Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
Seven Things I Learned from a Hospital Family Magazine
Yesterday afternoon I found my pregnant wife on the floor. Dizzy, groggy, out-of-it.
We spent the afternoon and evening at the hospital to learn that her naturally low blood pressure doesn’t mix with pregnancy-induced anemia. In short, she needs to be taking iron supplements. No harm done (she apparently slowly put herself on the floor instead of passing out, and babies are vampiric â€” taking their share of the iron in their mom’s blood before she does).
We were there for six hours, this time with Little Miss, which made scrounging up dinner and keeping her entertained, well, actually not that bad. She’s a great kid. The only TV we watched was a birthing video, twice… the second time because Little Miss liked the rainbow-colored distortion on the oh-so-broken TV set.
And I somehow found time to peruse the one freebie magazine in the birth center, Family Fun Magazine. Despite it being owned by Disney, it’s surprisingly good.
One, it’s devoid of telltale Disney movie and TV advertising (but I did see a one ad for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment).
Two, it’s filled with great ideas for kids, roughly in the age range of 3 to 10. I may subscribe. Here are a few interesting finds (albeit, less interesting abbreviated and without the photos) from the February 2008 edition. The following links are to similar content because the full magazine is not online.
7. Pigeon Wants A… Contest. Mo Willems (author of the Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! series is having a contest. Kids 4- to 11-years-old draw a picture of what they think the pigeon wants in Mo’s next book. The winner gets a visit by Mo at his or her school and a complete collection of his books. A hundred other winners receive a copy of his new book due out in April. The contest deadline is March 3, 2008.
6. Make your own paper Chinese yo-yo. The linked instructions vary a bit. The magazine wisely suggests using a chopstick and scrapbooking paper.
5. Play with shadows on Groundhog Day, February 2. Have your shadow shake hands with someone else’s shadow. Fit your shadow inside someone else’s. Touch the tip of tall shadowy buildings and trees. Form letters with your arms and legs (you know, YMCA).
Oh, no, wait, I shouldn’t have looked for a YMCA video on Youtube. Parents buy the stupidest things.
4. Fill a portable wading pool with shredded paper and hunt for Easter eggs, or just goof off.
3. The Karrels’ Double K Ranch is a family-friendly bed & breakfast in Tucson, Arizona. Sleep in a real Southern Pacific caboose. Play with a 1,000 foot garden railway. Mom and Dad stay for $135, and kids are $15 each, and babes under-2-years are free. I was impressed at the low price for the cool novelty accommodations.
2. Reused valentines. Grab an old deck of playing cards, cut a photo of your child’s face and glue-stick it onto the heart cards. The king-queen-jack are obvious uses; get more creative with the others.
1. Make your own sidewalk paint out of corn starchâ€”and wash it away with water when playtime is over. The magazine has a great photo of a kid playing with a toy car on a zigzag roadway painted on asphalt.
There are a lot of other interesting topics, but I don’t want to regurgitate too much… Here’s a slim peek at a few more…
- folding dollar bills to make stand-up "framed" portraits of Lincoln and Washington,
- making an indoor snowman out of boxes and batting,
- writing a family constitution for your kids,
- step-by-step instructions for making six (actually cool, though delicate) winter animals out of Styrofoam and pipe cleaners,
- advice on taking a less expensive vacation during spring break instead of during the summer, and
- making orange slices filled with gelatin (Jell-O) using real orange peels.
Don’t miss the baby and toddler section of Family Fun’s website. It’s packed with ideas.