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baystateparent FREE




Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996


At Saint Vincent Hospital, our experienced team in The Center for Women and Infants is committed to providing individual and specialized care for you and your family. We offer expert pregnancy and childbirth care in Worcester that rivals any birthing experience in Boston, providing the safety, comfort, and convenience of delivering your baby close to home. Visit to learn more about the services and classes we offer.


Cornerstone Academy Educating all learners in grades K-6 An elementary preparatory school that celebrates the individual.

TOURS: Feb. 13 and 27 Sign up on our website

A Healthy Balance of Personalized, Outdoor, and Classroom Learning. Think Creatively

Act Compassionately


Learn Deeply

Science, technology, engineering, math and meditation are integrated into each day.

Be Present

5 Oak Avenue • Northboro, MA 01532 • 508-351-9976 4 FEBRUARY2018

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Making a Difference One Skater at a Time





Admission only $5! Rental skates available for $5 Fun, affordable family outing Schedules available online

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table of contents FEBRUARY 2018



TAKE 8: Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman




Whole Family Holistic Health: Winter Ideas for Your Whole Tribe

Pro Photographer Mom Shares Her Secrets of Great Photos

Rokas at age 6 Photography by Jurate Rutkauskas

health & wellness

in every issue



EDITOR’S NOTE: Joining the (baystate) Parent Club


Social Skills Tips for Children with ASD on Valentine’s Day


DIY: Create Your Own Washer Necklace


ADD TO CART: Our Favorite February Products


4 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy All Winter


Empowering Teens Through Smart Spending


RIPE: What’s Poppin’? Recipes for National Snack Month


Bringing Education, Awareness to Mental Health Through Film


Learning Beyond Reading: The Myriad of Ways Children Learn


OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: February Calendar of Family Events


Whole Family Holistic Health: Winter Ideas for Your Whole Tribe


Pro Photographer Mom Shares Her Secrets of Great Photos


MAKE A DAY OF IT: Take a Glide Around Boston’s Frog Pond


‘Minimalist Mom’ Tips to Clear Your Mind Of Clutter




Could Avoiding Addiction be as Simple as Postponing Substance Use?

Girls Just Want to Have Likes? Navigating Your Child’s Social Media Use


41 41 44 46

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS: February Area Adoption Events REEL LIFE WITH JANE: What’s in Theaters This Month TAKE 8: Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman

meet team president and publisher KIRK DAVIS

associate publisher KATHY REAL 508-749-3166 ext. 331

editorial & creative

CAPTURED: Readers’ snowy photos advertising

editor in chief AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER 508-865-7070 ext. 201

director of sales REGINA STILLINGS 508-865-7070 ext. 210

creative director and events coordinator PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070 ext. 221

account executive KATHY PUFFER 508-865-7070 ext. 211

senior graphic designer STEPHANIE MALLARD 508-865-7070

account executive MICHELLE SHINDLE 508-865-7070 ext. 212

account executive CHEYRL ROBINSON 508-865-7070 ext. 336 account executive ERIN QUINN-SHANNON 508-865-7070 ext. 213 baystateparent is published monthly 22 West Street, Millbury, MA 01527 508-865-7070 It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts.


Joining the (baystate) Parent Club You know those moments when you wish you could just press pause? Since having my first child, Max, I’ve never wished more that life came with a remote control. Last week, Max turned six months old, a milestone that seemed to sneak up way too quickly and made me realize how little time he’ll be so little. That night, after his bath, I wrapped him in his fuzzy, hooded towel, cradled him on my lap, and tried to soak in all his sweet, fleeting baby-ness: his fuzzy head, those squishy legs, that still toothless gummy smile. As he giggled and reached his pudgy little hand toward my face, I made a mental note: remember this moment. It was sublime; everything I expected having a baby to be. And then... he pooped on me. This, I’m learning, is motherhood. In the short six months I’ve been a mom, I’ve found that every cliché you hear about parenting is right. It’s a love like no other. They grow so fast. It’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. It’s true, parenting is full of magical moments where you wish you could freeze time. But it’s also full of spit up, poop, and sleepless nights (at least at this point). Parenthood is a paradox; a wonderfully crazy combination of the most intense love and the most difficult challenges. It’s amazing and meaningful and really, really hard. Another thing about parenthood? It’s a community. We’re all on a journey of joy and frustration, good days, and days when you wonder how you will make it to bedtime. We’re all learning, making mistakes, watching with wonder as our kids grow – and growing ourselves. None of us knows exactly what we’re doing (if you do, I want to hear from you!), but we’re figuring it out as we go. When it comes to parenting, we’re all doing the best we can… and you know what? I’m sure ‘the best we can’ is pretty darn good. Joining the team at baystateparent as editor couldn’t have come at a better time in my life – I’m navigating the ups, downs and unknowns of parenthood just like our readers. So, Bay State parents, I’d love to hear from you. Tell me your stories, share your moments, your #momwins, and your #parentingfails (hey, we all have them!). I invite you to email me at amanda@baystateparent. com, or reach out and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. baystateparent’s mission is to be a tool for today’s parents – to provide moms and dads (and grandparents and aunts and uncles) with relevant stories, information and resources. I hope to make it a community, too. Let’s make this magazine a reflection and celebration of all the parts of parenting – the good, the hard, and the poopy.

Amanda 8 FEBRUARY2018

add to CART The coolest stuff we found online this month

Kids of all ages can be proud of their individuality with Pride Socks. These funky, fun, retro tube socks let everyone — from babies/toddlers through adults — celebrate who they are. Sock lover and founder Rachel Smith was a special education teacher for 12 years, who through her line seeks to promote diversity and inclusion. $8 and up.

If your refrigerator is a de-facto art gallery, why not make it look as pretty as the pictures it holds? Say goodbye to multiple magnets, clips, and holders keeping items secured on the surface, and say hello to Fridge Gallery. This magnetic display system sports six clear panels that allow for the easy insertion of photos, memos, mementos, cards, or even school artwork, regardless of size differences. The holder itself has one of 10 different background designs, including plain/stainless steel. $19.99.

Hair-elastic-wearing girls are very protective of their accessories, and will only be more so once they get a hold of Scen-ties, scented elastics that emit fragrances such as watermelon, brownie sundae, and cotton candy with the tug of a fabric tag. Available in eight scents, girls may be wearing them more on their wrist than in their hair! $5.99.

Active kids often become fragrant kids — and not in a good way. Parents can fight back against stinky cleats, sneakers, ski boots, and more with Smell Well. Containing a combination of salt, absorbents, and mild fragrance, each pouch absorbs moisture and odor particles while releasing a fresh scent in athletic shoes. Pouches lasts up to six months and are safe around pets, children, and those with allergies. $9.95.

Kids want to paint their nails, and parents want to keep their surfaces nail-polish-free thanks to accidental bottle spills. Tippur provides a secure place to hold that bottle and prevent messy spills. Mini-manicurists (or Mom herself) simply insert a bottle, tilt to the desired angle, and paint away without the worry of a toppled bottle or smudged nails. Fully assembled and ready to use, it comes in several colors and fits all nail polish bottle sizes. $14.95.


National Snack Month: It may be the month of Super Bowl party chicken wings and heartshaped boxes of chocolate bonbons, but officially, February is National Snack Food Month. The quick foods we commonly reach for can be loaded with calories, sugar, sodium and fat, but snacks don’t have to be unhealthy. Ditch the chips and go for a whole grain like popcorn instead. With a little imagination, you can pop up an easy, tasty, good-for-you snack. Try these recipes from

Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix Yields 9 cups Ingredients • 5 cups popped popcorn • 3 cups whole grain oat cereal • 1/3 cup raisins • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds

• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine • 6 tablespoons brown sugar • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Directions 1. Stir together popcorn, cereal, raisins and nuts in large microwavable bowl; set aside. 2. Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan. 3. Heat until boiling; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly. 5. Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute. 6. Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool. 7. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

Apricot Cherry Popcorn Squares Yields 12 servings Ingredients • 10 cups air-popped popcorn • 3/4 cup dried cherries • 3/4 cup sugar • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water • 1/2 cup sugar-free apricot preserves • 1/4 cup light corn syrup • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions 1. Combine popcorn and cherries in large bowl. 2. Combine sugar, water, preserves, corn syrup and lemon juice in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. 3. Cook until mixture forms thick “ropy” threads that drip from the spoon. 4. Pour slowly over popped popcorn and mix thoroughly. 5. Spray 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. 6. Press mixture into baking dish and cool completely before serving.

Chili Lime Popcorn Snack Mix Yields 1 quart Ingredients • 1 quart popped popcorn • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (available in health food stores) • 1 teaspoon lime juice • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Directions 1. Preheat oven to 300 F. 2. Spread popcorn on a baking sheet. 3. Sprinkle yeast powder, lime juice, chili powder and salt over popcorn. 4. Heat about 7 minutes and toss just before serving. Serve warm.

r o f g n i k o o L Unique ? s t f i G ’ s e n Valenti Look No Further!















Photo by Natasha Moustache, courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston

Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - Dr. Seuss

5th Annual Easthampton Winter Fest. City of Easthampton. Feb 10 12 FEBRUARY2018

Photo by Norm Eggert, courtesy of the Museum of Russian Icons

Photo by Andy Cambria, Courtesy of Matt Heaton Music

Photo courtesy of Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee

Play Date: Amazing Arts Adventures. Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston. Feb 24.

Matt Heaton & The Outside Toys TCAN: Center for Arts Feb 17

Vacation Week Drop-In. Museum of Russian Icons. Feb 20


1 Thursday

MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the minivan, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to ensure accuracy at press time, things can and do change.

Photo Courtesy of Worcester Art Museum.

Take Aparts, Jr. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Drop-in and grab some tools, as we discover the inner workings of household gadgets and gizmos. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. Winter Wonder: Cozy on Up. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Enjoy stories, poems, songs, and fun activities to learn about and enjoy the beauty of a wonderful winter, and how we stay warm. For ages 3 to 5. Free. Valentine Making Workshop. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Join the Worcester Historical Museum to learn about the city’s history with this holiday, before crafting your very own Valentine’s Day cards. For ages 12 and under. Free. First Thursday. Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Come by and tour the galleries and special exhibitions, as we open up the museum on the first Thursday of the month. Free.

2 Friday

Families @ WAM Tour. Worcester Art Museum. Feb. 3

Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Share friendship and love this Valentine’s Day by making unique valentines for your family, friends, or classmates during this hands-on workshop. Register ahead. Through Sunday. Member children $10.20, nonmember children $12, adults free.

Music and Movement with Miss Bernadette. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 9:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Explore sound through singing and playing, as we move, make music, listen, learn, and get a multi-sensory workout with our favorite Kindermusik educator. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free.

Mary Poppins. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Get enchanted by this Academy Award-winning Disney classic, featuring Julie Andrews as a magical nanny, Dick Van Dyke as a lovable chimney sweep, and a cast of animated and live-action characters. Through Sunday. Adults $9, children $7.

Groundhog Day. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Come learn about hibernation, winter wildlife, and how to identify animal tracks in the snow. Free.

Families @ WAM Tour. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Explore the Museum galleries with your family on a docent-guided discovery tour filled with facts, stories, and bonding time. Free.

Frist Friday Nights Free. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 4:30 p.m.8:00 p.m. Join us to explore the museum at night, as we gratefully accept non-perishable food donations for the Acton Food Pantry and Open Table of Concord and Maynard. Free. Stars Over Springfield. Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield. 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Join members of the Springfield Stars Club for skygazing in the Museum’s observatory, or a planetarium show. $3.

