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May/June 2010 Sug ret $3.95

boys will [not] be boys

Also Inside

are we taking the boy out of boyhood?

• Gilroy Gardens celebrates 10 • Mother / Daughter overnighter • Cucina Bambini • Much more

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Kids

BayArea

South Bay Edition

Volume 1, Number 3 May/June 2010

Publisher/Editor/Father Everard G. Strong estrong@bakidsmagazine.com Sales General Inquiries sales@bakidsmagazine.com Waseem Srouji wsrouji@bakidsmagazine.com General Editorial Inquiries editor@bakidsmagazine.com Calendar calendar@bakidsmagazine.com Photography Shaun Fenn Photography Contributing Writers Kelly Pollard, Laura Wrede, Julie Engelhardt Submissions Send photos, events, news, and story requests to editor@bakidsmagazine.com Product submissions Send all products to address below. Include return postage.

Doing our Part Bay Area Kids magazine is printed on 10 percent recycled paper using only soy based inks. Our printer meets or exceeds all Federal Resource Conservation Act (RCRA) Standards and is a certified member of the Forest Stewardship Council.

Small Print 2010 Big E Productions (DBA Bay Area Kids magazine). No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Big E Productions assumes no liability or responsibility for any claims made by advertisers in the magazine.

BAY AREA KIDS magazine P.O. Box 30442 Walnut Creek, CA 94598 www.BAKidsMagazine.com

May/June 2010 | South Bay

Bay Area Kids

3


editor’s letter

stirring it up “Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children.” -Eric Draven, The Crow (1994)

F 4 small talk

sound check

Theme: Motherhood

Lady Madonna The Beatles Mamma Mia ABBA Mama I Love You Spice Girls Mama I’m Coming Home Ozzy Ozbourne Thank You Mom Good Charlotte A Song for Mama Boyz II Men Mother and Child Reunion Paul Simon Mother Danzig Mama Tried Merle Haggard Papa Loved Mama Garth Brooks Mama Kin Aerosmith Send your favorite selection to editor@bakidsmagazine.com

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Bay Area Kids

rom the first germs of an idea I had back in 2007 that would eventually coalesce into the magazine you hold in your hands today—I’ve wanted Bay Area Kids to provide a public platform for discussing topics of relevance and importance to today’s modern parents, my family included. As a parent, I found a lack of any in-depth coverage of pressing parenting issues on a local level. Many topics were side-stepped or ignored altogether in favor of banal advice that while may speak to me as a parent, didn’t address my needs as a parent living in the Bay Area. I made it a priority to address these issues in Bay Area Kids, which is why I’m excited about this issue. While doing preliminary research on the efficacy of Kelly Pollard’s “Boys will [not] be Boys” on page 18, I found as much fervor in favor of the idea that our sons are not being allowed to be boys as heated arguments on how boys these days lack the respect they once had for authority. This kind of feedback made me realize we were on to something, and I believe Kelly (a mother of two boys) has brought much of this to life. On a lighter side, we look at the ten year history behind Gilroy Gardens — from its original incarnation as Bonfante Gardens to its evolution into of the Bay Area’s most treasured family destinations. To round out an issue that also features a local mother/daughter getaway, we present six pages of summer-ready fashions provided by Piedmont-based photographer Shaun Fenn. To see more of his inspiring work, go to www.shaunfenn.com. Oh, and I would like to wish each and every Ma, Mommy, Mama, Mom, Madre, Mutter, Mati, Okaasan—and every other translation of the word “Mother”—a happy and relaxing Mother’s Day. And of course, Happy Father’s Day as well to all the Papas, Dadas, Daddees, Dads, and Pops as well! We are always looking for great story ideas: interesting neighbors, interesting parents, kid-friendly restaurants, products, and most any other topic of relevance to our readers. Send us a query to editor@ bakidsmagazine.com.

