Page 1

Summer 2017


STUFF the Upper Valley’s go-to guide for parents, families and caregivers

Five Family Friendly Hikes

(and tips for taking toddlers along)

Chickens and sheep and pigs, oh my!

Homesteading with Kids Newborns 101 The Joy of Learning to Teach The Reading Myth This issue sponsored by Kearsarge Magazine












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Summer 2017


Hikes for Kids and Parents



Tired of the same old trails? Looking for an outing that will appeal to the kids as well as the grown-ups? These five lesser-known Upper Valley gems will please the entire family. Text and photography by Jim Block

11 Essay: The Hills Are Alive



When avid hikers become parents, their offspring do not always inherit the same wanderlust. With a bit of creativity, ingenuity and a fair amount of chocolate, it is possible to solve this problem. By Adrienne Flower


DEPARTMENTS 17 Calendar Fun events for all ages around New Hampshire and Vermont Compiled by Amy Cranage

36 Parenting: The Reading Myth By Sandy Rendall, Stern Center for Language and Learning

26 Science: Taking the Classroom Outside By Patty McIlvaine, Thetford Academy

40 Wellness: Newborns 101 By Angela Toms, M.D., White River Family Practice

32 Eat: Bonkers for Bananas By Ann St. Martin Stout 34 Read: A Buss from Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen By Hayley Durfor

42 GreatKids Award Winner Congratulations Nathan Stark of Newport, N.H. By Leigh Ann Root 44 Schools: Cool Things in Schools By Kristen Downey, Upper Valley Educators Institute

Get Outside and Get Into Something New Have you ever watched the sun rise over the Connecticut River? Is your teen eager to try stand-up paddle boarding? How about archery? Fly fishing? At the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School, the options are almost as endless as the outdoors itself. By Leigh Ann Root


Homesteading in the 21st Century Many families are choosing to keep livestock and bees, tend large gardens and make by hand (and from scratch!) a lot of what they need to survive — and some of the benefits are surprising. By Brianna Marino




editor’s note Hooray for us! We did it — we made it through an “epic” northern New England winter! We will soon be rewarded (knock wood) with a glorious summer full of farmers’ markets, fairs, festivals, picnics, outdoor live music, road races, fun runs and long afternoon naps. First and foremost, go outdoors! Check out a new hiking trail (page 6) or try an outdoor sport (page 13) you’ve never done before. As always, keep a selection of books on hand for the inevitable rainy day. Challenge yourself and your kids to find books by local authors or illustrators (page 34). When hunger strikes, try one of the kidfriendly banana recipes on page 32. Be sure to check the calendar (page 17) for a sampling of the best events in the area. There isn’t enough room in the magazine to list everything, so make sure you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, where even more happenings are posted regularly. In the meantime, we are gearing up for our annual Kid Stuff Family FunFest on Saturday, September 9, at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, N.H. We hope to see you there! Amy Cranage Associate Editor

STUFF P.O. Box 500 Grantham, N.H. 03753 (603) 863-7048 PUBLISHER Kearsarge Magazine LLC EDITOR Laura Jean Whitcomb ASSOCIATE EDITOR Amy Cranage ART DIRECTOR

Jennifer Stark ADVERTISING

Leigh Ann Root WRITERS

Jim Block, Kristen Downey, Hayley Durfor, Adrienne Flower, Brianna Marino, Patty McIlvaine, Sandy Rendall, Leigh Ann Root, Ann St. Martin Stout, Angela Toms, M.D. PHOTOGRAPHERS/ILLUSTRATORS

Find the Flower and win FREE Stuff The Kid Stuff logo (flower symbol pictured above) is hidden in one ad in this issue. To enter, find the logo and email the following to 1. The ad (name of the business) in which you found the logo 2. Your full name and mailing address 3. If you could take your family on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why there? 4. We’ll select ONE winner to receive the three fidgets shown here: The winners will be announced on Facebook and in the Fall 2017 issue. Good Luck! Congratulations to the winners from the spring issue of a $20 gift certificate to Little Bear Pottery in North Sutton, N.H.: Ruth Dixon-Vestal of Norwich, Vt., and Megan Oxland of Sunapee, N.H. Colleen Lannon of Hartland, Vt., was the lucky recipient of two tickets to Dear Edwina at Northern Stage performed by Youth Ensemble Studio. 4



Leigh Ann Root Ann St. Martin Stout Jared Heath Jim Block Kid Stuff is the go-to guide for parents, grand­parents and caregivers. Published four times a year (Spring, summer, fall, winter), Kid Stuff is available at 100+ locations across the Upper Valley, and mailed to schools, child cares, doctor/ dentist offices and hair salons. Copyright 2017 by Kearsarge Magazine LLC. All photographs and articles copyright by the photographer or writer unless otherwise noted. Except for one-time personal use, no reproduction without written permission of the copyright owner(s) is allowed. ON THE COVER Blueberry Picking Melissa Avery of Lebanon, N.H., submitted this winning photo for the Cover Kids contest! Pictured are Khyla and Kestyn blueberry picking.

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There are few joys in life that can compare to seeing an enthusiastic child encounter the beauty of nature. TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM BLOCK Looking for a way to get the family out of the house this summer? Try a nature hike. Here are five easy nature hikes around the Upper Valley, listed from the northwest to the southeast. Three of these areas have been significantly upgraded in the last few years. Even if you have visited a few of these spots before, we can guarantee that kids of all ages will enjoy the thrill of discovery as they encounter the beauty of nature.

GLEN FALLS BROOK Fairlee, Vt. There is a wonderful series of waterfalls above Lake Morey. But if you don’t want to hike the whole way, you can take as long a distance as you wish before backtracking. Or you can continue up until you meet the Cross Rivendell Trail, then follow it east back to your car. Depending on the ages and levels of enthusiasm of the hikers, this can be an easy or challenging hike as one climbs higher and higher along the Glen Falls Brook. DIRECTIONS: From I-91 Exit 15, drive west past the Lake Morey Resort, circling the lake clockwise. Park in the large lot across from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife boat launch on the west side of Lake Morey. Walk south on the road a short distance to a trail on your right along the north side of the brook.




ZEBEDEE WETLAND Thetford, Vt. This area is popular with children in Thetford, but little known outside the area even though it is an Upper Valley Land Trust conserved location and a Valley Quest spot. There is an easy and wonderful loop hike on the approximately ¾ mile long Linny Levin Trail. Boots may be helpful in some seasons. Listen for American Bittern and look for many species of ducks. In the woods are Brown Creepers, Winter Wrens and many other birds. At the far side, the beavers have carved amazing sculptures. DIRECTIONS: From I-91 Exit 14, drive west on Route 113 for less than a mile to Houghton Hill Road on the right. In about ¼mile you will see a small parking area on your right or you may park along the road.

HARRIS BROOK Enfield, N.H. The Enfield Conservation Commission developed the Harris Brook Scenic Area in 2015. Its centerpiece is the Enfield Reservoir, which is actually in Canaan. It was constructed in 1903 and supplied water to Enfield until 1983. There is an easy, well-blazed new trail around the reservoir with several nice spots for swimming, including right at the beginning. You might see loons, various ducks and other birds. There is an active beaver lodge to the left as you reach the reservoir. DIRECTIONS: From I-89 Exit 17, head east on Route 4 into Enfield. Turn left on Maple across from Huse Park and drive past the post office, keeping left at the Y. In about a mile you will see a sign on your right for the parking area. From there it is an easy 400 yards to the reservoir on a marked trail. ›››››




BROOKSIDE PARK Grantham, N.H. This 20-acre wooded park has recently been significantly upgraded by the Grantham Conservation Commission. A new bridge crosses Skinner Brook from near the parking area and leads to the easy trails beyond. The bridge and trails were built by volunteers and financed in large part by a gift from the Byrne Foundation. The first 400 to 500 feet are handicapped accessible. There are many signposts (complete with QR codes) along the loop trail that describe the history, nature and geology of key features. When Skinner Brook runs full, the hike can be quite exciting and beautiful. When the water level is low one can discover an unusual double pothole in the bedrock upstream along the trail. DIRECTIONS: From I-89 Exit 13, head north on Route 10 to reach the park entrance on your left.




