September is library card sign-up month

September is National Library Card Sign-Up

Do you want to get a first library card? Did your kid lose his card several months ago and has been borrowing his brother’s since then? In either case, you’re in luck this September (when so all new BPL cards or swaps will be FREE for a limited time, even if the card is missing). September […]

Children’s Hospital Oakland Miracle Marathon: The easiest marathon you’ll ever do

Oakland Childrens Hospital

Our local Children’s Hospital Oakland is part of a network of children’s hospitals called Children’s Miracle Network. Across the country, these partner hospitals have coordinated a virtual marathon, The Miracle Marathon, that will enable ANYONE to complete a marathon-ish distance and raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network hospital of their choice. For most of […]

Mommybites offers online and phone-based parenting help

Free online parenting classes

We’ve partnered with Mommybites, an organizer of short, one-session parenting classes on topics ranging from potty training to picky eating. The classes are free of charge, and require registration to get the call-in or log-on information. Some are via conference call – just listen in while an expert gives tips – and some are a […]

Backpack picks for a new school year

preschool-backpacks

this post contains affiliate links. When I started to write this post, deal-of-the-day site Zulily had a bunch of backpacks with great patterns and even better prices. Then, I identified the best choices in quality and sized for little ones (preschool thru 1st grade) on Amazon.  Here are my favorites that, by not being sold […]

Use GemShare to exchange recommendations with those you trust

Join the 510 families GemShare community to share recommendations

Gemshare sponsored this post, but we’re really using it as described below. Read on. The iOS (and soon-to-be Android) app called Gemshare was designed to crowd-source the best resources from the people you trust. We created a 510 families group so we can ask and answer each other’s burning questions about the best resources (people […]

Win a copy of Everyday Bento!

Everyday Bento (cookbook)

Local author and blogger, Wendy Copley, wrote and photographed my children’s current favorite book: Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches To Go. My sons love to pour over the pictures and invite me to create their favorite designs. Wendy is very realistic and specific walking you through each of the creations step-by-step. Stuffed with ideas […]

Mama’s little helper: Postmates

Some of my neighborhood choices on the Postmates app

Have you ever been lying prone, on the couch, telling your throw pillows that you would pay any amount of money if they could bring you chicken noodle soup from Saul’s? Or perhaps you wanted to deliver Summer Kitchen to your friend who just had a baby, but you are getting off the BART after […]

Urban gardening in the Bay Area

Gardening in the Bay Area with kids

No yard? No problem. This guest post was provided by Karolina Willson from Castro Valley, who wanted to share some of her discoveries for urban gardening with children. Our first big harvest I always thought that I had a black thumb, so I’m not sure what possessed me to make an attempt at gardening early […]

Free online positive parenting class

Get kids to listen without nagging

Update: This class has already occurred, but you can sign up for the next one through the same links. I have taken a free online parenting class with Amy McCready twice and each time felt refreshed with new ideas for positive discipline solutions. We have partnered with Amy’s company Positive Parenting Solutions to bring a […]

10 places to go on the 4th of July

east-bay-4th-july

Here’s what’s happening around the East Bay on Friday, July 4, 2014: Lawrence Hall of Science – main exhibit area, animal discovery room and planetarium show are all open on Thursday, July 4. Alameda County Fair – in Pleasanton you’ll find the fairgrounds open from 10 am to 9 pm for the holiday. Visit the […]

Tips for raising a reader

library

Two of my children are pretty avid readers so I want to share a few of the things we are doing (right, wrong, and otherwise) along with some professional tips. We do allow video games but we make time for reading books and magazines, too. Here’s some stuff we do that seems to work: Read every […]

East Bay Father’s Day Guide

fathersday

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 15, and there are as many fun ways to spend a day with Dad as there are dads. Here are a few ideas for East Bay families looking for together time and gift ideas. Make a gift Want to help the kids make something, but don’t know where to start? […]

Good idea: personalized Father’s Day cards from Treat.com

Adorable personalized Father's Day cards from Treat

For Valentine’s Day, I ordered a card for my husband from Tiny Prints because I was seduced by their offer for me to customize the card. I used our names and a photo of the two of us, and I thought it looked pretty awesome. Hey, Tiny Prints, you’re not just for Christmas cards anymore!

What is a charter school and is there one for my kid?

Oakland Charter Schools

Charter schools are public, tuition-free schools governed by parents, teachers, and administrators rather than the school district. There are about 40 charter schools, right here in the 510. Charter schools are open to all students, unlimited by geography. That is, Oakland charter schools are open to Berkeley residents and vice-versa. When there are more applicants […]

Plan ahead for Summer Fun

You can sleep at the Oakland Zoo

What’s great about Summer is that some days, you can just roll out of bed slip on a swim suit and play til your mom calls you for dinner without a care in the world. Then have a popsicle. But that’s if you’re a kid. If you’re the parent, you probably need to stock up […]

East Bay Mother’s Day Guide

mamalion

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11 — that’s this weekend. Here are the best Mother’s Day ideas for East Bay families we’ve seen announced for this year. Activities Want to help the kids make something, but don’t know where to start? Some local stores have set up workshops to help you. Saturday afternoon, May 10 […]

Honor your mom by supporting heroic doctors

#HonorYourMom tribute for Mother's Day with donation to heroic doctors

I wanted to share this Mother’s Day tribute to mamas everywhere: #HonorYourMom, the only Mother’s Day campaign that saves lives. Have you heard of Bay Area company, Samahope? Samahope mobilizes funds for doctors to provide life-changing surgeries for women and children in need. Last year, they funded over 120 patient treatments and raised over $200K […]