Page 1

February 2015

CHOOSING CHILD CARE What’s best for your baby? PAGE 36

THE HEART OF ADOPTION

A Minnesota family shares their story PAGE 28

POTTY TRAIN, PRONTO! Get it done in just a few days PAGE 42

MELATONIN FOR SLEEP? PAGE 22

CAMP RESOURCES PAGE 49

Olivia, 3, Brooklyn Park

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Best fam breakfasily places in t Twin Citi the es PAGE 66


VOLUME 30

CONTENTS

ISSUE 2

28

The Heart of Adoption FEATURE A Brooklyn Park family shares their heartwarming story of bringing a child into their world.

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BABY ON BOARD Will you ever be able to return to your old, pre-parenting life?

SCHOOL DAYS Reading at home with kids can be amazing, but you need a bit of book savvy.

GROWS ON TREES Understanding the power of purchasing can start at an early age.

BOOK SHELF Embrace the final throes of winter with these precious books.

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22

TEENS AND TWEENS Can adolescents really pack their own healthful meals?

ASK THE PEDIATRICIAN Is your slow-to-sleep kid a melatonin candidate?

Back to normal? Book it

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Time out! TODDLER TIME Not all parents discipline young children in the same way. And that’s a good thing!

Love and lunch

Mindful money

Sleep gummies

58 Out & About Get the skinny on family-friendly events happening all over the Twin Cities.

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February 2015 • mnparent.com

Warm, snuggly

26

Taco soup IN THE KITCHEN Fire up the slow cooker for a tasty — easy — weeknight dinner.

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CAMP RESOURCES 49


mnparent.com

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Potty trained: Pronto! FEATURE Behavior experts are helping weary parents get their kids to ditch those dreaded diapers.

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Nanny, sitter or center? FEATURE Finding the perfect child-care provider for your kid can be daunting. Get started with our smart-parent tips.

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About our cover kid Name: Olivia

Age: 3

City: Brooklyn Park

Parents: Ashley and Chad Reeves Siblings: Layla, 1½, and Jocelyn, 5

Site savvy

Favorite book: Curious George and the Puppies by Margret & H.A. Rey

FEATURE In Minnesota, numerous websites and apps can help you find care for your children — so you can catch a break.

Favorite activities: Coloring, reading, puzzles and baking with mom

Favorite movie: Finding Nemo

Favorite foods: Grapes, cheeseburgers and cookies Photo by Ashley Reeves Photography, ashleyreevesphotography.com

mnparent.com • February 2015

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FROM THE EDITOR

Trust your gut I

f parenting were about nothing more than loving your kids, it would be easy. The problem is, however — at least as I see it — that parenting is also about being an advocate for another human being. It’s about being responsible. And that means making A LOT of decisions for someone else — someone we love beyond explanation. In this month’s magazine, we’ve got two feature stories that cover a couple of the biggest decisions a new parent can make: First, we have a story on choosing a child-care provider — a doozy to be sure. Handing your baby (at any age) over to a stranger? Fortunately, Minnesota has a wide variety of Photo by Tracy Ann Walsh / Poserdesign.com resources (featured in this issue, along with some super-smart advice). And you, parents, have something even more important — your gut instincts. Use them! When it comes to potty training, you have another set of decisions to make: When — and, dear God, how — to potty train? Am I being overly dramatic? Perhaps. But that’s because we didn’t have one of those little girls — who I kept hearing about — who decided at age 2 to suddenly, magically, wear princess underwear and happily, without tears, use the potty. No, we had a strong-willed 3-year-old boy, who — despite being very bright — was never, EVER going to give up diapers. Or so it seemed. We tried a three-day boot camp on our own. We filled the house with incentives and reward toys and put away the pull-ups. We were certain that our oh-so-obvious resolve would help him make it happen. We would not waiver. Our mission would be clear. And guess what? It failed. All three of us were traumatized, exhausted and utterly defeated. Disgusted with ourselves and our kid, we changed diapers for six more months. We reluctantly “followed his lead” like our doctor said to do. And, at 3½, something clicked, and he practically trained himself. Why? Did his best friend finally get trained? Did he see we had relaxed? Did he hit his magical age? It scarcely matters now. But I do know enough about the process to understand why a family might turn to a potty-training pro like the one featured in this issue. Whatever you decide to do with the potty-training issue, remember: You’ll get through it. Eventually. Come to think of it, that’s a good all-around parenting mantra!

Sarah Dorison, Editor

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9


CHATTER

BEDTIME GAME-CHANGER?

Museum: Bigger and better! Good news! The Minnesota Children’s Museum has announced a $28 million building expansion to provide 34 percent more space for visitors. All the museum’s galleries will be reinvented to focus on the important skills kids develop through free play. Other new additions will include a four-story climbing tower, a cafe with a seating area, a skyway-level entrance, a new reception area for groups, more bathrooms, an additional elevator and easier navigation. Since the museum moved to downtown St. Paul in 1995, attendance has grown nearly 50 percent. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall. Though the museum will be open for most of the renovations, it will have to close for about four months — from September 2016 through December 2016, with a re-opening in January 2017. Want to get involved? Curious kids are invited to test two prototype play areas — open through May 10 this year — to help shape the future expansion: The Creativity Jam: Imagine playscape is full of abstract objects that encourage kids to use their imaginations. The Creativity Jam: Make workshop is stocked with real-world tools (yes, real hammers and nails) so kids can build take-home projects. Learn more at mcm.org/roomtoplay.

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February 2015 • mnparent.com

Are you sick of bedtime battles and — when you do finally get your kid in bed — the same old picture books? Well, maybe we parents ought to change things up a bit. John Olive, a Minneapolis father, author and playwright, has a suggestion: Put the books aside once in a while. Instead, dim the lights, lie down and make up your own stories. How? Olive’s new book — Tell Me A Story In The Dark: A Guide to Creating Magical Bedtime Stories for Young Children, due out March 17 — teaches parents how to tell stories, including how to adapt classic tales especially for their children, and how to make up their own exciting narratives. Storytelling, according to Olive, offers enormous benefits for families, including better parent-child relationships, expanded kid vocabularies and maybe even an end to those bedtime battles of wills. Learn more at familius.com or johnolive.net.


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Back to normal? I

once went to a Pilates workshop designed to get participants “back in touch” with their postpartum bodies. The women in the class were in the throes of the newborn period — only a month or so postpartum, in most cases. They looked exhausted, but hopeful that things would get better. I was probably about a year into being a mother. The instructor looked over at me. “Shannon, why don’t you tell us about your experience? You’re further along than everyone else. How are things going for you?” I know I was supposed to be the ray of hope in the classroom — the woman the others could look at and say, “I’ll be calm and collected like her in just a few more months!” But I couldn’t play my role. Although I certainly felt better than I did when I was caring for my colicky, screaming-all-night newborn, I still felt off-kilter. Maybe a little stunned. Clearly in the middle of a “process” that was going to last for years and years. “Wow, I don’t know — it’s been about a year, and I still feel like I’m in the postpartum period!” The other women looked dismayed, and I felt like I’d broken a code — like when you give your pregnant friend a detailed description of your harrowing birth experience and destroy her peace of mind.

⊲⊲Expectations meet reality I imagine most women probably enter into motherhood with a fair amount of hope. This was certainly

the case for me. I think it’s safe to say I was much more starry-eyed the first time around: “I will give birth painlessly in a tub of water and breastfeed languidly in a sea of white linens!” After an experience that didn’t meet my expectations, I was much more pragmatic with baby No. 2: “I will request an epidural when I want it and supplement with formula if he’s not gaining any weight.” But pragmatism aside, I still had hopes and expectations for the experience of having a second child.

BABY STUFF

Shusher

⊲⊲When it comes to soothing fussy babies, nothing beats the five Ss (shushing, swinging, swaddling, sucking and side/stomach positioning). That’s partly why two beleaguered parents from Austin, Texas invented The Baby Shusher. They found that shushing worked well for their baby, but they soon realized it wasn’t easy to deliver the right volume of rhythmic, calming shushing for hours on end. Problem: Solved! babyshusher.com • $34.99

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February 2015 • mnparent.com

Eventually the maneuvering of two became easier, and I waited for the feelings of selfsatisfaction to settle in. But they never arrived.


I hoped he wouldn’t be colicky. I expected the postpartum period would be difficult, but I imagined I’d be better equipped to handle it since I was a “veteran.” Conventional wisdom seemed to back up this expectation. Although many observers are fond of saying, “Two isn’t just twice as much work, it’s 10 times as much work,” others are quick to point out that the second time around isn’t as hard because you kind of know what to expect.

⊲⊲A fundamental change At first, it was all about logistics: I struggled to keep my 2-year-old occupied while I was nursing the baby. I tried to time naps so they’d coincide with conference calls (often failing miserably). I dragged my toddler kicking and screaming out of the middle of the road where she had dashed in a huff after we turned the “wrong” way on the sidewalk. Eventually the maneuvering of two became easier, and I waited for the feelings of self-satisfaction to settle in. But they never arrived. Even though I was finally getting more sleep, finally feeling less bloated, finally reading a book now and then — I still didn’t feel like I was “back to normal.” And I think this is because I realized that, on some level, I’ll never be back to normal (and I’m not just talking about my abs). Caring for a child is a life-altering experience, one that tends to shift your priorities and take some getting used to. If the postpartum period is all about getting acclimated to parenthood, maybe we could admit this is an ongoing process — one that extends far beyond the six-week checkup or the day our maternity leave runs out. Shannon Keough lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two children. Send questions or comments to skeough@mnparent.com.


Your new frontier: Discipline! I

t can be an uncomfortable transition — from “you are my most precious little baby and I will never deny you anything” to “OK, I think we need to go over some rules.” The change often starts with an incident and an impulsive response — perhaps an unexpected step into the street resulting in a resounding, “NO!” Or maybe a crayon to Grandma’s newly painted wall followed by a self-conscious “serious discussion” at eye level. Suddenly, you’re there: behavior modification, boundaries and consequences. Your knee-jerk reactions may shock you. Your anger and frustration may temporarily break your sweet little Toddler Parent heart. Of course, there are only about 5,000 books on the subject. You nervously skim a few — wondering about the strength of your backbone and the effectiveness of the good old “time out.” What’s more, discipline has become — in a very strange way — an issue of scrutiny and privacy. Some parents scoff at anything punitive. Others cringe at buzzwords like “positive parenting.” Everyone’s nosing around in one another’s business. Watch out: If your kid has a meltdown at a department store, someone might record it on a smartphone and put your “bad parent” moment online with comments about your right to procreate. And so, we all question what and how we teach our children, while in the midst of figuring out what works best for our families.

⊲⊲Making your own rules As with pregnancy, childbirth, infant feeding and sleep, there is no one method to success … thankfully! You might try different methods of redirection and discipline before finding something that works. Then, as your child inevitably grows and changes and learns, the plan evolves. Different responses may be appropriate for different situations. For example, most parents would agree that it’s absolutely appropriate to physically restrain a child when it’s an issue of safety. Stealing a cookie from the cookie jar? A quick talk. A child in the midst of a crazy tantrum, on the other hand, is unable to engage in calm discussion, let alone process the meaning.

⊲⊲Writing a discipline plan Anne and Chris Ferguson of Eden Prairie created an official family discipline plan after the birth of their second son. Said Anne: “It was a very tough time in our parenting career, trying to wrangle a very active toddler and care for a newborn. I put down on paper what we wanted to practice in terms of discipline. It was a reminder about how we wanted to parent.” The Fergusons’ plan wasn’t a “how to” as much as a philosophy, including ideas such as “discipline is an ongoing process” and “we do our best to understand what is developmentally normal at each age and set realistic expectations.” What I love about the Fergusons’ plan is that it provides perspective, which, in turn, gives the parents confidence in their ability to navigate toddlerhood and beyond. In my parenting experiences, I have literally tried it all. I’ve read the books. I’ve modified my approach to suit each individual child. I’ve found that what worked yesterday might not work today. In the

MORE ONLINE Ready for preschool? Read Jen’s advice at mnparent.com/preschool.

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TODDLER STUFF

Catch-all placemats

⊲⊲The Cibo — a cute, two-eyed silicone mat that sticks to most table surfaces — eats up little-kid messes not just at meal times (think rice and other small foods), but also during craft or cookie projects (think glitter and sprinkles). It’s dishwasher safe to boot (top rack only). thecibo.com • $24.99

– Leah & Julia, Early Childhood Music

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process, I’ve learned that consistency is a good goal, but flexibility goes a long way, too.

