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A FA M I LY MAGA ZINE FOR PA R E N T S

San Joaquin

and parent maga zine FALL 2010 SEPTember - NOVember

JAck-o-Lantern Tips San jOaquin NATURE WALKS

Big Wow!

MOM ON A MISSION andrea Gutierrez: Micke Grove Zoo

SANJOAQUINKIDS.com $3.95

Discover the World of Wonders Science Museum

lathrop

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lodi

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manteca

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ripon

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stockton

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tracy

209.833.9989 I www.sanjoaquinKIDS.com

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A special new place for your special new person.

Looking forward to your own special delivery? The birth of a new baby is an experience to cherish. And the perfect place to create these special memories is the Women and Infants Center in St. Joseph’s beautiful new Patient Pavilion. New moms will enjoy the comfort of their own spacious, private rooms, and feel pampered with small perks—like garden views, a hostess who takes bedside meal orders, and freshly baked cookies delivered in the afternoon. At St. Joseph’s, we are dedicated to your comfort, supplying advanced pain management, including epidurals. You’ll feel reassured knowing there are new C-section surgical suites and a state-of-the-art neonatal ICU. The birth of your baby is a story you’ll share time and time again. Choose the perfect setting — St. Joseph’s Medical Center—where we’ve created a special new place for your special new person.

1800 N. California Street, Stockton, CA 95204 209.943.2000 | StJosephsCares.org


Holidays

on the Farm

COMING THIS WINTER Santa • Snow Tubing Reindeer • Christmas Trees Holiday Lights and more HolidaysOnTheFarm.com

FREE HAYRIDES • FREE RACE TRACK • FREE PARKING • FREE PLAY AREA U Pick Pumpkins • Haunted House • Pumpkin Blaster • Pony Rides Gem Mining and Western Town • All Day Kiddie Rides! • Train Rides Scarecrow Contest • Great Food and Halloween Decor

NEW AERIAL ROPES COURSE

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san joaquin kids and parent

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Kids Tidbits Tips for Jack-O-Lantern Carving; San Joaquin Moms Groups

10 Teacher in the Spotlight Andrea Gutierrez, Zoofari Education at the Micke Grove Zoo 12

Haute Items: Back to School

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Fall Kids Activity Guide

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Big Wow: World of Wonders Science Museum Lodi’s World of Wonders (WOW) science museum encourages kids to stretch, expand, and engage their imaginations—oh, and parents, too. by Jenn Thornton

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Columns

Your Kids: Five Local Birthday Spots Your Family: Back to School Escapes: San Joaquin Nature Walks 34

Mom on a Mission: Vicki Snell, The Mud Mill, Lodi

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san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

Clockwise from top left: Dan Hood; Courtesy American Innovative; Dell’osso Family Farm; Dan Hood

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What’s Inside


With good health. . kids just do better! With good health... kids just do better!

Look no further for affordable low-cost health coverage for kids.

Health Plan of San Joaquin offers truly affordable health, dental, and vision coverage. You’ll also have your choice of hundreds of doctors, access to most hospitals, and prescription coverage for your kids.

Plus, you’ll have access to programs and useful tips including:

• A Free 24-hour Advice Nurse Line • Nutritional Tips for Kids • Childhood Safety Tips • Information on Diabetes and Asthma • What shots your kids need as they grow  

Call today to find out more about our plans and see if we have the right plan for you. Eligibility guidelines apply  

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1-888-936-PLAN hpsj.com Affordable health, dental, and vision coverage for kids!

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san joaquin kids and parent

Publisher | EDITOR Tony Zoccoli

St. Mary’S HigH ScHool A C o l l e g e P r e PA r At o ry H i g H S C H o o l

managing editor Jamie Menaker ASSISTANT EDITOR Katy Berry

Open House

Creative director Violet Whitworth

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sales and Marketing Director

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Heather Hilton

For information: (209) 957-3340 Ext. 253/180

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Michelle Cox, Kelly Moore, Vikki Sandor-Girolami, Valerie Zoccoli

5648 N. El Dorado St., Stockton 95207 www.saintmaryshighschool.org

Since 1876

EDItorial inquiries jamie@sanjoaquinkids.com ContributING WRITERS Tammy Hansen, Nissa Hallquist, Jennifer Thornton

Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry

Photography Dan Hood, Matthew James Photography Office assistant/ad coordinator Windy Congrove WEB DESIGNER Belinda Chron

contact us

San Joaquin Kids Magazine is published quarterly by San Joaquin Magazine 95 W. 11th Street, Suite 206 Tracy, CA 95376 Phone: (209) 833-9989 Email: tony@sanjoaquinkids.com www.sanjoaquinkids.com

Rafat S. Razi, D.M.D, M.P.H. “making kids smile”

“Our office provides a

warm, caring, environment specialized for treating the dental needs of

infants, children, and

adolescents”

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DMD: Harvard School of Dental Medicine MPH: Harvard School of Public Health Specialty Training in Pediatric Dentistry: Univ. of Rochester Eastman Dental Center Member of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

www.TracyPediatricDentist.com 2160 W. Grant Line Rd • Ste. 130 Tracy, CA 95377 • (209) 834-1307

san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

ADVERTISING OFFICE: 209.833.9989 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from this publisher. Photographs, graphics, and artwork are the property of Inside Magazines Publishing Company. © 2010 Inside Magazines

PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. by American Web

Printed on 10% recycled paper. All inks used contain a percentage of soy base. Our printer meets or exceeds all Federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Standards. Our printer is a certified member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)


209.833.9989 209.833.9989 II www.sanjoaquinKIDS.com www.sanjoaquinKIDS.com

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san joaquin kids and parent

By Katy “Boo” Berry It’s pumpkin season in San Joaquin, and there’s plenty of great ones just waiting to be carved! Here are a few tips to make yours look extra fabulous. • ▪Start thinking about your pumpkin’s face ahead of time. Do you want it to be long or fat? Goofy or scary? This will help you pick the perfect pumpkin. Make sure it’s firm with a strong stem. • ▪Use a washable marker to draw the face, so when you’re done carving you can wipe it off. • ▪Make sure to cut the top on an angle to keep it from falling through the hole. • ▪Don’t put the innards in the garbage disposal. • ▪Save the seeds to be roasted into a yummy snack. • ▪Remove cut pieces by pushing them out from the inside. • ▪Try scraping away the skin instead of cutting holes. Each layer you remove will glow brighter, adding depth to your pumpkin art. • ▪Put a little vegetable oil wherever you carved to keep it looking fresh for Halloween.

San Joaquin Moms Groups

M

oms all seem to face the same struggles. Whether battling temper tantrums, curing diaper rashes, or convincing your kids to eat broccoli, these San Joaquin mom resources are a fantastic way to connect with fellow parents. —Katy Berry

Central Valley Moms A free social network, this site consists of several “in-house” feature bloggers who write regularly on a range of topics. Other moms can join the network to post their own stories and photos, respond to other bloggers, and browse an extensive calendar of local events. www.centralvalleymoms.com

Cal Delta Mommies This non-profit organization offers private online discussion groups for local moms to discuss, laugh, and vent about motherhood. It also organizes meet-ups and play dates every month, as well as fundraisers to help support community organizations. www.caldeltamommies.com

San Joaquin Mothers of Twins Club This club offers specialized support for mothers of multiples. Members pay $27 a year and also become part of the National and Northern California chapters of the Mothers of Twins Club. The group participates in play dates, moms-night-out events, and numerous charities to help kids and families in need. www.momswithtwins.com

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san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010


You Expect Great Things...

We Deliver. As voted by Manteca residents annually

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san joaquin kids and parent

Teacher in the Spotlight

Andrea Gutierrez

Zoofari Summer Camp Teacher Micke Grove Zoo Educational Assistant San Joaquin Parks & Recreation Dan hood

by Nissa Hallquist

T

This year marks the second summer that Andrea Gutierrez has spent her time teaching children about animals, ecology, and conservation at Micke Grove Zoo’s Zoofari Summer Camp—and as far as she’s concerned, there will be many more years to come.

   Gutierrez has always had a passion for teaching and working with children, and after getting her BA in Visual Arts from UOP, she went right to work for San Joaquin Parks and Recreation. She started off as a recreation leader for after-school programs, eventually moving up to Educational Assistant, working to come up with all sorts of educational opportunities for area children.    Her appreciation for nature is just about on the same par as that of educating children, so when the opportunity arose for her to combine her loves as a Micke Grove Zoofari Summer Camp teacher, she leapt at it.    “It’s important to make that connection for children,” she says. “By making conservation real—by personalizing it—it plants a seed of passion and can change their entire view of the world. And the camp makes it fun, so kids want to learn.”    The Zoofari Camp program consists of differently themed classes to

accommodate groups of children between the ages of 4 and 12. Each of these themed sections runs for seven weeks during the summer, three hours a day. In addition to helping plan the curriculum for each group, Gutierrez also leads one of the groups each morning herself, guiding children through games, arts and crafts, and other activities related to the specific theme. (This year, she’s in charge of “Reptiles Rule!”) Each day, after the group has been dismissed, Gutierrez takes some time to wrap things up before heading over to her regular year-round position with the county.    If Gutierrez has her way, the Zoofari Camp program will soon extend beyond the limits of the summer. The program has proven so popular that Gutierrez not only plans to return next year, but is currently working on extending the program into both the spring and fall. This will allow even more children to participate and, most importantly, to have fun while learning about the world around them. Even when Zoofari Camp is not in session, many educational opportunities abound year-round at Micke Grove Zoo. Call (209) 953-8840 or visit www.mgzoo.com.

Would you like to nominate an outstanding teacher for an upcoming edition of San Joaquin Kids? Log onto our website: www.SANJOAQUINKIDS.com.

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san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010


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Newborn Babies Special Offer Includes: Pre-Session Consultation, Portrait Session, and an 8-Pose Baby Brag Book. Offer Ends Dec. 15, 2010. Special Package Offer $149 plus tax ($299 value). Gift Certificates Available. 2014 Pacific Ave. Stockton

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[ Melissa and Doug Jumbo ABC Puzzle ] At Along the Way, 145 Lincoln Center, Stockton, www.alongthewaystore.com

[ Meri Meri Apple Stationary ] At PDC the Boutique, 115 S. School St., Lodi, www.pdctheboutique.com

Haute Items: Back to School Compiled by KATY BERRY

[ Western Chief Kids Rain Boots ] At REI, 5757 Pacific Ave., Stockton, www.rei.com

[ Three 3 Academy Backpack ] At Target, 2800 Naglee Rd., Tracy, www.target.com

[ Chicboom Mini Keychain Speaker by ChicBuds ] At www.chicbuds.com

[ Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Nightlight by American Innovative ] At Barnes and Noble, 3150 Naglee Rd., Tracy, www.barnesandnoble.com

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san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010


Salida Surgery Center www.salidasurgerycenter.com

(209) 543-9299

Since 2004, Surgery Center has been providing quality dentistry to children and to the special needs patients. We specialize in providing general anesthesia for all our patients that cannot be treated in a regular dental office due to anxiety, fear, young age, or requires extensive dental treatment. Please visit our website for more information. State-of-the-Art Facility Licensed & Certified By the State of California Friendly Staff Ham

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Competitive Cheerleading • Tumbling • Dance Cheerleading Camps & Clinics Birthday Parties • Special Performances!

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san joaquin kids and parent

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Barnum’s Funundrum September 16-19, Stockton This September, the Arco Arena will be celebrating 200 years of P.T. Barnum with a “funundrum” so gigantic you won’t want to miss out. There’ll be 130 performers from six continents including cowboys, clowns, mermaids, pirates, and of course, elephants! Showtimes vary depending on the day. $14-$90. Stockton Arena, 248 W. Fremont St., Stockton, (209) 373-1400, www.stocktonarena.com

Lodi Grape Festival and Harvest Fair

kids calendar compiled by Katy Berry

SEPTEMBER Tracy Dry Bean Festival September 11-12, Tracy There will be plenty for kids to do in ‘Bean Town’ this year, as Tracy celebrates its annual Dry Bean Festival. The “Kids Be-an Kids Craft Center” will have fun creations for kids to make, and live storytelling. Don’t miss the crowning of the Bean princess and queen, and the carnival rides. Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 10th St., Downtown Tracy, (209) 835-2131, www.tracybeanfestival.com

Teddy Bears’ Picnic September 12, Stockton The Haggin Museum will be hosting the 18th annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic on their front lawn in Victory Park to celebrate Grandparents Day. Bring the kids and the grandkids to enjoy lunch and plenty of fun family activities including big bubble blowing, kite decorating, cookie decorating, and other fun crafts for all ages. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $10 or free for kids under 2. Victory Park in front of the Haggin Museum, 1201 N. Pershing Ave., Stockton, (209) 940-6300, www.hagginmuseum.org

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san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

September 16-19, Lodi If your kids love digging in the dirt, learning about animals, and being outside, then this is a great way to teach them about all the wonderful farming and gardening that happens right here in San Joaquin. Support programs like 4-H and the Future Farmers of America while also enjoying carnival rides, food, and live entertainment. Also, don’t miss the Haai Shark Adventure, a live shark exhibit that includes live feedings and up-close encounters. Hours vary. Adults $8, youth 6-12 years $4, children 5 and under free. Lodi Grape Festival Grounds, 413 E. Lockeford St., Lodi, (209) 369-2771, www.grapefestival.com

