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contents Vol. 3 issue 3 FEATURE 8 |

5 Priceless (And Free) Gifts For Parents To Give Their Child


This Holiday Season Give Your Family the Gift of Good Health


Steps To Take If Your Child Is Being Bullied At School

in every issue 11 ACTIVITIES Super Soccer Stars Advanced Programs

12 ENTERTAINMENT The Falls Parade

13 TRADITIONS Christmas Around The World

20 SNACKS Homemade Peppermint Stick Hot Choclate


Luigi Boria Mayor Of The City Of Doral


How To Take Action In Tough Times


The Edge & The Youth Advisory Committee (The YAC) Serve as an Inspiration To Today’s Youth

24 COOL STUFF Holiday Essentials

25 TOP 10 Shop In Your Area

30 BOOK REVIEWS Suggestions For Your Kids To Read This Month

31 MOVIE REVIEWS What Is New In Theaters

32 PROGRAMS A Parent And Child Montessori Experience

on the cover

33 FAMILY EVENTS Where To Go With Our Kiddos

34 TIPS “The Perfect Gift” Why College Savings Matter


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016


credits’s just about kids

Kiddos Publisher’s Notes

Sparkling memories!



Veronica Lepere EDITOR

Paige Vignola

I love this time of the year! I love to give back and teach my child the different ways and reasons we can contribute with those in need to make a strong community; not just during Christmas time but all year around.


Roxane Timon Camille Lucy Move Your Mountains Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center Tracfone Aetna Books & Books DESIGN

Kiddos Creative Department Graceleen Garcia

As parents, we want to give to our kids all what they need, but the most important gifts are the ones that last a lifetime. “5 Priceless (and free) gifts for parents to give to their child” brings you thoughtful tips for this Holiday season, gifts that every parent may bless their child with. Looking for healthy snacks this Holiday season? Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate! Check out the recipe. Where to go with our Kiddos? Don’t miss our calendar with family-friendly events and places in Miami. To close this year full of interviews our Kiddos Kid Reporter had the opportunity to meet with City of Doral Mayor Luigi Boria and learn more about challenges and accomplishments he has encountered as Mayor of Doral.


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

Dress in red, spend quality time with your family and loved ones, cook favorite Holiday dishes, connect and build great memories! “Strong families accomplish much more by working together.”




Kathleen Ballard Photography Simply Chic Photography

Wishing you all the best this Holiday season, enjoy this edition and remember to give where you see a need. Find a local charity organization, and give yourself the best gift ever…the gift of giving. Thanks for reading!

KIDDOS MAGAZINE P.O. Box 431492 Miami, Fl. 33243 786.260.8492 Kiddos Magazine is produced by

V&L Design LLC © 2015 Kiddos Magazine VERONICA LEPERE Publisher

Volume 3. Issue 3. Kiddos Magazine is printed bi-monthly in the U.S.A. copyright © 2015 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.

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about kids |


Priceless (And Free) Gifts For Parents To Give Their Child WRITTEN BY: Camille Lucy


ith the holidays upon us, we - as parents - have a tall order ahead of us. The gift list. Keeping our kids upto-the-minute and happy... All while juggling the hustle and bustle and stress that sometimes rides in on the coat tail of the season.

While technology is certainly advantageous, with iPads, iPhones, iThis and iThat out there, there is a disconnect in the home. More time is being spent virtually, with technology rather than with people. Certainly you’ll see a relative or two absorbed in their smart devices instead of mingling around the dinner table or beautifully lit tree.


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

Amidst all of the technological advances (distractions), the seeming chaos and turmoil on the news, and the decline in good ole’ fashion fun (traditions, rituals, quality time spent together and with nature), parents have all the more pressure on them to focus on what is really important and instill that in their children.

like you’re not even there. Staying present and connected during your time spent together will make a huge impact on your relationship with your child(ren) Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.”

Here is a list of 5 priceless gifts that also happen to be free, that every parent may bless their child with. These gifts last a lifetime, not a New York minute until the next fad.

Living deeply, connected to your child, means being in the here and Now with them. Paying attention, experiencing the moment.

Stay Present Being physically present is not the same as being fully present with the little ones. If you are emotionally absent, it’s

Thinking about that growing to-do list, or an argument you had, or what to make for dinner will only distract you away from spending time with your child. If you catch your mind wandering, no big deal! Bring it back to

Merry Christmas the moment and fully engage your child. Maintain eye contact and touch. Diving in with body, mind and soul will help to keep you from becoming distracted and will enhance the enjoyment of the experience for both you and your child.

your child. Everything is energy and what we think or feel seeps out into the material world. Your child is sensitive to this; they pick up on your energy whether you realize it or not. It permeates their world.

