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New Year ’ s

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Phys i cal l y andMent al l y

HappyDur i ngt heHol i days SPORTS

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FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CALL 786.456.9147 I 625 SW 1ST AVENUE MIAMI, FL 33130 I’s just about kids







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in every issue


Kiddos 2014 New Year’s Resolutions for a Happy Family’s Soul

6 |

8 | Keeping

our Children Physically and Mentally Happy During the Holidays

1 4 | Children’s

Cardiovascular Fitness Declining Worldwide

Hanukkah The Jewish Festival of Lights

12 SNACKS Healthy Chocolate Chip Christmas Cookies



The Tree Lot




Gift of a Second Language. Bilingual is Better

A Home for Every Shelter Pet this Christmas

20 PLACES Legoland



BikeSafe’s Top Ten Tips for Parents

2 4 |

Holiday Essentials

23 TOP 10

COMMUNITY 2 6 | The Life-Changing Story

Behind KatGirl

Shop In Your Area

28 BOOKS REVIEWS Suggestions For Your Kids To Read This Month

on the cover Credits MODELS: Brayden and Jared LOCATION: Crate and Barrel The Falls PHOTOGRAPHY: Simply Chic Photography

29 MOVIES REVIEWS What Is New In Theaters

30 PROGRAMS A Unique Learning Experience

CLOTHING: Brooks Brothers The Falls HAIR: Cartoon Cuts The Falls


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

31 FAMILY EVENTS Where To Go With Our Kiddos


publisher’s notes


Sparkling memories!’s just about kids



Ho, ho, ho… Merry Christmas Kiddos readers and Happy Hanukkah! Another year has whizzed by and what a year it was! So many things we have done, learned and shared. It’s time to decorate your home for the holidays, and I hope you find little treasures of memories in those carefully wrapped ornaments. A time to think about our new resolutions, spread good cheer, and give back to others. Enjoy your Kiddos’ winter break, get disconnected from technology for a little bit and strengthen family bonds. Make a picnic, go biking, start a new hobby, make arts and crafts projects, play table games or check out Kiddos calendar, “where to go with our kiddos.” There are a lot of activities to do with our loved ones and great holiday events going on this season! But always remember… simple things are the most valuable in life and sharing these with our kids creates warm memories that they’ll never forget. In the year to come, our best wishes for joyful times and sparkling memories filled with health, serenity, beauty and tons of love for our Kiddos.

Happy Holidays from The Kiddos Family!

Veronica Lepere EDITOR


Early Learning Coalition BikeSafe’s Program Regal Cinemas American Heart Association Maria T. Cummins

Serena Goodman Katherine Magnoli CREATIVE DIRECTOR



Maximiliano Lepere PHOTOGRAPHER

Michelle Barreneche Simply Chic Photography

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kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

Volume 1. Issue 3. Kiddos Magazine is printed bi-monthly in the U.S.A. © 2008 V&L Design LLC. Title is protected through a trademark registration in the U’S. Patent Office. All rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Kiddos New Year’s Resolutions 2014 FOR A HAPPY FAMILY’S SOUL WRITTEN BY: Estefania Arosemena

New Year’s Eve is almost here and we need to start planning ahead of time our resolutions for the coming year


his is a time to think about our new promises and the bad habits each one of us needs to abandon to live a healthier life. Spreading good cheer, giving back to others and enjoying more family time are some of the things we should do more often. Kiddos Magazine wants to help make this New Year a brighter one for you and your family and has put together a special list of the


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

top 5 New Year’s resolutions for this 2014.


As a family give back to your community

Giving back to others not only makes you a better person, but also feels great and nurtures the soul. As a family you can volunteer in many ways, from walking shelter pets to helping prepare and distribute food to the homeless

community. Many non-profit organizations welcome families with kids to encourage altruism and an attitude of service in the community. Some ways in which you can give back to others can be to serve food at a homeless shelter once a month, donate any extra books or clothes for the less fortunate, care for abandoned pets, visit a nursing home and sign up for fund-raising events such as the

Give Thanks Walk to help St. Jude kids with cancer.


Improve your kids’ eating habits as well as your own

Try to think how you can include more salads, fruits and veggies into the meals you already serve at the table. There are already way too many junk food ads out there that our kids are constantly exposed to. Try to avoid buying processed foods, sodas and sweets. Also reserve those eating outs for the weekend and make home mealtime special. If you want to instill in your kids good eating habits, start by being a good role model for them. Some steps you can take to develop healthier eating habits in your kids include: eat home meals as a family more often, make them nutritional snacks for school, encourage your kids to drink more water and discourage eating large meals late at night.


Start a “Let’s Turn Off All Technology Day” once a week

Nowadays we spend so much time in front of a computer, watching TV or finding new applications on our smartphones that we forget about enjoying time away from the world of electronics. Whether it is sharing past anecdotes, baking or enjoying outdoor activities with the family, it is

essential to take a break from technology at least once a week. You can also use this day to relax or start a new hobby as a family. Kiddos recommends activities such as: rollerblading, a family picnic in the park, hiking, attending a football practice, playing table games or taking your puppy to the dogs beach. You’ll maximize your free time and strengthen family bonding.


More reading and less Internet

Spreading good cheer, giving back to others and enjoying more family time are some of the things we should do more often.

This New Year try to dedicate at least one hour a day to reading with your kids. Instead of having them waste time with video games or social media, you can help boost their potential simply by teaching them the importance of reading. Early reading in children has proven to improve memory retention, concentration and communication skills. Exposing your kids to reading every day will help them to develop good reading habits and choose books over other forms of online entertainment. This will also serve as a nurturing activity that will bring you and your child closer together.


Let’s Create Together

Find out about new things you can create to enjoy time together as a family. Your kids will learn about the

importance of teamwork. You can create anything from a cool camping tent to homemade chocolate cookies. If your family is more of an artistic one, then you can start a painting project together, make a Christmas ornament or design a large family collage of photos. Creating things together is always fun and helps to encourage creativity among everyone in the family. k

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physically and mentally HAPPY DURING THE HOLIDAYS WRITTEN BY: Christine Hughes


elevision, computers, video games and smart phones are everywhere in our lives, and probably at the top of many gift lists this holiday season for even the youngest members of the family. Because the number of hours we use electronic media has increased greatly over the last three decades, research has looked at how this affects the health and development of infants and children. The general recommendation based on this research is clearly stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics: there is no evidence that screen time is good for infants (under 2 years) and there is evidence that it may be harmful to their health and development. Therefore, infants under 2 years should not have any screen time or be exposed to any type of media (TV, computer/Internet, iPad, smart phone) in order to support their health and development. Children over 2 years also may suffer negatively from screen time, mostly because it takes away from time that they are actively and creatively playing; takes away from time that they are physically active; and takes away from time that they are interacting with their family and friends. This means children are spending much less time doing things critical to their health and development:

playing, being physically active, and interacting with important people in their lives. Think about what types of media your child uses or is exposed to, and think about how much time he or she spends on it. If it is more than one hour per day, think about limiting the amount of time your child spends with screens and encourage them to do other things, like playing (either indoors or outdoors) and spending time with family and friends. This is what helps our children grow healthy and happy. If your child goes to child care, have a conversation with the care provider about their policy on screen time for infants and children. If they don’t have a policy, ask how often your child has screen time at school in a typical day or week. It is important to have these conversations, especially if you’d like to limit your child’s screen time. The holiday season offers parents the opportunity to limit screen time and spend more family time. Instead of apps, opt for games. Instead of movies, buy children books. These gifts are more developmentally appropriate and also allow parents and

children the opportunity for interaction. If parents make sure children’s use of media is developmentally appropriate and educational, it can make a huge difference in their lifelong success. The Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring high-quality early care and education for children in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Through a variety of affordable and innovative early education and voluntary prekindergarten programs, the Coalition serves more than 50,000 children ages birth to 5-years-old and their families. Founded in 2000, the Early Learning Coalition is among 30 similar organizations in the State of Florida established following the enactment of the School Readiness Act, which consolidated Florida’s early learning services into one integrated program.

