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The LOCAL Go-To Guide for Busy Families • September 2010


It seems like summer just started and yet here we are  gearing up for back-to-school. How time flies! Although my  kids are still in full-blown summer mode, I have started my  ‘To-Do’ list of what needs to be done before the school year  begins. Thankfully mine are still in preschool, so the stress  level is still manageable!      Speaking of preschool, if you are starting to think about  the process, be sure to check out our comprehensive list of  questions to ask when considering a new preschool for your  child. You can also peruse the Preschool Directory we have  provided which is a great list of schools in your area. Many  mom-tested and kid approved!      For those of you who have children starting Kindergarten (gulp!), we hope you will find our article on ‘4 Steps to  Kindergarten Readiness’ helpful. Offering tips on how to  make the transition to a new school, friends and environment will hopefully help ease the concerns that all parents  have the first day!      Whether your child is going into Kindergarten or fourth  grade, our back-to-school giveaway this month rocks!  Featuring awesome brands and products for school, be sure  to sign up to win! Also be sure to check out the company  websites from our giveaway, as each carry a plethora of  amazing products for kids and families! Enjoy the rest of your summer and wishing you all an easy  transition as everyone heads back to school!  

Stay connected and updated on monthly  giveaways, events and discounts:

Sincerely,

Tracie Vollgraf

FIND US ON

Editor and Mother to Four under Four To win products, submit comments and ideas and receive helpful information sign up at ACTIVEKIDSDirectory.com and find us on Facebook! Find us here: www.activekidsdirectory.com   www.facebook.com/activekids        twitter.com/activekds

Life Begins

at ValleyCare G

iving birth is one of life's most joyous experiences. That's why our physicians make your health and comfort, and the health of your baby their top priority. Along with our advanced treatment capabilities, our physicians, nurses, and specialists provide you and your baby with the support and encouragement needed to make your birth experience a memory you'll always treasure. It's a culture of caring made possible by real people practicing real medicine.

There's no better place to deliver your baby.

Find your oB today. ValleyCare MEDICAL FOUNDATION

Call ValleyCare Physicians Associates (925) 416-5450


CONTENTS

Letter from Editor....... 2 Events

KidsFaire.................................. 5

Features

Connecting the Generations............7 Music & Your Child.......................8 New Parents: Keeping the Romance Alive......................10 “D” is for Darn Strong Bones.........13 Trusts 101................................14 First Aid: Bites & Stings................20 Raising Kids Who Care.................24 Products We Love.......................27 Events Calendar........................ 28 8 Tips for a Green Birthday ..........32 Approaching Discipline................34 iPhone Apps for Kids...................37 Party on the Go!........................38

Birthday Parties

Valley Cheer & Dance...................8 Childrenʼs Paw Prints.....................11 Diablo Valley Jumpers................. 11 Super Franks............................15 Danville Bowl........................... 16 Lindsay Wildlife Museum.............23 Dublin Bowl.............................26 Cabernet Sports........................ 30 Parti Palooza........................... 31 Studio Grow.............................39 Horizons East...........................39

Childcare & Preschools Little People Child Care................31 College Nannies & Tutors.............33 TOT Drop Preschool ....................36

ACTIVE KIDS Childrenʼs Sport Activities

Just for Baby/Kids

Valley Cheer & Dance....................9 American Swim Academy............ ..12 Danville Bowl.............................16 Triple Threat Performing Arts..........19 Dublin Bowl .............................26 Cabernet Sports ..........................3 The Pitching Center.....................30 West Coast Olympic Gymnastics Academy...................36 Horizons East Equestrian...............39

Day Trips

Oakland Zoo.............................18 Lindsay Wildlife Museum..............23 Joanʼs Farm & Pumpkin Patch.........................33

Dining

Eddie Papaʼs American Hangout......12 Chef Dan.................................33

Educational Resources

Quarry Lane School.....................22 Lindsay Wildlife Museum..............23 Viva el Español............................26

Red Wagon ................................9 Lillianaʼs Bows...........................19 Storkʼs Nest Boutique. .................31

Just for Mom

Hayjac Designs...........................11 Mu Salon.................................19 Just a Little Something Gift Shop ....21 Storkʼs Nest Boutique. .................31

Music Classes

Music Together.............................6 Musicland.................................26 Lynda McManus Piano Co................36

Photography & Keepsakes

Childrenʼs Paw Prints .....................11 Paula Walsh Photography................16 Simply Inspired Photography............18 Shannon Rutherford  Photography..............................30

Saturday, September 25th  & Sunday, September 26th 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Find our Booth on “Main St” at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton

Discover amazing resources, products and services for families in YOUR area! Stop by the Booth to find Great Activities for the Kids and Parents!   Kids Art Area, Baseball Hitting Zone, Demonstrations, Giveaways, Raffles and MORE! Fun for the entire Family!

