Category Archives: Preteens

Hunt for Harry Potter in the National Gallery of Art with Watson Adventures

A couple of wizards at work on their clues

A couple of wizards at work on their clues



I love discovering new ways to explore old favorites. Like many Washingtonians, we’d been to the National Gallery of Art countless times, but never on a scavenger hunt, nor with Harry Potter as inspiration for a tour.

When I first learned about Watson Adventures’ Wizard School Scavenger Hunt, I was immediately intrigued. Not only does our crew love a good clue-driven search, we’re also big Harry Potter fans. Not to mention it takes place at a magnificent museum, where wandering through the galleries even without a purpose is fantastic.

Does one of these paintings reveal an answer?

Does one of these paintings reveal an answer?

This scavenger hunt is also a competition, adding a whole other fun and challenging element to the adventure. You sign up as a team, which can be a family/youth or all-adult, and compete against other groups. You’re all on a mission to find art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies in search of answers to 24 questions. There are clever Harry Potter-themed clues to help you locate each one, but many of them are tricky to decipher and take some sleuthing and careful examination of the art to figure out!

Exploring the galleries armed with clues

Exploring the galleries armed with clues

Every team has the same questions, but ordered differently for each group to stay spread out, though we did run into other teams searching for the same art a couple of times. You have 90 minutes to complete the hunt, which takes place throughout most of the West Wing of the NGA. And that hour and a half goes by quickly — we were scrambling for those last few clues to finish before the hunt time was up!

The search covers a lot of museum ground

The search covers a lot of museum ground

So excited to come across the guy they always sing about (Alexander Hamilton)

So excited to come across the guy they always sing about (My name is Alexander Hamilton…)

One point is given for every question answered correctly. The team that comes up with the most creative name also gets points. And you lose points if you’re not back to the starting place before the hunt time is up. The teams (one family/youth, one all-adult) that have the most points win.

Someone is feeling stumped

Someone is feeling stumped

Waiting for the announcement of the winners

Waiting for the announcement of the winners

As the Hogwarts crew might say, this adventure is bloody brilliant! It’s unique, fun, and exciting, and something the whole family can do together. All four of us contributed to the effort, and while we didn’t win, we had such a great time together completing the task. On top of that, we all agreed that it made us take a much closer look at some of the art that we often casually stroll by, something we’ll keep in mind on our next visit.

Want to see the clues?  Go sign up!

Want to see the clues? Go sign up!



So, is your family ready to prove yourselves wizards among muggles? If so, here’s what you need to know about Watson Adventures:

* The Wizard School Scavenger Hunt is hosted monthly at the National Gallery of Art. The next one takes place Saturday, April 8, at 2pm. Sign up here.
* Cost is $17.50/ages 17 and under, and $19.50/adults
* While the website recommends this for ages 10 and up, I’d say about ages 8 and up can enjoy it. Sasha (8) loved it, and a couple of her 2nd grade classmates were there and had a great time, too.
* Watson Adventures also hosts scavenger hunts with other themes at different locations. Most are geared toward adults (think KidFree!), but Secrets of Georgetown is also for teens.
* Scavenger hunts are hosted in other cities, too. Visit the website to see where.


Disclosure: Our family received complimentary admission for the Wizard School Scavenger Hunt from Watson Adventures, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Art, Competition, DC, Gradeschoolers, Museums, Parents, Preteens, Teens, Tweens, Weekend

Kids Can Program Their Way to Fun at Generation Code Summer Camps

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Does your child have an interest in computer programming? Are you looking for a summer activity that is engaging, educational, and a lot of fun?

Generation Code summer camps are immersive programming bootcamps that take an innovative approach to teaching computer science. Your child can advance his or her coding skills rapidly — and without sacrificing the fun of summer! In just one to three short weeks, campers can create something amazing as they work closely with experts and their peers. They’ll make new friends, gain valuable skills, and most importantly, have a great time.

Each Generation Code camp is hands-on, collaborative, and creative as it helps build kids’ coding skills quickly. The offerings this summer range from animation and robotics to game design to Android app development. Campers learn crucial coding skills and in-demand languages, like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Java while building their critical thinking and collaborative skills. Every day of camp, students learn from each other and express their creativity through code.

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The Generation Code Difference

Fast Skills: With expert instructors as guides, your child or teen can complete full levels of the curriculum in just one to three weeks. The immersive program helps kids develop skills rapidly, increasing retention of everything they’ve learned.

Hands-On: Whether enjoying on- or off-screen activities, Generation Code campers are constantly building and creating, working on shareable projects like websites, animations, games, and robots.

Collaborative: Peers are great teachers. Campers learn from each other while developing their social and team-building skills. They collaborate on both short-term and long-term projects, and engage in paired-programming and mini-activities during each lesson.

Creative: Coding is a form of expression. It’s creative and strategic, and the camps offer students the benefits of choosing their own coding adventure in a structured, effective environment. The more campers explore, the more self-confidence they gain along with the ability to innovate and lead.

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Generation Code 2017 Camps

*Scratch Animation & Design | Ages 7-10 | 1 week
*Scratch Game Design | Ages 7-10 | 1 week
*Exploring Hardware & Robotics| Ages 9-11 | 1 week
*Web Development | Ages 11-17 | 1-2 weeks
*Game Development with Java | Ages 13-17 | 2 weeks
*Android App Development | Ages 13-17 | 3 weeks
*Girl Power! Generation Code offers girls-only sessions of Scratch Animation & Design as well as Web Development 1.

Mother watching daughter assembling electronics at science center

Generation Code camps are offered in Downtown DC and Vienna, VA. For more information, including session dates and rates, visit the website. And be sure to ask about discounts on camp packages when you register!


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Generation Code, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Camp, Class, DC, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Preteens, Professional Service, Sponsored Post, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

{Sponsored} Tips for Good Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment

Beautiful smiling girl with retainer for teeth brushing teeth on a white background.

Beautiful smiling girl with retainer for teeth brushing teeth on a white background.



[Note: This is a sponsored post contributed by Dr. Bob Kumra of Kumra Orthondontics. As previously mentioned, I’ll be sprinkling in content that addresses topics applicable to many of us parents as our kids grow. Among that, a monthly post from Dr. Kumra on orthodontia. Kumra Orthodontics has locations in Washington, DC, and Stafford, VA.]

A main concern of many patients of Dr. Kumra is how to avoid having bad breath while wearing braces. The staff at Kumra Orthodontics stresses the importance of how good oral hygiene practices are an important part of your orthodontic treatment. However, braces can make brushing more difficult because food particles can stick to the brackets, wires make it hard to floss in between the teeth, and plaque can build up on the surface of the teeth. Keeping teeth healthy and clean during the course of orthodontic treatment help them settle into their new positions faster and easier.

Brushing Your Teeth
This is a major part of good oral hygiene and keeping bad breath at bay. To effectively clean teeth, mouth, and braces, first rinse the mouth out with water to dislodge any food in and around the braces. Dr. Kumra advises that when starting to brush, use a fluoride toothpaste and brush the gum line at a 45-degree angle. Then, angle the brush downwards and cover the tops of each bracket, and angle it up to brush the bottoms of the brackets. Be sure to brush every tooth at the gum line, as well as above and below the brackets, and the tops and backs of the teeth. This will ensure that the maximum area of the teeth’s surfaces are reached and will remove any plaque or food remnants. And Kumra Orthodontics recommends that even if your child has been brushing on their own, they may need help with brushing until they’re comfortable with this new routine.

Flossing Your Teeth
Another good oral hygiene habit is flossing teeth. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) avers that flossing is just as critical to good oral hygiene as brushing. Although the archwire running through the brackets of braces makes this difficult, there are several methods that will help. Dr. Kumra says that one popular tool used for flossing is a floss pick. These are two-pronged and are small enough to fit under the wires to hold a section of floss between them. The opposite end has a pick that is useful to clean brackets or between teeth. Floss picks are available for both children and adults, and can be either reusable or single-use. Another tool commonly used is a floss threader; a thin piece of plastic with a loop at the end to hold the floss.

Use a Fluoride Rinse
Another step to take is to use a fluoride rinse that will clean out any remaining food particles and also help to prevent bad breath. Swish the solution around in the mouth for thirty seconds, then spit it out into the sink. Try to refrain from eating for thirty minutes after rinsing just to make sure that your teeth remain clean.

By following Dr. Bob Kumra’s tips, patients can maintain good oral hygiene and possibly speed up treatment time. If you have any questions, give the Kumra Orthodontics team a call at 202.785.8672. They all have the knowledge to help take care of teeth and braces. If you’re looking for an experienced orthodontic team that will take every step to make sure that your treatment experience with braces in the DC area is as comfortable as possible, then give them a call to schedule a consultation today!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kumra Orthodontics, however, I only promote services, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under DC, Guest Post, Preteens, Professional Service, Sponsored Post, Tweens, Virginia

Guest Post: Invisalign Teen – The Clear Alternative to Braces

invisalign-teen-washington-dc

[Note: This is a sponsored post contributed by Dr. Bob Kumra of Kumra Orthondontics. As previously mentioned, I’ll be sprinkling in content that addresses topics applicable to many of us parents as our kids grow. Among that, a monthly post from Dr. Kumra on orthodontia. Kumra Orthodontics has locations in Washington, DC, and Stafford, VA.]

Dr. Bob Kumra and the team at Kumra Orthodontics offers their patients in the DC area Invisalign Teen, a clear and removable orthodontic treatment meant just for their teenagepatients. Invisalign Teen aligner trays are made of a clear thermoplastic material that arecustom made to fit over the teeth. They gently exert pressure on misaligned teeth to bring them into a more natural, functional, and attractive position. Invisalign Teen is the clear alternative to traditional braces.

Clear
No wires, no brackets, and no rubber bands are used with Invisalign Teen. A clear plastictray that fits snugly over the teeth are all that is involved in treatment with Invisalign. Invisalign Teen lets teens keep their appearance intact while gently improving their smiles.

Removable
Invisalign Teen can be removed by the wearer for eating, drinking, brushing, flossing, and cleaning the trays. They are discreet to wear and easy to remove when they need tobe, such as when participating in sports or playing a musical instrument. Teens don’t need to be self-conscious about wearing Invisalign. The clear aligners must be worn to be effective, however, and should be worn 23 hours per day to achieve the best results.

Easy to care for
Invisalign Teen is easy to clean by brushing the trays with regular toothpaste and toothbrush, or even a rinse in denture cleanser will keep the tray clean and fresh. Because Invisalign Teen is removable, it can be kept clean even when the wearer is on the go. When a wearer brushes their teeth regularly, they clean the Invisalign clear aligner trays at the same time.

Effective
Invisalign Teen straightens teeth to a more functional and attractive position. Treatment with Invisalign typically takes the same amount of time as treatment with traditional braces. With conscientious application, the Invisalign Teen wearer can safely, gently, and almost invisibly correct important orthodontic issues with confidence and a minimum of effort. For teenagers, the idea of having to undergo orthodontic treatment can be stressful. Treatment with Invisalign Teen helps the wearer take the best school or team photos, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Confirmations, birthday party candids, and close-up selfies without worrying about the appearance of their smiles.

Dr. Bob Kumra and the Kumra Orthodontics professionals are sensitive to their teen patients’ needs and sensibilities. For more information, or to schedule a complimentary consultation at their orthodontist offices in Downtown DC or Stafford, VA, visit their website or call: (202) 785-8672 (DC) or (540) 602-7251 (VA).

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kumra Orthodontics, however, I only promote services, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under DC, Preteens, Professional Service, Sponsored Post, Teens, Virginia

Join a Minecraft League & Play with a Team on the Big Screen (+ Giveaway!)

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It was just over a week ago that I first introduced Super League Gaming, the nation-wide program that lets children experience Minecraft in the most exciting way possible: In a movie theater! That’s right, participants can play their favorite game on the big screen alongside other Minecraft enthusiasts — and now they can do so as a team in a 4-week gaming season and they can play for a chance to share a $15,000 college scholarship with their team!

The Minecraft Metropolis Madness season begins on October 19 in the DC area at iPic Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, running weekly from 4:30pm-6pm. It will also be held at Carmike Apple Blossom 12 in Winchester and many theaters around the country.

Tickets are $80 for the 4-week season and can be purchased on the Super League Gaming website. Save $20 with promo code: KIDFRIENDLY. I also have two season tickets up for grabs — you can try to win one of them in the giveaway below!

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Giveaway: For a chance to win one of the two season tickets for Super League Gaming’s Minecraft Madness Metropolis series, simply leave a comment below or on the KidFriendly DC Facebook page. This giveaway will run through October 15, then two winners will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Tickets will be emailed, so you will have them in time for the event. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Super League Gaming, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under Competition, DC, Discount, Educational, Fall, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Maryland, Preteens, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Tweens, Weekdays