Be Mindful

Keep Promises

Take inventory of yourself, how you are parenting your child, the behaviors you see cropping up (good or bad). Our children can be mirrors of our worst behaviors and conditioning. Our patterns. An anonymous author once wrote, “Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” The way your child plays says a lot about their state of mind, and their inner world. Pay close attention, notice any red flags, and celebrate the positive things you see.

One particular thing to be mindful of are the words you speak. Honor your word and keep your promises. Empty promises leave a trail of destruction and broken trust in their wake. Broken trust leaves a child (or anyone) feeling very unsafe, unstable and afraid. This can also make a child feel unimportant, unloved and unseen. Choose your words carefully; you may want to make him feel better but a lie is a lie is a lie. Lying to manipulate his or her emotions, even if its done with good intent to cultivate positive emotions, can birth heavy consequences. Rather, be truthful, and gentle. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Not only does this gift your child with confidence, safety and a feeling of love and trust, but you will gain integrity.

You are not paying attention so you can punish. Remain non-judgmental. You are simply observing the present, the Now. What is. And what is not. Be mindful of your own actions, behaviors, words and emotions around your child, and about

Express Love At every opportunity (which is available infinitely), show your child love. Do it with affection and touch. Do it with words and actions. Love can be as simple as telling your child it’s okay to make mistakes. Or by holding their hand when they are upset. By playing his or her favorite game. By reading them a nighttime story. By boosting your childs confidence. There are ample ways (endless, really) to show and express your love. Showing your child love – real love, not the judgmental and conditional kind we think is love – sets them up with a solid foundation for a lifetime of health and well-being.

Kindness There is one universal gift that not only benefits your child, but the whole of mankind. As Emma Goldman said, “No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” One person’s kindness has a ripple effect that touches the world in a quick sweep. And it returns back to your child, as well. Kindness can eradicate bullying, violence and hate crimes. It can decrease the number of suicides. Our children possess this magnificent gift. What we pass on to our children becomes the world, it is manifested into reality. Whatever it is we want for our children in their lifetime, we need to begin it at home. Kindness breeds kindness. Love shared is love gained and spread through out the Universe. Doing good not only affects the one receiving, it benefits the one giving, as well. Do good, feel good. So simple And lastly, let’s not forget the golden rule… treat others as you wish to be treated. k

Camille Lucy is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Certified Reiki Practitioner, graphic and web designer, business consultant, and Vice President of a local non-profit that “rehabilitates people through animals.” She is also a writer, a Mother of 3 precious girls, an artist, a Life-and-Love Junkie, a Self-Expression and Development advocate, and - well, you get the point. She’s a lot of things, just like all of us. Camille is also author of, “The (Real) Love Experiment: Explore Love, Relationships & The Self.” Learn more about her and her adventure(s) at

it’s just about kids |



This Holiday Season Give Your Family the Gift of Good Health WRITTEN BY: Aetna

s colder months approach, many families enjoy spending time together on the couch watching football, indulging in delicious family recipes and preparing for the holiday season. Many of us look forward to this time of year when we can spend quality time with loved ones, relax, reflect on the year and look forward to the new year ahead. This can also be a challenging time to stay healthy, as people tend to stay bundled up indoors and the food seems to pile up on the dinner table. Learning how to eat well and stay active ahead of the holiday season may mean the difference between staying healthy or packing on a few extra pounds and creating habits that could lead to serious health issues down the road. That is one reason the Aetna Foundation is working to make nutritious foods and exercise programs readily available for families year-round. “Poor nutrition poses a challenge to America’s health, especially for vulnerable populations whose

access to healthy food is often limited,” said Garth Graham, M.D., MPH, president of the Aetna Foundation. “We’re excited to support programs that help make healthy food and exercise programs more affordable and accessible to people nationwide.” There is a great need to increase access to nutritious foods in vulnerable communities and to make healthy food available, accessible and affordable for more people across the country. Millions living in underserved communities struggle to maintain healthy habits during the holiday season without the help of school-provided meals and activities. That is why the Aetna Foundation is working with nonprofit organizations across the country to provide healthy foods and exercise options and tools to more people year-round. These tips from the Aetna Foundation are designed to help people stay active and healthy during the holiday season.

1. Eat well. When grocery shopping for large (or small) family meals, choose fresh, seasonal, nutritious foods as often as possible. When fresh is not possible, keep in mind that frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are still healthy alternatives. To guard against nutrient loss, be sure to eat frozen fruits and veggies soon after purchase and steam or microwave them rather than boiling to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins. 2. Cook together. As you plan and cook meals for your friends and family over the holidays, inviting your children to cook with you is a great way to teach them about nutrition and better food choices. 3. Get off the couch. It can be tempting to curl up on the couch to stay warm and dry during the cold winter months, but find ways to stay active with your family - such as interactive dancing video games, an indoor game of hide-and-seek or dancing during commercials while you watch your favorite TV show. k

Find more healthy living tips for your family at


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016



Super Soccer Stars Advanced Programs


uper Soccer Stars has grown throughout Florida and they now offer Stars Premier - an advanced soccer development program for players aged 4 and older. Stars Premier is divided into two programs: Stars Premier Player Development and Miami Stars Premier Travel Teams. Classes are fast paced featuring exercises which are designed to ensure that players are receiving maximum touches on the ball. Inactivity, waiting for oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s turn and long lines, are not characteristics of a Stars Premier class. The program focuses on technical improvement, tactical decision making, and leadership development. Core values

are good sportsmanship respect, and teamwork. The supportive approach provided by our licensed and experience coaches offers players the confidence to succeed both on and off the soccer field. k A tryout or evaluation session is mandatory to enroll in our Midtown, Coconut Grove, and Kendall locations. To book your free Premier evaluation today, visit or call 305.777.7077

A letter

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about kids |




Kiddos Magazine

at The Falls’ 19th Annual Holiday Parade s WRITTEN BY: Roxane Timon


iddos Magazine officially kicked off the holiday season at The Falls’ 19th Annual “Miracle on 136th Street” Holiday Parade on Saturday, November 21st. Kiddos, chaperones, and families joined us for our parade presentation, walking throughout the shopping center while wearing our bright Kiddos T-shirts, festive holiday hats, and elf costumes. Olaf – the famous snowman character from Disney’s Frozen- made a special appearance in our presentation. Kids had the opportunity to take pictures with Olaf throughout the parade. Our Kiddos were full of excitement as they waved and smiled at the crowd with us to help celebrate the holiday spirit. It was a festive afternoon for us all!


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

Kiddos was proud to participate in The Falls’ Holiday Parade, which benefits the South Dade YMCA Family Center. Families and friends gathered to watch the festive parade which featured local marching bands, bag pipers, stilt walkers, junkanoos, giant puppets, holiday character favorites, and Raini Rodriguez of The Disney Channel. The event was filled with holiday cheer, holiday music, costumes, and dances. Our Kiddos team would like to give a big thank you to all of our participants at the Falls’ 19th Annual Holiday Parade for helping us celebrate this special time and spread the holiday spirit! k

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about kids |





Around the World


he Christmas season is celebrated in many different countries and cultures around the world. In France, for example, families gather to have a special feast on Christmas Eve and eat a traditional dessert called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;BĂťche de NoĂŤlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a buttercream-filled cake shaped and frosted to look like a Christmas log. In Haiti, children place their polished shoes filled with straw under the Christmas tree. They hope that Santa Claus will remove the straw and put treats and gifts inside the shoes. In Spain, many people walk through the streets after Midnight Mass, or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;La Misa Del Galloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, on Christmas Eve singing Christmas carols, playing the guitars, drums, and tambourines to celebrate. In Australia, December 25th comes in the middle of the kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; summer

holiday is celebrated for eight days and nights during which children enjoy playing the Dreidel game with their families. Each country has its own unique and special way of celebrating the holidays. No matter how we celebrate, we all share the magic and wonder of this festive season! k How â&#x20AC;&#x153;Merry Christmasâ&#x20AC;? is said around the world: Spanish - Feliz Navidad Italian - Buon Natale holidays! This is why many families gather for camping trips, picnics outdoors and at the beach to celebrate the Christmas festivities. Jewish tradition includes celebrating Hanukkah, also known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Festival of Lightsâ&#x20AC;?. This

French - Joyeux NoÍl Creole - Jwaye Nwèl Portuguese - Feliz Natal German - FrÜhliche Weihnachten Vietnamese- Chúc MÚng Giång Sinh


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rom connecting with friends to playing interactive games, a mobile device presents endless entertainment to kids of every age. With children getting their first cell phone at a younger age than ever before, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to make sure they stay safe by investing in a kid-friendly phone and keeping tabs on their activity. From ensuring there is fun content to using new applications which limit their exposure to undesirable content, there are many considerations to take into account when purchasing a phone for your child.

Photography: Getty Images

As you begin researching options, consider this advice from the experts at TracFone Wireless. Durability. When it comes to kids, durability is key. Look for phones that can stand up to daily use and invest in protection (such as covers and screen protectors) to save it from drops or spills. Add a few simple investments and save big on repair or replacement costs down the line.

Choosing a Kid-Friendly Cell Phone this Holiday Season Security. Look for a device that creates a safe smartphone experience for your child as well as monitor their usage. The LG Optimus Fuel Android smartphone from TracFone comes with a one year free trial of the NQ Family Guardian parental control app, which allows you to monitor and manage your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, locations and phone usage. Plus, it comes with access to special SpongeBob SquarePants content such as wallpapers and videos, so kids can have fun while still being safe. Entertainment. Make sure the phone has the capability to download apps that provide plenty of quality entertainment. From games that inspire kids to draw pictures to puzzles and word games, your child will love the excitement at their fingertips.

Affordability. Seek a pre-paid or pay-as-you go plan so you can man age the data your kids use, set limits on costs and avoid hidden fees that come with contract plans. TracFone is one of the largest no-contract cellphone service providers in the United States and offers nationwide coverage on all plans. TracFone has a variety of affordable plans to choose from, with 90-day plans including talk, text and data starting as low as $19.99. k

For more information, visit

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Steps To Take If Your Child Is Being Bullied At School WRITTEN BY: PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center


t is important that parents approach bullying in a calm manner and keep records of facts in the situation. It is helpful if parents and school staff work together to resolve the issue. Parents can use the following steps to resolve the issue. I. Work With Your Child Thank your child for telling you. Tell your child that the bullying is not his or her fault. Talk with your child about the specifics of the situation and ask:

• Who is doing the bullying? • What happened? Was it • Verbal bullying? • Physical bullying? • Cyber bullying? (Meet directly with the principal if this is the case.)

• What days and times were you bullied?

• Where did the bullying take place? 16

kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

Also find out how your child responded to the bullying and if other children or adults might have observed the bullying. Does your child know the names of these people? Keep a written record of this information. Practice possible ways for your child to respond to bullying. Tell school staff (teacher, principal, other staff). Go to step two if needed.

• Share information from Step One. • Mention your work with your child regarding the situation.

• Share the outcome of your meeting with the teacher.

• Mention how the situation is impacting your child:

• Does not want to come to school • Is fearful he or she will be hurt • Complains of stomach aches, headaches, etc.

• Has other new behavior as a result of bullying

II. Work With The School

• Ask if school has a written policy

Meet with your child’s teacher:

on bullying and harassment. If so, ask for a written copy. • Ask what the school can do to keep your child safe at school, on school bus, etc.

• Discuss what is happening to your child using information from Step One. • Ask what can be done so your child feels safe at school. Keep a written record of what happened at this meeting, including names and dates. Make an appointment to meet with the principal to discuss the bullying situation:

Go to step three if needed. III. Work With District Administration Write a letter or send an email to district superintendent requesting a meeting to discuss the situation. Include name of child, age, grade,

kiddos school, your address and phone number, background information of the bullying situation, and how you have tried to resolve it. This letter should be as brief and factual as possible. Include the times you are available for this meeting. Send copies of this letter to the principal, special education director (if child is receiving special education,) and chair of the school board. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.


Match the pair

Prepare for this meeting by organizing the information you have kept and the questions you want to ask. Remember to ask what can be done to keep your child safe in school so he/she can learn. Decide if you want to take someone with you. Clarify their role (e.g., take notes, provide support, contribute information about your child). Be sure to keep a written record of this meeting, including who was present, what was discussed, and any decisions that were made. If after taking these three steps, the bullying issue has not been resolved, you may wish to contact a parent center or advocacy organization for assistance. k *Email is an acceptable way of contacting persons

About PACERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006, PACERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Bullying Prevention Center, actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students.

For more information, visit or call 952.838.9000 or 888.248-0822 (national toll free).

Solution: 1-4, 2-6, 3-5.

Tell your child that the bullying is not his or her fault.

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about kids |


the kiddos kid reporter

Luigi Boria Mayor of The City of Doral WRITTEN BY: Roxane Timon

Luigi Boria is the current Mayor of Doral and is recognized for his dedicated involvement and support of the Doral community.


ur Kiddos Kid Reporter had the opportunity to meet with Luigi Boria, Mayor of Doral. Mayor Boria is the first Mayor of Venezuelan origin in the country. He has resided in Doral with his family for over twenty-six years. Since the beginning of Boria’s election as Mayor in 2012, the City of Doral has witnessed noteworthy developments. His dedication to making Doral a better city has led to numerous accomplishments. To name a few, the Parks and Recreation Department won the “2014 Florida Recreation Park Association Agency and Excellence Award”, the city increased police personnel, and roadway resurfacing improvements have been completed throughout Doral. Future projects for the City of Doral includes two brand new parks that are under construction, two new K-8 centers and turning Doral Middle School into a high school which will host over 600 students. Doral has become the home of over 250 company headquarters and more than 100 multinational corporations. In addition to being Mayor, Boria was also the City of Doral’s Councilman for two years. Luigi Boria shared with us some insight on his experiences, challenges and accomplishments he has encountered as Mayor of Doral.


