Kids

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Stuff We Love

snowflakeI hope my friends in the Northeast were able to enjoy this weekend’s snowstorm. And for those in a warmer climate..no need to share your weather report, as we’ve got over a month to go with the cold stuff.  Enjoy your week everyone!

Share your winter fun picts with everyone by sending them to me at Angela@AngelasClues.com – subject “winter”.

Amazon Studios

I am proud to announce that Amazon Studios, the original movie & series production arm of Amazon.com, has greenlit for production our creative arts curriculum Creative Galaxy. Amazon Studios announced today that Creative Galaxy is 1 of 5 children’s test pilots which have been selected.

“Our children’s series come from industry luminaries with credits such as Blue’s Clues, Sid the Science Kid and Dino Dan. We think parents—& our very youngest customers—are going to love the magical combination of entertainment & learning that they’ll discover in these children’s series.” said Roy Price (Dir. Amazon Studios).Amazon.com

My incredible team at Out of the Blue Enterprises and I are thrilled to be working with Amazon Studios & can’t wait to soar into a creative arts curriculum with Creative Galaxy. We know that art can have a powerfully positive effect on children & through our proven signature approach to preschool television, we will actively help young viewers learn how to think creatively in their own lives. Working with Amazon Studios has been fantastic & we look forward to jumping further into the production process.

Creative Galaxy is an animated, interactive art, adventure series, designed to inspire kids’ creative thinking through crafts, story, music and dance. The series was created by Angela Santomero, creator of Super Why! (the Emmy-nominated literacy series), Blue’s Clues and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Related articles:

 CNN Money     Deadline | HollywoodKidscreen

 

The Verge Tech Crunch  Variety

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

is-your-babysitter-a-thief

Is Your Babysitter a Thief?

As my daughter & I spun faster and faster on this metal, corkscrew-ish playground contraption, we chuckled at each others’ inability to control the speed nor eject ourselves from the ride. Our laughter erupted into uncontrollable hilarity. And for a brief second, I stepped outside myself to capture a mental snapshot of that incredibly beautiful image of her happiness, for what I hope will last forever.

She has the deepest, big brown eyes which were looking into me and overflowing with life and pleasure and love. To know that it was something I had done or shared with her to create such joy, caused my eyes to do more than well up.

That’s it..there’s no greater feeling.

Even though I knew this moment was fleeting, I had to get off before I threw up. So I essentially did some fall/jump combination and landed gracelessly on the ground, with my daughter’s butt immediately smacking me right upside my head. Laughter erupted again..transformed into the hiccups for her..resulting in further cackling from us while rolling on the ground holding our stomachs, from a case of laughter induced cramps.

is-your-babysitter-a-thiefSelfishly, it’s difficult for me to know that someone (aside from my family or close friends) could share similar, intimate moments with my daughter. But some time ago, when I learned that our sitter (of a few years) had been stealing from us, I was insensed.

I spent many years hating her. Not because of the money. That was the easy part..the known part.

I hated her because I let her in..treated her like family. And in return she showed me how careless I was.is-your-babysitter-a-thief

The big tough man, I would pretend to be, almost cried when I threw her out of our house. Why? Because I allowed such a stranger the opportunity to spend such time with my child..to say nothing of what my child might have learned from her.

Eventually, my hate turned to pity. And now I’m grateful that the experience forced me to see clearer & straighten out a few priorities.

 

[info: Babysitter Background checks]

 

 

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting, Stuff We Love

http://www.idinamenzel.com/IdinaAndDAt 12, I loved Donny Osmond.  What I wouldn’t have done to be able to go to the Donny and Marie Show!

My 12 yr old loves Wicked…and Idina Menzel.

She started singing the Wicked songs when she was 3 (note to self:  find that video!). And she’s singing The Wizard and I for her voice recital.

So, when I heard that Idina (aka Elphaba) was playing at Carnegie Hall I just had to take her.

There we were, at the start of the concert, listening to the orchestra play “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and transition into “The Wizard and I”.  Hope looked at me, gasped and then watched, with her eyes wide, as Idina sang in her beautiful pink gown and comfy, bare feet.

I cried. Big tears.

It was one of those moments that I knew changed her. She was inspired, excited and thrilled.
Idina Menzel site

And then the kicker, in an effort to try to cement (or at least, lean towards) the Super Mom status, after the show we got to go THERE..yes, backstage

and..