We look forward to seeing you at KidsFaire 2010!! For more information about KidsFaire visit:

www.thekidsfaire.com or www.activekidsdirectory.com

Toy Stores

Golden Apple Learning Store.........22

Healthcare

Valley Care.................................3  General Dentistry for Children........17 Adorable Baby 3D Ultrasound.........18 Danville Pediatric Dentistry............21 John Muir Medical Center..............25 San Ramon Regional................... 40

Important Resources

Always the Best Carpet Cleaning.......9 Shirley White, ESQ......................16 Darci Gutierrez Insurance .... .........18 Everyday Leader........................39

Front Cover Photo Credit: Paula Walsh, Paula Walsh Photography

(925) 819-1199 • www.PaulaWalshPhotography.com

4 ACTIVE KIDS

will be at KidsFaire!!

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Horizons East Equestrian Center

HAYJAC DESIGNS WWW.HAYJAC.COM

MUSIC LAND Just A Little Something Gift Shop

Building Stronger Families ®

Jen Lock, Artist & Instructor


Connecting the Generations:

Discussing Difficult Topics with your Children by Amy Sluss, RN

Parents want to protect their children - itʼs normal and natural. The day inevitably arises, though, when a difficult and uncomfortable issue presents  itself. It might be a death, divorce, or a grave diagnosis. These days families  face job loss and some even face financial ruin; the potential list of difficulties  is endless. Parents worry about the impact this will have on their children  and consequently wonder, “To tell or not to tell?” and “If we do tell our  children, how should we go about it?”       Most kids can handle a variety of difficult issues. The most important  thing to know is that your kids will take their cues from you. They will  respond, most often, very similarly to how you behave as you break the  news to them. If you are uncomfortable, they will be uncomfortable. If you  are calm, your child is more likely to respond calmly. If you are hysterical,  your child is more likely to respond dramatically. So deal with your feelings  first before presenting the situation to your child honestly. 

TRUST yourself and your childʼs abilities:

    T = Truth: Tell the truth as simply as possible. You donʼt need to

sugarcoat a bad situation; it doesnʼt help. Omit frightening or graphic details; kidsʼ imaginations can be vivid so use caution.

    R = Resilience: Teach your child about coping and help him become  resilient. Give your child confidence so he can deal with the situation.  Reassure him that you will help. People rebound and learn how to deal with all sorts of difficult situations every day.

    U = Understanding: Help your child understand as much as she wants  to know. Answer questions; be open to her uncertainties and need to work  through the issue.       S = Symbolic Item: or Gesture: Offer your child a simple symbol or a

ritual to help them anchor their feelings. Give your daughter a polished  stone or trinket to carry in her pocket as a reminder of your love or the  strength of your bond. Or try a candle-lighting ritual to give your son something to “do” to help channel his energy. Dedicate the candle and the  lighting gesture to the person in question or to the issue to be resolved.  Repeat daily if your son finds comfort in the ritual. 

    T = Together: Assure your child that you will tackle the issue together.  Managing difficult situations is a normal part of life and the best approach  is to deal with it together through listening, sharing feelings, and working  for resolution.  

    The hard times will come; it happens to all families. Build a strong family  in good times and rely on your strong family ties in tough times.

6 ACTIVE KIDS DIRECTORY

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Amy Sluss, RN is a family - life specialist, an author and an acclaimed  mother- daughter speaker from Pleasanton, CA. Visit her website  www.fab2bfem.com or contact Amy directly at 925- 858 - 0702 to arrange a Growing up Female workshop for your daughter.


Music & Your Child by Rowena Morgan, Director of Music Together, Tri Valley

Babies donʼt come with manuals, but in todayʼs information - driven world there is plenty of advice to be found at every corner — and for  every aspect of child rearing. At the top of the advice list are those  activities deemed to be educational. After all, who doesnʼt want their childʼs intellectual abilities to shine?      If you are like most moms and dads of infants, toddlers or preschoolers,  you will have already heard such golden nuggets as “read to your child  every day.” You may have even introduced them to sign language as a  way to help accelerate their verbal language and communication skills.  However, one area of early education that may seem somewhat murky to  parents is music.      Perpetuating this lack of clarity are several myths, such as classical  music is “better for you” than other kinds of music, or simply listening to  music brings about the same developmental benefits as does music - making.  While it is true that research — like that of The National Association for  the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) — has found that exposure to  music during the early years of childhood enhances the learning process;  parents are often unaware of how they should “deliver” music to their  child. For music to truly promote language development, creativity, and  social interaction, parents need to do more than simply play Beethoven  before bed each night.

