Weekly family rail, with tips on kids and gardening, a review of "Rio" and more.
Tip of the Week
Planting season has arrived, a prime time to share your love for nature with your entire family and spend quality time together in the garden. Getting kids excited about gardening is simple if they are involved with the planning process. Here’s how to do that.
- Choose a theme: Kids love a theme - from birthday parties to bedroom decor. Capitalize on that by together planning and planting a themed garden. Center the theme on foods they already like, such as pizza or salsa, so the fun and learning experience of gardening combines with eating and enjoying what they've grown. What you plant in your pizza garden will depend on your family's preferences, but tomatoes, purple and yellow peppers, oregano and basil are staples for any pie. For your salsa garden, choose tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, red onion, cilantro and hot peppers.
- Give them the tools: Brightly colored small spades, tot-sized trowels and, of course, a watering can are beginner gardening staples. Equip children with tools that fit their smaller hands and appeal to their sense of adventure.
- Dig in: Whether your family garden will be in the backyard or in containers on the balcony, porch or patio, involving everyone makes gardening enjoyable. Start by having kids select a garden site. Choose a place that is easily accessible with adequate sunlight - six hours a day - and good drainage. Children like to choose what they want to plant. Often, they pick well-loved vegetables and flowers such as pumpkins, potatoes, daisies or geraniums. Feel free to suggest easy-to-grow new plant ideas like zucchini, purple peppers, dill, chives or tomatoes.
Family Screening Room
Length: 96 minutes
Synopsis: Blu is a domesticated macaw who never learned to fly, living a comfortable life with his owner and best friend Linda in the small town of Moose Lake, Minn. Blu and Linda think he's the last of his kind, but when they learn about another macaw who lives in Rio de Janeiro, they head to the faraway and exotic land to find Jewel, Blu's female counterpart. – 20th Century Fox
Violence/scary rating: 2.5
Sexual-content rating: 1.5
Profanity rating: 1
Drugs/alcohol rating: 1
Family Time rating: This is another good animated film that the whole family will enjoy.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“A Friend for Einstein, the Smallest Stallion,” by Charlie Cantrell and Dr. Rachel Wagner
Synopsis: When he came into the world, Einstein weighed less than a cat and was no taller than a cereal box. He was a miniature miniature horse. Too small to run with the herd, Einstein had to look outside his world of horses to find the perfect playmate. Featuring full-color photographs of the spirited little stallion and a series of adorable creatures, this inspiring story about finding a true friend will bring joy to nature lovers of all ages. - Hyperion Books for Children
Did You Know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all 50 states will have indoor smoking bans in place by 2020. Currently, 26 states have these laws, which prohibit smoking in restaurants and the like, making it healthier for families to dine out.
GateHouse News Service