Tag Archives: play

Cops & Robbers

27 Oct

Now that it’s fall, my children and I are able to spend more time outdoors again.  This summer was so hot that we wound up spending most of our time indoors.  Oddly enough, even the pool was too hot this year.

I love being outdoors.  When I was a kid, you could always find me outside somewhere, playing with neighborhood kids, swimming at the neighborhood pool, riding my bike, climbing a tree, having an acorn fight, judging a talent show, or making a hideout in the bushes.  My siblings and I did not go in until it was time for dinner.

Back in those days, we used our imagination to entertain ourselves.  Over the past few years, I have been trying to instill the same love for outdoors and innovation!

This weekend, a neighbor boy came over and I taught the kids how to play cops and robbers.  You split the kids into two teams.  Half are cops half are robbers.  You designate a “jail” and conversely, a robber “hideout”.  From there, the robbers pretend to steal (we pocketed leaves from the yard).

If the robbers are spotted stealing, the cops try and catch them.  If the cops catch the robbers, the robbers are escorted to jail.  The robbers can stay in jail for a minimum time limit (we made it two minutes, so the kids would not get bored).

If the robbers get away with the theft, they can bring the monies back to their hideout and stash it.  The robber hideout is “base”.  Robbers can also bust their partners or teammates out of the jail.  If no police are guarding the jail, one robber can save another robber.

The cops win if all of the robbers are jailed.  The robbers win if they confiscate “x” number of fake money (we did 20 leaves).  If you can find an enthusiastic group of kids, they might even help you keep the brown leaves off your lawn and they wouldn’t even know it; less raking for the grown ups!

52 FEATS – NUMBER 25 (Playing)

20 Jun

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

A friend of mine told me a cute story recently, about playing Kung Fu Panda with her kids.  She wasn’t playing the movie, she was playing, pretending to be characters with her kids and acting out stories.  This is such simple thing, so important for kids to exercise their imaginations, and yet I admit, I do it very seldom.  That type of play just wears me out.  I’m much more the “let’s read a book!” variety when I sit down with my kids.

I often feel so overwhelmed with everything I have to do – entertain/educate the kids, cook, clean, do laundry, blog, work, and occasionally try to do something for myself, like reading a book with no pictures.  I find myself frequently saying no to my kids when they ask me to play with them, telling them I’ll do it later, when I finish the dishes, after I get some work done, once I’ve folded the laundry, etc.  Those are such valuable moments I’m wasting!

This is the week of playing.  It’s the week of getting down on the floor with my kids, acting out whatever they want, playing whatever game they want to play, even if we’ve done it a dozen times already or if the kitchen sink is overflowing with dirty dishes.  I stay at home with my kids for a reason, and it’s not just to keep them breathing.  I want to connect with them, and have fun in the process.

My son will be starting kindergarten in the fall.  If this last summer before school isn’t precious time, then I don’t know what is!  I don’t intend to waste a moment of it.

Lazy List of Boredom Busters

8 Jun

With summer right around the corner, I’ve got my calendar out and the planning has begun!  I got this brilliant idea from my close friend, Jean Marie Lopez, for putting together a list of fun/interesting things to do.  Why have a list?  Because it’s an easy way to find something to do in a pinch, like when it’s raining outside or the kids are whining the ever annoying, “I’m bored.”  (I’m not at all saying that I am committed to doing every single thing on this list.  I just like knowing I have a quick place to go to find something fun- instead of straight to the TV or computer, which could otherwise easily become my default).

I included my kids in making my list.  Here it what we’ve got so far:

(Items with an * next to them are FREE, items with a ** I plan to blog more about- so stay tuned!)

  1. Visit Dinosaur Valley State Park
  2. Participate in the library summer reading program*
  3. Indoor or outdoor obstacle course *
  4. Make playdough **
  5. Play in the sprinklers *
  6. Get an Arlington Parks & Recreation Passport and visit a park we’ve never been to *
  7. Go on a nature hike *
  8. Watch a movie at the Omni theater
  9. Make friendship bracelets
  10. Paint a canvas
  11. Make an A frame tent
  12. Find a Geocache **
  13. Hide a Geocache **
  14. Go letterboxing
  15. Do a science experiment
  16. Teach the kids to play four square **
  17. Visit Don Misenheimer splash park*
  18. 10 Terrific Weeks (Usborne Book program)
  19. Made homemade popcicles **
  20. Visit the Dallas Zoo
  21. Go to the Lakeshore Learning store
  22. Attend a concert at Levitt Pavillion *
  23. Have a backyard scavenger hunt *
  24. Have a messy day*
  25. Take the kids to Krispy Crème
  26. Recycle crayons **
  27. Go to the $1 movie
  28. Take care of the Webkinz
  29. Board game
  30. Complete a 1000 piece puzzle
  31. Learn a new song on the piano *
  32. Write a letter to a pen pal*
  33. Let the kids be mom for an afternoon*
  34. Visit the bookstore
  35. Ride the carousel at the mall
  36. Explore Internet Linked books online (Usborne books) *
  37. Visit PetSmart *
  38. Teach the kids to play kick ball *
  39. Visit Howard Moore Play Pool
  40. Bake a cake from scratch
  41. Draw a card and play one of the 50 games (Usborne books)

I’d love to know what you’re putting on your own list!  Feel free to share ideas!

Weekend Calendar Reminder

3 Jun

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on this weekend – click on the links or check out our calendar for all the details!

Friday, June 3:

Dino Snore & Rawr at the Fort Worth Zoo

Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games

FREE Summer Concert Series at Levitt Pavilion

Saturday, June 4:

Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games

First Saturday at the Nasher Sculpture Center

First Saturday at the Crow Collection

Free Kids’ Crafts at Lakeshore Learning

Kids’ Fishing at Bass Pro Shops

Kidtoon Movies at Studio Movie Grill (Arlington Highlands)

Animal Exploration at River Legacy Park

FREE Summer Concert Series at Levitt Pavilion

Sunday, June 5:

Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games

Kidtoon Movies at Studio Movie Grill (Arlington Highlands)

FREE Summer Concert Series at Levitt Pavilion

Hansel & Gretel at Artisan Center Theater

13 May
From now through May 21, bring your kids to Artisan Center Theater to see a unique twist on the classic story of Hansel & Gretel!


When Hansel and his sister, Gretel, discover a gingerbread house in the forest, they are captured by a witch, who tries to fatten up Hansel and makes Gretel do all her work.  With Artie the Monkey’s help, the children defeat the witch and return home, never to be hungry again.

Showtimes are Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10 am.   Artisan Center Theater is located in Hurst at 418 E. Pipeline Road.  For tickets, click here.

HONK! Junior at Artisan Center Theater

22 Mar

March 26 – April 23 at the Artisan Center Theater in Hurst, come check out HONK! Junior.  Showtimes are Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10 am.


Written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (dubbed “The brightest hopes for the future of the British musical” by The London Daily Telegraph), “Honk!” Junior is the story of Ugly, whose odd, gawky looks instantly incite prejudice from his family and neighbors. Separated from the farm and pursued by a hungry Cat, Ugly must find his way home. Along his rollicking and harrowing journey he not only discovers his true beauty and glorious destiny, but also finds love and acceptance in all its forms.

For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

23 Feb

Through March 6, Dallas Children’s Theater presents “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs”.  Hear the wolf’s side of the story in this hilarious musical courtroom dram-edy!  For ages 5 and up.

Showtimes are Saturdays and Sundays only.  To buy tickets at the Dallas Children’s Theater website, click here.

Pinkalicious at CATS

21 Feb

From February 25-March 6, Creative Arts Theatre & School in Arlington presents a production of Pinkalicious, based on the book by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann.  Show times are 7:30 pm Friday, 2:30 pm Saturday & Sunday.  Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, and $2 for a lap pass for kids ages 3 and under.


Pinkalicious loves pink and wants everything in her life to be pink.  After overindulging in pink cupcakes, she wakes up pink.  Her parents take her to the doctor, and she is diagnosed with pinkititis.  Her best friend doesn’t even recognize her.  At home, she eats another cupcake, and the next morning she wakes up red and develops pink eye pinkititis, whereby she can only see the color pink.  Will she follow the doctor’s orders to eat green food?

For more information on CATS, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Indoor Safari Park in Southlake

3 Feb

Part toy store, part jungle-themed play place, Indoor Safari Park is a great place to go during the cold-weather months when you just can’t take another day at the mall.  It has a miniature golf course, a train, ride-on robotic safari animals, a multitude of train tables, a trampoline, a slide and ball pit area, and 2 birthday party rooms.  Outside food and drink are not permitted, but they do sell snacks and drinks in the back of the store.

Another cool feature they offer, which is a great idea but in my opinion fell a little short, was the ceramics painting area.  Kids can paint a small ceramic item as part of some admission packages.  My kids loved it, but it was nowhere in the ballpark of a place like Creative Hands in Arlington.  Only a few colors of paint were available, and some of the paint was moldy.  Once my kids were done, the ceramics didn’t get glazed, they were just set out to dry.

Overall, the place was a huge hit with my kids.  They loved riding the train and the robotic animals, and we played golf a couple times.  And they burned off ridiculous amounts of energy in the slide/trampoline/ball pit area.

The one drawback to the place, which was a HUGE negative for us, was that they recently installed a TV in the main play area.  For my kids (my son in particular), that proved to be a huge distraction.  The owner, a very nice woman, said that she had just installed to play educational jungle-related videos; however, when we were there it was playing Nick Jr.  If I’d wanted my kids to watch TV I could have just stayed home!

For the Indoor Safari Park website, click here.

Puss ‘n Boots at the Artisan Center Theater

25 Jan

The Artisan Center Theater in Hurst is presenting Puss ‘n Boots every Tuesday and Saturday at 10 am throughout the month of January.  Admission is $5 for all ages.


Loveable Simple can’t seem to do anything right, until he befriends a clever cat, Puss n Boots!  Join Simple and his cat, as they discover a lovely castle, defeat a dreadful ogre and help a clumsy princess find her true love.

For the Artisan Center Theater website, click here.  Coming in February – Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz!

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