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Kids had fun with these brainy home crafts and science projects Here are some STEAM-related projects that kids won't immediately recognize as "educational."
Forks and spoons that say 'clunk' can also ring like chimes These simple but surprising activities can start young scientists thinking about how sound travels.
Grow your own salt Making a small salt farm and harvesting the salt crystals is an easy science project for elementary school kids.
One, two, make your own kazoo Making your own kazoo is as easy as one, two, three.
Cooped-up crafts! Fun projects can keep kids entertained with their own creativity Children who can’t leave the yard soon decide to be happy. Art projects can help. Not just any art projects will do, however.
Bring out your marbles, Grandpa Grandparents could teach the children of the pandemic a thing or two about having fun when you all your extracurricular activities are unavailable.
Granny’s games are blasts from the past Jacks, marbles, Annie-Annie-Over and Lemonade kept future grandparents hopping.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Driver’s seat Bob Skarda knew Cissy Gillespie was the one for him because he unwittingly steered his car toward her house when someone else was in the passenger seat.
MASTER CLASS: Treat your dog to a race, and you win a workout The Treat Race combines two things most dogs love, snacking and being outdoors.
Playing in the sprinklers makes a cool workout The first step toward family-friendly fitness time is finding something that everyone can do.
7 pumpkin patches in Central Arkansas to visit this fall It’s never too early to plan for fall activities, and the season won’t be complete without at least one trip to a local pumpkin patch.
‘Debarking’ surgery to silence dogs risks their lives and sometimes doesn't work "Debarking" surgery, or devocalization, entails removing the parts of the dog's throat that produce the bark.
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MASTER CLASS: Don’t just lie back and let age rob you of your freedom to move Life is rich with experiences only available to people who have good mobility. Act now to protect your future.
Museum of Discovery plans covid-conscious Tinkerfest With more than 30 activities all outside, the 10th annual Tinkerfest is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18 on President Clinton Avenue in downtown Little Rock.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Dirty little girl saves the day and obeys Mom, too In this picture book, a rambunctious city child dismays her mother by crawling around on hot concrete and dirt to talk to plants. But Mother doesn’t understand what’s going on.
Parents will also like these back-to-school snacks for kids School-age children get about a third of their daily calories from snacks, making between-meal eating as important for nourishment as breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here are strategies and snack recipes.
Walking trails meander through Wildwood’s expansive gardens Wildwood Park in west Little Rock has 105 tranquil acres open daily free of charge from late morning until sunset. During two recent afternoon strolls, there was only a smattering of other visitors.
Arkansas survey’s findings on mask mandates and school coronavirus cases, explained The state Bureau of Legislative Research sent a survey to Arkansas schools Sept. 1 with questions on their masking requirements, if any, and covid quarantine numbers. Here’s what the survey found.
How to become a foster parent in Arkansas There are about 4,800 Arkansas children in foster care, but just 1,500 or so foster families. For Arkansans who want to open their home to children in need, here are the basics on requirements and the certification process to become foster parents.
5 surefire ways to help your child acquire grit Time for some good old retro childrearing, I'd say, so here comes the fail-safe formula for endowing a child with grit. For starters, let your child fail.
7-Day Menu Planner Here is a week’s worth of menu plans for the budget minded family.
Dogs that lick the floor a lot often have a stomach problem Research in dogs shows that stomach and intestinal problems can trigger excessive licking of surfaces,including floors, carpeting, walls, doors and furniture.
Sometimes you need to steal away and pray for yourself It's good to pray for others. The world needs all the prayers it can get. But sometimes, if I'm beset by doubt and fear, I find it helps to sing along with my soul.
OPINION | READ TO ME: See the cat. See the blue cat. See the blue cat pretend to be a dog. Early readers will eagerly recite and then read these two funny picture books, which spoof traditional reading primers.
MASTER CLASS: Good for the gym or at home in Arkansas, this upper body exercise uses TRX straps Building muscular strength outside a fitness center can be a challenge, especially for those who have relied on advanced equipment most of their lives.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Friend’s party Billy Booth fancied himself an entertainer when he was out with his friends. Teresa Hune wasn't a fan of his group's act but found his solo one charming.
These apps promise to teach kids about money, but financial advisers see possible pitfalls A new crop of mobile money apps are promoting themselves as part of the solution to a stubborn problem: a lack of financial savvy, particularly among young Americans.
‘Same Different Amazing’ A new interactive gallery at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center teaches Arkansas kids all people are “Same Different Amazing.”
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Museum of Discovery opens to curious children A recent visit to Little Rock's Museum of Discovery found families enjoying the hands-on activities, some old and others new, all offering a blend of facts and fun.
Frozen chocolate pops are a cool, sweet, creamy treat These malted milk chocolate frozen pops are made in 3-ounce paper cups, but if you prefer a larger pop and have ice pop molds feel free to use them.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Pop-up book connects cute pets and their terrifying prehistoric relatives This fun book by paleontologist Dean Lomax relates pet-shop animals to their huge and toothy prehistoric ancestors.
Amazon’s PG-rated Cinderella a fresh take on an old story When the complete package comes together, a stellar cast, wildly catchy music, and a fresh take on the fairy tale, it's easy to overlook complaints like ugly (and annoying) CGI mice.
Summers ought to be remembered with a smile I've been wondering about my 9 grandchildren, ages 11 years to 3 months. What will they remember about this, our second summer dealing with covid-19 restrictions?
Pet fur can spread poison ivy oil to people Neither cats nor dogs suffer from poison ivy rash, but their coats easily transfer the oil in poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac to humans — and so can things the fur brushes against, for years.
MASTER CLASS: Try this behind-the-back stretch to relax body and mind The Behind the Back Grip Stretch allows the exerciser to sit in a relaxed position while performing a passive stretch for the shoulder and chest muscles.
7-Day Menu Planner A week’s worth of menu ideas and recipes for budget-conscious families.
A month is enough time for an adult child to move out Instead of going to college or into the military, this 21-year-old delivers pizzas, eats pizzas and plays video games. His parents can help him leave home. Here’s how.
READ TO ME: When midnight strikes, they creep out of the deep A ludicrous attempt to blame someone else for writing on the walls inspires this delightfully spooky children's story.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Bryan Lake Tim Carroll had an inkling Brandy Rennicke was someone special the first time he saw her. Brandy didn't take note of him until she saw him rising shirtless from the lake.
RECIPES: 5 colorful, family-friendly lunches for kids going back to school These five packable lunch ideas work for adults as well as for school kids. We would skip the skewers, though.
The best Central Arkansas restaurant patios Looking for restaurants with patios, where kids being kids won’t bother other diners? Check out the list of restaurants submitted by readers.
Friendly tomcats make friendly kittens Genetics and environment play a role in cat personality. The most important factor is the tomcat's genes. This factor is called the "friendly tom" effect.
7-Day Menu Planner Herbed Walnut Potato Salad is one of the yummy recipes in this week's worth of menus for the budget-conscious family.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: County fair For Shannon Pruitt, a trip to the fair was serious business; for Susan Williams it was all fun and games.
OPINION: Be authoritative when talking to anxious children The more one talks to a child about fears, the more intense and intractable the fears become. That is why, when parents ask my advice about a child who is experiencing, say, bedtime fears, I recommend that they stop talking to the child about bedtime fears.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Grinder’s Ferry At Grinder's Hole on the Buffalo National River, a bluff rises 50 feet above the north bank. Swimmers can enter the shallow cave at the base of the bluff.
REVIEW: Low expectations make 'Paw Patrol: The Movie’ seem a lot better Sometimes low expectations are a blessing. "Paw Patrol: The Movie" is not good enough to warrant taking an unvaccinated 5-year-old into a movie theater, but it’s a better movie than it needs to be.
Rep seeks youngsters for 'Charlie Brown' show Arkansas Repertory Theatre will hold auditions for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" Sept. 7-9 at the theater, 601 Main St., Little Rock.
OPINION: Beauty isn't skin-deep If we never saw our faces but felt truly loved by family, friends and the God who created us, how pretty would we be? My mother said, "Pretty is as pretty does." But doing comes from knowing we are loved.
OPINION | READ TO ME: This cat doesn’t want to hear about your problems Cat-owning families will get a kick out of this funny picture book by the author of “The Bad Seed.”
MASTER CLASS: This cobra stretch repays your time and dedication Fear of the unknown can prevent anyone from reaching their potential, but a physically active life is something anyone can achieve, through persistence and commitment.
How Arkansans can get money through the state auditor's unclaimed property program Hundreds of millions of dollars owed to Arkansans are waiting to be claimed through the state auditor’s office unclaimed property program. Here’s how to find out if there’s cash with your name on it.
Wobbly cat with this birth defect can have a wonderful life CH is cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition caused by incomplete (hypo-) development (-plasia) of the cerebellum, the part of the brain that coordinates balance and movement.
How to find elder care and nursing homes in Arkansas Finding care for an elderly family member can be an overwhelming prospect. To help, here’s where experts from the Department of Human Services recommend starting.
How to get pandemic rent, utility assistance in Arkansas The state has hundreds of millions of dollars to give to Arkansas families who have struggled during the pandemic with rent, utility payments or homelessness. Here are the basics on how to get assistance.
OPINION | GAME ON: Shape your heroes to meet the changing challenges of 'Wildermyth' Wonderfully complex but simple to grasp, "Wildermyth" is a true gem in the indie role-playing-game world for ages 10 and older.
LIST: Arkansas school district mask requirements for coming year A list of which Arkansas school districts have currently mandated mask requirements, and which have not, for the 2021-2022 school year.
MASTER CLASS: Stretching can be a bore, but we have to do it Let's face it, stretching before a workout is necessary and annoying.
Special cemeteries for pets help grieving Arkansans say goodbye At 1:30 p.m. April 11, services for a dear little dog were held at his owner’s church. Then a hearse lead a funeral procession to Pet Lawn, a cemetery on the outskirts of Hot Springs dedicated solely to pets.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Friend’s party Billy Booth fancied himself an entertainer when he was out with his friends. Teresa Hune wasn't a fan of his group's act but found his solo one charming.
Raw or cooked, garlic and onions are toxic for dogs Garlic powder, onion powder and other dehydrated versions of allium plants are the most concentrated and therefore the most dangerous for dogs to eat.
What home buyers need to know about using a home warranty in place of inspection In 2021’s wild housing market, some buyers land their deal by waiving a home inspection and buying themselves a home warranty instead. Here's what home warranties do and don’t provide.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Take it to a lake! Escape the brutal heat of an Arkansas summer by splashing into one of these lakes that are perfect for swimming with the family.
Byproducts in pet food provide needed nutrients Should we feed our pets foods that contain byproducts? They sound like food-trash, but the vet says they add real value.
OPINION: Doggy shampoo and something for teething pups to chew The Tools & Toys column checks out two products of interest to dog lovers.
OPINION | REVIEW: 'Death's Door' — A fun Zelda homage For pre-teens and older players, this video game has satisfying chip-off-the-old block mechanics; its visuals are a delight; and its story line is touched with assured, easygoing humor.
MASTER CLASS: Wrist rolls are a simple but useful warmup exercise After taking some time off from exercise, getting back into the flow can be daunting. Here are a few tips to reduce that dread and an easy exercise to help you warm up.
These millennials want their kids to understand how money works Here are the money lessons that five millennial parents around the country want their children to learn.