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Everard G Strong, Publisher, Editor, Father of two estrong@bakidsmagazine.com

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GISSV

what’s inside

German International School of Silicon Valley The Best of two Worlds - Learning in German and English

• German Summer Camps, June 21 - July 16

8

• For children ages 4 to 6: German Language Program “Hokus & Lotus” • For students ages 6 to 10: German, Soccer & Fun • Language development embedded in a day full of activities • Certified bilingual instructors from Germany • No prior knowledge of German required

10

16

4 small talk stirring it up

tel (650) 254 0748 fax (650) 254 0749

310 Easy Street, Mountain View, CA 94043 email office@gissv.org, web www.gissv.org

6 play dates

May/June event list

7 mixed media

special mother’s day selections

8 destinations gilroy gardens celebrates 10 travelogue 10 mother/daughter shopping trip to santana row and los gatos family matters 12 boys will [not] be boys maritime mood 16 cool summer styles clean plate club 22 cucina bambini

online edition Our free online edition has even more stuff, including expanded fashions, shopping guide, recipes, and more. www.bakidsmagazine.com May/June 2010 | South Bay

Bay Area Kids

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to do list

May | June 2010

The Amazing Life of Bees Fri May 14, 3:30 PM, Guadalupe River Park and Gardens Visitor and Education Center, San Jose. Ages: 5-10. Just why do we need bees? Do you want to learn about how a bee colony works and the jobs that each bee must perform? Did you know that bees have a way of communicating with other bees to tell them where the best flowers are? Come get acquainted with bees and discover that if you love honey, fruit and pretty flowers, then you can thank a bee.

6 play dates

These listings are provided as a free service to our readers. Submit your event to us (include place, date, and description) online at events@ BAKidsMagazine.com

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Bay Area Kids

Dad & Me at the Park June 19, 11 :00 - 3:00 PM, Coyote Point Park, 1961 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo. Free, www.fatherhoodcollaborative. org, or email info@fatherhoodcollaborative.org, or call (650) 8025090. RSVP is required. This annual event held by the Fatherhood Collaborative of San Mateo County celebrates and spotlights Fatherhood Awareness Week. The free program includes a picnic, family activities, kite flying, and games.

Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay Sat., May 22 through Sept. 6. De Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, (415) 750-3600, www. deyoungmuseum.org. Awash with bright colors and focusing on everyday life, Impressionistic art lends itself to childhood awareness and a wonderful way to introduce young minds to the world of artistic masterpieces. Featuring works by Degas, Monet, Morisot (shown here), Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, and Bouguereau, this unique peak into Nineteenth Century Paris will enthrall young and old alike. (Tip: bring a notebook and some pencils, and have your son or daughter draw their own version of a painting they like. It’s a good excuse for you to sit down, and a great way to get their creative juices flowing.)

World Oceans Day Celebration at Monterey Bay Aquarium Sat June 5-Sun June 6. Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, (831) 648-4800, www. montereybayaquarium.org. Free with Aquarium admission. Activities include live music, special guest speakers, book signings, auditorium presentations, a family craft room, face painting for kids and much more! To Kill a Mockingbird Through May 9. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, (650) 463-1960. $27-$62 admission. Matinees on May 4-6, 11:00 AM. Presented by TheatreWorks, this Christopher Sergeil dramatization of Harper Lee’s classic novel about prejudice and privilege set in Alabama during the Great Depression.

Mommy & Me on the Row Second Tuesday of each month, May-December. Season kicks off Tuesday, May 11, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Park Valencia at Santana Row, Olin Ave. off of Winchester Blvd. (408), 551-4611, www. santanarow.com. Santana Row’s popular Mommy & Me on the Row kicks off another season of free entertainment, interactive games, crafts and educational activities designed for parents and their preschool aged children. The series begins on Tuesday, May 11 with a morning of “Song & Dance,” featuring performances by children’s songwriter and performer Andy Z, Action Day Dance Team and Ballet San Jose’s The Ugly Duckling. In addition to the live performances, families will also enjoy arts & crafts, face painting, balloon animals, corn on the cob from Yankee Pier, story time and yoga for parents & kids

www.southbaykidsmag.com


product reviews

Special Mother’s Day Selections Music

Movie

Memories

The Verve Pipe A Family Album (www.vervepipe.com Best known for their early Nineties’ hit “The Freshman,” Verve Pipe’s drummer Donny Brown and lead singer/songsmith Brian VanderArk have re-teamed (along with a roster of guest musicians) on this effervescent, quirky, and very fun collection of accessible tunes for children who like to rock out. Brian serves up clever lyrics backed by country, jazz, blues, and straight rocking rhythms. The end result includes the side splitting “We Had to Go Home,” the slightly fru-fru “Complimentary Love,” an ode to morning cereal, and “Only One of You,” a support song for kids welcoming a younger sibling.

Swank Mommy Silver Name Loops Motherhood

(www.swankmommy.com

Mom-blogging Eliza Welsh (Uma Thurman) is having one of those days: in no short order she must plan for her daughter’s sixth birthday party, set her scatterbrained husband (Anthony Edwards) straight, save her car from being towed, run all over town, and write an essay for a parenting magazine’s contest before deadline. Also stars Minnie Driver as her supportive friend. Funny, touching, and oh-sorelatable. Good movie to watch after the kids are down, with wine in one hand.