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www.valleycheeranddance.com 2411 Old Crow Canyon Rd., Ste. Q, San Ramon (next to Splash Swim School)

    Incorporate fun songs into their day. Dance and sing with your baby  or toddler and place emphasis on movement and parent-child interaction.  Encourage your caregiver or other family members to do the same when  you leave your child and choose recordings that are pitched to align with  a young childʼs vocal range.      Enroll in a class where mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa can play  percussion instruments alongside the children. This model of child and  caregiver interaction is essential to music learning. Music Togetherʼs philosophy is that “music is every childʼs birthright and that all children are born inherently musical.” Parents should strive to provide a musically  rich environment that is playful and developmentally appropriate, as well  as participatory and non-performance orientated.

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    At the end of the day it is all about the joy of music — music for musicʼs sake, instead of intellectual aspirations. Musical milestones will occur  naturally in this environment. Music Together® is an internationally recognized early childhood music program  first offered to the public in 1987. Music Together pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate music curriculum for newborns to kindergarteners. For more information, visit www.musictogether.net or call 925-551-7722.

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ACTIVE KIDS 9


New Parents:

Keeping the Romance Alive by Rona Renner, RN

Children’s

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    As a new parent itʼs hard enough to find time for sleep, let alone for romantic dinners, or sexual pleasure with your spouse or partner. Although  itʼs a challenge to plan for romantic moments, making time for intimacy is a true gift for you and your children. Since approximately 50% of  marriages end in divorce itʼs essential to step back and think about how you can stay connected and loving. All too often parents say they just  canʼt find time for romance when theyʼre tired, stressed, or feel unattractive,  but you can get creative if you remember how important it is.

1. Make a date and put it in your planner like other appointments. If you

donʼt, the responsibilities of daily life and the care of your baby will keep you from remembering your needs. Arrange to have a friend, relative, or  babysitter watch your baby so you can have a romantic lunch or dinner.  Hold hands and try not to talk about practical matters on your date. Go home and cuddle instead of cleaning up or going shopping. 

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2.      Send your spouse a romantic e-mail or voicemail. This may sound  corny, but most likely it will be appreciated, and may even lead to something fun.

Locally owned and operated, Excellent customer service, Great prices!

3. youʼre not in the mood for sex, or still too sore from childbirth, give      If each other a back or foot rub. Communicating about your needs is essential,  so tell your partner what will make you feel good. You may find that itʼs intimacy and nurturing that you crave.

Call today to reserve for your special event! (925) 699-0998

4.      Many men report that they feel ignored because of the attention a 

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baby requires, so any loving gesture will be meaningful. Although youʼre tired, a gentle message will renew, relax, and reassure. 

5. Kiss your loved one hello when youʼve been apart, even after a hard

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day. Hold off on complaining right away, as you look into each otherʼs eyes. 

6. Remember to give your partner positive feedback and regard like,

“Honey, thank you for a delicious dinner.” Or, “Iʼm so relieved that the laundry is done. We were running out of everything.”      If you find that you and your partner are feeling more and more  distant, seek help. Mothers and fathers can suffer from post-partum depression or other mental health or marital problems. The emotional  health of your family depends in part on how you balance your needs  with the needs of your children. Even five minutes of hugging and kissing will go a long way in keeping the romance alive. For information, inspiration, and shows, go to www.childhoodmatters.org. Tune into “Childhood Matters,” Sundays at 7AM live on 98.1KISS FM

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ACTIVE KIDS 11


Regional American Cuisine, Handcrafted Artisan Cocktails and Old World Hospitality

“D” is for Darn Strong Bones by Bruce M. Gach, M.D.

Come hangout this weekend for brunch Regional breakfast classics from across the country served 10am - 2pm Saturday and Sunday New York Eggs Benedict West Coast Crab Benedict Hawaiian Loco Moco Texas Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs San Francisco Joe’s Special

Denver and New Orleans Omelets Alaskan Sourdough Pancakes Maine Blueberry Pancakes Pennsylvania Dutch Strawberry Waffles Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles plus much more!

