Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Kids Class’
5 Ways to Support Your Child in Music Lessons
Thinking about signing your child up for music lessons? Excellent! Introducing your child to music at a young age has many benefits, including improved performance in school and strong development of lifelong skills like goal-setting and patience.
But how can you support your child, without seeming overbearing? How involved should you be? Here are some tips from TakeLessons.com:
1. Be enthusiastic about their interest in music! Ask questions about what they’re learning, including what they like and dislike, what their goals are, and what they think of their teacher.
2. Provide a suitable time and place for practicing. Keep everything (books, instrument, and accessories like a music stand and metronome) organized, and make it a positive space.
3. Find ways to positively reinforce habitual practicing. A practice chart, where your child can add a star on days that he or she practices, can be a great motivator. You might also consider offering a reward or treat once a certain number is reached.
4. Celebrate with your child when they accomplish a goal! Knowing how proud you are can be a fantastic motivator as they set their next goal.
5. Don’t rule out playing yourself! If you can’t sing or read music, select something that doesn’t require it. Triangle, maracas, bongos – there are plenty of options that you can use to “jam” with your child. You might feel silly, but it can be a wonderful bonding experience!
With these tips, you can show your support and increase the likelihood of your child enjoying their lessons and continuing on. Happy learning!
This post is sponsored by TakeLessons, a San Diego-based online marketplace for students and families to connect with the best local, affordable private teachers for various lesson types, including music, performing arts, academic tutoring, and more. Find your perfect teacher here!
A “Souper” Way to Foster Creativity!
Hmmmm…well, it’s an oatmeal canister, a paper plate, parts of an egg carton, a few popsicle sticks, a black pom pom and scraps of material.
It’s a six-year-old’s creativity at work (with a lot of assistance from some truly creative adults).
Mallory’s bedroom walls are decorated with Katsuma coloring pages downloaded from Moshimonsters.com. She has created Moshi Monster masks and taped them to her bed post. She has drawn pictures of Katsuma on the easel in her room. I think you get the picture; she loves Moshi Monsters.
So today when Tiffany, the owner of Art Soup, asked me about her room and what kind of craft she might like to create for her bedroom, I was a little embarrassed to say “Moshi Monster” instead of fairies, princesses, butterflies, etc. Without any hesitation, the staff at Art Soup was up for the challenge, and my daughter couldn’t have been happier to help create this new masterpiece.
It’s been a long time since we spent an afternoon at Art Soup since it’s in Encinitas and we live in La Mesa, but, man, what a great outing. Even for Gage who is not typically interested in art activities.
I figured he’d spend the afternoon painting the VW Beetle and playing with the giant Lego castle like he did the last time we were at the studio. Until someone asked him if they could help him make a tank.
Gage loves the military even more than Mal loves Moshi Monsters. So, after assembling an egg carton, parts of a box, a wine cork and a paper towel tube, voila, it became a toy that he literally played with for with hours after carefully painting it his favorite color of camouflage.
I always wish I was more creative. I’m not. In fact, while I was at Art Soup I accidentally hot glued a googley eye to my finger and now I have a large, painful blister. But thanks to Tiffany’s staff, I don’t have to be creative…my kids had a fantastic afternoon and got seriously excited about making something from common household materials. Art Soup is inspiring my children to be the creative ones in our family!
So even though it takes me a half hour to get to Art Soup, I purchased the 10 pass punch card for $100 because it’s exactly the kind of fun I want my children to have. Good thing too because both kids asked me separately if we could go back tomorrow!
Check out Art Soup for yourself…just leave a comment here for you chance to win one free pass.
Art Soup — Yummy!
My friend and fellow Parent Connection mom, Tiffany Golden, just opened a fantastic drop-in art studio in Encinitas called Art Soup. The kids and I made it out for their $5 morning special (weekdays between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.) and found it to be a perfect outing for a 3-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl.
Mallory took her time creating a beautiful pair of fairy wings. Gage set aside his sword craft in favor of painting a real car (cool!). He played with the Lego castle, attempted to write his name in chalk on the fire truck, and really, really wanted to leave with the painted skateboard that is on display promoting birthday party craft projects.
When her fairy wings were complete, Mal decided it was time to draw. The sweetest Art Soup employee, Nadia, helped her sketch a beautiful picture of Rapunzul using her book cover as the model. Now that’s service!
I asked Tiffany to tell me a bit about the inspiration for her business, her plans for the future and what she wants parents and kids to get out of their Art Soup experience…
Me: Why a drop-in art studio?
Tiffany: My daughter is certainly the inspiration. Kids really deserve a creative outlet especially at the those tender young ages when their hearts and minds are so pure and they often don’t have all of the words to verbally express their emotions. I wanted to create an imaginative hands-on environment that doubled as an art studio and social refuge full of larger than life opportunities for them to explore, stretch their imaginations, and have the freedom to get messy free from the rules and confines of mom’s kitchen. In terms of the literal sense of “drop in” life and kids are unpredictable – you can have everyone loaded up in the car with intentions of making it to a certain place at a certain time but something always seems to come up: a melt-down, spilled drink in the lap, someone gets sick. etc. Moms need flexibility and I needed sanity: which meant not being in the “make-up class” business.