⊲⊲You can handle this At one point during my daughter’s “Terrible Twos,” I received a piece of advice that served me above anything else. A friend and fellow parent told me, “Don’t be afraid to say, ‘Because I said so.’” Because I said so, I suppose, became my toddler parenting philosophy. It doesn’t mean that you never provide an answer to the innocent question, “Why?” It means, “I am the parent and I can handle this.” In testing the boundaries, a toddler is really only seeking confirmation of this fact. Though it’s a controversial topic and a tricky transition, try to view discipline as you’ve viewed everything else — the sleep associations, the feeding phases — and do what works! Do what makes you, as a parent, feel good and strong and confident. Jen Wittes lives in St. Paul and is a mother of two. Write her at jwittes@mnparent.com. Minneapolis │ Apple Valley │ Chanhassen │ Golden Valley │ White Bear Lake │ Live Online


The joy of reading at home R

eading to your child, listening to your child read or simply reading alongside your child are simple ways we, as parents, can support literacy development and healthy reading habits at home — and build a foundation for lifelong academic success. Our biggest challenge in making reading at home a routine of family life, is simply devoting time and energy to make it happen every day. As a mother of four children who works full-time, I totally understand. Life is busy and we get tired. Sometimes we struggle to fit it all in. But the substantial benefits that directly correlate to reading at home with our kids make it worth the effort. Plus, reading together is a wonderful way to spend meaningful time with our children each day. Here are some simple strategies I use to make reading at home practical, enjoyable and fun:

⊲⊲Use the library often. When you really think about it, libraries are pretty amazing. All you need is a library card — and a world

of possibilities opens in the form of literature. We try to go to our local library at least once a week and fill a bag with picture books, chapter books, magazines and the newest hit in our house: audio books. I often search from home and “shop” for specific titles or books around a theme of interest. Then I “order” them online through an interlibrary loan. We all look forward to reading a variety of new and exciting stories each week along with some of our favorite titles from our home collection.

⊲⊲Find great books. Not all literature is created equal, and treating it as though it is can make the experience of reading at home dull or even frustrating. I like to seek out recommendations for engaging texts and often look for award-winning stories. Pay attention to Newbery Medal and Honor Books (recognizing distinguished contributions to American literature for children), Caldecott Medal and Honor Books (nationally recognizing distinguished picture books) and Theodor Seuss Geisel Award books (recognizing distinguished books specifically for beginning readers). There are also several Minnesota-based award lists — including Minnesota Book Award, Minnesota Star of the North Book Award and Northeastern Minnesota Book Award lists — that recognize outstanding titles in local children’s literature.

⊲⊲Go age appropriate. It’s also important to make sure the books you’re reading are a good fit for your child. Younger children love short stories with rhyme, repetition and engaging illustrations. Picture story books, which have more words and more involved stories, are better for children with more developed attention spans. Graphic novels or chapter books with occasional illustrations may be a welcome addition to read aloud at family story time with kids as young as 6 or 7. Older children, of course, can enjoy full-length novels. It can be fun to read a story that you read as a kid with your own child or to be entertained with new would-be classics.

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CURRENTLY ON MEGAN’S FAMILY BOOKSHELF Let’s Go for a Drive by Mo Willems Press Here by Henre Tullet One-Dog Sleigh by Mary Casanova Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Leisl Shurtliff Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl


⊲⊲Encourage reading-required fun. Read together in a variety of ways. We can encourage reading at home with our children by reading recipes while cooking, reading directions for games, toys or activities and by reading labels, fliers, newspapers and magazines.

⊲⊲Read on the go. Both kids and adults often have idle time during the day that we could spend reading. Bring books with you when you leave the house. Keep books for kids in the car and in school bags. When you’re getting that oil change or waiting for your appointment, make use of the time and read!

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⊲⊲Be a reading role model. We need to let our children see us reading. Again, time and energy can be a challenge. To be honest, it’s been quite a while since I’ve actually read a grown-up novel for pleasure, but I do read a lot! I read dozens of books each day at school and at home when I’m not reading to my own kids. And I’m often reading magazines, cookbooks, blog posts or the occasional inspiring parenting book. Now that my daughter (who’s in fourth grade) is reading more advanced novels, I’m enjoying reading books she’s interested in, which inspires conversation and connection. When our kids see us engaged with print, it reinforces the importance of reading.

⊲⊲Celebrate your efforts. Know that your efforts to establish habits of reading at home are good for both you and your child. You’re helping your child expand his vocabulary, listening skills and imagination! Together, let’s continue to make reading at home an important part of our family life. Megan Devine is an elementary school teacher who lives with her husband and four children (ages 3 to 9) on the edge of the wilderness in Northeastern Minnesota. She blogs at kidsandeggs.com. mnparent.com • February 2015

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I realized that I viewed food as a nurturing connection. It was the one way I was “with” them when they were away from me all day.

Love and lunches T

he very first opportunity I had to live out my role as mom came before my first child was born. It was the simple understanding that everything I took in to my body was being funneled into the formation of my baby. Keeping track of what I ate was the one thing I could do externally that gave me the opportunity to mother the changes that were occurring internally. I carefully jotted notes throughout my pregnant days, making sure I was getting my protein and dairy. After the birth, most of the hospital time was focused on getting the baby to nurse and allowing me to feel comfortable with it. For many months after, we were entwined together in the cycle of resting and feeding. Our schedule became less restrictive and interdependent as my baby moved through the varying stages of childhood.

⊲⊲A continued connection Today those nursing days are long gone. And I’m no longer airplaning mustard-colored veggies on a rubber spoon into Baby’s mouth. I’m now a mother of two. And they’re big kids, who go off on their own to their respective junior and high schools. And, yet, I’m just as concerned they’re getting what they need to make it through their very full days.

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Food is one of those perfunctory parts of parenting. They get older; they eat on their own. But we parents are still involved: We fill the cupboards and cook their dinners, and we continue to have a lot of control over what they consume. I didn’t realize how much of their eating I liked controlling, however, until I went back to work full time.

⊲⊲Mom’s needs came into play As a high school teacher, I needed to be out the door really early. Of course, my desire was for my children to feel like I was still at home. But I found I couldn’t keep up with my own demands. My husband suggested I let the kids make their own lunches to bring a little ease into my morning routine. It sounds silly to me now, but it actually made me mad. “This is what I do,” I thought, “I make their lunch, carefully packing all of the right things before I send them away for the day.” It surprised me how much this little thing bothered me. I realized that I viewed food

MORE ONLINE Did your teen get a mobile phone for the holidays? Check out Jennifer’s smartphone ground rules at mnparent.com/phone-woes.


as a nurturing connection. It was the one way I was “with” them when they were away from me all day. But I was tired and my plate was full, so I gave in.

⊲⊲Beyond eating: Evolving When I finally let go, something remarkable happened: Not only did they start making their own lunches, but they also did a really good job! Their full lunchboxes contained a fruit/ veg, a dairy, a protein and something crunchy. They demonstrated to me that they were mindful about what they took into their bodies. It also gave them the opportunity to learn even better time management in the mornings. This skill soon transferred over to preparing other foods. The first cooking lesson I taught them was how to fry an egg. It wasn’t long before both my kids got to be quite proficient (even mastering the art of the flip), and I was being offered fried eggs for breakfast every morning. They’re in a new stage again and I’m back, this time working from home. They get up in the morning, make their own breakfast, get dressed and pack their own lunches. My son has evolved from making single fried eggs for his mom to three-egg scrambles with chopped onions and two varieties of bell peppers as his “pre-dinner” when he gets home from high school. As for me, I’m back to my preferred breakfast of toast and coffee while I admire how they’re growing up. And letting go doesn’t feel so bad from this side of it, perhaps because my heart is soaring with pride that they’re doing it so darn well. Jennifer Wizbowski lives in Excelsior with her husband, and daughter and son, ages 11 and 14. Send comments, questions and story ideas to jwizbowski@mnparent.com.

mnparent.com • February 2015

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Mindful family spending M

ost of us try to be mindful about how we spend our money. We compare prices, and we evaluate things like ingredients, features and benefits. As parents, we’re not only being prudent stewards of our family’s finances, we’re also setting an example for our kids. That’s why it makes sense to take mindful spending to a higher level: Discuss with your family not only how spending money affects you personally, but also how it affects others — and the world. Our choices make a difference. In other words, our spending decisions come with consequences. That’s a concept you can talk about with your kids — even young kids. When you buy the 32-ounce soda instead of the 12-ouncer — because, hey, it’s only 10 cents more! — you may experience a health consequence. When you buy a plastic water bottle, there’s an environmental consequence. When you buy a fast-food chicken sandwich, you may be supporting the unethical and unhealthy treatment of animals. Here are three ideas — that easily resonate with kids of all ages — for minimizing the negative consequences of our spending decisions.

⊲⊲Buy less This is pretty easy to talk about with kids. Every time we don’t buy something, we’re saving the earth just a little bit. We’re helping cut down on the number of things that get made, used and discarded. Every little

thing we buy adds up. Even food produces waste in the packaging. When you’re at the store with your kids or online about to click “Add to Cart,” discuss the following questions: Do we really need it? Could we get by with less of it? Or could we buy it less often?

⊲⊲Buy products that don’t harm Most kids know some products are bad for you, like alcohol and tobacco, or food with lots of sugar or bad fats. They might not understand how other ingredients can be bad for them such as dyes, chemicals, corn syrup or added hormones. Other products aren’t bad for the person who consumes or uses them, but they’re bad for the environment — things like plastic bottles and items with excessive packaging. Also: Pesticides or farm chemicals may not always reach consumers, but they can directly affect the health of farm laborers. If your kids are old enough to understand these issues, even on a rudimentary level, involve them in your shopping decisions. Here are some questions to talk about at the grocery store: Was it produced locally? Locally produced food uses less fuel in shipping and provides jobs for people in your own community. It’s usually fresher, too. Are there any added hormones? Some studies have linked animal hormones to increased risk of cancer in people. The safest thing to do is avoid meat and dairy from animals treated with hormones (or at least minimize the amount you eat). Is it made with organic ingredients? Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. How were the animals treated? Phrases like “Animal Welfare Approved,” “Certified Organic” and “American Grassfed Association” mean the animals connected to your food were more likely to be treated humanely. How were the workers treated? Look for the label

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The GoodGuide app (free) gives consumers environmental, health and society ratings for various products and the companies that make them.


“Fair Trade,” which means workers were paid and treated fairly and worked reasonable hours (and no child labor was used). How much packaging is used? Items packaged for individual consumption, like pudding cups, produce a lot of waste.

⊲⊲Learn about companies This is another concept that’s pretty easy for kids to understand. Ethical companies are those that try hard not to harm the earth, people or animals. However, while the concept may be simple enough to discuss with kids, it’s a bit more of a challenge to find out how every company you buy from operates. Luckily, you don’t have to do that. Instead, ease your way into it. If you hear of a company that does something particularly good — or bad — you can buy from them or not, depending on what you hear. Talk about these issues with your family and make the decision together. You can often learn a lot simply by typing “Is X company ethical?” into a search engine. If you want to investigate corporate ethics on a product-by-product basis, check out the GoodGuide app (free for iPhone and Android). Simply point your smartphone camera at various bar codes to get health, environment and society ratings for each product and/or the company that makes it. The Better World Shopper app ($1.99) gives companies and products grades based on human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement and social justice. It’s rewarding to show kids that in all three of these areas, even a small change makes a difference. Your family can feel good about being mindful and being part of the process of making the world a better place. Eric Braun is a Minneapolis-based writer, editor and dad of two boys. Send comments or questions to ebraun@mnparent.com.

You can get there. We can help.

Visit www.MN529today.com or call Chris McLeod 952-830-3127


Melatonin to help with sleep? Our 3-year-old son is having sleep troubles. Our friends are recommending melatonin supplements (gummies). Are they safe? Sleep problems in a 3-year-old are common and normal. Children at this age want to know their parents are available to them at any time, day or night. They want to delay sleep as long as possible, oftentimes by highly creative methods. They want the independence of having their own toddler bed, but the choice of when to sleep in that bed. While these issues are challenging for parents, they highlight the normal developmental pattern for children. Before turning to medications to treat sleep difficulties, parents should promote a healthy sleep pattern. Parents can prevent sleep problems by recognizing how daytime naps and dietary choices impact nighttime sleep. Establishing a sleep routine that’s calming, comforting and a predictable length of time can be very helpful. Even when sleep routines are followed, however, as many as 25 percent of children still have problems falling asleep. Difficulty falling asleep is typically defined as being awake 30 to 45 minutes after lights have been turned off and sleep routines have concluded. Children who are frequently having difficulty falling asleep and meet this criteria may be

candidates for an oral form of melatonin. Melatonin is a natural neuro-hormone, secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that promotes sleep-wake cycles. Taking an additional amount of melatonin, more than the brain normally makes, may help improve falling asleep times by 15 minutes or more. Melatonin is classified as a dietary supplement and doesn’t require a prescription. It is generally a safe medication. Usually, low doses are tried initially and increased over time if needed. But, as with any medication or supplement, be sure to speak to your child’s primary care physician before starting melatonin.

My toddler (20 months) is starting to climb out of her crib. Do we need a toddler bed already? Yes. For your daughter’s safety, transitioning to a toddler bed is recommended. The act of climbing out of the crib is dangerous. It could result in a limb fracture from an arm or a leg trapped in between the crib slats, or, because a child’s head is often the heaviest part of their body, a fall from climbing out of the crib may result in a head injury. Aside from a toddler bed, another option at this age is a simple mattress on the floor. Both of these solutions ensure that a fall out of bed would rarely cause injury as the child is so close to the floor. However, parents should be prepared for less sleep due to frequent nighttime visits from their toddler! Establishing a bedtime routine can help your child understand that her bed is safe and comforting — and a nice place to stay for the whole night.

