Summertime Sailing Fun in the Bay Area

May 13, 2011

Kids and mom sailingGuest contributor Barbara McVeigh shares some great resources for summer sailing and nautical fun for kids and families.

The America’s Cup sailing race is yet two years away, but the excitement in the maritime communities is beginning to build just like the wind before a full blown gale.

There are lots of family fun sailing events planned this summer with activities promising to please the youngest of sailors to the crustiest of old salts. Treasure hunts, model boat building, schooner sails and pirates in Vallejo are just some of the teasers to lure a landlubber into the magical world of sailing.

Youth sailing camps start in June. The sport encourages teamwork and develops self reliance and confidence unlike any other activity. For a child, this can be the beginning of lifelong knowledge of the sport and art of sailing, as well as a connection to the natural elements of sea and wind. Kids laugh and have fun sailing!

Novato Parents Nursery School Open House on Saturday

May 13, 2011

NPNS garden signDo you want hands-on involvement in your child's first school experience? Then Novato Parents Nursery School (NPNS) may be for you! Find out about this cooperative preschool's programs and community at their open house on Saturday, May 14, 2011, from 10–11:30 am.

NPNS has been going strong in Novato since 1968, and offers a safe, nurturing, and stimulating, and challenging environment for children to learn, discover, wonder, express themselves in many ways and succeed. The school is located at 1473 South Novato Boulevard in Novato.

For more information, visit or call (415) 897-4498. You can read our profile of Novato Parents Nursery School here.

Tiburon Adventure Camp: Tiburon’s Best Kept Secret

May 11, 2011

Tiburon Adventure CampAre you looking for a fun, safe, and well organized summer camp in southern Marin? Check out the Tiburon Adventure Camp, run by the Belvedere Tiburon Child Care Center (BTCCC). This summer's Tiburon Adventure Camp offers the Sharks Program for children aged 4.5 to 8 years (incoming kindergartners to third graders) and Dolphin Program for children aged 2 to 5 (children do not have to be toilet trained to attend).

The Sharks program offers both stimulating fun and time to relax and hang out with friends throughout the summer. The camp is attended by about 25 to 30 children each week with 4 to 5 counselors. Highlights of the camp include:

  • Monday: Jumpee Day—wrecking ball, obstacle challenge, run and slide, foam pit, velcro wall
  • Tuesday: Hot Lunch and Movie Day—Tangled, Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever, Megamind
  • Wednesday: Field Trip Day—Scandia, Chabot Space Center, Six Flags, Trapeze Arts, Marin County Fair

Celebrate Imagination and Inspire Literacy at San Geronimo's Fourth Annual Storyland Festival!

May 11, 2011

Celebrate imagination, children's literature, literacy, and above all fun at the fourth annual Storyland Festival, this Saturday, May 14, from 10 am to 3 pm at San Geronimo Preschool in San Geronimo. This enchanting event is perfect for kids from 1–8 and features exciting activites that bring storybook characters to life and help inspire a lasting love of reading. The Storyland Festival gets rave reviews from local parents and children, and It's always one of everyone's favorite yearly events.

This year's Storyland Festival features roaming story characters, live music by everybody's favorite family recording artist Tim Cain, a bounce house, cookie decorating at the Teddy Bear's Picnic, storytelling and games with favorite characters like Snow White and Curious George; face painting, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, healthy and organic food, and much more. Also on hand is Aladdin's Bazaar, where parents can pick up special treasures for their children.

Day Out with Dad: Sonoma Valley Airport Display Days

May 10, 2011

Curtiss P-40N at Sonoma Valley AirportOne of the best things about being a dad is getting to take my own children on the kinds of outings I did with my dad way back when I was kid. One of the things we did was to head out into the wild of Northern California in search of cool machinery to look at, especially airplanes. It's fun, exciting, noisy, fascinating, and in many cases free. After all, what kid doesn't dream of flying, especially in an open-cockpit biplane? One of my favorite local spots for an airplane-watching outing is Sonoma Valley Airport, also known as the Schelleville Airport, located just south of the town of Sonoma. The romance of the Golden Age of Aviation lives on in this small airport, and one weekend a month the planes' owners put them on display for visitors to come see.

The Sonoma Valley Airport holds these "display days" on the second weekend of every month, where the owners of the vintage aircraft open their hangars and show off their planes. Schelleville aiport is home to numerous different historic planes, making it a living aviation museum of sorts. This month's display days are this weekend, May 14 and 15, from noon to 4 pm. Feel free to wander the hangar rows and check out the planes on view. The

Assessing the Educational and Social Needs of a Gifted Child

May 10, 2011

Gifted child at schoolWe all think our kids are brilliant (well, most of us do, anyhow), but how can you tell if a child is really gifted? What do you look for, and how do you assess their needs?

We posed this question to the staff and parents at the Dunham Academy, Marin's independent school for gifted children in grades K through 8. One of the first things that comes to mind for many people when they hear the phrase “gifted student” is the straight-A student who effortlessly excels at everything he/she does. The common misconception is that if a child is smart, he or she will just sit and do schoolwork quickly without much supervision; after all, everything comes easy and the student will eventually have his or her pick of Ivy League Universities, right?

Not so, according to Dunham academy. The truth is that school is a veritable minefield for gifted students trying to fit in with both teachers and other students. These students need a great deal of support and understanding and are very much “at risk.” Highly intelligent students are often not property identified. Gifted students:

Demistifying Homeschooling in Marin, Tonight in Corte Madera

May 9, 2011

Homeschool group on an outdoor outingHave you ever thought about homeschooling your children? If it's something you're considering, make sure to attend tonight's (Monday, May 9) special presentation "Homeschooling in Marin: Demystifying the Choice" from 7–8:30 pm in the Corte Madera Community Room at 100 Corte Madera Town Center. Come hear about homeschooling from and discuss the topic with a panel of experienced Marin homeschooling parents.

Homeschooling has been gaining more attention and interest in Marin over the last few years. This presentation will help debunk the stereotypical questions associated with homeschooling (i.e. "Are children not getting any socialization?"), and highlight the benefits as well as the challenges of this often overlooked educational choice.

Mompreneur: Stylish and Practical Swimwear from Lynn Werner and Lynnina

May 9, 2011

Lynn Werner, creator of Lynnina swimwear lineEver try to find a chic swimsuit that offers coverage, comfort, versatility and style? Kind of difficult, isn't it? That's why Marin mom Lynn Werner started Lynnina, her line of stylish, comfy, and flattering mix-and-match swimwear for women of all ages. Lynnina swimwear consists of boardshorts, available in two lengths and a variety of colors and patterns, with a selection of coordinating tops, including bikini tops, tankinis, and rashguards.

Learn more about Lynnina and check out their selection of swimwear at You might find something that you'll love to wear all summer long.

Please tell us a little about yourself. What's your background, and how did you get started in your career?

I ran computer and video game sales at Disney for the west coast region until I left in 2001 to spend more time with my twin boys.  I got started in this carreer out of a need to create something that I couldn't find anywhere.

Goal Setting Tips For Marin Moms

May 6, 2011

Marin Mommies presents a guest article by health and fitness expert John Spongberg, founder of Personal Training in Marin, and creator of the Mother's Day Gift Experience, a personalized fitness and nutrition program for busy moms.

If you’ve watched Oprah or seen Bob Greene or Dr. Oz lately on television then you already know it’s not just about reducing calories or aimlessly exercising.... It’s about making lifestyle changes through nutrition and effective exercise personalized to your individual needs and preferences!

Focus On Goal Setting

If you want to lose weight, setting goals is going to help you immensely. Goals can keep you on track and they can motivate you when the going gets tough. Mini-goals can be especially helpful if you set them and reward yourself wisely each time a milestone is attained. You will need to seriously look at your motivation and commitment towards your goals. That’s where a professional can help. That way, you can stay focused even through the difficult times.

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