Kids (88)

Under the Sea, or Beside It?

It can be quite a production to get your kid(s) all geared up, in the car, into your chosen venue, and on their butts in their seats, all to show them a bit of theater, film, or dance that you are sure will open up a whole new area in their brains, specifically the appreciation-that-leads-to-cultured-adulthood part. But then, as you’re watching their reactions to the art on stage out of the corner of your eye,…

This Conehead Is Gold

‘Oldsters’ who were born in the 70s are still too young to remember the 1968 release of the animated Beatles film Yellow Submarine. But, since many of us had hippie parents who were willing to venture out of the forest to places like the Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville to show their kids how fantastical the great John and company were, yes, we were exposed to the cartoon, and duly captivated. Not by the plot,…

Bouncers Welcome

Everybody remembers the excitement we felt as children when entry into the most fun place on earth was imminent. It could have been located within a state or county fair, or even in a well-off friend’s back yard. What is that place? The gravity-defying, backflip-trying bouncy house, of course. Parents watching their kids literally jump for joy in those inflatable fun zones have been known to shake their heads and chuckle, reminiscing on a time…

Better Safe than Sorry

You can see it in the fascination on their faces as an emergency vehicle wails by, and in their choices of toy cars, one of which almost always is an ambulance, police car, or fire engine, if not all three. They ask you what the people in the vehicles are doing and are satisfied that certain adults do heroic things for work. Kids love emergency vehicles. The folks at Westbrook Public Safety well understand this,…

Look alive: STRIVE for 5

It’s something every expecting mother and father ask themselves: What if our child is born with developmental disabilities? How will I feel? What will we do? And, should it eventually come to pass and be confirmed (usually before the age of 22), the parents, universally as far as we’ve heard, feel the same overwhelming and everlasting love for their child, teen, or young adult as they did the day the baby was born. And what…

It Starts with Tapping Your Toes

While it is true that an inordinate number of Portland youths are mostly sedentary, quite a few are not. Among those enthusiastic youngsters, some are lucky enough to have supportive parents and the opportunity to develop a physical skill, beyond everyday play. When play is organized, every sport is an arena of such skills. Ball-handling skills, passing accuracy, and shooting under duress are three examples from basketball alone. The self-engineered stamina and endurance of long-distance…

Can You Make it to the Olympics

Have the words “Don’t you want to grow up big and strong?” ever left your lips? Were you caught in a moment of shock sitting at your own dinner table immediately after, not believing your own parents had the magical ability to speak through you like that? The whole spiel, diet and exercise, has been ingrained in Americans’ heads for generations. It isn’t going away. Whether the old cliche inspires your kids to eat their…

The Acro-Cats March into Town

Remember the Guinness Book of World Records? One guy ate a bicycle, piece by piece, made small enough to swallow with a hacksaw and some elbow grease, to get in the Book. Another lady had fingernails so long that they spiraled in on themselves so that she couldn’t do something as simple as pick up a fork to eat. And who could forget the 500-pound twins on those tiny dirt bikes?   We don’t know…

There's No Place Like Home

Judy Garland. If you didn’t fall in love with her as a kid, you have a friend that did. It’s been awhile since we were at our grandparents’ house at Thanksgiving time, but back then, that’s when you caught it on TV: The Wizard of Oz. Brothers, sisters, even parents would have a curious conversation about how MGM organized so many small people actors, and how did the visual crew do such a good job…

Have You Ever Heard a Who?

“I would not eat them in a box. I would not eat them with a fox.” This and many other rhymes are instantly recognized by adults and children worldwide as the words of Theodor Geisel, the incomparable Dr. Seuss. His playful lines and phantasmagoric art style brought many of us into the world of reading for the first time. “Let me read this time, Dad!” Today, many writers or painters would tell you that their…
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