Get outdoors!

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Vaccinations for summer vacation

If the summer months are leaving you with a little time off, July may be the perfect time to get your kids (and you!) in to see the doc for any needed vaccinations before school starts up again. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vaccinations lets you know which ones to get and when, which ones need a booster, and how they are administered. An apple a day may not be guaranteed to keep the doctor away, but staying informed about vaccines can certainly help.

Available on for $14.95.

Life is a highway

Follow the Interstate from Michigan all the way down to Florida in Kids Love I-75. Stay close to home or go on a lengthier adventure using this easy-to-follow guide that includes over 400 kid-approved attractions from restaurants to lodging, and playgrounds to rest stops, all along Interstate 75. Available on for $19.95.

The heart of it all

Kids Love Ohio provides families with more than 500 local opportunities for fun. Many of the attractions in the guide are inexpensive or even free, making day trips and mini vacations easier than ever for the summer. The book even provides pre-made itineraries for you to follow. Available on for $16.95.

The Toddler Care Book

It may seem like just yesterday you were holding your newborn, then seemingly overnight he's transformed into a mobile and opinionated little person. This book is a helpful guide for parents to get through the early years until age 5, including everything from teething to toilet training. Available on for $29.95.

Save money with a staycation

Family vacations are usually one of the first things to go in a tough economy. Avoid pricey airline tickets and hotel stays by vacationing right in your own backyard. In The Great American Staycation, Matt Wixon provides fun tips on having your own day camp, going on day cruises and even sleeping over at the local museum. Available on for $9.99.

Cut from a different cloth

In 1992, Stu Crumpler created a messenger bag from a single piece of fabric using a cutout he named "Mr. Pattern." Today, Crumpler bags are known to be some of the most durable, long-lasting carryalls out there. Crumpler makes an array of backpacks, totes and luggage in all sizes that are weather resistant and designed to hold anything from camping gear to laptops. Available on Prices vary.

Beyond Bandages & Kisses

Let's face it; we can't all be doctors, but having children means dealing with the occasional scraped knee and fever. Written by a nurse and mother of five, this easy-to-follow guide provides three steps for every emergency that teach parents and caregivers how to identify symptoms, what to do, and when to get help. Available on for $16.99.

Grow it, Cook it with Kids

When the weather is beautiful and school is out, there is no better way to spend a sunny afternoon than in the garden. This colorful guide teaches children the art of planting and caring for herbs, potatoes, carrots, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, peas, beans, strawberries and raspberries. When the fruits and vegetables are ripe for the picking, this book offers a slew of yummy recipes to make. Available on for $19.95.

Mud Gloves

A little dirt never hurt anyone, and if you're wearing mud gloves, you're sure to stay clean and dry. Head outside this summer and get all your gardening and yard work done in these extra-tough, water-resistant, latex-coated gloves. Mud offers five different styles to accommodate any type of outdoor chore. For the kids, try Mud Puddles, specially designed for tiny hands. Available on Prices vary.