Pandemic’s toll on Arkansas’ child welfare system, explained Here’s what you need to know about how the pandemic has affected Arkansas’ child welfare safety nets.
OPINION: Less is more when parenting young adult children It seems to be generally true that as one gets older, the habit of reminiscing develops.
READ TO ME: 'Dino-Zombies' crave candy in picture book Not-terrifying cartoon zombies parade down a darkened street, going door to door for Halloween treats in this perky picture book for early readers. The gimmick is these zombies are un-dead dinosaurs.
MASTER CLASS: 'Plank to Scorpion Reach' exercise for mobility I often use the term "functional" when describing exercises or workouts that support activities of daily living. It has been a part of my vernacular since functional training modalities became mainstream during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Delta variant covid is surging, and so is an old enemy: RSV Health officials are concerned by a simultaneous rise in delta variant infections and cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV — a highly contagious, flu-like illness that is typically more likely to affect children and older adults.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Mountain Valley Spring Water Visitors can get a taste of Mountain Valley's history since 1871 — as well as free sips of its water — along Hot Springs' Central Avenue just north of Bathhouse Row.
Jumble for Kids Unscramble the letters to spell real words and use those words to solve the Jumble for Kids. Study the picture for a hint. You can color the picture, too.
The new federal child tax credit: Explained The parents of the majority of Arkansas children are eligible to receive monthly payments of up to $300 per child as part of federal pandemic relief.
LR entrepreneur creates femPAQ to fill gap in menstrual products and education After April Roy’s friend got her period unexpectedly and there was no way to get comfortable with the items found at a nearby pharmacy, Roy did something about it.
Twin pygmy slow lorises, an endangered species, born at Little Rock Zoo Frasier and Minh Yih are the parents of a second set of twins, a boy and a girl. The tiny pygmy slow lorises, considered an endangered species, were born in June.
Swimming beaches at Arkansas' Diamond Lakes to check out this summer Five lakes in Arkansas together are called the Diamond Lakes.
How to register a child for school in Arkansas Whether signing a little one up for school for the first time or sending one to a new district after a move, here are the basics on school registration in Arkansas.
OPINION | FRONT BURNER: How to make some chocolatey cherry ice cream One of the great things about making ice cream at home is being able to create flavors you're not likely to find in the grocery store.
Beat the summer heat with a visit to a splash pad Here we have some cool information about nine splashy splash pads in Central Arkansas.
OPINION | READ TO ME: A picture book to give to grieving youngsters With generous illustrations and moving words, picture books about grief can nurture empathy in children who haven't suffered a loss. "When We Fly" is one to share with kids who have.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: LR Central High School Barring another closure due to covid, free, 90-minute guided tours are offered at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday-Friday, by reservation at least two days in advance.
MASTER CLASS: Don’t delay getting help when you have lower back pain Experience and expert advice have taught Matt Parrott some things about lower back pain.
OPINION | GAME ON: Build an industrious city, but don’t linger "Dream Engines: Nomad Cities" is a city-building, survival, factory game and a visual treat, with a steampunk, Tim Burton-esque art style.
OPINION | READ TO ME: 7.8 billion people, simplified This book demonstrates the power of percentages to explain a few good-to-know facts about global population, which stands near 7.8 billion.
Artist carves replicas of extinct birds that kids can touch Dean S. Hurliman carves sculptures of birds that are beautiful to look at and difficult to see.
Indoor-only pets can and do contract parasites Routine treatments can protect indoor cats from fleas, roundworms, hookworms and heartworms.
Everything you need to know about sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia First, that’s just fancy medical talk for "brain freeze.”
MASTER CLASS: If you have a desk job, train to stave off pain To maintain a solid, upright position at your workstation your muscles must be strong enough to support your body weight.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Hemingway museum Thanks in part to Ken Burns, the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Arkansas' northeast corner is enjoying a surge in visitors.
OPINION | PARENTING: Why do parents blame teachers for kids' behavior? Indignant parents who rise, knee-jerk, to their child's defense at the slightest whiff of a classroom problem are ubiquitous. Why is that?
“I was so wrong” With her 13-year-old in ICU with a life-threatening case of covid, Angela Morris urges parents to get vaccinated and to vaccinate their eligible kids.
Where to find frozen goodies in Central Arkansas To help everyone stay cool, here are 15 places to get frozen treats in Little Rock and beyond.
Virus hit unvaccinated Arkansas mom-to-be fast and hard Looking forward to the birth of their first child, Ashton Reed and her husband never expected what seemed like a common cold to make their lives a living hell.
Here’s how to teach an anxious dog to relax in the car The most effective way to help a dog feel calm in the car involves a series of small steps.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Mouse with a mission This picture book about an adventurous mouse that plucks trash out of a big museum doubles as a memory game.
OPINION | REVIEW: 'Mario Golf' isn’t in all that much of a rush "Mario Golf: Super Rush" is a little slow but does a fair job of injecting a little Mushroom Kingdom levity into the staid game.
OPINION | REVIEW: These video games arrived just when we needed to hug some bears Many games released in recent weeks offer more story and less violence in "wholesome" digital worlds built primarily for exploration. Instead of killing, players listen and try to understand.
Missing for 10 years, Arkansas dog is found 2,000 miles away In 2011, a miniature schnauzer named Razzle vanished into the Arkansas wilderness, to the great dismay of his family.
Arkansas couples overcome delays and hazards to get married Reagan Muse Timmermann and Dr. Cody Timmermann, and Alejandro Solarte DeSalvo and Michael DeSalvo Solarte are two couples whose marriage plans were derailed by covid — temporarily.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Tiny, fierce and cute Part of the series A Nature Diary, this delightful picture book illustrates the G-rated parts of a hummingbird's life.
Living with pets reduces future allergies in kids Recent studies have shown that pets inside the home seem to protect children from allergies.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Letters Anita Grace and Bill Donnell dated for a year, broke up for four, and then sent letters that crossed in the mail, ultimately bringing them back together for good.
Elmo gets a puppy A homeless dog wanders onto Sesame Street and Elmo is eager to help in a new, 30-minute special.
MASTER CLASS: Train in summer for enjoyable fall hikes Here’s a cool training idea (cool as in “nifty,” not cool as in climate) that can improve your ability to enjoy hiking.
Some cats’ skin temperature affects their color Dark points make the Himalayan, Siamese, ragdoll and similar breeds unusually beautiful. Here’s why.
Nurse-midwives are heartened by recent change in state law Act 607 of 2021 gives certified nurse-midwives full practice authority in gynecological, prenatal, delivery, postnatal care and reproductive health cases.
OPINION: Embrace the power of ‘Because I said so’ So what if children don't like an instruction you give or a consequence you levy? "Whadda they know?"
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: North Little Rock For now-humorous reasons, dogs are a motif in some of the 75 or so public-art works proudly adorning North Little Rock.
Where to find Arkansas peaches Food editor Kelly Brant compiled a long (but not complete) list of peach places, and she gives us recipes so we can savor those peaches, too.
American pies Celebrating the Fourth of July? That's as American as apple pie, and a berry pie is American, too.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Prairie Grove This summer's visitors to Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park can get a clear sense of the combat on Dec. 7, 1862 — except for what the weather was like.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Keep them busy Mike Lowery's latest activities idea book outlines more than 100 fun and easy projects for younger children.
It’s like a reality show, starring penguins A new 8-part series on Netflix, "Penguin Town" revels in the personalities of individual penguins.
OPINION: Let us cast aside the dumb dad ads After my husband bought a certain brand of shirt, I started getting ads from that brand, too, ads that encouraged me to disdain my husband.
MASTER CLASS: The Plank Macarena makes virtual fitness fun Here’s an exercise that’s a hoot to do with a group — even a virtual group.
Take the kids to see the famous swamp At Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park, visitors can view animals and vegetation that are not easily found anywhere else in Arkansas.
ASK THE VET: Here are the smartest ways to save on vet bills Precautions to prevent disaster make it less likely you’ll face a terrible choice between your budget and your fur baby's well-being.
Readers share the big lessons they learned from Dad In honor of Father's Day, we asked our readers, "What is the most important lesson you learned from your father or father figure?"
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Pea Ridge Pea Ridge National Military Park's visitor center explains the importance of the Union’s victory and the hardships suffered by residents during the Civil War.
Little Rock adds 10 more miles of bike trails New mountain bike trails at River Mountain Park are rated green, blue and black for difficulty. A kids bicycle-skill area at Two Rivers Park is expected to open soon.
Here’s what goes into a go-bag The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act became law in 2006, mandating that pets and service animals will be sheltered during disasters.
OPINION: Little kids don't need so many toys By age 2, the typical child has more than 50 toys. Under the circumstances, "play" consists of making a mess.
Happy campers kayak past unique geologic formations on the Buffalo River The Buffalo National River can be crowded with paddlers. To avoid the hordes of floaters the upper river put-ins attract, this weekend group outing chose the less accessible Pruitt-to-Woolum section of the river.
OPINION: ‘Luca’ Airy and adorable, "Luca" follows a teenage sea monster as he discovers his love for the surface world.
MASTER CLASS: Developing coordination safely and effectively The Kettlebell Squat Curl is a great way to combine two exercises that might otherwise be split into two (or more) separate movements.
OPINION: Be authoritative when talking to anxious children The more one talks to a child about fears, the more intense and intractable the fears become. That is why, when parents ask my advice about a child who is experiencing, say, bedtime fears, I recommend that they stop talking to the child about bedtime fears.
OPINION | READ TO ME: A literary triumph Besides being a humorously illustrated mystery about what sort of monster Moofy might be, this terrific little book illustrates 17 figures of speech, translated into little-kid terms.
MASTER CLASS: Legs of steel? Meet legs on fire This exercise is a fun variation of the wall sit that challenges the quadriceps specifically while adding extra work for the torso.
Is my kid a Roblox addict? My 9-year-old daughter, who made Lego habitats and fairy potions in the Before Times, now just ... keeps ... playing ... Roblox. I turned to experts for advice.
READ TO ME: Brick by brick, this father builds a city With collage illustrations and collage-like prose in English and Spanish, this is a portrait of an immigrant boy's love for his hardworking father.
Some online pet pharmacies can’t be trusted Most manufacturers guarantee medications dispensed by your veterinarian but not those shipped from an online pharmacy.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Home Dana Glover felt like she knew Eric Spann before she even met him. He had his eye on the future, though, and he didn't see her in it just yet.
OPINION: Wishing ‘Wish Dragon’ was a better movie This reviewer says "Wish Dragon" is not as bad as "The Emoji Movie," and it’s light years ahead of any of the "Hotel Transylvania" sequels, but ...
State’s schools are all accredited All 262 Arkansas public school systems and 1,050 schools are accredited by the state with none on probation and none even accredited-with-citations for the 2020-21 school year that has just ended.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Gibbering monster, annoyed kid, fast friends "Breezy" is a good description of this deceptively casual picture book in which speaking different languages is not a barrier to friendship.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Petit Jean Arkansas' oldest state park has opened a stylish new visitor center filled with facts and fun for grown-ups and youngsters alike.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Joyful caterpillars have fun with metamorphosis Metamorphosis is an exciting event in the fast-paced lives of two caterpillars in this joyful, mildly informative picture book.
ASK THE VET: Antifreeze is harmful to pets Hosing down a puddle of spilled antifreeze just adds to its potential for harm.
MASTER CLASS: When strength and endurance slump, so do we With a few exceptions, poor posture is a good indicator of declining musculoskeletal health.
OPINION: ‘Spirit Untamed’ is a rare and satisfying reboot "Spirit Untamed" is a story of a girl who befriends a wild horse and learns where her true home is.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Eureka Springs Most of Eureka Springs’ restaurants and lodgings are open and ready to welcome tourists.
FoodTok trending Ambitious teenagers willing to ham it up in the kitchen have millions of followers on TikTok.
Grumpy dogs are watching A new study suggests difficult dogs learn faster from strangers than easygoing dogs do.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Message in a mouse in a ship in a bottle Without any overt preachiness but a wealth of subtle humor, "Ship in a Bottle" makes a case for empathy: Refugees live or die on the kindness of strangers.
MASTER CLASS: Some exercises drive testosterone production Knowing that there's a daily fluctuation in testosterone levels can help people plan and stick with regular workouts.
Teach cats to like having their nails trimmed Handled correctly, cats will learn to like having their nails trimmed so much they’ll run over when you clip your own nails.
OPINION | BOB ROBINSON: Arkansas’ newest Monument Trail is a devil of a good time Devil's Den State Park has opened Arkansas' fourth Monument Trail, destined to be a destination for bikers and hikers.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Brave mouse, sleek cats, happy fish, bad idea In this wrongheaded but charming animal fantasy, a mouse blows bubbles in a fish bowl and releases the goldfish into the wild.
Claims made about pet travel-safety gear aren’t regulated The Center for Pet Safety, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, conducts rigorous crash testing on pet carriers, crates and harnesses.
MASTER CLASS: Progress will not happen without struggle There is pain without gain and there is gain without pain, but without struggle there is no progress
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Golf course A second marriage is about companionship," she explains.
9 state parks with swimming lakes The Natural State may be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean Arkansans can’t enjoy a beach day.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Louisiana Purchase park takes visitors back in time One of Arkansas' most secluded and historic state parks is newly improved to provide a sharper sense of the site's importance.
Turtles are on the move Sixteen of the world’s 300 species of turtles can be found in Arkansas.
Mosaic Templars exhibit to highlight positive role played by The Green Book An exhibit at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center presents an opportunity to help kids understand how Black people helped one another survive Jim Crow.
OPINION | READ TO ME: The right way vs. the wrong way Funny animal characters illustrate classic situations in which an apology is in order.
OPINION: Bungling a name is disrespectful "One day," I've told my daughter, "you'll know who is truly your friend by whether they get your name right."
Here’s why fat cats need our help Most domestic cats live sedentary indoor lives where eating is the most exciting activity of the day.
MASTER CLASS: Adaptable Scorpion Stretch can benefit biomechanics Matt Parrott gives us another beneficial movement to try out, carefully.
Build a future for your family in the Middle Ages In this video game, you play as a peasant, and your goal is to build a village, start a family and pass wealth to the next generation.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Two towns in one Visitors find that Calico Rock has a definite split personality on the opposite sides of its Calico Creek.
The May Day miracle Twenty years ago, parents across Arkansas held their breath as searchers fanned out near Hawksbill Crag to look for 6-year-old Haley Zega.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Shooting star There were no fireworks when Lauren Baker and Josh Kinder met, not for about six years.
She weaves plastic grocery bags into sleeping mats Pat Roby found a crafty way to help the homeless and repurpose plastic grocery bags.
MASTER CLASS: Core training replaces situps with better results Even today, every so often I still see people doing situps. There are much better ways to train the abdominals.
Train your deaf dog by using hand signals With kind, consistent training, deaf dogs can learn hand signals and become wonderful family pets.
Which home renovations require permits? Here’s how to find out in Central Arkansas whether planned improvements require permits from your city.
Strawberry cake paints the season pink Strawberry season arrived a bit later this year, but local berries are well worth the wait (and the 25-minute drive to the strawberry farm).
MASTER CLASS: Exercise your imagination for a better workout Here’s a simple but challenging exercise that can be done in just about any workout setting.
Pregnant women can avoid 'toxo' and keep their cats It's easy to prevent infection once you know a little about Toxoplasma.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Facial hair is normal for girls, too This picture book is for all the little girls whose inherited hairiness makes them a target for bullies at school.
New program spots Arkansas baby's rare condition The news that changed the course of Ollie's life came from a doctor when he was just 9 days old.
Green herons return to Little Rock Central High There are about 2,400 students at Little Rock Central High School. There are also three green herons.
ASK THE VET: Most dogs don't see as well as people do While dogs' smell and hearing are far superior to humans', their vision isn't quite as good.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Ozark Housed in a depot built in 1911 for the Iron Mountain Railroad, this quirky museum tells the story of a river town was founded in the steamboat era.
MASTER CLASS: A medicine ball exercise to try at home Home exercise is full of opportunity, especially during this bizarre time.
How to find and evaluate child care and get vouchers Arkansas’ Department of Human Services offers resources to help parents find and vet child-care facilities, as well as information on financial assistance.
13 inspiring women of science This middle-school book illustrates a few of the cool jobs possible for girls who study science, technology, mathematics and engineering.
Trying to drink less? There’s an app for that People whose drinking escalated during the pandemic have found novel ways to dial it back without quitting altogether.
Why calico cats and torties are almost always female Calico cats have orange, black and white fur, while tortoiseshell cats — "torties" — sport orange and black fur.
MASTER CLASS: Yard work doesn’t have to wreck your body Matt Parrott provides a few strategies for maximizing the yard-work fun factor while minimizing injury risk.
Monitor diabetic pet's blood sugar at home The vet says her clients easily learn to check their pets' blood sugar whenever the pet doesn't seem quite right.
1st grader's letter gets Old Navy's attention Kamryn Gardner just wanted to be able to put her hands in her pockets to keep them warm.
MASTER CLASS: Three ways to raise strength training intensity This Modified Burpee is performed at a slower speed than a traditional burpee so you feel it even more in the upper body and core.
