Category Archives: CA For Kids

Santa Arrived Early This Year, But… Did He Get The Countries Mixed Up?

Santa Claus seems to have decided to start delivering Christmas gifts early this year.

At least that’s how Santa Claus, Inc. and Youth Enrichment Services (YES!) must have felt when they received a truckload of about 2000 (!) Scrabble games and 1000 Dice Games from their largest national donor Mattel.

Not only was this an overwhelmingly large amount of Scrabble and Dice games but they turned out to be all in GERMAN! Did Santa get the countries mixed up?

Unsure about what exactly caused this unexpected gift to their non-profit, Santa Claus, Inc. in San Bernardino decided to let Christmas gifting start early for German Schools all around Los Angeles and beyond.

Tirelessly Santa Claus, Inc. has been contacting several German schools since then, hoping to donate some of the games and to make some young German language learners happy.

To their surprise playing Santa has not been all that easy!  Gifting German Scrabble games has turned into a much more challenging undertaking.

Only a few of  Southern California German schools followed the calling. The German American School Association (GASA) had the right idea and chartered a small van to pick up a truckload of games at the charity and so did German Pacific School of San Diego (GPSSD). However, about 1000 games still remain begging to get picked up.

To all German schools out thereScrabble is a perfect game to help your students improve and learn German the fun and engaging way. It helps practice vocabulary and encourages conversation on top of it.

So what are you waiting for? Contact Santa Claus Inc. and get your German Scrabble games today!

Contact: karen.dicarlo@santaclausinc.com


Introducing Santa Claus, Inc. and Youth Enrichment Services (YES!) 

Santa Claus, Inc. provides critical assistance to children in the Inland Empire by supporting and strengthening the family unit through its community based programs. Through its 65 year existence Santa Claus, Inc. has dedicated its mission to over 1,000,000 children in need throughout local communities. Santa Claus, Inc. operates with a core group of approximately 300 volunteers, a staff of two fulltime and two part time employees, and through the generosity of local and national businesses and community partners. In 2016 Santa Claus, Inc. served over 100,000 children, over 500% more than in 2012. Mattel is one of Santa Claus, Inc.’s largest national donors.


Image: Pixabay.com

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German Summer Camps 2017 in California – A Retrospective

As summer vacation draws to an end, we wanted to take a look at some of the German summer camps that were offered this year throughout California. The variety of camps is growing each year, and expat parents now have plenty of choices for their offspring to perfect their German language skills right here in California.

From sleepaway camps to science camps to unique camps like ‘Innerweaving’, we are sure you’ll find your favorite. Enjoy our compilation of a select group of German summer camps in Southern California & Northern California!

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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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GermanSchool Campus in Newport Beach

“Earth-Water-Air-Fire” was the motto for GermanSchool campus’ adventurous STEM Science Camp right on the Newport Bay in the beginning of July. The weeklong German immersion camp took young language learners out on the Newport Bay in sail boats and kayaks to learn about wind and solar energy first hand. When not aboard a vessel, the children explored the various environments, learned about sustainability, recycling, clean air solutions, wind power and much more. In cooperation with the Newport  Sea Base, GermanSchool campus put together a camp around a field that is gaining on popularity throughout the world. To help retain the new vocabularies learned, the children received a folder with all pertinent information in German and took a variety of day trips to manifest the theoretical knowledge by experiencing the real thing. Trips to a Newport hatchery and the Back Bay Science Center rounded off a week full of science adventures.

The next STEM Science Camp is planned for the beginning of July 2018. Please contact the school by April 2018 to find out more about the details.

GermanSchool campus starts its regular academic school year Monday, August 28th. The open enrollment policy makes it possible to join anytime during the year. New this year is the Vorschul-Klasse, that introduces the German language to the 4-6 year olds with the help of music, rhythm, and role-play and incorporates Carl Orff’s music education. You can register for the 2017/18 academic year here. You can also contact the school at PH: (949)  285  0829 or email at principal@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com



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GASA – German American School Association of Southern California

GASA Summer Camp 2017  – A time travel through Germany awaited the children when they arrived at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. 67 children aged 7-14, 6 teachers, 4 volunteers and our leader, participated at this year’s summer camp and spent an exciting time together at this 5-day overnight camp. Throughout the week children had German lessons in the mornings. The general theme was “Time Travel through Germany” with several interesting topics, such as: “The Knighthood in the Middle Ages”, “The German Fairy Tale Route with the Bremen Town Musicians”, “German Inventions”, “The Twenties in Germany” among others. In the afternoons the children enjoyed activities like archery, swimming, zip-lining, fishing or baking, or worked on painting the stage for the theatre play that was set to perform the last day of camp. The last day was marked by a visit to the local zoo and was rounded off by the theatre play and a cozy evening around the camp fire with s’mores and camp songs.