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    Vitamin D has become the reigning monarch of vitamins in the press  lately. This vitamin is fat-soluble and does not get into breast milk as easily  as some might think. Therefore, exclusively breast fed babies usually have  too little of this vitamin necessary to contribute to the formation of strong  bones. A quick trip through the chemical process shows that Vitamin D  travels through the bloodstream to the liver and from there goes to the  kidneys and different areas in the immune system to finally get converted  into calcitriol, the regulator hormone in the body for calcium and phosphate.  These two chemicals cause normal mineralization and bone growth. If  there isnʼt enough Vitamin D available then bones become thin and brittle and possibly deformed (bowed), otherwise known as Rickets.      Vitamin D can enter the body through a variety of foods and vitamins  and also sun exposure. A chemical normally in the skin, when stimulated  by sunlight forms fat-soluble Vitamin D, which is then transported by the  bloodstream. However, there are some things to take into consideration:  the concentration of the sun varies dramatically in all parts of the world  and throughout the year; this can create a lack of consistency with  your childʼs Vitamin D intake. Similarly, the darker the color of the skin,  the less absorption of sunlight, while exposure to too much sunlight  can lead to burns and possibly skin cancer in later years. And with concentrated amounts of sunscreen, you could potentially be defeating the absorption of sunlight into the skin with each wear, therefore  limiting Vitamin D production.     So what can a parent do to ensure their children get the proper amount  of Vitamin D? Oral vitamins are a good solution. The newly recommended  dosage is 400 IU (international units) per day. The liquid drops for babies  donʼt taste great, but still should be given. Combination vitamin drops are fine so long as they have the 400 IU per dropper Vitamin D. Many  chewable vitamins also have the proper amount of Vitamin D. Older  children, teens and yes, you adults should be taking vitamins with D and  Calcium if you are not drinking 30 ounces of milk a day. Adults show the effects of low Vitamin D in their bones through osteomalacia and  musculoskeletal pain. Practically no baby or child will eat the foods rich in Vitamin D such as fish of all sorts (sardines, catfish, salmon, tuna in  oil, mackerel and eel are the richest), mushrooms (ha!), a lot of whole  eggs (15 - 20) daily, and fish oils such as cod liver oil (yuck). In many  “Western” countries, dairy products such as milk, margarine, enriched  flour and breads are fortified with Vitamin D and marked as such.      As a parent, read labels and make the proper amount of Vitamin D  a priority in your familyʼs diets. Bruce Gach, M.D. is the managing partner of Livermore-Pleasanton Pediatrics  Group. He is a Board Certified practicing pediatrician with over 30 years of  experience caring for children. He has served on numerous committees dealing  with child health and development.  www.livermorepleasantonpeds.com

August 2010

ACTIVE KIDS 13


Trusts 101 by Shirley M. White, esq. • www.ShirleyWhiteLaw.com

You can think of a Trust as a holding pen, a place where you put your assets before they are released to the people or organizations that will eventually receive them. The trust designates the managers of the assets (trustees), those who will eventually receive the assets (beneficiaries), and any special instructions as to how the beneficiaries should be receiving the assets.

A Trust can be very important for an estate plan. Some benefits of a Trust include: Avoiding Probate. Assets properly owned in a Trust avoid probate at

death. If an estate is valued over one hundred thousand dollars, that estate will have to go through a court process called probate before heirs can collect the assets. This process can take up to a year, or even longer. If, however, during your life you set up a trust and place assets into it, those assets will pass to your heirs without court involvement. This transfer generally will happen quickly, efficiently, and will be cost effective.

Setting Rules. If you want to ensure that your children do not use their entire inheritance before they even graduate college, you can set up rules in the trust. The trust allows you to state that your children should  not receive their assets until a certain age. Often times, parents will have their childʼs share of assets held until the child reaches the age of 25 (or another appropriate age). The child can still benefit from the assets by asking the trustee for money, however will not have complete control over the money/asset until the age you set in the trust.

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Avoiding Estate Taxes. For married couples that have estates worth

over one million dollars, an appropriately drafted trust can save on taxes that the estate would have to pay. Certain estates can save millions of dollars just by having a properly drafted trust.

Privacy. At this day and age, very little is private. But since a trust avoids court involvement, the trust and its contents are private and will  not be known by anyone but those involved with the estate. As soon as a court is involved, the court filings become public information and can be read by anyone. If a court does not have to be involved, the details of your estate will remain private. While a trust can be very beneficial for many estates, it is not absolutely necessary in all cases. Depending on your assets and what you want to do them, you and your estate - planning attorney can decide the most appropriate plan. Tune in to next monthʼs article to learn more about what other topics are covered in a complete estate plan. If you have any questions you would like specifically addressed, please email them to Shirley@ShirleyWhiteLaw.com

September 2010

ACTIVE KIDS 15


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ENJOY A FULL YEAR OF FAMILY FUN! Oakland Zoo Memberships make great holiday gifts for friends and family. Plus, each membership comes with free guest passes, parking passes, and ride passes - a $41 value! Mention Active Kids and save $5 Family Memberships start at $85. For more information call (510) 632-9525 x 150.

