids to play with when they aren’t burying our feet in the sand or chasing waves. And since many of these toys make great playthings for their sandbox too, they...

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9 messy projects for tweens and teens that let you be The Fun Parent

We may look at our tweens and teens and think, How did they get so big so fast? But you only have to scratch the surface to find a playful kid hiding in there, and ready to come out. So, it wasn’t hard to come up with a whole bunch of messy projects for our older kids, like we’ve done for our preschoolers and grade-school-age kids. In fact, some of these ideas would be a blast for any age, whether or not your kids are in the double-digit age bracket yet. [top image: My Happy Thoughts] Related: 12 messy projects for Kids. Trust...

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The Swurfer: Not your grandma’s backyard swing

When I first saw a picture of The Swurfer in my local toy store’s summer catalog, I thought that it looked like a nice wide swing for those of us who can’t quite, ahem, cram ourselves into our kids’ smaller swings. And while it can definitely be used like a traditional swing, it wasn’t until I a YouTube video of the Swurfer in action that I realized that this swing really, really rocks. As the name implies, The Swurfer combines the motion of swinging with surfing so adventurous kids, teens, and even adults can surf through the air. My kids saw...

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