SNEAK PEEK AT THE BEST HOLDIAY EVENTS
CHANGING THE WORLD ONE SOCK AT A TIME
MOMS WITH A SIDE HUSTLE
6 KIDS DOING
Massachusettsâ€™ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996
table of contents NOVEMBER 2018 VOLUME 23
Video Game Program Helps Kids Learn How to Calm Down
Meet Six Kids Who Are Changing the World
A Sneak Peek at the Best Holiday Events
in every issue
5 8 10 20
Editor’s Note: Toddler Life
Meet Six Kids Who Are Changing the World
A Gathering of Makers: Ingenuity on Display at BCM Mini Maker’s Faire
#MomLife: News, Tips & Advice for Bay State Mamas
Finally Forever: November’s Children & Area Adoption Events
Add to Cart: Our Favorite Cozy Finds Oh, The Places You’ll Go! November Calendar of Family Events Very Special People: Video Game Program Helps Kids Learn How to Calm Down
ripe 6 7
Ask The Nutritionist: Do Kids Need to Snack? Ripe Bites: Thanksgiving Edition
Take Eight with Jessie Chris
Maxwell Surprenant, age 15 Shawna Shenette Photography
Playful Pooh Exhibit Opens at MFA in Boston
‘Tis The Season: A Sneak Peek at the Best Holiday Events
Minor States of Disrepair and Other Missteps in Motherhood
‘Momtrepeneurs’ Mean Business With a Side Hustle
34 36 39
From Toddlers to Teens, Here’s How to Engage Kids in Reading
Charity Begins At Home: Encouraging A Giving Spirit In Children
Scenes From the 2018 Best of baystateparent Awards
The Opt Out Movement Study Finds American Teens Taking Fewer Risks Than Previous Generations
meet team baystateparent president PAUL M. PROVOST
associate publisher KATHY REAL BENOIT 508-767-9525 email@example.com
editor in chief AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER 508-767-9526 firstname.lastname@example.org
director of sales REGINA STILLINGS 508-767-9547 email@example.com
creative director PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-767-9536 firstname.lastname@example.org
account executive KATHY PUFFER 508-767-9544 email@example.com
baystateparent is published monthly • 100 Front Street • Worcester, MA 01608 • It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts. 4 NOVEMBER2018
Toddler Life: You Never Know What You Will (Or Won’t) Find Of course it has to be a morning that I’m already running late that my son decides to hide the dog bowl. There I stood in the kitchen, 15 minutes after I should have left the house, holding a scoop of dog food with nowhere to put it. My mischievous son looks up at me with a devilish grin, squeals, then takes off down the hallway. I hear his bare feet patter across the hardwood floor and realize along with hiding dishes, he’s taken off his shoes, too. And so goes my new morning routine – a mad dash to find the random hidden-object-du-jour, feed all the animals (including my 15-month-old son), wrangle that wiggly toddler and convince him that changing his smelly diaper isn’t the end of the world, wrestle him into some clothes, sing a silly song while putting on his shoes, get myself dressed (leggings it is!), find his shoes and put them on again, change another diaper, brush my teeth, search for the sippy cup that he flung during breakfast and now is demanding, perform an over-the-top rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus” in order to avoid a meltdown, find the car keys, and leave the house with my hair in a sloppy wet bun and my arms full of snacks and toys. But on the morning of the missing dog bowl, things didn’t even go that smoothly. I searched high and low for the thing.. is it in the fridge? Behind the toilet? The kitchen pantry? Maybe under the bed? After a good 20 minutes I found it, stashed in my bedroom closet. Hiding things is a new thing for us, and I have to admit, it's a frustrating phase. (We haven’t been able to find one of the TV remotes in months. My husband "can't live like this.") I’m sure you all know that feeling – the panic, despair – when you just can't for the life of you remember where you put something. It’s even worse when someone lost something for you. On the flip side, in every cabinet I open, drawer I pull out or toy I pick up I find some thing I’m not looking for. And this is what saves my sanity. When I’m about to lose my mind looking for those missing keys, I find a ball in the bathroom closet, the wet wipes under couch, a stash of pacifiers stuffed into daddy’s boot. And I find it pretty cute. Just the other day I was picking up toys when I came across some teeny tiny shoes stacked in the bed of his toy truck. I wondered what went through my son's head when he neatly placed them there, and I melt at how adorably sweet and innocent he is. So these are my days with a toddler. My always searching, often frantic, impossibly late, wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world life.
Amanda BAYSTATEPARENT 5
Do Kids Need to Snack?
It seems like my 6-year-old is constantly asking for a snack, even though she eats balanced meals throughout the day. How often do kids need a snack? What kinds of foods should I offer and how big of a portion size? Does snacking “spoil” their lunch or dinner?
Snacks are a great way to fuel kids between meals and ensure they are getting the nutrients they need. Most children need two or three planned snacks a day; between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner and sometimes before bedtime. Think of snacks as a “mini meal” or a way to add in nutrients they might be missing at meal times. Try to include a source of complex carbohydrate from a fruit, vegetable, whole grain or starch along with a source of protein and/or fat. This will give your children a quick energy source from the carbohydrates along with nutrients like protein, fat and fiber to slow digestion so they aren’t hungry too quickly. Some snack examples are fruit with cheese, nut or seed butter and wholewheat crackers, veggie sticks with hummus or dressing, yogurt and fruit, or trail mix with whole grain cereal nuts, and dried fruit. Make sure you are offering a variety of foods at meal times as well. Foods that contain protein, fat and fiber can help keep kids full longer and can prevent them from getting hungry too quickly. Also, consider offering
foods that they may be asking to snack on between meal times at meals. This may help lessen the interest of eating these foods between meals. As far as portions go, there is no specific recommendation as children may be more or less hungry at snack times. The goal is to allow your child to listen to their bodies and eat the portion they are hungry for. There are two different approaches to this, one is offer a small portion (i.e an ounce of cheese and 5 crackers) and if they finish the portion and are still hungry offer more. Another approach is to offer a snack plate from which they can serve themselves and take as much as they are hungry for. If snacks are planned with a good spacing, about 2 hours between meals, they should come to the meal hungry. If snacks are too close to meal time or if they have multiple snacks between meals they may have less of an appetite at meal time and be less likely to eat. Lauren Sharifi is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and food blogger at biteofhealthnutrition. com. Lauren works in private practice in Brighton at ASF-Peak Health (asfpeakhealth.com) and is passionate about helping individuals and families become competent eaters that find joy out of eating. Have a question for Lauren? Email editor@ baystateparent.com.
BITES Thanksgiving Edition
Set Up a Kid’s Coffee Bar When the adults enjoy an after-dinner coffee, kids can make their own fancy “latte,” complete with pretty designs on the top. The Creative Cafe Barista Bar (target.com, $19.99) comes with everything needed for budding baristas to create signature drinks of their own. All you need is milk to create endless latte looks -- even real foamy froth on top. Recommended for ages 6 and up.
Kids in the Kitchen: Cooking Tasks for Different Age Groups Want to involve your kids in cooking up this year’s holiday meal? Here’s a list of age-appropriate ideas and tasks. Whether they’re two or 12, you can cook alongside a little sous chef! Ages 3 to 5 • Get ingredients out of the refrigerator • Measure and mix ingredients together in a bowl • Pour liquids into a bowl • Wash fruits and vegetables in cold water • Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of dough or bread
Bay Staters Love Their Butternut (And My Family Does, Too!)
Google has created a list of the most-searched Thanksgiving side dishes by state. If you’re struggling to come up with your Turkey Day menu, why not go for the local favorite: butternut squash. In my family, this yummy squash makes its appearance in our Thanksgiving meal twice – a creamy, warm cup of butternut soup before the big meal, and then as a buttery, mashed side. My mom, who everyone calls Goose (her first grandchild gave this name somehow, and it’s stuck) has perfected her butternut soup over the years; it’s rich, velvety comfort in a cup. She was nice enough to share her secret recipe. Enjoy! ~Amanda, bsp editor
• Lick the cake batter off a spoon (yum!) Ages 6 to 8 • Open packages • Use a butter knife to spread frosting, cream cheese, peanut butter or soft cheese • Peel vegetables • Measure ingredients • Stir ingredients together in a bowl • Set the table Ages 9 to 12 • Open cans • Use electric kitchen appliances such as the microwave (with
Goose’s Butternut Bisque • 3 tablespoons butter, melted • 1 yellow onion, chopped • 1 large butternut squash, cooked and cooled (or three 16-ounce packages frozen butternut squash, thawed) • 3 cups chicken broth • ½ - ¾ cup heavy cream • Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste 1. If using baked squash, use a large spoon to scoop flesh into a large bowl, set aside. 2. In a large pot, cook onions in the melted butter until translucent. Add squash and chicken broth, simmer for 20-25 minutes.
supervision) • Use a grater to shred cheese and vegetables • Turn stove burners on and off and select oven temperature (with supervision) • Help plan the meal • Make a salad Ages 14+ • Operate the stove or oven • Heat up food in the microwave • Drain cooked pasta into a colander • Take a tray of food out of the oven
Save Room For Dessert Pumpkin, pecan, or chocolate cream? Here’s a breakdown of the most popular pies we indulge in after Thanksgiving dinner. 36% Pumpkin 15% Pecan 14% Apple 10% Sweet Potato 8% Chocolate 17% Other
36% 15% 17%
3. Using immersion blender, blend until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste. 4. On low heat, stir in heavy cream. *Goose’s tip: If you’re using baked squash, have a bag of frozen on hand to add, just in case you need more. If you want to thin out the soup, add a bit more broth.
It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! baystateparent marks the holiday season with everything families need to make the most of this special time of year. Featuring holiday festivals and day trips, gift guides for all ages, Christmas crafts, the best retro recipes, and more!
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Winter is on its way. Check out our favorite finds to keep the whole family warm. Part blanket, part hoodie. It’s no wonder it’s name is The Comfy. Curl up on the couch and pull your legs and arms into this cozy, one-size-fits-all combination. Or take it along when you’re on the go; imagine having it at a sporting event, a camping trip, a cold movie theater, or a chilly evening on the patio. Available in four colors. $39.99. thecomfy.com.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to Reach Over 80,000 Readers Deadline is November 13th
How clever. Stonz Baby & Toddler Booties slip over bare feet, socks or shoes. These non-slip booties have adjustable toggles so they are sure to stay on little feet, and feature weather-resistant soft soles and an ultra-warm fleece lining. $39.99-$42.99. stonzwear.com.
Not only will Blooming Tea warm you up, it’s sure to be the most beautiful tea you’ll ever drink. Flower Pot Tea Company combines tea leaves with beautiful flowers. These creative teas come wrapped in colorful foil with a surprise inside. While steeping, the tea leaves open up, revealing a gorgeous flower inside. $8.99. flowerteapottea.com.
Finally, mitts made just for little hands. These Baby Mitts offer a no-thumb design for ease of use, and Toddler Mitts have a fleecy thumb to relieve wet noses. Adjustable, water-proof, wind-proof, and super warm. $29.99-$42.99. stonzwear.com.
Leave it to a mom to come up with TheEcoDryer as way to dry your family’s wet winter gear. The dryer sits over a floor heat register or attaches to a wall heat register, allowing warm air to flow up through the nozzles of the unit. It requires no additional energy to dry gloves, mittens, hats and shoes, no tools and is portable and packable for travel and storage. $19.95. thegreenglovedryer.com.
Playful Pooh Exhibit Opens MFA Boston “Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic” an Interactive Experience for All Ages BY AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER PHOTOS COURTESY MUSEUM OF FINE ART, BOSTON
Winnie-the-Pooh once said you don’t spell love -- you feel it. He might have been a silly old bear, but he was a sage one, too. Pooh’s simplistic wisdom has made the beloved teddy bear one of the most famous children’s book characters of all time. Nearly a century after the honey-loving bear was introduced in A.A. Milne’s children books series, Winniethe-Pooh stands the test of time -- as relevant and revered today as when he first appeared in 1926. Now, the real-life story behind the bear -- and his beloved friend Christopher Robin -- have come to life in a playful and multi-sensory exhibition, Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). The exhibit, which debuted this fall, traces the history and universal appeal of the classic stories written by Milne and illustrated by E. H. Shepard. Nearly 200 works -- original drawings, proofs and early editions, letters, pho-
Portrait photograph of A.A. Milne, Christopher Milne, and Pooh Bear.
tographs, and cartoons -- take visitors on a journey exploring how the stories of Pooh and his friends Eeyore, Kanga and Roo, Owl, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger and Christopher Robin have stood the test of time and continue to resonate with readers around the world. The exhibit reveals the real people, relationships and inspirations behind the charismatic but often befuddled bear and his world. The show was designed with kids in mind, with several interactive elements for youth to enjoy. Children can go inside Pooh’s home and the childhood bedroom of Milne’s son Christopher— the primary inspiration for Christopher Robin. The space is complete with a bed for kids to sit on and read. There are also spaces for children
to play games and draw in the gallery, including a slide and footbridge, modeled after the beloved “Poohsticks” bridge from the books, that makes visitors feel like they’ve entered the Hundred Acre Wood. Kids are also encouraged to explore their own creativity, with various spaces to play games, draw and read in the gallery. Visitors of all ages can take in Shepard’s first Winnie-the-Pooh character portraits, drawn to resemble Christopher Milne’s real toys, and original sketches of the Hundred Acre Wood. More than 80 of Shepard’s original pencil/pen-and-ink drawings for the four Winnie-the-Pooh books, including some of the best-known illustrations, are on display. Set pieces inspired by Shepard’s art,
along with video and audio, including a 1929 recording of Milne reading Winniethe-Pooh, make it an interactive experience for all ages. “This exhibition is a wonderful combination of the ‘real’ and the ‘imagined,’ and I hope it helps every visitor reconnect with the original stories— true classics that are worthy of re-visiting,” said Meghan Melvin, who curated the collection. On weekends, families can stop by the Family Art Cart, where kids can choose from an array of self-guided educational activities, borrow a tote bag with a sketchbook and colored pencils, and check out a storybook to take with them on their Museum journey. Tickets to Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic are included in admission to the MFA, but are allotted for 30-minute entry time slots. The exhibition will be on display through Jan. 6.
Illustrator E.H. Shepard, 1932. BAYSTATEPARENT 9
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO Photo Courtesy of the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts
Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - Dr. Seuss
Big Cat Celebration. Stone Zoo. 10 NOVEMBER2018
Festival of Trees Berkshire Museum.
Photo Courtesy of Helene Norton Russell
Photo Courtesy of the Berkshire Museum
Photo courtesy of Marlo Marketing and Zoo New England
ELF: The Musical. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Diwali: The Festival of Lights. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the minivan, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to ensure accuracy at press time, things can and do change.
1 Thursday Photo courtesy of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Make a Mess: Fragrant Fall Finger Painting. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Drop-in to add scents and shaving cream to your finger paints for a seasonal twist on a favorite activity. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Storytime Surprise: Food. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4-4:30 p.m. Wait to see what story and activity finds you during this food-themed story-time. For ages 3 to 5. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.
2 Friday Music and Movement with Miss Bernadette. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 9:30-10 a.m. Explore sound through singing and playing, as you move, make music, listen, and learn. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Learning Spanish Circle Time. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. Bring your tot and learn new words, phrases, and songs in Spanish. Build a Spanish vocabulary together. For ages 3 to 5 with a caregiver. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. STEM Make & Play: Candy Corn Catapults. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 4-5 p.m. Use a variety of materials to design, build, and test your own catapult, before competing with other launching competitors. Recommended for ages 6 to 12. Free. mywpl.org. First Friday Night Free. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 4:30-8 p.m. Explore the museum for free. Non-perishable food donations for the Acton Food Pantry and Open Table of Concord and Maynard will be accepted. Free. discoveryacton.org. FIRST Lego Robotics. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 5-7 p.m. Join FIRST Robotics Team 6328 as they demo their 2017 competition robot and give visitors a chance to try it out themselves. Free. discoveryacton.org. Worcester Railers vs Adirondack Thunder. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7 p.m. Enjoy as the Worcester Railers takes on the Adirondack Thunder for the entire family to enjoy. $15-35. dcucenter.com. The Ultimate Robin Williams Tribute Experience. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 8 p.m. Master impressionist Roger Kabler embodies one of the greatest comedians of the 20th and 21st century, during this performance as the loveable madman Robin Williams. $33. regenttheatre.com.
3 Saturday WAM Fall Community Day: Diwali. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St.,
Luminous Chaos. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. Worcester. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate this tradition fall Hindu Festival of Lights with a full day of cultural programs at the Museum in partnership with the India Society of Worcester. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $16, youths $6, ages under 4 free. worcesterart.org. Big Cat Celebration. Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Learn more about the zoo’s big cats of cougars and snow leopards as specialists from the Cougar Network and Snow Leopard Trust teach guests. See new snow leopard cubs, Pandora and Naphisa, on exhibit. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $17.95, youths 2 to 12 $11.95, ages under 2 free. zoonewengland.org. Diwali Celebration. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Join publishing house Bharat Babies for a fun-filled day of programs celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights with dance, storytelling, music, and artmaking. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6. carlemuseum.org. The Fairy Circus. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Twenty beautifully hand-crafted marionettes leap to life, as Tanglewood Marionettes bring juggling, flying, and circus fun for the family to enjoy during this performance. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org. Nazar Bollywood Dance Troupe. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, 1 Columbia Point, Boston. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Experience the excitement of Bollywood and celebrate Diwali – the Indian Festival of Lights
– with a stunning performance combining South Asian classical, folk, and modern styles. Register ahead. Free. jfklibrary.org.
impairment, with a special tinkering and engineering program at 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and dinner. Register ahead. Free. discoveryacton.org.
Exploring Science Together: The Ice Age. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Come investigate the Ice Age and learn with handson glacier demonstrations and activities, as well as real geological clues about New England’s icy past during this adult-child exploration. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $25. hmnh.harvard.edu.
Worcester Railers vs Newfoundland Growlers. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7 p.m. Enjoy as the Worcester Railers takes on the Growlers for the entire family to enjoy. $15-35. dcucenter.com.
Concord with The Concord Winds Quintet. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 3 p.m. Enjoy this short concert that will allow children and families a chance to hear the various instruments in a program designed to appeal to all ages while adapting a special folktale. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Fall Fairy Houses. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 3-4 p.m. Create your very own fall fairy houses with acorns, bark, natural materials, fairy fancies, and fun. For ages 5 to 13. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Fruitlands Annual Bonfire. Fruitlands Museum, 90 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 5-7 p.m. Say goodbye to the 2018 Main Season in style, as Fruitlands hosts its 7th annual bonfire with drumming, a drum circle, and community. Free. fruitlands.org. Especially for Me: Free Vision Impaired Family Event. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 5-8 p.m. An evening at the Museum for families experiencing a visual
4 Sunday Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit + Science. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy this Academy Award-winning stop motion animated comedy following Britain’s famous man-dog duo as they hunt for a mysterious garden predator. Learn about engineering and selective plant breeding. $5. coolidge.org. First Sunday. Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy free admission all day to explore the galleries. Free. museumofrussianicons.org. Cookies and Tea with Clara from The Nutcracker. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., & 3 p.m. Clara invites you for a special meet-andgreet tea party, as she reads the story of The Nutcracker ballet and enjoys dancing, cookies, and tea. $20, parents free. thehanovertheatre.org. Draw It Out. The Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 1-4 p.m. A special Sunday in the art studio. Inspiration from the galleries. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6. carlemuseum.org.
Darci Lynne and Friends Live. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 3 p.m. Winner of the 12th Season of America’s Got Talent, Darci Lynne Farmer brings her skills as a young ventriloquist and friends Petunia the Rabbit, Oscar the Mouse, and Edna the Old Woman to delight all. $39-69. thehanovertheatre.org.
5 Monday Terrific Toddlers: Learn and Play Storytime. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 10-11 a.m. Celebrate all of the terrific things about you and the learning that you do through stories, songs, and play. For ages 1.5 to 3. Free. mywpl.org. Kiddie Music Time. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. The Monument Square Community Music School introduces you to classic and original music, song, percussion instruments, and dance during this interactive class. For ages 5 and under. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Bilingual MFA Playdates: Friendly Faces. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:15-11 a.m. Bring your toddler to enjoy story-time and looking activities in the galleries, followed by artmaking as we look at the faces that form the art we love and see. Designed for ages 4 and under. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, youths 7 and up $10, ages under 7 free. mfa.org. Early Engineers. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 4-5 p.m. Solve through building challenges inspired by stories of how real structures were created, from bridges to towers to more. For ages 6 to 8. Free. mywpl.org.
6 Tuesday Take Aparts, Jr. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Grab some tools and discover resistors, capacitors, gears, and more, as you uncover the inner workings of household gadgets and gizmos. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. LEGOS, Coloring, & Games. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Stop by and enjoy no school day with LEGOS, coloring activities, and plenty of games. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Skull Suncatchers Crafternoon. Worcester Public Library: Tatnuck Branch, 1083 Pleasant St.; Burncoat Branch, 526 Burncoat St.; Goddard Branch, 14 Richards St.; and Roosevelt Branch, 1006 Grafton St., Worcester. 4-5 p.m. Celebrate different fall holidays. Craft together skull suncatchers. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Free. mywpl.org. Especially for Me: Sensory Friendly BAYSTATEPARENT 11
Afternoon. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 1:30-4:30 p.m. Explore the Museum campus at your own pace, during this time of low crowding and quiet spaces accessible to guests. Register ahead. Free. discoveryacton.org.
The Wizard of Oz. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 8 p.m. Dorothy, Toto, and their friends come to life in this lavish production featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography, and classic songs. $4479. thehanovertheatre.org.
10 Saturday Photo courtesy of the Berkshire Museum
Terrific Twos Storytime. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-10:30 a.m. Join for stories, music, and fun. For ages 2 and caregivers. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. WAM Stroller Tours. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:3011:30 a.m. Bring the entire family for a docent guided tour to look at art, followed by an age appropriate story and light refreshments. Recommended for ages up to 3 with siblings. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $16, youths $6, ages under 4 free. worcesterart.org. Diwali: The Festival of Lights. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 5-10 p.m. Celebrate the ancient Festival of Lights observed around the world and enjoy music, dance performances, an open mic showcase, story-hour, artmaking, and more. Free. mfa.org. Super Snacks: Leominster Library University Jr. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6-7 p.m. Learn all about great tasting, healthy, super snacks along with joined by Hannaford in Leominster to teach you all about nutrition. For ages 5 to 12. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
8 Thursday Gourds Galore. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-10:45 a.m. Examine uniquely colored, shaped, and textured gourds, pumpkins, and squashes through sorting, matching, and close observation. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Nature Adventures for Children. Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 1-3 p.m. A hands-on program to explore the indoors using investigations, crafts, and activities, and outdoors in the wildlife sanctuary. For ages 5 to 7. Register
Free Community Pajama Night. Berkshire Museum.
ahead. Members $10, nonmembers $14. massaudubon.org. Game Day. Worcester Public Library: Great Brook Valley Branch, 89 Tacoma St., Worcester. 2-5 p.m. Gather your friends and join in at the library to get unplugged and play some old-fashioned games. Free. mywpl.org. Paws to Read. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 3:304:30 p.m. Read to Bridgette, a certified therapy dog, is the perfect participant in boosting reading skills and confidence. For ages 5 to 12. Free. mywpl.org.
featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography, and classic songs. $44-79. thehanovertheatre.org.
9 Friday Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Enjoy a nature-based activity inspired by the weather and season. Embrace the day as it comes. Recommended for ages 2 to 6. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
Storytime Surprise: Into the Forest. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4-4:30 p.m. Travel into the natural world, as we use this story-time to travel into the forest. For ages 3 to 5. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.
Learning Spanish Circle Time. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. Bring your tot and learn new words, phrases, and songs in Spanish, and build a Spanish vocabulary together, For ages 3 to 5 with a caregiver. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
The Wizard of Oz. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Dorothy, Toto, and their friends come to life in this lavish production
Preschool Story and Nature Hour: Owls. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 10:30-11:30 a.m. From barn to horned to snowy, come to cel-
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ebrate the owl. Read a storybook, make a craft, and explore the trails. For ages 2 to 5. Register ahead. Member children $3, nonmember children $4, adults free. massaudubon.org. Community Pajama Night. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 5:30-7 p.m. Wear your favorite pajamas and get comfortable for a cozy night of storytelling, featuring authors, artists, educators, and community members. Free. berkshiremuseum.org. Worcester Railers vs. Maine Mariners. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7 p.m. Enjoy as the Worcester Railers takes on the Maine Mariners for the entire family to enjoy. $15-35. dcucenter.com. Not Fade Away. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 8 p.m. Watch as six talented young artists bring you back to the days of swoonin’, boppin’, and rockin’ during this tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and more. $22.50-37.50. regenttheatre.com.
Pop Up Play Day. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Use your creativity to build and rebuild using big, blue blocks of Imagination Playground and the colorful building component. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $13, youths $6, ages under 4 free. berkshiremuseum.org. A Sailor’s Life & Legacy. USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate and honor our nation’s veterans at the USS Constitution Museum by learning about the daily struggles during the War of 1812 and stories of those today. Adults $10, children $5. ussconstitution.org. Magic by Bonaparte. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Shout and laugh with glee as Bonaparte draws you into his whimsical world of magic, bristling with comedy, audience participation, and drama. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org. Airborne Comedians. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m. Watch this high-energy, unorthodox comedy juggling show, that will delight all with birdbaths, lawn chairs, guitars, and bats flying through the air. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Adults $10, youth 2 to 12 $8. regenttheatre.com. Beyond the Spectrum: Show Me A Story. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Look at examples of visual storytelling from Ancient Egyptian manuscripts to modern children’s storybooks, before creating books we can use to write or illustrate during this adventures in art for children on the Autism Spectrum. For ages 8 to 12. $9. mfa.org. Everyday Engineering: Balls and Ramps. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11
a.m.-2 p.m. Engage in some everyday engineering as you construct and create with repurposed and recycled materials, as you design, build, and test out some simple tracks and mini roller coasters. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Special Storytime: Grace Lin. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 2 p.m. Join Newberry Honor author Grace Lin as she reads from her new picture book, A Big Mooncake for Little Star. Free with admission. Adults $9, youths $6. carlemuseum.org. The Wizard of Oz. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Dorothy, Toto, and their friends come to life in this lavish production featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography, and classic songs. $44-79. thehanovertheatre.org. Hotel Transylvania 3. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2:30 p.m. Watch as your favorite funny and mischievous creatures go on a new adventure away from their haunted hotel and onto the beach. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Library LEGO Inventors. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 3-4 p.m. Relish the opportunity to build using your imagination or a LEGO challenge from the LEGO bingo board. For ages K through 6th grade. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
11 Sunday A Sailor’s Life & Legacy. USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate and honor our nation’s veterans at the USS Constitution Museum by learning about the daily struggles during the War of 1812 and stories of those today. Adults $10, children $5. ussconstitution.org.
Norwell. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Drop-in for a day of exploration and learning about our favorite regional fruit, before getting a taste of various cranberry foods. Members $5, nonmembers $8. southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org. Wonder of Learning: Community Materials Day. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Drop-in and build an ever-changing, room-sized blanket fort, with clothespins, sheets, and cardboard boxes. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
13 Tuesday LittleBeats Dance. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:30 a.m. Move and learn as you join our friends for a creative morning of dance, stories, and music for our bodies and brains. For ages up to 4. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Tinker Tuesday: Inventions in Motion. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Explore possibilities of reusing what we usually throw away to make your very own kinetic art inventions. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Backyard and Beyond: Pomanders. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2:30-4:30 p.m. Make your own decorative balls made from citrus fruits and cloves as we prepare perfect holiday gifts. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Festively Fall: Star Spangled Wreaths. Worcester Public Library: Tatnuck Branch, 1083 Pleasant St.; Burncoat Branch, 526 Burncoat St.; Goddard Branch, 14 Richards St.; Roosevelt Branch, 1006 Grafton St., Worcester. 4-5 p.m. Celebrate different fall holidays as you string together wreaths during this fun and unique seasonal crafts. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Free. mywpl.org.
The Wizard of Oz. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. Dorothy, Toto, and their friends come to life in this lavish production featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography, and classic songs. $4479. thehanovertheatre.org.
ARTfull Explorations. deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Explore Sculpture Park installations and Museum exhibitions with the whole family. Investigate materials and ideas that weave through our spaces. Recommended for ages 5 to 12. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember $14, ages 12 and under free. deCordova.org.
Autumn Songfest with Musician Jeannie Mack. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 10-11 a.m. Sing and clap along with Jeannie in celebration of the autumn season, as she tells stories about falling leaves, pumpkins, and Thanksgiving. Recommended for ages 2 to 6. Free. mywpl.org.
Luminous Chaos. deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 1-3 p.m. Sculpt, paint, paste, mush, twist, and illuminate messy materials to create your own luminous mini-sculptures. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember $14, ages 12 and under free. deCordova.org.
12 Monday Crazy About Cranberries. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln.,
Terrific Twos Storytime. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-10:30 a.m. Join for stories, music, and fun together. For children aged 2 with caregivers. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
Worcester Railers vs. Reading Royals. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 10:05 a.m. Enjoy as the Worcester Railers takes on the Reading Royals for the entire family to enjoy. $15-35. dcucenter.com. ARTfull Play. deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10:3011:30 a.m. As the leaves fall around us, let’s build up, up, up, and see how high we can go in constructing a tree sculpture. Recommended for ages 2 to 5. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember $14, ages 12 and under free. deCordova.org. BAYSTATEPARENT 13
Photo courtesy of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Literacy Fair Celebrates Community Helpers. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 6-7:30 p.m. Learn all about our Community’s Helpers through activities, books, and entertainment. Recommended for ages 3 to 7. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
15 Thursday Doggy Days: Thankful for Abby. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Give thanks to our favorite Therapy dog, Abby, and prepare a surprise to offer thanks and add to our community poster. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Craft Day: Make an Indian Corn Pin or Magnet. Worcester Public Library: Great Brook Valley Branch, 89 Tacoma St., Worcester. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Come join a funfilled crafternoon as you make an Indian corn pin or magnet for the season. Free. mywpl.org. Spanish Bilingual Storytime. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4-4:30 p.m. Enjoy a special afternoon with stories, songs, and movements in English and Spanish. For ages 3 to 5. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Worcester Railers vs. Adirondack Thunder. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 8:05 p.m. Enjoy as the Worcester Railers takes on the Adirondack Thunder for the entire family to enjoy. $15-35. dcucenter.com.
16 Friday Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-10:45 a.m. Enjoy a nature-based activity inspired by the weather and season. Embrace the day as it comes. Recommended for ages 2 to 6. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Learning Spanish Circle Time. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. Bring your tot and learn new words, phrases, and songs in Spanish, and build a Spanish vocabulary together, For ages 3 to 5 with a caregiver. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Make a Mess: Spin Art. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Drop-in totwist tools, twirl paper, and give watercolors a whirl, creating a uniquely spun piece of art. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Family Fun. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3-5 p.m. Drop-in for family games and activity times, as the library provides games, building materials, and a space to connect. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Festival of Trees Preview Party. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Be among the first to see this year’s chart-topping Festival of Trees featuring more than 100 dazzling, decorated holiday trees, each depicting a popular song. Member adults $30, children $15; nonmember adults $50, children $25. berkshiremuseum.org. 14 NOVEMBER2018
ARTfull Play. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
sion. Adults $9, youths $6. carlemuseum.org.
Celebrate National Take a Hike Day: Orienteering. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Grab a map and go on an orienteering adventure on the conservation land marked by three courses of varying difficulty. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
Incredibles 2. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 2:30 p.m. Watch as the Parr family comes back together as they take on the evil villain Screenslaver and Jack-Jack develops his powers. Free. mywpl.org.
MFA Playdates: Friendly Faces. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:15-11 a.m. Bring your toddler to enjoy story-time and looking activities in the galleries, followed by artmaking as we look at the faces that form the art we love and see. Designed for ages 4 and under. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, youths 7 and up $10, ages under 7 free. mfa.org. Family Yoga Class. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Learn cooperative games, age-appropriate poses, partner poses, breathing exercises, simple mindfulness activities, and relaxation. Designed for ages 3 to 12 with caregiver. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Arms + Armor Demonstrations. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. Join this interactive program to learn all about different kinds of arms and armor used by Roman soldiers, Medieval knights, and beyond. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $16, youths $6, ages under 4 free. worcesterart.org. Special Storytime: Randall de Seve and Pamela Zagarenski. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 2 p.m. Enjoy as two-time Caldecottwinning artists Pamela Zagarenski and author Randall de Seve tell a tender, witty friendship store of imagination gone wild. Free with admis-
Happier Family Comedy Show. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 3 p.m. Join this all new, created-on-the-spot hilarious improv show made to ensure families of all ages can enjoy. Member adults $9, youths $4.50; nonmember adults $10, youths $5. carlemuseum.org. Festival of Trees After Dark. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 5-7 p.m. Discover twinkling lights ablaze during this indoor forest of imaginatively decorated trees festooned with musical motifs set within a dreamy atmosphere. Members $3, nonmembers $5. berkshiremuseum.org. Especially for Me: Autism Friendly Evening. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 5-8 p.m. Come explore the new Discovery Museum building during this time to play, learn, and experience, with dinner provided. Register ahead. Free. discoveryacton.org. Worcester Railers vs Orlando Solar Bears. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7 p.m. Enjoy as the Worcester Railers takes on the Solar Bears for the entire family to enjoy. $15-35. dcucenter.com.
18 Sunday Vanessa Trien & The Jumping Monkeys. Discovery Museum, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Boston Parents’ Choice Award-winning band returns for their highly anticipated annual Coolidge Corner Theatre show, featuring infectious folk-op-world
sounds, humor, warmth, and great music. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. coolidge.org. Make a Holiday Evergreen Wreath. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 1-3 p.m. Study some different types of evergreens and make a decorative wreath with greens, winterberry, seed pods, and ribbons. For families with children ages 3 and up. Register ahead. Members $25, nonmembers $35. massaudubon.org. Dreaming of Arabia. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 2 p.m. Enjoy as the Sarab-Mirage Dance Company performs dance alongside images, tales, and music from Arabian lands, new and old. $20-50. regenttheatre.com.
Byron Barton Celebration. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 9:30-10:30 a.m. Enjoy stories, art, music, and movement as the Growing Readers group celebrates author Byron Barton. Recommended for ages 2 to 5 with caregiver. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Terrific Toddlers: Learn and Play Storytime. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 10-11 a.m. Celebrate all of the terrific things about you and the learning that you do through stories, songs, and play. For ages 1.5 to 3. Free. mywpl.org. Baby Bookworms. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 11-11:30 a.m. Enjoy a variety of nursery rhymes, action rhymes, songs, and stories embrace our babies’ shorter attention spans while embracing caregiver-child engagement. For babies up to 12 months. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
20 Tuesday Dance Party. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:30 a.m. Move and groove to the music as kids and caregivers dance together. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Make a Mess: Spray Art Resist. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Experiment with resist painting and create images using materials that repel one another. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Craft Day: Pinecone Turkey. Worcester Public Library: Great Brook Valley Branch, 89 Tacoma St., Worcester. 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Make a pinecone turkey to decorate your Thanksgiving table. Free. mywpl.org.
Festively Fall Crafternoon. Worcester Public Library: Tatnuck Branch, 1083 Pleasant St.; Burncoat Branch, 526 Burncoat St.; Goddard Branch, 14 Richards St.; Roosevelt Branch, 1006 Grafton St., Worcester. 4-5 p.m. Create Thanksgiving potholders and magic rainbow leaves just in time for your Boston Area Chantey & Maritime Sing. Thanksgiving table. Recommended for ages USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy 6 and up. Free. mywpl.org. Yard, Building 22, Charlestown. 2-5 p.m. Listen, learn, and lift your voices, as you Folk Open Mic: Bob Uvello. TCAN: Center participate in your Maritime Heritage by for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 8 p.m. Enjoy joining a rousing chorus of sea chanteys at the best local and regional folk artists as they the museum. Adults $10, children $5. perform during this folk open mic night, before ussconstitutionmuseum.org. Bob Uvello performs a concert presentation. Members free, public $5. natickarts.org. The Littlest Matryoshka: Puppet Show. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture 21 Wednesday Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 2:30 p.m. See the story of The Littlest Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Matryoshka come to life with large string Literature. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington puppets and music composed for this Rd., Concord. 9 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Join the performance. Recommended for ages 5 opening of this annual celebration of children’s and up. Members $4.50, nonmembers $5. literature and new Education Center at the carlemseum.org. museum, with forests of trees large and small, wreaths, and more. Free with admission. Worcester Railers vs Orlando Members free; nonmember adults $10, youths Solar Bears. DCU Center, 50 Foster $5, ages under 5 free. concordmuseum.org. St., Worcester. 3:05 p.m. Enjoy as the Worcester Railers takes on the Solar Bears WAM Stroller Tours. Worcester Art Museum, for the entire family to enjoy. $15-35. 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30-11:30 dcucenter.com. a.m. Bring the entire family for a docent
guided tour to look at art, followed by an age appropriate story and light refreshments. Recommended for ages up to 3 with siblings. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $16, youths $6, ages under 4 free. worcesterart.org.
22 Thursday Bounty: Thanksgiving. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Experience the traditions of an early 19th-century New England Thanksgiving, featuring cooking techniques, meetinghouse speeches, and more. Free with admission. Adults $28, youths $14, ages under 4 free. osv.org. Thanksgiving Dinner at Oliver Wright Tavern. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. 11 a.m.4 p.m. Enjoy a delightful Thanksgiving Day dinner served to you and your family at New England’s iconic Thanksgiving destination. Register ahead. Member adults $50, youths $25; nonmember adults $52, youths $27, ages under 4 free. osv.org.
seasonal tradition as we lift our voices with Julie Andrews and the Von Trapps. Members $10; nonmember adults $15-17.50, children $12.50-15. regenttheatre.com. Thanksgiving Weekend Crafts. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd., Concord. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Get crafty with your family with special projects related to the children’s books featured in the Museum galleries. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $10, youths $5, ages under 5 free. concordmuseum.org. The Littlest Matryoshka: Puppet Show. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 1 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. See the story of The Littlest Matryoshka come to life with large string puppets and music composed for this performance.
Recommended for ages 5 and up. Members $4.50, nonmembers $5. carlemseum.org. Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction. MIT Rockwell Cage Gymnasium, 106 Vassar St., Cambridge. 1-4 p.m. Join this annual tradition, where giant Rube Goldbergesque machines link to create a giant chain reaction, with activities, and the chain reaction kick-off at 3:30 p.m. Adults $15, youths $5, ages under 5 free. mitmuseum.mit.edu. Worcester Railers vs. Manchester Monarchs. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7 p.m. Enjoy as the Worcester Railers takes on the Monarchs for the entire family to enjoy. $15-35. dcucenter.com. The Nutcracker. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St.,
Worcester. 7 p.m. Kick off your holiday season with a spectacular treat for the whole family, as live music and brilliant costumed dancers bring this classic story to life. $32-44. thehanovertheatre.org.
Tropical Forest, through arts and crafts, animal encounters, and a special education station. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $19.95, youths 2 to 12 $13.95, ages under 2 free. zoonewengland.org.
The Brave Little Toaster. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. In this animated classic watch as a dejected toaster rounds up the vacuum cleaner, electric blanket, bedside lamp, and radio as they set off for the big city in search of their beloved owner. Adults $9, children $7. coolidge.org.
Gingerbread House Workshop. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. & 2-4 p.m. Have some pre-holiday season fun, through a gingerbread house workshop with sweet creativity for all. For ages 8 to 12. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. World Anteater Day. Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate World Anteater Day with Jockamo, the giant anteater in Franklin Park Zoo’s
Sound of Music Sing-Along. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m.; 3 p.m.; 7:30 p.m. Sing-along with lyrics on the screen, play-along with your bags of props, and march-along on stage in a costume
Sound of Music Sing-Along. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 6:30 p.m. Sing-along with lyrics on the screen, play-along with your bags of props, and march-along on stage in a costume parade during this fantastic seasonal tradition as we lift our voices with Julie Andrews and the Von Trapps. Members $10; nonmember adults $15-17.50, children $12.50-15. regenttheatre.com.
23 Friday Backyard and Beyond: Forest Fridays. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-10:45 a.m. Enjoy a nature-based activity inspired by the weather and season. Embrace the day as it comes. Recommended for ages 2 to 6. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. LEGO Club. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-11 a.m. Come for unstructured building time for kids and builders of all ages. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. LEGO Zone. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bring your imagination while we supply the LEGOS, during this time to enjoy, create, experiment, and build. Through Sunday. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, 1 Columbia Point, Boston. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Join the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers as they share stories of both their history and modern culture in a performance that culminates with a full audience powwow in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Register ahead. Free. jfklibrary.org. Sound of Music Sing-Along. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m.; 3 p.m.; 7:30 p.m. Sing-along with lyrics on the screen, play-along with your bags of props, and march-along on stage in a costume parade during this fantastic BAYSTATEPARENT 15
2 p.m. & 7 p.m. Kick off your holiday season with a spectacular treat for the whole family, as live music and brilliant costumed dancers bring this classic story to life. $32-44. thehanovertheatre.org.
The Littlest Matryoshka: Puppet Show. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 11 a.m. See the story of The Littlest Matryoshka come to life with large string puppets and music composed for this performance. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Members $4.50, nonmembers $5. carlemseum.org.
Native American Nature Tales. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Join master storyteller Diane Edgecomb to learn about tribal stories, myths, and songs, weaving a colorful portrait of nature, history, and culture. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Free. mywpl.org.
Thanksgiving Weekend Crafts. Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Rd., Concord. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Get crafty with your family with special projects related to the childrenâ€™s books featured in the Museum galleries. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $10, youths $5, ages under 5 free. concordmuseum.org.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 3 p.m. & 8 p.m. Enjoy a multi-sensory extravaganza channeling the traditional songs of the holiday season into a thunderous electrifying concert. $43 and up. dcucenter.com.
Nipmuc Youth Cohort. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 12-4 p.m. Join the Nippeash Waapemooash youth as they meet for storytelling and other activities. Free. mywpl.org. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m. Watch Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Eeyore, and all your favorite figures in the Hundred Acre Woods during this favorite family animated film. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. The Nutcracker. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester.
Festival of Trees After Dark. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 5-7 p.m. Discover twinkling lights ablaze during this indoor forest of imaginatively decorated trees festooned with musical motifs set within a dreamy atmosphere. Members $3, nonmembers $5. berkshiremuseum.org.
Photo courtesy of the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts
parade during this fantastic seasonal tradition as we lift our voices with Julie Andrews and the Von Trapps. Members $10; nonmember adults $15-17.50, children $12.50-15. regenttheatre.com.
The Wizard of Oz. The Hanover Theatre.
15. regenttheatre.com. The Nutcracker. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., 25 Sunday Worcester. 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Kick off your holiday season with a spectacular treat for Sound of Music Sing-Along. Regent Theatre, the whole family, as live music and brilliant 7 Medford St., Arlington. 12 p.m. & 5 p.m. costumed dancers bring this classic story to Sing-along with lyrics on the screen, play-along life. $32-44. thehanovertheatre.org. with your bags of props, and march-along on stage in a costume parade during this fantastic Middle Eastern Music. Newton Free seasonal tradition as we lift our voices with Julie Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2-3 p.m. Andrews and the Von Trapps. Members $10; Join multi-instrumentalist Alejandro Castellano nonmember adults $15-17.50, children $12.50-
and friends for a unique performance of Middle Eastern music. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.
spirits. Recommended for ages 1 to 4 with a caregiver. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org.
Terrific Toddlers: Learn and Play Storytime. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 10-11 a.m. Celebrate all of the terrific things about you and the learning that you do through stories, songs, and play. For ages 1.5 to 3. Free. mywpl.org.
Little Yogis & Me Yoga and Movement. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-10:45 a.m. & 11-11:45 a.m. Join us for a fun-filled yoga play for active tots and preschoolers, featuring poses, songs, and movement to nurture creative
27 Tuesday Matt Heaton Family Sing-Along. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10-10:45 a.m. Tap your feet and clap along to the Toddlerbilly Troubadour, as he brings an infectious energy to his sing-alongs, featuring new and old songs for all to enjoy. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Dress Your Stuffed Pet. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Treat your favorite stuffed animal to a new outfit, as you use your imagination and a variety of creative materials to design and construct a special costume for your furry friend. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Backyard and Beyond: Lantern Light-Up. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4 p.m. Make a one-of-a-kind lantern to brighten the season and enlighten the Fairyborough during our late afternoon lantern procession. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org.
28 Wednesday Colorful Kaleidoscopes. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2-4:30 p.m. Drop-in and join us to explore light, color, and reflections as we create simple but dazzling kaleidoscopes to create unique and colorful patterns inside. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston. 7 p.m. The Greenest, grouchiest, and grinchiest character
of Dr. Seuss comes alive as the classic story is brought to the stage with delightful music, fantastical costumes, and fabulous fun. $25 and up. bochcenter.org.
29 Thursday Wee Ones Art Studio: Love Bugs. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. Take part in some special story reading before jumping in to craft a variety of bugs while learning about shapes, textures, and processes. For ages 3 to 5 with caregiver. Register ahead. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Snip and Tear. Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10-11 a.m. Show off your scissor skills, try cutting for the first time, or use your hands to tear a collection of confetti during this time of paper participation. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $14.50, ages under 1 free. discoveryacton.org. Nature Adventures for Children. Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 1-3 p.m. A hands-on program exploring the indoors using investigations, crafts, and activities, and outdoors in our wildlife sanctuary. For ages 5 to 7. Register ahead. Members $10, nonmembers $14. massaudubon.org. My Pet Dinosaur. Worcester Public Library: Great Brook Valley Branch, 89 Tacoma St., Worcester. 3:15 p.m. An afternoon screening of My Pet Dinosaur. Free. mywpl.org. K-2 Fun: Families. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4-4:30 p.m. Spend the
afternoon celebrating the theme of families. For children in grades K through 2. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. 3D Doodling. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 4-5 p.m. Try out 3D printing pens. Materials provided. Draw your own 3-dimensional creation. For ages 6 to 12. Register ahead. Free. mywpl.org. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston. 7 p.m. The Greenest, grouchiest, and grinchiest character of Dr. Seuss comes alive as the classic story is brought to the stage with delightful music, fantastical costumes, and fabulous fun. $25 and up. bochcenter.org. A Charlie Brown Christmas. Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston. 7 p.m. Everyone’s favorite Peanuts characters come together to discover the true meaning of Christmas, as productions go awry and a timeless story is brought to stage. $38 and up. bochcenter.org. ELF: The Musical. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Buddy the Elf comes to stage and out from the North Pole to New York City as he attempts to fit into the Big Apple, inspire Christmas spirit, and find his family. $43 and up. thehanovertheatre.org.
timeless story is brought to stage. $38 and up. bochcenter.org. Learning Spanish Circle Time. Leominster Public Library, 30 West St., Leominster. 10-11 a.m. Bring your tot and learn new words, phrases, and songs in Spanish, as we build a Spanish vocabulary together. For ages 3 to 5 with a caregiver. Free. leominsterlibrary.org. Preschool Story and Nature Hour: Turkeys. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Read an engaging storybook, make a nature craft, and walk on one of the sanctuary’s beautiful trails. Take inspiration from one of our favorite backyard birds – the turkey. Recommended for ages 2 to 5. Register ahead. Member children $3, nonmember children $4, adults free. massaudubon.org. Christmas By Candlelight. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. 3-8 p.m. Watch amongst the Old Sturbridge Village town common decorated for the holidays, music, a roaring fire, holiday
traditions recreated, and more to embrace the holiday season. Adults $28, youths $14, ages under 4 free. osv.org. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston. 7 p.m. The Greenest, grouchiest, and grinchiest character of Dr. Seuss comes alive as the classic story is brought to the stage with delightful music, fantastical costumes, and fabulous fun. $25 and up. bochcenter.org. Boston Dance Theater. Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston. 8 p.m. Enjoy this contemporary dance company as it spreads its commitment to present relevant works through acclaimed choreographers. Members $32, nonmembers $36. icaboston.org. ELF: The Musical. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 8 p.m. Buddy the Elf comes to stage and out from the North Pole to New York City as he attempts to fit into the Big Apple, inspire Christmas spirit, and find his family. $43 and up. thehanovertheatre.org.
30 Friday A Charlie Brown Christmas. Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston. 10 a.m. & 7 p.m. Everyone’s favorite Peanuts characters come together to discover the true meaning of Christmas, as productions go awry and a
‘Tis The Season
A Sneak Peek at the Season’s Best Holiday Happenings
Ready to get into the holiday spirit? If you’re looking for a dose of cheer (food, shopping, family-friendly activities, and maybe even a glimpse of Santa), check out one of these seasonal celebrations. From dazzling light displays to quaint Christmas festivals, here’s your look at all the festive fun. Bright Nights, Springfield Daily, November 21-January 1 (closed November 26 & 27) brightnights.org More than 3.8 million visitors have taken in the “Bright Nights” at Springfield’s Forest Park. With nearly three miles of lighting displays, this attraction has been named one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America by the American Bus Association and on People. com’s “Top Ten Holiday Happenings in America.” The display is always evolving, featuring fun new sights like “Jurassic World” or “Seuss Land.” Festival of Trees & Snow Village, Wellesley Daily, November 23-December 9 masshort.org Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Festival of Trees showcases dozens of decked out trees plus decorated building and grounds at The Gardens at 18 NOVEMBER2018
Elm Bank. Enchanting displays with model trains winding through villages and vignettes, including Christmas in the City (Boston of course!), Fenway Park, and hundreds of decorated houses and lights await guests in the Snow Village. This amazing scenery in miniature is sure to get kids excited about the holiday season. Visits with Santa round out this holiday hit for all ages.
creating memories for the whole family. Visitors of all backgrounds are invited to celebrate the season at this inclusive, secular event. It includes two unique experiences: Day Lights (the day time experience) and Night Lights (the evening experience). Families with children will enjoy the scavenger hunts, the model train, discovery backpacks, hands-on Library activities, and more.
Night Lights: Winter Reimagined, Boylston Tuesday through Sunday, November 23-December 30 Day Lights: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. towerhillbg.org/night-lights-2018
Winterlights, Stockbridge & North Andover At Naumkeag, Thursday through Sunday evenings, November 23-December 30 At The Stevens-Coolidge Place, Thursday through Sunday evenings, November 29-December 30. thetrustees.org/winterlights
Celebrate the season with thousands of lights, new experiences, and enchanting landscapes at this annual event at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston. Explore patterns in nature with mesmerizing displays. Enjoy s’mores, seasonal drinks, and fun photo opportunities while
Be among the first to take in Winterlights, an immersive, allLED light installation and event series premiering this holiday season in the gardens of two of The Trustees’ most popular historic homes: Naumkeag in
Stockbridge and The StevensCoolidge Place in North Andover. Along with gardens illuminated with thousands of shimmering holiday lights, both properties will offer accompanying events with special guests, live music and more. Kids will delight in visits from Santa, a Frozen themed night, and plenty of children’s activities. Warming seasonal refreshments will also be available for purchase at both properties. ZooLights at the Stone Zoo, Stoneham Daily, November 23-December 31 (Closed December 24) zoonewengland.org/zoolights Christmas lights and animals? What more could a kid want? ZooLights dazzles visitors of all ages each holiday season. Stroll along tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights. Visit black bears, Smoky and Bubba, in the festively decorated area around their exhibit. Stroll through the beautifully
lit Yukon Creek and see bald eagles, Canada lynx, arctic foxes and reindeer. Children can meet the reindeer up close and visit with Santa. Boston Common Holiday Tree Lighting, Boston Thursday, November 29 Each year an enormous Christmas tree, gifted to Boston from Nova Scotia, makes its way from way up north to the city’s Common where it’s decorated with thousands of glittering lights. Enjoy free ice skating on the Frog Pond, refreshments, music and entertainment before the Mayor (joined by Santa, of course) flicks on the lights, illuminating the city’s special tree, along with nearly 100 more throughout the Common and Public Garden. The show closes with a special fireworks display over the Common. Main Street at Christmas, Stockbridge Friday through Sunday, November
30-December 2 stockbridgechamber.org The town of Stockbridge, made famous by Norman Rockwell’s painting of the village during the holidays, becomes a magical New England setting decorated with holiday wreaths and festive lights, as the town celebrates Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. The holiday celebration offers a full range of activities, with highlights including holiday readings, house tours, caroling, and a holiday concert. Capping off the weekend is a recreation on Sunday of the scene depicted in Main Street at Christmas, complete with vintage automobiles parked in the spots occupied in the painting. Activities include horse drawn rides, a visit from Santa, Roger the Jester, lunch at the Christmas Food Booth and more. Christmas Stroll, Nantucket Friday through Sunday, November 30-December 2 christmasstroll.com Main Street shuts down to traffic for this annual weekend kick off to Noel, Nantucket style. Costumed carolers, craft shows, live performances spread out through the downtown, where the streets are illuminated by hundreds of decorated, seven-foot Christmas trees. On Saturday, Nantucket Town Crier, in full regalia, will ring in Christmas Stroll, and then lead everyone to the wharves to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, who arrive via Coast Guard Cutter, walk down the wharf, and then ride into downtown to meet with children. Be sure to stop by the Nantucket Whaling Museum, which is transformed into a glittering winter wonderland, with the month-long Festival of Trees showcasing more than 80 Christmas trees designed and adorned with unique decorations. Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge Saturday and Sunday evenings November 30 – December 23, with a bonus night on Thursday, December 20 Enjoy an evening filled with New England holiday traditions, live musical performances, storytelling, sleigh rides, festive foods, a roaring bonfire, and strolls around the decorated Village Common. Stroll through the living history museum by the glow of candlelight. Catch the nightly tree lighting and marvel at dozens of delicately gingerbread
houses. Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting, Rockport Saturday, December 1 rockportusa.com Where else can you see Santa arrive by lobster boat? After a brisk ride across Sandy Bay, Santa will arrive at Rockport’s T-Wharf on Rockport Harbor, then ride into town by firetruck. Before lighting the Christmas tree, he’ll visit with children, then climb back onto the fire truck to begin his long return journey to the North Pole. White Christmas, West Brookfield Saturday, December 2 facebook.com/westbrookfieldwhitechristmas The historic town of West Brookfield, tucked away in the Quaboag Hills of Central Massachusetts, celebrates the season in classic small-town New England style during the day-long White Christmas celebration. Streets glow with twinkling white lights while the picturesque Town Common hosts a tree lighting and free hayrides and hot chocolate. A Christmas concert, open houses, shopping, and an Elf Hunt for kids round out the annual event. Chain of Lights, Millbury & Sutton Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3 facebook.com/millburychainoflights, https://www.facebook.com/ events/sutton-chain-of-lights Each town takes a turn hosting a celebration of the holiday season. Take a free trolley ride to locations all around town, where family-friendly holiday happenings take place all day long. This is a quaint, local tradition where community organizations and businesses host “stops” with all sorts of holiday-themed fun. Christmas Stroll Weekend, Rockport Saturday and Sunday, December 8-9. rockportusa.com Holiday fairs and shows, strolling musicians, and more through downtown Rockport. Take part in the Art Gallery Stroll, a popular tradition and fun introduction to Rockport’s galleries, studios, artists, and artisans. Catch a brass band Christmas concert, make ornaments and sip hot cocoa at Rockport’s oldest working farm, take a pony or hay ride, stop into storytime and more. BAYSTATEPARENT 19
VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE
Video Game Program Helps Kids Learn How to Calm Down ‘Mightier’ teaches kids to develop coping skills and regulate emotions BY JOAN GOODCHILD
any parents often find themselves struggling with too much video game use among their kids. But what if time spent gaming could actually be beneficial in helping some
kids learn emotional regulation, coping skills and mindfulness? That’s the goal behind Mightier, by Neuromotion Labs. Mightier is a gaming platform that allows kids to have fun and learn how to calm down with the use of a tablet, an app and
a heart rate monitor. Developed by a team of experts in psychiatry, neurology, and child development at Boston Children’s Hospital, it was commercially launched in November 2017 after three clinical studies. The intent is to help children learn
emotional regulation through play. “One thing we had noticed in our work was that every kid who came into the clinic, whether they were dealing with ADHD, or Autism, or other disorders, had some challenge
with emotional regulation,” said Mightier co-founder and chief scientific officer Jason Kahn. “And it’s hard to engage a kid in therapy for this issue. It’s like trying to teach kids how to ride a bike. In therapy, we put a kid in room and talk about the bike,
but we don’t actually get to use the bike. We don’t have ways for kids to play with their emotions either.” So how does Mightier help kids play with their emotions and reactions? It starts with a heart monitor, which they wear when playing games in the Mightier app. The monitor gives them a reading of their heart rate when they play the games. Once the heart rate monitor is on and the playing begins, kids get to see what their heart rate is doing. As the games gets more difficult, the players heart rate goes up. If it reaches the “red zone,” the game pauses and plays an animation that guides the player through a deep-breathing exercise. Through the help of breathing, kids can calm themselves and see their heart rate drop. The hope is that with repetition and practice, this calming skill can translate into real-life stressful situations. “The skill of emotional regulation helps kids succeed at school, and helps them to be healthier,” said Kahn. “We want to teach kids those skills and have them succeed on their own terms.” Many of the games children use in Mightier are popular games available in the Apple App Store or Google Play. That’s because several game developers have allowed Mightier to access their game code in order to create a version that can be used for therapeutic play. “We worked hard to make this as fun as possible. If it’s not fun, kids won’t touch this,” said Kahn. “We add one game a month, so there is always new content, and it is not a battle to get kids into it.” Mightier also comes with several coaching sessions with a licensed social worker for parents. A Mightier “coach” calls the parent to get feedback on how the app is working for them, and helps troubleshoot any issues they may be experiencing. Kahn and his team hope for some families who don’t have access to regular therapy, Mightier could be a first line in helping kids learn how to self soothe. “The statistics are staggering,” he said. “There are nine mental health workers for every 100,000 people out there. We are not going to reach everyone. Approximately 80 percent of kids who have challenges get no care at all. This is a solution to the access problem. It’s very low risk and very low barrier to entry.”