3 Saturday Valentine Card-Making Party. The Eric Carle

Beyond the Spectrum: Ancient Metalwork. The Museum of Fine Arts: Boston. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Join this adventure in art for children on Autism Spectrum as we explore ancient civilizations and work our ways through history to learn about different types of metal and how they have been used, before using metal foil to create pendants to show what’s important in our own lives. Recommended for ages 8 to 12. $9. Revolting Rhymes: Parts I & II. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. Watch as five of Roald Dahl’s most famous rhymes are ingeniously interwoven

during this animation film series. Adults $9, children $7. Arms + Armor Demonstrations. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11:30 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. Join us for this fun interactive program, as we learn about all different kinds of arms and armor used by Roman soldiers, Medieval knights, and more. Free. First Saturday. The Mary Baker Eddy Library, 200 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 12:00 p.m.4:00 p.m. Explore our libraries, galleries, and amazing Mapparium during this fun free day of exploration. Free. The LEGO Ninjago Movie. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2:00 p.m. Watch this animated movie following a LEGO quest facing off a shark army, forests, and more. Free. Capturing Feathers, Fur, and Scales with Pencil and Paper. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 2:00 p.m.3:30 p.m. Explore feathers, fur, and scales, as we look closely at a variety of specimens and learn techniques to replicate textures and creatures on paper. Recommended for ages 9 to 13. Register ahead. Members $25, nonmembers $35. ICAA Northeast Quarterfinals: Night One. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 7:00 p.m. Enjoy as the top a cappella collegiate groups from the Northeast region compete for the title of International Champions, during this part of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. $25-35.

4 Sunday Big Game Day Fun. Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston. 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Get ready for the big game by watching animals, receive football-themed enrichment items, and don’t miss a chance to ask questions directly to zookeepers during zookeeper chats. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers vary. Weston Wind Quintet. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Fall into Sunday afternoon with a delightful and expertly performed concert. Free.

5 Monday MFA Playdates: Friends Forever. The Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Join us as we explore how friendship has informed art, during this special looking tour throughout the galleries, followed by artmaking. Recommended for ages 4 and under. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, youths 7 and up $10, ages under 7 free. Engineering Challenge: A Family Event. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Join us as we become scientists for the day by discovering how we can create our own tornadoes. For ages 6 to 12. Free. Marshall. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 6:30 p.m. Watch as a young Thurgood Marshall faces on of his greatest challenges while working to help save an accused black man in conservative Connecticut. Free.

6 Tuesday Dance Party. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Move and groove to the music, during this kids-centric dance party at the Druker Auditorium. Free. Tinker Tuesday: Inventions in Motion. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Drop-in and explore the possibilities of reusing what we usually throw away to make your very own kinetic art inventions. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. Nature and Art Tuesdays. Museum of American Bird Art, 963 Washington St., Canton. 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Enjoy a story, play time, a hike in nature, and plenty of art creation. For ages 2 to 6 with an adult. Tuesdays. Register ahead. Member children $8, nonmember children $9, adults free. BAYSTATEPARENT 13

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Especially for Me: Sensory-Friendly Afternoons. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Come explore the entire Museum campus, as we limit crowding and provide quiet spaces for easier accessibility. Register ahead. Free.

under 1 free.

10 Saturday

Photo Courtesy of Marlo Marketing.

Folk Open Night. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 8:00 p.m. Enjoy this presentation of performers presenting some of the best folk and acoustic music in the region. Members free, public $5.

7 Wednesday WAM Stroller Tours. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Enjoy this docent-guided family-oriented tour featuring art, a story, and light refreshments. For ages 3 and under and siblings. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $16, youth ages 4 to 17 $6, ages under 4 free.

Big Game Day Fun. Franklin Park Zoo. Feb. 4.

Upbeat Music. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Come practice rhythm by learning multicultural drumming patterns, playing a variety of instruments, and exploring movement and dance while singing songs. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free.

Icy Investigations. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Drop-in and experiment with this solid state of water, as we add in some liquid watercolors, or check with different types of salt, to see how cool science can be. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free.

Confu$ion. Berk Recital Hall, 1140 Boylston St., Boston. 4:00 p.m. Enjoy as British saxophonist Jack ‘the Sax’ Davies brings a band composed of current Berklee students reflecting the cultures of Europe, South America, Asia, and the US in a jazz/hip-hop show. Free. berklee. edu/events.

8 Thursday Dress Your Stuffed Pet. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m.11:00 a.m. Treat your favorite stuffed animal to a new outfit, as we use our imaginations and creative materials to design and construct a special costume. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free.

Chinese Bilingual Storytime. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4:00 p.m.4:30 p.m. Enjoy a special bilingual story-time featuring stories, songs, and movement in English and Chinese. Free.

Winter Wonder: Outside Fun. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Enjoy stories, poems, songs, and fun activities as we learn how to enjoy the cold weather outside. For ages 3 to 5. Free.

The Music of Bruno Mars. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8:00 p.m. Watch as the Bruno Mars Ensemble brings live the multi-genre fusion and fun that encapsulates the music of Bruno Mars. Advance $8, day-of $12.



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781-890-8480 NonProfit 14 FEBRUARY2018

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9 Friday Wild by the Fire: Bird Songs. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Come meet songbirds and make a sweet treat that you can take home and hang outside to help your feathered friends. For families with children up to age 5. Register ahead. Members $12.50, nonmembers $15.50. Snow & Its Wonders: Storytime. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Enjoy a nature-themed morning, as we look at the beauty of our snow surroundings through crafts, a storybook, and a walk on our beautiful trails. For ages 2 to 5. Register ahead. Member children $3, nonmember children $4, adults free. Make a MESS: Kitchen Chemistry. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Drop-in as you try your hand at a few simple experiments to uncover the special color changing properties of some common household ingredients. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children

Backyard and Beyond: Tracking with ‘PrimiTim’. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m. Come join Tim ‘PrimiTim’ Swanson, as we learn and practice the ancient skill of tracking, as we explore the adjoining Discovery Woods and check for signs of animals. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. First Book Friendiversary. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Celebrate with Elephant, Piggie, and a host of other Museum friends, as we bring friends and fun together with books. Free. 5th Annual Easthampton WinterFest. Citywide, Easthampton. 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Join us during this day celebrating the season, as we take part in a historical ice harvest at Nashawannuck Pond, enjoy wagon rides, display a craft & vendor fair, enjoy Disney’s Frozen on the big screen, participate in a citywide scavenger hunt, and warm ourselves by the community bonfire at 5:00 p.m. winterfest. Lunar New Year Celebration. The Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Ring in the Year of the Dog as we celebrate the Lunar New Year through an exploration of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese traditions, while enjoying music and dance performances throughout the museum, art-making, and more. Free. Stacey Peasley Band. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 11:00 a.m. Engage in musical fun and sing-along songs as Stacey Peasley brings her performance and teaching background to bring joy to children through song. Adults $12, children $10. Science of Chocolate. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 12 p.m.3:00 p.m. Drop-in as we learn about how cacao

UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center Down Syndrome Program One visit for comprehensive care. Audiology • Cardiology • Child Life • Dermatology Development/Behavioral Pediatrics Endocrinology • ENT • Gastroenterology • Genetics Hematology/Oncology • Nutrition • Orthopedics Psychiatry • Pulmonology • Social Work • Urology

Appointments: 774-443-UMDS (8637) To find a physician, call 855-UMASS-MD.

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! trees grow, discover the differences among dark, milk, and white chocolate, and explore chocolate’s special properties. Members $5, nonmembers $8. Despicable Me 3. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 2:30 p.m. Follow evil mastermind Gru as he meets his long-lost twin brother Dru, with the hope he will go back to his nefarious ways. Free.

11 Sunday The Airborne Comedians. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy this performance that has traveled the globe, featuring high-energy, unorthodox juggling with routines using electric guitars, birdbaths, and more. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Adults $13, children $10. Learn to…Bird. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Sharpen your birding skills, as we teach you how to explore your own backyard or ours with a keen eye for searching your natural surroundings. For ages 5 and up. $13.15. Story Trails: Natural Shapes. Peabody Essex Museum, East India Sq., 161 Essex St., Salem.

2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Join us as we read Shape Shift by Joyce Hesselberth and then create our own geoboards. For ages 5 to 8. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $20, youth under 17 free. Eats for Tweets. Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., Norfolk. 2:00 p.m.4:00 p.m. Come make valentines for the birds, as we create edible treats with seeds, dried fruits, popcorn, and other delicious items that you can bring home or hang at Stony Brook. For families with children ages 5 and up. Register ahead. Members $8, nonmembers $10.

12 Monday An American in Paris. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 7:30 p.m. Watch Gene Kelly as he dances through lavish backgrounds based on the works of famed French artists during this enchanting musical film. Members $10, public $12. Sophisticated Stories. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 7:30 p.m.-8:15 p.m. Enjoy cool, strange, weird, and wacky picture books, and brownies, during this story-time for older kids. For grades 3 and up. Free.

13 Tuesday Dance and Movement Class. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10:00 a.m.10:45 a.m. Join the Joanne Langione Dance Center as it presents a movement and music class. For toddlers and preschoolers. Free. Make a MESS: Paint Plops. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m.11:00 a.m. Drop-in and create a unique Valentine’s Day artwork by ‘plopping’ and pressing paint to make one-of-a kind heart for yourself or someone special. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. The Eighth Annual Science and Innovation Fair. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Watch showcases and demonstrations of STEM-centric skills and concepts from Pittsfield Public High School students. Free. Drop-In Valentine Crafts. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 1:30 p.m.3:00 p.m. Come to the library for some fun Valentine crafts. For ages 2 to 5. Free. Everyday Engineering: Pop-Up Cards. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton.

2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Drop-in and join us as we make a pop-up card or two using some simple paper engineering and our creativity. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. Bright Star Theater Presents; African Folktales. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 4:00 p.m.5:00 p.m. Join two talented African griots or storytellers, as they share stories that celebrate the vastness of the African landscape, with singalong, humor, and high-energy. Recommended for ages 5 to 11. Free.

14 Wednesday ARTfull Play. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Fill your morning with art and play through experiences featuring a unique opportunity to engage with art, stories, materials, nature, and new friends. Recommended for ages 2 to 5. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, youths 12 and under free. Songwriting Faculty Concert. David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St., Boston. 7:00 p.m. Come to this annual concert featuring songs by It’s winter in New England, faculty members from the Songwriting Department let us help you learn to at Berklee. Free.

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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Chinese New Year Concert. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8:00 p.m. Join the Berklee Chinese Students and Scholars Association in this seventh annual presentation bridging the cultural gap between Western and Eastern music. Advance $8, day-of $12.

15 Thursday Doggy Days: Abby Gets a Check-Up. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Drop-in and try out the role of a veterinarian, as we use tools and hugs to check in on Abby, the certified Therapy Labrador Retriever. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. Winter Wonder: Hugs and Kisses. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch,3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Enjoy stories, poems, songs, and fun activities during this special Valentine’s Day-adjacent celebration of the season. For ages 3 to 5. Free. Take Aparts. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Drop-in and grab a screwdriver, as we discover the inner workings of telephones, computers, radios, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free.

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Red in Winter Storytime. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Enjoy an hour of nature-themed fun, as we look about our sanctuary and outdoors, as we make a craft, listen to a storybook, and take a look outside on our trails. For ages 2 to 5. Register ahead. Member children $3, nonmember children $4, adults free. Family Game Day. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Drop-in for games, activities, building materials, and more for the entire family. Free.

