Get into Back to School Mode with Coding and Cupcakes

Posted August 21, 2016 11:21pm by Jane

Are your kids as obsessed with devices/video games as mine are?

With school starting up already, it seems like I barely have a chance to see them before they run off to their devices of choice.

Fortunately, I found a way to channel some of that time into quality educational and parent-child time: Coding and Cupcakes, and CoderDojoKC. Before I tell you about these programs, I have to mention that they are made available by Kansas City Women in Technology, an incredible non-profit organization that works to “bring current women in tech together for solidarity, and to help encourage girls and women to pursue technology careers.”

And now, for the kid activities:

codingcupcakesCoding and Cupcakes: My daughter has talked about opening her own cupcake store for years now, so when I first heard about Coding and Cupcakes, I signed up immediately. Together, along with several other mother-daughter duos, we learned how to create an online cupcake shop from scratch. It was a great mix of creativity and logic: While the girls learned to code and create their website, they were also picking page colors, creating the name of their store, and of course, developing their unique cupcake flavor combinations. Added bonuses were the great (and patient) women mentors who taught us, the creative space downtown to work in, and the delicious cupcake snack during the session.

I have to be honest, I enjoyed myself as much as my daughter did. And I continue to love watching her show interest in other technology-related activities that go beyond staring blankly at the latest YouTube videos! The next Coding and Cupcakes session is September 10, from 2-5pm. They run the 2nd Saturday of each month, so you and your daughter can enjoy it anytime. No coding experience is needed. Cost for the session is $25/parent-child combo.

coderdojoCoderDojoKC: Another great program is CoderDojoKC. This one is for boys and girls, ages 7-17, and now that we’re back to school, my son is all over going to this class. All skill levels are welcome, and kids under 13 get to work with their parents on the projects offered during the sessions. Basically, kids learn how to code, and can work on a variety of projects to develop their skills. Just like with Coding and Cupcakes, kiddos learn how to “problem solve, create, and collaborate around technical solutions,” according to CoderDojoKC.com.

Also, if your son (like mine) has visions of becoming a video game creator someday, the CoderDojoKC website has tons of links to help your child get into the coding groove at home. But I recommend going to at least one session, since the teamwork and collaboration is part of the coding fun. CoderDojo is free, and happens on the 2nd Saturday of each month. The next session is September 10 at 9am.

Who knew learning could be so much fun!

Good luck getting your kids back into the swing of school. If you have other great ways to sneak in some education under the guise of fun, be sure to let us know in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Kansas City Women in Technology.

 

Consignment Sales in KC, Fall/Winter 2016

Posted August 15, 2016 6:57am by Jane

consignment pic2It’s that time again…to save on clothes, toys, furniture, and more for the kids! Here’s our semi-annual listing of area Consignment Sales to help with back-to-school shopping:

All About Kids (Independence, MO): Sept. 15-17, 2016 at the KC Sports Lodge, 19310 E 50th Terrace, Independence, MO 64055 (SE of MO-291 and Hwy. 40 off of Little Blue Pkwy

Just Between Friends (Northland): Sept. 1-4, 2016 at The PAC Complex, 6014 Missouri 9, Parkville, MO

Just Between Friends (Lee’s Summit, MO): Aug. 26-28, 2016 at The Pavilion at John Knox Village, 520 NW Murray Rd., Lee’s Summit, MO

Just Between Friends (Overland Park, KS): Sept. 1-4, 2016 at Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS

Just Between Friends (Shawnee, KS & Kansas City, KS): Stay tuned for next consignment sale!

Here We Grow Again: Olathe/Overland Park, KS: Aug. 22-27, 2016 at 11934 South Strang Line Rd., Olathe, KS 66062; Gladstone, MO: Dates and New Location TBA; Independence, MO: Aug. 20-27, 2016 at 16619 E 23rd Street (next to Price Chopper), Independence, MO 64055; Shawnee: Sept. 9-Oct. 2, 2016 at County Fairgrounds, 13700 Polfer Road, Kansas City, KS 66012; Southland/Raymore: Dates TBA at New Vision Church of Raymore, 100 Sunrise Drive, Raymore, MO

Kansas City Northland Mothers of Multiples Club: Typically, they hold one annual sale each June. Check their site for upcoming sale dates.

Kid’s Closet Connection, Kansas – Gardner: Oct. 6-9, 2016 at Johnson County Fairgrounds, 178 E Washington St., Gardner, KS. Lawrence: Sept. 15-17, 2016 at First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive, Lawrence, KS. Leavenworth/Wyandotte: Sept. 28-Oct 1 at Riverfront Community Center, 123 S Esplanade St, Leavenworth, Kansas.

Kid’s Closet Connection, Missouri – Lee’s Summit: Aug. 17-20, 2016 at Harris Park Community Center, 110 SW Blue Pkwy, Lee’s Summit, MO. Northland: Oct. 14-17, 2016 at The PAC Complex, 6014 Missouri 9, Parkville, MO. Sedalia: Oct. 20-22, 2016 at Liberty Park Convention Hall, 1500 W 3rd St, Sedalia, MO. St. Joseph, MO: Oct. 7-9, 2016 at Kid’s Closet Sale, 1415 N Belt (the old Schweser’s), St Joseph, MO. Warrensburg: Sept. 22-24, 2016 at Warrensburg Community Center, 445 E Gay St, Warrensburg, MO.

Multiples of Kansas City: Sept. 10, 2016, 8am-1pm; First Church of the Nazarene, KCMO (119th and Stateline); now accepting cash and credit cards

Rhea Lana’s Leavenworth/Platte City: Aug. 26-30, 2016 at Wyandotte County Fairgrounds, 13700 Polfer Road, Kansas City, KS; Rhea Lana’s Overland Park: Aug. 21-26, 2016 at Metcalf South Shopping Center (Former Macy’s), 9501 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS

Rhea Lana’s Lee’s Summit: Oct. 12-15, 2016 at Lakeland Community Church, 913 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s Summit MO (next to Paradise Park); Rhea Lana’s Northland: Aug. 26-28, 2016 at KCI Expo Center, 11730 N. Ambassador Dr., KCMO 

Photo courtesy of Rhea Lana’s

Last Hurrah: Back to School Fun in KC

Posted August 07, 2016 8:17pm by Jane

It’s really hard to believe summer is wrapping up for many of us in the KC Metro area, but school is definitely looming on the horizon. Here are some great family-friendly activities to help you and the kids celebrate their last days of summer:

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

  • Powell Gardens: You can enjoy two-for-one entertainment this weekend at Powell Gardens, which celebrates its second (and final) weekend of the Festival of Butterflies. This is an amazing transformation of its conservatory into a butterfly house. There are kids crafts, storytelling, a butterfly catch-and-release area and more. During the weekend, you can also experience Powell Gardens ongoing exhibit, Dinosaurs Invade Powell Gardens!, wPowellbutterfly-fest-hero-imagehere you’ll learn about dinosaurs and prehistoric plant life. The Butterfly Festival runs August 12-14; the Dinosaur exhibit runs through October 3.
  • Overland Park Arboretum: Through August 15, have an enchanting time at the Arboretum’s Enchanted Forest! You and your kids can explore the mystical domains of gnomes, fairies, elves, and all sorts of magical creatures along the woodland garden trail. It’s a special time for the entire family, and a great way to relax from the stress of getting ready for school.

Have Some Good Old-Fashioned Fun

  • Ice Cream Social: This month’s  Sprint Family Fun Days at KC Power & Light District promises to take you back to when times were simpler with old-fashioned carnival games, bounce houses, a cake walk, arts & crafts and more. August 13, 11am-3pm on 14th Street between Main & Walnut Streets in the Power & Light District.backyarbash2015
  • Backyard Bash at Paradise Park: Enjoy a lazy evening of summertime fun, where the kids run around while you enjoy the sounds of KC-based Saucy Jack and Elton Dan. August 13, 7-10pm, gates open at 6pm. Bring your blanket!
  • Step Back in Time…and Exercise! Enjoy Leisurely Sundays throughout the month of August at Mahaffie Farmstead. August 14 will introduce visitors to Calisthenics…who knows, you might be ready to give up Pilates or yoga after trying out these 1860s-era exercises! Along with calisthenics, you and the family can enjoy stagecoach rides, blacksmith and cookstove demonstrations and a tour of the Mahaffie House. August 14 at Mahaffie Farmstead in Olathe.

Learn Something NewKC-Zoo-bluedartfrog5

  • Animals are Awesome: Visit the KC Zoo for the Zootastik Learning Fest, and learn all you ever wanted to know about Reptiles & Amphibians. The Learning Fest happens August 13 & 14, and includes fun (and educational) activities, demonstrations, games and crafts in the main lobby of the Zoo. Trust us, if your kids love animals, this activity is a must for your family. The good news is, Zootastik Learning Fest takes place the 2nd weekend of each month, so if you can’t make it this weekend, there’s always next month.
  • Safety on the Farm: Deanna Rose Farmstead wants to help your child(ren) prepare for a great, and safe school year with their annual Safety Day. This special day teaches kids about back to school safety, stranger danger, emergency situations, and more. Complete with police officers, firefighters and their cool equipment. August 13, 10am-2pm

However you choose to spend your time celebrating the last days of summer, we hope you have a great time with your family!

Images courtesy of Powell Gardens, Paradise Park and the Kansas City Zoo.