Wild About Insects! The Care and Keeping of Junior Entomologists

The following is a guest post by NJ Renie, originally published August 2010.  NJ is an entomologist, beekeeper, and writer. He is also my brother.  I’m happy to be sharing his wisdom on insects and young entomologists with all of you.  ~ Kara

One area of the natural world which attracts almost universal interest is that of bugs. Whether we are afraid or amazed we can’t stop wondering how our tiny neighbors work, why they do what they do, and where they go.

Bugs are literally everywhere we go and come in virtually endless varieties.

If your child is out exploring the natural world, they may find insects fascinating –really, really fascinating. You might be a little unsure how to proceed in nurturing this interest.

It’s okay, I was that kid and now I’m here to help you with the care and keeping of your junior entomologist.

The Bare Minimum

A Field Guide

The first thing that your child will probably want to know is “what is that?” For this purpose a field guide is essential. If you do nothing else, get a field guide for your household. Choose one with a lot of color plates or illustrations so that your child will be able to compare the guide with the genuine article. [Read more...]

Book Review: It’s a Jungle Out There! 52 Nature Adventures for City Kids

The following post is by contributor NJ Renie.

As parents, we hope our children will be just like us. Or at least like the better parts of us. I’m a country guy, but I love parenting in the big city.  My daughter has opportunities that I couldn’t have imagined when I was a kid, they’re virtually limitless and all within a few minutes of the front door.

That being said, I know that there will be times when I’ll wish I could just open that door, country-parent style, and tell her: Go explore, see you at supper. Wild and free in the country was a great way to grow up, and I’ve always been disappointed that my daughter will never really understand that freedom fully.

Needless to say, during a recent visit to my parents, when she saw the river that I grew up on and called it a “fountain,” I was, admittedly, a little panicked.
[Read more...]

Your Free, Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

The following is by contributor NJ Renie.

Once again Father’s Day has crept up on you. Sure, the father in your life deserves the best, but you have no money, no time to shop, and let’s face it the truth is that he’ll still be Dad whether you give him a tie or not!

Have no fear, Simple Kids readers. The gift of service is free and always in fashion. [Read more...]

One-to-One Bonding in the Land of the Working Parents

The following is by one of our new contributors, NJ Renie. Welcome to Simple Kids, NJ!

Most of the best workers are also deft managers of their schedules. Employers love those of us capable of staying on task and committed to the priorities of the company. Of course, often those same work habits start to rob us of that family bond which constitutes the reason why most of us are working in the first place.

Sure we make it a point to eat, worship, and play together as a family, but what about the really good stuff –that one-on-one personal bond –how can we get that and still remain employed?

Well, rather than fighting you and your partner’s busy work schedules, why not start penciling your bonding time into them?
[Read more...]