The Marshmallow Test of Success

The Marshmallow Test of Success

The Marshmallow Test of Success

While I was picking up Jaden from my parent’s house, my dad showed me a clip from PBS that he saved on DVR for me to watch. A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy TWO marshmallows later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behavior later in life? Although I love (safely) to do these kinds of social experiments on Jaden, I didn’t know about this study when she was 4. There is no doubt in my mind though that her deliberate, thoughtful, purposeful preschool self would have resisted temptation, especially when double the reward was offered. Learn below how researchers followed these kids for over 40 years and how there is a direct correlation between resisting temptation at four years old and finding success along life later on. SPOILER ALERT: There’s hope for the kids that ate the marshmallow too.

The Test

In the past, the kids were individually left in a room with a door, ages 4-6 years old at the table, on a chair, with a marshmallow on a plate.

  • Let him/her sit in the chair.
  • Tell them, “You can eat the marshmallow now but if you wait, when I come back you can have two marshmallows.”
  • Once you know they understand the message, leave the room (setup a video camera to watch what they do! …and leave a comment with details because I want to know too!)

As it turns out, the two out of three kids, will eat the marshmallow before 15 minutes is up and the adult returns with the promised marshmallow. One out of three kids will wait for the adult to return and be handsomely rewarded with the second marshmallow. The kids that wait are obviously exhibiting more self-control and able to delay gratitude. A lot of times they also demonstrated creative ways to prevent themselves from eating said sugar like:

  • Turning around in their chair, covering their eyes so they wouldn’t have to see the marshmallow
  • Pushing the plate further away from them so that temptation wouldn’t be within arms reach.

What’s interesting is that the scientists followed the children for many years, some for 50 years! The first check in, 12 years later, surprised the researchers. 100% of one and three kids that resisted the urge to eat the marshmallow and held out for the better prize were:

  • They scored 210 points higher in the SAT
  • Had higher confidence, concentration, and reliability

Those that didn’t wait:

  • Were found to be more easily frustrated, indecisive, disorganized.

And this makes sense. If you kid is able to delay gratification and demonstrate will-power, they might be better at pushing along a hard math problem without giving up the second it gets hard. They might not want to clean up, but they can push through the undesirable cleaning to become organized.

The test has been replicated with kids in Colombia and South Korea. Two in three kids eat the marshmallow. One in three kids resist.

Good News

Let’s say you have the kid the eats the marshmallow. Or you were that kid (or still are.) Researcher and autho Walter Mischel says there’s hope! Although the four year old toddlers, early on, were able to resist temptation for something more valuable, anyone can be taught the ability to delay gratification.

The hot system is the limbic system in the brain. And it is reflexive, immediate, emotional. So, in order to slow that hot system, you have to activate the cool system, the prefrontal cortex. The problem is that the hot system goes up when stress goes up. And when people are living under conditions of toxic poverty, those are conditions that create huge stress levels. And they make the hot system keep getting hot. – Walter Mischel

The earlier self-control is taught, the better. “Me want it but me wait”, said Cookie Monsters. Cookie Monster worked with Mischel to create a video “as the poster-child for someone needing to master self-regulation skills, attempts to explain these concepts while devising personal strategies on waiting to eat a cookie.” Huffington Post goes into more detail in their article as well.

Additional reading:

The Marshmallow Test: The Book

The book, by the world’s leading expert on self-control, Walter Mischel has proven that the ability to delay gratification is critical for a successful life.

The Marshmallow Test of Success

Publishing House book website here.

In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Mischel draws on decades of compelling research and life examples to explore the nature of willpower, identifying the cognitive skills and mental mechanisms that enable it and showing how these can be applied to challenges in everyday life–from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement.

The Marshmallow Test in a Digital World:

The Marshmallow Test of Success

(Credit: Dana Nelson)

I will add to this section as I go through more research material. If you don’t want to wait for the succinct summary, here are some articles I am currently reading on the same subject:

The Marshmallow Test of Success

Final note, watch these kids struggle through the test!

Dickens on Main

Dickens on Main

Dickens On Main is a FREE family event that brings tidings of good cheer to Boerne. This November is their 15th annual premier Christmas event. Stroll with loved ones through a decorated historic downtown, along the Hill Country Mile, while the sights and sounds of the weekend fill you with holiday joy. Instead of spending time maneuvering through the crazy crowds of Black Friday…support your local small town shops and buy your christmas presents with friends and family. In the past this event has occurred over two weekends so make sure you make time to come this time!

This family-friendly festival is the highlight of the season where traditionally 10,000 people descend on one of the best small towns in America! Streets are doused with real snow and a 60 foot ice slide carved by hand!

– Snow on Main Street Holiday
– Lighting Ceremony at Main Plaza
– Dickens Period Costumes

Friday, November 28, 2014 – 10:00am to 10:30pm
Saturday, November 29, 2014 10:00am to 10:30pm

Check out all the details in their brochure.

