Baby care

best joy for kids

best joy for kids

Paris has the world class Asterix amusement park. In the park beautiful and green setting 35 km north of Paris, seven adventure areas, 27 attractions and 6 shows are waiting to thrill, excite and entertain the visitor.

The Asterix amusement park has plenty to present to the young children like quite a few merry-go-rounds and a dolphin theater. It also has a very diverse set of attractions for adults.

Parc Astérix offers its visitors an excellent mixture of rides, shows, and cartoon characters. Rides vary from genuine heart-stoppers, to far more sedate affairs suitable for younger children.

Themed areas include a Gaul village, Roman and Greek zones, and an old style Paris Boulevard full of street entertainers. Live shows are staged throughout the day, with everything from comedy to performing dolphins.

The lovable cartoon characters that give the park its theme keep popping up wherever one goes.

Many attractions are designed after the famous Astérix comic strips by Goscinni and Uderzo. Asterix and Obelix, his friend, are two brave “Gaulois” (the French ancestors), resisting the Roman army.

The Asterix Park also leads one in a distracting way through history. On the left picture, one can attend an 18th century fight show between French Mousquetaires

(these French soldiers made famous by Alexandre Dumas’s novels). The “Tonnerre de Zeus” was the new event of 1997.

This magnificent wooden roller coaster takes one 30 meters off the ground over the treetops of the Gallic forest. It’s a frantic 1200 meter race with top speeds of over 80 km/h and spectacular twists and turns.

The Romans have their own area of the park complete with a magnificent amphitheatre with great outdoor shows, and a huge pool with a dolphin and sea lion show.

One can get an general idea of the whole park on the ‘Spies of Caesar’ ride, a leisurely pedal around a track built high above all the attractions.

There are rides to suit all ages. Tinies have their own little fairground and gentle water rides through tableaux of Asterix stories.

Slightly older children make for the bumper cars, side shows and the smaller rollercoaster’s. Christian loved the Oxygenarium.

One is hoisted up a long ramp to go spinning down the ‘rapids’ in a circular life raft. Getting soaking wet is definitely part of the fun. Thrill-seeking teenagers can try the Towers of Zeus, Europe’s second biggest rollercoaster.

There are plenty of shows. One of them is a marvelously swashbuckling ‘Three Musketeers’ with sword play through the audience and daring leaps from balconies.

Or one could try ‘The Great Mona Lisa Caper’, a stunt-filled chase featuring the theft from the Louvre of the world’s most famous painting.

Wild thrills, fun for all the family, breath-taking live shows, the most goulash of theme parks is offering one more than 60 attractions in the open air to live out adventures specially designed to satisfy all tastes.

Be ready to be enthralled by joining some of the most amazing live shows. With ‘Main basse sur La Joconde’ or ‘Stars of the Empire’, thrills and spills are surefire.

And to make one’s adventure last a little longer, savour the legendary hospitality of Parc Asterix’s very own hotel ‘L’Hôtel des Trois Hibous’ and take a well-earned rest in the heart of the forest.


There is nothing in the world the kids love more than bouncy inflatable castles

I remember being that age, and how much joy I got from anything that would throw me up in the sky. I love trampolines, swing sets, hanging from the monkey bars,

Best Joy For Kids
best joy for kids

Teeter totters, and all the other kinds of thrills for children all love. What I love most of all, was what we called the moonwalk at the time.

Of course, nowadays, this wonderful device is called a bouncy castle to hire, but it amounts to the same thing. Basically, bouncy castles to hire are giant inflatable platform with inflated sides and a top. It has an air pump, continuously pumping to keep the air pressure up inside.

Once you’re inside the bouncy castles to hire, you can run around, jump off the walls, slide down the slide, and have a blast in any way that you choose.

I do not know who it was who invented the bouncy castles to hire, but whoever they were, they were a genius! Why just thinking about it I get excited! bouncy castles to hire are one of those greatest of childhood thrills, right up there beside ice cream and Halloween.

Thinking about how much joy I got out of bouncy castles to hire makes me so happy that I can share this joy with my nephew now.

Although many fads come and go, bouncy castles to hire are one of those things that will never leave. I don’t know what it is that makes them so endearing, but kids still get as much of a thrill out of them as they did when I was one.

I guess it is like they always say: the more that things change, the more that they stay the same. The toys the kids play with are different,

the clothes that they were different, but the rides that they love are every bit the same as when I was one. I am glad that there are some things that never seem to change!


Jammin’ with Your Kids

Does music need to be “dumbed-down” for kids? The answer became quite clear to me and my husband as we observed how our own child responded to complex melodies and varied musical styles in the first months of her life.

