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June Events

The Tenafly Nature Center, 313 Hudson Ave., Tenafly, (201)569-6093, Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather by spending some time in the great outdoors at TNC!
NATURE DAY. 6/8. DINOSAURS ROCK PRESENTS - DINOSAUR & MINERAL CAMP. Pre reg. req. 6/23 - 25. Call for more info., or to reg.

Monthly School Seminars - How to Talk to Your Preschooler, Dr. Terri’s Kids, 307 East Madison Ave., Dumont, (201)674-4215/8896. Based on the premier Preschooler Guide in Positive Development, Cognitively Correct, Inc. hosts theses informative monthly seminars designed to increase confidence, love and pride in preschoolers for the rest of their lives. Seminars are open to parents, teachers and child caretakers of any kind. Seminars held on the 1st Tuesday of every month, 7 - 9pm.

Kung-Foo Panda Friday June 6th Rated PG for Simulated Violence

Wall-e Friday June 27th
Rated G - Animation/Action/Adventure
Run Time 1hr 37min

Big Screen Safari (National Geographic Kids) 1 hr. 10 min.(NR)
Showtime & Date
10:00am, the morning of Sat, Jun. 7th
Edgewater Multiplex Cinemas
339 River Road
Edgewater, NJ 07020(201) 840-0699

Home Depot - Kids Clinics
The Home Depot's Kids Workshops offer useful projects including the creation of toolboxes, fire trucks and mail organizers, as well as more educational projects, such as a window birdhouse, bughouse or Declaration of Independence frame kit.The workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety, while at the same time helping to instill a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, this fun time allows for quality one-on-one time between adults and children.In addition to the newly constructed project kit, each child receives a kid-sized orange apron, similar to The Home Depot associates' aprons, and an achievement pin.

Saturday June 7th between 9:00 AM and Noon

This Months Project is a Catamaran Boat

Tour of the Planets
Saturday, June 14, 2008 -- 1:00, 3:00
Tucked away in a roomy section of the Milky Way is a small collection of 8 planets. They don't appear as much from far away, but when you look close, you'll see that each of them has a remarkable story to tell. We'll take a closer look at all the planets in the Solar System...

June 26 - July 13
Ticket Prices:Weekdays Adults $7, Children 12 & Under $5
Weekends: Adults $9, Children 12 & Under $6
Children under 34" are admitted free any day(does not include ride tickets)
State Fair Meadowlands at Giants Stadium Fairgrounds will return to the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford this week, with 18 days full of action-packed fun for the entire family. New Jersey's largest, annual family-friendly event will run daily from June 26 through July 13 featuring thrilling rides, plenty of FREE entertainment with dazzling performers, delicious food, games, exhibits, shopping and discount promotional nights.For more information contact State Fair Meadowlands directly at 973-450-1070 or visit Regularly priced admission and ride tickets will be sold at the fairgrounds on all fair dates.
EVENT SCHEDULE: June 26th through July 13th
Regular Hours: Monday – Thursday: 6pm – 12am (Midnight)
Friday: 6pm – 2am Saturday: 2pm to 2am Sunday: 2pm – 12am (Midnight)
Holiday Hours: June 26: 5pm – 12am (Midnight) July 3rd and 4th: 2 pm – 2 am)
*JUST ADDED*Superbowl Giants Day at State Fair Meadowlands - A Behind the Scenes Tour of Giants Stadium, Saturday, June 28, 2pm to 7pm. $10 Donation to benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Hop scotch

Believe me when I say that before I had my daughter I could not have drawn a hop-scotch board or told you the rules but all that has changed and like most things that you learn more about you find there is a lot more to learn than you initially thought. Sure the basic Hop Scotch Board is simple to draw and the rules are straight forward (I have laid the basic game out below) but in reading about the game I found there are as many variations to the game as you want to dream up. Some variations can include hopping multiple times on a single square, singing songs or rhymes while moving thru the board, and creating elaborate boards that branch off instead of the normal stacked pattern.

