Here are some links I’ve shared in the past.
Katie’s Local Fun Links
- KidsOutAndAbout: I’m editor at this site. Readers can find activities. Anyone can post activities that are family-friendly and open to the public, and posting is free.
- Sign up here for the weekly KidsOutAndAbout newsletter! It’s packed with information as well as giveaways, plus a note from me and my publisher, Debra Ross.
- Click here for information on how to add activities to KidsOutAndAbout. You can always contact me if you need help.
- Playground List: this is a list that readers and I crowd-sourced to get a handle on what playgrounds to visit around the Capital District.
- Playground Survey: Share Details on Your Favorite Know about a great playground? You can fill out this survey to tell me about it.
More Local Information
- Troyâ€™s The Record offered up a list of places around the Capital District whoâ€™ll give you something free on your birthday,Â H/T All Over Albany. We love free!
- Kristi had an ARA (â€œA reader asksâ€) on if expecting parents should hire a doula. Spoiler alert: hell yeah.
- All Over Albanyâ€™s crowd-sourced prenatal activities and must-do local winter activities.
- The idiots (their words, not mine) at You Idiot! took several for the team and tried and reviewed every cookie at Plum Dandy Cookies and Milk.
- Over on All Over Albany, readers are offering a new father-to-be Ob-Gyn and doula recommendations.
Books for Grown-Ups
- PBS Newshour offers up fourteen books that you could read in the time it takes to watch the Super Bowl.
- Speaking of books, hereâ€™s a list of sites to download free books.
- Buzzfeedâ€™s got 16 Books to Read Before They Hit the Theaters. You know I love me some books!
Books for Kids
- CNNâ€™s got the latest list of Newbery, Caldecott, and other book winners.
- Bitch Magazine shared librariansâ€™ picks for top feminist books for kids in the past year.
- But wait, thereâ€™s more! Kate Di Camillo offers up excellent young peopleâ€™s literature for when youâ€™re stuck inside.
- A Mighty Girl offers up a list of 2013â€²s Best Books for Tweens and Teens as well as for Younger Readers.
- List Challenges has 100 Best Childrenâ€™s Novels, and I thought that Iâ€™d totally rock this one, but I didnâ€™t even get a passing grade. Please tell me which numbers I simply must read. My favorites, except for the Harry Potters and Laura Ingalls books, which I donâ€™t think should be listed separately, but okay: are numbers 2,5, 7, 16, 74, & 93. I really would like your recommendations, because I only scored 48, which makes me feel like I need to read some of these immediately in order to redeem myself. Also, theyâ€™re definitely missing some more recent classics. Which made me go hunting to find 100 Great Children Books from the New York Public Library.
- A Mighty Girl has a list of Top Mighty Girl Winter Holiday Stories.
- The New York Times Motherlode blog has a post on â€œWhatâ€™s Your Desert IslandÂ Picture Book,â€ the oneÂ you think each child should receive at birthâ€“great for gift inspiration!
- Geek Mom had a list of fun Halloween books that I thought you might like
- Mighty Girls offers up 20 Books to Inspire Adventurous Mighty Girls
- Firebugs Girl Power Book Club
- What Do We Do All Day offers up 10 Diverse Poetry Books for Kids to get you ready for April, National Poetry Month
- A reader made sure I heard about this Kickstarter for a girl-power anthology of sci-fi and fantasy stories. Thanks, Rose!
- Bitch Magazine offers up 10 New Feminist Music Discoveries of 2013. I might have to go country and get some Kacey Musgraves.
- Toward the Stars has a list of 29 girls who showed some serious girl power in 2013.Theyâ€™re doing some amazing stuff!
- Love these new Guardian Princesses: theyâ€™re not just pretty, theyâ€™re powerful and diverse guardians of the earth!
- Oh, youâ€™ve totally already seen that Ashton Kutcher Teen Choice Award speech. I know, I suck. Can I plead being overly busy with the beginning of school? Here it is as part of a Pigtail Pals blog post.Â And you can skip this over the diva impressions, but so good to link to Pigtail Palsâ€“Melissaâ€™s also always got great girl-power conversations going over on Facebook, too, like when she asks for tips on getting reluctant kids to learn to ride bikes.
- Oh, my gosh, I love-love-love this tampon ad. I am not even kidding.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0XnzfRqkRxUHereâ€™s a story about a high school girl who won a coding competition by creating a way to avoid spoilers on Twitter. She was only female to present her idea in the competition among about 80 guys, many of them professionals.
- Sophie would like to make strong the new skinny. Iâ€™m in.
- If you need new additions for your Netflix queue, the Athena Film Festival in New York is celebrating films with powerful and heroic women and girls.
- This pure silliness from Jezebel shows a baby who deeply loves the Star Wars theme music.