Me: Does Art Soup have a cafe, WiFi, flat screens??
Tiffany: Heck no! Art Soup is where you come to soak in not check out. It’s such a magical experience to see your kids so happy, engaged, and proud while they’re making their creative masterpieces. This is definitely a quality time experience and once you’ve been here, you’ll agree and leave feeling great about the time you just spent with your child as he/she/they carry out all of their adorable art. I’d also like to mention that recycled art rocks at Art Soup. We are all about trash to treasure and welcome parents and kids to bring in butter tubs, lids, paper towel rolls ,TP rolls, corks, tissue paper, etc. Our parties feature over 60 different art projects from rockstar to sports and our events launch April 4th.
191 N. El Camino Blvd., Suite 203 Encinitas
Does this guy look happy or what??
This kind of happy cost us only $12 and a couple of hours at the Build It Workshop in Carlsbad where my son made his own LEGO cars and beat a couple of other kids in a LEGO race.
The last time Gage had this much fun he spent 3 hours inside the “Build & Test” room of Legoland’s Imagination Zone doing exactly the same thing he did at the Build It Workshop. Cost: $70 child’s Legoland ticket.
Build It is more than LEGOS.
I am personally excited to work with the 3d printer or watch my kids participate in one of the daily build projects.
The cost of admission to Build It is $12 per child for 2 hours of build time or $20 per child for an all day pass. Military families receive a discount of $1 per child, and there is no charge for parents or infants.
We loved Build It enough to place it in the “worth the drive” category, but we may not need to drive to Carlsbad for long. Owner Rudy Gonzalez told me he’s already looking in San Diego locations for his second workshop. Woo hoo!
If you have a budding engineer in the family, be sure to visit Build It!
1818 Marron Road, Suite 103
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Day Camp 101Kindergarten and Pre-K moms, I want to tell you about the sweetest way to introduce your child to day camp. The Chula Vista Nature Center offers fun, educational and low cost camps that are also fairly short, making them a great way to introduce your little one to a camp experience.
Last spring both of my children attended the nature center’s 2-day “Rock Stars” day camp where they learned about tide pools, got to feed, touch and photograph the animals they were interacting with, did sea-star related crafts and had a snack with their new camp friends all in a quick three hour morning. It was a great way to have them express their independence while getting some cool, hands on fun with sea creatures. Gage has started to ask about going again, just in time for next week’s spring break camps!
One of the best parts of the Chula Vista Nature Center day camps is their prices, which start at $38 for members and $42 for non-members. But even better is WINNING a FREE two or three day pre-K or kindergarten camp of your choice.
If you are looking for an educational and fun camp during the weeks of March 26th or April 2nd, check out the options at the nature center by clicking here. To enter to win, simply leave a comment below with the name and date of the preschool or kinder camp you are interested in having your child attend. One winner will be randomly selected on Thursday, March 22nd.
Good luck and happy spring break moms!
FREE Demo Day with Super Soccer Stars!
Saturday, September 20th
Carmel Mission Park – (Corner of Carmel Country and Carmel Mission Road)
9:00 – 9:40am: 2-3 year olds
9:45 – 10:30am: 3-young 4 year olds
10:35 – 11:25am: Older 4-5 year olds
9:45 – 10:45am: 5-7 year olds
10:50 – 11:50am: 8-10 year olds
Spaces are limited, so be sure to save your spot!
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619.577.4009!
Super Soccer Stars teaches soccer skills to children 2 and older in a fun, non-competitive and educational environment. Through our age-specific curriculum, we use soccer to nurture, build self-confidence and develop teamwork. Low child-to-coach ratios and positive reinforcement ensure that each child improves at his or her own pace while having a blast!
Long before PETCO started its monthly “Meet the Critters” program where families can see, pet, hold and even feed the animals that are for sale, my kids and I were regular visitors of the retailer.
To preschoolers and toddlers, PETCO is like a little zoo where they get to see amazing creatures up close like swimming turtles, tarantula spiders, furry chinchillas and, of course, aquarium fish, parakeets and adoptable cats. They are always as excited about our free PETCO trips as they are with our visits to Seaworld, the Wild Animal Park and the Zoo. Kids just love animals, and it doesn’t seem to matter to mine what kind they are as long as they can see them up close.
So of course we were excited to attend the “Meet the Guinea Pigs” event at PETCO in June. Instead of just pressing their noses to the glass guinea pig cage, they pet and held one for the very first time. Although they were a bit squirmy at first, the guinea pigs settled into comfortable cuddle positions and even made little happy noises. I learned that they live a lot longer than hamsters and mice and that guinea pigs are more kid-friendly pets since they are not prone to biting and are not likely to break the skin if they do bite. Good to know since we had talked about getting the kids a hamster.
While there’s no chance of us purchasing any kind of reptile, we’re all looking forward to the July 17th “Reptile Rally” including reptile feeding time and “meet the bearded dragon.”
Wanna meet the critters too?
