nwkidsmagazine.com | february 2012
Kids & Photography Vitamin D School Open House Guide Valentineâ€™s Day Fun
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Publisher / Advertising Director Michelle Snell firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Beth Friesenhahn email@example.com Kelley Schaefer-Levi firstname.lastname@example.org Account Manager Laurel Ackerman email@example.com Client Services Coordinator / Client Ad Design Karel Chan firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Inquiries: 503-282-2711, ext. 1 email@example.com Design Robyn Barbon firstname.lastname@example.org Accounting & Business Services Heather Rex email@example.com
ON THE COVER and above: Photos courtesy of Marie Pham Photography. Marie specializes in fun photo shoots for kids and families that capture the playfulness of childhood, and also photographs expecting Mothers and newborn babes. Visit mariephamphotography.com to see more of her work. Correction: Please see the Portland Experiential School description on page 17 for a complete description of their school. NW Kids is published monthly by Miche Media, LLC. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy; sometimes we make errors. Please let us know when we do and accept our apologies. Printed locally; Please recycle.
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Staff Photographer Emma Easley Darden firstname.lastname@example.org Connect With Us: • Phone: 503.282.2711 • email: email@example.com • Facebook: facebook.com/nwkids • Twitter: @nwkids
INSIDE: 8 Discovering The World Through a Lens
kids & photography
18 You Were Here 20 Found Around Town: Goods for Young Photographers 26 Photographing Kids With Special Needs
schools valentine’s day & outings
12 Open House Guide 22 Crafting Love & More With Chocolate 27 Calendar of Events nwkidsmagazine.com Fudge Brownie Hearts, A Valentine’s Day Recipe by Merry Kitchen
online this month
Around Town Valentine’s Day Mini-Photography Sessions Scoop On Schools: Lottery Basics Q and A Series With Local Child Photographers: Posy Quarterman, Jennie Borello, Karen Milligan, and Emma Easly Darden Green Bean Books: Best Sibling Books The Best Locations For Photographing Your Children – Tips from Professional Photographer Posy Quarterman
listings A Mother’s Love............................................23 Amanda Arp..................................................25 Barre3..............................................................2 Belmont Academy..........................................9 Bennett Suzuki Violin Studio..........................7 Bodhi Tree Center..........................................10 Clever Cycle.....................................................2 Escuela Viva.....................................................7 Faithful Savior Community School...............10 French American International School.........11 German American School.............................10 Growing Seeds................................................9 Hope Chinese Charter School.........................7 International Leadership Academy..............10 Jennie Borello Photography.........................21 Kids’ Backyard Store........................................3 Learningville Preschool.................................10 Little Fruit Farm Montessori............................9 Living School................................................11 Mad Science..................................................29 Meringue Boutique.......................................25 Mother Earth School.....................................11 My Kids to Your Kids.....................................31 My Kidz World...............................................23 My Masterpiece Art Studio...........................31 Nit Nanny......................................................23 Noble Daycare Preschool................................9 Northwest Childrens Theater........................29 Northwest Chinese Academy.......................11 Northwest Family and Kids Festival.............32 Once Upon a Child........................................29 ORCAS...........................................................25 Oregon Children’s Theatre.............................19 Oregon Hope Chinese School.......................11 Park Family Dentistry....................................25 Pfeifer Music Werks.......................................31 Play Boutique................................................23 Portland Children’s Museum Opal School......7 Portland Jewish Academy..............................9 Portland Language Arts ................................7 Portland School of Experiential Education...10 Portland Trampoline.......................................3 Posy Quarterman Photography....................19 Reversed Lens Photography.........................21 Spielwerk Toys...............................................29 Sunset Preschool...........................................11 Sweet PEAS Kidzone.....................................23 Trillium Preschool.........................................10 truFocus Photography..................................21 U of O Early Intervention Study....................31 World of Smiles.............................................31
