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Did the snow kill the fire ants? The record cold may decrease the state's fire ant populations, according to a news release from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
7-Day Menu Planner Sloppy Joes, pot roast with potatoes and carrots ... kids will like this week’s menus for the budget-conscious family.
Historic Arkansas lawman inspires French comic books It was time for a Black cowboy hero in the venerable Franco-Belgian comic book series Lucky Luke.
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ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING The Marked Tree siphons are an engineering marvel that lifts the flow of a river over a levee and brings it back down on the other side.
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.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Home improvement Laura Remmel's search for home renovation led her to the kitchen — and the man — of her dreams.
7-Day Menu Planner Here's a week's worth of yummy dinner menus for the budget-conscious family.
MASTER CLASS: Virtual fitness era brings a chance to try new workouts For those of us who used to work out at fitness centers, 2020 was a chance to expand our options to include family workouts, parks and virtual fitness training.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING The Old State House Museum has mounted a lighthearted exhibit that makes a sprightly counterpoint to its sober-sided main focus on Arkansas political history.
A chance to be a part of history Weeks after the first cases of covid-19 were discovered in Arkansas in 2020, libraries and cultural institutions began asking the community to help document the pandemic. They still want to hear from you.
What a concept The Little Free Sled Library applies the concept of the Little Free Library or Little Free Pantry to sleds.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Pretty hair Jim Owens saw a beautiful girl walking down the hall while he was at work in late 1970 and he knew he had to meet her.
Pre-teen inventor makes game apps to help kids learn to code When Samaira Mehta was 6 years old, her father played a computer prank on her, and soon she was hooked on coding.
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.
OPINION: Motherhood inside the virus bubble I leaned over by crying baby, laid my hand over his whole chest and told him I was there. It felt holy, this touch of motherhood.
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.
7-Day Menu Planner Skillet shrimp with tomatoes and feta ... roast turkey breast with gravy ... here’s a week’s worth of dinner menus for the budget-conscious family.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Check out Hot Springs beyond the obvious Hot Springs has more to see outdoors than just Bathhouse Row.
OPINION | READ TO ME: Adorable cat alert! A calico cat can't understand why very day when the daddy and son sit down for cuddle time with him, they insist on holding a rectangle too.
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: The clean slate of covid loneliness I confessed to a friend the other day that I'm not entirely sure how to be a good friend.
Love those pandemic pets It’s almost a year since the pandemic got home-bound Arkansans hankering for a furry friend to call their own.
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.
'Good Bones' star fosters inclusivity in kids book Mina Starsiak-Hawk, the star of HGTV's "Good Bones," has written a children's book, "Built Together," to show that families come in many shapes and sizes — like houses do.
Managing finances, on top of the covid-19 pandemic Avoiding money problems makes them worse. And if you’re like the many, many people who’ve taken a financial hit, you can’t afford to let your situation get much worse.
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.
Dog food recall cites trace of deadly toxins Aflatoxins are molds that can remain in dog food after it is processed, and they can be deadly to dogs.
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.
Junior Memo Build your memory skills by uncovering the matching picture cards.
Junior Sliding Puzzle Slide the puzzle pieces around to reveal the image.
7-Day Menu Planner Chili improves as it ages, so make enough for Super Bowl half-time and enjoy the leftovers Monday.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING From 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, visitors can explore the four floors of Arkansas’ Capitol.
OPINION: Magic, slim plot in 'Earwig and the Witch' Miyazaki. Say the name, and you've got my attention. HBO Max is airing a new movie from Studio Ghibli by Goro Miyazaki, "Earwig and the Witch."
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Emergency Bob Stobaugh jokes that when Shelia Upton Baxley handed him a defibrillator the first time he saw her, his heart skipped a beat.
GAME ON/OPINION: 'Crying Suns' is like ‘FTL’ but with a real story For ages 10+, this video game has a compelling story about what happens to humankind if the technology people rely on everyday simply isn't there anymore.
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.
OPINION: An American Sweetheart There is a good news story here, about a young woman who overcame a speech impediment and learned to write well and to perform her words in such a way as to move the hearts of at least those of us most susceptible to hope.