What: Reptile Rally
When: July 17th
11am-Reptile Feeding Time
11:30 Habitat set up seminar
12pm: Meet and Greet with the Bearded Dragon
Where: Participating PETCO locations
Great Museums for Kids in San Diego
February is Museum Month in San Diego when 44 local museums offer half-price admission. Families can visit one of the 14-area Macy’s stores to pick up free Museum Month Passes and redeem them at one of the participating museums for up to four half-priced admissions. What a great way to check out some of our county’s incredible museums! A great time to visit the Natural History Museum’s new Real Pirates exhibit, or the New Children’s Museum FEAST exhibit or the Birch Aquarium Sea Days special event.
Of course I love Museum Month, but each year there are a number of opportunities to visit some terrific family-friendly museums and attractions for free or at heavy discounts. We loved being on the USS Midway for FREE last Friday to celebrate the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
Several Midway attractions were open to the public, in addition to special events like free ice skating, snow play area and curling demonstrations. We had a blast, and, if we were not already members, we would have likely purchased a membership.
Speaking of memberships, I sincerely believe they are the best deals available. We scored our Midway membership at 1/2 price ($45 for the whole family!) during last October’s special promotion. But we thought it was worth it at full price, as is the RH Fleet membership at $89 for two adults and up to six children. My kids started with the Fleet’s Kid City and are now old enough to enjoy the other permanent and visiting exhibits.
If you don’t make it out in February, there’s always Residents Free Tuesdays to help you explore some of Balboa Park’s top attractions. And each October many attractions and museums are open complimentary to children during Kids Go Free Month. Through our county and city library systems, families can “check out” a two week membership to places like the RH Fleet, The Children’s Discovery Museum, the New Children’s Museum and the San Diego Museum of Art through the circulating memberships program.
We have the most wonderful opportunities to teach our children thanks to San Diego’s numerous museums and educational attractions. Get out and enjoy them!
Hey Baby, What’s Your Sign?
If you gave birth to a baby this year, The Year of the Dragon on the Chinese calendar, then he or she will have lots of energy, be honest, brave and trusting…according to Chinese astrology.
My kids love knowing their Chinese zodiac sign, and I’m excited to take them to the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum next week when the museum staff will present an interactive storytelling of how the Chinese zodiac came to be, with the kids taking on the roles of the different animals. There will also be a coloring activity, families can tour the museum, and, in back of the museum, is a spacious courtyard with a koi pond, where you can eat a self-provided lunch or snack.
The hour-long zodiac event is planned for Saturday, February 25 at 11:30 am. The museum is located at 404 Third Avenue (at J Street) in the Gaslamp area downtown.
The only cost is $2 per adult; children 12 and under are free. RSVP is required by February 21st for the event, but the museum is open to the public, Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Sundays from Noon until 4p.m.
To RSVP please email your name and number of children to SanDiegoMom@hotmail.com. Hope to see you there!
Hip Hip Hooray! It’s Gymboree Day!
Full disclosure: Gymboree is an advertiser in the print edition of The Mom’s Guide to San Diego, and my kids attend free classes at the Solana Beach location. That’s just ONE reason that I enjoy driving them from La Mesa to Gymboree in Solana Beach each week. Now here are some reasons you may like to check out that location or one of the other three San Diego Gymboree centers…
1. QUALITY: If you’re confusing “Gymboree Play & Music” with Gymboree, the children’s clothing store, you’re not alone. Both are owned by the Gymboree Corporation. Gymboree = quality and value in both clothing and classes (oh, and they have the BEST bubbles you’ve ever seen, on sale at both the clothing stores and play & music centers!) Enroll in the play program after your trial class and enjoy these Gymboree store special offers:
* 20% off coupons for Gymboree Clothing, Janie & Jack and Crazy 8
* $25 in GymBucks
* FREE Gymboree Shopping Bag
2. MOMMY & ME: Gymboree is an excellent place for mommy and me classes. We enjoyed it when Mallory was just a crawler. You’ll get music, bubbles, parachute play and as much as activity as babies and toddlers are capable of. Gymboree is bright and cheery with lots of cool (and heavily padded) structures to climb and explore. If you are looking to get out of the house with your little one, want to mingle with other moms or want to find a great playgroup weekly activity, Gymboree is a fabulous place to start. Don’t forget to take your free trial class. OR, on this article to be entered to win one free month of classes!
3. OPEN GYM! No matter their age, I don’t think there is anything a Gymboree kid likes more than “open gym,” meaning they can explore and climb to their heart’s content during the free play hour. Sit back and enjoy mom! Open gym is available several times a week and is included with membership.
4. SPORTS SKILLS: My kids are older now, so I wasn’t sure if they’d love Gymboree as much as they did as toddlers. But the Sports skills class is a real winner for kids 3-5 years. I love that my two are able to take the class together. And during the course of our membership, they’ve been introduced to golf, soccer, track and field and tennis. Not only have they had a blast, they truly picked up some skills. Each class began and ended with open play, and they loved to see the different way the gym equipment was set up every week. Ms. Amanda, their teacher, is a mom herself and most excellent with these kids. Added bonus…sports is a drop off class meaning moms get a 1 hour break. Enough time to get a pedicure next door, hit Starbucks or power shop.
5. ART: If you add the art class for ages 3-5 like I do, you get to drop your kids off for another hour and the kids get to express themselves with paint, glitter, glue and more somewhere other than your kitchen table (no clean up for you!). Every week there’s a new theme, and Ms. Rachel in Solana Beach is as sweet as can be. My kids are so proud of the many mini-masterpieces they’ve brought home.