Katherine Powers, a Dorchester mom with two children who works in the Boston Public School system, has seen success with Mightier for her son, who is 9 years old. He began using the gaming program last year at an occupational therapy center and now uses it at home. “He might use it after a tough day at school,” said Powers.
“For us, it brings forward an opening for us to have a conversation we wouldn’t have had. While he still might have a reaction, he is more able to self-regulate and use a breathing technique.” Results so far look promising. Kahn said research has found that 45 minutes a week of playing Mightier reduced outbursts by 62 percent, decreased oppo-
sitional behaviors by 40 percent and lowered parent stress by 19 percent. There are several Mightier packages available for purchase, but the most popular program costs $249, and includes the coaching sessions. There is a $19 monthly fee after the initial three-month period is over. More information can be found on the Mightier.com web site.
Joan Goodchild is a veteran writer and editor and mom of two living in Central Massachusetts.
Minor States of Disrepair and Other Missteps of Motherhood BY BRENDA DONOGHUE
Could I be the architect of my own undoing? This is the question I faced that winter while sitting on my kitchen floor in the total darkness of my freezing home. Surrounded by my kids and a meager collection of candles and cell phone flashlights, I reflected on the circumstances that brought us here. Just a few short hours before, I was the poster child for having it all: part-mother, part-household CEO, part-consummate professional. And I was killing it on all fronts. Or so I thought. It turns out, sticking your head in the sand in an act of willful blindness because you are too busy (or too dumb) to troubleshoot a faulty boiler does not make you Superwoman after all. ...Especially when that repair issue morphs into a downright mini-catastrophe. It was the middle of a typical whirlwind week, one that demanded a head-spinning load of family and work responsibilities. Though I was certain I handled it with competence and grace, the truth is I behaved
more like a runaway freight train, barreling down the rail unable to switch tracks. It all began that morning when the heat didn’t kick on. With little time (or inclination) to address the issue, I practiced avoidance like a disciple and prayed for divine intervention as I made the before-school rounds and headed to work. The heat wasn’t working when I stopped home either... and I needed help. But it was too late for anyone to come by, and I needed to get out for kids sports and errands. Forging ahead with the evening schedule, I resolved to make the most of blankets and cuddling upon return. But, when the neighborhood lost power while we were out, my little problem became big trouble. Returning to the frigid blackness of our home, I faked calm while selling the shivering, bewildered boys on hours of family board games by muted candlelight. My sense of peace and order, shattered. My sense of guilt, enormous. I cried (only to myself) like a spoiled little kid. It turned out the heating issue was an easy fix after all, requiring a simple boiler valve
replacement. The next day, my plumber walked me through a process far less complicated and intimidating than I feared. I fixed it myself. It took five minutes. I’ve learned the hard way the error of my ways. Obviously. In the past, I’ve tried to keep minor states of disrepair under control, but I’m not strong on the home repair front. Or on the basic household maintenance front. Or on any front when it comes to dealing with tricky domestic issues. Two minute projects have taken me all afternoon. And even then, I wouldn’t always succeed. I often watched “how-to” segments dozens of times as I stood helplessly by my bathtub drain attempting a snake, or by my bedroom door as I tried to properly line up the hinges to reinstall into the jams. Or during virtually every other task I tackled. Once, I threw a wiffleball bat at my house when I couldn’t figure out how to fix my lawn mower after it broke down mid-mow. I later learned the lawnmower had simply run out of gas. Once, I even brought my power drill to a friend for yet another lesson in basic drilling techniques, because
recent lessons by my siblings weren’t enough and I was too embarrassed to ask them again. I eventually learned to use it, and it’s come in handy. I used it last year to open a jar of powder makeup that I couldn’t summons the strength to budge. Sometimes, in moments of frustration, I run a cost-benefit analysis on how badly I need certain things fixed. Very few repairs outweigh the cost. I haven’t had a working doorbell in years. This is not a source of pride. I almost always refused to ask for help, too stubborn and prideful to see reason. Once, I left an unopened jar of pasta sauce in the pantry for almost a year when I couldn’t manually open it, refusing to buy one of those handy jar openers, or another jar. Instead, I just kept occasionally trying to open the same damn jar. The kids had plain spaghetti with butter about a dozen times that year. I place the blame for my lackluster performance squarely on motherhood. The dizzying amount of demands has sapped the last of my brain cells. My memory is toast. My wherewithal to grasp “complex” repairs
and maintenance - AWOL because, frankly, I no longer have the capacity to learn things that I don’t enjoy. I used to be a highly-functioning adult. Repeatedly facing my failures and shortcomings is a hard lesson in humility. And so, recently I slinked away in defeat; avoidance and denial became my go-to coping skills. It’s easy to understand why. But my house looks like hell. And if the enormous breakdown of that heatless day taught me anything, it’s that I must keep trying. Despite all of my excuses, in the end, it’s my responsibility to continue learning... and to never give up. And so, I’ll keep on truckin’. I may not have it all together yet, but I’m getting there. Brenda Donoghue juggles a full-time career with raising two boys in Central Massachusetts. Her writing is inspired by occasional flashes of insight during the chaotic daily grind, which she strives to navigate with humor and grace.
These Bay State kids and teens might be young, but they’re doing some big things. BY AMANDA COLLINS BERNIER It’s no secret that we think kids are pretty great. They have sense of hopeful thinking about the world that’s truly heartening. What’s especially inspiring is when kids find ways to act upon their hopeful thinking, proving anyone can make a positive impact in the world. Sometimes, all it takes is one person – one voice – to make a difference. And sometimes that voice can belong to someone very young. Meet six Massachusetts children and teens who are doing some extraor-
dinary things. They may be young, but they are focused on causes bigger than themselves. From environmental activism to volunteerism, children’s health, and beyond, these youth are doing things to make a significant difference to people and the planet. Spending their childhood and teen years making the world a better place, these kids have big hearts… and even bigger ideas. BAYSTATEPARENT 23
One Sock at a Time Arlington brothers are outfitting the world in blue socks to save a special kind of colorful bird. BY JOAN GOODCHILD
or the last year, Will Gladstone has jumped feet first into his passion for saving a bird. Blue feet first, that is. Gladstone, a 14-year-old resident of Arlington, and his younger brother Matthew, age 11, started the Blue Feet Foundation in April 2017. The effort is now going strong and making a global impact. The foundation is dedicated to the preservation of the blue-footed booby bird, which lives in the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. In recent decades, the brightly-colored bird has suffered a population decline on the island. That’s a fact the Gladstone brothers want to change. “We were studying birds in fifth-grade science class and when I learned the population of the blue-footed booby in the Galapagos had declined by 60 percent, I wanted to help,” said Will. The Gladstone brothers now sell blue socks with the image of a blue-footed booby on them through their foundation’s website store. The socks are $12.50 a pair in both kid and adult sizes. The funds the foundation collects from sales are donated to the Galapagos Conservancy for the scientific study of the population decline. Professor Dave Anderson of Wake Forest University, who is an expert on the blue-footed booby, leads the research efforts and has traveled to the Galapagos and study the decline. The hope is to continue to raise money so his research can continue. “We hope we save them because they’re a special bird and everyone should get to experience them,” said Will. “They are not afraid of people and they dance to show off their bright blue feet.” The birds, which, as the name indicates have beautiful blue feet, also live along a coastal section of northern Mexico that stretches to southern Peru. While that population is thriving, the small population on the Galapagos Islands has dropped off, worrying wildlife experts. While the determination to help the bird population make a comeback was clear for the boys, opening the store and getting things off the ground did not have an easy start, according to Will. “We almost gave up because we didn’t get any orders for three months,” he said. “Now it’s a lot of work because every day after school we have to come home and pack up orders. But we can’t stop because we’re doing so good.” Indeed, now there seems to be no slowing down for the brothers and their blue socks. To date, they have sold 4,500 pairs of socks and raised more than $40,000 for research. Orders have arrived from all 50 states and 36 countries, a point of pride for the boys. “We get sent photos every day of people wearing our socks around the world,” said Will. “This week we got pictures from Mallorca and Australia. If you look at our Instagram, @ thebluefeetfoundation, you’ll see pictures from everywhere: 24 NOVEMBER2018
The Great Wall, Stonehenge, Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon, Namibia, Indonesia, South Africa, Sweden, Japan, Russia, Patagonia, the Galápagos Islands, Korea, Norway and on and on. “ A quick glance at the Instagram account, where Will posts pictures and facts about the blue-footed booby, also finds the foundation has more than 13,500 followers, including some celebrities. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick poses with a pair. The boys’ work has also caught the eye of environmental activists. Will was one of a few children from all over the world honored in Action For Nature’s 2018 International Eco-Hero Youth Awards. The boys are hoping to each pair of socks takes them closer to their goal of bringing the Blue-Footed Booby population back up to previous levels. In their case, closing up shop will eventually spell success. “My little brother hopes we go out of business because that means we saved the blue-footed booby.”
Catching – And Spreading – Joy When he’s not interviewing the former First Lady or collecting and donating thousands of pairs of socks to the needy, this Needham teen gives back by giving others a chance to give.
hough he was only 4 years old at the time, Needham’s Maxwell Surprenant can clearly remember a day that would long after impact his, and thousands of other’s lives. It was the holiday season and he was shopping in Boston with his parents, Michael and Joy. Though the city glowed with Christmas lights, it was cold, and blustery, and little Max couldn’t help but notice a homeless man sitting on the street with no shoes and no coat. “I had so many questions,” Max, now 15, recalled. “I wanted to talk about it and I wanted to know how to help.” Inspired by their son’s desire to do and to give, the Surprenants found simple, kid-led ways to help others. They’d clear all the furniture out of the living room so Max and his friends could make Valentine’s card to send to troops, or put together “Blessings Bags” with toiletries and snacks for the homeless. Max’s ideas for ways to help kept coming: a lemonade stand, sock drives, blanket making, and on and on. Eventually, his passion for giving back led to Catching Joy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes volunteerism beginning with young children and their families. For a decade, Catching Joy has organized hands-on activities that kids can do to let them feel the joy of giving. All the projects are child-led, allowing kids to use whatever special talents and skills they have; empowering them to make a positive change in the world. Some of the organization’s projects have become annual traditions, like a perennial event at the Ritz Carlton in Boston where children are invited to create homemade ornaments to adorn Christmas trees that are donated to charity. Other projects have mirrored Max’s interests or passions at the time – from a kids’ comedy night when he was in a joke-telling phase, to a drive that delivered 2,000 birthday cards to his 10-year-old friend, Bennett, who was fighting cancer. Food, book and clothing drives, charity walks, and toy collections are among the projects spearheaded by Catching Joy. With events such as the Big Blanket Hug, inspiring youth to make 2,000 no-sew blankets for people living on the street or in shelters, or Operation Sock Drop, which collected and donated more than 2,500 pairs of socks to the homeless, each endeavor gives to others, and gives others the change to give. In the last decade, Catching Joy has mobilized over 60,000 youth and adults to make a difference and has supported more than 60 non-profits. “Once I felt the joy of giving, I wanted to do more,” said Max. “And I wanted to share it with others.” Max keeps busy outside of these projects, too. He’s a talented artists, avid reader, and a baseball player. As a reporter with Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, he’s interviewed Michelle Obama, Joe Biden and Chelsea Clinton. “I think it’s really important for kids and teens to be informed about all different issues. Whatever they are passionate about, or wherever they see an injustice, they can do something,” he said. “Nothing is too small.”
The Renaissance Teen A scientist, artist, public speaker, and environmental activist, this Kingston teen is leaving her mark on the world — and making it a better place.
hat if we could use our roads and highways to harvest the energy from the cars driving over
them? It’s an idea Olivia Colombo had 26 NOVEMBER2018
and built a prototype for… when she was in the eighth grade. With her Green Highways Project, Olivia proposes using highways for a new source of renewable energy. She invented a technology that captures
kinetic and thermal energy from the highway and converts it to electrical energy. She received a provisional patent for her invention, and has been recognized nationally and internationally by ProjectCSGIRLS and
MIT THINK. Olivia wants to change the world through science – and she’s well on her way – but she is also deeply passionate about environmental and humanitarian issues. She’s won national science fairs and volunteered as missionary in Haiti. She’s spoken at schools about the gender gap in technology, taught kids to program robots, and has painted murals at homeless shelters. She’s a scientist, artist, public speaker and changemaker – a Renaissance woman, if you will, though she’s only 17. “No matter what I do, my goal is to better the world with every step I take and inspire others to do the same,” she said. A member of the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council, Olivia helps lead service campaigns and travels the country spreading Dr. Jane’s message that “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Olivia speaks and Skypes into classrooms at schools about service learning and the life of Dr. Jane Goodall and Roots & Shoots. “Sometimes I’m talking to ten kindergartners about planting a garden, and other times it’s a auditorium full of people, but it’s always the same message: you see a problem in your community and make a plan about how to change it and make a difference. Making a difference doesn’t necessarily mean changing the whole problem. You can change it for just one person,” she said. Her own humanitarian initiatives include local food and clothing drives and regular mission trips to Haiti, where the Kingston native said she “left a piece of her heart.” It’s another place that she’s been able to weave her love of science into her passion for the environment and humanitarian issues. “We can use science and physics to help people. Combining the care of a person, their spiritual needs, helping the economically disadvantaged –it’s all social justice,” she said. Olivia, who is also a talented artist, recently illustrated an e-book for JGI on community service. “Find what you’re good at. Find what you’re passionate about. And put your skills and talents to work to make a difference,” she said. Olivia is currently a freshman at Boston College, where she is studying Catholic Theology and Environmental Science with a concentration in physics. She sells her artwork through Etsy, blogs for Roots & Shoots, and has her own mini-series in collaboration with CatholicTV. To learn more about Olivia and all her work, go to oliviaroseart.com.
