Hey Kids! is a weekly feature looking at what’s coming up for families and kids of all ages.

As she peered closer, an antenna brushed her ear softly.

“Tell me again, you know the story,” she anticipated.

A pudgy head dimpled at the pressure of her finger. Unhurriedly the roach began to tell a tale older than Valencia Street or bird’s first flight or the once lagoon….

At Paxton Gate’s Curiosities for Kids, giant cockroaches on walls are talking. “You Had to Be There” is an interactive exhibit by artist Jennifer Muskopf (of Clive + Sunshine). The soft sculptures represent various species of cockroaches from around the world. Each is unique with its beautifully hand sewn features, and when pressed, it plays a recording of someone telling a story of how the world began. Indigenous tribal myths, the Big Bang, the Book of Genesis…these plush, larger than life bugs have heard it all. Crawl in for a listen! “You Had to Be There” shows through January 20th. Read a review by Kristin Farr on KQED Arts.

You can register for an Insect Mounting Class taught at Paxton Gate on January 28th. Learn how to mount a beetle and butterfly, articulating its delicate limbs and parts to give its mojo back. Recommended minumum age for participants is 9 years old.  Call 415-824-1872 or email manager@paxtongate.com to register.

Looking ahead, “Why Should I Look for Schools That Develop Children Socially and Emotionally?” is a thought-provoking article by Lisa Borah-Geller of Parents for Public Schools SF. USA Today reports that recession fuels shift from private to public schools. Familiar struggles in education this year are examined in BeyondChron. Playing the school lottery?  Ask Ms. Terioso for a free consultation.

Coro Hispano de San Francisco performs at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts on Jan. 9th
Coro Hispano de San Francisco performs its Día de los Reyes Kids Concert on Jan. 9 at MCCLA

Upcoming events: (subject to change, confirm times)

“Santos y Otros Creatures” Gallery Exhibition
Saints and other creatures are often what people talk about when recounting a story, a fable or a miracle that is born out of the traumas of reality. View aspects of this vast pool of human belief, in which creatures have been transformed from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and new visual narratives of saints and enigmas have been created. Opening reception on Thurs., Jan. 7th, 7pm-9pm. Exhibit runs Jan. 7 through Feb. 11. Free. Creativity Explored, 3245 16th Street (at Guerrero Street)

Pediatric Vaccinations Class
Dr. Minna Yoon, N.D., L.Ac. gives an overview on vaccinations, vaccine benefits and risks, possible side effects, and schedule options to improve parents’ knowledge and choice for vaccinating their children. Fri., Jan. 8. 2pm-4pm. Free. Natural Resources, 1367 Valencia St. (at 25th St.)

The Bright River
A hip-hop retelling of Dante’s Inferno by a traditional storyteller with a live soundtrack performed by some of the best hip-hop and klezmer musicians in the Bay Area. A deep-rooted love story, a profound meditation on mass transit, and a passionate commentary on the current war in Iraq. The show tours the Afterlife with a unique blend of theatre, Jewish folklore, and beatboxing. Written by Tim Barsky, directed by Jessica Heidt. Opens Friday, Jan. 8 and runs through Feb. 20. $15-$35. Brava Theater, 2781 24th St. (at York)

Día de los Reyes Kids Concert
Coro Hispano de San Francisco celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings with a rich mix of old favorites – Las Posadas, Los Reyes Magos, Cristo de Palacagüina – with new arrangements, fresh from Puerto Rico, Perú and México. Refreshments and piñata. Sat., Jan. 9. 1pm-2:30pm. Free (donations welcome). Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission St. (at 25th)

"Santos y Otros Creatures" gallery exhibition at Creativity Explored
“Santos y Otros Creatures” gallery exhibition at Creativity Explored

Weird Science Film Program
Weird Science is a compendium of eccentric, unknown science films from 70 years of scientific discovery. See social lab rats, crystals, electric men, microscopic mayhem, incredible experiments, mad scientists and magnetic children! Curated by Jeremy Menzies. RSVP (limited seating) to info@oddballfilm.com or 415-558-8117. Sat., Jan. 9. 8:30pm. $10. Oddball Films, 275 Capp St. (near 18th)

Photography Basics for Parents
Learn how to photograph your kid in a new light.  Professional photographer Susannah Bothe discusses basic camera settings, basic lighting techniques, composition, and post-processing/organization of images.  For beginner-level photographers; bring manual/SLR or point-and-shoot digital cameras to class. Sun., Jan. 10. 2pm-3:30pm. Members $20/person; $5/partner. Non-members $30/person; $10/partner. Natural Resources, 1367 Valencia St. (at 25th St.)

Marsh Youth Theater Family Fun Day
Spend an afternoon at The Marsh! MYT teaching artists will offer students aged 4-18 sample classes in trapeze, drama, hiphop dance, art projects and more. Learn about upcoming productions of The Magic Flute and First Stage Ensemble. Raffle prizes and refreshments.  Sun., Jan. 10. 1pm-4pm. Free. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St. (near 22nd St.)

LGBT People Creating or Growing Families through Foster Care, Adoption, Surrogacy, Sperm Donation and More
All are welcome to participate in this presentation, discussion and Q & A with three different family formation attorneys: Susan Romer, Charlie Spiegel and Ora Prochovnick, and adoptive parents.  Whether you are actively planning to have or expand your family, or still just considering, this program is geared to you. The workshop will include a focus on the Jewish value of l’dor v’dor (generation to generation) through creating families by providing information, education and compassionate support to both prospective and current parents.  Co-sponsored by Jewish Mosaic. Contact the CSZ office to RSVP: 415-861-6932, greg@shaarzahav.org. Sun., Jan. 10. 2pm-4pm.  Free. Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores St. (at 16th)

$1 Book Sale
These monthly sales take place on the second Saturday of every month (rain or shine).  Open to the public; all proceeds benefit the San Francisco Public Library. Sun., Jan. 10. 10am-2pm. Friends of SFPL Donation Center, 438 Treat Ave. (btw 17th and 18th)

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