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September 2010

ACTIVE KIDS 19


First Aid: Bites & Stings San Ramon Regional Medical Center

    A normal spider sack contains several hundred eggs, the average  beehive has approximately 45,000 bees, and female ticks can lay up to  6,000 eggs. Donʼt forget about mosquitoes; they deposit eggs together in a raft that contains 100 to 200 eggs. Suffice to say, humans are  outnumbered by these pesky little bugs that can bite and sting, causing  temporary discomfort or, in rare cases, potentially fatal reactions.  Fortunately, most bug bites and stings do not cause any long - lasting  health problems, but you should know what to do in the event you get  stung by a bee or wasp, or bit by a spider, tick, mosquito, or ant.      If a honeybee, wasp, hornet, yellow jacket, or fire ant stings you, try  to remove the stinger if it is visible (when there is one) by gently scraping  the skin with a straightedge object, such as a credit card. Wash the area  with soap and water, and then apply a cold pack to reduce pain and  swelling. If the area itches, such as from a mosquito bite, apply hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, or baking soda paste (three teaspoons  baking soda and one teaspoon water) until symptoms subside.       Spider bites also should be washed with soap and water. Apply an  ice pack and then elevate the area to delay the spread of venom. Seek  emergency medical care if you suspect the bite is from a black widow or brown recluse spider, which can cause symptoms such as body rash,  fever, headache, pink urine, discolored area around the bite, joint  stiffness, lack of appetite and muscle spasms.      If you find a tick, use tweezers to grasp the head of the tick next to  the skin and pull firmly until the tick lets go. Wash your hands and the  tick site with warm, soapy water and then swab the bite with alcohol.  Call your doctor if part of the tick could not be removed, the area looks  infected, the tick has been on the skin longer than 24 hours, or symptoms  develop, such as fever, headache, chills, nausea, or rash. 

You donʼt have to stay inside all the time to protect yourself from insect bites and stings. When venturing outside to enjoy the warm weather, you can:

• Avoid walking barefoot on grass  • Avoid using scented soaps, perfumes, or hairspray  • Stay away from wooded or brushy areas • Wear long sleeves and pants, and avoid brightly colored clothing  • Make sure food is covered when eating outside  • Empty standing water in outdoor containers  • Use insect repellant (not on babies)

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Just A Little Something Gift Shop “Unique Gifts for Every Occasion”

Market Place Shopping Center, San Ramon 925-277-1270 

Mention Active Kids and Receive 10% off your Entire Purchase.

For more information about bug bites and stings, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website at www.fda.gov.

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Explore, discover and learn! children's classes • summer camps birthday parties • scout tours • family programs 1931 First Avenue Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925) 935-1978 www.wildlife-museum.org Mention Active Kids and receive $2 off each admission through Labor Day 2010

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September 2010

ACTIVE KIDS 23


Raising Kids Who Care Tip #6: Regulate Your Childʼs Media by Gail Perry Johnston

    The sixth point on "Raising Kids Who Care" may well be the most  important — and difficult. We live in a media - saturated culture, and by  reading ahead you are already demonstrating courage to confront it; or at least to consider how to moderate its influence on your children.  “Media” means forms of communication and entertainment that reach masses of people. That includes TV, movies, popular magazines,  computer/cellular phone games, and “social media” like Facebook, although our main concern here is with anything that has a screen. Media, from cartoons to World of Warcraft (for you parents of older kids) can be so alluring that it pulls kids away from other forms of play, discovery, and social interaction that are essential for becoming well - adjusted people. By  “well - adjusted,” I mean people who have a certain measure of self - esteem,  who relate reasonably well with others, and who, in essence, care. 

I was afraid they wouldn’t be excited, since it was my second. But when Sean was born, we all cried. Because no two miracles are ever the same.

I am not here to advise on good or bad media, but simply to suggest that parents regulate it; that is, that you limit your kidsʼ consumption of it. Even Kaiser advises just “one hour of screen time a day.” This has got to be one of the greatest parental challenges of our time. Why is it so hard?  Because weʼre tempted too! Itʼs so easy to put the little ones in front of the TV so we can have a break, or get something done for goodness sake. When theyʼre a bit older, theyʼll play at the computer for hours. Then, you blink, and youʼve got teenagers with earplugs in who donʼt give a damn about what youʼre saying. Maybe thatʼs a little harsh, but the point is that itʼs our job to make sure the media doesnʼt consume our kids and stunt their growth in other areas. Come up with rules for your family and do your best to make sure they are followed. Needless to say, by regulating media consumption, you are also  keeping at bay some of the materialistic, sassy, violent, and downright perverted messages that much of it delivers.     For our household, we have two primary rules. First, no screen time is  allowed from Monday to Thursday. That way, homework gets done relatively quickly, the kids come to dinner when called, and bedtime is as it should be. Secondly, screen time is not allowed to interfere with real people time,  such as playdates, family meals, and visits with Grandpa. People are more  important, and thatʼs final.     Regardless of the specifics of your rules, you will be rewarded by your  efforts as your kids develop various skills and interests, and grow into people who know how to turn off the TV, pull out the earplugs, be fully present, and show they care. For more by Gail Perry Johnston, visit www.gailperryjohnston.com.

Delivering new mothers. At John Muir Health, we believe that each time you have a baby, whether it’s your first or your fourth, you’re “a new mom.” Because every delivery is unique for every mother. From planning and pregnancy through labor and post-delivery, our caring staff is there for you. Trust us to honor your life-changing experience.