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My son (age 7) has a dark birthmark on his back that I think he’s had all his life. His doctors have looked at it in the past and all have said it appears to be normal, but it keeps getting larger as his body grows bigger. Birthmarks come in a variety of colors, shapes, locations and can change over time. There are two main types of birthmarks, vascular and pigmented. Vascular birthmarks can be flat or raised. Flat vascular birthmarks, sometimes referred to as port-wine stains, can be reddish or purplish, fade with time, but can also appear to grow as a child’s body grows. Raised vascular birthmarks can be flesh-colored, reddish-purplish or even bluish if they’re deeper in the skin layers. These raised vascular birthmarks have a tendency to grow over the first 1 to 2 years of a child’s life but then begin to slowly regress. Pigmented birthmarks, also called moles or nevi, come in a variety of sizes, textures and colors. They may be flat and brown or dark blue or green stained. Flat pigmented birthmarks may fade over time, but may also appear to grow as a child’s body grows. Larger nevi may have a variety of brown or dark pigmentation within the same birthmark. And they may be raised and/or covered with hair. These also may grow as a child’s body grows, but should be followed by a dermatologist. Birthmarks may also be associated with other serious health conditions and should be evaluated by clinicians carefully — both when initially noted and over time to monitor any changes. Dr. Gigi Chawla is a board-certified pediatrician and the senior medical director of primary care at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.


BOOKSHELF

Winter stories By Sarah Dorison

Yes, winter’s cold, windy and, in Minnesota, oh-so long. But it’s also a season like no other. There’s no better time for baking, hot cocoa, skating, skiing and sledding! Embrace these last weeks — months? — of winter with some of our favorite seasonal books, plus a couple from our readers, too!

You Can Do It, Sam Cold and snowy but warm and cozy, too — that’s winter in this book, featuring the early-morning adventures of a sweet little bear named Sam and his momma, Mrs. Bear. Sam’s challenge: Can he stand to wait for the cakes to be ready from the oven? And can he deliver them — door to door on Plum Street — all by himself while Mrs. Bear watches from their little green truck? By Amy Hest Illustrated by Anita Jeram $4.99

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Bear Snores On

The Snowy Day

“I love the sing-song way that it rhymes and the words used are very descriptive of what is happening. You can almost hear the crackle of the fire and feel the goodwill among the animals as they congregate in the Bear’s den and share the warmth and their food. I never tire of reading this one!” — Barbara Martin, Minneapolis By Karma Wilson Illustrated by Jane Chapman $7.99–17.99

“This is one of the first books I remember reading as a child, and one I love reading to my children now. I love its simple story and the colorful pictures, and my kids love it too! Such a fun book that shares the joy of a snowy day, which we know all too well in MN!” — Alana Erickson, Plymouth By Ezra Jack Keats $7.99


Peppa Pig and the Day at Snowy Mountain When Peppa Pig and her little brother, George, wake up and see that it’s snowing, they can’t wait to go to Snowy Mountain. There’s so much to do there — sledding (even without a sled), iceskating (including a few spills) and, of course, skiing (with a few out-of-control parent pigs). By Candlewick Press $12.99

WIN THIS BOOK! ⊲⊲Send a short description of your favorite children’s book to editor@mnparent.com by Feb. 28, along with your first/ last name and city for a chance to win! And: Congrats to Kelly Johnson of Minneapolis, who won our January Bookshelf giveaway!

mnparent.com • February 2015

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IN THE KITCHEN

Slow-cooker taco soup Recipe and Photo by Aleksandra Till

WHAT’S ADOBO SEASONING? This Mexican spice blend typically contains garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, Mexican oregano, cumin and cayenne red pepper and sometimes paprika or chili powder. You can buy it at most grocery stores, at penzeys.com or mix your own. “It really is magic,” Till said. “It makes guacamole and chicken heavenly.” In a pinch, however, you can simply substitute fresh garlic or garlic powder.

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Aleksandra Till is a mother of three and the founder-owner of Homegrown Foods, a new mealplanning, prep and delivery service, serving the Twin Cities. Learn more at eatgoodathome.com.


1 tablespoon oil 2 pounds lean ground beef 2 cups diced onion 1 cup fresh peppers, seeded and diced (For mild soup, use bell peppers; for a spicier soup, use 1 poblano pepper, 1 jalapeno pepper and 1 green chile.) 2½ tablespoons taco seasoning 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning (can substitute 3 cloves of garlic, minced) 1 teaspoon oregano 2 teaspoons salt 1 cup corn (frozen or fresh) 1 cup cubed butternut squash (frozen or fresh) 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes 2 15-ounce cans of dark beans such as black beans, drained and rinsed 1 15-ounce can of light beans such as pinto beans, drained and rinsed 4 cups water Salt and pepper to taste Heat oil in a large saucepan. Saute the beef, onion and peppers until the beef is browned and the vegetables are tender. Add taco seasoning, adobo seasoning, oregano and salt. Stir until the seasonings coat the meat and vegetables and are fragrant. Put the beef mixture, corn, squash, tomatoes and water into the slow cooker and stir well. * Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours. Add canned beans just before serving. Stir until warmed through. Taste, season and serve! * If you prefer to use dried beans, you can add them along with the other ingredients to slow cooker in this step. Use 1 cup dried dark beans and ½ cup dried white beans, rinsed and drained.

Stages Theatre MNP 0115 S3.indd 1

12/10/14 4:27 PM

mnparent.com • February 2015

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THE HEART OF ADOPTION 28

February 2015 • mnparent.com


Megan and Doug Braun of Brooklyn Park experienced a variety of setbacks on their journey to becoming an adoptive family for Donovan. Megan remembers the first time she held her son on the day he was born: “That was the best thing in the world.”

PATHS TO ADOPTING A CHILD IN MINNESOTA CAN INVOLVE LONG WAITS, HIGH COSTS AND EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES — BUT ALSO INCREDIBLE JOY. STORY AND PHOTOS BY TANNER KENT


THE HEART OF ADOPTION

Fewer than 24 hours after her son was born, Megan Braun worried she was destined for heartbreak once again. Megan and her husband, Doug, had traveled 1,600 miles from their Brooklyn Park home to meet their newborn son in Tacoma, Wash. And the birth mother seemed to be changing her mind overnight. The carefully arranged adoption agreement forged over months of shared ultrasounds, shared emotions and shared conversations was in peril.

By this point, the Brauns had invested years of effort and their life savings to have a child. When their first attempts at parenthood ended in miscarriage, they chose adoption — only to have subsequent attempts result in so-called “failed placements,” an industry term for changes-of-mind that can annul adoption agreements. But this time, standing in a hospital waiting room in Tacoma, Megan knew it had to be different. She had felt it months before, when she and the birth mother met over Skype and Megan saw the first in-utero images of her son. Even then — months before she ever arrived in Tacoma — Megan just knew she was finally going to be a mother. “I cried,” she said, recalling her emotions that night in the winter of 2012. “This is my baby.” Still, very little in the world of adoption is guaranteed. Though Doug and Megan were lucky enough to be present for the birth — Megan was able to hold her son almost immediately — things veered off course after the Brauns offered to let the birth mother spend the night with their son, a courtesy for the ultimate gift they were receiving. By morning, the birth mother was having doubts about her decision. Panic and fear set in for Megan. “I was an emotional wreck,” she said. So, Megan spent the second night with the birth mother, talking heart to heart. Megan assured the young woman of her intentions. And they agreed to go forward with their agreement. Megan and Doug would finally have their child. They named him Donovan. Now, more than a year and a half later, the Brauns are busy with a charming, smiling, thriving toddler who pulls on their heartstrings with his bright eyes and toothy grin.

FOSTER-CARE ADOPTIONS Every year, hundreds of children are adopted by Minnesotans. Some are adopted from foster care, others are adopted through agencies, public or private, domestically as well as internationally. Experts say every adoption is unique and individual circumstances are difficult to predict. But each general scenario has its benefits and challenges as well as differences in cost and wait time. Foster-care adoptions are typically the least expensive option and generally have the shortest wait times. Prospective parents are often able to adopt foster children in Minnesota in less than a year, though state courts require a child live with his or her

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WE LEARNED A LOT FROM THE PROCESS. ADOPTION TRULY IS, ‘ALL TOGETHER FOR ONE CHILD.’ — Megan Braun, Brooklyn Park


THE HEART OF ADOPTION adoptive parents for at least three months before an adoption can be finalized. The costs of adopting a child in foster care are also much lower — expenses are measured in thousands of dollars rather than tens of thousands — and prospective parents in Minnesota may be reimbursed for some expenses. Additionally, working with state-contracted agencies to adopt children under state guardianship guarantees access to a suite of pre- and post-adoption services. In 2012, 498 children in Minnesota were adopted from foster care, down from 660 in 2009. Established in 1889, the Children’s Home Society is one of the five agencies contracted to provide adoption services for children under state guardianship. CHS, which merged its adoption programs with those of Lutheran Social Services in 2012, facilitates several types of adoptions, including infant, international and foster-care adoptions. CHS, one of the largest providers of adoptions in the state, was founded on the belief that “the main client is the child,” said Kristina Berg, a senior program manager with experience in both domestic and international adoptions. As such, parents who seek services through CHS begin the process with a two-hour orientation session and 20 hours of educational classes. “We have kids that can be waiting from six months to six years,” said Heidi Wiste, a senior program manager for the society’s adoption program for children in foster care. “We really look for families to care for, support and understand these children.” Foster children often have difficult histories and challenging life circumstances. “We don’t shy away” from such realities, Wiste said. “We believe in being open and honest with our families and our youth.”

AGENCY AND PRIVATE ADOPTIONS Many licensed private agencies match birth families with prospective parents. Wait times and experiences with private agencies vary widely. Families interested in adopting infants often experience some of the longest wait times because there are more than enough prospective adoptive parents waiting for a limited number of healthy infants to be available for adoption. Some families elect to find a birth family on their own and then hire a lawyer to facilitate the adoption. (That’s the path the Brauns ultimately took.) Attorney-assisted adoptions, of course, hinge on a family’s ability to identify a birth mother. Many factors can affect the cost of both attorney and agency adoptions with cost ranging from $5,000 to more than $40,000, according to the Administration for Children & Families, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There are many resources available for parents to identify respectable agencies, services or attorneys. But caution is advised. The Brauns, for instance, partnered with an agency that seemed impressive at first, but later became unresponsive after a new social worker was assigned to the adoption. They paid $2,000 for a home meeting with their agency that lasted fewer than 10 minutes. The agency never even asked to see the nursery, Megan Braun said, and she never heard from the agency again. After that, Megan and her husband took control of their own adoption process, hiring their own lawyer and seeking a birth mother on their own terms. When Megan did find a birth mother, it was through Facebook and mediated by a mutual friend.

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THIS IS IT. ... THIS IS OUR HAPPILYEVER-AFTER. — Megan Braun, Brooklyn Park


Megan said parents should ask as many questions of an adoption agency as it does of them. She also recommends families request a monthly review from their agency. Was the profile looked at? How many times? Who brought it home? “That way, it gives you some hope,” she said. Berg said prospective parents are advised do their research, consider a range of services and ask plenty of questions. “I do think it’s important for prospective families to hear all voices,” Berg said.

INTERNATIONAL ADOPTIONS Of course, there’s also international adoption. Again, costs and wait times vary widely depending on country of birth and associated laws and legal requirements. Unforeseen circumstances, such as outbreaks of disease or political unrest can slow or even halt the process. Minnesota is generally among the nation’s leaders in international adoptions per capita, but 2013 marked a 14-year low with 202, down from a high of 923 in 2005, according to the U.S. Department of State. Families usually need to visit birth countries at their own cost and are usually required to wait several weeks in the birth country until the process and paperwork are finalized and they’re cleared to return to the U.S. According to an extensive survey conducted by Adoptive Families magazine, families can expect to pay between $20,000 and $50,000 for traveling expenses and fees related to international adoptions. CHS works with a variety of programs in countries such as Bulgaria, Burundi, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Korea, Marshall Islands and Uganda. Ages range from infant to 15

Megan and Doug Braun of Brooklyn Park adopted their son, Donovan, by working with an attorney and a birth mother they found through Facebook and a mutual friend. years. Some are members of sibling groups. Berg cautions families to do their research, be skeptical of overly promissory claims and establish relationships with their agency. “Finding a reputable in-country representative is very important,” she said.

PRE- AND POST-ADOPTION If families choose to work with a state-contracted or licensed agency for a domestic adoption, they’ll need to create a family profile — an essential step in nearly every adoption in which parents showcase themselves, their interests and their values. Prospective families will also be required to complete a home study — a legal necessity for both domestic and international adoptions — as well as submit a variety of legal documents and agree to background checks. In the case of domestic adoptions, prospective and birth families also need to determine a post-adoption plan. Options range from closed, no-contact arrangements to completely open, high-contact agreements. mnparent.com • February 2015

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THE HEART OF ADOPTION In between are countless possibilities that might include occasional in-person visits and packages of photos and letters to arrangements that involve shared, private websites for periodic updates, such as the one set up for the Brauns and their son’s birth mother. Megan Braun recommends families continue to seek services and support after the adoption is finalized. After her process, Braun promised to be an advocate for adoptive families. And she’s begun the Megan and Doug Braun of Brooklyn Park adopted process of partnering with a their son, Donovan, from a birth mother in Tacoma, support group she helped Wash., in 2013. create for all types of mothers involved in adoption. “We learned a lot from the process,” Megan said. “Adoption truly is, ‘All together for one child.’”

