Archive for the ‘Kid’s Activities’ Category

source: Finger Lakes Times

In early March, The Finger Lakes Museum received a grant from the Outdoor Foundation to provide canoeing and kayaking opportunities for local youth and families. The program is free. There will be 20 boats available for use at the Sugar Creek bridge and boat launch in Branchport from 3 to 6 p.m. on 10 consecutive Sunday afternoons beginning April 21. Paddles and life jackets will be available. Participants are also welcome to bring fishing rods (and licenses), nets, and picnic meals. Instruction is available upon request.

Take A Paddle - Finger Lakes

Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes

Sugar Creek is a pristine tributary of Keuka Lake that showcases wetlands, a bird sanctuary and an array of aquatic wildlife. This 2013 program is part of a new local outreach initiative in Yates County as well as a wider educational campaign for the entire Finger Lakes area. It is being carried out with the assistance of museum volunteers and in collaboration with Doug Reagan’s Canoe and Kayak Livery. Those interested in learning more can contact Museum Education Director Mike Sullivan at 694-6922 or msullivan@fingerlakesmuseum.org.

This grant opportunity supports pioneering projects like this and initiatives aiming to connect young Americans with their waterways through recreational paddling. The Finger Lakes Museum was one of 25 organizations selected by Outdoor Nation and the Outdoor Industry Association Paddle Advisory Council from a pool of 150 applicants based on its likelihood to increasing paddling participation.

The Paddle Nation Project grants were made possible by support and funding from the Outdoor Industry Association Paddle Advisory Council, a coalition of top paddlesport manufacturers, retailers and stakeholders; a $30,000 contribution from Nielsen Expositions’ Outdoor Retailer, the outdoor industry tradeshow held twice each year; and many individuals, manufacturers and retailers in the paddlesport community.

“Recreational paddling is one of the most accessible and impactful ways to introduce young Americans to the outdoors,” said Lili Colby, sales and marketing director for MTI Adventurewear and chair of the Paddle Council. “Though so many of the applications were inspiring, we believe the winning projects will creatively and effectively involve young people in all types of paddling, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing and rafting.”

“We’re deeply committed to connecting more individuals with the natural world,” says Mike Sullivan, Educator Director at The Finger Lakes Museum and writer of the winning grant. “Here in the Finger Lakes, and specifically right here on Keuka Lake, we’re blessed with stunning beauty in our own backyards as well as incredible opportunities like this to simply be out in it.”

“Small grant programs like this one activate a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the organization that runs Outdoor Nation. “By providing equipment, training, mentoring and educational resources, these projects will make paddlesports accessible to many youth who may not have the opportunity otherwise to get on the water.”

Outdoor Nation is committed to increasing and expanding youth participation in outdoor recreation through education, engagement and action in order to cultivate a healthier, more active generation. In 2012, Outdoor Nation awarded more than $250,000 to young adults for projects that reconnect young people to the outdoors. For more information on Outdoor Nation grants programs, visit outdoornation .org/grants.

Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks

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“The RV Camping Report” visits Western New York, near Ellicotville, NY to check out Rainbow Lake at Allegany Mountain Resort.
Click here to watch a short Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-F2JQJxeFPE

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Parents are always looking for inexpensive family fun. Timely, with autumn here and winter around the corner, there’s no need to look further than the backyard or the local park. Getting outdoors during the colder winter months can build memories, strengthen relationships, and just be an all-out fun bonding experience for families. Playoutdoors.com offers these great ideas and the gear to go with it.

1. Birdwatching
Get to know your local birds. The fall migration of birds is a wonderful time to teach kids about birds. Help kids identify the birds at your feeder by borrowing a birding field guide from your library or using one of the many fantastic online resources for bird identification. Binoculars are also a great way to see birds upclose and personal. There are many brands of kids binoculars available that are both lightweight and small enough for little hands and eyes.

2. Snowshoeing
A less expensive sport for people in snowy areas, the nice part about snowshoeing is that almost anyone who can walk can do it. From preschoolers to teen sizes, snowshoes attach easily to boots and provide hours of family fun, fresh air, and exercise.