The “child” of San Ramon’s Ali Krebs, Swank Mommy has grown from a few simple designs to a haute, hip, high-end jewelry design business focusing on mothers (and now dads too). Her designs vary from the loop featured above to solid squares, circles, tags, toggles, and even child-sized charms. Many feature her trademark embedded precious stones commemorating the month of birth, but engraving and other custom options are available as well. Elegantly affordable, these swank items make memorable Mother’s Day gifts ... ahem ...

(www.motherhoodthemovie.com

7 mixed media

Hair Care Original Sprout Bathing Products (www.originalsprout.com Tested at Bay Area Kids’ own labs (read: our bathtubs with our own children), we can confidently say that the Original Sprout line of bath and styling gels live up to their claims of worry-free luxury. All products are biodegradable and 100

May/June 2010 | South Bay

percent vegan, free of phytoestrogens, soy, parabens, gluten, phthalates, formaldehyde, and other yucky stuff. What’s left are safe, baby-friendly, tear-less bath times for Mommy, and soft hair and clean skin for baby and child. The shampoo lathers like the best shampoos, smells nice, and cleans even nicer, leaving everybody happy. Their detangler is magical, and the balm and conditioners are soon-to-be family favorites.

Bay Area Kids

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destinations

Gilroy Garden Celebrates 10

by Kristiana D’Aubenville

Other perks include a free ten-year anniversary balloon for children, and the opportunity to play a scavenger hunt game called Ten Years of Wonder. “They get a special map of the park where they go around and find ten wonders on the property,” Granter explains. “Some of the wonders are natural, and some of them are rides. When they bring that party game back, they get a goody bag to take home.” Children ten and under can also register to win a free birthday party during the first ten weeks. One winner will be drawn each week. The park will only be open on weekends during the spring, going into full operational mode for ten weeks starting June 14 and culminating August 22. “For those ten weeks we have a new show program in our Lakeside Amphitheater,” Granter says. “Every two weeks we’ll rotate a different show through the facility.” Starting June 14 and running through June 27, kids and their families can check out Knights of Recycling featuring Care Bears.” From June 28 through July 11, everyone’s favorite mischievous monkey will have

8 local celebration

W Gilroy Gardens 3050 Hecker Pass Hwy (Hwy 152) Gilroy (408) 840-7100 www.gilroygardens.org

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Bay Area Kids

ith the arrival of springtime, families can once again enjoy the rides and attractions at a South Bay favorite destination — Gilroy Gardens. Where else can you take a spin on a giant strawberry, twirl in an oversized garlic bulb, dip gently on a huge artichoke, or swing through the air on a colossal banana? Gilroy Gardens is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and they’re throwing an anniversary party to celebrate the occasion. According to the Park’s General Manager, Barb Granter, many great events are happening this year to help celebrate. “Through May 31, we will be actively celebrating our birthday,’ Granter explains. “First, we have a special admission price. Children ten and under get ten dollars off our general admission which is applied to our Lotsa Card. This is a great deal for families,” she says.

www.southbaykidsmag.com


his own show in Swingin’ Safari featuring Curious George. Then, check out A Whole Lot of Buildin’ Goin’ On! Starring...Bob the Builder, July 12–25; Superstar Funfest featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog, July 26–August 8; and that lasagna-loving kitty in Garfield the Great and Friends, August 9-22. Each program runs approximately twenty minutes. The show will run six days each week, but if you can’t make it on a show day, your favorite characters will be at the park on their “off days” for a special meet-andgreet session. If you can’t make it the Gardens this summer, the fall is always a great time to visit. Pony Up, a local entertainment company, will be at the park in September and October with their delightful petting zoo and pony rides. There will be an additional charge for the rides and zoo, which all goes to the care and feeding of the animals. The Gardens also has a number of other events taking place throughout the season. Girl Scouts and Brownies can participate in overnight camp outs in May, June, and October, and Boy and Cub Scouts can visit in September and October. In May, July, and September bring the whole family for the park’s great BBQ Weekends for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. This is an All-YouCan-Eat event, so bring your appetites, too! Other events throughout the year include a Father’s Day Camp out, a Garlic Festival Camp Night, and a Halloween Camp Night. The park is also offering Natural Science Day on May 14, 21, 28 and June 4. These are special field trip days where teachers and their students can learn about different scientific disciplines, plus they can even go on some of the rides. During December there’s the Nights of Fire/ Holiday Lights program. “Last year we added a laser light and fireworks show. This was the first time the city of Gilroy allowed us to shoot fireworks in this area, and we are planning on doing that again this year again,” says Granter. Even though the rides, attractions, shows barbecues and camps are a big draw for visitors, another reason so many guests come to the park is to experience the beautiful gardens. Many visitors may not know this, but there are six separate

May/June 2010 | South Bay

gardens. The oldest is Claudia’s Garden which is named after park founder Michael Bonfante’s wife. The garden is filled with an assortment of conifers, a flowing brook, and a waterfall. Young guests can ride on Claudia’s Carousel while parents relax in this peaceful retreat. If you’d prefer to take a leisurely ride in a boat to see one of the gardens, then hop aboard the Round Boat Ride to view the Rainbow Garden. Here guests will see many of the Park’s topiary creations as well as colorful alstroemeria or Peruvian lily, marigolds, dahlias and geraniums. The other gardens include Monarch Garden, where shrubs and trees are displayed in a sixty-foot tall climatecontrolled greenhouse; Camellia Garden were you will find many varieties of the two most popular species of Camellias – ‘japonica’ and ‘sasanqua’; Holly Garden where a collection of over twenty different varieties of holly plants are on display; and the favorite South County Backroads Garden, where you can take a spin in a 1920’s or 1950’s antique car past conifers, a canopy of deciduous trees, topiaries, flowerbeds, an open meadow, and a variety of stunning water features with rock formations. It doesn’t matter why you’re visiting Gilroy Gardens—to celebrate their tenyear birthday or just to relax and spend the day with your family, there is definitely something at the Park for everyone to enjoy.

Fun facts Originally known as Bonfante Gardens Family Theme Park, owner Michael Bonfante changes its name to Gilroy Gardens in 2007. Gilroy Gardens sits on 536 acres. 350 of those acres are on protected open space. There are 40 rides and attractions at the park. There are 10,000 trees at Gilroy Gardens. There is only one tree in its original location, a Coastal Live Oak, which is found in the center of the Artichoke Dip ride. Michael Bonfante purchased the ride, cut it in half, put the ride around the original tree, and then welded it back together. He wanted to use the tree for shade. Bonfante made rides based on the fruit and vegetables native to the area. All of them have either a historical or agricultural basis. Some of the rides were made specifically for the park, from the shape of the shell to the paint design. Gilroy Gardens is known as the “Home of the Circus Trees.” There are 19 of these whimsical trees at the Park. Michael Bonfante hand placed every rock at Bonfante Falls. The train makes 6,800 trips around the park each year. The Illions Supreme Carousel is one of only three that were produced. It has 64 beveled glass mirrors, 1,200 lights, 96 carved figures and 48 horses.

Bay Area Kids

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mother/daughter fun

Just the Two of Us

by Kristiana D’Aubenville Photo courtesy Santana Row

10 over nighter

SANTANA ROW

T

Hotel Sainte Claire www.thesainte claire.com 302 South Market St San Jose (408) 298-1234

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Bay Area Kids

here is a special bond between a mother and her daughter, but with a daily life filled with hurried baths, neverending laundry, piled up homework, and the always tooshort bedside story time, I felt the bonds with my little girl starting to stretch. We both needed a break from our own version of our daily grinds, and an overnight shopping trip sounded like a great opportunity to have some girl-only fun. In choosing a destination, we were looking to go somewhere within easy driving distance, while still offering the feeling of being away from home. I decided on staying within Santa Clara county, and planned a two-day weekend special shopping getaway that included visits to the Santana Row, an overnight stay at the Sainte Claire Hotel (if we were going to have a fun time, we were going to have fun in style), and a visit and leisurely stroll through Los Gatos’ Old Town district. Yes, we’ve been there before, but not in the context of a special girl’s night out (with an emphasis on the “girl”). My plans involved a mani/pedi, window wishing, and some fun shopping, and of course, treats along the way. To counter our capitalistic urges, I made our first stop San Jose’s Tech Museum, which is not so much a museum as a vast kidfriendly, hands-on celebration of technology and its importance in our everyday life. After wandering through the exhibits and educating ourselves with the many hands-on demonstrations, we

caught a screening of the iMax movie Under the Sea, which delighted my daughter and set the right mood for the rest of the weekend. Our next stop: Santana Row. Living in Santa Clara, we many times take this wonderful destination for granted, but if you plan for it and think about the many treasures that await, the Row becomes something more special. My daughter has always liked coming along with me, but with the spotlight on her this time, she was visibly excited with what awaited us, and I must confess that the little girl inside me was jumping up and down as well. With some personal pampering first on our To-Do list, we headed to Lavende Nail Spa. As I treated myself to the signature mani/pedi treatment, my daughter received the regal Little Princess manicure and pedicure treatment, complete with a small bag of candy and a princess crown. Ten pink toenails and ten blue fingernails later, we were ready to hit the Row.

www.southbaykidsmag.com


Photos this page: courtesy Hotel Sainte Claire; foreverdigital/Flickr (cupckae)

That is, we fully intended on hitting the Row, but were interrupted by Kara and her tempting Cupcakes. (If you’ve ever encountered these decadent creations, you will know that there is no resisting the temptation. They offer gluten free options as well.) Our sweet tooth sated, we could now began our mission in earnest. Urban Outfitters, Z Gallerie, Diesel, Burberry, H&M, Footcandy, Salvatore Ferragamo: we came, we saw, we charged. There is only so much expected of a little girl, however, and with our arms weighted down with countless colorful bags, we ended that day’s event by spending some time at the magnificent fountain, allowing her to run in the artificial grass skirting the sculpture. She was happy running — I was content sipping my Pinkberry smoothie from the nearby Starbucks. We skipped stopping at a restaurant for dinner, opting instead to head back to the comfy relaxation of our awaiting suite at the Hotel Sainte Claire. Running and spinning through the spacious, immaculate rooms, my daughter stopped briefly to hug me, look deep into my eyes and said, “Mommy, I love you. Can we stay here all week, please?” Ah, to dream a little dream. Within the confines of our room’s luxuries, we settled in for a long, bubbly bath and ordered some carpaccio, butternut squash ravioli, and a mixed salad from Il Fornaio—conveniently (for us) located in the same hotel. For in-room service, the food was surprisingly excellent, rivalling what many fine restaurants serve for sit-

sainte claire hotel

May/June 2010 | South Bay

kara’s cupcakes

down fare. After our private feast, we made a selection from the hotel’s vast DVD selection and cuddled under a sea of comforters and soft pillows: She was still holding her princess wand as she drifted off into dreamland. Breakfast—more like an early brunch— saw us returning to Santana Row’s Village Bistro: this family-owned dining destination delivers unique fare like their brioche French toast with organic strawberry compote and Tahitian vanilla whipped cream for breakfast (served all day) and a tombo tuna wrap with spicy aioli, an organic green salad, and a red chile tortilla. Bidding goodbye to the Sainte Claire, we headed off to Los Gatos. Los Gatos’ Old Town shopping center offers traditional retailers like White

lavende nail spa

House Black Market, The Gap, Sur La Table, and other similar retailers. The one store that kept our attention the most was BabyCoo, an organic, all natural baby and infant store with some really cute clothing items, many by local manufacturers and producers. We left with some adorable shirts for both her and him—they also had some fun stuff from Violet’s Peapod, Orbit strollers, GroBaby diapers, Kanoe hanging cribs, and so much more. Vania, the owner, was there with her daughter (the store’s namesake), and while my daughter played with her new friend, I talked to Vania about many of the store’s offerings and her mission. The store is well worth the trip to Los Gatos on its own, very highly recommended. One can’t say they’ve been to Old Town without a visit to Icing on the Cake and sampled from their vast array of sweet treats: cookies, mouth-watering slices of cake and pie, cupcakes … all four of our eyes were wide with eager anticipation, and our mouths drooling. Making our selection, we also ordered extra for the boys back home, and then ambled over to the beautiful little park down the street. Sitting across from two old men arguing about politics, we delved into our treats under the afternoon sun. “Mommy,” she said a couple of minutes later, licking the last of the icing off and looking woefully at the now-bald cake, “I really like pink.”

Bay Area Kids

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>

[not] Boys will be Boys Are we taking the boy out of boyhood?