OPINION: Divorce — video game style This weird, fun video game for two players is engineered to foster genuine cooperation.
ASK THE VET: What if your cats hate the RV? It's a good idea to try an easy overnight trip with your cats before setting out across the nation in an RV.
MASTER CLASS: Why stand still when you could move? Strength training can be performed while moving one's body using an athletic, functional technique that's a lot of fun.
RECIPES: A cake worth the buzz With its classical skep shape and cute little stingless bees, this beehive cake is perfect for spring birthdays and baby showers.
OPINION | GAME ON: 'Conqueror's Blade' covers genres Our reviewer says teens will like free-to-play, real-time strategy, massively multiplayer online game that offers players a chance to be a warlord commanding an elite squad while taking part in epic battles.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Brief look at a huge topic Part of the Welcome to the Museum series from Big Picture Press, "Fungarium" is a large book holding a brief but intimidating look at the little known, massive universe of fungi.
MASTER CLASS: Good weight management includes strength training This week's exercise is an example of strength training to increase resting metabolic rate without equipment.
Thousands of Arkansas foster children are waiting for a home Log onto the Arkansas Heart Gallery, a register of children awaiting permanent families, and the scroll of faces could populate the city of Lonoke.
'Tour' sites associated with women's right to vote “Rightfully Hers” is an interactive digital map of sites in Arkansas associated with the struggle for women's suffrage or with women activists in the state.
ASK THE VET: Easter lilies can cause kidney failure in cats All parts of a lily can cause kidney failure in cats. but the flower is the most toxic part.
MASTER CLASS: Let’s get personal about your workout Individual, meaningful fitness experiences can be had without paying hundreds of dollars a month.
RECIPES: Planting culinary seeds On a speck of property in Fayetteville, the nonprofit Apple Seeds Teaching Farm is using gardens to help teach young people about where their food comes from and just how yummy it can be.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Floating to school across the mighty Mekong In this picture book set in Vietnam, we meet a boy on his way to school and floating there by himself for the first time.
Intricate 'Loop Hero' is cooler than it looks When I first saw a broadcast of someone playing "Loop Hero," I thought they were playing a game from the 1980s.
How to get a copy of an Arkansas birth certificate Here are the basics on how to get copies of vital records.
Develop backup plan for pet in case of covid While pets are legally considered property, you shouldn't simply add a provision to your will transferring your fur baby to someone else like he's a piece of furniture.
MASTER CLASS: Taking advantage of personal data devices Knowing your blood pressure, heart rate, hydration level, caloric expenditure and other information leads to better decisions about diet, exercise and recovery.
READ TO ME: How to cope with bullies who love you In this upsetting, heartening story told in free verse, middle-schoolers meet a girl who learns to stand up for herself — because she has allies who help her see that she is worthy.
Teach pets the rules of the house Dogs and cats are not people, and all the yelling in the world will not teach them to stop destroying your stuff.
Tips for first-time campers Planning a family camping trip in the Natural State? Check out this advice from park interpreters.
MASTER CLASS: Archer Bodyweight Skull Crusher With each year that passes, my exercise routine becomes a little more cardiovascular and a little less strength based.
How much is enough? “Enough” money for retirement is one thing, but what is enough money for your life in the decades before you retire?
Meet the family Von Trapped This six-voice family choir, with its sweet harmonies and the occasional wobbly note, is creating songs that dramatize the mundane moments of lockdown life, from too much screen time to the horrors of remote learning.
Conway teen creates crossword puzzles Simon Marotte, a 16-year-old junior at Conway High School, started creating crossword puzzles last year and has already had three accepted by The New York Times.
ASK THE VET: Cat scratching posts should be tall, stable, numerous Punishments and shouting will not stop cats from scratching furniture, but these tricks will.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Small but mighty Set in Lagos, Nigeria, this illustrated chapter book will broaden young readers' views of the world.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Critters that drive critter-cars in the trees Kids who enjoy studying drawings with little parts and who are old enough to enjoy maps will like the scenery in this animal fantasy.
ASK THE VET: When your pup always looks sad Bronze tear staining in dogs is usually a cosmetic concern rather than a medical emergency, and there are steps you can take.
MASTER CLASS: Have your social distance and a circuit workout, too With a bit of planning, you can still do a circuit workout at the gym.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Check out Hot Springs beyond the obvious Hot Springs has more to see outdoors than just Bathhouse Row.
GROWN: Buying your first house, in Arkansas, explained Buying a home is an infamously complicated, sometimes long process. Here are some first steps and tips from real estate agents.
MASTER CLASS: Exercise gets a bit easier if you make a game of it When indoor exercise is the only real option, make a game of it.
OPINION | READ TO ME: 'Before the Ever After' Set a decade before the scandal over chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the NFL, this prose-poem story depicts a 12-year-old boy’s view of his athletic father’s fall from public glory.
OPINION | MASTER CLASS: Resist a culture that makes sedentary life the norm Living a healthy lifestyle is about millions of small choices. For some people, this means going against the grain of their social network.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING From 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, visitors can explore the four floors of Arkansas’ Capitol.
OPINION: Good puzzles, pretty art, silly narrative The video game “Call of the Sea” wears its affinity for H.P. Lovecraft and weird, early 20th-century fiction like a flower in a lapel.
Play on: Music instruction adapts and soars in pandemic The pandemic has muffled live music performances, but musical instruction is doing big business.
Keep cat's litter box appealing and clean Here are smart tips for protecting potted plants from your cats.
READ TO ME/OPINION: Zapped and trapped in a video game Anyone with any sense might pause over being converted to pixels and wonder about the consequences, but not Jack the rascally rabbit.
Which of the new game consoles is right for you? Now that the next-gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony have been unleashed upon the world, the next question is, "Which one should I buy?" It depends.
