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FREE Nov. 2012 27 years of connecting with kansas city families

growing good citizens + raising grateful kids

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special needs

foster care & adoption in kc 1 november 2012

healthcare you can trust.

Sallie L. Veenstra, MD Barbara S. Trites, MD Lisa B. Fletcher, MD Deann E. DeWitt, MD Allison C. Henschel, MD Sarah J. Gladstone, MD Bryan L. Phillips, MD Daniel E. Gershon, DO Veronica Manka, MD Jeffrey P. Yannette, MD Jennifer M. Sauer, MD Cynthia M. Dean, DO Kelly R. Fritz, C-PNP Julie Kirkpatrick, C-PNP Camille Lucitto, C-PNP Heather Williams, C-PNP Cindy Fieser, C-PNP Sarah Dedrick, C-PNP Angela Stott, C-PNP

LEE’S SUMMIT Lee’s Summit Physicians 1425 N.W. Blue Parkway Lee’s Summit, Missouri 816.524.5600 Raintree Pediatrics

PHYSICIANS GROUP We offer pediatric walk-in urgent care seven days a week, medical advice by phone, after-hours on-call physicians and online scheduling!

821 SW Lemans Lane Lee’s Summit, Missouri


Urgent Care (Pediatrics Only) No appointment necessary! 8:00-11:00 am Mon-Friday 4:00-7:00 pm Mon-Thursday


Sat 9-11 am • Sun 1-4 pm (Weekend hours available at Blue Parkway office)

Appts: Mon-Fri 8 am - 5 pm Urgent Care: 8-11 am

Blue Springs Pediatrics 1600 NW South Outer Road Blue Springs, Missouri 816.554.6520

Scheduled appointments Mon - Fri 10-12 pm & 1-4 pm Free Prenatal Consults Mon - Fri 10-12 pm & 1-4 pm • • 2 november 2012


CARE for KIDS. Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks the

top hospitals in the country in specialties such as nephrology, neonatology and cancer. For the second year in a row, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics is the only hospital in Kansas City to be ranked in 100% of all specialties measured. It’s a reflection of our world-class pediatric expertise, research and clinical care. And it’s more evidence that Children’s Mercy is working wonders every day. november 2012



THOUSAnDS Of bAbIES ArE bOrn EvEry DAy. bUT WE’LL mAkE yOU fEEL LIkE yOUrS IS THE OnLy OnE. Saint Luke’s East Hospital makes your experience special with personalized care from our dedicated doctors and nurses. We offer 24-hour physician coverage in our Labor & Delivery Unit—the only one in Lee’s Summit. Our spacious birthing suites let you spend those first T:4.85”

few days bonding with your newborn without distraction or interruption—the way it should be. Our Level IIIA neonatal intensive care unit offers in-room accommodations for parents, and we have rooms designed for twins. To speak with a baby care coordinator, call Saint Luke’s Concierge at 816-932-5100. Learn more at

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Child STL-12-011-OB-EAST_7-4x4-85_M1.indd


Document Path: Studio:Volumes:Studio:STUDIO SERVER:St-Lukes:Print:OB:KC-Parent Magazine:STL-12-011-OB-EAST_7-4x4-85_M1.indd



Specs Live Trim Bleed

None 7.4” x 4.85” None

Cyan Magenta Yellow Black

Printed at None


Ask us DR.PMHEMBERGER CD Print/Export time 8-9-2012 3:26 Last saved 8-9-2012 3:26 PM about our Design Workstation Dave Schroeder’s iMac Page # 1 Why choose kids camp Studious? es Our Expertise... Studio Mgr for ages ar, Bold) • American BoardAccount Certified Pediatric Dentists. 4-11! STL_Pregnant_BLUE_4c_V1.tif (CMYK; 362 ppi; 68.99%; Creative:ART:St-Lukes:Magazine:FINAL_PRINT_STL_Pregnant_BLUE_4c_V1.tif)

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astHosp-Excel_horiz_CMYK.eps (46.36%; Creative:LOGOS AND TEMPLATES:Client_Logos:S_Logos:Saint_Lukes:Lockup_Call-To-Excellence:SaintLukes_EastHosp-Excel_ Proofreading ) • Recipient of the prestigious Kansas Dentist of

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y DiMassimo Goldstein (DIGO) 220 E. 23rd St., NY, NY 10010 212.253.7500

Pediatric Dental Specialists for Children & Teens

GLENN V. HEMBERGER, D.D.S., M.S. New Patients call today!

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We are excited and privileged to provide comprehensive dental and orthodontic care for children and teens including those with special needs.

4 november 2012

• Served as Secretary, Vice President and Release Date President of the Kansas Dental Association. • Recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the Kansas Fifth District Dental Society. • Pediatric Dental Coordinator for the Kansas Mission of Mercy since 2002. • Appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the Kansas Dental Board

A great gift that lasts

All yeAr long!

• Factory Tour • 4D Cinema • lego® MInIlAnD • lego rides • Soft Play • Celebration rooms • lego Shop, Café and Much More! Crown Center Square, 2475 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108 LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configurations and LEGOLAND are trademarks of the LEGO Group, ©2012 The LEGO Group.

HolIDAy AnnUAl PASS SPeCIAl! A full year of fun at the special holiday price of


$50 per person!

An Annual Pass includes unlimited, priority entry to the new legolAnD Discovery Center Kansas City. Visit our website or stop by for more information! november 2012


NOV 2012



Women’s Health


Media Mix


Blog Bits


Healthy Kids


Word from Dad


Party Guide


Calendar of Events




Too Much?

Classic Toys

How young is too young to 10 tried and true toys under $5 have the latest gadgets?


Our KC cover kid is Jake, from Olathe. Cover and select interior photos by

After Dinner Fun ideas for games and activities after Thanksgiving dinner

FREE Nov. 2012 27 years of connecting with kansas city families

ON THE COVER Cyber Monday Shopping Tips


Toys $5 and Less


Raising Grateful Kids


Special Needs Foster Care & Adoption


Growing Good Citizens


growing good citizens + raising grateful kids

save $$$ cyber monday shopping tips + $5 toys

special needs

foster care & adoption in kc 1 november 2012

6 november 2012 november 2012


editor’s letter NOVEMBER 2012 Publisher Michael Gimotty

Happy Thanksgiving, Kansas City!

Visit to enter to win 2 tickets (1 adult/1child) to the KC Ballet’s Nutcracker Sugar Plum Fairy Luncheon and Performance on Saturday, Dec. 1. Event always sells out— enter today! ($235 value).

8 november 2012

Margaret Sarver, Editor

Associate Publisher Darrell Dean Editor Margaret Sarver Art Director Lauren Goldman Advertising Sales Darrell Dean Lynn Hawkins Electronic Media Manager Kristina Light Event Calendar Marisa Frymire Proofreader Susan Crainshaw Distribution To be added to our distribution list, e-mail

100% LOCAL

Local Contributing Writers William Bartlett (Belton), Kerry Chafin (Independence), Wendy Connelly (Overland Park), Marisa Frymire (Overland Park), Lauren Greenlee (Olathe), Stacey Hatton (Overland Park), Jennifer Higgins (Kearney), Sara Keenan (Kansas City), Gina Klein (Kansas City), Kristina Light (Kansas City), Jessica Pflumm (Overland Park), Melinda Ablard Smith (Olathe), Kathy Stump (Parkville), Melanie Yunger (Shawnee) Business Office 11936 W. 119th #335, Overland Park, KS 66213 913.782.3238 phone • 913.681.5139 fax OUR PRODUCTS the ultimate guide to family fun in KC

fall 2012 CELEBRATING 10 YEARS 2002-2012

serving kansas city since 2002

growing good citizens + raising grateful kids

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fall/winter 2012-13


FREE Nov. 2012 27 years of connecting with kansas city families



See details on pg. 15.





byebye, bottle


tips for successful toddler transitions


special needs

foster care & adoption in kc 1 november 2012


{is your baby on the move?} fall 2012






ecently I took my girls for a haircut. We were going on a Sunday, and I anticipated a wait, so I had each grab a book to read while we waited. I was correct—the place was full, and we had a good 30-minute wait ahead of us. Tori set off reading, and Ally and I began working through a more difficult book together. The woman sitting next to us turned to me and said, “My son would love to see the two of you reading together. He’s a teacher and always encourages his students to read.” I didn’t think much of it, as I figured we were doing what everyone else in the waiting area was doing. Until I looked around. Each and every person was on some sort of mobile device, playing a game, texting or watching a video. And many of those waiting were kids, young kids. It’s no secret that technology has evolved at warp speed in the past few years. The things that are available today are just mind-boggling, and I’m sure more is on the horizon. But when is enough enough? Are kids today getting too much too soon? Jennifer Higgins takes a look at technology on pg. 16 and the advantages and disadvantages that come with it all. As we do every November, we turn our thoughts to Thanksgiving. While I have a mile-long list of what I am thankful for, I want to make special mention of all of the fabulous local writers that contribute each month to KC Parent. Without this talented group, my job would be much more difficult. So this Thanksgiving, a special “Thank You” to all of you that I work with month in and month out on our publications. You are much appreciated and treasured!


Member of:

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Kansas City Parent Magazine is published 12 times a year by Family Media Group. It is distributed free of charge throughout the Kansas City area. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect KC Parent’s opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission. Kansas City Parent Magazine does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. All photography and letters sent to KC Parent will be treated unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to unrestricted right to edit and comment editorially. KC Parent often includes websites that may be helpful to our readers. We verify each site prior to publication. However, content changes frequently. We encourage you to use caution and discretion when visiting a website.

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women’s health

Thyroid Tips: Be in the Know


or being such a small gland, the thyroid has a large and complicated responsibility. The thyroid’s function is to take iodine from the foods we eat and convert it to thyroid hormones. In fact, the thyroid cells are the only cells that can absorb iodine. However, every cell in our body depends on thyroid hormones for regulation of its metabolism. The main hormones that participate in this process are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These particular hormones affect the growth and rate of function of many other systems in our body. The thyroid gland is under the care of the pituitary gland, located in the brain. When the thyroid hormones are too low, the pituitary gland produces thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to tell the thyroid to produce more T3 and T4. Diseases of the thyroid gland result in too much thyroid hormone (overactive or hyperthyroidism), too little thyroid hormone (underactive or hypothyroidism) or nodules/goiters. All types of thyroid disease are much more common in women than men, and many women develop thyroid issues around the time of pregnancy or shortly after delivery. Many times thyroid disorders go unnoticed during the post-partum time frame because the symptoms of thyroid disease and experiences during post-partum are similar. Signs of hypothyroidism may include easy fatigue, poor tolerance to cold temperatures, constipation, poor appetite, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, depression or irregular menstrual periods. Hyperthyroidism can mimic other health issues, which may make it difficult for your doctor to diagnose. Signs of hyperthyroidism may include insomnia, nervousness, frequent bowel movements, feeling hot in normal or cold temperatures, weight loss and increased appetite, joint pains and eyes that seem to be enlarged. Can thyroid disease be prevented? The short answer is no, it can’t be prevented. In the United States, iodine deficiency is rare. In fact, it is not recommended that a person take any extra iodine beyond what is in a multivitamin. Most people with proper care from their health care provider can control their condition with no long-term side effects. However, those with undiagnosed disease may experience serious consequences. The best advice is to seek medical attention if you find you are experiencing any of the above symptoms for an unreasonable length of time. Melanie Yunger is a local nurse practitioner, wife, mother and freelance writer.

10 november 2012

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD 1. Choose a Box Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.

NATIONAL COLLECTION WEEK IS NOV. 12-19 Operation Christmas Child representatives travel by truck, bus, train, helicopter, boat, foot, dog sled, and even mule to handdeliver the gifts to needy children in over 100 countries.




2. Boy or Girl? Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork at Mark the correct age category on the label and tape the label to the top of your box.

3. Fill with Gifts Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. Ideas include small toys, school supplies, hygiene items, hard candy, ball caps, hair clips, etc. You can even include a personal note to the child receiving the box. 4. Include Your Donation Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using the “Follow Your Box Donation” option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it

KC Parent Proof June 09

11:15 AM

in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. 5. Drop Off Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the collection center nearest you during our collection week, Nov. 14-21. For locations & hours of collection, visit There you can find the nearest place to take your shoe box by entering your ZIP code, or you can call 1.800.353.5949.

