Archive for January, 2015

Picture This!

Three Reasons to Save Your Kid’sPixologie Your Story Matters Logo
Kindergarten Pictures Now!
Your Photos Can Be A Powerful Parenting Tool

Sponsored by Pixologie

Okay, you have piles of your children’s photos in boxes, envelopes, tucked in bins in the closet – or on your computer, different camera cards, smart phones and on Facebook! We know . . . you’ll get to sorting the photos out someday. Well, we have some reasons why you might not want to wait.

Read more…

If you are wanting to raise happy, well adjusted children, your photos can be one of the BEST parenting tools you have. Nationally recognized parenting expert, Deborah Gilboa, MD, (aka Doctor G), recently presented a webinar to the Association of Personal Photo Organizers on how this could be.

Gilboa believes that photos impact the three R’s of parenting. In her experience, photos:

  • Teach Respect
  • Show Responsibility
  • Build Resiliency

Here’s a quick example of how we see some kindergarten photos touching upon Doctor G’s three R’s.

1. Teaching Respect– In this photo, we see a teacher with her student. Looking back at the photo, we can help remind our children that our family does respect adults and that respect matters in life.


2. Showing Responsibility – this photo of the student giving her baby brother a bite of desert is great. A moment was caught where she was helping her grandmother. Anytime you can point out in a photo when your child is doing something helpful or responsible, you are subconsciously helping to build their character.


3. Building Resiliency –  The kindergarten students each had to speak in front of the large group of parents and relatives who attended their graduation. Many adults get anxious when having to do presentations. Taking time with your child to look at accomplishments like this is a great opportunity to talk about the importance of overcoming difficulties and fears.


Imagine all of the memories throughout your photo collection that can be teachable moments for your kids. It’s time to get your photos sorted and back into life to celebrate, share and help grow strong children.

We are thrilled that Doctor G has weighed in on the importance of photos in a family’s life. Watch for future blogs about why your photos matter in raising your children.

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Destination ==> FUN!

Let’s Head INDOORSkid in a ballpit
Play Place Destination Guide
Compiled by Just Add Kids Founder, Paula Herrmann

‘Tis the season for wacky weather! We can be in the midst of a polar vortex deep freeze, knee deep or so in a winter wonderland of snow, muckin’ around in slush and brown mud, or heck we might see dead dry grass and pavement. Who knows?

One thing remains constant….KIDS GOTTA PLAY, and sometimes momma just has to get away.  There are a number of indoor activity centers for families with kids of all ages.  Read more….

America’s Action Territory – (Kenosha) A wide choice of indoor and outdoor attractions, games and food selections. Indoor options are: arcade, bumper cars, BallOCity, laser tag, and The Heist.

Monkey Joe’s – (Kenosha and Waukesha) Children’s party and play destinations with 9 giant inflatable jumps and slides perfect for children 12 and younger includes the Mini Monkey Zone area for children ages 3 and younger.

Chasing Tales for Kids  -(Oak Creek)  An indoor playground that offers both recreational and educational experiences for young children. Available for free play, birthday party hosting, story time, and special events.

Lotza Fun Room – (Muskego) Exciting play experience for children ages 5 and under.  We offer a clean and safe playroom with a variety of different toys and activities for children to enjoy.

Bounce Realm – (Greenfield) Indoor Party and Play Center for children 12 and under. Inflatable party place, playground,  arcade and movie theater.

Family Tree Haus -(Franklin) Indoor playground for children up to 10 years old.

FunTimez! – (Franklin) Party and Play Center which features massive, themed inflatable slides, obstacle courses and bounce houses kids love, interactive games, toddler activities and more. A family destination for people of all ages, recently added rock climbing, adventure jumper, and laser tag!

Bounce Milwaukee – (Milwaukee) Inflatable sports arena, laser tag, rock climbing, obstacle courses and much more!

The Big Backyard, LLC – (New Berlin) An indoor playground and birthday party center that provides a fun, clean, and safe place for children ages 0-8 to play, celebrate special events, and learn through our enrichment opportunities.

Helium Trampoline Park – (New Berlin) Features 140 trampolines with Open Jump All Day Everyday!

Kids In Motion – (New Berlin) Open Play area for toddlers/preschoolers, laser tag for ages 5 and older, arts and crafts, and cafeteria.

StoneFire Pizza Company – (New Berlin) A state of the art arcade area with touchscreen arcades, classic pinball, and old standbys like skee-ball; bumper cars, mini-bowling, multi-level BallOCity, Frog Hopper ride, candy store, buffet & sports bar!

Sky Zone Milwaukee – (Waukesha) Indoor trampoline park offering active fun for all ages.

The list probably doesn’t end here. Gymnastic centers will be added shortly.
If you own a business, or know of other indoor play destinations, let JAK know!


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It’s CRUNCH Time!

Get Your Child’s Snacks on the Healthy Track

Sponsored by
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – All Saints

If you think your kids have more snack attacks than you did as a child, you’re right.


Compared with 20 years ago, children are taking more snack breaks. Snacks are a now even a routine part of school days where children can buy an item or two from the snack cart or bring something from home to eat during the day. Even though schools have done a much better job about including healthy snack choices for sale, this higher number of snack breaks can result in more calories a day if you’re not careful. Read more…


Children beginning at age two through the teen years snack more often. “With 17 percent of children and adolescents obese, we can blame eating between meals for part of the trend,” says Dr. Manmeet Bains, Family Medicine, Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group – All Saints.


“Snacks should not be forbidden as they play an important role in the well-being of a child,” says Dr. Manmeet Bains. “Younger children should eat three meals and two snacks a day. Healthy snacks, along with nutritious meals, help children grow strong and perform better at school.” The task for parents and others who care for kids: offer healthy snacks that children like.


Celery Peanut Butter and Raisins“Those food choices should include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are healthier and less costly than prepared foods,” says Dr. Manmeet Bains. Be efficient by preparing the snacks at the start of the week so you can just grab and go throughout the week. Consider also letting your child help choose their snacks and package them. “The extra time and effort are worth it to help your child develop good eating habits for life.”


26121758 AfAm Boy Cereal (2)Fresh produce choices in Wisconsin during the winter may be bit more challenging to find, but there are still great options that are always in season, like apples, grapes, oranges, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and bananas.


There are also plenty of nutritious snacks available outside the produce department, including whole-grain crackers or breads, nuts, dried fruit, unsweetened apple sauce, eggs, cottage cheese, lower sugar and high fiber dry cereal, low-fat or nonfat milk, Greek yogurt, and protein-enriched smoothies.


Your children probably won’t give up a daily soda-and-chips routine without protest. Still, the sooner you start, the easier it will be. It is much harder to change the habits of a teenager than it is to create healthy habits in a toddler.


Dr. Manmeet Bains is accepting new patients. img-doctors-Bains_Manmeet_webHer office is located Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group – All Saints, 3807 Spring Street, Racine. Call her office at (262) 687-8173 or request an appointment online.


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We Be Chill In!

Cabin Fever Family Activity Survival Guide
Winter 2015

compiled by Paula Herrmann, Founder
Just Add Kids

School’s Out! And it’s not for summer. Bummer?!
Once again, we’re trapped in our homes due to the dangerous winter weather.
It’s Wisconsin after all. Cheer or complain, we deal.

This is an repeat of last year’s list, and hoping to continuing to build with the help of our JAK peeps…oh yeah, that’s you! Do share!

We’ve tapped into some of the ideas posted out there on the social media sites and those activities we have access to and are good fallbacks in bad (and good) weather.

Just Add Kids Cabin Fever Family Activity Guide with JAK logo (2)


Before you advance to any of the below ideas! Take part in this timely activity ==>fundraiser and help out this Racine area homeless shelter, Hospitality Center, that without the resources need in cash donations and manpower will cease its overnight operations.
Totally kid-friendly! Can you imagine being homeless on a day like this? “The 10/10/10 Challenge: 12 Hours of Change in Racine”

1) Make Water balloon Ice Marbles. Needed: latex balloons, food coloring, kitchen tap water, snow bank!
No School balloons (2)

2) Blow bubbles into the chilly air. Heated up your bubble solution so that it’s warm or even hot to the touch. Blow several bubbles into the frigid, sub-freezing air. Catch with a wand if you can and watch it turn into a crystal fragile ball.  Needed: store bought bubbles or home concoction.

3) Make snow!  Throwing boiling water (away from you/downwind) into the frigid subzero dry air will cause it to evaporate almost instantly. Needed: pot, water, stove!

4) Freeze your shirt! Wash/wet & ring out a shirt, hang on a hanger outside in the bitter cold. It’ll freeze in a very short period of time! Hey, that’s a cool shirt you’ve got there.

5) Make a sofa-fort!
sofa fort

6) Bake cookies! Your recipe. Great activity you can do with peeps ages toddler thru teen. Feed the stomach, warm up the house! Success!
cookies peeps (2)

7) Cozy up together and watch a movie! Dig into your old VHS’s and share your childhood favs, if you can. Nothing is better than some of the classics. (see new posting, #11)

8) Puzzletime! Sometimes attacking a 500 piece puzzle can be daunting, but once you get into it, it’s addicting. “Let’s-a go, little guys!”
puzzle mario

9) Ice Face, Baby! Finger drawing in frozen or moisture laden windows brings back so many memories of winter rides on the school bus. Is that JAK?
ice face baby

10) Snow Bath! Too cold for the kiddos to play in the yard? Well, bring the snow inside. Use your tub! Make a snowman, a snow fort, have fun. Dress appropriately….coat, snow pants, boots, and mittens are still necessary.

photo credit: ABC7 Chicago

photo credit: ABC7 Chicago

11) Watch FROZEN (again, or for the first time) for free! Got 125 minutes to fill? It’s PG and free*. Pop the corn, snuggle up, and enjoy. Here’s the link:

*credit card necessary to create account.

12) Lego Ninjago Snakedown in the snow (in the bathroom)! Or of course, substitute with Lego Friends, or Polly Pockets, or Littlest Pet Shop, etc.!
Max playing Ninjago in the snow 2 Max playing Ninjago in the snow

13) Do your nails together! Set up shop! It’s time for mommy & daughter (or son) mani & pedi! Here’s a DIY to follow :
mom and me mani

mom and me pedi


We’ll add more ideas to this list. We encourage any freaking awesome feedback from YOU! You can comment or email JAK at

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It’s Time!

For SNOW! Snow Much Fun tile ad logo
by Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann

Not so much a fan of cold, bone-chilling weather. Alas, we do live in Wisconsin and with that comes the winter package of grey days, wind chills, and the most redeeming aspect…snow! Truly, there are few things more magical then those first flurries gently falling to the ground. Then of course, there’s the building snow forts and snowmen with the kiddos. Precious times.

Just Add Kids has put together our annual Snow Much Fun! It’s a skating/sledding/skiing destination guide for Racine, Kenosha and surrounding communities. Read more…


Ice Skating

Echo Lake, Burlington (595 Milwaukee Avenue) – Stairs to the lake, pavilion, benches, outdoor portable restroom. – Free.
Devor Park, Burlington (394 Amanda Street) – Free.
Milwaukee County Parks (various) – Many of the rinks have warming houses. Warming house hours vary. – Free. Call 414-257-7275 for more info, or visit
Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park, Milwaukee (920 N. Water Street) – Refrigerated oval is open through February (or March if the weather allows) – even in temperatures as high as 50 degrees! – Free. Skate rental available: Age 17 & under $7/pair and Age 18 & up $8/pair. See website for hours. Call 414-289-8791 for more info, or visit