WORTH IT, IN THE END Still, the story of adoption isn’t told in the numbers or the analysis. Rather, it’s told by families like the Brauns, whose lives are changed because of a child. Donovan is 1½ now. His cheeks still retain the cherubic blush of infancy, but his confident manner and quick smile prove he’s ready for the world. Of course, Megan and Doug couldn’t be prouder. Having met at the University of North Dakota through a mutual love of rugby, they’re quite sure they’re raising a talented forward. “He’s big enough,” said Doug, who plays for an amateur club in St. Paul. Looking back, Megan said it seems as if all the searching, all the investment, all the heartbreak were meant to be. She recalls their trip home together as a family of three after staying a week in Tacoma with Donovan to formalize the adoption agreement: During the flight, the pilot made an announcement over the loudspeaker that was met with heartwarming applause. Donovan’s new extended family was waiting at baggage claim with big signs and big hugs. “This is it,” Megan remembers thinking. “This is our happily-ever-after.” Tanner Kent adores his children, cherishes his wife and loves his dog. He’s an avid but mediocre fisherman who lives in Stillwater and has written for a variety of publications.

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Resources Child Welfare Information Gateway: This government-sponsored information clearinghouse features a searchable database of adoption resources and agencies. childwelfare.gov Children’s Home Society: CHS, which merged its adoption programs with those of Lutheran Social Services in 2012, has facilitated more than 26,000 adoptions since 1889. Families interested in adoption through CHS should watch a 16-minute webinar, So, You’re Thinking About Adoption? After watching the video, you’ll be invited to call, email or sign-up online for a twohour orientation session. CHS also has informational adoption fairs throughout the year. chsfs.org Adopt Us Kids: A project of the U.S. Children’s Bureau, this site covers detailed information on licensing requirements, facts and figures, resources, support and more for adoption in every state. adoptuskids.org Minnesota Department of Health: Find a variety of information about adoption in Minnesota. Also, use licensinglookup. dhs.state.mn.us to find state-licensed agencies for a variety of family services. tinyurl.com/mdhs-adoption MN Adopt: This organization, formerly known as Minnesota Adoption Resource Network, promotes successful adoptions for Minnesota children and families, including a variety of support groups for all ages. mnadopt.org


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mnparent.com • February 2015

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DAYCARE CENTER Y N N A N E T A PRIV AGENCY NANNY E R A C Y A D E M O H IN


Choosing a child-care path How can you find the right child-care provider for your family? Start early. Ask questions. Check references. Pop in unexpectedly. And those are just for starters. By Jen Wittes mnparent.com • February 2015

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Child-care choices

W

hether you’re considering hiring a neighborhood babysitter for the occasional date night or a full-time daycare center for your return to work, finding the right child-care provider is an overwhelming endeavor — and likely one of the most important parenting decisions you’ll face. After all, this is your child! Of course you want to ensure his health and safety, above all, but also his happiness, emotional growth, enrichment and development. To make matters worse (or better, depending on how you look at it), there are just so many choices: private nanny, agency nanny, daycare, in-home daycare provider; not to mention variations within these sub groups — Montessori, attachment parenting by proxy and child-care co-ops. Then there’s the cost. Minnesota is one of the most expensive child-care states in the nation, according to data released earlier this year by Child Care Aware America. In 2012, the average annual cost of daycare in Minnesota was $13,876. That’s more than the average annual cost of college tuition ($10,388) — and, yet, few parents have time to “save up” for such costs.

Start with a vision. Laura Davis of College Nannies and Tutors — an agency with locations in Edina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie — said: “We have matched many hundreds of families with child care, and our starting point is always, ‘Tell me what you envision for your

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February 2015 • mnparent.com

Mothers and experienced daycare providers Rebecca McLaughlin (left) and Rita Palashewski (right) published their guide to choosing a childcare provider in December. It’s called Daycare Diaries: Unlocking the Secrets and Dispelling Myths Through True Stories of Daycare Experiences.

family.’ From there we know what suggestions to make. Starting with the vision can help a family narrow down options from family care to daycare to an in-home nanny — or in some cases a combination of many.” Perhaps your vision is a bit murky. You don’t know what you want! Here are some things to consider:


Your child’s personality: Extroverted or introverted? Easy going or spirited? Work hours: The right place will fit your schedule, not the other way around. Core values: Religion, discipline, nutrition. You and your care provider should share the same philosophies. Once you start examining the basic needs of your particular family, the big choices will begin to narrow. For example, your high-energy child might become bored or restless at a small in-home practice with children who are much younger. On the flip side, you might not want your sensitive infant in a big, loud daycare center with a significant toddler or big-kid population.

Do your own vetting! Once you decide what kind of child-care situation will best suit your family, put the finalists in your chosen category to the test! Ask tough questions, ask enrolled parents about the environment and make frequent visits. DON’T be afraid to dig deeper. Rebecca McLaughlin of Elko, a child-care expert with many years of experience as both a provider and director of daycare, said: “Parents truly don’t have many concerns about placing their kids in daycare, and they should! They believe what they are told by caregivers. If a daycare center looks great or a home daycare seems clean and friendly, the parents tend to — in my opinion — make their choices too quickly based on the wrong factors.” Seeing a need to help parents make an informed choice, McLaughlin teamed up with Rita Palashewski, owner and operator of Pumpkin Patch Childcare and Learning Center in Burnsville. In December, they published Daycare Diaries: Unlocking the Secrets and Dispelling Myths Through True Stories of Daycare Experiences. Said Palashewski: “The most impor-

Weighing the pros and cons Naturally, each type of child-care situation comes with unique benefits and disadvantages. Brainstorming with your own list is a good idea, in addition to the ideas here.

CHILDCARE CENTER

PROS

CONS

⊲⊲Little to no cancellation due to caregiver illness

⊲⊲Staff could become overwhelmed, even with a proper ratio.

⊲⊲Socialization with other children ⊲⊲A larger staff ensures the checks and balances of care.

IN-HOME DAYCARE

NANNY

⊲⊲More children, more chance of exposure to illness ⊲⊲The provider sets the hours and rules.

⊲⊲Nurturing, intimate home environment

⊲⊲Little to no backup for caregiver injury or illness

⊲⊲Smaller groups, less chance for illness

⊲⊲With one caregiver, zero checks and balances

⊲⊲Socialization on a smaller scale

⊲⊲The caregiver’s own child may be the priority.

⊲⊲Far less exposure to illness

⊲⊲Can be more expensive

⊲⊲Parents set the schedule and rules, an extension of preferred parenting style.

⊲⊲Nannies often eventually move on to other work opportunities and/or their own children.

⊲⊲Light housework, cooking and laundry may be available as part of the service.

⊲⊲Cancellation, injury and illness can be an issue.

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Child-care choices tant questions should be directed toward finding out more personal information about the individuals who will be providing direct care — why they chose to work with children, what they love about their job, what challenges they face daily and how they handle discipline.” Both McLaughlin and Palashewski stress the value of frequent unexpected visits, or “pop-ins.” This allows the parent to see what really goes on day to day and can either calm or confirm uneasy feelings. This decision involves the wellbeing of your child and you have every right to see the child-care site beyond the “best foot forward” courtship phase. “If your schedule doesn’t allow for this, make it allow for this,” Palashewski said, adding that all child-care facilities should have an open-door policy, allowing parents to visit the center at any time prior to and after enrolling the child.

WHAT TO ASK PROVIDERS ⊲⊲Will you, at any time, transport the kids in your car? ⊲⊲Are there any other adults or older children on the premises besides caregivers? ⊲⊲How can I contact you during the workday and how quickly should I expect a response? ⊲⊲Do your own children receive care here? How do you handle that? ⊲⊲What’s your very best quality as a child-care provider? ⊲⊲What areas need improvement and what are your plans for making it happen? ⊲⊲How long will you let my child cry? ⊲⊲Can you show me where the children nap?

MUST-HAVE HELPFUL HINTS

Let your gut be your guide. At the end of the day, after the right questions have been asked and the pros and cons debated (see our sidebar on the previous page), you have to go with your gut feeling. Your intuition and instinct will not only serve you through the selection process, but also in the continuing child-care relationship as well. Trust those gut feelings, express your concerns, keep questioning and keep popping in. Don’t be afraid to hover and fuss! Trusting another adult with the care of your child is a big deal. Jen Wittes lives in St. Paul and is a mother of two. She’s helped many Twin Cities families in her work as a postpartum doula. Send questions or comments to jwittes@mnparent.com.

⊲⊲Newborn child-care is HARD to find. Spots are limited. Start the search during pregnancy! ⊲⊲Nannies USUALLY cost a family more than group daycare environments. The exception to the rule? Twins! Double infant care in a center is significantly more expensive than nanny-care for two. A private nanny’s hourly rate will usually jump only a small amount for two young children. ⊲⊲Do you have friends with kids in child care? Ask them FIRST. It’s a starting point, and if you find a friend who’s thrilled with her child-care choice, you have at least one solid recommendation to check out. ⊲⊲Do you need only a few hours of care here and there? Some centers offer drop-in hourly child care for certain ages — a perfect fit for stayat-home or work-at-home parents who need a day to run errands. KidsPark in St. Paul (kidsparkdropin.org) and ClubKid in Minnetonka (clubkidfun.com) specialize in hourly care.

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Need a break?

We can’t make choosing a babysitter, nanny or child-care provider easy, but we can point you to the many online resources available to Minnesota families. All are designed to help you streamline the process and gradually build your “village.” Good luck!

CHILD CARE AWARE MINNESOTA This local program (formerly known as the Minnesota Child Care Resource and Referral Network) is part of a national organization that helps families find child care. Spanish, Hmong and Somali language-translation services are available by phone and online. 888-291-9811 mnchildcare.org COLLEGE NANNIES AND TUTORS This site was founded in Minnesota by Joseph Keeley, a business-school student who took a job as a nanny — or “manny” — caring for children in Edina in the summer of 2000. This popular site has grown into a large organization offering on-call child-care, nanny-placement services and more to families across the country. collegenanniesandtutors.com

SITTERCITY Founded in 2001, this site — as well as a mobile app for iPhone and Android — helps families find care for children, seniors and pets. Monthly, three-month and annual paid plans allow users to post care jobs or search for local providers in their area. sittercity.com

CAREBOOKER Known as the Open Table of family-care services, this site offers a free way for families to find and book services such as babysitting, pet care, tutoring and more. carebooker.com CARE.COM Started as a hub for sitters and parents alike, this site and its iPhone and Android apps help families coordinate childcare, senior care and house sitting. For a $39 monthly membership, users can select the type of care they desire and match their needs with a caregiver. care.com

MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES Get information about child-care assistance and much more on this state-run site. mn.gov/dhs

URBANSITTER Parents and sitters can create profiles and post jobs, availability and rates for service. Certified background checks, an online payment system, parent reviews and recommendations are part of the deal, as is a handy on-the-go app for iPhone. (Android is on the way.) Hiring fees apply. urbansitter.com mnparent.com • February 2015

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BOOTY CAMP Can the average kid really be potty trained in a few days? One local behavior specialist says the answer is often: Yes! By Julie Kendrick

mnparent.com • February 2015

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BOOTY CAMP

Y

ou know you’re having a tough time with potty training when an emergency trip to Chicago starts to seem like a good idea. That was the case for Julie Bixby, a Dellwood mother of two. Desperate to get her 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Isabella, potty trained, Bixby became intrigued when she read about a woman in the Windy City who guaranteed rapid results. “I was at my wit’s end,” said Bixby, who had been trying with her husband, Jon, to potty train their daughter for well over a year. “Isabella was going to be starting preschool in the fall, and we’d had 10,000 accidents since starting potty training.” Not long after that, Bixby saw a flier at a local coffee shop for Behave Your Best’s rapid potty-training service offered in the Twin Cities. Behave Your Best’s owner, Jamie Waldvogel — a behavior analyst, potty-training expert and mother of two — came to the Bixby home for a consultation. “Within five minutes, I knew she was our answer,” Bixby said. “Jamie worked her magic, and Isabella started using the potty that first day.” Though a couple minor relapses occurred, Waldvogel was available to help via text and phone. “It was the best money I ever spent,” Bixby said. “I wish I had known about Jamie earlier. It would have saved us a lot of headache, tears and laundry in our household.” The Bixbys knew their daughter was capable of potty training because she would use the potty for the babysitter. “But for us, she just wouldn’t,” Julie Bixby said. “We (me and my husband) were the problem. Jamie told us it wasn’t about the potty training. It was about the behavior and the attention she was getting from us when she wouldn’t go potty in the potty chair. It was just a repeating cycle/pattern we created.”

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Top tips

1

Children learn quickest if given ample opportunities to practice a new skill in a short period of time. Increase fluid intake during first day or two of training to increase opportunities to practice.