6. SOCIALIZATION: Moms are often concerned about making sure their children are “socialized” especially if they don’t attend preschool. My kids have had a lot of opportunity to share, partner and play with other kids in their Gymboree classes. And now Gymboree even offers a “School Skills” class where they can build key social, emotional and intellectual skills. There’s art, music, science and play…sounds good. Sign us up!
If you’re looking for any of the above, simply leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into the raffle to offered at the Solana Beach or Clairemont locations. And mark your calendar for their end of summer open house featuring the live music of HULLABALOO! We’ll be there to enjoy parachute time, bubbles, art activities and more!
Gymboree Solana Beach
End of Summer PaRtY
971C Lomas Santa Fe Drive
Sunday, August 28; 3:00-6:00pm
FREE for currently enrolled members.
$5 per family for those not enrolled.
Children under 5 only please.
It’s a Gym! It’s a Playground! It’s a Spa! It’s a…
However, step inside San Diego’s most unique mommy & me play space, and you’ll quickly discover that Jungle Gym & Cafe offers as many goodies for you as it does for your kiddos.
During the hour-long instruction, I had the chance to answer emails using the Jungle Gym’s complimentary WiFi while savoring a wonderful lemon sorbet served in the biggest lemon I’d ever seen.
This afternoon the kids will enjoy a 25-minute yoga class while I kick back and catch up on my reading.
Then they will play with their classmates under the supervision of the Jungle Gym staff while my friend and I take an hour-long yoga class of our own. Adult fitness classes are offered before the Jungle Gym & Cafe’s indoor play space is open and after it closes, so the only children inside belong to the moms taking the classes.
Next week I will take advantage of their free childcare again when I get a pumpkin peel in the newly opened med-spa facilities. There’s also acupuncture and they’ll soon offer massage.
I know it sounds like I go to The Jungle Gym & Cafe to get a break from my kids and to take advantage of some mommy pampering and stress relief. That is true!
But I also have a lot of fun with my babies while we’re there playing badminton and air hockey together.
Join me at The Jungle Gym & Cafe (and spa!) this month. Any two classes are free, and I’ll cover your childcare for up to two kids. Just check out the fitness schedule and tell me which classes you’d most like to take. 5 winners will be selected this week!
Lowe’s Build & Grow For Kids
This is one of the best things our family has done together lately…so simple, as much fun for Mallory and me as it was for Daddy and Gage, and completely free.
The Saturday before the Indianapolis 500, we went to a Lowe’s Build and Grow kids’ clinic to build our own race car out of wood.
Oh yes we did! We wore goggles, used hammers and created from the bag of wooden wheels, block body and nails they distributed to each child, a miniature replica of the number 48 Jimmy Johnson Nascar sponsored by Lowe’s.
Lowe’s recommends this twice-a-month clinic for children ages 7 and older, but our kids were able, with our help, to easily assemble the car and had a blast working with the wood.
Each Lowe’s is set up to accept 75 children for the clinic, and even if you pre-register, they suggest you come a bit early to line up. The registration process is super simple, a nice reminder email was sent out the day before and the staff members assisting were great with the kids.
Now, as a woman, I’m not really into hardware stores, but Lowe’s was bright and cheery. We were greeted with smiles from every employee we saw, the bathrooms were super clean and even pretty, and my kids are still enjoying racing their cars together at home.
Thanks Lowe’s for introducing our family to wood working. We’ll be back next month!
What: Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic for Kids
Where: Your local Lowe’s hardware store
When: 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month @ 10 a.m.
Who: Recommended for children ages 7 and older
Last summer I faced the classic dilemma – what can I do with my 3 year daughter for 12 whole weeks until preschool begins again? Most summer camps are for designed for children kindergarten age and older, but I wanted my daughter to have a wonderful summer experience, meet new people and be exposed to activities we did not do during the school year, or at home.
After much searching, I found the perfect solution: Kidz Kamp at Recreational Music Center located in Point Loma at Liberty Station. Specifically for preschool-aged children, each camp session is for one week for two hours per day. This is the perfect amount of time for busy youngsters—not too long for a child to get bored or tired, but enough time for Mom to get a few errands done. The fact that there are plenty of wonderful shops at Liberty Station was an extra bonus.
My daughter and another friend from her preschool went to camp when the weekly theme was “Bugz”. Although the camp is mainly music-based, there were plenty of other activities to keep them interested. They learned about ants, caterpillars, spiders and other insects while playing outside. During the arts-and-crafts section of the day, they made masks of butterflies and bumblebees and other bugs. Additionally, each day they learned a song and played a variety of instruments like drums, tambourines and maracas. At the end of the week, parents were invited to a short show put on by the children, who were wearing their masks, and dancing and singing.
The cost of the camp, at $199, was quite reasonable—especially since an early registration gets a discount of 25%.
To say the kids enjoyed camp that year is an understatement. Since there are various themes each week, each session a completely new experience. At the end of the summer, my daughter and her friend went back to camp for another week. This time the theme was “Growing in the Garden”. These weekly day camps gave us both a positive experience as they kept her entertained in a wonderful way and provided me enough alone time to accomplish all the things a busy mommy has to do.
