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grades 8-12 - including recent high school graduates. This camp will take your teen to a higher level in theatre! They will produce and act in THEIR OWN show - separate from the younger campers! Join in this exciting adventure!
grades 2-7 Learn the importance of teamwork, make friends for life, experience being part of a show from start to finish!
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Announcing 2017 camp shows soon!
Check website for updates.
Past shows include: Your child will enjoy a summer of music, art, drama and dance at our 3 week, state certified theatre camp held in Worcester. Campers will also produce a full show for family and friends at the conclusion of camp. Students will learn all the aspects of producing a show from acting, singing & dancing to set building, costumes and more!
For all information, call 978-602-6288 or register online at
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table of contents MARCH 2017 VOLUME 21
in every issue
things we learned
the march issue
Approximately 3,500 infants in the U.S. die each year due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Head to page 54 and read about new safe sleep recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The first summer camp was launched in New England 150 years ago, created by teachers. On page 37, read our camp section, where you can discover how to choose the right camp for your child, issues to consider when evaluating potential camps, and much more.
Pediatricians now say if your child is younger than 18 months, pretend they’re allergic to screens — such as tablets, smart phones, and TVs — and keep them away from them. But at what age can kids start a little screen time, and how much? Turn to page 30 to learn new, age-by-age, real-world screen time recommendations for parents.
4. meet team publisher KIRK DAVIS
associate publisher KATHY REAL 508-749-3166 ext. 331 email@example.com
Judges do not automatically grant mothers full custody of their children when divorcing. On page 29, learn why, and discover the truth behind three other common misconceptions surrounding custody and co-parenting.
MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS
RIPE: Simple Ways to Stock a Healthy Freezer for Dinnertime Ease
BITES: FDA Warns of Belladonna in Homeopathic Teething Products; The Way to Reduce Water Bottle Cabinet Clutter; All-Clad Relaunches LTD Collection With New Features
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: March Calendar Of Family Events
THE THINKING PARENT: How Children Can Learn to Regulate Emotions
DIVORCE & CO-PARENTING: Common Misconceptions About Custody and CoParenting; Remembering Attorney, Columnist Irwin Pollack
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS: Area adoption events
MARCH’s CHILD: Meet Faith
TAKE 8: ‘New Mom Comics’ Author, Illustrator Alison Wong
ADD TO CART: Our favorite March product picks
REEL LIFE WITH JANE: March’s top family movie releases
editor in chief MELISSA SHAW 508-865-7070 ext. 201 firstname.lastname@example.org
director of sales REGINA STILLINGS 508-865-7070 ext. 210 email@example.com
is published monthly with a main office at 22 West Street Millbury, MA 01527
creative director PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070 ext. 221 firstname.lastname@example.org
account executive KATHY PUFFER 508-865-7070 ext. 211 email@example.com
It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts.
senior graphic designer STEPHANIE MALLARD 508-865-7070 firstname.lastname@example.org
account executive JUDITH NEEDELL-MINTZ 508-494-5868 JudithNeedell@me.com
presidents KIRK and LAURIE DAVIS
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Summer Camp: C’mon, Let’s Go! 38 40 44 46 50
Art for this year’s Camp Issue was created by illustration majors at the Mass College of Art, under the guidance of Prof. Irena Roman.
How to Choose the Right Camp for Your Child The No-Worry Way to Try Overnight Camp Current Camp Trends: Looking Ahead While Embracing the Past Keys to Finding the Right Camp for Children with Special Needs 7 Considerations When Evaluating Camps
Kids and Screen Time: The Rules Just Changed 4 Ways to Rein In Kids’ Digital Manners Inside KidsCon & Camp Expo 2017! Pediatricians Announce New Safe Sleep Recommendations to Protect Against SIDS A Simple Way to Help Preschoolers Follow Directions Why The Best Educational Toys Are Right Under Your Nose 9 Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers
Inside Cover by Ailish Shea “I enjoyed using my art to create a narrative. With a love of nature and children, I really loved getting to illustrate a summer camp scene.” Page 37
Kellie McDonald “I chose to illustrate “Summer Camp: C’mon Let’s Go!” because I have fond memories of various summer activities I was involved in when I was young. My biggest interests were always arts and crafts, so I depicted a cheerful picnic table of kids at work! I wanted to highlight the creativity children can learn to foster at camp.” Page 38
Features 30 32 34 54 56 58 60
Cover by Anna Steinman “Summer camp should be an adventure; a chance to let curiosity, imagination, and exploration run wild!”
Lauren Madigan “I chose the “Camp, C’mon Let’s Go” subject because the fun and childlike theme fit better with the style of my work, and I thought I would personally enjoy creating it. The inspiration behind my piece was what you might picture when you think of the classic “summer camp kid,” with a focus on swimming. I wanted my characters to look a bit disheveled and goofy, as kids often do. I think I was able to achieve this look, and an upbeat and fun-loving atmosphere overall.” Page 38 Amber Washburn “I chose to create an illustration about summer camp. I chose this theme because I thought I could create an image that plays with my sketchy, playful style. I also have had many summer camp adventures that were fun, so creating this image brought up a lot of good Sarah Medeiros memories.” Page 40 Page 38
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MARCH CONTRIBUTORS Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of ReelLifeWithJane.com. Her reviews and work have been published in Family Circle, Parade, New York Times, Variety, People, and more. Bette Bussel is executive director of the American Camp Association, New England (acanewengland. org). The organization supports camp experiences, educates camp professionals and staff, consults on camp best practices, and advocates for camp quality. Krystal Caney is a graduate student clinician in the Mental Health Counseling program at Becker College. She provides counseling services to adults, children, couples, and families through the Counselor Training Clinic at Becker College in Leicester. Visit mhcclinic.becker.edu for more information about available, low-cost, counseling services with Krystal or other qualified professionals. Michele Bennett Decoteau is a writer and mom to a tween and a teen in central New England. In addition to writing on science, nature, and parenting topics, she is a hiker and beekeeper. You can find her at MicheleDecoteau.com or @ MBDecoteau. Marshal D. Haneisen is a freelance journalist, writer, and creative writing instructor. She lives in Fitchburg with her husband, son, and a variety of pets. Her son has a dual-diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism, and her experience as a parent of a child with special needs inspires some of her writing for various publications, as well as for her blog, thespecialneedsfiles.com. Information about Marshal’s writing and workshops can be found marshaldhaneisen.com. Dr. Lynn PantuoscoHensch is an associate professor in the Movement Science department at Westfield State University, teaching motor development, exercise science, and other sportrelated courses. She is the mother of four boys and lives with her family in Longmeadow.
Attorney Andy P. Miller is the Managing Attorney of Pollack Law Group, P.C. A father himself, he focuses on children and their best interests by helping guide parents through the divorce process. Having practiced in nearly every county in Massachusetts, he has a detailed understanding of the various courts in Massachusetts and experience before many judges. Gregg Murset is CEO of BusyKid and a father of six. Formerly known as My Job Chart, BusyKid. com is the first mobilewebsite that helps parents teach children about work ethic, responsibility, accountability, and managing real money. Stephanie O'Leary, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist specializing in neuropsychology, mom of two, and author of the recently released Parenting in the Real World. She provides parents with a no-nonsense approach to navigating the daily grind while preparing their child for the challenges they’ll face in the real world. Learn more at stephanieoleary.com Massachusetts mom Leslie Reichert is known as the Green Cleaning Coach and is aiming to change the world — “one spray bottle at a time.” A national lecturer and author of The Joy Of Green Cleaning, you can find her at greencleaningcoach. com, on Facebook (GreenCleaningCoach), Twitter (@GreenCleanCoach), and Pinterest (cleaningcoach).
a self motivated
mu l t i m e d ia account executive.
parenting publication located in Central MA.
Sounds like a
Martha Ruch is the owner of Simply Delicious Personal Chef Service, helping busy families come together at the dinner table since 2007. Find pictures, recipes, cooking tips and more at simplydeliciouschef.com; on Facebook @ SimplyDeliciousPersonalChefService; and on Twitter @chefmartha Kelsey Ruppel is a board certified behavior analyst with 10 years’ experience working with children and families. She is currently the associate director of the Life Skills Clinic at Western New England University, where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis.
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add to CART The coolest stuff we found online this month
Give a nursing mom a thoughtful gift in the form of the Breastfeeding Support Necklace from Applepear. Made with a unique, white Akoya pearl and a hand-stamped International Breastfeeding symbol, each piece from Applepear is crafted carefully through hammering, twisting, and shaping metals so they will shine anytime it is worn. For each necklace purchased, 15% of profits will be donated to the International Lactation Consultant Association. $70. applepearcollection.com.
There’s nothing like needing a baby changing table in a public restroom and not finding one — or finding one that’s, let’s say, gross. Or what about the dads on duty who can’t go into the women’s bathroom and can’t find a changing table in the men’s? Enter Baby Change-N-Go, a portable diaper changing station that hangs from bathroom stall doors/walls and folds up to fit in a diaper bag/backpack/ stroller. Designed by parents, Baby Change-N-Go can hold an infant/toddler weighing up to 40 lbs. and comes in pink, blue, or black. When folded, it weighs less than 3 lbs., so it won’t weigh you down. This would be a slam-dunk baby
shower gift that would get used over and over. $99.99. babychangengo.com.
Kids can pick up their toys and have fun doing it with Svan’s Fire Truck and Police Car Pull-Along Toy Boxes. These cool storage solutions are constructed from all-natural wood using non-toxic paint and BPA-free materials, and come equipped with an adjustable pull string that can be hidden when not in use. $39.99. svan.com.
From New York-based Solo comes the only travel duffel you’ll ever need: the Velocity Weekender Backpack Duffel. This stylish, lightweight backpack easily converts to a duffel to maximize storage while taking up minimal space — a plus parents can appreciate more than anyone. The Weekender’s slim profile boasts a fully padded 15.6” laptop compartment; an internal iPad/ tablet pocket; a separate shoe compartment; large zippered side pockets; and much more. The perfect bag for your on-the-go lifestyle. $59.99. solo.net.
Smart Cube takes child locks to a new level — your smartphone. The Indiegogo-funded product is a Bluetoothenabled portable locking system. Install the 1.25-inchsquare base and lock system anywhere you want to protect: firearms locker, liquor or medicine cabinets, the alwaysdangerous underneath the sink, or even your desk drawer at the office. With proximity detection, Smart Cube will unlock when the user is in range or with an encrypted passcode via the Smart Cube app. Users can share and customize access to Smart Cubes around their home or office and will be informed when, where, and who has opened a lock, as well as when a forced entry was attempted. $149. smartarmortech.com. 10 MARCH2017
to Stock a Healthy Freezer for Dinnertime Ease BY MARTHA RUCH tastic to have handy, especially in small serving sizes (which thaw quickly and are convenient for the hungry teenager or smaller family). Sock away your leftovers, or prepare a batch specifically for freezing, and dinner can be on the table ASAP any night of the week.
March is National Frozen Foods Month! But before you run out for a few DiGiornos, I’d like to share some easy tips and recipes so you can stock your freezer with healthy, homemade meals guaranteed to make mealtimes easier. Whether you are cooking specifically for the freezer or thinking of freezing some leftovers, here are a few things to consider:
Downsize (and freeze) your favorite casserole. Many casseroles are freezer-friendly, whether baked or unbaked. You don’t have to freeze crowd-sized portions, either. Aluminum loaf pans are a perfect two-person size. A 9x9 pan will give you 4 servings. Or go for the gold with a full 9x13 pan of mac and cheese, lasagna, burritos, or enchiladas.
Fully cooked ground meat dishes rock. Almost any dish containing ground meat or ground poultry freezes (and thaws) like a dream. Fully cooked meatballs, hamburgers, turkey burgers, taco meat, Sloppy Joes, meat sauce, meatloaf, and just plain old cooked ground beef, chicken, or turkey are fan-
Use your noodle when freezing soup. Soups, stews, and chili all freeze well. However, if they contain pasta, rice, or potatoes, those items will get a little mushy when thawed. If you are making a soup specifically for the freezer, leave out the pasta or rice and make a note on the container to add the rice or pasta when you heat the meal in a saucepan on the stove. Breakfast can be frozen, too. Having healthy breakfast options in the freezer is a big help on busy mornings. Think homemade whole-grain (or grain-free) waffles, breakfast burritos, muffin-tin quiche cups, and individual bags of smoothie ingredients.
Top tips for freezing food 1. Cool food completely and quickly before freezing to eliminate the chances of ice forming on or in the food. It also keeps food out of the “Danger Zone” (see sidebar, page 14). 2. Place a layer of wax paper or plastic wrap on the cooled food’s surface before covering with a lid or wrapping tightly in aluminum foil. This will help protect the surface of the food from freezer burn. 3. If freezing food in Ziploc bags, squeeze as much air out of the bags as you can before sealing and freezing. This not only saves space in
Freezer-Friendly Recipes Favorite
Turkey Burger Serves 4
• 1 ¼ pounds dark meat ground turkey (not turkey breast) • ½ cup mild Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated • 2 scallions, very finely chopped • 3 tablespoons gluten-free or regular bread crumbs • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard • 1 squeeze garlic paste • Salt and pepper • Buns or lettuce leaves for serving, plus condiments of your choice 12 MARCH2017
the freezer, but it also minimizes the formation of ice on your food. 4. Clearly label each item as to what it is, how many servings, and the date it’s being frozen. I recommend using your frozen foods within 3 months for best taste and texture. 5. Thaw foods for 24 to 48 hours in the fridge before heating. A frozen meal may be thawed in the microwave on the “Defrost” setting or in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Place the turkey in a large mixing bowl or aluminum pan. Place grated cheese, scallions, breadcrumbs, Dijon, and garlic on top of the meat. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Very gently but thoroughly work the ingredients into the meat. Divide mixture into 4 patties, using your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each. Lightly oil a grill pan or nonstick skillet and place over medium heat. When the pan is hot, cook the burgers for about 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Cool the burgers completely and package in a freezer-safe container with a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper on top of the food. Label and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw the container of burgers (or an individual burger) 24 to 48 hours in the
fridge, or in the microwave on the Defrost setting. The thawed burgers may be heated on a loosely covered microwave-safe plate at 50% power for 3 to 4 minutes per burger. Serve on buns or lettuce leaves with ketchup, mustard, and mayo. Recipe adapted from Everyday Food.
• 8 ounces egg noodles • 1 recipe easy chicken gravy (see below) • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat chopped into large bite-size pieces, anywhere from 2 to 4 cups of meat. • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs • 1 tablespoon melted butter
Chicken Noodle Bake Serves 4
Note: This makes four hearty servings. You might want more or less noodles and chicken. You could add cooked peas, green beans or broccoli to the dish.
Vegetable Quiche Cups Makes 2 dozen
Note: This recipe is very adaptable. Change up the vegetables and cheese to any variety you enjoy. • 24 aluminum baking cups (Reynolds) • 1 16-ounce container
Chicken Chili Mac Serves 4
Note: I have successfully adapted this for gluten-free and dairy-free clients using non-dairy cheese and rice pasta, as well as glutenfree chicken stock. • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 pound ground chicken • 1 clove garlic, minced, or a squirt of garlic paste • 1 tablespoon chili powder • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomato, undrained, use the kind with seasonings if you’d like • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth • 2 tablespoons dry white wine (optional) • 1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked, white or wheat
Gravy: • 6 tablespoons butter • 1 clove garlic, minced, or a little squirt of garlic paste • 6 tablespoons flour • 3 cups chicken broth • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme (optional) • Salt and pepper to taste Grease a 9x9 pan or 2-quart baking dish (four servings) or two loaf
Egg Beaters • 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry • ½ green bell pepper, chopped small • ½ sweet onion, chopped small • 1 ½ cups reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese • Salt and pepper to taste Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place aluminum baking cups
• 1 cup green beans — fresh, tops and tails trimmed, cut in 1” lengths • Salt and pepper • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese or cheddar/jack blend Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook chicken over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink, adding garlic during the last minute or two of cooking. Drain fat, if you’d like. Stir in chili powder, oregano, and cumin and incorporate fully into the meat. Then add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth and a splash of wine (optional). Bring to a boil. Stir in macaroni and green beans, reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans and pasta are tender (10 to 15 minutes). Season to
pans (2, two-person servings). Cook noodles to al dente. Drain and cool (this may be done ahead of time). While noodles are cooking, make the gravy (see instructions, at right). Stir 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and parsley into the gravy. Add chicken and as many noodles as you think you’d like. Spoon mixture into prepared dish(es). In small bowl, combine the panko, the rest of the Parmesan, and melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on top of each dish. If preparing to freeze, cool the dish completely, then place wax paper or plastic wrap on the surface before wrapping completely in foil. Label and freeze. To serve, thaw the dish for 24 to 48 hours in the fridge. Preheat
inside two 12-cup muffin tins. Spray the liners with nonstick spray and set aside. Combine Egg Beaters, spinach, vegetables, cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. The mixture will not be very liquid-y. Divide the mixture evenly into the 24 prepared muffin tins. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 22 minutes, or until quiche cups
oven to 350 degrees. Remove the layer of plastic wrap/wax paper. Bake for 30 minutes covered and then 10 minutes uncovered, or until hot throughout. Gravy In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt the 6 T butter with the garlic. Add flour and whisk to combine. Heat until mixture starts to bubble. Whisk in the broth and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer until the gravy is thickened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes about 3 cups. Recipe adapted from Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook
are puffed and cooked through. Cool completely. Quiche cups keep for 5 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. Remove aluminum liners and heat two frozen quiche cups for 1 minute in the microwave. Recipe adapted from The South Beach Diet Cookbook.
taste with salt and pepper (you might not need salt). Cool the mixture by placing it in a large aluminum pan, which is set inside another aluminum pan filled with ice. Stir occasionally and replace ice as needed, until the food is perfectly cool. Ladle into a greased freezer-safe 9x9 pan or casserole dish. Top with cheese. Place a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper on the surface of the food, and wrap the entire dish in foil. Label and freeze. To serve, thaw the dish for 24 to 48 hours in the fridge. Remove layer of wax paper/plastic wrap, recover and heat at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and heat 5 to 10 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Recipe adapted from The Best Freezer Cookbook.