OCTOBER Disney Live! Mickey’s Magic Show October 2, Stockton See all your favorite Disney moments come to life on stage as Mickey and his friends join world-class magicians and make real Disney magic. See Cinderella’s pumpkin turn into


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Where Kids Come First! San Joaquin County Office of Education 2901 Arch-Airport Road, Stockton, 95206 (209) 468.4800 www.sjcoe.org

a carriage, watch as Princess Jasmine levitates, and keep your eyes open for the zany Mad Hatter. There’ll be plenty of tricks and plenty of fun from your favorite Disney characters. Shows at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. $14-$60. Stockton Arena, 248 W. Fremont St., Stockton, (209) 373-1700, www.stocktonarena.com

Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair October 2-3, Manteca This fair is full of seasonal fun. Kids can enjoy a special section just for them with rides, games, face painting, and even a pick-your-own pumpkin patch among tons of vendors and live entertainment. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Main St. and Yosemite Ave., Manteca, (209) 8237229, www.visitmanteca.org

Horse Riding is more than just riding a horse It teaches children in a way that classroom lectures cannot. Through interacting with horses they can learn Communication Compassion Confidence Courage Patience Self-discipline Self-esteem

Trainers Sara Wortley and Kathy Peters are located at

Mar Val Stables

Lucas Rd Lodi Ca 209 368 7731 www.marvalstables.com

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san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

Dell’Osso Farms Pumpkin Maze October 2-31, Lathrop This year, the Dell’Osso family farm will outdo itself again with its 13th annual Pumpkin Maze. Come pick your own pumpkin in the patch, get lost in the corn maze, have your face painted, enjoy lunch in the picnic area, ride a pony in the petting zoo, shoot pumpkins out of “pumpkin blasters,” explore the haunted house, challenge yourself on the impressive aerial ropes course, and enjoy many other great activities and events. 10 a.m.-last entry at 8 p.m. Free admission to farm, but attraction prices vary. Dell’Osso Family Farm, 26 Stewart Rd., Lathrop, (209) 982-0833, www.pumpkinmaze.com


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san joaquin kids and parent

Lodi Street Faire October 3, Lodi This annual event spans twelve city blocks and boasts six hundred vendors featuring food, shopping, arts and crafts, and much more. Since the event coincides with the St. Anne School Harvest Festival, kids can not only enjoy activities at the fair, they can also swing by the St. Anne’s kid-zone and partake in their autumn festivities. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. School and Church Sts., downtown Lodi, (209) 367-7840, www.lodichamber.com

Trick-or-Treating at the Downtown Stockton Certified Farmers Market October 29, Stockton Come enjoy fresh produce, arts & crafts, baked goods, free tastings and live music while your kids enjoy free pumpkin coloring and trickor-treating at all the vendors. It’s sure to be a very festive farmers market. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Downtown Stockton, (209) 464-5246, www.downtownstockton.org

Downtown Lodi Trick-or-Treat and Fall Festival October 30, Lodi Bring your little ones in their best costumes and join the community as local merchants invite you to trick-or-treat at their establishments between noon and 2 p.m. After your kids get their fill of candy, there’s plenty to do until the sugar-high ends. The fall festival continues with live music, pumpkin painting, face painting, a food court, a pumpkin carving competition, games, raffles, costume contests, and a petting zoo. 12-5 pm. Free. School St., Downtown Lodi, (209) 369-8052, www.downtownlodi.com

NOVEMBER Festival of Trees: An Enchanted Christmas November 19-21, Tracy This year the 16th annual Festival of Trees will be full of great events for the young and the young-at-heart, all to benefit the Tracy Hospital Foundation. Kids are especially invited to two “Once Upon a Time” tea parties at the Tracy Ballroom. Taking place in a wonderfully decorated enchanted forest, each tea party will include yummy treats to snack on, a mini-presentation of The Nutcracker by

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san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

the Children’s Dance Theatre of Tracy, and a meet-and-greet with your favorite storybook characters. Don’t forget to take a photo with Santa Claus and browse his Secret Shop to find the perfect Christmas gift for someone special. Tea parties are November 20 and 21, beginning at 10 a.m. $15 for children, $20 for adults. Tracy Ballroom, 430 W. 9th St., Tracy, (209) 832-6052, www.suttertracy.org/foundation

Holidays on the Farm November 26-January 2, Lathrop After we’ve all had our fill of pumpkins, Dell’Osso revamps for the Christmas season with their Holidays on the Farm celebration. Visitors can enjoy tubing sessions on Dell’Osso’s very own snow mountain, a mile-long drive around the farm decked out with 500 professionally designed light-scenes, and Santa’s Village (only open till Dec. 24), which will feature real live reindeer, Christmas trees, and of course, Kris Kringle himself. Times and prices vary per attraction. Dell’Osso Family Farm, 26 Stewart Rd., Lathrop, (209) 982-0833, www.holidaysonthefarm.com

Downtown Winterfest November 27, December 4, and December 11, Lodi Come get in the mood for the holiday season with the Downtown Winterfest in Lodi. Families can take a horse-drawn carriage ride for only one dollar while admiring the festive storefront decorations as businesses compete for the best decorated window and lighted storefront. 12-5 p.m. Free. School St., Downtown Lodi, (209) 3698052, www.downtownlodi.com [SJ KIDS]


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san joaquin kids and parent

BIG WOW! Discover the World of Wonders Science Museum BY JENN THORNTON | PHOTOS BY DAN HOOD

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san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010


“Imagination is more important than knowledge”” These insightful words from famed scientist Albert Einstein are particularly spot-on when describing wideeyed, wondering children, whose persistent continuum of questions—Why? How? Why? — is familiar to us all. ››

209.833.9989 I www.sanjoaquinKIDS.com

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san joaquin kids and parent

Locally, the World of Wonders (WOW) Science Museum in Lodi provides inquisitive kids with an entertaining yet educational venue that encourages them to stretch, expand, and engage their active imaginations to the absolute max. At the same time, the museum gives maxed-out Mom and Dad a break from having to crack the physics textbook after “nighty night” just to keep pace with their genius-in-training. 

An experiment in Go For It After visiting San Francisco’s Exploratorium in 2004, Lodi’s Dan Ingrum identified the absence of and need for a similar learning facility in the Central Valley. He boldly decided that a smaller scale version in Lodi of the interactive museum giant was not only a good idea, but with foresight, leadership, and an unwillingness to hear otherwise, it was also realistic. Ingrum presented his brainchild to the Lodi Rotary Club, of which he is a member, and the long-shot initiative found enthusiastic backing from the service group.     Soon after, a steering committee was developed, from which a Board of Directors was formed, and, in March of 2009, with strong vision and over $600,000 in community-raised funds, the WOW Science Museum opened its doors.  Community response to the museum since its inception, according to Board President Sally Snyde, has been one of shock and awe—as in, ah, thanks. The quality of the facility and the exhibits, many which have appeared in and been acquired from the Exploratorium, are premium draws, exacting grateful surprise from unsuspecting visitors, namely parents who grew up in San Joaquin without a comparable museum to explore and enjoy. 

The probability of success As a gateway to discovery for both the young and the young-at-heart, the WOW Science Museum displays up to 40 different hands-on, science-based exhibits at any given time, and offers a variety of programs, experiments, demonstrations, and activities, proving that fun and education are not mutually exclusive. This marriage of attributes is a key selling point for the “Not now, Mom, I’m texting” generation, 22

san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

whose collective attention is not likely to be wrested by sea monkeys as in years past, not in the far more enthralling shadow cast by Guitar Hero and Wii. By making science entertaining (turns out, rooting around for worms in dirt is still a pretty big deal among kids), the museum is doing what many adults think impossible in today’s wired world: capturing kids’ attention with something that’s actually good for their education (look Ma, no screen!).        An interactive response to the sensory learning needs of children, who typically are engaged more by touch, smell, taste and sight than by textbooks and lectures, the museum uses uncomplicated physical representations to explain complex scientific concepts. Simplifying and presenting science in a fun, self-paced learning environment helps pique an immediate and long-term interest in the subject that benefits kids both in and out of the classroom. Parents, on the other hand, receive a much-needed refresher on why that whatchamacallit does that thingymajig.    In fact, Snyde says, the majority of parents are amazed by the independence their children exhibit at the museum, where they feel safe to freely and confidently ask questions, hypothesize, and draw their own creative conclusions.


Make Quicksand What you need: One 16 oz. box of cornstarch Some water from your sink A large mixing bowl A mixing spoon (or just your hands)  

What to do: Mix 4 oz. of cornstarch with ½ cup of water and make smooth. Add more cornstarch and water to the bowl, slowly, in little bits, and keep mixing, using your hands if necessary. When cornstarch and approximately 2 cups of water has been added, the consistency of the mixture should be similar to honey. Mix in a couple of drops of food coloring to make colored quicksand!

EXPERIMENT 1

Rest your hand in the bowl. Does it start to sink?  Now, wiggle it quickly.  Is it more like a liquid or a solid?  When your hand is at the bottom of the bowl, try to pull it back out, slowly. What does it feel like now? 209.833.9989 I www.sanjoaquinKIDS.com

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san joaquin kids and parent

EXPERIMENT 2 Mystical Milk  What you need: Milk (any type) Several colors of food dye Q-tips Dish soap A plate with a slight lip

What to do: Pour some milk onto the plate (enough to cover the bottom of surface). Squeeze four dots of food dye onto the center of the plate, but not touching.  The dots should be lined up in such a way so that they look like the corners of a square. Next, take a Q-tip and clean your ears.  Then take a new Q-tip and touch it into the milk in the center of all the dots.  Probably not too exciting, right? Now take another Q-tip (not the one you used to clean your ears) and put some dish soap on the cotton.  Take that soapy end of the Q-tip and use it to poke the same spot you poked your last Q-tip and BAM!  Have the time of your life making the colors jump all over the plate!

24

san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

Science fictions Given that science is rooted in facts, the museum is also working to debunk two widely held myths associated with the study of science: The first is that girls don’t like science. “Parents are often surprised by how engaged their daughters are in science,” Snyde says. “Most girls love it, and more often than not, it’s the girls, not the boys, who are willing to get their hands dirty and dive right into experiments.”     The second misperception is that the mere utterance of the word “science” will send kids into no-way lockdown mode. Recognizing that these reactions most likely stem from snooze-worthy


Soda Can Crunch  What you need:

EXPERIMENT 3 classes and lackluster presentation of the facts, the museum infuses the learning experience with fun—an interactive, get-your-hands-dirty, curiosity-sparking realm that kids eagerly embrace.

Will wonders never cease The most persistent challenge facing the independently-run WOW Museum is, as it is with most non-profits, funding. Personal and corporate donations provide the majority of financing, but the facility’s commitment to high quality requires that the museum consistently apply for grants. Two employees and a dedicated group of volunteers

who believe that the Exploratoriuminspired venue is priceless to the community currently staff the museum. Increased financing will allow the facility to fund and expand its programs, including those for all members of the community and area schools. Learn more about the WOW Science Museum, how you can get involved, or ways to donate online at www.WOWmuseum.org. Become a friend of the museum on Facebook at www.facebook. com/wowsm [SJ KIDS]

An empty soda can Pan Bowl full of ice water Tongs Stove  

What to do:  Remove all soda from the can. Add a hint of water so it covers the bottom of the can. Ask your laboratory assistant (a.k.a Mom or Dad) to turn on the stove, anywhere from medium to high. Put the pan on the stovetop and place the can in the pan so that the water inside the can gets nice and hot. Carefully use tongs to remove the can from the stovetop. Put it face first (the side with the mouth opening) into a bowl of ice-cold water. CRUNCH! Remove the crunched can from the bowl and watch the water pour out.  Pretty cool, huh?

209.833.9989 I www.sanjoaquinKIDS.com

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san joaquin kids and parent: parent your kids

Five Local Birthday Spots

A

Take the stress out of birthday party planning

by Katy Berry

As much as everyone loves a good game of pin the tail on the donkey, these places are undeniably cool and effortless when it comes to throwing a great birthday party.

For the Artist

Mud Mill, Lodi At the Mud Mill, each child gets to paint their very own pottery piece, which is included in the cost of the 2-hour party along with decorations, invitations, cups, plates, and silverware. The Mud Mill, 115 S. School St., Lodi, (209) 365-9900, www.themudmill.com

For the Scientist

For the Rebel

Zaps Zone, Stockton This laser tag arena offers several packages to suit any budget, each one including at least two rounds of adrenaline-pounding laser tag. You can add food for an additional fee, and the grounds also feature an arcade and jumpers for smaller children. Zaps Zone, 1578 Hammertown Dr., Stockton, (209) 478-9277, www.zapszone.com

For the Sports Star

Big League Dreams, Manteca What baseball fan wouldn’t love to play a game with his or her buddies on a replica of a Major League Baseball field? Big League Dreams has six replica fields including Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and Wrigley Field. They also offer an indoor soccer pavilion and two Stadium Club restaurants. Big League Dreams, 1077 Milo Candini Dr., Manteca, (209) 824-2400, www.bigleaguedreams.com

For the Princess

Perfect Balance Day Spa, Lodi For the little one who loves pampering, Perfect Balance Day Spa offers Princess Party packages for girls ages 6 and older. Service options include mini-manicures, glitter body art, mini-facials, mini-pedicures, and goodies like cupcakes and tiaras. Teen packages are also available. Perfect Balance Day Spa, 401 West Pine St., Lodi, (209) 333-8117, www.perfectbalancedayspa.com 26

san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

courtesy mud mill; zaps zone; big league dreams

World of Wonders Science Museum, Lodi The WOW Museum offers several themed parties including the Slime Party, the Exploding Party, the Shrink-It Party, and the Ice Cream party for groups of up to twenty kids. Parties include museum admission, invitations, a private room, paper supplies, a party teacher, and a museum t-shirt for the birthday kid. Wow Museum, 2 N. Sacramento St., Lodi, (209) 368-0WOW, www.wowsciencemuseum.org


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FROM THE PUBLISHERS OF SAN JOAQUIN MAGA ZINE

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san joaquin kids and parent: parent your family

by Nissa Hallquist

Getting yourself and the kids back into a school-ready schedule is not often the easiest thing to accomplish—kids don’t usually like losing the freedom of summer, and parents need to adjust to the additional activities associated with school as well. Getting back into the swing of things doesn’t have to be complicated or unpleasant. The following should help make the transition back into school-mode simple and stress-free. »

Study Time

Meal/Snack Planning

Extracurricular Activities

A lack of time in the morning means lunches should be planned and prepared as much as possible beforehand. For that antsy time right after the kids get home from school, be sure to have plenty of healthy snacks on-hand, both salty (pretzels, string cheese, veggies and low-fat dip) and sweet (fruit, yogurt, juice).

Activities beyond strict academics—sports, band, dance—help kids in socializing and gaining a more well-rounded education. The number and type of activities is dependent first on your children’s school schedule and study time, as well as your own availability to provide needed support and/or transportation. While at least one outside activity is desirable, filling every waking moment can be exhausting and nerveracking, so find a happy medium just right for your family.

School Clothes and Supplies Being sent off to school stocked up with the basic necessities is the ideal way to start the new school year off on the right foot. This can be taken quite literally. Unless there was some major growth spurt, there’s no need to get a brand new wardrobe, but a new, hip, first-day-of-school outfit and/or a new pair of shoes can help your children feel more confident. The same is true for fresh pens, pencils, backpacks, and so forth. It’s the small things.

28

san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

There’s no avoiding homework, so time needs to be set aside every day for studying. After school, the TV gets turned off and books get opened. Helping with your children’s schoolwork—or just being around while it’s going on—is also a good way to spend time as a family and keep connected with everything going on in each others’ lives. (This is a nice habit to get into at any time of year.)

Attitude Even if things do get a bit stressful and non-stop for a time at the start of school, work on maintaining a positive outlook. Take a deep breath. If you’re relaxed and upbeat, your children will likely follow suit. And having everyone start off with a positive attitude always makes it much easier to get back into a workable routine.

PHOTO: I-stock

Your Family: Back to School


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29


san joaquin kids and parent: parent escapes

Escapes: The Road Less Traveled San Joaquin Nature Walks PHOTO: I-STOCK

by Nissa Hallquist

W

ith the weather cooling down and the leaves just about ready to turn, now is the perfect time of year to really enjoy being outdoors. Communing with nature is also a great way to get a little exercise while getting away from it all, and in San Joaquin we don’t have to drive far to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life. Stretch your legs and enjoy all the beauty and tranquility of nature in autumn with a peaceful, leisurely stroll along one of San Joaquin’s nature trails.

Caswell Memorial State Park

Lodi Lake Park

All the beauty of San Joaquin’s unique (and diminishing) riparian woodland ecosystem is

Located along the Stanislaus River near Ripon,

carefully preserved within the 58-acre Lodi

Caswell Memorial State Park is home to a

Oak Grove Regional Park

This 180-acre park is located in Stockton near

Lake Nature Area and presented to the public.

Spanos Park West. As the name would imply,

preserved section of oak forest (surrounded

Bordering the Mokelumne River and Lodi Lake,

it features an oak forest setting, the 10-acre

by other lush plant species) as well as several

Lodi Lake Park has a one and-a-half mile long

Oak Grove Lake, and the Oak Grove Nature

species of animals, including the endangered

nature trail that winds all the way through the

Center, not to mention two nature trails: a one

brush rabbit, red-tailed hawk, and many other

park. It’s easy to traverse, and flat the whole

and-a-half mile jaunt among old growth trees,

types of wildlife. Numerous day hike/nature

way though. If at the end of the trail you are

and a quarter-mile trail that is handicapped

trails traverse the 258-acre park, offering a

still eager to learn more about the area, you

accessible. 4520 W. Eight Mile Rd., Stockton.

glimpse into what the riparian ecosystem

can also visit the Lodi Lake Discovery Center.

Call (209) 953-8800 or (209) 331-7400..

of the valley would have looked like in pre-

1301 W. Turner Rd., Lodi. Managed by Lodi

historic, pristine times. Off the main Oak

Parks and Recreation at (209) 333-6742.

Forest Trail (one mile round-trip), various other trails meander through the forest and along the river. 28000 South Austin Rd., Ripon. For directions, hours and other park information, call (209) 599-3810. 30

san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010


Complete Family Dental Care

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The New Children’s Ballet Theatre is produced by Dorothy Percival in association with Ballet San Joaquin, Bolshoi West, and P.O.P.A. (Professional Organization for Performing Artists) and will be assisted by Tamara Wagner, Margaret Lloyds Smallie, Emily Sarale and Adrian Sarale. For additional information contact Ballet of San Joaquin/Bolshoi West at 209-477-4141 or 209-369-7171.

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san joaquin kids and parent

look mom

Alliyah 3.1.03

Andrew 5.20.02 Anthony 11.24.98

Hayden 5.23.04

Isaiah 6.21.08

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san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

Maeson 12.29.05

Kaitlyn & Alexis 11.7.01

Angelina 9.11.00

Matthieu 2.7.07

Sam 3.22.10

I’m Famous

Justin 12.20.07

Adriana 9.17.08

Noah 9.12.09

Maikhel 9.14.02


Check out this issue’s “Kids Kaptures.” To include your child in our next issue’s edition, visit our website at www.sanjoaquinkids.com.

Jaydin 4.21.06

Claxton 5.27.07

Kailee 9.26.97

Damon 5.22.05

Elektra 2.17.05

Dahlia 10.11.08

Samantha 10.23.96, Jacqueline 5.13.97, Rachel 2.9.96

Andrew 5.20.02 Anthony 11.24.98

Andrew 3.10.97

Kawika 2.19.01

Savannah 6.20.96

Caitlyn 1.3.03

209.833.9989 I www.sanjoaquinKIDS.com

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san joaquin kids and parent

Mom On A Mission

Currently: Owner, The Mud Mill, Lodi Married to: Chris Snell Kids: Krysta, 26, Kelsey, 17, and Carson, 11

Today if you asked me to introduce myself, I would say my name is Vicki Snell, I am happily married, a mother of three, and the owner and creator of The Mud Mill in downtown Lodi. Eight years ago if you asked me to introduce myself, I would say: I’m a wife, a stay-at-home mother, and a person with big dreams. Married young, at the age of 19, to my husband Chris, I quickly took to these two roles quite comfortably. It was what I enjoyed and what I knew. I made choices that allowed me to spend quality time with my first two children, so I had the opportunity to watch them grow. I worked eight years as a preschool teacher both in and out of my home, and felt that my life, although comfortable, needed a new direction. Then I had the opportunity to take my passion for creativity to a new level. I had always dreamed of owning my own business. I had recently visited a pottery studio in Arizona, and fell in love. It was a perfect fit for me. There were adults and children painting wonderful pieces of art. It was such an inspiring experience; I wanted to share it with our community, however, my youngest child Carson was 3 and I had concerns about taking on such a commitment while he was still so young. Would I fail him if I weren’t there the same way I was with my older children? Would I miss out on important milestones of his early life? This decision was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make. In 2004, I bit the bullet and moved forward with my dream and opened my studio when Carson was 4½, my second daughter Kelsey was 11, and my oldest daughter Krysta was in her second year of college. The first six months were a bit tough, but with help we all worked together to make sure our family still ran somewhat smoothly. It was important to spend quality time together, and we always tried to do something fun on Sundays, my day off. After my first year in business, we treated our family of five to a trip to Maui, our first time to Hawaii. We had a blast. It felt like we had all come so far and it was really a time for celebration. Now things are a bit easier. I try to schedule myself to work only during school hours, and I have help at the shop in the afternoons and on weekends. There are still plenty of times where it’s difficult to juggle being a mom and a mother who works outside of the home. Taking the leap to begin something new and different is usually the hardest part. The risk of balancing family and work life is a big challenge. I choose to find my happiness somewhere between the two, where I can be my best self, both as a mother of three and a creative working woman. 34

san joaquin KIDS I Fall 2010

Courtesy VICKI Snell

vicki snell


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San Joaquin Kids Sept 2010