GASA’s summer camp is planned to partake again in June/July 2018.

During the regular school year GASA offers German language classes with a curriculum that stresses language skills, culture, art and music on all levels. The youngest students learn German primarily through songs, rhymes, games while writing and reading is added at the beginning elementary school level with the addition of grammar as the students advance in their studies.  The regular school year starts September 16, 2017.  For further information contact the school. Phone: 562-693-0223 or office@gasaschool.org and our website: www.germanschool4kids.org



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WanderKind PRESchool in Los Angeles

WanderKind Preschool offered its first language immersion day camp for children ages 3-8 this July. Children got together to read, sing, play and create amazing art projects, all while building new vocabulary and understanding in German. “We even got a chance to head out into nature at Brand Park, which is located across the street from the school. Families got together for a German movie screening, as well as a splash party and BBQ.”

The camp will be expanded and offered again in June 2018. Please call the school for more information.

During the school year WanderKind Preschool offers a German Immersion Nature Preschool Program for 2-5 year olds. Children spend half of their time outdoors, enjoy time set aside for free play and get creative in a curriculum rich with arts and crafts. The highly qualified staff nurtures the whole child, supporting social and emotional development in a small mixed-age group. Please sign up now for classes to start in September. Contact Dr. Franziska Reff at 415-812-6675 or wanderkindschool@gmail.com .



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German Pacific School San Diego

Kids at German Pacific School in San Diego (GPSSD) had the choice of 4 different camp weeks in July. 2017 marked the school’s fourth year of summer camps.  The youngest campers traveled back in time to learn about dinosaurs, the medieval ages, princesses, knights, and dragons. They hand-built and hand-painted an almost life-size pirate ship while the 10-12 year-old campers learned quite a bit about movie-making this summer – from the first idea to the final cut. “During the four weeks of camp we went on to two field trips. We visited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and went on a tour (in German) at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.”  The highlight of this year’s summer camp was the production of the musical “Ritter Rost” (Rusty Knight). In addition to their regular language classes, the school offers different enrichment programs, and organizes events for the whole family with the goal to bring the German community together.

Regular classes will resume in September, at four different locations throughout the greater San Diego area (classes in La Jolla, Clairemont, Carmel Valley and Poway).

New this year is that Saturday classes will meet at La Jolla’s beautiful campus of SDFAS, the French-American School. Most of the GPSSD students come from bilingual families or have visited German schools in other countries. They have therefore a very good understanding of the German language already. GPSSD is an accredited school to prepare for the various German exams all the way to the ‘Deutsches Sprachdiplom’. Find more information on the upcoming school year at germanpacificschool@gmail.com,  Ph: (858)-461-9118 or visit the website: www.gpaas.org



NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

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German-American School of Palo Alto (GASPA)

GASPA held its annual Summer Camp from June 19th through July 15th on the Campus of ALTO International School in Menlo Park. The 65 campers were ages 3-12 and from all over the San Francisco Bay Area.

The ever popular camp is a full immersion camp and not only is it about learning German, but about doing everything in German! This summer did not disappoint! Among other things tree-house caves were built, songs were sung, buffets cooked, costumes sewn, screenplays were written, movies were made, artwork was drawn and painted, experiments conducted, cucumbers pickled, metal was forged, juices squeezed and pressed, boats were sailed in, pinball machines were built, Stockbrot was grilled, Zumba was danced and of course, Fussball was played.

This fall, our Saturday School Program gets underway on September 9th. Next to our tried and true program for children ages 3 to 18, we are pleased to expand our program this year to include a “Parent& Me” toddler group for children ages 0-3 and a class for adults.  Registration is currently open and ongoing. All program details can be found at www.gaspa-ca.org 



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GISSV – German International School of Silicon Valley in Mountain View

The GISSV (German International School of Silicon Valley) Saturday School in Mountain View had a 4-week-long full-day German Immersion Camp in June/July for students age 6-16. Students had academic German language classes in the morning, and participated in different fun afternoon activities each week. Extended Care was also available. Afternoon activities included yoga, soccer, cartooning, science experiments, music, international cooking, and much more! Everything was taught in German.  The GISSV summer camp is open to both full-time GISSV students and students from the community ranging from total language beginners to native speakers.  This year we had over 80 students joining us!

