families

The Importance of Child’s Play

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This is a sponsored post and yet all opinions remain steadfastly my own. As always.

Long ago when all children were free range children, only we were just called children, unstructured play ruled the land. Granted, you could say it was an easier time, a gentler time, but was it, really? When I was young, we had to be in when the street lights went on, and that was when we were in elementary school. On those long, hazy summer nights we were covered in mosquito bites and a fine dusting of dirt from the street, or maybe some muck from the frog pond. We were always amazed when our mother knew we had been to the pond  (we weren’t supposed to go), and thought she was magic. Now I know that she could smell frog pond on us from 100 feet away. Anyone could, really, and that’s why it was off limits, not because we might fall in and drown, although I’m sure she considered that as a possibility.

Now, and I include myself in the ‘in control’ parent group, playtime is structured, scheduled and organized and supervised, but should it be? Classes are great, interests are wonderful, but where has the time for play gone? Here is a great article by Dr. Michael Patte, on the Genius of Play website.

Here is another article from The American Academy of Pediatrics, in case you like more data.

The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds

And, yes, my children had their share of scheduled activities from play dates to lessons to organized sports.  While I was not for letting my children wander off in the vague direction of a frog pond, they did have plenty of unstructured play. The swing set in our back yard has the typical worn down dirt under each swing and these patches of dirt became a magnet for their play, especially after a rain. Small plastic animals lived there (some, I fear, are still buried there), Barbies swam in the puddles with Polly Pockets, lions and horses, mud pies and castles reigned, and it was just the right amount of mess for my girls, and for me. As it turns out, frog ponds are really stinky.

So, sign your children up for a class or two, but remember that your backyard, local park or school yard has plenty of opportunities for play and the benefits for the children are enormous, so take the pledge to play. Don’t just take my word for it either.

Click here to take the Pledge to Play.

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Need more info on the benefits of play? Here are some stats and facts. Need ideas? Here are some great ideas for games.
Find the Toy Industry Association on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube for more great tips about, basically, child’s play.
I received compensation for this post. 

Maple Syrup at Land’s Sake

Maple Season Volunteers Needed

Would you like to learn more about and gain experience making maple syrup?

Are you excited to learn more about how Maple Syrup is made? Local farm Land’s Sake is looking for volunteers to help with sap collection and the syrup bottling processes.

Sap collection happens in the afternoons between 2:00pm and 5:00pm. Sap flow and collection are weather dependent, they will send an email the day prior to ask for help during that time.

Bottling syrup happens at the end of the boil. When they start to boil an email will go out asking for volunteers to help during a 2 hour period of time in the afternoon or evening when they will be bottling.

All are welcome to join, Land’s Sake Members are given priority if space is limited.

Also Remember:

After a season of collecting and boiling- celebrate with the annual

Sugaring Off Festival
March 23rd, 9am – 12 pm
Bill McElwain Sugarhouse
next to the Weston Middle School.

In mid to late March, after the sap has stopped running clear and pure, Land’s Sake hosts the popular Sugaring Off festival. Participants enjoy the season’s maple syrup, pancakes, maple sugar candy, music and student-led tours of the Sugar House and maple sugar process. Please check the Land’s Sake event calendar for date, time, and additional details.

There are several ways to participate in the Maple Sugar operation:

If you are a school, scout and homeschool group, sign up for one of the educational tours of the maple sugar operation.

If you are a middle-school student, have fun and get paid by learning how to make maple syrup in the After School Maple Program!

If you are a homeowner and have 6-12 sturdy maple trees on your property that we may tap, please contact Land’s Sake to continue the tradition of sugar-making from your property.

If you are interested in purchasing our maple syrup, please contact the farm for prices and availability. Maple syrup is also sold from June through October while supplies last.

For more information about all the exciting winter programs,
including After School Maple and NEW Winter Discovery Vacation Program, contact Doug Cook at Doug@landssake.org

http://www.landssake.org/about

Land’s Sake | 27 Crescent Street | Weston | MA | 02493

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