N

12 family matters

What topics would you like to read more about? Send us an e-mail at editor@ bakidsmagazine.com

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Bay Area Kids

oah is a first grader in Livermore, and your typical boy: he struggles to sit still in his classroom, and sometimes he shows aggression and lack of impulse control. His behavior has led to phone calls from the teacher and even visits with the principal. “I do think his so-called struggles have everything to do with his natural tendencies as a boy. None of Noah’s exhibited behaviors are abnormal,” says his mother, Jeannette (last name withheld). Little boys explode with energy; and yet, with stricter education standards—partly due to No Child Left Behind—expectations are high for boys to learn the tools needed to pass standardized testing. This means more study time and much less free play in the classroom, or opportunities for physical education, or long recesses. Kindergarten is the new first grade. And these standards are even trickling down to the preschool level as more parents opt to wait to start their children in kindergarten. “The classroom, the teachers, the whole public school system are not set up for boys. It’s like trying to cage a wild animal, it’s not natural,” Jeannette says. “Trying to put boys in a confined space with several other kids, with so much stimuli, having to sit still and listen, it’s not natural. They learn better by touching, feeling, and doing.” Dr. Anthony Rao PhD, a child psychologist and author of The Way of Boys: Raising Healthy Boys in a Challenging and Complex World (William Morrow, 2009), agrees. He relates a typical story he’s heard many times: a stressed-out mother doesn’t know what to do about her kindergarten-aged boy who was labeled as a “serious problem at school” because of his inability to sit still, had tendencies to rough house, and shout out answers. Rao assured her that her son Josh wasn’t the problem. “Instead, I told her the problem is a national one—fitting active boys into a narrow definition of education that goes against the grain of their normal development. I told her she needed to stop seeing him through the eyes of everyone else, and start protecting what precious time he had left to be a little boy.” There are ways, however, for teachers to work around the system. “I recommend that teachers have the more active

by Kelly Pollard

boys take turns assisting in the classroom by retrieving and handing out materials,” says Rao. “It gets them out of their seats and makes them a valued member of the class, when often they are perceived or labeled as squirmy or uncooperative,” In his book, Rao stresses at length about the benefits that come from young boys having a male teacher—a rarity considering 95 percent of kindergarten teachers are female. Although there haven’t been many studies of male teachers in earlier grades, it has been shown that males generally use a more playful approach, put up with more of boys’ behaviors, and promote more movement in the classroom. Steve Anthony, a kindergarten teacher in Sunnyvale, is a perfect example. He incorporates short breaks throughout the day where kids can move around and has the more energetic boys be his messengers. He praises them when they are doing the right thing and to seat the more wiggly guys closer to him or with calmer peers.

“I told her she needed to … start protecting what precious time he had left to be a little boy.” “They do eventually adapt to classroom expectations,” says Anthony, “but it is after lots of role play, lots of guidance.” Dr. Rao is quick to say that although more male teachers like Steve Anthony are hugely beneficial to young boys, that this isn’t the only solution. Teachers in general struggle with dwindling resources due to the budget crisis in California and growing class sizes. Co-teachers and smaller classrooms also make a huge difference because all children benefit from the individualized attention. Boys make up the overwhelming majority of expulsions in preschools, usually for aggression and repeated classroom disruption. Kerri, who lives in Redwood City, was told by her preschool that her son Ryan had to leave his preschool last year. “Ryan was the most active boy in the class, but I believed he was just being a boy,” Alpay says.

www.southbaykidsmag.com


May/June 2010 | South Bay

Bay Area Kids

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His tendency to run away from teachers, difficulty sitting still during circle time, and his loudness in general became too much for teachers to handle without giving him constant one-on-one attention. Kerri is currently looking into assistance through her health care insurer and the school district to get Ryan the attention he needs so he will be ready to start kindergarten later this year. Wendy Vasquez, a preschool teacher in Livermore, agrees that boys can be a challenge and has learned the art of redirecting their behavior. “They have a hard time sitting still and keeping their hands to themselves,” she says. “When they get disruptive, we continue to remind them to be better focused. Sometimes in circle they sit on one of our laps.” Dr. Rao believes that if more movement was incorporated into the school day, even allowing children to stand up while they are working on papers or rotate through different areas of the room, would make a difference. “I’m not advocating a crazy, noisy environment,” Rao says. “That can go the other way too far and over-stimulate and distract kids. It should be organized chaos in a sense, but fun. Firm boundaries. Clear rules.” Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to be advocates for our sons in the classroom. Fight to keep physical education programs and do not let standards shorten the much needed recess time. We can also help overextended teachers by offering to volunteer in the classroom and by signing up our boys for extracurricular activities to release some of that boundless energy, like sports, karate, or theater. Setting boundaries in the home and being consistent about rules also carries over into the classroom. “We have lost perspective on what normal boy behavior is in this country. The more we ask boys to sit, listen only to languagebased learning plans, wait longer and longer for them to take turns or participate, hold in their natural drive to explore and move vigorously, we will continue to see elevated rates—and misdiagnosing—of ADHD as well as other behavioral and learning problems,” Rao says.