KCParent ParentProof ProofJune June09 09 KC

Year Year Year Round Pediatric Round Round Allergies? Asthma

Allergies? Allergies? Study







ansas City& Asthma ansas City Allergy Allergy Asthma is currently seekingand volunteers is City currently seekansas City Asthma to participate inAllergy aAllergy research ansas &&Asthma ing isvolunteers to participate iscurrently currently seeking volunteers study of an approved seeking volunteers inmedication a research studyinof an participate ina3aresearch in children toresearch 9 totoparticipate investigational preventer years ofstudy age with perennial study of an approved of an approved allergic rhinitisin(year-round allergies) medication children 6 to medication children medication ininchildren 3.3toto9 9 If qualified, participants 11 years of age with asthma. years of age with perennial years of age with perennial willallergic receiverhinitis study-related If qualified, participants (year-round allergies) allergic rhinitis (year-round allergies) .. carereceive and study medication will study-related If qualified, participants If qualified, participants well as receive compensation careasand study medication will study-related will receive study-related for time and travel. as well as compensation care and study medication care and study medication If your suffered from year-round forchild timehasand travel. If your child has wellasascompensation compensation asaswell allergiesbeen for at diagnosed least one year andasthma you would like 6 with at least timeand andtravel. travel. forfortime more information, please call the months agohas andsuffered you would like more your child from year-round If Ifyour child has suffered from year-round Research Department atthe Research information, please call allergies foratatleast least oneyear year andyou youwould wouldlike like allergies one Kansas Cityfor Allergy & Asthma at and 913.345.2383.


Department at Kansasplease City call Allergy moreinformation, information, the more please call the and Asthma at 913.345.2383 or visit Main Location: Research Department at Research Department at usCollege online atBoulevard, Kansas CityAllergy Allergy Asthma 913.345.2383. 8675 Suite 200 Kansas City &&Asthma atat913.345.2383.



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Move over Black Friday...Hello, Cyber Monday!


Did you know? Cyber Monday sales in 2011 were $1.2 billion…that is more than 22 percent higher than in 2010!

(Source: comScore, Inc.)




Are you a Black Friday fan? Visit for tips to make the most of your Black Friday shopping trip! november 2012


admit it. I may be a savvy shopper, but I’m a Black Friday Scrooge. I can’t stand shopping on Black Friday. Waking up early after a long day of turkey-eating to fight crowds for mostly mediocre deals is not my idea of a good time. However, Cyber Monday is a whole different ball game! Not familiar with Cyber Monday? It all started a few years ago when online retailers noticed that on the Monday after Thanksgiving (when everyone is back in front of a computer at work or at home), sales were spiking. To take advantage of that, they birthed Cyber Monday, a day full of hot online deals and lightning steals—and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your pajamas to get in on the action! I absolutely love Cyber Monday... shopping online is so much more fun and easy, and the deals can be even better when you add in discount codes and cash back sites. Here are some of my tips for how to score some great deals this year on Cyber Monday! In the days and weeks leading up to

Cyber Monday, check the circulars in your Sunday paper, look at your favorite retailers’ sites and check deal hunters’ websites like or It’s a good idea to “Like” your favorite retailers’ Facebook pages to have access to special deals and discount codes, too. Keep in mind that many Cyber Monday deals are just like those on Black Friday: There is a limited supply of items that will go on sale at a specific time, and when they are gone, they are gone. Do some research ahead of time so that you can plan to be online when the deals go live so you won’t miss out! If you aren’t already using cash back sites, NOW is the time to start. Cash back sites couldn’t be easier to use, and if you are shopping online already, it’s just free money in your pocket. First, sign up for a free account at one or more of the cash back sites (my personal favorites are and Then every time you shop online, just visit a cash back site first and click through to your favorite retailer. When you do that, you will get a certain percentage of your

I will brush my teeth.

Hot Tip: Stop and think before you click “buy”! purchase back in the form of a check. On Cyber Monday, these sites usually run bonus deals where you will get double or even triple cash back for select stores. One of my top sites for Cyber Monday is Check the site a week or two before Thanksgiving and you will likely see pages of HOT deals already being advertised. Amazon does “Lightning Deals” all day long where they will deeply discount an item and only sell a limited supply starting at a specific time. Make sure you are ready to click “buy” when those big items are up for grabs or you will miss out! Most retailers offer some kind of free shipping on Cyber Monday. Many will have these codes or deals on their home pages or Facebook pages, but if you don’t see a deal, do a quick search for free shipping codes before you buy. Last, take your time when making an online purchase.Yes, some deals will expire if you don’t jump on them. But no matter what, you should take a few minutes (or seconds) to think about your purchase before you click “buy.” If it is an item that you need or really want, then go ahead and buy it. But if you find a hot deal on something you weren’t planning on buying, take a minute to do some reviews online, make sure that the price you are getting is good and think about whether it fits into your budget. A big drawback of shopping online is that it’s SO easy to just keep adding things to your cart without realizing how much you are really spending. Clicking “buy” online doesn’t seem to have as much of an impact on shoppers as actually having to look at everything in a shopping cart when checking out at a physical store. So taking a minute to be SURE about your purchases can really help. Because the bottom line is…it’s not a good deal unless you need it and can afford it. Sara Keenan will be Christmas shopping from home in her pajamas once again this year!

You’ll do it, Missouri Care will help. Missouri Care has been helping MO HealthNet Managed Care members get the care they need for over 14 years. Let us help you and your family reach your health care goals. Call Missouri Care today. 1-855-MOCARE4 (1-855-662-2734) MOC098 approved 05/02/12

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Structure for Learning. Leadership for Life. november 2012


media mix

Tales of Our Fathers

New Books Offer Stories of Family and Heritage for the Holidays By McGeath Freeman

Priscilla the Great: the Kiss of Life, By Sybil Nelson Best for: Ages 9-13 Sybil Nelson picks up Priscilla’s story a couple months after the first book in the series ends. As with the first book, this one is filled with action, adventure, new super villains and super powers. This one is not really about the fighting and villains, though. It’s about family and boyfriends. Priscilla is struggling with maintaining a long distance relationship. It doesn’t help that she has to erase her boyfriend’s memory after every visit. While that is going on, Sybil’s mom is getting sicker. To top it off, something dangerous is nagging at the family and nobody knows what it is. With all this character development and plot momentum, Nelson finds a way to squeeze in the kidnapping of the president’s daughter and a daring rescue. Fans of the first book, and preteen girls looking for a strong teen character, won’t be disappointed. But don’t think this book is only good for girls. Boys will like the super hero action as well. Jangles: A Big Fish Story, By David Shannon Best for: Ages 4-8 Everyone who has been fishing has a story to tell—most are big. But few are as big as the tale of Jangles, who got his name because his mouth is so full of lures he jingles and jangles as he swims. When a father tells his son the story of how he came face-to-face with the “biggest fish anyone had ever seen,” he takes the reader on a journey. As a boy, the father goes fishing on Big Lake at dusk. He hooked Jangles, which was frightening enough. It was a total shock when Jangles began to speak. The fish and the boy take a journey together into a dreamlike world and become fast friends. It’s a big story to be sure, but the father has one bit of proof to pass on to his son. His tackle box full of lures taken from Jangles. What’s good: Energetic illustrations and a fantastical journey. What’s bad: Tries a little too hard to be mystical.

What’s good: Good character development, humor and action. What’s bad: It’s another cliffhanger! And two for the holidays… How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? By Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Mark Teague Best for: Ages 4-8 How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? By Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Mark Teague Best for: Ages 4-8 The dinosaurs are back to show us the right and wrong ways to celebrate Chanukah and have a merry Christmas. Whether taking turns with the dreidel, eating latkes, singing carols or offering big Christmas wishes, Yolen and Teague’s characters bring a light and carefree touch to the holidays. Each dinosaur is expertly illustrated so that parents and children will be drawn into each spread. Take your time viewing the details—it’s worth it. What’s good: Bright and lively illustrations, full of humor and action. What’s bad: We have seen the dinosaurs explore the right way to do a lot of things over the years.

14 november 2012

We don’t address the symptoms of ADHD. We address the cause. At Brain Balance Achievement Centers, we tackle your child’s ADHD at the most fundamental level — with a unique, drug-free, whole-child approach that goes beyond symptoms to address root causes. Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their fullest social and academic potential. Stop in or call to learn more about the Brain Balance Program® and how we can help your child succeed.





6406 College Boulevard Overland Park, KS 66211

©2012 Brain Balance Centers

Brain Balance of Overland Park november 2012


Having a balance is what I believe makes having and using technology so important.

Too Much Too Soon?

List of educational sites to use on iPad: Bluster Magnetic ABC Letter School Lite Greater Than Spelling City iwritewords lite Sight Words 2 Bubble Math Tell Time

16 november 2012


and almost any 3-year-old an iPhone or iPad, and they know how to play Angry Birds. Elementaryaged children can make PowerPoint presentations with animations, and most can also download music and know how to upload videos to YouTube. Like it or not, technology plays an important role in today’s society, and kids know earlier and earlier how to do things many adults can’t figure out. But with this increased role of technology come advantages and disadvantages. Is it too much too soon? One advantage is in the classroom. “I think it’s great that students are exposed to technology early! We are preparing our kids to be 21st century learners. It seems

to have really exploded in the last year especially,” Beth Oyler, elementary teacher at Lewis and Clark elementary School in Liberty, says. “Many of my first graders come to me with very savvy tech skills.” Misty Black, Liberty mother of two, says she notices positive traits with her children in regards to using technology. “They are ahead of the game in the ‘real world’ with experience with technology,” she says. “They have better hand-eye coordination.  They have the ability to keep themselves entertained on the go or while waiting for food at a restaurant.  They learn to type on computers more quickly, too.” Technology will not be going away anytime soon, and kids need to learn how to use it. “Kids will encounter electronics everywhere and they need to be able to use them efficiently,” Stephanie Ritter, Kearney mother of two, says. But with anything positive, there are usually some disadvantages. “A disadvantage I see is the kids who have the technology versus those who don’t,” Oyler says. “However, I don’t think it separates them when they have access to the technology at school.” Black points out that with the increased use of technology, some behavior issues come into play: “On the other hand, they learn to be impatient because they are used to being entertained always.  They can be spoiled with the technology or feel left out when their friends have more than they have.” To Ritter, it is all about moderation. “They can be great learning tools, but can also be used inappropriately. Kids need to also experience imaginative play, handson activities, crafts, outdoor play, etc.,” she says. “I personally believe that electronics are a great tool for my children, in moderation.” While many kids spend hours on video games, listening to music on their iPods or playing Angry Birds or Temple Run on an iPad, parents need to take an active role in monitoring their technology time and keeping a healthy balance. “My daughter also has a Kindle that she reads her books on, but she also loves to have a ‘real’ book in her hands. She is learning the technology, but it doesn’t control her life,” Ritter says. “Having a balance is what I believe makes having and using technology so important.” Jennifer Higgins is a freelance writer, mother and teacher from Kearney.

blog bits

Art supplies, preschool books, dinosaurs, play kitchen items, race cars, blocks…..I feel like screaming, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” Where can everything possibly go?!?

kids don’t fit into bins W e recently welcomed our third baby to the family. In just four short, quick years, we went from a family of two to a family of five. My, how things change from the first to the third child! The nursery walls are just primed, we have no real wall hangings and, overall, I don’t feel as organized as I did in the past. And the bottom line is that I like organization. I like to feel in control. I’m drawn to bins, baskets, Tupperware containers, cube systems for toy storage, collapsible bins for books and much, much more. Having children has both challenged my ability to organize (toys and clothing, oh my!) and stirred the beast from within—in ways I was astonished to discover. Art supplies, preschool books, dinosaurs, play kitchen items, race cars, blocks…..I feel like screaming, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” Where can everything possibly go?!? But one thing remains. No matter how hard I try to have things in order, my kids do not fit neatly into boxes, bins and

containers. Of course I don’t mean this literally. What I do mean, however, is that children have a way of bending the rules, breaking out of the mold, and surprising us with personalities, preferences and temperaments. This has been true with both of my older children in entirely different ways. And it reminds me and humbles me that I am not in control like I wish I were or would like to think that I am. The old adage “expect the unexpected” really has some truth to it. God has created our children to reflect His beautiful image to the rest of the world. He is not in the business of creating cut-out dolls that all look the same, and there is much beauty to be found in that which is unique, different and surprising. Marisa Frymire lives in Overland Park with her family. Other moms, dads and teens blog daily at Join the conversation today!

Accredited Kindergarten thru 3rd Grades. Full-time / Part-time Preschool Available. Preschool Accreditation through K.D.H.E. Parent Friendly Hours - 6:45am to 6:00pm. Minutes from 69 Hwy., I-35 & I-435.

Preschool spots still available! november 2012


healthy kids

name your poison

Have Poison Control’s number (1.800.222.1222) posted for the babysitter, programmed into your phone AND your child’s grandparents’ phones.


hat produces more fear than scanning a full cart of groceries then remembering too late that you left your wallet at home? Having to make a call to Poison Control! The adrenaline surges, your heart pounds and your mouth becomes drier than a Sahara mirage as your “Parent of the Year” crown is stripped away with the push of your speed dial. Who Is at Risk? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Each year, approximately 2.4 million people—more than half under age 6—swallow or have contact with a poisonous substance.” The Kansas City Metro’s Poison Control Center, in operation since 1982, fields approximately 30,000 calls every year. Dr. Tama Sawyer is director of the center, run by the University of Kansas Hospital. “Poisoning overtook motor vehicle accidents as the number one cause of deaths in the U.S. last year. The numbers keep increasing,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, old or young; it can happen to anyone.” The center’s busiest hours are near the end of the day.“The biggest time for calls to our center is at 4:00 p.m., when moms are getting dinner ready and ask the older kids to watch out for the toddlers,” Sawyer says. She also warns that when kids travel to their grandparents’ houses for babysitting or family get-togethers, “daily pill reminders are great for grandparents but NOT for kids.” These containers are usually kept easily visible for the grandparent so they won’t forget to take their

18 november 2012

medications—which are terribly dangerous for children. Giving children access to all these small, pretty-colored pills is like opening up a toxic candy store for young kids. Common Calls to Poison Control The American Association of Poison Control Centers says the majority of calls occur when someone is home with the child but just not paying attention. Make sure to lock up these items or keep them out of reach: • Medicines (vitamins, herbals, pain medications, diaper rash creams) • Foreign objects (silica gel pack ages, glow products, batteries) • Cleaning products (laundry detergent, floor cleaners, furniture polish) • Cosmetics (makeup, perfume, nail polish, nail polish remover) • Personal care products (deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap) • Garage items (antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, pesticides, gasoline, kerosene and lamp oil) Treatment The AAP states if a child is “unconscious, not breathing or having convulsions or seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.” If your child has contact with a poison, and the child has either no symptoms or mild symptoms, first aid should be performed first and THEN poison control should be called immediately at 1.800.222.1222.

If your child has… Swallowed poison: Take leftover poison away from child and have her spit out any remainder from her mouth. Do NOT have her vomit! Do NOT use syrup of ipecac. Poison on the skin: Remove child’s clothing and rinse his skin directly with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes. Poison in the eye: Wash child’s eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a continuous flow of body temperature water into the inner corner for 15 minutes. Poison fumes: Take child into fresh air immediately. If the child isn’t breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and continue until the child breathes on his own or until someone can take over. (Source: American Academy of Pediatrics) What is the benefit of calling the poison center? Poison centers are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and staffed with poison experts. The conversations are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL. Because many poison exposures may not require medical attention and can be dealt with in your own home, it is best to find this out over the phone without having an ambulance or emergency room bill to pay for the same answer. Remember to act swiftly and always have the center’s number readily available! Stacey Hatton is a pediatric RN and freelance writer. Her blog can be found at

word from dad

Shhh, Mom’s Sleeping


on’t worry about a thing,” I told Sandi when she returned from work on Thanksgiving morning. “Go to sleep. The boys and I will make Thanksgiving dinner for you.” She flashed a grateful smile and went to bed. I turned to James and Ian. “We need to keep quiet,” I told them. “I need your help making our Thanksgiving dinner. Can you help?” I went over my mental checklist. Everything was ready, and all we needed to do was some minor cooking. Piece of cake. I put the turkey in the oven and set the boys at their tasks. Instead of a little stock, Ian poured in a whole quart, dissolving our dressing into a gelatinous mass. James poured most of the salad into a bowl. I set the rolls to rise and helped James clean up the rest of the salad. I set James to sorting the cranberries and helped Ian drain off the excess stock. “OK, guys, let’s take a break.” The turkey was cooking, the rolls were rising and everything was coming together. I sat down for some football. The first quarter had barely started. I woke up halfway through the fourth quarter in a panic. The rolls had risen and collapsed. The turkey was so overcooked the drumsticks were falling off and it wasn’t even browned. James poured the cranberries into the pan, getting a full third in. The cranberry syrup had caramelized. Puddles of stock lay on the top of the dressing. The cooking shows made it look so easy. Finally, I had dinner on the table and we went to wake up Mom. “Mom, we made dinner,” James said proudly. “Yeah,” Ian said, “It was easy.” Sandi looked at this travesty of a holiday meal. “It looks wonderful,” she said, with a sincere smile. William Bartlett lives in Belton with his family. november 2012







As I wander through the toy aisle of any store, I am amazed (and a little bit jealous) of the products that are available to kids now. I recognize the old toys now boasting amazing improvements (have you seen the new Easy Bake Oven or the Hot Wheels race set that mounts on the wall?) and the new ones that I would have begged for when I was a kid. But, as I step back and take in the entire inventory of all the crying baby dolls, beeping gadgets and snarling monsters, I still see the toys that have stayed strong for decades—no improvements necessary. These are the classics, the ones that are always fun. Some are so “classic” our grandparents played with them. Some are from my generation’s childhood. And they are all just as much fun today as they were 30, 40 or 50 years ago.

For the “hot” toys of 2012, head to and read editor Margaret Sarver’s Gift Guide blog.

There is nothing quite like the sound of your child’s laughter, and with these toys, you will actually be able to hear it instead of the beeps and electronic music that accompany a lot of today’s toys.

CARS JUMP ROPE 20 november 2012

These little things have been around for 60 years and still delight kids everywhere. Granted, the tracks they have to race these puppies on are vastly improved—but the heart of the toy remains the same. One little car, which can be driven on race tracks or carpet, walls, stairs, or anywhere, costs just a dollar.

This has been a staple in school yards and neighborhood playgrounds in America since the 1940s. This little toy has made its way from an easy childhood game to a full-fledged sport, but it still remains a classic toy among children. For only a dollar or two, this classic toy should be in every child’s toy box.

The classic of all classic toys—bested only by the stick—has been around for generations. It’s simple and straightforward, and there is no end to its possibilities. One simple bouncing ball can give a toddler more fun than 10 giggling Elmos. Depending on size and type, balls can range from 50 cents to well beyond our $5 mark. But each one is worth every penny.

Though Nerf is not exactly as old as the jump rope, it’s considered a classic toy now. New to the scene when I was a kid, Nerf guns are even more popular today. There is nothing quite as fun as an all-out Nerf “battle” in the living room. While most of the Nerf guns range from $10 to $30, there are still a few starter pieces that can be purchased for a simple $5. The only caveat to this particular toy is age range. Be sure the child is old enough to understand the difference between real guns and simple dart throwing toys.

No denying the wonder that is the ordinary crayon. They are a must-have for any parent, school or daycare. And they’re one of the most inexpensive items on this list. An 8-count box of Crayola Crayons will cost less than $3 at most retail stores. There is nothing quite like a brand new crayon on a clean white piece of paper for children of almost any age.

Simple puzzles for children are a great way to get their little brains working and give you an activity to do with them. Wooden puzzles can be found everywhere and are perfect for little hands to use. This little activity can range in price to from $3 to $10.

The dolls themselves may come in a wide range of prices and abilities, but doll accessories are much cheaper. Little baby bottles, cloth diapers and clothes can all be easily purchased for just a few dollars. Or, if you are the crafty type, make them for even less!

To the chagrin of parents everywhere, this is the one toy that typically beats all the rest. Why? Because it does what every toy should do: It allows the imagination to take hold in unlimited ways. A box is a fort, sled, house, castle, puppet theatre and anything else a child can dream up. So don’t throw away those big boxes; grab the crayons and scissors and help your kids with the ultimate toy.




The brainteaser of our childhood is still going strong in today’s toy stores. I have never truly solved it (and, yes, I was one of those kids that got frustrated enough to remove the stickers and replace them in order to “solve” it), but it is fun to watch my children try. Retailing from $5 to $7, it is a great little activity.

From Crayola or Prang, watercolors to more expensive acrylic sets, these little paints have been a part of our lives more than we realize. We bought them every year for school and used them constantly, but these are not just school supplies. Easy to buy at just $2, and easy for children to use, these make great gifts to encourage the little artist inside.

There is nothing quite like the sound of your child’s laughter, and with these toys, you will actually be able to hear it instead of the beeps and electronic music that accompany a lot of today’s toys. All too often it’s easy to get lost in that sea of gadgetry and pageantry, but bringing ourselves and

Kerry Chafin is a freelance writer from Independence and a mother of three kids who love to play with their toys almost as much as their mom does.

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ith November being election month, it’s a good time to get your child interested in current events -- and doing so can have many positive benefits, from building vocabulary and improving writing, to encouraging active and engaged citizenship. While the news might seem “boring” at first to kids, there are steps you can take to show them just how interesting and exciting current events can be:


Ensure that your home subscribes to a daily paper. Let your children pick which articles they want to read and help them with words and concepts they don’t understand. Read at least a few front page news articles together and then allow them to skip to whichever sections of the paper they find the most interesting. Many magazines run kids’ editions in print or online, such as Time, Sports

Illustrated and National Geographic. Subscribe your child to an age-appropriate magazine or newspaper. Most children are already wellversed in using the Internet for acquiring information. Guide your children to trusted online news sources that they can access on their own.


Often the most effective way to spark your child’s interest is to offer him or her hands-on learning opportunities. Encourage your child to join the school newspaper or the school’s television news program. Even as budget cuts loom in schools, private companies are helping schools offer their students unique educational opportunities. The Panasonic Kid Witness News program for example, a handson program designed to help children

develop creative, cognitive and communication skills, has provided more than 150,000 children around the world access to top-notch video production equipment and an opportunity to learn a new skill they can use to make fun newscasts that are relevant to their daily lives. “It’s important to get kids to share how they see the world. This is a perception we don’t usually see in the news,” says Joseph Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Panasonic Corporation of North America. “It’s a valuable perspective that mainstream media usually misses.”


Make watching the news together a part of your evening routine. Remember, kids have limited attention spans –- so avoid the never ending 24-hour news programming and opt for a half-hour program that highlights all the day’s top stories succinctly. Use commercial breaks and dinnertime to discuss what you watched. If you’re worried that the imagery will be too graphic or mature, consider recording it first and sharing with your child only the parts you feel comfortable with. By encouraging your kids to keep up with current events, you can help them gain valuable perspective and understand the world around them. (StatePoint)

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raising grateful kids


re you tired of your child’s begging and pleading for the most expensive toy on the store shelf only to play with it for a week and never pick it up again? Do your children forget to say “please” and “thank you” when they’re given something special? Teaching gratitude can be tough—especially to toddlers and preschoolers who are, by nature, self-centered. In fact, children under the age of 7 have difficulty understanding other people’s feelings and being motivated to do the right thing. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to instill

24 november 2012

gratitude into your little ones, because you can. After all, no one is born grateful. According to research done by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkely, “… people who practice gratitude feel considerably happier (25%) than those in a control group; they are more joyful, enthusiastic, interested and determined.” Studies have also shown that grateful kids have better relationships with family and friends, higher GPAs, less materialism, less envy and less depression, along with a desire to give back to their community.

By learning gratitude, children actually develop empathy and become sensitive to others’ feelings. Grateful kids can see and understand that their parents and others do things for them, such as prepare dinner, buy gifts and wash their clothes. Children who aren’t taught to be grateful end up feeling entitled and disappointed. By age 2 or 3, children can talk about being thankful for certain toys, pets and people. Even if they don’t speak very clearly yet, they can point to things they are happy to have in their lives just

Studies have shown that grateful kids: Are happier • Have better relationships with family and friends • Have higher GPAs • Have less depression • Have a desire to give back to their community.

by your asking them. By age 4, a child can understand being thankful for not only the material things but for acts of kindness and love, too. So, how can you instill gratitude into your children? Here are some great tips to get you started:

Say “please” and “thank you.”

Always use your own manners with your children by saying “please” when appropriate and “thank you” when they do something right. After all, children model parent behavior in every way.

Make gratitude part of your daily conversation.

Try picking a time of day to talk about what you’re thankful for. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, at the dinner table or during bedtime prayers, have each person talk about something they are thankful for. When you reinforce an idea frequently, it’s more likely to stick!

Write thank you notes.

Have your children always write a thank you note to someone who gives them a gift, does something nice for them or comes for a visit. Get them used to saying “thank you.”

Set expectations when shopping.

If your child is like most, he wants a toy every time you go shopping. To help your child understand that he cannot get



something every time you shop, tell him when it’s merely a “look” day instead of a “buy” day. Explain that “look” days are like going to a museum; you enjoy looking at things, but aren’t going to buy them. Eventually, children will get it and begin asking what kind of day it is—a “look” or a “buy.”

Make it a habit to give and volunteer.

Allow your children to help you gather and donate toys and clothing in good condition to a good cause, and let them go with you to drop the items off. Volunteer with your children for good causes in your community, whether through your church or organizations such as Harvesters. Or simply have your child help you make a pot of soup for a sick neighbor or friend.

Create (and decorate) a gratitude list.

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Teach through role play.

If you have an extremely shy child who is too afraid to say “thank you” in a social setting, she can teach her dolls or stuffed animals to do so while you play along.

Don’t demand a thank you.

“I work my tail off for you, and you never say thanks!” How many of us have heard this at some point in our lives? Avoid demanding thanks from your children. They will remember your example much more than threats or humiliation.

Be patient.

Have your children help.

Kansas City mom Gina Klein is an author/writer/photographer who believes strongly in the power of gratefulness and saying thank you.


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Don’t expect gratitude to develop overnight, because it won’t. It can take weeks, months or even years of reinforcement. No worries. You will be rewarded in the end if you stick with it.


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Kids want it all, and as parents, we’d love to give them everything they ask for. However, when they’re given everything they ask for, they’ll find it impossible to feel grateful for anything they receive. Saying “no” a lot makes the days you say “yes” that much more special.

Have each member of the family create a list of things they’re grateful for. Then, decorate the lists and hang them for all to see. These are great ways to help kids remember that the things we’re grateful for are especially important.

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Play the game of Jenga with a twist. Each time a block is removed, the player must write upon it something she’s grateful for before replacing it on top. Recycle this game at next year’s party for a tower of ever-growing gratitude.


With permanent markers on a plastic tablecloth, have everyone record as many things as they can think of they are grateful for. Re-use this tablecloth every year at Thanksgiving.





Before guests arrive, cut small Tropicana orange juice cartons in half with an exacto knife, and spray paint them brown. Each guest writes his name on a ship and decorates it with stickers, sequins, raffia ropes and sails. Walk a trail to a nearby creek and—ready, set, Speedwell—have a boat race.


For roars of laughter at the tip of your

28 november 2012

finger, give this wet and raucous game a go-round. Gather a thimble and small ramekin of water. Sitting around a table, the person with the thimble calls out a category, such as an animal, food or favorite Kansas City landmark. Everyone around the table, in turn, must guess the name of the specific thing the person is thinking (if the category is “Kansas City landmark,” a guess might be “Union Station”). The thimble-bearer dips the thimble in water and douses the person who guesses correctly, and that person becomes the new thimble-bearer.


Before the party, compile a list of each guest’s favorite song from the past year and load it on your iPod. Have everyone try to match each person to his song. Then go ahead—be a turkey and throw a dance party. Burn the songs to CDs for everyone to take home.


Break out your broomsticks. Each team, using a broom, must roll a pumpkin to a line and back in a relay. Look for round



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Each team gets a large sheet of craft paper and, with a marker, must take turns drawing a turkey, blindfolded. The first player draws the body… The second draws the head… The third draws the feathers, and so on. The most accurate drawing wins.


Spend the remainder of the evening attempting to speak like proper pilgrims. Log on to for a list of words and sound bytes that translate modern English into 17th century vernacular. Here’s a sampling: How are you? = What cheer? or How now? Excuse Me = Pray pardon me Congratulations = Huzzah! Goodbye = Fare thee well or Pray remember me Backward = Arsy varsy


If you own the classic game of Trivial Pursuit, pull it out. Use the game pieces and board, but ditch the questions and categories for ones you create yourself, specific to your family. Categories could include “Ancestry,” “Our Modern Family,” “Grandpa’s Growing-Up Years” or “According to Aunt Edna.”

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Who has the guts among your child guests? After cleaning the cavity of Mr. Gobbles, tonight’s main dish, boil the giblets. Display and name each organ, then slice them into pieces for the kids to play a stomach turning game of Fear Factor.


Before dinner, place a sealed envelope beneath each chair with the name of a pilgrim written on the outside, and the pilgrim’s fate recorded inside. After dinner, open the envelopes in turn to discover who survived the first winter in the New World. Some historic names (*denotes children): Died aboard the Mayflower: Dorothy Bradford, *William Butten, James Chilton, *Jasper More, *Edward Thompson Died the first winter: Sarah Eaton, *John Hooke, Christopher Martin, *Mary More, Degory Priest, *Solomon Prower, Rose Standish, Agnes Tilley, Thomas Tinker Survivors present at the first Thanksgiving: Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, *Wrestling Brewster, *Mary Chilton, Francis Cooke, Samuel Fuller, *Giles Hopkins, Myles Standish, *Elizabeth Tilley Wendy Connelly and her kids, from Overland Park, are especially grateful for their grandparents of 16 generations: William and Mary Brewster of the Mayflower Voyage. Elder William Brewster the pilgrims’ spiritual leader, offered the prayer over the first Thanksgiving feast.

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pumpkins of equal size, about 8-10” in diameter. november 2012


gobble up those leftovers! Thanksgiving: one day of the year when you anticipate leftovers almost as much as the big meal itself! Hosting the meal is a rather large undertaking, but to score all of the leftovers, well worth it! Depending on what your family traditionally has for the big day, try one of these leftover routes.

Obviously, standard turkey sandwiches are a must (or, glam it up using leftover gooey sweet potatoes in place of mayo), but turkey can really go in any direction chicken can...think turkey cobb salad, turkey veggie soup, turkey salad with grapes and walnuts or a fun and different kid-friendly recipe: potato turkey balls.

Potato Turkey Balls ( There always seem to be leftover mashed potatoes and turkey. This recipe makes 18 balls. 2 ½ cups mashed potatoes 2 large eggs, whisked (in separate bowls) 1 cup cooked/roasted turkey meat 1 cup grated cheese (monterrey jack, mozzarella or cheddar) 1 cup bread crumbs (white or whole wheat) Optional (if you have it left over!): gravy


Too busy to cook during the holidays? Head to for super simple slow cooker recipes.

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Stir mashed potatoes and one whisked egg together and set aside. Separately combine the turkey meat and grated cheese, stirring to combine. Roll this mixture tightly together into 1-in. balls. Take 2 T. of the potato egg mixture and form a patty in the palm of your hand. Fold the potato mixture around the turkey and cheese (makes a larger ball). Use the second whisked egg in a bowl. Roll the ball gently in the egg mixture and then coat with breadcrumbs. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Ahh, sweet potatoes. Their nutritional value knocks other potatoes out of the park, and most Thanksgiving tables include them. For when you have leftover whole sweet potatoes, here’s an easy, fun and nutritious way to eat them that excludes the marshmallows or sugar.

Sweet Potato Spears & Dip Wedge cut 3 raw sweet potatoes. Bake, spritzed with olive oil, at 350 for 35 minutes. While potatoes are baking, make dip: 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 1/2 stick room temperature butter (unsalted) 1/2 t. cinnamon 2 T. honey Blend/stir. Chill dip and enjoy with warm sweet potato fries, Thanksgiving style!

KC Moms share tips on creative ways to use up leftovers:

Have some whipped cream left over? Take large spoonfuls of whipped cream and drop on wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, store in a freezer bag for use on desserts and hot beverages (just let them thaw a bit first). Use within two weeks. Sally Frame, Overland Park Too much bread at Thanksgiving dinner? Make croutons! Spread leftover slices of bread sparingly with butter or olive oil. Cut in 1/2” pieces and place in a shallow baking pan and bake at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with soup or salads. Kelly Smith, Kansas City If you have left over onions or peppers, chop them up, freeze them and voila! You’ll have them at your disposal the next time a recipe calls for chopped onions or peppers. Tammy Waltz, Liberty

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Pumpkin tends to be ignored most of the year—until the fall. Formerly, it was used for pumpkin pie, but it has now evolved to a favorite for so many different recipes. “Finding ways to make the fall festive and keep my daughter interested in the treats this time of year has become an important goal,” says local mom Katie. Pumpkin is packed with vitamin A, beta carotene and potassium, so feel good about eating it! If, after your Thanksgiving meal, you have a half can or several cans of leftover pumpkin, here are two ways you can be sure it doesn’t go to waste:

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Pumpkin Milkshakes

A wonderful twist on a favorite! This spiced milkshake is such a fun, festive fall treat for both kids and adults. 1/2 cup pumpkin 1 cup rice or other non-dairy milk pinch cinnamon and/or nutmeg 1 T. agave Handful of ice Blend and enjoy!

(modified from This is a delicious combination of fall apples and savory pumpkin. Great for both kids and adults, use it as a breakfast grab-and-go, a “dessert” at lunch or even a snack option! These muffins can freeze for up to 3 months. Makes 24-30 mini muffins or 12 regular-sized muffins. 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 2/3 cup whole wheat flour 2 t. baking powder 1/2 t. baking soda 1/2 t. salt 1 t. cinnamon 1 t. pumpkin spice 3 T. canola oil 1/2 cup honey 1 egg 1/2 cup rice milk 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 1 medium apple, peeled and grated (Gala, Pink Lady or Fuji) Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet together separately. Combine by folding together. Batter should be lumpy. Bake in a greased muffin tin at 350 for 20 minutes. You can easily double this recipe for winter parties, brunches or for your child’s “bring snacks” day.


Jessica Pflumm is a freelance writer and children’s nutrition advocate. Her blog, talks about nutritious, allergy-friendly recipes for kids and families. Jessica lives in Overland Park with her husband and 2-year-old daughter.

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32 november 2012

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A UNIQUE WAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE ABOVE: Greg and Christa Bray-Howard with Cara (12), Travon (8), Mya (3), and Elijah (2). Christa is a third grade teacher who became a foster parent at age 22; Greg, a stay-at-home dad, married into the role. Their family (biological, foster and adopted) “means the world to them,” and is the most rewarding aspect of their life. Their family includes: 12-year-old twin boys (foster), an 11-year-old biological daughter, an 8-year-old adopted son, a 3-year-old adopted daughter and a 1-yearold biological son.

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Adopted special needs kids don’t turn out substantially different than their physical siblings. – Lori Ross, president and CEO, Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association (MFCAA)


hat’s one of several stereotypes Ross confronts about special needs adoption. In the adoption field, special needs usually refers to older children living in foster care homes who may have significant physical, learning, medical and social-emotional or behavioral challenges. According to Ross, who has more than 25 years of direct foster care parenting experience, the top three misconceptions that put up barriers to special needs adoption are: 1. Babies and younger infants are less trouble (“Completely FALSE,”she says.) There are more unknowns with infants, whereas with an older child, more information is available. In short, older children are a known quantity, while babies are an unfolding mystery. 2. Teenagers are too difficult. Unlike an infant, teens can tell you their needs. (We may not always agree, but at least they are verbal!) Also, says Ross, teens can better appreciate the opportunities an adoptive family provides. Plus, they can “really spice up your life.”

3. Significant medical issues and physical disabilities are too challenging. These children are often the easiest to parent, as they openly respond to love and affection.

Open your mind to the possibilities and you’ll be amazed at the gifts that come to you. – Lori Ross So, what traits does special needs parenting require? A big heart is generally the first quality that comes to mind. Special needs children thrive in families with a well-stocked reserve of patience, commitment and tenacity. Certainly, the child’s emotional needs are important, but prospective families need to consider some legal and practical aspects. Sandy Krigel, managing partner with Krigel & Krigel, has more than 30 years of experience counseling adoptive parents. He combines practical and compassionate advice: Don’t overestimate your capabilities—emotionally, financially and physically. A special needs child may never outgrow his disability or be capable of overcoming the deficits of her early life. While you may have the resources to provide the best care possible, it may not be enough. Be aware of the child’s limitations. Assemble a phonebook size notebook of the child’s medical history and background. Be prepared to contact social workers, health and/or therapeutic care providers, mental health professionals, counselors, schools and foster care parents. Consider current and future needs. Are there providers in your area who specialize in the specific areas the child needs? This will be particularly helpful when negotiating an adoption subsidy. The best outcomes occur when: families spend at least 1-2 months with the child prior to adoption, parental rights are surrendered by the time the child is 1-2 years old, the parents have prior experience and training with special needs children and are able to accept the challenges. Those who envision high achieving children or are traumatized by a child’s behaviors or inability to return their love are less successful.

Support Is Available

Rest assured, special needs adoption families are not alone. Federal adoption law provides monthly subsidies for foster and adoptive parents of children with

special needs. These are, according to Ross, “a huge blessing” and help make adoption affordable for middle class families. Several agencies in the area (see sidebar) provide pre- and post-adoption services for the whole family. These may include negotiating special needs education services or locating a dentist who takes Medicaid. Peer-to-peer mentoring puts new adoptive families in touch with experienced families living with the same special needs. Post-adoptive services reduce the number of disrupted adoptions, which occur less often than is widely believed.

One Person Can Make a Difference

Ross offers first-hand advice to prospective parents and she knows of which she speaks: Ross has fostered more than 400 children and formally adopted 21 children while raising five biological children! Often, families don’t anticipate the time, emotion and expenses associated with raising a special needs child. Heartto-heart conversations with your family and with experienced special needs parents are indispensable. Special needs families often have a secondary support system beyond their current one; identify who might be able to provide that support and discuss it with them in advance. Ross reflects on her experience, saying, “The ROI (return on investment) is HUGE! All of my children know relationships are more important than belongings, and my adult children actively seek ways to make a difference in the world.” Kathy Stump (Parkville) and her husband adopted a domestic infant with special needs; they also have a biological daughter.

Special Needs Adoption AWARENESS: The number of children in foster care in the Kansas City area during the last three years has increased by 40 percent. Foster parenting is a great way to explore making a commitment to a child(ren). Respite care gives full-time caregivers an opportunity to recharge physically and emotionally. Both require training; the approval process is shorter and the rewards are high. Agencies Providing Services: Family and Children Services, Kaw Valley Center Kansas City and Olathe, KS 913.334.0294, Kansas Children’s Service League Various locations, 877.530.5276, Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association Independence, MO 816.350.0215, Missouri Department of Social Services Kansas City, MO, 816.899.2000/2037 Independence, MO, 816.325.6040 International Adoption Clinic – Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City, MO 816.983.6325, Specialists will review prospective adoption records; post-adoption clinics are offered twice monthly on Friday afternoons. International Adoption Clinic – KU Medical Center Kansas City, KS, 913.588.6336, Specialists will review prospective adoption records. For a more complete list, visit, the Metropolitan Adoption Council.

Jason and Dori Walker with their sons Jason Jr. (8) and Lance (4). Last year, Midwest Foster Care and Adoption licensed the Walkers for foster care and adoption. Since last November, they have been blessed to take four foster kids into their home. “We are excited to help spread awareness of all the children in the Kansas City area needing loving, supportive forever homes.” november 2012


uncover your family tree... ...with these Kansas City Archives & Resources

Three terrific facilities in Kansas City are home to rich resources that help you uncover your family history through collections of thousands of documents, maps, photographs and records that tell your family story.




Looking for ways to make history come alive for your kids? has tips to foster a “historical addiction” in your children.

36 november 2012

ibraries. We often think of the local library as a dusty, musty place with stacks of books and stern ladies always with a finger to their lips whispering, “Shhhh!” And while it is true that libraries house mounds of books and they do appreciate your consideration of others and use of a “library voice,” today’s libraries offer much, much more! Three terrific facilities in Kansas City are home to rich resources that help you uncover your family history through collections of thousands of documents, maps, photographs and records telling your family story. While most Kansas City area libraries are quite similar, one in particular stands out among the rest and makes it worthy of an extra special visit. The Central Library of the Kansas City Public Library (14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, MO. Hours: Mon.-Wed., 9:00-9:00; Thu.-Fri., 9:00-5:00; Sat., 10:00-5:00; Sun., 1:00-5:00), housed in the former First National Bank of Kansas City, is one of the city’s most beautiful “best kept secrets.” The library is home to fabulous research departments, in particular the fifth-floor Missouri Valley Room, with an archive of special historical collections, including the Missouri Valley Collection (local history), Ramos Collection (African American history) and Western expansion materials. The Missouri Valley Special Collections (MVSC)

consist of the non-circulating local history and genealogy resources. You will find maps, books, documents and photographs to piece together your history. The Missouri Valley Room is staffed with research librarians who are there to help with your projects and answer questions. In addition to the Missouri Valley Room, the Central Library is an architectural masterpiece with reading rooms, research areas, a cafe and a rooftop view of the city skyline, complete with a giant life-size chess set! But, the most special section of the library for families is the Children’s Department. Enter through the pages of a book to where kids will discover a wonderful reading area organized by ages and interests and offering many hands-on activities as well. Parking Tip: The Central Library parking garage is located directly west of the Central Library building on the northwest corner of 10th & Baltimore. Parking is FREE on weekends and free for the first hour, Mon.-Fri., with library validation and $1 for every 20 minutes thereafter with an $8/day maximum. The garage is one of Kansas City’s most unique landmarks as it is styled after a giant bookcase of famous literature. Unlike traditional libraries, the National Archives at Kansas City (400 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, MO—just west of Union Station. 816.268.8000. Exhib-

its open: Tue.-Sat., 9:00-5:00. Research: Tue.-Sat., 8:00-4:00) is a research library specializing in historic documents and information. In addition, the archives features two outstanding exhibit halls with interactive exhibits, perfect for children in upper-elementary through high school and adults AND it is FREE! The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 regional archives. It houses historical documents, artifacts and records from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The archival records include photos, journals, maps, drawings and artifacts from nearly 100 federal agencies. The records are preserved and maintained as a research location for genealogists, teachers, students, journalists and private citizens. More than 50,000 cubic feet of records are stored at the archives. If you want to learn more about your family, the archives are the perfect place to begin. Did your ancestor file for bankruptcy? Was one a defendant in a criminal case? Looking for military records? Property records? Newspaper resources? The archives offers free genealogy classes and research programs for the public, and staff members are available to help you uncover the past about your family. Learn more about what you can find at the National Archives and how to begin your research through their free public programs on their website You may also visit the archives to learn through their FREE hands-on history exhibits. Through Feb. 23, enjoy the exhibit “School House to White House: The Education of the Presidents.” Learn about

U.S. presidents, their education and how it influenced their worldviews. Some graduated from public school, others studied in rural classrooms and others in private schools. Learn about their extracurricular activities and achievements through archival material, museum objects and photographs, as well as audio and visual material. Tip: In order to protect the historic artifacts housed in the archives, the exhibits are 65-68 degrees at all times.You might want to bring a jacket for this outing. The Midwest Genealogy Center (3440 S. Lee’s Summit Rd., Independence, MO, 816.252.7228, Hours: Mon.-Thu., 9:009:00; Fri., 9:00-6:00; Sat., 9:00-5:00; Sun., 1:00-5:00), part of the Mid-Continent Public Library, is one of the best resources to research family history in the nation. The facility houses nearly three-quarters of a million on-site materials. With microfilm reader-printers, giant databases and new technology available all the time, the facility is a wonderful place to research family history. The library offers a tremendous collection

Don’t miss out:

of materials for research, but more than that, the facility is staffed with research librarians and experts who are there to help you with your projects. If the materials you need are not in the library, you will find more than 17,000 genealogy and local

of history books available on interlibrary loan to researchers nationwide through local libraries. One of Kristina Light’s favorite places to spend an afternoon is the Central Library, a true gem in the heart of downtown.

“The Building Blocks for your Child’s Future”

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“The Building Blocks for your Child’s Future”

Child Development Center KC Parent Magazine on Facebook to receive the latest on kid-friendly events, giveaways, freebies, Kids Eat Free & MORE! Over 7,700 have already joined the fun!

• Preschool, Pre-kindergarten & Child Care • Starting at age 2 1/2 • Open 7:00 am - 6:00 pm • Located at College & Lackman in Southlake Technology Park • Privately owned & operated


ENROLLING NOW! november 2012


growing good citizens W




Visit for a great list of books to read with your kids before heading to the polls. november 2012

hen it comes to cultivating good citizenship in your children, actions definitely speak louder than words. So says Michael Copeland. And he should know. He’s been mayor of Olathe since April 2001. But it’s not only Copeland’s experience in public office that has shaped how he and his wife, Maria, teach their children to be caring and involved citizens. What has influenced him most was growing up in a family that made a priority of serving others. Now, the couple uses activities associated with Copeland’s position, as well as

church and neighborhood involvement, to encourage their children—ages 13, 11 and 5—to make good citizenship a lifestyle. “They join us at many events, and we try to include them in civic activities so they get a sense of what it means to serve others,” says Copeland, who was first elected to the Olathe City Council in 1993. “Maria is on our HOA board, so our kids have been involved in clean-up days, planning for a new park in our neighborhood and social activities to build community.” The Copeland children also are active in the political process, putting out yard signs and going with their parents to the polls on election days.

“It’s good to let your children know about the issues and what’s important in a way that is factual and is interesting but without the rancor.” -Krista Chugg, history and government teacher at Heritage Christian Academy.

“We have explained what a privilege it is to be able to vote, and we pray for candidates and leaders,” Maria Copeland says. “We all have something to contribute: time, energy, talent. Our kids have learned through church involvement that they have a purpose and ability to serve.” And their dad knows firsthand the link between dedicated citizens and successful communities. “The city of Olathe is only able to do many things because of the help we get from citizens,” Copeland says. “Government cannot meet every need, and taxpayers can’t afford for it to meet every need.”

planting the seeds

For Tom and Kathy Probasco, being good citizens means not only obeying laws, having good morals and values and respecting all people, but also caring for the earth. So the two are teaching their 7-year-old son responsible citizenship through recycling, composting, organic gardening and conserving natural resources. The Probascos, who adopted their son from Guatemala when he was 13 months old, have planted themselves in their Kansas City, MO, community. And rather than move from their beloved Waldo neighborhood when their son started school, the couple decided to stay and send him to Foreign Language Academy, a

Kansas City public magnet school. “We support our local restaurants and stores, go to local farmers’ markets and support local organizations and school fundraisers,” Kathy Probasco says. “We have helped our neighbors by shoveling snow, making meals, watching children and taking care of their homes and dogs when they are out of town. We welcome new neighbors to our neighborhood.” The Probascos also donate items to local organizations and encourage their son to give away books and toys he no longer uses. The political process is important to the couple. So they teach their son by sharing their political views with him, taking him to the polls—not just for major elections but also for local issues—and canvassing for candidates.

strengthening the roots

Although parents may use different methods for fostering good citizenship in their children, awareness and engagement are at the root of civic responsibility, according to Krista Chugg, who teaches history and government at Heritage Christian Academy’s Olathe campus. “Good citizens are knowledgeable,” she says. “They are engaged and care about the community they live in and want what’s best for it. They are active and willing to put words into action.”

Chugg says that often the hardest part of getting involved is not in finding a place to help but rather in taking that first step out the front door. However, once families start serving, then it’s difficult not to enjoy it. And their work not only benefits the community, but also enhances their own lives, as the community improves and the seeds of good citizenship start to grow in their children. “There are opportunities to serve as a family,” Chugg says. “I remember my family doing simple things like volunteering together at a food bank around Thanksgiving.” Chugg also believes that it’s important to discuss politics with your children and to vote, which keeps power in the hands of the people and holds elected officials accountable. “It’s good to let your children know about the issues and what’s important in a way that is factual and is interesting but without the rancor,” Chugg says. “It’s more important for your kids to be kind and respectful and to care rather than to want to win an argument.” And after all, being a good citizen is the key to growing a good citizen. Melinda Ablard Smith is wife to one model citizen, mother to two budding citizens and owner to three chihuahuas that would be happy to sit in your lap for community service credit. She teaches journalism at MidAmerica Nazarene University.

getting involved Looking to volunteer? Then check out LoveKC. org. The site links prospective volunteers with a number of non-profit organizations in the KC Metro area.

Want to help with elections? Students 16 and older may apply to work at certain Kansas polls by visiting these election office websites:

Johnson County: Wyandotte County: and click on “Election Workers” in the menu at left.

Poll workers in Missouri must be registered voters (at least 18), but some counties are part of the Missouri Youth Election Participant Program. See for more information.

Interested in improving trails and planting trees in the Metro area? Go to and find out about the MetroGreen system. november 2012



The NEW calendar now has 10x MORE EVENTS!


Ernie Miller Nature Center

No part of this calendar may be reproduced in print or web format.

40 november 2012






Catch a sneak peak of the Nutcracker! On Nov. 2 at 6:00, enjoy a FREE family fun night at Bolender Center. Watch an open rehearsal of the Kansas City Ballet’s Nutcracker performance!

Your family will enjoy two plays in one evening. The Culture House presents Tales from Hans Christian Anderson and Into the Woods, Jr. on Nov. 8 & 9 at the Youthfront Auditorium.

Want to hear a good story? Come celebrate the International Day of Storytelling Nov. 17 at 10:30 at Ernie Miller Nature Center. Hear nature stories—with live animals—that will delight audiences of all ages. $3. 913.764.7759

On Nov. 23, head to Crown Center for the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas tree. Mayor Sly James hosts the event which begins at 5:30 and is free.