E for everyone A tide of family-friendly video games can entertain kids and comfort adults.
GAME ON/OPINION: 'Wilmot's Warehouse' an Amazon experience Zenlike and relaxing, but also fast-paced and anxiety-inducing, "Wilmot's Warehouse" is rated E for everybody.
REVIEW: “Sackboy’ is a delightful game, but it’s missing something "Sackboy: A Big Adventure" is a lustrous romp of carnival fantasy and rated E for Everybody.
'Fall Guys' is a wacky, silly game with loads of fun Games such as "Fortnite" and "PUBG" might have popularized the battle royale genre, but it has been perfected by the beautifully silly "Fall Guys: The Ultimate Knockout."
GAME ON: Protect allies and find killers in whodunit game ‘Among Us’ This video game is based on party games like Mafia.
New Zelda game 'Age of Calamity’ has action aplenty but not much story If you don't go in with the mindset that “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” is the next magical, puzzle-filled Zelda open-world game, you'll find a satisfying entry in the annals of game brilliance first created by Shigeru Miyamoto more than three decades ago.
Drift gently along the high seas with your ‘Raft,’ your pals — and sharks Here to trigger everyone's thalassophobia, or fear of the sea, is the open-water survival and crafting video game "Raft."
GAME ON: Turn-based 'Battle Brothers' is rewardingly difficult Leading a mercenary crew is a risky job, but for the few who survive, glory and honor await. Also, the guys are weird little chessmen-like dudes.
“Townscaper”: Pretty villages, cities, castles pop-pop-pop into existence Not so much a video game as a digital toy, “Townscaper” lets you create fanciful floating buildings, from sheds to villas and whole villages.
For teens and older, ‘Spiritfarer’ lets you befriend and serve stranded souls In this sensitive video game, you are a girl who becomes a ferrymaster for the deceased in a fantastical world, guiding spirits to the afterlife.
Pokémon Go, Pokémon stay: Popular mobile game adapts to the pandemic When gatherings could prove disastrously hazardous to public health, and the act of wandering your city is discouraged, how does a game based on those mechanics survive? It evolves.
No such thing as a hypoallergenic dog All dogs produce at least six allergens, substances that can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible people.
MASTER CLASS: Iliopsoas Stretch helps prevent lower back pain Chronic low back pain can be produced by various factors, but the two most common culprits are core weakness and inflexibility.
READ TO ME/OPINION: Sneaky Wolf loses his appetite A wolf loses his appetite after spending time with his prey in this sweet picture book.
ASK THE VET: Teach children respect for dogs to prevent bites Most bite victims are children, usually boys between the ages of 5 and 9, who are provoking dogs they know.
Exercise 'snacks' take a few minutes or even mere seconds Physical fitness doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" undertaking. A little here, a little there works better in the long run.
MASTER CLASS: Careful back care program can change a life Giving a speech about flexibility, I can almost hear collective groans from the audience. It's a little like lecturing on the value of eating vegetables.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Arkansas Heritage Trails Remember your folks pulling over to let you read historic markers? Arkansas has about about 2,000, and they are organized into trails.
OPINION: ‘Kingmaker’ game rooted in D&D play Rated T for teens and older, "Pathfinder: Kingmaker" translates the Dungeons & Dragons style fantasy team storytelling game to video game console or desktop.
Infected felines need extra care to survive A cat's immune system can remain strong enough to keep feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus in check for years, and the infected cat lives a relatively normal life.
READ TO ME: Projects and games from America’s Test Kitchen From website to workbook, "Kitchen Explorers!" includes more than 60 recipes presented as experiments and some games.
READ TO ME: Little paper boat, perilous, wondrous seas This feast of precision line drawing looks like a children's book, and it can be. But not for little bitty kids.
Secondhand smoke causes cancer in cats Veterinarians do recognize a few risk factors for lymphoma in cats.
MASTER CLASS: Rubbery bands stretch your options for a solid workout High quality bands will hold their tightness longer and are more break resistant.
MASTER CLASS: Feel less alone, work out more often There are ways to bring social engagement into a socially distanced workout.
MASTER CLASS: Experience gives us tools to resist time’s incremental larcenies After 30, adults begin to lose 3% to 5% of their muscle mass every decade. This slow decline in musculature leads to weakness and reduced mobility over time.
Kids run faster when they think about ninjas Fitness guru Matt Parrott offers another backyard workout idea to burn off children’s excess energy.
Box Hop Race gets kids exercising (parents too) Here’s a present for parents who might be running out of at-home workout ideas, a routine that's perfect for a parent and child.
MASTER CLASS: Good Morning Squat Combo gets fibers firing Most people understand that a proper warmup can make or break an exercise session. Most people know there's more to it than 5 minutes on a cardio machine. And yet, most people don’t do a proper warmup.
Older kids will put a parent through a real workout Challenge your parent or older sib to a front yard ball race.
MASTER CLASS: It's like your driveway was built for this workout It's not hard to transform a driveway from a utilitarian necessity to an exercise playground.
Garage Sale Race is a fun way to start making that home gym You can add a home gym to the garage and still have room for cars. But first, someone has to clean the garage.
MASTER CLASS: Take it outside for more peace per workout Lifting heavy stuff will always be cool. Especially if you do it in the woods.
MASTER CLASS: That outdoor workout is just a staircase away Arkansas in October is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and one that presents an incredible opportunity for outdoor exercise.
MASTER CLASS: City parks are making it easier to get a real workout outdoors Try the Gator Chomp exercise in a park.
MASTER CLASS: Take the stairs to a higher level of fitness Fitness opportunities can be found almost anywhere.
MASTER CLASS: Play like you did when you were a kid This week's activity not only provides the gift of exercise, but it is also a great way to interact with the family.
