Archives for September 27, 2016

The BreadCrumbz Brand Encourages Girls Ages 6-12 to Be True to Themselves FLORIDA RESIDENT LAUNCHES START-UP AIMED AT TEACHING YOUNG GIRLS ABOUT SELF-ACCEPTANCE

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Florida resident and mother of two girls, Shannon Addison, has launched BreadCrumbz, a start-up with the mission of teaching girls between the ages of 6 and 12 years old about the value of self-acceptance. Shannon created the BreadCrumbz brand, which follows the lives and interests of four Crumbz characters, after observing the negative undertones present in the interactions her girls and their friends had with each other at school.

 

The four Crumbz characters – Samantha Sourdough, Rachel Rye, Whitney Wheat, and Penelope Pumpernickel – each have a unique personality and different interests. Despite their differences, however, the Crumbz all encourage girls to find out what it is they like to do and where their interests lie, and to stay true to themselves in all situations.

 

“I visited my children at school for lunch one day and was really surprised to see girls using relational aggression when they communicated with one other,” said Shannon. “It was a lightbulb moment. I realized that we – as parents, educators, and mentors – aren’t doing enough to show young girls that it’s okay to have differences. It’s okay to be who you are – and to like different things or activities than your classmate does. The BreadCrumbz brand was borne out of this lunchtime observation, and I’m extremely excited about using the Crumbz to help shape the way girls view and interact with each other.”

 

BreadCrumbz fans can follow each of the Crumbz characters through a series of Trail Tales posted to the company’s website. Each Trail Tail story focuses on one Crumbz character and her world, incorporating valuable messages like “Confidence is the best accessory” or “Sometimes friends are the best medicine”. New Trail Tales are posted to the BreadCrumbz site regularly, providing Crumbz fans with plenty of engaging and thoughtful content.

 

The BreadCrumbz website also includes a Parentz Corner, designed as a place for parents to share their own experiences and learn about raising children, and an online store which currently features a BreadCrumbz activity book, Pop Inz charm bracelet sets, and BreadCrumbz t-shirts. Additional BreadCrumbz product lines are planned.

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I received samples and these characters are really positive and young girls will love them! The products are a must-buy! I especially like the BreadCrumbz activity book and the Pop Inz charm bracelet sets!

Click here to learn more about the Crumbz.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post.

5 Apps & Tech Tools to Make Back to School

STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – is all the rage this back to school season. Whether your kids are learning this curriculum in the classroom or not, it’s never been so easy to teach or reinforce this learning at home.

Here are the 5 hottest tech tools and apps that are available for less than $8 or free on most tablet devices to make learning accessible, everywhere!

  1. Program a Drone with Tynker

No prior computer programming experience is necessary with Tynker! Download the free Tynker.com app to use a colorful, super simple programming language to code a Parrot minidrone.

Whether your kids spot the drone rolling through the school hallways or after school flying high in the park, it’ll be the most popular activity for kids learning code, in and out of the classroom. Well-behaved coders can purchase a Parrot mini drone ($69) here.

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  1. Don’t just program robots and drones, learn how to make them with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3!

Young Lego fans will get a chance to play and learn at the same time. LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 makes building, programming and commanding your own LEGO robots smarter, faster, and more fun than ever. Kids can follow simple steps and before you know it, they’ll be in control of robots that drive, shoot, slither, walk, slam, and spin – to name just a few of the actions that come with this awesome robotics set. Turning your kids into makers has never been so easy!

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LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 is available for $34 here and the app is available for free for all tablets.

  1.  Learning math is as easy as “1-2-3” with Splash Math

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Practice adds up with Splash Math and parents can supplement traditional math lessons with this comprehensive math practice program that adapts to your child’s need and skill. Splash Math has excellent sounds and graphics. Available on desktops, laptops and iPad for free.

 

  1. Science goes intergalactic with Galaxyz!

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Galxyz is a science education app for tablet computers (or playable online) intended for children in upper elementary school (third grade and up: the ability to read is a requirement for independent play). It’s based on the Next Generation Science Standards, the first interactive learning experience to do so.

The app uses a narrative structure in which a young blue-skinned person named Thalo (you can choose a male or female version) walks through an icy landscape and meets a small flying squirrel-like creature. The creature turns out to be Grit, a Chakkaran on a mission to protect the Tome and guard scientific knowledge. Grit guides Thalo through text to explore aspects of science, and, along the way, teaches scientific terminology and concepts.

Pricing ranges from ninety-nine cents for a new module and  $7.99 for all available modules or a subscription option for all future modules.

 

  1. Say “Adios” to Flash Cards with Duolingo’s TinyCards

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While students have been using flash cards to memorize facts and vocabulary at least since the Victorian era, it’s no secret that the study tools can be deathly dull.  Duolingo, the free language learning app just launched TinyCards, a game-like, modern version of flash cards that automatically tracks what users already have learned and even lets users level up, video game-style, as they progress in their knowledge.

TinyCards launched with hundreds of illustrated virtual decks on subjects from languages to science. Users are also able to create and share their own decks on subjects of their choice, from wine pairings to characters from Game of Thrones and Pokémon and available on iOs.

Self Disclosure: Info was provided. SoCal City Kids did not review any of the above.

EAR SNACKS: SONGS FROM THE PODCAST by ANDREW & POLLY

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Meet Andrew and Polly, award-winning music makers and hosts of Ear Snacks, a radical new podcast for kids. Andrew & Polly’s new album of quirky, eclectic and fun tunes embedded in brisk, brainy repartee, Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast, will be released on September 30th.

The first season of the podcast — over seven hours of free content for children and their families — includes interviews with more than 60 kids and 35 adult experts along with an original score and a slew of genre-busting Andrew & Polly songs.  Now the duo presents a selection of music from the first season, re-contextualized on Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast.  The album of fourteen expertly produced tunes ranges from introspective and insightful to anthemic and absurd, delivering addictive earworms and surprises around every corner.

“Really fun music that young kids will enjoy!”~ SoCal City Kids.

Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast kicks off with “Dancing Pants,” based on the true-to-life tale of a pair of pants that were so incredibly sparkly they needed their own horn section.  “Dancing Pants” featuresAndrew & Polly’s L.A. neighbor, the incomparable Mista Cookie Jar, whose rap makes the song “next level cuckoo.”

A photo that Polly Hall took of a miniature toy stegosaurus with a fierce shadow became the inspiration for “Tiny Dino,” produced as if Simon & Garfunkel, with a little help from Toto, had written the theme song to a Saturday morning cartoon of thirty years ago.

Other highlights include “Grapes,” the SiriusXM Kids Place Live chart topper from the very first episode of Ear Snacks, and “How Can You Tell If It’s Going to Rain?” which offers a ’60s ethos updated for the third millennium.

“Every episode of Ear Snacks,” says Polly Hall, “is about some small thing — just some unassuming something, but then, of course, it’s about something bigger, too.”

Andrew & Polly started making music together as college undergraduates and, by now, have become a fixture on the L.A. music scene, in high demand for their sparkling music for films, TV, and commercials, with “grownup” music credits too numerous to mention, including a 2015 Emmy nomination for Polly Hall.

On the kid side of things, their production credits include dope jams like “Grapes” and songs for Sesame Studios and Nickelodeon’sWallykazam! as well as the score to the Nick digital series Welcome to the Wayne. Their music regularly charts on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live, and their podcast, Ear Snacks, broadcasts monthly on the same channel. The two co-founded and serve on the board of Kids Listen, a new group advocating for quality audio programming for kids.

Previous albums by Andrew & Polly include Odds & Ends (2015, Parents’ Choice® Award, Fids & Kamily Top 10 Albums of the Year), Up and At ‘Em! (2010, ASCAP Foundation Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award for the song “When You’re a Dog”), and a holiday EP, Other Days(2015).

Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast will be available at CDBaby, Amazon, at Andrew & Polly’s website – www.andrewandpolly.com – and at their shows.

Andrew & Polly Performance Highlights – Oct. – Dec. 2016

Oct. 8 – Books & Cookies – Santa Monica, CA

Oct. 23 – McCabe’s Guitar Shop – Santa Monica, CA – Album Release Celebration!

Oct. 29 – Children’s Book World – Los Angeles, CA

Nov. 5 – LA Baby Show – Los Angeles, CA

Nov. 12 – Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory, Los Angeles, CA

Nov. 16 – Brisbane Library, Brisbane, CA

Nov. 17 – Recess Urban Recreation – San Francisco, CA

Nov. 19 – Children’s Book World – Los Angeles, CA

Dec. 4 – Zimmer Children’s Museum – Los Angeles, CA

Visit Andrew & Polly’s website HERE.

Andrew & Polly on Facebook

Andrew & Polly on Twitter

Andrew & Polly on YouTube

Andrew & Polly on Pinterest

Andrew & Polly on Instagram

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of the CD to post. Info and photos were provided.

Malibu Mix! A new fusion flavor sensation hitting California!

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California’s own Gaslamp Popcorn has a new fusion flavor, Malibu Mix, which combines the company’s signature Sea Salt & Olive Oil, White Cheddar and Kettle Corn flavors. This has been a favorite of mine since it was released this past August!

Malibu Mix puts the beach in reach no matter where you are and offers a gluten-free, anytime snack experience for those craving a way to escape the daily grind for a few moments.

 

Malibu Mix popcorn is ideal for consumers looking for a light, flavorful and delicious snack that delivers a sweet, salty and savory treat containing half the calories typically found in traditional popcorn mixes. Gaslamp Popcorn’s signature Sea Salt & Olive Oil, White Cheddar and Kettle Corn make a delightfully flavor-packed snack. Each batch is made with non-GMO corn that stands on the promise of being gluten-free, no exceptions.

I just love the mixture of the three flavors! This one definitely does not last long in our house!

Look for it at a grocery store near you! I often find it at Vons and our local Ralphs.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post.

Annabelle is Pet of the Week!

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Annabelle is a pretty little black-and-white Maltese mix, about 2 years old. There are so many things to love about her, but what strikes the staff and visitors at ACS is the expression on her face—she seems as if she’s miles away. Maybe she’s thinking about a loving home somewhere, with people to feed, play with and cuddle her. Do you live there? If so, meet Annabelle at Animal Care Services on the shelter side of the P.D. Pitchford Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A579018.

 

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the P.D. Pitchford Animal Village.

O’Neill Regional Park Celebrates Acorn Day Oct. 1

Join the County of Orange and OC Parks under the oaks in celebration of Acorn Day at O’Neill Regional Park on Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  This free, family-friendly day of excitement and learning offers activities for every age including free crafts for kids, a live butterfly enclosure, active games, face painting, live music, nature exhibits, and acorn and oak tree planting.

One hour, beginner-level guided nature hikes to the water tower will be offered at 9 and 11 a.m.

Presentations throughout the day will include Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Reserve K-9 Program and the California Wolf Center. There will be a book signing of “How to Draw 60 Native CA Plants and Animals, A Field Guide”, the Hummingbird Story, and a live butterfly release at 1:30 p.m. by Western Monarch Guardians.

Additional participants at Acorn Day will include the Orange County Bird of Prey Center, OC Trails, the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Tree of Life Nursery, Orange County Fire Watch, Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, Orange County Animal Care, Earthroots Field School, the Reserve-Richard and Donna O’Neill Conservancy, California Native Plant Society, Saddleback Area Historical Society, Amigos de la Colina of Heritage Hill Historical Park, Orange County Vector Control, Western Bluebird Society, Saddleback Canyon Riders, Inside the Outdoors, Southwestern Field Herping Associates, Trabuco Canyon Water District and more.

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October 1 – Acorn Day

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Cost: Free admission and parking

Location: O’Neill Regional Park

Address: 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road

Website: http://ocparks.com/parks/oneill/

Contact: (949) 923-2260, oneillpark@ocparks.com

Credit: 

OC Parks manages nearly 60,000 acres of parks, historical and coastal facilities and open space for the County of Orange as part of OC Community Resources. http://www.ocparks.com

#BabySafetyMonth Safe Sleep Tips from MAM Giveaway Opportunity!

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September is Baby Safety Month, sponsored annually by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). This month-long event increases consumer awareness of baby safety issues and the safe selection and use of baby products. For the past 40 years MAM’s top priority has been the development of products for the well-being, safety and health of babies that make life easier for parents and allow them to focus on the joy of family.

 

Safe sleep ranks at the top of every parent’s list of worries with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age.  Each year, about 4,000 infants die unexpectedly during sleep time, from SIDS, accidental suffocation, or unknown causes.  By providing infants with a safe sleep environment it is possible to help reduce the risk of SIDS.

 

 

As parents, nothing is more important to us than the safety of our babies. In observance of #BabySafetyMonth @MAMbabyUSA shares some recommendations to provide infants with a safe sleep environment and to help you and your baby rest easier at night:

 

  • Always place baby to sleep on their backs. Because babies sleeping on their sides are more likely to accidentally roll onto their stomach, the side position is just as dangerous as the stomach position.

 

  • Consider pacifier usage when placing baby down for sleep and remember that the pacifier may not be reinserted once the infant falls asleep. Pacifier use is shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.  MAM supports the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published guidelines for pacifier usage.  In addition, MAM recommends before placing a pacifier in baby’s mouth, check to see if there is any damage for signs of weakness.  Pull the pacifier nipple in all directions and throw away the pacifier at the first sign of damage or weakness.  Pay extra attention to your child’s pacifier as teeth emerge, which can occur as early as 1 month.  Replace pacifiers frequently – every 1 to 2 months. See more at www.mambaby.com.