2 3

Commit to underwear only during awake hours.

Temporarily use positive reinforcement to encourage positive behaviors. Start with a small goal — sitting calmly on the toilet for two minutes — and gradually increase your expectations with successes.

4

Every child is unique, so what worked for a sibling may not work a second time.


Potty-tracking app You can track potty progress with the Time to Potty app from Huggies. Its main feature is a timer that reminds the family when it’s time for a potty break — and it automatically adjusts based on the training child’s progress. Fun games help you and your child celebrate potty achievements. Learn more at pull-ups.com.

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FOCUSING ON BEHAVIOR So what’s Waldvogel’s secret? Waldvogel’s Shoreview-based small business, Behave Your Best, helps parents work with their children on potty training, sleep training, tantrums and a variety of other issues using systematic behaviorcoaching techniques known as Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA. “Behavior analysis is not a secret,” said Waldvogel, who’s worked with children, including kids with autism, for more than 15 years. “Behavior analysis is a science, so I rely on my training, experience and science to assess the situation, identify why the child isn’t successfully trained yet, and develop a plan to teach the skill.” Though ABA is most known for its effectiveness in teaching children with autism and other disabilities, it works well for all children, Waldvogel said. “Our goal is to reach out to parents of typically developing children, as there are few providers that can help,” she said. Waldvogel, who also offers workshops that cover potty-training strategies for parents, has successfully trained children from ages 21 months to 6 years old. Her service costs $800 for two days (up to 10 hours each), plus text or email support after the two-day intensive consultation is complete. Waldvogel trained her son, Calvin, at

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BOOTY CAMP Jon and Julie Bixby of Dellwood pose with their son, Alexander and their daughter, Isabella. Eager to get their daughter, Isabella, potty trained for preschool, the Bixby’s hired a potty-training consultant to get the job done. “It was the best money I ever spent,” Julie Bixby said. Photo by Courtney Conk / CCphotoarts.com

about 26 months. She started on a Thursday. By Monday, her son was accident free and initiating using the potty independently, she said. “Most families are totally successful within a week, but some take a month to get the child really fluent with the skill in all environments and without reinforcement,” Waldvogel said. “I’ve never yet worked with a child who couldn’t be successfully potty trained.”

GROWING TREND Parents are increasingly relying on potty professionals around the country. Earlier this this year, the Huffington Post covered the story of Samantha Allen, another behavior expert — and founder of NYC Potty Training, new in 2014 —who charges $925 for an eight-hour session and $1,750 for a two-day package (and that’s if you opt for weekdays). Got twins? A three-day package costs $2,575. Allen, nicknamed “The Potty Whisperer” when she worked in preschool classrooms,

said a big part of what she does is remove stress from the situation. “The whole family relaxes when I’m there,” she said. Not everyone is in favor of parents outsourcing the job of potty training. Marti Erickson — who has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and, with her daughter Erin, co-hosts Mom Enough, a weekly talk show podcast — said working through the most difficult parts of parenting shouldn’t be delegated to a professional. It’s a growth opportunity for the whole family. “Sometimes those pain-in-the-neck

Take a class What: Behave Your Best offers The Ins & Outs of Potty Training workshops designed to give parents the skills to potty train kids in a matter of days or weeks, not years. When and where: 6 to 8 p.m. March 16 at Baby Grand, Hopkins ($30 per person, $15 for a spouse); and 12:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21 at Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care, St. Paul ($30 per family) Register: Go to tinyurl.com/potty-baby-grand or tinyurl.com/potty-peapods. Learn more: See behaveyourbest.com or call 612-224-1051.

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Learn more

Behave Your Best also helps children with sleep training, tantrums, eating, listening, homework, aggression and sibling disagreements using systematic behavior-coaching techniques known as Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA. Learn more at behaveyourbest.com or call 612-224-1051.

situations like potty-training challenge parents to find the balance of supporting kids through mistakes and helping them build competence,” Erickson said. “It’s an opportunity for parents to work directly with kids during an important life passage, strengthening their relationship of trust and encouragement.” Waldvogel said parents who consistently follow her simple plan will be able to potty train their children on their own, without an in-home visit. She encourages parents to first attend one of her workshops for parents (see the sidebar with this story) before signing up for a two-day intervention.

REWARDS AND REINFORCEMENT During intensive visits, Waldvogel’s behavior-focused method involves keeping a constant focus on potty training for the full two-day period. She asks that pull-ups be placed out of view before she arrives so the expectation of using the potty is clear. To ensure the child has plenty of practice time, she offers lots of fluids. And she breaks the process down into manageable teaching components, so the child can start receiving positive reinforcements — rewards tailored to the child — for a small behavior right away. Waldvogel said parents should be wary of sticker charts that require children to understand complicated mnparent.com • February 2015

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BOOTY CAMP reward systems as well as long-delayed gratification. “The reinforcers are typically tangible things to start,” Waldvogel said. “They are the motivators. Some parents wrap small gifts for the first day. For some kids, we’ve used plastic eggs with a surprise inside, for others a grab bag with fun things, whatever the parents feel will motivate the child.” These so-called “artificial” motivators are important for young children because social pressures and social motivation aren’t in place for the 2- to 4-year-old set, Waldvogel said, adding: “They do not care if their friends see them wet or smell their soiled clothing like older children do.” Waldvogel increases expectations gradually throughout the process, until the child is being rewarded only for a complete, desired behavior, not just going through certain steps. She coaches parents to fade reinforcements gradually as more successes occur. “Otherwise, the child can revert to old contingencies in an attempt to figure out what the expectation is,” she said. “Nine times out of 10, the plan to remedy unwanted behaviors is to teach the child new skills, as a lack of a specific skill is often the reason why they are engaging in unwanted behaviors at this age.” She’s also got another ace in the hole: She’s not Mom or Dad. “As a neutral third party, I have no history parenting this child, no history of resistance or refusal,” she said. “And after 15-plus years of working with children, I’d like to think I’ve got a gift for relating to them and making myself the reinforcer.” Julie Kendrick is a contributing writer for many local publications. She lives in Minneapolis and blogs at kendrickworks. blogspot.com.

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Reading for the potty

Countless children’s picture books have tackled the topic of using the toilet, including, of course, the classic, Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi. But here are five more can’t-miss potty-training titles to try!

WHERE’S THE POOP? This lift-the-flap wonder encourages kids to find where all the baby animals have left their poop. It ends in a home, however, where the toilet is the place to go! By Julie Markes

BEAR IN UNDERWEAR In this quirky, cute, comicstyle book, Bear, Beaver, Cougar and Big Foot are playing hide-andseek with their friends when Bear gets lost and stumbles on an entire backpack of underwear. By the end of the book, each animal has found a perfect fit! Look for many other spin-off books in this series. By Todd H. Doodler

POTTY Always ridiculously cute, Leslie Patricelli’s books for babies and toddlers have become part of the board-book canon. In this one, it becomes clear: Going in one’s diaper is only one possible option, and the question must be raised: “Should I go in my potty?” By Leslie Patricelli

VEGETABLES IN UNDERWEAR This book, coming out in April, might be the most hilarious take on underwear acceptance ever, including broccoli in briefs and baby carrots in diapers. By Jared Chapman

EVEN FIREFIGHTERS GO TO THE POTTY Everyone, everywhere, regardless of what they may do professionally, must take the time to stop and go to the potty. In this lift-the-flap book, readers visit the police station, a construction site, a doctor’s office, a baseball field, the zoo and more to discover again and again that important people use the restroom, even if they’re busy! By Wendy and Naomi Wax


CAMP RESOURCES

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Advertiser listings

Academic 191 Community Ed Summer Programs ISD 191 Community Education offers activities and camps for your K–6 student. Art, sports, swimming, dance, theater, and technology classes are offered throughout the summer at an affordable cost. #191community Burnsville-Eagan-Savage 200 W Burnsville Pkwy, Ste 100 Burnsville 952-707-4150 communityed191.org

Bell Museum Science Discovery Day Camps Unearth unforgettable camp experiences at the Bell Museum. Weeklong Science Discovery camps include outdoor adventure, space exploration, lab activities, real scientific specimens, University research, and lots of fun! June 8–August 28, grades K–6, and half-day preschool camps! Minneapolis 612-626-9660 bellmuseum.org

Camp Invention Camp Invention is where BIG ideas become the next BIG thing! Local educators lead a week of hands-on activities created especially for rising 1st–6th grade students. Boys and girls spend time taking apart electronics to assemble something new, pushing the limits during high-energy games, and so much more. Lessons explore connections between science, technology, engineering, and innovation. Discounts are available, so secure a spot soon! Locations throughout Minnesota 800-968-4332 campinvention.org

Gifted & Talented Institute (GTI) Find Your Challenge South of the River. A partnership of south metro school districts, managed by ISD 191 Community Education. GTI provides gifted and talented youth in grades K–12 opportunities for challenge and exploration. Classes run late June through July. Half- and full-day, weeklong course options in a variety of core disciplines. 952-707-4150 giftedtalented.org

Groves Academy Summer Programs Groves Academy Summer Programs are for students with learning and attention challenges. The programs are open to

students from any school. There are small class sizes and personalized instruction. Grades 2–8, June 15–July 10: Reading, writing, and math, optional enrichment classes. Grades 9–12, July 27–August 7: Algebra, study skills, and writing. 3200 Hwy 100 S St. Louis Park 952-920-6377 grovesacademy.org

Junior Achievement Summer Camp JA BizTown Summer Camp takes place at Junior Achievement’s fully interactive, simulated city. This camp teaches 4th–8th graders how to run a successful business through fun, hands-on activities. June session focuses on STEM careers; July session will appeal to the young entrepreneur. Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest 1800 White Bear Ave N Maplewood 651-255-0037 jaum.org

Minnetonka Community Education Minnetonka Community Education offers more than 300 summer enrichment, recreation, and academic summer camps for children ages 18 months–18 years. From art to archery, STEM to soccer, and everything in between—there’s a camp that appeals to every child’s interests and passions. 5621 Cty Rd 101 Minnetonka 952-401-6800 minnetonkacommunityed.org

School Chess Association Summer Day Chess Camp All levels of chess instruction, professional

educators tailored to the student’s individual needs. Fun activities include swimming, water slides, field ball, Magic the Gathering, soccer, tennis, roller skating, bowling, fishing, sign language, and role playing games. Program Monday–Thursday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. June 22–25, July 6–9, 13–16, 20–23, 27–30, August 3–6, 10–13. Registration forms online or call Lorene 763-593-1168. St. Louis Park Recreation Center 3700 Monterey Dr St. Louis Park schoolchess.org

Science & Engineering Camps The Works Museum Creative camps for girls and boys, ages 5–12, who love to explore, design, and build! Kids experience how things work through fun, hands-on science and engineering projects. Discover code camp, Lego Robotics, electricity, architecture, and more! Camps run June–August 2015. 9740 Grand Ave S Bloomington 952-888-4262 theworks.org

Summer at Blake Summer at Blake offers an array of academic, sports, arts, and day camps for pre-K–grade 12 students in the Twin Cities area. From the ice arena to the engineering and programming labs, students enjoy Blake’s amazing facilities and interact with talented coaches and superb teachers in an engaging, challenging, and caring environment. 110 Blake Rd S Hopkins 952-988-3463 blakeschool.org

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CAMP RESOURCES

Arts Adventures in Cardboard Summer Arts & Creative Play, Outdoors Build your own arms and armor, create giant castles to defend, battle along trails, fields, and shorelines. Plan invasions from land and sea. Bows, swords, catapults, magic, and monsters! Full days spent in beautiful parks across the metro region. Arden Hills, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis, & Plymouth 612-532-6764 julianmcfaul.com

Art Academy, The City Pages Winner: Best of the Twin Cities! Year-round traditional drawing and painting classes and camps for students ages 5–18 years. Exceptional student/teacher ratio. Homeschool Program. A Renaissance Program for adults also offered. See samples of student artwork; visit our website. Call for a brochure. 651 Snelling Ave S St. Paul 651-699-1573 theartacademy.net

Art Camps at Studio Seven One week painting and drawing camps for students ages 7–18. Compositional elements will be explored through landscape and figure studies. Students will paint and draw both in the studio and outside. Trips to galleries and museums included. Camps are Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. $495 per week, all materials are included. kahlowcurtis@gmail.com. 708 N 1st St Minneapolis 612-376-0381 studio7artmn.com

Edina Art Center Since 1977, the Edina Art Center has been your home for art and culture in Edina, specializing in fine art education including pottery, drawing and painting, jewelry, and 83 children’s summer art camps. Edina— Every Day I Need Art. 4701 W 64th St Edina 952-903-5780 edinaartcenter.com

year’s camps include: Frozen, Lego Dino World, Happily Ever After, Marvelously Messy, Fabulously Fancy Art, Simply Silly Stuff, Candy Crafts, Art-tastic, Masters on Canvas, Let’s Draw, Star Wars, and many more. At Kidcreate, making a mess is the best! 7918 Mitchell Rd Eden Prairie 952-974-3438 kidcreatestudio.com/eden-prairie 1785 Radio Dr, Ste F Woodbury 651-735-0880 kidcreatestudio.com/woodbury

Loft’s Young Writers’ Program, The The Loft’s Young Writers’ Program offers more than 100 classes this summer that foster creativity, enrich talents, and create friendships. Classes run all summer for ages 6–17 at all skill levels. Open Book 1011 Washington Ave S Minneapolis 612-215-2575 loft.org

Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD) Join us at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for a series of innovative, handson, and engaging visual art and design camps and classes for kids and teens ages 5–18! Weeklong and multi-week options. Scholarships available. 2501 Stevens Ave Minneapolis 612-874-3765 mcad.edu/youth

Dance/Music/ Performance Center for Irish Music, The (CIM) All ages and abilities will explore and grow musically within the context of the Irish tradition. CIM offers creative and active introductory and intermediate camps on whistle, song, fiddle, harp, and drumming as well as mythology, travel-themed, and performance camps. 836 Prior Ave N St. Paul 651-815-0083 centerforirishmusic.org

Kidcreate Studio

Circus Juventas

Kidcreate Studio’s art camps are designed to inspire and educate young artists, ages 3–12, in an environment where giggles and grins are encouraged. Camps focus on art principles and introduce students to many types of art materials. Campers get to explore, make a mess, and have fun. This

Travel the globe without ever leaving our Big Top! Our full-day, weeklong camps explore a vast array of circus arts from Morocco to Mongolia, China to Russia. Reserve your spot now to be a part of one of the most talked-about and unique summer camps in the Twin Cities.