Registration for early childhood camps beginning June 18-22nd is now available. Cost is $199 per week.
Recreational Music Center is currently offering a $50 discount for those families who register for Kidz Kamp, and $100 for those who register for Glee or Rock Star camp by May 30th. Simply mention “Early Bird Special” when you register by phone or online at http://www.recreationalmusiccenter.com/ptisite/control/early_childhood_camp. AND, Recreational Music Center is generously awarding a week of summer music camp to one lucky reader…up to a $399 value!!
To enter to win a week of Recreational Music Center summer camp, simply view the camp options at www.recreationalmusiccenter.com, and comment here with your choice. Good luck!
My Budding Artist
This is a picture that Gage drew in kindergarten just a couple of months ago.
I’m not sure if that’s a horse on the left or who those “people” are supposed to be. Let’s just say that this is exactly the type of art I expected of my 6-year-old son who has never had patience for coloring or shown an interest in drawing. It didn’t bother me that all of his pictures needed captions.
But after just four classes at Art with Larisse, we no longer need him to explain what his pictures are about…
Can you believe that these were drawn by the same 6-year-old boy? I was surprised when he said he wanted to take summer art lessons with his sister and even more surprised when I saw how quickly he began to create beautiful pictures.
Gage is so thrilled and proud. We always though of Mallory as our little artist, but now we have two thanks in large part to Art with Larisse!
When I dropped the kids off last week I was admiring the window filled with the blue ribbons won by Larisse’s students at this year’s fair. They’re being honored with an ice cream social next weekend, and you’re invited to go and learn more about how Larisse can help develop a love of art in your child. To attend simply RSVP here.
If you would like to see the difference four classes can make in your child’s drawing, comment below with why art is good for kids. One lucky mom’s guide reader will be selected to enjoy four classes at one of Lariesse’s art studios.
Art with Larisse offers classes for children and adults ages 5 and up. There are three studios to choose from located in La Mesa, Santee and Kearny Mesa. Art with Larisse also offers camps and birthday parties. For more information visit artwithlarisse.com.
My Kids Go to College
I am so glad that we made it to Grossmont College for its 50th anniversary celebration today. It was a little rainy when we left and very chilly (for San Diego), but I knew most of the educational activities I wanted to share with the kids would be indoors so out we went. What we got in return was an unforgettable day of firsts…better than any children’s museum and any class we’ve paid to attend.
It was a wonderful experience for the whole family, and I want to thank all of the staff and students from the college who did such a fantastic job with my young children. Happy 50th!
Playing it Safe
Have you had THE TALK with your kids yet? I don’t mean that talk, but rather the one about strangers and bullies and tricks and danger.
Perhaps you’ve told your children, “Don’t talk to strangers.” “Don’t open the door.” But have you told them why?
Did you let your daughter know that even kindergartners can be mean enough to make her feel ugly, weird and un-liked? Have you told your son that saying to someone, “You can’t play with us,” or, “You’re not my friend,” is a form of bullying?
My children just took their first Play It Safe self defense course. We mainly went for the anti-bully training now that it’s back-to-school season, but the class offered much more than that. I felt uneasy as I watched the kids learn techniques for fending off abductors and ways to battle bullies. While I was happy that the course was providing my kids with tools to handle a variety of situations, I sat there knowing that we would be having a serious talk at home about the dangerous world in which we live.
I had never really spoken to them about “stranger danger” before. I didn’t want to terrify them. I guess part of me was hoping that simply saying, “We don’t talk to strangers” would be enough. But, of course, I know it’s not. Did you catch this Dateline NBC hidden camera special? So eye-opening about how easily kids can be tricked.
During our Play It Safe course, the kids were shown pictures of “strangers” –an older couple, a woman, a man dressed as a physician — and asked to identify the “good” people and the “bad” people. The point of the exercise was to let children know that it is hard to tell who is good and who is bad simply by looking at them. I could feel my kids wondering, “In what way could those harmless looking people be bad?”
They were asked, “Do some people make your stomach feel funny when you meet them?” by instructor Tracie Arlington. She had a cute way of asking it, but I am certain my children did not really understand what she was talking about. So I made a mental note to talk about gut instincts and intuition with them.
The Play It Safe staff acted out a few scenarios of how a stranger might try to trick kids into getting into a car like asking them to help look for a lost dog, offering them candy, etc. I’m sure mine were wondering why anyone would want to take them away.
This is scary stuff to me, but when I got home and asked my kids about their experience, they were not as confused or upset as I had thought they’d be. In fact, they seemed empowered. The role playing really engaged them. From how to turn away from bullying to how to kick adults in the shins hard enough to escape their grasp, they learned a lot from the class.
In The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, author Michele Borba stresses the importance of role playing over and over again so that children feel comfortable with how to handle difficult situations. Watching the Play It Safe staff act out scenarios with my kids illustrated to me how receptive they really are to this kind of instruction.
The best part, to me, of the self defense course was how it opened the door to conversations with my kids that I had been avoiding. What is more important than teaching our children how to be safe in a not-so-safe world? I’m so glad we went.
