The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 7, 2001 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

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Salina, Kansas
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Saturday, April 7, 2001
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Page 6
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116 SATURDAY. APRIL 7, 2001 FAMILIES THE SALINA JOURNAL T CONTEST Family fun is bonding agent : Jolly Time Popcorn is in search of U.S.'s Most Fun Family By JANET SIMONS Rocky Mountain News : The family that plays to• gether stays together. • Take the clowns shown ".here, for example. They're : Meg, Rosie and Robyn Sinner, Westminster, Colo., and ; they've found that nothing ; improves a family's outlook like a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants. They hope to win the Search for America's Most : Fun Family, a national contest sponsored by Jolly Time popcorn, for which the grand prize is a Hawaii vacation and $1,000. "I usually don't enter contests, but I saw something about this one in a magazine when we were on vacation, and it just jumped out at me," Meg Sinner says. "And after we got back, I kept seeing it again and again and figured that meant I should enter" She says their cutting up began about two years ago, when she realized she had a broad assortment of clowning skills. After all, how many 39- year-old mothers can sculpt balloons, juggle, play guitar, do magic tricks and ride a unicycle? Pretty soon, Rosie, 12, and Robyn, 7, joined the act. Dad Gary Sinner, a computer programmer, designs and builds props for the jesters in his life. "It has been wonderful because we get to do so much together," he says. "I like to see my kids and my wife having fun, and I enjoy figuring out how to make things. I just designed and made a balloon pump for Meg to use with her balloon sculptures." The family belongs to Christ the King Episcopal Church, Arvada, Colo., where they recently delivered a clown sermon. They get occasional party gigs, and on Christmas they went to Children's Hospital to entertain the patients. Rosie says Christmas Scripps Howard News Service Clowning around in tiieir living room are (from left) Rosie Sinner, 12, al<a P-Nut; IWeg Sinner, aka Nut-IVIeg; and Robyn Sinner, 7, aka P-Can. stands out in her memory "It's no fun for the kids to be in the hospital for Christmas, and it was great to make them happy," she says. "I love clowning because it's fun for my mom and I to do stuff together And it's even more fun with Robyn because arguing is part of the act, and Dad says we're already experts at arguing with each other" The idea behind the Jolly Time contest is "to help families beat the winter blahs," says Garry Smith, vice president of the Sioux City, Iowa- based company Director of marketing Tom Elsen says entries have told of a wide range of foolishness. "One family had hosted a foreign exchange student from Germany, and they brought him back for a surprise visit at Christmas break. So they put him in a gift-wrapped box under the tree, and on Christmas morning the kids unwrapped him with the rest of their gifts," Elsen said. "Another family takes months to plan each Halloween party — a recent one was a '50s dance party, complete with a dance floor, a soda fountain and the ghost of Elvis." Elsen says one message comes through in all the entries: "It's important for families to spend time just enjoying each other's company" Educational psychologist Jane Healy says buffoonery bonds families and helps children to develop creativity Healy who lives in Vail, is the mother of three grown sons and author of "Your Child's Growing Mind: A Guide to Brain Development and Learning From Birth to Adolescence." "Fun within a family is important for many reasons that should be obvious, but I am all too aware that it can get lost amid the schedules, necessities and demands of a busy life. It really is worthwhile to make time for fun because that's what your children will remember when they're grown," Healy says. When her sons were young, she says, no April Fool's Day went unobserved. "One year, I gave them a FamNy contest • What: Searcli for America's Most Fun Family • Details: Entries, consisting of a photo and a written explanation of 100 words or less telling why your family has more fun than any other family in America, must be postmarked by May 31. Winners will be announced in June; • Where: Entries may be submitted via the Jolly Time Web site, www.jollytlme.com, or mailed to: Jolly Time Pop Corn, Search for America's Most; Fun Family, P.O. Box 64306, Chicago, IL 60664-4306. • Prizes: Grand prize is a family vacation for four to Maui and $1,000 in cash. Lesser prizes include digital cameras, : Razor scooters, Nintendo 64 systems, Polaroid Instant Sticker cameras, Family Fun magazine subscriptions, Hollywood Video movie and rental certificates arid variety packs of Jolly Time popcorn. beautifully frosted cake for dessert, and when my husband tried to cut it, he discovered that it was two frosted cake pans," Healy says. "Of course, there was a real cake in the kitchen." Healy says recent brain research indicates adult creativity is rooted in childhood's spontaneous play "The key word is spontaneous," she says. "Families need to joke and laugh together, invent ideas, let their imaginations go. Make up word games at the dinner table. Have picnics in the snow. "And it works. 1 want your readers to know that all our sons turned out to be highly creative, successful adults." DIY ki<ls A compendium of projects and ideas for children and families from the Do It Yourself Network: Pop art Paint your leftover Popsicle sticks or embellish them with "jewels" to frame a child's drawing or favorite photo. First mount the artwork or photo on a piece of cardboard, then use craft glue to secure the decorated sticks around the edges as desired. Stamped stationery Kids can make terrific stationery gifts for family members with the help of rubber stamps. After stamping one sheet of copy paper, duplicate the design on a photocopier. Add a cardboard backer for stability, wrap the stationery in plastic and tie on a ribbon for a festive presentation. Paper-bag puppet Looking for an easy, inexpensive craft? Make puppets by gluing cutouts of noses, ears, eyes — even hair — directly to paper bags. You can even design puppets for specific roles in a puppet show. By Scripps Howard News Service BEHIND CLOSED DOORS ADULT NOVELTIES VIDEOS • LOTIONS' MAGAZINES 11 am • 9 pm Mon. - Sat • 1 pm - 5 pm Sun. 1901 W. Grand • Salina • (785) 823-1339 POOL SERVICE SPA SERVICE WATER CHEMISTRY Poors Plus rUUI riUb of Sallna 823-POOL • 2501 Market Place Spring Clearance 25% OFF ENTIRE STOCK Friday, Saturday, and Sunday April 6-8 Come in and see our new products and our wide variety of Graduation and 1 St Communion items. More new products are on their way and we must make room!! Don't forget to sign up for ttie all day crop on National Scrapbook day Saturday, May 5. Scrapbook Friendzy Salina Central Mall / 785-493-0883 Hutchinson Mall / 316-662-6360 T BEDTIME STORIES April set aside for reading to children Bedtimes stories are beneficial for children and their parents By SAIMANTHA CRITCHELL Tlw Associated Press NEW YORK — The "to-do" list for busy parents is about to get a little longer. But this isn't an extra chore, this is a few minutes of pure — yet practical — pleasure. The newest item on the agenda is reading a story to your children each and every night, and April has been declared National Bedtime Story Month. "I've heard that if you repeat something 30 times, it becomes a habit. That's why we're dedicating 30 days for this," said Sharon Darling, executive director of the National Center for Family Literacy "Don't make reading a 'have to,'make it a 'want to.' " The Louisville, Ky-based literacy center organized the awareness campaign, which includes celebrity "pajama parties" planned throughout the month in several cities. Snuggle fabric softener is the corporate sponsor. The climate in the country is right for a major reading crusade, especially since first lady Laura Bush has made it a priority on her own agenda, said Darling, who also serves on President Bush's Advisory Committee for Education. A bedtime story shared by a parent and child leads to so many benefits. "It's hard to say who gets the most out of it," Darling said. First, a nightly story will help students build cognitive skills and learn to read, she said. But there also is an emotional element to learning, and that's where the snuggling and closeness of a parent makes a difference. "Otherwise, you could just hire someone to read to your kid," Darling said. For parents, storytime is a time to really enjoy their children. And, it's even better for grandparents, said Darling, who has five grown children and nine grandchildren of her own. "It's even more rewarding with grandkids because I can relax, give them time, and I have the wisdom to know and to cherish that I'm watching them develop." 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