When tragedy hits, it's something that always feels close to home, whether you're a few miles or a few hundred miles away. Learn how to talk to your kids about tragedies the right way with helpful tips from the American Humane Association. When spending time with your kids this weekend, reassure them of their safety and security, reinforcing that the community and local officials are always working to keep them safe.
Kick off the weekend celebrating the start of the long-awaited London Summer 2012 Olympics by going for the Gold (and maybe breaking some records!) as you compete in the pass-the-torch relay race, go as low as you can go in the limbo tourney, and design your own medal.
Though they may not be record-breaking, witness awe-inspiring numbers when scientists explain to kids 8 and older how they know the universe is 13.67 billion years old. Then, a 90-year-old, 537-pound tortoise and his 416-pound buddy make a stop at the zoo from Texas. At another zoo, spot Lego wildlife sculptures in a fun scavenger hunt. Nearby, examine what chompers from various animals like sharks, wolves, and whales, look like. Aside from telling animals apart based on their teeth, you can also use fossils to study the past, or even create a paleontological dig in your home with these crafty ideas.
Creepy Crawly or Cute and Cuddly? Did you know that some spiders eat snakes, mice, and frogs? Nineteen species of live spiders make a debut at the Natural History Museum and visitors can see them up close. Not up your alley? For an overload of cute, learn what goes on behind the scenes at Adopt-A-Dog's unique facility where you'll meet and play with dogs in need.
Kid- and Adult-Friendly Shows: For free, head to the Off-Broadway premiere of the latest children's musical, "Skippyjon Jones," based on the popular picture books about a Siamese cat who wants to be the best Chihuahua ever. And, based on the household favorite Dr. Seuss, "Seussical, Jr." premieres with a cast of 100 young people all from the tri-state area. Then, your favorite fairytale characters, from Cinderella to Rapunzel, come together for a musical at the Fairy Tale Festival. Head to storytime to learn about a greedy bunny.
Continue to sing, dance, and play along with Miss Gigi and the Lend Me a Hand Band concert that's geared toward kids with special needs, and also get into a mess of fun at a unique elastic weaving event where kids help to create a bouncy playground. Elsewhere, explore Pier 6 with playground associates who'll lead educational activities, or learn what makes a boat float by making your own vessel to send downstream. Then, head to the kitchen where kids 6 and older learn how to cook and bake without an oven.
Next, head to the Long Island Museum for a magic show and kid's DJ, or learn the tricks of the circus trade with some of the National Circus Project's best acts. For some culture, food, and unique crafts, head to the 34th Annual Thunderbird Native American Pow Wow where more than 40 Native American nations will be represented.
Bonus: Did you know families of active duty military personnel and their families get free admission to participating museums through Sept. 3? Plus, everyone can take advantage of free ferry rides to Governors Island and Staten Island.
See Below: Learn what's going on in parenting conversations on the web, get your comprehensive guides to kid-friendly museums, tips to keeping your kids safe, and read the latest articles on NYMetroParents.com.
Rooting for Team U.S.A.,
Associate Editor, NYMetroParents
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