The other day I was relaying a story to my daughter about her grandmother and the playthings she and her brothers would make to amuse themselves as children. There were swings, forts, sling-shots, and stilts all made out of whatever happened to be laying around, which was usually an old tire, bits of rope, discarded wood, and tin cans. Their imaginations were only limited by the amount of junk they could find.
My mother’s childhood got me thinking about creative play and the high hopes I put on the 3D pen my daughter received for Christmas. I hoped it would inspire creativity, and my daughter was excited to make animals, shapes and the various do-dads displayed on the front of the box. Apparently, there is a learning curve involved because 3D shapes never materialized, just a pile of blue, squiggly plastic that burned the top of the coffee table. The pen went back in the box and into the closet where it will probably stay until the next garage sale. The cat, however, was delighted with the 3D pen. She found the charred bits of plastic quite tasty and as a result, has been pooping blue for a week.
I guess the lesson in this is fancy packaging, marketing or even technology doesn’t ensure a good toy. As my mother and the cat demonstrated, sometimes imagination is all you need to create the perfect plaything…or a tasty snack. Check out the Junior’s list for weekend imagination makers.
Grab the little kiddles and head to the Emily Fowler branch of the Denton Public Library this Saturday for a morning romp like no other. At Denton Big Playdate you and the kiddos can make new friends and have the time of your lives playing games that are not only fun but encourage early literacy. In this come-and-go event the Denton ISD, Denton Public Library, and UNT show you how to turn ordinary household objects into your child’s favorite toy.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to frolic in the snow, Frost Fest is your big chance. The free winter festival at Irving’s Cimarron Park this Saturday offers the opportunity for you and the kiddos to to indulge in fun activities such as tubing on a real snow hill, ice skating, train rides, and a petting zoo with a real reindeer display. Head inside Cimarron Park Recreation Center and the Irving Public Library and you can sign up for a library card, do a winter craft, listen to a story or see a puppet show.
Break out the noisemakers and welcome in the Year of the Rooster this Saturday at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The Crow is pulling out all the stops in their 18th Annual Chinese New Year festival that will happen in the Arts District on Flora Street. Highlights of this chicken extravaganza include art activities for the kiddos, fortune-telling, a photo booth, a Chinese magician, and best of all…fireworks! There will be dance performances throughout the day, like the Lion and Dragon dances. The Lion dance is a lot of fun because kids can “feed” the lion red envelopes as he works the crowd after the dance. The envelopes contain a dollar or two and are gifts to the dancers for a job well done. Lastly, come hungry for food trucks or traditional noodle dishes served up by Monkey King Noodle Company. This is a popular event, so be sure to get there early as the crowd is expected to surpass 10,000.
Class clowns, budding magicians and “Knock-Knock” joke enthusiasts won’t want to miss Comedy Magician Mike Williams at the Addison Improv this Sunday afternoon. In this family-friendly show Mike will mix laughs with hocus pocus. He’ll perform his full 80-minute comedy magic show featuring original state of the art illusions, clean side-splitting comedy and loads of audience participation.The doors open an hour before this Sunday afternoon show so you can enjoy lunch beforehand. Kids can order from their own “magic-themed” menu and might even catch a little magic at their table before the main show starts.