- Here is a cool Body Image Workshop from Pigtail Pals, all about talking to your kids about being healthy, etc. Incidentally, that Pigtail Pals lady is excellent at working the FB pageâ€“sheâ€™s always putting interesting stuff into my feed. Actually, I think thatâ€™s where I got the Psychology Today link. Anyway, if youâ€™re interested in raising girls and boys in a more gender neutral fashion/mindful parenting/feminist sort of stuff, you might want to like Pigtail Pals.
- On a related note, Amy Poehler makes me love her more each day, like in this Ask Amy episode about How to feel better about our bodies and ourselves. Iâ€™ve already raved about Smart Girls at the Party, but Iâ€™m just going to link to the Smart Girls Youtube channel again.
- #SheDocs Online Feminist Film Festival for March 2014 only
Pop Culture/Katie as Fangirl
- Policymic.com loves Amy Poehler as much as me and celebrates with a bunch of fun clips.
- tor.com offers up a convincing argument that Neville Longbottom is the most important person in Harry Potter.
- If you are a rabid Gilmore Girls fan like me, you will love checking out the List Challenges.comâ€™s Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge.Â Oh, that child was brilliant.
- KelliDaisy offers up video of Jennifer Lawrence answering press questions after the Oscars that only makes me wish I could go out drinking with her more than I did already.
Splendors of the Internet
- Pulptastic has photos of children and their bedrooms around the world
- I also just found Twisted Sifter, which says its objective is to â€œeducate, entertain, and inspire each and every day.â€ Itâ€™s got some gorgeous and inspiring images and more.
- Quickmeme offers up a fun set of photos based on parents getting creative with toy dinosaurs.
- Nick Vujicic, the â€œNo arms no legs no worriesâ€ guy. Heâ€™s this marvelously upbeat guy whoâ€™s basically a torso with a big smile and what he calls a â€œlittle chicken drumstick.â€ He is basically an antidote to narcissistic adolescent angst.
- Why Study History? put together by a teacher. Itâ€™s basically a trailer for history with clips from a variety of sources. Iâ€™m a total history geek and so I loved it. History is exciting, you guys. And if itâ€™s easier for kids to understand that itâ€™s exciting by breaking it up into teeny bits and setting it to Coldplay, well, I heartily endorse it!
- No Fate But What We Make has a collection of some of the most fabulous treehouses youâ€™ll ever see.
- Gawker.com has this super-unbelievably fabulous woman singing â€˜Total Eclipse of the Heartâ€™ while doing impressions of various divas. You must have seen this. Right? But if you didnâ€™t, you canâ€™t miss it.
- This was a great post on artistic collaboration with her 4-year-old from the busy mockingbird.
- I love this hilarious back-and-forth between two churches debating an important theological issue on No Fate But What We Make, aka Trillians Tumbler.
- Andrew Sullivan pointed me toward Sports Illustrated writer Richard Deitschâ€™s Tweet where he asked folks if they had a photograph of their happiest moment. If you donâ€™t use Twitter, you can click on â€œdetailsâ€ to see the photo each personâ€™s Tweeting about. Lovely.
- “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins, and if that one leaves you craving more and you have some Serenity Time, check out his â€œTo My Favorite 17-Year-Old High School Girl.â€ And before long you might get so sucked in that youâ€™ll just have to read a whole bunch of Billy Collins poems.
- Steve McCurryâ€™s beautiful photography blog and the post on mothers
- Hereâ€™s a bunch of photos of what a week of groceries looks like around the world. So interesting!
- Reasons My Son is Crying tumblr
- Have you seen this funny video about Books on Parenting from Portlandia?Upworthy shared this short autism-awareness young love story video and Jezebel recommends we read this very sweet young-love-of-oldsters romance from New York Times Modern Love column.
- Hereâ€™s a list of inspiring green gifts for girls. I think the Pick a Jewel Necklace would be perfect for J, but sheâ€™s already got a long list of requests.
- This pure silliness from Jezebel shows a baby who deeply loves the Star Wars theme music.
- Barking Up the Wrong Tree offers up science-backed tips on How to Raise Happy Kids.
- Creative with Kids suggests 100 Ways to Be Kind To Your Child.
- I canâ€™t remember who shared this tip on Facebook, but itâ€™s a quite a â€œduh, why didnâ€™t I think of that?â€ tip. Write your childâ€™s name and emergency contact information/important medical information on you childâ€™s car seat, just in case thereâ€™s a medical emergency and grown-ups arenâ€™t able to give rescue workers the information.
- If you have (or may have) a baby son whoâ€™s uncircumcised, Huffington Post had a blog post warning you to be careful at well-baby checks.
- Meanwhile, readers over on the TUâ€™s Parent-to-Parent blog, readers are offering breastfeeding tips.
