Kids (93)

Join the Dungeons and Dragons revival - and break your sword on the Goblin King's shield

We have to thank Winona Ryder.   Without her, there wouldn’t be a Stranger Things on Netflix, and without Stranger Things, many more of us would still be laboring under the misconception that the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons is played by misguided, Satanist-leaning, quasi-criminal teenagers, and not the lovingly raised, nerdy-yet-heroic youngsters depicted in the show.   Back in the eighties, when Dungeons & Dragons was still in its youth, parents and priests…

What If It Were You and Your Kids?

In Portland, it is more than evident that a significant number of individuals and families need help with all sorts of things, from housing to living skills to assistance with whatever legal issues may plague them and prevent them from building a solid life for themselves and their kids.   Mainers, and Americans in general, seem to be divided on how much, if any, to give to these less fortunate. Some say give a disability…

Supporting youth revelry with STAGES Youth Theater

When you’re 12 or 14 years old, it’s quite a thing to step out from behind the backstage curtain, follow your blocking, and literally feel the heat of the spotlight from the back of the auditorium as you say your lines, always with the fear of flubbing them in the back of your mind. It’s a rush that even many tough adults still avoid at all costs, remembering the fear, but it’s one that captures…

Not All Dragons Need Slaying

Do you remember The Wind in the Willows? Kenneth Grahame’s children’s novel began with the characters Rat and Mole paddling their canoe down a river through the English countryside, and ended with millions of young readers having a brand new idea of where books could bring their imaginations. Parents were pleased too; the heroes of the book were the kind and demure, not the brash and aggressive.   Another of Grahame’s stories, with a similar…

Who Can Get Enough of Halloween?

When you’re a youngster, there is nothing quite so edifying, satisfying and just plain exciting as winning a contest, especially if there’s more involved than sheer luck. It’s the draw of youth sports: “We beat those guys!” It puts a little spring in a kid’s step and a sparkle in his or her eye.   But competitions don’t have to be athletic in nature. The best ones are those that bring out the cleverness and…

Under the Sea, or Beside It?

It can be quite a production to get your kid(s) all geared up, in the car, into your chosen venue, and on their butts in their seats, all to show them a bit of theater, film, or dance that you are sure will open up a whole new area in their brains, specifically the appreciation-that-leads-to-cultured-adulthood part. But then, as you’re watching their reactions to the art on stage out of the corner of your eye,…

This Conehead Is Gold

‘Oldsters’ who were born in the 70s are still too young to remember the 1968 release of the animated Beatles film Yellow Submarine. But, since many of us had hippie parents who were willing to venture out of the forest to places like the Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville to show their kids how fantastical the great John and company were, yes, we were exposed to the cartoon, and duly captivated. Not by the plot,…

Bouncers Welcome

Everybody remembers the excitement we felt as children when entry into the most fun place on earth was imminent. It could have been located within a state or county fair, or even in a well-off friend’s back yard. What is that place? The gravity-defying, backflip-trying bouncy house, of course. Parents watching their kids literally jump for joy in those inflatable fun zones have been known to shake their heads and chuckle, reminiscing on a time…

Better Safe than Sorry

You can see it in the fascination on their faces as an emergency vehicle wails by, and in their choices of toy cars, one of which almost always is an ambulance, police car, or fire engine, if not all three. They ask you what the people in the vehicles are doing and are satisfied that certain adults do heroic things for work. Kids love emergency vehicles. The folks at Westbrook Public Safety well understand this,…

Look alive: STRIVE for 5

It’s something every expecting mother and father ask themselves: What if our child is born with developmental disabilities? How will I feel? What will we do? And, should it eventually come to pass and be confirmed (usually before the age of 22), the parents, universally as far as we’ve heard, feel the same overwhelming and everlasting love for their child, teen, or young adult as they did the day the baby was born. And what…
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