Pretend City Coupon for Martha Speaks Event

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I know I have a lot of Pretend City fans out there, so I wanted to share this special Pretend City coupon good for one free entry into the museum with the purchase of a child’s ticket, this Sunday, August 28th, 2011 for the PBS SoCal day Martha Speaks event.

Click HERE to download the coupon!

The event takes place from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.and is a a fun-filled day with a special guest visit from Martha of Martha Speaks!

Highlights of the day include story times and video clips from Martha Speaks, an alphabet soup game and even photo opportunities with Martha herself! This fun event will help your kids discover the power of speech as they learn new words and their meanings.

Martha Speaks is part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers and focuses on helping children learn to read.

You can learn more about how Pretend City’s child development initiative, Good To Go From Head To Toe, helps you better understand your child’s development.

RSVP: Not required
Fee: Included with museum admission

Have a great weekend everyone! See you back on Monday!

[Disclosure: Pretend City is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.]

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Family Fun & Wellness Fair

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Good To Go From Head To Toe’s 2nd Annual Family Fun and Wellness Fair will take place on Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Pretend City Children’s Museum.  This health fair is open to the general public right outside the museum at no cost, but if your kids participate in all the screenings, they have the opportunity to receive a free admission ticket to Pretend City with purchase of an adult ticket.

The event features free developmental checkups, community and health-related activities, nutritious snacks, crafts, a Move and Groove dance competition, kids bands and lots of other fun stuff for the entire family.

Developmental checkups are head-to-toe assessments that ensure a child’s growth and development is progressing on track.  A startling number of children in OC do not receive developmental checkups as it is not part of the standard well-child visit.

Free checkups available at the Family Fun and Wellness Fair are for children 0-5 and include hearing, speech and language, behavior, BMI, height and weight, blood pressure and dental.

If a child visits all of the checkup stations, they will receive free admission, an $11 value, to Pretend City with purchase of an adult ticket to the museum.

Pretend City is located at 29 Hubble in Irvine. Additional parking will be available at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater with a complimentary shuttle to the museum. You can also find more information about Good to Go by checking out its public service announcements Rhyming Fun at the Beach and Round, Red, Crunchy Apples.

Have a great weekend everyone!

{Disclosure: Pretend City is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor}

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Free Parenting Classes at Pretend City

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Being a parent has been the hardest thing I have ever done. There are many times throughout each and every day where I question myself on how I handled a situation. Many times I really don’t know what to do. If I am being honest, being a mother has brought out a lot of insecurity in me for this very reason.

So, when I heard about a free parenting class offered at Pretend City this month called “Toddler Talk” an interactive parent-toddler class where we could ask questions and vent some frustrations, I said SIGN ME UP! I can use all the help I can get!

Toddler Talk is for 1 – 3 year olds and is presented by Dr. Ann Corwin (a.k.a. The Parenting Doctor) and is for three consecutive Tuesdays from 10:30am – 12:00pm. The first class was last week and I already learned SO MUCH. Even though this particular Toddler Talk class is already full, the next class will be on Jan. 4th, 11th & 18th. {You can reserve a spot in that class by calling 949.428.3900 x212 or by emailing}

The class is presented by the Good to Go from Head to Toe! initiative and Pretend City will be hosting ongoing free classes for parents so be sure to check the website frequently for their upcoming classes and events.

I was a little nervous to take Morgan, I have to admit. First off because we are in that terrible nap transition from two naps to one, and pushing her to stay awake until 12pm is challenging. Second, I was worried about how my primitive little hurricane of a 14-month-old would do with the other kids for an hour and a half. You know that age: no reasoning possible, and they know what they want!

But the best part was, when Dr. Ann started, I immediately felt like this was a NO STRESS environment. She told us to get there when we can, don’t worry about being late, and we were not to worry about how our kids behaved. In fact, if kids weren’t behaving, then it would be used as an example, REAL LIFE, on what to do! Isn’t that amazing?

Here is my daughter (left) in one of such situations, a tug of war over this toy…

Dr. Ann gently removed the toy from both their little hands ensuring no one fell back and said “bye bye toy!” Then she put it on the counter and redirected them to other activities. Worked like a charm.

Here is the room where we met {Dr. Ann is in the pink.} There were lots of toys for the kids to play with!

So there was so much I learned, too much to cover in one post, but if I had to share one of my most important take home points, it had to be this A-HA moment.

What I learned (in a different way that I have ever thought of before) is that it is important to CONNECT with your child throughout the day through:

1. Eye contact

2. Touch

3. Talking / Communication

And, the times you want to really concentrate on doing at least one (if not more) of these three above are the times when they are playing NICELY or sort of “stopped” and acting how you want them to.

So if a child is playing nicely with toys, it could be as simple as when they look up, giving them eye contact and a warm smile or wink. Or, just walking by and gently giving them a rub on the back, or taking your fingers and caressing their cheek.

I learned kids desperately CRAVE this sort of connection with their parents, and they will do what they have to in order to get it.

Dr. Ann gave this example.

How many of us are guilty of this? I know I am. Absolutely. When a child is doing something wrong, how many times have you gotten down to their level, put your hands on their face or arms or hands, looked them RIGHT in the eye, and said “Stop that RIGHT NOW!” Or something to that effect?

So, in this case, what did the child receive from you? 1. Eye contact 2. Touch 3. Talking / Communication

They will take connection any way they can get it, both positive AND negative. A-HA!

Over the past week I have made a conscious effort to connect with my girls when they are just sort of peaceful and going about their business….I will give them a kiss, stroke their cheek, hug them, make dedicated eye contact when talking to them, etc. and it not only makes them feel good, but it makes ME feel good too.

It makes me feel closer to them. I LOVED the fact that I learned this. For free!

The Good to Go from Head to Toe! program is simply spectacular and we are so lucky it is right here in Orange County. Again, CLICK HERE for the calendar of events and classes. Museum admission is not included, nor required, so you can go to the class totally for free.

Reservations are preferred for the classes, you can call 949.428.3900 x212 or email

While this particular class is already underway, Dr. Ann will be doing this class again after the new year, and is doing another one called Pocket Full of Feelings in November geared towards 4 – 6 year olds. Again, SIGN ME UP!

Click HERE for more information on the Good To Go calendar.


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Pretend City Way to Play Day With Sid the Science Kid

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A big celebrity in the eyes of little ones (and big kids too!) is coming to Pretend City Children’s Museum on Friday, June 11th, 2010.  Sid the Science Kid will be at the museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a very special Way to Play Day with Sid! Little ones of all sizes (that means mommies and daddies too) can dance, sign and play with Sid himself!  And, I have a fun giveaway to offer a lucky reader the chance to win the Sid the Science Kid Gotta Know Microphone as well as a Pretend City Coupon for 2 for 1 admission on Way to Play Days, details below!

Special activities taking place during Way to Play Day with Sid the Science Kid include…

* VIP viewings of a BRAND NEW Sid the Science Kid episode titled “No School Singalong Special” – this episode will not air until June 21st, so this special event invites your kids to see it first!
* “I’m looking for my friends” sing-along parade with Sid
* Photos with Sid
* Prize giveaways from Sid the Science Kid and Pretend City Children’s Museum
* Special activities with Sid and much more

The Way to Play Day with Sid the Science Kid is a partnership between KCET and Pretend City’s Good To Go From Head To Toe initiative. Good To Go From Head To Toe aims to educate children and parents about the importance of regular developmental checkups and encourages parents and caretakers to explore their children’s motor, cognitive, social and communication milestones through play. On this special Way to Play Day with Sid, activities will focus on the importance of exercise, discovering healthy foods and more.

Click HERE to download a Pretend City coupon for 2-for-1 admission on Way to Play Days which happen on the 2nd Friday of each month!

Learn more about Way to Play Day with Sid the Science Kid by visiting or

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive the Sid the Science Kid Gotta Know Microphone that can be picked up at the event on Friday, June 11th!   Contest will run through June 9th at 5pm PST. Please leave a separate entry for each one.  The entry options are:

1. Simply comment below and tell me what you love most about Sid the Science Kid OR Pretend City – 1 ENTRY

2. {Like} Pretend City on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

3. Follow @PretendCity on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

Good luck!

Here is a sneak peek of the new Sid the Science Kid episode…

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Pretend City Good to Go from Head to Toe

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I had the opportunity to visit Pretend City in Irvine a few weeks back and learn more about their Good to Go From Head to Toe program.   My daughter was in preschool, so I couldn’t bring her along.  All I kept thinking the entire time was how she would go absolutely, positively, undeniably crazy for Pretend City.

For those of you who have not visited yet, it is a hands-on children’s museum built solely around an entire “pretend city.”  There’s a Ralph’s Fresh Fare, art studio, beach, bank, doctor’s office, gas station and the list goes on and on.  Children can explore and play and pretend to the extent of their wildest imaginations. It is simply a child’s wonderland! And, great for all ages, from the newest of walkers up to grade school.  For admission & hours click HERE.

Good to Go from Head to Toe!

Pretend City has recently launched The Good To Go from Head To Toe initiative which aims to increase awareness about healthy child development through play and empower parents with knowledge about their child’s development from birth to age 5.

Play with a purpose!

Way to Play days take place the second Friday of every month at Pretend City.   On Way to Play days, community partners will be on-site at the museum to offer parents and caretakers free resources and services that promote the healthy development of children.

Yippee!  I have a Pretend City coupon to offer you!  Click HERE to print a Pretend City coupon for 2-for-1 admission on Way to Play days!  Such a deal and a great day to visit so you can take advantage of this amazing program.

Family Fun & Wellness Fair
Saturday, March 13th, 2010
10am – 4pm

Pretend City is hosting  an event for the entire family next month and it is totally FREE! There will be tons of activities like free language, dental, vision and speech screenings, arts and crafts, an appearance by the Anaheim Ducks mascot and much, much more…

Plus, each child who participates in the activities and screenings will receive one free admission to Pretend City on the day of the fair. Click HERE to download a flyer on this fun event!

Pretend City
29 Hubble
Irvine, CA

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