Walk the trails of the Overland Park Arboretum as they are lit by candlelight at the Holiday Luminary Walk, Nov. 23- 24 and Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at 5:00. Santa visits from 6:00 to 8:00. $7/person, 5 and under, free. 913.685.3604


Arrival of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree 9:00, Crown Center Square. The first sign of the holiday season arrives today! 816.274.8444 Café and Playland 9:00, Kaw Prairie Community Church. Kids can enjoy the playland while parents enjoy conversation and coffee. 913.764.5722 Tales for Tiny Tykes 9:30 & 10:30, Plaza Library. Toddlers ages 18-36 months can listen to a 20-minute story time followed by a craft. 816.701.3481 Officer Buckle and Gloria Thru Nov 25, 10:00, Paul Mesner Puppet Studio. Office Buckle and his dog, Gloria, teach kids all about safety. 816.756.3500 Shrek: The Musical Thru Dec 30, 10:00, Coterie Theatre. A story of adventure, friendship and ogre love! 816.474.6552 Signing Story Time 10:30, Indian Creek Library. Enjoy stories and learn basic signs to use with your children. 913.971.5235 Coco Salutes Scouts 10:00-4:00, CoCo Key Water Resort. Show your Girl Scout badge and get a $5 day pass today! 816.737.0200 Maranatha Christian Academy Gala at the Lake 6:00, Lake Quivira Country Club. Enjoy jazz music, dinner and a live and silent auction. Tickets: 913.706.8558.

Enter KC Parent’s ticket giveaways valued at $385! Details on pg. 22.


Ice Terrace Opening Day 6:00 AM-9:00 AM, Crown Center Square. Free skating for early birds on opening day! 816.274.8444 Traditional Holiday Open House Thru Sun, 10:00, Downtown Lee’s Summit. Enjoy free classes taught by participating downtown merchants. 816.246.6598 Pint Size Playtime 10:00, Harris Park Community Center. Bring kids ages 1-5 to the gym for fun indoor playtime! 816.969.1540 Jazz Storytelling 10:00, American Jazz Museum. Introduce your child to new music and different cultures in this program. 816.474.2929 Excerpts from KC Ballet’s Nutcracker 6:00, Bolender Center. Peek behind the curtain for a free 90-minute open rehearsal! First Fridays 7:00-9:00, Crossroads Art District. Enjoy art in the Crossroads! Women of Faith: Celebrate What Matters Today (7:00) & tomorrow (9:00 AM), Sprint Center. A transformational event! Owl Prowl Today & tomorrow, 7:30, Ernie Miller Park. Hear an informative talk featuring two live owls and hike through the park. 913.764.7759

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Santa’s Wonderland Thru Dec 24, 9:00, Bass Pro Shop. Enjoy an interactive play area, write letters to and visit Santa and make crafts. 816.795.4300 Clay Handprint Day 9:00, Ceramic Café. A free hand or foot impression for your infant or toddler today! 913.383.0222

a world away from the ever yday 8640 North DixsoN AveNue • kANsAs city, mo 64153 816.587.8180 •

Zona Rosa is located at the intersection of Interstate 29 and Barry Road, minutes from Kansas City International Airport and downtown Kansas City. november 2012


First Sunday Family Fun Day Noon, KC Museum. Come celebrate winter holidays from around the world. 816.483.8300 Pet Lovers Day Noon, Ceramic Café. Bring in your 4-legged friends and get their paw print on a 4x4 tile for just $5. 91.383.0222 Fall Public Group Hayrides 2:30, Oak Ridge and SM Park. Bring your group to ride a tractor-drawn hay wagon, sit around a campfire and drink apple cider. Pre-reg 913.831.3355

5 MONDAY Into the Woods Jr & Tales from Hans Christian Andersen The Culture House | Nov. 8-10 Wilderness Run 9:00, Shoal Creek Living History Museum. This is a fun and challenging cross-country run. Sign up! 816.792.2655 Holiday Dress Up Event 10:00, Children’s Orchard (Olathe, Indep & KCMO). Perfect looks for the holidays at perfect prices. Christmas Pioneer Style 10:00, National Frontier Trails Museum. Join us for a children’s Christmas art workshop! Pre-reg req’d. 816.325.7575 Summit Fair Kids Club 11:00, Summit Fair. Enjoy entertainment by Radio Disney and hands-on activi-

42 november 2012

ties for free! 816.607.5420 Devin Henderson’s Comedy Magic Show 1:00, Kansas City Improv. All ages are welcome to attend this entertaining show! 816.759.5233


Daylight Savings Time Ends Remember to fall back by turning your clocks back one hour. Special Swim Experience 9:00, Matt Ross Community Center. Join other families and individuals with disabilities for a special swim time. 913.895.6350

Johnson County Art Fest Thru Nov 18, 9:00, Ernie Miller Nature Ctr. See our annual tribute to local artists in Johnson County. 913.764.7759 Midtown Playgroup 10:00, Westport Roanoke Community Center. Enjoy a social atmosphere at our indoor playground area. 816.784.5200 Toddler Time 10:00, Bonner Springs Community Center. Bring your toddler in to jump and have some fun! 913.422.7010 Jazz on the Square 5:30, Corbin Theatre. Sit back and enjoy listening to some of the best jazz musicians around! 816.439.4400 Family and Friends CPR 6:30, Olathe Medical Center. Learn basic CPR skills for the adult, child and infant. 913.791.4312


Free Play Cedar Ridge Christian Church. Daily free play for young children while you enjoy a coffee break. 913.393.3000 Santa Express Belton, Grandview & KC RR. Tickets on sale now for train rides with Santa on Dec 1 and 8. $14. 816.331.0630 Kidscape 10:00, Johnson County Museum. A hands-on exhibit for kids to experience a suburban streetscape. 913.715.2550 Legoland and Sea Life 10:00, Crown Center. Purchase tickets and prepare for a one-of-a-kind experience at either of these venues. Pinocchio Time 10:00, Puppetry Arts Institute. A long-running special exhibit in celebration of the 130th anniversary of Pinocchio. 816.833.9777


Gym for Me 9:00, Lenexa Community Center. Children ages 5 and under are invited to run, ride and play while making new friends! 913.541.0209 Open Play 9:00, Stanley Presbyterian Church. On the first Wed of each month, bring the kids, toys and your to-go cup of coffee! 913.681.8180 Family Story Time 10:00, KCK Main Library. Fami-





lies are invited to our story time every Wednesday! 913.551.3280

Hans Christian Andersen and Into the Woods Jr. 913.393.3141

Priscilla Howe Storyteller 10:00, Tomahawk Ridge Community Center. Little ones will love Priscilla’s imaginative tales. 913.327.6645

The Cardigans Thu-Sun thru Dec 16, 8:00, Chestnut Fine Arts Center. Features pop music from the ’50s that everyone will enjoy! 913.764.2121

Animal Tales 10:30, Ernie Miller Nature Center. Visit the nature center for stories, songs and surprises geared to preschool children. 913.764.7759 Facebook Friends and Family Night 5:00, Paradise Park. “Like” Paradise Park on FB and receive huge savings on these special days. 816.246.5224


Fall/Holiday Shopping Specials Thru Sat, 8:00, Downtown Excelsior Springs. Shops stay open late and offer specials on merchandise and prices. 816.630.6161 Holiday Boutique Thru Sun, 10:00, OP Convention Center. Come shop unique vendors to dress up the holiday season! Marillac’s Enchanted Forest Thru Sun, OP Convention Center. A festive display of trees and wreaths benefiting the children of Marillac. Free. 913.951.4308 2-for-1 Fall Production Thru Sat, 7:00, Youthfront Auditorium. The Culture House performs Tales from


Cooking a Gingerbread House Elms Resort and Spa. Learn how to cook and make a gingerbread house from an executive chef! 816.630.5500 Mistletoe Madness Craft Show Today & tomorrow, 9:00, Gamber Center. A craft show that’s just in time for the holidays! 816.969.1580 Story Time 10:30, Shawnee Books & Toys. Bring in the kids to participate in our weekly story time. 913.962.1428 Coco Salutes Scouts 10:00-4:00, CoCo Key Water Resort. Show your Boy Scout badge and get a $5 day pass today! 816.737.0200 YMCA Kids’ Night Out 5:00 (Paul Henson), 5:30 (Miami County) & 6:00 (Atchison & Blue Springs). Enjoy a night out while the kids have fun! Friday Family Night 6:00, Cool Crest. Enjoy arcade tokens, pizza and drinks and unlimited KidsGym Playland for an unbeatable price! 816.358.0088

HUGE Veteran’s Day Sale

20% off

November 10th & 11th Special Sale Hours: 10am-4pm Join us for face painting, balloon animals and treats!

YOUR BABY STORE 200 East 14th Avenue, North Kansas City, MO

(816) 256-4646 Regular Hours: Mon-Fri: 12-7pm, Saturday: 12-4pm Find us on Facebook at YBS, Gift Cards Now Available cribs• swings • car seats • strollers • floor toys and more! november 2012


Big Night Out 7:00, Shawnee Park and Rec. Plan to attend this one-night marriage enrichment event! 913.631.5200


Cinderella Today & tomorrow, 8:00, Folly Theatre. Purchase tickets and enjoy a performance of a classic tale. 816.474.4444


Santa Train Departures are 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm, Sat., Dec. 1 and Sat., Dec. 8 2012.

Kids under three FREE (on a parent’s lap)

$14 for anyone 3 and older. Reservations begin Nov. 1

Prepaid, nonrefundable reservations are required. Online reservations only. Check website for last minute seats available.

Belton, Grandview & Kansas City Railroad Co. 502 Walnut • Belton, Missouri • 64012 816-331-0630 •

Youth Achievement Badge Midwest Genealogy Center. Boy scouts will have the opportunity to earn the American Heritage Merit Badge! 816.252.7228 Home for the Holiday Antique Show 9:00, Riverfront Community Center (Leavenworth). Great antique treasures are waiting! 913.682.4113 Homemade Holidays Craft Show 9:00, Ottawa Middle School. Get an early start on holiday shopping with more than 125 craft vendors! 785.242.8618 First Thanksgiving 9:30, Ernie Miller Park. Learn about the Mayflower, Native Americans and the trying times at Plymouth. 913.764.7759 Kids-a-Cookin’ Jo Co K-State Extension. A handson cooking lesson for kids ages 7-12. 913.715.7000 Ollie’s Birthday Paradise Park. Celebrate the birthday of our mascot, Ollie the otter, and enjoy balloons, discounts and birthday fun. 816.246.5224 Anniversary Celebration Today & tomorrow, Ceramic Café. Help us celebrate 15 years! Free 4 x 4 tile painting; we’ll use tiles for an anniversary wall. 913.383.0222 Veteran’s Day Sale Today & tomorrow, Your Baby Store. Face painting, balloon animals and HUGE savings! Special sale hours 10:00-4:00. 816.256.4646


& Me Day

Tuesday, November 13TH 10 AM - 12 PM Craft Project

Reggie the Magician

Door Prizes


2008 W. 103rd Terr. Leawood, KS 66206 913-642-8247

44 november 2012

*For in-store use at U.S. Toy Stores only with free Preferred Customer Card. Reduction taken at register. Limit one coupon per customer per visit. Cannot be combined with other offer or discount. Excludes Lego, Playmobil, Thomas the Train & Chuggington product. Not valid for purchase of gift cards. Other restrictions may apply. EXPIRES 11.30.12 12DM040

Kids’ Fun Fest 10:00, KC Zoo. Join us for fun as we celebrate red pandas! 816.513.5800 Mother Nature Reads 10:00, Lakeside Nature Center. Hear a story, learn cool facts about the animal of the month and make a craft. 816.513.8960 Open Play Noon, Elite Gymnastics & Aquatics. Kids can jump in foam pits, swing on rope swings, play in our tree house and much more! 913.469.5554 YMCA Kids’ Night Out 5:00 (Platte County North & South, Independence, Prov/Ball, Richard C Green, Sr) & 6:00 (Red Bridge). Enjoy a night out while the kids have fun! City Tree Lighting and Holiday Open House 5:30, Downtown Weston. Enjoy late night shopping, carolers and Father Christmas. 816.640.2909 Mom & Son Shenanigans 5:30, Irene B French Comm Ctr. This night includes Wii bowling, free-throw shooting and other wacky games. 913.322.5550

KC Youth Ballet Fall Concert Today (7:30) & tomorrow (2:00), Bolender Center. This elite performing ensemble presents a showcase of ballets. ¡Sofrito! 7:30, Lied Center (KU). A Latin blend of storytelling, music, dance and audience participation. $14-$26.785.864.2787

Great for groups, parties, field trips, company outings, and youth groups!


Fall Fling 5K and Fun Run 7:30, Legacy Park. Bring out the whole family or come with friends for a great morning at Legacy! 816.969.1500 Vets Day Run 9:00, Shelter 9, Wyandotte County Lake Park. This race is for all and honors the veterans among us. Holiday Boutique 10:00, OP Convention Center. Come shop unique vendors to dress up the holiday season! Dramatic Story Time 2:00, Plaza Library. The Coterie Theatre invites children to join in on an interactive story time! 816.701.3481 Veterans Day Celebration 4:00, Veterans Memorial Park. Join us in honoring all men and women who have served or are currently serving our country. 913.631.5200


Opening for the season November 15th! Open 7 days a week, including holidays HOURS: Monday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday: Noon-8p.m.

Visit for more info, or call 913.663.2070

Operation Christmas Child Collection Week Thru Nov 19. Fill a shoebox for a child in need this holiday season. Tracing the Trumans: An American Story Thru Dec, 9:00, Truman Library. Learn about two famous local families: the Trumans and Wallaces. 816.268.8200 Toddler Time 10:00, Bonner Springs Community Center. Bring your toddler in to jump and have some fun! 913.422.7010 Moms FREE Monday 10:00, Paradise Park. Moms are free at the Children’s EduTainment Center with a paid child’s admission. 816.246.5224 Rhyme Time 10:15, Indian Creek Library. This is an interactive language enrichment program for children ages 12-24 months. 913.971.5235 Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade 10:30, Downtown Leavenworth. The largest Veterans Day observance in the nation west of the Mississippi! 913.682.4113


Toddle Time 9:00-11:00, Matt Ross Community Center. Open playtime for ages 5 and under. $1-2/ child. 913.895.6390 Mommy and Me Day 10:00, US Toy. A fun day november 2012



Pop N Play 9:00, Jo Co Museum. Join us for activities designed for your 9-month- to 3-year-old child. 913.715.2550 Stories for Ones 9:30, Waldo Library. Bring your 1-year-old to a story time. 816.701.3486 Family Story Time 10:00, KCK Main Library. Families are invited to our story time every Wednesday! 913.551.3280 Youth Arts and Crafts 4:00-6:00, Garrison Community Center. Ages 7-14 can make creative projects and bring them home to show Mom or Dad. Free. 816.784.1140

A Christmas Carol | KC Repertory Theatre Nov. 16-Dec. 26 that includes a craft, Reggie the magician and door prizes! 913.642.8247

little ones monkey around in our indoor play area at a discount. 913.631.7000

Story Time 11:00, Ceramic Cafe. Listen to a story and paint a piece of pottery to go along with the story. Snack, too! $8.50-$9.913.383.0222

Family Game Night 5:30, Shawnee Books and Toys. Enjoy demos of classic and new fun games. Enter to win a free game at the end of the evening. 913.962.1424

Family Night 4:00, Little Monkey Bizness. Let your


Fall/Holiday Shopping Specials Thru Sat, 8:00, Downtown Excelsior Springs. Shops stay open late and offer specials on merchandise and prices. 816.630.6161 Tales for Tiny Tykes 9:30 & 10:30, Plaza Library. Toddlers ages 18-36 months can listen to a 20-minute story time followed by a craft. 816.701.3481 Opening Day 11:00, The Ice at Park Place. Bring the family to Johnson County’s only outdoor skating rink. 913.663.2070 Officer Buckle and Gloria Thru Nov 25, 10:00 &


It’s turkey time, Kansas City! Gobble up loads of fun with theses events.



Burr Oak Woods Nature Center (1401 NW Park Rd., Blue Springs, MO) 816.228.3766,  Admission: FREE  Burr Oak Woods Nature Center is home to wild turkeys, and the Bird Watching Center is a wonderful observation room where families can watch the birds strut and gobble! 


Nov. 10, 2:30-3:30, at MCPL Excelsior Springs Branch, 816.630.6721 November is a time for traditions. Did you know magicians have a few traditions of their own? Find out what wisdom wizards pass on to each other, and see if your neighborhood magician can remember all the stories he’s been told, or if he’s just a turkey with a magic wand! 8 Silly Rabbits magic needs lots of help from kids who love books and know lots of stories, so be ready to join the show!

46 november 2012

Nov. 16, 10:00-Noon. Must register. Harris Park Community Center, Lee’s Summit, MO, 816.969.1500 Come have a gobble gobble good time! There will be fun activities, crafts and a snack! For ages 1+. Cost: $5 until Oct. 30; $6 thereafter.


Line Creek Community Center & Ice Arena, 5940 NW Waukomis Dr. Saturday, Nov. 17, 2:00-4:00. $5 includes skate rental. The Pilgrims would have wanted you to skate, bowl on ice and throw snowballs, just for the fun of it. Come one, come all— and maybe win your Thanksgiving turkey!


Thanksgiving morning, 9:00, English Landing Park, Parkville, 816.213.0243, Participate in the 24th annual Parkville Turkey Trail Trot! 5k run, 9:00; 2-mile walk, 9:15. Note: No dogs or strollers allowed in either event.

Noon, Paul Mesner Puppet Studio. Officer Buckle and Gloria teach kids about safety in this fun tale. 816.756.3500 Baby and My Day Out Noon, Brush Creek Community Center. Bring your child, 5 and under, to play, make crafts and meet new friends. 816.513.0730 Highlights Tour 2:00, Nat’l Frontier Trails Museum. See aspects of western settlement through a 30-minute guided tour. 816.325.7575 Dickens Performs Christmas Carol 2:00, The Elms Hotel & Spa. The great-great-grandson of literary genius Charles Dickens performs on stage! 816.630.5500 Holiday Open House Thru Sat, Park Place (Leawood). Enjoy deals, promotions, food, wine, trunk shows and more! 913.381.2229

No need to stress about family coming to visit...


play with your kids and enjoy fall! CALL US FOR YOUR HOUSE CLEANING!

holiday special


Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 6:30, Ronney Justice Center Plaza. This program is designed to help disadvantaged families of Liberty. 816.439.4360


St. Nick Photos Mady and Me. Celebrate the season with photos by Kia Bondurant. Best Little Arts and Crafts Show Today & tomorrow, 10:00, Sermon Center. Shop more than 120

A story of adventure, friendship and ogre love that’s bringing ugly back!

This holiday season, bring your family to Independence, Missouri. With festive family friendly activities, a visit to Independence is fun for all ages. Christmas with the Trumans, pioneer-style holiday celebrations, twilight tours of historically decorated homes, an indoor ice rink and shopping on The Square are sure to put you in the holiday spirit. For a list of activities and to plan your trip, go to

OCT 30DEC 30 2012

TICKETS: (816) 474-6552 november 2012


A Christmas Carol Thru Dec 26, 8:00, Spencer Theatre. A Kansas City family tradition by the KC Rep Theatre. 816.235.2700


Turkey Shoot Free Throw Contest 9:00, Irene B French Comm Ctr. The team with the most made free throws in its age group wins a turkey. 913.322.5550 Family Fun Day 10:00, Johnson County Museum. Make a craft and tour Kidscape for free! 913.715.2550 Nikita’s Birthday Celebration 10:00, KC Zoo. Bring your favorite photo of Nikita and help us make a bear-size collage! 816.513.5800

Simple St. Pat’s Fun

Shrek the Musical | The Coterie Theatre | Thru Dec. 30 vendors for arts & crafts! 816.325.7370 Pint Size Turkey Day 10:00, Harris Park Community Center. Have a gobble gobble good time with us! Crafts, snacks and more! 816.969.1540 Story Time 10:30, Shawnee Books & Toys. Bring in the kids to participate in our weekly story time. 913.962.1428 Mayor’s Tree Lighting Downtown Lee’s Summit. Kick off the holiday season with our traditional lighting of the mayor’s Christmas tree!

Englewood Art Walk 5:00, Englewood Station Shopping District. Enjoy 11 galleries, meet and greet artists on the spot and relish refreshments.

Scavenger Saturdays 10:00, Kemper Museum of Art. Pick up a self-guided activity and follow the clues on this “ART-astic” adventure. 816.753.5784 Book Sale 10:00, West Wyandotte Library. There will be books for all ages to purchase at great prices! 913.596.5800

Friday Night Family Fun 6:30, Plaza Library. Join us every Friday night for fun activities the whole family can enjoy! 816.701.3481

Storytelling: Tellabration 10:30, Ernie Miller Park. Hear nature stories featuring live animals at the park today! 913.764.7759

Parents’ Night Out 6:30, McCracken’s Gymnastics. Kids participate in group games and fitness activities in the gym. Pizza and drink included. 913.782.8555

Devin Henderson’s Comedy Magic Show 1:00, Kansas City Improv. All ages are welcome to attend this entertaining show! 816.759.5233

All Aboard the Midland Railway!


Santa Claus Express

The Nutcracker Ballet that tells the true story of Christmas.

New this year,

Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2012 YouthFront Theater 4715 Rainbow Blvd., Westwood, KS

“Clara’s Tea”

Join us at Henry's Tearoom on Sunday, Nov 18th. More details at

For tickets & showtimes call 816-767-9222 or online at

Dec 1 & 2, 8 & 9 Departures: 10 am, 1 pm, 3 pm

Santa Fe Depot, 1515 High St., Baldwin City • Take your child’s photo with Santa in his special rail car! • Souvenir Shop for Christmas Train Gifts

Fares: $15 for adults 12+ $8.00 for children 1 to 11 years old. Tickets now available online!


Dramatic Truth _Parent.indd november 2012 48


10/15/12 4:37 PM

Turkey Bowling 2:00, Line Creek Community Center Ice Arena. Skate, bowl on ice and possibly win your Thanksgiving turkey! 816.513.0760 Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Open House 4:00, Independence Square. Santa visits, enjoy a kids’ wonderland and see the tree lighting at 6:00! 816.461.0065 Christmas Parade in Lights and Tree Lighting 4:00, Excelsior Springs Cultural Museum. A lighted parade featuring Santa and a horse-drawn carriage! 816.630.6161 Holiday Lighting Ceremony 5:00, Zona Rosa Town Square. Santa Claus, Mrs Claus, live reindeer and much more at this special ceremony. 816.587.8180 Tree Lighting Ceremony 6:00, Legends Outlets. Join the fun as the lights are turned on and Santa arrives for the holiday season! 913.788.3700 The Very Merry Schtickmas Show Thru Jan 1, Martin City Melodrama. Get into seasonal silliness with our salute to the holidays. 913.642.7576


Fall Savings At Paradise Park, purchase a $25 or more gift card and receive a free attraction thru Dec 23. New Exhibit 9:00, Powell Gardens. “Adventures in

Toyland” is a new exhibit to come see until Dec 31. 816.697.2600 Clara’s Tea 1:30, Henry’s Tea Room. A special event that includes lunch, tea, sweets and photos with dances from Mystery of Christmas. $30. 816.767.9222


Mommy and Me Bumper Bowling 9:30, Summit Lanes. Bumper bowling for moms & tots! $3/ea includes game, shoe rental and drink. 816.524.3322 Kidscape 10:00, Johnson County Museum. A hands-on exhibit for kids to experience a suburban streetscape. 913.715.2550

Family Day 1920s Style!

• • • • • • • • • • •

November 23rd 10 am - 4 pm

• • • • • • • • • • • See our new Art Deco miniature!

Purchase Tickets The Nutcracker Tea Party is Dec 1 & 2 at the Ritz Charles. Purchase tickets and reserve your spot today. 913.322.6467 Shrek: The Musical Thru Dec 30, 10:00 & Noon, Coterie Theatre. A story of adventure, friendship and ogre love! 816.474.6552 Indoor Playground 2:00, Mill Creek Activity Center. Every Mon, Wed and Fri, children 18 months to 5 years can play at our facility! $3. 913.826.2950 Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament 4:00, Lucile H Bluford Library. Bring your desk and your game and get ready to Yu-Gi-Oh! 816.701.3482

join the


More Johnson County first-time college freshmen choose JCCC over Kansas four-year universities.

For full program information visit,

Find us on Facebook! november 2012


CBE Hall of Fame Classic Today & tomorrow, 6:30, Sprint Center. See some of the best college basketball teams compete!


Youth Arts and Crafts 4:00-6:00, Garrison Community Center. Ages 7-14 can make creative projects and bring them home to show Mom or Dad. Free. 816.784.1140


Midnight Shopping Zona Rosa. Huge savings and tons of fun at this shopping extravaganza.

St. Nick Photos Kia Bondurant Studio. Celebrate the season with photos by Kia Bondurant.