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LEDGE POND Sunapee, N.H. More than 40 percent of the shore frontage on Ledge Pond is conserved under an easement to the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust donated by Sunapee and the town’s Conservation Commission. Common loons nest on the pond, which is ranked among the highest quality wildlife habitat in New Hampshire. The pond is reached by an easy walk of less than a half mile from the parking area through a bird-filled forest. Trails lead in both directions along the pond shore. To the right is Shoshonna’s Rock, a nice swimming spot. DIRECTIONS: From I-89 Exit 12A, head south. Just short of Route 11 take a right on Main Street and an immediate right up Prospect Hill Road. In about a half mile turn left on Meadow Brook Road and follow it to its end and the public parking area. Jim Block enjoys photographing almost anything: children, adults, families and celebrations; nature and wildlife; sports and action; buildings and businesses. Jim lives in Sunapee in the summer and Hanover in the winter where he has taught four to six digital photography courses each year since 2000. Learn more at




Essay: The Hills Are Alive

How to solve the problem of motivating (and rewarding) the littlest and sometimes most unenthusiastic hikers

BY ADRIENNE FLOWER Click click click. Click click click. It’s 2 a.m. and I am awake. While other students are partying at the Big Ten University where I attend grad school, I am not, by a long shot, among them. I roll over in bed to kick my future husband, “Can you get him this time?” I mutter before digging myself deeper into the covers as I pretend to fall back asleep. It’s January, it’s cold, and our border collie wants to go for a jaunt through town. The sound of clicking toenails on the tiles of our rented basement apartment begins our 10-year odyssey to tire out the dog. Our solution was hiking and our motivation to get out nearly every day for a long off-leash walk in the woods was simple: sleep. Over the years, hiking became an enjoyable part of our life and remains so even after our energetic and much-loved border collie passed away. Getting a border collie to go hiking is pretty easy. The breed literally lives to run. Now that we have kids, we must work to create external means of motivation for them to hit the trail until they develop intrinsic motivation of their own. I’d love to give them each a border collie pup to raise, but at 2 and 5 they are not quite ready. So instead we sing, play, and eat our way up the trail and down.

LET A SONG SET THE PACE While my eyes may be trained on the summit, my kids see only the rocks at their feet. Luckily, they are very much into singing as they stare at those rocks. If any images of the Von Trapp family skipping merrily through the Alps come to mind, banish them immediately. No one in our family has an ability to sing on key or in harmony. Our noise could more accurately be called bellowing. Really, though, singing is more of a chance for us to amuse ourselves with words. Baby Beluga becomes Baby Arugula. Teddy Bear’s Picnic becomes a chance to list all the things bears might take on a picnic. And just about any song is improved by adding in our kids’ names and the names of the people and animals they know. (I give huge credit to the Music Together program at the Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, N.H., for inspiring me to be more creative with song and my kids.)

BRING A FRIEND Sometimes, especially after a hike filled with one questionably rhyming out-of-tune song after another, we look to other sources of amusement. Friends can help tremendously. Our daughter and her friend once spent much of a hike collecting pine cones, sticks, rocks, acorns, leaves and feathers to build a fairy house at the summit. Rather than weighing them down, these little natural ›››››




artifacts buoyed them to the top as they spent time deciding what to use and how to carry it all. A friend of the canine sort is always energizing. Our boisterous border collie has been replaced by a relatively mellow Australian shepherd, but he is still energetic and playful enough to amuse the kids. They follow him as he chases chipmunks, hide from him in a game of hide and seek, and, in a hilarious display of cross-species modeling, pretend to pee like he does. Sometimes the dog is allowed a snack of cheese, but we are much more intentional in planning snacks for ourselves.

our kids, but sometimes after hard physical work we reward ourselves with chocolate.

DOCUMENT THE EXPERIENCE I don’t want to give the impression that there is no intrinsic motivation to hiking for kids. My kids have delighted in counting toads, leaping streams, dunking heads in waterfalls, skipping over bridges, and listening in awed silence to owls. After every long hike, my daughter records her impressions in a journal and it is clear that she has paid attention not only to the chocolate she devoured but also to the natural world around her. On a friend’s suggestion, we are going to bring along her camera on our next hike so she can snap pictures to add to her journal. After trudging through the muck of mud season, we can’t wait to get out into the leafy green hills to embrace our short — but spectacular — Upper Valley summer.

KEEP THE ENGINES FUELED Stocking up on bulk items for GORP trail mix (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts) is an adventure in itself. Our favorites include mini-marshmallows, pumpkin seeds and cheddar sesame sticks. Besides providing sustenance, snacks provide a break. Every hike, much like every other life task, is made so much easier when broken into manageable chunks. And also like everything else, a reward at the top is a help. We don’t often use food as an incentive with

Adrienne Flower lives along the Connecticut River with her husband, three children and dog Barley.


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7 Allen Street, Hanover, NH 603-643-1200 •

Get Outside and Get Into Something New Offerings at the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School satisfy the curiosity of the brave as well as ease the fears of the timid.

BY LEIGH ANN ROOT Many families want to try new outdoor activities but are hesitant because they lack the know-how and the community in which to experiment. Instructors at L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School reduce fears of the unknown by empowering anybody age 8 and up with the education and equipment to get started, making it an ideal place for families to commune with Mother Nature.

WHAT THEY DO L.L. Bean is not only an outdoors outfitter it is also a brand in action, highly adept at introducing people to physical activities in the great outdoors. For more than 10 years the L.L. Bean store in West Lebanon, N.H., has been offering first-hand experiences at its Outdoor Discovery School. The school offers a large selection of clinics, courses and tours, allowing participants to try an assortment of outdoor gear in a variety of sports including hiking, kayaking, fly casting and stand-up paddle boarding. These programs encourage children ages 8 and up to participate. Kids age 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Many of the clinics are free of charge.

WIDE ARRAY OF OFFERINGS Matthew Page, program coordinator at the West Lebanon L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School, explains, “We have everything from free outings for the community to multiday overnight adventures and everything in between. Our classes are designed for everyone. We offer different skill ranges, allowing folks to try a new sport and then come back again to further their knowledge. Even the experienced person can pick up tips and tricks that they may not have known before. People become more proficient through our expert instructors’ coaching. In addition, many of our outings are just about having fun in the great outdoors.” The school provides all of the equipment curious folks need to test out a potential new passion and is known for its community service events and in-store clinics held every Thursday and Friday night, often with informative guest speakers. Page says, “With all of these options, we’re making sure that we provide everyone and anyone the opportunity to join in on the fantastic experience that is the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School.” ›››››




Montshire Summer Camp

Register Today! Preschool Nature Camp • Montshire Explorers Outdoor Discovery Camp • Inventors’ Workshop Upper Valley Adventures • Aquatic Investigations Aquatic Explorers • Montshire Maker Camp Creative Coding Camp • Exploring Nature through Art Engineering Design Workshop • Science Camp


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2017 Summer Camps in Art, Nature & History

Justin Morrill State Historic Site Strafford, Vermont

Drawing & Watercolor Camp

Monday-Friday, June 19-23, 9:00am-12noon Explore the fantasy of nature, history and architecture through drawing, writing, mapping, painting & journals. Ages 6-12

Preschool Nature Camp

Monday-Friday, July 10-14, 8:30-11:30am Experience the wonder and beauty of nature through hands-on activities, songs, stories, games, arts and crafts. Ages 3-5

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BONDING EXPERIENCES When asked about a favorite moment to share, Page describes a large group tour with one timid new kayaker, “She conquered a real fear alongside an amazing and supportive group of people. These participants were encouraging and voiced how proud they were of her. I realized it’s not just our instructors that make our programming so great but it’s also about the wonderful people we get to meet along the way.” Group outings are held at Kilowatt South Park in Wilder, Vt., in partnership with Hartford Parks and Recreation Department, and at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich.


One of the highest attended classes last year was the Sunrise Kayak Tour which began at 5 a.m. It was exceptional for long-time paddlers and first timers, alike. Page says, “It was truly breathtaking as the birds began to sing and the wildlife around us started to stir. We made our way down the river, as the sun rose up above the horizon and illuminated all of it. It was unique experience, not to be forgotten.”