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1270 Montreal Ave St. Paul 651-699-8229 circusjuventas.org

Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts Become a triple threat at Lundstrum Center’s musical theater camps! All camp intensives taught by Broadway veterans and include level-appropriate training in dance, voice, and drama, which students apply to full musical productions. June 8–19: Camp 1, ages 4–12; June 22–August 2: Camp 2, ages 13+. 1617 N 2nd St Minneapolis 612-521-2600 lundstrumcenter.org

Shell Lake Arts Center With programs in jazz, rock band, show choir, art, theatre, dance, and more, the Shell Lake Arts Center is like nowhere else! Just two hours northeast of the Twin Cities in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. Come join us for the experience of a lifetime! 802 1st St Shell Lake, WI 715-468-2414 shelllakeartscenter.org

Sing Minnesota August 10–14, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sing Minnesota is a weeklong day camp for girls and boys, ages 8–12 sponsored by the Minnesota Boychoir. While focusing on choral singing, campers also participate in other creative arts — drama and movement, visual arts, and outdoor fun and games! $325, scholarships available. Concordia University Buetow Music Center 300 Hamline Ave N St. Paul 651-292-3219 boychoir.org

Stages Theatre Company Summer Theatre Workshops: June 15– August 24. Calling all actors, singers, and dancers: Have fun learning about theater from some of the area’s finest teaching artists. Stages Theatre Company offers a variety of age appropriate workshops for students ranging from ages 4–17. 1111 Mainstreet Hopkins 952-979-1111, option 4 stagestheatre.org

SteppingStone Theatre Camps & Classes! SteppingStone Theatre explores creativity year round with youth grades pre-K–high school. Check out our summer camps as a


mnparent.com/camp unique way for students to build confidence, theater skills, and community! Have fun this summer at SteppingStone Theatre! Scholarship/Membership pricing available. 55 Victoria St N St. Paul 651-225-9265 steppingstonetheatre.org

Lessons * Horse Camp * Birthday Parties Public Trail Riding by Appointment

Horsemanship Summer Camp 651-226-2027

Not just on for the ride — learn all the basics about horses. (AGES 6–13)

WEEKS AVAILABLE:

June 8, 15, 22, 29 • July 6, 13, 20, 27 • Aug 3, 10, 17, 24 M–F 10am–3pm

Theatre Arts Training at Children’s Theatre Company June 8–August 14, ages 4–18. Theatre Arts Training offers camps for all levels in acting, musical theater, improv, and more, making it easy to find the perfect fit for the young actor in your life. Be Curious. Be Creative. Be Confident. Registration now open. 2400 3rd Ave S Minneapolis 612-874-0400 childrenstheatre.org/education/classesand-camps

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2015

Triple Threat Training An intensive in musical theater connects young people with instructors to hone their vocal, acting, and dance technique, and enhance audition skills! Audition required for admission. Contact apost@ordway.org for info. August 3–7, $450. NEW! Rising Star, open to all skill levels. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts 345 Washington St 651-282-3163 ordway.org/education

Zenon Dance Company & School Summer Camps Weeklong dance camps for ages 6–14. Each day will include technique and choreography classes. Participants will perform for family and friends on the last day! Hip Hop Camps: June 22–26, August 3–7. Youth Dance Sampler Camp: July 20–24. 528 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis 612-338-1101 zenondance.org

Day Animal Humane Society’s Unleashed Camp Fun, educational animal-themed summer day camp for students entering grades 3–10 at Animal Humane Society. Camp may include special guests, field trips, service projects, interactions with animals, and more. Register online today. Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, St. Paul, & Woodbury 763-489-2220 animalhumanesociety.org/camps

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CAMP RESOURCES Archaeology for Kids One-Day Camp

History Detective Camp

Soldier One-Day Camp

Ages 10–14. Archeologists and historians help campers do archeological work, including research, digging, and sifting at a re-created dig site, and working with scientific equipment in a lab. July 18 & August 1. $65/$60 MNHS members.

Ages 11–13. Become a super-sleuth. Explore the home and comb through the evidence to solve mysteries of the past in this three-day camp. Two sessions: June 22–24 & July 20–22. $220/$200 MNHS members.

Ages 8–12. “New recruits” will learn about the lives of soldiers during the 1820s at Fort Snelling. Campers will learn to march and drill, watch musket and cannon firings, and more. June 27, July 11, July 25, & August 8. $50/$45 MNHS members.

Historic Fort Snelling 200 Tower Ave St. Paul 612-726-1171 mnhs.org/summercamps

Arts on the River Day Camp Ages 9–11. Children enjoy a new experience each day at four top arts centers, including Mill City Museum, the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and MacPhail Center for Music. June 29–July 2. $250/$225 MNHS members. Mill City Museum 704 S 2nd St Minneapolis 612-341-7555 mnhs.org/summercamps

Crazy for Math and Science Are your kids CRAZY for math and science? Peace of Mind and Trailblazers’ interactive, fun-filled summer camp engages children ages preschool–9th grade in experiential learning this summer. Field trips, themed weeks, structured curriculum. Come for a day, a week, or the entire summer. 9025 Tamarack Rd Woodbury 651-731-2608 peaceofminddaycare.com

Davy Crockett Day Camp Ages 9–12. Campers will learn the skills Davy Crockett and others like him used on the frontier, including tracking animals, using flint and steel, and 1800s soldiering. Two sessions: July 7–10 & 21–24. $250/$225 MNHS members. Historic Fort Snelling 200 Tower Ave St. Paul 612-726-1171 mnhs.org/summercamps

Finishing School for Young Ladies Ages 9–12. In this one-of-a kind day camp, young ladies will dress up in Victorianinspired costumes, enjoy a tea party, and learn popular dances and etiquette. Two sessions: June 22–24 & July 20–22. $220/$200 MNHS members. Alexander Ramsey House 265 S Exchange St St. Paul 651-296-8760 mnhs.org/summercamps

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Alexander Ramsey House 265 S Exchange St St. Paul 651-296-8760 mnhs.org/summercamps

Hopkins Camp Royal Summer Rocks A camp for youth K–6. Add the sizzle to your child’s summer! Full- and half-day camps— build your own schedule. Art, sports, dance, legos, pottery, cooking, theater, music, chess, STEM, crafts, plus more! Eisenhower Community Center 1001 Hwy 7 Hopkins 952-988-4070 hopkinssummer.org

Huck Finn Day Camp Ages 9–12. Campers explore the book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and go fishing, hiking, cooking, canoeing, and much more. Three sessions: June 16–19, July 14–17, & August 4–7. $250/$225 MNHS members. Historic Fort Snelling 200 Tower Ave St. Paul 612-726-1171 mnhs.org/summercamps

Little House in the Big Fort Day Camp Ages 7–11. Campers will sing the songs, play the games, and make the food and crafts that Laura Ingalls Wilder learned while growing up on the western frontier. Six sessions: June 16–19 & 23–26, July 7–10, 14–17, & 28–31, and August 4–7. $250/$225 MNHS members. Historic Fort Snelling 200 Tower Ave St. Paul 612-726-1171 mnhs.org/summercamps

Playworks Summer Camp 2015 Enter our Trail of Dreams and discover your child’s hopes, dreams, and inspirations! June 8–August 28. Open to kids entering grades 1–6. Children explore their world through field trips to zoos, museums, beaches, parks, and more. Plus, your child can participate in arts and crafts, science, and playtime with friends. Enroll by March 31 and Fee is waived. Full time or part time. Daily. Meals included. 2200 Trail of Dreams Prior Lake 952-445-PLAY (7529) playworksfun.com

Historic Fort Snelling 200 Tower Ave St. Paul 612-726-1171 mnhs.org/summercamps

Summer Adventure Camp The International School of Minnesota offers full- and half-day camp from June 15–August 14 for ages 3.5 to those entering grade 8. Camp activities include Spanish or American Sign Language, swimming, arts & crafts, nature hikes, outside play, and beach Friday. Options include sports, music, theater, kitchen chemistry, soccer, MN biology, catapults, and trebuchets. 6385 Beach Rd Eden Prairie 952-918-1828 internationalschoolmn.com

Horseback Riding Golden Ridge Stables Want to hug a horse? Our amazing summer day camps include a daily riding lesson and “hands-on” horsey fun. Year-round quality lessons for youth and ladies on well-mannered school horses. Conveniently located via Cedar Ave or I-35 South; just 15 minutes south of MOA. Visit our website for details! 8315 W 190th St W Lakeville 952-469-4640 goldenridgestables.com

Lost Creek Ranch Lost Creek Ranch Camp Confidence is the best overnight camp for horse crazy kids! Campers get their “own” horse. Ride a minimum of four hours every day! Individual attention. Make new friends and begin a lifelong passion for horses. Less than one hour from the Twin Cities. N6842 570th St Beldenville, WI 715-273-6070 lostcreekranch.info

Skyrock Farm Summer Horse Camp Learn basic horsemanship and make new friends! Clean, upscale facility located in Medina provides safe summer horse fun for your horse-crazy child (age 6+). One hour instructional lesson per fun-filled day. Friday


mnparent.com/camp is horse show day — Horse show followed by train rides and root beer floats! Riding lessons, camp, birthdays. Medina 612-408-2848 skyrockfarm.com

Sunnyside Stables Horsemanship Summer Camp Sunnyside’s camp is a place to discover horses and new friends. Each day includes riding — rain or shine, as we have an indoor and outdoor arena as well as scenic trails. You will discover the basics of grooming, saddling, body language, posture, contact, and balance to develop independent riding skills. 15400 Emery Ave E Rosemount 651-226-2027 sunnysidestables.org

Language Concordia Language Villages Concordia Language Villages is the premier language and culture immersion program in the United States. For over 50 years, we have provided an authentic experience with programs for all ages and levels of fluency in 15 different languages. 901 8th St S Moorhead 218-299-4544 800-222-4750 concordialanguagevillages.org

Other Minnesota Children’s Museum At Minnesota Children’s Museum, hands-on play builds lifelong learning. Each of our galleries is uniquely designed with a child’s busy brain in mind. Every visit is packed with experiences guaranteed to nurture creative thinking, fuel fun, and cater to the curious at heart. 10 W 7th St Downtown, St. Paul 651-225-6000 mcm.org

Overnight Audubon Center of the North Woods A wide variety of youth, family, and adult camps and expeditions — something for everyone! Our camps have a focus on wildlife, nature, challenge, and outdoor skills. Experience the great outdoors and make memories that last a lifetime! June– September. info@audubon-center.org. East side of Grindstone Lake near Sandstone 888-404-7743 audubon-center.org/summer-camps mnparent.com • February 2015

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R E M M U S R E V O C S I D SUMMER RALLY DAYS FRIDAY, MARCH 6 – SUNDAY, MARCH 8

GET SPECIAL DEALS

SAVE $50 on registration fee now through March 8

at ymcadiscoversummer.org

SUMMER POWER

Need more information? Attend the

Grades K-5

Saturday, March 7 • 9 a.m. – Noon

Summer Power is your answer to quality care and exciting adventures. We offer flexible 3-, 4-, and 5-day options. No two weeks are alike! Weekly themes and weekly field trips.

YMCA SUMMER PROGRAMS FAIR

SAVE $15 per session fee March 6 – March 8

SUMMER SPORTS Grades 1-6 Youth will have the opportunity to learn new skills, practice and play new sports. Y Summer Sports is a safe, fun, non-competitive sports program designed to build teamwork, leadership skills and self-esteem.

SAVE $50 on registration fee now through March 8

SUMMER UPROAR Grades 6-8

Register Online

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Uproar provides an exciting combination of spirited adventure and growth. Teens get their first taste of leadership as they help to plan their summer activities and participate in weekly field trips.

ymcadiscoversummer.org Membership not required. Financial assistance available.

