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Archive for January, 2010

PARENT TALKS: Toddlers, Math Woes & More

Toddler by Rick Nease, MCT Direct East Bay Moms Preschool & Childhood Resource Fair
Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Dr., Oakland
The East Bay Moms hosts its 12th annual childhood resource fair, which includes representatives from more than 80 preschools and childcare programs in Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington, Alameda, Richmond, Moraga, and El Sobrante. $6 for adults, kids free. And the new 2010 edition of the East Bay Moms Preschool & Childhood Resource Directory will be on sale at the Fair for $5.

Treating & Teaching Kids With Autism
Jan. 24 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Childhoodmatters.org. Nurse Rona and her guests will discuss autism treatments, including
behavioral therapy, dietary changes and alternative approaches.

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 www.MathForum.homestead.com.
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Posted on Monday, January 18th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

PlayMobil Airport Security Toy

AIrport Security (PlayMobil)
Yep, PlayMobil has a Security Check Point toy. But the best part are the customer reviews on Amazon… Among them:

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said “that’s the worst security ever!”. But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.
The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas.

Posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Under: Just Bizarre | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Mr. Potato Head Pageant (MOCHA)
Clever Taters: Oakland’s  Museum of Children’s Art – MOCHA – is hosting its sixth annual Mr. Potato Head Beauty Pageant on Jan. 16 and your family can be part of the pageantry and fun. The art activities run from 1 to 3 p.m., with plenty of time to turn that root vegetable into something fabulous before the judging begins. No word on whether they’re conferring tater tiaras, or if everyone wins, but we find the whole notion of dressed-up potatoes irresistible. $7 per child, $3 per adult.

Bouncing Basketballs: The Harlem Globetrotters, those masters of athletics and comedy, land at Oakland’s ORACLE Arena Jan. 16 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets $21.50 and up.
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Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

CADMIUM in Kids’ Trinkets

Recalled bracelet And to think we worried about lead in our children’s toys. Now federal watchdogs, the Associated Press and Walmart officials are blowing the whistle on Chinese imports – specifically, toys and jewelry for children – that contain cadmium, a metal that is considerably more dangerous than lead. The soft metal is a potent carcinogen, and doctors say exposure can delay brain development in young children, cause their kidneys to leak protein and weaken their bones enough to snap.

So how much of the toxic stuff was in the toys? The Associated Press commission laboratory tests on 103 inexpensive charm bracelets, necklaces and other pieces of children’s jewelry, nearly all of which had been imported from China and were being sold at Walmart, Claire’s and a Dollar ‘N’ More store: 89 items were cadmium-free, but 12 contained enough cadmium that the metal constituted 10% of the toy’s weight. In one case, the trinket was 91% cadmium, in another 80%.

Get the rest of the story here.

Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

NEWEST American Girl

Lanie, an American Girl There’s a new American Girl in town and this one’s on a mission to get girls outdoors. Lanie – who has her own series of books, an activity-filled Web site and a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation – is a curly-haired blond with a penchant for outdoor adventure. Very cute.

We’re giving away the first book in the series, “Lanie” by Jane Kurtz. And all you have to do to win it is click “comments” and tell us, what do you do to encourage your kids to play outside?

(Congrats to Cindi, by the way, who won last week’s Barney DVD!)

Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010
Under: Books, Contest | 5 Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Infidelity, Preschools & More

Infidelity (Illustration by Laurie Harker, MCT Direct) Talking with Kids About Infidelity
Jan. 17 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Childhoodmatters.org. Nurse Rona and Dr. Joshua Coleman discuss the impact of extramarital affairs on children.

East Bay Moms Preschool & Childhood Resource Fair
Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Dr., Oakland
The East Bay Moms hosts its 12th annual childhood resource fair, which includes representatives from more than 80 preschools and childcare programs in Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington, Alameda, Richmond, Moraga, and El Sobrante. $6 for adults, kids free. And the new 2010 edition of the East Bay Moms Preschool & Childhood Resource Directory will be on sale at the Fair for $5.
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Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

AUTISM Clusters in the South Bay

An autistic 7-year-old relaxes at the end of an occupational therapy workout (MCT Direct) So bizarre: UC Davis researchers have found 10 clusters of autism cases in California – including three clusters, where autism rates are almost double the norm, in the Bay Area – and they’re predominantly in areas where parents are white, well-educated and a little older. The three Bay Area clusters are in Redwood City, San Carlos and Belmont; areas of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara; and Western San Francisco.

Why? It’s not because of toxic waste or pollutant issues, the Davis team said, but it may be linked to household products or lifestyle factors associated with more educated families. (Um, like, parents with graduate degrees use more air freshener?) Or, the research team director said, these families may be more likely to have their children diagnosed.

Read the rest of the story here…, then click “comments” and tell us what you think.

Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Under: Autism, Health & Safety | 1 Comment »

East Bay Moms Preschool Fair

Tot by Rick Nease, MCT The East Bay Moms are hosting their twelfth annual Preschool & Childhood Resource Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland. Meet reps 80 East Bay preschools and childcare programs on both sides of the tunnel, and chat with other parents and child resource providers. Kids are welcome – and free. Grown-ups are $6. Need more info? Visit www.eastbaymoms.com.

Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Under: Babies & Tots | 2 Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Berkeley Rep School of Theater (Photo courtesy of Kevin Berne, Berkeley Rep)
Cavort Onstage: Contemplating a little theatrical fun? Berkeley Rep’s School of Theatre is offering a free Sunday Sampler – all sorts of clowning, stage combat and improv classes (pictured, above) for kids, teens and grown-ups too, starting at 1 p.m. Jan. 10. http://berkeleyrep.org.

Pa-Rum-Pum-Pum-Pum: San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum hosts its annual New Year’s Mochi Pounding Ceremony Jan. 9 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Samsung Hall. Pound sweet rice cakes, and enjoy live music and dance from 1 to 4 p.m.
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Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

BARNEY Teaches Etiquette?

Barney: Please & Thank You Happy new year! By now, your household is probably getting back to normal. The gift wrap has been flung and the thank you notes … er, written?

So in keeping with that theme, this week we’re giving away the newest Barney DVD dubbed “Please & Thank You.” Yep, the purple dinosaur is teaching “magical lessons on manners.” And that vid can be yours! Click “comments” and tell us, how do you teach your kids about manners? Do they write their own thank you notes? Tweet their thx? (We’ll draw a winner’s name next Monday.)

Posted on Monday, January 4th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | 4 Comments »