The Playful Parent's blog

Change is in the Air

Fall has officially arrived, ushering in the last leg of what will likely be one of the most controversial elections in our country’s history. With all the talk of rights and responsibilities, no doubt your kids, like mine, are asking a lot of questions!

Birdbrain

We’ve been in our home for nearly 20 years and are pretty familiar with the wildlife in our yard.  Mostly, the many birds which including a large number of robins and wrens, cardinals and blue jays and even hawks and woodpeckers.  One song we heard repeatedly piqued our interest and we set out on a mission to identify the bird.  Turns out, there are some nifty books at the library with recordings of the bird songs or calls. 

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Turns out we’re about a month away from Lucky Penny Day on May 23rd.  Pennies are very prolific and my youngest loves to pick them up wherever he finds them.

May All Your Swishes Come True

So we’ve slowly worked our way through a much-deserved mild winter and find ourselves on the cusp of March Madness.  I’ve always thought March Madness to be synonymous for both basketball and cabin fever but this year, I think it’s exclusively basketball related.  The

A Long Winter's Night

Along with the coming holidays, winter solstice is just around the corner, on December 21 at 11:49pm EST.  The solstice varies yearly sometime between the 20th and 23rd of December, most often falling on the 21st or 22nd. The last solstice to occur on the 23rd was in 1903 and will not happen again until 2303. A  December 20th solstice is extremely rare and will occur again in 2080. 

Solstices are opposite on either side of the equator, so the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere and vice versa.  Christmastime in Melbourne, Australia may see temperatures close to 100 degrees for their summer solstice. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year in terms of the fewest hours of sunlight. It’s when the North Pole is tipped at it’s farthest angle from the sun. On the solstice, the night is almost a full 12 hours and all nights between the autumn equinox and leading up to the solstice are ideal for stargazing because of their lengthening duration. It is also the time when the earth is turned away from the Milky Way which means less dust and clearer visibility.

The Apple of my Eye

As another summer becomes just a memory, fall beckons with crunchy leaves underfoot and the smell of apple pie wafting through the air. Here in Northeast Ohio we have Johnny Appleseed to thank for the abundance of orchards just waiting to be picked!

Not Your Mother's Scavenger Hunt

So we’re about halfway through summer break and you may be looking for some fresh what-to-do ideas. You may want to consider geocaching.  It’s essentially a worldwide treasure hunt that’s become more popular over the years as GPS has become accessible to everyone through smart phone technology.  It’s a great activity that combines technology with good old-fashioned outdoor activity. 

"Remember" the start of summer

Over the years, Memorial Day has become the unofficial start of summer and its true meaning is often lost in long weekend celebrations.  Memorial Day evolved from the original Decoration Day, first declared on May 30, 1868, to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War.

Hurray, Earth Day

Dare we say, spring has sprung?

Rah Rah Mardi Gras

Here comes February!  Scattered in with a couple of presidential birthdays and Valentine’s Day is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday on February 17th.