Summer Preschool SP Kindergarten Summer Power Summer Sports Summer Uproar 15-SP03_MP

Specialty Programs


YMCA CAMPS YMCA OVERNIGHT CAMPS CAMP ST. CROIX

Ages 7-17. Located on Lake St. Croix, two miles south of Hudson, WI. Campers participate in a wide variety of traditional camp activities or select a specialty camp such as horseback riding, rock climbing, sailing and canoeing. Three-day, one-week or two-week sessions.

CAMP ICAGHOWAN Ages 7-16. Located on Lake Wapogasset near Amery, WI. Icaghowan offers traditional camp and a variety of unique specialty camps focused on activities such as horseback riding, river canoeing and skateboard camp. Three-day, one-week or two-week sessions.

CAMP IHDUHAPI Ages 7-16. Located on Lake Independence just 22 miles west of Minneapolis, MN, Ihduhapi offers youth a traditional experience or sailing and horseback riding specialty camps. Three-day, one-week or two-week sessions. Leadership development programs for grades 8-11.

CAMP WARREN Ages 7-16. Camp Warren, located in the north woods on Half Moon Lake near Eveleth, MN, offers girls-only sessions the first part of the summer and boys-only sessions later in the summer. Camp Warren has a strong tradition of progressive activities including sailing, archery, tennis, photography and horseback riding.

YMCA FAMILY CAMP CAMP DU NORD

SAVE $25

per session March 6 - March 8

YMCA TEEN WILDERNESS ADVENTURES CAMP MENOGYN Ages 12-18. Camp Menogyn is located on the Gunflint Trail 30 miles north of Grand Marais, MN. There are no roads leading to Menogyn, so all campers cross West Bearskin Lake by boat to arrive at this beautiful, intimate wilderness setting. Our focus is on the small group, compassionate guided wilderness canoeing, backpacking and rock climbing trips that are safe, fun and enriching.

CAMP WIDJIWAGAN Ages 12-18. Located on Burntside Lake near Ely, MN, Widji offers high-quality canoe and backpacking adventures in the BWCA and throughout North America. Widji wilderness trips are focused on respect and values that build skills for life, and a relationship with the environment that is unparalleled.

YMCA DAY CAMP AGES 4 - 14 YMCA Day Camp provides a week full of exciting camp activities like canoeing, archery, fishing, camp crafts, cookouts, swimming and more! Day camps facilitate a great introduction to camping in a safe environment. Kids are home each night. Bus transportation is available at most locations.

YMCA DAY CAMPS: SPECIALTY CAMPS Develop a greater passion for the things you love, or try out something new at one of our YMCA specialty camps! Campers spend approximately 2 hours each day in their specialized activity. The remainder of the day is spent enjoying traditional camp activities.

TWIN CITIES DAY CAMPS Christmas Tree DayCroix @ Camp St. Croix Guy Robinson Heritage Ihduhapi Kici Yapi Kumalya Manitou Spring Lake Streefland

We eBa ckp ack ers (a

ges 4-5 )

All Ages. Located on the edge of the BWCA on Burntside Lake, Camp du Nord offers a totally unique week-long camping experience for families. Cozy woodland cabins with kitchens range from rustic to upscale. Tent camping sites, full/partial food service also available. Hiking, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, swimming, nature and arts programs are offered as family activities and for children’s age groups. Relax at days end with an authentic Finnish sauna.

YMCA Overnight Camp

YMCA Day Camp SAVE $15 per session March 6 – March 8

DAY CAMPS Camp Christmas Tree 6365 Game Farm Rd., Minnetrista, MN 55364, 952-544-7708. Traditional day camp is located on 45 acres at Dutch Lake near Mound, MN. YMCA Camp St. Croix – DayCroix 532 County Rd. F, Hudson, WI, 612-465-0560. Traditional day camp is located on 400 acre site overlooking St. Croix River. Camp Guy Robinson 3100 217th Ave NW, Oak Grove, MN, 763-785-7882. Traditional day camp is located at Lake George Regional Park. Camp Heritage 7732 Main Street, Lino Lakes, MN; Traditional day camp held across from Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes. YMCA Day Camp Ihduhapi 3425 Ihduhapi Rd., Loretto, MN 55357, 763-479-1146. Located on Lake Independence. Day Camp Ihduhapi offers the beautiful, north woods feel of camp. Camp Kici Yapi 13220 Pike Lake Trail NE, Prior Lake, MN 55372, 952-835-2567. Traditional day camp is located on 80 acre site in Prior Lake. Camp Kumalya 1515 Keats Ave. N., Lake Elmo, MN, 651-731-9507. Traditional day camp held at Lake Elmo Park Reserve in Lake Elmo. Camp Manitou 9910 Briarwood Ave NE, Monticello, MN 55362, 763-535-4800. Traditional day camp is located on 1200 acre site on Lake Bertram and Long Lake in Monticello, MN. Camp Spring Lake 13690 Pine Bend Trail Rosemount, MN 55068, 651-456-9622. Traditional day camp held at Dakota County Spring Lake Park Reserve in Rosemount. Camp Streefland 11490 Klamath Trail, Lakeville, MN 55044, 952-898-9622. Traditional day camp is located on Lake Kingsley in Lakeville. For more information:

612-230-9622

ymcadiscoversummer.org Membership not required. Financial assistance available.


CAMP RESOURCES Camp Birchwood for Boys

YMCA Camp Olson

Hike, bike, fish, canoe, kayak, or rock-climb, it’s up to you. Campers choose their own adventures and activities. Between adventures campers choose from archery, riflery, waterpark, crafts, tubing, fishing, and more.

Since 1954, Camp Olson has been providing unforgettable and life changing experiences for youth and young leaders through quality camping programs. Traditional summer camp available as well as specialty programs in sailing, horseback riding, nature study, and leadership development.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area 218-252-2641 campbirchwoodforboys.com

Camp Birchwood for Girls At Camp Birchwood the experience is about lifelong skills, friendships, and memories. We provide campers with opportunities for making their own choices, encourage them to challenge themselves and to discover who they are through a long list of available activities. Northern Minnesota 800-451-5270 campbirchwood.com

Camp Choson Camp Choson is a dynamic, welcoming day and resident camp that offers youth ages 4–17 opportunities to explore Korean arts and culture. A camper’s experience includes Korean language and culture, traditional dance and drum, Taekwondo, music, selfrespect, archery, and swimming. MCAD MNP 0215 V6.indd 1

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Camp Lakamaga 12300 Lakamaga Tr N Marine on St. Croix campchoson.org

Camp WeHaKee Have fun, build friendships, be yourself! More than 40 activities that each girl chooses. Campers from around the world. Exceptional staff! At the heart of WeHaKee is relationship. Just three hours from Minneapolis in Northern Wisconsin! N8104 Barker Lake Rd Winter, WI 800-582-2267 wehakeecampforgirls.com

Girl Scouts River Valleys’ Summer Camps All girls welcome, including non-Girl Scouts. Residential sessions at four locations, each with unique scenery and outdoor opportunities. Classic camp experiences, with horse and wilderness opportunities, canoeing, kayaking, archery, swimming, biking, arts and crafts, and more. Financial assistance available. Camp Elk River, Zimmerman Camp Lakamaga, Marine on St. Croix Camp Northwoods, Mason, WI Camp Singing Hills, Waterville 800-845-0787 girlscoutsrv.org/camp

4160 Little Boy Rd NE, Longville 218-363-2207 campolson.org

Resources Minnesota Parent’s Camp Fair February 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Summer’s here! Or, at least it will be when you attend Minnesota Parent’s 9th annual Camp Fair. Get a jumpstart on planning for day or overnight summer camps, be it music, art, technology, sports, and everything in between. FREE admission. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory 1225 Eastbrook Dr, St. Paul 612-825-9205 mnparent.com/campfair

Specialty Swift Nature Camp Let your child’s natural curiosity for nature be discovered. Located just two hours from Minneapolis, we are a traditional co-ed camp, with a focus on nature and environment. A First Time Campers Program is available for campers who have not attended camp before. W7471 Ernie Swift Rd Minong, WI 630-654-8036 snc.camp

True Friends’ Camp Courage & Camp Friendship True Friends is the new parent company of Camp Courage and Camp Friendship. Offering residential and day camp sessions at five Minnesota locations. Specializing in programs for people with developmental, physical, or learning disabilities. Need-based scholarships are available. Camp Friendship, Annandale Camp Courage, Maple Lake Camp Eden Wood, Eden Prairie Camp Courage North, Lake George Camp New Hope, McGregor 800-450-8376 truefriends.org

Sports and Fitness Bethel University Overnight & Day Camps Bethel University Christian Sports Camps

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KidCreate Studio MNP 0215 V6.indd 1

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mnparent.com/camp help athletes develop fundamentals and build confidence in their skills. We provide both challenge and encouragement, allowing campers to develop a positive attitude. Basketball, volleyball, soccer, x-country, tennis. All ages. Bethel University 3900 Bethel Dr St. Paul 651-638-6397 bethelroyals.com

Supporting organizations that provide all aspects of support, resources, opportunities and outreach programs to children and families. 95% of all proceeds go to charities we support

Go online to donate jimandjudefoundation.com

Little Gym of Edina, The Anytime Summertime Camp For kids ages 3–12. The most flexible camp Jim & Jude MNP 2012 Filler 12.indd in town lets you pick one day or as many as you want! Each week has a fun new theme with games, art, physical activity, and a whole lot of fun.

1

8223 Hwy 7 St. Louis Park 952-924-0083 thelittlegym.com/edinamn

Coon Rapids, Maplewood, Rogers, Rosemount, & St. Louis Park 763-231-9866 mnunitedfccamps.com

Revolutionary Sports Provides camps that combine learning sports and child development for a positive sports experience. Multiple sports daily. Over 15 sports offered. Camps start at age 4 and offered during no-school days, spring break, and summer. Half day, full day, early drop-off (7:30 a.m.), late pick-up (5:30 p.m.).

Summer Art Camps

for ages 5 and up

Minnesota United FC Minnesota United FC is a professional soccer team playing in the North American Soccer League. Our mission is to make professional soccer an accessible source of pride for people in Minnesota. The club is devoted to being a pillar in the local community. These new camps bring our level of professionalism and GREAT soccer to YOU!

10/18/12 2:41 PM

651-699-1573 Sophia Wang, Age 6

theartacademy.net

Think your child can’t draw like this? Think again. Chosen by WCCO “2013 Best Places for Summer Art Activities” | Winner: City Pages “Best of the Twin Cities” Art Academy MNP 0215 H4.indd 1

1/14/15 11:44 AM

Metrowide Locations 612-234-7782 revolutionarysports.org

TAGS Gymnastics Camps Fun, Fitness, Friends! Gymnastics camps for boys and girls ages 3–17 in June, July, and August. Kids will learn fun, new skills while developing strength, flexibility, and coordination in a safe, positive atmosphere! TAGS Apple Valley: 5880 149th St W, Apple Valley 952-431-6445 TAGS Eden Prairie: 10300 W 70th St Eden Prairie 952-920-5342 tagsgym.com

mnparent.com • February 2015

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Out & About

FEBRUARY

mnparent.com/calendar

Photo by Magic House

Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit ⊲⊲This new traveling exhibit brings the PBS Kids TV series to the Minnesota Children’s Museum, encouraging the scientific investigation of everyday mysteries with hands-on activities, scientific tools and simple machines. When: Through May 31 Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul Cost: Free with museum admission ($9.95 for ages 1 and older) Info: mcm.org or 651-225-6000

FEB. 7

Snowshoe at Coldwater Spring ⊲⊲Come dressed for the weather and borrow snowshoes for a day of trekking by the Mississippi River. Both experienced and novice snowshoers are welcome. When: 10 a.m.–noon Feb. 7 Where: Coldwater Spring, Fort Snelling Cost: FREE Info: missriverfund.org or 651-291-8164

Charles Darwin’s Birthday Party ⊲⊲Special family-friendly activities

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February 2015 • mnparent.com

throughout the museum will celebrate the birthday of the influential naturalist, born in February 1809. When: 1–4 p.m. Feb. 7 Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: Free with museum admission ($13 for adults, $10 for children ages 4–12) Info: smm.org or 651-221-9444

FEB. 10, 11, 24, 25

Nature Adventurers ⊲⊲Interactive programs tackle a different nature each weekend, including crafts, story times, snacks and outdoor discovery time geared toward ages 3 to 5. When: 10–11:30 a.m. Feb. 10, 11, 24, 25

Where: Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield Cost: $8 per child. Prepayment required. Info: tinyurl.com/woodlakenaturecenter or 612-861-9365

FEB. 12, 20

Children’s Yoga ⊲⊲Encourage children to enjoy the benefits of yoga in a fun atmosphere along with a story time and a snack. When: 11 a.m.–noon Feb. 12 and 9–10 a.m. Feb. 20 Where: Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield Cost: $10 per child. Preregistration required. Info: tinyurl.com/woodlakenaturecenter


FEB. 14

Hot Metal Pour ⊲⊲Minnesota metal artists converge at Franconia during this family-friendly outdoor iron pour, highlighting the intriguing process of metal casting. Warm your hands over the bonfire and witness artists melting iron and pouring it into casts to make sculptures. When: Noon–5 p.m. Feb. 14 Where: Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer Cost: FREE Info: franconia.org or 651-257-6668

