Arts & Culture

August 14, 2014

Family Picks: Marbles lets kids practice for kindergarten

Marbles' free Kick-off to Kindergarten event gives children a chance to practice school skills like waiting in a lunch line or boarding a school bus.

It’s a bummer that early August has been so cool and rainy, because for many kids, it’s already time to go back to school. And for some, it’s time to go to school for the first time (I’m not there yet, my oldest still has a year).

Still, there’s something bittersweet about the transition. In your time together, it’s hard to know whether to focus on skills kids will need in grade school or just spend these precious weekends playing.

Fortunately, whichever approach you take, there are plenty of choices.

• Learn about light pollution and how it affects the natural world Friday night at Crowder District Park in Apex. There’s a fun element – kids get to play with glow sticks and talk about the stars – but there’s a serious ecological lesson, too. Sea turtles, for instance, use the moon to get back to the sea and can get disoriented by man-made lights. This starts at 7:30 and costs $5 per family, though registration is required. Call 919-662-2850.
• Saturday, Marbles’ Kick-off to Kindergarten gives children a chance to practice public school skills like waiting in a lunch line or boarding a school bus. Kids who haven’t been in a day care or preschool should especially benefit; those who have will likely see this as the logical next step after things they’ve already learned. This runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is free for rising kindergarteners and their families. See for a schedule.
• With a themed storytime, Zumba demonstration and balanced diet-oriented craft time, Saturday’s event at Northgate Mall’s Children’s Nook focuses on health, nutrition and overall fitness. Participants at this free event also get a free book via the children’s literacy organization Reading is Fundamental. The Children’s Nook is located between mall entrances 2 and 4, and the event runs from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. See for more information.

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