Family-Friendly Events for the Weekend of March 7, 8, and 9

March 6, 2008
Bay Area Discovery Museum
Bay Area Discovery Museum

Friday, March 7

Bring the kids (ages 2–5) to “Fantastic Fridays: Rainbows,” at San Francisco's Crissy Field, this Friday from 10 am to noon. Make art with colorful bubble prints, find a rainbow, and go on a Drop-ins accepted on a space-available basis. To register call (415) 561-7752, or download the form at The cost is $10 per child, accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

More on Creative Play from NPR

February 28, 2008

Creative playHere's a link to this morning's follow-up story from NPR's Morning Edition about children and creative play: Creative Play Makes for Kids in Control. We wrote about the story that aired last week that introduced the subject. You can read our take on it here or jump directly to the story on NPR's website: Old Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills. Either way, the series is really fascinating, especially given the over-regulated lives that many children lead these days.

You can also read answers to reader-submitted questions about kids and play from Adele Diamond, a professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience at the University of British Columbia.

The Importance of Imaginitive Play

February 21, 2008

Children playing at a parkMy husband e-mailed me a link to a story he heard on NPR's Morning Edition yesterday morning while driving in to work. It was something of particular interest to me, a story about the importance of imaginitive play in the lives of children, and how it greatly affects their development and behavior. It's an interesting take on the role of toys, especially specific toys such as those tied into TV shows and movies, and the commercialization of children's play (marked by the debut of the Mickey Mouse Club in 1955 and its associated toy advertising).

Family-friendly Weekend Events for February 22, 23 & 24

February 21, 2008

Friday, February 22

Bring the kids (ages 2–5) to Fantastic Fridays: Birds, Birds Everywhere this Friday from 10 am to noon. In this program, you and your toddler will explore the beautiful bird habitat that is Crissy Field Marsh. Take a bird watching hike and learn ways that we can keep the marsh healthy for years to come. Drop-ins accepted on a space-available basis. To register call (415) 561-7752, or download the form at The cost is $10 per child, accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

Babies and Sleep

February 19, 2008

Marin is happy to present another in a series of guest articles, this time by baby sleep expert Marsha Podd, RN, CLE.

When a newborn arrives on the planet, it has no understanding of the difference between night and day. Usually, babies are more wakeful at night and sleepy in the daytime (their normal womb pattern if mother has been moving, and up in the daytime).

Breastfeeding Tips from Moms for Moms

February 19, 2008

Breastfeeding my children was one of the best choices that I made as a mother. I have been nursing my 2 children a total of 4 years. When I had my first child, I almost gave up breastfeeding after the first few weeks of his birth. My son had a hard time latching on and never got enough food. I recently came across an article in Parents Magazine called 23 Great Nursing Tips from Moms that offers some valuable you-can-do-it. I wish I had read this article when I was beginning my nursing endeavor. Some of the tips that I most identified include:

The Mad Adventures of Mr. Toad at Marin Center

February 18, 2008

Masque Unit Junior Theatre of Marin celebrates its 46th anniversary of producing quality live musical theater for children, with a fun musical adaptation of The Wind in the Willows based on The Mad Adventure of Mr. Toad. The story of shared friendship among Mole, Water Rat, Badger and Toad is a timeless tale that takes place along a peaceful riverbank, however not all is peaceful! Mr. Toad is somewhat spoiled and gets himself into a lot of mischief. This treasured story is brought to life on stage with wonderful music and lessons of true friendship, kindness, patience and loyalty. The characters are familiar... the silly, impulsive Mr. Toad, the practical Water Rat, the emotional Mole and the stodgy Badger. Join Masque Unit Junior Theatre for this lively musical version of Kenneth Grahame's classic children's story.


Snacks for Kids: A Necessity

February 16, 2008

A recent AP article in the IJ  (Wednesday, February 13, 2008) stresses the necessity of making sure active kids eat healthy snacks throughout the day. Younger children, especially, need two snacks during the day since they definitely need the energy. I'm not going to rewrite the article here (and I can't find it on the IJ's website), but the gist of it is that kids need healthy snacks low in fat and sugars and high in fiber and nutrients. Fruit and crackers, two snack staples in our home, are specifically mentioned.

At least five servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended; that's at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 1 1/2 cups of fruit. One of the ways we like to make sure the kids consume enough fruit is through fruit smoothies like the one we wrote about here.

Family-friendly Weekend Events for February 8, 9 & 10

February 7, 2008

Friday, February 8

Bring the kids (ages 2–5) to Fantastic Fridays: Chinese New Year, this Friday from 10 am to noon. Celebrate Chinese New Year and usher in the year of the Rat with a fun-filled program that includes fireless fireworks, wonton making, and traditional Chinese New Year stories. Drop-ins accepted on a space-available basis. To register call (415) 561-7752, or download the form at The cost is $10 per child, accompanied by a parent or caregiver (stay as long as you like!)

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