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Parent tested

Plant-based Easter eggs

Looking for an alternative to the hard plastic Easter eggs for the upcoming holiday? A new Minnesota company, eco eggs, manufactures its eggs with corn starch instead of petroleum so they are 100% renewable, biodegradable, compostable and sustainable. Minnesota Parent did not get to test the composting process, due to time constraints, but we will know this summer, as we have one plastic egg buried deep into the back yard compost bin.
Ecoeggs.com; $30 for 72 eggs or find them at Creative Kidstuff



Camp choices: Traditional, specialty, or special needs?


According to campparents.org, it is important to understand a camp’s particular focus when making a choice. Here’s a quick run down:

Traditional camp involves a wide variety of activities for campers to explore, perhaps for the first time (think horseback riding, canoeing, hiking) and there is exposure to more campers and staff at these varying activities as groups are divided up, and then re-divided in different ways to accommodate daily activity choices. Specialty usually means that there are one or two specialized activities (often combined with traditional offerings); there is an expectation for increased proficiency during the camping session; and the experience should deepen your child’s knowledge and skill in a specific area of interest or ability. Finally, special needs means that there is staff with expertise to understand and accommodate your camper’s challenge; and activities are geared to your child’s abilities.

Of course, every camp will have some unique capabilities and staffers. That’s why it’s so important to do research and speak with representatives prior to signing up.



CampRx

Worried about proper medication dosing while your child is at camp? Minnesota Parent recently learned about CampRx, a company that coordinates and provides customized medication dosing packets to summer camps nationwide. Recently purchased by the company DirectRx, this acquisition will allow an expansion of services, such as a new website for online registration and ordering that will also include areas for both parents and camps to track the status of medication orders. Camps will be able to view a summary of their campers enrolled in the program, as well as their campers’ orders and any allergies they may have. There is no charge to camps to register for or provide the service to campers. For more information, visit CampRx.com.



One stop—one drop


Minnesota Parent loves the practicality of the new “All in the Family” program put on by Roseville Parks and Rec. It allows you to drop off your children of disparate ages all together, and then they are disbursed to their own groups. One stop, one drop. Done.

Parent tested

Mini Hoop and March Madness


March Madness hitting your house? Get in the game with the SKLZ Pro Mini Hoop—it has the look, function, and durability of a professional grade basket. Staff at Minnesota Parent has been testing this hoop for some time (yes, we do have to play at work on occasion) and it has held up remarkably well. Includes a professional-grade, polycarbonate, shatterproof backboard and spring-action break-away steel rim for slam dunks. Easy to assemble and fully foam padded to prevent damage to doors or walls. Visit sklz.com; about $40

 

In brief

Home Fitness for Her, an in-home personal training service for women, is now serving the Linden Hills area of Minneapolis. Certified personal trainer Lori Brubacher will come to your home to guide you through a safe, effective, and fun workout. Visit homefitnessforher.com; Brain Balance Achievement Centers celebrated the grand opening of its Woodbury location in early February. The Brain Balance Program is an individualized and comprehensive approach to helping children with neurobehavioral and learning difficulties surmount their unique challenges. Visit brainbalancecenters.com; LearningRx, a nationwide network of brain training centers that specializes in helping students of all ages overcome learning and reading difficulties, expanded its reach in the metro area with two new locations in Vadnais Heights and Woodbury. Unlike tutoring, which focuses on teaching the subject matter, cognitive skills training focuses on strengthening the underlying skills needed to learn, understand, and process information faster and more efficiently. Learn more at learningrx.com; People Incorporated Mental Health Services, the state’s largest nonprofit working exclusively in the adult mental health field, is expanding its care to children. The organization recently announced that it has acquired an array of programs supporting children’s mental health from St. Paul-based Children’s Home Society & Family Services (Children’s Home). Services will include individual and family counseling, early childhood mental health, school-linked counseling, day treatment for children, domestic abuse prevention, anger management, and parent support services. Visit peopleincorporated.org; Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation announced the addition of state Sen. Geoff Michel to its board of directors.
“We could not be more pleased to have such a devoted member of the Minnesota community join our board,” said Scott Taylor, chairman of Abbey’s Hope. “As a primary sponsor of the Abigail Taylor Pool and Spa Safety Act, Michel’s dedication to protecting children from injury and death is without question.” Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization named after Abbey Taylor, the Edina six-year-old who died in 2008 as a result of injuries sustained in an improperly maintained pool drain cover. Visit abbeyshope.org. Finally, I Heart Kids’ Art, an open-door art studio providing a space for parents to come with their children, create art, make a mess, and have fun, opened in the Linden Hills neighborhood of southwest Minneapolis. Visit iheartkidsart.com.



Hennepin Theatre Trust 2012/13 season


While you can’t really take your kids to The Book of Mormon, one of the shows that will be landing in Minneapolis in the 2012/13 season (for that, consider a date night); your kids will no doubt beg to go to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, coming this October for one week only; Mary Poppins, which combines the best of the original stories by P.L. Travers with songs from the classic Walt Disney Film; or War Horse, a remarkable take of courage, loyalty, and friendship that was first a Broadway hit before it became an Oscar nominated motion picture. For more info, go to hennepintheatretrust.org.