Houston Family Magazine April 2020

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april 2020 | Vol. 32 | Issue 4

Escape to

Port sas Aran as soon as

you can











STAY A WEEK. BUILD A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES. Looking for a summer vacation spot with something for everyone? Head to Port Aransas and Mustang Island. You can fill your days with water sports, world-class fishing, scenic golf and 18 miles of beautiful shoreline. That’s why Port A is more than a beach, it’s a Texas family tradition.

Plan your next family tradition


Now offering pediatric Telemedicine Use our virtual care platform to see and speak directly to one of our providers from the comfort of your own home. We know that when your child is sick, having immediate access to a trusted and convenient after-hours resource is critical. You can now access the same care your little one experiences in our clinics straight from your phone.

NightLightPediatrics.com/Telemed Convenient locations across Houston— we're right in your neighborhood. School Year Hours: September – May Weekdays: 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. Weekends: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Holidays: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Your night, made brighter. houston family magazine


April 2020

NightLightPediatrics.com #Connect2Care |



Kimberly Davis Guerra kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com

online editor Latesa Guerra

calendar editor

Chantal Lemieux calendar@houstonfamilymagazine.com

creative director

Casey Johnson casey@houstonfamilymagazine.com

event director

Mary Sue Kent marysue@houstonfamilymagazine.com

contributing authors Lynne Celli, PhD Kimberly Davis Guerra Elizabeth Irvine Cheryl Maguire Eshaan Mani Jan Pierce

contributing photographers

Deborah Koch Photography Pop of Color Photography Willow & Pine Photography

advertising sales Kristian Carroll Beverly Davis Amy Garrett Mary Sue Kent Tish Petty

business development

ABOVE// Kimberly Davis Guerra bunkering down in her makeshift home office.

THE BIG TO DO Did you know our online calender is packed with even more great family friendly events? Check it out at houstonfamilymagazine.com. FIND US ON FACEBOOK @houstonfamilymagazine

Myra Johnson


Gayle Wheeler-LeSueur, Graphic Designer


Midway Press, Ltd Dallas, TX

contact us:

1334 Brittmoore Rd, Ste 2602 Houston, TX 77043 (P) 713.266.1885 (F) 713.266.1915 www.HoustonFamilyMagazine.com

Houston Family is published monthly by Houston Family Magazine, LLC. Houston Family is distributed free of charge, one copy per reader. Only Houston Family authorized distributors may deliver or pick up the magazines. We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all submitted material. We cannot be responsible for the return of any submitted material. Houston Family is ©2020 by Houston Family Magazine,LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express permission is prohibited.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @houstonfamilymagazine CONTACT US Let us know how we’re doing. kim@houstonfamilymagazine.com



s I write my publisher’s note this month, the world is living through the worst health crisis since the Influenza pandemic of 1918. No one is immune. Everyone is affected by this on some level. As many of you navigate this crisis, you may feel as I do and relate it to the uneasy time after 9/11. The world was unsure what to do. We had never dealt with anything like this before. How would the government react? What would the world landscape look like after we moved past this? What would a ‘normal’ day look like? We find ourselves facing these questions again. However, this time it’s different because it is ongoing. It is not an isolated incident. Everyone is waking up and checking their news to see what the latest information is and how we are going to proceed as a nation. It is very uneasy having this little control over our community and no clue as to what the outcome will be once we get past the initial threat. All we can do is look to our own backyard and do what we can to support our family and our neighbors. With that in mind, we have put together content to keep your minds and bodies healthy. It is a trying time for adults, but for our kiddos, it can be really unsettling. Their schedules and ‘norms’ have been completely disrupted. We are all stressed, but we need to set a good example for them. Take a look to the wonderful experts and contributors to gain some perspective and support. We are inspired by their words and encourage you to gleam what you can to make it through. Our issues have always been available online, through our free app, on social media and through our daily E-news. If you haven’t signed up, I would encourage you to do so. We are carefully curating stories from local partners, authors and experts to address many of the concerns you are facing. To better present information you need to know, we have launched weekly, digital, mini mags to offer more support through this tough time. Presented every Monday, we encourage you to take a look. Feedback is welcome and encouraged! Even though you are feeling isolated, we are in this together. Hang in there. Be smart. Be safe. Be well.

Kimberly Davis Guerra April 2020

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features|in this issue 8 10 12

14 on the cover

HFM packed their bags and headed for a fun filled weekend of sun, fun and the perfect beach weather at Cinnamon Shore in Port Aransas, TX. Featured: Best Friends, Bodhi, Keegan & Delsyn. Cover Photo by: Pop of Color Photography Location: Port Aransas, TX houston family magazine


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38 48

16 18


How adults can help children navigate the anxiety

virtual birthday party

How to celebrate during the COVID-19 outbreak

meet Heather Kaiser-Hahn


publisher's note


family FYI

Crazy times are here!

Things you need to know about


family travel


i am houston-kids






camp lead in


mind, body & soul

Cinnamon Shore, Port Aransas, TX Jordyn Wright, helping kidpreneurs take center-stage

Best Reads from Blue Willow Bookshop

Claudia Kolker, author of "The Immigrant Advantage"

Happy camper, the benefits of summer camp for your kids Elizabeth Irvine talks mandala coloring

Read us on the go! Download our app in the app store or google play.

Homeschooling tips

You've got this!

Motivating messages from fitness pros

Unplug outdoors!

5 great ways to unplug and get your kids outdoors

hello... can you hear me?

How to make sure your teen hears you

texas bluebonnets

10 tips for taking amazing family photos

e is for environment

Stories to help children care for their world



camp directory


Virtual Calendar

Activities for Families


We are encouraging your students to apply to the 2020-2021 HYSO season (deadline is April 15th, 2020). All information can be found at www.hyso.info If conditions are not safe to do live Philharmonic auditions in May, they will be conducting online (Skype) auditions during potential students registered audition days and times. At the present time, they are following the lead of HISD with our calendar and scheduling.

Though our doors are closed, you can still shop with us during this difficult time. A few great options include: Call us. We’re available during regular business hours to place an order or ask for recommendations! Our merry band of booksellers would love to help. (281) 497-8675 Online orders. We will be shipping directly from our suppliers. Please bear in mind that while their inventory is extensive, they may not have the book you’re looking for. You’re always welcome to email us at staff@ bluewillowbookshop.com with ordering questions. Buy a gift card! What a nice gift for you or a friend, if we do say so ourselves. Buy audiobooks with Libro. fm! Your audiobook purchases always benefit the indie bookstore of your choice. Right now, 100% of the money you spend goes directly to us! You can sign up right here: https://libro.fm/?bookstore=bluewillowbookshop

KEEP YOUR KIDS ENGAGED! SUBMIT VIDEOS OF ACTIVITIES TO HOUSTON FAMILY Kids bored out of their minds? Ask them to come up with a project, a dance, an activity or whatever is interesting to them. Submit it to HFMkidambassadors@houstonfamilymagazine.com and they can win a $75 Amazon Gift card. Videos should not be longer than 2 minutes. Be sure to include the child’s first name and age. Doesn’t need to be fancy or professional quality. Just looking for fun videos to share with our families to bring a smile to their face and maybe some ideas on things they can do at home! Videos will be featured on HoustonFamilyMagazine.com and on Facebook, Instagram and our YouTube Channel. Have fun with it!

CALLING ALL KID WRITERS! GET YOUR WORK PUBLISHED THROUGH IWRITE! Enter iWRITE’S Publishing contest Deadline May 31, 2020 Your story can be published! Visit iwrite.org for more information and free creative writing activities for kids.

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coronavirus How Adults Can Help Children Navigate the Anxiety


written by Lynne Celli, Ph.D.

s Americans adapt almost minuteby-minute to keep up with evolving information regarding the Coronavirus, we must pay careful attention to our families. For children, it is incumbent on adults to react appropriately to reduce children’s anxiety over the uncertainty because children are always watching and they take cues from our behavior, whether spoken or signaled by our actions. To keep children as anxietyfree as possible, adults must practice and demonstrate selfmanagement and self-awareness of their own anxiousness and be conscious of how this may be unintentionally transferred to children. Daily self-reflection is

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necessary, so adults are equipped with a mindset and skill set to positively interact with children of all ages. It is critical for adults to regulate their behavior, not only for their own emotional and physical health, but for that of their children. (This is known as consistent self-regulation.) First, adults should acknowledge their own worry and anxiety. They should then obtain the real facts concerning the situation, discuss these with other adults, and consciously plan for how to contain this anxiety, especially when in the presence of kids. As we acknowledge anxiety, we can also think about how maintaining a calm demeanor will assist children. We should consider that our discussions with children on Coronavirus

will vary depending on the developmental level of each child (Frey, Fisher, Smith, 2019). Adults should behave as normally as possible, remain calm, be creative about the new reality, and communicate as clearly as they can with children on a regular basis (Brian Cheek). It is important to design a daily routine for children similar to what they are used to, and to stick with it, so children’s anxiety does not escalate. When children hear news or conversation about this “new” reality, adults must consider the cognitive developmental level of children and always have discussions honestly. For example, when young children ask if he/she or you are going to die from what is going on, the response should be as simple

as possible. Concentrate on the positive. “We are staying home as a precaution. We are washing hands more often to continue to be safe.” Emphasize that everything we are doing will help everyone stay “safe.” Adults interacting with children at very young ages should be highly aware of triggers for children, such as acting out in ways that are unusual, over-emphasis on the actual crisis (such as asking too many questions, dwelling on all the negative that is being given in the media), rather than staying with the established daily routines. These triggers may move them into negative space, negative thoughts, and may emotionally affect them in even

more permanent ways. It is the adults’ responsibility to discuss, but to keep children in as normal a setting as possible. With older children, such as high school students, more specifics can be shared. However, it is still important to establish boundaries and routines for these children. Even though more specific discussions can be had, these children, too, may experience anxiety and nervousness that could manifest for a lengthy period. Routines are just as important for older kids. The takeaways for adults interacting with children during this uncertain time include the importance of all adults being mindful of their own anxiety and anxiousness regarding the current situation. It also includes being conscious of behaviors that may be interpreted by children as negative when they are not necessarily intended as such and practicing self-regulation with these behaviors.

Finally, it is critical for adults to meet all children at their own cognitive level with honesty and clear and consistent communication. Adults must be mindful about the amount of information children are able to comprehend, so they should not offer anything that may make children more anxious. We should consistently convey the message, in our conversations and in our actions, that everything being done is meant to help everyone remain safe. This is true for children of all ages. Routines help all of us and will help reduce anxiety levels and imbue trust. Dr. Celli has devoted her career to education at all levels for more than 35 years. She has been a teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, professor, and chair of a graduate program. Dr. Celli earned her Ph.D. and M.Ed. in curriculum, instruction, and administration from Boston College and her BA in sociology/ education from Clark University. April 2020

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VIRTUAL BIRTHDAY PARTY Celebrating Your Kid’s Birthday Party at Home During the Coronavirus written by Cheryl Maguire


y daughter’s 12th birthday is in April and she has been planning her birthday party for the past month. With the recent lockdowns and social distancing recommendations related to the Coronavirus, she will probably have to come up with an alternative plan for her party. Before the Coronavirus recked havoc on children’s party plans, there were also kids who are not able to socialize at parties due to comprised immune systems. Here are some suggestions for ways to celebrate without spreading germs.