Best Joy For Kids
best joy for kids

When I embarked on the recording of my children’s music CD (“Wake Up & Go To Sleep”, Artsong Music) shortly after my daughter was born, it didn’t occur to me to create a happy little watered down collection of songs made just for young listeners.

The songs simply evolved as the experiential narrative of a new mom.
My husband, jazz guitarist and composer Pat Kelley, arranged and produced the CD bringing his rich diverse musical experience into play and giving the CD a broad stylistic range.

Our daughter Katie seemed delighted by the whole project, which took four years to complete. She even contributed song writing and vocal performances.

It was only later, when the CD was released and people began to listen, that we discovered how much parents were moved by it. We have received many thanks for creating music that is a pleasure to listen to alone and with children.

Children have a more innate ability to absorb music than most adults. At a young age they have minds that are open to everything rather than filled with influences telling them what they should and should not like.

Our daughter feels joy listening to Mozart, Hawaiian music, The Beatles, or Glenn Miller. Music only requires an open mind to find enjoyment in its beauty.

The earliest experience of music is in a child’s first cry. Crying has tone and is the earliest sound that expresses emotion.

For many infants, the next experience of music is the intimate songs a mother sings as she rocks and soothes her baby to sleep. Indeed this is a mother’s own sound language that is completely unique to her and her baby.

These may be some of the most meaningful and bonding moments of the mother/infant relationship.
But where do you go from here?

If you begin to expose babies to myriad musical styles, you can witness early responses. Even in the early weeks of life, a baby will respond to complex classical works.

Our daughter at three weeks old reacted to a Rachmaninoff piano concerto, eyes searching, facial changes pronounced.

Clearly these sounds had a dramatic and positive effect. After having been very active kicking and fussing, she became still, seemingly enthralled in the music.

By exposing kids to a variety of musical styles, they begin to develop their response to what moves them to sing and dance, or be calmed, and even what turns them off.

Critical listening can start early. And by exposing them to varied music they will develop the ability to appreciate many different styles. Your kids are completely open and ready to absorb anything new.

There is no reason to limit what they hear just because you might think they are too young to understand it. Great music does not require understanding to be enjoyed and absorbed on the most organic level.

Sometimes music helps children express what they aren’t able to articulate. In the earliest days, it is often simply the sheer joy of singing and using the voice that enables a child to begin to develop a love of music.

Singing just feels good, both emotionally and physically to a child.

Dancing or moving to music is a natural expression of rhythm, which is part of life. Encourage your children to sing and dance and they will be more free and expressive.

As you explore the world of children’s music, also introduce the music you like to your kids. This can be a time for both of you to explore new musical styles such as jazz, classical, bluegrass, blues, funk, and a variety of world and ethnic music.

If you aren’t sure what to buy, visit your local library. Most libraries have a very good section of CDs in a broad range of styles.

Ask the librarian for suggestions. Try checking out a different style CD each week. Of course you can browse the Internet and visit your favorite on-line music stores. Many sites offer downloadable music samples.

Music is at the heart of a child’s spirit. In our CD “Wake Up & Go To Sleep” we celebrate that spirit and the preciousness of childhood. We make music for fun and for interaction.

Music should inspire little souls to think outside the box!
As your children develop a musical vocabulary, let them take you along for the ride.

Attend outdoor concerts where kids can dance and run around to the music. Many venues offer free concerts in the summer, in a variety of styles.

Get Jammin’ with your kids. It’s a blast!
Let music fill your children’s hearts with joy, and in return it will do the same for you.


Magic Tricks And Kids A Great Combination

It’s always enjoyable performing magic tricks for an appreciative audience.

Best Joy For Kids
best joy for kids

Once you get a few magic tricks under your belt, you’ll be hooked on performing your craft because there is something really rewarding when a well executed magic trick leaves your audience in disbelief and applauding all at the same time… and that’s the real magic.

The element of doubt in the mind of your audience is the key to a good magic trick. Just a dab of doubt and you can see the people in your audience start to question their rational… and for that moment the illusion is truly magical.

Being in touch with your audience is the showmanship part of the magic trick and is vitally important. It is also the most fun part as a performer. The look in their eyes, their laughter all make it worthwhile.

When you first start out performing magic tricks, there is a good chance that the bulk of your audiences will be comprised of children.

In the eyes of the kids your tricks will truly be magical and the look of the faces and the giggles from the children are a reward like no other.

A child’s imagination and the art of a magic trick are a wonderful combination. A child’s imagination is a wonderful enhancement to any magic trick.