For more information, visit The author is a member of Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

A letter

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seasonal decor

Crate and Barrel presents

The Tree Lot


he Tree Lot at Crate and Barrel offers a festive array of seasonal décor and gifts. Customers will discover fresh and joyful offerings that include a wide selection of globally sourced and exclusive home décor, festive tabletops, and tree trimming essentials such as ornaments, tree skirts, tree toppers, garlands and lights. The Gift Table delivers a carefully curated selection of unique gifts and stocking stuffers. The Candy Shop tempts

with a delicious collection of holiday sweets from the world’s finest candymakers. The Tree Lot will treat guests to a series of in-store events and special promotions throughout the holiday season. “We are delighted to share this shopping experience with a community that shares Crate and Barrel’s core values of celebrating family, friends and the everyday gathering,” says Marta Calle, President of Crate and Barrel.

Solve the maze


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014




The Jewish Festival of Lights


anukkah is a wonderful opportunity to share Jewish traditions with our kiddos. It is sometimes called “The Festival of Lights” and is celebrated for eight days and nights. Because the Jewish calendar is lunar, this holiday can happen from late November to late December. In 2013, Hanukkah will start on November 27th and end on December 5th. The word “Hanukkah” means “dedication,” which reminds us of a great Jewish military victory and the miraculous supply of oil for the holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Jewish found only one flask of the oil-enough to keep it burning for one day. But what made this event a great miracle is that the oil ended up lasting eight days and nights.

Hanukkah is celebrated at home with the lightning of the menorah each night. The menorah holds nine candles, one for each of the eight nights and an additional one that is used to light the others. This is one of the happiest Jewish festivals to celebrate with family and friends, eat yummy Hanukkah foods, play dreidel and exchange gifts. Eating fried foods is one of the distinct pleasures of Hanukkah because it symbolizes the oil from the temple. Some of these include: potato pancakes, jelly doughnuts and bimuelos. Because of its proximity to Christmas, Hanukkah has become much more popular these days and it is a fun and special tradition we don’t want to miss with our loved ones. k

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Sweet Potato Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Mouth-watering Christmas recipe for kids (and big kids) to enjoy this holiday time! WRITTEN BY: Maria T. Cummins

Makes 36 cookies.



1.- Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly spray three cookie sheets with cooking spray.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (you can substitute for gluten free flour) 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 cup mashed baked sweet potato 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups quick oats (you can substitute for gluten free rolled oats) 1 cup dried cranberries (optional) 1 cup dark chocolate chips

2.- Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. 3.- In a larger bowl, beat the sweet potato, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Pour the flour mixture and oats into the bowl and mix well. Stir in the dried cranberries and chocolate chips. 4.- Spoon out 12 balls onto each cookie sheet. 5.- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, removing from oven when the edges are slightly tan. After a minute transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. 6.- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container.

The author is the producer of Cooking with Kids Miami

February 1ST - May 4TH, 2014 Miami Children’s Museum receives both private and public funding. MCM is sponsored in part by the City of Miami; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

980 macarthur causeway miami, fl 33132 • 305.373.KIDS (5437)



Kiddos Magazine at The Falls Holiday Parade


his year Kiddos had the opportunity to participate in the 17th Annual Holiday Parade at The Falls on Saturday, November 23rd. This parade symbolizes the start of the holiday season and is absolutely worth seeing. The parade included marching bands, Brazilian dancers and celebrities such as Stefanie Scott from the Disney Channel. We were proud to have a large group of kids and chaperones who were wearing our Kiddos t-shirts and accompanying us throughout the parade! It was an afternoon filled with laughter, holiday music and hundreds of thousands of lights.

Culminating the Parade, Santa Claus arrived at the Santa House where many of our kiddos had the opportunity to take their holiday photos. Kiddos Magazine officially kicked off the holidays and was happy to be a part of this great cause, which benefits the South Dade YMCA Family Center. The Los Rachos Mariachis and Bloomingdale’s fireeating dancer were sensational! This was by far one of the biggest spectacles of the holidays and we would like to give a special thanks to all of our participants for coming and sharing this memorable experience with Kiddos. k

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Children’s cardiovascular FITNESS DECLINING WORLDWIDE BY: American Heart Association National Center


our kids may not run as far or as fast as you did when you were their age.

