Michele Whiteaker

31 Added | 3 Magazines | 1 Like | 3 Followers | @NaturePlayTrips | Writer & content strategy consultant, flip about Playful Parenting + Low-Key Outdoor Travel Ideas for Families + My Nature Obsession

Science Says Parents of the Most Successful Kids Do These 10 Things

Want your kids to lead happy and fulfilled lives? Here are some tips for getting them started on the right foot.<p>We all want to lead happy, successful lives. But for parents, there's a time when your priorities shift a bit, and your most important goals start to involve setting your kids up for …

Parenting

6 Super Simple Toddler Games To Help Their Development

As a toddler, your kid is in a place where they’re naturally in a toy dead zone of sorts. For instance, they may not quite have the sophistication …

Wildlife at the end of the world

I was told that if a naturalist was given the opportunity to visit any place on Earth, just once, that the choice would be easy — the island of South …

Nature

5 Family Walks in Orange County

I could walk for miles — with friends, with kids, with pets. <b>Family walks</b> are a gift of time. It’s time for the little ones to get their wiggles out. …

North America

Easy Point Reyes Hike at Abbotts Lagoon Trail

Try this <b>easy Point Reyes hike at Abbotts Lagoon Trailhead</b>. Since we have family in Marin, we’ve visited Point Reyes National Seashore a number of …

Camping

This Was My Backyard, My Childhood

This was my backyard from when I was about 4 years old until about 14 years old.<p>Messy, dirty, barefoot. That’s how I spent my childhood.<p>There was a …

Parenting

Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center for Families

Okay, I’m going to share my <b>Point Reyes Lighthouse family travel tips</b> for a successful visit to the visitor center at the point of this National …

Road Trips

Kids' language skills hindered when parents check their phones, study finds

<i>; Credit: Matt Sayles/AP</i>Devin BrowneResearchers know that strong language skills don’t just come from the quantity of words a kid hears, but also …

Parenting

3 Rules For Happy Moms

Being a mom is challenging, so here are three rules for finding happiness even when it's hard.<p>1. <b>Do your own thing.</b> Start an at-home business, work out, cook unreasonable meals, read romance novels... it could be anything! Something YOU want to do that makes you feel like you -- not just your kids' …

Parenting

Conversations With a Three-Year-Old

Three years old is a magic age for funny conversations. Kids are old enough to have lots to say, but young enough for it to not make complete sense.… …

Kids

Which is Britain's best city for families?

It’s February half-term and you don’t wish to join a puddle-jumping competition. Nor do I. But if you’ve been wallowing in self-pity over winter sun deprivation, you’re missing a trick: this is the time of year for the thinking person’s holiday. Real escapism - minus the jetlag and sunburn - is …

Roman Empire

Western monarch butterflies are still in trouble

<i>Monarchs cluster at Pismo State Beach in San Luis Obispo County, CA in December 2014.; Credit: Flickr user Sandy Harris</i>Emily GuerinResults for the …

Southern California

The Wave Game

Waves. I sit and I listen. Or I stroll with my toes feeling the sea foam, heels sinking in the soft sand.<p>The roar blocks out everything else. It’s …

Astrophysics

5 Places to Go If You Only Had One Year in California

<b>If you only had a year in California, what are the top five places to go with your family before you move away?</b><p>My criteria? Mostly that it needs to …

National Parks

Play time at The Forbidden Corner Yorkshire England • Wyld Family Travel

This week’s guest post on The Forbidden Corner Yorkshire comes from Jennifer St Louis who writes at Our family Travel Adventures. Jennifer and her …

London

California Brown Pelican

<b>Where might I see California Brown Pelicans?</b><p>I see them at the beach. They like to sit on rocky outcroppings and dive for fish at sunset.<p><b>How can I</b> …

Birds

Is it a Snowy Egret or a Great Egret?

Growing up, I knew these birds as “herons” and then as an adult I learned they are called egrets. These are the big white birds you see flying around …

Birds

Free Entrance Days for Public Lands - 2017

Take in the great scenery of our natural landscapes, learn about our nation’s rich history, and enjoy the great outdoors -- our nation’s public lands …

National Parks

8 Rules for Being a Good Digital Citizen Outdoors

by Diana Graber of Cyberwise.org and Michele Whiteaker of <b>NaturePlayTrips.com</b> <i><br>Originally published in the Children & Nature Network New Nature Movement</i> …

Digital Citizenship

Family Guide to Point Lobos Natural Preserve in Monterey

<b>Point Lobos State Natural Preserve in Monterey</b> is a scenic wonder full of sea life, hiking trails, a cultural museum, and grand views of the Pacific. …

Road Trips

Channel Islands Harbor Area Oxnard Family Travel Guide

<b>Drive Time:</b> About 1 ½ hours from LA, 2 hours from OC.<p><b>Weather:</b> Onshore breezes keep Oxnard warmer in winter than inland spots. Average daytime temps …

North America

Avalon - Top 25 Things to Do in Catalina Island's Popular Destination

We gave you the basics on how to get to Avalon on Catalina Island. As a family, we brainstormed 50 things to do on the island, split between Avalon …

Travel

How to Choose Your Ocean Adventure at Catalina Island

Along with Ventura Harbor, Avalon Harbor was pretty much my high school summer hangout. I’ve written about my boating life before, but I didn’t …

Sailing

Visit the Ocean Institute in Dana Point for Learning About Local Nautical History and Marine Animals

I’m a total ocean and beach kid, so I feel a true connection to <b>Ocean Institute in Dana Point</b>. Even more so, since the creation of The Maddie James …

North America

8 Awesome North American Road Trips, Mapped

Between coastlines and mountain ranges, big cities and small towns, North America is home to plenty of road trips. Just think of Whistler's …

When Is a Black Bear Actually a Blue Bear?

The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is a poorly named critter, because it’s not always black. In fact, its coat exhibits more color variation …

Nature

How Just 15 Minutes in Nature Can Make You Happier

William Wordsworth climbed Mt. Snowdon in North Wales when he was 21. Undertaken mostly at night, it was an epic and spectacular slog. The young poet …

20 Especially Child-Friendly San Francisco Restaurants

Eating out with children is a particular kind of challenge, one that involves distractions, concessions, and planning ahead. Is there a set kids' menu? Does the restaurant provide crayons? Will there be room for a high chair or stroller? Will the kitchen just make some damn pasta and butter if need …

Restaurants

15 Ways to Play Inside This Winter

As a parent living in the part of the country where winter brings cold temperatures, I find keeping my children occupied and engaged this time of year is truly challenging. Ideally, I'd love to compel my kids to get outside from dawn to dusk, exploring and making up their own adventures, but that …

Kids

This 4-year-old dawdles, and his parents are stuck

<i>Q: How can I encourage my 4½ -year-old to follow directions? I know it’s normal for him to dawdle, putter around and even ignore me, but it’s maddening. I’ve gotten into the trap of repeating/reminding and then getting annoyed, so I know this problem is on me. But I’m stuck on how to fix it. I</i> …

Parenting