VALUES AND REWARDS L.L. Bean values the physical as well as the spiritual rewards that come from outdoor activities. By removing barriers to participation and helping students build the confidence necessary to get out and enjoy nature, the company has helped make the outdoors more accessible. Instructors at L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School are eager to share the rewards of time spent outside with grown-ups as well as kids. Nature is calling; will you answer? Leigh Ann Root is a freelance writer, photographer and yoga instructor. She lives in Newbury, N.H., with her husband, Jonathan, and t​wo​children, Parke​r and Joleigh. Leigh Ann enjoys hiking, kayaking and paddleboard yoga. ​

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June 10

June 16 to 18

Saturday/10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

West Nile and Lightning and Bears, Oh My! Learn how to protect yourself from hazards like mosquitoes, ticks, wasps, lightning, poison ivy and bears as well as how to avoid getting lost in the woods. For age 8+. Please preregister. >> The Little Nature Museum, 18 Highlawn Road, Warner, N.H. >> Members $15; nonmembers $20 >>

June 17

Saturday/8 to 10 a.m.

Bird Watching Walk See what species of birds are living and thriving while exploring some of the trails and habitats of Moody Park. Binoculars, bug spray and good hiking shoes/boots recommended. Preregister online. >> Moody Park, 152 Maple Avenue, Claremont, N.H. >> $3 >>

June 17

Friday/3 p.m. to dusk Saturday and Sunday/5:30 a.m. to dusk

38th Annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music Festival Don’t miss this festival featuring hot air balloons with scheduled flights and tethered rides during the day. Enjoy food and entertainment for all ages and more than 60 craft artisans and vendors. Children’s activities include a rock climbing wall, bounce house and more. >> Festival Grounds, 70 Village Green Circle, Quechee, Vt. >> Adults (13+) $15, Children (6 to 12) $5, 5 and under free; on Father’s Day, fathers accompanied by children receive a discount >>

Saturday/9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition Spring Workshop Topics will include getting started homeschooling, teaching elementary school age children, homeschooling through high school, and an overview of legal rights and responsibilities. >> Nackey Loeb School of Communications, 749 East Industrial Park Drive, Manchester, N.H. >> $10 >>


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June 24

Saturday/8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

3rd Annual Strawberry Festival Yummy fun for the whole family. Fine art, live music, classic cars, vendors and lots of strawberries! >> New London Town Green, Main Street, New London, N.H. >> Free admission >>

June 17

June 26 to 30

Saturday/3:30 p.m.

Monday to Friday/8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

June Jam Muster Field Farm Museum’s annual musical fundraiser features an exciting line-up of local folk, blues, jazz, and rock musicians. Burgers, hot dogs, snacks and beverages will be on sale or pack your own picnic. >> Muster Field Farm, Harvey Road, North Sutton, N.H. >> Adults, $15; children 14 and under free >>

Summer Tech Camp Explore ten exciting hands-on labs in a week-long, half day camp. Students entering 7th , 8 th or 9 th grade are invited to register online. >> Hartford Area Career and Technology Center, 1 Gifford Road, Hartford, Vt. >> $30 >>

June 18

Sunday/9 a.m. 1 Mile Walk/Fun Run 10 a.m. 4 Mile Run

Skip Matthews Memorial Father’s Day Run The 14th Annual Skip Matthews Run commemorates the life of an exceptional friend, parent, husband and personality. All proceeds benefit the Brain Tumor Research Fund at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. >> Colburn Park, North Park Street, Lebanon, N.H. >> Adults 19+, $25, 18 and under, $20, Fun Run free >>

June 24

Saturday/5:30 p.m. to sundown

Summer Revels Join in a Seaside Celebration of the Summer Solstice at this free, family friendly event featuring live music with sing-alongs, storytelling, visual arts performers, food and fun! >> The Green, Norwich, Vt. >> Free >> 18



July 4

Tuesday/11 a.m.

Patriotic Sing-along and Pie Sale Celebrate the nation’s independence singing along with others in the Mary Keane Chapel. Veterans are invited to come in uniform. Refreshments will be served. >> Enfield Shaker Museum, 447 N.H. Route 4A, Enfield, N.H. >> Free, donations accepted >>


July 4

Tuesday/7 p.m.

Concert and Fireworks

July 4

Tuesday/10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Old Vermont 4th Join in a patriotic family celebration featuring horsedrawn wagon rides, sack races, flag making, historic speeches and debates, a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a rousing game of baseball. >> Billings Farm & Museum, 69 Old River Road, Woodstock, Vt. >> $4 to $14 >>

July 4

Tuesday/10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

25th Annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration Kick off the celebration with a parade starting at Hovey Lane and ending on the Dartmouth Green. After the parade, enjoy games, a pie eating contest, food, pony rides, live music and crafts. >> Dartmouth Green, Hanover, N.H. >> Free >>

Enjoy an Independence Day outdoor concert with The Flames and finish the night with fireworks at Storrs Hill. >> Colburn Park, 51 North Park Street, Lebanon, N.H. >> Storrs Hill Ski Area, 60 Spring Street, Lebanon, N.H. >> Free >>

July 6

Thursday/6 p.m.

New Hampshire Wildlife Bring the family to meet live animals you might encounter in our forests, fields or wetlands. A representative from Squam Lakes Science Center will talk about what makes them well-suited for life in New Hampshire. >> Lake Sunapee Protective Association Learning Center, 63 Main Street, Sunapee Harbor, N.H. >> Free >>

July 7 and 8

Friday and Saturday/6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Prouty Participate in the biggest charity fundraiser in northern New England and make a difference in the fight against cancer. Enjoy great food, kids’ activities, fundraising prizes, live

July 4

Tuesday/6 p.m.

July 4 Celebration Claremont comes together to celebrate Independence Day with local vendors selling food, drinks and novelty items. A local band will play a variety of music including classic rock, country and Southern Rock. Stay for a spectacular fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. >> Monadnock Park, 190 Broad Street, Claremont, N.H. >> $1 >>

music and more! >> Richmond Middle School, 63 Lyme Road, Hanover, N.H. >> Free for cycling, walking, rowing and virtual; $50 registration fee for the Ultimate or Golf >>

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July 8

Saturday/11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Saturday/5 to 6 p.m.

Teddy Bear Picnic

Try Football Days

Bring your teddy, a blanket and picnic and enjoy entertainment, prizes and the traditional teddy bear parade. >> Sunapee Harbor, Sunapee, N.H. >> Free >>

Kids age 5 to 13 are invited to experience playing football with pads, a helmet and other gear. The Mini Cardinal Football Coaching staff will be on hand to guide children through some simple drills, game play like moves, and other football related demonstrations. >> Monadnock Park, 190 Broad Street, Claremont, N.H. >> Free >>

July 14 Friday/8 p.m.

Movie in the Park Join Hartford Parks and Recreation for an outdoor movie! Bring lawn chairs, blankets. Snacks and drinks will be available. A fun filled night under the stars. >> The Green, Quechee, Vt. >> Free >>

July 16

Sunday/1 to 5 p.m.

Splash Bash Pool Party The whole family is invited to celebrate the height of summer with a party in the pool! >> Lebanon Memorial Pool, 67 Pumping Station Road, Lebanon, N.H. >> $1 per person >>

July 16

Sunday/10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

National Ice Cream Day Celebrate the great American dessert by making and sampling four delicious flavors of hand-cranked ice cream. Enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides and educational programs with our award-winning Jersey cows and a game of historic baseball. >> Billings Farm & Museum, 69 Old River Road, Woodstock, Vt. >> $4 to $14 >>


June 17 to July 29



July 18

Tuesday/10 to 11 a.m.

Junction Quest Vital Communities hosts a 30-minute guided Valley Quest through historical downtown White River Junction. Follow the clues to a hidden treasure box! >> Engine 494, Transportaion Museum and Train Station White River Junction, Vt. >> Free >>

July 22

Saturday/9 a.m.

Go for FOOD Color Run 2017 Get ready to run, walk or stroll through 3 miles of crazy color fun. Bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the Claremont Soup Kitchen. Register online. >> Moody Park, 152 Maple Avenue, Claremont, N.H. >> $40 per person, $30 if registered by July 22 >>


July 27

July 22

Thursday/6 p.m.

Saturday/1 to 3 p.m.

Fairy House Festival The magic and fun of fairy houses come alive at this visit with Tracy Kane. Take a special fairy tour of the flower garden, visit the fairy village and build a fairy house. Children are invited to come dressed in costumes inspired by fairies, fairy houses and the beauty of nature. >> Justin Morrill Homestead, 214 Justin Morrill Highway, Strafford, Vt. >> $10 under 14, $5 age 14 and up >>

Take a Walk on the Wild Side! Join a naturalist from the Lake Sunapee Protective Association for a guided family hike. Get outside for an evening adventure in the forest and by the stream with a little bit of learning thrown in! Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear for trail walking. >> The Fells, 456 Route 103A, Newbury, N.H. >> Free >>

July 28

July 23

Friday/6 to 9:45 p.m.

Sunday/10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Book Art Activities for Teens

Hay Day Spend a summer day in the farm fields, see traditional haying techniques including cutting, raking and tedding. Quench your thirst with a sample of switchel, the haymaker’s drink. Fun activities and games for kids: making scarecrows, hand puppets, and clothespin horses. >> Billings Farm & Museum, 69 Old River Road, Woodstock, Vt. >> $4 to $14 >>

July 25

In collaboration with the Spectrum Teen Center and coinciding with Bookstock, ArtisTree invites teens to try some creative book-related projects including collage, Black Out Poetry, comic drawing and more! Free snacks and beverages. >> ArtisTree Community Arts Center and Gallery, 2095 Pomfret Road, South Pomfret, Vt. >> Free >>

July 28

Tuesday/9:30 to 11 a.m.

Friday/5 to 11 p.m.

Grandparent & Me Story Walk Explore Erwin Clifford Park Trail, stopping at points along the trail while reading a story. Each stopping point brings the group to the next part of the story. Afterwards, gather for a story-related craft, and enjoy a snack while exploring the park. Preregistration is encouraged. >> Clifford Park, 100 Recreation Drive, West Hartford, Vt. >> Free >>

Movie on the Green Enjoy a PG-rated movie outdoors. Bring a blanket or a chair. >> Visitors Center Green, 14 North Street, Claremont, N.H. >> Free >>

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July 29 to Sept. 17

Daily/10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

31st Annual Quilt Exhibition Admire stunning and colorful quilts made exclusively by quilters that live in Windsor County, Vermont. This is a great opportunity to discover our local talent and celebrate the arts and crafts. Daily quilting demonstrations, programs and activities for children and adults. >> Billings Farm & Museum, 69 Old River Road, Woodstock, Vt. >> $4 to $14 >>

July 30

Sunday/1 to 4 p.m.

Fairy House Festival and Tea Party Enjoy a reading and book signing by renowned Fairy House author Liza Gardner Walsh, crafts, a whimsical tea party on the veranda, and building of fairy habitats in the Fairy Village. Children are invited to dress in their finest fairy or gnome attire. >> The Fells, 456 Route 103A, Newbury, N.H. >> Members: adults $10, children $5; nonmembers: adults $20, children $10 >>

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AGES 5-18




PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED Full day and half day options available

Camps run weekly from June 12 to August 25 Camps run Monday-Friday, except week of July 4, Tuesday-Friday Morning camps are 9:00am-Noon, Afternoon camps are 1:00-4:00pm Supervised lunch with full day option 13 Lebanon Street • Hanover, NH 03755 603-643-5384




July 30

Sunday/10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enfield Old Home Day Celebrate Enfield’s Old Home Day the Shaker way. Tour the museum, shop at the farmer’s market, play games, enjoy food, beverages, music and more. >> Enfield Shaker Museum, 447 Route 4A, Enfield, N.H. >> Adult $12, youth 11 to 17 $8, children 6 to 10 $3, Museum members, residents of Enfield, N.H., and children 5 and under free >>

Aug. 2

Wednesday/4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The Caterpillar Lab!

This traveling museum exhibit has live caterpillars, photographs and scientific tools used in caterpillar study. Explore the lab and observe caterpillars on branches of native New England plants. See these fantastic, secretive creatures up close and personal! >> Lake Sunapee Protective Association, 63 Main Street, Sunapee Harbor, N.H. >> Free >>

Aug. 5 to 13

Saturday to Sunday/10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

84th Annual League of N.H. Craftsmen’s Fair Fun and educational activities for the entire family. Craft demonstrations, workshops for all ages, Sculpture Garden, strolling performances, featuring oversized puppets, magicians, mind readers, musicians and much more! Children’s Day is Thursday, Aug. 10. >> Mount Sunapee Resort, 1398 Route 103, Newbury, N.H. >> Adults $12; seniors/student/military/veteran, $10; children 12 and under free >> ››››› UPPERVALLEYKIDSTUFF.COM




Aug. 12

Saturday/10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Becoming a Woods Ninja Ninja were known for their ability to disappear and to move around without a sound. In this workshop, learn how to get close to and observe wildlife. For age 9+. Please preregister. >> The Little Nature Museum, 18 Highlawn Road, Warner, N.H. >> Members $15, nonmembers $20 >>

Aug. 14 to 16

Monday & Tuesday/9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesday/9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Let’s Go Fishing Kids age 8 and up learn about safety, knot tying and fish identification for two days, then head out to a local pond and do some fishing! All equipment and materials are provided. Must attend all three sessions. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. >> Claremont Community Center, 152 South Street, Claremont, N.H. >> Free >>

Aug. 13

Sunday/10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hay Day Family Festival Enjoy a fun-filled day for all ages with old-fashioned games, music, children’s art projects, a scavenger hunt, petting zoo, face painting and more. Explore nature trails, create a fairy house in the Fairy Village, and discover new art and history exhibits in the Main House. >> The Fells, 456 Route 103A, Newbury, N.H. >> Adults, $10; seniors and students, $8; children ages 6 to 17, $4; 5 and under, free; families of 2 adults and 2 or more children age 6 or above, $25 >>

Aug. 24

Thursday/4 to 9 p.m.

Lebanon Summer Celebration A fun-filled evening with food, music, dancing and fireworks marks the unofficial end of summer in Lebanon. >> Colburn Park, 51 North Park Street, Lebanon, N.H. >> Free >>

Aug. 26

Saturday/9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Annual Apple Pie Crafts Fair Visit more than 120 regional crafts people on the common, enjoy live music day long and indulge in the legendary Apple Pie Sale and Contest. The Library Festival with its huge book sale and cookie walk take place across the street. >> Newport Town Common, Newport, N.H. >> Free >>





Aug. 26 and 27

Saturday and Sunday/10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Muster Field Farm Days Experience a two-day celebration of all things agricultural, historical and farm-related. This event features special exhibits and demonstrations positioned over the farm’s large fields and in its historic buildings. >> Muster Field Farm Museum, Harvey Road, North Sutton, N.H. >> $5/person, free admission for members and children 6 and under >>


8 5 T H



CHILDREN’S THEATER Performed by our Junior Intern Company

Performances at 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM


One-week Sessions • July 10-August 11 | Acting, Singing, Dancing, Playwriting, and more! Ages 6-11


Godspell • June 14-25 | The Secret Garden • June 28-July 9 | Souvenir • July 12-16 West Side Story • July 19-Aug. 6 | All Shook Up • Aug. 9-20 | On Golden Pond • Aug. 23-Sept. 3

New London, NH • For more details, tickets, or online camp registration, visit: or call 603-526-6710





Taking the Classroom Outside Thetford Academy launches half-day Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course.

BY PATTY MCILVAINE At Thetford Academy (TA) in Thetford, Vt., learning has never been limited to the classroom. With its 295-acre campus and dramatic views of the Upper Valley’s highest peaks, outdoor and experiential education is part and parcel of the TA experience. In 2015, Thetford Academy expanded on its tradition of outdoorfocused learning with the launch of its Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education program. Now in its second year, this program has grown to include a host of new environmental course electives, outdoor units in nearly every academic department, and several outdoor-focused club activities. TA’s Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education program follows recommendations developed in a joint study with Dartmouth College’s Environmental Studies program. In the two years since the program’s launch, TA students have built an aquaponics system in the school’s greenhouse, planted a potato field and built a root cellar on campus; started a maple sugaring operation; and initiated a campus-wide composting and recycling program.



This fall, Thetford Academy will roll out a new opportunity for students who want to learn about environmental topics outside the traditional classroom. TA’s new Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course is a half-day program in which almost all the curriculum takes place among TA’s forests, fields and streams. Students in the course will earn their science, English and elective credits through hands-on experiences, real-world problem solving, and service learning in the great outdoors.


Outdoor Education Program Director and science faculty member Rose Dedam notes that outdoor education has long been shown to improve students’ physical and mental health and can reach learners who might struggle with the traditional classroom setting. It also creates “a commitment to the environment that will be crucial to combating today’s problems of climate change, pollution, and habitat loss,” says Dedam. Open to Thetford Academy students in grades 10 to 12, the new Environmental Studies and Out-

Offering quality pre-school, kindergarten and after-care. Year round care provided with a great “Discovery Camp.” We accept children ages 3–6 years. We would love for you to visit anytime, please call to set up a visit.

22 School Street, Lebanon, N.H. 603-443-9626 Hours 7:30–5:30

LIGHTNING SOCCER CLUB door Education course will immerse students in work that emphasizes ecological literacy, field experiences, and modern scientific methodologies. Students will have the opportunity to work with professional mentors, learn soft skills like resume building and selfmarketing, and will end the course with an integrative capstone project. In preparation for the new school year, Thetford Academy faculty is readying classrooms for the arrival of students. But for TA’s Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course, that classroom will have little use for traditional furniture, smart boards and projectors — its students will be outside.

Tryouts for Fall 2017 & Spring 2018 Travel Teams  June 5–June 16 LSC Street Soccer Camps Half-day camps for boys & girls  6–12 yrs June 26–29  Norwich, VT July 17–20  Thetford, VT July 24–27  West Lebanon, NH July 31–August 3  Bradford, VT August 7–10  White River Junction, VT

Patty McIlvaine is director of development and communications at Thetford Academy. She lives in South Royalton, Vt., with her husband Chris and son Benjamin. • 802-649-7096 UPPERVALLEYKIDSTUFF.COM



The 21st Century Homestead

Why are families choosing to keep livestock, bees, tend large gardens and make their own soap — in addition to full-time jobs and raising children?




magine waking each sunrise to the melodic crow of a rooster and sending the children out to collect the morning’s breakfast from the henhouse whilst starting a load of laundry cleaned with homemade detergent. Sound like a scene out of the 1950s? Surprise! For an increasing number of households in the Upper Valley, it’s the way they start every day. Homesteading is in vogue — even though it requires swapping modern conveniences for extra chores and time consuming tasks. 28



Homesteading is a broad term that describes the employment of self-sufficient, self-reliant and do-ityourself skills in everyday life. For many, the term conjures images of chickens, pigs and picket fences. But did you know that homesteading also includes gardening, canning, beekeeping, maple sugaring, making soap, sewing and more? Although the lifestyle is not new, it fell by the wayside in the latter half of the 20th century. If you are fortunate enough to visit with your grandparents today, ask them about their childhood. Chances are they recall self-sufficiency as the normal way of life at the time. Food was produced locally and eaten seasonally. Dick Nassa of Lone Maple Inn Farm in Canterbury,

N.H., is now in his 70s. He grew up in the 1940s and 1950s when “every home was, to some extent, a homestead.” His family’s ventures included a large garden from which produce was preserved and dried for use throughout the year, homemade wine and cider from grapes and other fruits, and the purchase of meat to process into sausage. Nassa says, “We were dirt poor, yet possessed enormous wealth we gained from life in an extended family setting.” He credits his homesteading lifestyle for excellent health and marriage to his wife of 50 years.

PRACTICAL SKILLS The Bodanza family of Hillsboro, N.H., credits homesteading with teaching critical life skills. Farming eggs and raising chickens and turkeys, all six Bodanza children take part in the daily chores of feeding and watering and caring for the flock. The older children set up tables at the local farmers’ markets and, says their father, Mark, “I have watched them grow in areas of communication, customer service and product quality.” What about the kids of the smartphone generation? How do they feel? As Lelaina, 13, says, “The farmers’ markets have taught me how to have a conversation with another person.” For Grace, 10, “Selling things

have helped me learn more about math.” Homesteading children acquire life skills, experience and knowledge that are useful in any vocation.

FOOD SAVVY Homesteaders who produce their own food, soap, etc. know exactly what goes into them. For a family with skin sensitivities, it is not only cheaper — but safer — to use homemade lotions and soaps. These families truly know that none of their animals were exposed to unnecessary antibiotics or pesticides, and were treated humanely. Sara Guaraldi of Canaan, N.H., and her family keep goats (for milk) and pigs, chickens and turkeys for meat. Their chickens provide eggs and a garden produces vegetables. “Living this way is extremely important to me and my family,” says Guaraldi. “My daughter helps feed the animals and is learning respect for the environment, her own health and the animals we keep.” They make their own cheese and soap and, last year, the animals provided nearly 100 percent of the meat the family consumed (the rest came from hunting expeditions). Children in many homesteading families are aware that their homegrown products have superior taste to those from a grocery store. In fact, Guaraldi’s 4-year-






Empowering the Future Beyond teaching our daughter responsibility to complete chores (those pigs don’t feed themselves), her participation has given her in knowledge in animal husbandry and confidence in herself. She started toddling into the chicken coop around 2 years old—when the chickens nearly rivaled her in size. She was afraid to leave my side until I gave her a kid-sized rake and taught her to say “shoo” as she cleared the chickens out of the way.

old daughter dislikes “store milk.” At Phoenix Farm in Marlborough, N.H., Kate Kerman and her family raise much of their own meat. Kerman’s granddaughter has remarked that their meat at home tastes better than meat bought in a store.

GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUN What child does not love cuddling a rabbit, petting a baby chick, or taking a trip to the farm? Homesteading children actively participate in egg collection, haying the nest boxes, animal feeding as well as the soap, lotion and food making activities that go on in the kitchen. And they love every bit of it!

WEB New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Vermont Cooperative Extension



“I like holding the chickens and singing to them,” says Adah Bodanza, 4. Her brother, Isaac, 8, says, “I like the broilers, they provide us food.” Elijah, 7, likes “the fresh eggs.” Even Madelynn, 2, proclaims, “I like it.” After all, what kid wouldn’t enjoy time outside playing in a garden and what parent wouldn’t want to see the proud smile when her child discovers a chicken egg for the first time? Brianna Marino can usually be found in the dust of her 4-year-old whirlwind of a daughter. Along with a patient husband, they live on a budding farm in Wilmot, N.H., with a dog, cat, four pigs, lots of chickens and a growing turkey flock. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and writing about homesteading adventures at

Weekly Market Bulletin Agriview media/agriview


She quickly learned that a few gentle pokes from the rake and the chickens steer clear, allowing her to go about the egg hunt. Upon the next trip to the coop, she happily exclaimed, “You don’t have to carry me in anymore because I’m not a baby. I have my shoo stick.” The confidence she gained in this experience has carried over to many other facets of her life — she learned to use problem solving to overcome things that might initially seem scary.

Upper Valley Food Co-op’s

41st Anniversary



Saturday, June 24 NOON to 2pm



July 10-14 July 24-28 Aug. 7-11 Aug. 21-25

Fun and FREE for the Whole Family!!


Bouncy House, BBQ, Veggie Fare, Low Waste Living, Kids’ Activities

A walk-in studio for all ages!

ages 8-15 | 9-3 (early drop off at 8:30) | $325 per child

(802) 280-1700 (802) 280-1700

In In the Tip WhiteRiver RiverJunction Junction the TipTop Top Building, Building, White

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art music theatre movement camps & more!

Contact: 802-295-5804 ~ 193 N. Main St. WRJ

Enjoy fun & affordable SUMMER classes & workshops for CHILDREN & ADULTS


Performances for Kids

Thursdays in July at 10:30am

*See performance lineup at

PLEASE PRE-REGISTER 2095 Pomfret Road South Pomfret, VT 802-457-3500

www.librar yar LIBRARY ARTS CENTER GALLERY & STUDIO 58 N. Main St. Newport, NH 603.863.3040 Hours: Tu.-Fri. 11am-4pm Sat. 10am-2pm UPPERVALLEYKIDSTUFF.COM




Bonkers for Bananas Some surprising facts about America’s favorite fruit — and a few tasty recipes to try! TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANN ST. MARTIN STOUT It’s no surprise that the banana is the most popular, best-selling fruit in the USA. Our beloved banana was introduced to the American public in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pa. This new, exotic fruit was sold individually and wrapped in foil for a dime — quite expensive considering the average family income of that time. It took a while for bananas to become popular because, at first, they were available only in port cities. Modern transportation, improved food handling, and the banana’s sweet delicious flavor helped it become America’s favorite fruit.

BOTANICALLY, IT’S A BERRY If mom says, “Enjoy the berry I put in your lunch,” you probably expect a strawberry, some blueberries or maybe even a kiwi. But, later, when you pulled a banana out of your lunch bag, you might think, “What’s the joke?” It’s no joke. The banana is a berry. Like other berry plants, there is no treelike woody stem and the stalks of the banana plant die back after every growing season. When it’s time for new fruit to grow, new leaves and stalks grow from a corm. Banana plants range from 10 to 23 feet tall. The fruit is attached



to the stalk by its stem and rises skyward in bunches called hands. Individual fruit is called a finger.

INTERNATIONAL A-PEEL There are hundreds of varieties of banana in the world. The Cavendish variety is the type of banana we commonly pick up in the grocery store. With only tiny black specks instead of seeds, it has come a long way from the wild banana with its numerous large, hard seeds. Africa is the largest producer of bananas, but South and Central America are the largest exporters. The average American eats 75 bananas every year; most of those are grown in South or Central America.

FROZEN BANANA POPS Ingredients: • 2 bananas, peeled and cut in half • ¼ cup chocolate chips • ¼ tsp. vegetable oil (most any kind) • ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs • 4 Popsicle sticks

A PUNCH OF POTASSIUM Banana joins dried apricots, raisins, prunes, dates and figs as a good source of potassium. A medium-sized banana provides 10 to 12 percent of our daily requirement of potassium, as well as a decent amount of vitamins C and B-6, magnesium and fiber. Here are two recipes to try. Viva la banana!


DIRECTIONS: In a glass bowl, combine chocolate chips and oil. Heat mixture in microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Insert Popsicle stick securely into cut end of banana. Dip banana in melted chocolate, spreading chocolate with butter knife or back of spoon to cover about three-quarters of banana.


Dip into crushed graham cracker. Place on a plate on waxed paper and put in freezer for at least an hour. When it is frozen solid, each treat can be wrapped individually in foil or plastic wrap and kept frozen for a month. Keep frozen until serving. Yield: 4 banana pops

BANANA PANCAKES Ingredients: • 1 banana, mashed • 1 small egg • ¾ cup milk • 1½ tablespoon oil • 1¼ cup flour • ½ cup sugar (or slightly less) • 1 ¾ tsp. baking powder • ½ tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl then add to dry. Stir with wooden spoon to blend. Add more milk (or water) 1 to 2 table-

spoons at a time until batter is thin enough to be mixed with a whisk and can be poured off a spoon. Heat a frying pan or griddle to medium heat. Oil pan and pour about a quarter cup of batter on to the heated surface. You may need to lower the heat to allow the pancake to cook slowly. (The sugar content of the banana causes the pancake to brown before center is completely cooked.) Serve, topped with a banana slice and only a little maple syrup — these pancakes are already sweet! Add chopped walnuts, if desired.

• The sticker on each bunch of bananas tells where it was grown. Take out a globe or world map and locate the country your banana came from. • Try all of the different bananas that the grocery store offers. Baby bananas weigh about one ounce each (with peel) and are a fun three-bite snack. Plantains, weighing about 12 ounces and less sweet, can be grilled, fried and used in other cooking. • Open the banana from the end opposite the stem by lifting off the little disk and peeling downward. It is easier to remove the disk than it is to open the fruit at the stem — especially on an unripe banana. Ann St. Martin Stout, mother of seven and grandmother of five, lives in Newport, N.H.








We are now accepting pediatric patients and their families and we would love to have you join our family practice.


A • F

We have been working to keep generations of families in the Upper Valley healthy and happy for more than thirty years. With us your family is in good hands — and our doctors are kid-approved.


331 olcott drive • white river junction, vt 05001 • 802.295.6132



Crossroads Academy Full Day Kindergarten Grades 1-8 A Core-Knowledge Independent School in Lyme, N.H.

Discover the Difference Open House Dates: March program 14 and April options 10, 9-11am Explore our summer Please call to register. 603.795.3111 • UPPERVALLEYKIDSTUFF.COM




A Buss from Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen Young history buffs are given a peek at teenage life in 19th century New England. BY HAYLEY DURFOR A Buss from Lafayette transports modern readers to Hopkinton, N.H., in June of 1825. Fourteen-year-old Clara, the main character, carries the novel with the strength of her personality, humorous observations, and seemingly timeless adolescent woes. She falls for a local boy, angsts about her hair, chafes against chores and her stepmother’s rules, and bickers with her older brother and haughty cousin. Her stepmother, Priscilla, is Clara’s deceased mother’s sister, whom her father married a week after he became a widower. Clara had been taken out of school to care for her dying mother. Now, a year later, she has yet to return to school. Priscilla is heavily pregnant and, as a citified former resident of Boston, needs help with daily farm life. Throughout all of this, Clara’s brother, Joss, has stayed in school — a fact that Clara has not failed to notice. While participating in the nationwide welcoming of General Lafayette, known at the time as “our nation’s visitor,” Clara learns some of the history she missed by not attending school. She also learns a few life lessons that she details in her diary entries. There, readers witness Clara’s growing under-



standing and tolerance for her family and place in society. This novel is an illuminating depiction of our young democracy — a society trying to make sense of itself and hungry for a national mythology and heroes of its own. The Revolutionary War, George Washington and Lafayette loom large in the imagination of the Hopkinton residents. The characters embody a New Hampshire that, while provincial, keeps abreast of national politics in a time before the easy spread of information. Clara is a naturally curious and fast learner and the adults around her are happy to oblige. Woven into the story is a variety of the material and lived culture of the period, especially food, dress and societal expectations for girls and women. The book includes a helpful glossary filled with explana-

A Buss from Lafayette is stocked on the shelves at MainStreet Bookends in Warner, N.H., the Dartmouth Bookstore in Hanover, N.H., and Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, N.H.


tions of the many historical terms used throughout the novel — including “buss,” a old-fashioned word that might be foreign to many young readers. (It means “kiss.”) A Buss from Lafayette will entertain readers as young as fourth grade while older students will appreciate a teenager’s perspective. Dorothea Jensen, who lives in Contoocook, was inspired to write the novel after learning about Lafayette’s visit to the town during his national tour in 1825. Jensen has written another historical novel, The Riddle of Penncroft Farm. Hayley Durfor is a native of the New Hampshire Lakes Region. When not writing, she can usually be found holed up with a book or a sketchpad.

Tattered Pages

Fun, Creative, Educational Books, Toys, Games, Puzzles, Arts/Crafts, Science Kits, Dress Up 87 Lower Main Street Sunapee, NH 03782 603-763-0242 Call for Hours Growing by Leaps and Bounds Box Club

Come Visit Our Children’s Reading Barn 253 Main Street-New London 603-526-5850 Store Hours: M-F 9-5:30, Sat. 9-5, Sun. 11-3 • Stationery • Cards • Games • • Gift Wrap • Puzzles • Journals • • Chocolate • Calendars •

Cradle & Crayon, Inc. A safe and nurturing environment promoting exploration in math, science, art, music, literacy, and language

Ages 6 weeks to Kindergarten Now accepting applications for Cradle & Crayon South at 45Danielson Lyme Road, Hanover, NH Call Brenda (603)646-4242

• Full time, year round care • Three nutritious meals served family style daily • NAEYC accredited • State of New Hampshire licensed • Department of Defense certified • Community families welcome!

or Email Openings available for children

72 Lyme Road, Hanover, NH 03755 ages 6 weeks to 24 months Second Location to serve infants and toddlers Call or Danielson opening in email the fallBrenda at 45 Lyme Road . (603) 646-4242 - now accepting applications. UPPERVALLEYKIDSTUFF.COM




The Reading Myth Learning to read does not come naturally to everyone — if your child is struggling, do not wait for it to click. BY SANDY RENDALL, STERN CENTER FOR LANGUAGE AND LEARNING As a parent, you know when something doesn’t feel right, especially when it comes to your child. So when you notice that your child is struggling to learn to read you wonder, “Should I be concerned or does my child just need more time?” The age old “it will click” myth — that given enough time your child will acquiring reading skills — is just that: a myth.

BRAINS NOT WIRED FOR PRINT Dr. Melissa Farrall, program manager for evaluations at the Stern Center for Language and Learning, explains that reading does not come naturally to all children. Even though humans are biologically programmed for oral language, humans were never originally designed to work with print. From an evolutionary perspective, print is a fairly recent development dating back about 4,000 years. Oral language, in contrast, has been around for hundreds of thousands of years. The fact that human beings are able to read is actually quite amazing. Although most children learn to speak with considerable ease, the same is not true for reading.