In a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013, researchers said the decline in running fitness may indicate worse health in adulthood. “If a young person is generally unfit now, then they are more likely to develop conditions like heart disease later in life,” said Grant Tomkinson, Ph.D., lead author of the study and senior lecturer in the University of South Australia’s School of Health Sciences. “Young people can be fit in different ways. They can be strong like a weightlifter, or flexible like a gymnast, or skillful like a tennis player. But not all of these types of fitness relate well to health. The most important type of fitness for good health is cardiovascular fitness, which is the ability to exercise vigorously for a long time, like running multiple laps around an oval track.” Researchers analyzed 50 studies on running fitness between 1964 and 2010 that involved more than 25

million kids, ages 9 to 17, in 28 countries. They gauged cardiovascular endurance by how far kids could run in a set time or how long it took to run a set distance. Tests typically lasted five to 15 minutes or covered a half-mile to two miles. Cardiovascular endurance declined significantly within the 46 years, the researchers found. Average changes were similar between boys and girls, younger and older kids, and across different regions, although they varied from country to country. The study is the first to show that kids’ cardiovascular fitness has declined around the globe since about 1975: • In the United States, kids’ cardiovascular endurance fell an average 6 percent per decade between 1970 and 2000. • Across nations, endurance has declined consistently by about 5 percent every decade.

FACT: “In a mile run, kids today are about a minute and a half slower than their peers 30 years ago.”


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

• Kids today are roughly 15 percent less fit from a cardiovascular standpoint than their parents were as youngsters. • In a mile run, kids today are about a minute and a half slower than their peers 30 years ago. Declines in cardiovascular endurance performance are probably caused by social, behavioral, physical, psychosocial and physiological factors, Tomkinson said. Country-by-country fitness findings are mirrored in measurements of overweight/obesity and body fat, suggesting one factor may cause the other. “In fact, about 30 percent to 60 percent of the declines in endurance running performance can be explained by increases in fat mass,” Tomkinson said. Kids should engage in at least 60 minutes of daily activities that use the body’s big muscles, such as running, swimming or cycling, he said.



“We need to help to inspire children and youth to develop fitness habits that will keep them healthy now and into the future,” Tomkinson said. “They need to choose a range of physical activities they like or think they might like to try, and they need to get moving.”

About the American Heart Association


ounded in 1924, we’re the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated

to building healthier lives, free of

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cardiovascular disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases — America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers — we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health.

To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

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A Home for Every Shelter

Pet this Christmas WRITTEN BY: Estefania Arosemena



he holidays are a popular time to give our kiddos the adorable pet they have always wanted. But before you run to buy a new puppy or kitten at your local pet store, there is no better feeling than saving a pet’s life by adopting one from a shelter. There are about 2.7 million adoptable pets dying each year in the U.S. as a result of pet overpopulation. Many of these cats and dogs could have made wonderful pets and were only waiting for a family to love them. A great way to give a pet is to first take your child to your selected rescue shelter. This gives your kids the opportunity to choose the pet they want. Then, you can have your new member of the family equipped for the holidays and with a bow under the Christmas tree!

importance of perseverance. Caring for an animal can also be a source of joy and relaxation. Recent studies have shown that living with dogs raises good mood chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. By becoming pet owners, your kids will be more joyful, have higher self-esteem and become more committed individuals.

Besides the gratifying feeling of saving a life, loving an animal will enhance your child’s life as well. Having to daily fill a dog’s food and water bowls, taking it on outdoor walks and all the training involved, teaches your kids to be responsible caretakers. According to new studies by Dr. Gern of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, another benefit of having a furred animal in the house is that it actually decreases the risk of kids developing allergies and helps to strengthen their immune system. Playing and exercising with a pet can maintain your child active and be a doorway to learning for him or her. For example, the rewards of training a puppy a new trick can teach your child the

and have more responsibilities are better prepared to bring home a

kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

Before adopting and bringing home this new member of the family, make sure you talk to your kids about the attention pets require. They should be aware of the daily care and activity a pet needs. Kids younger than four years old do not have the maturity to be pet owners since at times they cannot control their impulses and can be innocently aggressive with animals. Kids who are already enrolled in school


new puppy or kitten. Owning a pet also costs money, so plan your budget ahead of time for the food bills, veterinary care, toys, grooming and any other expenses that can mount up. Once you have this under control, you can be in the lookout for shelters. You can visit The Shelter Pet Project to learn more about adopting a pet or attending one of the many adoption events going on throughout the year. With today’s economy and the many returns of pets to local shelters, there are more pets than ever before who need a new family. k




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Join today at any Miami area Regal Cinemas to start earning great rewards for the whole family!