MEET HER!
My daughter was star struck and Idina was super sweet with her.  We found out that her son loves Super Why!  Hope thought that was pretty cool, too.
Idina Menzel - Angela SantomeroAs a Mom, I live to make my girls’ dreams come true.  Best feeling in the world.
Donny OsmondDonny Osmond
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, Kids, Parenting

With Instagram now declaring my daughters’ friends’ photos their own, sexting statistics nearing 1/3 of all those that text (for both adults AND KIDS) and unknown app developers churning out less than desirable apps at a staggering rate, do we even need to look further for New Year’s Resolutions.

While we spoke with The Online Mom’s Monica Villa back in the fall, we wanted to wait until the 1st of the New Year to supply you with her applicable info & necessary tips for our kids to be safe(r) as we begin a brand new year.

 

Several years ago, after picking up her daughter from a playdate, Monica learned that the 1st graders were introduced to the shoot ‘em up game of Halo during the playdate. At that moment she decided to dedicate her full time career to informing parents about the online world to keep kids smart and safe with all the new tech that they crave.

Let’s face it, the tools (or adaptations of them) will always be here. Monica spoke of a clinical PhD psychologist who, when asked about the effects of our tech culture, he responded,” What did you expect would happen when we gave teens these devices?”

The Online Mom spoke with us about parents’ limited window of opportunity for involvement, so we need to seize the teachable moments as they present themselves. One example would be during dinner time conversation where you can better understand their angle and hear definitive examples that are given in regards to online usage and behavior.

As a result of our conversation with Monica, here’s my family’s reinforcement plan as we enter the new year:

  1. Refrain from personal images and text on line
  2. Implement a safer browsing strategy
  3. Suppress YouTube via better controls   (great post from SecureMama on this subject as well)
  4. Setup an agreement or contract between you & your child so ground rules are set
  5. Use Filters to limit and/or catch problems before they occur 

Most importantly DO NOT assume that you can’t catch up or that the tech train has passed you by, Just do your homework, the info is out there

Thank you Monica & Happy New Year!!!

And don’t forget to join @theonlinemom and friends this Wednesday at 9pm ET as they chat about tech and family life.

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids, Parenting
(Continued from Yesterday’s Post, Fred Rogers’ Message from a Friend – Pt1)
 

Did you know Fred Rogers personally?
I got to know Fred personally when I met him in 1953. He took a keen interest in my well being, making sure I was not left alone too often & that my school work was being taken care of. Fred & Joanne were kind enough to have invited me to the home of Fred’s parents in Latrobe one day. It is a day I will never forget as the house was so beautiful and the grounds so spacious. Fred & I became very good friends and remained so throughout his entire life.

What impact, direct or indirect, did Fred Rogers have on your life?
I recall sitting in Fred’s office at WQED, just after I began my daily chores as office boy at the station. He & I talked at length about the various paths I might take in order to further my deep interest in TV. Fred explained in detail the routine he followed while working at NBC in NY as a stage manager on many of the top TV programs back in the early ’50’s. Through Fred & connections he made for me in NY, I was able to secure a position at NBC in their news department.

There will never be another Fred Rogers. All that I have today I owe to him, for having given me the chance of a lifetime to have been able to have worked beside him.

Which of Fred’s messages do you think are most important to pass along to the children of today?
From all of the many years I knew Fred & had the chance to spend in his company, he always led me to believe that he was sincerely interested in me and what I was trying to do in life. Fred always went beyond just talking to me as a friend & mentor, but seemed to sense my true insecurities as I was in many ways like him growing up…a very shy and sensitive kid. He always instilled in me a true feeling of support, love & encouragement and often told me how proud he was of all of my achievements throughout the years.

Children of today must have someone like Fred who stands behind them to offer that support, love, & encouragement. It is something that both my wife & I have tried to do in raising our 3 boys. It’s been tough at times, but having been touched by Fred Rogers in so many ways has given me something that’s been very precious to me. That’s the message I’m sure Fred would have wanted to pass along to the children of today.

 

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids, Parenting

Throughout our busy day to day, we often forget to express our gratitude to those we love. Especially as adults, we expect particular actions or behavior from certain people, so after a while it unfortunately becomes routine.

Instead of a robotic, sans emotion “Thank You”, try to show those that you love that you are thankful for what they do or who they are. Next week, my family works on a little project which creatively carries this Thanksgiving idea into the new year. To check it out, see my post in Moffly Media’s Greenwich Magazine, entitled, “The Importance of Thank You“.

..and Thank You

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting, Uncategorized

Following Hurricane Sandy, we’re still without full power and internet access (outside of 3G) but we couldn’t wait any longer to post our Halloween Photo Contest Winner.

This year, our judges were split..so we decided on 2 winners. Congratulations to Julie & Sarah’s little one’s for 2 most memorable pictures!! Prizes will be sent your way.

Thanks for joining in everyone & be safe out there!

-Angela

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, Kids

1 of my favorite aspects of doing what I do is meeting new talent in Children’s TV who are as passionate, excited & as invested in this area. Years back, the coordinators at Nickelodeon would meet up & talk about what each of us do in our respective areas.  It was an exhilarating time (pre-internet!) for us to share info, our career aspirations & to have a cheering squad that helped us succeed.  I’m happy to report that 15 years later we are all in integral roles at the major kids networks or producing & creating our own content, still cheering each other on.

Today, The Children’s Media Association (previously known as Women In Children’s Media) is the REAL DEAL! An organization dedicated to professionals in children’s media with events, networking & access to the leaders in this area. I would have loved to have that when I was starting out!  The President of CMA, Sarah Wallendjack, is also my incredible Producer for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Super Why!

 I asked Sarah a few questions about the new CMA, as well as her role as President:

 

AS: Congratulations on your success, Sarah!  How do you find the time to do it all? 

SW: When you are passionate about something, you seem to find the time.  I am pretty lucky that I am fueled by both my day job AND this organization. Although I admit that I sometimes run on fumes, I have learned how to manage my time differently as a result of this position. 

 Why the need to change the name from WICM to CMA?

It was never our intention to be exclusive & we found that men were sheepish about attending our events. Women are not the minority in this industry & the name change has allowed us to broaden our reach & expand. It is our goal to connect all professionals in research, licensing, publishing, marketing, theater, television, digital, & music that are making the best quality content for children.

 What is different about CMA from other organizations?

There are many great organizations that provide resources for professionals in media, but we focus specifically on Children’s Media.  We take a fun & youthful approach to our events where you can connect with others in the industry, gain knowledge & collaborate. I don’t know any other organization that have you playing with puppets 1 night, rocking out to kindie music another & discussing the merits of the latest potty app with your peers.

What is coming up that you are most excited about? 

We are in the process of expanding our website to become a larger resource for members.  We have been collecting content from experts in the field to keep members abreast of the latest research & trends. This will give members who are unable to attend an event the opportunity to stay connected.  This new section of the website will also provide members with the opportunity to connect. 

Oh, & the holiday party.  We throw a super fun holiday party – save the date – December 6th

Do you have any success stories of people getting jobs, starting projects or meeting new people because of CMA?

SO MANY!  Our job board is an amazing resource and has been connecting members with fulfilling job opportunities. I am constantly hearing about people finding jobs through CMA.  We challenged 1 of our members to attend all the events in 2011 & blog about it. He wanted to get a job in children’s media & by the holiday party that year, had accepted a position at Nick.  He is now writing scripts for 1 of their pre-school properties & couldn’t be happier.   

Who would be the most exciting person you could get for a CMA event? Besides you..of course?  

There are some really influential authors I would love to meet.  I would love to sit down with Judy Blume, Mo Willems, or JK Rowling.

As President, what do you hope for CMA in the future? 

I hope the organization will continue to grow & expand into other cities. I find such value in this network & take full advantage of the networking & professional development opportunities. It is a small world, & I think we become stronger by being able to learn from each other & share ideas.

 How many members do you have & what is the cost of membership?  

220 & growing.  Membership is $150 annually, but we are offering our VERY LAST membership discount ever before we introduce an initiation fee structure.  With the code CMACONNECT, new members can join for a 20% discount.  This offer is only valid through October 31st, so NOW is the time to join.

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids, Parenting, Super Why!

Our Annual Halloween Photo Contest winner will receive a signed copy of my favorite Super Why! Halloween story.

To Enter:

  1. Simply LIKE my Facebook page if you haven’t yet (If you did already, Thank You & jump to #2)

  2. Send a photo to me at Angela@AngelasClues.com – Subject: “Boo

  3. If you tweet I entered my costumed lil’ pumpkin in @AngelasClues #Halloween giveaway! Check it out! http://bit.ly/VpVRAfyour submission will be entered twice

I’ll personalize a copy of my Super Why! Halloween story, “The Ghost Who Was Afraid of Halloween” for the winner and post their winning photo on my site (winner chosen on Halloween eve).

All decision making will be final & entirely up to the discretion of our Fearless Judges: Mr. Willy Wonka & Miss Veruca Salt: