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SPLASHTASTIC POOL TOYS
The Art of Stargazing Helping Humans Slow Down and Look Up If your kids are old enough for regular pool visits, it’s a good bet you already have a pile of perpetually damp inner tubes and pool noodles in your garage. Still, if you want to cement your “cool parent” status, try upping your pool toy game. The options are endless: Sea-SawWater Rockers, Boat House Floating Habitats, under- water diving sticks, and many others. Stop by your local big box store or visit Amazon.com to browse the bounty. Once you’re fully stocked with pool toys, the next step is to make swim time competitive. Water sports equipment, like floating basketball hoops and volleyball nets, can keep kids occu- pied for hours, and brave parents can even snag waterborne trampolines or Starfighter Super Squirters — inflatable command posts that seat one kid each, complete with squirt guns — which are perfect for aquatic squirt gun battles. Just be sure to keep your distance from the pool, or else you’re likely to get soaked, too. GAMES FOR ALL OCCASIONS
only is swimming together an excellent bond- ing experience, but it’s also the perfect way to cool off and stay in shape for the summer.
MAKE IT A PARTY
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard or neighborhood pool, all it takes is a pack of brats on the grill, a huge bowl of sliced watermelon, and a few neighbors in attendance to turn a sim- ple pool visit into a summer extravaganza. Let your kids invite their friends, offer up some s’mo- res, and you’re guaranteed extra“cool”points.
TAKE TO THE ROAD
In the mind of an 8-year-old, the only thing better than a trip to the pool is a vacation to the beach or trip to the waterpark. While this option requires more investment than buying a handful of pool toys, it comes with significant upsides: Beaches and waterparks cater to all age groups, and the memories you make will last for years to come.
JOIN THE FUN
The younger your kids are, the more they’ll want you to jump in the pool with them. Not
Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started. EXTRA SET OF EYES While novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope. UTILIZE ASSETS Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. MARK YOUR CALENDAR In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work. THE HIGHER, THE BETTER If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum.
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