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Family Time Cures Summertime Blues
20 Cool and Exciting Activities
By Deborah A. Beasley
Happy Anti-Boredom Month! That is right, folks. The month of July is Anti-Boredom Month, here in the good old U.S. of A.! Do not ask why…Let us just move on.
If your kids are complaining of boredom during their time off from school, here is your opportunity to fight off the family doldrums this summer by getting out, having fun, and spicing up the heat! Here are 20 ways to beat the heat, promote fitness, connect with your children, enjoy America, and leave electronics behind.
- Make a day trip to the beach or lake for swimming, fishing, or relaxing.
- Get out the rackets and play a family game of tennis or badminton.
- Plan a picnic (backyard, nearby park, wherever), and let the kids help with the menu. A dollar store Frisbee, watermelon seed spitting contest, and a few kites are all you need to complete the day. A favorite place to spend the summer days when I was growing up was Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site, in Chadds Ford, PA.
- Riding bicycles. Look up the nearest Rails to Trails Program in your area. The quaint town of Jim Thorpe in the Pocono Mountains, PA, has such an opportunity. Easy downhill riding and fabulous vistas for all ages. Bike rentals are reasonable, and child carriers and trailers are available.
- Overnight camping in a tent or trailer is great fun for the whole family, even if it is in your own backyard!
- Explore one of the many beautiful state parks near you for hiking, picnicking, and swimming. You might catch a glimpse of some local wild life. Stop by the Ranger Station for fun activities they offer like identifying animal tracks.
- Visit local historic sights. We live 20 minutes from historic Philadelphia, PA, home of Carpenters Hall, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell. We sometimes forget there is much to do so near to us. What historic sights are near you?
- Visit a children’s museum, or other museum in a city nearest you. Have the kids take part is the many activities provided at the museum like scavenger and other discovery hunts. The Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, NJ offers kiddies hands on activities they’ll love.
- Visit a petting zoo, or your city or state zoo. The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk offers over 350 animals on 53 acres. You can take a safari through Africa and see their African elephants.
10. See the world from down under (under water, that is), and spend time with sharks, penguins, octopi and fishes at the aquarium. The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina is one of our favorites!
- 11. Plan a trip to a living history farm and give the family a taste of early American life.
12. Visit an Amish Community for great food, fun, and help expand your child’s cultural understanding. In Pennsylvania, the Amish Community to visit is located in Lancaster.
13. Pick fruit at a local farm. Then return home for a special treat of the fresh taste of strawberries, blueberries, or peaches. The promise of adding a little vanilla ice cream will give the kiddies an extra incentive to fill their baskets!
14. A backyard bonfire with friends. Don’t forget the s’mores and hokey campfire songs. Here are a few examples:
- She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain When She comes
- He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands
- This is the Song That Never Ends
Alright. I know at least one of you is thinking – “Kumbiyah”, but I was not going to say it!
- 15. Trip to a Water Park!
- 16. Boardwalk amusements fun! In Southern New Jersey, the Wildwoods offer spectacular fireworks on the boardwalk every Friday night!
- 17. Family and friends mini-golf tournament.
18. Invite another family for Cosmic Bowling. Have everyone where articles of clothing with colors that glow in the dark.
19. Horseback riding on woodsy trails is fun for teens and adults alike.
20. Take advantage of the many traveling circuses and carnivals passing through your area every summer. You will often be supporting a local Fire company, sports team, or other community endeavor in the process of having great family fun.
Well, there you have it. Twenty cool and exciting activities you can do to fill summer down time with your kids. Send them back to school refreshed, reenergized, and reconnected with you. There IS a cure for the summertime blues, and you create the family memories that never fade away! Have fun!
©2012 Deborah A. Beasley All rights reserved.
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BRAIDS BEADS and BALLIES
The Glory of Black Hair
© 2011 by Deborah A. Beasley ACPI CCPF
If you are Caucasian parents raising African American children, like I am, learning proper care of your child’s hair can become a slippery process. The daily confrontation with thick curly hair, tangles, tears, and intricate styling methods can leave even the most adventurous parent feeling like she’s all thumbs! Well, grab the detangler and a towel ‘cause things are about to get messy!
Black hair is lathered with products that sound as though they belong in the kitchen. Products like carrot and olive oil, coconut and soy oil, and, yes, even castor oil. It is dressed with pomade, pudding, and something called Hair Food! These gel-like, oil-based products come in strange colors of black, dark green, and blue. They typically carry warnings that say: “Highly flammable! Keep hair away from open flame!”