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Documenting memories, it seems like such a simple task with all of the opportunities for capturing candid moments digitally these days, but actually it takes a lot of effort to record your family’s experiences and keep them, so they can be remembered for years to come. We pored over photo albums when we were children, reliving special events, and we still do when we return home to visit family. We seem to return to this ritual as a way to revisit our childhoods and to remember beloved family members like pets. It’s a gift to be able to look at a still image that captures the essence of a road trip or a birthday celebration. We both love photography and spent many a moment in photo booths when we were young, documenting some of the fun and silly moments we had with friends. We have to admit we’re a little less likely to ham it up for the camera now, but we’re working on it. This month we partnered with some of our favorite local photographers to bring you a few thoughtful pieces on kids and photography. You’ll find an article on how to inspire future photographers, a contribution on getting in the picture, plus a wonderful and useful how-to on photographing children with special needs. Other editorial not to miss; some resourceful information on Vitamin D, it is February after all, our School Open House Guide, and a profile on Crafting with Chocolate, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Throughout the month of February we will continue to celebrate photography online at nwkidsmagazine.com. Be sure to check out our Q and A series with local children’s photographers who will be showing off some of their most beloved photos. Plus, some places on where to take the kiddos for a quick Valentine’s Day mini-session (you know Grandma wants one), and read up on tips for finding the perfect location for family photos. As you gather with family and friends over the next few months, we hope you will remember to hand off the camera to someone else, jump in the photos and just be, you. Here’s to making some new memories and having them to look back on later! — Kelley and Beth
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Discovering The World Through A Lens By Emma Easley Darden I remember having a camera in my hands from the time I was very little. I look back now and am amazed that my mom let me play with our family camera. And let’s not mention that I probably went through rolls of film, which at the time was not a cheap commodity. As I’ve thought back on my early photography while preparing this article, I’ve compiled some ideas on how parents might foster a love for photography in their children. I explored the world on my own terms and documented what I saw. Children are naturally inquisitive. Everything is new to them. And when they have a camera in their hands, they aren’t trying to find the best angle or the most composed shot. They shoot with instinct. If you let them trust their inner artist, you may be amazed at the compelling images they will take.
park and take people photos. Take your little scientist into the woods. Whatever they love, they’ll document. I had to wait for film to be developed before I could show off my talents. But there are so many ways now to process and share photos instantly. Create an album online so that they can send their photos to family. Or create an Instagram or Hipstamatic account with your phone. These apps are simple to use; take a picture, apply a filter, and send them to a feed. But it quickly gives them a direct reward system and a way to receive praise from others.
As free as my exposure was, I was limited at the time by the finite qualities of film. But in this digital age, you don’t have to hand your child a camera for them to capture the world. Just giving them your iPhone on camera mode can open a whole realm of imagination. They can take a hundred shots before the memory will ever run out.
I played around with settings and learned the fundamentals of photography through trial and error. If your child is interested, they will too, in their own time. Somewhere around the third or fourth grade, they’ll start wanting to know more about how it all works. If you have the knowledge you can begin showing them how to take that early exploration and apply it. Or utilize community classes and online tutorials. Let them direct it so that the process stays fun. And who knows? Maybe you, too, will end up with a photographer in your own family.
Let’s face it, childhood was different then. I wasn’t bombarded by a million things diverting my attention. Spark their imagination by creating opportunities to find inspiration. That might be as simple as creating a scavenger hunt of images to capture around your home or neighborhood. Hone in on their interests. Encourage them to photograph their sports game, or sit in a city
Emma Easley Darden is the staff photographer for our very own NW Kids Magazine and the creative director of Reversed Lens Photography Studios. She lives in Portland with her family and when she’s not seeking out cool places to photograph, she’s found most often in the aisles of a cooking store or chasing her two little girls. Visit her website for more information, rlportraits.com
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School Open House Guide Belmont academy
Bodhi Tree Center
3841 SE Belmont, Portland, OR 97214
5403 SE Center Street, Portland, OR 97206
1111 SE Pine Street, Portland, OR 97214
We are a nonprofit childcare center and school serving children three months through school-age including kindergarten/first grade.
Mandarin Chinese immersion program for toddlers, preschoolers, Pre-K. Chinese and Japanese classes for children 6+ years.
Dual Language Program including an infant toddler preschool, and pre-K/K classes designed to encourage children to find success and happiness.