Play It Safe offers age appropriate self defense for children between the ages of 5-11. For more information visit www.playitsafedefense.com.
San Diego Cooking Classes for Kids
Today is my little brother’s birthday. He just finished his freshman year at Texas A & M and is ready to learn to cook, so I sent him my favorite Sam the Cooking Guy cookbook and Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer. But I really wish I could have gotten him a cooking class. I caught the cooking bug in elementary school when I took a summer cooking camp and made cream puffs and chicken-salad-stuffed avocados for my family.
They say kids will love healthy eating when they learn to prepare healthy foods, so I’m committed to inspiring my kids before they get to college. This week Mallory participated in Jamie Oliver’s Big Rig Kitchen where she used a chef’s knife for the first time while helping prepare crispy oven baked garlic chicken.
The mission of these free “learn to cook” classes is to improve health and spread food education in underserved communities. It was way cool, and Mal is eager to prepare a dinner for her family!
There is still time to sign up for Jamie’s free classes since the Big Rig Kitchen will be in town until May 31st. But if you don’t make it, here is a list of places in San Diego where kids can learn to cook…
2. Chef Jenn offers private cooking parties for kids.
5. Local grocery stores also offer occasional kids’ cooking classes like the Wholefoods in Del Mar’s Kids’ Club, which is hosting strawberry shortcake from scratch this Saturday.
6. The owner of Cook for Thought instructs this month’s Wholefoods Kids’ Club cooking class. Through Cook for Thought, she also offers cooking classes, summer camps, school assemblies and private cooking events for children.
8. Sur la Table has three San Diego locations, and each offers a summer cooking camp for kids in addition to the occasional child-oriented class.
9. My Cool Kid Cooks provides mobile junior chef cooking classes, birthday parties and summer camps.
10. Harvard Cookin’ Girl in La Jolla offers kids’ cooking classes, camps and birthday parties.
SAVE on Sports Camp!
Join Coach Heather and the Camp Playball Team teaching perseverance, confidence, and positive relationships through fun sports activities.
Sign up now for summer camp and save up to $30!
Camp dates & times are:
June 16th to June 20th @ College Park Preschool in the College Area
9am to 1pm
June 23rd to June 27th @ College Ave Preschool in the College Area
9am to 12pm
June 30th to July 11th @ The Children’s School in La Jolla
9:30 to 12:00-
Ages Kindergarten/2nd grade
July 14th to July 25th @ The Children’s School in La Jolla
12:30 to 3:00
Ages Kindergarten/2nd grade
July 14th to July 18th @ La Jolla Rec. Center
9am to 1pm
August 4th to August 8th @ La Jolla Rec. Center
9am to 1pm
August 18th to August 22nd @ Silverman Preschool in East County
9am to 1pm
Go To…. WWW.CAMPPLAYBALL.COM…. Sign up before May 31st and receive $20.00 off. Register for siblings and receive $30.00 off (1 offer per registration)
This is Mal’s first year of kindergarten so it’s our first year of spring break. To tell you the truth, I would love to have her at home with me all day for a whole week. But I have a feeling she would prefer to have something to do besides hanging out with mom…especially if that something involves her school friends or, better yet, those friends we don’t see as much anymore now that many of them are in different schools.
There are a number of spring break camps that I know Mallory and her friends would enjoy, but today I’m writing about East County’s Soccer Shots because they are graciously awarding one lucky reader a full week of soccer camp valued at $140!
From 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on April 2nd through the 6th, Soccer Shots will offer a camp in Poway and in La Mesa for kids ages 3-12. Each day your spring-breaker will enjoy 45 minutes of soccer instruction, a craft period to make a souvenir soccer frame and other fun stuff, lunch and snack breaks followed by another 45 minutes of instruction.
On the final day of camp at Noon there’s a PARENTS VS KIDS SCRIMMAGE! (hmmm, sounds memorable).
Soccer shots provides water, craft supplies and a sibling discount of $20. You provide the lunch and snacks your kids might enjoy. And don’t forget to invite your child’s school or playgroup friends. You can win a spot in either the Poway or La Mesa spring break camp by simply leaving your name and your child’s age in the comment section below.
Soccer shots is a nationally franchised soccer program created by former professional players. They offer quality, high-energy soccer programs with principled instruction wrapped in fun. For more information about their programs, visit www.soccershots.org.
Please note that all Soccer Shots camps are subject to cancellation if fewer than five (5) students are registered to participate.
See it for FREE! The New Children’s Museum
The kids and I had an excellent time at The New Children’s Museum recently and, visiting it for free, made the outing especially wonderful to me.
How did I get the three of us into the museum at no cost? I checked out a Circulating Membership through our La Mesa library, a branch of the County of San Diego library system.
New Children’s Museum circulating memberships are also available through branches of the City of San Diego library system. You check them out just as you would a book. Ask the librarian to locate one for you, and for two weeks your family will enjoy the benefits of regular museum membership including $5 parking.