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Meri Meri:

If you have a big celebration planned, look to Meri Meri to create your party! They have a ton of adorably themed partyware, everything from paper plates and napkins to table centerpieces and cupcake kits. You can decorate the hall and prepare some fabulous cupcakes - just choose your theme and get ready to party! www.merimeri.com

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September SU N

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For detailed information & event website please visit: www.activekidsdirectory.com

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5 Family Fun Day! Blackhawk Plaza 4040 Blackhawk Plaza  Circle, Danville 12 – 3pm (925) 736-2751

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6 Labor Day

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Kabaret for Kids Lesher Center for the Arts 1601 Civic Drive Walnut Creek 2:15pm (925) 943-7469

19 SFMOMA Family  Sundays Kids get in FREE 151 Third Street, San Francisco  11am – 3pm

26 Puppet Show Childrenʼs Fairyland 699 Bellevue Ave,  Oakland 11am, 2pm & 4pm (510) 452-2259 28 ACTIVE KIDS

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Meet a Raptor Lindsay Wildlife Museum 1931 First Ave, Walnut Creek 1pm (925) 935-1978

Pop in Playtime Pump It Up 1301 Franquette Ave,  Concord Every Mon. & Thurs. 9:30 - 11am (866) 977-5867

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10 Annie Lesher Center for the Arts 1601 Civic Drive Walnut Creek 8pm (925) 943-7469

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Childrenʼs Story Time READ, Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville 11am (925) 736-9090

FREE Day Cal Academy of Sciences 55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco (415) 379-8000 

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FREE Friday Night  Disney's Aladdin  Bands on the  Julia Morgan Center Beach for the Arts Santa Cruz Beach  2640 College Avenue  Boardwalk Berkeley  400 Beach St. 6:30pm & 8:30pm 8pm (831) 423-5590 (510) 845-8542

Baby Boot Camp 4040 Blackhawk Plaza  Circle, Danville Every Tues. & Fri. (925) 413-3624

Pop in Playtime Pump It Up 1301 Franquette Ave,  Concord Every Mon. & Thurs. 9:30 - 11am (866) 977-5867

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Childrenʼs Story Time Golden Apple Learning Store 4807 Hopyard Rd.,  Pleasanton 3:30pm (925) 460-5163

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Taught Town  Session Super Franks 5341 Owens Ct.,  Pleasanton Mon. - Fri.  10am – 2:30pm (925) 271-5880 activekidsdirector y.com

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Story & Music  Time Studio Grow 1231 Diamond Way,  Concord 11am (925) 798-5850

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Chocolate Festival! Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco 12-5pm (415) 775-5500

18 FREE Lafayette Art  & Wine Festival Downtown Lafayette 10am (925) 284-7404

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FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN

Fall Preschool  Performance  Series Village Theatre, Danville 10am  (925) 314-3400

FREE Children's  Art, Health &  Literacy Festival 1035 Detroit Avenue,  Concord  10am (925) 676-5442

30 Pony Up!  Petting Zoo Gilroy Gardens 3050 Hecker Pass Hwy,  Gilroy September 2010

ACTIVE KIDS 29


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Licensed by the state of CA, CPR, First Aid and Nutrition certified! Background check, TB tested and fingerprinted!

Birthday parties, batting cages, live practice tunnels, indoor pitching mounds & more!

Mention ACTIVE KIDS and receive $10 off your initial registration! Cabernet Baseball Club, 6474 Patterson Pass Rd., Livermore, Ca 94550 925-455- 8300 • www.cabernetsports.com/baseball TPC Baseball & Softball, 7070 Commerce Circle, Ste D, Pleasanton, Ca 94588 925-416-1600 • www.thepitchingcenter.com

shannonrutherfordphotography.com (925) 325 - 5750 $200 session fee includes a disc of images!

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September 2010

ACTIVE KIDS 31


8 Tips for a Green Birthday Party

Joan’s Farm & Pumpkin Patch Open Daily 9am - 6pm • October 1st - 31st

by Tracey Bianchi, www.traceybianchi.com

Old West Town • Teepees • Fort Maze • Corn Maze Covered Wagon • Farm Animals • Gem Panning • Pumpkins Weekend Events: Pony Rides & Face Painting

    A few years ago after a birthday celebration for one of my children I flopped  onto the couch - one exhausted mama after games, cake, treats, and water wars  for a pile of three year olds. I then scanned the room. Piles of new toys, plastic  packaging, heaps of wrapping paper and deflated juice boxes were strewn  about my family room. I sighed and took a mental inventory of all the junk that  had accumulated in just two hours. 

Free Admission • 4351 Mines Rd., Livermore (925) 447-0794 • www.joansfarm.com

    Rather than leap up to organize the chaos I sat back and mused on the fact  that this celebration of life appeared to be damaging the very future I hoped my children would inherit. That, ironically, my attempts to celebrate life and birth  and all things icing and candles that day made a horrible impact on the very  planet they would need to live out their dreams. There had to be a more planet  friendly way to ring in another year!

