‘TIS THE SEASON FOR CHILDREN TO LEARN AND EXPERIENCE AN ARRAY OF CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS DURING THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Pretend-City-Logo

Season’s Greetings, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Habari Gani and Happy Holidays from Pretend City Children’s Museum.  One of the best things one can do with a child this holiday is to teach them about the beauty found in different cultures – it is perhaps one of the most important gifts of the season.  Pretend City gives families the opportunity to learn about the different cultural celebrations. Let the learning continue this holiday season and during winter breaks.

As an addition this season, there is something special about sending and receiving mail during the holidays. All through December, visit Pretend City Children’s Museum’s City Express and send seasons greetings all throughout the city.

December Activities at Pretend City

Winter Solstice Celebration – Dec 21

Choc Toy Drive – Dec 1- 23

Christmas Countdown – Dec 12 – 23 – Loaded with holiday activities!

Visits with Santa, as well as Sensitive Santa on Dec 16 for a low sensory experience

Festival of Kwanzaa – Dec 26-30

Hooray for Chanukah – Dec 17-23

Noon Years Confetti Countdown – Dec 31

 

More about the December Holiday Activities: 

Monday, December 1 – December 23: CHOC Toy Drive

Help spread Holiday cheer to patients at the CHOC Children’s Hospital. Pretend City Children’s Museum is partnering up once again with Orange Coast Harley Owners Group and Orange County Harley-Davidson to benefit patients at CHOC Children’s Hospital by collecting new and unwrapped toys.

  • Bring a child’s toy valued at $5 or greater to receive 25% off general admission on the day of your visit.

Monday, December 8: Baby Steps through Pretend City

Time: 2:00p.m. – 3:30p.m.

This special event is for infants (0-18 months). Infants will have a chance to do activities like the “big kids” get to do, decorating a tree, opening gifts, and creating holiday cards. A special visit from a guest at the North Pole will make a nice addition to this holiday tradition.

Friday, December 12 – December 23: Christmas Countdown

Friday 12th-(P.M. Activity) Gingerbread Man & Houses

Saturday 13th-(A.M. Activity) Candy Canes

Sunday 14th-(P.M. Activity) Christmas Trees

Monday 15th-(10:30a.m.-12:30p.m.) Visit & Photo with Santa

Tuesday 16th-(P.M. Activity) Reindeers

Wednesday 17th-(P.M. Activity) Christmas Stockings

Thursday 18th-(A.M. Activity) Twinkly Christmas Lights

Friday 19th-(P.M. Activity) Presents & Sleighs

Saturday 20th-(A.M. Activity) Popcorn Decoration

Sunday 21st –(P.M. Activity) Christmas Snow

Monday 22nd- (A.M. Activity) Christmas Carols

Tuesday 23rd-(P.M. Activity) Christmas Eve Excitement

Friday, December 12 : Harley-Davidson CHOC Toy Drive Pick Up

Time: 12:00p.m.

See Santa and his Harley helpers as they pick up the toys that have been previously collected at Pretend City Children’s Museum.

Tuesday, December 16: Celebrate Las Posadas).

Come to Pretend City to celebrate the first day of the 9 day Mexican Christmas celebration. Attendees will learn about the history of the celebration and activities include:

Smart Art: The Art Studio will create colorful Las Posadas mementos to take home.

Posada Pinata Ornaments: Make your own Pinata ornaments to hang on your tree this holiday season.

Posada Placement: Create holiday placemat for the Posada feast.

Luminaria Path: Create glowing replica of Hispanic Christmas Luminaria path.

Sensational Story Time: Introduce children to rich holiday literature in the Pretend City Library.

Tuesday, December 16: Sensitive Santa Visit & Photo Opportunity

Time: 1:00P.M.- 5:00P.M.

This event is for children with autism and will be held in a private room. Come meet Santa and tell him your holiday wishes.