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars Makes 24 squares
• ½ cup canola or other neutral-tasting oil • ½ cup honey • 2 teaspoons vanilla • 1 large egg • 2 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked • ¾ cup flour • ½ cup light brown sugar • ½ cup toasted wheat germ • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds • ½ cup raisins/Craisins or combination • ½ teaspoon kosher salt • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk the oil, honey, vanilla, and egg until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir the honey mixture into the oat mixture with a rubber spatula until blended. It will look like there’s not enough liquid at first, but keep mixing. It will come together. Use the spatula to scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Use your wet hands to pat the mixture into the pan.
Beware The Danger Zone As the name suggests, the Danger Zone refers to the most dangerous temperature for foods, between 40°F and 140°F. This is because bacteria double approximately every 20 minutes under the right conditions: food, moisture, oxygen, and warm temperatures. Harmful bacteria are one of the main sources of food poisoning in the United States. Populations at a high risk for food poisoning — pregnant women, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems — are at a greater risk for food poisoning even when small amounts of bacteria are present. Conditions in which your food may be in the Danger Zone include: 14 MARCH2017
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, at least 1 hour. Lift the parchment out of the pan when cool, and place on a cutting board. Cut into 24 squares. Store bars in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping.
• Placing a very hot dish directly in the refrigerator after cooking (it would likely be in the Danger Zone for several hours as it cooled off). • Leaving a hot meal out on the counter or buffet (its temperature would drop to less than 140 degrees). Also, if you placed a frozen meal on the kitchen counter to thaw, its temperature would rise above freezing, into the lower end of the Danger Zone. In order to avoid food poisoning, make sure to keep your foods out of the Danger Zone. Quickly cool hot meals by flash freezing or using an ice bath, fan, or ice paddle; refrigerate all perishable foods within 2 hours (or 1 hour if it is over 90°F outside); do not thaw frozen meals on the countertop; and always heat foods to a safe minimum internal temperature.
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The Way to Reduce Water Bottle Cabinet Clutter Reusable drink bottles are ubiquitous today, as is the fact that many of us have several cluttering our cabinets for a variety of uses. Precidio tackles this challenge with its new Multi Flask Hydration System — one bottle that has six different uses thanks to included accessories and attachments. Instead of separate bottles for each purpose, Multi Flask can handle hot coffee, thanks to a glass inner sleeve; hot tea via an infuser; fruit water with a fruit infuser attachment; powdered drinks and smoothies with the shakable agitator attachment; and a sports water bottle with a soft silicone spout; and more. $26.99. precidio.com.
Bites All-Clad Relaunches LTD Collection With New Features
The all-star All-Clad collection — the choice of serious home cooks and top restaurant chefs — is back with a relaunch of its famed LTD Collection. Originally debuting 35 years ago, the collection has been brought back in partnership with Williams Sonoma, sporting brand-new features, such as ergonomic handles and dishwasher safety. All-Clad stainless-steel pots and pans are famed for fast heat-up and exceptionally even heat, delivering excellence in searing, browning, and deglazing. Even better, thanks to their scratch- and stain-resistant hard anodized exterior, they’re durable and low maintenance. Pieces can be bought individually or in sets. $140 and up. williams-sonoma.com.
Using Technology To Clean Your Home BY LESLIE REICHERT Technology is growing rapidly. Our cell phones have become hand-held computers, and our TVs are so smart we can’t utilize all the things they can do. Technology has also crept into the cleaning industry. Here are several cool new tools I’d like to share with you that clean your home effectively without toxic chemicals. Force of Nature — Force of Nature has created a new appliance that turns salt, vinegar, and water into a cleaner that is as powerful as bleach. This small appliance takes an initial investment of $60, but will save people hundreds on cleaning products, as well as remove toxic cleaners from their homes. It uses the technology of electrolyzed water that the commercial cleaning industry has used for years. Force of Nature is bringing this technology to your home — affordably. (Use discount code greenclean35 for $35 off at forceofnatureclean.com.) E-Cloth – E-Cloth is a European microfiber that lifts dirt and bacteria off a surface and releases the bacteria when it’s rinsed. E-Cloth uses more than 3 million fibers per square inch to remove bacteria from surfaces. We’ve been told to use chemicals and kill the bacteria, but this is a much safer way to get bacteria off a surface, thanks to technology. ecloth.com. Skoy Cloths – Skoy Cloths are well-known in Europe. A super-absorbent combination of sponge and paper towel, 1 Skoy is the equivalent of 15 rolls of paper towels. Two young moms from Europe introduced Skoys to the United States; they missed their favoring cleaning cloth and decided to import them from Germany. skoycloth.com. BioBob Sponges — BioBob sponges are made
in Canada and are different from any other sponges you’ve ever used. Instead of using wood pulp to make them, they have created a formula that makes a better sponge. These sponges resist mold, mildew, and general smelliness. And they get better with use. You will save money by switching to a BioBob sponge. biobob.co. DuopMop — There is no better way to wash your floor than with a DuopMop and my “bucketless mopping” technique. Using this mop will cut your floor cleaning time in half — with less water and chemicals. Your floor will look like you washed it on your hands and knees. theduop.com. Ewbank Steam Cleaner — This steam cleaner is shaped like your favorite canister vacuum. It shoots out steam that gives you a perfectly safe way to clean tile floors, shower walls, and even windows. Nothing kills bacteria as safely as steam, so if you want to clean and disinfect surfaces, all you have to do is spray them with steam. It will dry quickly and leave the surface sanitized. amazon.com. Leslie Reichert is a Massachusetts-based cleaning expert who uses her personality, sense of humor and contagious passion to encourage her fans and followers to think differently about what they are using in their homes. Leslie is known as a Green Cleaning Coach, and she is changing the world, “One spray bottle at a time.” She is a national lecturer, a frequent homekeeping expert on The Dr. Oz Show, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Maid Brigade’s DIY Cleaning Expert, and author of the book: The Joy Of Green Cleaning. She works with Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, today.com and other national publications.
FDA Warns of Belladonna in Homeopathic Teething Products The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that its laboratory analysis found inconsistent amounts of belladonna, a toxic substance, in certain homeopathic teething tablets, sometimes far exceeding the amount claimed on the label. The agency is warning consumers that homeopathic teething tablets containing belladonna pose an unnecessary risk to infants and children and urges consumers not to use these products. In light of these findings, the FDA contacted Standard Homeopathic Company in Los Angeles, the manufacturer of Hyland’s homeopathic teething products, regarding a recall of its homeopathic teething tablet products labeled as containing belladonna, in order to protect consumers from inconsistent levels of belladonna. At this time, the company has not agreed to conduct a recall. The FDA recommends that consumers stop using these products marketed by Hyland’s immediately and dispose of any in their possession. In November 2016, Raritan Pharmaceuticals of East Brunswick, N.J., recalled three belladonnacontaining homeopathic products, two of which were marketed by CVS. “The body’s response to belladonna in children under 2 years of age is unpredictable and puts them at unnecessary risk,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. ”We recom-
mend that parents and caregivers not give these homeopathic teething tablets to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives.” Homeopathic teething products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safety or effectiveness. The agency is unaware of any proven health benefit of the products, which are labeled to relieve teething symptoms in children. In September 2016, the FDA warned against the use of these products after receiving adverse event reports. Consumers should seek medical care immediately if their child experiences seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after using homeopathic teething products. The FDA encourages health care professionals and consumers to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of homeopathic teething products to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. Complete and submit the report online at fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.
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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - dr. seuss
GO TO THE DOGS Doggy Days. The Discovery Museums, Acton. March 16. 18 MARCH2017
Courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Courtesy of The Regent Theatre
Courtesy of The Discovery Museums
GO BELIEVE Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Lowell Auditorium. March 11.
GO MARVEL Magic and Beyond: The Magic of Illusionist David Garrity. Regent Theatre, Arlington. March 4.
GO OUTSIDE Maple Sugar Days. Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, Uxbridge. March 4.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the mini-van, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to ensure accuracy at press time, things can and do change.
donations for the Acton Food Pantry and Open Table of Concord and Maynard. Free. discoverymuseums.org.
Photo by Samara Vise, Courtesy of the MIT Museum.
Stroller Tours at WAM. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. A museum teacher engages with caretakers and their infants and toddlers via arts and stories in the galleries, with tea, coffee, juice, and snacks following the tour. Designed for ages up to 3. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, ages 4 to 17 $6, under age 4 free. worcesterart.org. Backyard and Beyond: Great Hill Exploration. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m. Explore some of the trails that wind through the 184 wooded acres of the Great Hill Conservation and Recreation Land beside The Discovery Museums’ campus. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Winter Wonders: Goats Gruff. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Explore the farm and sanctuary as we feed hay to the sheep with their fluffy winter coats, search for eggs in our hen house, and follow the tracks in the snowy field. For families with children up to age 6. Register ahead. Members $12.50, nonmembers $15.50. massaudubon.org. Card Battle Royale. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Enjoy as fans of Magic The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh are invited to join other games for an evening of open play and tournaments. For ages 12 and up. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
2 Thursday Little Sailors: Dress to Impress. USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Explore the clothing worn by ordinary sailors and officers on USS Constitution in 1812 while learning about texture, color, and the difference between these two naval ranks. $8. ussconstitutionmuseum.org. Read Across America Day. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Drop in and join us for a Storytime Potluck, as you bring your favorite book to read and cozy teddy or blanket as we read together in celebration of Read Across America Day. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Kids After School Cooking Class: Salsa and Guacamole. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Break out of the cold winter with a lesson on how to make these favorite chip-friendly dips,
GO DISCOVER Girls Day at the MIT Museum, Cambridge. March 4.
using fresh ingredients that you can grow at home. Ages 10 and up. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $25. towerhillbg.org. First Thursday: Game Night. Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Enjoy a variety of games, including some Russian versions of American favorites, some unique to Russia, and others with Russian themes. Free with admission. Adults $10, children ages 3 and up $5, children under 3 free. museumofrussianicons.org. Birthday Party for Dr. Seuss. Fitchburg Public Library, 610 Main St., Fitchburg. 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Help us celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday as we craft, play games, and have some fun Dr. Seuss snacks before finishing it with a popular Dr. Seuss movie. Free. fitchburgpubliclibrary.org. Beyoncé’s Original All-Female Band. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. A celebration of this allfemale band’s 10-year anniversary at Berklee, featuring music drawn from Beyoncé albums mixing Boston Conservatory and Berklee performers. Advance $8-$20, day of $12-$24. berklee.edu.
3 Friday Music and Movement with Miss Bernadette. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 9:30 a.m.-10 a.m. Explore sound through singing and playing, as you move, make
music, listen, learn, and get a multi-sensory work out from this professional musician and Kindermusik educator. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Puppets Around the World: Trickster Tales. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Find out if a spider can defeat an elephant at tug-of-war, overpower a python, or capture a cloud of hornets during this show bringing traditional stories from West Africa to life. Recommended for ages 4 and up. $12. puppetshowplace.org. Make a MESS: Kitchen Chemistry. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Drop in and experiment with common household ingredients to create solutions that bubble and fizz, and substances that squish and slime. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Maple Magic. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Visit the maple grove to check out the taps and taste some sap, and enjoy a sweet maple treat. For families with children up to age 12. Register ahead. Members $12.50, nonmembers $15.50. massaudubon.org. First Friday Nights Free. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 4:30 p.m.8:30 p.m. Explore the campus of The Discovery Museums, as we collect non-perishable food
Farm Sledding After Dark. Chestnut Hill Farm, 9-99 Chestnut Hill Rd., Southborough. 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Swing by the farm after work or school and join us for some fun evening sledding, as we provide the hill, warm snacks and drinks, and a new craft each month. Just remember your sled. Register ahead. Members $5, nonmembers $10. thetrustees.org.
4 Saturday World’s End Winter Photo-Blitz. World’s End, 250 Martins Ln., Hingham. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Snap a photo during your visit and add the hashtag #WorldsEndWinter, as you take part in this campaign to document the beauty of World’s End in winter. Free. thetrustees.org. Ukrainian-style Egg Decorating. Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak St., Brockton. 10 a.m.1 p.m. Enjoy as participants learn a traditional wax resist method of decorating eggs as practiced by the Ukrainian people, using metal styluses, candle flames, beeswax, and brilliant liquid dyes. Recommended for ages 16 and up. Register ahead. Members $50, nonmembers $75. fullercraft.org. Magic & Beyond: The Magic of Illusionist David Garrity. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy this interactive, magical illusionist as you watch a table float, objects appear and disappear, a Houdini-style Escape Challenge, and more. Members $7; nonmember adults $10, children 3 and up $8, children 2 and under free. regenttheatre.com. Family Tour at WAM. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.11 a.m. Explore the Worcester Art Museum galleries with your family on a docent-guided discovery tour, featuring facts, stories, and time together. Free. worcesterart.org. Beyond the Spectrum: Creatures of the MFA. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:30 a.m.12 p.m. Enjoy this adventure in art for children on the Autism Spectrum as we scour the museum to find creatures from the Greek mythological Cyclops to Ancient Egypt’s scarab beetles, and learn about their history and purpose, before creating your own creature using collage materials on sticky board. For ages 8 to 12. $9. mfa.org. Exploring Science Together: Minerals. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Find out what makes a mineral a mineral during this hands-on interactive program of investigation and art. Suitable for ages 5 and up. Register BAYSTATEPARENT 19
ahead. Members $10, nonmembers $20. hmnh.harvard.edu. Families @ WAM Make Art. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11 a.m.11:30 a.m. Drop in for some fun, intergenerational time in our galleries, where we provide the materials and the inspiration. Free. worcesterart.org. Girls Day at the MIT Museum: March Math Madness. MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 11 a.m.4 p.m. March + math = madness this spring, as we explore numerous ways in which we use math during Girls Day at the MIT, exploring topics from robots and rockets to soccer and dance, with activities, talks, and more with students and professors from MIT. Free with admission. Adults $10, youth ages 5 to 18 $5, children under 5 free. mitmuseum.mit.edu. Maple Sugar Days. Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, River Bend Farm, 287 Oak St., Uxbridge. 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., & 2 p.m. Park staff and volunteers take you through the art and science of producing maple syrup, as we identify maple trees, participate in gather sap, and visit the steamy sugar house. Through Sunday. Free. blackstone. email@example.com. (508) 278-7604. Build a Bee House. Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., Norfolk. 3 p.m.5 p.m. Join us to build your own bee house and learn what you can do to protect our pollinators. For families with children ages 6 to 16. Register ahead. Member children $25, nonmember children $30, adults free. massaudubon.org. Celtic Crossings. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 7 p.m. Phil Coulter and Andy Cooney join forces to present this masterful weaving tapestry of Irish warmth, spirit, and culture through music, with special guest the Irish Pops Ensemble. $39-$99. berklee.edu.
5 Sunday PJ Library Celebrates Purim. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Come in costume, enjoy a Main St., Acton. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Join in all dance party, gobble up hamentaschen, enjoy a the fun during this special morning with infants live adaptation of ‘The Purim Superhero’, and and toddlers with hearing loss, as we explore more. Register ahead. Free with admission. the museum and accessible nature playscape Members free; nonmembers $16, children under and treehouse, with ASL interpreters and snacks. 1 free. bostonjcc.org. Register ahead. Free. discoverymuseums.org. Magic & Beyond. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Illusionist David Garrity presents a unique theatrical and visual magic and comedy to a customedited musical soundtrack, featuring pantomime, situation comedy, and audience participation. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org. Nature and Nurture with Miss Bernadette. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Explore the great outdoors, as we sing songs, take a nature walk, read a story, or make a class, and discover the wonders of nature. Designed for ages 2 to 4. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.
Kiddie Music Time with Monument Square Community Music School. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10 a.m.11 a.m. Children are introduced to classic and original music, song, percussion instruments, and dance during this interactive class. Suitable for ages 5 and under. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. MFA Playdates: Touchable Texture. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:15 a.m.-11:15 p.m. Bring your toddler to enjoy story time and looking activities in the galleries followed by art-making, as we look into the theme of textures in art. Recommended for ages 4 and under. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, ages 7 to 17 $10, children 6 and under free. mfa.org.
Arms + Armor Demonstrations. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Learn all about different kinds of arms and armor used by knights and soldiers, from Rome to Medieval Europe to beyond. Sundays and Saturdays. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, ages 4 to 17 $6, under age 4 free. worcesterart.org.
Guitar Night: Rock and Pop. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Enjoy this Guitar Department highlight concert that will feature selected student-led ensembles that represent some of the best rock and pop guitarists at Berklee. Advance $8, day-of $12. berklee.edu.
39th Annual Snow Row. Windmill Point Boathouse, 185 Main St., Hull. 12 p.m. Boats in five different categories, from livery boats to ocean kayaks, traverse and race over 3 miles in teams of youth and adult crews in rowers from all over New England, New York, and the East Coast. Free. hulllifesavingmuseum.org.
SMART Gals: Mary Anning. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.11 a.m. & 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Learn about Mary Anning’s childhood passion for collecting fossils, as you uncover your inner paleontologist. Morning session for younger visitors. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.
6 Monday Especially for Me: Free Morning for Families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and KODA Infants and Toddlers. The Children’s Discovery Museums and Discovery Woods, 177
MEDICAL ADVICE WHEN YOU ARE ON THE GO. Download our free symptom checker app today! Our Health eCheck app helps you make decisions on what type of medical care is needed when your child falls off their bike or has a persistant cough. Search from a list of symptoms or by body area.
Babywearing Tour. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Come to our special babywearing tour led by a veteran babywearer. Experience the gorgeous 1806 mansion and enjoy snacks, coffee, and a way to get you and
your newborn outside. Register ahead. $12. goreplace.org. Slime Science. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Put on your old clothes and come to our evening of slime as we experiment to make a substance that can be both solid and liquid that you can bring home. For Grades 4 to 6. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
8 Wednesday PAW Patrol Live. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 10 a.m. & 6 p.m. Follow what happens on the day of the Great Race between Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger when Mayor Goodway goes missing and the PAW Patrol must come in to rescue. $20$58. thehanovertheatre.org. Sap to Syrup. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Pkwy., Sharon. 10 a.m.11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Try your hand at becoming a maple sugar farmer, look for sap dripping out of tapped trees, and discover how sap is turned into syrup before trying pure and imitation maple syrup. For ages 4 to 6. Register ahead. Members $9, nonmembers $12. massaudubon.org. 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 at your own pace, during this day with low crowding and quiet spaces. Register ahead. Free. discoverymuseums.org. 3D Printing Class For All Ages. Fitchburg Public Library, 610 Main St., Fitchburg. 2 p.m.3 p.m. Learn how to create a 3D print as you are introduced to our printer, explain how 3D printing works, and try your hand at design software. Free. fitchburgpubliclibrary.org.
9 Thursday New England Habitats. Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemenway Rd., Framingham. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
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Learn about the ecology of New England habitats, including identification, mystery solving, and exploration. Free. newenglandwild.org. Asobouyo: Explore the Songs and Toys of Japan. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Join visiting student teachers from Showa University in Tokyo to explore classic Japanese children’s songs and toys, as we learn some simple Japanese words while singing and playing together. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Nature Adventures. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Join us for a handson nature program designed to explore nature topics using investigations, crafts, and activities both inside and outdoors. For ages 5 to 7. Register ahead. Member children $9, nonmember children $13, adults free. massaudubon.org. Kid’s After School Cooking Class: Herbs, Herbs, Herbs. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Herbs can easily grow outside, on a tabletop, or by a windowsill in your home, so come and find out how to use the plethora of herbs in favorite meals and dishes. Ages 10 and up. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $25. towerhillbg.org.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 6 p.m.8 p.m. Let’s make a happening scene on the streets of the Boston Black exhibit, as we enjoy Ice Age: Woooly Mammoths Story and music, dance, art, stories, play, and relax. Free Nature Hour. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife with admission. Members free, nonmembers $1, Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. children under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Enjoy an hour of naturethemed fun as we read engaging storybooks, Harlem Globetrotters. DCU Center, 50 Foster make a craft to take home, and walk on one St., Worcester. 7 p.m. The Harlem Globetrotters of the sanctuary’s beautiful trails. For ages 2.5 bring their electrifying athletics to Worcester to 5. Register ahead. Member children $2.50, during this brilliant show featuring incredible ball nonmember children $3.50, adults free. handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, massaudubon.org. comedy, and fan interaction. $26.50-$125.50. dcucenter.org. Wondrous Wool. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Visit the soft, fluffy sheep all snug in the barn before sharing sheepish stories Sap to Syrup Farmer’s Breakfast. Drumlin and make a wooly toy to take home. For ages Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., up to 8. Register ahead. Members $12.50, nonLincoln. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Enjoy a breakfast of members $15.50. massaudubon.org. hearty pancakes with real maple syrup, Drumlin’s
PJ Library Silly Shabbat-Purim Celebration. Whitney Place Community Room, 3 Vision Dr., Natick. 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Get ready for lots of silliness, as you dress in costume and end the week with a special Purim puppet show, create a Mishloach Manot gift basket, and enjoy a dinner with dessert. For families with children up to age 6. Register ahead. Families $20. bostonjcc.org. Our City Block Party. Boston Children’s
own roasted potatoes and sausage, and breakfast beverages with plenty of nature exploration and learning. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $15. massaudubon.org.
Museum Cleanup Day. Plimoth Plantation, 137 Warren Ave., Plymouth. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Grab a rake, a brush, a broom, a needle, and help museum staff and volunteers get the museum exhibits ready for an exciting new season, with lunch provided. Register ahead. Free. plimoth.org.
Mud Pies: What Makes Dirt. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Come as we make mud, talk about what dirt is made of, make our own ‘mud paint’ and create mud fun paintings to bring home. For ages 2 to 5 with an adult. Register ahead. Member adult-child pairs $20, nonmember adult-child pairs $30. towerhillbg.org. Free Second Saturday Mornings. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Come explore the museum and outdoor sculpture park during this special time designed to accommodate families and caregivers. Free. deCordova.org. The Margot Fox Family Fun Time. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m. Join Margot Fox and friends for some familyfriendly folk-rock, as you dance, wiggle, sing, and shake off the cold and look toward the spring. Members $7; nonmember adults $10, children under 12 $8. regenttheatre.com. Little Groove. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Come as children play real instruments such as drums, shakers, and tambourines while they dance, sing, and groove to songs about playtime, sleeptime, trains and planes, rainbows, pigs, monkeys, butterflies, ducks, and dogs. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org.
SUMMER at the STUDIO Summer Spotlight Theatre Willy Wonka Jr.
Campers will participate in singing, dancing, costuming, set building, improvisation and more! Two evening performances are held at the end of our two week camp giving everyone a chance to step into the “spotlight” and perform for family and friends. Ages 7-14 Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday, July 10th – Friday, July 21st Tuition: $425.00 for 2 weeks
MINI DANCE CAMPS Boys & Girls Ages 4-7 years Fun themed dance games, crafts, and more! Juice box and healthy snacks provided! Fridays are “Bring a Buddy Day!” Free camp day for your best “buddy.” Ages 4-7
Princess Poppy Camp
Tuition: $125.00 per camp
July 10th – 14th
Glitter Bows & Painted Toes Camp August 7th – 11th
Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Open Monday-Friday 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM for Tours, Conferences and Evaluations 50 Leominster Road, Sterling, MA 01564 978-422-6989 w w w.paulameoladance.com BAYSTATEPARENT 21
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! birds, reptiles, and mammals that live in your neighborhood. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. The Poor Yoricks: A Children’s Improv Workshop. Powisset Farm, 31 Powisset St., Dover. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Join us for an afternoon of Improv fun led by locally based wildly talented The Poor Yoricks, through skits, stage shenanigans, and more. Register ahead. Members $24, nonmembers $30. thetrustees.org.
GO HAVE A BALL The Original Harlem Globetrotters. DCU Center, Worcester. March 10.
Themselves: An Immigrant’s Story. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Follow a young 19th-century Irish woman on a journey to America, as you hear about her struggle to begin a new life while keeping her Irish heritage alive in this interactive performance featuring storytelling, traditional music, and an
Irish jig. Register ahead. Free. jfklibrary.org. Wild Animals in Your Neighborhood. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 12 p.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a unique opportunity to see native animals up close with a trained naturalist from the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, and handle natural history artifacts as you learn about the
Especially for Me: Free Evening for Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Come join in all the fun and explore both museums during this special evening for families with children on the autism spectrum, with therapy dogs available from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., and dinner provided. Register ahead. Free. discoverymuseums.org.
12 Sunday Maple Day. South Shore Nature Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Explore maple history, culture and production, and enjoy the process from start to finish as you help tap the trees for sap and then watch how it is boiled into syrup, with crafts and more hands-on activities available. Members $5, nonmembers $8. southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org.
Raccoon Tales. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. Enjoy these three humorous vignettes inspired by Native American just-so stories, along the way meeting delightful animal characters. Recommended for ages 4 and up. $12. puppetshowplace.org. Boston Symphony Orchestra Concerts for Very Young People. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 2 p.m. Join us for a special interactive performance with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as children are offered an opportunity to engage with musical experiences of the highest quality. Recommended for families with children ages 2 to 5. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. bostonchildrenmseums.org. Family Concert: Rising Stars Showcase. Memorial Hall, 83 Court St., Plymouth. 3 p.m. Celebrate the Plymouth Children’s Chorus and the winner of the South Shore Conservatory’s Youth Concerto Competition. $8-$20. plymouthphil.org. Tea and Tunes: Slyvia Berry. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 3 p.m. Enjoy tea, cakes, and great music, with a musical performance by this fantastic and relaxing piano player in the classical tradition. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Members $18, nonmembers $20.
The Creative Alternative to Summer Camp
July 10-14 & July 17-21
Register online, in person, or by phone! Put the “A” into STEM Education through Craft Classes for Youth & Teens, 6-17! Also
ble!• April Vacation Workshops • a l i a av
• Spring Session begins May 4 •
25 Sagamore Road, Worcester, MA worcestercraftcenter.org • 508.753.8183 ext. 301 22 MARCH2017
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Fiddler on the Farm & The Whyte School of Irish Dance. Powisset Farm, 31 Powisset St., Dover. 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Celtic fiddler Claire Pettit presents her instrumental, vocal, and dancing, as well as some traditional set dances such as the St. Patrick’s Day Set or Jockey to the Fair. Register ahead. Members $9, nonmembers $15. thetrustees.org.
13 Monday Maker Mondays: The Learning Hub. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Put a lab coat on and enter the Maker Lab as you create new things and discover the world around you. For ages 9 to 12. Free. mywpl.org. Family Fun Night: Flight. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Enjoy flight-based activities oriented around STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education principles, as we read ‘Bats at the Library’ and ‘Owlet’s First Flight’. Suitable for ages 3 to 7. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
14 Tuesday Tinker Tuesday: Pi Day. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Drop in and celebrate circles galore, as we create circle collages using lots of mixed-media circles, and tinker about testing your hand using compasses in honor of Pi Day. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. SMART Gals: Celebrate Pi Day. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Drop in and learn about the women who have made important contributions throughout history to the fields of science, math, and arts, and discover the fascinating concept of Pi as you follow in the footsteps of women and mathematicians. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Folk Open Mic. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 8 p.m. Enjoy as a variety of new and experienced performers come on stage during one of the most successful and entertaining open mic nights on the East Coast, with a special performance by Rob Siegel. Members free, nonmembers $5. natickarts.org.
15 Wednesday Woodpecker Wham: Preschool Story Hour. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Bring your favorite adult for a thematic hour of a story, activity, and naturalist-led walk. For ages 3 to 5. Register ahead. Member children
$3, nonmember children $4, adults free. massaudubon.org. Backyard and Beyond: Butterfly Seed Bombs. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Come as we make seed bombs filled with native milkweed seed and other flowers butterflies love, and bring your seed bomb home, toss it into a sunny spot, and grow some milkweed for butterflies. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Pajama Story Time. Addison Gallery of American Art, 180 Main St., Andover. 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Wear your favorite pajamas and join us for stories featuring rabbits, followed by family-friendly conversations about Throwing up Bunnies: The Irreverent Interlopings of Triple Candie. Free andover.edu. Singers Night. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. A highenergy concert featuring the students who were chosen from an audition process involving over 120 vocal students at Berklee, for a night of solo and group performances. Advance $8, day-of $12. berklee.edu.
16 Thursday Doggy Days: Brain Awareness Week. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Enjoy Abby the Therapy Dog as she shows that she is one smart pup. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. St. Paddy’s Party. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Plant shamrocks, greet a snake, and try some boxty, a traditional Irish potato treat, before enjoying a dance or two. For families with children up to age 8. Register ahead. Members $13.50, nonmembers $16.50. massaudubon.org. Shadows Around the World. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Travel the world with shadows, stories, and songs, as you meet everyone from an elegant Chinese Emperor to a topsy-turvy Turkish trickster. Through Sunday. $12. puppetshowplace.org. Kids After School Cooking Class: Edible Flowers. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. While they may be pretty, flowers can also be a place for gathering nutrients. Find out how you can incorporate floral elements into your daily diet. Ages 10 and up. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $25. towerhillbg.org.
17 Friday Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays. The
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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Enjoy a nature-based activity outside tailored to the weather of the day in either our Discovery Woods playspace or adjacent conservation land. Designed for ages 2 to 6. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.
4th Annual Dinner Theater The Addams Family
AN INTERACTIVE DINNER THEATER EXPERIENCE July, Located in Northorough
Week Long Theater Camps
Magic Wings, Yellow Tails, The Pharaohs Mask, Moon Cheese, The Golden Goose, Who’s Under my Bridge
Your child will rehearse a 35 minute musical in just 5 days! For the performance your child will be singing and dancing in costume & stage makeup! July and August, Located in Northborough and Westborough
Main Stage Musical The Lion King Jr
Learn this popular 1 hour musical in just 5 days! Fast-paced and fun! August, Located in Northborough
SPECIALTY CAMPS FairyTale Tots Camp
Each day your child will meet and explore a magical world with a different princess or fairytale character! Special interactive fun! July and August, Located in Westborough
NEW! Superhero Camp
Each day your child will meet and experience being a hero with some of their favorites! Special interactive fun! August, Located in Westborough
NEW! Musical Theater Camp
Each day focuses on strengthening each element of the performing arts Sing, Dance, Act, Resumes, Auditions! August, Located in Westborough
Got a Fundraiser?
St. Pat’s Skate. Rocky Woods, 64 Rocky Woods Reservation Entrance, Medfield. 6 p.m.8 p.m. Get out your green and come to Rocky Woods for an evening of Irish celebrations, from green ice to Gaelic music, with hot drinks, snacks, activities, and skating. Register ahead. Members $9, nonmembers $15. thetrustees.org.
18 Saturday Art in the Park. World’s End, 250 Martins Ln., Hingham. 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Explore the theme of art and nature with a craft or activity that celebrates the beauty of World’s End, as we make Gyotaku fish print T-shirts, snow sculptures, terrarium making, and more. Member children $9, nonmember children $15. thetrustees.org. Health Fair: Brain Works. Museum of Science: Boston, 1 Science Park, Boston. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Join Museum educators along with special guest scientists and engineers as they explore the connection between the brain and technology, including brain mapping and manipulation. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, children ages 3 to 11 $20, children under 3 free. mos.org. Nowruz 2017: The Persian New Year Festival. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10 a.m.5 p.m. Celebrate the Persian New Year as we examine Persian calligraphy, watch Iranian folk tunes brought to life, create your own masterpieces through art making activities, look at the museum’s Iranian and Persian art, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, ages 7 to 17 $10, children 6 and under free. mfa.org.
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The Jester of Notre Dame. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy timeless physical comedy, amazing stunts, and great music, during this performance of zany mischief, boyish antics, and comedy for the entire family to enjoy. Members $7; nonmember adults $10, children under 12 $8. regenttheatre.com. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy this scrumdiddlyumptious musical fantasy staring Gene Wilder as the weird and wonderful candy man. Adults $9, children $7. coolidge.org. Backyard and Beyond: Nature Journaling— Signs of Spring. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m. Make nature journals
in the classroom and bring them as we walk through the Great Hill conservation land to search for signs of spring. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Ben Rudnick and Friends. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 11 a.m. A performance boasting a high energy level of adventurous musicianship, seamlessly blending music from light folk and bluegrass to calypso, rock, and Irish jigs. Adults $10, children $8. natickarts.org. Destination Imagination Instant Challenges. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Join members from an Acton-based Destination Imagination team and race against the clock, trying your hand at building a variety of structures with simple materials. Activities geared toward ages 8 and up. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Capturing Flowers with Pencil and Paper. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Get ready for spring as you observe and draw flowers during this time when we explore how to capture floral shapes, draw them in perspective, and shade them to create a sense of volume. For ages 9 to 13. Register ahead. Members $25, nonmembers $35. hmnh.harvard.edu. Shades of Yale University Vocal Concert. Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak St., Brockton. 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Join one of Yale’s premiere a cappella groups celebrating the music of the African Diaspora. Advance $15, day-of $20. fullercraft.org. Puppet Showplace Slam. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 8 p.m. Live music meets with the finest puppetry acts to be part of the nation’s puppet slam network. Recommended for ages 13 and up. $15. puppetshowplace.org.
