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In this section, we've gathered our best articles regarding recreation and related activities - from arts and music to toys to sports. For additional articles on safety issues relating to recreation, including swimming, sports, toys, playgrounds and more, see Recreation and Travel Safety

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Early Childhood Activity Calendar

This 1997-1998 Early Childhood Activity Calendar is from the U.S Department of Education and is filled with helpful tips and special activities that promote reading and language skills for young children.

Helping Your Child Be Healthy and Fit

To enjoy good health now and in the future, children must learn how to eat, exercise, sleep, control stress, and be responsible for personal cleanliness and reducing the risk of disease. Your child's ability to learn these skills, and the chances for a longer and more productive life can be greatly improved by developing and following good health practices. This article contains many practical suggestions and has a wide variety of activities for children aged 4 through 11.

Holiday Preparedness Calendar

We've created our annual holiday calendar. It's 30 days of activities and reminders for a healthy, safe, fun and giving holiday season.

KidSource Calendar - Summer Camps: A Resource For Parents

30 days of ideas, resources and comments all about summer camps - from day camps to week long camps. This is a great resource when you're in the planning stage or when your child is at camp this summer.

Parents Guide to the Internet

This Parents Guide to the Internet is intended to help parents--regardless of their level of technological know-how--make use of the on-line world as an important educational tool. The guide cuts through the overwhelming amount of consumer information to give parents an introduction to the Internet and how to navigate it. The guide suggests how parents can allow their children to tap into the wonders of the Internet while safeguarding them from its potential hazards.

SocccerDocs Leads New Trend in Head Protection for Soccer

Recent studies and statements by the American medical community have raised awareness of the severity and frequency of head injury in soccer.

Summertime Funtime Activities

A new activity for you to do with your child each day during the summer - they're fun, educational and can be done with children of all ages!

The Toy Manufacturers of America Guide to Toys and Play

This booklet has been designed to help you provide the best play opportunities for your child, describes how the toy industry and government work together to ensure toy safety and offers simple charts to guide you as you do your toy shopping.

Three "Rs" for the Nineties

These brochures are designed to show parents a host of practical ways to introduce their children -- both in school and at home -- to creative writing theater, music, dance and visual art.

10 Health Tips Every Youth Baseball Coach Should Know

Here are good tips parents and coaches should know to help keep their young players healthy.

A Great Family-Oriented New Year's Eve Party

Are you looking for a different way to celebrate this New Year's with your children? Why not have a "Millenium Party" that not only will be memorable, but educational as well. Here are some ideas to get you and your family started on planning your own special way to celebrate the new millenium.

Children and Sports: Don't Forget to Practice Sportsmanship!

It has been estimated that 22 million children and youth, ages 6 to 18, are involved in organized sports outside of school (Poinsett, 1996). Research indicates that participation in sports can promote healthy development.

Simple Gift Giving For The Early Years

During the holiday season, we are frequently bombarded with advertisements for children's toys that are often expensive or inappropriate, and many adults find themselves at a loss when trying to decide on the right gift for that special child in their lives. Selecting toys for young children is an important task that involves decisions about the kinds of interests, motivation, and skills we want children to develop.

Tips For Holiday Toy-Choosing

When we think of gifts for children during the holiday season, we often think of toys. Toys may be at the top of children's wish lists -- and at this time of year, there are plenty to choose from. But the selection can be overwhelming for both children and adults.

Top 10 Things to Consider When Buying Toys for Children With Disabilities

The National Lekotek Center offers tips on how to shop for holiday gifts for children with disabilities.

When Children Imitate Superheroes

Keep in mind that this type of play gives children the chance to face their fears and show off physical feats. When supervised by adults, 'superhero play' can help children improve their language skills and teach them to work together to solve problems; not to mention how it encourages creativity. When children begin pretending they are superheroes, adults can help them make the most of it. Here are some tips.

American Academy of Ophthalmology: Face Guards Reduce Facial Injuries For Young Batters

Wearing a face mask can reduce the number of facial injuries to young athletes by up to 47 percent, according to a 1997 Indiana study involving 2,000 youth league baseball players, their parents and coaches.

Born to Fly: Kids, Gymnastics, and the Will to Win

Countless children risk serious, long-term injury every day as a result of strenuous gymnastics training, according to an article in the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association (JACA). JACA explains that gymnastics holds more potential for lasting injuries than sports such as football, rugby, and soccer, among others, in part because it is the only sport that uses the upper extremities as weight-bearing limbs. And if not properly treated, these injuries can cause a lifetime of trouble.