Eight mom-tested tips for greening up a birthday party.  1. Creative Wrapping - New childrenʼs pillowcases offer creative, reusable ways  to wrap a gift. For girls, consider tying a colorful hair ribbon around the top of  the pillowcase. New, reusable grocery totes also trump gift bags and are  usually cheaper. Sand pails, baskets and bright storage bins also provide ways  to wrap that last beyond the party.

2. Sip Smarter - Consider serving beverages out of pitchers. Give kids reusable  cups or containers they can take home as party favors, rather than juice boxes  or bottled water. 3. Homemade Treats - Bake your goodies at home. A cake from scratch has far  fewer additives than most store bought options. Consider making popsicles in ice  trays or freezing organic fruit dipped in chocolate to serve at summer parties. 4. Goodie Bags - Fill them with items that will actually be used or that make an  impact. Crayons and art supplies, sunscreen, healthy snacks, fair trade chocolate.  For girls, beads and jewelry that come from fair trade companies (check out  Equal Exchange and Bead for Life). 5. Keep it Close - The closer your guests live to the party destination the smaller  your carbon footprint as you travel there and back. 6. Re - gift - Yes, taboo, but consider re-gifting items your child received but  never wore or played with. 7. Paperless Invitations - Use eVite or other online services for both invitations  and thank you notes.

8. Gotta have paper? - Consider seed paper for invitations and recycled paper  for wrapping. Tracey Bianchi is a freelance writer, speaker and mother of three squirmy, messy children. She is the author of Green Mama: The Guilt Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet.  You can catch her musings at www.traceybianchi.com or pick up her book on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

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ACTIVE KIDS 33


Approaching Discipline by Lele Diamond & Noelle Cochran

    My husband and I have two wonderful children; our daughter is 19  months old and our son turned four last week. We are a bicultural and  biracial family, which gives us a rich variety of traditions to draw from. To  our surprise, one of the areas in which we have had trouble blending our  backgrounds is arriving at a discipline strategy for our children. I grew up  in a home that was probably too permissive, while my husband grew up  in a family where both parents expected complete obedience. Because of  these differences, weʼve noticed our discipline techniques have generally been ineffective, especially with our son. He responds to rewards –  sometimes – but my husband doesnʼt want to overuse them, and I feel like I am bribing him constantly. A number of times lately my husband has  had to step in to get my son to listen; when this happens he doesnʼt want anything to do with his father later on. We can see ourselves falling into  similar patterns from our own upbringings and find ourselves at odds over  how strict or gentle to be. Where do you draw the line?      Recently, I read a book that recommended strict boundaries and no  talking during discipline in order to prevent my children from growing up  to be wild beasts. At the same time, my husband read a book that  cautioned against any use of reward or punishment, lest our kids fail to  develop a moral sense of right and wrong. Now we are both scared to  discipline. How can we avoid chaos, raise emotional and morally intact  humans, and maintain a sense of self-respect in the process? Why does  that feel like such a tall order?      Finding an approach to discipline that matches a sense of yourself as a parent, and is effective can be difficult for any parent; and the  cultural issues connected to your questions give your parenting quandaries a unique weight.      Much parenting advice delivers the message that there is one right  way to do things. This leaves little room for evolution. In truth, while there  are always more and less optimal ways to approach issues with a specific  child, there is room to correct your course if you feel your current approach  isnʼt working. In fact, the process of making adjustments and changing strategies models the flexibility and responsiveness that children need to  learn. The key to doing this effectively is to decide what to change ahead  of time (and tell your children what will be different) rather than switching  tracks in the moment. In developing a discipline strategy, consider what  you know to be effective with each of your children and work to find  techniques that match your parenting goals.

What works with each child is a matter of a childʼs temperament. No matter how well you employ a particular approach, if it doesnʼt jive with what your child needs and can respond to, it wonʼt be effective. You already have some important information about what works with your children: If your son responds to rewards, we would say that not only is it fine  to use them, but by doing so correctly you will model strategies for  motivation that he will internalize and use to direct his own behavior. 

When using rewards, remember two things: 1. Only promise a reward when you are willing and you feel itʼs merited, such as when kids are learning a new skill or must do something that they  are particularly loathed to do. Rewards shouldnʼt be for everything. 2. Whenever you offer a reward, you must understand that your child 