19 Sunday PJ Library Hip Hopping Dance Party. The Green Room, 62 Bow St., Somerville. 10 a.m.11:30 a.m. Get moving and dance the morning away with your little ones. Recommended for ages up to 3. Register ahead. Free. bostonjcc.org. Spring Celebration Drop-in Crafts. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Come celebrate the first day of spring at Tower Hill, as you enjoy crafts and explore the grounds for signs of spring with a guided photo scavenger hunt. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $15, youths ages 6 and up $5, children 5 and under free. towerhillbg.org.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Crepe Paper Flower Making. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Celebrate spring with a paper flower-making workshop, as you learn about the flowers that you will see in the coming warm days and weeks. Learn how to make several types of paper flowers to take home and welcome spring. For ages 8 and up. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $22. towerhillbg.org. Maplefest. Chestnut Hill Farm, 9-99 Chestnut Hill Rd., Southborough. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy all things Maple at our winter festival, as we process some of the maple sap we’ve gathered and sample delicious syrups, candles, and other treats, with crafts and games to boot. Register ahead. Members $5, nonmembers $10. thetrustees.org. Boston Area Chantey & Maritime Sing. USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown. 2 p.m.5 p.m. Listen, learn, and lift your voices, as you participate in your maritime heritage by joining a rousing chorus of sea chanteys at the USS Constitution Museum. Free. ussconstitutionmuseum.org. Tea and Tunes: David Newsam. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 3 p.m. Enjoy tea, cake, and the sounds of David Newsman’s masterful command of the guitar in the surrounding of our 1793 Carriage House. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Register ahead. Members $18, nonmembers $20. goreplace.org.
20 Monday Wee Ones Art Studio: Clay Farm Animals. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Sculpt horses, pigs, and chickens for farm fun play using colorful air-dry clay. For ages 3 to 5. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Mr. Frank’s Just Drop in Sing-a-long and Storytime. Worcester Public Library: Frances Perkins Branch, 470 West Boylston St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Sing songs, play musical instruments, listen to picture book stories, do a craft, learn to draw, and more. Free. mywpl.org. Library Craft Night: First Day of Spring. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Join us for some springy fun as we read ‘Mouse’s First Spring’ and ‘When Spring Comes’ before making a colorful spring butterfly or silly green frog pouch. For ages 3 to 6. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
21 Tuesday Lil’ SMART Gals: Rosalind Franklin. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Drop-in as we embrace
Women’s History Month, as we play with a DNAinspired scavenger hunt to find all the ways you look the same or different from your grownup and then create a face of your own design, in honor of this DNA pioneer. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. SMART Gals: Rosalind Franklin. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Celebrate Women’s History Month and a DNA pioneer, as we explore the components of DNA by making strawberry DNA necklaces and other DNA-inspired creations. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Teen Tuesdays. The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, 2468 Washington St., Canton. 4 p.m.6 p.m. Teen are invited to help begin our spring cleanup through fun, educational, and hands-on projects. Free. thetrustees.org.
22 Wednesday Magic the Gathering Casual Play. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Enjoy open, casual play during this monthly gathering for all experience levels. For ages 13 to 17. Free. mywpl.org. Spring Woodcock Watches. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Watch woodcocks as they put on incredible courtship flight displays, spiraling 200 feet into the air before descending rapidly to almost the same ‘launch site’ on the ground. Register ahead. Free. massaudubon.org.
GO NORTH Anne of Green Gables or Anne of Green Gables: Inclusive Audience Performance. Richard-Mees Performing Arts Center, Groton. March 30.
Kids After-School Cooking Class: Maple Syrup. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. This time of year, maple trees are buzzing to be tapped and their drippings turned into sweet maple syrup, so find out more about this ingredient during a hands-on cooking class. Ages 10 and up. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $25. towerhillbg.org. TOMMY: A Bluegrass Opry. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 8 p.m. Enjoy banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, and guitars bring energy to this special blue-grass edition of The Who’s Tommy, featuring The HillBenders band. Members $30, nonmembers $35. natickarts.org.
Bread and Bunnies. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Visit a rabbit on the farmyard and then head into the kitchen to bake a bunny’s favorite treat: carrot bread. For families with children up to age 7. Register ahead. Members $13.50, nonmembers $16.50. massaudubon.org.
Beginner Level Pysanky Ukrainian Egg Decorating. Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Create a unique and beautiful egg in this hands-on workshop, using beeswax and dyes that are applied in layers. For ages 12 and up. Through Saturday. Register ahead. Members $35, nonmembers $40. museumofrussianicons.org.
Take Aparts. The Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. & 2 p.m-4:30 p.m. Grab some tools and discover resistors, capacitors, and circuit boards as you uncover the inner workings of everyday electronics. Morning session geared for younger visitors. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Hao Bang Ah, Rooster. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Celebrate the Year of the Rooster in this fun and interactive show featuring a jolly selection of hand puppet vignettes based on popular songs and well-known Chinese sayings. Through Sunday. $12. puppetshowplace.org.
Everyday Engineering: Go Fish. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Engage in some everyday engineering as you construct and create the repurposed recycled materials as we try making mini fishing poles with different hooks, before using it to try and fish some precious cargo out of water. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Rock Off Main Street. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 7:30 p.m. Local teen and young adult bands in the region take their eclectic mix of music from indie, punk, emo,
hardcore, pop, and other traditions out of their basements and onto the stage where it belongs. $8. natickarts.org.
25 Saturday Science Sprouts. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Accompany your little one for a monthly program that incorporates math, science, nature, and art exploration. For ages 2 to 6. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $25. towerhillbg.org. Princess Tea. St. John the Evangelist Parish Center, 20 Church St., Hopkinton. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. & 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Enjoy performances by Disney princesses Elsa, Belle, and Cinderella, photo and autograph opportunities, face painting, a sundae bar, and delicious treats and coffee from Starbucks, during this event supporting the restoration, renovation, and expansion of the Hopkinton Public Library. Register ahead. $25. hplfinc.org. Spring Fun Fair. Corner Co-op Nursery School, 1773 Beacon St., Brookline. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy kids games and activities, face painting, silent auction, raffle, delicious food, and a live puppet show by CactusHead Puppets. Recommended for ages 2 to 7. Children $10, families $25. cornercoop.org. Woolapalooza. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Join us for our annual festival featuring fiber, food, and fun, as we meet new spring babies, a sheep shearing demonstration, handson activities, fresh lunch, and more. Members $14, nonmembers $16. massaudubon.org. Healthy Kids Festival. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11 a.m.BAYSTATEPARENT 25
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Curtain Up: New Musical Theater Songs by Berklee Students. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. The eighth-annual concert of brand-new, original musical theater songs written orchestrated, and performed by Berklee students and alumni. Advance $8, day-of $12. berklee.edu.
Spring into Spring. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Pkwy., Sharon. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Search the woods and fields for evidence that spring is really here, with plenty of games and active exploration. For ages 4 to 6. Register ahead. Members $9, nonmembers $12. massaudubon.org.
Anne of Green Gables: Inclusive Audience Performance. Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center, Lawrence Academy, 26 Powderhouse Rd., Groton. 6 p.m. A cast of 24 young people perform this classic tale of an orphan girl who rises from destitution to happiness in the farm country entirely by virtue of her pluck and personality, designed this evening for children with Autism or Special Needs. Adults $10, students $8. Also March 31. artsnashoba.org.
Lil’ SMART Gals: Katherine Johnson. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Drop in as we land asteroids to test what type of crater they make on our ‘moon’ as we celebrate a research mathematician who was fascinated by numbers and essential to NASA. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.
GO WONDER Pippin. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, Worcester. March 30-April 2.
3 p.m. Visit the teddy bear clinic and learn what happens in the hospital, experience medical tools, and learn about healthy habits through play with local hospital and health care volunteers. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. Spring into Nature. The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, 2468 Washington St., Canton. 1 p.m.3 p.m. Enjoy a scavenger hunt, games, and prizes, as we head to woodlands and peak into the pond by the dell where we can her a ‘ker-plop’, smell the flowers blooming, and maybe see our friendly robins. For ages 5 to 12. Members free, nonmembers $10. thetrustees.org. STEMsational Superstars. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Join us for an exciting day of science explorations while meeting local women scientists and engineers, as you perform handson activities. For ages 3 and up. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $5, children under 2 free. southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org. Hugh Hanley: Circle of Songs Live. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 4 p.m. Join the Regent Underground Theatre as it brings you Hugh Hanley in this performance encouraging participation and engaging and accessible music that parents enjoy and children love. Members free; nonmember adults $10, children $8. regenttheatre.com.
26 Sunday SSSlither into Passover: Animal Mitzzzvah Day. Easton Middle School, 98 Columbus Ave., North Easton. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Slither into Passover with a hands-on discovery experience with snakes, bugs, and frogs from experts at 26 MARCH2017
Rainforest Reptiles. Gather for an interactive Exodus story featuring movement, rhythm, and animal improv. Recommended for families with children up to age 6. Register ahead. Families $20. bostonjcc.org. PJ Library Pajam-Rama Family Concert and Brunch. Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center, 333 Nahanton St., Natick. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Come in your pajamas and get ready to jump, wiggle, and dance, as we collect new pajamas to donate to Cradles to Crayons, and enjoy the morning with Karen K & the Jitterbugs. Register ahead. Free. bostonjcc.org. Jenny the Juggler. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy Jenny the Juggler as she dazzles with dexterity and wit in her variety show, blows minds with face painting, delights with balloon animals, captivates with singing, and amazes with her appeal to kids and adults. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org. Spring Family Cooking Class. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Make and taste a variety of ‘spring’ inspired dishes and treats during this perfect time in the kitchen with family. Register ahead. Member adult-child pairs $25, nonmember adult-child pairs $35. towerhillbg.org.
27 Monday Toddler & Me Yoga and Movement. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. & 11 a.m.12 p.m. Join us for a fun-filled yoga play for active tots and preschoolers, as we enjoy yoga poses, songs, and movement that encourages little ones to embrace their own unique yoga expressions. For ages 1 to 3. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
The Eyes Have It. Habitat Education and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Track the animals that are returning or emerging from their winter homes. For families with children ages up to 5. Register ahead. Members $6, nonmembers $8. massaudubon.org. SMART Gals: Katherine Johnson. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Join us as we learn about the physicist and mathematician who worked with NASA for crucial space missions, and build your own landing pod worthy of a moon landing. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.
29 Wednesday Backyard and Beyond: Listening Walk. The Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m. Make predictions and add them to our listening wheels before we take our craft out to the Conservation Land at 11 a.m. for a listening walk. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Celebrate NanoDays. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Join us for hands-on educational activities about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.
30 Thursday Make a MESS: Spring Fever. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Spring has sprung and we can barely ‘contain’ excitement here at the museum, so drop in and create a vernal work of art using recycled containers of all sorts. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.
Dance of the Woodcock. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Love is in the air as the sun sets in early spring and we visit their aerial mating displays. For ages 8 and up. Register ahead. Member adults $5, children $3; nonmember adults $7, children $5. massaudubon.org. Pippin. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy this high-flying, death-defying hit Broadway musical full of extraordinary acrobatics, wondrous magical feats, and music that will lift you up and keep you smiling your entire way home. $39-$74. thehanovertheatre.org. Animation Universe. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Enjoy as the Audire Soundtrack Choir and Orchestra presents a musical journey through the various worlds of the animation genre, from the soundtracks of studios including Disney, Pixar, Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, and more. Advance $8, day-of $12. berklee.edu.
31 Friday Punschi: The Adventures of Kasper. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. Join the German hand puppet hero Kasper on two imaginative adventures that comes to life on a whimsical puppet stage made out of a giant umbrella. $12. puppetshowplace.org. Chicken Dance Party. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Dance along with the chickens, from the Rooster Rumba to the Chickie Cha-Cha, as we visit the farm’s Poultry House. For families with children ages up to 8. Register ahead. Members $12.50, nonmembers $15.50. massaudubon.org. Teen Henna Night. Fitchburg Public Library, 610 Main St., Fitchburg. 5 p.m.-7 p.m. A Henna artist creates beautiful designs. For ages 13 to 18. Free. fitchbrugpubliclibrary.org.
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BAYSTATEPARENT 27 7/11/14 10:09 PM
THE THINKING PARENT
How Children Can Learn to Regulate Emotions BY KRYSTAL CANEY
On a crisp spring afternoon, I watched Jacob and his dad playing soccer in the backyard through the window. The score was 5-5 — next goal wins. Jacob was between the goal posts, crouched and ready for Dad to take his shot. Dad faked left, then right, wound up for the kick, and shot the ball just past Jacob’s fingertips. Pounding the ground with his fists, Jacob let out an angry howl. He heaved himself up, and with a red face, stormed past his dad straight for the house. “I quit! I’m never playing again!” I peeked out the window at his father, and he shrugged helplessly back at me. What Jacob’s perplexed father just experienced was his son’s difficulty with emotion regula-
tion. Emotion regulation can be described as a process of specific strategies that alter or change the experience of negative emotions. While it is true that individuals vary in their emotional responses — intensity, frequency, and behaviors — emotion regulation is a learned skill that develops over time, at different speeds, and at different mastery levels. Children begin learning the process of regulating their emotions from the very moment of birth, when their cries of distress are responded to by caregivers who provide basic needs, such as food, touch, shelter, warmth, etc. Some infants are more easily soothed than others, suggesting there are some individual differences in the ability to acquire emotional self-regulation. Although some infants show stronger self-soothing behaviors than others, the infant’s internal feelings of distress are largely addressed by
the caregiver’s efforts to change the external environment. Responding positively to his emotional needs will form a strong, trusting bond between the infant and his mother, and will pave the way for future emotional regulation modeling and guidance. As children move from preschool to school-age, they are expected to take greater responsibility for their emotional regulation, and this is often where parents become concerned. Children are still seeking guidance and direction in dealing with their negative emotions, and the development of emotional selfregulation varies considerably, in much the same way children vary in walking or learning to tie their shoes. Research in child development shows that children learn how to regulate their emotions through interactions they have with their parents, as well as other complex combinations of maturation of the child’s neurological inhibitory system, temperament, socialization, and environmental support as predictors of emotional regulation. Differences in the way families deal with emotions (self and others) and levels of predictability and stress in a child’s life all have an impact on the rate and extent to which they develop these allimportant skills. Research has demonstrated some best practices parents can use toward helping their children establish healthy emotion regulation techniques to carry into adolescence and adulthood. 1. Physical soothing. Remembering that the first and most basic emotional responses involve neurophysiological reactions, caregivers can offer gentle touch in the form of a hug, gentle touch, or hand on the shoulder. 2. Distraction. Sometimes a caregiver can help a child become “unstuck” in a situation that is causing distress by providing a switch in task, a new game, or a similar diversion. 3. Accept expressions of emotion. While a child’s sulking, yelling, and crying can be exhausting, parents can assist children by tuning in, rather than tuning out. Encourage children to express their feelings through their own words rather than suggesting how they “should” or “shouldn’t” feel (“You should be happy for your sister!” or “Don’t be sad!”).
4. Model emotional regulation skills by talking about your own feelings. Parents should describe their feelings using words to explain their own emotional reactions and emotional regulation strategies (e.g., “I’m so frustrated. Maybe if I take a break for a little while I can figure out a different way to deal with this”). Parents who model this will teach their children to use words instead of behaviors to express their emotions. 5. Teach children to recognize when negative feelings are building up. Help them tune into their body and notice early warning signs of anger or aggravation. This may be a tone of voice, a feeling of tension, or a small behavior. 6. Teach them to “turtle.” Teach your child to imagine s/he has a shell like a turtle. Tell them to pull into their shell and take a few deep breaths, pushing the air into their arms and legs. As they slow their breathing, encourage them to think positive thoughts (e.g., “I can be calm”) and to stay in their shell until they can come out and try to deal with the situation again. 7. Teach problem-solving skills. When a child masters their physical responses and emerges from their “turtle shell,” caregivers can help them learn to cope with their emotions on a cognitive level by engaging in problem solving: What is the problem? What are possible solutions? Which ones can I implement? What would happen if I did it? Am I doing it? How did it turn out? Above all, caregivers can help children regulate their emotions by praising positive efforts. The enthusiasm you brought to a child’s first steps can be just as powerful for their first success at self-regulation. Recognizing preferred methods of emotion regulation strategies would help children use the same methods in the future. Krystal Caney is a graduate student clinician in the Mental Health Counseling program at Becker College. She provides counseling services to adults, children, couples, and families through the Counselor Training Clinic at Becker College in Leicester. Visit mhcclinic.becker.edu for more information about available, low-cost, counseling services with Krystal or other qualified professionals.
DIVORCE & CO-PARENTING
Common Misconceptions About Custody and Co-Parenting BY ATTY. ANDY P. MILLER
Co-parenting is undoubtedly one of the most daunting challenges facing parents who are newly separated or divorced. And there also are several misconceptions about child custody and co-parenting that we’d like to help put to rest.
One of the biggest misconceptions is the continuing belief that judges automatically grant mothers full or primary custody of their children, based on the outdated notion that children are better off with their mothers. That’s simply not the case anymore. Courts now base custody decisions on what’s in the best interest of the children. Most family court judges in Massachusetts acknowledge the important role fathers play in the lives of their children, including infants and toddlers. So they’re more willing to consider shared custody arrangements, or even award sole or primary custody to the father, if that is what is in the best interest of their children.
Another misconception is that one parent or the other will be the custodial parent and the other parent will be granted limited visitation — usually every other weekend and a visit or two during the week. Today, most divorces with children involved include parenting plans that define each parent’s role with regards to their children, including parenting time, child support, college costs, and much more. Many parenting plans include shared custody, which can have children spending equal amounts of time with both parents or any other schedule that the court determines to be in the child’s best interest.
BY MELISSA SHAW
Remembering Attorney, Divorce and Co-Parenting Columnist Irwin Pollack
I’m sad to report that Atty. Irwin Pollack, our monthly Divorce and Co-Parenting columnist, passed away in January. For nearly two years, Irwin shared his expert advice with our readers monthly, and regardless of the specific topic, his message always centered around one tenet: Put your children first. Irwin approached me in spring 2015 asking if we’d like to publish a monthly column on co-parenting; I couldn’t agree fast enough. Divorce affects a large percentage of families, and expert advice on co-parenting would not only assist thousands of our readers, but also inform and enlighten those who are not touched by it, an equally impor-
Misconception #3 Some people believe that the parent with whom the child lives gets to make all of the important decisions in that child’s life. But that’s not necessarily the case. Many parenting plans provide one parent with primary custody of the child, but state that both parents share legal custody — meaning each parent has an equal say in important decisions about their child, including medical care, religious upbringing, education, and so forth. Joint legal custody also means that both parents have the right to all school, medical, dental, and other records pertaining to their children.
Misconception #4 Many believe that parents can’t get along with one another after a divorce. The best way to achieve
tant goal in my opinion. In the months following, Irwin wrote on a variety of topics related to divorce and co-parenting: vacations and travel, schooling, holiday gift giving, education, afterschool activities, scheduling, and much more. Divorce is an area fraught with high emotion. Bring children into the equation, and feelings are magnified many times over; the opportunity for conflict is ever present. Yet Irwin, a divorced father himself, always promoted a positive message, one of compromise, consideration, communication, and putting the kids first. Was his advice always easy? No — the right thing to do sometimes isn’t, as we well know. Was it right? Yes. I had the pleasure of being on
co-parenting success is to set aside your feelings about your child’s other parent and focus on the business of raising your children together. You don’t have to like your ex, but you should try to establish a respectful co-parenting relationship that puts the needs of your children first. After all, your role as husband and wife may end, but your role as mom and dad lasts forever. Attorney Andy P. Miller is the Managing Attorney of Pollack Law Group, P.C. A father himself, he focuses on children and their best interests by helping guide parents through the divorce process. Having practiced in nearly every county in Massachusetts, he has a wide understanding of the various courts in Massachusetts and experience before many judges.
Irwin’s popular radio show, “Talking About Divorce”, several times, and I always loved seeing him in person. His energy and enthusiasm was contagious, and he was so much fun to be around. I will miss him greatly. Our staff’s deepest condolences are extended to Irwin’s family, colleagues, and his listeners and readers across Massachusetts. However, there is one good piece of news to report. Irwin’s Divorce and Co-Parenting column will continue in baystateparent, graciously adopted by his colleague, Atty. Andy P. Miller, whose first column appears above. We’re grateful for Andy’s columns and proud to continue publishing information and advice that will aid divorced and co-parenting families.
Kids and Screen Time: The Rules Just Changed Takeaways from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new guidelines BY STEPHANIE O’LEARY
In case you didn’t have enough to keep up with while raising your kids, the rules have changed when it comes to kids and screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its guidelines for 2017, giving parents new information on how to manage the amount of time kids spend in front of screens. Before we get too far, I want to include a little disclaimer: These are guidelines. As a parent, you can do your best to follow them knowing that they are easier to create than they are to carry out on a daily basis. When
kids are sick, when you’re sick, when you’re trying to get your child to sit still for a doctor’s visit, or when you’re counting the minutes until your four-hour flight lands, well-chosen movies, games, and apps can be a lifesaver. Let’s not throw that baby out with the bathwater while trying to make sure screen time doesn’t get out of hand. OK, now that we have that out of the way, here are the most important takeaway messages, as well as some helpful tips on using the well-researched advice of doctors in the real world — where you and I both live.
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Infants (under 18 months)
• Do your very best not to make screens a part of your infant’s routine.
The AAP recommends no screens. Basically, pretend your child is allergic to screens. Also, try not to use screens around your child (TV, smartphone, etc.). Here are my takeaways (coming from a mom who spent countless hours watching TV while feeding my babies because I didn’t have kids who ate quickly and efficiently, and I was doing all I could to not lose my mind):
• Be aware of how much time and attention you are giving to screens while you are actively with your child. Maybe turn the TV off during meals, leave your phone on the counter when you’re playing, and press pause on introducing movies and television shows — even educational ones — for now. • Take time to read to your child, talk to your child, and if you have older kids, let them step in and
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Preschool years (ages 2-5)
entertain your youngest because there’s no educational programming that can beat the show you or your other kids will put on for your baby!
The new AAP guidelines suggest no more than 1 hour per day of educational screen time, adding that parents should view with their children (just when you thought you had a guilt-free hour of peace).
Toddlers (18 to 24 months) The AAP says that a tiny bit of screen time is OK, but only supervised, high-quality educational activities or use of screens to connect/socialize (think Skype or FaceTime chats with Grandma).
• Make an effort to be near your child while they watch a show, but don’t feel pressured to be glued to their side. Check in from the other room to ask what they’re doing/ seeing, and follow - up to answer any questions. You’ll probably get an earful about whatever the Paw Patrol pups were doing or the lessons taught by Elmo and friends on Sesame Street, but you’ll be engaging in conversation with your child about their learning, which is critical.
• Make sure that the app or game you choose is truly educational, and set a timer for 10-15 minutes, because it’s all too easy to bask in the quiet of a child entertained by a screen. • Make an effort to be with your toddler while they’re using screens, and make it a priority to keep screen time separate from the bedtime routine.
• Be sure to monitor what you’re watching or doing on screens in front of your child because they are old enough to see and hear everything without skipping a beat. Definitely turn off the news and avoid having the television on in the background.
• Read books to your toddler. While the interactive components of eBooks are exciting and stimulating, research suggests that they can be distracting and get in the way of what your child comprehends.
• Begin to talk to your child about
Kids (6 and up) The AAP suggests that parents make sure kids do their schoolwork, socialize, get a least 1 hour of physical activity per day, and get ample rest (8-12 hours per night depending on age). What’s leftover can be used as screen time with careful selection of shows, games, apps, etc. Unfortunately, that’s a little less clear, and with such a big age range lumped into a small category, it’s hard to find the bottom line on how much time is too much time! Here’s what to focus on: • Remember that access to screens is a privilege. Talk to your child about what they need to be responsible for in order to earn that privilege, and set limits. My stance is 2 or more hours of screen time per day usually comes at the expense of other important activities. • As a parent, you have to make a judgment call on what “counts” as socialization. Do you feel that texting, Snapchat, and gaming will
INSPIRING FUTURE INNOVATORS
Finally, have ongoing, candid conversations about the aim of media advertisers so your child is not brainwashed by targeted messages. Teaching your child to be a thoughtful consumer of information provides an invaluable life skill, as well as a tool to handle the influence of advertisers in the present day. Stephanie O’Leary, Psy.D. (stephanieoleary.com) is a clinical psychologist specializing in neuropsychology, a mom of two, and author of Parenting in the Real World. She provides parents with a no-nonsense approach to navigating the daily grind while preparing their child for the challenges they’ll face in the real world.
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• Make sure that sleep is held sacred. To do this, have kids turn off or hand over screens an hour before bed, and don’t allow smartphones and tablets to reside on night tables (a habit that’s hard to break and can have long-term negative consequences because the light emitted makes it hard to fall asleep).
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4 Ways to Rein In Kids’
Digital Manners BY GREGG MURSET
ne of the biggest challenges parents face today is tackling the issue of digital manners. People of all ages feel empowered by a level of anonymity and physical distance online, and as a result, emails, text messages, and communications on social media are often more harsh
and degrading than what would be expressed in person. Simply put, people feel free to be meaner online, and parents must teach their children how to react if someone treats them poorly online, in addition to making sure their child is not saying or posting inappropriate things online. Here are tips to help parents teach their children about good digital manners. 1. The Golden Rule. Even though you are not talking to someone in person, sending an email or posting on social media does not mean you can ignore The Golden Rule. Explain to children that feelings can get hurt the same in person as online, and that they should always treat others the way they would want to be treated.
SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAMS
2. Use the news. Older children have probably heard about a celebrity being badmouthed or belittled online by critics. Use news stories like this as an opportunity to bring up the subject of online bullying, and talk to older kids to find out if they are victims, or if they might regret something they said online. 3. Supervision is key. It is impossible to teach children to be responsible and respectful online if you have no idea what sites they are visiting or what accounts they use. Parents should monitor children’s Internet activity, restrict the sites they are allowed to visit, and ask for their usernames and passwords. Unless the child is paying for the phone, tablet, or service themselves, ownership belongs to parents, and the child should
expect inspections from time to time. 4. Discuss repercussions. Some children are under the impression that their parents are not “tech savvy” and will not be able to discover what they are up to online. Before you give kids the password to the family computer or their own smartphones, discuss what the repercussions will be if you discover they have been unkind to someone online or are acting in other ways that are not approved. Gregg Murset is CEO of BusyKid and a father of six. Formerly known as My Job Chart, BusyKid is a mobile website that helps parents teach children about work ethic, responsibility, accountability, and managing real money.
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The Human Microbiome Trillions of microbes live inside our bodies, and we wouldn’t be able to survive without each other! Discover what our tiny companions are up to, how diverse they are, and their importance to our personal health. Now on view. From academics including STEM, the arts to athletics and recreation, UNH’s summer youth programs enable students age 6-18 to explore their interests and talents. Students learn new skills, meet new peers, and have fun! All programs offer individualized learning in a safe environment with top-notch facilities. Programs are held on a college campus and other sites throughout NH, and are led by University faculty, staff and students.
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March’s Child: Faith
Faith is a 13-year-old teenager of Caucasian descent who loves animals. Her last placement had many rescued pets, and she felt very connected to those animals. She hopes to be a veterinarian one day. Faith also enjoys cooking, arts and crafts, horseback riding, and being outdoors. She used to volunteer at a barn caring for the horses and in return earned riding time.
For more information about Faith, please contact Department of Children and Families (DCF) Adoption Supervisor Karen Greaney at (508) 929-1000. The Worcester DCF Office hosts monthly informational meetings on the second Wednesday of each month for those wishing to learn more about the adoption process in general. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 8 from 6 p.m.–7 p.m. The DCF Adoption Development & Licensing Unit’s Office, 13 Sudbury St. in Worcester. Please call (508) 929-2143 to register and for specifics about parking.
Circle of Friends Wednesday, March 1: Northern Region Adoption Info Meeting, Jordan’s Furniture: 50 Walkers Brook Dr., IMAX Conference Room, Reading. 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Stephanie Frankel, ADLU supervisor: stephanie. email@example.com. Tuesday, March 7: Western Region Adoption Info Meeting — Department of Children and Families, 140 High St., 5th Floor, Springfield. 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (413) 452-3369. Wednesday, March 8: Central Region Adoption Info Meeting — ADLU Worcester. 13 Sudbury St., Worcester. 6 p.m.-7 p.m. (508) 929-2413.
Worcester JCC Early Childhood Center
Faith is currently in the seventh grade and is a good student. Her teachers have always enjoyed having her in their classrooms. Faith currently receives weekly support to help her address multiple transitions, and past traumas. While she does well with other children, she does not like to share adult attention. Her worker feels Faith would benefit from being an only child in a pre-adoptive home so she can receive a lot of one-on-one attention. Legally free for adoption, Faith should be placed in a home with a single mom as an only child. The family will need to be open to ongoing contact between Faith and her two younger siblings.
Wednesday, March 15: Boston Region Adoption Info Meeting, DCF Boston, 451 Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester. 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. 617989-9209. Thursday, March 16: Southern Region Adoption Info Meeting, Morton Hospital, 88 Washington St., Margaret Stone Conference Room, Taunton. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. RSVP: (508) 894-3830. Monday, March 20: Southern Region Adoption Info Meeting, Canton Police Department Conference Room, 1492 Washington St., Canton. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. RSVP: (508) 894-3830.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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KidsCon & CAMP EXPO
Your one stop resource for all things kids.
What a day! A look back at fabulous Feb. 11th fun! PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH BROOKS
C’mon, Let’s Go! ILLUSTRATION BY AILISH SHEA
ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH MEDEIROS
ILLUSTRATION BY LAUREN MADIGAN
ILLUSTRATION BY KELLIE McDONALD
SUMMER CAMP: C’MON, LET’S GO!
How to Choose the Right Camp for Your Child BY BETTE BUSSEL The six New England states, where summer camp began 150 years ago, offer an array of day and overnight camp opportunities that are unparalleled anywhere in the world. You name the interest or need for a child, and you can find a camp that is a great fit. Yet there are so many variables and parameters to consider, camp-seeking can feel a little daunting. One of the most important things camp seekers should know: Include your child in this process! (A 3-yearold day camper won’t be able to participate as much as a 14-year-old, but it is clear that campers like to have some say in the final decision.)
Questions to explore with your child Who? Who is going to camp? First timer? Heading to camp solo or with a friend? What? Day or overnight? Small or large? General or specialty? Program preferences? Lessons and instruction? Level of competition? What does the child want to learn? What does the parent want the child to learn? What activities are already loved by this child? Where? Near home or work for day camp? Within a certain number of miles or in a particular state for overnight camp? How will your camper travel to camp — by bus, 38 MARCH2017
car, foot, or plane? When? Camp session lengths vary from partial week to full summer (7 to 8 weeks). In your child’s summer plans, how many weeks of camp would be ideal? Can you be flexible about session length? (This can expand your options.) Are there certain weeks your family needs camp coverage? When is school out? Many school-age children attend both day and overnight camps during the same summer.
Top tips Limit your camp search nonnegotiables to the essentials. Know what’s most important for your camper and for you and where you can compromise on variables such as session length, programming options, and price. If attending camp is a new concept to the entire family, and if the child doesn’t have strong feelings about a program, consider a general camp program and one that is designed for new campers. Camps do an excellent job of exposing children to a broad array of programming options so they can discover what they love doing at camp. It’s common for a child to sign up for a camp because there will be a certain activity; it’s equally common for them to come home with a new favorite activity — something they were introduced to at camp! A word about specialization: Just because a program is called “general” or “traditional” doesn’t mean
the child cannot focus on an area of interest or skill. Depending on how the camp is organized, there are many that allow campers to focus on a particular activity, building skills and passion for it, and still make it possible for the child to experience other camp programming — the best of both worlds. Talk with people about your finalist camps. Attend open houses and in-person events to talk with camp reps after reviewing all their materials in print and online. Ask for a list of parent references and base the questions you ask them on the most important aspects of your search: Are the counselors stand-up people? How well are children supervised? How about safety? How is the food? What did their children report about camp? Listen to camp stories from everyone about finalist camps. Focus on the outcomes. When I talk with day and overnight campers and their parents, I hear clearly that children are thrilled by making new friends, learning new skills, and having the chance to experience childhood at its finest. Summer camp is much more than a list of the activities offered. Summer camps are worlds created exclusively for children’s optimal development. Time spent at day and overnight camp fosters social and emotional learning, life-skill-building, and the ultimate peer experience — it boosts independence as it provides group belonging.
Bette Bussel is executive director of the American Camp Association, New England. The organization supports camp experiences, educates camp professionals and staff, consults on camp best practices, and advocates for camp quality. For additional camp information and resources in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont visit acanewengland.org.
Your Camp Search Shortcut To ease your search for the perfect summer camp, visit American Camp Association, New England at acanewengland.org/families-public. There you will find resources to explore and questions to ask yourself, your child, and the camps you consider. You will also discover advice about how to frame your summer camp search. You can also use the organization’s comprehensive online camp search tool, FindACamp, which takes you directly to the websites of the camps on your search results page. When using FindACamp, you might not get any results if you list too many key criteria; they may be cancelling each other out. Try several separate searches using just one or two criteria to get more results.
MEET Camp Clio Camp Clio and our New Camp Clio Teen offer a unique experience for adopted children (9-12) and teens (13-17). Camp Clio campers and counselors (themselves adopted and serving as role models) share the intimacy and safety of being with other adopted friends, providing the opportunity to share feelings and adoption stories with others who understand adoption without explanation because they are “just like me” – all in a fun, “old-fashion” camp environment.
CAMP DATES Camp Clio Teen: June 25–July 7. Camp Clio youth: July 2-22. • Campers may come for 1 or more sessions. • Scholarships are available based on need.
CONTACT INFO For more information on registration go to www.campclio.org
HEIFER FARM DAY CAMPS APRIL VACATION CAMP Campers ages 7 to 13 have a front row seat to the wonders of springtime on the farm as baby animals are born and seedlings sprout. NEW this year—sign up for one day, two days or the whole week! Themes make each day unique and exciting.
