Just For Fun

Sparkler Safety on Independence Day

»Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Just For Fun | 0 comments

Fireworks SafetySparklers burn around 1,000 people per year and around 50% of sparkler injuries happen to children under five. Sparklers reach 1,800° Fahrenheit when the chemical mixture on the wire is lit and stay hot after the sizzling is complete.

Kids love Sparklers and, even if you’d never buy them, you might find your child begging to hold one at your Fourth of July celebration. Don’t be afraid to say no, of course, but if you do say yes, children should be shown how to safely hold it and should be supervised closely.

Here are some other good tips to keep in mind. 

  • An adult should light one sparkler at a time.
  • Children should be standing and holding the wire at arms length.
  • Everyone using a sparkler should be more than an arms length away from one another.
  • Instruct children not to throw or swing sparklers.
  • Remind children the wire stays hot after it is extinguished.
  • Have a glass or bucket of water for sparkler disposal.

Sources
Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2004 Fireworks Annual Report
Good Housekeeping

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Five Great Outdoor Summer Party Games

»Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Just For Fun | 0 comments

outdoortwisterHere’s some set it and forget it outdoor games for kids. Try them at your 4th of July picnic!

Obstacle Course – For 1 or more — Give the kid(s) some basic supplies for creating an obstacle course – hula hoops, cones, logs, boxes, ropes, lawn chairs and anything else they can find. Then give them the kitchen timer!

Scavenger Hunt –For 1 or more —  Have the kid(s) make the list themselves or you can do it for younger ones. No need to hide items. Use what nature provides with a list such as: pine cone, leaf, pine needle, stone, piece of tree bark, acorn, stick, bird feather, etc.

Kick the Can – For 3 or more — A fun variation of hide and seek. Place a can in the middle of the yard. Whoever is “it” (older child is best) counts to 20 while the rest hide. “It” tags each hider and puts them in a holding area. Any hider who kicks the can releases the captive kids as well. The game ends when the child who is “It” gets everyone in the holding area.

Red Light, Green Light – For 3 or more —  One person is the traffic light and the other players are the “cars.” From Wired.com, “When the traffic light faces the group, he or she says, “Red light!” and everyone must freeze. The traffic light then turns his or her back and says, “Green light!” while the kids try to get as close to the traffic light as possible. The traffic light turns around quickly, again saying, “Red light!”, and if anyone is spotted moving, they have to go back to the starting place. The first person to tag the traffic light wins.”

Running Bases – For 3 or more —  Needs two bases (about wide enough for two people to stand on it), a tennis ball, and two ball throwers. Set up the bases at least 20 ft apart for good running space (or as far apart as your throwers can throw (adults can play too!).  The 2 throwers stand on or near the opposite bases and the rest of the players, or runners, divide themselves between the sides. As the throwers toss the ball, the runners try and make it to the opposite base without getting tagged by the thrower. Only the thrower holding the ball can tag a runner. The last runner standing wins.

Have fun this weekend!

Sources:
Suite 101
Huffington Post
Wired.com 

 

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SGWS Student is Augustus Glop

»Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Alumni, Just For Fun, School News | 0 comments

IMAG0379SGWS student, Gio Palermo, performed as Augustus Glop in Magical Theater’s production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The Show, put on by the Magical Theater Company, ran the first 2 weeks in May, was based on the book by Roald Dahl and directed by Holly Barkdoll. Augustus Glop is the gluttonous boy who can’t stop himself from eating on the tour and eventually falls into the chocolate river.

Gio is moving into Class 6 at SGWS this upcoming year. Congratulations on your role in this production, Gio!

 

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Northeast Ohio Activities

»Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Just For Fun | 1 comment

Waldorf educators believe children need lots of free time, outdoors and indoors alike, and boredom is a good thing – the precursor to creativity. That said, there are those days during summer break, perhaps after three solid days of rain, when everyone could use a little enrichment. Below is a list of resources of things to do in Northeast Ohio, pulled from the website, Find Time for Fun.

Here is a Northeast Ohio Family Friendly Calendar:

http://findtimeforfun.com/northeast-ohio-kids-calendar/

 

Here is a complete list of Festivals in Ohio:

http://ohiofestivals.net/festival-schedule/

 

Here are some Northeast Ohio indoor fun for those rainy days:

American Bouncers (CuyahogaCounty – Cleveland)

The Jump Yard (CuyahogaCounty – North Royalton)

DiscoveryWorks at Avon Lake Public Library (Lorain County – Avon) *Free

Playground World (Lorain County – Avon) *Free During Select Weekly Days/Times*

Romp & Stomp Center (MedinaCounty – Medina)

Rockin’ Robin’s Amazone (MedinaCounty – Medina)

Indoor Playland at First Christian Church (Stark – North Canton) *Free

Adventure Landings (StarkCounty – Canton)

Pump it Up Hartville (StarkCounty – Hartville)

Pump it Up Stow (SummitCounty – Stow)

Planetarium Shows (Northeast Ohio)

Ashtabula Maritime Museum (AshtabulaCounty – Ashtabula)

Conneaut Historical Railroad Museum (AshtabulaCounty – Conneaut)

The Children’s Museum of Cleveland (CuyahogaCounty – University Circle)

Cleveland Museum of Art (Cuyahoga County – University Circle) *Free

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CuyahogaCounty – University Circle)

Cleveland’s Learning Center and Money Museum (CuyahogaCounty – Cleveland)

A Christmas Story House and Museum (CuyahogaCounty – Tremont)

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center (CuyahogaCounty – Bay Village)

Kidzibits Family Education Center (CuyahogaCounty – University Circle)

Crawford Aviation/Automotive Museum (Cuyahoga County – Cleveland) 

Great Lakes Science Center (CuyahogaCounty – Cleveland)

Museum of Contemporary Art (CuyahogaCounty – University Circle)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (CuyahogaCounty – Cleveland)

Butler Institute of American Art (MahoningCounty – Youngstown)

McDonough Museum of Art (MahoningCounty – Youngstown)

OH WOW! Children’s Center for Science & Technology (MahoningCounty –Youngstown)

The Arms Family Museum (MahoningCounty – Youngstown)

Medina Toy and Train Museum (MedinaCounty, Medina)

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum (RichlandCounty – Mansfield)

Biblewalk Wax Museum (RichlandCounty – Mansfield)

Mansfield Fire Museum and Education Center (RichlandCounty – Mansfield)

MAPS Air Museum (StarkCounty – North Canton)

Massillon Museum (StarkCounty – Massillon)

McKinley Museum & Discovery World (StarkCounty – Canton)

Pro Football Hall of Fame (StarkCounty – Canton)

Canton Classic Car Museum (StarkCounty – Canton)

Canton Museum of Art (StarkCounty – Canton)

Akron Art Museum (SummitCounty – Akron)

Akron Fossils & Science Center (Truassic Park) (SummitCounty – Akron)

Dennison Railroad Depot Museum (TuscarawasCounty – Dennison)

Bowling (Northeast Ohio)

Glow in the Dark Indoor Miniature Golf (Northeast Ohio)

Laser Tag (Northeast Ohio)

Roller Skating Rinks (Northeast Ohio)

P. Graham Dunn Factory Tour (WayneCounty – Dalton)

Train ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (Akron, Canton, Cleveland stations)

AC&J Scenic Train Rides (AshtabulaCounty – Jefferson)

Tour an Amish Home and take a ride on a Horse & Buddy (HolmesCounty –Millersburg)

Explore Squires Castle (Cuyahoga County – North Chagrin Nature Center) *Free

Tour Glamorgan Castle (StarkCounty – Alliance)

Harry London Chocolates Factory Tour (StarkCounty – North Canton)

Friday Lunch Trolley Rides in Akron (Summit County – Akron) *Free

 

Here is a list of FREE activities:     

Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park Beach (Lake County – Fairport Harbor)

DayBreak Lavender Farm (PortageCounty – Streetsboro)

Home Depot Kids Workshops (Northeast Ohio)

Lowe’s Build & Grow Clinics (Northeast Ohio)

Micheal’s Make it Take it Crafts (Northeast Ohio) 

Lakeshore Learning Crafts for Kids (CuyahogaCounty – Beachwood)

Canal Fulton Glassworks (StarkCounty – Canal Fulton) *Free Glass Blowing Demonstrations*

Akron Glassworks (SummitCounty – Akron) *Free Glass Blowing Demonstrations*

Playground World (GeaugaCounty – Chesterland) *Free During Select Weekly Days/Times*

DiscoveryWorks at AvonLake Public Library (LorainCounty – Avon)

Playground World (Lorain County – Avon) *Free During Select Weekly Days/Times*                    

Indoor Playland at First Christian Church (Stark – North Canton) 

Cleveland Museum of Art (Cuyahoga County – University Circle) 

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary (Richland County – Mansfield) 

Gospel Hill Lighthouse Tour (Coshocton County – Coshocton) 

Explore Squires Castle (Cuyahoga County – North Chagrin Nature Center) 

Friday Lunch Trolley Rides in Akron (Summit County – Akron) 

Hike the trails at a Metropark (Northeast Ohio)

Bike the Towpath Trail (Northeast Ohio)

Nature Centers (Northeast Ohio)

Check out a new Playground.  Read our Playground Reviews. (Northeast Ohio)

Preston’s H.O.P.E Playground – Largest Fully Accessible Playground in Northeast Ohio (CuyhoagaCounty – Beechwood)

“Squaw Rock” in South Chagrin Reservation (Cuyahoga County - Bentleyville) 

Memorial Park J.U.M.P playground (MedinaCounty – Medina)

Wingfoot Lake Park (PortageCounty – Suffield)

Price Park – Remember to bring bread to feed the ducks (StarkCounty – North Canton)