Snow and Ice Day

2 01 5

Find Your Camp at Minnesota Parent ’s Camp Fair

⊲⊲National snow sculpting team MN Big Snow hosts this outdoor event (weather permitting) in which children can use tools to shape snow into a range of creations, plus take part in additional indoor engineering activities. When: 1–4 p.m. Feb. 14 Where: The Works Museum, Bloomington Cost: Free with museum admission ($8, free for ages 2 and younger) Info: theworks.org or 952-888-4262

Dr. Zoolittle ⊲⊲Learn from a real vet what it’s like to be a veterinarian and what it takes to keep the zoo’s animals in top health at this program for ages 4–8. When: 1 p.m. Feb. 14 Where: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley Cost: $50 for each adult-child pair, $37 per adult-child pair for members. Pre-registration required. Info: mnzoo.org or 952-431-9200

FEB. 14–16

Tropical Beach Party ⊲⊲Forget the cold and snow by visiting the zoo’s Tropics Trail with a huge indoor sandbox, face painting, animal visitors and other tropical-themed activities. Though the special activities take place the weekend of Feb. 14-15, the

Speak face-to-face with dozens of camp instructors

FREEt Even

Saturday, February 28th, 10am–2pm Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Free Entertainment and Workshops on the 2nd Level

Visit mnparent.com/campfair for more information SPONSORED BY:


Out & About

Goodnight Moon: The Musical ⊲⊲Based on the beloved Margaret Wise Brown children’s book, this play follows a little bunny who isn’t quite ready for bed. When: Through Feb. 16 Where: Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins Cost: $16 Info: stagestheatre.org or 952-979-1111

sandbox will stay open through March 2. When: Feb. 14–16 Where: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley Cost: Free with zoo admission ($18 for adults, $12 for children and seniors, free for ages 2 and younger) Info: mnzoo.org or 952-431-9200

Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: Free with museum admission ($13 for adults, $10 for children ages 4–12) Info: smm.org or 651-221-9444

FEB. 17 FEB. 15

Spark, Slime and Speed ⊲⊲The Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers will join museumgoers to celebrate National Engineers Week, including five interactive experiments. When: Noon–4 p.m. Feb. 15

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Teddy Bear Story Time ⊲⊲Grab your teddy bear friends and head to the James J. Hill House for a celebration of President’s Day and the treasured stuffed animals that got their name from President Theodore Roosevelt. Children in preschool through first grade, accompanied by an adult, can take their teddy on a tour of the historic house.


When: 10:30 a.m. Feb. 17 Where: James J. Hill House, St. Paul Cost: $6. Reservations are recommended. Info: mnhs.org or 651-259-3015

FEB. 18

ATTENTION WOMEN 21-33: Would You Consider Being an Egg Donor?

The Center for Reproductive Medicine is seeking women between 21 and 33 years of age to donate eggs for couples who cannot otherwise achieve pregnancy.

Homeschool Day

You will be compensated for your time and dedication.

⊲⊲Groups of students from at-home licensed day cares and homeschool groups are invited to enjoy the children’s museum free of charge. When: Feb. 18 Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul Cost: FREE. Limit four tickets per group, proof of licensed status or homeschool letter of intent required. Info: mcm.org or 651-225-6000

2828 Chicago Ave #400 Minneapolis

NEoW nline

easy cation li app

ALL ETHNICITIES NEEDED

For more information: 612-863-5390 or fill out an application online

FEB. 20

Kids at the Castle: Hearts and Hugs ⊲⊲Don’t miss this play date for ages 2 to 5, focused on visual play, storytelling, movement and music. Learn about Tomte the elf, who brings cheer to Swedish families, and explore the Turnblad Mansion to meet his friends.

www.ivfminnesota.com Accredited by: Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, American College of OB/GYNs and American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

Center for Reproductive Medicine MNP 0514 S3.indd 1

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When: 11 a.m. Feb. 20 Where: American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis Cost: $5 per family Info: asimn.org or 612-871-4907

Sensory-Friendly Performance: Snowflake ⊲⊲Special accommodations are made at this performance for children with autism and other sensory, social and cognitive disorders. Jarring noises and lights are reduced; a designated quiet room and “Take a Break Space” will be available. When: 7 p.m. Feb. 20 Where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $10 mnparent.com • February 2015

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Out & About

The Biggest Little House in the Forest ⊲⊲This play for ages 2 to 5 follows Bernice the Butterfly and her friends, Millie the Mouse and Fred the Frog, as they unexpectedly show up to share her company — and her home!

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When: Feb. 3–March 15 Where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $10 Info: childrenstheatre.org or 612-874-0400

Info: childrenstheatre.org or 612-874-0400

FEB. 21 JOIN US FOR CLASSES & MEET NEW FRIENDS! Infant Massage Baby Sign Language Prenatal, Kids, & Mom ‘n’ Baby Yoga CPR Certification

Childish Films ⊲⊲This children’s cinema and arts series includes pre-show activities and snacks. In February, enjoy four short films (four to seven minutes each) about birds and fish. When: Doors open at 10 a.m. Feb. 21 Where: Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: supporthclib.org/event/ feathers-and-fins

Dog Tales WWW.1LOVEBABY.COM 13720 LINCOLN ST. NE, ANDOVER, MN

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⊲⊲A therapy dog from the Pals on Paws chapter of Therapy Dogs International joins a story time for young readers.

12/3/14 2:21 PM

When: 10–11 a.m. Feb. 21 Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul Cost: Free with museum admission ($9.95 for ages 1 and older) Info: mcm.org or 651-225-6000

THROUGH FEB. 22

Snowflake ⊲⊲Comedic artist Gale LaJoye plays a tender yet oddball genius — who invents new uses for the abandoned knick-knacks of life — in this physical comedy, recommended for kids in kindergarten through fourth grade. When: Through Feb. 22 Where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $10 Info: childrenstheatre.org or 612-874-0400


FEB. 22

A Fun Way to Spend Your Wednesday Mornings!

Big Healthy Fun Yoga ⊲⊲Family-friendly yoga led by Lil Breathers Yoga founder Sarah Gillian Fischer helps kids and parents alike start their day with movement and stretching. When: 11:30 a.m.–noon Feb. 22 Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul Cost: Free with museum admission ($9.95 for ages 1 and older) Info: mcm.org or 651-225-6000

CRAFTS TO TAKE HOME OPEN PLAY AREA WITH TRAIN TABLES TRAIN-THEMED STORY TIME COFFEE AND TREATS FOR ADULTS

s

g Date

in Upcom

8 ar 4 & 1 18 • M 6 & 20 & 4 b e y F 15 • Ma Apr 1 &

More Info 651-228-0263 or www.trainride.org

Jackson Street Roundhouse 193 Pennsylvania Ave E, St. Paul, MN 55130 MN Transportation Museum MNP 0215 H6.indd 3

1/22/15 8:47 AM

ASI Family Day: To Build Is To Invent ⊲⊲Inspired by the American Swedish Institute’s Nobel Creations exhibit, this day dedicated to family fun offers opportunities to explore crafts and projects, bringing out the inventor in everyone. When: Noon–4 p.m. Feb. 22 Where: American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis Cost: Free with museum admission ($9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for ages 6–18 and students, free for ASI members and ages 5 and younger) Info: asimn.org or 612-871-4907

Owls, Masters of the Night ⊲⊲Meet the nature center’s resident owls in this class geared toward ages 5 and older. Take a hike to look for nesting owls and examine owl feathers and pellets. When: 1–2:30 p.m. Feb. 22 Where: Tamarack Nature Center, Maplewood Cost: $6.50 Info: parks.co.ramsey.mn.us/tamarack or 651-748-2500

Wild About Wolves ⊲⊲Explore the life of the gray wolf in this class for ages 4–9. A portion of the program may include behind-the-scenes visits to areas normally off-limits to mnparent.com • February 2015

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Out & About

they lead demonstrations, hands-on projects and activities throughout the day. Additional exhibitors, including local businesses and educational institutes, will share in the activities.

zoo guests.

When: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Feb. 28 Where: The Works Museum, Bloomington Cost: Tickets are $8 ($6 if purchased in advance). Free for members. Info: theworks.org or 952-888-4262

When: 1 p.m. Feb. 22 Where: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley Cost: $50 for each adult-child pair, $37 per adult-child pair for members. Pre-registration required. Info: mnzoo.org or 952-431-9200

Star Wars Day

MORE ONLINE! ⊲⊲Want to learn about even more local events? Check out Minnesota Parent’s Out&About calendar at mnparent.com/calendar. Click on any day of the month and find things to do! ⊲⊲Have a cool family-friendly event coming up? Send all the details (plus photos) to calendar@mnparent.com at least six weeks in advance.

SPECIAL SIZE: 7.375” WIDE BY 5.6” HIGH

FEB. 28

Tech Fest

⊲⊲Meet characters from the movies and enjoy engineering activities with a Star Wars twist. Movie trivia, animation activities and toy racing are offered for the young Jedi in your family.

⊲⊲In celebration of National Engineers Week, The Works Museum hosts this special day for families to explore the jobs of scientists and engineers, as

Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: Free with museum admission ($13 for adults, $10 for children ages 4–12) Info: smm.org or 651-221-9444

When: Noon–4 p.m. Feb. 28 Where: Science Museum of

CHILDCARE/EDUCATION

Creative Kids Academy

Catalina’s Preschool Spanish Learn SpaniSh with Your ChiLd

Imagine the Possibilities... Early Education * 6 Weeks–12 Years

Create

H

Learn

H

Fun music-based classes for ages 1½-6 & parents

Grow

Your child is a natural... Playing Ages 3-Adult

612-922-2222 www.preschoolspanish.com

Free Music, Spanish, Yoga, Storytelling and Karate!

ckakids.com 844-ckakids email: info@ckakids.com Nationally accredited and Parent Aware 4 star rated

Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion

Free Preview Classes

7/10/14 7:55 AM

612-825-9205

MNPARENT.COM

CHILDREN’S YAMAHA MUSIC SCHOOL Celebrating Over 40 Musical Years in Minnesota!

612-339-2255 • www.cyms.ws • Schools in Edina & Roseville

Children's Yamaha MNP 1214 2cx2.2.indd 1

Free Mom & Ba by Classes

Call 952-935-5588 and schedule a tour! www.misamigosimmersion.com

Locations in Hopkins, Minnetonka, St. Paul, and St. Paul Park

sing. play. learn.

February 2015 • mnparent.com

Visit our studios in Maplewood and Rochester

www.growingwithmusic.com ~ info@growingwithmusic.com

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11/19/14 12:09 PM

Bring Growing With Music to your child care program or playgroup!

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CHILDCARE/EDUCATION

MISCELLANEOUS

New Book Release

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PARTY PAGES

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Lessons * Horse Camp * Birthday Parties Public Guided Trail Rides by Appointment Only

Year Round Riding Lessons Indoor Arena

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Storm damage repair, 24 hour emergency service

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Have a Wild Birthday at Como Zoo!

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for children ages 3 and up!

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Find Your Camp

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mnparent.com • February 2015

65


FROM OUR READERS WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE FOR A FAMILY BREAKFAST IN THE TWIN CITIES? Keys Cafe & Bakery — Kayla Klein, Woodbury

Good Day Cafe, Golden Valley — Stacey Person, Mpls

3 Squares, Maple Grove — Bryn Olsen, Maple Grove

▲▲Hudson, Nathan and Cooper Coblentz — 3½-year-old triplets from Arden Hills — are ready to go sledding!

Fat Nat’s Eggs — Julie Blauer, Plymouth

Emily’s F&M Cafe, Mpls — Brenda DeMatteo, Mpls

Jensen’s Cafe, Burnsville — Kristi Renner, Lakeville

Longfellow Grill, Mpls — Katie Boody, Mpls

Scotty B’s, Mound — Amy Roelofs, Mound

▲▲Julia Wiggin, 3, of Minneapolis loves to play the piano and sing with her sisters! Photo by Joanna Wiggin / capturingwhimsyphotography.blogspot.com

The Lowbrow, Mpls

▲▲Mina Moore, 5, of Minneapolis works on ice sculpting at the Winter Trails Day event at Fort Snelling State Park.

— Maren Christenson, Mpls

Cahill Diner, Inver Grove Heights — Jen Claude, Inver Grove Heights

Valley Diner, Apple Valley — Trina Greene, Farmington

Dehn’s Country Manor, Maple Grove — Katie Van Camp Hager, Maple Grove

Hans’ Bakery, Anoka — Amanda Brett, Lindstrom

▲▲Hayden Franson, 1, of Inver Grove Heights, plays with a puck while his big brother, Brecken, attends hockey practice.

▲▲Mina Pesavento, 9 months, of Minneapolis, waits patiently for summer.

Want to see your kid on this page? Send photos with your child’s first/last name, age and city to editor@mnparent.com.

66

February 2015 • mnparent.com


Turn memories into great photos.

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You can get there. We can help.

Visit www.MN529today.com or call Chris McLeod 952-830-3127

February 2015  
February 2015