Kid Entrepreneurs Take On Cancer With a homemade lip balm and a passion to help a friend, the Bennett brothers, from Malden, have raised thousands of dollars for pediatric cancer research.
ometimes the smallest things can make a big impact. Just ask Harry and Heath Bennett about their little tubs of homemade lip balm. In the kitchen of their Malden home, the brothers make the balm; each batch potentially bringing us just a bit closer to a cure for cancer. Since the boys started Bennett Brothers Balm in the summer of 2016 – when they were just 11 and 7 – they’ve raised over $27,000 to support pediatric cancer research. The brothers were inspired to start their own not-forprofit business after their friend, Timmy, was diagnosed with Stage 1 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Timmy was just 11 years old and about the finish the fifth grade, and the Bennetts were faced with the heavy truth that someone so young, healthy and active could be so sick. “Heath and I were shocked and sad when we found out and we knew right away that we wanted to do something to help him feel better. We learned that cancer patients’ lips and skin can get dry and chapped from chemo treatments, so we thought that making a lip balm would be a good idea,” said Harry, who’s now 13. The brothers pored over online recipes, researched ingredients, and experimented in the kitchen. After a number of botched batches, they landed on the winning formula -a plant-based wax that included scents of strawberry and vanilla (Timmy’s favorite). “We probably made about 10 or more batches before we came up with a recipe that we were happy with,” said Harry. “We wanted our products to be all natural and gentle enough for cancer patients to use. All of our products are made with them in mind.” Since then, Harry and Heath have expanded their line to include body butter, eye balm, and a belly balm, Tummy Troubles, for upset stomachs, nausea and anxiety. All of the products are handmade by the boys in their home, with the brothers taking charge of every aspect of the business, from research and production, to labeling, packaging, marketing and selling their products online and at local events. The brothers also host special fundraisers for friends, and have collaborated with organizations across the country to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer. Their lip balm is included in chemo care pouches
for Breast Cancer patients at three local cancer centers. Selling the products door-to-door, in an online Etsy shop, and at craft fairs, the boys have raised thousands of dollars, which they’ve donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where their friend was treated, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For their work, the boys were honored with the 2018 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. The pair has learned a lot through Bennett Brothers Balm: how to run a business and manage money, and interact with customers, and has polished their public speaking skills. Nine-year-old Heath said the lip balm business has helped him overcome shyness. “I think I am more outgoing now… I am happy that sharing our story has helped to raise awareness for our cause.” “We have made a lot of friends in the cancer community and we feel very proud of the work that we have done, and the awareness that we have raised
in our school and community,” said Harry. The Bennett brothers have no plans for slowing down, hoping to one day see their products in Whole Foods stores and to keep fundraising until a cure is found. But beyond cancer research, the boys have plenty of other passions. Heath is on a local swim team and enjoys cooking and baking, while Harry, who loves to act, does theater with the Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham. They are also role models to other kids, and offer children wanting to give back this advice: “Talk to an adult about your interests and passions, choose a cause that means something to you, start with something simple and easy, and come up with a plan of action together. You are never too young (or old) to make a difference and even something small (like lip balm!) can have a big, lasting impact.” To learn more about the boys and their products, go to bennettbrothersbalm.com.
Ingenuity on Display at Boston Children’s Museum Mini Maker’s Faire BY ALEX KHAN 28 NOVEMBER2018
his Little Light of Mine” drifts over the Charles River from the iconic Hood Bottle Building. Beside the Bottle are the purple clad musicians from JP Honk, who roll into a brass rendition of the Sesame Street theme song. The players assembled earlier this afternoon as the unofficial greeters for the Third Annual Boston Mini Maker Faire, founded and hosted by the Boston Children’s Museum. Though rain was in the forecast, it is still sunny well into the afternoon on Sunday. The weather is a lucky break for the 80-museum staff and nearly as many volunteers who circle in-and-around the Museum, and guests who spread amongst Maker stations down a transformed Harborwalk. Tents along half the boardwalk -- the other half is still a public walkway -- feature such luminaries as R2D2 and C3PO of Star Wars fame and oversized Battlebots, causing each station to be packed with craned necks from intrigued visitors and onlookers from the other side of the rope line. Over the course of two days, the Boston Children’s Museum would host 4,500 visitors as they interacted with nearly 200 makers ranging from engineers to robotic students to educators. “This represents about twice as many Makers as in years past,” notes Jo-Anne Baxter, the Museum’s Senior Director of Public Relations and Sponsorships. The number of makers present this year places the Boston event amongst the roughly 190 Mini Maker Faires and more than 30 large-scale Maker Faires around the world that have cropped up annually since the first Maker Faire in 2006 around San Francisco’s Bay Area. “While we may grow into a full-scale Maker Faire at some point,” says Baxter, “our main focus is on retaining quality, not necessarily on meeting all the numbers that are required for a full-scale Faire”. Baxter highlights new partnerships with Artisan’s Asylum, NE First, Mass Art, and America’s Test Kitchen as a means of ramping up breadth – including food and fashion –and unlocking the series of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math
(STEAM) educational components that synergizes the Mini Maker Faire with the Boston Children’s Museum’s yearround programming. Stepping into the Museum, this integration is present conceptually and physically.
“We try to divide and conquer sometimes because when I want to stop and get information, they’re like ‘I’m bored,’” says Morson, who had stopped to look at Empow Studio’s summer camp offerings. Morson, who wishes that
ness to share what they know. Morson points to the part-coding part-music theory Music Blocks program and the HackHers, Needham’s all-female robotics team who joined NE First Robotics in the Museum’s ‘Boston Common’
Over the course of two days, the Boston Children’s Museum would host 4,500 visitors as they interacted with nearly 200 makers ranging from engineers to robotic students to educators. The familiar smell of soap emanates from the Science Playground and playful shouts from the curved Foundation Climb are present when you walk through the Museum’s main doors, while new crossstitched and yarn wrapped hoops hang on the atrium windows. Makers are spread throughout the Museum’s three floors, varying with levels of interactive exhibits for kids and families to enjoy. On the second floor, Funmi Morson watches as her two daughters, ages 7 and 11, work in the adjacent Handshouse Studio with their cousin and father.
she had more time to create herself, arrived at the Maker Faire as part of her larger commitment to keep abreast of engaging educational events for her children and herself. “As a person of color, what I know for a fact from my life and the lives of a lot of people that I know is very often there are pathways that people in communities of color don’t even know about and don’t think to present to their children to learn about because they simply don’t know that they exist,” she says. Morson appreciates the event as a curation of innovators who have a ‘generosity of spirit’ in the form of willing-
section. “Absolutely,” says Mary Kate, a mother of two daughters from Braintree, when asked about the importance her girls see women involved in STEAM programming. “And just to see inventions and things that started…to know that then they actually become something down the road.” This process is key to the concept of “making.” Makers fit the components of STEAM together more like shifting mosaic tiles than fixed puzzle pieces. Emily Liu of Chance Slime and her partner for the day, friend Stephanie, exemplify making’s exceeding variability.
“Slime was trending [on Instagram], and I was like, ‘there should be a way that we can work together and come up with a larger donation to charity,’” says Liu, 14, who sends 25 percent of her slime profits to Save the Children. Liu’s slimes are colorful and creatively themed, evidenced by the PB and J slime on display. She was invited to the Faire after hosting a slime making workshop for visitors during February vacation. Along with slime’s inexpensiveness and versatility, Stephanie points to another reason for the oozing creations’ popularity: stress relief. “It’s an anxiety reliever. If you’re stressed and you play with it…. [you] just let your mind go.” Slime is this season’s fidget spinner. Meanwhile Debra Dixon is planning for next season. This is the second year at the fair for the Somerville teacher and mother of two who integrated programs from 2017 into a makeshift classroom makerspace. This year she is intrigued by fashion exhibitors and Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn’s use of simple circuitry and game design. Outside by late afternoon the festivities are drawing down as clouds begin to form. A healthy crowd still watches 3D printing and climbs aboard GE’s Brilliant Career Lab parked outside the main entrance. Professional melodies from JP Honks have ceded to the current sounds of youthful experimentation from the Pickup Music Project’s giant upright chimes and electronic bucket drums comprising the Beat Bus. The two stations are yards apart but their harmonies converge on the pavilion to form an end of day soundtrack for those curious minds still exploring the Boston Mini Maker Faire. Alex Khan is a reporter, writer, and documentary researcher. He divides his time between New York City and Massachusetts.
‘Momtrepreneurs’ Mean Business With a Side Hustle Mothers are balancing parenting and career demands by taking on part-time jobs that nurture their passion, and can be done with flexible hours BY JOAN GOODCHILD
many days, Tracy Goitein, a mother of three children from Rutland, can be found doing a lot of the usual mom bustle: driving her kids to and from school and activities, making dinner, helping with homework. But when all of that is finished for the day, she often turns her attention to making products for her skincare line, Wachusett Naturals. She sells the products on Etsy, at farmers markets, and in some stores. The amount of time she spends working on her business varies weekly and is not often predictable. “It all depends on how many online orders I receive, if I need to get wholesale orders out to stores, and if I have a market or event that
Multiple side hustles for one busy mom Clockwise: Rutland mom of three Tracy Goitein turned her hobby into a business. Kacy Zurkus, a mom of two, keeps busy with multiple side jobs. Shrewsbury moms Cheryl Meyer and Alicia Garbarino started their design business as a side hustle in 2013 and now run a successful home decor and custom window treatment shop called White Cottage in Westborough.
Kacy Zurkus, a mom of two in Lowell, has a collection of side hustles that keep her busy, but also allow her that freedom and flexibility so many parents seek. As a writer and founder of KSZ Freelance, she writes for various clients, mostly providing articles about information security for several publications. She is also a consultant for a wine company, Scout & Cellar, and she is a yoga instructor. “What I love most is the freedom and flexibility I have in my schedule,” said Zurkus. “The daily news stories need to be filed by a certain time, but other than that, I decide what my day will look like.
From part-time hustle to full-time business venture With time, the side hustle might turn into a successful livelihood. For Cheryl Meyer and Alicia Garbarino of Shrewsbury, their part-time interior design business started as an idea between two moms with a lot in common. 30 NOVEMBER2018
coming weekend,” said Goitein. Wachusett Naturals started as a hobby for Goitein when she began experimenting with homemade skin treatments for her oldest daughter’s eczema, but it grew from there. “At first I was just making products for family and friends,” she said. “I was working full-time, taking care of my then two children. When I had baby number three, I decided to make a go out of it.” Goitein is one of many moms who is bringing in extra income for her family with a “side hustle” -- part-time job that allows her the flexibility to raise her children, but also provides her with money and satisfaction. According to a survey from
Bankrate, Goitein is not alone. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans (37 percent) have a side job. And Pew Research finds nearly half of mothers (47%) think that their ideal situation would be to work part time. For Goitein, Wachusett Naturals is the ideal way to balance income needs and parenting at this time in her life. “When I started I just wanted to make a few extra bucks so if I wanted to buy myself something, or buy my husband a gift, I wouldn’t need to ask him for money,” she said. “This business has become more financially than I ever hoped for and I like the independence. I like being my own boss.”
This means that I get to take my daughters to school every morning, except on Thursdays, when I teach yoga at 7 a.m. I also pick my girls up from school every day.” But being your own boss, and running your own in-home business, is not without its challenges, said Zurkus, who often struggles with the balance between personal time and professional tasks. “I’d have to say the greatest challenge is creating boundaries,” she said “When you work for yourself, the lines of where work ends and life begins can often get blurred. It’s a challenge to put down the phone or device, stop checking emails, stop worrying about deadlines and scheduling interviews.”
“Alicia and I came together on a baseball field and instantly knew we could build a business together,” said Meyer. “We started working out of our homes and meeting at local coffee shops and any place that had WiFi. We brainstormed, collaborated and started promoting our business through social media platforms and word of mouth.” Both mom to three kids with lots of parenting responsibilities, Meyer and Garbarino started small with
home staging, minor design jobs and paint consults in 2013. “The first couple of years, our children were young, and we made sure that we scheduled appointments so we could be home with them after school and attend school functions, be home for sick days,” said Garbarino. “After a few years, our business started to really boom, and we had to move to more of a fulltime schedule to keep up with the growth.”
Eventually the business partners decided it was time to find a workspace because, as Meyer explained “we had bolts of fabric taking over our homes.” The two took it from a small homebased operation to a bricks and mortar store front, and opened White Cottage, a home decor and custom window treatment shop in Westborough that is now thriving. “The timing was right for a few reasons; our business was growing, and we needed to really commit the time to it to take it to the next level. And our kids were older and could be home alone after school, make their own snack, get themselves ready for practices. And I was ready to commit to doing something for myself by following my career goals.” Garbarino said of the many lessons she’s learned over the years as both a mom and
a business owner, the most important thing is finding what you enjoy for work. And whatever you choose, parttime work, full-time career, or staying at home, do it without feeling bad about your choice. Every parent has their own individual goals and dreams. “Let the guilt go, because I had guilt when I stayed home, and there is guilt when you work,” she said. “I want to show my girls that they can be a mom someday while following their dreams, and that there is no roadmap or exact timetable in doing so. Do what you love, and the success will come!” Joan Goodchild is a veteran writer and editor and mom of two living in Central Massachusetts.
News, Tips & Advice for Bay State Mamas
Can Breastfeeding Reduce the Risk of Stroke? Study Finds Breastfeeding May Lower the Risk of Stroke, a Leading Cause of Death in Women A new study has found that breastfeeding may lower a mom’s risk of stroke later in life. The research, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that women who breastfed at least one child had a 23 percent lower risk of stroke after menopause. The link was even stronger among black women, who had a 48 percent lower risk of postmenopausal stroke. The study also found that the longer women breastfed, the lower their risk became. Stoke is the fourth leading cause of death among women 65 and older, and is the third leading cause of death among older Hispanic and black women, according to the study. “Some studies have reported that breastfeeding may reduce the rates of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in mothers. Recent findings point to the benefits of breastfeeding on heart disease and other specific cardiovascular risk factors,” said Lisette T. Jacobson, Ph.D., M.P.A., M.A., lead author of the study. “If you are pregnant, please consider breastfeeding as part of your birthing plan and continue to breastfeed for at least six months to receive the optimal benefits for you and your infant.” Breastfeeding is only one of many factors that could potentially protect against stroke. Others include getting adequate exercise, choosing healthy foods, not smoking and seeking treatment if needed to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar in the normal range.
