Volume XI, Issue 9 ~ March 6-12, 2003

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Not Just for Kids

Do You Like Snow?
by Martha Blume with Alan, Margaret & Phoebe

Snow! Snow! Come out in the snow. I want to know if you like snow. Do you like it? Yes or no? Oh yes! Oh yes! I do like snow.
P.D. Eastman’s classic easy reader Snow, (1962)

Oh yes! Oh yes! We do like snow at my house. And when it snows, we like to slide.

We are lucky that our backyard is a steep hill. Being trapped at home for five days after the big blizzard gave us plenty of opportunity to perfect our sliding tools and techniques. Here are some of our findings. Ratings are based on a five-point scale, five being the best.

The Sled
Sleds are great if you have a lot of packed snow and a long, wide hill in a field or on a street that can be blocked off from traffic. Sledding doesn’t work in our backyard, but in the right conditions, sleds are tops. No rating.

The Saucer
The metal saucer, a larger version of a pizza tray, is great on short hills with icy conditions. You not only go down, you go round and round, and mostly backwards. Saucers are for those who like quick bursts of heart-stopping excitement. Rating 4.

The Tummy Slide
Remember Frosty — the best bellywhopper? If you’ve got the right snowsuit, slippery polyester and nylon, and hard packed snow or ice, you can give Frosty a run for his money. You won’t go far or fast but, with bellywhopping, it’s not the length or speed of the trip but the style that counts. Rating 3.

The Blue Plastic Thing
This piece of flexible plastic is a cheap model of the toboggan. You lay down on it, head first, hands grasping the little yellow handle in front, legs bent up in the air. It’s great on hard ice — if you can hang on all the way down the hill. More often than not, the Thing gets to the bottom before you do. On a positive note, it’s very easy to carry back up the hill. Rating 2.

The Toboggan
The toboggan is by far our favorite sliding tool, based on its versatility. It can slide on just a little snow or a whole lot. It can hold one to four people. You can sit or lay down in it. It goes very fast on ice and is superior on a track made by piling snow up in banks on both sides, with turns and jumps. If you build up jumps in your run, you can easily become airborne. And you can steer it by shifting your body weight. Not for the faint of heart. Rating 5.

We go up hill. The snow is deep. We can’t go fast. The hill is steep. But then we get up top at last. Then down we come. We come down fast!

Even in March, more snow may be coming. Happy sliding!

This Week’s Kids’ Stuff

Friday, March 7
Whose Clues?
Where’s the wildlife? Kids ages 5-7 find out where wildlife lurks and investigate the signs they leave behind. 3-4pm @ Patuxent Research Refuge North Tract, on Rt. 198, off Baltimore-Washington Pkwy and Rt. 32. free; rsvp: 301/497-5887.

Saturday, March 8
Baby-sitting/Mothers Helpers Class at YMCA
Learn child development, dealing w/difficult situations responsibilities, marketing and fun activities. Certificate awarded upon class completion. Bring snack to class. 10am-1:30pm @ YMCA building, Ritchie Hwy., Arnold. $30 w/member discount; rsvp: 410/626-7800.

Spring Dreamers
Can spring be very far away? There’s one easy way to find out — birds start to reappear. Where did they go over the winter? Kids of all ages find out where and why. Make your own ‘round robin’ to bring home. 10-11am @ Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Gray’s Rd. off Sixes Rd., Prince Frederick. $3 w/discounts; rsvp: 410/535-5327.

Fables Brought to Life
Kids 2+ learn to help others and enjoy Shoemaker and the Elves — a show about elves who help out an exhausted shoemaker under deadline. But the elves only appear when the shoemaker is asleep. Lunch @ noon (hot dog or PBJ, chips, drink, and dessert) & Show 12:30pm @ Chesapeake Music Hall, Busch’s Frontage Rd., Annapolis. $12: 410/626-7515.

Crash Course in Navigation
Kids of all ages learn how to ‘get there, from here.’ Join a naturalist and learn the basics of navigating both w/and w/out a compass. 2pm @ King’s Landing Park, King’s Landing Rd., Huntingtown. $3 w/member discounts; RSVP: 410/535-5327.

Sunday, March 9
Hike the Preserve
Kids ages 6+ explore the new 610-acre Parris N. Glendening Nature Preserve. Discover plants and animals that inhabit the site. 1-3pm @ Sanctuary Wetlands Center, Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, off Rts. 258 and 4, Lothian. free; rsvp: 410/741-9330.



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Last updated March 6, 2003 @ 1:57am