Posts Tagged “recreation”

Puppets in Pasola Park with Lady Hawke Storytelling

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NJ Parks: Fasola Park

by Deborah McMaster

NJ Parks: Fasola ParkLady Hawke Storytelling jumped off the page to me from the Gloucester County Freeholders’ 2015 Park Events Guide. New to the area, this brochure was a welcome surprise in my mailbox. I grabbed my Sharpie to circle interesting ideas for my daughters and me to do with the four youngest grandchildren this summer. Several possibilities on every page – what a great family-oriented place to live!
Friday, July 24, 2015 I took off work for five of us to have some Family Fun at Fasola Park (Where’s that?…Answer: Deptford, and easy to find). A beautiful hot summer day, Laura Kaighn (Lady Hawke) was telling her stories under the pavilion. The children sat on the floor at her feet as she told us about the mischievous Raven Child. Next a story about holding up the sky – the favorite of all three of my grandchildren. Lady Hawk in Fasola Park, NJThen my favorite about a special grandmother gift to Laura when she was a child. Remarkable was that there were no children neither wandering around nor running. Of Cherokee and Celtic heritage, and with a degree in education, Lady Hawke has been capturing children’s attention for 20 years!
After the stories Laura allowed the children to see and touch various artifacts such as shells or rocks, puppets, and the “grandmother gift” itself that she brings to display. Alissa and Marissa especially liked the bunny fur. Some books were available for purchase so we got the one with Lady Hawke’s collection of short stories. Marissa began reading it as soon as we left the storytelling area.
As you can see upon visiting the website http://ladyhawkestorytelling.com, Laura is passionate about “getting the word out” in many forms, especially enhancing education in children and young adults. Her affinity for Native American culture, nature and positive messages came through in her choice of stories for this event. We certainly hope to hear more of her!

NJ Parks: Fasola ParkI must add a few words about the Fasola Park – we love it!! There is a water-sprinkler area. Restrooms are inside a building. There are swings, including a larger plastic one with rubber padded ramp underneath for a handicapped or wheelchair-bound child! There are colorful things to climb on and in, made of a plastic or rubber material that doesn’t feel hot to touch even with the sun beating down! Better than monkey bars for smaller fry, some pieces are wide with foot-holes and more solid surface space to climb on. Most with the rubber padded surface underneath.  All in all, this is a top-notch family play spot in South Jersey.

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How to Beat Kid's Summer Boredom

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Sure there are so many things to do for the summer, and every child anxiously awaits the last day of school.  But nonetheless, they experience days of total summer boredom and with that comes nothing good, including the messiest play, mischief, migraines for parents and constant whining.  So here are a few simple suggestions to shake those days up and avoid the pitfalls of overly boring, super hot-n-sticky days of summer.

1.  Catch the sunset.

Sunset on the Delaware River

 

Catchin The Suns Rays

We are fortunate to live close to a park situated on the Delaware River… making an amazing backdrop for the day’s end.   The playground provided plenty of entertainment while we waited for each stage of the sun setting.  For my toddler is was a great lesson in colors as well, as we watched the sky transform from blues and greens to oranges and purples.  Just an amazing summertime thing to do.  We didn’t stay long after, but you could certainly take advantage of the light evening darkness for catching fireflies.  For more educational ideas, look for shapes in the distance and clouds.  For us, the bridge provided angles and triangles.  Talk about the different types of clouds, fresh water vs salt bodies of water, and perception of objects (like will that barge fit under the bridge when it looks too large?)  Test your little one to find the best angle to go down the slide or why sneakers might make you go slower.  And be sure to just sit back and enjoy nature’s beautiful daily artistry. 

Pillow Tower Fun

2. Build a tower of pillows.

Pillow Tower Tumbling

Almost like building blocks but bigger and softer.  Bed pillows, sofa pillows, even the decorative throw pillows add a different dimension to your child’s creative structure.  How high can they stack?  How about tunnels or geometric shapes?  Of course they are fun to climb and topple on top of.  The bravest moms might allow sofa cushions in the mix and/or pillow tosses and fights.  (Confession – I wasn’t that brave mom!)

3.  Themed play… in our case it was Star Wars.

These light sabers totally distract kids (and big kids) from unpleasant storms, heat waves or any boredom.  Part of the charm is that these toys rarely get played with, especially for the young one… so I encourage parents to dig deep for something that the kids rarely get to lay their hands on.

Everything Barbie

Another suggestion: clear a play area and pull out ALL of something for a huge focused playtime activity.  By example, we’ve done this with Barbie… lots and lots of Barbies, furniture, clothes, pets, etc and had one big community of Barbie.  Same idea with Little People making a large platform with all the different pieces arranged to create an interactive community (city, farm, circus).

Catching Some Quiet Time

4. Take a trip to your local library.

We enjoyed a variety of picture

Quiet Time At the Library

books and then had some quiet reading time to ourselves.  Unfortunately we missed the children’s story hour by 30 minutes but now we know better.  Be sure to check out the schedule of events at your library since most have programs for families, especially during the summer.

5. Break away from routine.

Find an opportunity to break your schedule.  Enjoy your breakfast outdoors or perhaps an informal dinner on the deck.  Put on a bubbles parade with music and dance.  Consider summer rain showers as natures sprinklers… and dance in the rain.

Picnic With My Brother

Picnic With My Cousins

6.  Create a Fort.

Sharing Our Fort

Pillows, blankets, cushions and large stuffies enable some cool creations.  Once complete, grab your flashlight for some shadow fun.  Pick out some favorite books and read by flashlight in your new cool hiding place.  Challenge your kids to build a tunnel, multiple entrances and hideaways within the structure.  For added educational fun, consider discussions around the pyramids and ancient castles that were cleverly designed with tunnels, secret spaces and defense in mind.

For more ideas visit Kelly Whalen’s article “25 Frugal Ways To Keep The Kids Busy This Summer” at blog.ableBanking.com.  She includes handy tips like finding free camps, discount museum admission, garden tours and so much more.  Share with us:  What’s your coolest boredom buster?

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