Ice Block Treasure Hunt: An Easy and Cool Way to Entertain Kids on a Hot Summer Day

BY  |  Monday, Jul 21, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Ice Block Treasure Hunt

Any kid age two and over will enjoy poking around in a block of ice that is filled with tiny toys and going on an Ice Block Treasure Hunt! It’s a great activity on a hot summer day.

For my son, I just froze some of the toys he already owned (sequins, beads, little plastic guys), but you could make this project really exciting and freeze some not-yet-seen items.

All you need to do is take a plastic container fill it about 3/4 full with water and throw in the toys. If your child is doing this with you, my cousin Patsy pointed-out you could play “sink or float” while you do it.

Then pop the whole container of water and toys into the freezer and enjoy listening to your toddler ask “is it ready yet?” for the next several hours.

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Girl Scouts Host Camplified, a Summer Music Festival at South Mountain

BY  |  Monday, Jul 14, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


Experience an afternoon of live performances, games and activities, giveaways, and more at Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey’s Camplified on Saturday, July 19!

The Summer Family Music Festival will bring several talented emerging artists to the stage during the festival including, Seconds ApartBad Seed Rising, and Go Down Moses.

A DJ will also be on hand to entertain the crowd between sets.

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Watchung Cooperative Preschool Moving to a New Montclair Location

BY  |  Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Watchung Cooperative Preschool The Watchung Cooperative Preschool is moving to the First United Methodist Church on North Fullerton Avenue in Montclair. The move will take place after camp finishes at the end of July, and the school will be ready for students this fall.

The school originally began in 1967 as the Watchung Church Cooperative Nursery School and was located within that church at 143 Watchung Avenue in Montclair. In the mid-70s, after a fire at the church and the sale of the property, the school was relocated to the Montclair Heights Reformed Church at 71 Mount Hebron Road. It was renamed the Watchung Cooperative Preschool and dropped its religious affiliation. Over 40 years later, the school finds itself again needing a new home. The Montclair Heights Reformed Church was recently sold to new owners, and the sale is scheduled to close this July.

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Get Ready to ‘Get Down’: Glitz & Glam Kids Family Dance Parties in Montclair

BY  |  Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Glitz & Glam KidsLet’s be honest. Music classes eventually lose their magic and toddler tumbling sessions can become a drag. Sometimes we need a new activity to shake up our schedules. So when Barista Kids learned about the new Glitz & Glam Kids family dance parties in Montclair, we were eager to learn more.

Barista Kids sat down with event planner and Glitz & Glam Kids creator Keyana Tennant who told us all about these fun events.

BK: What are Glitz & Glam Kids family dance parties?
Tennant: These are monthly themed parties that the whole family can enjoy. We always have entertainment, like face painting and balloon twisters and characters as well as games, free raffles, food and drinks. We also have a DJ and, of course, dancing.  If you schedule a birthday party during one of the events, your guests can enjoy pizza and cake. Every family also leaves with a free family photo and free giveaways from local businesses.  And we have vendors just in case our attendees want to do a little shopping in between the fun.

BK: Sounds like all the makings of a fabulous time.
Tennant: It truly is. And the parties are inspiring, too. We carve out time between dancing and entertainment to showcase the children’s talents. Last month we had tumblers and at the June 29th party we will have a two year old DJ.

BK: Did you say that a two year old will be DJ’ing part of your next party?
Tennant: Yes… he dances, too.

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Madison Square Kids Free Concerts in NYC All Summer

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 05, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Madison Square Kids Free Concerts

If you’re looking for a summer activity to fill up the day, head over to Madison Square Park in NYC for the 11th season of Madison Square Kids, a series of free outdoor performances for children and their families that takes place rain or shine in the Park on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:30 am until August 8.

The line-up is this year is great and includes many of our personal favorite kindie artists:

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Gustafer Yellowgold Returns to Montclair

BY  |  Friday, May 23, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Gustafer Yellowgold

Gus, Morgan, Slim, and the full Gustafer Yellowgold band return to Montclair to perform a free show at the Montclair Public Library on Saturday, May 24!

We first were introduced to the creative combination of catchy original songs accompanying beautifully animated on-screen illustrations of a sun creature named Gustafer Yellowgold and his earthly friends when the band performed at the Montclair Public Library back in March 2009. We interviewed Morgan Taylor, the creator and singer/songwriter of Gustafer and learned all about the band. Not only did my girls love the show and Gustafer — they each have a stuffed Gustafer doll—but my husband and I loved it as well.

Gustafer’s latest adventures are all about cake, but not any cake — a cakey robot with a surprising personality:

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Celebrate Parenthood at North Jersey’s own Listen to Your Mother

BY  |  Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Listen to Your Mother 2014When was the last time you were told to “Listen to your mother”? In May, Baristaville will have a chance to listen to many stories of motherhood from all points of view. After several days of auditions that narrowed down almost 100 stories about mothers and motherhood, the selected authors for the inaugural year of the North Jersey Listen to Your Mother cast are getting ready to share their words with all of us at the South Orange Performing Arts Center on May 10th at 5 PM.

Organizers Sandy Rustin and Deborah Goldstein narrowed down the scores of auditions to fifteen authors and performers, many from the Maplewood/South Orange area. Each performer will share their personal stories, some humorous, some heartbreaking, as Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) continues its tradition of giving motherhood a microphone — this time in New Jersey!

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New Baby Gifts: Useful and Unique

BY  |  Monday, Apr 14, 2014 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

NURSE PURSEGiving baby gifts can be difficult for those who want to give something useful, not just adorable. The last thing we want to do for our friends is add to their work – or clutter – when a new baby comes onto the scene. At the recent Brooklyn Baby & Family Expo, Barista Kids found several great ideas for baby and family gifts that are both useful and attractive.

First, the Nurse Purse is a traditional gift with a twist for mothers who decide to breastfeed their babies and work out of the home. This bag is made to hold a pump while still looking professional and beautiful. With easy access to the pump through the bag, there is no need to break down the pump between uses, and its roomy design provides space for files, personal items, and even a laptop. The various designs are grown-up and modern, allowing the bags to evolve in use as your child gets older.

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Watchung Booksellers Kids Bookmark Contest 2014

BY  |  Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Kids' Bookmark Contest!

It’s time for Watchung Booksellers annual kid’s bookmark contest, which is a great opportunity for creative kids to show off their talents. This year the theme is inspired by  Sparky! by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans and asks — What Does Your Dream Pet Look Like?

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Local Child Care Solutions Found Via Brooklyn Baby & Family Expo

BY  |  Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

brooklyn baby & family expoThe Brooklyn Baby & Family Expo, organized this past weekend by A Child Grows in Brooklyn, was bursting with useful and fun information for expecting and recent parents. And while many of the services were more relevant for NYC parents, Barista Kids found two child care services that could help make local parents’ social plans and child care options a little less stressful.

One of the reasons our area is a popular home-buying destination is its proximity to New York City. Whether for work or socializing, having access to Manhattan’s dining and entertainment options is a boon — especially for special occasions and celebrations. However, finding childcare for a night out or for overnight is a challenge with both scheduling and cost.

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