Friday, July 30, 2010

Loose Parts

My kids have a lot of toys. I mean A LOT of toys. But what do they play with most often? Sticks, rocks and sand. Oh, and broken toys. And when they play with their regular toys, as often as not they aren't using them quite in the way you'd expect.

The propeller from a cheap plastic airplane, half of a plastic Easter egg, one die from a set of dice, and a straw, and they'll be off making 'inventions.' In the tub, nothing is better than an empty syrup bottle. They have kept an old t-ball stand in the sand box all summer - it's a necessary sand toy for some reason.

Although I'll probably keep buying toys for my kids, I now have a better understanding of why they play with these seemingly odd items. A friend passed me an article created by the Penn State Better Kid Care Program. In it, they talk about 'loose parts' and 'open ended play.' Apparently, all those little bits are loose parts that can be moved from one context to another and recombined in unique ways.

The article does a better job of explaining the concept:

I found myself chuckling when I realized what it meant for play to be 'child directed.' Of course what my kids had been doing was child directed. No sensible adult would give a child a t-ball stand and tell them to go play in the sand box.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A classic weekend

From classic cars to classical music:

Fri July 30, 6-9pm enjoy classic cars during 'Cruise In' on Main Street, Oneonta. The band "Just Throw Money" will be playing.

On Sat, head to Glimmerglass State Park in Cooperstown from 10am-6pm for Sand Blast! 2010. Sand sculpting lessons, art activities and more! "Just Throw Money" plays at 6:00pm. Entry fees apply to 12+ ages. Call 547-8662 or email

Sat July 31 is the Grand Re-Opening of Oneonta Theatre Gala, 47 Chestnut St, Oneonta. For all ages. Doors open 6pm, show begins 7pm. Check out their website for the LONG list of performers:

Sat 9am - 2pm Oneonta Farmers' Market

Both Sat and Sun: Shakespeare in the Valley and Picnic Dinner at The West Kortright Centre. Click here for prices and info.

Sunday Aug 1st at 4pm: The Honest Brook Music Festival presents Jeanine DeBique, soprano. Cost is $20, K-12 Free. A concert in a dairy barn: click here for prices and info.

Also on Sun, at 7:30pm: Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival presents Borromeo String Quartet at the Otesaga Hotel. Click here for Prices and info.

Looking ahead:

Daytime Family Music Fest with the Borromeos on Monday, August 2, 10:30am at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown (60 Lake St). Two members of the Borromeo offer a kid-friendly tour of musical styles. Following the concert, kids can try out a variety of stringed instruments at the Instrument Petting Zoo. Childrens crafts table at 10:30am, concerts starts at 11am. $5 tickets at the door or $15 per family. Call 877-666-7421 or visit

Free concerts Thursdays in Neahwa Park, 7pm.

Schenevus offers Sunday night concerts, at 6pm on Borst Field. Call 638-5656 for info.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The weekend

Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 3pm and 4pm, the community is invited to attend free concerts as part of Hartwick College’s Summer Music Festival performances.

Fri July 23 is Kid's Night with the Oneonta Outlaws at Damaschke Field, 7:05pm. All kids FREE admission. Adults Gate Price $3.00.

Sat 9am - 2pm Oneonta Farmers' Market: Grill Day

Looking ahead:

Free concerts Thursdays in Neahwa Park, 7pm:

Schenevus offers Sunday night concerts, at 6pm on Borst Field. Call 638-5656 for info.

New playground equipment at Wilber Park!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Voice! 6

The Arc Otsego presents Voice! 6, the sixth annual juried art exhibition of work by artists with developmental disabilities from across New York State, July 16-July 31 at The Martin-Mullen Art Gallery, Fine Arts Bldg., SUNY College at Oneonta. This year’s exhibit features 72 works by 61 artists representing 19 counties in New York State.

Voice! opens with a reception on July 16 from 5-7. Following the reception, the Voice! Celebration Dance takes place at The Holiday Inn, State Hwy 23 from 7:30-9:30. Featured musical group is Flame-an internationally known cover band made up of individuals with developmental and other disabilities. Both events are free and open to the public. Sponsors are Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy Insurance, Gordon B. Roberts Agency, Inc., Corning, Inc. and KeyBank. For more information:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The weekend

Weekend events:

Fri and Sat at 8pm and Sun at 2pm, Catskill Theatre Works presents "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" - a musical comedy performed at the Delaware Academy High School Auditorium on Sheldon Drive in Delhi, New York. For additional info, call Al Davino at 607-746-7396. Find them on Facebook or at their website:

Fri through Sun, 9:30am - 4pm, enjoy R/C Flyers: Airshow 2010 Hospice Fundraiser at Bloom St./Polo Field, Gilbertsville, NY.

On Sat, it's the Oneonta Outlaws Vs.Cooperstown Hawkeyes at Damaschke Field! On Sun they play the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs.

Sat brings the Oneonta Farmers' Market to Main St, Oneonta (Kim K. Muller Plaza), 9am - 2pm Entertainment this week includes bellydancing.

Sat at 9am is an OCCA walk (Bear Swamp)

Also Sat, Franklin Stage presents "Hot Jazz, Sweet Melodies" at 8pm, 25 Institute St. Franklin, NY,

And also on Sat: Toshiki Usui, Piano & Dr Ray Iwazumi, Violin. This concert is part of the New York Summer Music Festival, so expect a crowd of teenage band camp attendees, and the concert may not start on time, but it will be free and the musicians will be excellent.

Another Sat concert: The Honest Brook Music Festival/Jupiter String Quartet performs in Meredith NY. $20 ticket price, K-12 are free.

Schenevus offers Sunday night concerts, at 6pm on Borst Field. Call 638-5656 for info.