I had the great opportunity to listen to some of the volunteers working on this event and the planning started before the summer. The entire town is supporting it. There are arts and crafts activities that kids can do while they’re there or or take with them. Really quality crafts too, any queen of Pinterest would be happy. (Saving you time from having to search Pinterest yourself and find the crafts…)

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Get your tickets for the Stocking Stroll now, on sale for $20 each at the Chamber of Commerce. They will be able to take credit cards, as well as cash or check. The Stocking Stroll is an annual event that visitors and residents purchase tickets to participate in. You get a bag and a list of merchants to visit– present the card to the merchant and get a stocking stuffer! The Stocking Stroll event will be held on Saturday, Nov 29 from 10am – 6pm. Happy shopping!

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Special thanks for the goodie bag from:
Ella Blue -http://www.shopellablue.com/about.html

Celeste – http://shopcelestetx.com/

Fetch and Friskers Barkery & Bowtique (Boerne location) -http://www.shopellablue.com/about.html

Hillje Music – https://www.hilljemusiccenter.com/locations/boerne/

Lillians – http://www.lilliansshoppe.com/

Red Bird Retro – https://www.facebook.com/redbirdretro

Soda Pops & The Sugar Shack – http://www.sodapopsboerne.com/ and http://www.sodapopsboerne.com/Sugar-Shack.html

The Corner Cartel – – https://www.facebook.com/cornercartel

The Flower Shop – http://www.flowershopboernetexas.com/

Barbie Book Fail

Barbie Book Fail

I really push myself to be empathetic and consider multiples sides. I am frequently accused of justifying too much for people. But when I saw the headlines in my Facebook newsfeed about “Barbie’s I Can Be a Computer Engineer” book, I braced myself though for the worse and I was rewarded.

The book was first highlighted by The Daily Dot here and it is the anti-women in tech, empowering girls in STEM, or even encouraging girls to be independent. Even if Barbie couldn’t fix the computer, it would have been better if:

  • They showed her at least trying
  • Her girl friend (instead of boy friends) fixed the computer
  • She had her guy friends help her debug her actual program that she coded…not design that she was sending to a guy to code…

I majored in Computer Science and love #WomenInTech. If you want to know how you can set up girls in STEM for success check out my post about online programs for girls like Made with Code and how girls can be successful in math!

Barbie Book REMIX

And to end on a happier note…here’s the book remixed by someone who got insight from an actual computer programmer.

Full Barbie Book win! Read this to your kids tonight!

(Pictures from Buzzfeed here)

 

The Do Seum Construction Celebratory Bash

The Do Seum Construction Celebratory Bash

This Wednesday, I was excited to join The Do Seum as they celebrated the near completion of the exterior construction of the future site of San Antonio’s Children Museum.

We have seen 2800 Broadway transform from a flat patch of land into a dynamic structure with the vision of becoming one of the most state-of-the-art children’s museums in the United States,” says Vanessa Lacoss Hurd, executive director of the San Antonio Children’s Museum. “We want to celebrate not only how far we have come, but where we are headed as an institution and as a city.”

 

The San Antonio Children’s Museum is currently building a new home at 2800 Broadway Street. This new children’s museum, The Do Seum, will open in June 2015, placing it among the leading museums for children with over 65,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space and 30,000 square feet of outdoor exhibit space, as well as a greater emphasis on interactive science, technology, art and literacy activities.

Exciting New Exhibits

Here’s some of the things I am most excited about when they open next June 2015!

  • Outside exhibits
    • One side will be more tranquil, maybe for those overstimulated or overwhelmed, a running river and quiet area will help kids unwind a little bit
    • Otherwise will let kids get out all their energy before heading inside!
  • Spy Center – older kids can enjoy playing detective and improving their super sleuth skills
  • Piano Stairs
  • STEM focus and engineering stations upstairs
  • Live-streaming with children museum in Mexico!  Although it won’t initially be interactive, kids will be able to see kids in the same time zone in Mexico!
  • Area for new moms and babies to bond, learn together, and get good information from the community
  • Area for younger kids to safely play together

Keep in Touch

Learn about all of The Do Seum’s updates by keeping in touch with them on Social Media:

  • https://www.facebook.com/SanAntonioChildrensMuseum
  • https://www.facebook.com/thedoseum
  • http://vimeo.com/thedoseum
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/SAChildrensMuseum
  • https://twitter.com/SAKIDS
  • https://plus.google.com/107747426639768823134/posts

 

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Spice of Life Catering

Spice of Life, a full-service catering company based in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to catering future SACM events, Spice of Life will be the preferred caterer for rental events, as well as the operator of the museum’s new café, which will debut at The Do Seumin June 2015.  When I stopped by their station that had waffles, gooey cookies, and milk shots they were excited about the opportunity to partner.

Spice of Life was founded in 2004 by owner and Chef Mike Bomberg. The company specializes in preparing and serving creative and cutting-edge cuisine in a variety of settings around south Texas including private homes, offices, and ranches. Bomberg’s menus are driven by fresh ingredients, such as homegrown herbs and imaginative presentations. Examples of Spice of Life menus include breakfast, box lunches, lunch and dinner buffets, multicourse gourmet dinners, specialty suppers, and hors d’oeuvres receptions.

“We are so pleased to share our vision of imaginative and flavorful cuisine with members and visitors of The San Antonio Children’s Museum and The Do Seum,” says Bomberg. “We are currently in the midst of planning a menu for The Do Seum’s new café and are looking forward to unveiling it to the San Antonio community in June 2015.”

“We are proud to have Spice of Life as our culinary partner, especially as the museum nears its evolution to The Do Seum,” says Vanessa Hurd, chief executive officer at The San Antonio Children’s Museum. “Spice of Life’s imaginative and inspired menus are a nice complement to our exhibits, and we look forward to developing a long-term relationship.”

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Girls Inc. Made with Code

Girls Inc. Made with Code

I am very, VERY proud to be the mother of a strong, smart, and bold 11 year old girl who wears shirts with periodic tables and pi jokes. As a mom who majored in Computer Science and minored in Mathematics at college I feel very strongly about the following:

  • Empowering my daughter to feel like she can do anything with hard work
  • Giving her every opportunity to geek out as much as she wants to

People ask me all the time how I do it…and part of it is not letting one day go by where I don’t give her examples of women being strong, smart, and bold…whether it’s in the technology field or somewhere else. I actively seek out opportunities for my daughter to participate in programming, robotics, and engineering camps, activities, games, etc. Unfortunately a lot of times this can cost money and resources to make help her get back and forth in the middle of the day.

I am was so excited when Girls Inc asked me to share information about this FREE 2 hour workshop that they are offering for ANY girl, ages 12-18 to learn more about programming and pursuing opportunities in a technical field. Although it is never too late to explore your dreams, how incredible would it be to give girls the opportunity sooner than later. Let’s not let them get all the way through college before exposing them to needs our industry currently has for Computer Science majoring women.

Today, only 0.4% of female college freshmen plan to major in CS. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by the time girls in middle school go to college, there will be one million more CS jobs than computer scientists to fill them. Today, only about 10% of high schools offer Computer Science classes. And when they do, the curriculum isn’t always best suited to be inclusive of girls.

For the past four years, I have attended the Grace Hopper Conference which celebrates women in computing whether in the industry, academics, or majoring in school. Four years ago was the first time I had ever been in a room with 2,000 women who also majored in Computer Science. It was an amazing feeling. Since high school I was in advanced math classes where there were more boys then I went into Computer Science at UTSA and there were only a handful of girls there too. If we encourages girls 12-18 to start actively learning about a career in code, a hobby in coding, the possibilities programming presents, there will be less girls who are the only girl in the room. There will be more diversity in the classrooms from high school on up.

I <3 Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. San Antonio presents a “Made with Code” party is open to all girls ages 12-18 to demonstrate how programming can help make any dream come true, regardless of the interest area. Technology and programming are continuing to be a huge part of people’s lives. You don’t have to have any experience programming.

Event information can be found by clicking on the image or clicking here.

To sign up contact Girls Inc. of San Antonio at (210) 212-2510.

When: Sat., September 13th OR Sat., September 20th

Time: 10am-12pm OR 2pm-4pm

Place: St. Mary’s University Campus | 1 Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, TX 78288 { MAP }

 

Make sure you keep in touch with Girls Inc. San Antonio by following them on Facebook or Twitter.

Google Made with Code Initiative

Girls Inc. proudly joins Google in the Made with Code Initiative, which aims to inspire millions of girls to learn to code and to help them see coding as a means to pursue their dream careers. Girls Inc. will reach thousands of girls with an introduction to coding, building upon programming in which girls explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as part of their lives and potential career options. Girls Inc. is committed to helping girls discover how STEM and its many applications offer exciting opportunities today and for the future.

For those who want to get a head start or cannot attend one of the workshops, check out their online resources here. Activities include:

  • Animating your name
  • Making a card for friends
  • Making a meme
  • Making custom paper
  • Sewing a light up bookmark
  • Making a website
  • Make an app for your phone

There are also great resources for parents, teachers, and counselors who are excited about getting their kids involved.

Help Kids Build Strong Bones and Prevent Dangers of Heavy Backpacks

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries every year.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that the weight of a backpack should be less than 10-15 percent of a child’s body weight.  Backpacks that are too heavy or are worn incorrectly can cause problems for children and teenagers. Improperly used backpacks may injure muscles and joints. This can lead to severe back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems.

Choosing the Best Backpack

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons you should look for the following features:

  • wide, padded shoulder straps
  • two shoulder straps
  • padded back
  • waist strap
  • lightweight backpack
  • rolling backpack

Although none of those things scream, “cool!”, it’s so important for us as parents, guardians, and kid advocates to help kids prioritize what is really important.

