Fun for Kids of All Ages
The crack of the bat says it all--baseball and softball seasons are in full swing. And who doesn't dream of hitting the winning run in the bottom of the ninth? With the stands full of tense parents and a win-at-any-cost coach on the sidelines, kids can let the fear of making a mistake keep them from developing skills and enjoying the game. But for kids to have a chance to learn the essence of team play, good sportsmanship, and a love of the game, an informal all-family pick-up game might be just the right ticket. When one of our charter families from New York State reported having so much fun at a pick-up game, we decided to take their idea and go with it.
If you're looking for fun that receives perfect 10s from the judges, hold your own backyard Olympics. The scale will be smaller than the Summer 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, scheduled for September 15 through October 1, but the excitement will be epic. This family activity is based on the original festival atmosphere. When Olympians are asked to take an oath before competing, the emphasis is on sportsmanship and doing one's personal best. In Backyard Olympics, this is also true, but fun takes the front seat! The most important thing is not to win, but to take part. Games Each game has a different individual or team format.
Once I camped for a week on a beach in Greece. A sleeping bag on the sand. One dress, one skirt and three shirts...that was all of my gear. My food: all served at the cafe. Turkish coffee. Fresh goat yogurt with a sprinkle of sugar for lunch. Grilled fish. My company: Gents with accents. My activity: Topless bathing. As much sun as I could stand. I was single. Reading seemed taxing. It was only natural that when I had kids, I thought my family would enjoy camping.
One of the most highly anticipated events of the year is the big family vacation. And then there are those much-needed weekend getaways. How these family outings play out often has a lot to do with the planning that goes into them (and the gear you pack). What follows is a guide to some of the Web sites and portable gizmos that can make your life on the road much easier and your vacation a much-needed recharge instead of an energy drain. Essential Web Sites: * When planning a trip, stop by Rough Guide's site. Publishers of the hugely popular travel books, the site reproduces much of their print content as well as more up-to-date info.
Harry Potter--nothing's hotter. If you're reading these books by J. K. Rowlings aloud to your children, you know about Harry's adventures at the Hogwarts School, World Quidditch matches, and all the magic in the stoires. Bring some of the magic into your own home with a Harry Potter party--a perfect way to bring the books to life. A Potter Party is great for birthdays or other special occasions. A Connecticut family also thought it was the perfect way to spend time during a very rainy day. Peggy L. of upstate New York said, "Our Harry Potter Party fit into a surprise early birthday party for Ryan (11), which made it easier for me (Mom).
Yes, that's the sound of the school bell again, but don't despair--you and your family can still build in a fun variation of the family vacation on the weekend or their next day off. Mini-vacations offer the same spirit-renewing benefits as their longer counterparts. The LaClairs of upstate New York said that one-day trips are a good match because "they fit into our time schedule and budget." And there are plenty of fun things to do right in your own backyard. The trick often is in finding them and getting everyone behind the idea. Give each family member the task of suggesting his or her favorite place to eat and something he or she would like to do.
The sky is full of stories waiting to be discovered. For centuries, people have seen these same points of light in the night sky. Stories borne out of the many constellations that eyes around the world have spent hours gazing up at, have been passed on from generation to generation. We can see these same images and share these same stories today. All you need is a clear night, a little patience, and some imagination. A family in Los Angeles suggests adding the perfect background music. "Starwatching," by The Happy Crowd provides lyrics that are right on target: "What a beautiful sight.
Do you experience a subtle thrill of anticipation every time you walk into a darkened theater, groping for your seat, trying not to spill the popcorn and drink in your hand? Movie theaters (note: they are called "theaters"!) still embody a touch of mystery for most people. This feeling is ageless.
It was 10:40 on a school night, the end of the last shift of the day, which had seemed more difficult than usual: homework and bath time had been laborious and fraught with resistance, bedtime was now forty five minutes late. And so I cannot tell you why I and my sons, Ariel, 11 and Ben, nine, were all in Ben's bed when I opened The Secret Garden and began reading aloud. One of my early fantasies of motherhood had been to share this childhood favorite with my own children. But now it was 2000 and I had two boys who were competent though not avid readers, well entrenched in the popular cultures of television and computers.
Hi! This is the space where we'll present projects to vitalize family ties. We'll show you imaginative ways to explore family and community history, stay connected to family far and wide and infuse a spirit of play into your daily routine. Enjoy your family fun! Shari For the past fifteen years Shari Davis has been developing multi-cultural art programs, exhibits and educational resources that explore family and community history and cultural identity. As co-founder of Creative Ways she has brought these programs to dozens of schools and museums.
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