Feb 16, 4-6pm
See website for details.
See website for details.
grade range/ age range
2, 3 - 6, 6+
6 months Kindergarten
Depends on class
student teacher 12:1 ratio
Depends on class/ program
Depends on ages
Before/After School Care
Depends on class
$650 - $1,150 monthly
Literacy theme-based approach that follows all Oregon standards
Montessori influenced + Right-brain methods
Dance & Gymnastics.
Math, Chinese Language Arts, Chinese Fine Arts, Learning through Activity, Song, Dance.
Spanish, Arts, Music and Movement.
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Faithful savior community school
French American German International American School School of Portland
Growing Seeds in Irvington and north
11100 NE Skidmore Street, Portland, OR 97220
8500 NW Johnson Street, Portland, OR 97229-6780
3900 SW Murray, Beaverton, OR 97005
2808 NE MLK Boulevard, 6505 NE MLK Boulevard, Portland, OR
503-284-4860 / 283-9669
Investing through educating where each child can develop their fullest potential academically, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and spiritually.
FAIS cultivates intellect and character through rigorous multilingual academic programs in an environment promoting appreciation of diverse cultures and experiences.
The German American School of Portland offers a dual language program where both the German and English languages and cultures are taught and appreciated.
A learning community and intentional environment where each child is respected as an active member with responsibilities commensurate to their experience.
April 26, 6:30pm
Lower School: April 5, 9-11am; Middle School: Feb 2, 6:30-8:30pm
March 8, 9am
Ongoing - Irvington: Tuesdays 3pm. North: Wednesdays 10am. Please RSVP.
Preschool (3 years) to 8th Grade
2.5 years - 8th Grade
Pre - 5th Grade
6 weeks - 6 years
Irvington: 60; North: 160
Varies by age
$1,300 - $3,500 yearly
$11,000 - $15,000 yearly
$8,835 - $14,250 yearly
$585 - $1,325 monthly
Reggio Emilia, RIE, Social Constructivism
State-of-the-art facilities, Art, Science and Music classrooms, Solar Panel Installation, Solar Lab, and a Soccer Field.
See website for details.
Music, Chapel, Spanish Music, Art, Aerial Movein upper grades, Latin ment, Fencing, Soccer, in 8th grade. Basketball, Volleyball, Cross Country, Track, Lacrosse, various afterschool classes.
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School Open House Guide Hope Chinese Charter School
INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
Learningville Christian Bilingual Preschool
PO Box 91602, Portland, OR 97291
1040 C Avenue, PO Box 996, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
8125 SW Campion Court, Beaverton, OR 97008
Public Chinese immersion charter school provides comprehensive bilingual / biliterate education with emphasis in Mandarin, English and Mathematics.
Scholarly, innovative, multilingual/multicultural program to help each student maximize his or her lifelong potential and meet challenges with confidence.
Home environment Christian Preschool teaching your child Spanish as a second language through a unique curriculum with Bible based values.
See website for details.
Feb 4, 3-5pm Chandeleur, See website for details. Mar 3, 1-6pm wine event & open house, May 5, Tour de France French market
grade range/ age range
K - 2nd Grade
2 1/2 years old Middle school
3-5 years old
student teacher 20:1 ratio
Before/After School Care
K: $4,950 yearly
$6,098 - $9,900 yearly
$360 - $700 monthly
Mandarin Chinese immersion, Singapore Math, PBIS, OCF
French curriculum active method. Learner center method
Constructivist. Learning through play
Mandarin Chinese Immersion Instruction.
Music, Art, French, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Body in Motion program, Cooking, Yoga, Piano, Tech. and more.
Spanish Immersion Biblical principles
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Little Fruit Farm Montessori
mother earth school
noble daycare preschool
16445 SW Melinda Street, Beaverton, OR 97007
11640 SW Boones Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97219
428 N Alberta Portland, OR 97217
8 565 SW BeavertonHillsdale Highway, Beaverton, OR 97225
Certified, licensed homebased A.M.I. Montessori preschool in SW Beaverton. Beautiful indoor/outdoor classroom and welcoming, dedicated teachers.