Sippo Lake Park & Exploration Gateway (StarkCounty – Canton)

Memorial Park (SummitCounty – Tallmadge)

Safety Village (SummitCounty – Stow)

Summit Metroparks Fall Hiking Spree *Free for SummitCounty Residents

Edgewood Park (Summit County – Barberton) 

Boettler Park (Summit County – Green) 

Fort Island / Griffith’s Park (Summit County – Fairlawn) 

Waterfall at The Gorge Metropark (Summit County – Cuyahoga Falls) 

SOAR Fully Accessible Playground (SummitCounty – Stow)

KidStation Fire station themed Playground (SummitCounty – Stow)

Knights Field Playground & Kiddy City – Mini Town for Kids to Ride their Bikes in (Wayne County – Wooster) 

Cleveland’s Rockefeller Park Greenhouse (CuyahogaCounty – Cleveland)

Clary Gardens (CoshoctonCounty – Coshocton)

Fellows Riverside Gardens (MahoningCounty – Youngstown)

Children’s Garden at the Canton Garden Center (StarkCounty – Canton)

Secrest Arboretum & Gardens (Wayne County – Wooster) 

Akron Youth Symphony Conterts (SummitCounty – Akron)

Northeast Ohio Spraygrounds, Spray Parks & Wading Pools (Over 45 locations)

FREE Indoor & Outdoor Swimming Pools in Cleveland 

Summer Reading Programs for Kids

 

Have fun out there!

 

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National Waldorf Art Exhibit Seeking Entries

»Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in Just For Fun | 0 comments

Feeding A Pony - Rebecca Varon

Feeding A Pony – Rebecca Varon

Waldorf alumni, parents and teachers are being called to enter their art including painting, drawing, sculpture, woodwork, handwork and more. Qualifying art will be featured in a national exhibition in Philadelphia November 7-10, 2013.

Deadline for entry is June 15th and the show has been organized by the Waldorf School of Philadelphia. Art can be submitted through digital image and will be judged by a panel of artists and teachers and designers.

Entry requirements and instructions can be found by clicking HERE.

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The Case for a Summer Slowdown

»Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Early Childhood, Just For Fun, Research | 0 comments

Camp5If you Google, “Summer break with children,” you get two types of search results — a variety of activity lists or articles about the evils of summer’s off. Turns out they call it “summer fade,” which is a one month backslide in learning coupled with an increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) for kids.

Many parents counter these issues with a rigorous schedule of summer camps, sport practice and tutoring. While watching television all day with a box of pop tarts is obviously not good, there are some other options beyond a highly structured and scheduled summer.

When planning, or not planning your child’s summer, consider the scientifically proven benefits of  boredom, free play and time in nature. These research studies about children and learning support the idea of a summer slowdown.

In a recent BBC news article, Children should be allowed to get bored,  Dr Teresa Belton said, “Cultural expectations that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination.”

Now couple that reality with studies connecting time in nature with increased learning and emotional capabilities. The positive results of being outdoors for children are vast as seen in this PDF of a decade of Scientific Studies on this topic. Some highlights include:

  • “When children engage in authentic play in nature-based outdoor spaces, they develop skills in a variety of domains simultaneously.” - Miller, D.L., Tichota, K,.White, J. (2009).
  • “Sullivan has revealed that the symptoms of children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are relieved after contact with nature. The greener the setting, the more the relief.” – Taylor, A., Kuo, F. & Sullivan, W. (2001).
  • “Children who regularly have positive personal experiences with the natural world show more advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility.” - Fjortoft, Ingunn (2001).

In addition to the learning benefits to boredom and time in nature, there is also the issue of free play. This article from Parenting Science explores over a decade of studies about the benefits of unstructured play time. The author is careful to note that free play does not mean physcial education classes or sports. Free play is just that. Unstructured play time, which is proven to help math skills, language development, and creative problem solving.

  • “Play and exploration trigger the secretion of BDNF, a substance essential for the growth of brain cells.”
  • “Psychologist Edward Fisher analyzed 46 published studies of the cognitive benefits of play (Fisher 1999). He found that “sociodramatic play”—what happens when kids pretend together—’results in improved performances in both cognitive-linguistic and social affective domains.’”

And finally, before you schedule a summer of busy stimulation, consider this article and advice from Simplicity Parenting writer Kim John Payne. He says:

“[When Google is hiring they say] ‘we’re less concerned about grades and transcripts and more interested in how you think.’”

If we rewind to a childhood that makes an adult like that, what do we see? Is it racing around from one prep course to another? From soccer to piano to Mandarin? A childhood on the clock and filling up the gaps with zoning on the iPad and obsessing about making more friends on Facebook?

I don’t think so.

When we really look at what happens for a kid when they slow down, tune in to themselves, take space and get busy in serious play, we can see that what they are learning is how to be create a kind of inner structure that will serve them (and us) well in the world ahead. … Play provides a deep and wide-reaching  domain for kids to experiment with the real work of the real world.”

 

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