August on TV

August 2016

The summer is almost over and kids are headed back to school, but there are still some fun activities to do on the weekends! Happy Back-t0-School!

Watch the video here.

Yoga for Kids

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Theo and friends in cobra pose – age 5.

A couple of years ago I started practicing yoga regularly. It was life-changing and became a necessary part of my week, for both my physical and mental health. I am glad that Theo has been exposed to yoga from a young age (his preschool teachers incorporated it into their curriculum). I didn’t take my first yoga class until college, so I hope that he will come to recognize its benefits much earlier than I did.

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I found this game, Yoga Spinner, online and Theo and I have enjoyed playing it together. They have cards with different poses on them and you take turns completing them. They even have a section of cards that are two-person poses that you do with your child. Even if we don’t have time to play a complete game, we pull out a few cards and move around a little. It’s amazing what just a few minutes of refocusing your mind can do!

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I recently learned about an event coming up called Yoga Family Night sponsored by Kidnected World / The Wonderment. It is on October 8 at 7pm and is for the whole family — they will be doing yoga, making mandalas and learning about the origins of yoga from children in a school in India. It sounds great and I am eager to learn more about this organization that promotes global cultural education and understanding in kids.

Several local yoga studios offer classes for children, and often the public library system will have free family yoga sessions available. If you haven’t tried it out, either by yourself or with your kids, give it a chance and welcome the opportunity to quiet your mind for a few moments. I’ll end this post the way my yoga instructor ends every class.

The goodness within me honors the goodness that resides within each of you. Namaste.

Greatest Snow on Earth – for Kids, too!

This is Theo’s 3rd year taking skiing lessons, which he has always done at Brighton. He’s enjoyed doing the multi-week programs so he can get familiar with the same instructors and kids in his group throughout the season. As we do every year, we stopped by Utah Ski & Golf to update the size of his skis and boots (as part of the great kids rental program I wrote about earlier). The weather has been so unusually warm that I’ve been able to sit out on the patio of the lodge during Theo’s lessons and enjoy the warm sun and clean air — very enjoyable for a non-skier like me! (But if you are a skier, parents get discounts on lift tickets the day of their child’s lesson.)

Theo also goes skiing with his dad, who is a native Utahn and skied his whole life, and is it great that Brighton is free for kids age 7 and under (we have one more year!). Other ski resorts that have generous lift policies for kids are Solitude, Snowbasin and Powder Mountain, all of which are free for kids 6 and under.

Although Theo loves to ski, he will probably just enjoy it as a wintertime hobby, rather than advancing to ski racing. However, if he was really interested, we would consider joining the Rowmark Junior program which introduces kids in 1st grade and up to the world of competitive ski racing. They have a ski program that integrates with the academic school curriculum and is a great resource for serious skiers, even young ones. The Rowmark Academy program continues all the way through high school and has had such illustrious alums as Picabo Street and Hilary Lindh, and has had 10 athletes from the program named to the U.S. Ski Team in the last 12 years.

Regardless of your commitment to skiing, from sitting at the lodge watching the skiers and snowboarders going by, all the way to being a competitive racer and Olympic athlete, the ski resorts in Utah are a great place to spend some time in the mountains during the winter (and, ahem, avoid the inversion in the valley).

Junior Jazz Basketball

Go Blue Lightning!

This is Theo’s first time playing basketball on an organized basis and so far it has been a lot of fun. I think his dad is the most excited about this of all of us, because he is the coach and gets to relive his school days playing on the basketball team. We organized a team of players of mostly school friends, so all the kids are familiar with each other and have a very no-pressure experience.

I know there are lots of different places around the valley that offer Junior Jazz seasons, and we are doing ours at the Jewish Community Center. They have teams available for age Kindergarten through age 14. The JCC provides court space, small “junior” sized balls, jerseys, and tickets to a Utah Jazz game.

Theo’s team has had a few practices and just one game, and so far it is highly entertaining for both spectators and players alike.

Swimming Lessons

Theo has always loved the water and has taken swimming lessons since he was 2. But they were always rather informal and I don’t think he really knew how to swim even after years of lessons. We were recommended to SwimKids which several friends love but we never tried it because of location (it was a little further than I’d like) and cost (the priciest lessons I’ve encountered). We were pleased to be introduced to Superior Adaptive Swim School by a classmate of Theo’s and have been really enjoying it!

They are a private company, but teach lessons out of the Fairmont Aquatic Center in Sugarhouse. During the weekday when Theo has lessons, the pool is pretty much deserted. He has a 30-minute private lesson with the pool basically to himself, and ends up wanting to stay to splash around and play for another hour.

I like that it is at an indoor pool so he can take lessons even through the fall (while most swim lessons that are outside stop after the summer). Lessons are paid for on a monthly basis so you only have to commit to a few at a time. Theo is loving being able to get into the pool even after it starts to cool down outside and I’m glad that he’s able to continue improving his swim skills throughout the year.

Jupiter Bowl

When you think of a “bowling alley,” what do you typically imagine? In all of my past experiences, it was always in a dingy, seedy, retro-in-a-not-cool-way location. All of these perceptions were blown away when we first went to Jupiter Bowl in Park City a few years ago. Not only was it a gorgeous, clean space, it was also a perfect outing for families with young kids. Amazing!

Theo, 3 years old

The key to involving young kids in bowling lies in the available accommodations:

1) Old-school gutter bumpers (they are controlled by the main desk, so just notify the staff which people in your party need them)

2) Bowling ball ramp (see above)

This guarantees that even a toddler can enjoy “bowling” and not get frustrated by their lack of strength and coordination. Also, look how cute those tiny bowling shoes are!

On Sundays from 12-7pm they have a “Family Fun Day” package that includes 2 hours of bowling (& shoe rental) plus a pizza and pitcher of soda for $49.50 (up to 6 people). By the way, the food here is actually really good. The pizza is delicious and they have a full menu and bar. I’ve gone to events here for adults-only that were really fun too. This is one of those places that I wouldn’t necessarily think of as a great place for kids, but it really is a super fun time, for both kids and parents.