3. Go on a picnic
There’s nothing better than sharing quality time and a family meal in the crisp, outdoor air in the middle of the day. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to the local park or farther away these are the moments children will remember sharing when they grow up. Picnic baskets today have evolved from charming baskets we used as kids. Today there are a variety of easy to carry soft coolers that keep food organized and cold at the same time…and also work year-round.

4. Snow Painting
All kids need is a few water bottles with a squirt top, some water, food coloring, and some snow. Fill each bottle with water and some food coloring and then head outside. A little imagination and some creativity will result in some great works of art. Playoutdoors.com recommends bottles that are BPA free and that can be easily cleaned.

snowman5. Build a snowman, ice castle…
Oh, remember those days building snow people with the first snow fall. t Playing in the snow and packing snow should be fun for kids, not miserable, cold and wet. When introducing little ones to snow play, it’s important they have the right gear: coats and mittens, scarves, hats, and snow boots. Waterproof is the key to staying warm and dry. Waterproof and insulated mittens work best on children to age 7. Gloves are recommended for older kids and teens.

link to original source

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by Tom Rankin, Poughkeepsie Journal, link to original post

You’ve probably seen TV ads aimed at getting children to exercise. This is a great idea, and what could be better than taking your children hiking? They get fresh air, interaction with nature and can start a lifelong hobby of being outdoors.

Tom Rankin hikes in the Catskills with his wife's grandchildren, Damon and Payton Pietrantoni.

Tom Rankin hikes in the Catskills with his wife’s grandchildren, Damon and Payton Pietrantoni.

I have friends who have taken their children hiking as newborns. Some mothers carry their babies in a sling, while others place them in a specially designed baby carrier, which can double as a backpack.

One important aspect to keep in mind is that children are much more focused on the journey than the destination. Be prepared to not make it all the way to the goal. Parents can tell when their children are tired, instead of just grumbling about moving up the trail, and you should never push children beyond their limits.

Frequent rest breaks and time to explore the sides of the trail will help keep them interested.

Small enticements along the way, such as “there is a special treat waiting at the summit,” might work with some kids, but let them dictate the pace and when to stop. The last thing you want is for the hike to turn into a negative experience.

You can help avoid problems by making sure your child is adequately clothed in layers appropriate to the conditions, and has sturdy, well-fitting boots. You can buy them backpacks, (or they could probably use their school packs), but don’t expect them to carry all their gear, food and water. Explain to them that as they grow older and stronger, they can carry more of their own gear. A small toy could be brought along in the pack.

My wife’s grandson, 6, is a typical, active boy, who hikes with us frequently. But he sometimes takes risks on the trail that we would rather he not do. Let children have fun — and even take a few small risks — but make sure you keep a close eye on them and do not allow them to get into dangerous situations. Explain that the outdoors can be fun, but they could get hurt, or lost. Teach your children to understand trail markers and stay on the trail. Carrying a first-aid kit is a must.

The Catskill 3500 Club leads hikes to each of the 35 peaks over 3,500 feet in the Catskills in every season. We have a requirement that you do at least four winter climbs before you join the club. Our hikes are free, but you must sign up in advance. We will make sure you are ready to go on the hike you sign up for with a few questions about what you have hiked recently and if you have the appropriate gear. This helps keep every hike a safe hike for everyone involved.

Children are welcome on our hikes, but you should discuss your child’s age and ability with the leader before the hike. A parent or guardian must accompany all minors and sign a waiver for them.

Tom Rankin is an avid hiker and vice president of the Catskill 3500 Club. He also helps keep the Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower open to visitors. He can be contacted through the Catskill 3500 Club Web page: www.catskill-3500-club.org/about/officers.htm. “Valley Explorer” is a regular feature in My Valley.

