Posts tagged families

FREE Books. Racine Littles.

girlbooksIt’s the gift that speaks volumes for our community’s future! Just Add Kids’campaign to help build young readers via the United Way of Racine County’s Imagination Library initiative.

Imagination Library was created in 1996 by famed country-singer Dolly Parton to foster a love of reading. All participating children receive free, age-appropriate books though the mail each month, from birth to age five.

In 2009, United Way launched the Imagination Library initiative in western Racine County. It was a perfect fit for United Way’s early childhood priority focused on the healthy development of children and school readiness.

Your support of Just Add Kids’ crowdfunding campaign will help Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library expand to serve young children throughout ALL of Racine County. More than 36,000 FREE books have been distributed since the program began in 2009 and we want to distribute even more!

I am so passionate about being able to help facilitate providing books for kids right here in our city. Your financial support is being requested to join me and the United Way of Racine County in making a difference in the lives of children in the birth to age 5 bracket.

What a GREAT opportunity to give. Click here to donate!
$5, $25…whatever your heart feels is good. Thank you!

Join in on the celebration with the Imagination Library’s Expansion Event! Come to Regency Mall’s East Court on Saturday from 10am – 2pm. First 500 children enrolled  will receive a literacy kit and a FREE book in the mail each month until they turn five!

Imagination Library Expansion Event Flyer (2)

Just Add Kids Paula FB profile.jpg

Cheers, 
Paula Herrmann, Founder
Just Add Kids

 

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It’s the Gift That Speaks Volumes

Dolly-Parton-library-logoIt’s the gift that speaks volumes for our community’s future!  Just Add Kids’ campaign to help build young readers via the United Way of Racine County’s Imagination Library initiative.

Imagination Library was created in 1996 by famed country-singer Dolly Parton to foster a love of reading. All participating children receive free, age-appropriate books though the mail each month, from birth to age five.

In 2009, United Way launched the Imagination Library initiative in western Racine County. It was a perfect fit for United Way’s early childhood priority focused on the healthy development of children and school readiness.

Your support of Just Add Kids’ crowdfunding campaign will help Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library expand to serve young children throughout ALL of Racine County. More than 36,000 FREE books have been distributed since the program began in 2009 and we want to distribute even more!

I am so passionate about being able to help facilitate providing books for kids right here in our city. Your financial support is being requested to join me and the United Way of Racine County in making a difference in the lives of children in the birth to age 5 bracket.

What a GREAT opportunity to give. Click here to donate!

Just Add Kids Paula FB profile.jpg

Thank you, 
Paula Herrmann, Founder
Just Add Kids

 

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All in Flavor of FUN?

Oreo custard by Georgie Porgie's being scooped SCAN's Cones for Kids 2015

         Photo courtesy of PJM Photos

They Said “I” (for Ice Cream!)
by Karen Fetherston, Program Coordinator
Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN),
Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Inc.

Well, SCAN’s 5th annual Cones for Kids fundraiser is a wrap.  The ice cream is eaten, the crafts put away, the auction prizes delivered to winners, and the results are tallied. As always, we waited with great anticipation to see which yummy flavor would win the vote and the coveted title of crowd favorite. Would it be Caesar’s Root Beer Float Custard?  Culver’s Turtle Custard?  Divino’s Chocolate Gelato?  Georgie Porgie’s Oreo Dream Custard?  Sugar Shack’s Superman Ice Cream?  The winner of the 2015 SCAN’s Cones For Kid Golden Scoop Award is….Read more…

Photo courtesy of PJM Photos

Photo courtesy of PJM Photos

GEORGIE PORGIE’s Oreo Dream Custard!!!!
  This is especially good news for Josh Begin, manager at Georgie Porgie’s.  He and his staff work hard every year to develop just the right flavor to donate and usually end up coming just short of the big prize.  It was nearly that way this year, too.  Out of hundreds of voters, they won BY ONE VOTE! That just goes to show, every vote counts. When he found out Georgie Porgie’s won, Josh joked, “Finally!  We’re no longer the bridesmaid at the party.”  Georgie Porgie’s joins past winners Caesars (2011, 2012, 2013) and Divino Gelato (2014).

For those who might not know what we do or where funds will be used, the Stop Child Abuse and Neglect, or SCAN, program of Lutheran Social Services provides child abuse prevention lessons to students in southeastern Wisconsin.  We teach what abuse is, what to do if it should happen, and the best ways to get help.  Above all, we want kids to know that abuse is never the fault of the child.  During the last school year, SCAN taught lessons to almost 11,000 kids in Racine and Kenosha counties.  Funds raised at Cones For Kids supports SCAN’s mission to provide this important personal safety information to our youth.

A big THANKS to all of our wonderful vendors: Caesar’s, Culver’s, Georgie Porgie’s, Divino Gelato, and Sugar Shack. Also, we can’t forget all of the businesses and organizations donating to our cause: Just Add Kids, Racine Masonic Center, Racine Art Museum, Little Pickle Press, Piggly Wiggly on Erie, PJM Photos, Woodman’s, Kwik Trip, The Helping Hands Sewing Program, and all of the generous donors listed on conesforkids.blogspot.com. They prove that community giving and support are alive and well! Please patronize them often to show your appreciation.Max and Christi Big Balloon Tycoon SCAN's Cones for Kids 2015SCAN's Cones for Kids 4th of July parade 2015 full float

Photo courtesy of PJM Photos

Photo courtesy of PJM Photos

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Clean Play. Screen Play. Let’s Play…

JAK Chat blog by Amanda DeSonia 6.18.2015 (2)Slay the Summer Chores
and Set Down the Screens!
by guest mom blogger from Racine,
Amanda DeSonia

We could talk all day about the things we are slacking on or failing at as Mothers.

Let’s not.

We have made it just 6 days into Summer Vacation and already I am watching my kids slip away into screen oblivion. It’s not always their fault, really. Sometimes I just ENJOY the solitude and quiet that comes with kids who enter the vegetative state of passive ipad and Netflix watching. There. I said it.

JAK Chat blog by Amanda DeSonia 6.18.2015 pic 2Then comes the challenge of chores. I’m pretty sure I was helping more around the house at my daughters’ ages. I almost would bet money on it because I remember many years of eye-rolling and sighing when I was given chores. I also went through a phase where I called myself “Manderella” because I felt like the over-worked, unappreciated daughter. I didn’t have any ugly step-sisters, just one biological one who was awesome at avoiding chores by playing the diarrhea card.

This week I stained and glued and laminated and labeled. Traditional chore charts have never worked for us and I know I needed something obvious, flexible, and creative. I think I saved the labels. I am happy to share them if anyone wants them!

So finally, this is our new system, and it’s just as much for me as it is for them. I need the visual reminder to have them help just as much as they do.

DeSonias Do Daily

1. Do get  yourself ready for the day! Eat, dressed, hair, teeth!

2. Do Chores: (Each child has 4 laminated chores that are age appropriate. I pick 3, they can choose 1. These go up every morning and change based on what needs doing.)

2. Do Stay Well-Rounded.  (Each child must pick one from each category: Mental/Physical/Social activity per day to engage in. These are just ideas, I hope it will inspire them to come up with their own activities.)

JAK Chat blog by Amanda DeSonia 6.18.2015 pic 3

3. Do put your finished chores and Well Rounded Work Cards  in the galvanized envelope on the wall.

4. Do ask for technology but only after you have completed your Chores and your Well Rounded Work. You are allotted 1 hour of screen time. You can divide your time up between TV and iPad if you choose.

Following through with this program will take commitment from me. We are SO lucky to have an amazing Montessori Teacher/Family Support Professional (She’s way more than a sitter or a nanny) who will help us stay on track this summer. Long after the shiny new appeal of the lamination has worn off I hope I have a better handle on how to run a home with more help from my kids.

Here is where I will ask you fellow Moms for advice. I really want my kids to learn that being part of a family means work. Everyone has to pitch in so we can ALL “Clean Less and Live More!  I also want my kids to learn how to manage some of their own money. My idea is to add extra chores on to their clips and offer an allowance based on those “extra” and voluntary chores. These would be above and beyond and not mandatory. How would you suggest I do this? Pay a set amount per chore? Any other ideas from the field on chores, no allowance or allowance, and what has worked for you and your family? Please comment and share!

*All of my kids have their own Norwex Kids products (Enviro/Window/Dusting Mitt) to use so they can clean the healthy, fast, and safe way we believe in! They know how to use it, care for it and to hang it up after their are done using it!

About our guest blogger:

Amanda DeSonia pic for blogAmanda DeSonia lives in Racine with her husband and three children, Maren, 10, Violet, 7 and Henry 4. Former stay at home Mom turned direct sales/party plan expert, she uses her passion for healthy and eco friendly living to educate families on the benefits of living a low-toxic lifestyle. Amanda can be found spending her free time exploring Milwaukee restaurants and loves all things social media, NPR, writing and reading, wine and travel.

Additionally, if you are looking for some guidance on AGE-APPROPRIATE CHORES FOR KIDS. JAK grabbed this off of a friend’s Facebook page (with permission, of course!). Thank you, Lindsey Knapp, another JAK Chat mom blogger/contributor.

Age-appropriate chores

 

 

 

 

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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! contact@justaddkidsonline.net

 

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4 That Matter

A Read/Want/Wear/Need ChristmasJAK Chat Blog Amanda DeSonia
by guest mom blogger from Racine, Amanda DeSonia

A few years ago I decided to try to take back Christmas.

That makes me sound like a total martyr. Honesty, I really struggle with the holidays. Struggle as in I bounce between moments of glee and peaceful nostalgia to fits of rage and moments of paralyzing anxiety….. Merry Christmas?

I think most women and mothers go into the holiday season with ridiculous amounts of enthusiasm and equal parts unrealistic expectations for what we might accomplish. Perfect presents picked and wrapped? Check! 24 individually wrapped Advent gifts? Yay!  Trek to the local tree farm and pick and cut the perfect tree and trim it with the exact amount of Martha Stewart recommended LED lights based on the height of the tree? Done!  (I did research that once.) Bake cookies, buy matching Christmas outfits for the kids, holiday photos, pre-Pinterest inspired handmade gifts, Christmas cards….. I’m getting an ulcer just trying to remember all the things I used to do.  Read more…

4 years ago, after realizing we hadn’t even planned out any sort of budget, and subsequently realizing that living on one income perhaps that may have been something smart to do, I started to pause and wonder, WHY am I doing all of this stuff that I am really, honestly, hating? I tried to remember exactly what gifts we had given our girls for Christmas the year before. I couldn’t even name one thing. All of the stress of shopping and none of it was even…. memorable. The packaging, the waste… from an environmental standpoint Christmas Day always made me feel serious Mother Earth guilt.

4 years ago on December 27th I was due with my 3rd baby. There is nothing like a baby due at Christmas to give a woman the Trump Card to throw down. I played that card hard that year and it was the best forced traditional change ever granted to me and my family. I sat down (and barely got up) and made a list of the things I wanted to do that holiday season, the things I had to do, and the stuff that I was supposed to do. All the supposed to stuff I just blessed and released. I had read about a Mom who was feeling like her children were turning into greedy, ungrateful Christmas monsters and shared her plans for a Read, Want, Wear, Need gift plan.

So I decided that year, I too, would give my kids a Read, Want, Wear, Need Christmas.

Each of my kids got 4 gifts, and has on every Christmas since.

Something to read.

Something they want.

Something to wear.

Something they need.

They get one gift from Santa, and a stocking with little things as well. Others have asked if my kids feel short changed by this. Is it boring? I asked my girls this last year and they said, “What? You aren’t stopping that, are you? We love it! Don’t quit doing it!” So no, it’s safe to say they enjoy it!

That change alone freed me from so much holiday stress. I cannot over-buy or emotionally shop. I’m forced to pick carefully, then stop shopping and do other things. The priority list now includes more fun things that I don’t dread doing, like see the Nutcracker, snow-shoe, hot glue stuff to stuff and make ugly crafts, watch our favorite Christmas movies. Do I still get stressy? Of course. Do I still have waves of Non Christmas Card Sending Guilt as I open up cute Shutterfly cards I ADORE getting from my family and friends. Sure. Do I envy the women who really do have the skills to Do Christmas and do it well and enjoy doing it? Honestly, yes. Does it bother me enough to go back to the old ways? No. I hope any of you who are entering this season feeling like it’s time for new traditions, will find some peace in knowing that we don’t have an Elf on the Shelf, I don’t want one, and if you give me one, I will use him as a door stop. May you do more of the things you love, and less of the things you don’t!

About our guest blogger:

Amanda DeSonia pic for blogAmanda DeSonia lives in Racine with her husband and three children, Maren, 10, Violet, 7 and Henry 3. Former stay at home Mom turned direct sales/party plan expert, she uses her passion for healthy and eco friendly living to educate families on the benefits of living a low-toxic lifestyle. Amanda can be found spending her free time exploring Milwaukee restaurants and loves all things social media, NPR, writing and reading, wine and travel.

 

 

 

 

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Happy, Safe Holiday (and then some…)

Are Your Medications Up, Away and Out of Sight?WFH_All Saints 2Cstk_Co (2)
Sponsored by
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – All Saints

67,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each year for medicine poisoning.

500,000 times each year a child gets into medicine or gets the wrong dose.  

Safe Kids Worldwide recently released a new research report that found kids are getting into medicine at an alarming rate. Over the past 10 years, this rate has increased by 30 percent. All Saints is the Lead Agency for Safe Kids Kenosha-Racine. Read more…

In its report, An In-Depth Look at Keeping Young Children Safe Around Medicine, Safe Kids reviews the numbers and offers parents simple things they can do to protect their children.

“Ask any parent, and they will tell you they store medicine where children can’t get them,” said Erin Donaldson, Safe Kids Kenosha-Racine coordinator. “But they might not be thinking of pills stored in purses, vitamins left on counter tops, or a diaper rash remedy near a changing table.”

 

79075940_child-pills (2)

The increase in exposure reflects the increase in medicines in the home. Most adults take medicine or vitamins on a regular basis, but they don’t always keep them hidden from kids. In 86 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.

“Curious kids can get into trouble fast,” added Donaldson. “It only takes a few seconds for children to get into medicine that could make them very sick.” Look around your house to make sure all medicine is out of sight.

Wheaton blog Nov 27

Tips to keep kids safe around medicine

  • Keep them up, up and away (handy for you is dangerous to your child).
  • Medicine is more than just pills. Rubbing alcohol, eye drops, and ointments can all be unsafe.
  • Medicines designed to help children take them easier (gummy or candy varieties) are a magnet for little eyes.
  • When you have guests in your home, put purses, bags and coats where kids can’t get to them.
  • Be alert to medicine in places your child visits. Take a look around to make sure there isn’t medicine within reach of your child.
  • Program the nationwide poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) into your phones.

To learn more about safe medication storage, dosages, and disposal, visit http://www.SafeKids.org.

All Saints is the Lead Agency for Safe Kids Kenosha-Racine. Like us on our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on relevant topics for your family.

 

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