All of this is enough to make a white woman tremble with the prospect of having to do their child’s hair! Relax! Before you are through you will be able to section straight parts and bead braids with the best of them!
Invest, Organize and Get Comfortable
Every woman knows there are certain things a well coifed doo can’t do without. All that hair a top those little brown heads will need special care to stay looking and behaving well. There is always a cost to looking beautiful and keeping up with your child’s curly locks is no exception.
Here are some ideas to help you begin:
- Consider finding a well stocked beauty supply shop. Better yet find one that serves the African American community. You will save money on the many items you need at a beauty supplier and benefit from built in advice and mentoring available from employees or shop owners. (Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. They already know we don’t know what we’re doing!)
- Gather a few cute baskets or other containers for storing essential hair accoutrements. I have girls, so ‘pretty’, ‘cute’ and colorful is what they like. Boys will need the basics. How many containers you use will depend on your child’s hair styles and how fancy you wish to get.
- Give thought to where you will store your ‘mini mobile hair salon’. You will likely want to have items easily accessible and tote able. Where will you be fixing your child’s hair most often?
Investment, organization and a comfortable working space are logistically important considerations. It takes some time to twist and plait hair, and it will go more smoothly when you have everything you need at your well oiled fingertips.
Well Dressed Hair
Many adoptive parents struggle when it comes to the actual execution of caring for their child’s hair. Below is a list of essential items you need for your child to have well dressed hair at any age.
- Combs – The following adaptation from a famous medieval playwright does NOT apply in this case. ‘A comb by any other name is still a comb’.
Ethnic hair textures vary greatly from fine and soft to very thick and course with varying combinations in between. Using the right comb (and brush) for the particular hair texture your child has is important.
Generally, you need a fine tooth comb, a detangler comb, and an extra large wide tooth comb. For brushes, I highly recommend the wooden style with medium to stiff bristles. Boys will like the wooden oval palm brushes.
- Shampoo and Conditioner – Babies hair is usually very soft whether thick or fine. The ‘no tears’ baby shampoos will be everything you need for a while. After that, ramp up the moisture building products. Look for products with key words like: rich, conditioning shampoo, oil, moisturizing, cream shampoo, or cream conditioner.
- Detangler Spray – Conditioning Detangler spray is you and your child’s best friend in the whole picture of hair care. You may notice that curly hair coils around itself creating painful tangles and mats in the hair. Detangler sprays and cream leave-in conditioners help relax the coiled hair and mats so they can be combed out.
- Beads, Ballies, Bows, Elastic Bands and Clips – These accessories you can acquire over time as needed and depending upon the type of styling preferred. Be aware that elastic bands are a consumable item and these things need frequent replacing.
The Glory of Black Hair
In the black community hair is an important part of ethnic identity! It is braided and coifed, twisted and knotted, shaved and carved. The glory that is black hair is made into dreads, adorned with extensions, and corn rowed into elaborate designs.
Learning how to care for your child’s hair is an essential piece in blending the multicultural elements of your family. Now that you have a head start, stop trembling! You are a white women in the know! Now, wash the hair gel off your hands and go play with your beautiful kids!
Look for my next article on this topic: TACKLING TROUBLESOME TANGLES!
If you would like to explore your questions about issues related to cross-cultural adoption, contact me as DeborahBeasley20@yahoo.com, or 609-970-1100.
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MULTIPLE TRANSITIONS: A YOUNG CHILD’S POINT OF VIEW ABOUT FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION
This video was written and Produced by Michael Trout, Director of the Infant-Parent Institute in Champaign, Ill. (c) 1997.
It provides a real, I mean really real, look into the experience of a child in foster care, and insight into what such a child thinks being adopted is all about. It opens the foster adoptive parents to how the child views her or his world. This powerful video illustrates profoundly the content of many of the articles on this site. I hope it will have the added impact to create new prospectives in the understanding and handling of foster children everywhere.
Foster care as it exists today is psychologically and emotionally damaging. It will never be okay for a child to be in foster care. But radical improvements throughout the system can make it safer for children in state care. Fewer moves and long term care with better trained, screened, and monitored caregivers is a start.
This video is powerful and emotional. Settle in, folks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride… Deb
After you view the video below click the back button to return to How Does Your Child Grow and leave a comment.