Tomorrow and Saturday (March 11-12), Verizon Wireless will celebrate the opening of a new store at Quail Springs Mall with events for kids and adults alike.
According to a news release, the fun will begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday, during which the company will present a $1,000 check to YWCA of Oklahoma City. And for all us techie parents, at 5 p.m., the store will unveil the new iPad 2.
Festivities will continue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the store’s Kids’ Day, with FREE family activities, such as face-painting, a moon bounce, complimentary tacos from Big Truck Tacos (YUM!!) and prize giveaways.
“The focus is around family and getting the children involved,” said Michael Perry, Quail Springs store manager.
This morning’s Roundup assembly was pretty special at Edmond’s West Field Elementary School.
For the first time, the children from the developmentally delayed classes were the presenters.
Their teachers were nervous, the students were orderly on the risers, wearing Dr. Seuss hats made from red and white paper.
My son, Cade, was one of the younger students involved and was placed on the front row.
When I came into the gym, he ran over to me to give me a hug — a couple of times. So, I had to leave and then sneak back in to sit in another location.
Friday morning “Roundup” is a gathering of all the teachers and students. They recite the Pledge of Allegiance and school creed, listen to announcements and sing songs. It’s a good way to end the week and recognize students and classes for their weekly accomplishments.
Each week, a different group of students helps to present the program.
As the students said their names and directed the gathering on what was coming next, it was moving to see their excitement, anticipation and delivery of their speaking parts.
When Cade said his name, his voice was loud and sweet. His language development is still “developing,” but you couldn’t mistake the way he proudly spoke into the microphone.
I smiled and laughed a little, giddy with the excitement of seeing my baby perform in front of a group. Then, for a moment, tears came to my eyes, a flash flood of emotions coming over me.
But I recovered and was able to enjoy this simple — but very important — moment of the day.
Afterward, the teachers were asking questions, “How did they sound? Could you hear them?” and saying, “They did such a good job!”
It was a milestone for the school. It’s not only good for the students who presented, but also for the students in the audience. And good for the teachers. And good for the parents attending.
And good for the community.
These lovely children are a part of the community, and the public display of their talents and dedication is a lesson in how they, too, can contribute to the activities in everyday life.
It was a proud and moving moment for me.
Here’s some news from the Oklahoma City Zoo:
The Zoo’s Education department is offering a mother’s day out program beginning in February. The program will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nature Explorers Mother’s Day Out Program will run from Feb. 15 to May 26 and is for children ages 3 and 4. (Child must be 3 or 4 on or before September 1, 2010.)
The program will promote interaction skills, self direction, language skills, intellectual growth and environmental awareness.
For more information, including a program handbook, tuition costs and registration forms, go to http://zoofieldtrips.publishpath.com/explorers.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Sprite are teaming up for a contest in honor of Black History Month, the Thunder announced in a release. Children from kindergarten through grade 12 can participate. Read on and best of luck!
Hey kids! I would like to extend a special invitation to you.
The Thunder and Sprite invite students, grades K-12, to participate in the third annual Black History Heroes Challenge. In honor of Black History Month, students are encouraged to submit a creative piece highlighting their hero from black history. By entering, students become eligible to win prizes courtesy of the Thunder.
Students may either submit one essay or poem that describes what makes a specific individual a black history hero or a hero in their personal life, or one visual arts piece that illustrates their hero along with a descriptive paragraph.
Please click on the link below or visit thunder.nba.com for more information.
Toddler Programs: Come experience nature in a safe and happy environment! Your toddler will delight in our animals through crafts, activities, discovery stations, animal visitors and guided zoo excursions. Ages 2-3 and 4-5. Call for dates and times.
School’s Out Safari Day Camps: Monday, Jan. 17
Looking for a unique adventure for your children while they are home on school holidays? Join us for a day loaded with arts, crafts, games, zoo tours and animal encounters. Offers flexible drop off and pick up times.
- Meet 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Zoo’s Education Building
- Cost per child per day is $35 and each additional sibling is $25
- Require advance registration (space is limited) and payment
- Snacks provided but children must bring their own lunch
- Ages 4-12 years
Saturday, Jan. 15 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Ages 3 and up
Brr! Tired of the cold weather? Our cold-loving animal friends aren’t! Join us for a cool afternoon of animal fun that is sure to warm your heart.
Oh, Pooh Bear!
Thursday, Jan. 20 or Saturday, Jan. 22 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
It’s a Pooh party! Celebrate 84 years of this willy-nilly bear. Enjoy crafts, snacks and a meet-n-greet with Pooh’s woodland friends.
Get Ready and Draw Art Classes
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 10:30 a.m to noon
Pooper Bowl Party
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
This interactive program will give families the scoop on poop through games, crafts, stories, songs, treks and other hidden surprises.
Habitat Box Teacher Workshops: Saturday, Jan. 22 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (tundra, rainforest & grassland) and Saturday, Feb. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (wetland, temperature forest and desert)
Back by popular demand! These teacher make-n-take workshops allow you to create your very own set of classroom “Habitat Boxes”. Each box includes items, artifacts and curriculum specific to each habitat. You may sign up for one or both sessions. This workshop is appropriate for formal, non-formal and homeschool educators.
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
It’s a wild, wild world! Come explore some of our wild things while earning your “Sharing Your World with Wildlife” Bear Cub Achievement! (Bear Cub Scouts: 3rd grade)
You’ve Got the Whole World in Your Hands
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Our earth is in trouble and only you can save it! Join us to learn how you can help while earning your “Your Living World” Wolf Cub Achievement! (Wolf Cub Scouts: 2nd grade)
All programs require pre-registration. Call 405.425.0218 for more information or to register.
As you might know, I’m a big fan of Bass Pro Shops. They always have something fun and FREE going on for the kids and I always take full advantage.
My favorite is their Christmas Wonderland. They pack December full of free crafts, fun displays, games and a FREE studio-quality 4 X 6 photo with Santa. So skip the expensive mall Santa photos and head down to Bass Pro.
Crafts are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. (while supplies last) and include:
Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 4 & 5: Snowman Suncatcher ornament
Dec. 7 – 9, 11 & 12: Wooden ornaments
Dec. 14 – 16, 18 & 19: Reindeer ornaments
Dec. 21-23: Cookie decorating
From now through Dec. 12, Santa photos are 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
From Dec. 13 to Dec. 24, photo hours are extended to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays and Christmas Eve.
All games and activities are available during store hours. These include toy trains, slot car racing, laser and soft gun arcades, remote control trucks and video games.
Also, this year, Bass Pro is giving away free “Santa Bandz” to the first 150 children on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Bandz are different each week.
For more information about Santa’s Wonderland, click here.
With the holidays quickly approaching, and the biggest shopping day of the year this Friday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission releases its “top tips for a safer holiday toy shopping and playing experience.”
1. Always choose age-appropriate toys for children. Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
2. Include safety gear whenever shopping for sports-related gifts or ride-on toys including bicycles, skates and scooters. Helmets and other safety gear should be worn properly and be sized to fit.
3. Be aware of your child’s surroundings during play. Young children should avoid playing with ride-on toys near streets and traffic, pools or ponds. They should avoid playing in indoor areas near hazards such as kitchens, bathrooms or rooms with corded window blinds.
4. Once gifts are opened, immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging from toys.
5. Battery-charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose a thermal burn hazard to young children.
6. For children younger than 3, avoid toys with small parts and small balls. For Children younger than 6, avoid toys with small magnets. Keep all young children away from broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children 8 and younger. Balloons are a choking hazard.
- Just for signing up, you get 30% off the list price on any one kids’ book or toy.
- For every $100 you spend on kids’ stuff online and in stores, you get a $5 reward.
- Get a free cupcake (yum!) from the B&N cafe AND a free Tikatok create-a-book project for your children’s birthdays.
- Receive a monthly newsletter featuring even more savings.
To join, just visit any Barnes & Noble or go to bn.com/kidsclub.
If you’re a sort-of country dweller like me, you don’t really have a good reliable neighborhood to trick-or-treat in this year. So how do you make the most of Halloween when you can’t do the traditional door-to-door candy quest? Here are some really great (and I’ve been to most of these) activities in the metro you can do with your kids this week to get in the spooky spirit:
Haunt the Zoo: We go every year. You can’t beat the Oklahoma City Zoo for Halloween. You won’t see animals, but you will see folks standing along a pumpkin-lined path handing out some yummy treats. Neat displays are set up along the way, perfect for pictures. Haunt the Zoo is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. starting tonight and ending Sunday. Tickets are only necessary for the kids, and they’re $7 each. Click here for more information.
Storybook Forest: Spring Creek Park at Edmond’s Arcadia Lake turns into a book of fairytales as kids can walk through a forest of stories. Characters and scenes from children’s favorite books are brought to life, along with treats, hayrides, carnival games and a campfire for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Storybook Forest is open 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily through Sunday. Admission is $5 per child during the week, $7 on the weekend. Adults are free. Click here for more information.
Halloween Train Ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum is a real train ride for kids wearing their costumes. Departure times Saturday are 10 and 11 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for age 15 and older, $5 for ages 3 to 14, and kids younger than 3 are free. Click here for more information.
Haunt the Harn at the Harn Homestead. Includes trick-or-treating, hayrides and more. Event is Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for nonmembers, free for members. Click here for more information.
The Metropolitan Library System also has a list of free events this week:
- Bethany Library: 10 to 10:45 a.m. on Thursday is ”Halloween Fun for Little Ones” for ages 3 to 6. From 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, it’s hosting “Spooky Spook Halloween” for grades 1 to 5.
- Capitol Hill Library: From 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday is “Halloween @ the Haunted Hill” for all ages.
- Downtown Library: From 1:30 to 5:40 p.m. Sunday is the “Classic Horror Film Marathon” for all ages.
- Ralph Ellison Library: “Pumpkin Carving for Teens” is 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday. The library’s fall festival is noon to 4 p.m. Saturday for all ages.
- Warr Acres Library: “Dress Up Party for Preschoolers” is tonight from 6:30 to 7:30. Kids should be in costume.
Be sure to check wimgo.com for more Halloween event listings and have a great, safe week!
But a few reminders could never hurt.
Here’s some tips from Safe Kids USA (which includes Safe Kids Oklahoma):
- Encourage children not to trick-or-treat alone. They should go in groups or with a trusted adult.
- Place reflective tape on their costumes or on their treat bags so they are visible to drivers.
- Examine all candy thoroughly. Check for any signs of tampering.
- All children should have their own flashlight so they can see and be seen.
- Emphasize to your children the importance of looking both ways when crossing a street. Tell them to use crosswalks, if possible.
- Be sure costumes fit well, to prevent trips and falls.
- Let children know they are NEVER to enter a person’s home unless they are with a trusted adult.
- Try to purchase flame-retardant costumes and keep away from open flames.
Have a very SAFE and HAPPY Halloween!