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

The Kiddos Kid Reporter: Mayor Boria, what is the most important job you have done for the City of Doral? Mayor Boria: Well, making this city a friendly city and a workable city has been a challenge because we have many things going on at the same time. The Kiddos Kid Reporter: What advice would you give to kids to make a better city? Mayor Boria: First of all, to obey their parents and secondly, to go to school and educate themselves. One day, maybe they will become mayors and they can help me with the city for the next generation [laughs]. The Kiddos Kid Reporter: Can you tell me about some of the future projects that will improve the City of Doral?

About The Kiddos Kid Reporter

Mayor Boria: We are building two very beautiful parks: Doral Legacy Park and Doral Glades Park. They are currently under construction and by this time next year we will have two brand new parks. Along with the six parks that Doral already has, we will have beautiful parks for the community.

this means that you identify with the city. If we all work together, then we can have a better city for everybody.

The Kiddos Kid Reporter: What message will you give to this community for this holiday season?

The Kiddos Kid Reporter: Can you describe Luigi Boria in three different words?

Mayor Boria: To behave, to not go to sleep too late, to help others, and to contribute to the community because

Mayor Boria: I would say honesty, transparency, and responsible. k

The Kiddos Kid Reporter: What is your favorite book? Mayor Boria: The Bible.

In our 2014 Back to School edition Kiddos Magazine introduced “The Kiddos Kid Reporter,” a new segment in which our 9 year old reporter, Marco, interviews celebrities, educators, and inspirational artists and personalities who have strong impacts in our community and in our Kiddos’ lives.

Credits: Video Production: Filmart TV Photography: Kathleen Ballard Photography Haircut & Style: Lil’ Jungle Location: Doral City Hall

it’s just about kids |




Homemade Peppermint Stick Hot Chocolate Ingredients: • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream • 1 1/2 cups milk • 1/4 cup sugar • 1/8 teaspoon salt • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped • 3 drops peppermint oil • Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish • Chocolate shavings, for garnish

Directions: In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and salt and heat over medium-low heat. When the cream mixture just begins to steam, add the chopped chocolate, and stir until melted. Stir in the peppermint oil. Divide the hot chocolate among mugs and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

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Ages 2-12. Limit of four (4) kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; tickets with purchase of a full-price adult ticket. Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. Subject to availability.

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itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about kids |




Holiday Events for the Whole Family

WRITTEN BY: Jill Martin


on’t miss these family-friendly holiday events in Miami. December is a time when the Magic City really shines. While most of the nation is downright frigid, here in South Florida, it’s all about warming up your holiday spirit—with more than just the weather. Here’s a list of happenings for all ages: The Nutcracker Spend a few hours with the Sugar Plum Fairy this holiday season. Catch a show at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center on Dec. 4-5, Aventura Arts & Cultural Center on Dec. 11-13 or the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater on Dec. 27. Actor’s Playhouse The Trial of Ebeneezer Scrooge will be performed Dec. 2-27. Special evening performance on Christmas night at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $50.

Zoo Miami Have you ever seen a giraffe lit up in lights? If you have yet to experience Zoo Lights, put this on your wish list. The fun begins on Friday, Dec.18 and runs through Wednesday, Dec. 30. You can nibble on cookies, sip hot cocoa, listen to the Yuletide Carolers, take a ride on the carousel, and more. Zoo Lights run 7 to 10 p.m. (closed Dec. 24 and 25). Strawberry Picking Tis the season for red and green, and in South Florida that means it’s time to pick strawberries. There are several places to U-Pick, including Knaus Berry Farm, Burr’s Berry Farm, Sam and Philly’s, and U-Pick Kendall. Jungle Island Your kids will love the holidaythemed animal shows, animal parade with holiday music, crafting station, and more. Enjoy Wild Holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 19, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016. Admission is $34.95 for

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kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

adults and $26.95 for children (ages 3 to 10), plus taxes. The Ice Palace at Dolphin Mall A new theme is featured each year what will be unveiled for 2015? One thing’s for certain, you can leave a handprint in ice at The Icy Hand Print experience before you leave. This free event at Dolphin Mall runs daily through Dec. 24. The Heat on Christmas Day Put on your Santa hats and come watch the Miami Heat take on the New Orleans Pelicans at American Airlines Arena. Cheer the Heat to victory at 12 p.m. k

Event suggestions courtesy of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. For more information about Miami’s hottest things to do, events and special offers, visit

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about kids |



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kiddos | December 2015 â&#x20AC;˘ January 2016



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How to Take Action in Tough Times WRITTEN BY: Move Your Mountains


hen things go awry for someone you love, it can be hard to know just how to help. Don’t let fear of saying or doing the wrong thing prevent you from taking action. It’s important to remember that some gesture, whether big or small, is better than doing nothing at all. If you find yourself unsure of how you can lend a hand in a time of need, start by envisioning what you might find helpful if you ever found yourself in the same situation. Also take into account special circumstances that may hinder


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

delivering on that need and seek alternatives. For example, a child fighting a severe illness may be desperately missing friends from school, but visitors are limited due to his compromised immune system. Your answer for taking action: work with the child’s teacher and have classmates make cards or funny videos you can share. Overcoming emotion and channeling that energy into action can be a challenge when times are tough, but these ideas will help give you the inspiration to get started:

Acknowledgement. Sometimes the greatest help can be hearing that you’re not alone. A simple call or a card letting your loved one know that you’re thinking of them is a small but important gesture in a time of need. Not knowing what to say or fear that talking about it will bring more pain keeps many people quiet in the face of tragedy. A support system that helps chase away a sense of isolation is important. Crowdsourcing. Relying on the vastness of social media is a smart strategy for gaining financial support,

whether it’s helping defray expenses or raising funds in honor of a special person or cause. For example, iPads from Isaac, a crowdsourcing campaign through Move Your Mountain, has raised more than $10,000 in a little over six months to fund iPads for non-verbal children like Isaac, who passed away at the age of 7. Choosing the right platform can help ensure the success of your campaign. Move Your Mountain offers mentors to support new users via email and live chat, helping tell a compelling story and even

select impactful photos and videos. The service also offers the lowest fees currently available with no campaign time limits. Learn more at Donations. When casseroles have been delivered, cards sent and other immediate needs seen to, you may find yourself asking what next. That’s when a thoughtful gesture such as donating your time, money or things to a related charity is sure to be appreciated. Your contributions may or may not directly affect the individual you’re acting on behalf of, but the show of support sends a strong message. Gifting differently. If you have a gifting occasion on the horizon, take advantage of the opportunity. Ask others to forego the gifts they may have sent you, and instead direct those resources to your loved one in


need, whether in the form of money or items they need, such as books, new pajamas or a cozy blanket. On the flip side, if you’re the one giving, let your recipient know a contribution has been made in his or her name and share some information about the cause in a thoughtful card. Stress relief. When crises occur, day-to-day concerns get pushed aside. But over time, worries such as lawn care and household chores can wear on caregivers and injured or ill individuals alike. Work together to create a task list, then enlist help from others to tackle the list and eliminate unnecessary stress. When bad things happen, it’s natural to feel helpless. Taking charge and taking action can help you constructively manage through a time of need, encourage others to do the same and make a meaningful difference in your community. k

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The EDGE & The Youth Advisory Committee (The YAC) serve as an Inspiration to today’s youth. WRITTEN BY: Roxane Timon


iddos Magazine had the opportunity to talk with Mercy Hernandez, President of The EDGE Charitable Foundation. As an active and passionate community advocate, Mercy’s mission is to help children in need worldwide. Her passion and dedication led her to create The EDGE in 2007 with three other founders, including Priya Nembhard, Vice President of the board. The EDGE, which stands for ‘The Early Development of Global Education’ is a non-profit organization that provides educational, environmental, and humanitarian support to children. The children are either victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, or they are members of migrant, homeless, or low-income families.


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

The EDGE has come a long way since 2007. Their projects and ideas led to the creation of the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), a group of kids and teens, between the ages of 13-17, who shadow the EDGE’s board; they receive a wonderful opportunity to express themselves and share their passion for helping children in need around the world. The President of the YAC says the committee “has become an avenue for me to express kindness and help the community in any way that I can. It also represents a creative outlet that gives youth the opportunity to help those in need!” The Vice President also expressed her enthusiasm about being part of the YAC: “The reason I joined the YAC is to be a part of something bigger. I’ve been a volunteer since I was about 8 and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon!” The committee provides talented kids

The EDGE, ‘The Early Development of Global the chance to follow their dream in becoming humanitarians, while also incorporating leadership skills and serving as an inspiration to today’s youth. The YAC plays an important role in the foundation and contributes to the EDGE’s many projects such as the Purple Bag Project, in which needy children receive a bag full of items that provide comfort. The YAC is also responsible for assembling the bags. Another important project is The EDGE’s Annual Toy Drive, where toys are delivered to children in need. This year, EDGE is collaborating with Hispanic Police Officer Association (HPOA) of Miami-Dade, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami-Dade Police Department, the City of Homestead, and Miami Vineyard Community Church to present their 9th Annual Toy Drive, which will be

organization that provides educational, environmental, and humanitarian support to children.

held on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. at Harris Field (located at 1034 N.E 8th Street, Homestead, Fl. 33030.) All of the remarkable visions that Mercy Hernandez and The EDGE team have launched throughout the years -

the YAC, the Purple Bag Project, the many toy drives and more- have significantly made a difference in our community, enabling both kids and adults to unite and help make a change in the lives of children in need. k

The EDGE will be collecting unwrapped toys until Wednesday, December 10th. For more information on how to donate toys, find nearby participating locations or sponsorship opportunities, email Mercy Hernandez at or call 305.298.1763.

it’s just about kids |



book reviews Suggestions for your kids to read this month

1. Soundless By Richelle Mead No one in Fei’s village had ever heard a thing. Each and every member was deaf, and had been that way for generations. The village is at the mercy of a zip line, which gives the people food in exchange for the ore found in the caves nearby. But then, one day, Fei’s hearing comes to life, and nothing can be the same.

2. Truthwitch By Susan Dennard In a world of magic, there are dozens of talents and magical skills. One of the rarest is the Truthwitch, a person able to tell truth from lie. Safiya is a Truthwitch, and as a noble, her powers have been hidden from birth. Her best friend and sister in all but blood, Iseult, is a Threadwitch. Both want to be free to live life the way they want, but there may be war on the horizon, and neither can escape it.

3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Illustrated Edition By J.K. Rowling By now the story is known. Baby boy’s family is killed by a Dark Lord, who for some reason fails to kill baby boy, and somehow is vanquished. Boy grows up with relatives, completely oblivious to the fact he’s known as the Boy-Who-Lived. Relive the first book of the Harry Potter series in this large and full-color illustrated edition.

4. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard By Rick Riordan The bestselling author of the Percy Jackson series returns with this new Mythology fueled story. New hero Magnus Chase must deal with the gods and beings of Norse mythology. Can Magnus reclaim his birthright in time? Or, is the Ragnarok already upon us?

5. Zombelina Dances the Nutcracker

7. The Not Very Merry PoutPout Fish

By Kristyn Crow Zombelina has found acceptance with her peers, and now they are ready for the big dance. Unfortunately, Zombelina’s grandfather haunts the theater, and loves practical jokes. Can Zombelina stop her grandpa from ruining the show for her and her friends?

By Deborah Diesen Mr. Fish is worried. It’s the day before Christmas and Mr. Fish doesn’t have a gift for anyone! He goes shopping hoping to find the biggest, bestest, most perfectest gift for each of his friends. But, as Mr. Fish will learn, gifts are not about the money spent on them.

6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

8. How do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?

By Dr. Seuss It’s never a bad time to read this Dr. Seuss classic. All the Who’s down in Who-ville want to celebrate with great Christmas cheer. The Grinch, however, wishes their joy would just disappear. The Grinch has a nefarious plot. He will steal Christmas from Who-ville, and make them cry a lot. He expects to hear tears from the Who’s all day long. Instead, he can’t help but wonder: what is that song?

By Jane Yolen How do Dinosaurs act on Chanukah? Do they rampage and destroy the house? Do they eat all the chocolate and steal all the toys? Or, do they happily sing along with their family and play dreidel with their friends? There’s only one way to find out.

CORAL GABLES | 265 Aragon Avenue | Coral Gables, Florida MIAMI BEACH | 927 Lincoln Road | Miami Beach, Florida 33139 BAL HARBOUR SHOPS | 9700 Collins Avenue | Bal Habour, Florida 33154 THE CAFÉ AT BOOKS & BOOKS AT THE ARSHT CENTER | At the ground floor of the Arsht Center


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016




Montessori Experience


esigned for children ages 6 months to 4 years with a parent or caregiver, each Mommy & Me session meets for a 60 minutes condensed Montessori class. During that time, your child will be free to explore a carefully prepared environment containing Montessori materials, making his or her own choices from the lessons and working at his or her own pace. Join other parents and children for the community snack, arts and crafts, story time, music and playtime together.

movement, order, sleep patterns, independence, and language acquisition will offer you moments of clarity in parenting your little one. You and your child will be able to explore the Montessori materials guided by a curriculum developed for each age, join circle time, and play time together. Toddler Montessori program (16 months – 3.5 years. Bilingual) Daily 9:00 am to 12:00. Drop off available.

Monthly topics such as fostering independence, order, concentration, coordination, toilet training, discipline, language acquisition, and preparing the home Baby & Me Montessori class (6 – 16 environment for your active explorer months. Bilingual) will give you new insights into how Monthly topics such as 1sensitive ad_babysittermiami.pdf 12/10/15 10:11 AM you can optimally support your periods, home environment, Classes are led by Ethna Meyer, (AMS) certified Infant and Toddler Montessori teacher.










kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

child’s development. You will be with your child as he or she works with Montessori materials, enjoys arts and crafts, circle time, learns to serve him or herself the snack and plays with other toddlers. Spanish Montessori class (24 months to 4 years) Full Spanish immersion class. Children interact in Spanish while working with Montessori materials. This curriculum allows them to learn vocabulary, letter sounds, Numbers and counting, and how to apply in the construction of words. k