Equipment: Chalk, sidewalk, Driveway, or Play-yard.
Play: Draw the layout with the chalk - 2 single squares, 1 double square, 1 single squares, 1 double square, Turnaround or Home. (Some Variations are listed at the bottom of this post)
Rules: The first player tosses the marker (typically a stone or bean bag) into the first square. The marker must land completely within the designated square without touching a line or bouncing out. If the marker lands in the wrong square, the player forfeits his/her turn.
If the marker is successful, the player hops through the court skipping the square with the marker in it. Single squares must be hopped on one foot. For the first single square, either foot may be used. Side by side squares are straddled, with the left foot landing in the left square, and the right foot landing in the right square. Optional squares marked "Safe", "Home", or "Rest" are neutral squares, and may be hopped through in any manner without penalty.
When players reach the end of the court, they turn around and hop back through the court, moving through the squares in reverse order and stopping to pick up the marker on the way back (and hops in the square). Upon successfully completing the sequence, the player continues the turn by tossing the marker into square number two, and repeating the pattern.
If while hopping through the court in either direction the player steps on a line, misses a square, or loses balance, the turn ends.
Players begin their turns where they last left off. The first player to complete one course for every numbered square on the court wins the game.

Hopscotch began in ancient Britain during the early Roman Empire. The original hopscotch courts were over 100 feet long! They were used for military training exercises.
Roman foot soldiers ran the course in full armor and field packs, and it was thought that Hopscotch would improve their foot work. Roman children imitated the soldiers by drawing their own boards, and creating a scoring system, and "Hopscotch"
Some Variations:

Party Etiquette

Some basic etiquette questions that come up with birthday parties are who to invite, what to do when guests don't RSVP in time, accepting gifts, and thanking your guests.
The Invitation Equation: The Child's age + 1 = happy kids. For children under 8 years old, invite as many children as the child's age plus one. Some parents choose to add 1 or 2 to this equation.This basic guideline has been handed down from generations for a reason...It works! Yet many parties have the child's entire class, relatives, and neighbors. When not inviting your child's entire class it is a good practice to be discreet by mailing invitations, hand delivering to parents, or possibly asking the teacher to hand invitation to parents. A nice thing to do is have a simple class party with goody bag and treat for everyone.
The term R.S.V.P. comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please respond". This let's the person know that you expect to know whether they are coming or not coming by a specific date. I think it is okay to contact someone who has not RSVP'd. You need to know for planning food quantities, issues relating to minimum guarantees with catering halls, uncertainty over the number of party favors and difficulties in planning appropriate seating, among other things.
Make sure your child is gracious when receiving gift even if they are unhappy with a gift (clothes for instance) It is never to early to instill a sense of gratitude in your child (Someone made an effort to come to share the day and bring a gift to celebrate your birthday they deserve a warm smile and a sincere thank you). If the party is not at your home it is best to save opening gifts until you are back home.
Encourage your child to greet each guest as he or she arrives.
It's also important that the host thanks each guest for coming at the end of the party.
Have your child handout gift bags at the end of the party. This provides them with another opportunity to say Thank You and give as well as receive.Have your child help with the Thank You notes. They can help you prepare them by recounting who came, and what gift they gave. If they can print their name have them sign it for a personal touch. A sample thank you might look something like this:
Dear Aunt Sally,Thank you for coming to my party and the pretty dress - I wore it the other day and am enclosing a picture of me in it
Love Suzie

The Nature of Music - State Theatre

The State Theatre in New Brunswick New Jersey is an excellent venue to see and hear music. The theatre is warm and intimate with great acoustics. The staff was friendly and even recommended a great place to eat afterwards (Tumulty’s Pub - 361 George Street)
We went to hear the Princeton Symphony Orchestra performing Peter & the Wolf: The Nature of Music. The Program began with excerpts from Vivaldi - Spring from the Four Seasons. Beethoven Excerpts from Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral", Grieg "Morning Mood" from Peer Gynt, Debussy "The Snow is Dancing", Smetana Excerpts from The Moldau, Mussorgsky "Night on Bald Mountain", Strauss "Thunder and Lightning Polka", and the Finale Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" Narrated by Louis Butelli. All of the selections began with the conductor providing some insight into the music by presenting the impression that the composer was trying to create or what a particular musical passage represents. (For example the birds in Beethovens Pastoral) The performance and the Program were both geared towards kids with the Orchestra dressed in casual bright clothes. A contrast from the standard black formal attire normally donned by an orchestra.
The selections, mostly short in duration ranged from 5 to 15 minutes and kept the younger members of the audience interested and actively Listening.

The Theatre, which was renovated in 2004 has big open spaces in the lobby in which the kids were able to burn off some energy, a large balcony section, and a chandelier hearken back to its heyday in the 1920's when it was a vaudeville and silent film palace. Located about an hour from New York City the State Theatre is worth a visit.
Coming in June is The Backyardigans

Let's Party

Planning your child’s Birthday party can be a great way connect with them and make them feel extra special, but sometimes we can get in over our heads, or unplanned events can make the event stressful not to mention the social etiquette that can raise some questions.
Over the next few weeks I will post some tips and guidelines to help to make your child's Birthday enjoyable, memorable, and less stressful. Today we will cover Planning: I am going to employ some Guidelines that I have used for business projects they Include Scheduling, Scope, Budget, resourcing, Deliverables, Risks and Contingencies. This may seem a bit formal for a Birthday party but a good plan is never a bad idea.
Remember the project planner’s motto "Failing to plan is planning to fail"

1) Start planning early 3 months before is usually a good guideline in some rare cases you may need to book certain facilities as much as a year in advance. This is where you can really involve your child. Kids like to get involved in planning, and this is a time when the kids are motivated to be especially helpful. They can help pick the theme, venue, games they want to play, food items, and Guest list.

2) Setting Limits: You may want to set some limitations up front such as Number of guests, a few options for venue and duration of party otherwise you may wind up having your child suggest A Disney themed party for 20 at Disney World for 5 days.(I know my budget can't accommodate that)

3) Set a Budget and stick to it - By determining how much you are going to spend you can prevent yourself from going overboard. By not doing this step you most certainly will spend more than you originally anticipated. Before purchasing items make a list of what you need and stick to it you can also have an allowance for impulse buys when you go to the store but stay within this amount. You can also use your budget as an opportunity to be creative in how you spend your money by making items like some of the decorations and party favors. One thing that I have used is instead buying themed plates and cups get generic colored plates, cups, and napkins and put themed stickers on the cups. They will look nice and the stickers help pull
it all together. Many decorations can be made on the computer and printed on a color printer for Banners you can design them and have staples print it for you.

4) Confirm you’re Schedule and resources - If you or your spouse travels for business or has conflicting projects at work make sure you take that into account. Dumping your tasks onto your spouse because you are out of town or at work late will more than likely add some tension to the party planning and may make the other person feel overwhelmed. If you both have limited time you may want to consider a party package at one of the many venues that host children’s parties (Such as Kids play centers, The Zoo, Aquarium, Museum, or Theatre).

5) Divide and conquer - This tip is a corollary to #3 here is where you decide what each of you does best and exactly who will do what. (If one of you is a good organizer you may want to handle the planning activities such as Booking the Venue, and entertainment, Sending invitations, and other party logistics. On the other hand if you are creative you may want to handle the decorations or cake design. Here is where you will also want to decide what you want to involve your child in. Sending out invitations or making and setting up decorations are ideal for younger children. As your child gets older he/she can become more and more involved in planning and
activities. Beware: Having them go to the store with you to buy items for the party is a good way to go over your budget.

6) Too much Birthday: You may want to have to separate parties; one kid’s themed party and
another one for family. Don't get carried away here you don't need to have a party for every one of your child’s social circles but sometimes dividing certain groups makes sense. For example you may have a party for your child’s close friends and relatives, Send Cupcakes to school, and have
pizza for your child’s Soccer team after practice.Instead of having one party with too many guests to manage.A good guideline for the number of guests for a children’s party is the child’s age +2 or just the child’s age i.e. If your Child is 6 you may want to limit guests to 6-8 of your child’s friends.

7) Plan a contingency (risk management): If you are planning an outdoor party make sure you have an indoor option in case of bad weather. If you want to have a pool party/BBQ at your house for 15 people Make sure your house can accommodate 15 people comfortably inside, that it is safe for all ages, that you are able to prepare the menu you have planned indoors, and that you have enough activities to do indoors to keep guests occupied.

8) Use your computer - Your computer can be invaluable for planning and executing your Childs party from Picking a venue, Buying party items, Making decorations, Sending invitations (eVite, Google Calendar), Finding Games to play, recipes, and keeping track of expenses and planning items.

The Weekend Review

Meadowlands Environment Center - We did not get to visit the indoor portion of the environment center (It was closed) but we did walk (actually ran) around the boardwalks that go out into the marsh and then walked the trails of which there are a quite a few winding options which our kids really enjoyed exploring. There are plenty of opportunities to view the wildlife, plants, and flowers found at the center with informative signs that let you know what can be found in and around the specific area you are out. I would recommend Insect repellent (It is a Marsh) the Day we were there it was pretty cool so bugs were not much of an issue but I would imagine that with the warmer weather the bugs would be worse. The Environment Center is operated by Ramapo College of New Jersey and weekly events are planned on-site as well as local offsite expeditions and events. There are also Astronomy Programs on the Calendar for May and June. Be sure to print your Nature Field Guide for Kids before visiting the Environment Center. Keeping in Mind that we did not Experience everything that the Center has to offer I would give it a 6 on a scale of 1-10 because it is close, well maintained and visually appealing I think if you take your time and explore you can experience much of the wildlife found in the NJ Marshes.

Unbelieva-Bills: Is located in Waldwick NJ Just outside of Allendale.
They have an amazing climbing and sliding structure called the kids kingdom which is about 30 feet high. There are various admission prices depending on Age and Activities selected. Other Activities Include and 8 and 22 foot climbing wall. A Toddler Area for younger kids. Bumper Cars, Bowling, 3D Movies, Live theatre shows, Virtual Sports, and Laser tag.
Every Friday night from 6:30 - 8 pm, kids can enjoy Unbelieva-Bills games, the Enchanted Kingdom and a 3D movie or magic show for $10 (plus tax). Parents are free. There is a food Court with pizza, several types of hot and cold sandwiches, wraps, cereals, soups, chicken and tuna salads. They also offer chicken fingers, hot dogs, mac-n-cheese, buffalo wings and grilled cheese. For drinks there is chocolate and low fat milk, apple and orange juice, soft drinks, Powerade, bottled water, coffee, tea and slushies.

Our Moon and Mars

Tonight May 9th and Tomorrow the 10th our Moon will be close to Mars in the night sky and provide a good reference point. Tonight the moon will be below and slightly to the East and Tomorrow it will be above and to the West .


To the upper left of the moon, the planet Mars and the faint Beehive star cluster mark the moon’s path over the next 24 hours.
The first reddish object to the lower right of the moon is the planet Mars. A little further out from Mars towards the horizon is the star Pollux in the constellation Gemini. The moon and Mars however are in the constellation Cancer.

The moon is great to look at in this phase with binoculars or telescopes because it has a lot of cool shadows cast by the mountains. You can also see other cool little craters.

Get Outside this Weekend

New Jersey has a Bill being Proposed to close many of it's State Parks. Get out and visit them before it is too late.
Here is a comprehensive list of Parks in New Jersey: Park Index
These parks offer a variety of activities such as Hiking, Boating, Picnicking, Boating, Playgrounds, Swimming, Biking, and Camping. Parks like Ringwood State park have a Botanical Garden and Landscaped Grounds to enjoy. I also recommend Lewis Morris State Park in Morristown NJ with a great playground, Bike and Hiking trails, and swimming (There are some good places to eat and stuff to do in town as well)

If you can't get out to one of these great parks You may want to check out the Liberty Science Center With many interactive exhibits. Tickets Start at 11.50 for Kids under 12.
Also check out The May Events Article Posted Earlier this Month

Dinosaur Fossils Found in Newark NJ

This is the second time that we visited the Newark Museum this year. This time it seemed that someone let the Cat-out-of the Bag or should I say T-Rex out-of-the-bag. Because the museum was much more busy than our previous visit about 2,000 visitors came to experience Dinosaur Day. To the credit of the Museum they were able to accommodate overflow parking by using the parking garage at Rutgers University 2 blocks down the street, manage lines and keep exhibit wait times to a level where the kids weren't getting too fidgety.

The exhibits were both interesting and interactive (two of the hallmarks of this museum) most exhibits are out in the open not behind glass or ropes (Some are but many are there to explore) There were a lot of hands on activities for Dinosaur Day such as Digging for Fossils, A simulated Tsunami, Art Crafts related to Dinosaurs, Touch table, and Geo-Science Demonstrations. The Newark Museum is the perfect size and style for Toddlers (2-5) Where the scale of Newark Museum is smaller than its metropolitan counterparts it makes for a great day trip where you can cover almost everything in 3-5 hours and has enough diversity to keep even the shortest attention (oh look a...) spans interested from the Mini-zoo (Very Cool), Planetarium, Interactive Crafts, Smart Bugs, Body Wars, and Dynamic Earth. I am happy to have an educational and cultural resource that has a hands element so close to home.

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Ten Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know

I can think of nothing that conjures up feelings of fear and anxiety more than the thought of having a child abducted here are some tips from Former FBI agent Clint Van Zandt to help

Here are 10 things every parents should know about keeping their kids secure.
1) The key is communication. It is important to talk openly with your children about all safety issues, including what to do in a potential abduction situation.

2) Knowledge is power. Talk to your children about the rules pertaining to strangers. Let them know that a stranger or predator looks just like any other person and will use several ways to lure a child.

3) Learn the common predator lures: pretending to look for a lost pet, asking the child for directions, giving or promising candy and/or money if the child will go to their car, and threatening to hurt family members if the child does not comply.

4) Never label clothing, backpacks or other personal items with your child's name. A predator will use this information to try to gain your child's trust.

5) Give your children instructions on what to do if they get separated from you in a mall, supermarket or any other public place. Tell them to first find a mother with children, or any woman, and let them know they are lost. Also, they can go to a checkout counter, information desk or to a police officer.

6) Make sure your child knows his or her full name, address and phone number, and the phone number where you work or how to contact you. They also need to know how to dial 911, make collect calls and dial the operator on a pay phone.

7) Know where your children are at all times, and keep a list of their friends' addresses and phone numbers.

8) Remember to update your children's records, including a photo every 6 to 12 months.

9) Practice, practice, practice. Going over this information once with your children is not enough! You must continue to rehearse and "role play" to make the learning permanent so your child can react properly under pressure.

10) If your child is missing, try not to panic. First check everywhere in the house, then check with your neighbors and your child's friends. If you still cannot locate them, call the police immediately. Remember: There is no waiting period required to report a missing child to the police.

Get the ten safety tips every child should know.


Melodies about me

A friend at work gave me a Melodies-about-me CD for my daughter. I was very touched and was excited to bring it home and let z-girl give it a listen. When I told her I had a CD that was made just for her she had a less than excited response but when the 1st song came on and she heard her name in it I could see it sparked some interest. We listened to the rest of the CD while we did some activity like drawing or playing a game or puzzle but at some point (I think it was Shakado) she got up from what we were doing and started dancing. Five of the nine songs are up-beat and lively. The lyrics for all songs are unabashedly age appropriate (2-6) with catchy melodies that are refreshingly missing the trendy tween pop style of much of the kids targeted music that is put out today. This definitely makes a nice gift item. The Creators target market is grandparents and at $18 for 9 songs with your little ones name It is priced fairly.

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Sears VIP Night Sunday, May 4th

Sunday, May 4th, from 6pm until 9pm, Sears is opening its doors to all our family, friends and vendor partners.
Everyone shopping during these special hours is a Sears VIP and will receive an additional 10% off almost everything*. That's 10% off regular, sale and clearance prices.
There will be extra-special offers as well. Offers like 20% off all Kenmore Elite appliances plus your 10% VIP savings or 10% cashback on all TV’s over $999 plus a 5% VIP savings. With Mothers Day right around the corner, it’s a great time to shop to make that special person feel really special.
These offers also will be available to you at from 6pm until 6am.
If you go to you will see some of the great offers available plus the 10% VIP discount.