Wednesday, December 17- 23: Hooray for Chanukah

Learn and enjoy activities about the Hanukkah miracle through games, finger play rhymes, art projects and activities.

Wednesday, 17(A.M. Activity): Menorah

Thursday, 18(P.M. Activity): Dreidel, Dreidel

Saturday, 20(P.M. Activity): Star of David

Sunday, 21(Art Studio): Chanukah Art

Monday, 22(P.M. Activity): Tzedakah Box

Tuesday, 23(A.M. Activity): Chanukah Story Time

Sunday, December 21: Celebrate the Winter Solstice

Put on your warm mittens and cozy scarves. It’s officially winter! The beginning of winter is marked by the solstice, the shortest day of the year.

Smart Art: Visit the Art Studio where we’ll have a flurry of winter-themed art activities for you and your children to create.

Snow Much Fun – A gorgeous winter art activity with a child-directed process and a beautiful result too!

Ice City – This community project will draw inspiration from the glassy snow to create a different type of city.

Winter Prints – See what your child’s little hands will make – a winter tree, a snowflake, or perhaps a cute winter animal?

Friday, December 26-30: Festival of Kwanzaa

During the Festival of Kwanzaa to “light” a candle on the Kinara. Every day, we’ll celebrate a new Kwanzaa principle through a variety of activities including working at the family stand, making gifts for family and friends, playing Kwanzaa games, and even having a “feast”!

Friday 26th: Kwanzaa Kinara

Saturday 27th: Kwanzaa Placement/Quilt

Sunday 28th: Kwanzaa Corn

Monday 29th: Kwanzaa Necklace

Tuesday 30th: Kwanzaa Kufi & Kwanzaa Unity Cup

Monday, December 29: Author’s Day – Ari Loves the Holidays presented by Reetu Dua

Time: 11:00A.M.

Explore the exciting Holidays that await us in the New Year. Join Ari as he celebrates with fireworks, goes on an Easter egg hunt, passes out a valentine, puts on his favorite costume, and so much more! Each holiday is filled with love, color, family, and cheer. This special story time will be presented by the author Reetu Dua. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 31: Annual Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown!  

Twas’ the day before New Year’s and all through the city the citizens are stirring and buzzing about! With sparkling streamers and festive party hats this is one celebration you won’t want to miss.  Confetti Countdown:  12:00p.m.     2:00p.m.     4:00p.m. 

 

Pretend City Children’s Museum

Pretend City Children’s Museum is the first educational facility of its kind in the western United States representing a small, interconnected city designed to “build better brains” through purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, it depends on community-based funding and guest support. Through 17 interactive exhibits and activities guided by a highly trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills, while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, teamwork, self-confidence and socialization. The museum is a unique community resource where families, educators and community agencies come together to ensure that each child gains the experiences needed for a productive and fulfilling future. Pretend City Children’s Museum is located at 29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618.

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Categories : Press Release

Holiday Gift Guide: Toys R Us Wish List

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

HolidayGiftGuideMy family all live out of state. Sadly my kiddos dont get to spend the Holidays with their extended family. My family does like to send gifts but living so far away they dont always know what toys interest my kids. ToysRus has a great app that lets my kids (and yours) create wish lists so that they can have an ongoing list of their most wanted toys and gifts. It takes the guess work out of gift buying for your relatives. My kids found it super easy to use even the baby (my two year old) was able to easily add to his wish list. You can use your smart phone or the scanner you use to create a baby registry. kaia used my phone while the boys used the scanners. Both work easily and the kids had a blast adding to their wish lists.
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Toys“R”Us Wish List App Enables Parents to Track Kids’ Wishes

As children stroll through the store, carefully curating their list for Santa, parents can keep track of their little one’s wishes with the Toys“R”Us Wish List app. By downloading the app from the Apple® App Store or Google Play™, parents can turn their smartphone into a scanner, allowing them to scan the barcode of a must-have toy. Once scanned, the toy is then added to a digital Wish List which can be accessed on any smartphone or PC, and shared with family and friends via SMS, email, Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, customers can purchase items from their Wish Lists, right from the app.