Teacher Steve Anthony says not every boy fits the stereotype and his own preconceived notions about boys have been proven wrong by classes over his sixteen years teaching both kindergarten and first grade. But they dynamic of how many boys are on his roster definitely influences him. “It’s funny because every teacher I know, at least in the early grades, counts to the boy to girl ratio at the beginning of the school year,” he says. He should know. One year he was shocked to find his new class consisted of fifteen boys and five girls. Yet that was the class that continued to surprise him in terms of going against his beliefs about boys. “Boys are a handful and are extremely busy…it’s in the intermediate grades where the girls have a tendency to get cattier and clique-ier and the boys are more of a godsend,” Anthony says. “But you know? They’re totally enjoyable, they don’t all fit the same mold, they do increase the decibels inside the room, but they’re lots of fun, keep me on my toes and are always chock-full of knowledge on the stuff they love—whether it be dinosaurs, Transformers, Nintendo games or Bakugon.” Mothers Jeanette Petrilli and Kerri Alpay wouldn’t trade raising their sons for anything, no matter how tough some days are. “Although we struggle to get things ‘right’, I wouldn’t throw him back for a girl, ever!” Petrilli says. “We snuggle and he whispers with a big smile on his face, ‘Mommy, do you know what I haven’t told you in a long time? I love you!’ This just melts my heart and all of the daily struggles and difficulties we have disappear.” Alpay agrees. “While Ryan may be rambunctious and constantly moving, I have enjoyed watching him grow. He is an extremely affectionate child and he rarely complains. Given all the ups and downs, the frustration with discipline and cooperation, I would not change a thing about him.” BAK For more information on all things boy, check out Dr. Rao’s book The Way of Boys and his web site: www.anthonyrao.com.

Wild Things Need Time-Aways In Maurice Sendak’s classic story Where the Wild Things Are, Max’s mother calls him a wild thing when he misbehaves and sends him to his room. According to Dr. Anthony Rao, PhD, his mom gets the discipline just right. “Sendak’s story beautifully illustrates how a child’s play and imagination is the catalyst for cognitive growth,” Rao says. “In Max’s fantasy, he uses pretend play to channel his wild urges. Next he models his mother and pretends to be a parent. He banishes the Wild Things to their bedroom without supper. He’s now powerful and in control. He uses that power on improving himself. Now he’s ready to go home.”

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Bay Area Kids

Rao advocates Time-Aways, as demonstrated in this story, for a means of disciplining young boys. They respond to action and immediate consequences over long-winded lectures when they do something wrong. Remove them from the situation and let them process what happened alone. Rather than putting them in a time-out chair, Rao advises sending boys to their rooms with their doors closed. It worked for Max’s mother and it can work for you. “This conveys confidence in Max that he can work through the problem himself. Only he can pull back his wildness,” Rao says.

So how is a Time-Away different from a Time Out? A parent sends her son to his room, door closed, until he has stopped crying and is ready for a fresh start. There is no required time, like the standard minute-perage rule. Rao suggests that parents hold the door closed initially if their son refuses to stay in his room. By imposing Time-Aways, parents essentially teach their son how to calm himself. They quickly learn that their parents are in charge, but it is fully in their power to control their anger, discuss why they were sent to their room and get a fresh start.

www.southbaykidsmag.com


German International School of Silicon Valley 310 Easy Street, Mountain View, CA 94043 (650) 254 0748, www.gissv.org

Willkommen! The German International School of Silicon Valley’s (GISSV) summer programs offer children ages 4 to 10 a unique opportunity to spend their summer break having fun learning or improving their German language skills in a stimulating, creative atmosphere with professional, native German-speaking teachers. • German Language Program “Hokus & Lotus” (children ages 4 to 6) • German, Soccer & Fun (students ages 6 to 10) For more information, including fees and online 4/19/10 registration forms, go online to www.gissv.org

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Pink bathing suit Jack and Jill (www.jandjchild.com) $38; Yellow bikini Old Navy (www.oldnavy.com) $19.50; Boys green trunks Small Fry (www.smallfryc.om, SF) $20.95; Boys orange trunks Old Navy (www. oldnavy.com) $14.50; Sunglasses Gymboree (www.gymboree.com) $9.75; Vintage Swim Cap Twisters Vintage (www.twistersvintage.com, Berkeley) $50; Bucket and shovel, goggles stylist own

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maritime moods

liven up their summer with these colorful styles Photography by Shaun Fenn Assistant: Christina Strong; Stylist: Colleen Hartman; Hair and Make up: Lisa Strutz; Studio Teacher: Christine Bloomingdale; Models: Jada, Kohle, Abby, Julian, Kendra, Paris, Lia, Spencer, Wesley, Tiffany. All models courtesy J E Model, Inc.

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Yellow dress Sprout (www.sproutchildrensclothing. com, healdsburg) $72.50; White Guayabera shirt Old Navy (www.oldnavy.com) $16.50; Cap Gap (www. gap.com) $12.50; Sleeveless T-shirt Old Navy (www. oldnavy.com) $9; Cargos Small Fry (www.smallfrys. com, SF) $30; Head bow Small Fry (www.smallfrys. com, SF) $8.99

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Coonskin Cap Paxton Gate (www. paxtongate.com, SF) $20; Butterfly Net Paxton Gate (www.paxtongate. com, SF) $21; Plaid Shirt Old Navy (www.oldnavy.com) $15; Blue jeans Gap (www.gap.com) $20.99; Undershirt Old Navy (www.oldnavy. com) $9; Shoes Red Wagon (www. redwagon.com, Lafayette and Berkeley) $58 May/June 2010 | South Bay

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Sneakers Converse (www.converse.com) $29; Denim jacket Gap (www.gap.com) $29.50; Knickers, vintage boots, visor, cap, and chess set–stylist own

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Bay Area Kids

ucina Bambini, in the heart of Willow Glen in San Jose, is the solo innovation of its owner and president, Shelley Ballard. Her love of teaching—from years as a preschool owner—coupled with her creative energy, inspired her to start a cooking school for kids, disguising learning in the pretext of innovative and imaginative fun. “I’ve always loved to cook and have made cooking an important part of my teaching because it incorporates all major subject areas of math, science, language, arts, geography, and social studies” Ballard holds a bachelor’s degree in Child Development, a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and a Montessori teaching certificate. Her goal is to “help bring the joy of cooking to kids and families and provide a fun and unique atmosphere.” With Cucina Bambini, she has definitely met her goal. Entering Cucina Bambini, you feel as if you stepped into a playful, Italian sidewalk bistro in an upscale neighborhood. From the

red and white striped awning in the entrance to the state-of-the-art, fully equipped kitchen in the back, Cucina Bambini is an unexpected delight for even the smallest of chefs. Ballard’s original design and vision was so compelling, she caught the eye of famous chef and TV personality— Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook. Yan taught his first children’s cooking class in thirty years at Cucina Bambini last summer. He chose Ballard’s facility to debut the new show as part of his latest series, Debuting in 2008. The accoutrements in Cucina Bambini rival television sets on the Cooking Channel, yet lack any feel of intimidation for even the youngest or most timid chefs. The 3 to 5 year olds I watched were anything but shy. Little chefs ran in and headed straight to the rack where miniature aprons hung as they began preparing for “school.” As each child filtered in, tied on their apron, and climbed onto their bar stools tucked under a large stainless table, they happily chatted away with

their classmates while decorating their traditional, white paper chef’s hats, waiting for the lesson to begin. Heather Hicks, the qualified class instructor, worked her virtual magic, introducing the individual ingredients for the day’s menu to wide-eyed kids, all of whom listened intently as their adult chaperones hovered quietly in the background. After the instructions and introductions of ingredients, each child washed their hands (lesson one: good hygiene) in preparation for preparing the dish of the day: blueberry pancakes. Single file, they went down the list of prepared ingredients, scooping, measuring, and carefully mixing each component, until at last they came to the moment they all waited for–cooking their creation. Each cup of batter was carefully poured on the child-height grill as Miss Hicks assisted little hands with flipping. And then came the finale … eating their creation, now slathered in authentic maple syrup. Exploring the international world of cooking with entrees as simple as pancakes, to more exotic fare such as Indian samosas, sushi, and crepes, encourages kids to eat a healthy variety of foods … mitigating the picky eater syndrome. Kids who cook their own food are more likely to try new things and learning through the art of cooking brings more than just pancakes to the table, while also provides kids with lifelong skills. Along with cooking classes, Cucina Bambini offers programs such as Parents Night Out (drop the kids off and go enjoy a date night), summer day camps, and party packages for a creative, fun way to have an effortless celebration. Best of all … they do all the preparation and clean up while your child has all of the fun!

www.southbaykidsmag.com


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Bay Area Kids magazine, South Bay, issue 3