For more information about Mommy Time Montessori please visit or call 305.576.7604


fa ea mt iul ry e e v e n t s

where to go

with our


calendar submissions



Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park opened daily from 5:30 pm to midnight 33 years of being a South Florida tradition, The world's largest themed park with over 100 rides, shows and attractions. The enchanting forest of lights greets with merriment and excitement for another great year filled with the best of the holiday season at Tropical Park. Admission price includes all the rides and shows. Free parking! opened daily from 5:30pm to midnight. For admission prices vist or call 305-559-9689


Submit your event information for Feb-March calendar before Jan 10th to


18th Annual Holiday Boat Parade Bayfront Park. From: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m Close to 100 decorated boats are expected this year at the Miami Outboard Club Holiday Boat Parade and you’re invited! There will be food trucks, music, bounce house for the kids, boats. Fireworks at 9:00 pm. You can bring a Toy Drop it off. Join ISP DJs and the City of Miami for an amazing event! For more info visit us at Free event

Include event name, location, address, date, time, cost, a brief description and contact. Events will be listed based on availability and it has to be family and kids related.



The Polar Express Train Ride at Gold Coast Railroad Museum 12450 S.W. 152nd Street Miami, Florida 33177 (next to Zoo Miami) Dress in your pajamas and sip hot chocolate! The Polar Express Train Ride is a 60 minute round-trip excursion. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the “North Pole” to find Santa Claus waiting. The Train will be coming for limited boarding from November 27 to December 27. For more information call 305.253.0063 or visit


3nd annual Miami International Children's Film Festival The Coral Gables Art Cinema & the New York International Children’s Film Festival present the 3rd Annual 2015 Miami International Children's Film Festival! Bring the whole family and enjoy Miami premieres of new films from around the world. There will be parties, hands-on workshops for children of all ages, meet-the-filmmakers events & Family Fun on the Plaza and more. For tickets information visit

8th -18th


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus - Circus XTREME The Circus is in town! Tigers, Elephants, Acrobats, Clowns... This is an amazing spectacle, that certainly does justice to their motto "The Greatest Show on Earth"™. Great family fun entertainment! Don't forget to arrive at least a half hour before show-time for the pre-show event, where kids can mingle and take pictures with the cast.For more information visit:




Family Day on Aragon 2016 Block Party From: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Art activities, exhibits & performances Join us on Aragon Avenue for a fun-filled, outdoor Block Party featuring a bounce house, rock climbing wall, children’s author events, arts and crafts, sample food and drinks, giveaways, and much more. This event will take place on Aragon Avenue between Salzedo Street and the Museum Garage. Free event



Family Fun Fest Biscayne National Park - Dante Fascell Visitor Center From: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. is a FREE program at Biscayne National Park brought to you thanks to the many volunteers and park sponsors. It is held on the second Sunday of the month during the "dry and cool" season, December through April with lots of fun and educational activities for kids and adults alike. Free event




Art Deco Weekend Hosted by the Miami Design Preservation League, the Art Deco Weekend is a tribute to the Art Deco era and involves a series of top notch events over this three-day weekend including Classic Cars, the Parade, Fashion Shows, children's performances, Films and Lectures, Live Music, Antiques, Street Festivals and more. Free event

One Day Camp – Coral Gables Museum No school, no problem! Come to CGM for a full-day of fun on your next teacher work day or holiday. Includes a pizza lunch and snack. Tuition for City Trekker One-Day Camp is $40/day for Museum Family Members and $45/day for Non-Members. Extended AM and PM is available for an additional cost. For more information call 305-603-8067 or email it’s just about kids |




“The Perfect Gift” Why College Savings Matter s the holidays approach, our minds are already set for gift-giving. As parents, we want to give to our kids all the stuff they need or things maybe we didn’t have in our childhood. It is a time to rethink gift-giving. The greatest gifts that we can give to our kids as parents don’t come under a Christmas Tree and are the ones that last after the holidays are over. The Florida Prepaid College Board encourages families in this holiday season to start saving now for their child’s college education. There are so many reasons why this is the best way to give a student as many opportunities as possible, in college and beyond. Board Chairman Duane Ottenstroer said


kiddos | December 2015 • January 2016

“The Prepaid Plan prices for this Open Enrollment period continue to give families options for making college savings simple and affordable.” If you are ready to save for college, the open enrollment period runs until Feb. 29, 2016 with affordable prepaid plans prices starting at $46 a month, remaining close to last year’s historic low prices. k For more information, visit Families can register and enter daily for the chance to win one of ten 2-Year Florida College Plans from the Florida Prepaid College Board at

Kiddos Vol. 3 Issue 3 - Sparkling Memories  

I love this time of the year! I love to give back and teach my child the different ways and reasons we can contribute with those in need to...

Kiddos Vol. 3 Issue 3 - Sparkling Memories  

I love this time of the year! I love to give back and teach my child the different ways and reasons we can contribute with those in need to...