Play on: Music instruction adapts and soars in pandemic The pandemic has muffled live music performances, but musical instruction is doing big business.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Bus trip Wanda Caldwell and Earnest Merritt went to crosstown rival high schools, but they formed an alliance that has seen them through more than 40 years.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING Arkansas has 17 national landmarks.
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.
7-Day Menu Planner Beef top sirloin and potato kebabs are on the menu for Sunday, and the leftovers make Monday's beef and red pepper stir-fry.
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.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Standards Robert noticed Barbara when he was hanging out with her cousin, to go frog hunting. She thought he seemed too ... “happy go lucky.”
Conceived in a pandemic, born in a pandemic Katy Dobson and her family have taken to calling her 2-week-old boy, Atlas, a "coronial."
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: The Sultana disaster story has outgrown museum Fundraising is planned to expand little museum dedicated to an Arkansas steamboat disaster that claimed more victims than the Titanic's fabled sinking.
OPINION: Kids need reliable internet access All the online enrichment in the world can't help rural students whose homes and schools don’t have reliable internet.
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.
Cute book celebrates ‘indogeration’ of Champ and Major Champ, the Biden family's older dog, shows his assistant, Major, how to behave in the public eye in this picture book.
How much do you know about the state Legislature? Take this basic quiz, suitable for middle schoolers and older.
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.
RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Sparklers There were no fireworks for Chotsy Robertson and Ed Sheppard when they met on the Fourth of July, but sparks flew soon after.
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.
Building joy: Everyone gather round the squirrel table — chipmunks too Backyard critters around the country have been eating like furry little kings at squirrel tables.
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.
Old dogs, new study Research is looking at dogs as a "model" for human aging, a species we can study to learn more about how we age and perhaps how to age better.
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: Treat your dog to a race, and you win a workout The Treat Race combines two things most dogs love, snacking and being outdoors.
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.
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.
Playing in the sprinklers makes a cool workout The first step toward family-friendly fitness time is finding something that everyone can do.
OPINION: Sometimes it's good to have a team Like any good American, that chess player in “Queen’s Gambit” resisted asking for help until she saw the advantage of having real experts on your team.
Pandemic breeds a need, and inspiration rises to meet it Dylan Patel started a YouTube channel called "Math With Gloves" to answer friends’ questions about math. He’s just one of the Arkansans whose creativity is shining during a global pandemic.
Student's 20-inch stick-and-glue bridge bears 1,170 pounds Tozer Patton shattered his school record with the snapping of wooden craft sticks.
Make your family a hot tub out of a stock tank Drowned by demand, pools are scarce; but a new type of soaking apparatus has percolated to the surface: the stock tank pool.
Cats’ ear mites typically don’t infect humans ... without help Ear mites, the most common cause of ear infections in cats, are highly contagious among cats and dogs, particularly kittens and puppies.
OPINION: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is less wonderful than the first movie As sincere as it's trying to be, the new Wonder Woman wears sentimentality on its shoulder-padded, lime-colored blazer like a neon broach.
OPINION: Book celebrates ‘Every Good Thing’ Words and images celebrate things that are true about all children and that all children ought to be told, but because of the ways this world misinterprets skin, a book that says them directly and specifically to Black boys is useful.
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.
READ TO ME: A series for middle-schoolers who love animals Jasmine Green is a farmgirl who will disobey her mother to save a cute baby animal. But Mom knows what she’s talking about.
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.
READ TO ME: Jack stands up to high-handed Santa Who gets away with hurting kids’ feelings by declaring them “bad” and then brazenly expects to be given the last grilled cheese sandwich?
Declawed cats suffer long after the surgery “Declawing” a cat doesn't mean clipping off its claws.
OPINION: Debt problem is rooted in the system — not the students Parents, peers and guidance counselors urge 18-year-old kids to take on debt that could cripple them throughout their working careers. Student loans are the only type of loan that must be repaid. Unless you die.
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.
ASK THE VET: ALS-like dog disease has new treatments Degenerative myelopathy is a progressively debilitating disease caused by deterioration of the spinal cord.
READ TO ME: Scarlett O’Hara evicted for the 20th anniversary edition of ‘Winn-Dixie‘ The heartwarming novel “Because of Winn-Dixie” is about gentle people valued for their goodness despite past mistakes. It has been slightly revised for its 20th edition.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: State Capitol walking tour It's only a slight stretch to call the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock an outdoor sculpture garden.
READ TO ME: ‘This Is Your Time’ Civil rights icon Ruby Bridges urges young people to believe in America in this “letter of peace.”
When big, young dogs develop a limp Elbow dysplasia is the most common cause of front limb lameness in young dogs.
Active listening can lessen tension, especially in covid lockdown Paraphrasing is one of the components of active listening, a helpful technique based on simple therapeutic practices that turn away wrath.
ASK THE VET: Withhold attention to keep dog down Don't make eye contact; don't touch him, and don't speak to him. Turn your back if that makes it easier to ignore him.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING More communities are stitching together their own Quilt Trails, giving tourists a reason to drive all over their counties.
How to take better pet photos with your phone Many recent phone models include all the hardware and software you need to take a great picture of your friend.
Fat cats and dogs can develop diabetes Diabetes is most often seen in older cats, particularly those that are overweight or male.
Do-it-yourself filter uses a box fan to help clean air This easy home project can improve ventilation in closed rooms, for instance, classrooms in aging school buildings.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Find your Muse in Heber Springs The sign above the front door of Muse’s Country Store sets the tone for the jumble of merchandise inside: “Come share a memory!”
READ TO ME: A driven little girl, three horses, one fierce old lady Bonny is dedicated to bike racing and living out her parents dreams — until she meets her first horses.
Is it covid or just a cold? Here’s expert advice for parents who really can’t afford to quarantine every time their kids’ allergies make them sniffle.
OPINION | READ TO ME: There is such a thing as ‘Too Many Jacks’ The outrageous escapades of Jack make reading big fun for beginners.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Lonoke County Museum A journey to a sunny view of the past is only a day trip away to the Lonoke County Museum, on U.S. 70 in Lonoke.
READ TO ME: Kids earn points as they save the planet from plastic This jaunty, heavily illustrated chapter book is full of positive projects to help kids lord it over younger siblings and, possibly, drive clueless parents nuts. (Kidding!)
OPINION: What remains when we are gone As we passed the cemetery next to our city's oldest church, I called out, "Who wants to go see a cemetery?" "Sure," said the kids. "Sure," said the husband.
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.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Nature center brims with wonders Aptly located just a robust pebble's toss from the Arkansas River, Little Rock's fish-flavored visitor attraction is open again in the River Market District behind the Museum of Discovery.
Don’t ignore a dog's aggression at the vet’s office Most dogs that react aggressively at the animal hospital are actually anxious or frightened.
Just having lots of pets doesn't mean neighbor’s a hoarder You could have a lot of cats and not be a hoarder, but it’s common to see caregivers overwhelmed and unable or unwilling to give pets proper care. And that’s a problem.
Tiny Chef almost loses his cute little mind Our 8-inch-tall stop-motion pal Tiny Chef wants to make his first-day-of-fall veggie stew because it is the first day of fall. But he can't find his recipe book.
Books to help kids cope in the age of coronavirus Children's authors and illustrators have found time under quarantine to produce stories about not just wearing masks but also social distancing, managing germs and simply understanding the scope of a pandemic.
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.
Pinnacle Mountain Monument Trail opens 14 miles of off-road bicycling excitement The new Monument Trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park have paths for many levels of mountain biking skill, including the eager young athletes in NICA.
Arkansas Sightseeing The scenic stretch of highway known as The Pig Trail is highly photogenic in the fall.
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.
READ TO ME: There’s more to ‘Invisible Alphabet’ than meets the eye This clever ABC book won’t put Mom or Dad to sleep.
Stung by a bee, this child developed business acumen Fifteen-year-old Mikaila Ulmer's memoir tells middle-schoolers how and why she became the CEO of a bigtime beverage business and founder of a charitable foundation.
ARKANSAS SIGHTSEEING: Louisiana Purchase State Park Looking for a weekend drive to give the kids a sense of state history? This swampy park could be just the ticket.
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.
How to protect children’s eyes during remote learning More time in front of screens — for school or for fun and connection — can result in eye strain, fatigue and headaches. Experts offer simple ways for parents to protect children's eyes.
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!
Birthdays are still a chance to shower a child with love I grew up in a family that observed birthdays with only a cake. No cards. No presents. No parties. Just “Happy birthday, pass me a hunk of that cake.” That cake mattered.
READ TO ME: A glowing tale for middle-schoolers Everything a landmark middle-school story can be — inspired, inspiring, humorous — "A Wish in the Dark" is a story that whispers, "You are important. Everyone is important."
READ TO ME: This animal doctor never sleeps Here’s a snappy, amusing and informative picture book about animals for ages 4 to 8.
READ TO ME: Grumpy bear doesn’t enjoy rain — or sun This picture book presents a chance to get kids thinking about the power of attitude and the wisdom of paying attention to other people.
OPINION: Girls on the Run inspires joy, health, confidence Jessica Wurst, Girls on The Run of Northwest Arkansas event planner, talks about her organization.
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.
GAME ON: Nostalgia can't carry 'Might & Magic: Chess Royale' This game is easy to pick up and play, but it doesn't take too long to start noticing some serious flaws. The first is microtransactions.
Dogs are not safe in the bed of a pickup truck The safest way for a dog to ride in a pickup is buckled into a seatbelt harness in the cab.
READ TO ME: It's amazing what you can do with a jar These 40 projects use Mason jars as beakers and cylinders, but also as planters, terrariums, prisms, composters, birdfeeders and vacuum chambers.
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.
Cool science for kids: Beetles that blast foes with boiling-hot chemicals With 1.7 million known species of insects to consider, the bombardier beetle might not be the world's most interesting insect. But it is very interesting.
READ TO ME: This little mess-making cat is actually too cute Live in a house with a cat, a child and a member of the prey species routinely eaten by cats and you do not want a book that pretends there's no harm in a sweet little cat.
READ TO ME: Time to celebrate National Regular Average Ordinary Day A boy learns the value of having nothing special to do in this energetic picture book.
Healthy dogs can have dry, warm noses Veterinarian Lee Pickett explains why, often, a healthy dog's nose isn’t cold and wet.
Granny’s games are blasts from the past Jacks, marbles, Annie-Annie-Over and Lemonade kept future grandparents hopping.
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.
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.
Not a lot of schooling got done during the 1918 flu pandemic If your school closed because of the novel coronavirus, you have something in common with kids growing up 100 years ago.
READ TO ME: Antiracist Baby is a best-seller This board book is marketed as being right for adults "who may feel hesitant or unprepared to have conversations about race and racism."
Cardstacker shares tips for building towering stacks of cards Bryan Berg began stacking cards when he was about 8 years old. Today he holds the Guinness World Record for the largest playing card structure and the tallest house of cards.
Teaching teens to drive poses a challenge during the pandemic Teenagers are still eager to hit the road, and it’s still possible to teach them to drive.
Arkansas officials: Stay up to date on vaccinations Child vaccination rates have dropped since covid-19 tightened its grip on Arkansas two months ago, prompting concerns of outbreaks of some preventable diseases.
A girl, her dad, a fishing pole and Porch Dips Matt Parrott came up with this arm-strengthening idea while talking about fishing with his daughter on their porch.
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.
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.
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.
Kids can have fun with these brainy home crafts and science projects Here are some STEAM-related projects that kids won't immediately recognize as "educational."
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.
One, two, make your own kazoo Making your own kazoo is as easy as one, two, three.
Grow your own salt Making a small salt farm and harvesting the salt crystals is an easy science project for elementary school kids.
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.
These apps let you make comics even if you aren't an artist Drawing comics can entice children into creative writing. Here's a guide to apps for making digital comics on a "screen" or a plain old piece of paper.
Help Mom manage her to-do list with a handy organizer Mother’s Day is Sunday! A handmade, custom clipboard would help Mom manage her ever-changing to-do list.
Cats cannot live on tuna alone Tuna is too low in vitamins E, K and the B vitamins that cats require in large amounts. Tuna is low in calcium, too.
ASK THE VET: Munching mushrooms in the yard could kill your dog Animal poison control specialists are receiving twice as many calls about mushroom poisoning this year as last.
It’s kind to prepare dogs for their post-pandemic lifestyle Owners can do several things now to lessen the stress dogs will undergo when they return to their regular office.
ASK THE VET: Medications can mess with a dog’s sniffer In humans, more than 70 drugs affect the sense of smell. So, it shouldn't be surprising that some medications can reduce scenting ability in dogs.
ASK THE VET: Indoor cats need rabies vaccination The cat is the domestic animal that most often tests positive for rabies in the U.S.; the bat is the most commonly infected wildlife species, and even indoor cats meet up with bats.
ASK THE VET: Even indoor cats need protection from heartworms Mosquitoes can slip indoors, and so even indoor cats need protection from mosquito-borne diseases.
ASK THE VET: Lepto lurks in innocent looking puddles Is it OK to let a dog drink from puddles? Short answer: no.
Dogs do not understand scolding Yelling at a dog after he's raided the trash only confuses him — he has no idea why this crazy human is shouting at him — and that makes him fear you.
VIDEO: Cats eat grass because they like it; but some grass harms cats As carnivores, cats eat herbivores like mice and voles. Since these herbivores eat grass, the free-roaming cat ingests some vegetables when he eats his prey.
Advice for covid-positive pet owners Should a pet owner who tests positive for the novel coronavirus have family pets tested too?
ASK THE VET: Distract and redirect a dog that marks furniture The most common negative behavior exhibited by unneutered — what veterinarians call "intact" — dogs is marking.
ASK THE VET: Don't allow dogs to swim in green water A pond or creek that suddenly turns green could harbor bacteria deadly to dogs.
ASK THE VET: Bread dough is a no-no for the doggo Is raw bread dough safe for dogs? The short answer? No. The long answer? Really not.
ASK THE VET: Leave baby bunnies in the nest Would wild baby bunnies that appear to be abandoned make good family pets?
ASK THE VET: What to do when the puppy gets skunked Commercial de-skunking products are safe for puppies, or you could try these home remedies.
“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.
This free digital book answers kids’ questions about covid-19 A new, free, digital picture book will help adults struggling to answer children’s repeated questions about why the world has turned upside down.
The day all the street signs quit work In this charming picture book, street signs get tired of being taken for granted.
Mermaids of the landlocked sort collide in this book In this graceful new picture book with chapters, an independent little girl befriends a rude old woman staying at the Mermaid Hotel.
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.
READ TO ME: ‘The Stray’ is a keeper A family out for a stroll happens across a lost little lifeform in a wrecked flying saucer. He or it has jagged teeth and wiry whiskers and eyeballs on eye stalks, but also a curly tail and four dog-like legs.
READ TO ME: Reassurance for kids who live in storm country This children’s picture book delivers reassurance, and even though the scenery presents an ocean town, it's appropriate for children who live in landlocked, storm-thrashed places like Arkansas.
Yawns are coming, and they are cute In this new picture book, the Yawns catch the kids, the kids don't catch the yawns.
READ TO ME: A picture book for kids curious about Mars This is not a bedtime story, at least not the first time you share it with a child. It's brainy. It stimulates thought.
Chemist's book has 25 kid-friendly science projects Designed for for children ages 8 to 12, the experiments rely on common products including dish soap and baking soda, with a dash of glitter thrown into the “puffy slime” formula.
READ TO ME: Now more than ever, these animals need to apologize In this unexpectedly timely book, little animals say mean, mean things that do not represent their true feelings for each other.
A book for Momma What to give the mother who has had everything already? How about a book about her life and family history?
Clever Hans amazed the world just by being himself ... a horse This lively picture book about a horse that seemed to be a genius will worry and then please young scientists while also satisfying kids who want to believe in a talking horse.
Kinder, gentler billy goats dare to cross the bridge These billy goats are not so Gruff that they can't make friends with a hungry troll.
Arkansas moms’ advice: Be gentle, be patient In honor of Mother's Day, we checked in with some Northwest Arkansas-area moms to find out how life during a pandemic is going for them.