Celebrating Holidays In Early Childhood Programs

Holiday celebrations can be wonderful opportunities for children to learn about the traditions and values that are cherished parts of people's lives. But many early childhood professionals wonder what holidays to celebrate in the program or classroom and how to respect the cultures represented by all children. Many parents, too, wonder why programs celebrate specific holidays or why they discourage any celebration at all.

Child's Play

Who are your children’s heroes? What are their favorite play themes? Favorite toys? Are they similar to your own childhood heroes, play themes, or toys? After a study of children's play from different eras, the results are talked about in this article.

Discovering Interests and Talents Through Summer Experiences

The majority of summer experiences are designed to provide a pressure-free, noncompetitive environment in which young people can explore their areas of particular interest in depth. They have an opportunity to work with adult role models who are enthusiastic about their field and give individual support to each participant.

Girl Scouts Offers After-School Activity Tips

Children's involvement in after-school activities increases the quality of life for those children, and parents can "team up" with their children to choose activities that help children grow, while having a good time. Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. offers parents these tips in helping children choose safe after-school activities wisely.

Halloween Can Be a Pretty Hairy Experience for Pets

Halloween can be fun for all members of your family -- both two- and four-legged members -- if you take some simple precautions which include keeping your pets safely inside - a reminder from the United States Humane Society.

Holidays Celebrations Around The World

The growing ethnic and cultural diversity of children in programs and schools throughout the United States provides teachers and child care professionals the opportunity to rethink how to introduce culturally and developmentally appropriate holiday activities to young children. If used sparingly, holiday activities can contribute to anti-bias curriculum because they are fun to do and participating in celebrations and rituals enhances children's feelings of being part of a close-knit group.

Learning Through Water Play

This publication from the National Association for the Education of Young Children includes suggestions for parents and caregivers for safe, fun and educational water play. Ideas include safety precautions, games, and materials that can be used during play.

New Study on Children’s Perceptions of Race and Class on Television

For decades, educators and parents have expressed concern over the ways in which people are portrayed on television. There was a fear that children were getting a skewed concept about people's abilities and character based on stereotypical representations of gender, race, or class. This fear led to a number of research studies that analyzed the television roles of men, women, people of color, and people of various socio-economic levels.

Planning a Class Camping Trip

A well-planned class camping trip is a learning adventure which develops personal values and concepts, generates skills for lifelong learning, encourages group cooperation, and enhances knowledge of and appreciation for the natural environment. Good planning will ensure a successful and fruitful trip. This digest is intended to serve as a guide to help teachers offer this unique learning opportunity to their students.

Puzzles in Early Childhood Education

When children work on puzzles, they are actually 'putting the pieces together' in more ways than one. Puzzles help children build the skills they need to read, write, solve problems, and coordinate their thoughts and actions- all of which they will use in school and beyond.

The Nature of Children's Play

In play, children expand their understanding of themselves and others, their knowledge of the physical world, and their ability to communicate with peers and adults. This digest discusses children's play and its relationship to developmental growth from infancy to middle childhood. The digest also suggests ways in which educators and other adults can support children's play.

Toys Aimed At Young Girls Can Damage Self-Esteem

Are parents buying toys that are detrimental to their daughters' self esteem? An expert at the Renfrew Center says "yes." In a survey conducted by The Renfrew Center, clinicians found that 90 percent of the toys and dolls surveyed for girls ages two to 10 years emphasize beauty, shopping, and dating.

Video Games and Children

Some research suggests that playing video games may affect some children's physical functioning. Serious adverse physical effects, however, are transient or limited to a small number of players. Research has also identified benefits associated with creative and prosocial uses of video games, as in physical rehabilitation and oncology. Proponents of video games suggest that they may be a friendly way of introducing children to computers, and may increase children's hand-eye coordination and attention to detail.

What Do Parents Need To Know About Children's Television Viewing?

Children in the United States watch an average of 3 to 5 hours of television every day. Many parents and teachers are concerned about the possible effects of excessive television viewing on children because studies show that extensive television viewing may be associated with violent or overly aggressive behavior, poor academic performance and other problems. This article doesn't just focus on the problems but on how parents can guide their children's television viewing so that there can be positive benefits from TV viewing.

1998 Kids Tracker Marine "Big Fish" Contest Winners Named

Nearly 200,000 youngsters, ages 6-16, participated in the 1998 Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and Tracker Marine Kids All-American Fishing Derby program directed by Hooked On Fishing International.