New this year was the KinderCamp for younger students. Based on the GISSV Kindergarten program, the KinderCamp gave a loving introduction to the German language through songs, crafts, and nature experiences–also all taught in German.

Based on demand, GISSV considers offering an additional two weeks of camp in June/July 2018 (for a total of 6 weeks). The weeks will be again packed with challenging/rewarding language classes as well as new and favorite afternoon activities for school children, and engaging immersion activities for preschoolers.  2018 Camp Dates are not yet set. Registration will open in early February. Dates will be announced on our website when available: www.gissv.org/saturdayschool



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INNERWEAVING – ARTFUL GERMAN SUMMER CAMP IN MARIN COUNTY

The first Innerweaving German Summer Camp “Deutsch lernen mit Spass, Kreativität & Naturerfahrung” for 4-11 year old children was held from July 5th-6th this year. The camp at Fairfax/Marin County offered a playful, effective German experience based on fun nature explorations, sparkling creations of weaving art, wood craft and mixed media collage. “Throughout the Camp we talked German and introduced language based on nature and craft activities.” At the end of the final day, family members got the unique opportunity to attend the children‘s craft presentation.

Innerweaving projects: – Nagel-Fadenbild/String Art – Wünschelstab/Talking Stick – Gewebte Naturkunst/Woven nature creations – ‚Schatzsuche‘/ Treasure hunt – Fluss-Zoo-Landschaft/Land-art . The camp was facilitated by Silvia Schroeder, Founder of INNERWEAVING Coach and Counselor for Experiential Learnings http://www.innerweaving.com .

The next German Innerweaving Summer Camp will take place in August 2018. Please contact Silvia Schroeder for details at coaching@innerweaving.com .

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Images: Copyright ©All Images are property of the respective schools, GermanSchoolCampus, GASA, Wanderkind, GPSSD, GASPA,GISSV, Innerweaving


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Old Masters, Modern or Contemporary Art – Visit LACMA for Free

Old Masters, Modern or Contemporary Art – You can have it all at LACMA

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Nothing is more refreshing on a scorching hot summer day than walking the air-conditioned aisles of LACMA!

Well, …nothing except for cooling off at the beach perhaps.

But, hey, you can’t let the beach monopolize you, right? There is so much more to do and see in LA! Like visiting the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – LACMA, the western United States’ largest art museum.  

And….LACMA is making it sooo easy for you to visit! Especially if you have children.

LACMA has a special membership program for children called NexGen. My kids have been members ever since this program existed. It makes visiting LACMA a fun and enjoyable family outing, that doesn’t overstretch your budget, because … it’s FREE!

Every child 17 years and younger can become a member ! You just sign up at the museum or online. Your kids are then presented with a cool orange lanyard that allows them free entry every time they visit. Plus they can invite one adult guest for free as well! So, guess what? You, as the parent can enjoy LACMA for free, too? 

Still missing the beach? …Because, it’s just a must during summer? Well, with the NexGen membership it’s easy to divide the day and do both in a day! After all, this awesome  kids’ membership makes it possible for you and your child to visit the main galleries and all temporary exhibitions any day, any time, all year! So it doesn’t matter if you stay for 2 hours or 5.

Give your mind and soul a well-deserved break from the fast-paced life around you. I tell you, it’s relaxing and invigorating at the same time to walk LACMA’s various galleries. And, you will be amazed how much children actually like it as well. Check out the modern and contemporary art galleries to visit the oversized billiard pool set, blown-out-of-proportion- comb, and ask your child what he thinks of a Pollock painting! Kids especially enjoy the installation of Chris Burden’s Metropolis II.

We often start out at LACMA by roaming the galleries to our heart’s content and then stop by the museum’s store. It used to be an all time favorite for my children, and even now with only our youngest one in tow it hasn’t lost much of its attraction. You can always find something there that is cool, inspire or else. Sometimes it’s just something small like an all graphite pencil, which turned out to be a hit at my son’s school a few years ago.

Occasionally we stay for lunch or a light snack at the museum’s restaurant, bar or cafeteria before we hit the road to the beach in the summer. 

If you do it the other way around and visit the beach first, then you might catch some of LACMA’s cool outdoor summer concerts later in the afternoon; or choose to attend a talk at the museum’s theater. LACMA is not only about art and design. It’s an overall cultural experience !

I have to say for us the “LACMA outing” has never been boring. Ever! We always find new things to look at, new installations to marvel at, and discover new art installed in some of the galleries; galleries, that we thought we knew already inside out. 


Images: “Art At LACMA” ©CaliforniaGermans


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Summertime – Time for German Summer Camps in California

Summer has officially started and all the school children in CA have most likely started their summer vacation by now. Have you checked out our list of German Language Summer Camps yet? Some camps might still have an open space for your child!

There are overnight camps and day camps, and camps right along the Bay in Newport and some at a serene lake. Most of them offer a variety of activities, of which some are more STEM related and others are more arts heavy. But we just got word of a cool camp in Santa Rosa, that focuses on nature explorations and Innerweaving!! We had to let you know…

Have you heard of Innerweaving before? It’s a method of experiential and emotional hands-on techniques that spark imagination and support personal development and conscious living.  It’s a technique created by Silvia Schroeder, who is also leading this unique camp for children. The camp offers a combination of indoor/outdoor creative fun. “Throughout the camp we will talk German and introduce language based on nature and craft activities.” Family members are invited to celebrate their children’s powerful Nature-Earthcraft accomplishments on the final day.

The Innerweaving German Summer Camp will take place from July 5th-6th for 7-11 year old kids, and a one-day camp is offered on July 7th for children 4-6 years old.

The camp is located in a small Redwood Park along a little creek at the Community Center/Women‘s Clubhouse, 16 Park Rd, Fairfax, CA 94930.

Check out our Camp Listings for more detailed information.

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Images: ©Innerweaving


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Karneval – Carnival – Fasching in CA

carnival berlin

How about ‘Karneval’ time in California?

I am not sure about other expats, but since I have moved over here to California, Fasching has moved far away from me. Not that I suddenly became a ‘Faschingsmuffel’ (carnival grouch). No, but no one out here in California celebrates Fasching the way I remember it from Germany.

You can participate in Mardi Gras celebrations in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but that’s not our German Fasching! Some Italian restaurant recently has taking advantage of this ‘fourth season’, as some call the carnival time in Germany, to push their new menu. But other than a special menu, no Venetian masquerade was offered with it. So, I wonder what food they might promote. A dressed up Pizza perhaps?

Anyway, Fasching is a wonderful tradition in Germany, but really nobody celebrates it here in California the way we are used to, UNLESS you have children or have a lot of German friends, who throw a ‘Karneval’ party.

Luckily some German schools out here try to keep our children in the loop and teach them some German traditions. They put on a fun ‘Faschings Fete’ and teach our children what Fasching is all about. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, they even have some delicious Krapfen or Berliner, the official Carnival’s food…and, the real reason I love Fasching!

So, pack up your children  and let them experience some German Fasching out here in CA!

Following are some festivities we could locate. If you hear of some other Faschings parties. Please let us know!

12. February 2017Kinderkarneval at Phoenix club. A fun filled event for children of all ages at 1:10pm . More information: http://www.thephoenixclub.com/?upcoming-event=kinderkarneval

25. February 2017German School Campus in Newport Beach celebrates from 4pm-6pm at the Youth Center Newport Sea Base, 1931 West Coast Why, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Please make a reservation:
                                                                                            Age group: 7 to 18                                                                                                 
GERMAN SCHOOL campus: (949) – 229 – 7389
Email: mail@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com
Age group: 4 to 6
Ute’s KinderSchule: (949) – 786 – 3877
Email: UtesKinderSchule@gmail.com
For more information: http://germanschoolcampus.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/karneval-flyer-2017.pdf

25 February 2017 The German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV)’s East Bay campus invites people of all ages to explore not only a new school location in Emeryville but also celebrate the beloved Karneval tradition with them!
Start out with an Open House at 11 am, then join in the German Family Karneval in the Bay Area at 1pm.
1070 41st Street, Emeryville
11 am – 1 pm: Open House
1 – 5 pm: Karneval
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/GISSV-Family-Karneval-313153975557456/?pnref=story

25 February 2017 – GASA German American School Association’s    will have GASA Board member Susan Navarro and her husband act as this year’s Prinzenpaar of the Anaheim Karnevalsgesellschaft. Please join them at the Prunksitzung in the Pavilion at the Phoenix Club, featuring German satire, comedy, music & dancing, performances by the Prinzengarde, skits, laughter and fun. Saturday evening, at 7 pm, at the Phonenix Club in Anaheim.                    Address: 1340 S Sanderson Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806. Admisssion is free.

…and what concerns those delicious Krapfen? We got word that Old World Huntington Beach has fresh ones daily, and Esther’s German Bakery in Los Altos serves them as well!

Helau!


Credits: Pixabay.com

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