On-line sports tips

If you use the website of your child’s local sports club, you may have already accessed parts of Active.com. We especially like the Instruction and Resources offered for a variety of team sports. You might use the tips to hone the skills for your own sport off-season or simply browse through the site in search of a sport your child might enjoy. My nine-year-old is doing the leg-strengthening exercises for her upcoming hockey season as I type.

Multiplication Game

Here’s an easy game that will make honing those multiplication skills fun: Two players, each with a deck of number cards in front of them, turn one card face up at the same time. The first player to multiply the numbers on the two cards is the winner.

National Geographic Sites and Sounds

Sites and Sounds is an area of the National Geographic web site where users can explore “some of the world’s most distinctive ecoregions through audio, video, photos, interviews, conservation tips, and more.”

Featured regions have included the Bering Sea, the Madagascar Dry Forests, and the Eastern Himalayan Broadleaf and Conifer Forests.

The currently featured region is the Mesoamerican Reef, “the Jewel of the Caribean,” a 450 mile stretch of reef bordering Mexico, Belize, Guatamala, and Honduras that is home to more than 500 species of fish.

Healthy Kids’ Food

If you’re looking for some variety and sure nutritional value, this cookbook just might fit the bill: Brain Food for Kids: Over 100 recipes to boost your child’s intelligence by Nicola Graimes. The book explains–and the recipes make use of–much nutritional analysis and research, but I don’t think the claim in the subtitle has exactly been tested. Still, I picked it up for fresh inspiration for another year of packing lunches. I really like the fold-out back cover with its sample weekly menu plan. Other nice sections include ideas for packable lunches, choosing convenient packaged foods, picnic and party recipes and healthful indulgences for a sweet-tooth.


BodyWorlds2 by anatomist Gunther von Hagens is on fascinating display at Boston’s Museum of Science through January 7, 2007. All the major systems of the human body–and those of some animals–are made visible through the plastination of donated cadavers. It’s an opportunity to have both philosophical and scientific discussions about the nature of human life. Along the way, a few smokers’ lungs or slices of skin cancer might help persuade your children to take good care of their own bodies.

Other current exhibits of von Hagens’ work appear in St. Paul and in Houston, both until September 4, 2006. An exhibit in Vancouver will begin September 15, 2006.