FEAST is the current museum exhibition, and it’s my favorite one yet. It begins with scratch-and-sniff ripe bananas as you pass over the rainbow bridge into the museum, and continues with incredible displays and hands-on activities…
There are quite a few ways to enjoy The New Children’s Museum on a budget. The current Mom’s Guide has a buy-one-get-one admission coupon, Target sponsors the “free second Sunday” program, and there is currently a $5 happy hour admission promotion running. But, by far, the circulating membership program from county and city libraries is the best deal in town to get a “taste” of FEAST at The New Children’s Museum.
Our Creative Sewing Studio is an enchanting place where kids, teens and adults can learn the incredible art of sewing, fun fashion design and make new creative friends!
Shake Your (baby) Booty
Our daughter Emma likes to shake her groove thang. Simple as that.
She will shimmy that 2 year old rump anywhere and everywhere. She will break it down at the grocery store, the mall, in her carseat, riding in the elevator, and her favorite place of all…the living room during our daily afternoon “Dance Party USA”. Music moves her, so I decided it was time for a music class.
While researching classes in the San Diego area, I found some great options. After consulting my “Council of Parents” (aka my Facebook friends) I decided Music Together was the place to be.
Music Together is a program that was introduced in 1987 as a fun and educationally sound approach to music learning. It grew quickly, and licensed Music Together centers opened all over the country. The classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical. They can learn to sing in tune and keep a beat in a family-like setting of children ages 0-5 and their caregivers.
Ms. Tejal Kaji is the Director of Kids Beats Music Together, LLC. She is energetic, welcoming, fun, and you can tell she loves her job! One thing I was a little nervous about before class is the fact that caregivers are encouraged to sing along. Whoa. Luckily, Tejal makes even tone-deaf…ahem, “musically-challenged” folks such as myself, feel right at home.
And, once all of the other adults are belting out the tunes, you (may) want to join right in. There is singing, dance time and an entire portion of the class dedicated to the kids making their own music with drums, egg shakers, bells and other instruments. Between learning some new songs, watching Emma and the other kids dance a jig and taking home a great cd, we were really happy with the class. Tejal also offers free sample classes if you’d like to try it out before committing.
The nitty gritty:
12636 Poway Rd.
Poway, CA 92064
9474 Black Mountain Rd
San Diego, CA 92126
12621 Poway Rd
Poway, CA 92064
9919 Hibert St., Ste B
San Diego, CA 92131
Current Spring Schedule (which may change based on enrollment)
Mondays: 9:30A — Scripps Ranch
Tuesdays: 10A and 11A — Academy of World Dance n Arts (Poway)
Wednesdays: 9:45A and 11A — Rhythm Studios
Thursdays: 10:30A — Scripps Ranch
Fridays: 9A — My Kids Clubhouse (Poway)
Saturdays: 9:30a at Rhythm Studio (9474 black mtn rd.). 9 week class rather than a 10 week class
Currently Scheduled FREE Sample Classes:
Thursday, March 14 at 10A — Scripps Ranch
Friday, March 15 at 9A — My Kids Clubhouse
Monday, March 18 at 9:30A — Scripps Ranch
Wednesday, March 20 at 9:15A — Academy of World Dance n Arts
Thursday, March 21 at 10A — Rhythm Studios
Friday, March 22 at 9A — My Kids Clubhouse
Friday, April 12 at 9A — My Kids Clubhouse
An RSVP is required for the free classes by calling Tejal at 858.248.9034 or going online to www.kidsbeatsmt.com.
Family with 1 child: $195
Family 2nd child: $155
Family 3rd child: Free*
New family fee: $20
*Please note: for additional child discounts, the additional children need to be a sibling of the first registered child. Also, siblings under 7 months of age at the start of the semester are FREE with a registered child. I honestly think our 4 month old son enjoyed the class just as much as our daughter. Or maybe Tejal’s beautiful singing put him in a trance!
Now the part you’ve all been waiting for. Get ready. This is big.
The first 5 moms to leave a comment at www.facebook.com/kidsbeatsmt will receive $50 off of the next 10 week session of classes beginning April 12th. Winners will receive 2 CDs, a song book and 10 weeks of FUN for $145.
Summer of Soccer
USA! USA! USA!
If your home is like mine, the World Cup is on whether USA is playing or not. Haven’t you heard? Summer is for Soccer!
If your family has soccer fever, check out Soccer Shots World Cup Summer Camps.
My kids have played two seasons of Soccer Shots camps, and both my son and daughter loved the coaches, learned a lot and want to go back again! This weekend Soccer Shots is offering free trial classes, and I’m excited to be able to give one lucky mom’s guide reader a FREE week of summer camp.
Each week this summer, Soccer Shots is offering half-days of action packed fun. Children are split into two different age groups (3-5 years & 6-10 years) and each camp curriculum includes the World Cup, player skill development, and character development.
Soccer Shots camps feature:
• Energetic, professional coaches
• 1:10 coach to player ratio
• Individual soccer skill development
• Team building
• Fun fitness activities
• Coordination, balance, and agility development
• World Cup lesson-of-the-day
Every Camper Receives:
• Soccer Shots T-shirt
• Special end of camp prize
• Summer Camp certificate
• Player evaluation
To enter to win, simply list which Soccer Shots location would work best for your family in the comment section. Choose from:
Carmel Valley / Del Mar
Pacific Beach / La Jolla
Mira Mesa / Sorrento Valley
Mission Valley / Serra Mesa
For more information, please visit SoccerShots.org, or contact Jim Hill at 619-566-9566 and email@example.com.