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Anyone who does trail maintenance should watch this video. Can you imagine being the maintainers for this BMX trail system?  Endwell Trails – Upstate New York

Here’s more info on the Endwell Trails. http://www.bmxunion.com/blog/blog/through-the-lens-spot-check-endwell-trails/

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by Sue Freeman

Ice skating was an integral part of my childhood. My street backed up to the Erie Canal, so in winter, my brothers and I toted our skates and snow shovels down the rocky embankment, into the lowered Erie Canal. We shoveled away the snow and spent many wonderful hours playing hockey and pretending to be Olympic ice skaters on the often bumpy surface. For a smoother glide, we piled into the car and went to the outdoor rink at Potter Memorial Park in Fairport.

Years later at Holiday Harbour in Canandaigua, I shoveled a large area of the boat canals and invited a gang of friends over for a rousing game of broom hockey, followed by hot chocolate in my parent’s house. These were examples of ice skating in its raw, natural form – with lots of shoveling involved, and a high tolerance for bumpy ice. A potential skating rink exists anywhere you have shallow water such as a pond or canal that freezes solidly. For instance, people like to skate on Long Pond in Greece.

If you prefer less physical prep work and smoother ice, you probably want to opt for an indoor ice rink. You’ll have to pay a fee but ice rinks often offer skate rentals and a warmer environment or a warming hut. Ice rinks in the Rochester area offer open public skating as well as hockey leagues, and skating lessons. They even provide options for birthday parties and special events. Visit the web site for specifics on each venue.
– Manhattan Square Park and Ice Rink, downtown Rochester was renovated & expanded in 2008, www.cityofrochester.gov/article.aspx?id=8589935137
-The Sports Center at MCC in Henrietta, www.tscmcc.com/page/show/223069-public-skating
-Frank Ritter Memorial Ice Arena at RIT in Henrietta, www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/ciar/facilities_icearena.php
-Lakeshore Hockey Arena on Ling Road in Rochester, www.lakeshorehockeyarena.com
-Scottsville Ice Arena in Scottsville, www.scottsvilleicearena.com
-Genesee Valley Sports Complex Ice Skating Rink in Rochester, www.cityofrochester.gov/GVPSC
-Village Sports Ice Skating Rink on Baird Road in Fairport, www.villagesports.net
-Webster Ice Arena in Webster, www.websterarena.org
-Thomas Creek Ice Arena on Lyndon Road in Fairport, www.tcice.com
-Tuttle North Ice Arena in Brockport, www.brockport.edu/recservices/ice_arena/index.html
-Greater Canandaigua Civic Center in Canandaigua, www.gccc.org

For good free fun, outdoor rinks can be found at Churchville Park, Ellison Park, Highland Park, Fairport Junction Ice Arena next to the Box Factory in Fairport, and Veteran’s Memorial Park in Henrietta. There may be others in your neighborhood. In addition to being free, these rinks come pre-shoveled and are watered regularly to provide a smooth surface. Of course, you’re unlikely to have the rink to yourself as you would on a do-it-yourself pond.

Many ice rinks rent skates but, for a pair of your own, visit the Fairport or Canandaigua locations of RVE Bike & Skate (www.rvebike.com/skates.html), Rochester’s premier ice skate retailer. They’ll help you find the perfect pair for a winter full of skating fun.

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By Dianna Morris

The Christmas season is another wonderful opportunity to go for a hike, especially for families looking for something fun to do either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or for folks looking to wear off some of those scrumptious baked goodies we all indulge in during this season!

Many years ago, I took my toddler daughter out for nighttime walks through the snowy fields where we lived. I bundled her up well and packed her, tucked in with woolen blankets, into an old carriage bed tied atop a Flexible Flyer sled and over the fields we went. The moon and starlight made all the snow glisten like myriad diamonds. The night time silence was soothing after busy holiday season activities. If you get the right night, the moon light on the snow can make it appear almost like day light outside.

As the kids grew older, night time walks became a treasured activity. Thoughts got shared that might not have been spoken in all the busyness of our days. Memories were stored up as we saw things the sleeping world was missing. A cup of hot chocolate when we arrived back home warmed us up and made a perfect ending to the evening. Bundle up well and go for a night time hike and you will find a new activity to treasure during this season.

source: UticaOD.com

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