The Falls Shopping Center

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The gift of a Second Language

bilingual is better WRITTEN BY: Serena Goodman


he benefits of speaking two languages are infinite. Bilinguals have social and emotional advantages in an increasingly globalized world. Research has shown bilingualism to have a profound effect on a person’s cognitive skills, literacy and health, from birth to old age. Collective evidence shows bilingual brains have enriched executive functioning. Because bilinguals switch between two languages, they have a keen sensitivity to their environment, and an enhanced ability to process sounds. They are better able to ignore distractions, stay focused, and solve complex problems. Bilingual children develop a deeper understanding of the structure of


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

language, an important skill for literacy, according to the journal, Child Development. The younger you start teaching a child, the better. According to Roberto Giuffredi, owner of Step by Step Languages in South Miami, “From birth, children are developing their language abilities at a rapid rate. They absorb whatever they hear. Exposing children to a second language as early as possible makes the learning process easier.” The benefits of bilingualism follow us into old age as well. Studies have shown that speaking two languages allows the mind to run longer and more smoothly. Those who speak more than one language were found to be more resistant to the degenerative mental diseases Alzheimer’s and dementia.

In many areas of our hometown of Miami, Spanish has become the primary language, replacing English in everyday life. The latest U.S Census Bureau numbers show than 1 in 6 inhabitants in the United States speaks Spanish. We have more Spanish speakers in this country than they do in Spain or in any of the countries in Latin America, except for one – Mexico. As a result, the language that will be crucial for our children to learn is Spanish. As young adults, they will most likely come across career, business, and social opportunities where speaking Spanish will be essential. There are many methods to give the gift of a second language to your child for both native and non-native speakers. You can speak only the minority language at home. Or one

“...the language that will be crucial for our children to learn is Spanish. As young adults, they will most likely come across career, business, and social opportunities where speaking Spanish will be essential.”

parent speaks one language and the other parents speaks the second language. If you are a non-native speaker, you can use the words you do know when you are speaking in your native language. If you know 10 or 1000 Spanish words, use them! An example of this would be, “Do you want to drink some leche? Leche is milk.” All children learning a second language need to be exposed to the language through conversation, books, stories, songs, rhymes and games.

Join a Spanish speaking play group, listen to Spanish music cds, read Spanish books, and use one of the many online educational Spanish web sites. This will all help support your child’s learning. After school Spanish classes for ages 2 and up are a wonderful way to ensure your child is mastering the conversation. Serena Goodman began taking her two children to Spanish classes at Step by Step in South Miami at the age of 3 “My husband and I expose our children to as much Spanish

as we can, but the classes and summer camp at Viva el Español give our children the extra edge they need. The small class size, excellent teachers, and caring environment, have ensured our children the opportunity to become bilingual.” k

For more information about : Step by Step Languages contact 305.666.6609

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Christmas and New Year’s Eve Festivities


or those looking to make amazing family memories this holiday, LEGOLAND® Florida has it all from a giant LEGO Christmas tree to exploding LEGO fireworks. Christmas Bricktacular festivities take place every Saturday and Sunday leading up to Christmas in December. Beyond the more than 50 rides, shows and attractions that already provide a fun-filled day, families can marvel at the sight of a 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree made of 270,000 forest green LEGO and DUPLO® bricks, help find Santa in a holiday scavenger hunt in Miniland USA, and meet LEGOLAND Florida’s special holiday friends, LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier. For the first time this year, families can create the perfect family Christmas photo to send to friends and family as they sit in a life-sized LEGO Sleigh pulled by LEGO Santa Claus and two of his Reindeer,


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

all made out of 161,105 LEGO Bricks. For our LEGO fans we have special model building opportunities so guests can create their own masterpieces. Help decorate live Christmas trees and build LEGO holiday ornaments (Dec. 7, 9, 14 and 15) or help the park build a LEGO Christmas Tree in time for Christmas day (Dec. 21-24) that will stand over 20-foot-tall when completed. The fun isn’t done when Christmas comes to a close. LEGOLAND Florida gets the New Year’s party started early with a Countdown to Kids’ New Year’s Eve that features nightly fireworks over Lake Eloise Dec. 26-30. Watch a spectacular fireworks display with special viewing glasses that turn ordinary fireworks into millions of exploding LEGO bricks.

The whole family can enjoy a familyfriendly party with Kids’ New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31. Kids get to rock out in Miniland USA with a live DJ Dance Party that’s sure to get the whole family moving. This grand finale features a live-action show, an impressive LEGO fireworks display, and a chance to watch the BRICK Drop at just the right time for kids, midnight KST (Kid Standard Time) otherwise known as 7 p.m. EST.

Miami-Dade Public Library System

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cool stuff

Holiday Essentials


kiddos | October • November 2013


top ten

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games / sports

BikeSafe’s Top Ten Tips for parents WRITTEN BY: Valerie Neilson, MSP, AICP

Author representing the BikeSafe Program.


hether it is to school, to a friend’s house, or at a park, biking offers a great form of physical activity and active transportation for children. In addition to health benefits, recent studies show that physical activity may also help kids do better in school. With holidays around the corner, a bicycle may be the perfect gift; however, it is important to teach your child bike safety skills to prevent injuries. Below are the Top 10 Bike Safety Tips for Parents provided by the University of Miami BikeSafe® Program (www. under the direction of Dr. Gillian Hotz:

sure your child wears a prop1 Make erly fitted helmet! Many states (including Florida) require by law that


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

children under the age of 16 wear a helmet when riding a bike. Helmets are the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and fatalities resulting from bicycle crashes.


Teach your child to ride in the same direction as traffic. When bicycling, we move at higher speeds than when jogging or walking. Thus, the safest place to ride a bike is always WITH the direction of traffic.

clear before pulling out of driveways. Driveways are a common site of bicyclist-hit-by-car crashes.

5 Teach your child to scan for cars, to

make their presence known to drivers, and to do the proper hand signals when they want to make a turn on a bike. Weaving in and out of cars (parked or moving) is unsafe and is a common cause for bicyclist-hit-bycar crashes.

3 Teach your child to obey traffic signs 6 Make sure your child is visible with and signals. Just like cars, bicyclists need to follow the rules of the road too – which includes yielding to pedestrians and stopping at stop signs and red lights.

4 Teach your child to STOP and look

LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT to ensure that it is

bike lights, reflectivity, and lightcolored clothing. Many states (including Florida) require by law that anyone riding a bike before dawn or after dusk must have a white light on the front of the bike and a red light (actual lights, not just reflectors) on the back.

7 Teach your child what it means to ride

predictably. Your child should be able to ride in a straight line and look over his or her shoulder to scan for cars without swerving.

8 Teach your child how to stop and control their speed properly. Your child needs to learn to stop a bike by using the brakes, not by dragging their feet.

the age of 10, most children do 9 Before not fully understand how traffic works. Developmentally, they are not able to judge the speed and distance of nearby cars. Children 9 years old and under

should ride on the right side of the sidewalk with caution and walk, not ride, their bikes across crosswalks.

10 Most importantly, your child watches

YOU! Remember to model safe behaviors when bicycling with your child. Teach by example: wear your helmet, be visible to cars, and ride predictably. For more information about the University of Miami BikeSafe Program, please visit the BikeSafe website at: or contact the BikeSafe Program Manager, Valerie Neilson via email at: or by telephone at: 305.243.0349.

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The life-changing story behind



atherine Magnoli, one of our publisher’s favorite children’s book writers, is the author of a series entitled The Adventures of KatGirl. This is a collection of stories about a super hero in a wheelchair who helps kids who are bullied for being physically different. Katherine was inspired to write these stories because they mirror certain parts of her life and give her the ability to fly, which is a life long dream of hers. She was born with a birth defect that affected her spine, but not her mind. Thus, she

has spent the past 29 years of her life viewing the world from her chair. This unique perspective of people, places, and things makes her the perfect author to teach kids the challenges facing those with disabilities. Katherine spends her time wisely. She currently attends Miami Dade College School of Education and is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Exceptional Student Education. Her schooling also requires her to do what is called “clinical hours,” where she both observes and helps

The Adventures of KatGirl is a collection of stories about a super hero in a wheelchair who helps kids who are bullied for being physically different.