APRIL VACATION POP-IN Got young kiddos? Drop in with your child, age 3 to 6, any day or every day during April Vacation Camp for story time, a hay ride, animals and a craft based on the day’s theme. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
M: Tater Tots T: Cock-a-doodle Doers W: Fresh Air Friends Th: Creative Bugs F: Party Animals
9 a.m.-noon April 17-21 $5/person No pre-registration required
9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 17-21 $65 per day or $275 per week Extended care available
SUMMER FARM CAMP Enjoy a week of fun on the farm! Campers ages 7 to 13 will enjoy going on a hay ride, playing with farm animals, tasting garden vegetables and cooking international fare along with crafts, water games and trail hikes. Teens ages 14 to 16 can apply to be Counselors in Training. June 26-30 July 10-14 July 17-21 July 24-28
July 31-August 4 August 7-11 August 14-18
9 a.m.-4 p.m. $275 per week Extended care available
Registration forms for each camp are available at www.heifer.org/farm or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org 216 Wachusett Street, Rutland, MA 01543 | 508.886.2221
17-MRD-6SD1 2017 Baystate Summer Camp-Heifer Farm Day Camp Ad.indd 1
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SUMMER CAMP: C’MON, LET’S GO!
The No-Worry Way to Try Overnight Camp ILLUSTRATION BY AMBER WASHBURN
BY MICHELE DECOTEAU
Summer camp evokes thoughts of long hot days, swimming with new friends, and silly songs, but for some parents it’s one more to-do to fit into an already busy summer schedule. For others, sleeping away from home at an overnight camp may be a source of anxiety for the child, parent, or both. And summer camp, no matter where it is offered, is a considerable expense. Given those factors, many camps are now offering shorter sessions, designed to introduce more children to the joys of camp.
“Short camp experiences are an excellent gateway to the camp programs,” says Mary Strom, from Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. “It is an outdoor progression. Everyone starts in a different place. When I was a girl, I was ready to camp for two or three weeks, but not everyone starts there. We have a program for girls in Kindergarten through third grade, where they go to day camp and have one night where they do a campfire and go home. Then in fourth grade, they may choose to do a single overnight if
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they are ready, and this is all part of being in regular day camp. We do have a half-week option at our resident camps, too. Campers arrive on Sunday and leave on Wednesday, so they get the full experience of resident camp in a shorter time.” “Our sampler of camp is a stepping stone to a two-week stay,” says Ryan Reed, director of YMCA Camp Takokah, in Richmond, N.H. “And for us, the sample camp experience is a week long. It usually takes campers a day or two to adjust and get their bearings before they thrive.” “Our mini-camp experience is three days and two nights,” adds Matt Cornish, director of Camp Washington, in Lakeside, Conn. “We usually have 20 to 30 campers and a full staff of eight to ten, so the ratios are great. We stay together as one group building one little community.” Short stays at camp have many of the same benefits of longer sessions, creating life-long memories. Mini sessions fit into schedules for busy families with children who have summer school or sports schedules that are already quite full. Add in family vacations, and a short summer camp might be the best option, especially if a camper is nervous about staying away
from home. “The ideal short-week camper is a kid who loves to explore and is inquisitive by nature,” Cornish says. “They naturally want to explore. They may also have anxiety about what it means to be away from home. We focus on creating relationships camper to camper and staff to camper. This helps them stay connected and talk about their worries.” “Most of the staff are pretty young, 18 to 24,” Girl Scouts’ Strom says. “They are all trained ahead of time to work with homesick campers. Often they will talk about their own experiences of leaving home and being at camp with campers who are homesick or anxious. Usually by campfire in the evening, even nervous campers are back on track.” “After staying for the short camp week,” Reed says, “about 90% of the campers are excited and want to stay longer. When they do come back — and most do — their adjustment period is faster. They know the rules, they know the staff, and they know the vocabulary.” Every camp has their own lingo and rituals setting them apart from schools and home. Some camps have songs or chants at meals and others may have odd
names for facilities. “Our camp calls the bathrooms the Twins,” Reed chuckles. “The camp is 100 years old and we have two sites on the camp, one for boys and one for girls. When they first built the camp, there were two exactly matching bathrooms that everyone called the Twins. They have been rebuilt and now don’t match exactly, but the name stuck.” Knowing the camp vocabulary and rituals helps campers adjust back to camp quickly at the beginning of a session. If you or your camper is concerned about being away from home, call the camp ahead of time. Starting in February or March, most have some staff available who can talk with parents about their concerns. “If you are unsure, call,” Strom advises. “Staff are happy to talk to parents about what to expect and how to determine what camp experience your daughter is ready for.” In addition, many camps are engaging in social media, not for the campers, but for parents. Some camps will post photos from the week on special blogs or Facebook, so parents can see what is happening and how much fun their campers are having. Expense is not a small concern
for many parents, especially if a child is in more than one camp or has siblings who also want to attend. “We never want to turn away a camper for financial reasons,” Camp Takokah’s Reed says. “We have robust financial assistance for campers, including discounts and scholarships.” The benefits of any length of camp can be seen in kids long after the final closing ceremony. “Going to camp allows girls to learn and grow in a different environment,” Strom says. “They are away from their parents, friends, and school. They are away from electronics, as well. You learn life skills at camp that will make it easier to adjust to college. You will know how to make friends, and you can try on different personality traits. You can make mistakes that no one from home sees and no one remembers. Even if you come back to the same camp the next year, it will be with different girls.” “We focus on cultivating relationships that help kids embrace what community means,” Cornish adds. “Our goal is for campers to leave in better shape than they arrived. And it is that sense of community and togetherness that they carry beyond the walls of the camp.”
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Spend your summer on the Hilltop. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your summer vacation, we have a camp that’s right for you! Worcester Academy’s Summer Programs offer a wide range of opportunities that meet all types and levels of interests for a variety of ages. Our programs are drawn from WA’s rigorous academics, strong leadership, competitive athletics, and inspiring arts programs. We are focused on helping children become the best versions of themselves. For program details, fees, and to register, visit worcesteracademy.org/summer.
SUMMER CAMP: C’MON, LET’S GO!
Current Camp Trends: Looking Ahead While Embracing the Past BY BETTE BUSSEL
they round out children’s year-round education, day and overnight camps have to stay up with the times. The concerns of school-based educators, parents, and guardians about children today are also the concerns of camps. Whether building 21st-century skills or the grit and resilience necessary to succeed in college and future jobs, camps partner with families and schools to prepare children for life. Here in New England, where the first summer camp launched more than 150 years ago, day and overnight camps are thriving. They’re constantly evolving to meet the needs and interests of campers. Here’s what’s trending 44 MARCH2017
now at summer camp.
Programs Camps are always tweaking programs, enhancing existing offerings and adding new ones. For instance, summer camps have added SUP — stand-up paddle boarding — before many resorts and recreation programs, and it is still being added to many camps. New SUP programs fit right into waterfront programming with canoes and sailboats, which have been in use for decades. The latest changes in camp programming have been the addition of gardening, health/fitness/wellness, and family camp.
• GaGa is an example of a game that has taken the camp world by storm in the past few years. It’s inexpensive to offer and safer to play than Dodgeball, with much of the same excitement and maximum participation. New England day camps are adding GaGa and SUP, while overnight camps are adding woodworking programs. • Despite the short New England gardening season, camps have embraced gardening and growing as educational and practical. They’re even sourcing some salad bar items from their own gardens, supplying culinary arts programs with campgrown ingredients, and teaching
campers about planting and harvesting food, as well as how environmentally responsible gardening can be. • Teaching children to care for the planet is a natural fit. Eighty-three percent of day camps and nearly 90% of overnight camps recycle, which is one excellent way to help children understand the environment’s importance. Beyond teaching environmental responsibility, camps also serve as outdoor educators. There’s renewed interest in learning about nature; and camp provides the perfect place to do it. • Camps have long-influenced campers’ health, fitness, and wellness. Campers today can learn about
yoga, mindfulness, and nutrition, as well as weight-, strength-, and grouptraining. • The popularity of Family camp programs has grown year-to-year for the past decade. For all the same positive reasons parents sign children up for summer camp, they’re looking for camps that offer sessions for the entire family. Family camp programming is very prevalent in New England.
Enrollment • Nationally, more than 80% of camps report enrollment has increased or stayed constant. Sixtyfive percent of camps now enjoy higher enrollment, and 70% have returning campers. • Day camps continue to be an area of growth, both in terms of the number of day camps and the number of new program offerings they have added. Many children benefit from being part of day camp and overnight camp communities in the same summer. • Shorter sessions are more available than ever, whether that’s a super-short, one-time-only opportunity for first-timers to try camp, or a one-week offering for campers and families who prefer shorter sessions. While short sessions attract many new campers, there continue to be session lengths that range from several days to all summer long (seven or eight weeks). Four-, three-, and two-week sessions are also popular in New England.
Education Camps’ closest partners and collaborators are schools and families. After all, teachers invented camp. Camps have the opportunity to offer experiential educational opportunities that compliment and reinforce school-based learning. Three educational trends stand out right now: • STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math / Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) curricula have been added at many schools. Camps are encouraging STEM/STEAM learning, too, many by pointing out learning opportunities that already exist within their programs and also by adding new STEM/STEAM-focused components. • Year-round use of camp facilities. Because of the increased number of camp-school partnerships, camp facilities are in use more and more during non-summer months. Two
examples are formal programs, in which entire classrooms come to camp for a week to benefit from outdoor education curricula delivered by camp educators, and day programs, at which school children have the chance to experience ropes courses, nature trails, and other facilities. • Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) is an area of great focus across the country. The aim: to provide children with learning opportunities outside school time and classrooms. Summer camps are partnering with schools to provide formal learning opportunities in summer camp settings as a way to reduce summer learning loss and address summer learning needs of struggling students.
Impact Camps contribute mightily to their immediate communities and society at large. Young people often find their first jobs at camp. Some campers grow into jobs at the camps where they have “grown up,” while others take their portable camp skills and knowledge to other camps that hire them. Counselor-in Training (CIT) programs are growing; 66% of New England camps have 20+ campers in CIT programs. Camp jobs teach basic skills all good employees need, such as punctuality, teamwork, and responsibility. And they provide training that is useful in other job settings, from lifeguarding and other certifications, to basic knowledge of how to teach and work with children. In fact, as college students weigh whether to take unpaid internships or accept highly responsible camp positions, camp jobs often prevail. Summer camps play a major role in preparing the next generation for the world of work. These latest trends reflect how the experiential learning environment of summer camp boosts learning in significant and fun ways. Day and overnight camps are a key component of children’s year-round learning, as they keep up with the times, yet stay grounded in more than a century of experience of preparing children for the future. Bette Bussel is executive director of the American Camp Association, New England. The organization supports camp experiences, educates camp professionals and staff, consults on camp best practices, and advocates for camp quality. For additional camp information and resources in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, visit acanewengland.org.
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Give your child a summer of fun with exciting day camp activities and themed sessions packed with memories and experiences to last a lifetime! • Full day from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. • Transportation from Worcester available • Waterfront location • Outdoor adventure & nature trails • Red Cross Swim Lessons • Brand New Gaga Pit • Lunch and snack provided • Scholarships available & vouchers accepted YWCA Summer Camp Brochure & Forms available online at www.ywcacm.org
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SUMMER CAMP: C’MON, LET’S GO!
Keys to Finding the Right Camp for Children with Special Needs BY MARSHAL D. HANEISEN
Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire offer a variety of summer camp programs specifically designed for children with special needs. But those camps are not the only options. With a can-do attitude and proactive communication, parents can often create inclusive camp opportunities for a child with special needs in community and theme-based camp venues. When looking for camp programs for her son, Cindy Donelan of Fitchburg was most concerned about the risks of him getting injured. Cole, now 13, has Williams syndrome and arthritis, as well as global delays and a heart defect associated with Williams syndrome. But Cindy didn’t let those concerns prevent Cole from experiencing camp. Over the past several years, Cole has attended three camp programs during the summer months, including skateboard camp, a city recreation department camp, and overnight camp with the Boy Scouts of America.
Inspired by interest Cole’s favorite is skateboard camp at the Ryan C. Joubert Memorial Skatepark in Fitchburg. The camp is held for two hours a day, four days a week for three weeks during the summer. Cole has been going for nearly seven years, Donelan said. This camp is drop-off, but many parents stay, including Donelan. Before registering Cole for this camp, Donelan explained to the counselors her concerns that her son may get injured in a fall and that he might get distracted, but would participate in the ways he was able. They instructors were, and continue to be, very supportive of Cole and work with his abilities, she said. “My advice would be to find a camp that your child would be interested in. Be open with the instructors and counselors as to your child’s abilities. I never thought Cole would skateboard, but here we are seven years later still skating,” she said.
Friends and fun “My search for camps depended on his likes and things he enjoyed doing and participating in,” she noted. Also, Donelan felt it was important to provide Cole with opportunities to be around his neuro-typical friends. The city recreational program is a dropoff camp held at local playgrounds. He started attending this program because his older siblings were going and he wanted to be there. Over time, his siblings lost interest in the program, but Cole knew his friends were attending and wanted to go, Donelan said. Communication was essential to ensuring Cole could participate fully and safely in the program’s activities. The park program he attended from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. five days a week had a small group of kids, and Donelan felt comfortable with the adult-to-child ratio. Activities included nature hikes, games, crafts, and field trips. “He attended these field trips without me,” she said, explaining that Cole carried a cell phone with him in case he needed her to pick him up early. Her greatest concern with this camp was whether Cole would eat. The city has a free lunch program during the summer, but Cole was not a fan of the school-style lunches. So, Donelan would send food she knew he would eat.
Overnight adventure The idea of overnight camp can make many parents of children with special needs nervous. Cole had a helpful asset in this as his father is one of the local troop leaders for the Boy Scouts of America. When Cole attended overnight camp at Camp Wanocksett in Dublin, N.H., the past two years, his dad was nearby if he needed help. “However, much of the guidance my husband gave was given to Cole as it would be to any other Scout,”
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Donelan noted. While working on merit badges during the day, Cole had a Counselor-in-Training (CIT), usually a 14- to 15-year-old Boy Scout, working with him. This was an arrangement made in advance when the leaders visited the camp prior to the week the troop was scheduled to attend. The CIT would shadow Cole to ensure he was where he needed to be when he needed to be there, and help Cole as needed. The CIT was like a oneto-one support aide for Cole. The camp staff picked one CIT to work with him throughout the week, and help from the CIT did not cost any additional money, Donelan said. “The Boy Scouts are very accommodating and want all of their Scouts to enjoy themselves and come back again,” she said. Donelan believes Camp Wanocksett has been a wonderful experience for her son, providing him with the opportunity to be among many different kids. He learned new skills, such as wood carving and sports, and also built a rocket ship. “He did so well last summer that we are considering sending him for two weeks this year. One with his troop and one week Provisional or Provo, when he goes to camp on his own!” she said.
Working parents Drew Phelps of San Diego knows well the juggle parents face in coordinating summer supervision and care for kids while parents work. “The primary reason for camps is because both parents work full time, so both of our kids need to be occupied full days in spring and summer. We are divorced now, which makes it even more important to have good camps,” he said. Phelps’s daughter Riley turned 13 in January. Riley has spastic quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects function of all four limbs. According to her dad, Riley speaks fairly well and is in the correct academic grade for her age (7th), needing some remediation assistance in certain subjects, such as math and English. Because of the spastic quadriplegia, she is not capable of feeding herself, walking, writing, and other tasks that require mobility. She can operate her power chair, assist in feeding herself, and use a touchscreen computer. Riley recently had two rods surgically placed in her
spine to straighten it so she can sit up straight, socialize better, work better in a walker, and be healthier. Phelps is an active dad who loves surfing and he doesn’t let Riley’s challenges prevent her from fun and adventure. Riley has been participating in adaptive surfing with several organizations each summer since she was 6. She also has years of experience skiing and at skate parks. “We considered special needs camps and Riley does at least one each summer, but we want her to blend in and get along with typical kids also,” Phelps said.
Riley’s parents worked with the local YMCA to coordinate an inclusion aide for spring break and two weeks of camp in the summer. She needs 100% one-on-one assistance when involved in anything sport- or activity-related. Her parents asked that she be toileted, fed, and supervised closely for safety precautions. There has been no extra charge at YMCA for the inclusion aide, and at camps where she has no aide, the counselors and many kids help her, he said. She has participated in rock climbing and ice skating, as well as a skate
camp, where she uses her adaptive WCMX wheelchair. Riley also attends several weeks of summer programming at Boys and Girls Club. Phelps recommends parents interview camp management to discuss what can be offered for supports, what safety options are in place, and what strategies will be used to involve the child and integrate them socially with the other kids. “There will be some uncomfortable conversations, and you’ll have to push for things not already offered, but every kid deserves to do what all of the other kids do,” he said.
