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Classes for Kids

Summer Opportunities Jamboree!

The Parenting OC Magazine eighth annual Summer Opportunities Jamboree will take place this Sunday, March 9, 2014, at the Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., in Irvine.

Up to 75 exhibitors are expected, representing summer camps, family-friendly classes and health services, preschools, private schools and birthday parties – providing parents the opportunity to plan ahead and learn more about OC-wide activities and programs that their children can be a part of.

On the Kidpalooza Stage you will also find performances by youth talent and performers, contests and the popular Jamboree Spelling Bee where the county’s top spellers compete in an exciting multi-round competition.

Entertainment will include family fun attractions, gymnastics and fitness demos.

This event is a great way to start thinking about summer planning and the incredible experiences available for your kids this 2014 summer season!

Click here for more information on the Summer Opportunities Jamboree 2014.

Have a great weekend! Remember to SPRING FORWARD!

Help for the Rainbow Looney


As I am sure we all know, or at least all moms with school age kids know, the Rainbow Loom craze has taken over America, and the mini rubber bands have taken over our house. Trying to learn some of the designs started to make me a little rainbow looney, so when a friend suggested checking out the Rainbow Loom classes at Michaels, I signed us up.

My 7-year-old daughter got her Rainbow Loom before Thanksgiving and the entire weekend was spent on the iPad watching the Rainbow Loom You Tube tutorials in an attempt to learn some of the fancier designs kids had been sporting at school.

It’s not easy moms. Not easy. Even with pausing the how to video over and over again, inevitably we would mess up SOMEWHERE in the process, which would sabotage the entire design. Even my husband who can assemble anything, had trouble. We needed help.

The Rainbow Loom classes at Michaels are called Rainbow Loom Meet Ups. Our local Michaels in Costa Mesa had a Rainbow Loom Meet Up on a Sunday morning from 10am – 12pm. The 2 hour class is for kids ages 6+ and only puts you back $5.

You bring your own loom and rubber bands and our darling instructor, Selina, a Rainbow Loom Goddess, was there to help the children learn any design they wanted. She would walk around to answer questions, get kids started and fix the mishaps. Thank you Selina. Thank you. Thanks to her we FINALLY mastered the Rainbow Loom Starbust!! Victory!


So, if a Rainbow Loom in under your tree this year, have no fear! There is help for the rainbow looney. Contact your local Michaels to see if they have the Rainbow Loom meet ups. It will be the best $5 you ever spent.

Are You Ready for a Change?


Plucky Parenting

Parenting is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. In the peaceful times, being a mom is easy. The snuggles, the play time, the connection, the love. Oh, the love. If it were like this all the time, parenting would be a breeze. But then we would all probably have more children than we do right now, right?!

Then there are the times when I am left standing alone in the face of a sassy comment or bickering sisters or outright defiance, genuinely yearning for divine direction on WHAT to do to handle the situation because I just don’t know what the HECK to do.

Either that, or I react with a response I am not proud of or question myself as I wonder if I did the right thing? It’s those times when I start to question myself as a mom and think, “What am I doing wrong to make my child act like this?!” It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it?

But there is help for us moms!

If you are struggling with a specific parenting issue with your kids, or dealing with some undesirable and baffling behaviors, the great news is there is an  Orange County parenting consultant you can turn to for guidance. Let her be the light at the end of your tunnel!

Orange County Parenting Consultant

Plucky Parenting was created by Brianna Dubbs, LMFT, who was driven with a passion to help fellow parents with practical tools to rediscover just how fun, enlivening and connecting parenting can be.

One of the first things I asked Brianna when we got on the phone, was “Where did the name Plucky Parenting come from?”

She explained that her mission is to help parents achieve “pluck” which to her means courage, determination, spunk and cheer in their parenting skills. This joy really radiated through in our phone call and you can also see it in her beautiful website.

Plucky Parenting Consultation Services Include: 

1. In-home or in-office intensive sessions to help parents struggling with a specific parenting issue.

2. Expecting baby series which helps a new family adjust to a new baby.

Group Classes Include:

1. MNI (Mom’s Night IN) where you get a group of mommy friends together for a fun relaxed time to support and learn from each other. Brianna and host will provide yummy treats and wine. Average cost averages $15 – $25 pp depending on size of group.

2. Playdates and Playgroups. Arrange to have Brianna come and casually speak at your playdate in a fun and casual atmosphere. Brianna will tailor the topics to fit any specific challenges facing the group. Cost is $15/person (family.)

3. Large groups/workshops. Brianna has experience speaking at mother’s groups across Orange County and would welcome the opportunity to tailor a specific topic for your group.

The Plucky Parenting Philosophy

Brianna believes that all parenting practices should support our relationship with our child, because it is this relationship and connection which will allow our children to navigate the world in a happy, confident, independent and courageous manner.

Isn’t that what we all want for our children?

Her consulting works on systematically understanding the problem by observing what is driving the behavior.

She explained children react and behave in ways because of the feelings that are behind it. If you can identify the feeling that is driving the behavior, you can then attend to the feeling with the child to help them understand it and express it with words.

If you attend to the feelings, you will strengthen your relationship and bond with your child.

After my conversation with Brianna, I took those words to heart, and when my kids were acting out I stopped and looked deeper wondering what FEELING was driving it.

A Personal Example of Putting Her Philosophy to Work

My oldest daughter, a second grader, has spirit day on Fridays and the kids wear red, white and blue to school. Two of her girlfriends in her class both have the same red and white striped sundress from H&M. It’s a dress she doesn’t own, but her little sister does.

The girls were planning to wear their same dresses for spirit day to be “twins” and my oldest wanted to borrow the dress from little sister. A terrible fight ensued. Little sis did NOT want big sis borrowing her dress and big sis was hysterical because she wanted to match her girlfriends.

I was so irritated with both of them! I was irritated with little one for not sharing her dress, because I knew she really didn’t care about it that much, and then I was irritated my oldest was making such a huge deal about it.

I had just spoken with Brianna the day before, and her words echoed in my head, so I asked what they were feeling about the situation. What came out was interesting.

My oldest expressed she would feel left out if the other two were wearing the same dress, and she does not like to feel left out. Bingo.

My little one said if the older girls are wore the same dress, SHE would feel left out. Bingo.

Helping me understanding what was driving both their behaviors helped me immensely in handling the situation because we were all able to talk about how it doesn’t feel good to be left out.

The next day little one marched in and gave the dress for her sister to borrow without issue. I have to think it had to do with her feeling understood. Oh, how the smallest victories in parenting can feel SO empowering! I hope you can let Brianna help you find the way to your own parenting victories too!

Upcoming Events 

Brianna is speaking at Granola Babies on Saturday, November 16th on the topic of adding new babies to single children families and how to help your family navigate the transition when a sibling is born. For more information, contact Brianna.

Stay Connected 

For upcoming events and parenting inspiration follow Plucky Parenting on Facebook and Twitter.

Lots of Fun for Your Lil’ Kickers

soccer classes for kids in Orange County CA

Today’s post is about a great program from a juicy new Tiny Oranges sponsor called Lil’ Kickers, which offers soccer classes for kids in Orange County and many other fun programs I am excited to share with you today.

My kids love everything about soccer – and this mama loves that they are active, running and happy.  Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Tim from Lil’ Kickers, who told me all about their fabulous soccer classes for kids and child development program.

And the best part?  He wants your kids to try the program for FREE! Simply mention this Tiny Oranges blog…and receive THREE FREE trial classes (valid for one child only).

Next Level Sports Complex

You’ll find Lil’ Kickers at the Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove – a premier multi-sport complex that offers a broad range of athletic programs for all ages.

Tim told me all about the Lil’ Kickers program and their philosophy about working with young kids.  Read below and see for yourself!

What makes Lil’ Kickers soccer classes for kids in Orange County unique?

One of the most unique aspects of the Lil’ Kickers soccer program is that we were created by child development professionals and soccer professionals.

It is firmly rooted in child development theories, and every class is designed specifically for where a child is developmentally, cognitively, socially, physically, and mentally.

What do moms love about your program?

We use imagination and creativity to engage with the kids. Soccer fields are transformed to become the bottom of the ocean or the galaxy above.  Kids are super active, super engaged, and have a great time.

What kind of “age appropriate activities” could we expect in a class?

In our  “Hoppers” class (beginning for three and four-year-olds), kids will learn soccer skills without knowing they are actually developing soccer skills.

We use story and imagination to engage the kids. This helps the children interact and stay engaged.

