Category Archives: Tweens

Open House Events at Creative Minds International Public Charter School

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The DC public school lottery is currently open, and many District parents are exploring the selection of educational options for their children. And as a parent who has been through it more than once, I highly recommend taking advantage of opportunities to attend Open House events. It’s a great way to get a better feel for a school — you can get a look at the facilities, ask specific questions, and meet some of the people who will potentially be part of your child’s life.

Coming up in the next few weeks, Creative Minds International Public Charter School, which serves students from preschool to middle school, will be hosting two Open House events. The first will be held on Wednesday, February 8, at 6:15pm. And if you can’t make it on a weekday evening, there will be another Saturday, February 25, at 3pm.

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Founded five years ago by Golnar Abedin, Ph.D., Creative Minds initially launched with preschool and elementary programs, and they’ve been such a success that Abedin expanded the school into 6th grade this year, and will add on 7th grade next year, continuing with 8th after that. The school strikes a unique balance in education by taking a global approach to learning, while always maintaining focus and attention on the individual student.

The global component is one that Abedin believes to be important in an international city like Washington, DC. Through the lens of this type of curriculum, students gain an understanding, appreciation, and respect for differences of all kinds, making them confident, culturally aware individuals capable of succeeding in a diverse and global society.

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Creative Minds has designed an engaging program based on an international, project, and arts-based curriculum that includes foreign language instruction as well as standards-based literacy and mathematics. Students receive a well-rounded education that integrates both the arts and STEAM, all under the instruction of passionate teachers dedicated to the social, emotional, and academic success of their students.

More information about Creative Minds International Public Charter School is available on their website. And, of course, you can get even more insight at one of the Open House events.

Creative Minds International is located within the historic Sherman Building at 3700 North Capitol Street, NW.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Creative Minds International Public Charter School, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under DC, DC Public Schools, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Preschoolers, Sponsored Post, Tweens, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 20-22

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This Weekend Round-Up is being brought to you a bit earlier than usual since it includes info about big events happening on Friday. And a little ulterior motive: It also lets me give a special shout-out to my very favorite tween on his 11th (!) birthday. I could gush forever about what an incredible kid I think he is — he’s kind, smart, fun, curious, adventurous, positive, compassionate — but then I’d be that mom (okay, so I am that mom). And now more than ever my hopes are that all these qualities serve not just him, but also others well. With that, here are your recommendations for activities with the kids over the next few days. Happy Weekend! Happy Birthday, my sweet O. And even though I try to keep my blog non-political, I have to say… Thank you, President Obama.

Hang at the First President’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Thursday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $20/adult, $10/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under at the door
($2 less if you purchase tickets online)

The home of the nation’s first POTUS, George Washington, is hosting special Inauguration Weekend activities. Scavenger hunts, exhibits, photo ops, and more, not to mention the ongoing programs will be offered at the estate. There will also be special extended hours to enjoy it all.

Inauguration: Swearing In and Parade
Where: National Mall & Downtown DC
When: Friday, 11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

If you want to experience the inauguration ceremony as close to the event as possible, you can head to the National Mall and watch it all go down on big screens that will be set up there. Be prepared for crowds — during the last two inaugurations, people were packed like sardines, and just walking was incredibly slow-going. Following the ceremony from 3-5pm, there will be a parade following the President and Vice President from the Capitol to the White House. The Washington Post has a guide on all you need to know for planning — road closures, public transportation details, access points, security info, and more.

Women’s March
Where: Starts at Independence Ave. & 3rd St. SW
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

The turnout for this is expected to be huge! The event starts with a rally by the U.S. Capitol from 10am – 1:15pm, then the marching begins after that. Be sure to check the FAQ for information on transportation, what to bring, etc. And this map from Washingtonian of restrooms, refreshments, and more places welcoming marchers will come in handy, too.

Rock On
Where: Newseum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $24.95/adult, $14.95/ages 7-18, free for 6 and under

Explore the ways music has influenced issues ranging from political campaigns to civil rights at the Newseum’s latest exhibit, “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics.” See John Lennon’s bed-in guitar, Jimi Hendrix Woodstock Stratocaster guitar, stage costumes worn by the Village People, original handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan, Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” jewelry from the VMA’s, video with some of rocks most influential musicians, plus artifacts related to the Vietnam War, Kent State University, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The Newseum is best for older children, and this KFDC post has a bit more about it.

Explore the Rails with Thomas & Friends
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission:$14.95/ages two and up

All aboard! Everyone’s favorite blue engine will roll into Port Discovery Children’s Museum this weekend for a brand new exhibit! Climb aboard Thomas’ cab, fix wobbly wheels, pull levers, dress as a train conductor, and more. Join on opening weekend for special activities…or be sure to stop by before the exhibit departs the station on May 7th.

More Charm City Fun
Where: Baltimore
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Escape the DC crowds and zip up I-95 for even more fun in our sister city, where there are several great ways to spend the day — or even the whole weekend. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. Tour the ships at the Inner Harbor. And both the Walters Art Museum and Baltimore Museum of Art offer free activities on weekends!

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Goldilocks is the new Main Stage show at The Puppet Co.
* And Winter Wonderland is the featured Tiny Tots performance this weekend
* Find out what ballet and juggling have in common at 4×4:Ephemeral Architectures at Strathmore on Sunday evening
* Titanic is still afloat at Signature Theatre, and it’s getting great reviews
* Little ones will be delighted by Blue at Imagination Stage
* Make it a KidFree night out at Arena Stage where ROE recently opened

Astro-Bots: Astronomy
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join the Air & Space Museum for Making STEM Magic, a monthly program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. Ready to explore our solar system? During this session, program a robot to travel through space and gather information about our nearest neighbors in this January design challenge.

Broadway Bound
Where: Herndon High School
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: $10, $5/students & seniors

Join Herndon High School students as they present “Broadway Bound,” an evening of song and dance featuring some favorites from West Side Story, Newsies, A Chorus Line, In the Heights, Rock of Ages, Little Women, and more! The school is located at 700 Bennett Street in Herndon, VA, and the show will take place in the auditorium — enter through door #6, at the back of the school.

Out of Many Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday, 1-5pm & Sunday, 10:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Festivals at this museum always include vibrant performances in the atrium, and this one centers around them. The two-day celebration highlights Native performers, both traditional and contemporary, from across the country, including groups from the DC area, highlighting mariachi music, West African dance, taiko drums, salsa music and dance, Chinese youth lion dances, jazz, and much more!

Portrait Story Days: Barack Obama
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to our departing POTUS at a special story time. Drop by the Portrait Gallery to enjoy this regularly featured program — young visitors and their families can listen to a story and complete an art project. This weekend’s sessions will feature Barack Obama.

The Wild Rumpus Dance Party 
Where: Kensington Town Hall
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $5, $20/family

Enjoy an afternoon of fun to benefit the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation’s Make MORE Noyes Campaign! Dance your claws off with Aaron Anderson of A-Squad Entertainment at the party. Create “monstrous” masterpieces at the craft table. Enjoy the Where the “Wild Things Are” Penny Theater show. Browse the display of Maurice Sendak memorabilia — and make sure to enter the Sendak raffle. Dancing is geared to ages 18 months to 6 years, but all ages are welcome! RSVP here

Think Outside
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Take advantage of warmer winter weather and enjoy some time outside! You’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for outdoor adventures. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of ideas for outdoor fun.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors, or just want more options for activities around town, this post list more than 80 suggestions for things to do. For locations in DC, especially downtown, I recommend calling ahead to check Inauguration Weekend schedules.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Moms, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Seasonal, Theatre, Tweens, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

{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

See Your Child Light Up the Adventure Theatre Stage in Shrek, Jr.!

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Many a child has probably been to one of Adventure Theatre’s wonderful shows and imagined what it was like to be on the stage, in the spotlight, performing in front of an audience. But they don’t just have to imagine it — in ATMTC’s Student Productions, they can actually experience it!

Adventure Theatre offers intensive performance and training opportunities to perform in fully produced student productions, ensemble showcases, and recitals. This winter, kids in grades 4-6 can be part of Shrek, the Musical, Jr.. Rehearsals will take place at their Wintergreen Plaza location in Rockville in the evenings while school in session, and during the days over Winter Break. And the grand finale — the performances — will be held at the theater in Glen Echo Park, on the very stage they have watched some of their favorite productions over the years.

Everyone’s favorite ogre is back in this hilarious stage spectacle, based on the Oscar-winning smash hit film and outrageous Broadway musical. Beauty is in the eye of the ogre. Shrek leads a cast of fairytale misfits on an adventure to rescue a princess and find true acceptance. Part romance and part twisted fairy tale, an irreverently fun show with a powerful message for the whole family.

With imaginative sets and costumes, and a host of over-the-top roles, there’s a part for everyone in the dazzling adventure story. This magical opportunity begins December 19 and runs through January 15 — see the complete schedule for details. No audition is required. Tuition is $800, and you can register online here.

Adventure Theatre MTC’s offers even more programs for kids of all ages, including Winter Break camps. And I can vouch for them — both of my children have participated in the summer program and loved it!


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

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Filed under All ages, Camp, Class, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Seasonal, Theatre, Tweens, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Indoor Soccer at the Fairfax Sportsplex: The most fun to be had inside this winter!

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Parents, don’t let your kids get cabin fever this winter – sign them up to play INDOOR SOCCER at the Fairfax Sportsplex! Conveniently located just inside the beltway in Springfield, VA, and spanning over an acre, the facility contains five indoor soccer fields where kids can have a blast!

Indoor soccer is a win/win: Kids love it because it’s fast paced and high scoring, and coaches love it because it develops players’ soccer skills with lots of touches on the ball.

Boys & girls teams, as well as individuals ages 5-18, can get in on the action and fun: Teams can enter with their own roster and coach, or you can sign up your child to be placed with other kids their age to form a team with a parent coach. There are no practices, just action-packed games each weekend.

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The Fairfax Sportplex has separate leagues for Recreation/House Level players, where the emphasis in on FUN! Even kids new to soccer can get a lot out of playing indoors — the ball doesn’t go out of bounds, so there is no waiting around for restarts. And the program provides kids with lots of touches on the ball, learning control and good technique, all while scoring goals and having fun playing the fantastic game of soccer!

There are three winter sessions:
Session 1: November 12 – December 18 (register by November 3)
Session 2: December 31 – February 5 (register by November 28)
Session 3: February 11 – March 26 (register by January 31)
Sign up online here!

Have a child younger than 5? The Fairfax Sportsplex also offers Tot Soccer Classes during the week for children ages 3-5!
Tot Soccer at the Sportsplex is a high energy, year-round soccer program designed specifically for young players. Children are encouraged to develop their physical, mental, and social abilities through creative soccer games and other activities taught by professionally licensed coaches. Players learn individual skills and teamwork and, most importantly, have fun while developing a love for the game. Tot Soccer emphasizes mastering basic coordination and agility with and without a soccer ball as well as providing an environment that builds confidence. Learn more here.

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The Fairfax Sportsplex has been in the business of soccer since 1992 and takes pride in supporting the soccer community. They have a professional staff that loves soccer and working with kids.

League Director Nicole Brower
Coach Brower has been organizing the Youth Soccer Leagues at the Sportsplex for 20 years, seeing the program grow into one of the largest in the area. She is a USSF “B” License Coach, Loudoun Soccer Club Coach, Tuscarora High School Coach and was named Washington Post Girls High School All Met Coach of the Year in 2016. Her favorite part of organizing leagues is seeing the same kids come back each year, excited to be able to play indoor again. “We’ve been around long enough, we are seeing past players who are now parents bring their kids to play, providing soccer for generations of players”

Tot Soccer Coach Bill Creswick
Coach Bill is a nationally licensed soccer coach with USSF and NSCAA accreditation. He served on the coaching staff of Marymount University (VA) women, and coached boys and girls soccer for James W. Robinson, Jr. Secondary School in Fairfax. Coach Bill is widely regarded for his ability with the very youngest soccer enthusiasts. Since 1996 he has led the Fairfax Sportsplex’s 3-6 year-old skill development program (Tot Soccer) combining sound soccer fundamentals with a special talent to engage young imaginations.

Have questions or want to learn more? Visit the Fairfax Sportsplex website or contact Nicole Brower at nicolebrower@verizon.net or 703.723.3490.

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

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Filed under Fall, Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Preschoolers, Professional Service, Seasonal, Sports, Teens, Tweens, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter