Camp Google

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

FREE Summer STEM Camp!

This summer Google has partnered with Kahn Academy, National Geographic and National Parks Services to bring Camp Google. Camp Google is a FREE online STEM camp geared for kids ages 7-10 years, but is open to kids of all ages. Each week is a new theme focusing on STEM areas such as the Ocean, Space, Nature and Music. You can revisit a previous weeks activities, so there’s no missing out. Campers learn about the subjects from experts and are giving instructions on how to participate with experiments at home. Complete weekly activities to earn badges. This is great fun free way to keep learning engaging this summer!

Happy STEM camping!

Cruzin Mama

Summer Reading Programs

Summer Reading Programs

Summer break is in full swing and even with all the great activities and outings available there is still ways to squeeze in some education. A great way to do this is through one of the many summer reading programs. Summer reading programs keep your kids interested in learning over break with some fun rewards! So here are some programs to try out with your kids.

2015 Summer Reading Programs

  • Barnes & Noble
    Imagination’s Destination
    Stop by your local store and pick up a reading journal (or print one online here) The program is fairly simple; your child will read and record 8 books. They will also write a short recommendation for each book. Then once completed they will turn in their reading journal and in turn recieve a FREE book. The program is going on now until September 7th
  • Scholastic
    Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge
    This is a FREE online reading program. You log in your child’s minutes read to help break the summer reading world record. Logging in minutes will unlock online stories and rewards. Parents can find tips, activities and book lists.
  • Chuck E. Cheese
    Reading Rewards Program
    Chuck E. Cheese’s offers printable Rewards Calendars. These calendars work for a number of ways including Summer Reading. It’s simple and fun, just print a calendar and once completed turn it in to a local location for 10 FREE tokens!
  • Sylvan Learning
    Book Adventure
    Another FREE online Reading Program, this one doesn’t just have to be during the summer as it is available all year. Book Adventure is sponsered by Sylvan Learning. Children will read their books and go online to take a quiz towards earning rewards.
  • Local Library
    Summer Reading Program
    Many libraries, if not all, offer a Summer Reading Program for children, teens and even adults. Usually the requirement for the children’s program is just a weekly check in. Some may offer weekly rewards and a book upon completion of the program. My local library also holds summer Pajama Story Times and special events along with the Reading Program.

Keep learning fun this summer!

Cruzin Mama

Free STEM Camp at Apple Stores

Apple Camp - Free Summer STEM Camp

This July Apple Camp is back!

Did you know that Apple Stores offer FREE STEM Summer Camps for kids ages 8 to 12 years old. Kids are able to let their imaginations run wild while learning how to use computer programming for such things as Movie Making or Digital Storybooks. Camps are for three days and are an hour and half long each day. There are two camps to choose from; Stories in Motion with iMovie and Interactive Storytelling with iBooks. Apple Camp sessions begin July 20th and conclude the week of August 5th.

My daughter at the Interactive Storytelling Camp Session last summer

My daughter at the Interactive Storytelling Camp Session last summer

Last summer my daughter attended the Interactive Storytelling Camp at our local Apple Store. She had an absolute blast at Camp. She learned how to use illustrator, power point and at the end of camp showed of her story during a little presentation to her fellow campers and their parents. At the start of Apple Camp she was provided with a Camp t-shirt and employee style name badge. On the last day of camp she was given an Apple Camp bracket that concealed a USB containing her digital storybook. She loved when it was camp days and asked to be signed up for more, unfortunately we were unable to since camps fill up extremely fast. So this year I checked everyday for when registration would be open (even though I signed up to receive an email when it does), I’m a little impatient. But my persistence has paid off, my daughter is registered for both camps and I am sharing this opportunity to everyone!

That’s right Apple Camp registration is now open! I haven’t even received the email to announce registration openings yet, so this is a way to stay ahead of everyone by using the link provided to register now. You can find a local store and reserve a spot for your child now at applersvp.com

Camp spaces are very limited, you don’t want to have to wait another year for your kids to attend these great camps!

Cruzin Mama

FREE Children’s Museum Entrance

Image from thinkplaycreate.org

Image from thinkplaycreate.org

FREE entrance into the New Children’s Museum of San Diego is the Second Sunday of every month. This wonderful opportunity is presented by Target. The New Children’s Museum is such a fun and interactive learning environment perfect for eager learners. Parking is not included and free entrance is only between 12-4pm. But a free entrance day is the perfect way to check out a new museum.