An all-outdoor forest and farm school at TLC Farm (SW Portland) enrolling for school year and summer camp programs.
Our motto is to care for your child as you would in a diverse, loving and caring environment.
Educating Today for Tomorrowâ€™s World. Full time, co-educational Mandarin Chinese immersion school serving preschool (age 3) - 6th grade.
See website for details.
Feb 5, 11am Feb 19, 1pm March 3, 11am
Feb 4, 10am-12 pm; Feb 5, 1-3 pm; Feb 7, 4:30 - 7 pm; Mar 3, 10am-12pm; Mar 4, 1-3pm
2.5 - 6
3-6 school year, 4-12 summer camp
6 months through 6 years
Preschool (age 3) Middle School
15 (K), 8 (pre-K)
8:1 (K), 4:1 (pre-K)
$500 - $800 monthly
$475 - $900 monthly
$6,500 - $12,750 yearly
Waldorf & Permaculture
Various learning styles addressed through play/curriculum.
Curriculum and activities include Listening, Singing, Numbers, Letters, Art, Sign & Play.
Chinese Language Fluency and Cultural Understanding, Math, Science, Music, Art, English Literacy & more.
Music, Soccer, Arts and Crafts, Variety of Field Trips and After School Tutoring.
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School Open House Guide Oregon Hope Chinese School and immersion preschool
portland jewish academy
portland language arts
14986 NW Cornell Road, Portland, OR 97229
6651 SW Capitol Highway, Portland, OR 97219
10180 NW Brady Lane, Portland, OR 97229
OHCS Mandarin Kids Chinese Immersion Preschool is an Oregon state certified early childhood Chinese Mandarin immersion program for children ages 3-5.
An established academic Mandarin immersion powerhouse in a respect- prescchool, after ful & creative community. school and child care. Graduates learn a sense of responsibility based on a value system rooted in Jewish faith & history.
Feb 8, 10:30-11:30am
Feb 25, 11am-2pm
grade range/ age range
Ages 3 - 5
Kindergarten through 8th grade
Infant/Toddler, Preschool, After school
student teacher 7:1 ratio
Varies per grade
Before/After School Care
$289 - $879 monthly
$6,000 - $15,000 yearly
Chinese Mandarin immersion
Montessori influenced, Reggio inspired
High quality Chinese Language and Culture Immersion through Music, Art, Games, Pretend Play, Storytelling and more.
Music, Art, Hebrew, Sports, Dance.
See website for details.
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the Living School
The Portland School of Experiential Education
Trillium Charter School
1111 SE Pine Street, Portland, OR 97214
2728 NE 34th Avenue, Portland, OR 97212
6100 SW Raab Road, Portland, OR 97221
5420 N. Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR 97217
A lively, nurturing, independent, community K-6 school where learners cultivate confidence, empathy, creativity, resourcefulness, and a strong work ethic.
Experience + Relationship Based, Student-Teacher Partnership Model, Individualized, Process Oriented, Multi-Age Classrooms.
Learn Through Play Cooperative Preschool.
Placing the natural development of children and relationships that they share with their environment at the center of our philosophy.
Feb 2, 6pm March 1, 6pm
Tours Upon Request + Open House in March Date TBD
See website for details.
Feb 23, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
2.5 - 6 years old
3 - 5 years old
Ages 3 and 4
20 4's ; 18 3's
24 Sprouts/16 Blossoms
Depends on Ages Average ratio is 5:1
1:8 - 10 (plus parent)
$400 - $1200 monthly
$175 - $200 monthly
$220 - $640 monthly
A mixture of Reggio Emilia, Constructivist, Education for Life
Experiential Education (Reggio, Montessori, Outdoor Ed, Project Based.)
Developmentally appropriate - Learn Through Play
Dual language English/ Spanish program, an hour of P.E. each day, Outdoor Play, Art, and Community Outreach.
Spanish, Art, Music, Outdoor Education, Gardening, YOGA, Practicum Site PSU Child + Family Studies Dept.
Music, Art, Movement, Off-site activities, Inhouse guest visitors.
See website for details.
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You Were Here
By Posy Quarterman
Children are ridiculously well documented these days. With our phones providing the convenient feature of video and camera capabilities, many people fail to use a “real” camera anymore, and yet are able to capture nearly all of their child’s major (and minor) moments. Add to that the affordability of good digital cameras, and we have created the most documented generation in history (no actual statistics to back this up here folks, but really, do I need them?). And yet, if you were to sit down and count the thousands of photos you have taken of your children, I’m guessing you would only be in a handful of them. You, the family documentarian, are likely the same person who ensures everyone is well fed while shoving PB&J crusts into your mouth and calling it “lunch.” I have something to say to you, YOU WERE HERE. Please let the record reflect it. Whether it happens by handing the camera off to your partner or friend, setting a selftimer, or hiring a professional, it’s so important that you document your whole family’s experience. For obvious reasons, I think you should make it a priority to hire a professional annually, but I do not think that should be the only time you are photographed with your children. Think of your family photos as historical documentation, and remember that your children will hold these photos in their hands when they can no longer hold yours. 18 | NW Kids Magazine
For those of you who find it painful to be in front of the camera, I suggest pretending it isn’t there. Hand the camera to your spouse and then go read your child a story. When you are at the park with a friend and her kids, ask her to capture you pushing your daughter on the swing, or better, rolling in the grass. Get up close and do that special thing you do. For one client it was whispering the word “applesauce” in his son’s ear; the kid fell to pieces and I got the best shots of our session. If you do hire a professional, look for someone who takes the kind of photos you want. Ask them if they are going to direct you, and ask them if they are going to tell your child to “say cheese” (if they are, they may not be the right photographer for a reluctant mom, or child). But most importantly, when the camera is on you just try to relax, avoid striking a pose, and just be with your child. Chances are you’ll get a naturally gorgeous and totally flawed image, which accurately represents your life.
Posy Quarterman is a family photographer and child photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Posy specializes in on-location and natural light lifestyle photography, but is not exclusively natural light and provides in home and studio photography as well. You can check out more of Posy’s gorgeous work here, photoposy.com
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Found Around Town 7
by cleeo & bea
4 6 5 1. Michele Maule Vintage Camera Art Print on Etsy, $18 • 2. Dwell Studio Owl Photo Frame at Fawn & Forest, $40 • 3. Fisher Price Changeable Picture Disk Camera at Spielwerk Toys, $19 4. Camera-Applique Onesie by RagTime at Polliwog, $22 • 5. Creature Floor Puzzle at Grasshopper, $25 • 6. Kikkerland Camera Case at Powell’s Books, $14 • 7. Vintage Black & White Photobooth Pictures at Ace Hotel, $3 • 8. Wedding Photographer by Play Mobil at Finnegan’s, $9. cleeo & bea is a Portland mama-owned blog featuring hip kid product reviews. Our goal is to provide useful information and honest reviews of kids’ products that our families and friends have used. We find high-quality, eco- and kid-safe, cool products—things you might not see everyday—and enjoy passing them on to you. cleeoandbea.com 20 | NW Kids Magazine
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Crafting Love and More With Chocolate Does your kiddo love to decorate cakes, sculpting with clay or have an affinity for crafting refined desserts with chocolate? Do you have a little Duff Goldman on your hands? Maybe they would like to learn new techniques in crafting chocolate for an upcoming Valentine’s Day project, but aren’t sure where to start. Chocolate Craft Studio, located in a sweet Victorian house on North Williams, is a craft studio of its own kind. They offer classes, (for ages eight and up based on the complexity of the project), and birthday parties for kids six and up, where partygoers can craft the unimaginable out of chocolate; gift boxes, animals, trees, flowers or fairies, it’s all possible. Longtime chef, chocolate lover and