It’s that unique and innocent perception of the world that kids have that make performing magic tricks for them all the more rewarding.

Even something as simple as the disappearing coin trick will have kids giggling with joy as you first make the coin disappear then reappear from one of the children’s ears.

They’ll love and beg you to do even more with them! And if you can’t get hooked on the innocent reaction of children then you can’t get hooked at all.

The best part about performing magic tricks for kids is that kids just know how to be kids… after all that’s exactly what they are.

And magic to kids is just that… magic. I mean… after all… what is the major draw to Disney World for kids… well… Magic Kingdom… of course!

If you are just taking up learning a few magic tricks, an audience full of kids is a great way to get started. And even though you may decide to take your magic tricks to even higher heights, you’ll never have a better audience than a room full of young children.

So don’t worry about starting small… as in kids… you’ll probably find that you’ll always enjoy working your magic with the kids.


Keep Playing

Recently I had the great pleasure of hearing one of my favorite bands, Groovelily, perform their original musical theater piece Striking 12 in New York City.

Best Joy For Kids
best joy for kids

Before the show, as the band was warming up, the lead singer/violinist Valerie told us a powerful story. Valerie had recently performed with her father at an event to celebrate his lifetime contribution as a cantor.

After the performance, an older woman came up to Valerie and told her about how she had played violin as a child in Germany and how much playing the violin had meant to her.

She went on to explain that when her family fled the country during the Nazi regime, she was not allowed to bring her beloved violin with her to America because her family feared it would mark them as Jews. So, she grew up, got married, and raised a family.

While she encouraged her son to play the violin (and he grew up to be a musician), she never indulged or rekindled her passion to play the violin again.

When the woman finished telling her story, she held Valerie’s hands tightly, looked her in the eyes, and emphatically said, “Keep on playing.”

Every time I hear this story I am deeply moved (yes, I love the band and have heard this fairly recent story multiple times already).

I am moved because of my own ups and downs as an amateur musician who can think of a million excuses why I’m not good enough to be playing or how I shouldn’t be “wasting” time when there are so many other more important things to do.

I am also moved because I am overwhelmed with the sheer amount of creation, beauty, joy, and passion that is missing in this world each day because so many people have abandoned their passions and joy for the much more “important” and “serious” business of life.

Take a moment right now and consider:
– What activities did you love to take part in as a child, teenager, or young adult? Do you still partake in any of these or related activities?

– What did you dream about most wanting to be when you grew up?
– What are you doing when you feel the most joyful, passionate, or in the flow? When was the last time you spent time doing this?

If you’re like most people I know, you’re probably laughing because it has been so long since you’ve done any of these things

that you don’t even remember or you’re muttering a number of excuses as to why you can’t be doing these things. Some of those excuses might sound like:

– I don’t have time
– There are more important things to do
– It’s impossible to do now that I have a wife/husband/mate, career, kids, house, etc.
– There’s no way I can ever have what I dreamed about, it was only a fantasy.

After all, I’m middle aged, overweight, and out of shape and certainly not going to become an NBA, NFL, WNBA, Broadway star, or rock musician in this lifetime, so why bother at all.

Well, what if you could have and do what you most enjoy? What if you could get in touch with the essence of what you really wanted and then go and do THAT?

For instance, perhaps what really appealed to you about becoming a rock musician was making music and sharing it with others.

You could achieve that dream at any age. Pick up an old instrument you used to play and begin to take lessons again. Learn something new.

Volunteer to share your music with kids, the elderly, or a church group. Another example could be that you loved the spirit of competition and physical challenge inherent in the dream of playing professional sports.

Well, you can have that too! While you might not be the next Lance Armstrong or Serena Williams, there are many ways to get physically fit and be competitive in sports at any age.

I’ve seen athletes in the Masters division of different sports play with more heart and competitive spirit in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, than many young professional athletes exhibit.

I personally know people with demanding careers and families who regularly compete in triathlons and cycle, run, or walk untold numbers of miles each year for charity. If they can do it, so can you.

My point is – you deserve to have joy, passion, and play in your life. Yes, life can be serious at times and we all have responsibilities, but you owe it to yourself to really live a little and give yourself the gift of something just for you.

You’d be amazed at how just a little bit of time spent regularly on something that feeds your soul will yield results ten times over in the other “more serious” parts of your life.

This month, go in search of your long lost violin. Dust off your guitar, tennis racket, paintbrushes, or writer’s pad. Give yourself permission to rekindle the passion, find the joy, and PLAY.


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