99.7 The Point’s Christmas in the Sky 5:00, Longview Lake Beach. Enjoy local celebrities, holiday music and amazing fireworks! 816.503.4800

Pinocchio Time 10:00, Puppetry Arts Institute. A long-running special exhibit in celebration of the 130th anniversary of Pinocchio. 816.833.9777

Christmas in the Park Thru Dec 31, 5:30, Longview Lake. 300,000 Christmas lights transform the park into an enchanted winter wonderland. 816.503.4800

Family Day 10:00, Toy & Miniature Museum. 1920s family fun day at the museum. See the NEW Art Deco miniatures.

A Christmas Carol Thru Dec 26, 7:00, Spencer Theatre. Purchase tickets for this Kansas City family tradition by the KC Rep Theatre. 816.235.2700

Jack and the Beanstalk Today & tomorrow, 11:00 & 2:00, Puppetry Arts Institute. Purchase tickets for $5/person. 816.833.9777


Drop N’ Shop 1:00, Platte County South YMCA. Drop off the kids for an afternoon of fun and get a jump start on holiday shopping. 816.505.2622

Breastfeeding Support Group 1:00, Olathe Medical Center. Hosted by a lactation consultant who can support and guide you. 913.791.4200 Junie B in Jingle Bells Batman Smells Thru Dec 29, Union Station. Theatre for Young America performs!


Free Play Cedar Ridge Christian Church. Daily free play for young children while you enjoy a coffee break. 913.393.3000 Weekly Story Time 10:00, Barnes and Noble (Town Center Plaza). Bring your little ones out to hear a special story time each Wednesday. 913.491.4535 Breastfeeding Support Group 1:00, Liberty Hospital Education Center. Hosted by a lactation consultant who can support and guide you. 816.781.7200

50 november 2012

Turkey Trot 7:00, River Road (Atchison). Participate in a family-friendly walk/run. 5K or 8K options available. 913.367.4948 Lighting Ceremony 6:45, Country Club Plaza. A favorite tradition to kick off the holiday season in Kansas City! 816.753.0100 Moonlight Magic 10:00, Legends Outlets. Stores open for Black Friday shopping and remain open all night.

Santa’s Crayola Christmas Land Thru Dec 31, Crown Center. Photos are available for a fee, or visitors can take their own pictures. 816.274.8444

Holiday Luminary Walk Today & tomorrow, 5:00, OP Arboretum. Stroll down candlelit trails to see the nighttime woods. 913.685.3604 Lighting Ceremony 5:30, Crown Center. See one of the nation’s largest trees be lit for the season.


Photos with Santa Weekends thru Dec 23, Legends Outlets. Shop, see the lights and get a picture with Santa. 913.788.3700

out & about

Children’s Theater in KC


Busytown at JCCC

Coterie Theatre 2450 Grand Blvd., Suite 144 Kansas City, MO 64108 816.474.6785 Folly Theater 300 W. 12th St. Kansas City, MO 64105 816.842.5500

Theatre for Young America Union Station 30 W. Pershing Rd., Suite 800 Kansas City, MO 64108 816.460.2083 JCCC Performing Arts Series 12345 College Blvd. Overland Park, KS 66210 913.469.4445 Hot Tips: Consider purchasing or requesting season tickets this holiday season; it’s a gift that will foster your child’s love for the arts and create sweet memories for the family.

hile it’s been said that “all the world’s a stage,” one would be remiss not to check out the rich theater life Kansas City has to offer! From musicals to dramas, comedies to tragedies, the stage provides a platform to express some of life’s biggest themes through artistic means. Children’s theater, more specifically, provides the younger crowd an opportunity to gain initial exposure to the arts, with the hope of educating, engaging and entertaining even the littlest audience members. Kids’ series are built with kids in mind, providing comic relief, banter with the audience and a slew of other silly surprises.

While You’re There Now’s the perfect time to instruct your kids in some basic theater etiquette! Inform them that their participation in a show affects the actors’ (or musicians’) performances, as well as other members of the audience. Encourage them to listen carefully, laugh, respond when called and clap after the performance is done! The Coterie provides Viewer Guides within its playbills with additional information about each show, as well as online viewer guides that can be viewed before or after shows. And speaking of playbills—hold on to yours! They are perfect for getting cast autographs!

Before You Go Check out the current series listings for kids’ theater in Kansas City and you’ll find that a broad variety of acts are hitting the stage. Several shows are based on popular children’s books, providing you the perfect opportunity to read with your child prior to attending a show. Ask your child how he imagines characters look and act, then come prepared to see the theater company’s portrayal of the same characters. Call ahead to see whether there will be any pre-shows, cast meetand-greets or special presentations (pre- or post-show) and plan your time accordingly.

After You’ve Gone Many kids wonder where they can sign up to be in a show after viewing just one. Fortunately, they’re in luck! Coterie Theater and Theatre for Young America offer workshops and classes to train budding stars and starlets. Local organizations such as the Culture House are specifically geared toward training youth in theater, art and music, as well. Have a wallflower? Encourage your theater lover to put on his own show at home with friends or siblings, complete with concessions and homemade playbills.

the ultimate guide to family

Feel free to bring along a camera to take pictures before and after shows, but note that most productions request that no photography take place during performances.

fun in KC

fall/winter 2012-13






PM 9/15/12 2:29

GP Fall Winter

Mother Nature Reads 10:00, Lakeside Nature Center. Hear a story, learn cool facts about the animal of the month and make a craft. 816.513.8960 Officer Buckle and Gloria Thru Nov 25, 11:00 & 2:00, Paul Mesner Puppet Studio. Officer Buckle and his dog, Gloria, teach kids all about safety. 816.756.3500 Christmas at Lanesfield Saturdays thru Dec 29, 1:00, Lanesfield Historic Site. See the school decorated for an old-fashioned Christmas! 913.893.6645 Devin Henderson’s Comedy Magic Show 1:00, Kansas City Improv. All ages are welcome to attend this entertaining show! 816.759.5233

Lauren Greenlee is currently reading through the Little House on the Prairie series with her two boys in preparation to see the Laura Ingalls Wilder show at the Folly. She writes from her home in Olathe.

12.indd 1

For over 500 great family-friendly places to visit in KC plus a whole section featuring family-friendly shows, pick up a copy of KC Going Places.


Visits with the Fairy Princess Thru Nov 29, Noon, Zona Rosa Celebration Station. Children share their holiday wishes with a princess! 816.587.8180 Fashionable Victorian Christmas Thru Dec 30, 1:00, Vaile Mansion. The mansion abounds in ruffles, lace, ribbons, velvet and more! 816.229.8293


Santa Express Belton, Grandview & KC RR. Tickets on sale now for train rides with Santa on Dec 1 and 8. $14. 816.331.0630 Gym for Me 9:00, Lenexa Community Center. Children ages 5 and under are invited to run, ride and

play while making new friends! 913.541.0209 Café and Playland 9:00, Kaw Prairie Community Church. Kids can enjoy the playland while parents enjoy conversation and coffee. 913.764.5722 Moms FREE Monday 10:00, Paradise Park. Moms are free at the Children’s EduTainment Center with a paid child’s admission. 816.246.5224 Toddler Time 10:00, Bonner Springs Community Center. Bring your toddler in to jump and have some fun! 913.422.7010 A Very Fifties Christmas Thru Dec 31, 1:00, Johnson County Museum. The 1950s All-Electric House is decorated for the holidays! 913.715.2550 november 2012


Indoor Playground 2:00, Mill Creek Activity Center. Every Mon, Wed and Fri, children 18 months to 5 years can play at our facility! $3. 913.826.2950


Toddle Time 9:00-11:00, Matt Ross Community Center. Open playtime for ages 5 and under. $1-2/ child. 913.895.6390 New Exhibit 9:00, Powell Gardens. “Adventures in Toyland” is a new exhibit to come see until Dec 31. 816.697.2600 Story Time for Twos 9:30, Westport Library. Seasonal stories, songs, videos and other learning activities for children 2 and younger. 816.701.3488 Family Night 4:00, Little Monkey Bizness. Let your little ones monkey around in our indoor play area at a discount. 913.631.7000


Winter Reading Sale 10:00, Indian Creek Library. Pick up lots of materials to get you through the winter at our reading sale. 913.971.5235 Kids’ First Aid 6:00, Harris Park Community Center. Kids ages 7-12 can learn how to handle first aid emergency situations. 816.969.1540 A Christmas Carol Thru Dec 26, 7:00, Spencer Theatre. Purchase tickets for this Kansas City family tradition by the KC Rep Theatre. 816.235.2700


Free Play Cedar Ridge Christian Church. Daily free play for young children while you enjoy a coffee break. 913.393.3000 Pinocchio Time Thru July 2013, 10:00, Puppetry Arts Institute. A long-running special exhibit in celebration of the 130th anniversary of Pinocchio. 816.833.9777

Pop N Play 9:00, Jo Co Museum. Join us for activities designed for your 9-month- to 3-year-old child. 913.715.2550

Shrek: The Musical Thru Dec 30, 10:00 & Noon, Coterie Theatre. A story of adventure, friendship and ogre love! 816.474.6552

Stories for Ones 9:30, Waldo Library. Bring your 1-year-old to a story time geared toward this age group. 816.701.3486

The Game’s Afoot Thru Jan 20, 6:00, New Theatre Restaurant. It’s a murder mystery and comedy combined! 913.649.7469

Family Story Time 10:00, KCK Main Library. Families are invited to our story time every Wednesday! 913.551.3280


Story Time 10:30, Shawnee Books & Toys. Bring

Dance daddy & daughter

in the kids to participate in our weekly story time. 913.962.1428 31st Annual Candlelight Home Tours Thru Sun, 5:00, Weston, MO. Bring the whole family to share in this beautiful tradition. 816.640.2909 PJ Party with St Nick 6:00, the Grove. Santa makes his formal arrival with a fun PJ party for the whole family! Mystery of Christmas 6:30, YouthFront Theater. Dramatic Truth presents a version of the Nutcracker that tells the Christmas story. 816.767.9222 Handel’s Messiah Thru Dec 2, 8:00, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. This majestic choral masterpiece kicks off the holiday season!

For TONS more holiday events, including places to see Santa and Christmas light displays, log onto

A Country School Christmas

Sat., Dec. 1st 1:00-4:00 p.m.


with special guest belle

Friday, February 8, 2012, 6-9 pm and saturday, february 9, 2012, 6-9 pm Providence Community Church 10113 Lenexa Drive 913.307.0710

all inclusive:

price includes jack stack dinner for dads and chick-fil-a for the girls, photo with belle and flower. $60 per couple ($10 for each additional child).

no tickets will be sold at the door.

All net proceeds will be donated to Providence Community Church’s partnership with the Forest Avenue Family Shelter in Kansas City.

space is limited. tickets must be purchased in advance.

52 november 2012

Join us for a traditional 1904 Christmas celebration! Drop in throughout December and see the school decorated for an old-fashioned Christmas! Practice your penmanship, and learn how Christmas was celebrated in 1904. Make an ornament.

*A visit from Santa Claus completes the afternoon (bring your camera!) *Make traditional Christmas tree decorations *Christmas caroling *Storytelling with JoHo *Write an oldfashioned letter to Santa with pen and ink!

Lanesfield School 18745 S. Dillie Road • Edgerton, KS 913.893.6645 •

We Welcome your children to our Warm, fun environment, Where every child is treated With personalized care.

Dentistry for infants, children, teens and all those with special needs

• Comprehensive pediatric dental care including orthodontics • Low radiation digital x-rays • Individualized oral health education

Dr. John T. Fales, Jr.

13496 S. Arapaho Drive • Olathe, KS 66062 913.782.2207 • 913.489.0028 Fax

find us on facebook november 2012



Presented by

Todd Bolender’s The Nutcracker is the heart of Kansas City’s holiday season! As soon as the lights dim, you’ll be transported to a magical place. From the magnificent sets and costumes to the acclaimed Kansas City Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s wondrous music, you’ll witness some of the most glorious dancing on earth. At the renowned


Sponsored in part by:

FOLLOW US Dancer: Arielle Espie. Photography: Kenny Johnson.

GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY AT KCBALLET.ORG OR BY CALLING 816-931-2232. 54 november 2012 november 2012



Penguin Plaza Opening late 2013!

2013 FOTZ MEMBERSHIPS Available November 1st!

OPEN DAILY | 816.513.5800 | 56


Now Open!

The Kansas City Zoo, a private, non-profit organization is operated in agreement with the Kansas City, MO Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, partially funded by the Zoological District in Jackson and Clay Counties in MO, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. november 2012

KC Parent Magazine November 2012  

KC Parent Magazine is the #1 Resource for Kansas City Families looking for fun ideas in the metro!

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