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From Saturday, November 1 to Wednesday, November 26, customers who create a new Wish List using the Toys“R”Us Wish List app or online at Toysrus.com/WishList, will be automatically entered to win a $1,000 Toys“R”Us Gift Card (limit one entry per person). For more information about the Toys“R”Us Wish List app and entry rules surrounding the sweepstakes, visit Toysrus.com/ToyEvents.
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The Big Toys R US Toy Book is here. This year’s go-to guide for gift-givers reads like a child’s favorite storybook with 80 pages of toys divided into nine play-themed chapters, such as Dream & Pretend, Sparkle & Shine, Create & Explore, Build & Collect, Action & Adventure, as well as Hot Toys, which showcases the company’s “Fabulous 15”, representing the best new toy introductions of 2014. This valuable resource is designed to help customers find the ideal present for the child in their life while catering to various interests. The catalog features hundreds of toys that are sure to top little one’s lists, including exclusive playthings named to the 2014 Toys“R”Us Holiday Hot Toy List, such as LEGO® FUSION Town Master from LEGO® Systems, Inc., Charmazing!™ Color Me Up from Wooky Entertainment, Inc., Little Live Pets™ Bird Cage Love Birds Double Pack from Moose Toys™ and Battroborg™ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Electronic Battle Game from TOMY®.

Whether shopping from the comfort of their own homes or on-the-go, gift-givers can browse a digital version of The Great Big Christmas Book at Toysrus.com/ChristmasBook, where they can filter preferences by age, play theme, licensed character, brand and more.
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Holiday Shopping Made Easy With New and Improved Programs

To help parents shop and save, Toys“R”Us is offering a variety of compelling programs this holiday season, such as:

Rewards“R”Us – The new loyalty program from Toys“R”Us enables shoppers to earn more points…faster! Just in time for holiday shopping, existing Rewards“R”Us members and those who sign up in-store or online at Toysrus.com/myrewards receive $5 in “R”Us Rewards for every $125 spent. In addition, “R”Us credit cardholders, or those who enroll (subject to credit approval), will be able to earn 10% off in-store every Saturday in November and 10% off in-store every Thursday throughout the holiday season. Plus, all Rewards“R”Us shoppers will be privy to exclusive pre-Black Friday deals and discounts.

Price Match Guarantee –Toys“R”Us will match a competitor’s advertised price on identical items when customers present a local competitor’s print ad or their website showing the item available for less. For more information, please visit Toysrus.com/PriceMatch.

Free Online Layaway – Toys“R”Us has expanded its omnichannel capabilities with the introduction of online layaway, giving customers the ability to create layaway orders at Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com, make subsequent payments either in-store or online and choose to pick up their order in a local store or have it delivered right to their home. This offering is in addition to the company’s in-store layaway program. Toys“R”Us will once again offer FREE layaway for the holiday season, waiving the $5 service fee generally associated, now for both online and in-store layaway orders.

Free Store Pickup – Toys“R”Us offers a ‘Buy Online, Pick Up In Store’ option, which allows customers to shop online from wherever they are and pick up the ordered item at their local Toys“R”Us store in an hour or less. Full program details can be found at Toysrus.com/Pickup.

Free Shipping – On Toysrus.com, the company offers free shipping on purchases of $49 or more every day. For more information about this offer, customers can visit Toysrus.com/FreeShipping.
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Kick-Start Kids’ Wish Lists at “Ultimate Wish Saturday” Events in November

As children around the country begin compiling the most important list of their year, families can embrace this age-old tradition, with the added assistance of #ToyExperts, at a series of events that will be held on Saturday, November 8, 15 and 22 from 12 noon to 4pm at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide.