We have cameras in every classroom that parents can log onto throughout the day and watch their children at the center! • Structured curriculum beginning at 15 months • All staff members are infant/child CPR and first aid certified • Weekly visits from The Story Teller, Music Man, My First Yoga,The Tumble Bus, Happy Feet and Hoop It (Kids Basketball)

Backyard and Beyond Forest Fridays. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Enjoy a great Friday morning outdoors, as we enjoy a nature-based activity responding to the weather. Designed for ages 2 to 6. Fridays. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free.

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Star Gazing Nights. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Pkwy, Sharon. 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Join local astronomers for a look at the stars and other night objects through big telescopes. Weather contingent. Free.

17 Saturday The Lunar New Year Festival. Peabody Essex

Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 10:00 a.m.4:30 p.m. Celebrate the Year of the Dog, during this all day celebration filled with games, art making, dance, music, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $20, youth under 17 free. Magic & Beyond. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy as illusionist David Garrity presents his uniquely theatrical visual magic comedy show, featuring audience participation, music, and more. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. Exploring China. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Enjoy master musician Shaw Pong Liu on this dynamic musical journey weaving history, geography, the Mandarin language, and Chinese folk music. Free. Celebrate the Chinese New Year. Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston.10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Come watch the Chiu Mo Kwoon school at 11:00 a.m., and festive decorations all day, with crafting activities to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers Matt Heaton & The Outside Toys. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 11:00 a.m. Enjoy as the Toddlerbilly Troubadour brings an infectious sense of fun to an infusion of surf, folk, country, and roots music for the entire family. Members $10, public $12. Around the World Adventures. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Come discover our amazing world, as we learn about different countries and cultures throughs songs, stories, dancing, food, and more. Recommended for ages 4 to 7. Free. Special Storytime with Jeanette Bradley. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 2:00 p.m. Join Jeanette Bradley as she reads from her debut picture book ‘Love, Mama’ and shares a fun art project. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, under 1 free. ICCA Northeast Quarterfinal: Night Two. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 7:00 p.m. Enjoy as the top a cappella collegiate groups from the Northeast region compete for the title of International Champions, during this part of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. $25-35. events. Berkshires Jazz: 10 By Gershwin. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 7:30 p.m.8:30 p.m. Enjoy as the Ted Rosenthal Trio returns to the Berkshires to perform George Gershwin’s famous ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and other classic Gershwin tunes. Member advance $20, at door $25; nonmember advance $25, at door $30.


18 Sunday Romeo and Juliet. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:00 a.m. Enjoy this filmed performance by the Bolshoi Ballet staging a fresh re-telling of Shakespeare’s beloved classic of star-crossed lovers. $23. Nature and Nurture with Miss Bernadette. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Come and explore the great outdoors, as we sing songs, take a nature walk, ready a story, or make a craft. Designed for ages 2 to 4. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. Family Snowshoe Hike. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Enjoy the world around you, as we learn to use snowshoes, and take them for a spin on a guided hike, before warming up with hot chocolate. For ages 7 and up. Member adults $7, children $4; nonmember adults $9, children $5. Special Sundays in the Studio: Box Art. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 1:00 p.m.4:00 p.m. Drop by the museum as we enjoy in a special crafting project. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. Hands-On History. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd., Concord. 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon for kids and families to learn together through hands-on demonstrations and activities. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $10, youths 6 and older $5, ages under 6 free. Boston Art School for Chinese Music Concert. Newton Free Library, 300 Homer St., Newton. 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Celebrate the Year of the Dog at a concert to honor the Chinese New Year, featuring students from Ping Li’s Boston Art School for Chinese Music. Free. TAO: Drum Heart. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 7:30 p.m. Get captivated by this breathtaking, vibrantly modern twist on a traditional form through this visual and sonic tour de force, featuring taiko drumming and innovative, acrobatic choreography. $30-58.

19 Monday February Vacation Week. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Enjoy artmaking activities, education, our guided tour, and more activities all weeklong, as we celebrate art, cultures, and fun. Through Friday. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, youth ages 7 to 17 $10, children under 7 free.

Presidents’ Day: Free Admission. The Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston. 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Skip the mattress sale, and sail to the ICA as we openup our galleries for family-fun and exploration during this long weekend. Free. Grid Out with Art. Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 10:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Join us at the intersection of art, math, and technology, as we celebrate XYZT: A Journey in 4 Dimensions through activities and observations all day. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $20, youth 16 and under free. Everyday Engineering: Cup Towers. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Join us as we celebrate National Engineers week, as we challenge ourselves to build one-of-a-kind tower made entirely out of cups. Through Tuesday. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. Vacation Week Crafts. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd., Concord. 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Get creative during vacation week with crafts, from presidential-themes to custom tricorn hats. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $10, youths 6 and up $5, children under 6 free. Make/Made: Salty > Sour Seas. Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston. 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Be inspired by our installation, Salty Sour Seas, as you try our pH-test postcard activity, and make a collage that chronicles your favorite ocean experiences as we look at our relationships with the ocean. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $15, youth 17 and under free. A Visit with President Lincoln. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd., Concord. 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Witness Steve Wood and his amazing performance as Abraham Lincoln, featuring stories from the President’s early life, campaign debates, Civil War experience, and stirring Gettysburg Address. Member adults $10, children $6; nonmember adults $16, children $8.







Come see what you’ve been missing ...

Instrument Petting Zoo. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Drop-in and see, play, and hear a variety of musical instruments with Berkshire Music School and its Instrument Petting Zoo. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $13, youth ages 4 and up $6, ages 3 and under free.

20 Tuesday North American Birds of Prey. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Enjoy this presentation by Wingmasters, as we encounter a variety of feathered friends. Free.

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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! 330 Homer St., Newton. 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Come sing and act out to songs about making snowmen, twirling around like snowflakes, sledding, drinking hot chocolate, and more winter festive songs and tunes. For ages 5 and up. Free. . Photo courtesy of the Discovery Museums

Vacation Explorations. Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston. 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Visit the galleries, as you try our new games, stop by our installation Salty > Sour Seas, visit live animal guests, and use liquids from everyday life. Through Thursday. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $15, youth 17 and under free. Vacation Week Drop-In. Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. 11:00 a.m.4:00 p.m. Drop by the museum for Exploration Guides, stories, and crafts, all during this blustery holiday period. Through Saturday. Free with admission. Adults $10, youth ages 3 and up $5, children under 3 free. Special Storytime with Sigrid Schmalzer and Melanie Chan. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 1:00 p.m. Join professor of history at UMass, Sigrid Schmalzer and illustrator Melanie Chan as they immerse us in Chinese culture and natural history, with an art project following. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. Ed Popielarczyk’s Magical Moments. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Enjoy as professional magician, balloon sculptor, flea circus ringmaster, and storyteller brings his performance to Newton,a


Backyard and Beyond: Tracking with ‘PrimiTim’ Jan. 21. The Discovery Museums

s he delights and entertains children and adults alike. Free. Bass Departments Student Bash. David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St., Boston. 7:00 p.m. Enjoy some of the most talented, upand-coming bass playing students featured in this concert. Free. Something Rotten. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St.,

Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a hilarious smash telling the story of two brothers in the 1590s desperate to write their own play, and differentiate themselves from rock star William Shakespeare. Shows Through Sunday. $44-79.

21 Wednesday Winter Songfest. Newton Free Library,

Benkadi Drum and Dance: African Spirit. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston. 10:30 a.m.11:30 a.m. Enjoy this multicultural showcase of traditional West African rhythms and movements, bringing folktale to life with vivid costumes, interpretative dance, and audience participation. Free. WAM Stroller Tours. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Enjoy this docent-guided family-oriented tour featuring art, a story, and light refreshments. For ages 3 and under and siblings. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $16, youth ages 4 to 17 $6, ages under 4 free. Everyday Engineering: Balls and Ramps. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Drop-in and celebrate National Engineers week, as we design, build out, and test out some simple tracks and minirollercoasters. Through Thursday. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free.

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Hancock Shaker Village Pop-Up. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 11:00 a.m.3:00 p.m. Join this special pop-up where you can experience some of the Shaker Village’s famous crafts and activities. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $13, youth ages 4 and up $6, ages 3 and under free.

Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. 11:30 a.m.2:00 p.m. Enjoy this delightful selection of classic Russian animated artistry and humor, perfect for the entire family. Through Saturday. Free with admission. Adults $10, youths ages 3 and up $5, ages under 3 free.

Art for February Vacation. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Join us as we enter a world of artmaking discovery, creating unexpected electronic and analog art to psychedelic stitched weaving. Recommended for ages 5 to 12. Through Friday. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14, youth 12 and under free.

Hot Cocoa Bar & Pixar Shorts. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Come early to make cocoa you way using a bunch of fun toppings, before staying and enjoying some Pixar Short films. For ages 12 and under. Free.

Happy Feet. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 2:00 p.m.3:00 p.m. Enjoy this animated musical adventure following a penguin whose talents for dancing but problems singing force him on an adventure for acceptance. Free. Poetic Jazz. Berklee Performance Center,136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8:00 p.m. Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee students come together for a night of jazz infused with orchestral instrumentation. Advance $8, day-of $12.

22 Thursday Records and Burpee Zoo Show. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 11:00 a.m12:00 p.m. Meet live animals from the Records and Burpee Zoo and learn about their adaptations and what it means to keep them as pets. Member adults $5, children $3; nonmember adults $15, children $8; children ages 3 and under free. Scrumptious Science. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Come learn how science can also be served to fill your belly with something yummy. For ages 8 and up. Free.

23 Friday Berkshire Children’s Theater Presents Cinderella. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Enjoy as the talented young performers of Berkshire Children’s Theater bring to life the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. Through Saturday. Member adults $5, children $3; nonmember adults $15, children $8; children 3 and under free. Everyday Engineering: Tinfoil Ferries. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Drop-in as we celebrate National Engineers Week, as we investigate floating by building tinfoil boats and loading them with as many pennies as we can. Through Saturday. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. Russian Animated Short Films. Museum of

24 Saturday Play Date: Amazing Arts Adventure. The Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston. 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Explore the museum as we fill it with fun, creative, and zany ways for kids and adults to do together. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $15, youth 17 and under free. Kid Flix: Best of the Fest. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 11:00 a.m. Watch the audience favorite and award-winning shorts hand-picked from the annual New York International Children’s Film Festival. Adults $9, children $7. Teddy Bear Tea. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd., Concord. 12:00 p.m.1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Delight yourself with a favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal, as they join you for tea or cocoa, a simple craft, and museum admission. Register ahead. Member adults $20, children $17; nonmember adults $25, children $22. Maple Sugaring. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Join us as we tap, collect, and boil down sap from the Maple trees found at the Boston Nature Center, before enjoying a tasty maple treat as well. For ages 5 and up. Members $5, nonmembers $7. Pop Up Dance with UMass Amherst. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Join UMass Amherst’s Dance Education crew as it comes to play at the Museum to perform with big blue blocks of Imagination Playground. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $13, youth ages 4 and up $6, ages 3 and under free. My Little Pony: The Movie. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2:00 p.m. Watch as a gaggle of rainbow ponies take their friendship through an amazing adventure. Free. Build a Backyard Birdhouse. Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., Norfolk. 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Come identify the housing needs of several species of birds, before venturing to make our own birdhouses to take home. For ages 2.9 to 6. Register ahead. Member children $35, nonmem-

ber children $39, adults free. Family Owl Prowl. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Learn about owls in a hands-on indoor introduction, before a short hike to listen for owls and other nighttime wildlife. For ages 5 and up. Register ahead. Member adults $7, children $4; nonmember adults $9, children $6.

25 Sunday Karen K & the Jitterbugs. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy Boston’s favorite rock band for kids, that will have you clapping your hands, tapping your feet, and shaking your tails during this interactive show. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 135 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 1:00 p.m. Watch this film screening celebrating the life and art of poet and illustrator Ashley Bryan, whose children’s books, magical puppets, and art were inspired by his Africa heritage. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. Great American Songbook. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy this annual tribute series, as the best of Berklee comes forth to pay tribute to American icon Paul Simon. Advance $8-12, day-of $12-16.

26 Monday Composition Department Faculty Concert. David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St., Boston. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy this concert featuring the original work by faculty from the Composition Department at Berklee. Free.

27 Tuesday Matt Heaton Family Singalong. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10:00 a.m.10:45 a.m. Enjoy as the ‘Toddlerbilly Troubadour’ brings his infectious energy to his sing-alongs, peppered with well-known classics and his musical stylings on guitar and banjo. Icy Investigations. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Drop-in and experiment with different types of salt as you explore the unique characteristics of this solid state of water. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free.

28 Wednesday Sunset to Sunrise: Watercolors of the Night Sky. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Experiment with drawing tools and paint to create your own nocturnal scenes during this new every day art program. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6, ages under 1 free. BAYSTATEPARENT 19


BIG GAME SATURDAY TRAX’S BIRTHDAY PARTY Ashton Rome bobblehead giveaway presented by Blue Rock Energy


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Take a Glide Around Boston’s Frog Pond Nothing says winter like bundling up for some outdoor ice skating. Relatively inexpensive and suited for all ages and levels, it is one of the best ways to enjoy some frozen family fun. Lucky for us, there are plenty of ice skating locales are right in our backyard, from frozen ponds to popup ovals on town commons. But if you’re planning on lacing up your skates this month, why not make a day of it and take a jaunt into the city? Boston’s iconic Frog Pond was recently named the Best Skating Rink in the United States by USA Today. Beating out other rinks from New York City to San Francisco, the Frog Pond is a long-standing Boston destination. Visitors are drawn to this picturesque spot in America’s oldest public park. A wading pool in the warmer months, the Frog Pond, situated on the Boston Common, is converted into a rink every winter where families can enjoy a quintessential city skating experience – an outside glide with unbeatable skyline views. Skate rentals and sharpening,“skating seals” for children who are just learning, lockers and hot cocoa (of course!) are available on site. Just remember this is an outdoor rink with no indoor seating or heated area, so plan and dress accordingly. The prime location of the Frog Pond, in the heart of downtown Boston, makes it easy for skating be just one part of a day of urban fun. Take the T to the Museum of Science, snack and shop your way through Faneuil Hall Marketplace, walk the famous Freedom Trail or see what’s new the Boston Aquarium or Boston Children’s Museum. Want

to add some decadence to your day trip? Try the Saturday Chocolate Bar at the Langham Hotel’s Cafe Fleuri. The all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet features a Donut Wall where guests can decorate and adorn their own donuts with a variety of toppings. Ice skating is a workout – go ahead and treat yourself!

If You Go

Congratulations to Joshua Calkins!

Hours Monday 10 am to 3:45 pm Tuesday-Thursday 10 am to 9 pm Friday-Saturday 10 am to 10 pm Sunday 10 am to 9 pm Prices Admission based on skater’s height. 58 inches & over: $6; Under 58 inches: free Adult skate rentals: $12; Kids’ skate rentals: $6 Skate sharpening: $10 Lockers: $4 Bobby the Skating Seal: $15/hour

Tips • There’s parking right under the Common in the Boston Common Garage. Reserve a spot online at for a discounted rate. • Students with a college ID receive half-off skating admission on Tuesday nights. • Delays and closures during periods of inclement weather or emergency situations are announced at and on the organization’s social media accounts.



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Easy Metal Washer Necklace These adorable metal washer necklaces are inexpensive, and easy to make and customize. Perfect for all ages, they add a pop to any outfit. What You Need: • • • • • • •

Metal washer (any size will work) Scrapbook paper Sharp pencil Xacto knife and blade Sponge brush Mod Podge Glossy Accents (or other clear gloss medium) • Cord • Beads (optional, but cute!)

How to Make It: 1. Place the washer on scrapbook paper and use your pencil to trace along the outside and inner circle. 2. Cut the outline using the Xacto knife. 3. Apply Mod Podge to the matte side of the washer using the sponge brush. Carefully press the scrapbook circle to adhere; allow to dry for 24 hours. 4. Use Glossy Accents to apply a shiny topcoat to the washer. Take the tip of the bottle and carefully squeeze a line of glaze along the very outside edge of the washer. Repeat along the inside ring of the washer, then fill the two lines together. Let dry for 24 hours. 5. Cut cord to desired length. (Our was about 22 inches. Go shorter for a child’s necklace.) Fold the cord in half, and loop through the center of the washer. 6. Thread a bead on the cord on top of the washer, and tie a knot to secure it in place. 7. Tie ends of the cord together. Voila!


Empowering Teens through Smart Spending Helping teens learn to handle money can be a tricky proposition. Mistakes can quite literally be costly, but there's really no substitute for hands-on practice when it comes to managing finances. Children are the ultimate investment, so teach your teen to be a smart spender with these savvy tips: Start with saving. As a first step, open a savings account for your teen and involve them in the process. Use this opportunity to teach good habits, such as putting away a percentage of every paycheck, creating an emergency fund and setting savings goals for big purchases. Visit the bank together and explore the account options. Many banks offer incentives for high-balance accounts, and while your teen likely won't qualify, it's a valuable lesson to see the incentives available to big savers. Move on to basic checking. Although most banks still refer to their most accessible accounts as "checking" accounts, chances are that your teen is more likely to shop with a debit card or cash rather than checks. Still, knowing how to write a proper check is an important life skill - as are conducting debit transactions and understanding any fees associated with using the account. Create safe zones. Even after teaching them the fundamentals, letting teens make their own purchasing decisions can be a frightening prospect. Fortunately, if you know where to look, there are options available that offer teens a customizable level of autonomy while still under the oversight of a parent. For example, Amazon introduced a way for teens ages 13-17 to shop using their own, independent login linked to a parent's account. In addition to product recommendations, order

histories and lists tailored specifically to the teen's shopping history and interests, teens can exercise smart shopping decisions with access to customer reviews and comparison shopping tools. Parents have the option to review and approve every purchase, or set spending limits that offer teens the freedom to place orders up to a certain dollar amount on their own. In either case, parents receive notifications for every order and shipment. Set a budget. Part of smart spending is learning to shop within your means. Whether your teen's income is from a part-time job, allowance or a combination of the two, building a budget that defines expenses and expectations is essential. Like any budget, it should include all income sources and all expenses he or she is responsible for, including auto maintenance, gasoline, insurance and beyond. Reinforce the importance of saving by including a regular savings allocation. Putting all of these numbers to paper lets your teen see clearly where the money is going and how much is left over for extracurricular spending. Put safety nets in place. No matter how much planning is done in advance, surprise expenses will inevitably pop up. Teens can prepare for these expenses while also guarding against mistakes and the temptation to over-spend by taking advantage of special services available through banking institutions, such as setting a per-transaction or daily spending limit and investing in overdraft coverage. Ultimately, money management skills come with time and practice. Creating a safe environment for your teen to practice these life lessons sooner rather than later can pay dividends down the road.

s p o h s k r o W n o i t a c a V February 20 - 23, 2018

Discover the many ways artists express themselves and then give it a try!

These fun, hands-on workshops for 3 to 17 year-olds include gallery visits and exploring art techniques in the studios. Two and four hour workshops available.

Extended day available. Enroll today!


Learning Beyond Reading The Myriad of Ways Children Learn BY JODI DEE


eading is of course one of the most important elements to learning. Children learn to read, then read to learn, especially in formal and traditional schooling. But children learn in a myriad of ways -- not just by reading. Learning is multi-faceted, especially for young children. The brain is developing well before a child can even recognize a letter. The National Early Learning Standards and Frameworks organize how a child learns into domains that target the essential areas in proper growth and development. To simplify, we’ve grouped these into four main areas of learning:

meaning that more than one connection is happening at a time. One connection triggers or affects another. Areas of learning will overlap and some activities will reach all learning connections and domains at once. If a child plays a game of ball, for example, she is using more than one connection:

Language, Cognitive, Physical, Social & Emotional.

• She will talk before, during and after the game with other players and friends (Social/Emotional)

Children should have exposure to all of these areas each day. Though these are grouped into areas, children learn in an integrated fashion, 24 FEBRUARY2018

• She will call to another player (Language) • She will follow instructions by her coach or imagine she is her favorite professional player on the field (Cognitive) • She will use her hands and arms to catch and throw and legs to run (Physical)

Even though a child appears to be doing one activity, many connections are happening at the same time.

LANGUAGE This is the area of learning that refers to the child’s ability to understand and communicate the spoken and written language in which he or she is immersed. Educators refer to this as “receptive and expressive language.” A developing fetus is already constructing language through hearing and listening (people talking, music, or sounds around its mother). This is the first experience of receptive language, and it continues every time a child hears a spoken word. Expressive language is the ability to speak or communicate. This progresses from crying, smiling, cooing and babbling, to single words, two words, and then sentences. Language is the most complex function of the brain. A child learns to express himself by first learning from and using words he or she hears. Indicators of a child’s progress through Language and Literacy

Development: • Hears and can distinguishs the sounds of words • Sits and pays attention to a story • Recognizes sounds as letters and words (phonetic) • Understands and follows 2-4 step directions Expressive Language • Asks and answers relevant questions (juice or milk) • Recalls words in a song or rhyme • Can tell or repeat a simple story • Understands and figures out meaning from formal books (non-fiction) • Uses words to express feelings and ideas • Talks with other children during


observes and makes discoveries

• Makes up stories

• Uses planning skills (socks before shoes)

• Speaks in increasingly complex sentences (more than 3 to 10 words in a sentence) • Talks in a group (more than 2 children in a conversation) Literacy (Writing) • Enjoys and uses books appropriately (front to back, turns pages) • Recognize pictures and text on a page • Understands the meaning of some print (signs like McDonald’s or a stop sign) • Recognizes written words (their name, Dad, Mom) • Imitates by writing some letters, names, and numbers • Makes increasingly representational drawings (draws face or body with parts) A child continues to learn language through all these areas, beyond just reading. A child hearing and having conversations is a very important part of increasing vocabulary and knowledge. Simply by having conversations with your children about where the calendar came from or discussing how the President was elected can increase their understanding.

COGNITIVE This is the area of learning that refers to the psychology of thinking and how children acquire and use their increasing knowledge. It establishes the foundation for curiosity, exploration, creative thinking, imagination, planning, math basics and computation, as well as logic and reasoning. Cognitive learning is the gathering of information and putting it together, which creates knowledge -- for example, a stove is hot to touch but used for cooking. Playing with blocks, Legos, and different manipulatives help build these connections. Construction of knowledge is a child’s ability to be aware of and learn from what is around him. This involves reasoning and problem solving skills, logical and symbolic thinking, memory, concentration, attention span, and the ability to understand concepts. Indicators of a child’s progress through Cognitive Development: • Shows curiosity and a desire to learn (ask questions) • Shows interest in exploring,

• Shows creativity and imagination (scribbles a picture and names it) • Applies information and experience to a new situation (burns hand and learns not to touch stove again) • Persists at task (will depend on the child, 5-15 minutes) Logical Thinking and Memory • Classifies objects as same (2 apples) and different (1 apple, 1 orange) • Sorts objects that are the same (apples with apples) • Recalls a sequence of events (1st, 2nd, 3rd) • Arranges objects in a series (a line, a circle) • Recognizes patterns and can repeat them (red white, white red) • Increases in awareness of cause and effect (rain makes things wet) Ability to Understand Concepts • Can make believe a pretend role or pretend situation • Can make believe with objects • Can sustain pretend play with friends (this will change with age, at young ages even until 4 years old, children parallel play rather than engage, stand next to each other while doing an activity) • Can make and interpret representations (drawing, writing, building with blocks) • Shows increasing awareness of time concepts (now, later, today, tomorrow) • Shows understanding of space concepts (here, there, home, school) An older child needs to continue to use his or her body and explore and experience the world around them and evolve their fine motor skills. Even taking a child fishing adds a completely new element of experience and a context for understanding an ecosystem. When a child has had a exposure to something; their ability to comprehend what they read changes.

