When our three children were younger, we used to play a lot of word games…
We’d play “hangman” on restaurant napkins while waiting for our food, look for objects beginning with certain letters as we drove to and from school, or see who could find the most words to rhyme when we found a fun word in a book we were reading together.
Nowadays we enjoy crossword puzzles and Scrabble games on those lovely little hand-held electronic devices. (I figure there’s little point in learning their names since a new gizmo will debut about the time I master the lingo.)
We never had much fun with math games. Fractions can be so frustrating for us ‘counting on fingers and toes’ folk.
The “find a word that begins with…” game is easy and fun for all ages—and it never hurts to practice since you may encounter it in later life if your doctor decides a memory test might be in order.
Here’s a little practice round: See how many F-words you can come up with during the next 60 seconds…
The words you choose can be quite telling. For me, there’s “fudge” (an homage to my mom’s homemade goodies), “fridge” (a nod to my son’s voracious appetite) and “feline” (a shout out to our furriest pet).
There’s “Fame” because that’s the title of the DVD I rented with Lizabeth for “girls night in” yesterday—and, of course, there’s “friends” and “family.”
Did you come up with “free?” Or “fun?” If so, this is your kind of weekend. (And yes, you can add “Friday” to the favorites list.)
Tonight from 6-10pm you can enjoy “Free First Friday Night” with your family at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Notice how these overachievers got the three fabulous F-words in a single event title? Festivities (for the 10 & under set, accompanied by adults) include hands-on, interactive exhibits.
Saturday’s freebies include a 10am “Music Together” preview class presented by Music Together of Phoenix. It’s for kids (with parents) ages infant to four, and features songs, chants and music from around the world as well as instrument play.
I can’t attend because it’d be hard to pass my 6’5 + son off as a preschooler, but I am going to spend part of my weekend listening to a free “Music Together” CD I picked up at the ASA Showcase silent auction the other night. Though Christopher is nearly 21 now, music continues to be one of our favorite things to enjoy together.
Consider a trip to the Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix if you’re a music lover with older kids eager to find a cool (temperature-wise and otherwise) place to explore. It isn’t free, but it’s fabulous–and you can up the fun factor by seeing who can find the most instruments with names that start with the letter “F” (like the Flugelhorn from Germany).
Families with younger children can enjoy the “Sounds Like Art” exhibit at the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa with paid museum admission. The exhibit features both visual arts and hands-on music-making activities. I’m told there’s even a collective music-making experience featuring laser beams.
Another Saturday freebie for families comes to you from the ASU Art Museum at the university’s Tempe campus. Guests ages 4-12 and their families can enjoy “First Saturday for Families” featuring hands-on activities and take-home art projects.
Music lovers can round out the weekend with the free “Sunday Night Concert Series” at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the music of “favorite local bands” (and don’t forget a wee bit of cash for train and carousel rides or trips to the concessions area).
Finally, I leave you with the finest word of all for freelancers…
Note: Take special care when doing the rhyming thing with teens. You’re in trouble if you launch this game with words such as “luck,” “slam” or “ditch.” And don’t even think suggesting words that rhyme with “flood.”
Coming up: Private studios offering classes in acting, voice and more; “Camp Broadway” at ASU Gammage
"Farfalle" coming soon to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Update: Since writing this post, I’ve been alerted (via virtual and actual mailbox) to two freebies offered by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts…
The first is a “Choose 3 or more performances and get one FREE” offer I discovered on their groovy new 2010-2011 season brochure (LOVE the cover art on this baby!). The offer applies to select performances (including L.A. Theatre Works, ScrapArtsMusic and more).
The second, also from the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, is a free open house previewing their upcoming season (which features more than 75 performances) with multi-media presentations and more. The June 11 (Fri) open house is scheduled for 5pm at the Virginia G. Piper Theater, with a 6pm reception to follow at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).
I’m hoping to attend if not on Friday night teen taxi duty, so look for me in my unofficial red “Stage Mom” jacket (see photo above–of me, not Lord Farquaad) if you want to say hi, share blog ideas or tell me about family-friendly arts adventures in your neck of the woods.
Learn more at www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org or 480-994-ARTS (2787), ext. 2.