MASTER CLASS: How to avoid delayed onset muscle soreness Delayed onset muscle soreness is the worst. Here are tips for avoiding it.
MASTER CLASS: Reverse Pushup helps balance your musculature We can combat the physical challenges associated with extended sitting.
MASTER CLASS: Quadruped Raise works for almost all fitness levels This exercise could be a fun challenge for parents and kids, because most parents won't have an edge.
Kids like the challenge of simple Alternating Stair Climb This week's exercise is easy to learn and appropriate for nearly any fitness level.
MASTER CLASS: Take a progressive approach to all-around self-improvement Young father Matt Parrott says exercise isn’t the only self-improvement project that benefits from a progressive approach.
MASTER CLASS: Household chores can be cardiovascular exercise It's possible to turn almost any physical activity into a cardiovascular workout.
MASTER CLASS: Your stance changes the muscles taxed by squats Certified personal trainer Eric Godwin can do these two-stance squat raises, and so can Pinky the clay guy.
MASTER CLASS: Finding family togetherness in active outdoor play As the father of a 7-year-old, I am beginning to understand how regular exercise enhances family time.
MASTER CLASS: Ramp up your exertions Matt Parrott offers strategies for finishing a 12-week conditioning program on a high note.
MASTER CLASS: Jumping Chin-Ups in the park Every time we hop over to the playground instead of staring at a screen, take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for some deep breathing instead of a whole bag of cookies ... our readiness, physical and mental, improves.
MASTER CLASS: Slalom Jump in the park Here’s a family-friendly exercise idea for a chilly outdoor workout.
MASTER CLASS: Customizing your workout assures best results Although there may have been a time when any exercise program was good enough for modest goal achievement, today's exercisers have higher standards.
RECIPES: 5 colorful, family-friendly lunches for kids going back to school These five packable lunch ideas work for adults as well as for school kids. We would skip the skewers, though.
MASTER CLASS: Age is for real, y'all A few years ago, I turned 40 and thought "it's just a number" because I really hadn't faced any significant physical challenges up to that point. Well, numbers do add up.
Take a knee to lift this shoulder exercise into a different realm The cool part about this exercise is that the half-kneeling position will feel really different, a little unstable at first. But over time you master that feeling.
MASTER CLASS: A park full of rocks is a fitness find There is something primitive and workmanlike about exercising in the outdoors.
MASTER CLASS: Move past this summer’s lethargy with a 12-week plan No one would blame a person for letting go of health and fitness goals in 2020, given the circumstances. But fall is a perfect opportunity to recommit to your fitness for the next 12 weeks.
MASTER CLASS: Single Leg Superman is a super tough balance-builder for sitters For weeks 5-8 of your 12-week "goodbye, foul summer" get-in-shape program, this exercise challenges the core and back while working the shoulders.
Roundworms are a routine hazard in a dog park A tennis ball is a perfect vehicle for spreading roundworms because it rolls around in the dirt and the muck and picks up stuff that adheres to it.
Bad things happen when you give a dog a bone Bones are harder than teeth, so whether fresh or sterilized, chew bones can break a dog's teeth.
Declawed cats suffer long after the surgery “Declawing” a cat doesn't mean clipping off its claws.
Roadtrip! OZ Art ARkanvas mural experience is a new reason to tour the state Twelve muralists embraced nine cities, crafting works of art to inspire and spark conversation, following a theme to promote "Unity."
Ghost town in the hills A few time- and weather-worn structures, foundations and walls are all that is left of Rush near the National Buffalo River in Marion County.
Sweetener in some peanut butters can kill a dog Xylitol is very common and sometimes not listed on labels. It is found in sugar-free gums, chocolate candies, baked goods, vegan alternatives, vitamin-mineral supplements, over-the-counter and prescription medications, toothpaste, mouthwash, mints ... some peanut butters ... even some T-shirts and other clothing.
Kid craft: Lure birds with a snack in a milk carton feeder Here's how to create a carton bird feeder filled with a chirp-worthy snack.
What to do when ‘Sadness Is at Your Door’ A calm, quiet book about sadness offers comfort for adults and a useful lesson in self-care for kids.
REVIEW: Energetic 'Battletoads' update has some warts "Battletoads" (2020) looks like a playable cartoon in the style of "Ren and Stimpy" or the "Fairly OddParents."
Kids can make these yummy treats Banana Pretzel Pops can be put together in a few minutes with just a handful of ingredients. The best part? The stick is edible, too!
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: 'Benton Mural' shows early history of Saline County The earliest Europeans known to have set foot in present-day Arkansas are depicted in downtown Benton's huge outdoor mural.
History lessons await those who travel the Arkansas Civil Rights Trail Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, closed for three months due to covid-19, is a riveting stop among the three dozen locations on the city's Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail.
10 questions to ask your grandparents If you are lucky enough to have living grandparents — or great-aunts and -uncles, elderly parents, even elderly friends — you have exclusive access to living history.
Party out front! Ideas for joyful birthday celebrations With a little creativity, parties in isolation might be the ones kids remember as the best they ever had. Here are a few ideas.
Online extracurriculars keep kids baking, dancing and learning Instead of chauffeuring kids to and from activities, parents need only power up the computer or tablet and log in.
Soapy math adds some STEAM to playtime Here are simple and fun experiments involving math and soap — with helpful videos.
Soapy videos about washing hands Here are videos about the importance of using soap to wash our hands.
Make a home for teeny succulents In this project suitable for children in kindergarten and older, a glass jelly jar is upcycled into a quiet bit of home decor.
ASK THE VET: Lepto lurks in innocent looking puddles Is it OK to let a dog drink from puddles? Short answer: no.
“Mira Does Her Part’ Three mothers who met while their kids attended a Little Rock elementary school wrote this book to answer children’s questions and inspire them during the pandemic.