owner Peggy Alter enjoys working with the medium as an ingredient for crafting special projects. “I have been using chocolate with both children and adults to make holiday craft projects and kids activities for many years. Children’s birthday parties and holidays have always been opportunities for me to dream up new ideas for party activities and holiday crafts.” Alter’s passion is clearly seen in her studio where she displays chocolate projects she has made. It’s pretty remarkable. Chocolate Modeling Kits Since 1992, Alter has been selling kits to professional artisans and chocolate crafters alike. Her chocolate modeling kits are made from natural ingredients and natural colors, something you don’t see very often in the chocolate craft kit world. She sells her kits to professional cake baking experts like Charm City Cakes (of Food Network fame) in Baltimore and has recently begun working with Williams Sonoma to sell her kits in their stores. Check Out This time of year creates the perfect excuse to get your family in for a class at the studio. Alter 22 | NW Kids Magazine
is offering two classes for Valentine’s Day and two for Easter. Or how about a night out with your friends? Alter has hosted quite a few classes for groups of adults who love to work with modeling chocolate. It’s a fun way to spend time together and try something new. Sign up in advance as space is limited. Feb 4th Valentine’s Day Chocolate Box For ages 8 to adult, 3 hours Feb 11th Marshmallow Hearts For ages 8 to adult, 3 hours March 31st & April 7th Easter Centerpiece Make a chocolate marshmallow egg and then create a small centerpiece with your egg using modeling chocolate and candies. 2 hours each day. Class especially geared to 8 - 14 year olds. March 17th, 24th & 31st Natural Cake Decorating Modeling chocolate (flowers and figures include roses, calla lilies, bunnies and bugs) natural colors, piping, 2 hours each day. Ages 12 and up. Check website for hours, pricing, and registration information, chocolatecraftkits.com
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Maintaining Vitamin D Levels During The Winter Months By Brenna Burke
Did you know that vitamin D deficiency is indicated in nearly every chronic illness including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Fibromyalgia, childhood obesity, influenza, Autism, and more? It is also a crucial element that helps the body to absorb another important nutrient: calcium. Here in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the winter, we are woefully lacking the sunlight needed to maintain healthy levels of this essential vitamin. Food sources are not enough to ensure healthy levels of vitamin D, so supplements are necessary. However, new research, including one study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, indicates that the current recommendations of vitamin D supplementation are not adequate for the best health. So the biggest question becomes, what is the right dose? Every person will have different needs based on their age, weight, health, and amount of sun exposure. Adults and children are increasingly becoming deficient, particularly in the winter months. The best way to know what your family’s needs are is to have your levels tested by your health care provider using the 25-hydroxy-vitamin D test. Any results under 30 are deficient and results under 50 are considered sub-optimal, which would require
supplementation. The optimal level to prevent chronic illness and maintain good health is 50-80 ng/mL. Our bodies require around 3,000-5,000 IU of vitamin D each day to function properly. Many experts suggest that to restore that back, we need to use our weight to help find the correct supplemental dose: 1,000 IU for every 25lbs, including children, with a maximum dose of 10,000 IU daily for adults. Others suggest a range, depending on the aforementioned factors, between 2,000 IU and 6,000 IU for adults and children over the age of 1. When taking supplemental vitamin D, remember to take it in the morning to effectively mimic the vitamin D one would get during daylight hours. There are also different supplements to consider, however the oil-based vitamin D3 has proven to be most effective. Expose some skin to the sun whenever possible, consult your health care provider about your vitamin D levels, and consider supplementation for optimal health the whole year round. I am not a physician and all information in this article was heavily researched, but does not take the place of a visit to your own health care provider.
Brenna Burke is a mama of three trying to live a green life, pursue greater health and wellbeing for her family and the planet, and teach her children well - all while always seeking the best tips, insight, and fun for those wanting to go a little greener. Brenna blogs at almostallthetruth.com 24 | NW Kids Magazine
ADVERTISE YOUR SUMMER CAMP IN NW KIDS MAGAZINE firstname.lastname@example.org 503.282.2711x4 NW Kids Magazine | 25
Photographing Kids with Special Needs By Jen Downer I love photographing children. Kids are inherently beautiful and comfortable in their own skin, plus they change so fast that capturing a beautiful image feels like a precious treasure. But let’s face it, sometimes photographing kids can feel like a greased pig contest. Add any sort of physical limitations, sensory issues, communication or behavioral challenges to the mix and you may be looking at a pretty slippery situation. Believe me, I know. Not only am I a professional portrait photographer, but my number one job is Mom to two amazing kids, one of whom has Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADD with severe communication issues. He is physically unable to hold his body still for more than a nanosecond. The other kid loathes being photographed and has found her own ways of wriggling and resisting my ever present camera. Getting great photos of kids, any kids, takes some practice and a bit of know-how, and 26 | NW Kids Magazine
there are some special considerations for taking pictures of a kiddo with special needs. First and foremost, you really must put your idea about what you think a “perfect” portrait is on the shelf. While there are some exceptions, a kid who will happily sit still, look at the camera, and smile a non-cheesy smile is very rare. Depending on the age and “flavor” of a child’s needs, a natural smile and eye contact may be few and far between, or may not happen at all. Be watchful and patient. It’s wonderful to capture those gems, those authentic moments, in a flurry of quick camera clicks, but if you don’t get them it’s ok. Their portrait can be so beautiful without them. Usually, the best route for getting natural feeling photos is to photograph your kids in their own environment. Find a spot in your home with lovely light and prepare an activity your child loves. You know your child so well. Think about their strengths, their loves, what LIGHTS THEM UP. Be it an object, a game, a food, a song, a favorite topic, bring whatever
that is into your photo session and engage with them, camera in hand. Follow your child’s lead and don’t force it. This may take some practice, as having the camera involved in your interaction will take some getting used to. Keep at it. The more you expose your kiddo to being around the camera, the less disruptive it will be and more comfortable it will feel. In my opinion, those are key things you can do to get some really successful photographs of your child, special needs or not. Here are a few other tips: Avoid using your flash. Not only is it a sensory displeasure for most human beings, the light from a flash is really harsh and makes for hard shadows and washed out color. Allow your child to wear what they love and feel comfortable in, especially if they have any sensory issues. Learn how to use the settings on your camera. If you are able to turn your camera dial away from fully automatic, the more control you will have over your picture making. And my favorite tip of all, relax. The more comfortable and relaxed you are about this, the happier your kiddo will be. Have fun with it! Lastly, think about calling a professional photographer like myself. Not only do most of us love and have experience with photographing kids of all types, it’s also a huge gift to yourself and your children for YOU to be in some photos too. Jen Downer is the the owner & photographer at She Saw Things photography. She is also the mother of two lively children, including one who is on the Autism Spectrum. She loves to bring her understanding of children with different abilities to her work, celebrating EVERY person’s uniqueness. shesawthings.com
Performances Feb 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19 Oregon Children’s Theatre The Magic School Bus Live
After 25 years of scientific adventures, the Magic School Bus makes its first-ever landing in Portland! $20-40, Sat 2pm & 5pm, Sun 2pm. (No 5pm performance on Feb 11 or 18) octc.org
Feb 3-5, 10-12, 17-19 Northwest Children’s Theater Rapunzel--Uncut!
With a live youth band, this indie rock musical full of humor and adventure brings a twist to the traditional tangled tale. $18-$22, Fri 7pm, Sat 2pm & 6pm, Sun 2pm. nwcts.org
Feb 10 & 11
Portland Opera To Go! Hansel and Gretel A family-friendly opera perfomance of the classic fairy tale, sure to delight even first-time opera-goers. $5-$20, Fri 7pm, Sat 1 & 4pm. portlandopera.org
Harlem Globetrotters Watch an all-new rookie class play some exciting ball! $15-$155, 2pm & 7pm. rosequarter.com
Feb 25 & 26
Oregon Children’s Theatre Locomotion Based on the award-winning book by Jacqueline Woodson, this production tells the story of a poetry-writing foster child and
Please confirm calendar events and performances as scheduling changes may occur. NW Kids Magazine | 27
calendar how he learns to write about his family. Recommended for ages 10 and up. $15-28, Sat 2pm & 5pm, Sun 2pm. octc.org
Get your little spellers up to the stage for a chance to win a prize (though every speller gets a treat). Free to play! Ages 5-18, signups at 12:45pm, spelling starts at 1pm. mississippipizza.com
Tues and Weds in Feb Oaks Park Preschool Play and Skate
Skating lessons, games, and snack time for kids under 6 years old. $5.50 per child, adults free with paid child admission, includes skate rental. 10-11:30am. oakspark.com
Lan Su Chinese Garden Chinese New Year Celebrate Chinese New Year downtown! Lion and dragon dances each weekend day, martial arts demonstrations, dance and music performances, lantern displays, and much more. $7-$9.50 (kids 5 & under free), 10am-6pm. lansugarden.org
Feb 2 & 16
Green Bean Books Magic Books Bookmaking Join artist Sarah Fagan as she teaches kids how to make their very own books. Feb 2 is Magic Paintbrush Books, and Feb 16 is Book with a Hole in It. Ages 6-11, $10/child ($1 off second child), 3:30-4:30pm. greenbeanbookspdx.com
My Masterpiece Art Studio 5th Birthday First Friday Come celebrate the studio’s 5th birthday! Win prizes, enjoy sparkling beverages and treats, and play around and create in the open studio. $8-18, 10am-8pm. mymasterpieceartstudio.com 28 | NW Kids Magazine
Mississippi Pizza Youth Spelling Bee
Portland Children’s Museum Official Opening of The Wonder of Learning The Wonder of Learning is a traveling exhibition recounting experience from the city-run infant-toddler centers, preschools and primary schools of Reggio Emilia. Free with museum admission ($8-$9), 9am-5pm. portlandcm.org
OMSI - $2 Days Explore the museum for just $2 a person! 9:30am-5:30pm. omsi.edu
Belmont Library Knitting for Beginners Need help teaching your kiddo to knit? Or want to learn it together? Drop in for lessons in the basics or new techniques. Ages 8 and up, 4-5pm. multcolib.org
Peninsula Park Community Center Valentine’s Dance for Families Celebrate the holiday of love with those you love the most – your family! Cake, punch, activities and, of course music. Free, 6-8pm. portlandonline.com/parks
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Join a Museum educator on a guided exploration of the galleries, learning simple tips and techniques for making art approachable and enjoyable for all ages. Bring your children, grandchildren, or young friends! Registration required. $5-$12, ages 4-6 10-10:45am, ages 7-11 11-11:45am. portlandartmuseum.org
This class includes ideas for specific foods and preparation techniques and well as recipes and strategies for feeding children with Autism, ADHD, and Aspergers. $10-20 suggested donation, 2-3:30pm. dailynectar.net
Portland Art Museum Learning to Look Together
Bliss Bake Shop Valentine’s Baking Class Learn to make delicious heart shaped chocolate sugar cookies. Each child will bring their cookies home in their personally decorated pastry box. So sweet! $25/child, 1-3pm. kidscentralkitchen.com
Oregon Zoo - $4 Second Tuesday
Nourishing Children on the Autism Spectrum
Tryon Creek Kids in Nature Sundays Join the Friends of Tryon Creek for an exploration of the meadow and the different plants and animals thriving in the full sun. For children ages 4 – 7 accompanied by an adult. $10/child, 10-11:30am. tryonfriends.org
Creative Outlet Art Studio Free Open Studio
Enjoy all the wonders the zoo has to offer the second Tuesday of every month! Kids 0-2 free as always. 9am-4pm. oregonzoo.org
Unleash the inner artist in your little one! Creative Outlet, the art studio at TaborSpace, hosts monthly free open studios for the community. 10am-1pm. vibeofportland.com
Music, arts & crafts, cupcake decorating, and more! Take a photo in the Family Photo Booth. $7, ($3 for optional activities), 11:30am-12:30pm. playboutique.com
A great way to introduce your kids to yoga in a safe and family-minded setting. $10/family (up to 4), 10:30-11:30am. stumptownyoga.com
Play Boutique Valentine’s Family Play Date
St. Johns Community Center Family Night at the Movies Featuring “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” snacks, and crafts! $3/family, 6:30pm. portlandonline.com/parks
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Stumptown Yoga Kids & Parents Yoga
Mt. Scott Family Fun Night Sock Hop Let’s rock n’ roll 50’s style! Join Mt. Scott Community Center for an evening of fun, family and dance. Live music, root beer floats and great family fun! $3/person, $10/family, 6-8pm. portlandonline.com/parks
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