Child Guidance Services of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department has some great workshops still available through the end of the year. All workshops are for parents and caregivers of young children unless otherwise specified. Pre-registration is required for all programs by calling 425-4412. All programs are FREE.
Enhancing Language and Literacy Skills in Young Children
(for parents, caregivers of children from birth to age 5)
All three workshops are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 16 – Midwest City Library
Nov. 23 – Village Library
Nov. 30 – Choctaw Library
Temper, Temper! Handling Tantrums
Both workshops are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 – Midwest City Library
Nov. 16 – Village Library
Both workshops are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Nov. 9 – Warr Acres Library
Nov. 17 – Edmond Library
Lullaby & Goodnight
10:30 a.m. to noon on Dec. 3 – Warr Acres Library
3 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 15 – Edmond Library
Boosting Your Child’s Brain Power
3:30 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 21 – Ralph Ellison Library
Child Guidance Services also offers screenings in speech, language, development and health. Call 425-4412 to schedule a screening. For more information go to www.occhd.org.
Need a neat way to encourage your children to be polite? How about free pizza?
From now until Nov. 31, Cici’s Pizza restaurants will be stocked with “Thank you” trackers for parents to take home (see below). They can note each time their child says “thank you” without being prodded. Once they get 10 thank yous, you can bring the card in for a FREE buffet for children age 10 and younger (with the purchase of an adult buffet). And what kid doesn’t like pizza buffets?
Cici’s fans also can send their own thank you note on Cici’s Pizza’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cicis and the recipient will receive a “Two can dine for $9.99″ deal, including buffet and drinks. Recipients can be anyone – teachers, military personnel, friends, etc.
“At Cici’s, we believe an environment that fosters kindness and appreciation is as essential to our success as our hot, fresh buffet,” CEO Mike Shumsky said in a news release. “… it’s why we created the ‘Thank yous Count’ campaign.”
Some locations may even have giant thank you cards or posters for patrons to sign. These cards will be delivered along with dinners to community groups throughout November.
And with your kids earning a free meal, you may just end up telling them ‘Thank you’ for being so polite.
- 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.
Today, my four-year-old and I both endured the same pain – our annual flu shots. But for my little guy, it’s not yet over. He has to go back in a month to get a second dose because this year’s flu shot also includes resistance to H1N1.
I have many friends who have strong opinions about flu shots. They either swear by them or swear against them. I, having had the flu two winters ago, now swear by them. But some, who have never had the flu, say “why fix something that isn’t broken?”
So will you be getting your kids and/or yourself the flu vaccine this year? Answer below.
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!
It may not be fair weekend yet (just another week to go!) but there are some fun things to fill up your weekend with the kiddos.
- When: Sept. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Where: Governor’s Mansion and Oklahoma History Center (Click here for map)
- What: A free, fun, family-friendly, and hands-on event. Visitors get free admission to the museum all day long. The governor and first lady will read stories to children. There also will be dancing, entertainment, puppet shows, inflatables, clowns, face painting and much, much more.
- For a full description and schedule of events, click here.
Pass it on Kids
- When: Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Where: Church of the Harvest, located between 33rd and 15th streets off Western Avenue in Edmond.
- What: A consignment sale for fall and winter’s kids’ clothing. Half-price on select items on Sept. 11.
- For more information, go to www.passitonkids.com
34th annual Western Days
- When: Sept. 10-11
- Where: Downtown Mustang
- What: A festival including a carnival, rodeo, parade, magic show, music, car show and more.
- For more information, click here or call 376-2758.
103rd annual Cleveland County Free Fair
- When: Now through Sept. 11
- Where: Cleveland County Fairgrounds, E Robinson St., Norman
- What: A fair that has animals, a petting zoo, carnival rides, a midway, celebrity cow milking and much more.
- For more information, click here.
- When: Now through Sept. 11
- Where: Choctaw’s Creek Park
- What: German food and goods, live entertainment for all ages, dancing, crafts and activities for kids. Admission is $3 for age 12 and older. Kids younger than 12 are free.
- For more information, go to www.choctawfestival.org or call 390-8647.
If you know of any other great family-friendly events this weekend or coming up, please post them below or e-mail me.
Have a great weekend!
Looking for one more weekend of lake fun with the kids before summer is officially over? Then head down to the Discovery Cove Nature Center at Lake Thunderbird State Park. They have packed the long holiday weekend full of activities. Classes are:
Saturday, Sept. 4
9:00 a.m. - Bird Walk. Call 321-4633 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details or to sign up.
11:00 a.m. -Birds of Lake Thunderbird. Enjoy a slide presentation of birds that live around the lake.
1:00 p.m. - Animal Clay Sculpture. Sculpt an animal out of clay. Ages 4 and older. $1.00 fee. Call or e-mail for a reservation.
2:30 p.m. -Oklahoma Reptiles: Snakes and Lizards. Learn about these reptile groups and meet the nature center’s “resident representatives.” All ages.
3:30 p.m. - Oklahoma Turtles. Meet seven kinds of turtles and watch some of them being fed.
Sunday, Sept. 5
1:00 p.m. - Aquatic Insects. Learn all about what these insects eat, how they breathe, and other facts, at this special presentation.
2:00 p.m. - Plaster Casts. Make plaster of Paris casts of animal footprints. Ages 2 and older. Fee is 50 cents. Casts require one hour to set. (This is my son’s personal favorite!)
3:00 p.m. - Aquatic Insects. Repeat of 1:00 p.m. program.
Monday, Sept. 6 (aka Bug Day)
10:00 a.m. - What did that? Kids can become nature detectives and look for clues that insects and small animals leave behind. Ages 5 and older.
11:00 a.m. - Oklahoma Insects. Learn about insects and see many of the kinds found in our state. Ages 4 and older.
1:00 p.m. - Bug Bookmarks. Decorate a one-of-a-kind bookmark. Fee is 50 cents. Ages 3 and older.
2:00 p.m. - Aquatic Insects. See above for description.
3:30 p.m. - How many legs? Get to Know the Arthropods. Learn about other “bugs” besides insects. Ages 4 and older.
Discovery Cove Nature Center is located off State Highway 9, almost one mile down Clear Bay Avenue, almost to the boat ramp, across from Turkey Pass Campground For more information, call 321-4633 or e-mail email@example.com.
Last week, I wrote about our school district’s policy allowing corporal punishment (click here to read that post). I received many responses on both sides of this issue. Here are excerpts from just a few:
“I’m not sure what part of beating someone begats more beatings of someone smaller or “lower” than you the world does not understand. We have proved over and over again that harsher methods of punishment do not stop the problem and most often make it worse. Many moons ago we didn’t have the ability to understand our inner workings of our minds. Today we have a little bit better handle on it – but we still insist on using archaic methods to bring people “in line” with society’s rules.” -Linda Houck Maloney
“I am in total agreement with those who believe that corporal punishment (spanking) of disobedient, etc., children in schools, from grades 1 through 12. … I am a Christian, fairly conversant with the Bible, believe what it says, and it says in my Bible, “If you don’t chastise your child, you hate him.” That says it all. … As a retired counselor, I have always asked a new parent this question: “Do you want to train this child or do you want the child to train you?” -Arthur P. Long, Guthrie
“Lady, you are so wrong -wrong – wrong. I taught in the public schools for 31 years, and i am proud to say I have spanked many children – I am prouder to say I never hurt a single one physically.” -Larry Cooper
“If I were you, I would write a letter to the school stating that you do not wish for your son to be corporally punished under any circumstances. Make a copy of it for your records, and send it registered mail (or certified w/return receipt). May sound like a hassle but it’s a worthwhile precaution.” -Tom Johnson
“The overwhelming evidence shows that corporal punishment is related to increased aggression, more antisocial behavior, increased criminality, more mental health problems and increased adult abusive behaviors later in life. In the states that have abolished paddling in school, school violence has declined and academic achievement has increased. And common sense tells us that when big people hit little people, the message is clear that this is the way we solve problems and it’s okay to do this. I refer you to the website stophitting.org.” -Fran Morris, State Coordinator, Oklahomans Opposed to Corporal Punishment
“I grew up in California and before the mamby pamby psychologists took over, corporal punishment was used and used often. I believe its a great deterrant to further trouble from the student and the students that know what will happen if they get out of line. … The non-corporal punishment era is full of smart or foul mouthed students that have no respect for authority because the teachers have no authority in schools anymore.” -Mike DeFeo, Edmond
“I and many other concerned citizens have been working (sadly for DECADES) to ban physical/corporal punishment of children in schools. My teenaged son was threatened with a paddling for going outside for supervised free-time when he was supposedly told to stay in, but thankfully, we have always taught our children that “No one has the right to touch them, they can say “No”, get away and tell someone” which is why he told the Assistant Principal to call us. … We’ve never had any trouble with out kids, they’re reasonable, well-behaved and intelligent.” -Julie Worley
I learned a lot from many of your responses, so thank you for joining in on this discussion.
More information on corporal punishment
1. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 20 states still have districts that allow corporal punishment. That means 30 states are using alternative forms of discipline that don’t involve paddling or spanking.
2. A bill was introduced to Congress on June 29, 2010 (H.R. 5628) to end the use of corporal punishment in schools. Click here to read the full bill.
In short, the purposes of this bill are to:
(1) eliminate the use of corporal punishment in schools;
(2) ensure the safety of all students and school personnel in schools and promote a positive school culture and climate;
(3) assist States, local educational agencies, and schools in identifying and implementing effective evidence-based models to prevent and reduce–
(A) corporal punishment in schools;
(B) aversive behavior interventions that compromise health and safety; and
(C) physical, emotional, or psychological abuse.
But did you know that they also offer the storytime experience online?
With Online Storytime, children can hear their favorite books read aloud by authors and even celebrities. This month, author Judith Viorst reads her story “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”
Just go to http://www.barnesandnoble.com/storytime/index.asp to have storytime in the comfort of your own home.