Springtime has come to Spring Garden Elementary in Hampstead. On April 3, the first Spring Garden Garden Party will be sponsored by the PTA. Any child from any school can come for games, food and fun.
Under chairwomen Carole Riddle and Carolyn Smedick, a committee of eight people will coordinate the days' activities, assisted by "lots and lots of moms and dads who've volunteered to work," said Mrs. Smedick.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the school cafeteria-gym, children can choose from 10 games set for varying skill levels. Tickets are 25 cents; one or two tickets is used for a game. Everyone wins lots of prizes.
Toddlers will spot the lollipop tree and crab catch. Athletes can test their arms with the football toss. There's "Frogger" for the adventurous to shoot a frog to its lily pad. Weather permitting, additional outdoor games for parent and child will include an egg toss, three-legged race, sack race and more.
Storytelling by Marty Dickenson, a second grade teacher, and Beth Hall, a media specialist, will be from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the spacious Media Center.
For the cake walk, you need no special shoes. It's actually a form of musical chairs -- the winner will walk away with a delicious cake.
While munching hot dogs, pizza, meatball subs, or lemon sticks, the teacher auction will grant the lucky bidder anything from a weekend lunch at Pizza Hut to a basket of handcrafted stuffed cats.
There will be face painting, a craft table and a treat table of baked items.
Three door prizes will be announced every hour, including a stereo cassette player, calculator, pocket cameras, and more.
And spring gardeners will enjoy flowering plants from the children-sized flower shop and tissue-paper flowers to make and take home.
Come to the Spring Garden Garden Party, says Mrs. Smedick. "Everybody is welcome. Preschool children can spend time and have a look around."
It's an opportunity to see the school and have fun, too.
"To get a baby sitter for a couple of hours in the middle of the day is virtually impossible," says Betty Douglas, the mother of two toddlers and a 7-year-old.
The Douglas family moved from Catonsville to Black Rock Road in Hampstead in January. In addition to her household, Mrs. Douglas brought along an idea. She'd like to start a baby sitting cooperative.
Back in Catonsville, between 10 and 12 families participated in one. She remembers the friendly rapport between mothers and the chance for toddlers to play together.
"It's designed as a mothers' support system, not to supplement day care by any means," explained Mrs. Douglas. "You #i exchange baby sitting hours."
Her former cooperative, she said, "was very organized. You log hours in a book. Credit is earned and credit is used."
For example, two kids for an hour would equal an hour and a half credit. Mothers met monthly to tally up.
Meeting mothers through the co-op yields an added attraction. Some mothers Mrs. Douglas knew formed their own play groups independent of the cooperative.
Play groups are "a good way to talk with other mothers and have the kids play, too. The women talk and have cake and the little ones, 2- and 3-year-olds, get to play," she said.
Mrs. Douglas is a part-time art director at an advertising agency. She and other co-op members would indicate days they wouldn't be available. The right size co-op, (10 members, suggests Mrs. Douglas) affords flexibility for everyone. When there are plenty of mothers involved, most likely someone will be available when the need arises.
Information: Betty Douglas, 239-3947.