There’s An App For That With “Out of Milk,” you can keep track of your shopping needs, your pantry’s inventory, and manage (and share!) your to-do list. You can also save recipes and add ingredients directly to your shopping list, get deal alerts on shopping list items and alerts when you’re running low on something. This free phone app is like a grocery list on steroids. Available through iTunes and Google Play. 32 NOVEMBER2018
Updating Your Skincare Routine for Fall Just like the weather, the needs of our skin change with season -- so whether you’ve been wearing boots for weeks or are just accepting the fact that winter is on the way, now is a great time to transition your skincare routine. Fall skincare is about reversing the signs of summer sun and adjusting to changing temps, says Danielle Burnham, a Massachusetts based esthetician. This time of year, the combination of colder outdoor air, decreased humidity and blasts of dry indoor heat can have your skin craving more moisture than during the warmer months. And since you’re not spending as much time in the sun, you can pull out the stronger
anti-aging products that you put away for the summer. Here’s Burnham’s tips for glowing autumn skin.
beauty routine. “You want to treat skin and reverse any signs of damage from the sun,” says Burnham.
Change Up Your Moisturizer.
“Autumn is a good time to get back to exfoliation,” says Burnham. She suggests using an exfoliant 1-2 times per week for most skin types. This will help slough off dark spots and even out your skin tone.
Colder days, blasting heaters, and less water in the air suck hydration out of your skin. This is the season to step up your moisturizer and move to something a bit heavier than you may have been using.
Reintroduce Retinol or Chemical Treatments.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen.
Active ingredients like retinol or salicylic acid are photosensitive, leaving you more prone to sun damage. Fall is a good time to get these products back into your
Sun protection shouldn’t be considered a seasonal practice tied to the summer, says Burnham. Skin can be damaged by the sun no matter the temperature.
Something to Sip Cranberry Martini This festive cocktail is perfect for fall and the holidays. • 1.5 ounces vodka • ½ ounce orange liqueur • ½ ounce dry vermouth • 3 ounces cranberry juice • 1 cup ice • Cranberries Combine vodka, orange liqueur, vermouth, cranberry juice, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously to
chill. Pour into martini glasses, and serve. Garnish with cranberries. Adapted from allrecipes.com.
Talking Back What’s a word your kid adorably (or hilariously) mispronounces?
My 2-year-old calls his brother Cooper “poo poo,” which Cooper obviously finds hysterical. - Joyanna F. My son wanted his sandwiches cut “dinagoral.” My daughter likes “capitellars.” - Kim P.
Pail Nolish - Laura C.
Fork. Except it sounds like a swear. - Robin L. “Dundyware” for underwear. - Felicia G.
Joan Jett sang “I am the Warrior”… my then 3-year-old heard and sang, “I am the Oreo.” - Helen P.
“Roast Post” for pot roast. - Lisa M.
“STUNK!” (Skunk) and she always yells it! - Kathleen C.
Join the conversation at facebook.com/baystateparent BAYSTATEPARENT 33
From Toddlers to Teens, Here’s How to Engage Kids in Reading BY KRISTIN GUAY
abies and toddlers enjoy stories with rhyme and repetition. Books with vivid illustrations and hands-on involvement such as flaps to lift or textures to touch are especially engaging for the very little ones. Children at this age are slowly starting to learn the names of animals and objects and the sounds that they make such as “moooo” or “vroooommm.” They also enjoy plush characters that go along with a story and will use the character to mimic the actions in the story (think of a bunny hopping or a dog barking). As children reach the age of 2, they begin to recognize the feelings of characters in a book, can start counting, and will learn the names of objects they see in their stories.
When children are around 3 to 4 years old they start recognizing letters, numbers, and shapes. They also recognize words that are a part of their everyday life such as “ball” or “dog” and will notice their name if it appears in a story. They begin to understand the silly humor in books such as Amelia Bedelia, and they will memorize aspects of some of their favorite stories, often joining in with repetitive phrases such as “I will not eat them Sam I Am. I will not eat green eggs and ham.” They will start to make connections between the stories and their own lives and this is a prime time to help them make these connections. They might also show an interest in holding the book and turning the page at the appropriate time.
When children reach the elementary age, they are ready to start exploring the characters, setting, plot, irony, and foreshadowing in a story. This conversation can be as simple as discussing how the Rainbow Fish went from being selfish and unhappy to giving and happy because he decided to share his beautiful shimmering scales. Children at this age will be able to relate to some of the topics in their stories such as losing a pet, trying something new, bullying, and what to do when things don’t go their way. They will be able to answer questions with more detail and will be able to recall events of the story in proper order. They especially enjoy thinking about what might happen next in a story -- maybe even making a prediction based on the subtle
When children reach the elementary age, they are ready to start exploring the characters, setting, plot, irony, and foreshadowing in a story.
illustrations in the story. When children enter the middle school and high school years, the practice of engaged reading can be seen in the classrooms. Teachers will ask students to not only identify character development or foreshadowing but show evidence from the text that support their position. At this age, students are encouraged to “ask” the author questions about word choice, plot development, or irony in a story. Students are taught to not read passibly but to engage in a “dialog” with the author about their writing.
What Does Engaged Reading Look Like While Reading To A Child Let’s look at the picture book Corduroy, written and illustrated by Don Freeman. The following is an example of engaged reading with a young child. First, take some time to look at the cover of the book and ask “What is on the cover of this story and what do you think this book might be about?” As you read the story, the following questions could come up: What do you notice about his overalls? What is he reaching for and why? Where does he live? Who is next to him? Do you have those stuffed animals in your bedroom/play-
room? How do you think he felt when the little girl said that she wanted to take him home? How do you think he felt after the mom said that a button was missing on his overalls? Look at the girls face when they are leaving the store, how is she feeling? Why do you think Corduroy wants to go off and find a new button? What do you notice about the store right now? How would you feel being in a store all by yourself? When he gets on the escalator why do you think Corduroy thinks he is climbing a mountain? When he gets to the top of the escalator, Corduroy thinks he is in a palace, what part of the store do you think he is in? What is he pulling off of the mattress and why? This is just an example of questions that could be asked during the reading of this story, however, it is important to follow the lead of the child and ask questions and make comments based on how they are interacting with the story. Engaged reading is not about asking a predetermined set of questions but it is about actively engaging the child in the story. Your own set of questions will develop as you read the story with your child. As children get older, the questions can prompt the children to dig a little deeper into the underlying messages in a story and to explore the author’s craft in writing the story. Books for middle and high school students will delve
into topics of racism, poverty, power, prejudice, abuse, and relationships. These topics are perfect for discussing how they would do something differently, what are their thoughts on a particular topic, or who is their favorite character and why. At this age, it is also important to think about why the author wrote the story the way the did. This includes character development, foreshadowing, and even word choice. This practice is done in language arts classrooms across the country to help students become fully engaged in the story -- to question, inquire, and express their thoughts on a book as opposed to simply reading from cover to cover.
Resources for Parents
excellent guide for parents and caregivers in getting the most out of reading time with a child whether it is using a dramatic voice or creating word games with the book. Fox provides tips that support children really seeing the words on the page. “When we play games with books, we always begin with a whole real story that excites and engages the child, a story that will become familiar over many readings. Then, continuing our game playing, the child can look for individual words and read those words aloud. For example, after we’ve read Tough Boris again, we could say, ‘You know something? I think it says He was on just about every page of that book. Look, here it is on this page. And here it is on this
page as well. I wonder if it’s on the other pages?’” “How To Read Literature Like A Professor, A Lively And Entertaining Guide To Reading Between The Lines,” by Thomas C. Foster. With chapter titles such as “It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow”, “He’s Blind For A Reason You Know”, and “Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before” all guide older readers to look closely at what they are reading. This guide encourages readers to think about all aspects of a
story -- why is it a gloomy day, why is the character disabled, or why are they wearing a certain color of clothing. Kristin Guay lives on Cape Cod with her husband, two daughters, and beloved black lab. A former middle school language arts teacher, she is currently Youth Services Director at Centerville Library.
“Reading Picture Books With Children, How To Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See,” by Megan Dowd Lambert. The author draws on her work experience at both the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and Simmons College to create a wonderful guide for parents in “reading” picture books to their children. Her book outlines the many special features of children’s picture books that are used to enhance the reading experience. As she states in her book “I didn’t realize how very much I was missing until one day when I slowed down enough to let a child expand upon this observation.” “The Read-Aloud Handbook,” by Jim Trelease. Before this book even begins, there is an important message for parents and caregivers about reading with young children. “We must take care that children’s early encounters with reading are painless enough so they will cheerfully return to the experience now and forever. But if it’s repeatedly painful, we will end up creating a school-time reader instead of a lifetime reader,” he says. This book outlines the importance of reading aloud with your children, what to do and what not to do, how to create a reading climate in your home, and even book suggestions that are perfect for reading aloud with your children. “Reading Magic, Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever,” by Mem Fox. This book is an BAYSTATEPARENT 35
THE Opt Out MOVEMENT BY JODI DEE
ike them or not, standardized tests play a major role in schools today. State and federal law mandates that all students in Massachusetts who are educated using public funds take part in the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) test. Some districts offer the PARCC test (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), which was developed by a national consortium to create a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and careers.
Private school students whose tuition is publicly funded are allowed to participate in MCAS or PARCC. Private school students who privately pay for schooling, or students who are homeschooled, are not required or allowed to take the MCAS or PARCC. The goal of these assessments is to provide a yardstick to evaluate student performance across certain standards. Proponents of standardized testing say that these measurements can show how children are doing against national or statewide benchmarks. They offer a way for the state to assess its public schools, have
comparisons across districts, understand deficiencies in different areas of the state, rank schools, know where to direct funding, establish standards and ratings, and correlate Massachusetts progress compared to other states. But while there are proponents, the practice of standardized testing has drawn much debate. Some parents and educators have voiced concern about the real effectiveness of these tests and how well they actually measure student achievement. Many of them are signing on to the “Opt Out Movement,” refusing to have their child take a state
standardized test, such as the MCAS or PARCC.
Why do parents Opt Out their children? Many parents involved in the Opt Out Movement want to help reduce their child’s stress and anxiety around testing; especially younger children, those who are on IEP’s or 504 plans, have learning difficulties, ADD or high anxiety, are poor readers or test takers, or those for whom English is a second language.
Other parents opt out simply because they feel schools focus too much of their curriculum and teaching on passing these tests, rather than enhancing classroom education or targeting individual needs. These parents want to stop what they see as an excessive focus on rating children, and instead allow children learn at their own pace. Some parents simply opt out to send a powerful message that standardized testing is not helping to improve the overall and general educational experience. Many feel that too many teaching hours are lost to preparation and testing time, which could be spent on electives or extracurricular programs.
such as audio support (hearing the questions while reading) many students would test at much higher levels. These resources are not offered in general to students, but for children on IEP’s or 504 plans these types of tools can be advocated for. If your child’s IEP team has not offered, ask. There may be options. Last year, roughly 250,000 students opted out of standardized testing in New York state. The rate was higher at different schools and grade levels; one in five opted out in grades 3 through 8. To opt out is a very simple
process. A parent simply needs to talk, email, or send a letter to the principal. The school must provide an alternative for that child during testing. In a March 2017 memo, then-Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education wrote, “Students who refuse to take the MCAS test may remain in the testing room as long as they are sitting quietly and are not interfering with other students. If a student becomes disruptive, they should be removed from the testing room and placed in a safe location until testing is completed and regular class-
room instruction resumes.” As a parent, we each must do what we feel is best for our child since they cannot advocate for themselves. We want them to succeed. If your child performs well and tests well, opting out may not make sense. But if you have an anxious 8-year-old and these test days cause nothing but stress and angst, you have this option. Give him a couple years, or a break for one. Opting out doesn’t need to be forever. If your child has learning difficulties or a learning disorder like dyslexia, high anxiety, or ADD, opting out
may make sense. The more who opt out may also force changes to provide alternative test scenarios or resources like audio support for all children who are not good test takers. Opting your child out is an option. Columnist, blogger and children’s book author Jodi Dee is a mother of three with two decades in early childhood and education. She has a B.A in psychology and Master’s Degree in Education.
Many will ask, can I opt my child out? Why would I? This is a personal choice and based on the needs of your individual child. But it is important to note that in order to graduate, students in Massachusetts must pass the 10th grade MCAS test in English, Math, and a Science portion State and federal law requires every publicly funded school district provide and administer these tests at different grade levels, but there is no law that a student has to take them, and there are no direct consequences if a student does not take them (other than the high school requirement to graduate). For many children, testing is a stressful activity. Does starting testing in 3rd grade help prepare for testing in 10th grade? Maybe, maybe not. I personally discovered the Opt Out Movement after my dyslexic daughter would come home crying about how she couldn’t read the screen, the questions were too confusing, no one could help her with questions she had, and she always finished last. Of course, as a test this seems to make sense, you don’t want to give the answer, but for a child who has difficulty tracking or keeping focused on words on paper, it is even more difficult on a screen. And, the majority of the test is reading. Even many adults learn best by seeing, hearing, and doing. How can a child who has difficulty reading perform well on an exam that is all reading? If there were resources available BAYSTATEPARENT 37
A sample Opt Out Letter
(courtesy Massteacher.org) [Principal Name] [School Name] [Street Address] [Town/City] [Date] Dear Principal xx, I wanted to let you know that my child, [name], will not take part in the [name the test] this year. We ask that you make arrangements for him/her to have a productive educational experience during the testing period. Thank you for all you do. With each year, our child continues to thrive at [school name]. Much of the credit for his/her success, both academically and socially, is due in large part to the excellent work of the teaching and education staff at [school name]. Our decision to opt out is unrelated to anything we’ve encountered at [school name]. Rather, we feel that there is an overemphasis on standardized testing in today’s public schools and we would prefer not to be a part of it this year. We are grateful to be part of the [school name] community. Thank you for your assistance on this matter. Please contact me once you’ve determined how my child will spend his/her time during testing. Having this information in advance will help me prepare my child for school on these days. Respectfully, [parent/guardian] cc: [name of student’s teacher]
It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! baystateparent marks the holiday season with everything families need to make the most of this special time of year. Featuring holiday festivals and day trips, gift
Contact email@example.com to Reach Over 80,000 Readers Deadline is November 13th 38 NOVEMBER2018
Study Finds American Teens Taking Fewer Risks Than Previous Generations The teen years have long been viewed as a time when young people are likely to experiment with sex, drugs and alcohol, and even get into trouble with the law. New research by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a research professor in Clark University’s Frances L. Hiatt School of Psychology, shows some promising trends, however: today’s adolescents are taking fewer risks than the previous generation. According to Professor Arnett, rates of a wide variety of risky behaviors have declined dramatically since 1990. Professor Arnett’s paper, “Getting Better All the Time: Trends in Risk Behavior Among American Adolescents Since
1990,” published in the Archives of Scientific Psychology, states that American adolescents are taking fewer risks in areas including substance use, unprotected sex, crime, and hazardous automobile driving. Arnett attributes the decline in risk-taking behavior to effective public policies (such as anti-smoking programs), closer parent–child relationships, and the social consequences of electronic media use. The most likely explanation is that a rise in electronic media use led to a decline in unstructured time with friends, which led in turn to lower risk behavior. “A lot of negative claims have
been made about electronic media use,” said Professor Arnett, “but the fact is, a teen who is playing Fortnite in his bedroom on a Saturday night is not out with friends vandalizing a public park or driving drunk.” Professor Arnett is the originator of the theory of “emerging adulthood” (a new life stage from age 18 to 25) and has written many articles and books on this topic. He has directed several national polls that consider emerging adults’ views on a wide range of topics including financial support, sex and love, parenthood, work-life balance, career/workplace issues and more. He cautioned that not all
current teen trends are positive. Some data indicate increased anxiety in this generation. Also, excess electronic media use can lead to social isolation for some teens. “Overall, there is no doubt
that life is getting better for American teens in recent decades, in multiple ways. Those of us who care about their well-being should be reassured by these trends,” said Arnett.