 

At each event, attendees can preview and play with some of the year’s most talked about toys, as well as enjoy an appearance by Geoffrey the Giraffe, make-and-take crafts and giveaways (while supplies last).

 

  • On Saturday, November 15, customers who visit their local store will delight in testing some of the most popular action-packed toys from Hasbro®, including NERF Demolisher, NERF Rebelle Secret Agent Bow, TRANSFORMERS Age of Extinction Mega 1-Step Bumblebee Figure and more.
  • On Saturday, November 22, Little LEGO® builders of all ages are encouraged to visit their local store where they can build and display a LEGO winter scene masterpiece for all to see. Additionally, shoppers will enjoy a number of LEGO-themed giveaways (while supplies last).

 

Those planning to attend the events are also encouraged to #PlayItForward in support of the company’s 11th year of partnership with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Parents and children will have the opportunity to help fulfill the Christmas wishes of local kids in need by taking and sharing a “selfie” as they donate a toy into the collection bins in Toys“R”Us stores. For every photo shared on social media using #PlayItForward, the company will double the giving and donate an additional toy to Toys for Tots (or the equivalent cash value) up to $150,000 worth of toys.

 

For more information about the special activities that attendees can take advantage of during “Ultimate Wish Saturday” events, customers can visit Toysrus.com/ToyEvents.

 

 

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DSC_0704I was compensated with a Gift Card from Toys R US for this Post.

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Categories : Misc., Press Release

Holiday Gift Craft

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Picture 769Here are some awesome homemade crafts we make!

Picture 770The first is an ornament. You take a cookie cutter cut some craft paper to that size use hot glue (I let the kids) to put the craft paper inside. Tie a ribbon through the back.

Picture 771Use a bottle cap for the center (hot glued on to the craft paper). Then you cut a piece of paper to the size of a small glass stone (we get ours at the dollar store in a big bag). You can have the children write a small word like love below (which was typed) or have the kids write Mom or Dad. Hot glue these together. Add elmers glue and glitter for sparkle!

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Picture 773Paper Bird Ornament. Use Newspaper or a magazine. Have the kids trace and cut out a bird two or three times. Then have them glue them together but slightly askew to create the layered look. Cut a small paper circle and use twine to create a loop to hang! We added a little glitter glue in the end for sparkle.

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Picture 775Super cute!

Picture 776Send home some yummy comfort food!

Picture 777We had bowls set up where the kids measured each item as they put it in the bag.

Picture 778They then twist tied with a pipe cleaner the recipe card to the bag of goodness! A yummy side dish one less thing for mom to have to think about.

Picture 779Peppermint Bark

Picture 780Each child gets a Piece of wax paper with a circle drawn on it (the circle is actually drawn on the bottom of the paper but shows through).  They then take milk chocolate and cover the circle thinly in the chocolate. Once that is done you take a spoonful of white chocolate and drop it in the center they then spread this around through the circle. They take a small candy cane and crush it with a small mallet. and then sprinkle this on top. Once it has hardened you break it up into chunks put it in a baggy and it is good to go. Yum!
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Categories : arts and crafts

Toys R US Big Toy Book 2014!!!

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

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Parents Save Big on the Season’s Most Coveted Toys

Whether parents are shopping for a tiny action hero, Frozen enthusiast, outdoor adventurer or trendy tween, The Great Big Christmas Book offers shoppers the reassurance that they can find precisely what they are looking for at a great value at Toys“R”Us. Featuring more than $3,000 in savings and three pages of coupon offers, this year’s catalog is packed with deals for every gift-giver.

