The week between holidays is a time for toys

NEIGHBORS

January 03, 1995|By SHERRY GRAHAM

I don't know about you, but I've found the week between Christmas and New Year's to be a real challenge in recent years. Not only are the kids home from school, but in their minds, the real holiday (Christmas) is over.

Most of Santa's offerings have been checked out, tested and either accepted or rejected.

I have been involved in preparing frozen fruit slush with our McDonald's Frozen Snack Maker, growing fascinating Magic Rocks, creating a mobile of our solar system, and making really slimy bugs with the Creepy Crawlers set.

I can hardly wait to get to work with the McDonald's hamburger and cookie makers. I also have some Incredible Edibles that son No. 2 promises will be delicious.

I've played Operation countless times already and should be able to win at Connect Four with my eyes closed. I've won (and lost) numerous times on the Hot Wheels race track and have listened to the blips and beeps of Game Boy so often that I hear it in my sleep.

At our house, the boys consider apparel of any type to be my department. After checking to be sure that the long, flat box does indeed hold an article of clothing, the box is passed to me. So the piles of boxes filled with clothes from doting relatives wait for me to sort through.

While I enjoy the excitement of Christmas, I also relish the chance to get out and enjoy family activities together.

When I was a child, the week between Christmas and New Year's was special. My dad was home from work all week and planned something for the family each day.

I remember touring model train displays, visiting museums, seeing whatever family movie was offered that year, and taking our annual trip to Baltimore for corned beef at Lexington Market.

I've tried a few of these ideas on my boys. I got incredulous stares when I suggested that we leave the toys for a few hours.

I thought a trip to Washington to visit their favorite museum (the Museum of Natural History) might be nice. No one agreed with me.

We did take in a movie a few days ago and I even managed to coax them to lunch at Daddy's workplace another day. So much for our family activities.

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The new year is a time to look ahead and plan. The Freedom Area Recreation Council has great programs planned for 1995.

Girls softball, sponsored by Freedom District Optimists, will hold registration for the 1995 season Jan. 14, 21 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Carrolltown Center. The program offers instruction for ages 5-7, 10 and under, 12 and under, and 16 and under divisions.

Separate teams are organized to compete in youth tournaments. The cost is $40 with family discounts available. Games will be played in May and June and practices begin in April. Contact Rodger Whetzel at 795-8037 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. for more information.

Girls ages 11 to 18 interested in playing fast-pitch softball will want to register for the Sykesville Slammers on Jan. 14, 21 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Carrolltown Center. Their season will run from May through July with practice beginning in May. The cost is $65 with family discounts available. Information: Larry Robinson, 795-8407.

Players considering joining the fast-pitch league may want to attend a weekly open gym sponsored by the Slammers. The classes will be held Sundays from Jan. 8 to Feb. 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the auxiliary gym at Liberty High School. Participants pay no fees. Area high school and college coaches will help players polish their skills.

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Lacrosse players can register for the Freedom Optimist Lacrosse program this month at SuperSports Arena in Eldersburg. Registration will be from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Ages 5 to 14 are eligible and the season begins in April. Cost is $50 for boys and $35 for girls with family discounts.

Contact Mark Hughes at 549-9300 for more information.

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Children interested in learning to speak French can register for the Kidsspeak French program by calling Linda Powers at 549-1672. This cultural and language program is geared toward children in grades two through six and begins Jan. 10.

The cost is $30 per student. Classes are also available for students who have completed the beginner class. Preregistration by phone is required.

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Kids who enjoy singing, playing instruments and exploring the piano keyboard will enjoy Keyboard For Kids.

Taught by Carol Pardoe, the weekly classes begin Thursday at Piney Ridge Elementary. Children ages 4 through second grade may enroll. The classes will be divided according to the childrens' ages and grade levels. Information: Carol Pardoe, 795-7066.

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Hatha Yoga with Laurel Mosley will begin the week of Jan. 9 and continue through June. Call Laurel at 549-2948 for more information or to register.

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