Tips and Tricks

  • use both shoulder straps so the weight is evenly distributed
  • tighten straps so the load is carried closer to the back
  • DON’T ignore pain
  • talk to the school about lightening the load and get other parents to campaign with you
  • make sure there’s enough time for kids to stop by their locker

Healthy Adolescent Bones

Puberty is a very important time in the development of the skeleton and peak bone mass. Half of total body calcium stores in women and up to 2/3 of calcium stores in men are made during puberty. At the end of puberty, men have about 50% more body calcium than women.

Having a regular period is important to girls’ and women’s bone health because it indicates that sufficient estrogen is being produced. Estrogen is a hormone that improves calcium absorption in the kidneys and intestines.

  • The average girl grows the fastest in height between the ages of 11 and 12 years
    • Stops growing between the ages of 14 and 15 years
    • 95% of a young woman’s peak bone mass is present by age 20
  • The average boy has his fastest rate of growth in height between ages 13 and 14.
    • Stops growing between ages 17 and 18.
    • Peak bone mass occurs 9 to 12 months after the peak rate in height growth.

Exercise. Weightbearing exercise during the teen years is essential to reach maximum bone strength, i.e. running, walking, soccer, and basketball.

Nutrition

Nutritional requirements. Many adolescents and young adults do not get enough calcium. Both boys and girls age 10 to 20 years need at least 1,300 mg of calcium each day, the equivalent of:

  • One cup of orange juice with added calcium
  • Two cups of milk
  • One cup of yogurt

Did you know?

  • Vitamin D supplement is necessary to ensure the calcium that adolescents do take in is absorbed in the intestines.
    • Sodas and carbonated beverages should be avoided for many nutritional reasons, including for bone health and to prevent obesity.
    • Sodas decrease calcium absorption in the intestines and contain empty calories.
  • Milk, calcium-fortified juices, and water are better beverage alternatives for all age groups.

AOTA’s National School Backpack Awareness Day

Join the American Occupational Therapy Associations (AOTA) and occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and students across the country as we help others Live Life To Its Fullest by avoiding the pain and injury that can come from heavy backpacks and bags.

  • Students, parents, educators, school administrators, and community members will learn safety tips to stay protected from back pain throughout life.
  • You have the chance to help by organizing local events and educating people of all ages about proper bag usage.
  • Teach others how to properly choose, pack, lift, and carry various types of bags—including backpacks, purses, briefcases, and suitcases.
  • Celebrate American Occupational Therapy Association’s National School Backpack Awareness Day annually on the third Wednesday of each September.
  • See more at: http://www.aota.org/Conference-Events/Backpack-Safety-Awareness-Day.aspx#sthash.Z10DoO4u.dpuf

Ideas for having a successful Backpack Day Event here.  Backpack Day Handouts, Artwork, and Video here.

The Dangers Of Heavy Backpacks -- And How Kids Can Wear Them Safely
Image from Huffington Post

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio My good friend Stacy of Kids Stuff World enjoyed my post on 2014 Summer Reading Programs for Kids where I highlight programs that incentivize kids to read over the summer so they don’t lose any of the valuable things they learned during the school year. She mentioned interest in a post about 2014 free summer movies, especially in San Antonio, so here it goes! As I was writing the post, I realized that a lot of the sites didn’t have a clear list of the movies, when they were, and where so I tried to make that a little easier. Hope you enjoy this post and let me know what other kinds of posts you would be interested in in the future!

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio regal theaters Family fun movies playing on Tuesdays & Wednesdays for the summertime!

Admission to these movies during the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets must be purchased at the theater and all movies start at 10:00 am. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute. Search for a theater in your area to see where the Summer Movie Express is playing.

2014 Movie Schedule Includes:

  • Week 1 Hotel Transylvania The Smurfs 2
  • Week 2 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 The Pirates: Band of Misfits
  • Week 3 Arthur Christmas Despicable Me 2
  • Week 4 The Lego Movie Free Birds
  • Week 5 The Adventures of Tintin Rise of the Guardians
  • Week 6 Kung Fu Panda 2 Madagascar 3
  • Week 7 The Croods Epic
  • Week 8 Turbo Walking with Dinosaurs
  • Week 9 Mr. Peabody & Sherman Rio 2

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio regal theaters   2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio cinemark theaters Either pay $1 per film or pre-pay $5 for 10 movies! Click on your location to see what’s playing…when! For San Antonio Cinemark theaters, check out the theater at 410 and the one on New Braunfels Ave. 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio santikos theaters Santikos is offering Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am these movies are FREE!

  • The Croods – July 1, 2014 – July 2, 2014
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits – July 8, 2014 – July 9, 2014
  • Epic – July 15, 2014 – July 16, 2014

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio movies moonlight in travis park After six years of outdoor movies in HemisFair Park, the Movies by Moonlight summer outdoor film series is moving down the street, to Travis Park. Follow them on Facebook for more details and updates: https://www.facebook.com/SlabCinema All movies start at dusk.

  • July 1    Toy Story 2
  • July 8    Cars 2
  • July 15    Cloudy w/a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • July 22    The Smurf’s 2
  • July 29    Despicable Me 2

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio movies by moonlight in travis park 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio main plaza bikes MPC’s Cycle-In Cinema is one part of the bigger picture which aims to launch pedal power events and workshops at Main Plaza every year. MPC’s Cycle-In Cinema mission is to inspire and empower a wider understanding and uptake of renewable energy technologies and create a movement towards San Antonio reducing their energy consumptive habits. We will achieve this by engaging our audiences in how energy works in a fun and interesting way through this pedal powered movie series. Updates for movies are on their calendar of events or 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio main plaza bikes 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse Join Alamo Drafthouse Theaters in San Antonio to beat the heat this summer with the best family friendly movies around! All films are free and all ages are welcome! Tickets are available at the box office on the day of the show, and seating is first come, first served.

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse annie

Plays July 1st at 11am @ Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse despicable me

Plays July 1st at 11am in Stone Oak

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse rio 2

On July 8th at 11am in Stone Oak

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse kung fu panda

On July 8th at 1030am in Park North

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse frankenweenie

Plays at 11am at Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse   2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio city base cinema City Base Cinema’s is offering Summer Free Kid’s Movie Festival brought to you by ICEE. If you have a daycare, summer program, or just a bunch of kids this program is for you. Admission is FREE, but we highly suggest you call and make reservations, as last summer we had to turn people away. Website here. 2623 SE Military Drive, San Antonio, TX 78223 To make reservations, for the entire summer call now (210) 531-3000 x 7 and speak to Mr. Stewart San Antonio Public Libraries are offering all kinds of free movies for kids of all ages! Movies for kids, tweens, and elderly are featured here. Includes their Marvel Summer Movie series. 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo heights movies Free movies in Alamo Heights details here. Movie starts at 8:30 p.m. and will be held next to the Nature Trails parking lot off Viesca Street. Remember to get there early for the best seats. Don’t forget your coolers, chairs and blankets!

  • July 18 – Gravity
  • August 22 – Frozen

Keep up with them on Facebook here and their website here.

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs

 

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs

 

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs

Check out 10 FREE Summer Reading Programs below some even encouraging adults to read!  In Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers book, the author highlights the main negative education difference between demographics including race happens during the summer when “learning loss” occurs.  He explains how the kids who don’t have education support, incentive, etc. to continue learning lose a lot of the material their learned during the year.  Encourage your kids and their friends to read nonstop during the summer!

 Houston Public Library

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Houston Library

REGISTEREarly registration began May 1, 2014 and continues through August 1, 2014 at any Houston Public Library location during operating hours or remotely from a computer. Receive a free book, courtesy of Rosen Publishing, upon registration!*

READ or listen to books, enter book titles or reading time online and in your Badge Log booklet (be sure to ask your librarian for one). Go to your local Houston Public Library to pick up your prizes at the various book reading levels.

ATTEND hands-on workshops, enjoy performances and take part in activities to earn your Camp STREAM sticker badges (collect them in your Badge Log booklet)! Participate in at least 5 library programs ** and read a minimum of 5 books, to receive a special prize pack: a book bag and Chipotle meal coupon!*

REWARDS for reading include:

  • Registration: one free book and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.
  • 5 books or 5 hour level: reading certificate and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.
  • 10 books or 10 hour level: one free book and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.
  • 20 books or 20 hour level: additional free book, one coupon for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.
  • 30 books or 30 hour level: one admission voucher for the Houston Zoo, and entry into a Grand Prize drawing to win a Nintendo DSi or a LEGO 8MP digital camera, and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.

Pottery Barn Kids

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Pottery Barn Kids

Books a Million

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Books a Million

Download the reading form from Books a Million here.

Borden Milk

BordenSummer reading Program Borden

 

Borden Milk is offering FREE books redeemable by entering the code on the milk jug.

Sylvan Learning Center

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Book Adventures

Sylvan Learning Center is offering another reading program option here.  Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success. Start your reading adventure! Site tour here.

Scholastic

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Scholastic

Scholastic’s reading programThe Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free online reading program for children. Join today and let’s set a new reading world record for summer 2014! (May 5 – Sept 5, 2014).  Kids can register here.  Educators can learn more here.  Parents learn more here.

Half Price Books

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Half Price Books

Half Price Books talks about their program here.  Once of my favorites!

  1. Read for at least 15 minutes each day in the months of June and July. (Grown-ups may read aloud to kids who are still learning.)
  2. Add up your minutes and have your parent or guardian initial each week.
  3. Once you’ve read 300 minutes, turn in your completed log to earn HPB Bookworm Bucks for each month.
  4. We’ll award one top reader per age group each month with a TOP READER prize – a $20 HPB Gift Card!*

Barnes and Noble

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Barnes and noble

Barnes and Noble offers kids FREE books.

Step 1.  Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal (PDF).
Step 2.  Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store.  Find a Store.
Step 3. Choose a FREE BOOK from our selection on the Reading Journal list at the store… Enjoy reading!
More activities for parents and teachers here.

San Antonio Public Library

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs San Antonio Public Library

San Antonio Public Library offers programs for non-readers, readers, and teens!

For Kids:

  • By reading 8 books this summer, you can earn a Certificate signed by Mayor Castro — and — receive a free paperback book to keep!
  • First day to turn in your log: June 15
  • Last day to turn in your log: August 31

Teens:

  • Welcome to Teen Summer Reading Program where you can connect with friends via Facebook, share book reviews and comment about what’s going on at your library this summer. PLUS, you can do it all on your smartphone. Register here

Adults:

  • San Antonio Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading Challenge is to read 4 books, any 4 books (ebooks and audiobooks included), between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2014.
  • All adults who finish the challenge before 5pm on Aug. 31 will be eligible for a drawing for a chance to win an eReader. 
  • Beginning June 1, you can create a record here to keep track of your reading, and you can post reviews of the books you’ve completed. 

HEB

Download and print out this summer: 2014-english-summer-reading-club_heb

  • Grab a pen and fill out the form on the back side of this flyer.  Just pick out 10 books and get started.
  • After you finish reading each one, log it in the form. Be sure to have a grownup put their initials by each book you’ve read.M
  • Mailing the form to:
    • H•E•Buddy® 2014 Summer Reading Program
    • 10530 Sentinel
    • San Antonio, Tx 78217
  • Your form must be postmarked by October 1, 2014.
  • In 3 – 4 weeks, you’ll receive the cool prizes for reading all 10 books.

50+ free things for kids and families to do in San Antonio this summer

Check out San Antonio Mom Blogs for 50 FREE things to do in San Antonio!

 

 

Disney on Ice: Frozen San Antonio Early Code

From now until June 2, 2014, get your tickets to Disney on Ice: Frozen when they come to San Antonio before anyone else!

April 2
THU 07:30 PM

April 3
FRI 01:00 PM
FRI 07:30 PM

April 4
SAT 11:30 AM
SAT 03:30 PM
SAT 07:30 PM

April 5
SUN 02:30 PM
SUN 06:30 PM

Onsale to General Public, Tue. Jun 03 2014, 10:00 AM – Thu. Apr 02 2015, 05:30 PM…get yours between now and then by using the code: EARLY.

Disney on Ice: Frozen San Antonio presale tickets

 

Disney on Ice: Frozen

Enter a fantastical winter wonderland beyond all imagination at Disney On Ice presents Frozen! The heartwarming, Academy Award-winning tale you love is now LIVE and skating into your town. You¿ll be magically whisked away into the wintery world of Arendelle, where you will be dazzled by amazing special effects and astonishing skating. Sing and dance along to inspiring songs, including “Let it Go.” Join royal sisters Elsa and Anna, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven and the mystical trolls as they journey to discover that true love is ultimately the most magical power of all!

Hosted by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, with special guest appearances by your most beloved Disney Princesses and characters from favorites like Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, this unforgettable celebration of love and friendship will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime.

GeoPalz ibitz wireless pedometer for adults and kids

ibitz™ by GeoPalz® is a wireless pedometer. The new ibitz Kid and Adult Wireless Pedometers, are physical activity based devices and apps that wirelessly syncs to your iOS Bluetooth 4.0® (BLE) phone or tablet and allows adults and children their own unique experience with personalized apps. The ibitz Unity for adults tracks steps, distance, weight (added manually), height, overall physical activity, even BMI, and allows them to incorporate their family and friends. Now you are able to form groups and post your progress on social media.

Buy at Best Buy here.

  • iBitz – Adult Unity Wireless Activity Monitor – Reg retail $49.99
  • iBitz – Kids PowerKey Wireless Activity Monitor – Reg retail $34.99

My daughter who is 11 and I used our together and LOVED it!  It definitely forced us in an easy way to pay attention to our activity (or sometimes inactivity) so we could improve!

GeoPalz ibitz wireless pedometer for adults and kids

GeoPalz ibitz wireless pedometer for adults and kids

The ibitz for kids wireless pedometer syncs to a rewards platform app. Parents can set goals and rewards such as play time, screen time, or an adventure with a parent. Now you are able to earn coins and content on Disney’s Club Penguin™.

The ibitz by GeoPalz wireless pedometers make investing in a healthy future completely effortless, fun, intelligent, and affordable.

· available in 7 kid-friendly colors
· free iOS app* syncs device wirelessly
· syncs via Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE)
· tracks activity
· set goals and rewards
· water-resistant
· durable clip for hip and shoe
· stores 30 days of activity
· earn parent directed rewards
· earn coins and content on Disney’s Club Penguin

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Star Wars Birthday Party

I am so proud of the Star Wars Birthday Party I just finished throwing. I’m exhausted, and for a brief moment I considered putting this post off and writing it eventually (or getting to it two years later…) but today is May 4th and there’s literally no better day to write a blog post about Star Wars birthday parties than today.

Eventually I will go back and make individual how-to posts on how I did everything inspired by Star Wars and Pinterest…and I’ll make the cute photo collages of the party for easy consumption but after a marathon of crafting craziness, here’s some pictures from my daughter’s 11th year old “May the Fourth be with You” party. (I will also soon write the blog post about San Antonio Laser Tag and their amazing laser tag guns that we rented for the party.)

Star Wars Birthday Party Pictures

Here are some of the pictures from the party.  I will go into detail about them in future posts but here’s the quick and dirty.

Star Wars Birthday Party

Made with a linoleum cutter from Michael craft store like the poker pumpkin I made here.

Star Wars Birthday Party

Bubble wands from the dollar store with strategically placed duct tape.

Star Wars Birthday Party

80% off Star Wars goodie bag items from Target, Michaels, and the Dollar Store.

Star Wars Birthday Party

Fresh veggies from the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market.

Star Wars Birthday PartyStar Wars Birthday Party

Snowflake designs cut out and put on paper pinwheels.

Star Wars Birthday Party

Trader Joe’s white and chocolate cake mixes with homemade buttercream frosting (coconut oil substituted for Crisco…)

Star Wars Birthday PartyStar Wars Birthday Party

White bags from the dollar store with a storm trooper printed out.

Star Wars Birthday PartyStar Wars Birthday PartyStar Wars Birthday Party

Clearance fabric from Michaels, $2.

Star Wars Birthday PartyStar Wars Birthday PartyStar Wars Birthday PartyStar Wars Birthday PartyStar Wars Birthday Party

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

One of my most popular blog posts ever was my 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics post where I included everything you possibly could’ve wanted to know about the 2010 winter games. By popular demand I did a 2010 Education Winter Olympics post as well.

This will be the XXII Olympic Winter Games which will run from February 7th though the 23rd, a total of 17 days of fierce competition. During this time 85 different teams will proudly represent their countries and their families. The games will take place in 11 newly constructed sports venues across Sochi, Russia. 48 billion TV viewers are anticipated to watch the games, all of which will be broadcasted online!

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Follow through Social Media:

Sports:

Wondering what events are included in the winter Olympics? Here’s direct links to each winter sport represented this year.

Online Events:

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

With over 1,000 hours of live streaming coverage, NBC Olympics will offer live streaming overage of all the winter Olympic games (*if you get NBC through a pay-TV subscription…) For those that don’t have cable, a limited number of the games will be available, TBD which ones.

Main Events:

  • Opening Ceremony: Feb. 7, 2014 @ 7pm
  • Closing Ceremony: Feb. 23, 2014 @ 7pm

Mascots:

The Olympic mascot(s) is a tradition that started at the Munich games in 1972. Check out this link to see the history and the evolution of mascots over the years.

Fun Material:

Here’s some additional interesting resources and materials I found while devouring the website.

  • ABC’s of Sochi: go through each letter of the alphabet to learn fun facts about this year’s winter Olympics!
  • Photos: frequently updated with beautiful photo coverage, filter by most recent, sport galleries, ceremonies, and more.
  • News: latest press coverage
  • Tweet/Like to vote to support your country or your favorite athlete!

Everything Else:

Going through the official website (so you don’t have to…) here’s some details I found for spectators:

  • Download the official spectator’s guide here

Pleygo | LEGO Netflix

As the mother a 10 year old daughter who has been obsessed with LEGO products for probably three fourths of her life, I was ecstatic when I received an email about an opportunity to experience three months of a Netflix like service, Pleygo, that allows kids to add LEGO sets to a wish list, and by a monthly subscription, receive new sets once the initial set is returned.

Pleygo | LEGO Netflix free LEGO coupon code

Awesome Features:

  1. You’re not charged if your child loses a couple of pieces…
  2. They send a bag of common misplaced pieces
  3. If your child desperately wants to keep the set…they can for retail price!
  4. Everything is ultrasonic cleaned before shipping!

 

Payment Plans

Fan

Get small/medium sets (up to 250 pieces)

$15/month, free shipping

Pleygo | LEGO Netflix free LEGO coupon code

SuperFan

Get small/medium/large sets (250-500 pieces)

$25/month, free shipping

Pleygo | LEGO Netflix free LEGO coupon code

MegaFan

Get small-large/ huge sets (access to ALL LEGO sets)

$39/month, free shipping

Pleygo | LEGO Netflix free LEGO coupon code

 

Start FREE Trial Today!

Click on the image to start your FREE one month’s trial today! Start your wish list and choose sets from Pleygo’s huge inventory of LEGO products and get them delivered right to your door a la Netflix style!

