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Archive for September, 2009

PARENT TALKS: Defiant Tweens, Stressed Out Teens

20070910 Sag “Got Defiance? Get Compliance”
Sept. 17 from noon to 1:30 p.m. Walnut Creek Intermediate Library
Brown bag series panel discussion by parent educator Kim Koppenhaver-Klute. Sponsored by Walnut Creek Intermediate School and PTA. Free.

“Nurse Rona’s Book Club: The Philosophical Baby”
Sept. 20 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Rona Renner, RN, and guests discuss Alison Gopnik’s “The Philosophical Baby.”

“Communication Skills that Build Connection: A Workshop for Parents”
Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.Orinda Intermediate School – Multi Purpose Room. Workshop moderated by communications consultant Jamie Anderson. Sponsored by OIS. Free.
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Posted on Monday, September 14th, 2009
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Ardenwood Shakespeare Festival Jousting, Mayhem & More: Fremont’s Historic Ardenwood Farm hosts a Shakespeare Festival and Renaissance Faire this weekend, complete with lance-splitting jousting action from the Knights of Mayhem. It’s an English country fair, 16th century style, with galloping steeds, peasants and courtiers, and plenty of family fun. The Faire runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 12, 10 a.m. 5 p.m. Sept. 13. $8-$18.

A Cheetah Flick: Berkeley’s Elmwood Rialto family film matinees continue this weekend with “Duma,” the tale of an orphaned cheetah and the boy who loves him. Noon, Sept. 12-13. Tickets are $4 and proceeds benefit four Berkeley school PTAs.
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Posted on Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

TODDLING Around Mt. Diablo

Children are most welcome at our local farmer's markets. Photo by Sarah Becker.
This wonderful book has been sitting on my desk forever – well, since last spring anyway, and I keep meaning to share it because frankly, there are far too few family fun guides out there for the East Bay. This pair of East Bay moms, Sarah Becker and Brenna Shafizadeh, have tackled the big question – “What am I going to do with the little one today?” And with an assist from the Mount Diablo Mother’s Club, the city of Walnut Creek and local businesses, they’ve compiled “Toddling Around Mount Diablo.” It’s got the lowdown on local parks, toddler storytimes, great kid-friendly museums – from the Blackhawk Auto Museum to Habitot, Fairyland and the Randall Museum – and seasonal events. Take your little darling to a farmer’s market (above) or Hillcrest Community Park in Concord (below), check out the fun at ARF, the Buchanan Airport Observation Area or Pixieland. And pick up a copy of the book for more inspiration.
Xylophones are popular at Hillcrest Community Park in Concord.  Photo by Brenna Shafizadeh

Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

Charlie & Lola DVD Giveaway

"Charlie & Lola: What Can I Wear for Halloween" School has started, leaves are starting to turn and Halloween can’t be far off. So this week, we’re watching “What Can I Wear for Halloween?” – two hours of Charlie & Lola fun for kids. And this DVD, which includes eight charming short films, can be yours!

Click “comments” and tell us about your – or your kids’ – favorite Halloween costume ever. We’ll draw a winner’s name next Monday.

Psst, congrats are due to Cindi, who won last week’s giveaway!

Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Under: Contest | 6 Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Tots, Brains & Defiant Tweens

Baby sunglasses “Living with Threes and Fours”
Sept. 8 from 7 to 8 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
Meg Zweiback, RN, leads this workshop for parents of toddlers.

“Booties Camp: Baby Brain Development”
Sept. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
Another in a series of five classes for new and expecting parents. This session covers baby language and brain development.

“Childhood Matters: Grandparents to the Rescue”
Sept. 13 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Rona Renner, RN, and Dr.
Lenora Poe of Grandparents as Parents discuss grandparenting today.
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Posted on Monday, September 7th, 2009
Under: Parenting Issues, Uncategorized | No Comments »

ELMO, Grover & the Recession

Feeling pinched by the current economy? Kids worried too? Then you may want to check out Sesame Street’s new hour-long special “Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times” on Sept. 9 at 8pm (Eastern and Pacific Time) on PBS. The show is hosted by Al Roker, Deborah Roberts and Elmo, and it features real world families, who share how they’re coping with these economic times, as well as tips from psychologists, financial experts and Elmo and Grover.

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
Under: Finances | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Brigadoon at Westminster Amphitheater
Misty Brigadoon: A Scottish Highland town that emerges from the mists for a single day, then evaporates once more? This time mystical “Brigadoon” appears in a different woodsy glen — Oakland’s Woodminster Amphitheater — in a Lerner and Loewe musical that runs Sept 4-13. Adults $23-40; one child free with each paying adult.

Railroad Fun: Fremont’s venerable Ardenwood Historic Farm hosts a Historic Rail Fair this weekend. The fun runs Sept. 5-7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $5-$8. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
Under: Family Entertainment | No Comments »

WHEN Kids Pick the Books

To Kill a Mockingbird Fascinating story in yesterday’s New York Times about a middle school teacher in Georgia who is taking a different approach to literature curriculum. For years, the story says, Lorrie McNeill assigned Harper Lee’s classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” to her eighth graders. Now, she’s letting kids pick their own books and the choices are all over the map: young adult, chick lit, James Patterson’s thrilling “Maximum Ride” series and even “Captain Underpants.”

But some kids are picking heftier tomes, and the resulting engagement far surpasses what happens when teachers do the picking. “Done correctly,” McNeill told the Times reporter, “letting students make some or all of their reading selections can be a life-changing event in a child’s or teen’s life.” Other school districts in Seattle and Chicago are following suit.

What do you think? Do kids respond more when they pick their books? Or are they missing out when they’re allowed to go all “Underpants” all the time?

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
Under: Books, Schools | 2 Comments »

RECALLS: Window Blinds & Strangulation Hazards

Recalled Roman Shade The Consumer Product Safety folks recalled millions of roll-up window blinds and Roman shades last week in the wake of two tragedies. A 1-year-old boy strangled to death after a roll-up blind’s loop fell into his portacrib. And a 13-month-old boy was strangled by a Roman shade loop that became entangled around his head – it ran from ear to ear, not around his throat. If you have blinds in your nursery, check the list below, then follow the links to the CPSC web site for further details.

Among the recalled blinds: 4.2 million Oval roll-up blinds and 600,000 Woolrich Roman shades made by Lewis Hyman, Inc.; 15,400 horizontal, 16,400 vertical and 800 cellular shades made by Vertical Land Inc.; 120,000 Roman shades sold by Ikea; 163,000 Victoria Classics Roman shades sold by Target; and 243,000 roller shades from Lutron.

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
Under: Health & Safety | No Comments »