Soccer Shots World Cup Camp winner will be selected this Thursday morning while USA is playing. Go Team!
The Happiest Place in San Diego?
Gymboree Play & Music may just be the happiest place for little ones in San Diego!
With 4 convenient locations across town (out of 550 worldwide!!), many San Diego toddlers and their families experience some of the best times to be had at Gymboree. Classes are offered for children ages 0-5, and thrive on parent involvement, which is my favorite part about this program!
I took my son, Oliver, to our first free trial class when he was 4 months old. We were both hooked right away. It was the first time I had ever heard him really “belly laugh.” With a newborn at home, it is hard to know how to interact with your child, but Gymboree proves that with a few simple tools and songs, you can connect with your baby on a whole new level and see immediate results in their development. Over the following year, we moved from level 1, 2, 3 and now 4. Each one better and more engaging than the last. To this day, I still sing the Gymbo the Clown song to distract him during diaper changes!
Gymboree structures their classes in 6-month increments to closely follow and support the developmental milestones of your child.
As a member, you and your little one can attend a weekly class, and have unlimited access to the family open gym times. My favorite part…if you can’t make your class, your “make ups” never expire, and you can use them for music and/or art classes too! We always make an effort to attend our regular weekly class time since we’ve made so many great friends along the way who we enjoy seeing.
Starting at age 3, Gymboree even offers Sports Classes, which “Encourage healthy habits and a positive attitude toward physical exercise through fun and physical sports play.”
Another member (and non-member!) benefit is the option to have your child’s birthday party at one of their locations! Choose your child’s favorite theme and let Gymboree take care of the rest. Here we are at the Gymboree in Poway celebrating our friend Caleigh’s first birthday party!
Thinking about giving it a shot? You’ve got nothing but fun to loose by doing a free trial class. After that, you won’t need anyone to tell you what a great experience it is and I’m positive you’ll be hooked like we were.
And, there’s no better time than now, because there are only TWO DAYS LEFT to take advantage of this irresistible fall promotion: $359 for 6 months of play, which, if you don’t want to take out your calculator, is less than $60 per month. What a deal! Not ready to commit to a full 6 months, they’ve got a deal for that too!
The Gymboree Tip of the Week:
Is your young child struggling with separation anxiety?
Here are Gymboree’s two favorite books on the topic:
Make sure you “like” our Facebook page for additional tips from our friends at Gymboree!
The Word of Mom
I’ve always really appreciated the word-of-mouth of moms. All of the best things we’ve experienced have been suggested by others. So in the mom’s guide I pass on all of my favorites as well as those things I have heard were fantastic.
San Diego Junior Theater performances are wonderful, so even though we were not planning to attend the current production of Disney’s Peter Pan, I wanted to let subscribers know about it. When I received this message back from a mom, I decided to make time for this play…
“I wanted to say thank you for your email of events a few weeks ago which included the Peter Pan play in Balboa Park. We went last weekend and it was a fun family outing! I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. Thanks so much!”
So tonight we were there in beautiful Balboa Park in a packed theater watching the live performance of a show we’ve seen so many times in cartoon form, and it was definitely a “fun family outing” as the mom’s guide reader had exclaimed. The young actors were very talented, the set was fun, and the music was lovely.
More than the actual performances, I love watching my kids watch other kids performing. Neither of them has expressed any interest in being on stage, but they are mesmerized by those young actors. Gage, who normally wants nothing to do with photos would not leave without meeting Peter Pan. When I asked him if he wanted to take lessons or attend the Junior Theater camp this summer so that one day he could play Peter Pan, he gave me his biggest signature smile.
There are five performances of Peter Pan left, and tickets start at $8. If you go and like it, be sure to spread the word…
Tiny DancerI started taking ballet lessons at age three, and by the time I was eleven I was dancing with the New Orleans Ballet Company. From my early childhood recitals to performances in The Nutcracker as a teenager, I so enjoyed being on stage. As an adult, I appreciate the benefits of those years of dancing…great posture, flexibility and coordination.
I’d love to see my daughter dancing, but so far she hasn’t fallen in love with it the way I did. We’ve tried three different studios– and we have the three outfits to prove it — red tights with black shoes for one, pink all over for another and black plus pink for the next.
As we contemplate giving dance another shot, I like what I hear about Dance to Evolve. Especially that they don’t ask you to purchase special dance clothes for their program. Kids get to wear what they like (I remember how much my 3-year-old hated that she was supposed to wear red and black!). PLUS they give you a special 10% discount code off of the already good prices at Discount Dance Supply. (thanks Dance to Evolve!)
They advertise small class sizes and competitive prices and are signing up students now who are interested in the spring recital season. I think once Mallory performs with a class of other young dancers she might just get the bug to continue like I did. And I think I will like that they have no recital fee, offer affordable costume packages, offer free performance photos, free parking and a post-show reception…for free.
Since students need to be registered by April 9th in order to perform in the June 30th and July 1st recitals, I’ve got to get on it. In case you’re interested, click here for a schedule of classes and locations.