Children become readers by recruiting and organizing a complex network of highly specialized brain structures. These brain structures not only have to process language, detect speech sounds in words, and grasp the visual aspects of letter and word recognition, they also have to work together.

THREE TYPES OF READING LEARNERS According to Dr. Farrall, about one third of children learn to read easily and without the need for instruction. Another third benefit from having a structured language approach to reading which makes explicit connections between letters and the sounds they represent. The last third find reading challenging and will require direct, systematic instruction in language and phonics,


as well as in the sound patterns of the English language, known to educators and researchers as phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the understanding that words consist of individual speech sounds. It is important to dispel the “it will click” myth because the stakes are high. Not being able to read can have far reaching implications for employment, economic stand-

Studies show that 90 percent of children who do not complete first grade reading on grade level will never read on grade level unless they are provided with a direct, systematic structured language intervention.

ing, health and happiness. Dr. Farrall notes that individuals who “struggle to read have a less rich experience in the classroom, and in the world in general, because they can’t access all the information and ideas that print has to offer.”


If you are concerned that your child is having difficulty learning to read, don’t be afraid to express your concerns either to your child’s teacher or pediatrician. You are your child’s number one advocate and, if you suspect that his or her reading skills are not developing as they should, it is important to seek help. If you are advised to give it more time to see whether “it will click,” consider getting a second opinion from a professional who is trained in a research-based approach to reading. Studies show that 90 percent of children who do not complete first grade reading on grade level will never read on grade level unless they are provided with a direct, systematic structured language intervention. This unnerving reality is precisely why Dr. Farrall urges parents not to delay, stating that, “Early intervention can save a child from a future full of hardship.”

Kumon Math and Reading of Norwich Free registration in June ($50 savings) 256 Route 5 South, Norwich VT 802-649-1416

Helping kids grow up healthy. Pediatric Care at Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Ottauquechee Health Center Our expert pediatric team focuses on all aspects of wellness, providing superior medical care from infancy through young adulthood. For a pediatric appointment in Windsor, call (802) 674-7337, for Woodstock, call (802) 457-3030.

INDIVIDUAL EVALUATION AND INSTRUCTION An evaluation of the skills that support the development of reading can help you understand your child’s profile as a learner and ultimately give you some peace of mind and guidance as to how to best address your child’s particular challenges. Keep in mind that just because your child is struggling to learn to read doesn’t automatically mean that he or she has a learning disability. There are many factors to be considered. These UPPERVALLEYKIDSTUFF.COM



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factors are best judged by trained professionals who are knowledgeable about language, reading and assessment. Instruction needs to be designed and implemented so that it permits children to catch up to their peers and then continue to read on grade level. People often think that struggling readers need to catch up and that the job ends there. However, the real goal should be about helping children achieve grade level performance in reading and then stay on grade level.

Music Discovery Week, Sound Color: Musical Magic Music Video Camp, Music and Drama & more! • • 603.448.1642

Hanover Road Dental Health Friendly, Caring, Affordable Full Dental Services for Children and Adults Serving the Upper Valley for Over 35 Years Northeast Delta & Cigna Participating Providers Call (603)643-4362 for more information

Hanover Road Dental Health. Providing a smile for all seasons

STICK WITH IT When children respond to their instruction, it means that they are receiving both the right type and the proper amount of instruction for their individual profile. So keep it up! Do not be tempted to abandon something that is working; children in need of phonics instruction in the lower grades will most likely need it as they work to master higher-level reading skills. Sandy Rendall and her husband, Don, are the parents of three children. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has an MBA from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business. She is the communications director at the Stern Center for Language and Learning. Learn more at

367 Route 120, Lebanon, NH 38



Outfitting Families For Summer Fun Quality Sporting Goods, Great Prices and Knowledgeable Service Hundreds of swimsuits!

Summer 2017

SPLASH CAMP! An exciting full or half-day camp for kids ages 6-10 With daily swim lesson, water games, outdoor fun, puppets, pets, science experiments and visiting firefighters. 10 sessions from 6/12 – 8/18

Full-day 8am-4pm • Half-day 8am-12pm After care and lunch packages available

Crocs in many fun colors! Kid’s sneakers at great prices!

Rugged Keen Sandals 22 Bridge St. West Lebanon, NH (603) 298-8090 •

UVACSWIM.ORG 802.296.2850 ex 106

Community Wellness, Together From routine exams, to colds and bruised knees, to serious injuries, our New London Hospital Pediatric Care team is here for you. Offering comprehensive care from birth through adolescence, we work together to keep your child healthy.

Aram Kalpakgian, PA-C | Rebecca Lozman-Oxman, DNP, APRN, MPH | Sarah Lester, MD

Call 603-526-5363 for an appointment at New London Hospital. Appointments available on weekdays and Saturdays. To learn more about our services, visit





Newborns 101 Suddenly, a tiny new soul is depending on you for everything. How will you do it?

BY ANGELA TOMS, M.D., WHITE RIVER FAMILY PRACTICE Becoming a parent for the first time is an awesome and, at times, daunting experience. Having months of pregnancy to prepare for this event may not seem like enough! And, unlike almost everything else these days, newborns don’t come with an instruction manual. Rest assured that despite the common concerns of feeling unprepared to handle all that this new arrival to your family may bring, you can do it. Newborns babies are incredibly complex beings and yet so simple at the same time. They eat, sleep, cry, pee, poop, and wake up a little more each day. When newborns follow this pattern, we can reassure ourselves that all is well. When a newborn isn’t doing one of these basic things, we start to wonder, “Is everything okay?”

HOW DO I KNOW MY BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH TO EAT? Breastfeeding provides many benefits for the baby, mother, family and community, and is encour-



aged by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Babies may also be fed formula by a bottle. Most newborns will feed every 1.5 to 3 hours and 8 to 12 times in a 24hour period. It can sometimes feel like they are always eating! Breastfed babies often feed a little more frequently, usually for about 10 to 15 minutes on a breast, although you probably don’t need to time how long your baby eats. Formula fed babies can take any-


where from 1.5 to 3 ounces at first. Babies will usually eat until they are full, and then will stop. You can expect that your baby will lose a little weight after birth; as feeding becomes well established, she will start to gain it back. Your doctor will keep a close eye on your baby’s weight and this is another good way to know your baby is eating enough. Most babies will surpass their birth weight by 2 weeks of age.

WHAT IS NORMAL PEEING AND POOPING? Most newborn babies will have at least 6 wet diapers each day, once feeding is well established and, for breastfed babies, once mom’s milk is in. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a disposable diaper is wet because they are pretty absorbent. Some diapers have lines that change colors when the diaper is wet, or you can hold a dry diaper in one hand and the used one in the other and see if the used one is heavier. Newborn bowel movements all start out with a thick, black stool called meconium. As they begin to feed and poop more, they will transition to some version of a liquid yellow stool. Breastfed babies often have more frequent and sometimes looser bowel movements (at least three per day) than formula fed babies (usually once a day or even less often). It is uncommon for newborns to be constipated, but if a newborn has not had a bowel movement in over 24 hours, give the doctor a call. Having normal urine and stool output is another good way to make sure your baby is getting enough to eat.

HOW MUCH SHOULD MY BABY SLEEP? Most newborn babies sleep a lot — but not necessarily when parents want them to sleep. Newborns sleep 16 hours or so in a 24-hour period, waking up when hungry, but having more alert time each day. Sometimes babies get their days and nights mixed up. You can try to fix this by feeding your baby at least every three hours during the day and then, once feedings and weight gain are on the right track, letting him sleep longer during the night (when you want to sleep). Sometimes swaddling newborns will help them sleep a little


Sometimes the best strategy for parents dealing with the overwhelming flood of advice is to ignore it. Well, maybe not all of it, but a lot of it. Trust your inherent parenting instincts. longer. Always a good reminder to parents — especially mothers: when your baby sleeps, you sleep, too! The AAP recommends that babies sleep on their backs and, to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), discourages co-sleeping with parents. If your baby ends up sleeping in your bed, try to make your bed as safe as their crib (with blankets, pillows and heavy sleepers out of the way). A recent recommendation is that newborns sleep in the same room as parents.

HOW CAN I SPEND TIME WITH MY BABY? Basic infant care is how bonding with your newborn begins. You will get to know your baby through feeding, changing, and soothing her. As she begins to have more alert time, look at your baby’s face and let her look at yours. Snuggle with, talk to, read to, and sing to your baby. It won’t be long before you notice recognition and response from her!

Newborns cry for lots of reasons and every baby is a little different. Some babies cry more than others. Crying is really the first form of communication, and lets us know they are hungry, tired, wet, or uncomfortable (or even lonely) in some way. It is normal as babies get older to cry a little more and usually peaks around 2 months of age. As you get to know your baby, you might be able to tell what his different cries mean. If you have tried everything, and your baby is still inconsolable, it’s a good idea to call the doctor.

WHEN SHOULD I CALL THE DOCTOR? While the list of answers to this question is long, the short answer is: call the doctor when you’re worried. Your doctor will either be able to reassure you or recommend a visit. You can expect your doctor will ask you to take your baby’s temperature; a temperature higher than 100.4 taken rectally will require a visit to the doctor.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS First-time parents are bound to have questions about parenting and there will always be someone happy to give advice. Sometimes the best strategy for parents dealing with the overwhelming flood of advice is to ignore it. Well, maybe not all of it, but a lot of it. Trust your inherent parenting instincts. When you think your baby is doing okay, stick with what you’re doing. When you’re worried your baby isn’t right, contact your physician. Angela Toms is a family physician at White River Family Practice in Vermont. She lives on a small farm with her husband and four children — each of whom was once an infant — as well as cows, pigs, sheep, chickens and dogs. Find her at




From a daunting challenge to an enviable strength GreatKids Award

Nathan Stark of Newport, N.H., is the GreatKids award winner this summer.

BY LEIGH ANN ROOT Nathan Stark is smart, gentle, resilient and a Kid Stuff GreatKid! He lives, learns and thrives in Newport, N.H., where he has tenaciously faced the challenges of growing up with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A phenomenal artist, talented singer, and winner of numerous science awards, Nathan is always on the honor or high honor roll (and takes honors classes).

CHALLENGES CREATE CHARACTER Prior to his diagnosis, school was extremely difficult. Nathan’s highly sensitive sensory system had him noticing everything around him, unable to block things out. Nathan has always been open to a variety of therapies and different approaches as it relates to his diagnosis. According to his mom, Jennifer Stark, “He’s never complained through the process. He’s overcome the challenges associated with his disability through training, therapy and medication. He’s also very honest about this with his friends and teachers. He has no shame about being on the spectrum.” Nathan’s experiences with ASD have given him a rare perspective on life. It has shaped him into a multi-dimensional great kid who is also exceptionally kind. He has tremendous empathy for others, particularly when people are not kind to one and other. His mom says, “His gentle nature is evident in these situations. Through his difficulty, he has learned to welcome people’s differences and has become more forgiving.”

EARLY YEARS Nathan was curious as a young boy, always in search for intellectual stimulation, asking deep questions and absorbing knowledge. With the exception of Legos, typical childhood toys weren’t satisfying enough. Legos allowed for more creativity and imagination. His mom says, “Most things come easy to him, as he’s bright and can be hyper focused. This has allowed him to work on things for long periods of time.” Nathan has always loved science, even asking questions about matter at the age of 6. His mom says, “He wondered if everything in the




world was made up of small dots that come together to make things whole. At the age of 5, not knowing that it already existed, he came up with the idea of an invention to compress entire pieces of clothing to take the wrinkles out!” He still watches all kinds of science videos and discovers the most peculiar and interesting things to talk about afterwards.

his work has appeared at the AVA Gallery’s annual high school art show. Nathan painted a mural at

A SUPER STUDENT Nathan’s inquisitive nature has played a huge part in his scholastic achievements. He has earned the respect of many teachers. His honors chemistry teacher, Steven Christensen, says that Nathan’s potential for growth is unlimited, “He’s consistently willing to take on challenging roles and when he does he always comes out ahead. He’s in the top 5 percent of students that I have taught in 18 years. This is due to his creative, original thought, intellectual ability, academic achievement and natural curiosity.”

A CARING FRIEND AND ARTIST Nathan’s friend, Abbie Paquin, says, “He is the most talented artist that I have ever met and even painted the mural for our basketball court. He is a consistent friend. If he sees me in the halls without a smile, he will quickly run over and strike up a conversation to make sure that all is good. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the GreatKid Award.” Nathan has the amazing ability to draw realistic subject matter. He has won art awards at school and

the Towle School in Newport and, this year, has been asked to refurbish mural at the high school. When not demonstrating his creativity through art, Nathan uses his voice, singing in the chorus and the Chamber Chorus at Newport High School. The Chamber Chorus requires an audition and Nathan’s low bass voice helped earn him a spot. He loves bringing others happiness through his singing and aspires to do professional voiceovers in the future.

MOM’S PERSPECTIVE Nathan’s mom states that he is extremely gentle and wise beyond his years. She says, “I don’t think he’s ever killed a bug. We’ve freed the smallest of insects from our home — even at 3 a.m. in the middle of winter. It’s the little things, like this, when added together, that

make him so special and unique.” Nathan is the fourth child after a set of triplets — a tough act to follow. His mom says, “Coming behind them hasn’t been easy, as there’s a certain novelty that never goes away when meeting new people. I often wonder how much this position in the family has played a part in carving out the wonderful young man he is today.” Nathan makes funny videos with his friends, displaying a silly side. He loves video gaming and this brings out his very competitive nature. A budding archer, he appreciates nature and the outdoors. According to his mom, “He has always loved to mow the lawn and is often looking for activities that bring him peace.”

COMMUNITY INFLUENCE Says Kate Luppold, director of the Library Arts Center, “Nathan brings delight to every situation. When I have children, I hope that they are as kind-hearted, curious, respectful and as engaged in their community as Nathan is. We can always count on him to come up with creative solutions and beautiful art pieces while adding to a group dynamic in a way that is both sensitive and wonderfully contagious.” Nathan is proof that through challenges, strength is born. We are proud to count him as the newest member of the Kid Stuff GreatKid family!





Cool Things in Schools New teachers get nervous. But Upper Valley Educators Institute interns focus on the positive. BY KRISTEN DOWNEY It was 8:45 on a quintessential New England fall morning and I looked around the seminar room at the faces of our 20 newly-inducted teacher interns. Some sipped coffee, others tapped on their laptops, while many others caught up with colleagues they hadn’t seen in a week. It was late September, but their faces and body language were not as sunny as the weather. Becky (my elementary education counterpart) and I could tell that already, some of the expected anxiety and uncertainty had begun to bubble up. After all, each intern had been thrust into an unfamiliar school, a new classroom, and many started teaching lessons even though they were still figuring out just exactly what it means to be a teacher. We were sure we’d be having a few empathetic conversations later that day. To ease people into the seminar day and bridge the distance between their placements and the Upper Valley Educators Institute classroom, we have a weekly routine called “Cool Things in Schools.” It’s our Tuesday morning ritual which encourages interns to share inspiring events or experiences they notice in their placement schools. It helps us to ease into the day by reminding us that



there is great joy in teaching. A young elementary intern named Amanda raised her hand. “I have a cool thing in school,” she said with a shy smile. “This is kind of a small thing, but one of my students called me ‘Mom’.” We chuckled because — really — what could be cooler than a child mistaking you for a maternal figure when you feel like an anxious intern, an outsider, a stranger dropped into this child’s classroom, like a mouse dropped into a maze? Cool Things in Schools helps interns focus on what is important: that there are great things happening in education every day! Sure, interns may feel uncertain about classroom management, about how they’ll demonstrate competence by


June, or about Praxis Core scores. When they share what’s cool about their schools and classrooms, it makes finding our way a little easier; it helps us forget our apprehension for a moment, as Amanda experienced with her student. As another intern recounted an apple selling project at her school and another described an amazing natural play structure incorporating a real boat into the climbing apparatus, I felt the room begin to relax, the tension dissipate, and we settled in for the day. Kristen Downey, MEd, is UVEI’s associate director for teacher education and a member of the program faculty. You can follow her on Twitter @UVEIDowney

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Kid Stuff magazine summer 2017  

Family friendly hikes, homesteading with kids, art projects, educational articles, plus a seasonal calendar of entertainment and activities...

Kid Stuff magazine summer 2017  

Family friendly hikes, homesteading with kids, art projects, educational articles, plus a seasonal calendar of entertainment and activities...