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FAMILY: Ventura County | FOR THE KIDS

Fun for All Ages

Weekend activities in the county will entertain toddlers as well as teens.


If there are kids in your family from about 18 months to 18 years, then read on. Around the county this weekend, there are activities designed for most kids in that age range.

For the still-in-diapers group, there's a new "Lapsit Storytime" program Friday at the Thousand Oaks Library.

Children's librarian Chris Culver, a veteran of more than a decade of conducting story-time programs for kids in Ventura County, started the program this year as a means of introducing kids 18 to 24 months to the library.

"It's important that a kid's first experience at a library is a pleasant one," she said, especially since "it's one of the first group experiences for a child of that age."

The 25-minute program consists of story readings, singing and a short, unstructured playtime where parents and children can socialize.

* "Lapsit Storytime," a new program for toddlers 18 to 24 months and parents or caregivers, Friday at 10:30 a.m., Thousand Oaks Library, 1401 E. Janss Road. Accompanying adults must have valid T.O. Library card to obtain admission (cards free for residents, $55 per year for nonresidents). Information: (805) 449-2660, Ext. 213.


For the 7- to 12-year-old set, there's a "Sculpture Fun" course beginning Friday in Ventura.

It meets for eight Fridays at Barranca Vista Recreation Center and offers kids an opportunity to create 3-D objects using wood, soap, wire, cardboard and other materials--which will be provided.

Aimee French, a Ventura artist who has been conducting courses for children locally for six years, is the instructor. "Encouraging freedom of expression is really the key (with kids)," she said. "But some classes will be strictly run, such as origami."

French has used the materials that will be used in the class to make props, scenery and special effects for local theater productions, she said.

* "Sculpture Fun," for kids 7 to 12, Fridays from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. through March 20, Barranca Vista Recreation Center, 7050 Ralston St., Ventura. Course fee is $40. Reservations: (805) 644-6542.


Now comes something for those worldly 13- to 18-year-olds.

Getting kids of this age to attend a theatrical performance can be a struggle. But maybe not if the teens know that most of the stage pieces are written by their peers. And teens should be able to relate to the theatrical situations such as, for example, the girl who is juggling two boyfriends on the phone.

Starting tonight, there will be three evenings of student-written solo performance pieces, followed by a one-act play at the Moorpark College Studio Theatre.

The performers are students in the college's speech and theater arts department. Professor Katherine Lewis, producer of the event, said that several of these "monologues" are autobiographical.

She's planning to bring her own 13-year-old to the show, which is a way of making clear that even though some of the material performed will "express strong feeling," it's basically a family-friendly event.

* "Singles + 1," student-written monologues plus a one-act play, (suitable for ages 13 and up), tonight, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Moorpark College Studio Theatre, 7075 Campus Road (north of 118 Freeway at the Collins exit). Tickets $3.50. Reservations, (805) 378-1485.

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