Washington County Weekend Post

July 30, 2021

Washington County Weekend Post e-edition

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2A • WASHINGTON COUNTY POST • SUNDAY, AUGUST 1, 2021 GMTODAY.COM YOUR GUIDE TO In its 2016 National Din- ing Survey, Zagat found that the average person dines out 4.5 times per week. That fig- ure may seem high to some, especially parents with young children at home. While parents of young chil- dren may not dine out as often as the average person, there are ways for families to plan fun nights out on the town, no matter how young their kids might be. • Find family-friendly restaurants. The establish- ments where families choose to do their dining can make all the difference. Trendy hotspots or upscale restaurants may not be great choices for family nights out. Such establish- ments may be too expensive or fail to offer kid-friendly fare, and parents of espe- cially young children may feel uncomfortable if their tots begin to cry in the mid- dle of dinner. When choos- ing a restaurant for a family night out, parents should look for a spot that's natu- rally more noisy so a crying baby or excited child won't make moms and dads or other diners uncomfortable. Diners or chain restaurants tend to offer kids' menus in addition to plenty of dishes that kids will readily con- sume. • Choose the right time. Dining out at night can be difficult for families, as kids might be growing tired. Instead of a night out on the town, book a mid- to late-afternoon out. Restau- rants tend to be less busy during these times of day, and parents can relax and enjoy the company of their children while still getting out of the house for a family meal together. • Bring along some entertainment. Some kid- friendly restaurants may provide crayons and place- mats that kids can use to create their own artistic masterpieces. But parents should bring backup enter- tainment just in case. Pack some crayons and coloring books or bring along a book to read to your children while you wait for your meal to be delivered. Bring along a couple of toys to keep especially young chil- dren occupied as well. • Practice your night out. Parents of young chil- dren who have yet to try din- ing out as a family can make a few practice runs at home. Choose a night at home to teach kids how to behave at restaurants. If kids tend to squirm a lot or take long periods of time to eat meals at home, explain to them that such behavior is unac- ceptable at restaurants, encouraging them to sit still and focus on eating their meals during your practice run. Nights out on the town as a family may make par- ents of young children ner- vous or hesitant. But there are a handful of ways to make sure such excursions are fun for kids and parents alike. Tips for a fun family night out Being forced to spend more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has led enterprising individuals to seek ways to pass the time. Is it any wonder that creative pursuits have become so popular over the last year? Crafting can help people fill their time, reduce stress, inspire new relationships, and serve as a source of pride when an item is hand- made from start to finish. In an online study pub- lished in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy that surveyed 3,500 knitters, respondents felt there was a relationship between knit- ting frequency and feeling calm. Experts surmise that the rhythmic, repetitive movements and focused attention of certain crafts might produce a calming effect not unlike meditation. Crafting helps exercise sev- eral areas of the brain, including those responsible for problem solving, creativ- ity and concentration, states Craft Courses, an online crafting course company. The following are some unique crafts for those look- ing for something new. • Quilling: This craft also goes by the name paper filigree. It involves twisting, rolling or looping thin strips of paper and then gluing them together to make designs. They can adorn the outside of homemade cards, or be attached to stock and then framed. • Decoupage: Another paper craft, this one involves sticking small pieces of paper of any kind to another item and then coating the object with var- nish. Just about anything can be improved and cus- tomized with decoupage. • Marquetry: Mar- quetry involves applying pieces of wood veneer to a structure to form a decora- tive pattern or picture. Think of it as paint-by- number but with wood veneer. The technique often is applied to small objects or furniture. • Bead crochet: Crochet artists may want to take their crafting up a notch with bead crochet, which incorporates beaded string or yarn into a crocheted item. • Water marbling: Water marbling is a unique craft that produces a differ- ent result each time it is done. The crafter fills a tub roughly two-thirds full of water, adds a special chemi- cal to allow oils to float on the water's surface, then drops different colors of oil- based paint onto the water. The colors can be swirled and manipulated. A paper or piece of canvas is then placed on the surface of the water so that the design can transfer onto the material. • Pyrography: Pyrogra- phy involves using a heating source and burning designs into a piece of wood. The term literally means "writ- ing with fire." These lesser-known crafts can be good diver- sions and help individuals learn new skills. Clever and quirky crafts to try today

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