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  • Avoid letting baby get too hot. The baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing. One of the best ways to ensure your baby can regulate their body temperature while they’re asleep is to dress them in natural fibers, like cotton, bamboo and merino. ergoPouch swaddles, wearable sleep bags and suits are a great choice when it comes to correctly dressing your baby for sleep as the entire range is made from natural fibers with tog (warmth) ratings to suit every temperature and season.  If you choose the correct, tog-rated swaddle or wearable sleep bag/suit, your baby won’t require blankets which can place them at risk of SIDS.  Set the room temperature in a range too that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.

 

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  • Make certain baby is sleeping safely in a crib that meets the latest U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. Ensure that nothing in your nursery including the paint and furnishings contains harmful chemicals or toxins. Micuna offers a collection of safe and stylish cribs made of sustainable materials like solid Beech Wood from sustainable forests.  Place the crib away from windows, where direct sunlight and drafts can make your baby uncomfortable. Keep baby’s crib or bassinet away from blinds or drapery, which are strangulation hazards.

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  • Place baby on a firm mattress, covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards.

One of the most important purchases for your nursery is the crib mattress, as a newborn can sleep up to 16 hours per day!  Look for a breathable crib mattress designed for baby’s health, safety and comfort such as the Newton Baby Wovenaire Crib Mattress which is Greenguard Gold Certified.

 

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  • Remove all soft objects from the crib, including bumper pads, blanket, pillows, & stuffed toys. 

 

 

 

 

About MAM – standard setting baby products 

MAM combines technological innovation, medical function and contemporary design to develop superior baby care products that support a baby’s development from day one. Since MAM developed its first pacifier in Vienna in 1976, it has evolved to become a global authority on baby care product design and quality. Today MAM products are used by families in over 60 countries and on five continents. To find out more and view MAM’s baby care range of award-winning pacifiers, bottles, cups, teethers, oral care items, coordinating accessories and gift sets visit www.mambaby.com.

 

Follow MAM:

Facebook: facebook.com/MAMbabyUSA

Twitter: @MAMBABY

Pinterest: Pinterest.com/MAMUSA

Instagram: @mam_usa

We have teamed up for a Special Giveaway!

September is Baby Safety Month, sponsored annually by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). This month-long event increases consumer awareness of baby safety issues and the safe selection and use of baby products. In observance of #NationalBabySafetyMonth MAM shares some recommendations to provide infants with a safe sleep environment and to help you and your baby rest easier at night.  Visit MAM’s Facebook page @MAMbabyUSA for details.  In recognition of this special month MAM and ergoPouch have a special prize package for a winner.  The winner will win a $30 gift package of assorted MAM products including pacifiers and Anti-Colic bottles and an ergoPouch ergoCocoon Swaddle to Sleep Bag!

To enter leave a comment below and follow MAM on Instagram! U.S. and Canada residents. Deadline to enter is October 1st, 2016 at noon PST. 

More about ergoCocoon Swaddle to Sleep Bag:

The ergoCocoon ‘no origami’ baby swaddle to sleep bags are designed to be both easy to use and difficult to escape from.  The simple zip up design will keep baby snug and securely swaddled without the need for complicated wrapping. The ergoCocoon is made from skin-friendly, organic cotton outer layer and breathable organic cotton filling, never synthetic. The entire range has also been acknowledged as ‘hip-healthy’ by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute for our ergonomically designed bell shaped bottom, which provides extra leg room for healthy hips.  For those bubs that like a little more freedom or are ready to transition out of a swaddle, the ergoCocoon has patented snaps in the armholes that can be used to convert from a swaddle to a sleeping bag.  Tog rated for warmth, there is an ergoPouch swaddle to suit every season.  New season prints available now! From RRP$24.95

 

 

More About MAM – standard setting baby products:

MAM combines technological innovation, medical function and contemporary design to develop superior baby care products that support a baby’s development from day one. Since MAM developed its first pacifier in Vienna in 1976, it has evolved to become a global authority on baby care product design and quality. Today MAM products are used by families in over 60 countries and in five continents. To find out more and view MAM’s baby care range of award-winning pacifiers, bottles, cups, teethers, oral care items, coordinating accessories and gift sets visit www.mambaby.com.

Self Disclosure: No compensation was received to post. Photos and info provided and SoCal City Kids will select winner via Random.org.