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

in a classroom. She has recently started this part of her education at an Elementary School, where she is helping in a 5th grade inclusion classroom. Katherine is very happy about this and looks forward to implementing the things she has observed in her own classroom some day in the near future. She recently finished a 9-month fellowship with the Emerging Transformational Leadership Program of University of Miami. During the program, she learned essential leadership skills and worked with other fellow students towards a

common goal to help children with special needs receive better educational opportunities. When Katherine is not working hard on her degree she is doing all she can to spread the positive message of her book series. Some of the things she has done in the year 2013 is she has had the privilege of visiting over 20 schools and reading her stories to thousands of children of all ages and cultural backgrounds. The response is unanimous! They all think KatGirl is awesome and want to know if Katherine has a flying wheelchair too. She simply responds to this with “Not yet, but it is up to you to study hard and come up with it in the future.” Another great outcome of Katherine’s visits to schools to introduce KatGirl is that it opens up a discussion for students

to speak freely and honestly about their experience with bullying. This is important and vital to help show the negative consequences of bullying and hopefully one day put an end to it. Though Katherine is a very busy person, a girl needs some fun in her life. Therefore, in her spare time she enjoys going to tennis lessons and sharing her views on life with the people she meets. Katherine Magnoli is originally from the suburbs of New York, and now lives in Sunny Isles Beach, FL. k

For more information about The Adventures of KatGirl please vist

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books reviews

1. Night Before Christmas board book: The Classic Edition By Clement C Moore, Charles Santore This beautiful board book edition of the #1 New York Times bestselling Night Before Christmas is the ultimate addition to any family home library for Christmas time reading. Full-color, original artwork by award-winning illustrator Charles Santore is faithfully reproduced on sturdy board stock that will withstand re-reading and repeated handling without tearing or fraying. Reading this most-loved poem is a classic family tradition and adds a magical component to every child’s Christmas! 2. Christmas Keepsakes: Two Books in One: The Christmas Shoes & The Christmas Blessing By Donna VanLiere In The Christmas Shoes, a chance encounter between two strangers alters their lives forever. Eight-yearold Nathan is losing his beloved mother to cancer. His family is living a simple yet full life, struggling to hold on to every moment that they have together. Robert


Suggestions for your kids to read this month

is a successful attorney who has everything-but has lost sight of what truly matters. When their paths cross on Christmas Eve, Robert is shopping for a family he hardly knows, and Nathan is shopping for the mother he is soon to lose. Through their meeting they will learn that the smallest things can make all the difference. In The Christmas Blessing, Nathan is now a medical student in his third year, and he realizes there are lessons he will learn about faith, blessings, and sacrifice. Lessons he will learn from Meghan Sullivan-a young woman born with a hole in her heart that has not kept her from becoming a champion runner. He will also learn from a boy named Charlie, who teaches him how to live a life of true courage. Together, they will help guide Nathan through the darkest period in his life. 3. Who Stole New Year’s Eve? By Martha Freeman, Eric Brace Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, College Springs has a winter carnival, complete with ice sculptures. However this year someone has stolen all 37 sculptures, includ-

kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

ing one on Chickadee Court. Tween sleuths Alex and Yasmeen and the kids of Chickadee Court investigate in this fast-paced mystery. 4. The Kids’ Holiday Baking Book By Rosemary Black From Scottish Scones and Cupid’s Cupcakes to Grandma’s Hamentaschen, Halloween Haystacks and Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie. This is a wonderful collection of fun, family-friendly dessert recipes from around the world.

5. An Otis Christmas By Loren Long It’s Christmas Eve on the farm where Otis and all of his friends live. The farmer has given Otis his first real Christmas present--a shiny new horn! A tree has been decorated, a big snowstorm is on its way, and all of the animals are excited. Best of all, one of the horses on the farm is about to give birth to a foal! Yet in the middle of the night the horse begins neighing in pain and when the farmer says, “We’d better get Doc Baker out here or we’ll lose them both,” Otis knows the horse

is in trouble. Snow has been falling hard for hours and the roads are unpassable. How will they get Doc? Otis to the rescue! He knows a shortcut through the woods and he arrives at the doc’s house flashing his headlights and revving his engine. When Doc fails to awake, Otis uses his new horn. Then, with Doc in tow, he races back to the farm just in time for a Christmas miracle... and the arrival of a new friend to play with. 6. Let’s Count Christmas By Alina Niemi Let’s Count Christmas: A Fun Kids’ Counting Book for Children Age 2 to 5 7. Carrie Cardinal By Megan Casas Warm little hearts this holiday season with the new children’s Christmas book, Carrie Cardinal! What a delightful and refreshing take on a new Christmas hero! This is an easy and animated read from start to finish, filled with moral lessons and holiday cheer! A great addition to any child’s library. k


movies reviews

What’s new in theaters december


The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, this film continues the adventures of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.


Madea dispenses her unique form of holiday spirit on rural town when she’s coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas.


and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) - All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy while taking the nation’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.


When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. It is only when Walt reaches into his own childhood that he discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.




With the 70’s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd)

A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.





A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun.



For the past two years, highschool security guard Ben has been trying to show decorated APD detective James that he’s more than just a video-game junkie who’s unworthy of James’ sister, Angela. When Ben finally gets accepted into the academy, he thinks he’s earned the seasoned policeman’s respect and asks for his blessing to marry Angela. Knowing that a ride along will demonstrate if Ben has what it takes to take care of his sister, James invites him on a shift designed to scare the hell out of the trainee. But when the wild night leads them to the most notorious criminal in the city, James will findthat his new partner’s rapid- fire mouth is just as dangerous as the bullets speeding at it.


After being banished to the city, the mischievous Surly Squirrel plans a nut store heist of outrageous proportions and gets caught up in a convoluted bank heist. Surly, a curmudgeon, independent squirrel is banished from his park and forced to survive in the city. Lucky for him, he stumbles on the one thing that may be able to save his life, and the rest of park community, as they gear up for winter - Maury’s Nut Store.


Set in a dystopic present where vigilant gargoyles and ferocious demons rage in a battle for ultimate power, Victor Frankenstein’s creation Adam finds himself caught in the middle as both sides race to discover the secret to his immortality. k

For more information about showtimes visit

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A Unique Learning Experience

where creativity and leadership begin


that are crucial in fostering the future leaders of our diverse nation. In addition to academic excellence, the school will emphasize on arts (fine arts, music, and drama), foreign languages (Italian and Spanish), technology, and physical education, all in line with the school’s motto:

he Metropolitan International School of Miami, known for its artistic focus, is a new private school located in the vibrant Wynwood art district of Miami. Its founder, Maria Padovan, has been dedicated to children’s education throughout most of her career and today has no greater satisfaction than operating her own international school. Her multicultural experience from living in different countries taught her the importance of education, values and hard work. My father always used to say “Material possessions come and go; true wealth is measured by your knowledge, education, and values.” “These words inspire me everyday to be a better person and never give up on my dreams,” said Maria Padovan to Kiddos Magazine.

materials that meet Florida State’s educational standards. Its manage ment team’s background in education, engineering, and business will allow The MET to implement a truly innovative teaching and learning environment.

In the school year 2014-2015, the MET school will be adopting a leadership education program that concentrates on the most significant learning elements for students enrolled in kindergarten through fifth grade. The program will also provide students the vital classroom

Its leadership habits and language standards will guide teachers, curriculum developers, and parents to be purposeful and strategic in fostering an international leadership culture for students. Metropolitan International School alumni will be equipped with the unique habits

The school will be completely integrated and compliant by the time it opens its doors in the fall of 20142015.

“Mente sana in corpore sano – A healthy mind in a healthy body.” The Met School will be an exciting and nurturing place for children, full of attainable challenges. Children will be encouraged to understand and accept the individual qualities of each one of their classmates, as well as the beauty of language, in a stimulating learning environment. The MET school is opening its doors this January for preschool students and is currently enrolling students for K-5th grade for the school year 2014-2015. The Met School of Miami is accredited by the National Independent Private School Association ( k

Open House | Dec. 7, 2013 | 2pm - 5pm. For more information about Metropolitan International School of Miami, Call 305.576.6970 or visit


kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014


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kiddos | December 2013 • January 2014

Kiddos Magazine Issue 3 - Sparkling Memories  

Kiddos Magazine winter issue December 2013/January 2014

Kiddos Magazine Issue 3 - Sparkling Memories  

Kiddos Magazine winter issue December 2013/January 2014