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Family Movie Night is This Weekend!

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Family Movie Night is coming up this weekend! You won't want to miss it! It will be held Saturday, Oct 22nd from 5-7 PM at the Mitchell Park Community Center in Palo Alto.

"I especially love Family Movie Night with PAMP," Lori said. "It's so good to not have to worry and just know that this will be a family-friendly movie we can all enjoy."

The family-friendly movies we will be viewing are "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and "Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest." Come out with your family, meet other families and have a blast! 
We'll have Pizza My Heart pizza, treats from Sweetgreen and drinks (BYOB for the adults)! There will even be outdoor toys for the kids to play on throughout the evening.

Be sure to register today!

Tags:  activities 

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Fun at the Farm Day is Next Weekend!

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"We LOVE Farm Day!" says PAMP member Lori.

Be sure to join the fun next weekend at PAMP's Fun at the Farm Day! The event will be held on Saturday, September 24th from 10am-1pm at Pastorino Farms in Half Moon Bay.

Fun at the Farm Day is typically held twice a year at the Pastorino Farms in Half Moon Bay. This event is ideal for children who are old enough to interact with the animals and enjoy the various activities. Key activities include pony rides, a petting zoo, train rides, hayrides, bouncy houses, a pumpkin patch, flower shop and even a gift shop.

Remember that we provide a selection of snacks (granola bars, applesauce, fruit chews, cookies, crackers and chips) and bottled water. You can always bring your own lunch to enjoy at the farm’s picnic tables, too.

Find more information here, and be sure to register now!

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Preschool Fair!

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Updated: Monday, September 5, 2016

Be sure to save the date for PAMP's Preschool Fair! It's coming up on Saturday, November 5th in Mountain View. Don’t miss out!

The event will take place in the Grand Hall of the Computer History Museum. PAMP members are allowed an early entry at 9:00am. There will be a Parent's Workshop and Preschool Meet & Greets. Doors open to the public at11:00am.

The entire event goes until 1:00pm and is FREE! The Fair is a great place to get all of your questions answered. Meet face to face with 40+ local preschools and sponsors, listen to experts talk about how to select the best school for YOUR child and mingle with other parents who are entering the process as well. 

Remember that we're always looking for volunteers. Join the team and help make one of our biggest events successful! Contact us for more information.

Tags:  activities  education 

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Fun at the Farm Day is Coming Up!

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Updated: Monday, September 5, 2016

Did you save the date yet? You won't want to miss PAMP's Fun at the Farm Day! The event will be held on Saturday, September 24th from 10am-1pm at Pastorino Farms in Half Moon Bay.

Past participants always gush about the outing. "The PAMP day at the farm was a very fun event! We enjoyed pony rides, petting animals, train rides and the first pumpkin patch of the season in a very kid oriented place," said Federica. "No long lines for the attractions and very friendly people! It's the second time we attended this event and my kid always has a blast!"

When asked about the best thing during PAMP's Fun at the Farm Day, Kim said, "The authentic farm atmosphere and the fact that it kept us busy for two whole hours with my kids begging for more!"

PAMP members can join the fun for just $10 per family! Guest families (non-PAMP members) can join the fun for $25! 

There are so many fun things about the event. "Our family enjoyed an action-packed event with Mr. Pastorino of Pastorino Farms commandeering the tractor for the hayride and with watching the capture of the piglet (the escape artist of the petting zoo)," Catherine said.

Fun at the Farm Day is typically held twice a year at the Pastorino Farms in Half Moon Bay. This event is ideal for children who are old enough to interact with the animals and enjoy the various activities. Key activities include pony rides, a petting zoo, train rides, hayrides, bouncy houses, a pumpkin patch, flower shop and even a gift shop.  

Find more information here, and be sure to register now!

Tags:  activities 

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Save the Date for the Fall Fun Day at the Farm!

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Updated: Monday, August 8, 2016

Back by popular demand - we are holding another "Fun at the Farm Day"! Saturday, September 24th starting at 10am.

Cost is just $10 per PAMP family and $25 per non-PAMP family.

It's always a fund day Pastorino Farm. Come out and enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, hayrides, train rides, bouncy houses and more! There will even be a pumpkin patch! PAMP will provide light snacks and water.

Pastorino Farms in Half Moon Bay is 30 minutes from the Palo Alto/Menlo Park area. Come and enjoy all of the great activities and spend time with fellow PAMP members. The event starts at 10am, but you can show up any time and spend as much or as little time as you want. Children of all ages are welcome.

RSVP here!

Tags:  activities 

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Hiking with Toddlers…for the Lazy

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Updated: Monday, August 22, 2016

So you’ve decided to go hiking with your toddler.

Believe it or not, hiking can actually be a lot of fun with a toddler, especially with all the options for trails we get to enjoy here in the Bay Area. We have access to a wide variety of parks with redwoods, rolling hills, beaches…all within a relatively short drive.

You may ask: “Why don’t I just sit in the backyard, let my toddler poke a few sticks in my eye, go watch a couple nature documentaries, and call it a day?” Well, here’s a list of reasons to encourage (which is a euphemism for “to guilt”) you to venture out into the great outdoors:

  1. It improves eyesight. Apparently myopia is on the rise and it appears to be due to children spending too much time indoors. Studies have shown that children need at least 3 hours of daily outdoor time to be protected against near-sightedness. Being in nature is also a workout for your eyes as they shift focus from near to far and vice versa.

  2. It develops a habit of being physically active. Instead of getting exercise from the weekly gymnastics class, or chasing the cat, a nature walk can provide more of a challenge for developing muscles and coordination (i.e. mastering uneven terrain, jumping over logs, going uphill/downhill, and even the occasional slip or fall).

  3. It may be effective in reducing ADHD symptoms. 

  4. It reduces stress. Okay so maybe your toddler isn’t stressed out, but children are like little mirrors of their parents’ moods and when you are anxious or tense, your child senses it and usually adopts that behavior. So sometimes letting your toddler set the pace for the nature walk is as much of a benefit to you as to your child.

  5. It stimulates mental development. A child’s brain is constantly developing new connections, and nothing is better than a three-dimensional environment where they can touch, look, listen and smell their surroundings to stimulate the creation of more neural pathways.


But how? For some parents, going anywhere involves packing as if they were going on a week-long excursion through the remote tropics. And yet I can barely remember to put on pants before I leave the house (this may have happened once, I will neither deny nor confirm it, though).

In my defense, whenever I take my 3 year old out, it’s usually an impulsive decision – a quick stop at the park between errands – and I typically forget the essentials, such as sunscreen as the sun blazes down and I can actually hear my skin sizzle, water, spare diapers, snacks… etc. My son would walk up to strangers and beg for food like a starving little gypsy child.

And while I’m not the best person to advise how to go hiking with a toddler, I have learned ways to get around my mental lapses and come up with some basics. For example, I keep spares of anything essential – sunscreen, wipes, diapers, small water bottles – everywhere: the car, the stroller, the carrier, my purse… And while it does make for more clutter than if you had just one bag that you can take along (which I will undoubtedly forget), at least I’m somewhat covered.   

Here are some tips for when you want to get out into nature:

  1. Try out a backpack carrier before purchasing. I am on the tall side with a freakishly long torso (most shirts end up looking like half-tops on me), so my back and shoulders learned the hard way how important it is to have a carrier that fits properly. Make sure the base rests on your hips so that your shoulders aren’t carrying the brunt of the weight. I also suggest getting a pair of hiking poles to keep your balance on rocky or hilly terrain because the dry loose gravel can be pretty slippery. The poles can also save your knees as your kid gets big enough to challenge the weight limit of the carrier.

  2. Research the trails. If you forgo the carrier for the jogging stroller, just make sure the trails are stroller friendly. I’ve actually had a wheel or two pop off while I was coming down a pretty rough and steep slope. The great thing about jogging strollers, though, is you can keep a spare stash of supplies in the back pocket somewhere (a baggy with wipes and a spare diaper, a hat, sweater, sunscreen…) and forget about it.

  3. SNACKS! Unless my son has the random urge to actually get out and walk around, he tends to prefer to be carried or pushed in a stroller, and he will generally only last about 15 minutes before he starts complaining. But once I started bringing snacks to nibble on, he seems content to quietly sit back and watch the scenery.

  4. Poison Oak is EVERYWHERE. I always encourage my son to do some exploring even if it means going at an excruciatingly slow pace while he insists on scrutinizing every piece of debris, but I am notoriously bad at identifying poison oak despite the little rhymes about how to recognize it (“leaflets three, don’t touch me ,”… or something like that). I usually just assume any low leafy plant is poisonous. The leaves are green in the spring, and then start turning reddish in the summer until they become a bright red or pink in the fall. 

  5. Ticks. The best way to avoid ticks (and poison oak) is to follow the common rule of hiking and stay on the trail. Ticks are usually in higher grass, but it is always a good idea to check around the sock line and the scalp after a hike. When you check your dogs, ticks tend to settle in or around the ears, or between the toes and armpits, so those areas are worth special attention. If you find one that has already bitten and you are concerned about Lyme disease, check for more info here. And here's how to remove a tick

  6. Engage, engage, engage. I had illusions of going on long nature walks with my son and that he would get a thrill out of hiking as much as I do, but more often than not, he would prefer throwing rocks at a puddle of water for an hour, or ask to go home to watch Curious George. It may seem like a futile attempt, but it is important to engage your child with nature by pointing out everything to them and talking about it, and eventually their interest will grow. Let them collect some souvenirs such as leaves and acorns, balance some stones in a pile, take pictures, touch everything (almost everything, that is) and talk about the textures, and share some of your knowledge of the local wildlife or plant life (and if you don’t know much, like me, look up the info together when you get home, or try joining some local ranger-led tours).

Most importantly, if you enjoy yourself, your child will enjoy it, or at least learn to enjoy it with time, especially if you follow up the hike/nature walk with a trip for ice cream or a special treat at a café.

Alix Pora is Engagement Director for PAMP, baby herder and imbiber extraordinaire.

Tags:  activities 

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Choosing Appropriate Kids’ Apparel for Sunny Days

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A bright, sunny day should never be wasted. In addition to the vitamin D goodness we get from being outdoors, Early Childhood News shares that outdoor play helps develop a child’s physical and social skills. But like any other weather element, the sun can inflict harm on our children -- so it’s important to make sure our kids are dressed in the right clothes that will allow them to run around without getting too warm, while also maintaining their wellbeing.

Finding that balance between breathable fabrics and protection from the sun can be tricky at times. To help you out, here are a few tips on picking the proper children’s clothing for the outdoors.

Choose fabrics with the best UV protection
There are certain fabrics that are evidently best suited for sweltering heat and humidity, but not everything is made equally in terms of protection against UV rays. While cotton, linen and silk are lightweight and highly absorbent, the tightness of the weave as well as the color of the material also play integral roles in blocking UV rays according to The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Because of the climate, the three fabrics mentioned still work best for the sun in terms of breathability. However, if you would like to test the level of protection of the clothes, simply hold up each garment at the sun and see if the rays penetrate the fabric. If they do, it’s best to pick out another shirt for your kid.

Make sun safety fun with colorful accessories
The key to making a potential health concern fun is by incorporating exciting elements to it. In this case, stylish and vibrant accessories that Tootsa blogger Lisa Dwyer Hogg lists, including hexagon sunnies and ice cream ponchos, will encourage children to protect themselves when they step out in the sun. Putting on hats, shades and sprays can be annoying, and the reason for their use may never be fully understood by kids -- but if accessories can make your child look and feel cool, you’re all set!

Shoes can make all the difference!
Warm weather may have kids wanting to wear sandals, flip flops or even go barefoot to run around in the grass or on a sandy beach. Unless you’re heading out to the beach, pool or just going on a casual stroll, the previously listed footwear are not the best choices despite the demands of the climate. Sandals and flip flops will put your children at risk for splinters, stubbed toes and even bee stings. And for any child that is just learning how to walk, WebMD says that closed toe shoes are still your best bet.

According to J is a mother of two young boys who love to play outdoors, so she is an expert on dressing them for maximum safety and fun. Other than family hikes, she loves DIY projects, trying out new recipes and reading. Watch out for her own blog soon!

Tags:  activities 

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Vacationing Choices For Special Needs Kids

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Finding the best recreational spots or vacation destinations for a family is a daunting task at best. But when it comes to those who have children with special needs, this is especially challenging. In a state like California, we’re already home to many popular and practical vacation venues, everything from Disneyland to San Francisco.

Parents of special needs kids do have options when it comes to traditional venues, as there are some destinations that are more accessible for those with physical limitations when compared to others. Take the “happiest place on earth” for example. While Walt and his descendants have done their part to ensure their amusement park is physically friendly, there are other venues like Legoland that take it a little bit further in accommodating those with special needs.

Listed in Legoland’s downloadable handicap access guide, they indicate the majority of their attractions are completely accessible by wheelchair. They also point out that others can still be enjoyed with transfer and give the best point of reference for the switch. All the restrooms in the park are equipped with at least two handicapped stalls. Every shopping venue, restaurant and all their dining establishments are easily accessible and wheelchair friendly.

Spectacular South Bay Spots
While Southern California is well known for their many theme parks and beautiful beaches, Northern California -- especially closer to Menlo Park and Palo Alto -- also has much to offer. Check out some of these lesser-known waterways and beach locations that cater more towards those with special needs and other physical challenges.

Hitting The Waterways
A summer holiday often dreams up venues of lakes, oceans and the beach, but for those confined to a wheelchair or with other physical restrictions, these beautiful, scenic spots can be a real nightmare. A Wheelchair Rider’s Guide To The California Coast highlights some better choices to enjoy waterways in Santa Clara County:

Nearby San Mateo County is home to some really spectacular beaches, but many of them come equipped with treacherous trails and dangerous access routes. However, these options may work beautifully: 

Even though it’s not mentioned in The Wheelchair Rider’s Guide, another spot in San Mateo County is definitely worth a look. About fifteen minutes south of Half Moon Bay on scenic Highway 1 is
San Gregorio State Beach. Well known by the locals as a tranquil area that’s littered with driftwood and seashells, there is a smooth, gradual pathway down to the beach.

Beyond The Boardwalk

Practically everyone in the Bay Area is already familiar with the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and while they have plenty of information and assistance available for those with special needs, what about other nearby waterways?

The folks at Hilltromper Santa Cruz compiled a list of their favorite spots that are surprisingly accessible, including the rental of a beach wheelchair that can have those who are otherwise bound to a chair able able to cruise the dunes and approach the surf. Enjoying a fun-filled day at the beach really is possible for everyone!


Naomi Shaw lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids. She is a free-lance journalist and stay at home mom that enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, jewelry and parenting.


Tags:  activities 

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Family Day is This Month!

Posted By Communications Manager, Sunday, July 3, 2016

PAMP's largest event of the year is fast approaching. Family Day will take place on Saturday, July 30th from 10am-1pm at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto.

This year we're excited to offer an expanded selection for lunch, including hamburgers, turkey burgers and veggie burgers in addition to the staple sausages, hot dogs and a variety of yummy salads.

We've also expanded our entertainment this year as well. We'll have a magic show, story time with a fairy princess and live music from PAMP favorite The Hipwaders
There will also be a petting zoo, pony rides, bubbles and more! 

Family Day is a great way to meet other PAMP members, and there's lots to do for the whole family!

We're always looking for volunteers, too. Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and get to know PAMP families. Not sure what you can do while wearing your little one or chasing your toddler around? Just 
ask us!     

Bring a friend and join the festivities. It's definitely a day not to miss!

For complete information, look here.      

Tags:  activities 

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Join the Fun with PAMP Playdates!

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Updated: Friday, June 24, 2016

PAMP Playdates include In-Home Playdates, Family Playtime in the Park, Blanket Babies, Crawlers and Toddler Time. There’s something for everyone, including drop-in gatherings as well as ones that require RSVPs. Try out both the at-home playdates as well as the ones outdoors to see which ones you (and your children) like best.

Family Playdates are a great way to get out, meet other families and help the kids burn off some energy. If it’s easier for you to have people come to your place rather than get out to meet others, consider hosting an in-home playdate!

“I was shy about showing up to playdates at first, but everyone was so welcoming that I quickly got over my shyness,” says volunteer Jessica. “I've been thrilled with how supportive and understanding everyone I've met at playdates has been.”

It's not only a great opportunity for parents and kids to socialize, but it’s also helpful to learn from parents with older children.  

During the last playdate I was able to ask a mom with an older child questions about how she navigated issues such as sleep schedules, weaning and preschools,” Jessica said. “It was really helpful!”

Playdates can also expose your little one to new things. Jessica’s baby is four months old, and she usually doesn’t care for tummy time. When my daughter was doing tummy time with several other babies at a playdate, she was so interested in the other babies that she did tummy time for a good 15 minutes (usually she does it for 5 minutes before protesting)!” she said.

Find out more about all of the PAMP Playdates here. If you have any questions, please let us know.


Tags:  activities 

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