Our blue soccer balls become laser balls, or battleship cannon balls, or blue pearls that are at the bottom of the ocean…and the kids are in imaginary “scuba gear,” retrieving the blue pearls and bringing them back to the submarine before the octopus (the coach) stops them.

What ages do you teach?

There are classes for kids as young as 18-24 months which are Parent & Me soccer classes all the way up to age 9.. You can visit the website to see the class breakdown by age and along with class descriptions.

Tell us more about what you offer…

Lil’ Kickers is more than just soccer.  We have our weekly classes for kids ages 18 months to nine-years-old like I mentioned, but we also have soccer birthday parties that incorporate soccer and a whole lot more (bounce houses, dodge ball, basketball, kickball, flag football, and volleyball to name a few!).

We also offer a “Parents Night Out” on a regular basis where parents drop their kids off for “date night,” leaving their kiddos in the hands of the best babysitters, our Lil’ Kickers coaches.  We also have great OC summer soccer camps and winter soccer camps, too!

Want your Lil’ Kicker to try it out? 

All you have to do is call us at 714-230-0706 x107 - mention this Tiny Oranges blog – and receive three Lil’ Kickers classes for FREE (valid for one child only).  SO excited to try them!

Thank you Tim for sharing more about your fabulous program!

[Disclosure: Lil' Kickers is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.]

Happy Campers, Happy Summer! [Giveaway!]

Today’s post is all about Tiny Oranges’ Sponsor, Inside the Outdoors and their fabulous Orange County summer camps for kids.  And we have an awesome giveaway as well, make sure to read below to enter to win a FREE week of summer camp for your child!

After about five minutes of chatting about their camps and different summer themes, I started feeling nostalgic for my own camp days. What’s better than fresh air, crafts, hikes, learning about nature and animals, and singing camp songs in the summer?  Anyone else have a craving for a s’more right about now?

In our family, it’s T-minus two weeks until my older kiddo is out of school.  Staring at the calendar, this fills me with a small sense of freedom, excitement, and (a little) panic (three whole months with BOTH kids!).  My mission?  Happy campers, happy summer!

Good news, mamas. Inside the Outdoors has an entire schedule of week-long summer day camps for your kiddos, ages 6-11, this summer.

Better news?  All of the camp counselors are highly trained, college educated, AND first aid/CPR certified, fingerprinted, DOJ background checked/cleared, and TB tested.

Even better news?  This isn’t your any run-of-the-mill camp experience.

Inside the Outdoors is an education program administered BY the Orange County Department of Education…which means that the camps focus on science-themed activities that complement what kids are learning in elementary school.

Reinforcement of learning through super fun camp activities. Um, yes please!

2013 Summer Camp Schedule:

Summer Day Camp at Rancho Soñado

June 24 – June 28, 2013 – Survival of the Kiddest

Summer Day Camp at Shipley Nature Center

July 8 – July 12, 2013 – Survival of the Kiddest
July 15 – July 19, 2013 – “AMAZE”ing Scientists!
July 22 – July 26, 2013 - Eco-Avengers!
July 29 – August 2, 2013 – Mythbusters

Summer Day Camp at Irvine Regional Park

August 5 – August 9, 2013 – Tails and Trails

You can read about the camp themes in more detail, plus download a camp registration form here.

Camps are $195 per five-day session from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m, and $70 for extended camp from 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.  Your little adventurer will get a camp T-shirt, a tree cookie name tag, and take home eco-crafts everyday (so cute!).

There are also opportunities for your entire family to get involved.  Inside the Outdoors hosts various summer family-friendly fun events like hikes, astronomy nights and craft sessions – just check their website for updated dates and times.

Finally, after we enjoy (ahem…make it through still happy and sane?) this lovely summer with our kiddos, check out Inside the Outdoors programs that they host during the school year…it’s likely that your fifth or sixth graders will participate in their educational camps or field trips at some point during the school year!

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive one free week for one camper at an Inside the Outdoors summer camp session! Winner may choose their choice of week (subject to availability) with advance reservations. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  Inside the Outdoors is a new Tiny Oranges sponsor…and we are so thrilled they are!  Perfect timing for us to learn more about what they do, especially summer camps for kiddos!  Let’s keep ‘em busy, happy, active, and occupied in the fresh air this summer!