Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 am. Each week both movies play on both days. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.
Most look like they are Tuesday & Wednesdays at 10am starting June 14th, but check your local theater for starting dates as they are different by State and Theater! Find a Theater near you.
The Lego Movie
The Iron Giant: Signature Edition
The Smurfs 2
Despicable Me 2
The Peanuts Movie
Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip
The Book of Life
Hotel Transylvania 2
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Shaun The Sheep
Bank of America is offering it’s customers free admission to local museums all over the country. It is usually the first full weekend of the month and you just have to present your bank card at the door.
Have you ever had a pet that just seemed to cause havoc at every turn? Has your cat ever knocked over glasses, hidden your keys or generally created chaos for no apparent reason? Have you ever wondered what on earth your pet could be thinking? Baby Girl the Rogue House Cat explains all her crazy and funny actions in her new diary. Her journey to become a good house cat will help explain why cats do some of the things they do. I hope you enjoy her antics as much as I do.
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We decided to give Kaplan Kids Smart Track a try this summer to keep my 5 year old DD’s skills up. She will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. I think overall it is a good program. My DD loves to be on the computer, so this was right up her alley.
I feel that the Kaplan Kids program works hard to keep things fresh and interesting. She flew through the first assessment test and did get a little frustrated practicing things that she knows well. The second assessment was more difficult for her and she did start to get flustered about halfway through. However with a little encouragement I managed to keep redirecting her back to it. A little frustration is good, it is a matter of finding the balance. I can see that the assessments may be a bit stressful for some children, and it is important they understand that they are not expected to know everything they are presented with. The children must choose the best answer they can without a parents help. These assessments are truly the most difficult for the kids.
As with any learning tool, repetition, while important can be frustrating for children. Those that already know the material and those who struggle with it can get overwhelmed and not want to continue. Kaplan Kids handles this pretty well for all the practical materials (practice lessons) although the assessment portions can be a little more intense, especially when they are asking things the child has never seen.
I wish that it started out with a few games to set up momentum for the kids, however it jumps right into the assessment. Knowing that more games are coming may provide extra motivation for the kids to stick out the assessments. All in all, my daughter did not struggle very much and was able to cope pretty well. I think this will depend on the child to a very large extent. Right now she is a bit stuck on coin counting and I wish there was a way to skip it, go onto the next material, and then come back to it. For now we will focus on the reading portion, and then go back to maybe next week.
The Rewards Zone:
This section seems like it would work very well for an older child. There is a virtual room that the child can “buy” items with points earned from practice to place in the room. My daughter loves it, but I have to help her with it, I don’t think that the interface is the easiest for little ones.
There are also other things to do in the rewards section. Like spin a wheel to win things like entry into drawings for Target Cards and “plant a seed” which helps grow food for those in need. These options are fabulous for a slightly older child, but finding yourself trying to explain heady concepts like world hunger to a 5 year old is a bit exhausting. My DD just kept asking who exactly would be planting the seed, who would get to pick the vegetables and who was going to eat them, why didn’t she get to plant them because they were her seeds and don’t the neighbors just give food to their friends if they are hungry and……………… Yeah, well, these kinds of virtual rewards are difficult for younger children, and frankly a bit of a headache at least in my case. I found myself trying to explain world hunger, companies who plant things for people to eat, and conservation to a 5 year old with insatiable questions.
At this point in order to make it easier and more concrete, we decided together to keep her
points and not spend them until she reaches certain numbers. Instead, we set up specific goals for her (at 2000 points we would go to the green market and buy a bag of fresh fruit and vegetables and deliver them to the food pantry and at 5000 she would get a coveted toy she has been asking for). I will also help her spend some points on things for the virtual room (when she gets enough points) and spin the wheel once a day. This plan seemed to keep her much more motivated.
Real Time Skill Status:
The parents section is pretty useful. At first I was not sure how to read it but as I saw my child progress in her lessons, it began to make more sense. It shows you in green the percentage of the academic skill that she has mastered, and compares it to the first day she started (or whatever day you specify) so you have a reference of how far she has progressed Skills not yet mastered show in red and white means that she has not yet been introduced to the skill by Kaplan Kids. The nice thing is, it automatically moves up a grade when the child is ready. My daughter is working on some skills at the Kindergarten level and has just started on a few skills in the 1st grade level. This important to keep the material challenging, but not overwhelming. Clicking on Details will show the parent an even more detailed breakdown of where the child is working, and excelling.
Clicking on Details will show the parent an even more detailed breakdown of where the child is working, and excelling.
All in all, I think it is a very good program. In general, I think it would be best for older kids (at least 1st grade) although it is working very well for my almost Kindergartner. I would recommend it to my friends to try it. Leaning is an individual style and it is going to be different for every child, so while it may not work for every child, I think it will work for most. On the Kaplan Kids main website, they have a 1 week free trial, then it is $29 a month and you can cancel anytime.
Keeping Up With Kids did not receive any incentive or from Kaplan Kids to use this product.
The Henry Ford Museum is an absolutely massive and amazing place! There are two parts to the Museum, Greenfield Village and the actual indoor Henry Ford Museum. As I wrote this review I realized that there is simply too much to talk about in one review, so I will begin by reviewing the Village and will review the Museum in another post.
If you listen to nothing else I tell you, make sure that you have two days to see it. We had only one day, and I think we must of have only seen about 1/3 of the exhibits.You need one day in Greenfield Village and one day in the Museum.
After visiting Greenfield Village it becomes obvious that Henry Ford was some kind of genius madman! He meticulously moved historical buildings to this village. Which may be a bummer for the towns from which he moved them, but it does mean they are preserved to an extremely high standard. He paid close attention to the details; right down to having replica’s made of the china pattern that was used in his childhood home. The Model T’s zipping around the village certainly add the ambiance. You can, for a small fee ride a steam engine, take a carriage ride, or ride in one of those famous Model T’s.
There are several sections to the Village, Greenfield has lots of green spaces for kids to run, and fun reenactments of famous people and times. For example the famous Ohio brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright were energetically telling the neighbors about the success of their first flight from the front porch of their house. Oh and yes it was their actual house moved to the Village.
The Village was immaculately clean, even though it was quite busy. There were very few
lines for anything, and we even got on the train in a timely manner. If you live near here, this would be a great place to get a family membership in order to see everything. There are many shady areas that looked perfect for a picnic!
There are interpreters and presenters everywhere! These presenters and interpreters are some of the best I have ever had the pleasure of observing. They could certainly give Disney Character Cast Members a run for their money. The staff is friendly, polite and extremely knowledgeable, they are just incredibly impressive! Have I mentioned how cool it was to see the Model T’s zipping around the streets? I didn’t get to ride in one though.
The Historic Districts are as follows:
Railroad Junction Includes: The Edison Illuminating Company’s Station A and Smiths Creek Depot.
This section includes a steam-powered rail line and an 1800s small-town train depot. This is certainly worth doing, as it gives you a chance to see more of the park, than you otherwise would. You even chug by the Henry Ford Magnet School that is house in, you guessed it, a train! How cool would it be to go to school in a train!
In this area you also get to take a walk through an actual 19thCentury Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse. Kids who are fans of Thomas will flip out! It was pretty special to my Mom too, as her Dad worked in the Columbus Roundhouse for years and it was kind of special for her to get a feel for what he was doing during those long hours of work he spent away from them when she was kid.
Experimental Laboratory, Stony Creek and William Ford Barn.
Okay, the kids and I really liked this section and we were more interested in it than any of the others. This is a working 19th-century American Farm called Firestone Farm. It includes wagons, livestock and fields of vegetables and soybean. It is supposed to be a snapshot of scenes straight from the nation’s agricultural revolution. There are many demonstrations and presentations in this area to help visitors get a feel for how farmers lived off the land, without our modern conveniences.
Edison at Work Includes:Sarah Jordan Boarding House, Thomas Edison’s Fort Myers Laboratory, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Complex, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Glass Shed, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Machine Shop, and Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Office & Library.
I really liked this section as well. It includes a replica of Edison’s Menlo Park complex at about the time he began to develop the incandescent light bulb. Here you can see Thomas Edison’s workplaces, and the first buildings to be illuminated with electric light. Again, these are buildings that were meticulously taken apart, moved to Greenfield Village and then put back together!
Porches and Parlors District Includes:The Ackley Covered Bridge, Adams Family
Home, Chapman Family Home, Edison Homestead, Farris Windmill, Noah Webster Home, Plympton Family Home and Robert Frost Home.
Some of the houses in this area are as old as the 1650’s-1930’s. It’s pretty neat to show the kids a very different way of life from our Modern Cell Phone driven lives!
I was disappointed not to have time to investigate this section as it really appeals to me. I am fascinated by things like glass working, pottery and weaving. Next time maybe I will get to see some of these century old skills in action.
Main Street District includes: Eagle Tavern, Grimm Jewelry Store (which is actually a candy store), J.R. Jones General Store, Logan County Courthouse, Martha-Mary Chapel, Phoenixville Post Office, Town Hall, and , the Wright Cycle Shop (One of my favorites, I am fascinated by these guys!).
When you stroll down this street you can really get a sense of a busy little town with automobiles and carriages, events and amusements. Loads of scenic American history and heritage are to be found here. Make sure you try the Hobo Bread from the Grimm Jewelry Store. Yummy!
Henry Ford’s Model T District includes: Bagley Avenue Workshop, Ford Home, Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford Theater, Miller School.
This district follows the life of Henry Ford, industrialist and innovator. You will be amazed at the things he worked on and invented. His childhood home is here as well as a replica of the factory where he built his first automobiles.
Most importantly, this is the section where you can ride in a Model T. They really buzz through the streets of the town too! Just in case you are wondering, no, you cannot actually drive one, you are merely the passenger which is pretty exciting really!
I have included photo’s from the indoor Henry Ford Museum below as well. That area would take an entire 2nd day to explore. We tried to do it all in one day and missed an a whole lot of things.
Oh, and if you are photographer, this place is seriously fun!
Hiking with your family, can be an incredible bonding experience, that will build memories for your kid that will last a lifetime. Here are 5 tips on how to get started.
Tip # 1: Start out small!
It is important to know what your child is capable of. If your child is one that will not want to walk far, make sure you choose a short path. If the kids are overwhelmed the first time out, they may not want to go again. So make it short. Most parks here in the Fort Lauderdale area have shorter trails that would be more manageable for small children. You can gradually choose longer paths as your child begins to get used to hiking.
Tip #2: Give them something to do.
For younger children this may be something as simple as counting trees. For older children you can print out a few pictures of native plants, trees or birds so that they can treat the hike like a treasure hunt. National Parks, State Parks and County Park websites usually have lists of the Flora and Fauna that are live in the parks so you can make sure to choose pictures that the children will be able to find.
Tip #3: Be prepared for weather.
Remember children dehydrate faster than adults do and they are far less likely to mention they are thirsty or hot when they are having fun. Be sure to put the sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and water bottles to good use and remind the kids to take a drink every now and again. Try to avoid high energy activity in the summertime during the hottest part of the day between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm.
Tip #4: Be prepared for bugs.
It is especially important to keep Safety in mind. South Florida mosquito’s can carry diseases so be sure to bring the bug repellent and wear protective clothing. Long lightweight pants and long sleeves will help to keep the pesky critters from making a meal of the family. Wear layers so these protective layers can be peeled off later. The best time to avoid the mosquitoes is winter time.Some parks even post a “Mosquito Report” at trail heads, so you can call ahead.
Make sure to follow your hike with something the kids will enjoy. A little picnic with some favorite snacks on a blanket, or a swim in the ocean will give the children something to look forward to and reason to finish the trail. Many Local South Florida parks like Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale and John U Lloyd Beach Park in Dania Beach have playgrounds, picnic table are on the beach and have nearby parking so it would be easy to return to pick up swim gear and a picnic basket. With a little planning, hiking with the family can be very rewarding and lots of fun for all. So get out there and hike South Florida!
Regal Summer Movie Express! Regal Theaters offer kids movies on Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10am for nine weeks. Beginning June 11 in most Theaters. Admission is $1 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Will Rogers Institute.
Please check your local Regal Cinema for participation.
I thought I would repost this as there are several coming up and my daughter has been asking to go one. Check the events calendar for the next one. Advance registration is required.
I had to run into Lowe’s the other week to return something for my husband and my daughter pointed out the giant sign on the wall that had Donkey’s dragon girlfriend from Shrek on it. I realized it was for a free workshop to build the dragon. So of course I signed us up and we went.
It was really fun and really cute. Sorry for the lousy phone photos but I was being lazy and did not bring my camera.
You have to register online first. We showed up early and they were already set up. It was a little wood model with little nails and directions.
The attendant gave us the set, a hammer to use, and a cute Lowe’s apron for my daughter.
I had hoped there would be someone to help us figure out how to do it, but the attendant, while very friendly, did not offer any help.
I am of absolutely no use with tools but I did manage to figure out how to put it together on my own. Okay, well with a little help from my 4 year old and the people around me!
It was not exactly the way it was meant to be, but it worked and my daughter was so proud of herself for nailing it together.
When the project is complete the kids are given a cute little patch to take home. You can iron it onto their apron for them and they can wear it to the next workshop and earn another badge.