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7 Consid When Evalua
BY LYNN PANTUOSCO-HENSCH
Since childhood, I have spent my summers the exact same way — at my family’s soccer camp. My father started the camp in the late 1970s when I was a young child, and my sisters and I loved spending our summers on a soccer field with our family. The staff, which included our four uncles, were engaging and fun. We learned how to play soccer, be competitive, and be a part of something larger than ourselves. The camp counselors were our role models and dominated our summer dinner table conversations. We couldn’t wait to go back every year. The traditions and memories my sisters and I cultivated during our summers at soccer camp remain with us as adults. One of my sisters and I now run the camp with our family — and our children are campers — which means there are three generations of family there on a daily basis. We are delighted that fond memories of our camp bring many parents back to enroll their own children, wanting the same experiences for them. Because of my background, I am often asked what recommendations I have for parents who are looking into summer camps for their children. I suggest parents look into the history of the camp, its guiding principles, and target audience. Look for programs with experience and expertise. While I can’t give away all of our family secrets, I do recommend considering the following important factors: • Type of offering • Location • Safety • Staff • Program/routine • Family needs/ “Fit”
Type of camp First, identify what type of camp interests your children most. Day camps tend to fall into three categories: sport camp, specialty camp, or general day camp. Do your children prefer a varied experience or would
they rather a more in-depth experience in a single sport or specialty? Our soccer camp combines development, competition, and fun – which isn’t easy to do. We stay current with U.S. Soccer guidelines, best practices, and coaching education. No matter the type of camp you’re looking for, its directors and staff should have comparable qualifications. Occasionally, we have children signed up for our camp who aren’t particularly interested in soccer. Their parents likely want to generate some interest with their children and perhaps see soccer as a good form of exercise. While we love to introduce soccer to beginners and try to give a positive impression of the sport, some children are better off selecting another type of camp. And that’s OK! There is no shortage of choice, and no matter where their interests lie, there is a camp that’s right for them. Specialty camps include those that focus on the arts, music, outdoor adventure, academic pursuits (e.g., computer programming or language immersion), or other areas of talent development. And, of course, general day camps are a long-standing summer tradition. Explore the options for types of camp, then consider the location.
Location Various camps are offered through parks and recreation departments, colleges, and other private entities. Parks and recreation departments typically use the parks and schools in their respective communities. The quality and novelty of these settings will depend on your town. Parks and recreation camps are convenient and are more likely attended by children your kids will know from school. Generally speaking, when children outgrow the camp programs offered through parks and recreation departments, college camp programs are a great step to pursue. Sport and specialty camps are often offered by colleges, and it can be an exciting opportu-
nity for a child to spend time on a college campus. Camps that are not affiliated with a town or school are usually offered at private venues, such as a local day care, community center, or YMCA. Regardless of location, I recommend learning about whether the camp has its own space, or if the camp will be sharing space with another group or organization. Location often determines
inclement weather contingency plans, drop off/pick up procedures, and safety issues.
Safety After spending decades at our soccer camp before I became a parent, now that I am a mother, I look at our safety protocols from an entirely different point of view.
There is no shortage of choice, and no matter where their interests lie, there is a camp that’s right for them.
MP: C’MON, LET’S GO!
derations ating Camps One of the biggest compliments we get is that parents feel safe leaving their children in our care. And quite honestly, that matters far more than any soccer skills we teach. When considering the safety features of a camp, ask about drop off/pick up procedures, lunch-time routine, and other transition times (e.g., locker rooms). For instance, at our camp, we include recreational swim time,
which requires added safety provisions. We communicate the daily routine and expectations clearly on our website and via email prior to camp. We also have enough experienced staff to talk with parents at drop-off to answer questions and reassure them about the routine. Look for camps that have clear communication and a strong personal presence. Clarity about the daily
schedule and safety routine are key. A well-run camp will have contingency plans for weather issues, medical needs, special needs, and more. By law, camp staff are required to have CPR and First Aid certifications. Camps are also required to maintain particular staff-to-camper ratios.
Staff In advance of a camp, parents may inquire about staff-to-camper ratios, group sizes, and placement practices. Learning about these camp features may lead to a better camp selection for your children. I recommend looking for a staff with a combination of age, experience, and expertise. With strong adult leadership, college and high school staff can be a real asset. I always say that it’s my job to make sure things go smoothly and teach the campers how to play soccer — it’s the teenagers’ job to be instant fun and entertainment! I am not the one our campers will be talking about at the dinner table — but the young staff members have to be. As a camp director, it is my responsibility to create an environment that fosters personal connections and positive experiences. The more high-fives and fist bumps, the better! Parents want their children to come home excited to go back the next day or next summer. Look for a staff that makes this happen. Another hallmark of good coaches and teachers is the ability to differentiate instruction within small groups. Again, an experienced staff will likely have a greater ability to tune into your children’s interests and adapt the curriculum and lessons to meet the needs of individual campers. The hope is to have your children motivated to improve their skills and enjoy their experience in whatever camp setting they choose.
Program Every camp should have a daily routine and curriculum that is followed each week. Ask about the daily routine, including active time. For example, our camp is a full six-hour day camp, but we don’t keep the children playing soccer for six hours! Our schedule allows for breaks, lunch, swim, and more. Parents like to know how much soccer we get in and if the children will be outside during peak heat, which are great questions to keep in mind. Camp staff will likely group children by age or ability at the start of the week. Parents may inquire about the camp groupings, opportunity to change groups, or chances for their children to be with friends. At our camp, we start with age grouping, but quickly adjust for ability. We want children to be challenged at an appropriate level. We make groups that have boys, girls, or both, depending on the weekly demographics. We also attempt to keep campers with a friend, as we find that having a friend eases worries and builds confidence. I recommend sending your children to camps with a sibling or friend (close in age). The shared experience is more fun and, ideally, once the children are at camp they’ll make new friends, too. My sister met her future husband at our camp, so anything is possible!
Family needs Parents should include children in the camp decision-making process. I can usually tell when campers don’t really want to be there. If your child is unsure or new to camps, perhaps consider a general day camp with variety. Once your children learn more about what they enjoy, they may be in a better position to decide on a specialty camp. Typically, the camp schedule is a priority in family decisionBAYSTATEPARENT 51
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SUMMER CAMP: C’MON, LET’S GO! making. If your family needs daycare hours or before/after camp care, inquire in advance. Do not assume that before and after camp care is available. If prompt pick up is required, plan accordingly. Our research suggests that most camp consumers prefer a full-day program, which is likely why there are more full-day offerings available. But if your family prefers a half-day option, ask camps to prorate the tuition for the experience you desire. It doesn’t hurt to ask! The cost of camp tuition is sometimes a sticking point for families. Try to find quality and value. In your analysis, consider the length of the offering (is it a five-hour day or longer?); the longevity and reputation of the camp; and the expertise being provided. Many camps offer multi-week, sibling, and/or team discounts. Standardly speaking, camps offered through parks and recreation programs will be more economical than college campuses or private settings. Do note that camp-provided evaluations of your child’s performance can be tricky. Remember that you are a paying customer and the camp wants you to come back. Critical feedback probably doesn’t generate repeat enrollments, whereas a glowing review of your child’s improvement and potential probably does. Take evaluations with a grain of salt.
Referrals Most camps are summer businesses, which do not necessarily require year-round marketing. Many will advertise in local publications, such as this one. Look to see that the camp has an informative website and an administrative presence, and keep in mind that even the best camp directors often have other primary employment. Don’t
be wowed by flashy marketing strategies or camp counselors from glamorous places. After years of trying any number of marketing strategies, our best advertising remains word of mouth. Parents are quick to let each other know if they are satisfied — and especially if they’re not! Don’t hesitate to ask other parents about their experiences with a camp you are considering. Not much makes me happier than to hear about a personal recommendation about our camp. Repeat customers are a strong indication that the camp is a worthwhile option. When we have former campers sending their children to our camp, I know we’re doing something right!
Countdown to summer As winter winds down and the countdown to summer begins, the timing is right to research summer camps. Most summer offerings will be posted by this month, with registration windows opening shortly thereafter. Parents still have time to explore their options and touch base with friends for referrals. My kids are already enthusiastically asking about our summer soccer camp plans. After all these years, I wouldn’t have my summer any other way. I hope your children make memories during their summer camp days that will transcend generations, as our family has. Only 16 weeks until summer, but who’s counting? Dr. Lynn Pantuosco-Hensch is an associate professor in the Movement Science department at Westfield State University, teaching motor development, exercise science, and other sport-related courses. She is the mother of four boys and lives with her family in Longmeadow. Writer Paula Welch contributed to this story.
Pediatricians Announce New Safe Sleep Recommendations to Protect Against
Infants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents — but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet, and never on a couch, armchair, or soft surface — to decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths, according to a new policy statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment” draws on
new research and serves as the first update to Academy policy since 2011. Recommendations call for infants to share their parents’ bedroom for at least the first six months and, optimally, for the first year of life, based on the latest evidence. The report, published in the November 2016 issue of Pediatrics (pediatrics.aappublications.org), includes new evidence that supports skin-to-skin care for newborn infants;
addresses the use of bedside and in-bed sleepers; and adds to recommendations on how to create a safe sleep environment. “We know that parents may be overwhelmed with a new baby in the home, and we want to provide them with clear and simple guidance on how and where to put their infant to sleep,” said Rachel Moon, MD, FAAP, lead author of the report. “Parents should never place the baby on a sofa, couch, or cushioned chair, either alone or sleeping with another person. We know that these surfaces are extremely hazardous.” Approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); ill-defined deaths; and accidental suffocation and strangulation. The number of infant deaths initially decreased in the 1990s after a national safe sleep campaign, but has plateaued in recent years. AAP recommendations on creating a safe sleep environment include: • Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface, such as a crib or bassinet with a taut sheet. • Avoid use of soft bedding, includ-
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ing crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, and soft toys. The crib should be bare. • Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1, but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%. • Avoid baby’s exposure to smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs. Skin-to-skin care is recommended, regardless of feeding or delivery method, immediately following birth for at least an hour, as soon as the mother is medically stable and awake, according to the report. Breastfeeding is also recommended as added protection against SIDS. After feeding, the AAP encourages parents to move the baby to his or her separate sleeping space, preferably a crib or bassinet in the parents’ bedroom. “If you are feeding your baby and think that there’s even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cushioned chair,” said Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, FAAP, member of the Task Force on SIDS and co-author of the report. “If you do fall asleep, as soon as you wake up be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed. There should be no pillows, sheets, blankets, or other items that could obstruct the infant’s breathing or cause overheating.” While infants are at heightened risk for SIDS between the ages of 1 and 4 months, new evi-
dence shows that soft bedding continues to pose hazards to babies who are 4 months and older. Other recommendations include: • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices, including wedges or positioners, marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations. • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development. “We want to share this information in a way that doesn’t scare parents, but helps to explain the real risks posed by an unsafe sleep environment,” Dr. Moon said. “We know that we can keep a baby safer without spending a lot of money on home monitoring gadgets, but through simple precautionary measures.” The American Academy of Pediatrics (aap. org) is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.
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A Simple Way to Help Preschoolers Follow Directions BY KELSEY RUPPEL
When I spend time with preschool-aged children, I am overjoyed by their interest in the world and their eagerness to share their experiences. Young children tend to have an intense focus that I wish I could recapture. It is usually refreshing to be in the presence of such focus, but there is a downside. Preschoolaged children often do not follow directions the first time they are given, either because they are absorbed in their own activities or for other reasons. This can be frustrating for caregivers who find themselves endlessly repeating requests or raising their voices. Yet even when caregivers ask many times or yell, young children often continue to be less cooperative than we would wish. Fortunately, there is another way! Education and psychology
Here is how to use this strategy:
2. Show them • Go to your child and bend down on his/her level. Repeat the direction and show your child what you want him/her to do. • Demonstrate how to follow the direction, even if you are sure your child knows. Approaching your child and demonstrating the task shows your child that you care enough about this direction to take action. • If your child follows the direction this time, thank him or her. • If your child still does not follow the direction, move to Step 3.
1. Tell them • Give your child a direction and wait about 10 seconds. • If your child cooperates with the direction, show your appreciation! • If your child does not follow the direction, move to Step 2.
3. Help them • Gently move your child’s body to follow the direction. • If your child resists, remain gentle but firm; physically guide your child to do as you asked. • Once the task is done, thank your child.
researchers have developed a strategy called “three-step prompting” or “Tell them — Show them — Help them.” This approach has been shown to help typically developing children and those with developmental disabilities learn to cooperate with directions. Although the strategy requires some extra effort from the parent or caregiver in the beginning, with practice children learn to follow directions the first time they are given.
An example of Three-Step Prompting in action: Mom: “Jack, put on your coat!” [Jack continues playing with his toys. Mom walks over to Jack and kneels down in front of him.] Mom: “Put on your coat like this.” [Mom picks up Jack’s coat and mimes putting an arm in a sleeve.] “Now you do it.” [Jack does not put on his coat. Mom takes Jack’s hand and physically guides him to pick up the coat. She physically guides Jack to place one arm in each sleeve.] Mom: “Thank you for putting on your coat.” With this approach, children learn that cooperation is expected each time a caregiver gives a direction. Ignoring the direction or arguing does not win the child more time playing, nor does it allow the child to avoid a disliked activity. Plus, many children are motivated to do things independently; they will begin
to follow directions quickly if they experience that stalling results in adult guidance. Your child will need to experience this approach a few times before you can expect to see a change in behavior. Stick with it for a few weeks, implementing the approach any time your child does not follow a direction. The effort is well worth the improvement in cooperation! Kelsey Ruppel is a board certified behavior analyst with 10 years’ experience working with children and families. She is currently the associate director of the Life Skills Clinic at Western New England University, where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis. Life Skills Clinic staff conduct child-centered research and currently have openings for participants in a home-based program for children with autism. The purpose of the study is to better understand how professionals can coach parents of young children with autism to teach their children communication, play, and cooperation skills. If you live in the greater Springfield or Worcester areas, your child is between the ages of 3 and 6 and has been diagnosed with autism, and you would be willing to participate in research on a parentdelivered teaching program, contact the clinic at (413) 796-2509 or kelsey. email@example.com.
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Why The Best Educational Toys Are Right Under Your Nose BY MELISSA SHAW
he best, most educational toys an infant or toddler can have are right under parents’ noses and, mostly likely, are free or very low cost. To adults, pots, wooden spoons, empty boxes, and even Corian tile samples, silicone muffin cups, and Velcro hair rollers may look like a bunch of unrelated junk, but to children, these everyday found objects open up an endless world of creativity and development far beyond their age. It’s called the Theory of Loose Parts and was proposed by architect Simon Nicholson in the early ’70s. His belief: an environment filled with real-world materials that can be moved, manipulated, and merged into various combinations is infinitely more beneficial for children than one filled with static, fixed-use toys or equipment. The idea behind the educational philosophy is simple: Give young children access to everyday items and see where their imaginations take them. California-based early childhood professors Miriam Beloglovsky and Lisa Daly wrote the book on the topic in 2014’s Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children, and are back with a sequel, Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers. While the first book centered on loose parts and preschoolers, the women say the play philosophy is just as beneficial for children under 3. “For infants and toddlers, they are more fascinated by ‘What can I do with this object? What’s the most intriguing aspect of it? Does it make a noise? Can I move it in some way?’ Loose parts are particularly captivating for them because they are really exploring the textures, how it feels, how it sounds, and how it tastes,” says Daly, a professor of early childhood education at Folsom Lake College in Folsom, Calif. “They’re really using their
senses a lot. They’re curious scientists, exploring and investigating just as preschoolers are.” Beloglovsky and Daly are currently conducting research in childcare programs on how Loose Parts is changing children’s learning and development, and are already making some incredible discoveries. “We found out infants are using the loose parts for symbolic representation at a much earlier age than has been previously stated in research,” Daly says. “They are taking a tile, for example, and pretending it’s a car or a telephone. In early Head Start, one of the things they measure is children’s symbolic representation; the children were scoring very low in that area. With the infusion of Loose Parts, their numbers have skyrocketed and they’re using symbolic representation at a much higher level, more like a young preschooler rather than an infant or toddler.” Symbolic representation is a critical part of a child’s development and tied to future reading and writing ability as numbers and letters are symbols, Daly notes. They also have seen children who have separation anxiety or the need for more self-regulation make socialemotional gains when they’re working with loose parts because they’re so open ended, Beloglovsky says: “It doesn’t require them to have a perfect answer or put together a perfect puzzle.” The idea for the sequel resulted from audience feedback at Loose Parts presentations the pair give to educators across the country. One of the most frequent questions: How could Loose Parts be adapted for infants and toddlers, and is it safe? “The No. 1 thing we always tell educators and parents is ongoing supervision from adults,” says Beloglovsky, a professor of early childhood education at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, Calif. “For the book, we tested every single loose part we put in the [infant
and toddler] environment through a choke tube to make sure nothing could go through that. We also did a lot of research on toxic materials and made sure that even the maple wood rings we use are all sealed with natural materials.” The authors transformed three childcare programs, replacing traditional toys with loose parts, and made an interesting observation. “We’ve learned that the more children handle things, the less likely they are to put them in their mouth,” Daly says. For example, young children were more entranced with pouring stones from one vessel into another than they were trying to put them in their mouths.” In addition to vetoing any material that could slide through a choke tube, the pair also nixed PVC pipe, magnets, petroleum-based Styrofoam products (such as pool noodles), or any objects that had an attached part that could possibly be pulled off. “We did research,” Beloglovsky adds. “If there’s a doubt, research it.” All of the loose parts highlighted in the nearly 300-page book were play-tested, monitored by adults, and passed a choke tube test. She added that anything that is FDA-approved is considered safe because the material is intended to be used with food.