PHYSICAL This is the area of learning that refers to a child’s physical growth, large and small muscle motor skills development, increasing control

over body and bodily functions, and the development of the five senses. Children’s physical growth is monitored by pediatricians with regular physical exams beginning at birth. Children are asked to perform tasks at the doctor’s office, which inform the pediatrician of the normal range of the child’s growth. They will progress from asking if they know who Mommy is, can say Mommy, can write a letter to writing their name, to tying their shoes, brushing their teeth, etc. All these are general indicators of proper development. When your child enters formal schooling the tests become more specific, and screenings determine where the child stands against an average. Indicators of a child’s progress through the range of skill for 2-7 year olds: • Walks up and down steps with alternating feet • Tumbles • Hops, skips • Runs with increasing control overspeed • Climbs up or down equipment without falling • Jumps over and from objects without falling • Uses large muscles for balance (beam, tip-toe, stand on one foot) • Catches and throws a ball with aim • Pedals and steers a tricycle • Pumps on a swing • Handedness (left or right) • Grips (fists or fingers) • Coordinates eye hand movement (puzzles, uses object with control) • Cuts with scissors • Self-help skills, buttons, zips, ties • Uses writing/drawing tools with increasing intention • Prints letter/numbers The Five Senses • Able to discriminate sounds (cow, bell, wind)

• Able to discriminate visual cues (red is red, green is green) • Able to discriminate taste and smell (sweet, sour) • Able to discriminate the difference in texture (rough, smooth) All children to use their bodies every day in some form of activity, which enhances their ability to retain information and knowledge. Exercise stimulates brain growth, boosts attention, and helps young children to improve their gross motor skills.

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL This is the area of learning that refers to healthy emotional and social development and is the heart of a child’s ability to learn. When a child feels emotionally secure, a child is receptive to learning. As adults, we know it is difficult to concentrate in a state of stress if there has been a fight with a significant other or a job loss. If there is something bothering us, it can be difficult to make it through the day. Children are affected in the same way, even if it may be just hearing their parents fighting. A social connection is a child’s ability to get along with others and to make friends, to find her own identity, and to understand practice what is right from wrong. An emotional connection is a child’s ability to experience positive feelings of competency and self-esteem about himself, and to express emotions (love, hate, anger, sadness, loneliness, etc.) in positive and socially acceptable way. Indicators of a child’s progress and progression through social/emotional connections: Emotional • Is able to separate from parent • Shows trust in other adults (allows BAYSTATEPARENT 25

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another adult to feed them) • Can adapt to new situations (stays with relative or babysitter)

• Respects rules by following them

• Recognizes feelings in others

• Plays and works well with other children

• Feels confident in growing abilities (I did it myself)

• Thinks through and negotiates conflict with others

• Asserts self (stands up for rights)

Emotional maturity is developed by experiencing different social settings and interacting with other children beyond the limited time to socialize in a classroom. Children need to develop connections with other children through outside sports or club activities or playing with friends in a neighborhood. By navigating friendships and different personalities, they learn proper boundaries and relationships.

• Seeks help when needed (needs help cutting out a picture)

• Assumes responsibility for self (puts of her own jacket)

Hand-cut Steaks • Fresh Seafood Vegetarian Specialties • Sandwiches

Social • Identifies self as a member of a family or culture • Shows pride in heritage or background

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• Follows routines

• Recognizes own feelings (asks for a hug)

• Shows self-direction and independence

Draft Beer • Craft Cocktails • Full Bar • Serving Lunch and Dinner

• Respects the property and rights of others

• Seeks out other children and adults • Shares toys and materials with others

Published author Jodi Dee is a mother of three who holds a B.A. in psychology and M.Ed. Her recent books, Create a Home of Learning, the Jesse True series, and The Dirt Girl, are available at



Beast and the

FIRST and THIRD TUESDAY of each month 10:30-11:15 AM

“…Mary was a bookworm. Sometimes when her siblings went out to play, she’d stay at home reading. Other times when she joined them, as often as not she’d eventually slip away to a secluded spot where they’d find her later, engrossed in a book.” — From A World More Bright: The Life of Mary Baker Eddy by Isabel Ferguson and Heather Vogel Frederick

Saturday March 17th at 1 & 6PM Sunday March 18th at 1PM

In this children’s program, young visitors will not only listen to stories but also engage in playful activities. Recommended for bookworms 5 years old and younger with adults.

Casey Theatre, Regis College

No registration required.

235 Wellesley Street, Weston, MA

Tickets $20-$28  Free Parking

Order online @ or call 978-263-7794



200 Massachusetts Ave., Boston MA 02115 For more information, please contact our Educational Programs Coordinator 617-450-7203 |

Our pediatrics department

TEAMKIDS makes every kid feel like a star player.

Our pediatrics department is currently accepting new patients. Find a pediatrician and learn more about our child- and family-centered services at

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BAYSTATEPARENT 27 8/21/17 10:57 AM


Social Skills Tips for Children with ASD on Valentine’s Day BY JILL MCGRALE MAHER, M.A., BCBA, LABA

In the weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, classrooms, stores, and commercials are covered in hearts, cupid cutouts, and other decorations in an array of red, pink, and purple, with messages of relationships and love. Valentine’s Day creates mixed reactions, emotions, and pressure for people of all ages, including adults and teenagers. For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Valentine’s Day can create an array of emotional confusion. Yet, it can also provide parents and teachers the perfect teaching opportunity about social skills and social relatedness, better enabling these children to relate to their peers over the shared interest of this special day. The first step in making Valentine’s Day a successful teaching opportunity, as well as a success of its own, is to identify your child’s fears and deficits in the area of social skills and to help untangle the emotions involved. Interviews or questionnaires can help identify areas of need with many children, while direct observation can be more beneficial with others. Areas that can be difficult for children and teens with ASD include, but are not limited to: • Nonverbal cues/body language – with regard to attending to others, reading nonverbal social cues and determining how to adjust behavior accordingly, discriminating between boredom and welcoming cues, sarcasm vs. sincerity, respecting others’

belongings, personal space, personal hygiene, odd facial expression,; odd mannerisms, and manners • Dealing with anger/frustration – with regard to defining anger, identifying causes for anger, identifying strategies to deal with anger • Dealing with anxiety -- identifying causes, situations, triggers for anxiety, and identifying strategies to deal with anxiety • Conversation – as far as greeting; introductions; interrupting; active listening; getting to know interests of others; starting, maintaining, ending, and “repairing” conversations; calling and texting friends • Building and maintaining relationships -- finding friends, sharing friends, what to talk about, respecting others opinions, avoiding peer pressure, empathy, sharing personal information, sportsmanship, conflict resolution, teasing, bullying • Dating -- defining what a date is, when and how to ask someone on a date, reading signals, sexual harassment, dating do’s and don’ts • Spending time with groups of friends/peers • Dealing with school and family demands -- what demands are reasonable, dealing with frustration, working cooperatively, dealing with stressful situations, negotiating,

strategies As with all skills that we teach our children with ASD, social skills require specialized teaching. Every child with ASD is different, but there are many methods that can work in individual, group and self-instructional teaching formats. One way is to use your child’s preferred interest (i.e., super heroes, video games, Legos) to help in Valentine’s Day by creating cards. Or, give your child the chance to help in selecting the type of candy or snack or to accompany their Valentine’s Day cards. Many schools have Valentine’s Day parties, so it is important for parents to find out from their child’s teacher what the schedule will be so that you can prepare your child with a timeframe and practice the routine. Visual schedules can be very successful, including any changes in actual scheduled events, different people that may be present, changes in furniture, etc. Social stories may be helpful. Purchase a social story or create one of your own including a review of what will happen, with pictures if possible. Reviewing a social story several times prior to the event can be very helpful for many children. If your child is on a special diet, parents may want notify the teacher ahead of time so that your child can be included. Teach your child about different situations that may happen

on Valentine’s Day by role playing exchanging Valentine’s cards or treats. Role-play and rehearse everything including personal space, eye-contact, voice volume, and turn taking. For older children, parents can discuss with their child the purpose behind Valentine’s Day and provide more detail. Roleplay how to react in different situations that may occur. Several days prior to an event, role-play and rehearse exactly what is expected. It can be very helpful to actually visit where the event will take place, as well. For teens who may have a date, review everything including hygiene, manners, what to say, conversation starters, endings, how to save a conversation, etc. Roleplay as much as you can. Jill McGrale Maher is Program Director of Behavioral Concepts (BCI) Fitchburg location. BCI provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children with autism and their families in central Massachusetts. BCI is a Massachusetts Department of Public Health approved provider of specialty ABA services for early intervention, and also provides center, home-based, and afterschool services. Further information is available at

We’re Here to Help Whether your loved one with special needs is an adult or a child, we can help with: • Special Needs Planning • Transition Planning & Adult Services • Advocacy • Guardianship & Alternatives Contact Frederick M. Misilo, Jr., Esq. 508.459.8059 or

Art by Filly Mastrangelo, an artistentrepreneur living with autism 28 FEBRUARY2018


Because it takes expert care to deliver a miracle

Bringing miracles to life is our passion at the LaChance Maternity Center at Heywood Hospital. Our expert team of physicians, nurses and doulas, provide personalized attention in a state-of-the-art environment that promotes a tranquil and natural birthing experience, resulting in the lowest caesarean birth rate in the state. And our specialty services – from our post-birth celebration dinner to our rejuvenating spa treatments including relaxing whirlpool hydrotherapy, post-partum massage therapy, music therapy and aromatherapy – will leave you feeling just heavenly. To find out more about the services offered at the LaChance Maternity Center visit To register for a Childbirth Class or schedule a tour of the LaChance Maternity Center call (978) 630-6216.

242 Green Street, Gardner, MA 01440 | (978) 632-3420 |

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BAYSTATEPARENT 29 7/11/14 10:09 PM


4 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy All Winter BY SAAD DINNO, RPH. AND RAIED DINNO, RPH.

The winter months are here and as the temperature drops, we often begin to feel that slight sniffle in our nose. Although the “common cold” has that name for a reason, there are things we can do and practices we can teach those around us, especially our children, to avoid catching colds (and the school absences that they create). Follow these simple health tips to keep you and your child healthy this winter.

1. Get a flu shot This should be the first thing that comes to mind when avoiding the flu. Yes, it is true, you can still get the flu after receiving the shot, but getting the vaccine can decrease one’s chances of coming down with the flu by up to 60 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These are odds every parent should take. The flu vaccine protects against the most common types of seasonal flu viruses and is readily available at most pharmacies and at your doctor’s office. If you or your child has not been immunized yet, it is not too late. Immunizations for other respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia, are available and should be discussed with your doctor, especially if you or your family members have asthma or other respiratory conditions.

2. Wash your hands Germs are everywhere and it’s extremely hard to keep track of everything you or your child touches during the course of the day. Frequent hand-washing will prevent the spread of colds and flu. The CDC states that keeping hands clean is one of the most crucial steps in maintaining health and avoiding germs. Hand-washing should always be part of your child’s daily routine, but during the winter months, it’s even more important. Having your child wash their hands after coming home from school or activities is ideal, and can cut down germ-spreading dramatically. This simple hygiene step is particularly important after using the bathroom and before eating. While you are not with your children during the school day, you can remind them before they leave for the day to wash hands while at school. 30 FEBRUARY2018

3. Medicines for the common cold As parents, there are several types of medicines, decongestants, antihistamines and fever-reducing medications, to have on hand at all times, especially during the winter when common colds spread like wildfire. Each of the relief medications function in specific ways and people react differently to them, so finding the right medication for yourself and for your child is important. Decongestants reduce swelling of nasal passages, thereby increasing airflow, which in turn decreases the amount of pressure to your head. These medications can definitely help in getting over that common winter cold. If you and your children are typically more congested, then these types of medications, which come in pill form or nasal spray, are highly recommended. Decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than three days. Antihistamines work differently than decongestants, but also are an important source of relief. These types of medications block histamines, which can cause irritation in your nasal passages. Common side effects are drowsiness and dizziness, so it is important that they are taken before resting rather than while active. Fever-reducing medications help not only with fever reduction, but the aches, pains and general unwell feeling associated with fevers. The two medications, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, each have their benefits and drawbacks. Acetaminophen is well tolerated by most children, and comes in a variety of dosage forms. Ibuprofen can cause upset stomach, and should be taken with food or milk to help reduce that side effect. The key with all over-the-counter medications is to make sure you are not overdosing yourself or your child. Make sure that what you

are giving is a single-medication product (like acetaminophen) instead of a multi-medication product (like cold and cough medicine). This reduces the risk of giving your child too much of any one medication since multi-medication products may contain a medication you have already given your child. Keeping a calendar in a central location and marking when the last dose was given will help you and other caregivers make sure extra doses are avoided. Of course, with any medication, it’s important to consult with your doctor or pharmacist to determine what is right for you and your child.

4. Stay hydrated Hydration is critically important in any season and at any stage of life. Drink water at every meal and ensure that your child drinks water consistently throughout the day, but particularly when doing any type of physical activity and playing outdoors. While all drinks have water as an ingredient, drinking pure water is best as there is no added sugar, unlike juice, soda, or sport drinks. Saad and Raied Dinno, brothers, are registered pharmacists and co-owners of Acton Pharmacy, Keyes Drug in Newton, and West Concord Pharmacy.


Bringing Education, Awareness to Mental Illness Through


Dr. Gene Beresin knows media. As a long-time physician and professor working at Massachusetts General Hospital, he has also been called upon to serve as a consultant on popular television shows like ER and Law and Order: SVU. But, despite helping Hollywood get medicine right, he still felt, over all, the media’s portrayal of mental illness was way off base. “People were getting it wrong,” said Beresin. “Journalists aren’t trained in this area. I decided I wanted to devote my career to teaching the public about mental health.” With that mission in mind, Beresin was part of the initial effort to launch the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at MGH four years ago, where he is now executive director. The Clay Center is an online educational resource dedicated to promoting and supporting the mental, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing of children, teens, and young adults. “People want tips,” said Beresin, explaining what he hopes the Clay Center can deliver. “They want to understand what certain things mean and how they can talk about family events, like: What do you do when a pet dies? Or, should I send my kid to their room? What is ADHD? How do I talk to my kids about terrorism? About politics? About sexual harassment? We want to cover not just mental health and illness, but also social and political and topical issues that affect youth and families. And this is a resource people can go to that is a practical guide around mental health and emotional health.” The Clay Center’s newest tool in its mission to educate is a multimedia effort to initiate an ongoing conversation about mental health. It will include a series of short films and video podcasts called “Shrinking it Down: Mental Health Made Simple,” and will be available at “We recognize that video is the

most powerful and popular platform for bringing information to parents and young people. We have created these productions to raise awareness about mental health, and to help de-stigmatize mental illness, while inspiring parents and families to get more involved and ask more questions about the whole health of children in their lives,” said Beresin. A new short film will be released every three months and the aim to make the content approachable and interesting, but also science based. The Clay Center partnered with filmmaker Eric Lu to produce the series of short films on topics such as mental illness in kids, parental regret, and recognizing great strengths in children and teens with varying abilities. Lu attended medical school and had Beresin as a professor. But instead of pursuing a career in medicine, he chose to go into filmmaking instead and eventually ended up working with Beresin on the Clay Center project. “Personally, my mission is films that heal,” said Lu. “The films have to be interesting and engaging, but if you are able to infuse a message of hope, there can be a lot of power in stories and films. Lu said he is pleased to already be hearing about the impact of the films’ stories and even received an email from someone who said they had been contemplating suicide, but after watching one of the films, the letter writer felt they had a reason to keep living. “Videos are becoming an essential part of our life now,” said Lu. “Being able to tell a story with video has a tremendous potential to move people.” One of the films Lu worked on, titled Looking for Luke, tackles the very difficult subject of suicide and delves into the life of Luke Tang, an Asian-American young man who took his life. “The interviews on that film were hours long and those we interviewed

afterward said the process was healing for them,” noted Lu. “Most people are willing to share vulnerably. That often catches us by surprise – what people are willing to share and that vulnerability. But it builds connections and empathy.” The overall effort includes blogs and podcasts in addition to the films, paving the way to what Beresin called a “2.0” version of the Clay Center site. “Our mission with this new launch is to find as many ways as we can to

open conversations, to tell stories. We want to use narratives to teach and inform and reach people and engage people.” Joan Goodchild is a veteran writer and editor, and a mom of two living in Central Massachusetts.

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Follow today: Conversations to Keep You Healthy and Well BAYSTATEPARENT 31

their own rooms and pillows—they will feel special and sleepy.


Whole Family Holistic Health:

• Calming: basil, geranium, clove • Stress Relieving: sandalwood, mint, rose • Energizing: ginger, eucalyptus, juniper


Winter Ideas for Your Whole Tribe

Dry skin anyone? Between cranking up the heat to stay warm, indoor lighting and low humidity, and sitting fireside, wintertime can feel like you’re frying up from the inside out. This is also the way to think about hydration—from the inside out. Daily warm oil self-massage before bathing called Abhyanga can be part of every person’s daily routine to nourish all the layers of tissue in the body and balance the nervous system. Sesame oil is considered to be the king of oils. For busier days, scalp and foot massage can have numerous benefits, and children love a mini-massage before bed to help them relax.




ou’ve got a yoga strap at home and a juice bar on speed dial. Your family eats mostly whole foods, and your children are able to consistently identify odd-shaped organic fruits and vegetables at the local farmer’s market. Most days you sort of meditate—or at least take a couple of deep breaths if you’re short on time (which let’s face it, is almost every day). You know about probiotic gut health and excessive screen time, and sometimes even remember to toss a fish oil gummy to your kids before you all rush out the door. Of course you’d consider yourself a holistic person! You are at the helm of this wellness ship steering everyone toward lasting health and well-being. Or are you? At any given time, at least one person in the house is worn out, tired, rushed, anxious, has a headache or difficulty sleeping, and is complaining about something. But that’s life, right? Yes, and no. True holistic health goes beyond the physical and psychological, taking into consideration all levels of a person and their environment. According to Ayurveda—India’s ancient healing system that’s often called “the science of life”— balance and wellness come from the art of daily living. Simple actions and daily routine coupled with living with awareness can help make lifestyle choices toward whole health. Ayurveda says everything external becomes internal. Let’s take a bird’seye view of the five senses for some


whole family wellness guidelines.

Sound What’s the noise pollution level at in your home? In this digital age we live in, the near constant drone of buzzing and incoming alerts from multiple appliances, computers, and wireless devices can feel like an assault. Have you ever considered your emotional response to all of this noise? It’s no wonder ‘misophonia,’ the hatred of sound, has emerged as a modern disorder. Reduce the irritation and ambient noise in your home by simply switching your gear off when not in use (there are those times, right?), and play some relaxing ambient sounds your whole family can benefit from. Many holistic systems of medicine believe being in tune with nature helps to support our biological rhythms and reduce stress. Since winter affords us less of an opportunity to be in the great outdoors, this is the perfect time to turn up the noise of nature. Experiment with country night crickets, ocean, thunderstorm, and rainforest sounds with family members around, and read the room. Sure your kids might make fun of you, but hey, they’ll be more relaxed when they do it! Finally, hang a wind chime on your porch and outside of your children’s bedroom window to promote sound healing and tranquil sleep. This is also believed to help dispel nightmares.

Sight Color therapy is simple yet effective, and is the perfect tool to contrast the stark and sometimes depressing landscape of winter we are all stuck with here in New England. Orange and red are both warming colors, and can be easily worked into the home by updating your throw pillows and splurging on fresh flowers to bring cheer to every room. No need to wait until spring to visit the nursery—plant a windowsill herb garden with your kids. Keep it simple with basil, fennel, and mint you can use for hot tea later. Pick up some plants to wash the air inside your home and enjoy the calming effect of the color green, believed to soothe emotions and bring happiness.

Smell You knew it was coming… aromatherapy! With diffusers and essential oils widely available on practically every store shelf, there’s no excuse not to recreate your favorite scents at home. As a holistic application, aromatherapy is believed to prevent and combat illness and enhance the body’s natural ability to maintain balance for health and spiritual wellbeing. From simply lighting a candle to preparing a custom oil blend, anyone can experiment with the effects of different aromas. And who doesn’t love a lavender pillow spray before bed? Kids’ bedtime routine getting stale? Have them spray

It may be tempting to hop on the latest superfood train or master cleanse trend this winter, especially if ‘binge-watched’ has become part of your vocabulary or you’re trying on bathing suits for an upcoming vacation, but resist the urge! Ayurveda’s system of health believes individuals should eat according to their unique bodily constitution, with an awareness of changing environmental conditions like season. How can one trend be right for every person all of the time? Does it make sense to drink cold, raw juice if you’re chilled? A bowl of warming soup would feel much better. Holistic health is all about developing awareness between mind, body, and spirit and responding in kind to maintain or restore good health. Generally, denser and oilier foods can be enjoyed in the winter, as digestive fires are believed to be strong. Healthy fats and proteins, along with warming spices and grounding soups and stews will keep you warm and energized all winter long. Switch out your gut-freezing cold smoothie for a warm, spiced almond milk or homemade chai. Gregory is a Boston-based freelance writer, mother, and Holistic Health Educator specializing in all aspects of Ayurveda. She has a passion for maximizing vitality through nutrition and supporting children’s wellness policies in public schools. The information provided in her article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or to treat or diagnose any health problem.


Clear Your Mind of Clutter

Minimalism expert Rachel Jonat on how simple intentions can benefit your mental health



As an expert and sought-after speaker on the topic of minimalism, Rachel Jonat’s signature phrase on her blog, The Minimalist Mom, is “a rich life with less stuff.” But she’s evolved in her minimalist journey, which began in 2010 when she felt bogged down with all of the items and stuff involved in becoming a new mom, and began pursuing a life with significantly fewer possessions. Recently she began advocating not only for clearing out and living with less physical stuff, but also with less brain clutter. In her new book, The Joy of Doing Nothing, Jonat offers suggestions and reasons for taking time daily to do nothing. “We are so connected in ways no other generation has been,” Jonat said. “We don’t have a lot of silence in our life and we have very little time in our lives when we aren’t processing things. It is very draining. Doing nothing is an important wellness piece that’s missing in our lives.” Jonat’s been a well-known resource on living minimally for years. Her blog was launched as a guide and inspiration for decluttering, where she took readers through her journey of cleaning out her life and selling items to pay off debt. Now fully entrenched in the minimalist lifestyle, it only makes sense, she said, that her philosophy would evolve to include her mental space, as well. Her new book is about “trying to find pockets of time to do nothing,” she said. “To re-energize throughout the day with little breaks of undistracted time. For busy parents, it’s about turning yourself off, ignoring the pangs of guilt and simply being for a while.” That means pausing throughout the day to really do nothing. Really. No checking your phone in the grocery store line. No taking a mental inventory of the chores you need to get done that afternoon. Jonat suggests we pause throughout the day, take a deep breath, and choose to be mindful for a small portion of time. It can happen anywhere, she said. Waiting in line to check out is just

one example. For Jonat, choosing to incorporate more mindful, peaceful moments throughout her day has been transformative. “As I’ve practiced it myself, I’ve become more aware of mental space and what I give my time and attention to, and what I fill my brain with. I think it is an important part to trying to live an intentional life. I value being present, and time with my family, and the call to electronics can really take you away from that,” she said. How can you incorporate doing nothing into your life and wellness practice? Like much of what Jonat espouses, it’s really quite simple. Start by carving out a dedicated five or 10 minutes daily that is spent doing nothing. “Find a ten-minute window in the day that you can give to yourself,” Jonat advised. “Say ‘I’m not going to check my phone.’ It might mean just going to pour glass of water and then sit. Just be awake with nothing distracting you. For parents, it could mean shutting down for a bit before the kids come home and give ten minutes to emptying the brain of work stress or other lingering stress.” Build from there to several times a day. Jonat says it is about allowing yourself to be bored, periodically. And as our minds clear, we can more easily connect with our spiritual side. “When people come back from a vacation in the woods, with no electronics and distractions, they have their eyes wide open as to how that peaceful that makes them feel,” said Jonat. “That’s what this practice is about too. This is really about thinking about what time costs you. Make a guide for yourself and be intentional about what you give your time to each day.” Joan Goodchild is a veteran writer and editor, and a mom of two living in Central Massachusetts.

8 pm


Saturday Nights 8 pm Check out our website for upcoming events! • 25 Grafton Common, Grafton, MA

Storing Stem Cells


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Could Avoiding Addiction be as Simple as Postponing Substance Use? BY JOAN GOODCHILD


he data on addiction growth in Massachusetts is clear: substance abuse, particularly when it comes to opioids, is increasing. According to the state’s Department of Public Health, in 2000, about one-third of admissions to substance abuse treatment centers and programs were opioid related. By 2015, opioid-related admissions had increased to more than half, overtaking alcohol as the No. 1 reason people seek treatment. Despite the growth, there are still underserved areas in Massachusetts when it comes to addiction specialization and treatment. That is where Dr. Ruth Potee comes in. The western Massachusetts native attended medical school and trained at what was then Boston City Hospital. Upon returning to the area where she was raised, Potee found the availability of treatment options for residents in the area to be scarce. “At Boston City Hospital, addiction

was part of what I did. It was a normal part of care,” said Potee. “And when I moved to Franklin County, I remember asking ‘Who’s taking care of people with addiction?’ The answer was ‘nobody.’” Now as a family physician and addiction medicine specialist at Valley Medical Group in Greenfield, she is focused on the fight against the disease of addiction. Potee says approximately one-third of the patients she sees are struggling with addiction of all kinds. And she works to spread the message that as a significant segment of the population struggles with addiction, it should not be viewed with stigma. “Addiction is not a moral failing or a mark against your character or the result of having been brought up by bad parents,” she said. “It is a true disease, like all chronic diseases. Much like diabetes is a disease and a disorder, we need to look at addiction that way, too.”

Stopping addiction early Potee’s goal in working to combat addiction is to encourage more dialogue and communication around the disease. She hopes parents, grandparents and the community in

general will gain more confidence to have frank discussions around the topic. She regularly presents at schools and community spaces around New England to educate parents about addiction and the adolescent brain; an area that she believes needs special attention. “All addiction is a pediatric disease,” said Potee. “It starts when the brain is developing. If you ask people who struggle with addiction when was the first time they began using substances, they will almost always say age 12, 13 or 14.” Which is why Potee feels it is crucial to educate this age group and their parents now. As Potee notes, addiction in adulthood could be avoided simply by delaying use of substances until the mid-twenties age range. “If we could hold off on using substances until the brain is developed, until 22, 23, you won’t [perhaps] develop an addiction,” said Potee. This piece of information startling, but encouraging. Postponing use of any drugs and alcohol until adulthood can actually stop addiction? It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? That’s because it is, said Potee, but also complicated by society. “The legal drinking age is 21,” she noted. “But we know there are many young people who start much earlier than that with peers. But kids should know their predisposition to addiction, because genetics play a huge role. They should be told if there is addiction in their family history. They should know that as much as basic health information like their height, or weight, or not to a lot of drink soda. Those are the kids that need to be informed and truly delay substance use in childhood and adolescence.” Potee explained that addiction takes root in adolescence due to the

process of synaptic refinement in this stage of life. The brain at this age, she said, is clipping back many electrical connections in the brain. “Adolescence is about developing an ordered brain and addiction gets in the way. And then people’s lives go off the rails later in life.” She said another factor that can influence later risk for addiction is childhood trauma, such as a bad divorce, abuse, or loss, which sets up pathways in the brain where using a substance feels better. “The pressures teens are under are extraordinary,” said Potee. “A lot of teens will turn to drugs or alcohol because they are desperate to feel different than they feel right now.” One bit of good news is that despite an increase in overall opioid abuse in the state, teen substance abuse itself is actually down. A number of national organizations that monitor teen substance abuse find a continued long-term decline in the use of many illicit substances, including marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, and the misuse of prescription medications, among this age group. This is encouraging, said Potee. “I don’t want people to feel hopeless and feel there’s nothing that can be done when it comes to this issue. This generation has the lowest use of substances in decades,” she said. “I spend a lot of time telling my kids they are doing a great job avoiding drugs and alcohol, because they are.” Joan Goodchild is a veteran writer and editor, and a mom of two living in Central Massachusetts.

Much like diabetes is a disease and a disorder, we need to look at addiction that way, too. – Dr. Ruth Potee


Pro Photographer Mom Shares Her Secrets of Great Photos BY MELISSA SHAW


assachusetts mom and award-winning photojournalist Paula Ferazzi Swift says parents can take great pictures of their kids, and her new book shows them exactly how to do it. Storytelling Portrait Photography: How to Document the Lives of Children and Families is the Longmeadow native’s first book and shares her secrets for taking great pictures. “I want to show people how I did it — nuts and bolts,” says Swift, a former Worcester Telegram & Gazette photographer who was part of the paper’s 1999 Pulitzer Prize finalist photojournalism team. She worked at the newspaper from 1995 to 2005, leaving to start

her own business, Paula Swift Photography (, after the birth of her second of three sons. “I had two little kids, my husband was traveling. I didn’t want to go back to news,” she says. Inspired by photographing her own infant and toddler, Swift began taking on portrait clients in 2004, experimenting to see what she liked and what worked. Her journalism background and her own preferences helped Swift create a catchthe-moment style that’s prevalent today, more than a decade before it was ubiquitous and found on every mother’s Facebook wall. Her style of portrait photography, she discovered, was not unlike the events she spent a decade capturing

around Worcester County. “It’s very similar. I’m capturing kids on the go, and I try not to interrupt,” she notes. “Most news and sports, you just shoot, shoot, shoot, and that’s what I try to do with my clients.” In the mid-2000s, family photography was just beginning to move from traditional staid portrait studios and pull-down backdrops to today’s reactive settings of homes, outdoors, prop-filled studios, and more. “I had to really teach people this is not in-studio,” she says. “That was the first thing when I first started because they were so used to studio settings, nothing was outdoors.” Using examples of her work to illustrate her points, Swift’s book details expert advice on everything

Swift’s top tips for family photo shoot success: • Let your children have fun. • Don’t worry about them looking at the camera (or not looking). • Give them something to do: throw leaves, eat watermelon outside, blow bubbles, etc. • Let them be natural. What do they like to do? • If you want a nice smile, don’t ask them to say,

from props and pets to locations and lighting, showing how amateurs (and fellow pros) can set their shot up for success (including lens length, aperture, and shutter speed for each shot). “I want readers to learn how to capture children and families on the go and document them having fun,” she says. “It’s almost like I’m a paparazzi. I want you to feel happy or some kind of emotions when you look at the work, and have a lasting memory; that’s what I want these families to have, too.”

“Cheese!” “Spaghetti” or “zucchini” will provide a more natural smile. • Avoid nap time, lunch time, and times of day when your children are not in their best moods. • Get the family pet involved, which makes everyone behave more naturally. • Bribery? “It’s OK,” Swift laughs. • Don’t force your children to get their pictures taken. “As any parent knows, the more you try to get them to do something, the more they resist,” she notes. “If you have an idea in your head and it doesn’t work, move on.”


Girls Just Want To Have Likes? Navigating Your Child’s Social Media Use BY JOAN GOODCHILD

As a life coach and parenting educator, Laurie Wolk repeatedly hears the same two questions at speaking engagements: “How do we deal with our children using social media?” “I can’t get my kids off the phone. What do I do?” “We need to stop focusing on the negative and how it’s ruining society, and let’s start working on the solutions,” Wolk said. “Let’s actually get our kids off their phone by doing things, rather than nagging them.” A roadmap to smart and appropriate use of social media and devices — for parents and children — is the focus of her new book: Girls Just Want to Have Likes: How to Raise Confident Girls in the Face of Social Media Madness. “Doing things” means pushing 36 FEBRUARY2018

kids to re-engage and reenter real life, Wolk said. Too many children are spending much of their free time involved in virtual activities, like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and texting. The book is a back-tobasics look at parenting, examining ideas for what motivates kids and how to develop family connections. Step 1 is to drop the nagging, and engage in a conversation about the risks of device overuse. “If you’re going to say no to phones in the room, which I advise, tell them it’s not because I don’t want you connecting with your bestie, but because those blue waves and red waves emitting from the tablet or phones are disruptive to your health and sleep patterns,” she said. “Explain to them the ‘why’ in the importance of getting some space [from devices] to get ready for bed. Because if it’s just nagging, no one is listening.”

Charting new parenting waters Wolk said many parents are feeling overwhelmed by today’s influx of devices and social media because they have no guide in figuring out how to handle it. But, like anything else they are expected to master in life, children need rules and direction on device and social media use, too. “We need to teach our kids the rules of the road. Parents are handing a phone to kids around fifth grade now and saying, ‘Have at it.’ You wouldn’t do that in other places,” she noted. “We need to teach them first what to do.” Wolk said the best way to provide direction is a family media agreement, a clear set of rules and expectations for device use and online

behavior. And for every rule created around social media and device use, be prepared for an explanation as to why that rule is necessary. This fosters an atmosphere of respect, she explained. “This is a great tool to have a conversation around what’s appropriate and why,” she added. “And when kids and adults feel respected, they are going to be more apt to follow the rules and think about them. And from there, kids learn to monitor themselves.”

Making digital personal Wolk said a family agreement needs to be tailored with each child in mind and modified accordingly. For example, if a child is prone to anxiety around traumatic events on the news, then exposure to news sites, or even news on television,

should only be allowed with a parent present. If a child is impulsive, consider making a rule about posting on social media. “Think before you post” is a good rule for all, but for an impulsive child, a waiting period to think a post over and discuss with a parent is advisable. And most kids need to consider their exposure to social media, and how it impacts them mentally, to set appropriate boundaries, Wolk noted. “Know your child and their triggers around technology use so you can personalize that media document. Some kids are born where things roll off their back. Some kids will see things on social media and it makes them insecure. It’s important they know themselves so they are prepared,” she says. Wolk has seen many parents who want their children to use devices less, but spend a good portion of their own day online or on their phone. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to re-evaluate, she said. “Think about what you’re really after. I am finding sometimes clients want kids off the phone, but they want to be on their own phones,” she noted. “What do you want? What family life are you hoping

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to create by getting your kids off devices?” Getting parents off devices frees up crucial time for connecting, something Wolk thinks many families are missing. Now, instead of a conversation on a car trip, everyone retreats into a device. “So much is being replaced by digital distraction,” she said. “But some of what you learn in these situations are important skills for later in life. For example, feeling awkward on your own in a crowd? Don’t retreat into a phone. Develop the social skills for getting through the awkwardness of feeling alone and bad. We engage in the real world as we continue to grow up, and we need communication skills beyond a text.”

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February’s Child: Shane

Shane is a cheerful, sweet and playful 11-year-old boy of Caucasian descent. He is very observant, and likes to feel included and a part of everything. Shane is active and enjoys being outdoors, exploring and going on new adventures. He is very gentle and loves being with and caring for animals. He especially likes dogs who will run and play with him. Shane likes to play football and is always eager to participate in any group

sports activity. He also enjoys building with Legos. Shane looks forward to going to school each day and does well in class. Legally freed for adoption, Shane will do best in a two-parent family with either no children in the home or with children older than he is. An ideal family will be patient, and be able to provide him with reassurance, consistency and support. If you’re at least 18 years old, have a stable source of income, and room in your heart, you may be a perfect match to adopt a waiting child. Adoptive parents can be single, married, or partnered; experienced or not; renters or homeowners; LGBTQ singles and couples. The process to adopt a child from foster care requires training, interviews, and home visits to determine if adoption is right for you, and if so, to help connect you with a child or sibling group that your family will be a good match for. To learn more about adoption from foster care, call the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) at 617-964-6273 or visit


MARCH 10 & 11

Circle of Friends

Adoption Info and Matching Events Sunday, February 4 – Rollerskating Adoption Party, Fun American at Roll on America, 90 Duval Road, Rt. 2 at 34, Lancaster. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Meet waiting children and sibling groups of all ages and speak with their social workers. For questions and to RSVP contact Emily Goldberg: or 617964-6273 ext. 123. Monday, February 5 – DCF Northern Region Adoption Information Meeting, Jordan’s Furniture IMAX Conference Room, 50 Walkers Brook Drive, Reading. 6-7:30 p.m. No registration required. Contact: Victoria Tuesday, February 6 – DCF Western

Region Adoption Information Meeting, 140 High Street, 5th floor, Springfield. 4-5:30 p.m. No registration required. Contact: Dawn Sweetman 413-452-3369. Wednesday, February 14 – DCF Central Region Adoption Information Meeting, 13 Sudbury Street, Worcester. 6-7 p.m. No registration required. Contact: Valerie Fluitt 508-929-2150. Wednesday, February 21 – DCF Boston Region Adoption Information Meeting, 451 Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester. 4-5:30 p.m. No registration required. Contact: Marsha Donocan, LCSW, 617-989-9209.

If your group or organization is presenting a program for adoptive families, and you would like to include it in baystateparent magazine, please send information to




BOCH CENTER BOX OFFICE 800.982.2787 • © 2018 Spin Master PAW Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 2018 Viacom. 76153 1/18




Much Fun Readers captured photos of their children bundled up and making the most of this snowy winter. From sledding to snow angels, these kids know how to have a flurry of fun.

Cassie, from Dudley, sledding at Treasure Land Park in Auburn.

Mackenzie, from Auburn, enjoys a snow day with her pup.

Anna, 11, Dylan, 9, and Rylan, 3, make the most of the first snow day in Worcester.

Shawn, 7 and Alexis, 8, snowboarding in Sutton.

Ludlow resident Cayden makes a snow angel.

Worcester resident Ava bundles up to brave the snow.

Dudley resident Megan defies gravity on her sled.


Giana, from Auburn, with a face full of snow.

Cayden, from Ludlow, ready to take on a hill.

Sledding sisters Brynlee, 3, and Willow, 6 months, from Leominster

Sana, from Westborough, creates a frosty friend.

Six-year-old Adrianna, from Holden, zips down a hill with her hands in the air.

Three-year-old Ryan helps pack the snow for a wall for his snow fort. BAYSTATEPARENT 43

Peter Rabbit • Rated PG for some rude humor and action • In theaters: Feb. 9 • OK for kids 6+ • Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers, now takes on the starring role of his own irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude. In this film directed by Will Gluck, Peter’s feud with Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates to greater heights than ever as they rival for the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover who lives next door (Rose Byrne). James Corden voices the character of Peter with playful spirit and wild charm, with Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley performing the voice roles of the triplets, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail. Based on the beloved children’s book characters created by Beatrix Potter, the film is a mix of animation and live-action.

New movies coming to theaters this month By Jane Louise Boursaw

Early Man • Not yet rated; likely PG • In theaters: Feb. 16 • OK for kids 6+ • Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

Bilal • Rated PG-13 for violence/warfare and some thematic elements • In theaters: Feb. 2 • OK for kids 12+ • Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels

Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, “Early Man” tells the story of Dug, who along with sidekick Hognob unites his tribe against the mighty Bronze Age in a battle to beat them at their own game. This stop-motion animation film is produced by Aardman Animation and directed by Nick Park, director of “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” Voices include Eddie Redmayne as Dug, Maisie Williams as Goona, and Tom Hiddleston as Lord Nooth.

Directed by Ayman Jamal and Khurram Alavi, this animated movie tells the story of an African hero who raises his voice to stand up for freedom and equality in a time of dire oppression. Voice talent includes Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ian McShane, Jacob Latimore and Michael Gross. This is the Middle East’s first animated feature film, produced by Dubai based Barajoun Entertainment.


1 Reel - Even the force can’t save it. 2 Reels - Coulda been a contender. 3 Reels - Something to talk about. 4 Reels - You want the truth? Great flick! 5 Reels - Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Be part of baystateparent’s March Happy Campers Issue For more information contact Regina Stillings • 508-865-7070 x210 Space deadline is Feb. 15


Jane Louise Boursaw is the editor of reellifewithjane. com and


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February INDEX

Bay State Skating School............................14 Big Joe Productions....................................47 Big Y Foods, Inc............................................5 Boch Performing Arts Center......................41 Boston Paintball.........................................47 British Beer Company.................................16 Cafe Espresso.............................................17 Commonwealth Ballet................................26 Cornerstone Academy..................................4 DCU Center................................................47 Ecotarium...............................................2,39 Fletcher Tilton PC........................................28 FMC Ice Sports..............................................6 Harrington Oil............................................21 Harvest Grille.............................................26 Heywood Hospital......................................29 Hillside School............................................18 Hunter’s Grille and Tap...............................33 ID Tech.......................................................38 Jurate Photography...................................21 Legoland Discovery Center Boston..............19 Mall At Whitney Field...................................8 Millbury Federal Credit Union.....................37 New England Cord Blood Bank Inc..............33 Olde Post Office Pub..................................37 Providence Children’s Film Festival.............17 Rosalita’s Puppets.......................................47 Shrewsbury Children’s Center.....................37 Smuggler’s Notch Resort.............................43 St. Vincent Hospital......................................3 Summer Fenn/The Fenn School..................40 The Learning Zone.....................................16 The Mary Baker Eddy Library.....................26 Ultimate Obstacles......................................18 UMass Memorial Medical Center...... 14,31,48 Usborne Books & More..............................47 Wachusett Mountain...................................15 Whale Camp..............................................40 Worcester Art Museum...............................23 Worcester JCC............................................39 Worcester Railers HC..................................20 YMCA Central Branch.................................39



with Aly Raisman


At only 23, Massachusetts’s own Aly Raisman has already had an accomplished career: Olympic gold medalist, captain of two U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics teams, and even a fourth-place finish on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. Now she can add “author” to the list, with the recent publication of her autobiography Fierce, which details her childhood and gymnastics career, and shares critical life lessons with young readers. How did the idea to write a book come about? How did you find time to write it, given your workload and professional obligations? I have always wanted to write a book, and ever since I was a kid I kept a journal. My mom joked with me that maybe one day I would write a book. I spent months and months writing the book. It was a very long process, and at times empowering, but other times emotionally draining. The book is very honest, and I am so proud of it!

The subtitle of the book is “How Competing For Myself Changed Everything.” When did you make that mental shift, and what difference did it make in your life? Before the 2016 Olympics, I felt a shift where I learned that there are more important things to life than winning. I realized that I was more than just a gymnast and that winning isn’t everything. What is most important is being kind, working hard, being yourself, not comparing yourself to others, and being the best version of yourself. My brother Brett gave me great advice: You can only control what you can control, no more or no less, just do the best you can do.



You’re a role model for many. What is something about yourself that would surprise your fans? Anytime I can get away from my phone, I make sure to not be on it. I feel that social media can stress me out at times. It is a great platform to connect with fans and learn more about things one is passionate about, but it can definitely take over our lives! I have learned that finding a balance is so important.

As someone who has gone from “mommy & me” classes to the Olympics, what is your advice for parents of gymnasts, both elite and recreational? Don’t push your kids. Let your kids decide what their passions are. Coaches can push, parents should support!


How can young athletes best balance school, home, their sport, and friends? Always do school work right away, don’t procrastinate. If a teacher gives you a week to write an essay, start it that night and space out your week so you don’t leave it all till the last minute! That way you can put your best effort forward. Balance time with your family and friends, but also balance time for yourself. Me time is so important. Take a walk outside, take a nice hot bath, do breathing exercises, read a book, draw — whatever it is, find something relaxing!


You’re a major advocate for body positivity. What is the most important message you want to impart to young women and men about their bodies? Look in the mirror and pick out things you love about yourself. Do not fall into the trap of picking yourself apart. Remember that your insecurities are what make you unique and different from others. If we were all the same and had “perfect” bodies, we would be so boring! Also, women do not have to be modest to be respected. I believe we are all entitled to wear what makes us feel confident and comfortable in our own skin.


What do you like to do in your spare time? You’ve traveled around the world: What’s your favorite place to visit? I love Australia. I am going back in February, and I can’t wait! I love putting my phone away and being in the moment with family and friends.

You’ve performed solo on perhaps the most high-profile, worldwide stage possible. Did you battle nerves? How can anyone — from a student giving a presentation in front of a class, to an athlete competing at a meet — manage them and give it their all? I would say preparation is key. Work as hard as you can, give it your all, so by the time the day comes you feel prepared and confident. That way you can look back no matter what happens with no regrets.


6 8



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Oh, Baby – Do We Deliver! Nine months is a long time to wait for your special delivery, so when the big day finally arrives, you want to be sure you and your baby have the very best care. Moms in Central Massachusetts trust UMass Memorial to deliver the greatest experience, from excellent pre- and post-natal care from our obstetricians and family medicine partners, to a wonderful birthing experience at UMass Memorial Health Care. With nearly 5,000 babies born at our hospitals each year, our team most definitely delivers! For added confidence, you have direct access to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Worcester.

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If you’re expecting, you’re in the right place. 48 FEBRUARY2018


February issue of baystateparent Magazine


February issue of baystateparent Magazine