Long Island Parent Talk

Get the inside scoop on all things kids and parenting on Long Island.

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Beth Whitehouse

Beth Whitehouse is Newsday's parenting writer covering everything parents think about, talk about and do on Long Island. Her blended family includes Teen Son, Teen Stepdaughter and Hubby, whom she married in 2009, as well as cat Milo and guinea pig Wallace.

Kids learn to pitch tents, make s'mores in Oyster Bay

Kids will pitch tents and sing around the

(Credit: Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and)

Want your kids to have a group camping experience but not ready to leave them in the wilderness overnight? Drop them off at the “Kids Night Out! The Great OutS’mores” from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center, 134 Cove Rd., Oyster Bay.

The kids will learn to pitch tents together, search for insects, do a scavenger hunt, use compasses, play nature games...

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It's Mom and Dad's turn to go to summer camp at Usdan

The Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing

(Credit: Usdan)

It's Mom and Dad's turn to head to summer day camp on Friday, when the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, 185 Colonial Springs Rd.,  Wheatley Heights, holds its 11th annual “Usdan University” for grownups.

The day begins at 9 a.m. with morning classes, including organic gardening and cooking; digital photography; painting; potter’s wheel ceramics; Broadway jazz dance,...

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College dorm shopping must-haves

DormCo.com is an online retailer offers furniture, bedding,

(Credit: DormCo.com)

Even though it's July, it's time to start college dorm room shopping. Here are some must-have items and recommendations of where to buy college supplies:

PBdorm has launched its Fall 2014 Collection for college-bound students. It includes bedding essentials, wall decor and storage options. View the complete collection broken into categories such as sleep, shower, storage and study at PBdorm.com.

DormCo.com...

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Children's garden day on Saturday

Children's Garden Day will take place at Clark

(Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile)

Come dressed as your favorite insect for the Children’s Garden Day at Clark Botanic Garden (193 I.U. Willets Rd., Albertson) on Saturday.

Children and their families can play garden-oriented games to win prizes, make a garden craft, take a picture as a bumblebee, a butterfly or a flower, listen to Mother Goose read stories and visit the Honey Bee Tea Room. Plus, take a walk to the gift shop...

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Long Island mom's Glovies invention protects little hands

A Long Island mom invented Glovies -- multipurpose

(Credit: Newsday / Lorina Capitulo)

Josephine Geraci’s big idea germinated – excuse the pun – during a trip to a public restroom when her oldest child was 3. The Lloyd Neck mom was so horrified by the germs in that bathroom that she didn’t want him to touch anything.

She invented a disposable, waterproof kids’ mitten that he could wear to protect his hands, along the lines of disposable latex gloves. When she tried to sell them,...

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Girls with scoliosis gather on LI for 2nd International Convention

Alexa Castelli, a member of the Long Island

(Credit: Kathleen Forelli/Kathleen Studios)

More than 100 girls with scoliosis from 30 states, Canada and England were on Long Island this week for the Second International Curvy Girls Convention.

From Sunday to Tuesday, the girls and 120 parents or guardians gathered at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Hauppauge. Events included an empowering fashion show and dinner, where 55 of the girls modeled clothing that complemented the braces they...

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Host a Fresh Air Fund kid for one week this summer

The Fresh Air Fund is seeking families to

(Credit: Fresh Air Fund)

Are you open to hosting an inner city child from a low-income family for one week this summer through The Fresh Air Fund?

The nonprofit places more than 4,000 New York City children ages 6 to 18 with host families in rural, suburban and small-town communities in 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. Host families aren’t paid.

“I’ve been hosting for 13 years,” says Eileen Rauchenberger...

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Long Island students decorate caps for graduation

Marissa Fitlin, left, and Marielle Erdheim of Half

(Credit: Beth Whitehouse)

Marielle Erdheim's class at Half Hollow Hills High School East had graduation practice Thursday, and afterward many of the seniors headed to ... Michael's.

"Our entire school was there," said senior Erdheim, 17, of Melville. The seniors bought glitter and rhinestones and felt letters and glue at the crafts store because there was work to be done. Their caps and gowns had just been distributed,...

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Play in mud on Saturday at Suffolk County Farm

Jump in mud puddles, make mud pies and

(Credit: Lina Ospina)

Put on rubber boots and old clothes and head to the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank on Saturday to jump in mud puddles, make mud pies and march in a rubber-boot parade during the farm's celebration of International Mud Day.

"It's an event to get the kids outside to celebrate the Earth and mud and the beginning of summer," says Lina Ospina, the farm's office manager. Though International Mud...

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Camp out in your own backyard on Saturday

Saturday, June 28, is the National Wildlife Federation's

(Credit: Great American Backyard Campout / Katherine J. Stanfield)

If you’ve ever had the urge to pitch a tent and spend the night in your backyard with your kids, now you’ve got the perfect excuse to do it: Saturday, June 28, is the National Wildlife Federation’s 10th annual Great American Backyard Campout.

More than 4,000 people have registered so far in most of the 50 states. The annual event encourages families to reconnect with nature.

 “From...

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