Looking ahead:

Mondays are family movie nights at the Sidney Memorial Library. No need to sign up, just join the fun. Call the library at 563-1200 for details.

Tues evening bike rides with the Oneonta Rec Dept, 5:30pm. Find them on Facebook!/pages/Oneonta-NY/City-of-Oneonta-Parks-and-Recreation/46188144419?ref=ts&ajaxpipe=1&__a=15

Tues July 20th Oneonta World of Learning Education and Programming Committee meeting (newcomers welcome), 7:30pm at The Main View Gallery, Main St. Oneonta.

On Wed, at 10:00am, the Sidney Memorial Library presents "Big Rigs- explore some really big trucks up close" as part of their summer family entertainment series.

Wed July 21: ProAm Community Concert, 7:30 pm at The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown - Celebrate the love of chamber music with a free concert that combines the talents of professional musicians and distinguished amateurs. The culmination of an intensive seminar, this performance features works by Brahms, Mozart, Bach, and Durufle. No ticket or reservation necessary.

Just Throw Money performs in Neahwa Park next Thursday, 7pm:

Of interest:

How tot lots became places to build children's brains:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sidney Library offers summer entertainment

Sidney Library offers Family Entertainment for the summer:

Movies on Mondays Series

Each Monday at 1:00 pm the Sidney Memorial Public Library will show a family water themed movie. There is no need to sign-up just show up for some fun.

July 12 Finding Nemo
July 19 Disney’s The Little Mermaid
July 26 Andre the Seal
Aug. 2 Shark’s Tale
Aug. 9 Surf’s Up
Aug. 16 Flipper
If any questions call the library at 563-1200.

Family Entertainment at the Sidney Memorial Public Library

July 14 10:00am Barrel of Fun Puppet Show Picnic at the Lake- It’s Old McDonald’s farm and the puppets are going to the lake.
July 21 10:00am Big Rigs- explore some really big trucks up close
July 28 10:00am Merry Mischief- Pirate musical group
Aug. 4 6:30ppm Dirtmeister – get “Wet and Wild” with science
Aug. 11 6:30pm Meatballs- zany musical duo
Aug. 18 6:30pm Buffalo and Brandy- high energy magical/ musical show

All Sidney Library family entertainment is sponsored by The Friends of the Libraries. The Sidney Library is located on 8 River Street in Sidney. Call the library at 563-1200 for more information. Where else can you get all this family entertainment for FREE!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Independance Day weekend activities

Fri July 3rd: Fabulous First Fridays on Main St, Oneonta continue with live music, fly tying, chalk art, and mural priming. Union Street plays Cajun and acoustic blues and country 5-7pm in Muller Plaza. Penny and Ethan Cypress, mother and son duo, will play viola, featuring a variety of fiddle, classic and jazz pieces at The Green Toad Bookstore from 7-8pm. Stop into the Oneonta History Center (5-8pm) to watch David Brandt, Oneonta fly fisherman extraordinaire, demonstrate the art and science of fly tying while he recounts stories of his fishing adventures. Sidewalk Chalk Drawing 5-7pm - Stained glass artists Lauren & Rhonda Epps will demonstrate the various stages of their craft in Muller Plaza. Also on Main St, from 5pm until finished: Wear your painting clothes and help prime the wall for the new mural while you're downtown for "FFF." Cynthia Marsh will be priming the wall for the mural. Sherwin Williams is donating the primer and supplies - volunteers welcome!

Sat July 3rd, don't miss Hanford Mills Museum's first Summer Steam Saturday! Come see them work the boiler & engines, and get yourself a free, delicious 'boiler dog' in the process! From 12-3 p.m.

Sat July 3rd, 9am-2pm, The Oneonta Farmer's Market presents a strawberry festival, Main Street, Oneonta.

Sun July 4th, 3-4 pm: The New York Summer Music Festival presents the NY Metropolitan Opera's Dr. Jon Fredric West, (tenor, distinguished alumnus of Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music) performing with the NYSMF Chamber Orchestra as part of the NYSMF Visiting Artist Series. The NYSMF Wind Ensemble, Select Jazz Orchestra, and Student Recital Winners also perform. Goodrich Theatre, College at Oneonta.

July 4th 10am-5pm at Hanford Mills Museum: Independance Day Celebration (County Route 12, East Meredith, NY - not far from Oneonta's Southside). Call Phone: 607 278-5744 or visit

The area's biggest fireworks display will bring a clost to Oneonta's 4th of July Hometown Celebration in Neahwa Park, July 4 from noon until dusk.

Looking ahead:

Tues evening bike rides continue with the Oneonta Rec Dept, 5:30pm. Find them on Facebook!/pages/Oneonta-NY/City-of-Oneonta-Parks-and-Recreation/46188144419?ref=ts&ajaxpipe=1&__a=15

Tues, 7pm at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown, free concert in their summer music series:

Wed July 7th - Oneonta World of Learning Development meeting at Capresso's on Main Street, 7:30pm. Newcomers welcome.

Although this little event at The Foothills Performing Arts Center may be more interesting than the development meeting: Wed July 7th from 7-9pm: An Evening Gallery of Mediumship with International Psychic Medium Jennifer Wallens. Get a message from your Loved one! $7.50 donation thru the Foothills Performing Arts Center, or at the door, proceeds go to the Catskill Area Hospice and Foothills. Info 607-431-2080,

Also on Wed: Pajama Story time at the Sidney library, 6:30pm

Catch the Oneonta Community Band concert in Neahwa Park next Thursday! Free concerts Thursday nights at 7pm:

Consider a History-Themed Camp for Kids at Hanford Mills Museum, July 19-22. For information, visit or call 607-278-5744.

Schenevus offers Sunday night concerts, at 6pm on Borst Field. Call 638-5656 for info.