Tag Archives: kid friendly activities

Soccer Mom in Training

7 Feb

Baby Beez is only 2 but already I’m struggling to figure out how many and which activities to involve her in.  I’m trying to balance between:

1. Giving her the opportunity to participate in things she enjoys.

2. Not overburdening my (or her) schedule.

3. Not missing the boat on her having the opportunity to develop talent in something she discovers to love and have talent for.

4.  Exposing her to certain activities and skills Mr. Beez and I think are important.

Again, she’s only 2. But the parenting trend seems to veer toward going on activities overload earlier and earlier.

We had her in swim lessons when she was an infant.  The purpose of this was primarily safety.  Although it’s obvious that children must always be watched around water, I also want her to be a strong swimmer.  We took some swim lessons, but they were boring (the teacher wasn’t very involved, it was parents just swimming with their kids and a teacher watched), so we quit for the time being. I need to either re-enroll her in swim lessons, or make a point to take her to the pool regularly once the weather is warm.

She’s now in gymnastics, which for a 2 year old really means “running around and jumping on things.”  It’s hardly structured, and she gets stubborn and difficult when I suggest she try something new, but she has a lot of fun burning off that energy.  I’m honestly not too big on chasing her around the room, so I’ll be glad when she graduates from “mommy and me” to just “me” classes.

Then there are things like dance.  I’m kind of anti-dance because I was and am terrible at dancing.  Now she loves to run around the house and twirl and say “I’m a ba-yeenah!” (ballerina).  So foolish overbearing mother me went online and found out that they start pre-ballet as early as 2.  Maybe dance classes would be something she’d enjoy?

Her gymnastics class is also right next to the Three Rivers Fencing Center, and she loves watching the fencing.  As we walk by the big window and watch the kids inside, she exclaims “Fencing! My turn!”  Clearly we’ve got several years before fencing is any kind of option, but it makes me wonder whether I should let her try any activity that catches her fancy, or whether I should restrict her to one or two activities at a time.

Personally, I don’t care what activity she is involved in.  I’m not living any unfulfilled dreams through her.  I just want her to have the opportunity to discover her talents, be happy, and both start an activity early enough and stay with it long enough that she can develop those talents.  I only have the time, energy and resources to let her try out so many things.  Should I promote music or dance or art or technology or sports? Should I let her quit an activity once she’s tired of it? Or should I insist she stick with it and develop skill? How do we figure out even what she’ll be good at and what she will like?

Squonk Opera Roadshow in Schenley Plaza

27 Aug

We’ve been living it up with the Schenley Plaza free events this summer. First it was the Carnegie Library Reading Extravaganza (not a Plaza event, but it was in the same general area), then we visited Kids’ Day in the Plaza, and then we spent an evening enjoying a free Squonk Opera performance in the plaza. The night was beautiful and mild, and Baby Beez was in the mood for dancing.


All of the performance was great, but my absolute favorite parts were one performer’s “peacock tail” made up of bicycle horns, and a piano that rotated upside down (then rightside up, and over and over) as the artist was playing. Squonk brings a whimsical, but not infantile, perspective to music. Congrats to Squonk Opera on their 20th Anniversary!






(Please excuse the out of focus pictures.)

How to Train Your Dragon Spectacular

26 Aug

When I first saw the advertisements for Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon Spectacular, I thought it would be fun to take Baby Beez (who am I kidding, Baby Beez is a convenient excuse, but I’m the one who really wanted to go), but quickly put it out of my head because I’m still recovering from the massive money drain of vacation. Then Groupon ran a special, and I was sold. Ugh, I’m such a sucker for Groupons.


It was totally totally cool. There were puppet dragons and costume dragons and giant smoke breathing animatronic dragons. They made really neat use of video projection. At one point there was this fantastic scene where Hiccup runs all over the place, diving and jumping and swinging off ropes and hanging off cliffs. The video is so spectacular that you totally forget you’re watching some guy wave his arms in front of a wall. (Of course I get terribly motion sick, so I ended up dizzy and a little queasy, but even so it was still awesome).




Flash photography and video filming were not allowed, but the guys in the row in front of us did both anyway. And the Consol employee immediately in front of them said nothing! FOLLOW THE RULEZ, JERKS. Ugh, for serious. But even that, and the lack of coffee concessions for an 11am kids show (what WHAT?!) did not ruin my time. Not only was the show fabulous, but it was such a fun relief to get to take Baby Beez to an event where she could yell “MORE DRAGONS! MORE DRAGONS!” over and over, and it not disturb a soul. When we do go out with Baby Beez, we admittedly often make the mistake of trying to take her to events that she’s just not mature enough for. We have learned the hard way that baseball games are not toddler friendly. Most museums certainly aren’t toddler friendly. And even family friendly restaurants are a high stress debacle. It was nice to be at event where it was not a problem for her to be her crazy, squirmy self.