Image from thinkplaycreate.org

Image from thinkplaycreate.org

The New Children’s Museum of San Diego is located at 200 West Island Avenue in Downtown. The Museum features plenty of hands on exhibits, which is great for anyone with a toddler. There is an array of daily activities for kids to really get into the art and let their creativeness shine. Just to name a few of the activities there is painting, playing with bubbles, working with clay, and more. For all the daily activities, there location in the museum and recommended ages click on the link provided. The Museum also has a special Toddler Program that is every Friday at 10:30am. The program focuses on music, movement, learning and fun for little ones!

Try and check out this fun little children’s museum!

Cruzin Mama

FREE Crafts at Lakeshore Learning Centers

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Every Saturday from 11am to 3pm children can make a FREE craft at Lakeshore Learning Centers. Crafts are geared toward children ages 3 and up and no reservations are needed. In Lakeshore fashion all crafts are educational based, another place that is making learning fun. Below is the schedule of upcoming crafts.

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I like to pick and choose with my kiddos which crafts to attend. They have had a great time at each Saturday crafts we have attended. Our trips also give me a chance to check out all the great learning supplies and see what deals are going on.

Sometimes there is a craft that it to help decorate the store. Like this one which when completed was a bird in a birdcage that was hung over the registers.

Sometimes there is a craft that is to help decorate the store. Like this one which when completed was a bird in a birdcage that was hung over the registers.

My little guy loved the octopus craft.

My little guy loved the octopus craft.

Click here to find a store nearest you. Have fun crafting!

Cruzin Mama

FREE History Center Entrance

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Every Sunday the little red building next Kohl’s here in Temecula opens it’s doors and welcomes all take a step back in time. This great little History Center is FREE for all to explore. The workers there are so friendly, on our recent visit one lady walked with us through the building and explained the history of many objects to my very curious 7 year old. It is always nice to learn the history of the area you live in.

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This History Center is only open on Sundays from Noon to 5pm. There are quite a few hands on exhibits which is great for little ones, but still be mindful these are historical items. If you wish to have a group tour please schedule an appointment at info@vailranch.org  If you are in the area try and stop by this wonderful center and catch a glimpse of Temecula’s history.

"Test driving" the Model-T on display inside the History Center

“Test driving” the Model-T on display inside the History Center

Catching a ride in the replica stagecoach.

Catching a ride in the replica stagecoach.

And before I forget directly on the other side of Kohls there are some Historic buildings as well. These buildings are in the process of restoration to create another amazing walk through history, similar to Old Town San Diego. Construction has begun on this site and I cannot wait until it is finished to take my little ones.

Cruzin Mama

Made w/Code (FREE website for kids to get into STEM)

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So I have just gotten my daughter involved with an awesome learning site called Made with Code by Google. This site is geared specifically toward getting girls involved with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and giving them opportunities to learn and advance with coding. Now even though the site is geared towards girls there’s nothing that says boys can’t use it as well. Learning and training in STEM is open to both boys and girls, all children should have the opportunity to excell and have resources available for their creative interests.

So a little overview of what Made w/Code is all about.

What is Coding?

Coding

Coding is a way of communicating ideas with computers or other technology to bring them to life.  With code one could make their own app, make a soundtrack, create a video game or video like a mini movie. To learn how to code is to learn vital Computing Skills which assist in almost any career path. Coding teaches creativity, problem solving, and teamwork skills.

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What’s on Made w/Code

    • Mentors – this is a wonderful opportunity to see girls who code in action. Kids can watch videos about young women who are changing the world with coding and gain inspiration.
    • Makers – Meet other young women who are learning how to use coding and are making a difference in their communities.
    • Events – find events, classes, game workshops, and app camps in your area.
    • Projects – Compose a soundtrack, stylize a selfie, create an avatar, make a fun GIF, or code a bracelet that will be made on a 3D printer
    • Resources – Explore more opportunists to learn how to code with activities each designed for your level of experience: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Also more information for parents on what Coding is all about.
My daughter made this bracelet example with my blogs name.(this one is not being printed for us, only to how what the bracelet looks like)

My daughter made this bracelet example with my blogs name.(this one is not being printed for us, only to how what the bracelet looks like)

*The 3D printed bracelet is for a limited time, anyone can make a bracelet design. In order to have your bracelet printed someone 13 years or older must login in and verify age to provide the sensitive information for delivery.*

Made with Code by Google is just a wonderful way to give your child the tools they need to succeed. Be sure to check out this site and let your child be inspired, who knows they my be the next featured Maker!

Cruzin Mama

FREE Children’s Museum Entrance

Image from thinkplaycreate.org

Image from thinkplaycreate.org

Tomorrow August 10th is the second Sunday of the month and that means FREE entrance into the New Children’s Museum of San Diego. This wonderful opportunity is presented by Target. The New Children’s Museum is such a fun and interactive learning environment perfect for eager learners. Parking is not included and free entrance is only between 12-4pm. But a free entrance day is the perfect way to check out a new museum.

Cruzin Mama

Apple Camp Review

Posted in Summer Reading and Education 

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My daughter just finished her first ever Apple Camp this last week. She absolutely loved it. Apple Camp is a free in-store camp that helps kids learn how to use Apple devices and programs. Each Camp is on three specific days in a single week and are an 1 1/2 long. There were two different camps this summer: a Stories in Motion with iMovie and Interactive Storytelling with iBooks.

Stories in Motion
Campers learn how to make their own mini movies. They draw up their own storyboards, shoot their scenes and edit all their work by using Apple devices and programs.

Interactive Storytelling
Campers learn how to make their own digital storybooks. They draw up their own storyboards, illustrate their story and add their writing by using Apple devices and programs.

All geared up and ready for the first day of camp.

All geared up and ready for the first day of camp.

Day one storyboard and illustrations.

Day one storyboard and illustrations.

My daughter participated in the Interactive Storytelling Camp. On her first day she was giving an Apple Camp t-shirt and name lanyard. All the kids introduced themselves and then the program coordinator explained what they would be working on in camp. All the kids drew on paper storyboards what they wanted to make their stories about. After that they were shown how to use a Paint App on the iPad and then they used their storyboards and made their story illustrations on individual iPads.

Day two computer editing: putting the story in sequence and adding text. Also showing off her wristband with built in USB containing her story!

Day two computer editing: putting the story in sequence and adding text. Also showing off her wristband with built in USB containing her story!

Day two of camp was time to put their illustrations together and add text to each one. The kids worked on individual laptops and the instructors were very helpful and did as much one on one interaction as possible. When they were all finished with the days work the kids were giving an Apple Camp wristband, the wristband has a USB built into it which their story was loaded on to download onto a computer at home.

Showing off their work on the final day.

Showing off their work on the final day.

Day three, the final day of camp, all the kids showed their stories to their fellow campers and parents. The stories were played on the large store televisions. All the kids were so proud of their work. Some of the stories they came up with were so funny and all were very creative.

I will definitely be signing my daughter up again next Summer. Hopefully she will get into both camps then. I will be downloading some paint apps onto out iPad and let her create some more stories for us to enjoy. I highly recommend this camp it really made learning interactive and fun.

Cruzin Mama

*If you were unable to take part in Apple’s Summer Camps there is also Field Trip programs offered. The Field Trip program is very similar to Camp but is set up through a teacher for their class. Boy and Girl Scout Troops can also participate in a Field Trip at Apple.*

Kids Learning and Activity Books at Costco

Posted in Summer Reading and Education

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Costco has a great selection right now of learning and activity books for children. These books are great to keep your child up to speed on their learning or help give them a little advantage when they head back to school soon. Plus the pricing of these books are very reasonable. I have seen the Brain Quest books selling at other stores for almost $20 but at Costco they start at $7.99! The Star Wars math, reading, and writing books are $16.99 for all three books, I found them at another store selling for $9 each book. There is a great variety of activity books and other learning material. Snatch up these great deals before they are gone, I have learned from the past with Costco to get an item when you see it since they have a lot of product turn around.

Cruzin Mama

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Really awesome series of educational books that truly simplify science, computer coding, math, and language arts.

Really awesome series of educational books that truly simplify science, computer coding, math, and language arts.