Beverly-Jo Park, Burlington (367 Dunford Drive) – Free.
Camp MacLean, Burlington (31401 Durand Avenue) – Public Tobogganing is open to the public Sundays from 12:30 until 5:00pm in January and February. Cost per guest ages 3-5 years is $3.75, ages 6+ is $6.25. Price includes use of toboggans & sleds, use of the warming house, bathroom facilities, and cocoa. All people coming to camp must pay fee—even if not sleddingor tobogganing. All children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Call 262-763-7742 for more info, or visit
Devor Park aka “Water Tower Hill”, Burlington (394 Amanda Street) – Public popular hill by Cooper School. – Free. Fox River Park, Salem (9521 304th Avenue) – Bermed sled slide, which provides a long and exhilarating run (weather permitting). Artificial lighting allows night use of this popular sledding facility. – Free.
Greene Park, St. Francis (4235 S Lipton Avenue) – Free.
Hales Corners Park, Hales Corners (5765 S. New Berlin Road) – Free.
Humboldt Park, Milwaukee (3000 S. Howell Avenue) – Free. Lighted daily from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Johnson Park, Racine (6200 Northwestern Avenue) – Free.
Lincoln Park, Kenosha (7010 22nd Avenue) – Free. 
Lockwood Park, Racine
(4300 Graceland Boulevard) – Free.
Paddock Lake
(On Highway 50 near Hwy 83/75 intersection) Hill is between Central High School and the church to the west. Hill goes from parking lot of church down into the Central HS soccer fields. – Free.
Park High School Bowl, Racine (1901 12th Street) – Recommended for older kids. Free.
Petrifying Springs, Kenosha (4909 7th Street) – Free. Lighted sledding hill at Area 2. Open 7am-10pm daily. Call (262)857-1869 for more information.
Reservoir Park, Racine
(4400 Maryland Avenue) – Free.
Shoop Park, Wind Point/Racine
(4510 Lighthouse Drive) – Free.
Behind Shopko/Kenosha (5300 52nd Street) – Free.
St. Peter’s Park Detention Bowl/Kenosha (2152 30th Avenue) – Free.
Steinhoff Park, Burlington (833 Cedar Drive) – Free.
The Rock Sports Complex, Franklin (7900 W. Crystal Ridge Drive) – Daily sessions for snow tubing. Tube rental is $15 Wednesday & Thursday)and $16 per tube (Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays). Weeknights Monday through Thursday 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. – unlimited; Weekends Friday through Sunday and Holidays 2 hour sessions. Call 414-529-7676 for more info, or visit
Washington Park, Kenosha (1901 Washington Road) – Free.
Washington Park Municipal Golf Course, Kenosha (2205 Washington Road) – Free.
Wilmot Mountain, Wilmot
(11931 Fox River Road) – The tubing facility features 20 lanes for tubing and a state of the art covered conveyor lift. Snow tubing hill is for ages 5 and older. Brand new lodge features ticket sales, rental items, food, drinks, restrooms and more! Prices and hours vary. Call 262-862-2301 for more info, or visit
Whitnall Park, Franklin (5879 S. 92 Street) – Free.
Wilson Recreation, Milwaukee (4001 S. 20 Street) – Free. Lighted daily from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Petrifying Springs, Kenosha (4909 7th Street) – Free. Cross-country skiing on all trails; lighted cross-country skiing track on golf course (3,000 feet/.57 miles). (Bring your own) Open 7am-10pm daily. Call (262)857-1869 for more information.
Pringle Nature Center at Bristol Woods County Park, Bristol (9800 – 160th Avenue) Cross-country (bring your own) – Free. Call (262) 857-8008 for more info, or visit
Richard Bong State Recreation Area, Kansasville (26313 Burlington Road) Cross-country (bring your own). Vehicle admission sticker required to enter rec area. Call (262) 878-5600 for more info, or visit
River Bend Nature Center, Racine
(3600 N. Green Bay Road) – Free. Cross-country skis available for rent for $10.00/person per session. Call (262) 639-1515 for more info, or visit
The Rock Sports Complex, Franklin (7900 W. Crystal Ridge Drive) – Daily hours for downhill skiing and snowboarding. Admission $40 (10am to 4pm on weekends and holidays) and $30 after 4pm and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Children 6 and under complimentary admission with purchase of adult/child ticket (limit one per adult/child). Ski & snowboard rental is $30. Call 414-529-7676 for more info, or visit
UW-Parkside Ski Trail (Kenosha County Road JR, east of Highway 31/Green Bay Road) – Free. Park in Petrifying Springs Parking lot on the north side of the street. Trail is unmarked on the south side of JR.
Washington Park Municipal Golf Course, Kenosha
(2205 Washington Road) Cross-country (bring your own) – Free.
Whitnall Park, Franklin (5879 S. 92 Street) – Free. Saturday, between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, between noon and 6 p.m. Cross-country ski rentals available for $25 per pair for same day, $30 per pair for 24 hours, $100 per pair for weekly rental. Call (414) 525-4765 for more info, or visit
Wilmot Mountain, Wilmot (11931 Fox River Road) – The facility features 25 unique runs with varied terrain for all skiers and snowboarders. Lift ticket prices and hours vary. Ski and/or snowboard equipment rentals available and vary. Call 262-862-2301 for more info, or visit


Petrifying Springs, Kenosha (4909 7th Street) – Free. Snowshoeing on all trails. Open 7am-10pm daily. Call (262)857-1869 for more information.
Pringle Nature Center, Bristol (9800 – 160th Avenue) Tuesday – Saturday, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, between noon and 3:00 p.m. – Free. Snowshoes available for rent $5.00 per pair/Friend of Pringle Member. Call (262) 857-8008 for more info, or visit
Richard Bong State Recreation Area, Kansasville (26313 Burlington Road) Bring your own snowshoes. Vehicle admission sticker required to enter rec area. Call (262) 878-5600 for more info, or visit
River Bend Nature Center, Racine (3600 N. Green Bay Road) – Free. Snowshoes available for rent for $10.00/person per session. Call (262) 639-1515 for more info, or visit
Whitnall Park, Franklin (5879 S. 92 Street) – Free. Saturday, between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, between noon and 6 p.m. Snowshoe rentals $25 per pair for same day, $30 per pair for 24 hours, $100 per pair for weekly rental. Call (414) 525-4765 for more info, or visit

sledding picThis is a live list.  If you know of a destination that isn’t listed here that should be, by all means, let us know!
Please send info to
Check back periodically for updates and additions.
Have fun!


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