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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

February 18, 2016
It's My Birthday, Finally!

A Leap Year Is...

Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire

Suki: Favorite Board Books
Favorite Boardbooks
Click to view our Business Directory
  It's My Birthday, Finally!

(A Feb 2016) ItsMyBirthday_Finally.jpgIn 2016 we have a "Leap Day"! Imagine being born on February 29. Not only is your birthday  slightly rare, and special, you get to choose a day for celebrating your birth. The odds of being born on a day that only comes around every four years are 1/1461 or 0.068 %.  Math challenge: Give children the answer and ask them how to get there!

On a fun note, please send us photos of your kids' self-built, creative, made-from-materials-at-hand forts, hideouts, dens, playhouses. 

(A Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease recommend our newsletter to new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events! We cannot fit them all into this newsletter.  There are more on the online calendar.

Have a great Valentines weekend! Parmalee

 

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  A Leap Year Is...

(A Feb 2016) leap_year_366Days.jpgA leap year (also known as an intercalary year or a bissextile year) is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting (also called intercalating) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.

For example, in the Gregorian calendar, each leap year has 366 days instead of the usual 365, by extending February to 29 days rather than the common 28.

 

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  Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire

(A Feb 2016) MakerFaire_Call-for-Makers-232x300.jpgWELCOME...WE ARE LIVE!

What is the Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire?

By Zachary Roberts, Santa Cruz Tech Beat

This is a family-friendly event that celebrates the creativity and inventiveness of companies and individuals in the Santa Cruz community. The Mini Maker Faire allows creators and tinkerers to showcase their work to the community, while the public comes to enjoy hands-on, interactive experiences, connect with like-minded people, and to be inspired. Maker Faire supports the ideas of passionate innovation, collaboration and joyful connection with others, and hands-on doing as a way of experiencing the world. Check out http://www.makerfairesantacruz.com/ for more!

(A Feb 2016) MakerFaire_robots.jpgSanta Cruz has a vibrant maker's scene. The Mini Maker Faire will help makers network with other makers, provide opportunities for individuals and companies to showcase their innovative nature and new products, and inspire and educate our community about the amazing and creative makers who live and work here.

The theme for this year's Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire is INVENTION LITERACY

Historically, literacy used to refer to being able to read and write. In the last several decades, new forms of literacy have been identified, including Digital Literacy (skills that are used in executing tasks in digital environments), Media Literacy (ability to think critically about different types of media), Information Literacy (ability to evaluate, locate, identify, and effectively use info), Political Literacy (knowledge and skills needed to actively participate in political matters), and Multicultural Literacy (knowledge and appreciation of other cultures) just to name a few (thanks to http://digitalis.nwp.org/ for these definitions).

(A Feb 2016) MakerFaire_Kid.jpgThe Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire will be focusing on another newly emerging form of literacy - Invention Literacy, an interdisciplinary skillset that combines creativity (the ability to bring one's ideas into reality), entrepreneurship (perceiving an opportunity), problem solving (defining a problem, identifying the cause, determining solutions, and implementing a preferred solution), technological literacy (using technology effectively in different ways), and a variety of other skills to make, iterate, tinker and create!

We hope you explore this website, share it with your friends and your social media, and get in touch if you (or your company) wants to sponsor, present, or volunteer at this year's Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire!

 

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  Suki: Favorite Board Books

(A Oct) Suki_2015.jpgA relative recently had a baby, so I thought I'd go raid our board book collection and give them a few of our favorites. Unfortunately, our remaining board book collection is being protected by a fierce dragon-uh, 13-year-old daughter-who swears that she will never part from them.

"Isn't he too young for board books, anyway?" she asked.

Well, no. Babies are never too young for board books. Our babies loved being read to from board books. Sitting on Mom or Dad's lap, looking at fun pictures, hearing them say funny inscrutable things, and-bonus!-chewing on cardboard book edges. What's not to love?

Board books also lasted well past their recommended age. I won't say how long ago it was that my 13-year-old grudgingly allowed me to move them from her bookshelves into her closet so she'd have some space on her shelves. Let's just say she didn't have any baby teeth left when it happened!

Here are a few of our favorites, including why we loved them: >>>>>>>

Suki says "I am a writer of fiction and nonfiction and a teacher at Athena's Advanced Academy. My books are From School to Homeschool and Hanna, Homeschooler."

 

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Mount Madonna PreK-12, Open House featuring Hands-on Science and Conversation Cafe 2/20

 

Cabrillo College, College Planning 2/29

 

Gateway K-8, School Day Tours 3/8

 

Mount Madonna PreK-12, Meet us in Aptos 3/10

 

Waldorf K-8, A Walk Through the Grades 3/16

 

All School Events

Munching with Mozart

Tatiana Rekow
on saxophone and clarinet!

Thursday, Feb.18
12:10 - 12:50pm
Downtown Library

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Come bring your lunch and eat with the Friends while you listen to Winds in the Afternoon! Don't miss out on your monthly musical program featuring the alto sax, oboe, piano, and clarinet.

