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Keeping kids occupied can be a big challenge. Here are some ideas for activities to keep young ones engaged -- body and mind -- in Billings this week:

 

Kids and grandparents have a special bond, and that is celebrated with Grandparents Day on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Kids can use beads, craft rocks, even pasta to create a fun picture to honor a grandparent.

Just take a piece of construction or poster paper. Let the child sketch the outline of a simple scene or object.

It can be a geometric pattern, a landscape, an animal or whatever the child desires. But it should not have a lot of detail because the image will be filled in with the beads, rocks or pasta.

A parent can help create the outline sketch.

Then the child can glue on the craft items or pasta to fill in the outline. Glitter also may be used. And older children may want to glue on black cord to outline objects in the picture, especially if it's a modernistic abstract work of art.

Working on blue construction paper, the child might create white clouds in the sky and green grass with a tree or two.

The complexity will depend on the child's skill level.

Colored pasta can add zip to a pasta creation.

Then the child can give the picture to his or her grandparent and explain why the scene is a favorite.

Also for Grandparents Day, the family could continue the art theme and take a grandparent to the Yellowstone Art Museum, 401 N. 27th St., until 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9.

Grandparents get free admission with grandkids.

For information about the museum, call 256-6804 or visit artmuseum.org.


What: Rubber Duck Regatta.

When: Noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9.

Where: Riverfront Park.

Why: Kids will have a great time watching the rubber ducks race in the river, the food, entertainment, kids' carnival and games.

The event benefits Big Sky Senior Services.

Cost and information: Free admission. Ducks cost $5 each or $25 for six. 259-3111.


What: Nature Night.

When: 6-8 p.m. Sept. 14.

Where: Audubon Conservation Education Center, 7026 S. Billings Blvd.

Why: Parents can drop first- to sixth-grade students to enjoy outdoor adventures with teacher naturalists.

Parents get some free time for themselves, and kids learn in a fun environment.

Cost and information: $15 per child or $10 for Friends of the Center. For information and a registration form, visit www.mtacec.org or call 294-5099.


What: Weekend Wonders Family Program: "Bug Out!"

When: 1:30-3 p.m. Sept. 16.

Where: Audubon Conservation Education Center, 7026 S. Billings Blvd.

Why: Insects fascinate kids, and they can learn about the world of creepers and crawlers with the center's naturalists.

Then the family can head out -- with a net and magnifying glass in hand -- in search of insects, spiders and other arthropods .

Cost and information: $2 or free for Friends of the Center. For information and a registration form, visit www.mtacec.org or call 294-5099.

 

For more things for kids and families to do on the weekend and throughout the week, see billingsgazette.com/calendar, where you can also submit your own family-friendly public events.

Got an idea for a featured activity not related to an event? E-mail it to crubich@billingsgazette.com.

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