One of the best aspects of Loose Parts is that materials can be found in any home or outdoors (sticks, wood, bricks, stones, etc.) and are free. Forget those play kitchen plastic toys, they advise, pull out your pots, muffin tins, measuring cups, and wooden spoons. Upcycle that metal food can by removing the label, cleaning, and ensuring it’s free of sharp edges. A host of mindexpanding toys could be as close as your recycling bin. “[Children] love using things that adults use,” Daly says. “They like to do imitations of adults.” Daly adds she has been surprised by how competent and capable infants and toddlers are when working with loose parts. “I’m amazed at how they do things,” she says, noting the story of a toddler she watched work through a problem. The boy placed Velcro hair rollers into an empty milk jug. When he wanted them out, he tried turning the jug upside down, banging it, and shaking it, to no avail. Then he noticed a nearby cup. “He took the jug and turned it upside down as if he was pouring into the cup,” Daly says. “In other words, ‘I’ve seen my Mom or Dad pour from a carton and it comes out into the cup. So if I do that, the rollers are going to come out into the cup.’”
Photo by Jenna Daly
“We’ve seen tremendous excitement on the teachers’ behalf and how they’re really beginning to see the capacity and capability of young children,” Beloglovsky adds. Teachers and childcare providers are noting that loose parts are so engaging, children are more focused and engaged in their play, and play longer, as well. Regardless of any loose parts offered to children, Daly recommends having as much of one material on hand, as possible. “It’s better to have more of fewer things than few of a lot of things,” she says. “If you’re trying to build something, if you have a lot of the same shape and size, the uniformity makes it easier.” Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers offers a host of new loose parts ideas paired with color, real-world photography to inspire safe play in an infant-toddler environment. The book also shares classroom stories and proven science, explaining why this style of play supports children’s development and learning.
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7 Ways to Engage BY KRISTIN GUAY
any adults and children appreciate the pleasure of reading an entertaining and engaging book, short story, or article on a favorite subject or interesting matter. Who can argue with Walt Disney when he said, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island”? However, there are some children who simply do not gravitate toward reading as a recreational pastime. Common Sense Media (commonsensemedia.org) reports that reading rates have dropped significantly in the past 30 years: “In 1984, 8% of 13-year-olds and 9% of 17-year-olds said they ‘never’ or ‘hardly ever’ read for pleasure. In 2014, that number had almost tripled to 22% and 27%.” Not only are these children at risk for inferior literacy skills, but they also miss out on the simple joy of getting lost in a captivating story or exploring an appealing topic. While reading, a child can travel to a different state, country, or even a different planet. A child can be transported back in time to a significant historical event or teleported to a futuristic life created only in their imaginations. A reader is introduced to unique and fascinating people, and they develop a relationship and understanding with these characters throughout the book. Reading can take a child on adventures that they cannot, or would not, experience in their normal lives. Reluctant readers can discover for themselves the joy in reading — they just require a little more coaxing and nurturing. Parents can try a few simple strategies to help their child learn to appreciate reading as an entertaining activity.
Finding the right reading material for your child Experiment with a variety of formats and genres when selecting reading material for your child. Determine if he or she would rather read material online or in a paper form. Some helpful sites for popular book selections include amazon.com and The New York Times Best-Seller list. Both sites list e-books and paper books, and they are divided into categories such as picture books, middle school books, young adult, and graphic novels. Have your child explore a variety of genres such as comic books, joke books, graphic novels, and even some non-fiction books on a favorite person or topic. Don’t forget about magazines. There is a magazine out there for almost any hobby or interest a child might have. This is a great way to start small — an article in a magazine does not seem as overwhelming and intimidating to a reluctant reader as an entire book. Potential titles to explore include Cricket, Ladybug, National Geographic for Kids, and Boys Life Magazine for younger kids. Middle and high school kids might like Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Alternative Press, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Time, and National Geographic. Guys Read Find reading material that will interest your child. Children love a story that will transport them to a world vastly different than their own. A great website is guysread.com, founded by author Jon Scieszka (known for the incredibly popular Time Warp Trio books). Even though this site was created to inspire boys to read more, the suggestions are excellent for boys and girls. As Scieszka has said, “Expand
e Reluctant Readers the definition of ‘reading’ to include non-fiction, humor, graphic novels, magazines, action adventure, and, yes, even websites. It’s the pleasure of reading that counts; the focus will naturally broaden. A boy won’t read shark books forever.” Sneak in some reading You can help your child understand the importance of reading by engaging in reading activities other than books. Examples include reading a recipe while cooking, reading the shopping list while in the grocery store, writing letters or invitations, reading interesting facts and information about your next vacation destination, or reading news about community or national events. This helps your child realize that reading is everywhere. See what your community offers Take advantage of community activities that bring reading to life. Public libraries and local bookstores often have storytelling events and puppet shows that retell a favorite story. Libraries have audiobooks (at all levels) that children can listen to while they read along. Also, explore your local theater companies to see what books might be presented on the stage (Shakespeare seems to be popular for this venue). It is important for a child to realize that literature does not only come in book form. It’s always better with a friend Parents can also encourage their child to share books with a friend. A friend might have the same interests, and it is always fun to read the same material and be able to engage in a conversation about the book. It is also an inexpensive way to expose your child to a variety of reading materials as children share books with their friends. Be sure to check your child’s school and local library for children book discussion groups — these are growing in popularity and including many adult/ child book clubs. Have you watched a good book lately? Another fun way to engage your child is to read books that have
also been made into a movie. After reading the book, the entire family can sit down and enjoy the film version. Some of the most popular screen adaptations include The Hobbit, The Lorax, Alice in Wonderland, Little Women, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, The Chronicles of Narnia series, Coraline, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mary Poppins, and Charlotte’s Web. Ranker.com lists 300 children’s books that have been made into feature films. Some books even have more than one movie version. Parents can set a good example Parents can help a reluctant reader understand the joy and benefits of reading by setting a good example themselves. Let your child see you reading, enjoying, and sharing something you have just read. If you read an interesting article in the newspaper, share aspects of this with your child by reading it aloud. If you see a funny story in a magazine, set it aside to show your child.
Books popular with reluctant readers Keep in mind that for some children, making the transition from picture books to chapter books is not always easy. Looking at page after page of nothing but print can be overwhelming and daunting — sometimes resulting in putting the book down all together. One solution might be to find books with graphic lettering and an abundance of illustrations. There are many on the market and on library shelves, here are a few suggestions. • Geronimo Stilton books (Geronimo Stilton/Elisabetta Dami) — These books follow a beloved mouse on all his amazing adventures. The stories are full of humor, surprises, and important messages about family, courage, happiness, and friendship. Every page is covered with bright illustrations and creative uses of the fonts and words. For example,
the word “falling” might be written as if it is falling down the pages, or the word “frigid” may be written in cool, blue lettering with snow resting on the top of each letter. These books are visual delights for any reader. • Dork Diaries — This humorous series is written and illustrated by Rachel Renee Russell and features the diary entries of a 14-year-old girl. The pages are filled with silly illustrations that complement the diary entries. The diary entries read as if a teenage girl were speaking, filled with an abundance of such words as “like,” “BFF,” and “fab.” • Captain Underpants — These silly stories are written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey and feature outrageous facial expressions and humorous language that kids are sure to enjoy. The books are filled with humor that might seem a little gross to adults — but that is exactly why kids enjoy the books so much. There are numerous books in the series (and other similar books by Pilkey) so if your child enjoys these, there are plenty to keep reading. • Judy Moody — This series is written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter Reynolds. An excerpt from one book reads as follows: “Judy Moody did not want to give up summer. She did not feel like brushing her hair every day. She did not feel like memorizing spelling words. And she did not want to sit next to Frank Pearl, who ate paste.” This seems like something that many young children can relate to as they contemplate the beginning of the school year. The books are a mix of type and illustrations — some drawings encompassing two entire pages. • My Life series — This comical series is written and illustrated by the mother/ son team of Janet and Jake Tashjian. The Tashjian team takes the reader on a journey through silly mishaps and adventures – all pages filled with quirky
stick figure drawings and hilarious comments. • I Funny series (James Patterson) — This series takes a comical look at all the antics that happen in middle school. There are graphics on almost every page, so the reader does not get bogged down with too much type. • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Jeff Kinney) — Another great series featuring all the silly and dramatic events that happen in middle school. Entertaining graphics with accompanying hilarious comments make these books a pleasure for any reluctant reader.
Check Out These Authors (Kids Love ’Em) Below are some popular authors that seem to appeal to many reluctant readers. • Andrew Clements (novels, pictures books, and early readers) • Mike Lupica (sports writer who has written many popular books on a variety of sports) • Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid books) • Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate books) • Gary Paulsen (author of several young adult books and the popular Hatchet) • Tom Watson (Stick Cat and Stick Dog books) •James Patterson (author of many popular young adult books including The Adventures of Maximum Ride series and The Middle School Series) • Rachel Renee Russell (Dork Diaries series) • Eoin Colfer (Warp and Artemis Fowl series)
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• Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) • J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter series) Children are unique and they all have their own likes and dislikes. A reluctant reader may never embrace reading over a game of baseball or a bike ride in the neighborhood. However, implementing a few of these strategies will help children understand and experience the simple enjoyment of quiet reading time and open a world of exciting new adventures.
vides the top 12 books from her own class library, as well as information and commentary about each book. • Books for Reluctant Readers (commonsensemedia.org). This site provides an extensive list of books, along with a brief synopsis and age range. It also offers detailed information about each book in a section entitled “What Parents Need to Know,” which rates the books based on positive messages and role models, violence, sex, language, consumerism, and drinking, drugs, and smoking. • James Patterson’s Read Kiddo Read (readkiddoread.com). Filled with information for parents and educators on how to get kids reading, you’ll find book reviews, suggestions, lesson plans for educators, and even a way to win free books.
Resources for Reluctant Readers These websites offer wonderful resources for parents and caregivers to help support reluctant readers. • 2016 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (ala.org). Supported by the Young Adult Library Services Association, the list is separated out between non-fiction, fiction, and series. A brief description of each book is provided, as well. • Top 12 Young Adult Books for Reluctant Readers (teachinghub. com) A middle-school teacher pro-
• Guys Read (guysread.com). This site was founded by author Jon Scieszka in an effort to support young boys in becoming lifelong readers. It is filled with so much information, it is a challenge to digest it all in one sitting — new releases, author information, information about boys and reading, starting your own “Guys Read” club, and book recommendations on topics that appeal to boys. In all fairness to girls, this is a wonderful resource for them, as well.
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Beauty and The Beast New family movies coming to theaters this month By Jane Louise Boursaw
The Boss Baby • Rated PG for some mild rude humor • In theaters March 31 • OK for kids 6+ • Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels DreamWorks Animation and the director of “Madagascar” invite you to meet a most unusual baby who wears a suit and speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin. It’s the hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7-year-old named Tim. With a heartfelt message about the importance of family, this cute family film is fun for kids and grownups. Directed by Tom McGrath, the voice cast also includes Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Miles Bakshi.
Power Rangers • • • •
Not yet rated In theaters March 24 OK for kids 8+ Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
Power Rangers follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But they’ll have to overcome their real-life issues and band together as the Power Rangers before it’s too late. The movie stars Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader, Elizabeth Banks, and Dacre Montgomery.
• Rated PG for some action violence, peril and frightening images • In theaters March 17 • OK for kids 8+ • Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels The beloved Disney tale gets a reboot on the big screen with a blend of live-action and CGI magic. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star as Belle and the Beast, with Luke Evans playing the role of Gaston, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Kevin Kline as Belle’s father, Maurice. Eight-time Oscarwinner Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards for the 1991 animated classic, scores the film, which includes new recordings of original songs, as well as several new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. The film also stars Ian McKellen, Josh Gad (the voice of “Frozen’s” Olaf), Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, and Ewan McGregor (as Lumiére the candlestick).
Jane’s Reel Rating System • One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it. • Two Reels – Coulda been a contender • Three Reels – Something to talk about. • Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick! • Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of. Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Images used with permission of the studios and distributors. BAYSTATEPARENT 63
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Attn: Parents of 4 to 9 year olds... “Make Your Child’s Birthday Amazing” Imagine a birthday party so filled with laughter and joy that your child remembers it forever. Your child is the star in an entertainment package that features... Amazing Magic • Hilarious Comedy! Balloon Sculptures • Cute Fluffy Bunny! Discover how easy it is to throw a party that will create wonderful memories that last a lifetime. Don’t risk disappointing you or your child. Call today for the exciting details. Or go online and save $25.00 off any party package!
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ROAMING RAILROAD & RACEWAY • Fairs & Festivals • Town Days • Grand Openings • Fundraisers • Corporate, School & Church Events • Block & Birthday Parties
We bring the FUN to you! For more information, visit www.roamingrailroad.com or roamingraceway.com
Storytelling fun for Birthday Parties, Schools, Daycare Centers, Library Programs, Special Events and TV Featuring: • Original & Classic Stories • Puppets, Props and Surprises For Bookings and Info Call: 617-713-4349 E-mail: BigJoe@BigJoe.com Visit me on the web at: www.BigJoe.com
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MARCHINDEX Bancroft School........................................................42 Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center.........15 Big Y Foods, Inc........................................................11 Camp Clio.................................................................39 Camp CRAFT Lancaster..............................................40 Camp Invention........................................................31 Child Works..............................................................48 Children’s Development Network, Inc..........................6 Children’s Orchard-Westboro.....................................33 Community VNA.......................................................30 Cornerstone Academy.................................................5 DCU Center..............................................................36 Digital Media Academy.............................................49 Earth LTD.................................................................43 Ecotarium.................................................................41 Elizabeth Grady........................................................17 Explore Japan..........................................................40 Fay School................................................................28 Fletcher Tilton PC......................................................46 FMC Ice Sports..........................................................67 Girl Scouts of Central & West....................................41 Girls Inc...................................................................42 Gymnastics Learning Center......................................31 Hanover Theatre......................................................42 Heifer Project International.......................................39 Heywood Hospital.....................................................27 ID Tech.....................................................................49 Legoland Discovery Center Boston.............................63 Mall At Whitney Field................................................14 Millbury Federal Credit Union...................................17 New England Cord Blood Bank Inc............................55 Noble Expo..............................................................24 Orange Theory Fitness................................................8 Pakachoag Community Music School.........................43 Parenting Solutions...................................................55 Paula Meola Dance...................................................21 Perkins School..........................................................62 Propel Marketing......................................................57 Regatta Point Community Sailing..............................59 Reliant Medical Group..............................................47 Shauna Shenette Photography..................................23 Shrewsbury Children’s Center....................................54 Signarama...............................................................23 SkyRise Children’s Theater........................................24 Speech & Language Specialties Inc............................59 Springfield Museums Corp.........................................32 St. Vincent Hospital.....................................................3 STEM Beginnings......................................................53 Summer Fenn/The Fenn School.................................56 Swings & Things.......................................................57 Teamworks...............................................................48 The Budget Coach.....................................................30 The Chestnut Hill School............................................62 UMass Memorial Medical Center......................20,55,68 University of New Hampshire..............................32,53 Wachusett Theatre Company.......................................4 Wayside Athletic Club................................................45 Whale Camp.............................................................52 Worcester Academy..................................................43 Worcester Art Museum................................................2 Worcester Center for Crafts.......................................22 Worcester JCC......................................................33,48 YMCA Central Branch................................................49 YWCA of Central Massachusetts.................................45
RESERVE YOUR PARTY PAGE AD TODAY email email@example.com BAYSTATEPARENT 65
with Alison Wong California illustrator Alison Wong experienced the shock and sea change of first-time motherhood like everyone else, but channeled the experience in a whole new way. Wong began writing and illustrating comics about her life as mother to son Elliot, now 2, which turned into the recently released book, New Mom Comics: The First Year.
Looking back, how would you describe the early days of new motherhood?
I feel like the first few months were about survival (both me and the baby) and a haze of worry. You can try to prepare as much as you can, but you can only expect the unexpected!
Most of us are trying to just survive those first 12 months: How did the idea for the book come about?
I was just trying to survive and went to a new mom’s group for support. I realized that many of us had the same problems. When my son was 3 months, it was my first Mother’s Day, and I drew a comic summarizing all the crazy things we new moms do, and dedicated it to us. It spread throughout social media, and I realized there was a huge audience for this, and New Mom Comics was born!
3 What surprised you most about your son’s first year and parenthood?
Everything seems to be a phase, and though you might worry about something, it won’t be long until he grows out of it. I didn’t realize I could worry so much! But I hear that this will probably continue, just about different things.
If a pregnant, soon-to-be first-time mom asked for your advice about the first year, what would it be?
Read my book! Ha ha. But, honestly, it would be to read less of the “expectation” articles, and to enjoy the moments, as they won’t last long — even though at the time you think it won’t end.
When did you find time to write, draw, and work on the book? How do you balance work and motherhood today?
I work part-time as a design consultant, so I have to manage work as well as the comic drawing. Most of the time I’ll draw in the evenings, when I finally have some time to myself.
Your book covers so many aspects of parenting an infant — do you have a favorite that you really enjoying drawing and writing about?
I love drawing about the ridiculous things us parents do, which in retrospect are just so funny. Checking on them to see if they’re breathing, and all the “Is he drinking/eating/sleeping enough?!?” situations.
What was your pre-motherhood illustration career like? Did you draw comics or was this a new creative endeavor?
I’m a product designer and often draw when I’m creating new products and services. I also used to draw a lot as a hobby, and have done so all my life, from school and college newspapers. However, it was only until motherhood did I get so motivated to have a regular strip.
Do you see a sequel, “The Toddler Years,” ahead?
Yes, definitely! Having a child is an endless source of funny material, and I’m still trying to draw a comic a week. Hope you will check out the newer ones on my site: newmomcomics.com! 66 MARCH2017
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