Archives for April 19, 2014

Hit Scholastic Media TV Series – Goosebumps, Clifford the Big Red Dog Available on iTunes for First time!

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For the first time, Scholastic Media’s beloved children’s TV classics, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Goosebumps, are now available on iTunes! Kids and families – and other fans of the iconic shows! – will now have access to their favorite Scholastic shows anytime, anywhere.


Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Emmy® award-winning animated TV series now in its 12th season, airs daily on PBS KIDS. Based on the popular Scholastic books by Norman Bridwell, the show follows the everyday adventures of the lovable, oversized red dog and his best friends, imparting gentle life lessons to preschoolers all along the way.


Goosebumps, the TV series, based on the wildly best-selling Scholastic books by R.L. Stine, is seen on the Hub Network and consistently ranks as one of the channel’s top programs. The series follows the edge-of-your-seat stories of ordinary kids who find themselves in scary (albeit always safe and humorous) and extraordinary situations.


These globally-celebrated children’s programs are the first Scholastic Media TV series to be made available for audiences everywhere through The Orchard. Other Scholastic Media TV hits will rollout throughout the year on additional digital stores, including Microsoft Xbox, Vudu, Sony Entertainment Network, Target Ticket, M-GO, YouTube, and Google Play.


Among the other Scholastic Media TV favorites to be available digitally in the coming months include: The Babysitter’s Club,The Magic School BusI SpyClifford’s Puppy DaysMaya & Miguel and Animorphs.

Clifford Vol. 1:

Goosebumps Vol. 1:

Self Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation to post this info.

“Thrively helps kids discover their superpowers!”

SoCal City Kids has a new friend to introduce to you: Thrively.  This is something we are truly excited about!  Thrively can help you uncover some really interesting things about your kids.   Check them out at
I had to wait until a school day because my son (11) doesn’t like to touch the computer on a sunny weekend day.  But once I sat him down, he completed the Thrively Strength Explorer pretty quickly.  He really enjoyed it.   His top strengths were on the money, and he loved seeing them in black and white: Creative Skill, Memory, Worldly, Analytical and fun-loving.  The Strength Profile write-up was also cool – very positive, fun, etc.  Honestly, I was amazed at how accurate my son’s results were.


Some facts and tips – Thrively’s Strength Explorer was developed by two of California’s seven board-certified Pediatric  Neuropsychologists.   It’s the first and only comprehensive online Strength Assessment specifically designed for children.   After your kid takes the Strength Assessment, there are two main things you should check out:  first,  look through the activities that are recommended.  Some are local, some are online, and some are really unique things you would potentially travel for – we saw an amazing summer program at Johns Hopkins University, for example.  Next, you really have to watch the inspirational videos – there is a wide variety of content in there, from overview pieces on what it’s like to pursue certain kinds of jobs (there’s a cool one on marine biology we watched), to videos of kids doing truly incredible things at a very young age to just really inspiring speakers.  Another one that my son enjoyed watching was titled “How to Find Your Passion and Inner Awesomeness.”

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The Strength Profile experience was probably the highlight, but I have to say it was pretty amazing to see all of the activities that are out there, and specifically the ones my son would be well-suited for.   My son is not into sports, so it’s been hard for us to find things he can get excited about.  But he loves Thrively because it shows a huge range of things that have nothing to do with sports and that he (and we) had just never considered.  Things like video game design and development programs, online apps and projects, robotics stuff… I’d be very surprised if you don’t find a half dozen things you’d never considered but suddenly jump to the top of the wish list. 


We like to think we know a few things about activities, but the range of opportunities we saw on the site was really impressive.  And instead of Google searching all day long, Thrively puts it all in one place!  Seriously, how cool is that?  I know we will be using this website frequently.


One final point – Thrively is deep.  Supposedly, you can explore over 100,000 activities on the website, though obviously that’s more than any of us would need in a lifetime!   And you can add activities as well.  There are also some really useful social features, like sharing activities and content just within your Thrively social circle.  Bottom line – give it a try.  It’s definitely a cool experience and an essential tool for our family now!

Self Disclosure: Thively sponsored post. Photo Credit: Thrively.


The Parents Magazine 2014 Cover Contest

Parents magazine is partnering with JCPenney Portraits to give families across the country another way to enter its popular 2014 Cover Model Contest.  JCPenney Portraits is offering readers a free sitting fee, free digital image, and free 8×10 portrait with a coupon that can be found in the May 2014 issue of Parents magazine or at  The winner will have the opportunity to be featured on the cover of a future issue of the magazine.

As always, parents may also submit personal photos. All submissions can be made through Parents magazine’s Facebook page or for professional JCPenney Portraits images.

“Every year we’re flooded with thousands of smiling faces and we love connecting with our readers in such a meaningful way,” said Dana Points, Editor-in-Chief of Parents magazine. “We’re thrilled to partner with JCPenney Portraits because it opens up an additional opportunity to use a professional photograph for entry for our readers.  I personally know our editors will have a tough – but enjoyable – task ahead of them choosing finalists from the many adorable submissions.”

To enter the contest, parents of children ranging from newborns to 6 years of age can upload a photo of their child to theParents magazine Facebook page, or upload their professional JCPenney Portraits image to  The contest begins March 31 and runs through June 21, 2014. Readers are invited to vote for the “Readers’ Choice” finalist July 7 toJuly 13 at

All finalists, including one “Readers’ Choice” finalist, will be flown to New York City with their parents for an exciting, professional cover shoot during August 2014. The grand-prize winner, chosen by editors, will have the opportunity to be featured on the cover of a future issue of the publication.

“We are excited to partner with Parents magazine for their 2014 Cover Model Contest,” said Brittany Collette, Photographic Specialist for Lifetouch Portrait Studios Inc., which owns and operates JCPenney Portraits. “Like the smile of a child, our partnership with Parents magazine is picture perfect! We’ll capture the portrait and make it easy for parents to enter those smiles in the 2014 Cover Model contest.”

For complete guidelines and contest rules, pick up the latest print issue of Parents magazine, Parents tablet edition, visit the Parents Facebook page or For the free JCPenney Portraits contest offer,