- Â Ilana from Mommy Shorts has this really lovely series of photographic posts of working mothers getting through Monday mornings. She explains how this series got started in this post, and this post includes links to several in the series. They show how much beauty and love are packed into the everyday frazzled mama life, and they make me wish that I could go back in time and get an awesome photographer to spend a morning with us back when the kiddos were little. Seriously, for photographers out there, I think this is an awesome business idea, because these pictures are freakinâ€™ priceless.
- Itâ€™s been a long time since I read this article from the NY Times Magazine article called Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught, so I canâ€™t remember the specifics, but I remember thinking that it was especially interesting because at the time J would get so overwrought about math that she could barely function. But I also copied this quotation, which I thought was pretty hilarious: â€œWithout such evidence, social-emotional learning could go the way of the self-esteem movement, an ill-fated program from the 1980s in which schoolchildren repeated mantras like â€˜I am specialâ€™ and â€˜I am beautiful.â€™ At the time, it, too, was considered the height of progressive education. The program was largely abandoned after it ended up being connected to rising rates of narcissism.â€ â€“Bwah, hah, hah! Sounds like it was pretty successful!
- The New York Times Motherlode Blog continues their cool series of crowd-sourced parenting advice, this time on if/when/ how to intervene when your child is being bullied.
- And now Iâ€™m riddled with guilt for saying that I suck because, oh my goodness, wonâ€™t I ever learn? So Wonderful,Â So Marvelous has a pep talkâ€“Moms, When Are You Going to Learn?â€“for next time youâ€™re feeling crappy about yourself.
- Here are tips for teaching kids about sex and consent in an age-appropriate way, brought to you by The Good Men Project.
- WAMC had an interview with Kristine Barnett about â€œThe Spark,â€ her book about raising her genius autistic son and focusing on childrenâ€™s individual strengths instead of trying to get all kids to â€œmeasure upâ€ to the same standards.
- If being mama is tough right now, youâ€™ll particularly appreciate Renegade Motheringâ€™ post called You Blissed-Out Mothers Are Ruining Futures, in which she responds to all those people who chastise her for admitting that being a mother is hard.
- If youâ€™re looking for a light at the end of the tunnel or if parenting hasnâ€™t been hard lately, it might be time to appreciate The Sweet Spot like Julianna Miner of Rants From Mommyland.com just did on Huffington Post.
- Awesome breastfeeding poem called Embarrassed by Hollie McNish.
- The Motherlode has a post on raising kids who are the poorest kids in a rich town, which sounds a bit familiar! No, no, no. Weâ€™re not the poorest. But weâ€™re absolutely not the richest.Â And the post is encouraging because the commenters seem to think itâ€™s a good thing.
- Motherlodeâ€™sÂ little essay from Anna Quindlen in which she tells us that the best is yet to come.
- On Being Mom by Anna Quindlen This is something I always give to moms having their first baby.Â I couldnâ€™t find this on her site or among the Newsweek columns, so this is just a random blog that would generally like you to be all fulfilled and evolved.Â I mildly resent the blogger for throwing in a last line after the essay, but this blog kicks the butt of other blogs that had distracting flashing advertisements.
- The Best Day by Taylor Swift Youâ€™re not 11â€“I know!Â But try!Â And for some reason her official channel isnâ€™t showing it, so this has lyrics over the (genuine) cute home movies, alas.
- Happy Motherâ€™s Day from Kelly Corrigan Making the rounds on Facebook this year, if you havenâ€™t seen it yet.Â And if that one gets you, you will completely lose it for this one, which is more about women & friendships.
- My Grinnell College alumni magazine talked about the blog Pile of Babies. And it is very funny.
- Christine Grossloh wonders if American parents have got it all backwards. Itâ€™s not a rhetorical question and alas, the answer is yes.
- Motherlode blog from The New York Times has a post on 12 New Yearâ€™s Resolutions for Happier Families.
- Hereâ€™s a c. 2-minute-long film called â€œSensory Overloadâ€ that offers insight into how autism feels. Itâ€™s an interesting exercise in empathy, although itâ€™s likely to give you a headache. I found it via Andrew Sullivan.
- Stroller traffic offers a list of Ten Blog Posts Every New Mom Should Read. Caution: there are some weepers in there.
- I finally caught up and noticed this Psychology Today post that explains how Free Play is Essential for Normal Emotional Development.
- And this is old, but I still really liked this piece, 10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Wonâ€™t Tell You, from The Wall Street Journal.
- Fast Company offers up 10 Simple, Science-Backed Ways to Be Happier. Sounds good to me.
- If you still donâ€™t â€œgetâ€ Twitter, hereâ€™s another example of itâ€™s weird and sometimes wonderful intimacy with NPRâ€™s Scott Simonâ€™s Tweets from his motherâ€™s deathbed. So wise and poignant and, because itâ€™s Twitter, concise.
- If you, like me, have been intermittently uneasy and fretful ever since Allie from Hyperbole and a Half posted about her struggle with depression and then pretty much dropped out of the internet for a year and a half, youâ€™ll be glad to know that sheâ€™s finally posting again. She is more wonderful than ever, trying to explain depression to those of us who are lucky enough not to suffer from it.
Food, Healthful Eating and Workouts
- Geek Mom has a recipe for Fried Dandelion Blossoms
- For those of you who overindulged this holiday season, you can join a 30-day Green Smoothie Challenge. I may or may not actually do this myself. Or you might try one of my Detox Dips.
- Yoga Journal has a 21-day yoga challenge, with 21 free videos.
- My new salad obsession is a Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnut from Smitten Kitchen. Oh, man. I love it so!
- Â Eating Well Blog has a series on their Eat More Vegetables Challenge.
- Wendalicious posted about Paneraâ€™s Secret Hidden Menu thatâ€™s low-carb. Okay, itâ€™s not exactly secret secret, but I sure as heck didnâ€™t know about it, did you?
- Good and Cheap Eats cookbook by Leanne Brown
Technology for Grown-Ups
- The Online Mom has best apps for staying in shape.
- Parents.com has a list of their social media favorites.
- Melissa from Columbia County Moms has a list of free apps to help you with three common resolutions: losing weight, saving money, and getting organized.
Technology and/for Kids
- Geek Mom’s has a list of safe Twitter feeds for kids.
- Life in Pleasantville offers up education apps for middle schoolers.
- Delete Cyberbullying offers up simple steps to protect your child from cyberbullying. H/T Upworthy.
- This article from the UKâ€™s Daily Mail about children and pornography completely freaked me out. If you have children aged 11 to 14 and you plan to read this, get yourself a paper bag first in case you hyperventilate during your panic attack.
- This article about how digital tools might be making kids smarter (in part because theyâ€™re writing so much) from The Globe and Mail
- My sister-in-law reports that she loves the Super Speller App, especially when sheâ€™s driving the kids around. She adds the weeks spelling words at the beginning of the week, and then my niece studies by playing the app while theyâ€™re in the car.
- Another friend was recommending language appsâ€“she likes MindSnacks and Duolingo. Actually, Duolingo sounds so cool that I kind of want to start using it myself. Except that my phone has basically no memory. Maybe I should ask for some for my birthday?
- When I was looking into these apps, I noticed that some had won or been nominated for the Best App Ever Awards, so of course I had to look into that, and look! They have a whole section on educational apps, with all sorts of tempting sub-categories. Although, jeepers, do you parents of infants really have the babies play apps? Do I sound like Iâ€™m 95 years old if this sounds crazy-pants to me?
- Information to scare your kids straight on texting-while-driving.
Activities with Kids
- SAS Interiors has a fun way to decorate eggs
- Cool idea for a relaxing “time out” timer from My Crazy Blessed Life
- 10 Best Games for Preschoolers from Kids Activities Blog
- Geek Mom offers up 3 Toddler-Friendly Art Hacks
- And on Childhood 101, Debi Huang offers up a Family Camping Checklist. Okay, sure, the timing is off, but she lives in California, so it works for her, and if I wait until May to share it, Iâ€™m likely to forget. So there it is.
- Do Try This At Home offers up 100 outdoor family adventures. H/T to Geekmom.
- Theyâ€™ve started a blog on Silvergraphics with a cute and easy art-and-science experiment. Rosy, itâ€™s been a while, sister. Gotta keep it up.
- Buzzfeed offers up a list of 41 Camping Hacks that range from obvious to brilliant.
- Kveller had a post on How to Throw the Best (Cheap) Star Wars Birthday Party Ever.
- Albany Kid has 20 Ideas for Winter Fun.
- NY 4th Grade Ski & Ride Passport Program
- Vermont Fifth Grade Passport program
- Over on Motherlode theyâ€™re pondering â€œTo Elf or Not to Elf,â€ too.
- iVillage offers up lots of ways to convince yourÂ child that Santa is absolutely real.
- And even a shiksa can appreciate Hannukah recipes from Kveller like Nutella-filled beignets and chocolate mousse!
- Adrienne from Albany Kid, who clearly possesses more patience and enthusiasm than I, offers ideas for all sorts of misadventures for you to stage with your childâ€™s Elf on a Shelf.
- 14 Things That Are Obsolete in 21st-Century Schools.
- IfÂ youâ€™re a teacher, GiftCardGranny.com has a list of 66 different teacher discounts.
- If youâ€™re not a teacher and need an education, check out this post on Female Intel.com on Why Teaching is Harder Than It Looks.
- A friend has a kid competing in Future Problem Solving Program International. Iâ€™d never heard of it, but it sounds super-cool.
- 90-Second Newbery Film Festival