 

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Prepare for Mini Maker Faire!
click to view website
  Prepare for Mini Maker Faire!
Date:
view all details >>
     
Clam Chowder Cook-Off
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  Clam Chowder Cook-Off
City of Santa Cruz
Date: Every day (Feb 25-Feb 26)
Details: Join the fun and excitement as talented Chefs from throughout the West Coast compete for the glory of the BEST CLAM CHOWDER!
Special Instructions: Each Tasting Kit Includes 6 taste tickets, spoon, cup, and a People's Choice ballot.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Family Barn Dance
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  Family Barn Dance
Discovery Learning Center, Santa Cruz Korean Center
Date: 03/06/2016 from 2:00pm to 5:30pm
Ages: All Ages / Family Event
Details: Bring the whole family out for a barn dance featuring live music performed by the Hey!Makers, no experience necessary.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 531-7352 view all details >>
     
FREE Parents of Teens Support Group
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  FREE Parents of Teens Support Group
Positive Discipline Community Resources
Date: The last Wed of every month from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Ages: Parents of Teens
Details: Transforming Lives through Respectful Relationships!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 476-7284 view all details >>
     
Clubs for Kids
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  Clubs for Kids
Discovery Learning Center
Date: Every weekday (Feb 1-Jun 17)
Details: Join us and get a taste of what our community is about
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 531-7352 view all details >>
     
Hides & Tallow
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  Hides & Tallow
State Park Mission
Date: 01/14/2017 at 1:00pm
Details: Learn about the major products of the mission especially leather and tallowl
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.425-5849 view all details >>
     
Prepare for Mini Maker Faire!
click to view website
  Prepare for Mini Maker Faire!
Date:
view all details >>
     
Carrie's Dream Dance Scholarship Showcases and Auction
click to view website
  Carrie's Dream Dance Scholarship Showcases and Auction
Carrie's Dream
Date: 02/12/2017 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Ages: All
Details: 150 young dancers will perform and dazzle the audience, all while raising funds for local dance scholarships
Special Instructions: 1pm & 5pm
City: Aptos Phone: 831-471-8142 view all details >>
     
Prepare for Mini Maker Faire!
click to view website
  Prepare for Mini Maker Faire!
Date:
view all details >>
     
Meet Suki Wessling, Musician
click to view website
  Meet Suki Wessling, Musician
Suki Wessling
Date: 07/01/2016 at 7:00pm
Ages: All
Details: You know Suki through her writing. Now meet Suki the musician
Special Instructions: Proceeds benefit the Cultural Center
City: Corralitos view all details >>
     
     
  Favorite Boardbooks

Here are a few of our favorites, including why we loved them:

Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman

Who can say why this book is so charming? We, a family of words, just loved this book that only has a few. We, a family that gets queasy when visiting zoos, loved this tale of zoo animals running the show. This book is full of sly details in the pictures that kids love to look at. Pre-verbal children react to the fun pictures (and the book edges that are great for teething). Older children like to talk about what's happening in the pictures that is not in the text.

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

OK, I will admit that we didn't have this in board book form. However, I'm adding it because it would have been great that way and it was one of our all-around favorite books. Ehlert's incredible collage art is wonderful. She chooses some obvious and some very quirky fruits and vegetables to feature. And for some reason, kids just can't get enough of alphabet books!

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Somebody gave us Jamberry as a gift. Can't remember who it was, but I do remember looking at it skeptically and wondering if we'd like it. Did we like it? Oh, yes. Degen's ridiculous rhymes and unstoppably silly story was so fun to read that we the parents didn't even get sick of it. (Well, OK, maybe just a little.) And this was one of those books where our kids would finish the sentences for us. Memorizing books, by the way, is a great way for kids to learn to read. Both of our kids became natural, whole-word readers very suddenly, and I think that having memorized books so they could then apply reading rules backwards was part of the reason.

First Book of Sushi by Amy Wilson Sanger

Noticing a theme here? Our kids loved to read about food. Probably that's partly their parents' influence, but I think it's also because food is such a universal theme. Kids are hungry so much of the time that food is extremely important to them. And the lovely thing about Sanger's books is that they feature non-standard American food. I remember the first time I saw a kid eating sushi-I moved to California in the 80's from the Midwest and one day sat next to a grandmother and her son who looked to be about four. She asked him what he wanted. "Unagi, Gramma!" he said enthusiastically. A kid eating eel? My world was rocked. My kids' world was so much different from mine-they were exposed to the love of international food from a very early age. My kids loved to point at the pieces of sushi they wanted, and then we'd pretend to eat them.

Yum Yum Dim Sum by Amy Wilson Sanger

People often ask how we got our kids to be such adventurous eaters. Well, just as a taste of our attitudes, I will tell you that after we read that sometimes babies would reject breastmilk after the mom had ingested unusually stinky food, my husband and I decided that we needed to make sure to eat a lot of unusually stinky food! My first takeout after my son was born was Thai. My son's first meal was actually dim sum. We were at our favorite restaurant during the period while we were attempting to introduce single solid foods one by one, just like they tell you to. He hated solid food. But there he was, sitting next to us, drooling and smacking his lips at the scent of dim sum. We decided that because we were three minutes' drive away from the nearest hospital, we'd take the chance. From then on, our babies ate the same thing we did, mushed up or ground up in a baby food grinder we would carry with us. Tangy, spicy, sweet or sour, they loved it all.

DK Board Books

If you are a family that loves words, you have to invest in some DK books. Our kids loved them and we would read them over and over and over. They start from the simple Baby Faces, which babies love, move to the "my first" series like My First Colors, get into words in general such as in My First Wordsthen move into genres such as farm animals (my kids loved this one!), bodies, vehicles, animals, and dinosaurs. The very best DK book we ever had doesn't seem to exist anymore. It was a non-board book with hundreds of pictures and words in it. My kids just loved to sit and look at the book and make motions and noises to accompany all the words the book portrayed. It wasn't this book, but something like it on a much larger scale.

I will conclude with one piece of advice: If you decide to buy bathtub books for your child (and I certainly hope you do!), spray them with bleach once a month. You really don't want to know what starts to grow on there after it's been read-and teethed on-for as long as ours were.

Enjoy!

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