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Archive for January, 2010

RECALL: Princess & Frog Jewelry for Cadmium

Recalled Princess & Frog jewelry Remember the worries about children’s jewelry carrying toxic loads of cadmium? Well, federal watchdogs and FAF Inc. just recalled 55,000 “Princess & the Frog” necklaces (photo, left) sold at Walmart stores, because of high levels of the potent carcinogen. If your child has one of these, take it away immediately. If you’re not sure if what you’ve got is one of these, follow this link to see model numbers and UPC coding. Take the jewelry back to any Walmart for a full refund or free replacement.

Posted on Friday, January 29th, 2010
Under: Toy Recalls | 1 Comment »

RECALL: Flammable Helicopter Toys

Recalled toy helicopter It’s episode number 4,624 in the “Toy Helicopters Erupt Into Flames” saga – or it feels that way anyway. RadioShack and the Consumer Product Safety people just recalled 6,000 Danbar Knight Hawk Toy Helicopters, after a store demo model caught fire while it was charging. Ahem. Some 971,000 toy helicopters were recalled in 2008 after they burrrrst into flames too. I think there’s a message here …

In other recall news, some 9,600 baby Santa suits were recalled because the buttons pop off and pose a choking hazard. And 15,000 Blip horsie toys have lead in their paint.

Posted on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Under: Toy Recalls | No Comments »

DUBLIN High Takes the Prize in Milk Campaign

Milk (Chris Ware/Lexington Herald Leader/MCT) Very cool! Dublin High students just snagged fifth place in the “Got Milk?” video contest with an animated short, “Love in Milquarious,” that earned their school art program a $2,500 cash prize. The Dublin video crew included seniors James Genzale, Matt Pecota and Drake Schullerts, and junior Angela Tran.

Want to take a peek? Here ’tis! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Under: Schools | No Comments »

VALENTINE Book Giveaway

"Henry in Love" by Peter McCarty OK, yes, I know it looks like I fell off the face of the earth – but I’m back, box of kleenex under one arm, still sniffly but upright at least! And we’re ready to give away an adorable Valentine-y book, “Henry in Love” by Peter McCarty. It’s the tale of a little kitten’s first schoolyard crush and it’s pretty darn cute. And it can be yours!

Click “comments” and tell us, do your kids do storebought valentines or home made? And if the latter, share your cutest idea. (We’ll pick a book winner on Feb. 8!)

p.s. Congrats are due to Judy W., who won last week’s Diego DVD giveaway!

Posted on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Under: Books, Contest | 4 Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Cinderella (Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre)
Glass Slippers: Cinderella and those pesky stepsisters go after Prince Charming once more in the Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre’s musical take on “Cinderella,” now through Feb. 7 at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater. Tickets $25-$35.

Wild Night at the Museum: Walnut Creek’s Lindsay Wildlife Museum hosts a family-friendly fundraiser with food, wine, a treasure hunt and a wild animal show by Peter Gros of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Jan. 30 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. $50 for one adult and one child, additional kids are $10 each.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Math Help for Parents

Brain power (illus. by Gary Meader, MCT) Math Help for Parents
Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Sequoia Middle School, Pleasant Hill
Speaker: Cal State East Bay math professor Philip Gonsalves presents a free workshop for elementary and middle school parents trying to help their children with math. Hosted by the Pleasant Hill Education/Schools Advisory Commission. Register at

ADHD in Teens
Jan. 31 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on In this talk, which is the fourth entry in a six-part “Navigating the Middle and High School Years” series, Nurse Rona and Beth Samuelson, MA, founder of Student Organizational Services, will discuss teens, ADHD and coping techniques.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

STROLLER Recall: 1.5 Million Graco Strollers

Recalled Graco stroller Graco and the federal consumer product safety folks just recalled 1.5 million Graco strollers (pictured at left), including the Passage, Alano and Spree models. Seems the hinges on the stroller’s canopy can cut or amputate babies’ fingertips. There have been five fingertip amputations and two lacerations because of the faulty hinge, to date. And yes, this isn’t the first stroller company whose products have caused this type of injury. McLaren recalled a million strollers in November, after faulty hinge mechanisms on the stroller itself, not the canopy, amputated 12 children’s fingertips.

Click here for details on the Graco models involved and information on how to get a free protective hinge cover kit.

Posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Under: Babies & Tots, Health & Safety | 2 Comments »

Street Games & Film Fests

Scene from Jules Oosterwegel's "Playtime"
Who needs kick-the-can when you can play el trompo, Cuban-style, or rod-gul-gron-stop like a Dane? Those are just two street games filmmaker Jules Oosterwegel discovered on a 15-year project that captured children’s street games from around the world. They’re part of a 300-game lineup that includes Vietnamese variations of blind man’s buff, a Bolivian stone-tossing game much like jacks without the ball, and a Dutch clapping game familiar to youngsters the world over.  This weekend you can see them yourself when Oosterwegel’s playful documentary, “Playtime,” is screened as part of the Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival, which runs Jan. 23-24 in Alameda. Oosterwegel will be on hand to teach festivalgoers some of the street games as well. Read more about the film here, then scroll down for instructions for playing Muurball, Tag Sat, and other street games. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Ramona Quimby (Active Arts Theatre)
Oh Ramona: Active Arts Theatre is staging Beverly Cleary’s beloved tale of “Ramona Quimby” at Berkeley’s Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. Check out Ramona, Beezus and the gang at matinee and evening performances from Jan. 23 to Feb. 7. Tickets $14-18.

Seismic Trombones: Thrill to the sound of those sliding T-bones at this free concert by the Seismic Bones quartet, which includes Tony Collins, Jeff Bowlsby, John Monroe and Pleasanton school district music teacher Jason Borris. A little Verdi, a little Bach and lots of Dizzy, Thelonious and Duke. The fun starts at 2 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Pleasanton Library. Free.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

Go Diego DVD Giveaway

Go Diego Go (Nickelodeon)Nickelodeon’s adorable Diego heads off on another adventure, this time to rescue lions and hippos in Africa. The DVD, “Go Diego Go: Lion Cub Rescue,” hits store shelves Jan. 26, but we’re giving away a copy now.

Click “comments” and tell us, what your kids’ favorite TV show? Diego? Dora? Er, Grey’s Anatomy? We’ll draw a winner’s name on Monday. (Meanwhile, congrats are due to Marci, who won last week’s American Girl book giveaway!)

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Under: Contest | 5 Comments »