 

Pleygo | LEGO Netflix free LEGO coupon code free month trial

FREE Back to School Printables

For all of those crafty parents that love to go all out on back to school parties, breakfast messages, and other sweet surprises to hype up the new school year, this is the post for you! Here are back to school printables that I have found that are adorbs and FREE! Don’t spend time searching, while you could be spending extra time with your child (or cutting out these printables once they go to sleep with a nice glass of vino…)  Dedicated to my friends Kara and Casey who always go over the top  and give me something to craft towards! <3

For each printable, the hyperlink has the site name (with a direct link to the specific post…) and you can click on images for direct link to download.

EllieBeAndDesign.com

Adorable signs for the first day of preschool through the first day of your life! Link to each year at the bottom of their post.

FREE Back to School Printables - first day of school printables from preschool through high school!
Click image for direct download link!

CatchMyParty.com

Nice long PDF of fantastic printables! Book tags, labels, notes, circle punches galore!

FREE back to school printables - labels, notes, numbers, signs, circles
Click image for direct download link!

And more

FREE back to school printables -
Click image for direct download link!

And the banner

FREE back to school printables - Back to School printable banner
Click image for direct download link!

TheCraftingChicks.com

FREE back to school printables - days of the week labels for clothes organization
Click image for direct download link!

LivingLocurto.com

FREE back to school printables - morning routine and getting ready printable signs for girls
Click image for direct download link!
FREE back to school printables - morning routine and getting ready printable signs for boys
Click image for direct download link!

iHeartNapTime.net

Click on the link for a full size image of each grade.

FREE back to school printables - first day of school printable sign for each grade
Click image for direct download link!

ThirrtyHandmadeDays.com

TONS of printables!

FREE back to school printables - free printables include binder cover, grade for pictures, all about me card to fill out, calendar
Click image for direct download link!

iHeartNaptime.net

FREE back to school printables - labels for school lunches and notes

RunWithGlitter.blogspot.com

Lots of cute “This Belongs to:” tags.

FREE back to school printables - free book labels this belongs to me

TheCraftingChicks.com

Download a nice zip file of these super cute letters!

FREE back to school printables - zipfile of printable letters

Lollyjane.com

Lots of cute backpack labels and monograms.

FREE back to school printables - free printable backpack labels

CatchMyParty.com

FREE back to school printables - apples, letters, and #1 teacher printables

SimplyGraphicDesign.net

FREE back to school printables - school supply clipartFREE Back to School Printables - free school clip art

TaterTotsAndJellow.com

Download adorable back to school chalkboard banner!

FREE Back to School Printables - free printable chalkboard back to school banner

PrettyMyParty.com

Adorable water bottle labels!

FREE Back to School Printables - free printable water bottle labels

Pizzazzerie.com

FREE Back to School Printables - envelope labels

FREE Back to School Printables - envelope labels

TheCraftingChicks.com

FREE Back to School Printables - how i'm feeling and conversation starter templates

PoofyCheeks.com

FREE Back to School Printables - fill out information at the start of school year

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities

This post was inspired by my friends who had babies recently but are getting to the age where they’re ready to rock and roll.  Free kid events at stores!  Although I have posted about it in the past…I was going through previous blog posts and some of the links have become extinct!  Here are some oldies but goodies, posts from my past:

Stores Offering FREE Kid Activities

Wanted to have the latest and greatest, here’s my updated list.

 

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities lakeshore learning

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities lakeshore learning

Lakeshore Learning – store offers a Saturday arts and craft activity.  Not only are the crafts cleverly designed but also very intricate and interesting.  We normally go for about an hour or so, doing the craft and then going around the store and playing with all the toys laid out on display.  We sometimes bring a friend or meet someone there.  On holidays they offer multiple things to do, perfect gifts for all the grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities lowes build and grow kids workshop

Lowe’s – signup because supplies and slots go by for this bi-monthly clinic for kids…make a putting green, pirate ship, and many more fun things, again FREE!  Activities are from 10-11 and you get the Lowe’s apron on the first visit to collect pins for each craft.

 

 

 

 

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities home depot kids workshop

Home Depot – on the first Saturday of every month, visit here for another hammer and nails activity.  They’ll also get a kid-size apron and activity pin, FREE!

 

 

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities Michaels kid craft events

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities Michaels kid craft events

Michael’s – Almost free, a steal at $2 an event!  They also have free kids events (adult friendly too!) frequently offered at local Michael stores.

 

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities disney store kids events

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities disney store kids events

Visit your local store for more information. Details here. Events take place every day from July 2 – September 2. See a Cast Member to find out what times the events will be offered.

 

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities pottery barn kids events

Check out their activities here. Summer reading program, weekly story times, craft events! All FREE!

 

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities lego store kids events

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities lego store kids events

LEGO stores offer all kinds of fun, FREE activities! A lot end with your child receiving a mini LEGO figure! Explore the store, even if you don’t buy a new Star Wars set.

 

 

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities barnes and noble kids events

Stores Offering Free Kid Activities barnes and noble kids events

There are tons of great FREE events coming to your neighborhood Barnes and Noble! Right now there are kids activities, the launch of a new LEGO architecture studio, storytime, art activities, and other fun things to do.