Cloth and Compostable Diaper Services in Marin

March 12, 2015

compostable diapers earthbabyWhen you have a new baby, one of the big questions that comes up is "do we use cloth or disposable diapers?" We all know that disposables are easy and relatively inexpensive, but they aren't exactly ecologically friendly, filling up landfills at a record rate. Cloth diapers have been around for ages, and many parents swear by them. They're ecologically sound, convenient, and comfy for baby. In addition to their eco-friendliness, cloth diapers also result in earlier potty training for children who wear them.

Another recent earth-friendly innovation is the compostable diaper. Wet diapers made of compostable materials can be placed in your home compost container to break down with the rest of your compostable waste. (Not the poopy ones, though; see below for more info).

Regardless of which route they choose, new parents in Marin County who choose not to go the disposable route have a few options to choose from.

Fine Art Summer Camps in Marin and San Francisco

March 11, 2015

fine art camp marinWhile many summer camps in Marin offer arts and crafts activities in their programs, you'll find a few that specialize specifically in art. Here's a list of specialized fine art camps in Marin and San Francisco for your budding Rembrandt or Georgia O'Keeffe. Some of the camps are actually held by museums! To find more fantastic camps, visit our 2015 Marin Summer Camp Guide. Popular camps can sell out early, so reserve your spot as soon as possible!

  • Studio 4 Art's Fine Art Camps take place at their studio in downtown Novato, where professional artists introduce campers to new and contemporary art techniques, procedures and processes. Some of the topics taught will be wheel throwing, cartooning, mosaics, sewing, fashion design, sculpture, pottery, acrylic painting, watercolor painting, oil painting, printmaking, photography, and pastels. Camps take place from 9:30 am until 12:30 or 3:30 pm, and cost from $255–$435 per week or $65–$105 daily drop-in (if space available). For more info visit www.studio4art.net or (415) 596-5546

Farm Day 2015 Comes to Marin Center

March 10, 2015

Marin Farm Day 2015Celebrate all things agricultural on Thursday, March 19 from 9 am to noon at the 2015 Marin Farm Day at the Marin County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall in San Rafael. This free event, celebrating its 31st year, provides hands-on educational experiences outside the classroom for kids of all ages.

Families and children can meet farm animals, including cows, horses and ponies, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, and more, and experience interactive exhibition on agriculture, health, animals, gardens, seed planting, spinning and weaving, gardening, and environmental education from a variety of Northern California ranchers, growers, producers, and educators. Participants also include local 4H clubs.

Many of the exhibits and presentations are specifically focused on children ages 3 through 12, but all ages are welcome. Come have fun and learn about the importance of agriculture and farming in Marin County. There will also be elementary school essay, art, and quilt contests, with awards sponsored by various business donors.

Indoor Drop-in Activities for the Little Ones for Marin & Beyond

March 10, 2015

Indoor playLooking for fun indoor play spaces for the little ones? There are several places to take the kids to get them out of the house and burn off all that extra energy, especially on a cold day. Here are a few ideas for fun indoor drop-in activites in Marin County and beyond:

Fairfax

  • Pavilion Playgroup (ages 0-5)
    Fairfax Pavilion
    142 Bolinas Road

    This group happens end of November through April each year on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30am -12:30 pm. Indoor playtime during the soggy season! Join other moms, dads and kids at the charming red building on the hill. Children/infant to 5 years enjoy playing with toys, riding scooters and climbing on a variety of soft blocks and mats. Parents enjoy mingling, playing and drinking fresh coffee and tea. Cost: $6 per child per visit or $50 for a 10 visit punch card. For more info, visit their website.

Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie for St. Patrick's Day

March 9, 2015

Shepherd's pieWith St. Patrick's Day coming up next week, my kids have been asking me to make Irish food for dinner. Since corned beef and cabbage is not exactly something you throw together after school, I've been trying other appropriate dishes from the British Isles, like this rib-sticking, easy-to-make, and kid-friendly shepherd's pie. It's essentially a beef-and-vegetable stew topped with mashed potatoes and baked in the oven until golden brown. I topped this version with a little grated Irish white cheddar cheese for a bit more authenticity.

This pub-grub favorite is more correctly known as "cottage pie", since it's made with ground beef instead of leftover roast lamb, but it's delicious no matter what it's called. I always try to bulk up the stew part with extra vegetables to make it a one-dish meal. My kids love this and even my picky-eater daughter asks for a second helping. Feel free to substitute ground turkey or ground lamb for the ground beef. You can also use chopped leftover roast beef or lamb in the filling.

Tender Tracks Outdoor Nature Awareness Preschool

March 9, 2015

Tender Tracks Outdoor PreschoolMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Tender Tracks Outdoor Nature Awareness Preschool. Find out more about this unique program at their informational night on Saturday, March 21, 2015  from 6 to 7:30 pm.

The unique Tender Tracks outdoor preschool program honors and respects the inherent need for young children to have ample time with nature, in order to develop a healthy bond and relationship to the natural world and all who dwell therein. Through stories, songs and explorations, children go on playful adventures into the heart of nature.

Tender Tracks families drop off and pick up their children at various local natural settings. Children then participate in a morning circle with stories, songs, and snack to get ready for the adventures and explorations of the day. If it rains, students put on boots and rain gear! Extra clothes are always kept available so the children can change into dry things after wet or muddy adventures.

Spectacular Views and Spring Wildflowers Await at Ring Mountain

March 8, 2015

Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve

Early spring is a perfect time to take a family hike at Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve near Tiburon. The preserve's renowned wildflower display will soon be in full swing (it's simply stunning), and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais, and the entire Bay Area. It's one of our all-time favorite family hikes.

We took a hike there this weekend, and spotted California poppies, yellow bush lupines, buttercups, Douglas iris, and other colorful flowers coming into bloom. If you haven't been to Ring Mountain, it's definitely worth a visit. Make sure you bring a camera—it's a great place for a family photo.

Shabbat Chai Saturday Mornings at Sherith Israel Are a Lively Celebration for the Entire Family

March 8, 2015

Shabbat Chai Congregation Sherith IsraelTake a break from your busy schedule and join together with other families a few Saturday mornings a year at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco. Known as Shabbat “Chai” (meaning “life” in Hebrew), theses Saturday mornings take the traditional Shabbat service and turn it into a lively celebration filled with activities, elective classes, a family-friendly service, and a potluck lunch.

Sherith Israel started Shabbat Chai two years ago to encourage families to participate in Shabbat morning services together with rich and meaningful Jewish experiences. The three days a year that it’s held are in lieu of Sunday school that week. The next Shabbat Chai takes place on Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

10 Cool Camps for Spring Break in Marin

March 7, 2015

Spring Break Camp in MarinLooking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming spring break in April? Check out our list of 10 great spring break day camps here in Marin County. Unless otherwise noted, camps take place between April 13 and 17, 2015.

  • Studio 4 Art
    1133 Grant Avenue, Novato

    (415) 596-5546
    Studio 4 Art specializes in true traditional art techniques with a modern and contemporary twist. Campers at Studio 4 Art can choose from drawing, illustration, painting (acrylic, oil, and water), cartooning, clay, ceramics, wheel-throwing, sculpture, sewing, mosaics, screen-printing, t-shirt design, mono printing, relief printing, photography, and mixed media. Each camp highlights as many of these topics as time permits. Camps take place April 13–17 from 9:30 am-–1:30 pm. Cost: $315 for the week, $68 daily drop-in (must reserve 24 hours ahead). 10% sibling discount. For more info, visit www.studio4art.net.
  • Rolling Hills Club Spring Break Camp
    351 San Andreas Drive, Novato
    (415) 897-2185

    Come explore spring with insects, flowers, eggs, fun April Fools crafts, and more. Each day has a different theme! Play games, laugh, create crafts, have lots of fun and, of course, we will sports and splash the day away! April 13–17, 9 am–4 pm. Extended care available. Cost: $60 members, $70 guests, daily; $270 members, $315 guests per week. For more info, visit their website.
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