CREATE A VIRTUAL PARTY One way to interact with friends from a distance is to have a virtual party using apps houston family magazine


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like Google Hangout (https:// hangouts.google.com/), Zoom (https://zoom.us/), or Skype (https://www.skype.com/en/). My daughter has been using Google Hangout to practice her musical theater play with the kids in her class. This technology allows people to see and speak to everyone, so it is the next best thing to being in a room together. If someone isn’t able to connect due to a lack of technology access, then go old school and put them on your speaker phone so they can hear and participate in the conversations.

VIRTUAL PARTY THEME IDEAS You are probably wondering how do you simulate a kid’s birthday party when they can’t physically interact?

It is important to remember that the main goal of a party is for your child to have fun with their friends. This is still possible but may require some out-of-the-box thinking. One way to do this is to have a theme that all the partygoers will be excited about. Most games like pin the tail on the donkey are not an option but there are several ideas for themes that will include everyone and create a festive mood. MOVIE THEATER THEMED PARTY

If the birthday kid is a movie lover, you could create a movie themed party. On the invite ask the partygoers to dress up in their favorite movie character outfit or t-shirt. You could create a movie trivia game or a “would you rather game” using

movie themed questions. After playing the games the group can then watch a movie selected ahead of time. Before the party, you will need to figure which movies everyone owns or can stream together. COOK-OFF THEMED PARTY

For the future chef tweens and teens, you could have a cook-off party. Everyone must find five items in their house and create a dessert or any meal the birthday person selects. Then their parents judge the creation on creativity and taste. You could also play trivia cooking games or swap your favorite recipes. LEGO THEMED PARTY

For the birthday Lego lovers, you could create a Lego themed party. Everyone will to arrive with a bucket of Legos. You could play games like who could

build the tallest tower in five minutes and then their parents would measure each one to determine the winner. Some other suggestions are that everyone makes whatever they want and then the parents determine who has the most creative structure. Or everyone makes an animal and you must guess what type of animal the Legos are supposed to be. After you are done building go on virtual Legoland rides by searching the ride on YouTube. Before the party create a list of rides that you want to visit to keep things moving along. GREEN-THEMED PARTY

For the birthday kid environmental lovers, you could have a green-themed party. Everyone could come to the party dressed in their favorite environmental-themed outfit like a flower t-shirt or picture of the earth. You could play an upcycle game by finding five items in the recycle bin and then creating

an animal or their favorite environmental setting such as the beach. You could also create a scavenger hunt where they find items outside like a white stone or red flower assigning each item points. They could take their device with them as they hunt so that the kids at the party can see each other during their travels. DRAWING OR PAINT THEMED PARTY

Before the party ask the parents what type of art supplies they own. Most kids have a set of markers, crayons and paints. One suggestion is to all draw or paint the same picture. Mo Willems, author of children’s books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!and Knuffle Bunny has a drawing channel on YouTube where you can learn how to draw characters from his books like Piggie and Elephant. You could have everyone watch the video at the same time and then share your drawing.

You could also create cards for people in nursing homes, hospitals or the military to let them know that you are thinking of them. VIRTUAL DISNEYWORLD

If your kid is a Disney fan have them dress up as their favorite Disney character and ask their friends to do the same. You can play Disney related games and then go on virtual Disney rides by searching the ride on YouTube. Before the party create a list of rides that you want to visit to keep things moving along.

have so much fun that they will forget about the fact they didn’t see their friends in person. And the best part for you is that you won’t have to clean up a mess created by a room full of kids. Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, AARP, Upworthy, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings, Your Teen Magazine and many other publications. You can find her at Twitter @CherylMaguire05


Try to decorate the room that your child will be streaming the party from with the theme in mind to set the mood for all the partygoers. Plan the games and festivities before the party starts so that it will keep the fun levels high throughout. By the time the party is over, your child will hopefully

OTHER VIRTUAL PARTY IDEAS • Host a Netflix party • Have a dessert delivered • Design a birthday backdrop for the video chat • Karaoke Party • Scavenger Hunt • Video Messages

Your Trusted Health Care Team for Times Like These

Legacy Community Health Pediatrics want ALL families to know that we are here for you, to answer your questions about COVID-19 and provide expert care for you and your family - by phone or in-person! • Annual Wellness Exams • Newborn Young Adult Care • Vaccinations & Immunizations

• NEW! Telehealth for Pediatrics Primary Care • Pediatric and Counseling! Visit Walk-In Clinic with a provider via smart phone or • Convenient Locations computer. No need to Across Houston leave home! • Sick Child Visits

Appointments Available! New Patients Welcome! Call (832) 548 5000 or visit LegacyCommunityHealth.org to make an appointment !

We accept HMO/PPOs, Medicaid and CHIP, plus offer programs to reduce the cost of services. April 2020

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Real Life Mom:

Heather Kaiser-Hahn on Homeschooling

During the times of the coronavirus pandemic, many families have been forced to make changes to their lifestyle. One of the many shifts made was educational institutions going completely digital. Houston Family Magazine had the chance to speak with Mrs. Heather Kaiser-Hahn, a homeschooling mother, about education in a home environment, how to be successful while learning remotely, and establishing a routine, discipline, and motivation in a child learning from home. interview by Eshaan Mani



I am a former practicing school psychologist. On an age-basis, my son Alex is in 8th grade, however, in homeschool, he is considered to be in the 10th grade based on high school credit hours earned thus far. I have homeschooled my son for the past seven years.

COVID-19 has drastically altered what homeschooling looks like for us. Despite the term homeschooling being used to describe us, we were rarely home. We often used the terms roadschooling and worldschooling because we travel and take field trips often. But due to COVID-19, we had

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to stop attending everything. The only advantage we had over public school students forced out of their school was that we already had our curriculum resources going. We already were connected with various online programs, had a supply of workbooks, and plenty of materials and kits on hand. We do more online programs each day and we are getting through our workbook and book

piles even more than before COVID-19.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PARENTS WHO ARE FORCED TO TRY HOMESCHOOLING GIVEN THE CURRENT SITUATION? My first advice to them is to take a deep breath! What they have been forced into is not

homeschooling at all in the traditional sense. Traditional homeschooling is not recreating public school at home. So, do not feel the pressure to recreate everything from a public school experience because you can’t. Second, come up with a routine and location within your house that works for your family. There is no real privacy for us anymore; so my husband is working in one room and we are homeschooling in the living room and kitchen. I know some of our friends are still setting alarm clocks to try to keep some sort of a routine similar to their school schedule. Also, do not be surprised if your kid can finish their online curriculum and work in about four hours total. Some kids might be faster and some might be slower if the work is really hard or if they are really getting into a project. Thirdly, there is no need for homework. I know the schools might be calling stuff homework. But there is no reason your child should be spending their nights doing tons of schoolwork.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR PARENTS ON HOW TO GET STARTED ON HOMESCHOOLING? Join Facebook groups and ask questions. There are tons of bloggers and websites catering to the homeschool community to help with curriculum planning and scheduling. If you don’t have a membership with your public library, get one. There are lots of free online resources such as ebooks and streaming services available from them. In addition, the Houston Public Library is open to everyone in the greater Houston area. And right now, check-in with all your favorite museums or zoos across the country as many are offering virtual tours and online events.

HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE A CHILD WHO IS LEARNING FROM HOME? For most kids, their learning is driven by their interests. It is

hard to get Alex to do things he is not interested in but still needs to do. So, we used to do five activities and then he would take a break, doing an activity of his choice. Some parents may need to go even in smaller chunks. We have a list of what needs to be done each day, and Alex picks the order. That also helps with motivation.

we had purchased before helps us. We have a mini MakerSpace and science lab in our house, but I know many do not. However, there are lots of online resources for kitchen chemistry experiments and at-home science experiments that would not require tons of supplies.

And most importantly, taking PE breaks. Have the kids help with the cleaning, house chores, and cooking. And lastly, use technology! Video call and text friends and family whom you can’t visit.

HOW DO YOU INCULCATE DISCIPLINE TO STUDY, DO HOMEWORK, ETC? As homeschoolers, we do not recreate public school at home. We do not have homework per se. We have great flexibility in learning materials. Our only issue has to do with stalling or arguing. If Alex stalls or argues with me, there is the use of a timer, then the loss of the iPad, and sometimes additional work. For parents forced into doing school at home, they are going to have to establish a routine in order to prevent chaos.

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A PRODUCTIVE STUDY ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR CHILD? For us, we homeschool in the living room. My son’s laptop can get hooked up to the TV so I can see the screen easier and help with some of the math. And he has a paper with a running list of “need to review” topics that he will add to if he is struggling in a math lesson or something pops up in a video. So the key is finding a room or space within the house that can be designated as the “school.” Having a checklist is beneficial to keeping on-task and seeing what can be accomplished.

HOW DO YOU BREAK THE MONOTONY OF A STUDY-ATHOME ENVIRONMENT? COVID-19 has definitely forced us to be completely stuck at home. And in addition to the lack of privacy, monotony is definitely an issue. Thankfully, we have a huge pile of workbooks and books so we have a variety of choices. DVDs and science kits that

THE TOP ONLINE-SCHOOLING RESOURCES FOR YOUR HOUSTON FAMILY Mrs. Heather Kaiser-Hahn shares the Top 5 Educational Resources that she and her son Alex love! AMAZINGEDUCATIONALRESOURCES.COM There are over 300 companies/programs on this list of free resources that was put together because of COVID-19. KHAN ACADEMY AND KA KIDS Khan Academy Kids has great resources, like activities and videos, for kids in K-5. Khan Academy offers resources for middle-school students and up, with preparation for the SAT and college-level courses. SCRIBD.COM A great audiobook and e-book resource, which is free for 30 days! If your child runs out of books to read while at home, try Scribd! ADVENTURES OF HAHN ACADEMY Mrs. Kaiser-Hahn has a great blog (adventuresofhahnacademy.wordpress.com), which has articles about road-schooling and homeschooling her gifted plus son, Alex. FREECODECAMP.ORG This website has tons of online courses (many teach how to code). There are also free online courses from universities, which are open to anyone and perfect for many high school students and gifted middle school students.

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Local Mom and owner of Willow and Pine Photography, Britain Paulk and family showcase how we’re all feelling during this COVID-19 lockdown.

You’ve got this!

Motivating Messages from Fitness Instructors to Help During the Coronavirus written by Cheryl Maguire | photo by Willow and Pine Photography


’m a fitness fanatic. Normally I’m either in a spin class, body pump class or TRX class at a gym but now that I’m confined to my home because of the Coronavirus I am participating in at-home workout classes. One of my favorite parts of participating in the classes

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is the motivating messages the instructors shout out as the sweat pours off my skin. Sometimes during the day, I think of the phrases to help me overcome parenting challenges. Here are a few of my favorites you can use the next time you are struggling.

“YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK” This one is often said to help you lift that heavier weight. In

strength training, the goal is to move up in weight over time. So if you have used 15-pound weights for several weeks you try to move up to 20 pounds. Sometimes there is a fear you won’t be able to move to the next level and by hearing this phrase it helps you overcome it. It took me a long to believe

this message both related to fitness and parenting. After eleven years, I’ve come to the realization I can at least try to lift that heavier weight. Parenting is hard both emotionally and physically which requires a great deal of strength. Knowing you are strong helps you to face those challenges with confidence.