performing the behavior that gets the reward is only one option. The  other is that he or she will not choose to earn the reward and you must  be equally willing to respond to either outcome. If you are in a position  where you need your child to opt for the reward in order to maintain  order, the reward is no longer a reward; itʼs a bribe. In this situation you will feel desperate and your children will sense that your authority is no  longer intact. This will leave a headstrong little guy like your son anxiously  caught between the desire for control and need for boundaries. Maintaining  this balance often means that you have to have a consequence ready to  enforce if your child doesnʼt opt for the reward.      Another thing you know about your son is that he tends to need a firm  invention to get his attention. Providing this by setting and enforcing  predictable consequences, and by using a firm but calm voice consistently  will work over time. If you calmly enforce the consequence before  you get angry, you will maintain your authority and your husband wonʼt have to get scary.      Discussing any struggle after itʼs over is equally important to having boundaries. This is the way that you will help your son to internalize the  lessons behind the consequences. By doing so, you are conveying that no  matter what happens, nothing is too scary to talk about; this will let your  son know that he always has your empathy, if not your complete  indulgence.      Finally, a family culture of open dialogue will give you all the freedom  to explore, predict, revamp and collaboratively adjust to the various and changing needs of each of your temperaments, comfort - zones, and points  of development. Our guess is in this process, you will find enough of what  you need to fill your tall order. Symbio offers services geared to meet the real - life needs of modern    families as they move through the early years of child rearing. For  more information, visit www.symbiosf.com. To get questions answered  regarding child development and family psychology, email Lele or  Noelle here, symbio@symbiosf.com or call (415) 648-3243.


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1.    First Words Sampler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 2.    Balloonimals LITE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 3.    Toddler Teasers Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 4.    123 Tracer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 5.    I Hear Ewe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 6.    Tozzle LITE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 7.    Doodle Buddy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 8.    Mad Libs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 9.    BrainPOP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 10.  Whac-A-Mole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FREE 11.   Wheels on the Bus  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.99 12.   Wacky Safari  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.99 13.   All-in-One Logic Game Box . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.99 14.   AniMatch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.99 15.   Sound Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.99 16.   Monkey Preschool Lunchbox . . . . . . . . . . . $0.99 17.   Peekaboo Barn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.99 18.   Star Walk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2.99 19.   Super Why . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2.99 20.   Weet Woo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3.99

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Party on the go!

Find the Best Party Places for your Little One Super Franks

5341 Owens Ct Pleasanton, CA 94588 (925) 271-5880

Parti Palooza

Pump it Up

Gymboree

470 Boulder Ct Pleasanton, CA 94566 (925) 600-9663

Willows Shopping Center 1975 Diamond Blvd, C-130 Concord, CA 94520 (925) 685-7773

*Multiple Locations

6253 Southfront Rd Livermore, CA 94551 (925) 245-9913

1301 Franquette Ave Ste A Concord, CA 94520 (925) 969-9663

Danville Bowl

My Gym

200 Boone Ct Danville, CA 94526 (925) 837-7272

Dublin Bowl

*Multiple Locations

180 Market Pl San Ramon, CA 94583 (925) 244-1171

6750 Regional St Dublin, CA 94568 (925) 828-7550

2256 Oak Grove Rd Walnut Creek, CA 94598 (925) 952-9791

Studio Grow

Jungle Fun & Adventure

1231 Diamond Way Concord, CA 94520 (925) 798-5850 1235 10th St Berkeley, CA 94710 (510) 526-9888

*Multiple Locations

2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd San Ramon, CA 94583 (925) 866-8315 3482 Mount Diablo Blvd Lafayette, CA 94549 (925) 283-4896

Lindsay Wildlife Museum 1931 1st Ave Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925) 935-1978

Color Me Mine

1975 Diamond Blvd Concord, CA 94520 (925) 687-4386

3541 Mt. Diablo Blvd Lafayette, CA 94549 (925) 299-2615

Michaelʼs Arts & Crafts

1950 Mt Diablo Blvd Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (925) 280-2888

*Multiple Locations

Web Design and Social Media Expertise

The Everyday Leader Mention ACTIVE KIDS for a free web demonstration

60 Gregory Lane Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 (925) 521-1081

Jami L. Tucker, MBA www.TheEverydayLeader.com

925.998.7838

Horizons East Equestrian Center

7890 Dublin Blvd Dublin, CA 94568 (925) 829-2265

Our facility offers:

Private & Group Lessons Horsemanship Clinics Summer/Winter Riding Camps Mommy/Daddy & Me Classes Birthday Parties

Come out & join in the fun! www.showstables.com 5111 Doolan Rd., Livermore, CA 94551 * 925-960-9696*

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celebrating 2 4 - H O u R P e d i at R i c S e R v i c e S Along with the joy and happiness of raising children comes the occasional injury or illness. San Ramon Regional Medical Center has dedicated resources to care for your child when life’s uncertain events come along. We have a child-friendly environment to help put you and your child at ease, and our nurses strive to provide the care and nurturing children need.

• 24-Hour Emergency Care • Family Birthing Center • 24-Hour In-hospital Pediatricians • Blood Conservation Program • Breast Center • Cardiac Care • Cancer Services • Diabetes Services • Joint and Spine Programs • Occupational Medicine • Outpatient Surgery Center • Outpatient Therapy Services vicki Starr, RN, MSN, cPNP

Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist & Assistant Director

6001 Norris Canyon Road, San Ramon 800.284.2878

www.OurSanRamonHospital.com

September 10  

september PDF active kids

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