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Parks and Playgrounds, Sports Activities, Outdoor Activities, Rainy Day Activities, Events and Outings, Summer Camps, Spring Break Camps, Arts and Crafts, 4th of July, Beaches, Hiking, Picnics, Summer Activities, Zoos and Wildlife Centers, Enrichment, Parent-and-Child Classes, Gardening, Drop-in Activities, Snow Sports, Bicycling
Marin Mommies presents a guest post by Scott Rubin of Mill Valley Mathnasium.
Do you believe you're not good at math? Various studies suggest that with motivation and good teaching strategies, anyone can succeed in math. In fact, studies have shown that students who are motivated to do well actually learn faster than students with higher IQs who are less motivated. It doesn't matter if you are at grade level, ahead, or a grade level behind. The right motivation and tools will help you succeed. Just accept your starting point and move forward with the right attitude.
It's important to develop a sense of ability in a child early on, especially when it comes to mathematics. If your child does not have a strong foundation by the time they enter high school you can expect a lot of stress and anxiety (for everyone).
Forcing kids to hit the books every night however, won't necessarily result in superb math skills. Students have to want to learn—this is where the challenge lies. Parents need to find ways to motivate their children without adding pressure. Setting goals and rewarding their success is a good starting point. As they work and achieve their objectives, their confidence will grow and math will no longer be perceived as intimidating. It also may be more helpful for parents and teachers to show how math ties to real life—for instance, understanding that four $3 slices of pizza cost $12 rather than just memorizing times tables.
Always on the lookout for fun and easy crafts to make, I loved these cute little Valentine's Day heart people that my daughter made in her kindergarten class. My daughter, who takes after me in the craft department, spent an afternoon making an army of these little guys, who she called "heart buddies," to decorate our house for Valentine's Day.
They're easy and fun to make. If you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, you can trace around it to make your heart shape. If not, you can cut them by hand; it's not hard to do.
The Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Snake, starts today, February 10. To kick off your celebration, create some neat Chinese New Year crafts, like these cute paper dragons and lanterns. They're easy and fun to make and perfect to decorate the house, and make great playdate, school, or scout group activities. They'll also be perfect to have on hand while you watch the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade on February 23. Have your own parade through the living room!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your dragons:
Gold stickers or paint (red and gold are traditional colors for Chinese New Year)
Get ready for musical family fun at this weekend's Marin Symphony Family Concert, taking place on Sunday, February 10, at 3 pm in the Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium at Marin Center in San Rafael. This year's program presents themes of courage, love and a special Valentine celebration.
San Domenico Alumni viola virtuoso Alexandra Simpson is the guest artist. Music from the hit movie Brave, by Patrick Doyle, is the climax of the concert. The concert is hosted by KDFC radio's Hoyt Smith.
Following the Family Concert, Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians assist aspiring young artists at the traditional Instrument Petting Zoo, sponsored by the Magic Flute, where children are encouraged to try out an instrument on their own.
Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Event Calendar.
Friday, February 8
Dinosaur Revolution: Live Large!
San Francisco Zoo
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 am–4 pm
Come navigate this amazing 3,000-square-foot maze to uncover the facts and fossils about dinosaurs. Live large in reptilian role-play activities, undertake three Mesozoic missions spanning 150 million years and learn how to mimic dinosaur behavior. Challenge yourself to learn why dinosaurs are one of the most successful survivors in earth’s history. Cost: $15 adults, $12 seniors and $9 children. Under 3, free. Location: 1 Zoo Road in the Pachyderm Building. For more info, call (415) 753-7080 or visit their website.
Once Upon a Time: Props and Costumes Drop-in
Bay Area Discovery Museum
Friday, 10:30–11:15 am & 3:30–4:30 pm Design and create a variety of props and accessories of your child’s imagining, elevating their dramatic play. Also add to the collaborative cardboard castle as we engage in the immersive environment of set design. Free with museum admission. Location: 557 McReynolds Road Fort Baker in Sausalito. For more info, call (415) 339-3976 or visit their website.
Stories for Chinese New Year
Friday, 4 pm
Chinese Lunar New Year is a major celebration in Asia and Leta Bushyhead will be here to tell favorite stories such as "Nian, the Hungry New Year Beast Wants to Eat You!” and “How the Chinese Zodiac was Created." Leta is a storyteller at the Asian Art Museum who shares tales from China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. This event is best for children ages four and older. Space is limited, and reservations are required. Call (415) 927-5005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. Location: 400 Magnolia Ave. First Floor, City Hall Building. For more info, visit their website.
Saturday, February 9
Family Rummage Sale
285 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato
Saturday, 9 am-2 pm
North Bay Educational Foundation, which is the organization bringing forth Marin County’s first Core Knowledge public charter school, will be holding a rummage sale on Saturday, Feb. 9th from 9am to 2pm. It will be held at 285 Bel Marin Keys Blvd. in the warehouse of Unit L. (this is in the back parking lot of the 285 building). It will take place inside so the sale will be rain or shine! We have treasures donated by over 20 families, most with children, with something for everyone. Tons of kids clothing, toys, books, sporting goods and home furnishings. 100% of proceeds will go toward opening a new school of choice for Marin families.
Paradise Fishing Tournament
Paradise Beach Park, Tiburon
Saturday, 9 am–noon
Join rangers for this annual winter fishing contest! A limited number of fishing poles and bait will be provided first-come, first-served to beginner fishermen, thanks to the California Department of Fish and Game. Fishing license is required when fishing from the shore, not from the pier. Questions: contact supervising ranger Mike Maraccini at (415) 435-9212 or MMaraccini@marincounty.org. Meet at the fishing pier in Paradise Beach Park. Location: 3450 Paradise Drive, Tiburon. For more info, visit their website.
St. Valentines Day Festival at the Farmers Market Marin County Mart (Larkspur Landing) Saturday, 9 am–2 pm
Celebrate family-friendly Valentine fun at the Marin Country Mart Farmers Market, on Saturday February 9. Activities will include, sugar cookie decorating, old fashioned Valentine making with complimentary postage, an old fashioned photo stand, face painting, pony rides, and kids' music. Plus enjoy shopping for delicious local produce, cheese, eggs, meat, seafood, and don't forget flowers and artisan confections!. For more info, visit their website.
Richardson Bay Pond Workshop
Richardson Bay Audubon Center, Tiburon
Saturday, 9:30–11:30 am
When it rains, seasonal ponds suddenly come to life and become a valuable resource for local wildlife. Bring your sense of adventure and wear clothes and shoes that can get muddy and wet, and explore the micro to macro inhabitants of a seasonal pond. Appropriate for children ages 5–8. Children ages 4 and under may participate, but must be accompanied by an adult. Program will cancel with less than 5 participants. Cost: $7 per participant. Advance registration required: (415) 388-2524. For more info, visit their website.
Waterfall Walks: Ignacio Valley
Ignacio Valley Open Space, Novato
Saturday, 10 am–noon
Meet a ranger for a tour in this beautiful canyon to view a waterfall nestled amidst the trees. A discussion of creek ecology, watersheds, and water conservation will be included on the way. This will be an easy walk with one steep section, approximately 1 mile round-trip. Dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes (it could be muddy or slippery), and bring water and snacks. Friendly dogs are welcome, but must be leashed. Rain does not cancel the event. Location: Meet at the end of Fairway Drive Follow Fairway Dr. approximately 1.8 miles to the end. For more info, visit their website.
Open House: Novato Parents Nursery School
Saturday, 10 am–noon
Novato Parents Nursery School (NPNS) is a parent cooperative preschool that provides a unique environment for those parents wishing to share and participate in their child’s first school experience. To find out more, please come to our open house this weekend.. Location: 1473 South Novato Blvd., Novato. For more info, call (415) 897-4498 or visit their website.
My kids always love to make their own unique valentines to give to friends and classmates. This butterfly-shaped card holds either a candy stick or a pencil (especially handy when your child has a teacher who discourages giving candy away in class), and above all is easy to make and decorate.
My daughter cut out the butterfly shape with kid-safe scissors, and decorated the card with foam stickers. Of course you could embellish yours with whatever you like: crayons, markers, paint, or whatever you happen to have in your crafts bin.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Rebecca Wood Breen, LCSW, Parents Place Coordinator, Marin County.
What ‘s going on this February at Parents Place, Marin County’s premier family resource center for parents and kids? Lots! We have a boatload of timely and dynamic parent/child activity groups and workshops in which you may be interested in enrolling… plus one free webinar:
Thursday, February 7: Raising Sons, 6:30–8:30 pm
Tuesday, February 12: Breastfeeding: Understanding Your Baby and Your Body, 6:30–8:30 pm
Tuesday February 12: Terrific Twos, 6:30–8:30 pm
Friday, February 15: Infant Sleep Solutions, 10 am–noon
Thursday, February 28: Get Your Young Child to Listen, 7–9 pm
On the Marin County coast, you'll often find better weather in the winter than during the foggy summer, so this time of year is a great time to head out to the beach. One family favorite in Marin is Limantour Beach at the Point Reyes National Seashore. Limantour boasts gentle surf, stunning views, and miles of sandy beach.
Named after a French merchant shipwrecked here in the 1840s, Limantour Beach is located along Drake's Bay, and is close to Point Reyes Station and the Point Reyes National Seashore park headquarters on Bear Valley Road. As you drive over Inverness Ridge, you'll see evidence of the 1995 Mt. Vision fire in the form of the young fir and pine trees that line the roadway.
Along the way, you'll see trailheads and parking areas for several popular trails, including Sky and Muddy Hollow trails, as well as a youth hostel and the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center. There are also several scenic overlooks that afford stunning vistas of Tomales Bay and the Limantour Estero.
Creating these beautiful custom crayons is a project I've wanted to try for a long time, and we finally got a chance to make these this past weekend. The results really exceeded our expectations!
These crayons look amazing and professional and are so easy to make. Plus, if you have kids, you probably have the materials to make them lying around the house already. These make a fun and pretty gift for Valentine's Day, as well as neat party favors. They even look great as decorations around the house.
To make these, the first thing you need to do is round up all the old crayons in your house. If you're like us, this should not be very difficult. Of course you can also go out and buy a box of crayons to make this craft, since they're not that expensive. (Once you make a batch of these, you'll find that you're always careful to bring home the leftover crayons that restaurants give you with the kids' menu.)