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The Green Mama Blog

  • Mama To Mama: Family Friendly Games Ideas

    “My favourite games are outdoor games that involve running around, because they are free, I like to run, and I like when my two-year-old runs so much that he has an excellent nights sleep 🙂 We often set up simple obstacle course races in the park, like through the spray park over all the bridges,…
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  • Mama to Mama: Surviving Summer Vacation

    Summer is the time of the never setting sun. Long lazy days at the beach. Picnics in the park. Unstructured time to follow your bliss… Or is it the time of year when 2 and half months of nothing stretches out before you, a mini van full of kids asking for you to drive them…
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  • How to keep kids busy without resorting to screens PART THREE

    Even before I had children, I loathed going to a restaurant with blaring television sets. If I wanted I watch telly, (that’s where I keep my gelato), I would do so at home. The entire point of going to a restaurant is to drin..er, I mean – break bread, with your friends and family. When…
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  • How to keep kids busy without resorting to screens PART ONE

    My relationship with screens has evolved since having children and through my own research and awareness. Here’s the dichotomy: most of my work as a writer and researcher happens on the computer and, yet, I know the cost of being on the screen. For me, that cost includes back and neurological issues, the reprogramming of my…
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  • 8 Steps to Getting Organized: Secrets to beating family clutter

    Secrets from a professional organizer Clutter and depression are linked says a new book Life at Home in the 21st Century. “Our data suggest that each new child in a household leads to a 30-percent increase in a family’s inventory of possessions during the preschool years alone,”  say the authors. They authors primarily looked at…
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  • Dressing Kids for Cold Weather Play

    I live by the old Scandinavian saying “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothes” and my kids play outside every day, rain or shine. But in order to do so, they have to dress according to the weather. A warm, dry child can play outside for hours, so in my opinion high-quality outdoor gear is…
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  • Are Your Kids Too Clean? Germs vs. Playing Outside

    “Lite skit rensar magen.” Growing up in Sweden, I heard this old saying more than once. It roughly translates to “A little bit of dirt cleanses the stomach.” While I wouldn’t take this literally, researchers are finding more and more evidence for the theory that being exposed to certain microbes in the womb and early…
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  • Computers vs. Playgrounds: It’s a no brainer!

    A Cracked Foundation Attachment and Addictions How virtual parenting is destroying children. A Cracked Foundation profiles how attachment formation is an underlying causal factor for the recent rise in child mental illness and addiction. Mixed Signals Technology Balance Connection to technology is disconnecting child development. Mixed Signals covers research related to the impact of technology…
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  • How playgrounds make kids smarter (and why parents should get really mad about boring playgrounds)

    Do you remember that time on the playground when you were little when Billy fell off the monkey bars and broke his arm? Or how much you hated when Jennifer would jump off the seesaw while you were up on top—but still you would let her ride with you again the next day. Or the…
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  • RecycleTown: How to Make a Cardboard Wonderland

    After years of pondering the possibility we finally installed solar panels to heat our hot water yesterday.  Of course I would like to have a photovoltaic roof and  be off-grid running on strictly sustainable sources of power, but for the moment that is not our lot.  Our town of Evanston, Il approved a three-year contract in…
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  • How to organize your child’s STUFF/TOYS/PLAYROOM and get them to play more and clean-up better in the process

    Secrets from a professional organizer I’ve been lucky enough over the years to have gotten a chance to work with a couple of professional organizers: you know, the ones that come into your home and gasp at  how much stuff you have for supposedly being green.  No, that’s a bit of a joke. I’m always…
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  • Eco-Phobia, Electronics, and the New Nature Movement: An Interview with Richard Louv

    Richard Louv on nature-deficit disorder, play, parents, and the role of schools in raising today’s healthy child

    When Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder was published in 2005, it inspired the birth of a new movement that focuses on reconnecting children with nature. Considering that today’s average preschooler is more likely to correctly identify the Mighty Eagle from the video game Angry Birds, than a real American bald eagle, the fundamentals of the book still hold true.

  • Are boring playgrounds hurting our kids?

    Do boring playgrounds make our kids playground stupid?

  • Boring playgrounds are unsafe says New York Times

    The New York Times warns that your child’s playground might be boring them to death (or at least into a phobia).

    It’s summer time and parents everywhere are crowding onto playgrounds with their children. Me included. And I am shocked at just how boring they have gotten. Gone are the days when playgrounds were thrilling places: climbing to the top of a huge jungle gym, teetering 5 feet off the ground and screaming at my little brother not to drop me, or hurdling around on a tire swing until getting sick.