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Archive for November, 2009

BABY Einstein Recall, Part Deux

Baby Einstein (Disney) OK, we all know that Disney recalled its Baby Einstein videos a couple of weeks ago because – surprise! – the videos do not turn your baby into Einstein. Following a class action lawsuit, the Baby Einstein company agreed to refund $15.99 for up to four DVDs, purchased between June 2004 and September of this year, per family.

Here’s the question we’re asking, though. Is there anyone on the planet who actually thought these DVDs would turn their little dimple-cheeked darlings into geniuses?

Posted on Friday, November 6th, 2009
Under: Babies & Tots | No Comments »

RECALL: Adventure Playsets’ Rotten Monkeybars

Recalled Adventure Playsets You know those colorful, wooden playground sets in every suburban backyard? Yeah, there’s a problem. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission just recalled 275,000 of them after receiving more than 1,400 reports of rotting, horizontal ladders and beams. Among the injuries, nine bad enough to send children to the emergency room with fractures and lacerations. Seems the monkey bars, swing beams and horizontal ladders weaken over time, due to wood rot. Most of the injuries occurred when the swing spontaneously detached from the rotted wood. Several different models of Adventure Playset are listed in the recall, so check the CPSC site for pics, models numbers and next steps.

Posted on Friday, November 6th, 2009
Under: Toy Recalls | 2 Comments »

TWILIGHT in Concord

MovieWeb – Movie Photos, Videos & More

So… there seems to be some kind of vampire movie coming out sometime soon … um, something about Bella…and Jacob … and some guy called Edward? Yep, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” lands in theaters at midnight on Nov. 19 and fans are going absolutely nuts in anticipation. So we have good news for Bay Area Twi-hard fans. Twilighters Anonymous is hosting a vampire party and red carpet screening at the Brenden Theaters in Concord that night. The party starts at 10 p.m. with vampire-related games and activities, goodie bags and prizes, following by the much-anticipated movie at midnight. Tickets are $19.

And after you watch it, come on back, click “comments” and tell us what you thought.

Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2009
Under: Movies | No Comments »

FLAT Stanley Goes Disney

Flat Stanley (Courtesy Disney)
Remember Flat Stanley? He’s the hero of that 1964 children’s classic by the same name, written by Jeff Brown. Stanley is a normal little guy until one morning, he gets flattened by a bulletin board. Suddenly he’s flat as a pancake. But life as a flat kid isn’t all bad. It’s much easier to travel, for one thing, he can fly like a kite or go by airmail – and his escapades have delighted schoolchildren for more than 40 years. For the last decade, classrooms of school kids have made Flat Stanley paper dolls and mailed them off to pen pals around the world, enclosing notes recording their adventures with the little guy. (That’s Josh Greenhut, one of the authors of the Flat Stanley Worldwide Adventure Series, pictured above, reading “The Japanese Ninja Surprise” to third graders at the Library of Congress – AP Photo/Disney)

Now, Disney’s getting in on the action too. Children ages 7-12 can win an Adventures by Disney vacation by creating a Flat Stanley paper doll and writing a 150-word story about his “Next Big Adventure.”
Deadline’s Nov. 30 and details are here.

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
Under: Books, Family Travel | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Circus Spire (Kinetic Arts Center)
Five ideas for weekend family fun:
JOIN THE CIRCUS: Oakland’s brand new Kinetic Arts Center is celebrating its grand opening this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with circus classes for kids, plus Tai Chi and trapeze fun. Free; 785 7th St.

PAINT THE TOWN: Oakland’s Museum of Children’s Art and the Kids Paint the Town group is hosting its biannual children’s art showcase, with kids’ art exhibitions in Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro. The whole thing kicks off this Saturday with a free Art Stroll on College Avenue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet at Rockridge BART to pick up a map or visit
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

EMPTY Nest Ahead?

Julie Renalds, co-editor and contributor to Writin’ on Empty: Parents Reveal the Upside, Downside, and Everything In Between When Children Leave the Nest, is hosting another discussion group for parents (fathers welcome) to begin on a weekday evening in mid-November. Meet other parents who are navigating through this emotional and transitional shift when their kids leave home — in a fun, supportive atmosphere. For more information, you can reach Julie at: 510 531-5670.

Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Under: College Apps & Angst | 2 Comments »

DORA the Explorer Giveaway

Dora's Christmas (Nickelodeon) Halloween’s over and the winter holidays are looming. Don’t know about you, but our supermarket is suddenly flooded with Christmas and Hannukah decorations! So here’s something to make your holiday shopping a little easier. Dora the Explorer, the popular Nickelodeon character, has a new CD out: “Dora’s Christmas.” Pretty cute stuff — it includes all the usual carols, plus “Santa Claus is Coming Aqui” and “Feliz Navidad,” and bonus tracks from “Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure.” And it can be yours! Click “comments” and tell us, what’s your family’s favorite holiday tradition? We’ll draw a winner’s name next Monday, 11/9.

Meanwhile, congrats go out to Beverley, who won last week’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom set!

Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Under: Contest | 5 Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Toddler Life, Teen Brains & Cyberbullies

Bullies (Illustration by Gaylen Floy/MCT) “Living with Threes and Fours
Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
Meg Zweiback leads this workshop on preschoolers. Free.

“Cyberbullying Community Forum”
Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. Community Presbyterian Church, 2800 Georgia St., Vallejo. A community forum for parents of teens and pre-teens, sponsored by the Benicia-Vallejo AAUW with speakers from the Benicia and Vallejo school districts and Napa AAUW Cyberbullying Task Force. Free.

“The Doctor is In”
Nov. 8 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Rona Renner, RN, and guests discuss ways to keep your kids healthy and strong.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »