Category Archives: Preteens

You Are Cordially Invited to Enter a Giveaway from the Youth School of Etiquette

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The Youth School of Etiquette is getting ready to offer a new series of classes for boys and girls ages 7-14. And you are cordially invited to enter a giveaway for a chance to win a session for your child!

Taking place on Saturdays May 20 & 27 and June 3 & 10, this educational program is about more than just saying “please” and “thank you” and using the correct silverware at the dining table. Full of fun and interactive activities, the program’s mission is to prepare children and youths for the future, and inspire in them excellence, self-esteem, and social responsibility for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world.

Classes are held at Cabin John Middle School in Potomac, MD. A Boys Ambassador Club will run from 1-2:30pm, and a Boys & Girls Class from 2:30-4pm. Both will cover the following over the course of the series:
• Manners and Social Etiquette
• Meetings & Friendships
• Manners at School & in Public
• Peer Pressure and Sticky Situations
• Respect for Self & Others
• Social Media Etiquette & Safety
• Posture, Poise, & Grooming
• Sportsmanship

The cost per session is $245, and you can register online here.

Visit the Youth School of Etiquette online to learn more about their programs and mission. And for a chance to win a session for your child, enter the giveaway below.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a free session of classes with the Youth School of Etiquette, simply leave a comment below. Get an extra entry by also entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook page (you need to “like” it first). This giveaway will run through Saturday, May 13, 2017, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


This post is sponsored by the Youth School of Etiquette, however, I only promote programs and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2017, Class, Educational, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Maryland, Preteens, Professional Service, Sponsored Post, Weekend

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