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Archive for October, 2010

TOY RECALL: Aromatherapy Kits

Recalled aromatherapy spa for kids When we hear the words “spa” and “aromatherapy” we don’t usually associate them with kids … or explosions … or blasting projectiles. Sadly, now we do. The federal Consumer Product Safety people and Jakks Pacific just re-announced their recall of 516,000
Spa Factory Aromatherapy Fountain
and Bath Benefits Kits. The product was recalled way back in January 2009, after the manufacturer discovered that the little jars were prone to explode, due to a buildup of carbon dioxide inside. But since then there have been even more injuries – and they’ve also found that the mixture of water with “bath bombs” makes citric acid. To quote the recall notice: “This acid can get into consumers’ eyes when the jars explode, posing a risk of eye irritation.” Lovely.

In all, there have been 100 reports of exploding jars and 26 cases resulted in kids getting hurt, with injuries ranging from eye and skin irritation to one eye injury from a “projectile jar lid.”

The Spa Fantasy kits ($13-$50) were sold at Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and other stores from August 2008 through August 2010. Need more details? Get ’em here.

Posted on Monday, October 18th, 2010
Under: Toy Recalls | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Family Law, Teens & Halloween

Student juggling (Chris Ware illustration, Lexington Herald-Leader, MCT)
Free Family Law Clinic
October 19 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland
This free law clinic, sponsored by BANANAS and offered by the Volunteer Legal Services of the Alameda County Bar Association, is designed to help low-income families with domestic matters. Reservations are required; call Volunteer Legal Services, 302-2222.

SAT & ACT Workshop
Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at UC Berkeley
A free 2-hour workshop on SAT and ACT prep focuses on differences between the two tests, and test taking strategies. For details, contact Raymond Barglow, who teaches a class about tutoring at UC Berkeley, at

Childhood Matters: Post High School Alternatives
October 24 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Childhoodmatters.orgJoin nurse Rona and guest Beth Samuelson, MA, co-hosts of the “Your Teen Matters” series as they discuss post-high school options and alternatives.
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Posted on Monday, October 18th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

HALLOWEEN: Eyeball Tealights

KN-EYELIGHTS-FF (Disney FamilyFun magazine/MCT) Eye see you! This great little Halloween craft from Family Fun magazine uses nothing more than ping-pong balls, sharpie pens and battery-powered tea lights to create a little spooky magic. Click over here for the how-tos.

More Halloween ideas…

Posted on Friday, October 15th, 2010
Under: Halloween | No Comments »

HALLOWEEN: Spooky Sweets

SpookySweets (Courtesy Nestle) Looking for classroom goodies for a Halloween party? These strawberry-tinged meringue cookies add a little sweetness to the Halloween spook scene – and they’re awfully darn cute.

Makes 12
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup NESTLÉ NESQUIK Strawberry Flavor Powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 lollipop sticks
24 NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels

Instructions: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Under: Cuisine, Halloween | No Comments »

Book Giveaway: All the Seasons

All the Seasons of teh Year (Abrams Books 2010)Happy autumn! This week we’re giving away a copy of Deborah Lee Rose’s charming “All the Seasons of the Year,” a wonderfully illustrated, rhyming recounting of all the ways children – and kitties, piggies and pupppies – are loved throughout the year. Too cute for words, with lines like, “I love you when autumn fills the sky – when geese spread their wings and start to fly, when trees wear a gold and scarlet crown and leaves come gently drifting down.” And it can be yours! Click “comments” and tell us about one of your family’s favorite autumn rituals. We’ll pull a winner’s name next week.

Meanwhile, congrats to  Cathy, who won the last giveaway – “The Paranoid Parents Guide.

Posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Under: Books, Contest | 4 Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Goblin Jamboree at the Bay Area Children's Museum Goblin Jamboree: Get a head start on Halloween at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s haunted wonderland party (pictured). Ride a spooky train, take a class at the witches’ school and enjoy live entertainment at Sausalito’s adorable children’s museum fundraiser. The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 16-17. Tickets $13-$15, available at the door;

Abracadabra: Livermore’s Bankhead Theater is hosting a lineup of amazing magicians from Hollywood’s Magic Castle and other star-studded venues. The hocus pocus fun and magical prestidigitation starts at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14. Tickets $12-$51;
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Posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Under: Family Entertainment | No Comments »

PARENTING TALKS: Pregnancy Support, Post-HS Alternatives

Crying baby NEW: Pregnancy Support Groups in Berkeley
Thursdays Noon-1:15pm or 6:45-8 p.m., beginning Oct. 14 at the Center for Natural Health Care & Healing, 776 Page St., Berkeley
Facilitated by Meghan Lewis, these six-week support groups will offer new mothers-to-be opportunities to connect more closely with other pregnant women and share the unique experiences of expecting – the emotions, physical concerns and post-partum life. $135 for six sessions. Call 510-466-5930 to register.

Childhood Matters: Middle Ground Parenting
October 17 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Childhoodmatters.orgToo strict? Too lax? Join nurse Rona and guests as they discipline, parenting and striving for a middle ground. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, October 11th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

An alpen horn at Oaktoberfest (Contra Costa Times)
Oaktoberfest: Oakland’s Dimond District joins the Oktoberfest festivities with its own Oak-town version (pictured), featuring German sausages, strudel and a children’s root biergarten, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 9;

Andean tunes: You could sleep in on weekends, but then you’d miss the fun at Berkeley’s La Peña. Its family-friendly concert series, designed for kids ages 2-6, runs every Saturday morning from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Oct. 9 show features Lydia Mills, director of Los Mapaches, an Andean youth ensemble, performing Latin American singing games. Tickets $4-$5.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
Under: Fab Five, Family Outings | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Tots, Teens & More

Graduation (Photo by Sara Haj-Hassan, Stock.Xchng) College Prep Workshops: College 101 in English and Spanish
October 7 at 6 p.m. at the St. Mark Catholic Church, 159 Harbour Way, Richmond.
The Gooden College Connection is offering this college prep workshop – and a light dinner at 5:30 p.m. – for high school juniors and seniors and their parents. Free, but pre-registration is required. Call Becky Berkowitz at 510-526-1985.

Inside Track: College Admissions Workshop
Oct. 9 from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Piedmont High School
A college apps workshop led by Inside Track facilitator Erika Coplon for parents of high school juniors and seniors. $90.

Childhood Matters: Bilingual Language Development
October 10 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Childhoodmatters.orgJoin nurse Rona and guest Dr. Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez from the National Writing Project as they discuss bilingual language development and parenting issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, October 4th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »