Thursday, July 05, 2007

Summer Family Fun, A Review

The following is a sponsored post.

The Resources Center is a new website that offers easy solutions and tips to help all of us manage the different parts of our life from health to investments. Among some of the most challenging things to manage are family activities during the summertime. I was asked to read and review the offerings there.

The first two articles were in anticipation of the Fourth of July: suggestions for preparing a bicycle for a parade, and a personal fireworks poster. I found the recommendations written here to be much too basic to be helpful. This instruction is a prime example:

How To Steps For Turning A Bike Into a Personal Float

Your Activity Steps

1.Decorate your bike with the different colors of streamers.
2.Use the tape to attach each streamer and the scissors to cut the streamers.
3.You can sometimes create streamers by pushing a bit of streamers in the handle bar grip end where there is a hole. These streamers will float when you ride your bike.

Perhaps if the author had instructed the reader to weave the streamers through the bike's spokes, even providing an appropriate photo, it might have been worth reading. As it stands, these articles were too spare to spend much time on.

Projects become a bit more interesting in the next post: Five Summer Activities for Kids and Parents. This post offers: a memory stepping stone, a memory box (same idea, different medium), a shiny family journal (beginning bookmaking), decorating a mailbox, and a photo memory pillowcase. The writing is still amateurish, but the ideas are solid crafty stand-bys that former summer-campers would remember and could use without much instruction. A good thing as the instructions are again not very helpful.

The next post suffers from formatting irregularities and continues with the poor writing. This is a pity because Safety Tips for a Fun Day at the Beach or Pool is an article that many parents could use if there was more in depth information provided. The unidentified author suggests:

Before you head out to the beach or pool, research the area and the facility.Things to look for are:

* Are there restrooms or changing rooms?
* Are lifeguards on duty?
* Is there a concession stand or restaurant in the area?
However, there are no suggestions about how a parent is supposed to do this research. Can it always be done by an internet search, and should this be trusted? Is it better to call and speak to the proprietor? Rely on recommendations of friends? These necessary extentions to the written suggestion are all lacking and would turn a so-so post into an article to which others might regularly refer.

The rest of the articles under this "Summer Family Fun" section follow much the same pattern. The suggestions all read as ideas I could find at a number of other parenting websites with better instruction and writing. I wanted to find something encouraging at this newish website but I honestly couldn't.

Debra Roby blogs her art at A Stitch in Time and all bloggy things arts and crafts at BlogHer .