Monday, September 24, 2007

October Events Calendar

ECFE Drop-in Playgroup • Thursdays, 12:30-2:30 pm through Jan. 17 • ECFE Room 106, Goodview School
• Kid-friendly activities and a chance to play with your preschooler in the ECFE gym. Free; no registration required. More info: 494-0913

Oktoberfest • Fri, Sept. 28 – Sat, Oct 6 • Oktoberfest Grounds, La Crosse
• Music, food, entertainment, carnival, plus three parades: Opening Day Parade (Fri, Sept. 28, 10:15 am, from 2nd & Market to 2nd & La Crosse streets); Maple Leaf Parade (Sat, Sept. 29, 10 am, Clinton & Copeland to 2nd & King); Torchlight Parade (Thu, Oct 4, 7 pm, Kane & Gillette south on Caledonia to St. James). Buttons are $7 for adults, kids 12 and under, free. No button required on Mon, Tue, Wed. More info: (608) 784-3378 or

WSU Homecoming Parade • Sat, Sept. 29, 10 am • Huff St. (beginning at Broadway St. and ending at Mark St.)
• See the WSU Homecoming parade, then attend the sesquicentennial kickoff picnic at 11am in the WSU courtyard; free food, family entertainment, and music.

Galesville Apple Affair • Sat, Oct. 6 • Galesville, Wis
• Food (including a 10-ft apple pie), arts and crafts, music, horseshoe games, and bike tours of area apple orchards. Buses leave from the downtown venue regularly to tour historic Eastside Farm. More info:

Milwaukee Road 261 (steam locomotive) • Sat., Oct. 6 & Sun., Oct 7 • Amtrak Station
• The Milwaukee Road 261 steam locomotive makes its annual visit to Winona. Come see the train from 11:45-12 and 2:15-2:30 each day (times are approximate). Or ride the train to La Crescent and back to Winona; roundtrip tickets are $29 for children 3-14, and $39 for adults for a coach ticket. For more info: 651-765-9812 or

Charlotte’s Web • Fri, Oct. 5, 6:30 pm • Page Theater, Saint Mary's University
• The classic story by E. B. White as presented by the TheaterWorksUSA traveling theater company. Tickets are $6 for children and adults. More info: or 457-1715

Historic Downtown La Crosse Day • Sat, Oct. 13, 10 am-5 pm • Downtown La Crosse
• Ride an old-fashioned fire engine, see historic displays and actors, sample food and listen to music. Fun, food, music and more for the entire family throughout downtown La Crosse. Maps and more info:

Big Muddy River Rendezvous • Tue, Oct. 16 – Sun, Oct. 21, 8 am-4 pm • Prairie Island Park, Winona
• Re-enactors portray life at a fur-trading camp from 1690-1865. Hide tanners, cannons, spinning wheels, wagons, kids games, and food vendors. Educational presentations during School Days, Tue-Fri. Admission is $4 for all kids and adults Tue-Fri; on Sat & Sun, admission is $5 adults, $4 kids, and children under 6 are free.

Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day • Fri, Oct. 19, 6:30 pm • Page Theater, SMU
• Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, trips on a skateboard, and accidentally drops his sweater in the sink—all before breakfast. Kids laugh and sing along with Alexander's misadventures in this hilarious musical. Presented by TheaterWorksUSA. Tickets are $6 for children and adults. More info: or 457-1715

Free Events at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum • Sat, Oct. 20 & Tue, Oct. 23 • Minnesota Marine Art Museum
• Come for family storytelling on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 9:30-10:30; this month features stories about ghosts and goblins. Make a craft to bring home after the story. Tuesday, Oct. 23 is Toddler Tuesday. Explore colors with your child as you pick and choose from various child-friendly activities throughout the museum. Free. Come and go as you please. More info: 474.6626 or

Car Seat Training • Mon, Oct. 22, 5:30-8:30 pm • Maxwell Children’s Center, Wabasha Hall (Wabasha & Winona sts.)
• Registration required. To Register, contact Winona County Community Health Services at 457-6400.

Hixon's Enchanted Forest • Sat & Sun, Oct. 20-21 & 27-28, noon-3 pm • Myrick Park, La Crosse, Wis.
• Children go on a ¾ mile trick-or-treating hike through a forest filled with more than 30 storybook and cartoon characters, such as Snow White, Cinderella, Batman, Dorothy, Bugs Bunny, Aladdin, and Alice in Wonderland. Music by Hans Mayer and refreshments await kids at the end of the trail. Park at Forest Hills golf course and take the sidewalk to the Nature Center. Reservations required. Children $5, adults $2. More info: 608-784-0303 or

BOO-seum • Fri, Oct. 26, 5:30-8:30 pm • La Crosse Children’s Museum (207 5th Ave S, La Crosse)
• Halloween party for ages 2-6 with adult. Sing-along with Hans Mayer (shows at 6:30 & 7); games; inflatables; treats; crafts. Costumes optional. Admission with Hans Meyer concert: $6 per child for members, $8 per child for non-members; admission without Hans Meyer concert: $3 per child for members, $5 per child for non-members. Pre-registration and prepayment required. 1 free adult per child; extra adults pay child fee. More info: 608-784-2652 or

Preschool Halloween Party • Wed, Oct. 31 9-11 am • East End Recreation Center (4th St. E. & Zumbro St., Winona)

TV for Tots: More Bad News

"Baby Einsteins May Not Be So Smart After All," from
The claim always seemed too good to be true: park your infant in front of a video and, in no time, he or she will be talking and getting smarter than the neighbor's kid. In the latest study on the effects of popular videos such as the "Baby Einstein" and "Brainy Baby" series, researchers find that these products may be doing more harm than good. And they may actually delay language development in toddlers.

Led by Frederick Zimmerman and Dr. Dimitri Christakis, both at the University of Washington, the research team found that with every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants learned six to eight fewer new vocabulary words than babies who never watched the videos. These products had the strongest detrimental effect on babies 8 to 16 months old, the age at which language skills are starting to form. "The more videos they watched, the fewer words they knew," says Christakis. "These babies scored about 10% lower on language skills than infants who had not watched these videos."

It's not the first blow to baby videos, and likely won't be the last. Mounting evidence suggests that passive screen sucking not only doesn't help children learn, but could also set back their development. Last spring, Christakis and his colleagues found that by three months, 40% of babies are regular viewers of DVDs, videos or television; by the time they are two years old, almost 90% are spending two to three hours each day in front of a screen. Three studies have shown that watching television, even if it includes educational programming such as Sesame Street, delays language development. "Babies require face-to-face interaction to learn," says Dr. Vic Strasburger, professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Read the rest of the story here. And from the American Academy of Pediatrics:


Children who watch more television in their early years may be more likely to have attention problems as teens. In a study from the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand, more than 1,000 children were observed from age 3 through age 15. Early childhood attention problems were noted at ages 3 and 5. Parents’ estimates of the children’s’ television viewing time were obtained at ages 5, 7, 9 and 11. Then, using various tools and questionnaires, the parents, the children themselves and reported on attention problems at ages 13 and 15. For every additional 50 minutes of television watched on average per day, there was a measurable negative impact on attention. Those who watched the most TV earlier in childhood were more likely to have attention problems. In particular, those children who watched more than two hours per day had above-average symptoms of attention difficulties in adolescence. Early childhood attention problems, socioeconomic status, gender or cognitive abilities did not influence the results, leading the researchers to conclude that watching too much TV was the most likely cause. Possible explanations may be the world portrayed on television makes real-life tasks seem boring in comparison, or that watching TV displaces of the activities that encourage attention such as reading and playing games.


According to a recent Institute of Medicine report, there is strong evidence that television advertising influences short-term food preferences for children 2 to 11 years of age. Researchers for the study, “Nutritional Content of Television Food Advertisements Seen by Children and Adolescents in the United States,” analyzed food-product advertisements seen by children and adolescents on top-rated television shows from September 2003 to May 2004. Nearly 98 percent of food ads seen by children 2 to 11 years old and 89 percent for adolescents 12 to 18 years old were for products high in fat, sugar, or sodium and of poor nutritional content. Fast-food restaurants made up the largest category of all food-related advertisements viewed by teens, while children 2-11 years of age most frequently saw cereal ads. The current obesity epidemic among children and adolescents has challenged the food and beverage industries to reexamine their marketing practices. These findings will provide a benchmark against which future research can evaluate the commitment by food companies to change the nature of food advertising to children.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Bonnie Herrick, RN
Winona County Maternal Child Health Nurse
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Maxwell Children's Center
Wabasha Hall
Wabasha and Walnut Streets
To Register, contact Winona County Community Health Services at:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Organic Housekeeping

Announcing a free event of interest to parents, teachers, and child care professionals:

organic housekeeping

a special presentation by Ellen Sandbeck,
author of the book by the same title,
In Which the Nontoxic Avenger Shows You How to Improve Your Health and That of Your Family While You Save Time, Money, and, Perhaps, Your Sanity.

Thursday, October 4, 2007 - 7pm
Bluffview Montessori School
1321 Gilmore Ave, Winona, MN

Ellen Sandbeck--respected author, organic landscaper, worm farmer, and former roofer-- shows the world, in her wonderfully comical voice, how to maintain every part of the home using safe, simple cleansers; quick, preventative measures; and the most effective organic products on the market—complete with detailed products and recommendation lists. Contact Connie Dretske (507-457-9455) or Brianna Fink (612-558-6435) for more information. To download a PDF of the poster, click here.

Friday, September 7, 2007

September Family Programs at The Minnesota Marine Art Museum

September 11th 10:30 am-Noon (come and go as you please)
Attention all Toddlers (not yet in kindergarten)! Grab your favorite grownup(s) and head over to the Museum for a kid-friendly discovery day the galleries! Expect to do some activities, projects, exploring and more! This busy morning will engage you in a variety of ways, and even give you and your grown up something fun to think about the next time you visit!

free family storytelling:
Exploring COLORS!
Saturday, September 22nd 9:30-10:30 am *new time!
See artworks in a whole new way as Museum staff and volunteers read family-friendly stories in front of original artworks. Afterward create an original artwork to take home! Each Saturday we’ll explore a different theme through original artworks, stories, and a special project. This month we will explore color in art! All ages welcome but stories are geared to younger children.

Monday, September 3, 2007

September Winona Area Family Events Calendar

Preschool Open Gym • 9-11 am Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 11 – April 29 • East Rec Center, Winona
• Come play with your preschooler. Free.

Flood Aid Concert & Barbecue • Fri, Sept. 7, 5 pm • Saint Mary’s University Plaza
• Music, barbecued food, kids’ games. $10 per person; freewill offering for kids under 12. More info: 457-6936

La Crosse Storytelling Festival • Fri, Sept. 7, 6:30-9 pm; Sat, Sept. 8, 10 am-10 pm • Myrick Park, La Crosse
• Music, food, and nationally known storytellers. Separate stage for children’s stories and crafts from 1:15-5 pm Saturday. $15 per family or $6 adults, $5 children, free to age 3 and under. More info:

Kellogg Watermelon Festival • Fri, Sept. 7 – Sun, Sept. 9 • Downtown Kellogg
• Burn-out races, live bands, street dance, carnival rides. Kiddie parade 1 pm Saturday; Grand Parade Sunday at 2 pm, with free watermelon afterward. More info: Wabasha-Kellogg CVB (800) 565-4158 or

September Splash • Sat, Sept. 8 • 2 pm-5 pm • East End Rec Center, Winona
• Outdoor water games for kids. Free, no registration required.

Pickwick Mill Day • Sat., Sept. 8 • Pickwick, 12 miles south of Winona on Co. Road 7
• Food, music, dancing, antique tractors, blacksmith, wagon rides, live demonstrations at the historic mill. More info:

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days • Sat, Sept. 8 – Sun, Sept. 9 • Pepin, Wis.
• Demonstrations of traditional crafts like blacksmithing, woodworking, hand-spinning; craft market; food; children’s pioneer games; tours of Laura's birth site. Fiddle contest 3:30 – 6 pm Saturday, with bonfire and live music following; Grande Parade Sunday afternoon. More info: Pepin Visitor Center at (800) 442-3011 or

Winona Public Library Storytimes • Tuesdays beginning Sept. 11 • Children’s Dept., Winona Public Library
• Toddler Tales 10-10:20 am; Preschool Storytime 10:30 – 11 am. Updates and more info:

Toddler Tuesday at the Minnesota Marine Museum • Tue, Sept. 11 10:30-noon • 800 Riverview Drive, Winona
• Activities for kids not yet in kindergarten. Come and go as you please. More info: 474-6625 or

La Crescent Apple Festival • Thu, Sept. 13 – Sun Sept 16 • La Crescent
• Carnival, kiddie parade (11 am Saturday, Crucifixion parking lot), orchard tours, flea market, craft fair, live entertainment, King Apple Parade (Sunday, 1 pm along Elm St.). More info: 507-895-2800 or

Winona Heritage Fair • Sat, Sept. 15 • Johnson St. between 3rd and 4th streets (by the Historical Museum)
• Saturday features a street fair with crafters, kids’ activities, and food; concerts will be offered on Friday and Saturday nights. More info: The Winona County Historical Society, 454-2723 or

18th Annual Quarry Hill Fall Festival • Sat, Sept. 15 – Sun, Sept. 16 11am-5pm • Quarry Hill Nature Center, 701 Silver Cr. Rd. NE, Rochester
• Ladybug bowling, cave tours, big dig, bio bingo, food and more. More info: or (507) 281-6114

Kid's Fest • Sat, Sept. 15, 10 am – 4 pm • Omni Center, 255 Riders Club Road, Onalaska
• This year’s theme is “Woodland Wildlife,” featuring the Minnesota Zoomobile. Games, prizes, inflatables. $3 per person; 2 and under, free. More info: (608) 782-9710

Franciscan Fest • Sat, Sept. 22, noon - 4 pm • Assisi Courtyard, Viterbo University, La Crosse
• Medieval village featuring crafts, food vendors, music, and villagers wearing costumes from the time of Francis and Clare. Music includes Celtic Cross, 9th Street Singers, Prairie Smoke, and the St. Francis Choir. The Franciscan Joy area will be open to all ages with kid-appropriate crafts, music, and other activities. $1 per person. More info: (608) 791-5295 or

Did we miss your event for families with kids age 5 or under? You can note it in the comments box below, or e-mail WinonaECFEPTA [at] to have it listed. This events calendar is sponsored by the Winona Early Childhood Family Education PTA. For more information about Early Childhood Family Education programs and events, call 494-0913.


This site is for you if you're a parent, grandparent, professional, or community member who wants to support Winona's youngest citizens--kids ages 0-5.