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Following are highlights of the deals and discounts available at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com, valid from Sunday, November 2 to Saturday, November 22, while supplies last:

· FREE $30 Toys“R”Us Gift Card with the purchase of ANY regular priced Apple iPad **

· FREE NERF Ammo with purchase of ANY NERF blaster priced $9.99 and up – $6.99 value*

· 25% OFF ALL character themed bicycles – prices vary

· SAVE $30 on Imaginarium® Mountain Rock Train Table – Was $149.99; Now $119.99*

· SAVE $10 on ANY regular-priced Disney Frozen doll, playset or role-play purchase of $40 or more – prices vary ***

· SAVE $10 on ANY regular-priced Barbie® doll, playset or role-play purchase of $40 or more – prices vary

· SAVE $10 on ANY regular-priced Monster High® and Ever After High® doll, playset or role-play purchase of $35 or more – prices vary ****

· ONLY $34.99 for Flutterbye™ Flying Fairy Winter Wonderland Light Up Fairy

· ONLY $4.99 for Mickey or Minnie 22-inch Plush Dolls with ANY purchase of $50 or more*

· TWO FOR $30 “R” Super Buy Video Games*****

Kick-Start Kids’ Wish Lists at “Ultimate Wish Saturday” Events in November

As children around the country begin compiling the most important list of their year, families can embrace this age-old tradition, with the added assistance of #ToyExperts, at a series of events that will be held on Saturday, November 8, 15 and 22 from 12 noon to 4pm at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide.

At each event, attendees can preview and play with some of the year’s most talked about toys, as well as enjoy an appearance by Geoffrey the Giraffe, make-and-take crafts and giveaways (while supplies last).

· On Saturday, November 8, customers will have an opportunity to try out the all-new Skylanders Trap Team game at dedicated Xbox One™ kiosks and tablets within the store.

· On Saturday, November 15, customers who visit their local store will delight in testing some of the most popular action-packed toys from Hasbro®, including NERF Demolisher, NERF Rebelle Secret Agent Bow, TRANSFORMERS Age of Extinction Mega 1-Step Bumblebee Figure and more.

· On Saturday, November 22, Little LEGO® builders of all ages are encouraged to visit their local store where they can build and display a LEGO winter scene masterpiece for all to see. Additionally, shoppers will enjoy a number of LEGO-themed giveaways (while supplies last).

Those planning to attend the events are also encouraged to #PlayItForward in support of the company’s 11th year of partnership with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Parents and children will have the opportunity to help fulfill the Christmas wishes of local kids in need by taking and sharing a “selfie” as they donate a toy into the collection bins in Toys“R”Us stores. For every photo shared on social media using #PlayItForward, the company will double the giving and donate an additional toy to Toys for Tots (or the equivalent cash value) up to $150,000 worth of toys.

For more information about the special activities that attendees can take advantage of during “Ultimate Wish Saturday” events, customers can visit Toysrus.com/ToyEvents.

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Categories : Misc.

Ice Playdate

Friday, July 4th, 2014

 

Summer always screams ice playdate to me. So we kicked off our Summer playdate with a fun ice party. I use some very large bowls to create our giant icebergs. I was blessed with a large stand up freezer so it just takes some clever Tetris style rearranging to make room for these beauties. I think it is so worth it don’t you?


Some pie pans came into play as well. I almost never throw away disposeable pie pans. I use them for painting with toy cars, fingerpainting, and shallow ice making. They stack pretty well. Throw in some limes from your lime tree like i did, glass beads, water beads, marbles, small toys or necklaces. Whatever you can think of top make some fun treasure hunting in the ice.

Ice building in the sand box has become a favorite every year. Use old yogurt containers, ice trays, or in our case some ice shot glass makers to create fun ice building blocks for the sand table.

I froze some tempera paint from lake shore learning to create some fun ice paint it oozes as it melts the kids just love it!

More pictures of the awesomeness. Our sand building, the giant iceberg waiting for ice cream salt and food coloring to make caverns of color. and frozen treasure hunting in the water table


This year I also supervised them using hammers to crush the ice. they had to wear safety goggles while doing this. They loved it!

More fun with icebeads! Check out my post on ice beads

Check out last years ice play date for even more great ideas!

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Categories : Sensory Play