Arnold Schwarzenegger said that if he remained comfortable while being a bodybuilder, he never would have achieved any success. When you are strength training over time your body becomes used to the weight you’re lifting. In order to build your muscles, you need to move up in weight. When you do this for the first time it is both hard and uncomfortable but leads to your becoming a stronger person. As a parent, you experience many uncomfortable situations. Your child is continually moving through phases of developments that require you to change your parenting techniques and interactions with your child. For example, the time out technique you used with your toddler would not be the same as the one you use with your teen. You need to get out of your comfort zone and try new techniques to overcome those challenges.

“YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 5 MINUTES” During every fitness class, I participate in, at some point, the instructor will shout out, “You can do anything for 5 minutes”. Usually, it’s during a difficult part of the class towards the end when you are

tired and wondering, “when will this class end because it feels like it never will.” It is meant to help you push through the difficult part, helping you realize it is timelimited. This is a great phrase to tell yourself the next time your child has a full-blown stage 5 meltdown. Granted it may last longer than 5 minutes, but at some point, your child will become tired, right? The fact is, it is time-limited and you can push through the pain just like you finished the fitness class.


There are days you don’t feel like working out. On these days you may be inclined to just go through the motions. This message is meant to help you work out at your 100% effort even though you might not feel like it. It does help you to realize you can push yourself harder by increasing the resistance on your spin bike or running at a faster pace. There are many days you don’t feel like being a parent especially when you are all stuck in the same house for the past three weeks. You want to just crawl back into bed and forgo your responsibilities. Those are the days you must work at not “phoning it in”. Your child will notice the difference. You must push through and give it your best effort.


Here is my motivation message. If you are not already working out, go try a virtual class. Workout videos are a great way to have a high energy workout. Most libraries offer free streaming videos through a service like Hoopla or Libby. You sign in to these sites using your library card and then you





YMCA 360

www.youtube.com/channel/UCOGt_IpceP_ xQhhCMCrut_A

Fitness Blender


Yoga with Adriene


BeachBody On Demand


Peloton Digital


can borrow videos that you can stream on your devices. Some cable companies or Amazon Prime offer free or paid workout videos through the On-Demand option. You also can find free workouts on YouTube like the YMCA 360: Your Virtual YMCA, Fitness Blender, and Yoga by Adriene. There are many membership online programs like Beachbody OnDemand offering a 14 day free trial or Peloton Digital offering a 90 day free trial (besides cycling that they are known for they offer Bootcamp and other types of workouts) that you can stream from home using a smart TV or a device like a Roku.

You will feel better physically and emotionally after taking the class which will also make you a better parent. At the very least you might hear a new motivational message. Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, AARP, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings, Your Teen Magazine and many other publications. You can find her at Twitter @ CherylMaguire05

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five great ways to unplug and get your kids outdoors by Jan Pierce, M.Ed.


amily life can be hectic. After a busy day of preparing meals, snacks and overseeing homework projects, breaking up squabbles and keeping up with dishes and laundry, parents are often more than happy to “pop in a video” as they say, and watch their brood settle into wide-eyed, quiet little people. But I’m also aware that many children rarely see the light of day except when in transit from school to home

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where they immediately turn something on—the television, a video player, a computer or a computer game. It’s become a huge problem for children and it’s affecting their health. These technological wonders have their place in both the educational realm and for entertainment, but it has been said that today’s children have a “nature deficit order.” They know little or nothing of the outdoor world around them and don’t care to spend time exploring it. The pull of today’s

electronic offerings is extremely strong and it’s hard to manage. But experts say a lot can be accomplished in just a few minutes of outdoor play each day. And once the enjoyment begins, kids will want more. There’s a growing movement among parents and community leaders to organize and encourage quality outdoor experiences for today’s children. Virtually no one doubts the advantages of time outdoors for our kids, but bad habits are hard to break. Here are five tips

for fun and interesting ways to get the whole family out of doors to experience the beauty and enjoyment of nature.

GROW AND EAT SOMETHING Kids quickly learn to enjoy gardening when they do the work themselves and when they’re part of harvesting— enjoying the fruit of their labors. One organization that facilitates such hands-on gardening projects is the Farmbased Education Association. They offer outdoor events for the entire family for an annual fee. Check to see if they or a similar organization is active in your area.

OBSERVE OR COLLECT SOMETHING When children begin to observe and interact with nature, they build a greater respect for the care of the planet. Increase their wonder by taking short excursions for the sole purpose of observing what is under

TOP PLACES TO UNPLUG WITH THE KIDS IN AND AROUND HOUSTON • Explore the paths of Buffalo Bayou by foot or on a bike and reap the benefits of being exposed to nature. buffalobayou.org


• Gather family and friends to reconnect at one of the many picnic pavilions. Fish and contemplate the beauty of nature on the lake at Rob Fleming Park. thewoodlandstownshiptx.gov • Breath in the salt air and walk in the sand along Galveston’s shoreline. Galveston.com • Take a stroll through the gardens and walk the trails that wind through beautifully preserved woodlands at the Mercer Botanic Gardens. hcp4.net/parks/mercer/ • Be absorbed in a variety of pristine and unpaved primitive trails spotted with plant and wildlife species, white sand beaches, swamps and sloughs with century-old cypress trees at Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center. www.hcp4. net/parks/jjp/ • Combine a nature-lover’s thirst for knowledge in the Great Room and then seat at a table overlooking the ponds for a moment of reflection at Delores Fenwick Nature Center. pearlandtx.gov/departments/parks-recreation/facilities/ delores-fenwick-nature-center

that rock or hiding within the bark of a tree. Begin a nature collection as simple as establishing My Box of Rocks or My Collection of Pinecones. It doesn’t take much to begin the journey to a greater appreciation of nature.

RECYCLE OR REUSE SOMETHING While some of the action in recycling takes place indoors, the emphasis is on maintaining the beauty and cleanliness of our outdoor world. At the littlegreenblog.com you’ll find lots of ideas related to living in sync with nature.

BUILD SOMETHING Have some family fun with a building project such as this simple fort (www.thisoldhouse. com/how-to-build-a-fort. Kids will spend hours in the out of doors with a simple backdrop and the whole family will enjoy the building process.

LOCATED ACROSS THE STREET FROM PLEASURE PIER 25th & Seawall • Galveston Island • 855-789-7437 pleasurepier.com

HIKE SOMEWHERE Younger children will always enjoy a ramble in the woods with their loved ones. As children get older, they may need the incentive of linking the out of doors to a hobby such as photography or geocaching. Go to kidsunplugged.org to find an organization that plans outdoor family events, perhaps in your area. If not, see their listing of many other groups who have banded together for the same purpose: getting kids unplugged and outdoors. Here is a listing of several other organizations that care about children and the importance of helping them enjoy our beautiful world. www.thebigoutside.com www.littlefamilyadventure.com www.getchildrenoutdoors.com Jan Pierce, M.Ed. is the author of Homegrown Readers and Homegrown Family Fun. Find Jan at www.janpierce.net April 2020

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Hello...Can You Hear Me? How To Make Sure Teenagers Hear You written by Cheryl Maguire

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The moment my voice emits sound I can see my twin teens’ eyes glaze over. Sometimes they must register at least one word I said (or maybe it’s just a Pavlovian response) because they use the dreaded eye-roll.


s a parent of teenagers, it can feel frustrating when you are speaking only to realize your teen isn’t listening to you. Experts agree it is important to have a strong relationship with your teenager which involves communication. “An important predictor of how well your teen will listen to you is the strength of your relationship with them. The amount of time we spend building our relationship without expectations will increase the likelihood that they will listen,” said Dr. Mona Delahooke (https:// monadelahooke.com/), pediatric psychologist, and author of, “Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges.” According to the experts some ways you can make sure teenagers hear you are: CONNECT BEFORE YOU DIRECT Dr. Laura Markham (www. ahaparenting.com/about), clinical psychologist and author of, “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting,” suggested that parents should notice what their teen is doing or find some other way to make a warm connection before speaking to

them. She also recommended sitting next to teenagers instead of yelling across the room, “Please clean your room.” LISTEN If you want teenagers to listen to you then you must also listen to them. Make sure when you listen to them that they feel understood. Dr. Jennifer Salerno (https://drjennifersalerno. com), nurse practitioner and author of, “Teen Speak: A guide to understanding and communicating with your teen,” said, “It’s all about modeling the behavior that you’d like them to reciprocate. Setting the stage for a positive discussion by actively listening causes them to feel respected and heard.” REMAIN CALM Dr. Markham said, “The most important thing is calmness. When you yell, you increase your teen’s stress level and they shut you out and lose the desire to cooperate. Never talk with your teen while you are angry.” PAY ATTENTION Dr. Delahooke recommended that parents pay attention to their emotional state and body language. She said, “When you sit next to your teen, make sure you are providing a message of trust in them.”

If you want teenagers to listen to you then you must also listen to them. Make sure when you listen to them that they feel understood.

ESTABLISH ROUTINES If teenagers have a routine of what they are expected to do every day at that time of day, they are more likely to do it. These routines are also a good time to talk to them and be heard. Dr. Salerno said, “Activities like cooking together, walking the dog, and riding alone in the car are ideal times for an important topic to be discussed.” CLARIFY YOUR ROLE Teenagers are more likely to listen and follow your suggestions and requests if you clarify your role. “Explain to your teen that the rules and boundaries you are trying to establish are there to help guide and protect them.,” says Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, a physician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and co-founder of the Center for Parent and Teen Communication (https:// parentandteen.com/). “When you clarify your role in this way your teen will more likely

understand the purpose behind the rule -- big or small.” Dr. Ginsburg explained that if your teen doesn’t take an action you’d hoped to make sure that when you discuss it with them make it about their behavior -- not the person. Dr. Ginsburg stressed the importance of avoiding nagging. He said, “It’s easy to fall into a cycle of nagging that can lead to frustration on both sides. When teens sense your annoyance, they may become defensive. When you make requests in an accusatory tone, they become ineffective.” PROVIDE OPTIONS If there are chores that teenagers need to do, then offer them the option of selecting one of three chores. Dr. Salerno said, “Teens feel respected when they are given options, not directives, which ultimately lowers their resistance.” You can also give them a choice of what time they want to complete the chore. Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, AARP, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings, Your Teen Magazine and many other publications. You can find her at Twitter @ CherylMaguire05

Read more parenting tips online at


April 2020

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A beach getaway in port aransas is Just what the doctor ordered


written by Kimberly Davis Guerra | photos by Pop of Color Photography

rior to the world delving into the chaos that is the COVID-19, HFM and crew headed southwest to the sunny Shore of Port Aransas for this month’s cover shoot. It was a beautiful weekend, a little cool breeze in the air with sunny skies perfect for hanging out at the beach. If you’ve never been down to Port A, it’s an easy 3.5 hour drive from Houston. Bonus, near the end, you get

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to take a 5minute ferry ride where the kids can often see dolphins swimming close by. The tradeoff is that there can be a bit of a line to get on the ferry depending on the time of day or if it’s a holiday weekend. We were lucky enough to time it perfectly coming and going and didn’t wait more than a few minutes either way. Our destination for the weekend was a wonderful beach community called Cinnamon Shore. An inspired combination

of condos, cottages, townhouses and tiny homes available for purchase or rental. Inspired by the beautiful town of Seaside in Florida, you feel transported and immediately relaxed as soon as you pull into the community. Calming pastels on all of the building paint an amazing landscape flowing throughout the small community. Intimately sized to foster relationships between neighbors and offer amenities designed to engage the community make

for a wonderful environment to spend time with friends and family. The house that we called home was perfect for our large entourage. Strategically located overlooking the largest of the 3 pools on property, the (6) kids ranging in age from 7-12, couldn’t wait to get unloaded and hit the water. As I mentioned, it was a little cool and this pool is not heated (the other 2 are), but it didn’t faze the kids! After being in the car

Michael & Abby pose on the bridge leading to the beach

Quick Facts 3.5 Hours from Houston They offer both: • Vacation Rentals • Real Estate

Cinnamon Shores Amenities • • • • • • • • • • • •

Bike Rentals Surf lessons Fishing (on property) Offshore fishing (3) pools – 2 heated Movie nights (seasonal) Horseback riding on the beach Parasailing Kite surfing Skydiving Yoga on the beach Sandcastle lessons

Food: • The Market • Lisabella’s • Dylan’s Coal Oven Pizzeria • C Bar • C Treats

Keegan enjoyed dune jumping

Book Your Stay! www.Cinnamonshores.com

for 3.5 hrs., it was nice release of some pent up energy! The house was laid out perfectly, 3 masters and 2 additional rooms with 4 bunks in each! Girls in one and boys in the other with a little living room (gaming room) in between worked perfectly with our crew. Two of the masters along with the washers/dryers rounded out the first floor. The second floor was my favorite part of the house. Balconies on both ends of the house offered a wonderful cross breeze with the doors open and the kitchen and living room in the middle offered plenty of room for all of us to relax, eat and plan our itinerary. There are so many things to do on property that once you are there, you truly do not need to leave. The first night we hit up Dylan’s for delicious pizza to nourish ourselves and get a good night’s sleep before our photoshoot on Saturday. We

Michael feeling the pool vibe

had rented a golf cart (a must) that fit almost our entire gaggle and the kids really enjoyed the 2-minute ride to the restaurant. There was something for everyone (even gluten free) and portions are generous. We had plenty of leftovers to bring back to the house for the next day. Saturday kicked off with perfect weather, warm, breezy and a beautiful Texas sky. We packed up our golf cart, the kids rode our rented bikes to the beach and we set off to dig in for the day. Another must, Cinnamon Shore offers chairs & umbrella set up. Be sure to reserve yours – they will set up and pick up for you – one less thing to hassle with. We had an eclectic group with many different interests, so we had brought a lot of different options – boogie boards, sand April 2020

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The kids all enjoyed a beach side bonfire with hotdogs and s’mores Bodhi, Keegan and Delsyn got ready to body surf some waves!

Bailey focused on building sandcastles

Keegan and Delsyn took part in some beach bike riding.

The kids built lasting friendships and some great memories

toys, kites, baseballs/gloves and lots of sunscreen! As you will see from the pics, the kids had a blast! Plenty for them to do to keep busy and entertained. The beach was clean and fairly deserted, the water was a little cold, but wonderfully refreshing. We were told to look out for jellyfish, but never saw one. All in all a perfect beach day. As the kids got tired of the beach, we took a quick tour around the property and discovered we could order a houston family magazine


April 2020

bonfire and s’mores for that evening on the beach! We quickly put in our order and headed to the house for a break from the sun. We attempted to order a shrimp boil to go with the s’mores on the beach, but we were a little too early in the season for this one! We will definitely add that to the itinerary for next time! Instead I popped out to the market and picked up hot dogs and chips to cook on the bonfire before the s’mores. Located on

property is a market and with everything you need for your stay. Since it is a quick cart ride from the house, last minute dinner options are not an issue! It really makes it super easy to stay in your beach ‘bubble’ and not have to leave the community. As night fell and our bonfire delivery arrived, the kids couldn’t have been more excited. Our cookout was a hit and both kids and parents relaxed around the fire as the

waves crashed nearby. A perfect ending to a perfect day with friends and family. If you are looking for a great family or family getaway, I couldn’t recommend Cinnamon Shore more. It is far enough away to really feel like a vacation, yet not too far that you can’t go for a quick weekend recharge. Hop on their site and take a look at rentals, or purchases, depending on your needs. You will see what I mean!

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Visit Jordyn’s Site to purchase your goodies www.jbriellehmg.com



written by Eshaan Mani, HFM Kid Ambassador

ordyn Wright, a preteen from the Greater Houston area, had her first big idea when she was ten years old. Her skin is sensitive, and so her mother only bought her bland and unscented soaps. Jordyn wanted to be able to use colorful, fun and aromatic soaps and bath bombs, so she decided to create her own. Jordyn created a few products and distributed them to her friends, family, and church. Wright received positive feedback and so took her passion forward and built her business, J. Brielle Handmade Goods. With her father’s help, Jordyn created a website

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and logo (jbriellehmg.com). When asked about her business, Jordyn explains, “I make bath bombs, soaps, lip balms, and more and they’re all-natural, phthalate, paraben, and sulfate-free. And, they’re all handmade.” Jordyn’s best-selling product is whipped soap, a sugar-based soap which “feels light and airy on the skin,” and her best-selling scent is “Fruit Slices,” which is fresh and, well, fruity! Jordyn is a middle-schooler and has struck a balance between school life and taking care of her business. During the week, Jordyn’s focus is excelling in school. She makes soaps and handmade products over the weekends, and whenever she has to work with lye, a chemical to create her soaps, her mother helps her out. Jordyn also recently discovered her love for poetry.

She plans to publish a book of mother-daughter poems in the fall of 2020. “It’s going to be [based around] me asking questions in poem form, and my mom answering me in poems...My mom and I were trying to decide what kind of book to do. The other option was going to be a book for teen girls. But, we decided to pick our first option - the book of poems.” Jordyn said. Jordyn enjoys art and hopes to expand her business into the realm of prints. She has a set of designs that are scheduled to release on Mother’s Day (May 10, 2020), and Jordyn hopes that she can sell mugs, backpacks, clothes, patches, pins, and stamps with her designs. Over the summer, Jordyn will be holding a class to educate children how to make soaps and teaching them the chemistry behind it.

EDITORIAL | BOOK BITES Jordyn hard at work making bath and body products for her onine store


Valerie Koehler, owner of the Blue Willow Bookshops, shares her favorites in honor of Earth Day, visit BlueWillowBookshops.com

EARLY CHILDHOOD Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

HFM Kid Ambassador Ehaan conducting his video interview with Jordyn

For generations, The Grouchy Ladybug has delighted readers of all ages with the story of a bad-tempered bug who learns that maybe being grouchy isn’t always the best option.

ELEMENTARY Facebook: @jbriellehmg Instagram: @jbriellehmg Online: swww.jbriellehmg.com E-Mail: jbriellehmg@gmail.com

Be sure to follow Jordyn on Social Media for updated information on the event!

The Bug Girl

by Sophia Spencer

Sophia tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself.

MIDDLE SCHOOL Bugs In Danger by Mark Kurlansky

Jordyn has also formed the Dream Big Kidpreneur Book Club, a club for young entrepreneurs who enjoy reading. The club, sponsored by tech-giant Microsoft, meets once per month and has a guest kidpreneur who talks about their journey. “We’re holding workshops to help the kids build their business by starting with an idea. They’re going to learn how to brainstorm, plan, and market their business. Then, we’re going to take them through the process so they can pitch their ideas in April in front of a panel of judges.” On April 25, 2020, (follow social media for change in event status) at the Holiday Inn Express in Missouri City, the Kidpreneur Book Club is hosting a pitch contest, where kids who have a prototype, business idea, or working

business can pitch them to a panel of judges and win a monetary prize to help start or grow their business. The pitch contest is open to the public, with a $10 entry fee, and there will also be vendors. The vendor fee at the pitch contest is $20. When Jordyn is not at school, at her Book Club, or managing her business, she is reading, playing with her brothers, drawing, swimming, and/or jumping on her trampoline. I enjoyed speaking with Jordyn and encourage all kids with big ideas to apply to her pitch contest. Visit www.jbriellehmg. com/dream-big for more information about the pitch contest.

Populations of bees, fireflies, butterflies, and ladybugs have all been declining in recent years. Master nonfiction storyteller Mark Kurlansky shows just how much bugs matter to our world.

TEENAGER Honey Bus by Meredith May

Meredith May recalls growing up with her eccentric beekeeper grandfather who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard.

LOOKING FOR MORE BOOKS TO INSPIRE YOUR KIDS? Check out houstonfamilymagazine.com for our complete list of books to get your kids ready for Earth Day! April 2020

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mom•me [ REAL LIFE MOMS ]

Claudia Kolker

Author of “The Immigrant Advantage” interview by Kimberly Davis Guerra


FM recently caught up with Claudia Kolker, an awardwinning journalist and the editor of Rice Business Wisdom, the ideas magazine at Rice Business School and author of The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn From Newcomers To America About Health, Happiness and Hope. Here’s what she had to say about her life, being a parent

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and living in our great city.

TELL US YOUR STORY WHERE WERE YOU BORN; DO YOU HAVE ANY SIBLINGS; WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL; ARE YOU MARRIED; DO YOU HAVE KIDS? I’m from Chevy Chase, Maryland and went to a Quaker school in Washington D.C., which seems to influence me

more the older I get. It was such a great area to grow up in. I have twins, a boy and a girl. As for background, I’m Jewish and Mexican -- and that’s only one generation back. My dad was from Baltimore (my great grandparents lived in the building that became the police station in The Wire!). My mom is a writer and professor, from Mexico City, and after many years in D.C. now lives on my street in Houston. My parents’

love story -- they used to take the bus between Baltimore and Mexico -- set my standards for enjoying other cultures. Oh, and for knowing what true love looks like!


MEMBER OF THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE EDITORIAL BOARD AND AUTHOR. OUT OF ALL THE JOBS AND POSITIONS YOU HAVE HELD, WHICH WAS/IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY? Oh my gosh. I’ve loved (almost) all of them. The happiest I have ever been, though, was my year and half on the city desk of The Houston Chronicle. My colleagues were a riot, and that job was what made me fall in love with Houston. I realized that I could travel the world, and meet role models every day, just by reporting on the people who lived here. The most life-changing job I’ve ever had, by far, was reporting as a freelancer in San Salvador in the four years right after the war ended. The Salvadoran reporters and photographers who became my friends, and looked after me, were so brave and so thoughtful, they became role models for me to this day.

YOU HAVE TRAVELED THE GLOBE AND MET COUNTLESS PEOPLE IN YOUR CAREER. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL AND WHY? I can hardly answer that one. Mexico City, where my mom is from, is my favorite city to visit. Crete is where I go to in my imagination -- Natural Born Heroes by Chris McDougall and D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths pretty much sum up why.

YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHY HOUSTON? I love this city! What first attracted me as a reporter was getting to know Salvadorans who escaped here during the war and worked incredibly hard the minute they got here. Then, I started meeting Vietnamese immigrants. It was a community I’d never had contact with before, and through the stories of my Vietnamese teacher Biet Le, I was smitten by their many smart traditions and values. I copy a lot of them in my own life. Over the years, and after

Claudia speaking at the Spring Edition of The Mommie Series

getting asked this question a lot, I’ve realized that I am fascinated by immigrants because I’m attracted to functionality. Most immigrants are high-functioning by definition. Moving to a new culture brings out the entrepreneur in all of us.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO/PLACE TO GO IN HOUSTON? Pho Saigon for pho, Cafe FuFu for softshell crabs; running and real-estate snooping in Montrose; The Magick Cauldron; people-watching outside at Cuchara; dancing at Wild Wild West and the Big Easy and Gloria’s; shopping at Chinatown, Roops Sari Palace and H-Mart; nature baths on the mountain bike trail in Memorial Park. The Menil, forever.

WHAT DROVE YOU TO WRITE YOUR BOOK, “THE IMMIGRANT ADVANTAGE”? Around the time I was 40, a writer friend challenged me to think about what I had learned through the privilege of being a reporter. I was stumped! I had to think a lot about it -- I wasn’t an expert in anything at all. I realized that the most interesting things I knew, I’d learned through my immigrant friends: about to have a happy, relaxing time as a new mother (yes, really!); how to harness your

social circle to save more money than you could otherwise; how to get the most out of your public school; how to use team spirit, competitiveness and raucous parties -- things we mostly associate with watching sports -- to fix serious problems in your community year after year for your whole life.

MOST OF HOUSTON FAMILY MAGAZINE READERS ARE WOMEN BETWEEN 35-44, WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD LIKE TO OFFER THEM? Enjoy what you’ve learned so far -- you are in the place now to start helping others. And if you meet someone from another culture, try asking The Question: “What’s the smartest thing people in your country do that you should hold onto and we should copy?” You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn, and how much fun you’ll have finding out.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? Hm. Maybe, that I try hard to appreciate every little life gift that comes my way.

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? Ha! Hm. People, mostly. My high school pal Sonia, my younger brother Jason, and my best friend when I first came to Houston, Julie Mason. My kids, who helpfully point out how absurd I am every day. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Claudia and we wish you the best of luck!

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH THAT YOU HAVEN’T YET? Oh my gosh. So many things. Be a little more helpful in the world, mainly.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR? Boredom. Consuming and not creating.

Interested in reading Claudia’s Book? Get it online at www.amazon.com/ImmigrantAdvantage-NewcomersAmerica-Happiness/ dp/1416586830 April 2020

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Texas Bluebonnets:

10 Tips For Taking Amazing Photos With Your Family Nothing says Texas more than bluebonnets and since Spring is here, now is the right time to go outside and create fun memories. The flowers in the ditches and fields along the roads and highways in Texas represent a wonderful opportunity to capture the beauty and vitality of the season! Deborah Koch Photography shares her 10 best tips for taking beautiful bluebonnets photos while staying safe and having fun. written by Deborah Koch - Houston Family Photographer houston family magazine


April 2020

act silly for some images and ask them to smile for others. Piggy-back rides and hug-wars create great and genuine smiles. Parents love the “picture frame perfect” poses today, but silly images showing personality make awesome memories. 8- GET LOW. Eye level images help incorporate the flowers into the shoot and make them look full and beautiful.

1- FIND A BEAUTIFUL AND SAFE PLACE. Scout beforehand or take the kids on an unique adventure, but please be safe. Avoid busy highways and high traffic areas. Side roads and public parks are a much safer environment. 2- BE MINDFUL OF WILDLIFE. Look around for ant beds, snakes, bumble bees, wasps, or any animals and bugs that could be harmful. 3- USE YOUR BEST GEAR. If you are shooting with a DSLR camera don’t forget your lens, battery, and plenty of space on your storage card. If you are taking cellphone photos, explore the various modes such as photo, portraits, and pano for a variety of looks. 4- BRING SMALL PROPS. Small props such as chairs, buckets, ladders, wooden boxes, and carousel horses can be a lot of fun. However, refrain from bringing big pieces of furniture or large blankets that can damage the flowers. 5- TARGET OVERCAST DAYS OR THE GOLDEN HOUR. Full sun can cause really harsh shadows and a lot of squinting.

If at all possible, avoid mid-day sessions. If an overcast day is not an option, try photographing at the golden hour (30-45 mins after sunrise or before sunset) for a beautiful warm glow and much softer light. 6- DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Let’s face it, Spring in Texas can be very hot and humid. Make sure everyone is dressed comfortably and appropriately. Choose light solid colors or very small patterns (small polka dots or stripes). Avoid really bright colors and large florals prints as they can be very distracting. Furthermore, closed toes shoes are always a better option to avoid bugs crawling or dirt tickling. 7- SAY “CHEEEEESE”. Try a mix of natural and posed images. Bring the kids into the fun with games and stories. Let them

9- PAY ATTENTION TO THE BACKGROUND. Just as important as your subject is the background, so try to remove any debris and distractions beforehand. Be mindful of the horizon line and blown out skies. It is a great idea to include a fun statement in the background such as a barn, fence, gate, or road in the background for added color and texture. 10- OBEY THE LAW Trespassing and picking bluebonnets are illegal in the State of Texas, so always be careful and obey the law. Most of all, have fun !! Deborah Koch is a photographer and educator specialized in Fine Art Photography in Houston, TX. For more information about upcoming sessions and workshops please visit www. deborahkochphotography.com

photo ops

POTENTIAL BLUEBONNET LOCATIONS North • SPOTTS PARK: Walk the southeast side of the park, past the playground • TC JESTER PARK: White Oak Bayou between 18th and 43rd streets • ROB FLEMING PARK: In The Woodlands • MERCER ARBORETUM: Near Spring • KINGWOOD: High Valley Drive at Hidden Lakes East • BUFFALO BAYOU PARK: Try East of the Jackson Hill Bridge South • BRAYS BAYOU: Along the Hermann Park Golf Course near Almeda • TELFAIR IN SUGARLAND: Near Cornerstone Elementary • WILLOW WATERHOLE: Off of South Post Oak • LEAGUE CITY: Near Hwy 96 • PEARLAND TO ALVIN: Along Hwy 35 West • BLESSINGTON FARMS: in Wallis • TERRY HERSHEY PARK: Walking path winds along Buffalo Bayou near Dairy Ashford • MEMORIAL PARK: Various spots Outside of Houston • INDEPENDENCE: Old Baylor Park at Windmill Hill (picnic tables and ruins of original Baylor University) • PLEASANT HILL: Pleasant Hill Winery overlooks vineyards surrounded bluebonnet fields • CHAPPEL HILL: Historic Main Street before, during & after the April festival • WASHINGTON-ON-THE-BRAZOS STATE PARK: A great walking trail along the Wildflower Loop • MARBLE FALLS: Check out the 400 acre Turkey Bend Recreation Area and Muleshoe Bend. You can even camp for a small fee. Also ask about the Bluebonnet House- when the flowers are blooming, it’s incredible. • KINGSLAND: Abandoned railroad tracks run through bluebonnet fields about a mile off FM 1431, as well as abandoned farm equipment on several rural roads for great photo ops. • FREDERICKSBURG TO LLANO: A drive along Highway 16 is an incredibly scenic drive through rolling hills and granite cliffs with stops along the way April 2020

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S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY

THE BENEFITS OF SUMMER CAMP FOR YOUR KIDS written by American Camp Association

WHAT PARENTS THINK OF CAMP! Recent American Camp Association (ACA) opinion research revealed that parents see fun and safety as most important to the camp experience. According to Marla Coleman, former president of the American Camp Association, nineteen focus groups consisting of parents and ACA members throughout the country were surveyed. “Parents have very definitive perceptions of the value of camp for their children. They believe that developmental value is important-social and emotional growth, but this is secondary to providing their children with safe and secure facilities, along with positive and fun activities.” Parents were also surprised to learn that there is no government oversight of camps. Marla Coleman continues, “The parents in our focus groups assumed that oversight of all camps was done — that because camps involved children, houston family magazine


April 2020

someone was checking. Most parents did not know that camp accreditation is voluntary through the American Camp Association.” ACA is the only organization that accredits all types of camps, with up to 300 national standards for health and safety. ACAs accreditation program educates camp owners and directors in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, particularly those related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. The standards establish guidelines for needed policies, procedures, and practices. The camp, then, is responsible for on-going implementation of these policies. “ACA accreditation assures parents that the camp they have chosen has had a regular, independent safety audit that goes beyond regulations in most states,” explains Marla. “It helps parents select a camp that meets industry-accepted

and government-recognized standards.”

WHY CAMP? There are more options than ever before to keep a child busy during the summer, yet summer camp enrollment remains steady despite economic and world conditions. This phenomenon has left many people to ponder the question, why camp? The answer seems to lie in the fact that camp does more than keep a child busy. According to camp directors, parents send their children to camp because of the positive impact it has on youth development. In a 1998 national survey of camps accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), camp directors reported that parents rate the most important benefits of camp to be: • Increased self-confidence and self-esteem • Providing a safe place • Making new friends • Offering fun activities

“Parents are recognizing what we in the organized camping industry have known for years,” said Peg Smith*, CEO of ACA. “Camp is a vital element in a child’s total development and it complements the academic skills that are learned in school with experiential based life skills.” According to Robert Ditter, a clinical psychologist who specializes in child and adolescent treatment, camp helps build emotional intelligence. He states that camp contributes to the development of three emotionally based competencies - cognitive emotional quotient (EQ), social EQ and emotional EQ - and these competencies cannot be taught in the conventional sense. Rather, they are developed through experience. “Today’s camp curriculums,” Ditter said, “are designed to teach socialization skills that help a child better cope in the real world.”

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N



ow will you know which camp is the best fit for your child? There are a number of factors to consider, including cost, distance, session lengths and hours, staff expertise and ratio to campers, age range, facilities and philosophy. Among the most important questions to ask, however, are whether the camp will have activities that appeal to your child, and how comfortable you both are with the camp environment. When it’s the right one, kids have a great time and come home with many happy memories. Check out our summer camp directory for a comprehensive guide to camps available here in Houston, as well as throughout Texas and the nation.

Alley Theatre



713.315.5441 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

Alliance Fencing Academy

Alley Play Makers camp allows your child to learn theatre skills, have fun in a diverse environment, make new friends, and discover ways to shine on and off the stage.



713.410.6655 Houston & Conroe, TX

AGES: 5-14

Alliance Fencing Academy’s summer and winter fencing camps are an opportunity for your child to have fun exploring one of the original and foundational sports of the modern Olympic games while picking up technical and competitive skills that will last them a lifetime.

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp, Art, Technology, Sports

Registration now open for summer camps at Asia Society Texas Center, where cultures, art, and ideas converge!

Asia Society Texas Center asiasociety.org/texas 713.496.9901 Houston, TX

Athlete Training + Health

AGES: 6-12



713.568.8986 Katy & Spring, TX

AGES: 8-12

Building Brains LEGO Engineering buildingbrains.biz

888.55.BUILD 10 Locations in Houston

TYPE OF CAMP: Full Day, Half-Day AGES: 3-12

Our sports performance spring break camp provides Student ATHletes ages 8-12 years old with a positive environment to increase their athletic ability through exposure to elite performance coaching and competitive athletic competitions by utilizing fun and games!

LEGO I: campers will learn math and science by building simple machines with lego and K’Nex. Fun themes like circus fun, and transportation. LEGO II: campers will learn to build simple machines using gears, levers and pulleys and then motorize.

April 2020

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S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY Camp Allen


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

979.412.0376 Navasota, TX

AGES: 3rd-12th graders

Camp Champions


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

830.598.2571 Marble Falls, TX

AGES: 5-17

Camp Invention


TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

800.968.4332 Multiple Locations

AGES: Grades K-6

Camp Olympia


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

936.594.2541 Trinity, TX

AGES: 6-16

Camp Lantern Creek


TYPE OF CAMP: All Girl, Overnight

936.597.8225 Montgomery, Texas

AGES: 7-17

THE #1

Since 1921, Camp Allen has been providing kids with the best week of their lives! Located one hour northwest of Houston, Camp Allen offers week long residential camp sessions for ages 8-18. Camp Allen is the largest Episcopal summer camp program in the nation.

Camp Champions has created a tradition of excellence since 1967. With the facility and staff expected from a premier camp, Champions is distinguished by its developmental focus on building strong kids.

Camp Invention® is the nationally acclaimed, nonprofit summer enrichment program created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) for kindergarteners through 6th graders.

Camp Olympia is a private, overnight Texas Summer Camp for boys & girls ages 6-16 that offers one, two and three-week sessions with over 45 different activities choices for campers.

Camp Lantern Creek is a girls sleep away camp created so girls can find their voices, try new things, take risks, be cheered on, push boundaries and so much more.


FOR AGES 7-19 Coding. Game dev. Robotics. Digital arts. This isn’t just a camp. It’s an experience unlike any other. Here, you push past the boundaries of school, finding your squad and bonding over the latest tech. Led by expert instructors, you will build the skills needed to forge a brilliant future.

HELD AT 150+ ELITE CAMPUSES INCLUDING: Rice | The Woodlands Preparatory School | Trinity | Carnegie Mellon The University of Texas at Austin | TCU | SMU | Tulane NYU | UPenn

Request your brochure today!

iDTechCamps.com | 1-888-709-8324 houston family magazine


April 2020

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N Camppedia

www.camppedia.com 646.421.4941 Houston, TX

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Adventure, Art/ Theatre, Half-day, Sports, Technology AGES: 4-17

Christian Youth Theater Houston www.cythouston.org/camps


281.580.4298 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

Claire School of Dance www.clairedance.com


713-880-5565 Houston, TX

AGES: 3-11

Club SciKidz Houston

http://houston.clubscikidz.com 713.376.5939 4 Locations in the Greater Houston Area


TYPE OF CAMP: Technology, Academic, Half-Day AGES: 4-15


TYPE OF CAMP:Â Technology, Academic

832.862.8878 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-13


Find camps the easy way! Camppedia makes it easy for parents to find hundreds of spring & summer day camps for kids ages 4-17. Parents can customize their search by location, hours, and activities all on one single platform.

Christian Youth Theater Houston is an after-school theater arts training program for kids aged 5-18.

Camps for toddlers to pre-teens. Dance and crafts: Frozen, Fairy Magic, Princess Camp, On Your Toes, Dance Intensive. Also Camp Cupcake and Oooh La La Paris! Camp.

Our Summer Camp season will offer up to 42 summer day camp themes (S.T.E.M-based courses). From Robotics to Rocket Science, and even Mobile Game Design, we certainly have something for everyone!

The ultimate summer coding camp for kids! Week-long day camps where kids learn the fundamentals of technology in a fun and collaborative environment. Equipped with a robust curriculum and advanced technology, kids learn to code to bring their ideas to life.

Where dinos emerge from clay and physics is as easy as blowing bubbles

ENROLL TODAY! HMNS.org April 2020

33 houston family magazine

S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY Cy-Fair Music and Arts


TYPE OF CAMP: Art, Theatre

281.855.8855 Houston, TX

AGES: 4-13

Elite University Summer Camps www.elitesummercamps.com


855.931.2586 Houston, TX

AGES: 4-12

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council www.gssjc.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

713.292.0300 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-18

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft www.crafthouston.org


713.529.4848 Houston, TX

AGES: All Ages

Houston Humane Society www.houstonhumane.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Adventure, Academic

713.433.6421 Houston, TX

AGES: 7-13


Gymnastics • Archery • Horseback Riding Culinary Arts • Medical Science • Creative Drama Karate • Robotics • Mixed Media Art Aerospace Engineering • Music Lessons • Fencing

June 1, 2020-August 21, 2020 Monday-Friday 7am-6pm Ages: PK 4-12

MEDICAL CENTER LOCATION! Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church 6221 Main Street • Houston, Texas 77030

www.elitesummercamps.com • 1.855.931.2586 houston family magazine


April 2020

Creative and Fun Music and Art Summer Camps for Kids Ages 4 to 13. Guitar, Drums, Piano, Singing, Instrument Discovery, and Visual Arts at our Cypress, NW Houston location.

Elite University Summer Camps is proud to celebrate 15 years of innovative, interactive, educational camps! EUSC provides camps from the following departments: STEM, Athletics, Visual and Culinary Arts, and Performing Arts. Each weekly camp offers a fun field trip, before/after care, and a full day of activities.

Girl Scouts is the world’s preeminent organization for girls in grades K-12.

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is a nonprofit visual arts center dedicated to advancing education about the process, product, and history of craft.

Companion Camp at Houston Humane Society is a day camp for kids ages 7-13 to learn about animals, animal welfare, and the work that goes into running a shelter and wellness clinic. Campers will experience a newfound love for animals, how to be an animal advocate and the science of caring for animals. Junior Camp Counselor positions open for ages 14-18. Weekly sessions June 1 - August 14. Teen weeks (ages 12-15) weeks of June 22 and July 20.

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N Houston Neuroscience Brain Center www.hnbraincenter.com

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Day Camp

713.299.6006 Houston, TX

Ages: 10th - 12th grade

Houston SPCA Critter Camp www.houstonspca.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Adventure, Academic

713.869.7722 Houston, TX

AGES: 3rd-10th grade

iD Tech

www.iDTech.com 888.709.8324 Held at 150 Prestigious Campus Locations

iKids, Inc.

AGES: 7-19

TYPE OF CAMP: Art, Theatre, Academic

713.665.5200 Houston, TX

AGES: 3-12


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

417. 266.3000 Branson, Missouri

AGES: 6-18

Critter Camp is an educational camp designed for students entering 3rd – 10th who have a passion for animals and want to learn more about animal advocacy and veterinary skills. Each day, campers will explore topics related to animal welfare, play animal inspired games, create crafts for themselves and for the animals, and, of course, join their groups in spending time with some of our adoptable animals

iD Tech is the world leader in STEM education, with 450,000 alumni and over 20 years of experience. Summer programs for ages 7-19 are held at 150 prestigious campuses including NYU, Caltech, and Imperial College London. Students build in-demand skills for futures in coding, game development, robotics, and creative arts. Visit iDTech.com.



Kanakuk Kamps

Houston Neuroscience Brain Center is a clinical research facility dedicated to optimizing the function of each person’s brain through individualized assessment, training, and education grounded in neuroscience. Our goal is to increase your child’s ability to learn and test.

iKids offers educational, creative, and recreational enrichment for children. After-School Programs, Summer Camp, and more! Fine Arts to Performing Arts, STEM to STEAM and everything in between!

Kanakuk is a premier summer camp experience for boys and girls with locations in Branson and Lampe, Missouri. Its 5 overnight camps provide children and teens with fun, safe and age-appropriate outdoor camping experiences that develop them spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially. Sessions run from May 30 to Aug. 7 with 1, 2 and 4-week options.


BRAIN CAMP Help Stop Your Teen’s Testing Anxiety Through Neuroscience Technology! Brain Camp is a two-week program for students entering the 10th through 12th grades looking to increase their ability to learn and test through peak performance neurofeedback. Space is Limited, Call Today for More Information.

3730 Kirby Drive, Suite 930 Houston, Texas 77098


drron@hnbraincenter.com www.hnbraincenter.com

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S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY Kidz Building


TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

713.382.9301 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-14

Language Kids World www.languagekids.com

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

281.565.1388 Greater Houston Area

AGES: 3-5 & 6-10

Lone Star Flight Museum www.lonestarflight.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Technology

346.708.2517 Houston, TX

AGES: 11-14

Main Street Theater


TYPE OF CAMP: Theater, Half-day

713.524.7998 Houston, TX

AGES: 4-18

Mo-Ranch Summer Camp


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight, Adventure

830.238.4455 ext 266 Hunt, TX

AGES: 8-15

Our camp delivers a design process that harnesses your child’s imagination to solve everyday problems. Our goal is to foster the next generation of disrupters with a unique camp curriculum that draws upon fundamental math and creative problem-solving skills.

Learning another language has never been so much fun! In our fun and innovative immersion summer camps, your child will develop conversational skills in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, English or American Sign Language while making friends and developing curiosity for other cultures! Multiple locations, schedules & payment options. Register in one or several weeks.

A dynamic and interactive educational flight museum reaching the youth of Texas as a recognized experience of choice.

Our 2020 Summer Camp: Engage! runs all summer long and takes place at 4 locations: Rice Village, Museum District, Bellaire, and Midtown. Students create an original play and dance piece!

Our camp is a premier co-ed residential Christian summer camp located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country along the beautiful Guadalupe River.

Please support The Health Museum in its mission to inspire the wonder and curiosity about health, medical science, and the human body for all ages.

Find a location and save today at

invent.org/save 1,800+ locations nationwide!

houston family magazine


April 2020

Donate Today! thehealthmuseum.org

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N National Basketball Academy https://tnbabasketball.com


832.392.0749 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-18

National Youth Theater



832.510.7794 Shenandoah, TX

AGES: 6-12

Play-Well TEKnologies www.play-well.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Half-day

602.317.7448 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-12

Pyramid Kids Camp at Moody Gardens www.moodygardens.com

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Science AGES: 3 years - 8th grade

409.744.4673 Galveston, TX

Scott Pera Basketball Camps at Rice University www.ScottPera.com

TYPE OF CAMP: Sports AGES: 5-18

713.348.2859 Houston, TX

The National Basketball Academy and the Houston Rockets are proud to present the official Rockets Youth Basketball Program! Find camps, clinics, and training programs near you.

National Youth Theater (NYT) offers students the opportunity to gain vocal, dance, speech, and acting skills through all of our programs including theater classes, Broadway-style musicals, summer productions, and summer theater camps.

We offer Lego Engineering Summer Camps throughout Houston!

We invite all curious young minds entering grades K-8th to participate in our Wild Marvels Summer Camps! Designing a better future for all living things. PreK camps also available throughout the year for 3-5 year olds.

Scott Pera Basketball Camps on the campus of Rice University are dedicated to providing basketball camps that are both instructional and informative along with creating a great atmosphere to learn!



with our educational programs & camps


Sleep within inches of the tigers!


Study unique ocean creatures!


Encounter amazing wildlife!


An exciting career program for teens!


Earn Badges!


Meet and greet with an ambassador animal

Call Susie Shark to Register (713) 315-5112 410 Bagby @ Memorial • downtownaquarium.com April 2020

37 houston family magazine

S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY Snapology of Cypress-Woodland www.snapology.com/cypress

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic

832.777.SNAP (7627) Cypress, TX

AGES: 4-14

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp

www.sherwoodforestsummercamp.com 210.464.1867 McDade, TX

TYPE OF CAMP: Art/Theater, Adventure, Overnight AGES: 7-16

Stars Gymnastics



713.464.1996 Houston & Katy, TX

AGES: 4-12

Summer ASAP! Camp at Westbury Christian School


TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Art/Theatre, Sports, Technology, VBS AGES: 3-10

713.551.8100 Houston, TX

Summer Camps at HMNS


TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Technology

713.639.4651 Houston, TX & Sugar Land, TX

AGES: 6-12

Support Local Now! Shop local today, and we'll be here for you tomorrow. Here's how you can help Blue Willow:

Buy a gift card

Place online orders

Buy audiobooks through Libro.fm

Call us for orders and book recs

@bluewillowbooks bluewillowbookshop.com (281) 497-8675

Houston . Sugar Land . Katy houston family magazine


April 2020



Snapology provides interactive, STEM/STEAM programs for children featuring technology and/or popular building toys. Snapology engages children ages 1-14 using LEGO® bricks, K’Nex and technology. While the kids are having fun with familiar toys, laptops and iPads, we sneak in the learning. Shh, don’t tell them it’s educational!

Sherwood Forest Campers will experience many of the skills and trades of the Medieval era, which means making things with their own hands not drawing a picture on your screen with their fingers!

Stars Gymnastics offers a fun and safe environment for girls and boys ages 4 - 12 to spend an active day learning gymnastics and participating in group games and activities. Note: Stars is not a licensed childcare facility. We are a sports training facility.

Summer ASAP! at Westbury Christian School is for ages 3-10. This camp includes VBS, Sports, STEM, Time Travel & Art. Join us for a Christ-centered, high energy summer of fun!

From robots and rocket science to mummies and spying, students can participate in a variety of week-long camps at the Houston Museum of Natural Science!

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N Summer Incitement at Rainard www.rainard.org

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Half-day

713.647.7246 Houston, TX

AGES: 3.5 - 12

Texas A&M Sea Camp www.tamug.edu/seacamp

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp, Overnight

409.740.4525 Galveston, TX

AGES: 6-18

The ARTZ: Aerial Circus Endeavor (ACE) Summer Camp www.theartz8.com

TYPE OF CAMP: Full-day, Fitness AGES: 5-15

281.972.9147 Houston, TX

The Grand 1894 Opera House www.thegrand.com/summer-theatre-camp

TYPE OF CAMP: Arts & Theater

409.765.1894 Galveston, TX

AGES: 7-16

The Health Museum


TYPE OF CAMP: Spring Break Camp

713.521.1515 Houston, TX

AGES: 5-13

Each summer we look forward to opening our campus and sharing the Rainard experience with all gifted children, ages 3.5-12, in the Houston area. We use critical thinking and problem solving to encourage the complex and higher-level thinking on which gifted children thrive.

Hands on marine adventure camps at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Marine biology, marine science, oceanography and more!

Enjoy our full-day adventure so awesome that the little ones won’t want to leave. Kids will learn Fabric, Trapeze, Lyra, and hammock at our camp. Dates: June 1st- August 28th

In partnership with Missoula Children’s Theatre, The Grand presents our annual Theatre Camp! Camp dates are July 20-24th. Camp culminates in a performance of MCT’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

Spark your child’s curiosity at our Discovery Camps— designed to give kids the opportunity to have intelligent fun, make friends, and make the most out of their spring, summer and winter break!


June 8 - August 7

K-8th grade explorers create their own adventure!

REGISTER TODAY! ALLEYTHEATRE.ORG/HFM • 713.315.5424 Dates are subject to change.



Official Airline of Alley Theatre

April 2020

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S P E C I A L S E C T I O N | C A M P D I R E C T O RY The Kinkaid School www.kinkaid.org 713.243.6421 Houston, TX

The Little Gym Summer Time Camps

www.thelittlegym.com/Houston-Area 11 Houston Area Locations

AGES: 3-12

Topgolf Houston-Katy



832.610.2030 Houston, TX

AGES: 6-12



(877) 322-2891 Houston, TX

AGES: 6wks-12yrs

YMCA Camp Cullen


AGES: 4-16


Xplor Preschool and School-Age

houston family magazine

TYPE OF CAMP: Day Camp, Academic, Sports


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight, Adventure

936.594.2274 Trinity, TX

AGES: 5-17

April 2020

Non-Kinkaid and Kinkaid students are welcome to participate in all summer school sports camps and academic classes. Our Summer School offers a variety of programs for Pre-K - 10th grade. We offer both enrichment and remedial courses taught by Kinkaid faculty. Athletic and art camps also available. June 1 - 26, 2020

Our Super Kid’s Quest Camps (3-8 years) combine physical activity, gymnastics, and games with arts, crafts, and special LEGO®. building! Our Skill Thrill Camps (6-12 years) focus on learning specific skills while reviewing and practicing all-around gymnastic skills. contact the location near you for details on camp days, times & cost.

Topgolf venues across Houston are offering 3 days of nonstop fun for kids ages 6-12 with Spring Academy. Beginning March 9th kids of every skill level will get the opportunity to learn about the great game of golf taught by golf professionals from Topgolf Coach. From chipping, putting, and full swing, to the rules and etiquette, kids will learn everything they need to know to improve their game.

Xplor Preschool and School Age has two locations in the Houston area. We provide private preschool, after school and camp programs.

Nestled among the tall pines along the shores of Lake Livingston lies one of Texas’s premier camps. Campers take part in choice-based activities in a safe, fun and supportive environment.

C A M P D I R E C T O RY | S P E C I A L S E C T I O N YMCA Camp Twin Lakes


TYPE OF CAMP: Overnight

512.250.9622 option 6 Cedar Park, TX

AGES: 7-16

Yorkshire Academy

TYPE OF CAMP: Academic, Art/Theatre, Technology

www.yorkshireacademy.com 281.531.6088 Houston, TX

AGES: 24 months - 6th grade

YMCA Camp Twin Lakes-overnight camp minutes north of Austin. We provide a safe, supportive, and fun environment for campers to explore, play and make lifelong friends— all in the great outdoors.

Yorkshire Academy’s Summer Program offers a wide array of camp options for 24 months–6th grade. Ex.: Academics, 50 enrichment camps- such as cricket, yoga, robotics, art, Spanish, and themed camps - half day, full day, or full time care.

SPECIAL NEEDS CAMPS Camp Aranzazu www.camparanzazu.org

Camp LIFE http://camplife.tamu.edu

Sire Houston Therapeutic Equestrian Center https://sire-htec.org

Camp Blessing http://campblessing.org

Camp Summit www.campsummittx.org

Camp for All http://campforall.org

Cristo Vive International www.cristovive.net/texas-camp-conroe

Camp CAMP www.campcamp.org

Dream Catcher Stables www.dreamcatcherstables.org

Charis Hills Camp www.charishills.org/index

LearningRx Sugarland www.learningrx.com/sugar-land

Texas Lions Camp www.lionscamp.com True Knight Home School Academy www.trueknight.org

Registration Open!

Learn more and register at AsiaSociety.org/Texas Week-long, hands-on programs delving into Asian traditions, art, and culture.

2020 SUMMER CAMP DATES: Thank You Sponsors!

Monday, June 8 – Friday, June 12

Filmmaking with Writers in the Schools (WITS) Digital Monday, June 22 – Friday, June 26

Adventures Along the Silk Road Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10



To all of the sponsors, attendees and everyone who came out to make our 2020 camp fairs such a huge success. Missed Camp Fair? Check out our Camp Directory Running Now- June in print and online.

Manga POP and Manga Digital Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24

On to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games! Monday, August 3 – Friday, August 7

Dances of China Located in the Museum District 1370 Southmore Boulevard, Houston, TX 77004

April 2020

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D E PA R T M E N T | V I R T U A L C A L E N D A R

virtual calendar of events Houston has gone virtual. Visit some of your favorite places from the comfort of your own home.

Houston Public Library

houston zoo

YMCA Virtual workouts

Online resources and digital services are always available 24/7 with your MY Link Library Card including e-books and e-audiobooks, streaming TV, movie and music services, online classes and tutoring, and databases.

Sharing daily updates of what our furred, flippered, and feathered friends are up to and how our zookeepers are caring for them. Each weekday (Monday-Friday) we’re hosting a Facebook Live to bring the Zoo to YOU! As always, we also have several live web cameras (www.houstonzoo.org/ explore/webcams/) so folks can check on their favorite animal any time of day.

Now offering free virtual fitness classes from the YMCA and LES MILLS to stay healthy at home.

Daily houstonlibrary.org

Daily ymcahouston.org

Monday-Friday at 11am Houstonzoo.org

asia society Connect through digital channels and enjoy content for all ages! Stay tuned to learn, have fun, and explore with videos, family activities, interactive webcasts, and more. Daily asiasociety.org/texas/asia-society-home

houston family magazine


April 2020

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Tune into HCCC’s interactive, virtual programming to learn about art-making activities they can do at home with the kids, visit artist studios, see exclusive exhibition content, and more. Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1pm (CT) crafthouston.org/events/virtualprogramming-on-social-media

writers in the schools (QuickWits) Join a series of interactive poetry writing workshops for youth in grades 6-12. Each session will give youth an opportunity to engage with a professional WITS writer in a virtual small group setting. We will launch WITS U in conjunction with National Poetry Month in April and will offer sessions throughout the spring season. Daily witshouston.org

Marine Science Virtual Classroom: explore our ecosystem Students are encouraged to ask questions during the live stream in the comment section below the video. Interested students should check out website blog posts a few days prior to each lesson as there will be worksheets, videos, and optional activity supplies they may want to collect before each live lesson. The instructors will be referring to some of these materials (especially the worksheets) throughout the live videos. Each lesson is geared towards students in preK through 8th grade, but anyone is welcome to join, participate, and enjoy. 9:30am, Daily facebook.com/reefrelief/ youtube.com/user/thereefrelief

Justin Roberts Stuck at Home Concerts Are you stuck at home? So is GRAMMYnominated indie rock star Justin Roberts! Every morning this week he is going live to share projects that can be done at home, teach a song on the ukulele, and more. On Thursday he hosts a big interactive concert on YouTube... and takes requests! Daily at 10:30 am justinrobertsmusic.com/stuck-at-home/

Tuesdays with Tinkergarten

Galveston Historical Foundation

Each Tuesday a virtual Tinkergarten class is led by Founder, Meghan Fitzgerald. Kids are invited to join from their backyard, fire escape, living room, or any safe spot where there is space. The classes last approximately 20 minutes. 10:30 Central

Join us for a series of live Facebook lectures straight from Galveston Historical Foundation’s offices in the 1860 Hendley Building! Lectures will cover a variety of Galveston-focused topics and will have ample time for Q&A as well.

Tuesdays at 10:30 am facebook.com/ events/962194417571724/

April 3- Beach Revue History April 9- Ship To Shore https://www.galvestonhistory.org/news/ covid-19?mc_cid=2f87af9d88&mc_ eid=6dc1822fe0

Galveston History Virtual Book Club

moody gardens- Pyramids

LUNCHDOODLES with Mo Willems

Join the monthly book club in an online gathering, where we discuss the topics and themes of each month’s selection. April’s book is The Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it changed the world by Pale Rider.

The pyramids at Moody Gardens are teeming with life and learning. There are curriculum guides to support lessons. During the stay-at-home mandate period, the non-profit educational attraction is also committed to posting educational items on their Facebook page twice each day.

Mo Willems invites kids into his studio every weekday to draw, doodle, and explore new ways of writing. So grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo.

Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 2 PM – 3 PM facebook.com/events/514243212554932 amazon.com, audible.com

www.facebook.com/moodygardens. www.moodygardens.com/education

12pm Central Time, Daily kennedy-center.org/education/mowillems/

April 2020

43 houston family magazine

D E PA R T M E N T | V I R T U A L C A L E N D A R

virtual museum tours

Google Arts & Culture Virtual Museums Explore panoramic views of famous sites in 360˚ Street View tours. Virtual Tour of Mikhail Bulgakov Museum, National Palace of Sintra and Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte. Daily artsandculture.google.com/project/ streetviews

National Museum of Natural History The Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History virtual tours allow visitors to take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum from their desktop or mobile device. Daily naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour

National Museum of the United States Airforce The virtual tour allows visitors to take a virtual, 360-degree, self-guided tour of the entire museum by navigating from gallery to gallery. Daily nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Virtual-Tour

Vatican Museum

Lone Star Flight Museum

museum of fine arts houston

Explore the treasures of the Catholic Church such as Michelangelo’s sixteen Chapel inside the world’s smallest independent country.

While we all take care to be healthy and safe, visit the virtual Lone Star Flight Museum for some online awesomeness! We have taken everything we had planned for Spring Break at the museum and put it online for our virtual visitors.

Art is for everyone—and now everywhere. Although the doors may be temporarily closed, stay connected and inspired by accessing the museums online collections and exhibits streaming films, art-making activities, artist’s talks and more.

Daily facebook.com/lonestarflightmuseum/

Daily mfah.org/visit/mfah-virtual-experience

Daily museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/ en/collezioni/musei/tour-virtuali-elenco.1.html

houston family magazine


April 2020

Getaway to

ADVENTURE! Make the Kemah Boardwalk your favorite destination.

APRIL EVENTS 10-12 Easter Weekend 12 SonRise Service 18-19 Crawfish & Zydeco Festival 25 Spring Craft Beer Festival 26 Blessing of the Fleet


Did You Know We're Digital? DOWNLOAD OUR APP


Every Monday!


215 KIPP AVENUE • KEMAH, TX 77565 • 281-535-8100 • KEMAHBOARDWALK.COM Just minutes from Houston on Galveston Bay.


45 houston family magazine

art, literature & beyond ART Khan Academy: Art History

Learn the basics, starting with About “Seeing America” khanacademy.org/humanities/art-history

BrainPop: Arts & Music

Engaging learning activities, animated movies and activities to encourage kids to ask questions and use their minds. about.brainpop.com

Pete the Cat Club Virtual Storytime with James Dean Pete the Cat creator James Dean posts a live storytime each weekday on Instagram Live. (Live videos aren’t accessible on the desktop or web browser version of Instagram; watch with the app on Pete the Cat’s official Instagram account.) 11am Central time instagram.com/petethecatofficial/

Josh Gad

Be inspired with paint, drawing, performances, sculpture and technology. There is an activity for all age groups. tate.org.uk/kids/make

The actor who voices Olaf in Frozen reads books (and does all the voices) for families at bedtime. Gad has his own family, so the time changes each night. Follow #GadBookClub on Twitter and Instagram for that night’s reading. Every night instagram.com/joshgad #GadBookClub

Art Puzzle

Draw With Rob

Tate Gallery at Home

Running out of activities and puzzles, this set of virtual puzzles of some of the world’s artistic masterpieces is fun for the whole family. jigzone.com/gallery/Art

Queensland Art Games

QAGOMA’s Children’s Art Centre works with artists to create exciting activities, books and programs just for kids to explore art and artists from Australia and around the world. Play fun games, watch cool videos and get creative with make-at-home activities. qagoma.qld.gov.au/learn/kids

LUNCHDOODLES with Mo Willems

Mo Willems invites kids into his studio every weekday to draw, doodle, and explore new ways of writing. So grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo. Each weekday’s new video drops Kids should be sure to have some pencils, pens or crayons, and paper on hand for these unique lessons. 12pm Central Time, daily kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/

VIRTUAL STORYTIMES Oliver Jeffers Storytime

On Instagram Live, kids and parents can listen to author Oliver Jeffers read his young reader books (How To Catch a Star, The Way Back Home, The Day the Crayons Quit, etc.) once each day. 6pm GMT, 2pm EST, 11am PST Monday-Friday instagram.com/p/B9vasYyhwdu oliverjeffers.com

Author, illustrator, and founder of FableVision. Find Peter’s weekday read-aloud events of his books such as The Dot, The Word Collector, Ish, The Best Kid in the World etc.. Noon EDT, Monday - Friday. facebook.com/PeterHamiltonReynolds

Diane Alber

The author of Scribble books (I’m NOT Just a Scribble, Never Let a Unicorn Scribble, Scribble Stones, etc.) reads one of her books daily at noon. Watch for announcements of free downloads and painting tutorials. Noon, Monday-Friday facebook.com/imnotjustascribble


David Walliams

Every kid’s favorite author is reading chapters from his World’s Worst Children books, every day at 11am for a 20-minute treat that’s the perfect accompaniment to that apple (OK, biscuit) your child is snacking on. Daily. 11am soundcloud.com/harpercollinspublishers/theworlds-worst-children-2-3/s-zHZPQlifKuV

Mac Barnett’s Book Club show

Join a mini themed shows part live theatre, part comedy skit, part craft lesson. They score high on the entertainment value and regularly feature surprise guests. Tune in for: chapter books After Dark where Barnett styles himself as a TV host reminiscent of the 1950s, where “Each night I’ll pour a glass of milk, put on my most comfortable tuxedo and read a chapter of my memoir, Mac B, Kid Spy #1: Mac Undercover, illustrated by @mikelowerystudio. Nightly. 7:00 pm instagram.com/p/B-F4IUonxnW/

Cressida Cowell

Peter Reynolds

houston family magazine

Rob Biddulph, award-winning author of Blown Away, Odd Dog Out and many others, is hosting #DrawWithRob sessions online every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am GMT. His first video, which teaches kids how to draw Gregosaurus from Happy Hatchday, is a must for any child who’s ever wanted to draw a dinosaur. Tuesday and Thursday at 10am GMT twitter.com/RobBiddulph/status/1239853999697932289 robbiddulph.com/draw-with-rob

April 2020

The author of How To Train Your Dragon is reading a chapter a day of her bestseller to kids on BookTrust HomeTime virtual hub -. Illustrator Ed Vere is hosting draw-along online sessions, and there are also quizzes, games and competitions for kids to check out. booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/

VIRTUAL field trips San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities, and games. Enjoy the tour! https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/

Yellowstone National Park

Take a tour of Yellowstone National Park! www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm

Explore Mars

Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover. They are updating from WEBVR to WEBXR now, but 360 Mode offers a digital view! https://accessmars.withgoogle.com/

Farm Food 360

This Canadian farm offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs. www.farmfood360.ca

U.S. Space and Rocket Museum

See the Saturn 5 Rocket on YouTube and more on this tour thanks to a real father/son outing. www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qe5RqyMNhc

Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips A few of the field trip topics include www.discoveryeducation.com

The Louvre

Travel to Paris, France to see amazing works of art at The Louvre with this virtual field trip. www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne

The Great Wall of China

This Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life. www.thechinaguide.com/destination/great-wall-ofchina

Boston Children’s Museum

Walk through the Boston Children’s Museum thanks to Google Maps! This virtual tour allows kids to explore 3 floors of fun. www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/museum-virtual-tour

Georiga Aquarium

Enjoy a variety of live webcam options from sea lions, African penguins, jelly fish, Ino-pacific, the Ocean Voyager and more! www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/beluga-whale-webcam/

Star Atlas

Through Star Atlas, kids can explore over 60,000 stars, locate planets, and watch sunrises and solar eclipses. If you enter your location, you can see all the constellations that are visible in the night sky in your corner of the world. https://staratlas.com/

The Great Lakes

This virtual field trip from Great Lakes Now has three components: coastal wetlands, algae, and lake sturgeon. Each video is a quick five minutes. www.greatlakesnow.org/educational-resources/ virtual-field-trip/



The Power of

Mandala Coloring

In Sanskirt, mandala means “sacred circle”.

written by Elizabeth Irvine

Mandala coloring gained popularity a few years ago, but honestly mandalas have been used for centuries as an integrative tool for health, healing and connecting to the subconscious mind. Our own children learned about the power of coloring within a circle some 20 years ago and we all still color and teach others the practice today.



Mandalas create patterns the mind can understand, thus bringing order and harmony, creating a “drop in meditative state” without having to meditate! A mandala’s circular form helps to organize perception, thought, and physical responses in positive ways.

Begin by coloring the mandala pattern provided here. Use primary colors (colored pencils, ink gel pens or even watercolor pencils) to fill in the circle. The power of the circle is to establish order and to create patterns the mind can understand. It becomes a coloring meditation. The only rule to follow; remain silent and focus all of your attention on coloring your mandala. If your mind wanders, bring it back to your coloring.

TAP INTO NATURAL HEALING I have used coloring mandalas as an integrative tool for health and healing for a very long time because the process is not difficult and it really works. Creative self-expression at its best, time spent coloring your mandala allows your body and mind to instinctively respond. Just like a teeter-totter, you find your way back to balance and equilibrium. Besides generating the feeling of relaxation, unlocking inspiration and creativity, coloring a mandala can allow a direct line for “buried “ annoyance to surface, and ultimately self-heal.

CREATE A HEALTHIER YOU IN 20 MINUTES After you color your mandala (aim for about 20 minutes, which is the typical length of a closed-eye meditation) and then indulge a few more minutes to consider this journal prompt: WHAT DO I LOVE TO DO? What do I love to do so much that it makes me lose track of time? Today, what made me think, I love to… Write whatever comes to mind, in whatever way it comes out— list your favorites, describe one thing you

love to do and why, or doodle an image. Through this process you create space for your creative forces to come out and play. Your pen and paper allow you to experience a release through an outpouring of inner self-expression. This sacred time allows you to tap into the healing space within you. Once you call to mind what you love to do? Spend more time doing just that. We become a healthier, happier version of ourselves when we are in a positive place. PASS IT ON Pass it on to your child, partner or friend. Invite a mandala coloring party in, and watch how people respond. Give them an easy way to experience the calm and creative feeling of a coloring meditation. You will give them an invaluable self-care tool to a life-long tradition. I welcome the opportunity to hear about your experience. If you have questions or want to share; email info@elizabethirivne. com.

https://houstonfamilymagazine.com/wp-content/ uploads/HoustonFamilyMagazine-Mandala.pdf enlighten your inbox with our e-inspirations at www.truewellbeing.com

WANT MORE? The Power of Mandala Coloring: Tap into the Power of Meditation Without Having to Meditate Webinar. This webinar will include: 4 weekly one-hour sessions. Each session includes a new mandala template and journal prompt. In each session you will learn how to: • interpret your mandala coloring • use additional journal prompts and exercises (to include discussion) • gain clarity about what you want and where to place value • use this information and create affirmations for positive change Ultimately, all of these actions will provide you a path to your own personal truewellbeing. The goal of this webinar is to give you to the tools to create a healthier, happier way of being from the inside out and raise families who care—about themselves, about each other, and about the world around them. For more information and sign up www.elizabethirvine.com/education

Elizabeth Irvine: nurse, educator and awardwinning author. She is the founder and owner of Truewellbeing Inc— you can purchase her books, jewelry and sign up for soulful workshops and retreats around the world. April 2020

47 houston family magazine

facts from

is for Environment

Stories to help children care for their world – at home, school and at play written by Ian James Corlett










houston family magazine


April 2020

images from vecteezy.com


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Advancing health. Personalizing care.

memorialhermann.org/women April 2020

49 houston family magazine

Free grocery pickup. Every time. Always. Houston’s only major grocer with free grocery pickup. Always.

$30 min. Restrictions apply.

houston family magazine


April 2020

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