SOON THE HOLIDAYS will be history and shut-in youngsters will be complaining of being bored. Here's an idea to tuck away for just such a day:
The U.S. Postal Service is sponsoring a pen pal club with 12 other countries involved in the 1992 Olympics. Young people age 6 to 18 can join the club and be computer-matched with a pen pal from one of the other countries. Membership in the United States Postal Service Olympic Pen Pal Club also has other benefits, including stationery, a calendar, a how-to booklet and a world map.
The Postal Services sees the club as a way to promote writing skills and help children learn about different countries and cultures. Membership forms are available in bright yellow brochures in local post offices. There is a fee of $5.95.
Other countries participating are Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and Singapore.
Guiding children's growth
Parents of children ages 2 1/2 to 4 will be able to take a good look at their youngsters and know what they are seeing through a parenting course that children participate in. "Guiding Children's Growth" brings parents together to share experiences and concerns. It also lets parents observe their children and interact with them while parenting instructor Cindy McKew guides the parents.
The eight-week program begins next week at Harford Hills Elementary School, 8902 Old Harford Road. There will be sessions on Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30 to 11 a.m. for children 2 1/2 to 3 years old and at the same time on Tuesdays for children who are 3 1/2 to 4 years old. The fee is $27 plus a $2 fee for materials. To register, call McKew at 592-2660.
New Moon celebration
Jewish women are invited to participate in the celebration of the New Moon through a series of evening discussions this winter. The first program, on Monday, will explore "The Jewish Perspective on Relationships." Other programs are "The Life of Dona Gracia Nasi" on Feb. 4 and "The Jewish View of Afterlife" on March 4. Each program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in an individual's home. The fee is $15 for the series or $5 for each program. For more information on the program and its location, phone the Women's Division of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore at 727-4828.
If you have an electronic garage door, test it to make sure it retracts if it touches something in its path, advises the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which says 48 children have been killed by the doors since 1982. Garage-door openers manufactured since the beginning of 1991 have the automatic reversal system. A garage-door industry group is issuing stickers warning people not to close a door with somebody under it, not to let children play with the controls and to watch a door while it shuts.
"In the Beginning: A Jewish Lamaze Experience" for couples expecting babies in March and early April will begin next Tuesday at the Owings Mills Jewish Community Center, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave. The fee for the eight-week course is $60 per couple. In addition to birth options and Lamaze training, the course will look at birth ceremonies and names. For more information, phone Rena Rotenberg, 578-6947.
Family Forum welcomes items of interest to families. Notices about events must be received two weeks in advance. Send them to: Mary Maushard, Family Forum, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.