Follow Kveller

You are browsing the archive for activities for kids.

Aug 7 2014

Where Are All the Summer Activities for Dual Working Families?

By at 12:04 pm


One of the great things about summertime is the abundance of toddler-friendly programs available in my area. From junior swimming lessons to nature tours to farm outings, these programs offer little kids and their parents a chance to get out, have fun, expand their horizons, and maybe even meet new friends.

Unfortunately, my son and I cannot take part in any of these, because they’re only available during the week. Like many families, both my husband and I work full-time, and our ability to take part in such activities is limited to weekends alone. Yet the vast majority, if not all, of these programs are not offered on Saturdays or Sundays, which leaves families like ours out in the cold.

Back in the spring, I tried signing my 2.5-year-old son up for swim lessons. My efforts, however, were only met with frustration when I learned that there were no local weekend swim classes for children my son’s age. (Actually, there was one program–an expensive one–that consisted of two classes per week on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. When I inquired about the possibility of only coming for the Saturday classes, I was told that I’d still need to pay for the full program, which includes the Wednesday classes. In other words, pay full price and only get half the lessons–no, thank you.)  Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 18 2014

Check Out This Brilliant YouTube Video Scripted Entirely by Kids

By at 2:37 pm

If kids could write screenplays, what would they be like?

Here is a YouTube series which explores that very important existential question. In this brilliant short, “Salesman,” two kids script the scene and adults act it out. The results are hilarious.

Check it out the rest of the videos and then try it with your own kids!

Like this post? Get the best of Kveller delivered straight to your inbox.


Jun 6 2013

The Ballet-Hating Mom Goes to a Recital

By at 9:53 am

ballerina sistersWhen my daughter was 2 years old, she requested ballet lessons. I promptly put her off. The world of ballet, in all of its pink, graceful, waif-like glory, is decidedly not my thing. I didn’t want it to be hers either.

The mere mention of the B-word triggers painful memories of a brief period in my childhood when I shoved my awkward pre-pubescent body into pink tights and a matching leotard and stumbled and suffered through a class in which I was at least a head taller and 15 pounds heavier than every other girl in the room. I was not slender or graceful, and my blunt bob was not nearly long enough to put into a bun. It would be the first in a long string of experiences in which I felt like the outsider, and I didn’t want to experience that again, even vicariously through my child.

After six months–a lifetime for a 2-year-old– of requests, I decided to give it a go. Surely it was a phase, I told myself, surely we’d be in bejeweled soccer cleats within a few months.  Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 3 2012

Will Sports Really Raise My Son’s Self-Esteem?

By at 10:06 am

little boy soccer ballMy sister has five children. All of them are heavily involved in team sports, and thriving–great physical shape, good grades, active social lives, and high self-esteem.

She’s utterly convinced that team sports are crucial to self-esteem building, and that I’d better get my kid started with one–NOW–before he falls hopelessly behind.

First of all, HE’S FIVE. There are lots of reasons to do team sports, but there are even more reasons to build garages for all your BOB trucks. Or put on goggles and swim across the living room. He’s FIVE.

I totally believe in sports, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not so sure that it’s the only path to self-esteem. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 2 2012

This Summer, My Kids Are Doing… Nothing

By at 10:20 am

kids playing in summer“And what are your kids doing for the summer?” smiling friends and strangers alike ask regarding my three children, ages Just-Turned-13, Almost-9, and 5.

The smiles fade a bit, to be replaced by a somewhat puzzled expression when I proudly, answer, “Nothing!”

Nothing? Nothing?

In New York City, home of IQ testing for 4-year-olds, enrichment classes in subjects ranging from Mandarin to Art Appreciation to My First Splitting of the Atom, and multiple websites to help keep track of Junior’s incredibly busy schedule, nothing is somewhat of a capital offense (if not outright child-abuse). Read the rest of this entry →

May 23 2012

My Week as a Dance Mom

By at 10:00 am

giselle ballet american ballet theater“Have a great time being Dance Mom!” my 12-year-old son chirped mischievously as I set off with my 8-year-old on his first day of rehearsal for Giselle with the American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center.

My younger son has been taking dance classes for almost a year now, so when another mom told me about the casting call for background Village Boys in Giselle, we thought we’d give it a shot.

My feeling was it would be a one-of-a-kind, priceless experience. How often, after all, does the average child–or adult, for that matter–get to be on stage at the Met, standing within a few feet of some of the world’s greatest dancers and getting a view even a front-row ticket couldn’t buy? Add to that the chance to work in a professional environment, surrounded by gifted, extremely dedicated and hard-working people, and have the same level of professionalism and hard work expected from you in return, and I figured, yes, that’s worth a week of my life. (And if he failed, well, you know how I feel about failure.) Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 3 2012

Semi-Last-Minute Kid-Friendly Seder Ideas

By at 3:02 pm

You want to engage your kids in the seder. But it’s almost here and you haven’t quite figured out how to make that happen yet. Never fear.  Here are a few easy, low-effort ways to make the seder more entertaining for the preschool/younger kid set.

1. EVERY YEAR, I WRITE THE BOOK! Sit your kids down and ask them to dictate the story of Passover to you. Write what they say down word for word, including ‘um’ and ‘you know’ and run-on sentences. DO NOT HELP THEM: the ‘blooper’ characteristic of this is what makes it so wonderful.  Once they have done so, pick out a few elements of their stories out and ask them to make a drawing to match (“Can you draw the Red Sea splitting in half for me?”). Then put the text you’ve written together with their drawings, and make a cover saying, “Kid 1 and Kid 2 Passover Story, 2012.” If you are really ambitious, you can make color copies to hand out at the seder.  If not, just pass this one around. Trust me, it will be a keepsake.

2. WORK HARD, RELAX RIGHT. Get some pillowcases and markers, and let the kids go to town on them, with Passover-related or abstract art work. Then put pillows in them for people’s seats so they can chillax in freedom-lovin’ style. Offer the pillowcases as a ‘souvenir’ if you find them too, um, aesthetically challenging. Hint: Let these artworks dry before putting them on seder chairs.

Read the rest of this entry →


Recently on Mayim