45th Skippy Dog Hero Of The Year Shepherds Four People To Safety

The 45th Skippy Dog Hero of the Year is Shelby, a 7-year-old German Shepherd from Ely, Iowa, who saved the lives of two adults and two children by alerting them to dangerously high carbon monoxide levels in the home where they were sleeping.

Academic Studies and Play on a Collision Course

An overwhelming majority of parents believe play is critical to childhood development, but the pressure for performance in and out of school is driving play out of children's lives.

Contests "Lure" Young Anglers To Nationwide Fishing Events

A record number of contests and activities appealing to both youngsters, 6 to 16, and their parents will be offered at more than 1,100 fishing derby locations in 49 states in 1998.

Enjoying Stress-free Summer Activities

This publication from the National Association for the Education of Young Children includes ideas for summer activities, especially those families who are working to balance the demands of adult work schedules while still providing activities for their children.

Fun Halloween Site

New UNICEF site offers kids Halloween activities to have fun with and share on-line.

Learning Partners -- Let's Do Art!

The visual arts (drawing, painting, printmaking, photography) enrich our lives and help children express their emotions.

Learning Partners -- Let's Use TV!

This article is full of ideas for parents to use television as an aid to teaching their childrent math and geography.

Mothers Concerned About Safety of Softeners in Plastic Toys

Mothers of young children are concerned about the use of petroleum-based compounds known as phthalates found in soft plastic toys and other items their youngsters place in their mouths, according to a national survey.

National PTA Reaches Consensus on TV Ratings

The National PTA, accompanied by leaders from other child advocacy organizations, said in a meeting at the White House today that it supports a newly-revised television rating system. The system was developed in conjunction with the television industry.

Performance-Enhancing Drug Abuse Pervades Sports

The authors believe it is important for athletes, coaches and parents to understand the full extent of the dangers and effects of drugs in sports.

Pull the Plug on TV and Video Game Violence Week

Parents who are concerned about the effects of violence on TV and in video games on children, need to read this article. In it you'll find suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics that will help you limit the effects of these forms of violence on your children.

School Spirit Can Boost Kids' Health

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is urging children of all ages to show their school spirit by joining a team sport -- not only for its exercise benefits, but to develop healthy habits that will continue throughout their lives.

The Value of School Recess and Outdoor Play

This publication from the National Association for the Education of Young Children discusses the benefits of school recess. This publication also includes the positive effects that unstructured physical play has on a childs learning ability as well as the potential drawbacks of eliminating recess in elementary schools.

Toy Experts Reveal Secrets for Keeping Small Holiday Travelers Happy

Toy experts Joanne and Stephanie Oppenheim, who strongly suggest incorporating appropriate travel toys in your itinerary. The right travel toys can help divert and entertain small travelers, whether the journey is long or short.

Toys: Tools for Learning

Through toys, children learn about their world, themselves, and others. Choosing toys that appeal to your children and foster their learning will help you make their early years count. Here are some tips to help you choose toys wisely for your child.

Water play: A key to children's living-learning environment

When it comes to play materials, children don't mind getting messy or wet. That's why water play is both enjoyable and educational and perfect for hot days that call for cooling off. Indoor water play can go on all year long, and like outdoor play, helps children develop eye-hand coordination and math and science concepts. It may also enhance social skills and encourage cooperation. There is no right or wrong way to play with this familiar, inexpensive "toy" that comes not from a package, but from our very own environment.

What's Lurking in the Sandbox?

While little ones enjoy building castles, digging holes and rolling around in the sandbox, these popular play areas present the perfect environment for the spread of disease. In fact, playing in sandboxes may make a child more prone to contracting contagious viruses and bacteria, including those that cause warts, conjunctivitis and skin disorders.

Youth Baseball Practices Don't Have To Be Long To Be Good

Running a baseball practice is not as simple as it looks. A little thought and preparation can make for a more enjoyable and rewarding practice. If you are a parent coach, or want to make suggestions to your child's coach, then this article will give you useful ideas.

Holiday Photo Tips From the Pros

"With just a little planning," says Sam Garcia, Nikon School Instructor, "unforgettable holiday snapshots become a breeze." The holidays present a world of unforgettable moments waiting to be captured on film. Nikon makes taking holiday pictures easy with these great tips.

Pediatricians Respond to TV Industry Ratings System

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today stated that any effective television ratings system should be content based to offer parents guidance on a program's level of sex, violence and language. The action is in response to recent media reports on the television industry's efforts to institute a ratings system that labels programs by age groups, similar to the current ratings system by the movie industry.


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