It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! baystateparent marks the holiday season with everything families need to make the most of this special time of year. Featuring holiday festivals and day trips, gift guides for all ages, Christmas crafts, the best retro recipes, and more!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to Reach Over 80,000 Readers Deadline is November 13th BAYSTATEPARENT 39
Novemberâ€™s Children: Meet Aaliyah and Carlos
Hi! Our names are Aaliyah and Carlos and we love each other very much! Aaliyah and Carlos, ages 1 and 3, are bonded siblings of African-American and Hispanic descent who are looking to find their forever home together. Carlos is a friendly and fairly easy-going toddler, who is quick to smile and loves one-on-one attention. He is active and loves to be involved in whatever fun is at hand. Carlos likes to play with toys, especially cars, and also enjoys watching shows on a tablet. He is very invested in his little sister -- they have always lived together. Carlos is currently enrolled in a partial-day Head Start program and attends a home-based daycare for the remainder of the day. Carlos is behind on his developmental milestones, particularly in the area of speech, but is working hard to develop new skills. He gets along well with his peers in his Head Start program, homebased daycare and foster home. Aaliyah is known for her huge smile, which lights up her whole face when she is happy. She loves to play with age-appropriate toys and spend time with her foster family. She attends a home-based daycare and gets along well with her peers there. Aaliyah has global delays, and is receiving services through Early Intervention and is making progress. However, her lifelong cognitive skills are unknown. At times Aaliyah can struggle to self-soothe and regulate her emotions. Carlos and Aaliyah are legally 40 NOVEMBER2018
freed for adoption and have the potential to thrive in a family of any constellation. They will do best as the only children in the home or with older siblings. A family for the siblings must be open to maintaining a relationship with their birth parents, who are hoping to have a positive and communicative relationship with their childrenâ€™s adoptive family. The siblings currently visit with their birth parents monthly and post-adoption must visit with them three times a year. It is also important that they maintain contact with an older half-sibling residing in Massachusetts. Because of these family relationships, Carlos and Aaliyah can only be placed in Massachusetts. Can you provide the guidance, love and stability that a child needs? If youâ€™re at least 18 years old, have a stable source of income, and room in your heart, you may be a perfect match to adopt a waiting child. Adoptive parents can be single, married, or partnered; experienced or not; renters or homeowners; LGBTQ singles and couples. The process to adopt a child from foster care requires training, interviews, and home visits to determine if adoption is right for you, and if so, to help connect you with a child or sibling group that your family will be a good match for. To learn more about adoption from foster care, call the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) at 617-6273 or visit www.mareinc.org.
Circle of Friends
Area Adoption Info & Matching Events Ready to learn more about adoption? Join an information meeting in your area to hear directly from social workers and experienced families, have your questions answered, and receive and application.
Westfield Adoption Party: Sunday, November 4, 1:30-3 p.m. Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, 28 W. Silver St., Westfield. This event is open to waiting children ages 5 to 12. Activities will include: wood working with Home Depot, balloon making, arts and crafts, jewelry making, pool and table games, ball games in the gym. Families at any stage in the adoption process are welcome to attend. Whether you are looking for more information about adoption from foster care, have already started the process, or fully homestudied and licensed to adopt, this party is for you. For more information, call Maurine Albano at 413-452-3431.
RSVP encouraged. Contact: Fredia Torrence at 978-557-2734 or email@example.com. Springfield Area Adoption Info Session: Tuesday, November 6, 4-5:30 p.m. DCF Western Regional Office, 140 High St., 1st Floor, Springfield.
Boston Matching Night: Thursday, November 8, 6-8 p.m. Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), 19 Needham St. Suite 206, Newton. Waiting families are invited to meet with social workers and learn about children and sibling groups over the age of 6 who are waiting to be adopted. This event is intended for families who Northern Region Adoption Info have completed MAPP. There will be Session: Monday, November 5, no waiting children at this event. 6-7 p.m. Jordan’s Furniture IMAX Light refreshments and snacks will Conference Room. 50 Walkers Brook be served. For questions or to RSVP, Dr., Reading. Walk-ins welcome, please contact Emily Goldberger at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-9646273 x123. Framingham Area Adoption Info Session: Thursday, November 8, 6-7:30 p.m. DCF Area Office, 300 Howard St., Framingham. No registration required. Contact: Sheila Fitzgerald at 508-424-0145. Canton Area Adoption Info Session: Monday, November 19, 6-8 p.m. Canton Police Department Conference Room, 1492 Washington St., Canton. RSVP: ADLU Line at 508-894-3830.
MANGIA! Be part of baystateparent’s first-ever
Food Edition! This February we will be featuring a look at the culinary scene in the Bay State and beyond. Read the stories behind your favorite made-in-Massachusetts treats, find date night ideas, kids cooking classes, dozens of family-friendly recipes … and more! This will be a must-read, must-save issue for the foodie in everyone!
For more information on how you can reach over 80,000 readers contact email@example.com
Boston Area Adoption Info Session: Wednesday, November 21, 4-6 p.m. Boston Regional Office, 451 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester. No registration required. Contact: Marsha Donovan at 617-989-9209. Space Deadline is January 15th.
Charity Begins At Home Encouraging A Giving Spirit In Children BY SHANNON DEAN
live in an age of selfies, where bullying is on the rise and divisiveness has increasingly become the norm. Societal messages tell us that our worth is tied not only to material possessions, but also to the superficial approval and envy that we obtain from social media “friends,” who sometimes barely know us. In this environment, it is socially acceptable to believe that we are the center of our own worlds. Ironically, experts tell us that the acceptance and achievement we crave can actually come from helping others instead of focusing solely on ourselves. Since one key factor for future success is empathy, our children may be better served by cultivating a giving spirit instead of chasing recognition or developing an individual “brand.” Michele Borba, who wrote Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed In Our All-About-Me-World, says
that “the ability to empathize affects our kids’ future health, wealth, authentic happiness, relationship satisfaction, and the ability to bounce back from diversity.” So with empathy being so vital, how do we encourage our children to identify with causes larger than themselves? Experts say that not only is this task not as difficult as we might think, it can also be an enjoyable experience that offers the elusive family time that we all want.
Children Are Born To Care Children are born hardwired with the spirit of giving. That’s apparent in the toddler who weeps at the sight of an upset playmate, the preschooler who offers his teddy bear to a sick sibling, or the school-aged child who grabs a sponge when mom is washing the car. Yet, as they grow, children receive society’s not so subtle message that it’s
sometimes unsafe or unwise to care. Fortunately, families are paramount in encouraging the behaviors that foster empathy. Research shows that caregivers who openly express warmth and compassion raise more empathic children. This process begins at birth and is often intuitive. Routinely giving a patient, timely, and consistent response to an infant’s cries or to a toddler’s skinned knee gives that child the message that helping others is important. Once a child is secure that the world is a safe and loving place, it’s easier for him to develop empathy. Experts say that often the first opportunity for a child to help others is in his own home, so they recommend assigning household responsibility. “Children need jobs,” says popular author and pediatrician Dr. William Sears. “Once a child learns a sense of responsibility for the household, a sense of responsibility to society will come naturally in the next stage of development.”
Kids Who Help Others Help Themselves Children who reach out to others enjoy an increased sense of well-being, self-worth, and optimism. Helping others builds up a child’s defense system against temptation and stress. Kids learn that it feels good to do the right thing, so it’s easier for them to say no to the wrong things. Since their personal worth is affirmed by their kindness toward others, they don’t need to search for worth in material possessions or in poor choices. Volunteering as a family can provide important quality family time while uniting members toward a common goal. Away from video games, social media, and television, families come to know and appreciate each other in new and valuable ways. Children who volunteer with their families are twice as likely to volunteer as an adult and to
pass it on to their own children. Mary Thoele, author of Family Serve: Volunteer Opportunities for Families says that “volunteering is one of the ‘loudest’ actions you can take to show children what it truly means to be a contributing member of a community. By role-modeling this type of behavior, caregivers are beginning a tradition of compassion that can be passed on from one generation to the next.”
Even The Busiest Families Can Fold Giving Into Their Schedules Jenny Friedman, author of The Busy Family’s Guide To Volunteering: Doing Good Together says that finding time to help others is easier than you may think. The key, she says, is to take a careful look at your current activities and then find ways to incorporate volunteering into those events.
For example, families who already enjoy crafts can make get well cards or toys. Supplies for a neighbor in need can be gathered while doing your own errands. Families who are animal lovers may enjoy fostering an animal for deployed military. Experts suggest starting small, with a one-time/no further obligation commitment. If all family members enjoy the small experience and want to repeat the process, consider adding on, but always be conscious of overcommitting. Studies show that when giving to others becomes too large of a commitment or an obligation, the potential benefits are lost. It’s much easier and more comfortable to increase your commitment if you find that you have more time than to have to cut back and feel guilty because you’ve taken on too much. Teaching children to care and to offer their time, their talents, and their aid to others is a win-win situation. Developing their innate giving spirit will arm a child with skills that will defend him against the world’s stresses and will benefit him and future generations of your family for years to come.
Charitable Ideas For Busy Families Creating For Other Kids Children usually enjoy making crafts, designing cards, or writing letters. Many organizations are actively seeking families to provide lovingly crafted items, handwritten letters, heartfelt drawings, and cards. Most even offer easy step-by-step instructions. Typically, families complete the items and mail them to the organization, who in turn distributes them where they are needed. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Make a Hospitalized Child Smile: The website www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.com allows families to make handmade cards for distribution to hospitalized kids. Over 100,000 children have received cards from all over the world. Although families can use their own creativity to make the cards, the site offers many helpful suggestions.
Provide Comfort to Children Facing Challenges: Project Linus provides handmade blankets to children who are ill, traumatized, or who might benefit from the security of a comfort item. They offer many easy, “no sew” patterns. Although adults may need to cut the fabric for younger children, kids of all ages can choose the fabric and tie off the edges. Find more at www.projectlinus.org/. Give Encouragement and Gratitude to Military And First Responders: Organizations like Operation Gratitude encourage families to send cards, drawings, and letters for the military, veterans, and first responders. The cards are added to care packages and many of the recipients say that handwritten items are the most cherished part of the package. Check out www.operationgratitude.com/ express-your-thanks/write-letters/ for more information. Sponsor a Family, Child or Animal Your family might consider sponsoring a less fortunate family, child, or animal during the holidays, in emergencies, or year round. Adopt a Family: The box project matches sponsor families to families in need. Families regularly mail household and school supplies, clothing, or other needed items. Visit https://boxproject.org for more information. Sponsor a Child: Many organizations, like www.children. org can match sponsor families with a child in poverty. Families provide monetary support, school supplies, and letters. Foster a Pet For Someone Deployed Or Hospitalized: Organizations like Pact For Families (http://pactforanimals.org) and Dogs On Deployment (https://www.dogsondeployment.org) match-up foster families to care for dogs whose owner is deployed or hospitalized. Author Shannon Dean taught her sons to knit so they could make blanket squares for Warm Up America.
A GOOD PARTY IS ALWAYS IN SEASON
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Take Eight With Jessie Chris Rising singer-songtress Jessie Chris is having a good year. She was named a 2018 Billboard Artist to Watch, was Elvis Duran’s TODAY Show Artist of The Month, and has been on the road celebrating the success of her album In It For You. But years ago, the 21-year-old Southborough native was a victim of bullying at school. Now, she’s using her music as a platform to bring awareness to the issue, setting a personal goal to visit at least 100 schools to speak with students about bullying prevention, and recently releasing a children’s book on the topic, “Dreams.”
1. How did you fall in love with country music and when did you know you wanted to pursue a career as a singer? I fell in love with country music when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I was taking guitar lessons and was given an assignment to learn country songs in my lesson. It was the first time I was exposed to country music and I immediately knew that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. 2. You’ve toured all over the country. What’s the coolest place you’ve performed? To me, the coolest place I’ve performed was actually when I sang the National Anthem at Fenway Park. Boston is home and I’ve been to so many games there so it was pretty special. 3. Tell us about a “pinch me” moment. Something you did or or someone you met? A major pinch me moment was when I sang “Achy Breaky Heart” with Billy Ray Cyrus on stage. I grew up watching him on Hannah Montana every day. 4. You’re on a mission to visit 100 schools to talk to kids about bullying. Why is this topic so important to you? This topic is so important to me because growing up in Massachusetts I was bullied for wanting to be a country artist. I struggled socially and with self confidence so for me it’s important to speak out against it. 5. What helped you overcome it? Having music as my outlet helped me overcome bullying and find my confidence again. Also having a supportive family helped a ton. 6. You were part of the AD Council’s campaign to fight harassment and bullying, which told kids to #BeMore. What’s behind that slogan? The phrase “be more” refers to the fact that we’ve all said and done things we’re not proud of. And that we can be more than that to make the world a nicer place.
7. If you weren’t a singer, what do you think you’d want to be? If I wasn’t a singer I’d be doing professional hair and makeup or flipping houses!
8. What’s your advice to others on finding their way to their own dreams? Never give up no matter what anyone else says. You’ll regret giving up but you’ll never regret giving it all you’ve got.
The Best of Times
baystateparent recently celebrated winners of the 2018 Best of baystateparent Awards at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to all who voted for their favorites! PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELIZABETH BROOKS
6 Kids Doing Big Things