Experience dance in a creative environment under the direction of expert faculty at three convenient locations Ages 3–18 • July & August • Beginners welcome Save 10% when you register by Feb 15:
bostonballet.org/school Photos by Igor Burlak Photography and Evgenia Eliseeva.
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
Volume 35 • Number 5
8 12 14 W H AT ’ S I N S I D E
4 Family F.Y.I.
• • •
Scribbles and Ink Enter to Win: Nick Jr Live! Tickets Poison Control and Ingestion Safety
10 Deciphering Parenting Metaphors
What Kind of Parent Are You?
16 Family Calendar
• Groundhog Day Events • Feb Fest at the MIT Museum • Blue Hills Winter Fest • And much more...
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February 2020 | Boston Parents Paper
ENTER TO WIN A FAMILY 4 PACK NICK JR. LIVE! AT WANG THEATRE S
ing, clap, dance, and move to the music with all your favorite Nick Jr. friends! Nickelodeon and VStar Entertainment Group present Nick Jr. Live! “Move to the Music,” an all-new, one-of-a-kind adventure. Families will have the opportunity to make lifelong memories together at any of the five Wang Theatre performances taking place March 14 & 15. Get your tickets at bochcenter.org.
Two lucky winners will win a family 4 pack. Enter to win here: https:// bostonparentspaper. com/contest-entry. html by February 20th.
On Thin Ice
hen temperatures drop into the “brrr” zone, New England offers great opportunities for outdoor ice skating, but make sure to skate safely!
Scribbles and Ink P
BS KIDS and WGBH have released a free interactive digital series that allows kids ages 4-8 to discover the joy of drawing. Scribbles and Ink, based on the popular books and characters by author/illustrator Ethan Long, allows kids to propel their way through an immersive adventure, drawing in an open-ended fashion that will be animated and become a part of the story! In Scribbles and Ink, kids’ creativity becomes front and center. Digital brushes, crayons and pencils allow kids to express themselves within a variety of story lines: throwing a party for a Snoogledorf, scuba diving in a surprisingly deep rain puddle and blasting off into space in a rocket drawn by the players themselves! The drawings can be changed and adapted at any point along the journey. Available free of charge at PBSKIDS.org and on the PBS KIDS Games app.
• Contact your local police or fire department and find out which skating ponds are checked for safety and what the conditions are.
NFL Teams with the Most Super Bowl Wins
ittsburgh has won the most Super Bowls with six titles in eight appearances. The Steelers last won in Super Bowl XLIII in February 2009. The Patriots tied the Steelers in 2019 after winning Super Bowl LIII over the Rams. San Francisco and Dallas have five wins apiece. The 2020 Super Bowl will be played in Miami on February 2.
• Check the ice for holes, cracks or debris. It should be smooth, thick, blue or clear colored, with ice that is at least 6 inches thick. Light grey, dark black or slushy ice is not safe. The ground around the edge of the ice should be frozen, with no flowing water near the edges of the ice. • If while skating, the ice starts to crack beneath you, get down on all fours (distributing your body weight evenly), stay low and crawl to safety. • Never skate alone. For a list of ice skating ponds in Massachusetts, visit BostonParentsPaper. com/ponds.
Black History Month “If there is no struggle there is no progress.”
– Frederick Douglass
hese words are as relevant today as they were in 1857 when the famous statesman, writer and orator first used them. Black History Month, or National African American History Month, was started in 1926 as a weeklong celebration coinciding with the birthdays of Douglass (Feb. 14, 1818) and Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12, 1809). See our Calendar for suggestions about things to do to celebrate Black History Month.
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
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Family F.Y.I. Poison Control and Ingestion Safety By Lindsay Gardiner, BSN, RN, CPN
arch is National Poison Prevention Month, and this is a great reminder to familiarize yourself with Poison Control and safety interventions to help keep your loved ones safe. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness around the multiple different ways a potential ingestion could happen, and how to be prepared in case of this emergency. WHAT IS POISON CONTROL? Poison Control Centers offer free, confidential services for possible ingestion 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Poison Control Centers answer close to 3 million calls every year, with one call happening every 15 seconds! Poison centers are staffed by pharmacists, physicians, nurses and poison information providers who are toxicology specialists. These poison control centers also track emerging trends of hazardous ingestions. HOW TO CONTACT In case of emergency of ingestion, contact the Poison Control Center immediately, using one of the following methods: Poison Control Help Hotline: 1-800-222-1222 Poisonhelp.org Be proactive and prepared for an emergency by Texting POISON to 797979 to automatically save the Contact Info for Poison Control in your phone! Also, print the Poison Control Hotline phone number and store it on the front of your fridge so it is easily accessible in case of an emergency. CURRENT TRENDS OF INGESTION for 2019 Poison Control Centers also track emerging trends of ingestion and alert the public if any of these trends are rising and cause for concern. Some trends are more common amongst different age groups as well, which is important information for parents. The current rising trends of ingestion found for 2019 are as follows:
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
• E-Cigarettes: There continues to be an increased concern this liquid nicotine. • Hand Sanitizers: Hand Sanitizers range from 45-95% alcohol, and children who ingest even a small amount can be at risk for alcohol poisoning. • Single load Laundry Detergent Pods: Mistaken as candy in younger children; Also used in a viral dare game that includes ingestion amongst teens that can potentially be fatal. • Synthetic Cannabinoids: Side effects of use of this are psychotic episodes and seizures. • CBD oil: Use of CBD oil is rapidly on the rise across all ages. • Opiods/Narcotic pain medication: Opioid ingestion continues to rise year after year. PREVENTION/SAFETY About 90% of accidental ingestions occur inside the home each year. Help keep your family safe and poisonfree with these tips: Make sure all household cleaners and laundry detergents/pods are out of reach from children. Educate older children about the hazards of E-cigarettes, CBD oil, and Synthetic Cannabinoids. Secure all opioids and narcotic medication away in a child resistant locked area; and safely dispose of all expired medications. Safety proof your household with safety locks on all potentially harmful areas. Periodically inspect these areas to make sure they are still secure over time and use. IN CASE OF INGESTION OR POISONING Take immediate action and call Poison Control ASAP if ingestion is suspected- don’t wait for signs of poisoning to be present in order to call. Stay calm, and try not to panic. Try to have the container of the potential product that was ingestedthe label can hold vital information. Call 911 if the person is having trouble breathing.
Family F.Y.I. Are second born children getting the short end?
ave you ever wondered why your second child just amount of attention of parents dedicated to their seems to be so much more trouble than your eldest? children. In short, the study suggests that first-borns Well science has an answer, and no it’s not just you. A get more attention from their parents. Second-borns recent study out of the Massachusetts Institute of Techget less. “Second-born children tend to have less nology investigated the impact of birth order on delinmaternal attention than do their older siblings,” the quency. The study looked at an enormous number of authors write. They explain that firstborns get the children in data sets from benefit of their mother’s the US state of Florida and maternity leave followSecond-born children tend to have less maternal from Denmark. “We find ing their own births that second-born boys are and following their sibattention than do their older siblings. substantially more likely to ling’s birth. The study is exhibit delinquency probnot suggesting that all lems compared to their second-born children older sibling,” the study’s are going to end us as authors wrote. Interestingdelinquents. However, ly, the data findings from it may answer that ageFlorida and Denmark – two old questions parents very different environhave been dying to say ments – was consistent. out loud for eons… ‘why The reason for this? can’t you just be more Well… apparently its’s the like your older brother?’
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February 2020 | Boston Parents Paper
By Alyson Gregory
hat could be sweeter than treating your kids to a special outing in celebration of Valentine’s Day? Slow-rising squishies and reversible sequin chachkies are fun, but nothing says, “I love you” like spending time together, and with unique and creative local events and displays, there’s no need for lavish spending to make lasting memories. What kids really crave is your presence, so choose time over slime and show them the love with these heart-warming rendezvous! Minni Valentine’s Workshops This artist-run SOWA located community art center with a focus on design for children 18 months through age 10 has a lineup of oh so charming Valentine’s events in a cheerful, welcoming space your kids will treasure. Their whimsical event calendar and delightful birthday party packages make this a true find. Boston; minni.space. com Minni PaperShop presents local artist and paper engineer, owner Abigail of Yeiou Paper Objects, to guide students through the wonderful world of pop-ups! Kids ages 4-10 will learn simple folding techniques and create colorful, 3D Valentine’s cards along with personal messages and envelopes for truly original works of art! February 2nd. Minni WashiShop rolls out a rainbow of washi pieces in this colorful collaboration with beloved Japanese brand MT Washi tape for a workshop your kids will be stuck on! In addition to crafting Valentine’s cards for special loved ones, kids get to take home two
rolls of their favorite washi tape to keep the party rolling. February 9th. Boston, MA; minni.space.com Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival Love is in the air at Salem’s 18th annual sweetest event of the year for all ages featuring pop-up shops and children’s Valentine’s crafts and activities. The Salem Trolley winds around the festival route offering free rides for kids, sweet shops put out their best samplings, chocolate tastings make frequent appearances, and more than 20 glistening ice sculptures adorn the downtown. Check the full listing and map of these frozen installations and plan a family evening stroll to see the sculptures illuminated. Don’t worry—there will be plenty of hot chocolate flowing to keep all your favorite Valentines warm. And speaking of flowing, don’t miss the Wonkaesque chocolate fondue fountain you can dip into for pure on tap decadence! Sweet dreams guaranteed. February 7th-9th Salem, MA; salemsosweet.com
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
New York International Children’s Film Festival at Coolidge Corner Theatre Looking for the perfect Valentine’s date to share with your kids and make them feel special? Go to the movies, of course! Well not just any movie—and not just any theatre. Boston’s favorite independent, not-for-profit cinema welcomes NYICFF Kid Flicks One tour featuring fun and clever short films for children. Stories of growth and transformation from around the world in this bigger, brighter, bolder theme will charm and inspire children of all ages—and parents too! Check out the full lineup of shorts on the theatre’s website, then plan on taking them a couple of doors down to The Paris Creperie for a sweet treat they won’t soon forget. After all, it’s never too early to cultivate an appreciation for the arts…or an affection for crepes. February 9th. In the event your dance card is full, check out this alternate date: Magic & Beyond A one-person magic and comedy show featuring pantomime and music by illusionist David Garrity. February 16th. Brookline, MA; coolidge.org
Light-Up Night Sledding on the Farm Saturday night sledding anyone? As long as there’s snow on the ground, Chestnut Hill Farm lights up the lanes on their best hill so you and your family can take some memorable, heart-racing night runs together! Being outdoors as a family is invigorating, gives everyone the fresh air they need, and will no doubt inspire your family’s next winter adventure! Snow pants and a sled are all you need for this free event to light up the night and share a festive evening with your family. Need some brownie points? Stash a couple of thermoses of hot cocoa in the trunk for the ride home! Saturday nights in February, Dusk-8:00pm. Owl Prowl Brew Moon Family Hike Want more nature-loving family time? Celebrate the full moon and learn how to call in the owls on this 30-45 minute nighttime hike in the dark winter woods. Pre-registration required. February 8th. Winter Fun Farm Day S’mores kits, snowman building contests, winter nature crafts, animal track discoveries, guided hikes, and a bonfire will keep the whole family moving and make for a day full of love and fresh air. February 17th Maple Tap-A-Thon Discover the science of syrup! Families can set their own maple tap and learn how to make their own syrup and tap their own trees with take home instructions from this most popular winter farm event. Pre-registration required. February 29th. Chestnut Hill Farm, Southborough, MA
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Deciphering Parenting Metaphors: By Cheryl Maguire Animals and Machines
hen I grew up parents were referred to as. . . well. . parents. But nowadays it is hard to keep up with the trendy terms to describe people who raise children. First there were helicopter parents then lawnmower parents and now the newest one is snowplow parents. I wonder what the next machine metaphor will be. Since land and air vehicles have been covered, maybe submarine? Turns out there is already one of those too. Besides machines there are animal or invertebrate types of parents. Do animals also gather around and coin terms for their parents? If so would they say, “You are really acting like a human parent right now.” Maybe that could be the basis of the next Disney Pixar movie. Until then here is a cheat sheet of the latest lingo.
problems, so the parent intervenes and fixes it for their child. I guess the people who reside in the cold weather wanted their own term since it is pretty much the same as the lawnmower parent—just you know more powerful.
The Machines HELICOPTER PARENT A helicopter parent is one that hovers over their child’s every move and helps when needed. They tend to worry a lot about their child.
How do you know you are acting like one? Your favorite show is Dance Moms and you think the media has unjustly demonized the moms who are only trying to help their kid be on Broadway.
ELEPHANT PARENT Elephant parents are the opposite of tiger parents (although I would The Animal/Invertebrate have picked a koala bear or someParents thing cute, cuddly and smaller as the opposite since elephants can JELLYFISH PARENT trample you) and focus on nurturA jellyfish parent is permissive ing and encouraging instead of and doesn’t create many rules or tough love and being demanding. expectations. They often give in These parents are protective of to avoid confrontation and lack a their young and intervene at the backbone like a jellyfish. first sign of danger. Sometimes these types of parents can be How do you know you are acting jellyfish-like in the sense they are like one? You kid has been whin- permissive and lack boundaries ing all day to eat their Halloween (again not seeing the similarity candy. Even though you know they to an actual elephant—maybe I can’t handle eating sugar you hand should help coin these terms). over the bag and let them have at it. When they are running around How do you know you are acting the house, unable to go to sleep like one? Not only did you have you realize that saying “no” would a video cam on your babies’ have been easier than dealing with bassinet, but you also situated it Taz the Tasmanian Devil. directly next to your bed. At the first murmur of a whimper you TIGER PARENT sprung out of bed and placed your Tiger parents are strict and debaby next to you where you wanted manding. They prioritize academic the baby to be all along. and extracurricular success.
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
How do you know you are acting like one? You hover next to your child as they eat their hotdog that has been cut into so many pieces it resembles grains of sand on a beach instead of food. And then you count the bites they consume to make sure they are receiving the proper amount of nutrition. If they haven’t reached 15 bites, you say you need to eat one more bite before you leave the table. LAWNMOWER PARENT Lawnmower parents are more aggressive than the helicopter parent. Like a lawnmower that cuts grass or anything in its path the lawnmower parent mows away obstacles, so their child doesn’t have to experience any. How do you know you are acting like one? When your kid calls, texts or sends a smoke signal to you that they forgot their lunch you rush it over to the school faster than a FedEx delivery truck. Ditto for homework, sports equipment and a water bottle. The thought of your child lacking in hydration for five minutes sends you into a tailspin. SNOWPLOW PARENT The snowplow parent is more aggressive than a lawnmower parent since plowing requires more force than mowing. But they are similar in the sense that they remove any obstacles in their child’s way. The snowplow parent does not want their child to have to deal with
How do you know you are acting like one? Since you reside in a cold climate you deliver your child’s forgotten jacket, mittens, and hat to the school so that they can go outside for recess even though you are fully aware that they wore shorts and short sleeves to school. And you know they didn’t forget but rather chose not to bring any of those items because they have no intention of wearing it. BULLDOZER PARENT See definition for Snowplow. This one is for the warmer climate parents who were not happy with the lawnmower metaphor and wanted a more robust descriptor. They also never shoveled 15 feet of cold wet snow in 30 below temperatures (not including the wind chill) and therefore they don’t comprehend how powerful and savior-like a snowplow is when it clears the road. How do you know you are acting like one? Since you reside in warmer weather, before your kid goes to the beach not only do you pack the sunscreen, towel, 10 water bottles, and 100 snacks you also apply the sunscreen to your 15 year old who is fully capable of depressing the button on the sunscreen spray bottle.
So, Which One Are You? I’ll admit it, I’ve probably exhibited symptoms of all these types of parents over the years. When you have three kids, you are going to resort to whatever works in the moment. Instead of referring to parents as machines or animals maybe we can just call them what they are—human. Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, Upworthy, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessing, Your Teen Magazine and many other publications. You can find her at Twitter @CherylMaguire05
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February 2020 | Boston Parents Paper
Camp Experience Influenced Adults
By Cheryl Maguire
ow many kids do you think go to camp in the summer? According to the ACA (American Camp Association) website 14 million kids and adults attend camp every summer. Camp is an $18 billion industry. To understand why kids love going to camp, I spoke to 5 adults about their camp experience when they were kids. They shared with me how going to camp helped shape them into the people they are today. Here are some ways they benefited from going to camp:
while we got ready for whatever evening activity. In our cabin we had endless conversation. I don’t think anyone ever really slept. It was 20 of my closest friends all hanging out in our goofiest pjs, having girl talk and eating junk food all night. It truly was amazing,” says Simokonis. “At camp I developed a set of friendships with fellow campers and counselors that continues to bring me joy and fulfillment to this day,” says Wolf-Sorokin.
LEARNED NEW SKILLS
DEVELOPED INDEPENDENCE AND CONFIDENCE
Attending camp gives kids the opportunity to learn new skills they might not be able to learn anywhere else. “I learned how to juggle and play guitar at Camp Kingsmont. I vastly improved while there each summer because one of the counselors offered daily lessons as a free time activity. Juggling lessons was also a free time lesson from one of the counselors who went on to become a puppeteer on Sesame Street,” says Andrea Simokonis, 38 from Quincy, MA. At Chen-a-Wanda I learned swimming, boating, and jewelry making,” says Kim Liberman, 38 of North Andover, MA. “I learned to sail, leather work, water ski, camping (map reading, pitching tents, fire building), canoeing, woodworking and cribbage at Camp Kabeyun,” says Jake WolfSorokin from Brookline, MA.
DISCUSSED SOCIAL CHALLENGES Since camp is more interactive than a school setting, kids have a chance to discuss social issues. “At camp we would talk about the hard issues that teens face like using drugs and alcohol, love, peer pressure, and often we talked about how God impacted our decisions in these areas. Every year there was a theme,” says Simokonis.
DEVELOPED CONNECTIONS AND CAMARADERIE The social setting of the camp helps kids to make new friends and feel as sense of camaraderie with one another. “At the end of the day we raced back to our cabins to have camaraderie with our friends
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
Camp provides an environment that encourages kids to try new activities or select activities kids want to learn which helps them to develop independence and build confidence. “For me, Camp Kabeyun’s enduring legacy, was building independence, confidence and self-reliance by treating children as ‘grown ups’ by entrusting them with more responsibility than they may otherwise take on during the year. At camp, I got to choose what I did every day, be it out of camp hiking and paddling trips, or in camp sailing, tennis and leather working. This was a stark and refreshing contrast from my hyper-scheduled life at school during the year. The camp’s non-competitive focus encouraged me to take risks and push myself, knowing I could return to my supportive set of cabinmates and counselors, even if I had just wiped out on the water-skis or lost a tennis match,” says Wolf-Sorokin. “Camp always gave me a great sense of freedom, independence, and community. I could participate in a wide variety of activities every day from land or water sports to art and music classes. I was away from home which gave me a sense of independence but I had the support network of my peers and the many different staff members. Being in this kind of setting, in the woods on a lake, and sleeping in a cabin gave me an incredible feeling of freedom,” says Linsey Pimentel from Andover, MA. “I went to Camp Yomechas and I liked the adventure and fun that went along with each day,” says Darlene Cofran, 38 from East Bridgewater, MA.
“Every morning, the entire camp would get a sheet of paper with a bible passage on it and then some questions to help you reflect on the verse and how it pertained to your own life. Then you could sit and meditate on it for 15 minutes. The camp was entirely present, yet completely silent everyday. It truly was magical to get 500 teenagers to sit in silence for that long,” says Simokonis.
FOUND A MENTOR Camp counselors often develop mentor relationships with their campers. “The camp counselors shared their experiences as a teen and were truly mentors to me. I loved my counselors and I keep in touch with them. It’s kind of amazing,” says Simokis.
DEVELOPED A CAREER Most of the people I spoke with either became a camp counselor as a teen or went on to be a camp director or serve on the Board of Trustees of the camp as an adult. “I went on to be a counselor at Camp Kingsmont for 7 summers after I graduated high school and had just as much fun as a counselor as I did when I was a camper,” says Simokonis. “My love for the camp experience led me to go back to work in the camp field. After sending my kids to camp Jori, I then worked again at Camp Jori as a counselor. After that I was offered the camp director role,” says Liberman. “I attended Camp Kabeyun, a boys camp on Lake Winnipesaukee for 6 summers when I was growing up. I then worked there as a counselor for 3 summers, and I now serve on the Board of Trustees of the non-profit organization that owns and operates Camp Kabeyun,” says Wolf-Sorokin.
Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, AARP, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessing, Your Teen Magazine and many other publications. You can find her at Twitter @CherylMaguire05
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for Reading Success in Young Children
s an educator that specializes in teaching students with learning differences I am often asked by parents of young children, “How can I ensure that my child will be a successful reader and speller?” While a number of factors play a role in this effort, one of the most important is to build their phonological awareness, which is the basic foundation upon which all reading and spelling skills are built. It is a child’s awareness of the oral language segments (syllables and sounds) that comprise words, and scientific research indicates that without this crucial underpinning literacy skill children will struggle to achieve reading and spelling success. Beginning to strengthen a child’s phonological awareness can happen quite early—it is an auditory skill that should be part of their literacy instruction in pre-school, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten classrooms. Additionally, there are simple tasks that can be practiced at home. Several skills fall under the umbrella of phonological awareness. They include rhyming; segmentation of sentences, syllables, and sounds; sound isolation; deletion of syllables and sounds; substitution of sounds; and blending sounds and syllables. Below is a description of each area and how to
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
By Beth Dinelli, M.Ed. exercise these skills with your child. The ability to recognize when words rhyme, and the ability to produce rhymes, is a skill that young children usually come by rather easily. For example, if you asked, “Cat, pat—do these words rhyme?” Your child should respond, “yes.” If you asked, “Flip, cot—do these words rhyme?” The response would be, “no.” You can do this activity in the car, waiting in line at a store, or at the dinner table. Tell your child that you are going to say two words and ask if they rhyme. Alternatively, tell your child that you are going to say a word and you want them to tell you a word that rhymes with it. It can be a made up word if they want. For instance, if you say, “tell me a word that rhymes with bat,” their response may be “rat,” or “tat.” Either one is correct. They are demonstrating their ability to rhyme. Segmenting sentences, syllables, and sounds is another precursor to reading success. When you perform a segmenting task with your child you are asking them to chunk language into parts. For a sentence you are asking them to name all the separate words; for a multi-syllable word you are asking them to name the syllables; and for a single syllable word you are asking them to name the individual sounds. Tell your child that you are going to play a word game:
you will say a sentence, and they need to clap once for each individual word. Say a sentence such as, “summer is my favorite season.” Your child should clap 5 times. Keep sentences limited to a maximum of five words. The next level of segmentation is to identify the individual syllables in words. Tell your child that you are going to say a word, and they need to clap for each part of the word. For example, you might say the word, “scramble,” and ask your child to clap for each syllable. Lastly, the most challenging task is segmenting a word into its individual sounds. For this task, ask your child to tell you each sound in a given word. It is important to note that some words may have more letters than sounds. One such example is the word, “stash,” which has five letters but only 4 sounds, as the letter combination /sh/ makes only one sound. Segmenting prepares a child to compartmentalize the sounds in words for reading and spelling. Two other important phonological tasks are deleting syllables or sounds from a given word and substituting sounds in a given word. The former requires a child to listen to a word and repeat it without one of its parts or sounds. Asking your child to say, “kangaroo,” and then to say it again without saying, “roo,” is
one such example. Further, you can ask your child to delete a sound from a word and repeat the new word. This is a more complex task. Ask your child to say the word, “meat,” and then to say it again without the /m/ sound, which would result in the word, “eat.” Once a child can complete deletion activities they can advance to substituting sounds in a given word. This task can be completed with colored blocks, wherein one block represents one sound. When using colored blocks, begin by telling your child that you are going to show them how to make the word, “sun.” Place three different colored blocks in a horizontal line going from left to right to represent the sounds in the word. Next, ask your child to change sun to fun. They would need to recognize that the first sound changed from /s/ to /f/, so they would change the first block to a different color. Continue in the same way until they have made four more changes. This procedure can be done without the visual aid of the blocks as well. Having the ability to name sounds in isolation is another skill young readers must possess. When given a word orally they should be able to name the initial, middle, and final sounds. If given the word happy, your child should be able to name /h/
as the first sound. It is important to remember that they are naming the sound and not the letter name. It is common for children to have difficulty distinguishing between a letter’s sound and its name. When asking for the middle sound only, provide words with three sounds such as, “moon,” “bait,” or “cub.” Blending sounds at the syllable and sound level is the final phonological task a child has to master. If given a multi-syllable word in its parts, they should be able to blend it together and say the whole word. For example, say to your child, “flow-er. What is this word?” If they repeat it in parts, ask them to say it faster and model for them how to say the entire word blended together. When preparing for this activity it is important to not exceed four syllables. At the sound level, tell your child that you are going to say the sounds of a word, and they need to guess what the word is. For instance, say /g-a-p/ and ask “What word is this?” Choose words with a maximum of five sounds. When practicing phonological awareness at home, only plan for a 5-10-minute activity per day and 1-2 areas to concentrate on, such as rhyming and segmentation, or isolation and deletion. As you begin to study phonological awareness with your child start with rhyming. If you
suspect that they may have a deficit in this area, testing may be required to determine whether intervention is needed. The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing-2 (CTOPP-2) is an assessment that you can request your school to administer. A child needs to be at least five years old to receive this test. Ensuring that your child can become a proficient reader and speller is possible with appropriate phonological awareness practice. It is notable that phonological awareness does not always come naturally—some children require direct instruction in this area before they learn the rules that govern the English language. Being proactive will help prevent your child from struggling with literacy skills and assist them in becoming a lifelong adept reader. Some helpful resources for phonological awareness activities include: • Phonemic Awareness in Young Children by Marilyn Adams & Barbara Foorman • Purposeful Play for Early Childhood Phonological Awareness by Hallie Yopp & Ruth Helen Yopp • Phonemic Awareness Activities for early Reading Success by Wiley Blevins Beth Dinelli is the Director of Commonwealth Learning Center in Danvers.
February 2020 | Boston Parents Paper
Tuesday, Feburary 18 Joppa Flats Education Center 1 Plum Island Turnpike Newburyport 10 am-12 pm • 978-462-9998 massaudubon.org
rop in for family fun! You’ll see winter bird banding demonstrations and try out science and art activities. “Miss Lisa” invites you to join her at 11:00 for an energetic educational presentation where everyone participates in the fun of an interactive multi-media show. After the presentation, weather permitting, you may go outside for a group game. For families with children ages 2-10. FREE.
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
1 Saturday Lunar New Year Celebration at the MFA 10 am- 5 pm, Celebrate the Year of the Rat with free admission all day long. Explore Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese art and traditions while enjoying activities, demonstrations, and performances throughout the day. FREE. 617-267-9300 www. mfa.org
A Pretty Fine Pine 10-11:30am, Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan. Learn about what makes Pine trees awesome! In the winter they keep their leaves, provide food and shelter for many animals, and provide tasty treats for humans. Registration required. Free. 617-983-8500; massaudubon.org
Little Women, the Musical 2 and 7pm, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston University, Fenway Campus, 200 The Riverway. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s life, Little Women follows the adventures of sisters Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March. Recommended for ages 7+, Tickets: $20+.Through 2/23. 617-879-2300; www. wheelockfamilytheatre.org
The Young Company Winter Festival This winter, The Young Company introduces students and audiences to people who have felt like outsiders, and what amazing adventures we all go through to feel accepted. Through 2/2. See website for details. $15. 781-279-2200; www.stonehamtheatre.org
Lunar New Year Celebration, Boston Children’s Museum 11am – 4pm, Boston Children’s Museum 308 Congress St. Welcome the Year of the Pig! Throughout the weekend, explore how communities in Boston celebrate the Lunar New Year through dance, games, and art with a focus on Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese traditions. Join a variety of performances and activities with local artists. Free with
admission. 617- 426-6500; bostonchildrensmuseum.org
do to make a difference. Free with admission. 781-259-2200; massaudubon.org
Groundhog Day: Seeing Shadows
Winter Window Gardens
11 am – 2pm, The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow today or not, we will have plenty of shadows to experiment with at the Museum. Free with admission. 978-264-4200; discoverymuseums.org
Especially for Me: Evening for Families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Children 5-8pm, Discovery Museum, 177 Main Street (Rte 27) Acton. Come join in all the fun and explore the accessible Discovery Museum and Discovery Woods during this special evening event just for families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA children. Your family can play, explore, experiment, and imagine together, while the museum is closed to the general public and headcount is limited. ASL Interpreters will be on-site to support your visit. FREE. Registration required. 978-2644200; www.discoveryacton.org
2 Sunday, Groundhog Day Backyard Birds 10am-12:30pm, Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. On Sunday mornings in winter, Joppa’s Bird Banding Station Manager Ben Flemer presents demonstrations on bird research and banding. After capturing wild birds in the Joppa backyard, Ben brings them inside to measure, weigh, examine, and then release them. Free. 978-462-9998; massaudubon.org
Groundhog Day, Climate Action Day 10am-1pm, Drumlin Farm, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln. Help the famous groundhog, Ms. G, decipher the weather clues and deliver her annual forecast. Weather and climate activities will take place throughout the day, focusing on simple things families can
5 Wednesday MFA 150: The Celebration Begins
10-11:30am, Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan. Is your green thumb getting itchy this winter? Learn how to garden right inside your home. Begin by discussing and practicing techniques for general planting, care, and harvesting right in your kitchen window. Ages 5 & up. Registration required. $6-$9. 617-983-8500; massaudubon. org
10 am- 5 pm, Celebrate the MFA’s 150th birthday, and kick off their anniversary year, with a full day of fun and free admission. Explore 15 decades of MFA milestones through a 15-stop highlights tour, or make your own masterpiece. Stick around for a sweet treat and special surprises! FREE. 617-267-9300 www.mfa.org
Science on Screen: Big Hero 6
2-3pm, Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington Street, Dover. Wacky Art Wednesday is a drop-in art workshop for children ages 2 and up and their caregivers. Each Wednesday, a different medium will be explored ranging from clay to paint and everything in between. Free with museum admission. 603-742-2002; https://www. childrens-museum.org/
Babywearing Tour at the Gore Museum
10:30am, Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. Before the film, hear a local expert talk about robots of the past, present, and future. Ages 7+. Adults, $9.50; youth, $7.50. 617-7342501; coolidge.org
10-11am. 52 Gore Street, Waltham. Are you a new parent? Looking to get out of the house and be with other adults in a museum? Come to our special babywearing tour led by a veteran babywearer. Come see the gorgeous 1806 mansion, and we won’t mind if your baby sleeps – or cries – through our tour! $15. 781894-2798; goreplace.org
Especially for Me: Sensory-Friendly Afternoon 1:30-4:30pm, Discovery Museum, 177 Main Street (Rte 27) Acton. Come join in all the fun and explore the accessible Discovery Museum and Discovery Woods during this special evening event just for families with members on the autism spectrum. Your family can play, explore, experiment, and imagine together, while the museum is closed to the general public and headcount is limited. FREE. Registration required. 978-264-4200; www. discoveryacton.org
Wacky Art Wednesdays: Make a Mini Lid Banjo
Imagine, Sing & Learn: Tracks in the Snow 10am-11:30am, Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. These fun-filled morning programs are perfect for both you and your active preschooler! Our structured activities include hands-on science, music and movement, a thematic snack, and an outdoor adventure if the weather complies. For families with children ages 3-6. Adults, $9; youth, $8. 978-462-9998; massaudubon.org
Owl Festival: Live Owl Show Various showtimes, Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. Come explore the wonders of owls with friends and family! Go on a full moon owl prowl, or join us for an up-close and personal view of some of our local owl species. Showtimes for families with younger kids: 10 & 11am; showtimes for families with older kids: 1 & 3pm.Member Adult $13, Member Child $7; Nonmembers: Adult
February 2020 | Boston Parents Paper
$15, Child $9. 508-655-2296; massaudubon.org
Salem’s So Sweet A chocolate and ice festival featuring samples and chocolate inspired menu items as well as a series of ice sculpture installations throughout downtown. Through Feb. 9. FREE. 978-744-0004 x15; salemmainstreets.org
First Friday Nights Free 4:30 - 8:00 pm. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Enjoy free admission and explore the museums at night during this special monthly event, during which the museums gratefully accept food donations for area food pantries. FREE. 978-264-4200; discoverymuseums.org
8 Saturday Tap-a-Tree 10:30am-12:30pm, Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Parkway, Sharon. Nothing beats that first drip from a tap in a sugar maple. Help support Moose Hill’s maple sugaring operation by adopting a tree. Start by designing a tree label that will be laminated and stapled to your tree. Then hike to the sugar bush where each family will use a hand drill to tap their tree. Adults: $50$75; Kids: free. 781-784-5691; massaudubon.org
Full Moon Owl Prowl 6:30- 8:30pm, Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. See who-whowho might be out and about in the dark winter woods. Join local naturalist and educator, Laurie Nehring,
on this family friendly guided Owl Prowl. Member Adult: $9, Nonmember adult: $15; Children: Free. 978-456-3924, fruitlands.org
9 Sunday Sensory-Friendly Sundays 9 – 10am, USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22. The 2nd Sunday of the month features a sensory-friendly morning at the USS Constitution Museum! Learn about the incredible history of America’s Ship of State in a quieter setting, without loud sounds or flashing lights, and before it opens to the public at 10:00 AM. Design a ship, furl a sail, and scrub the decks in handson exhibits that are designed for sailors of all abilities and backgrounds. 617-426-1812; ussconstitutionmuseum.org
Winter Nature Walks 10-11:30am, Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan. Winter is a great time to explore the tracks left by nocturnal animals and spot birds in their wintering plumage. Learn about tracks, birds, winter animals and trees in winter. Ages 5 & up. Registration required. $6-$9. 617-983-8500; massaudubon. org
NYICFF presents: Kid Flicks One 10:30am, Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. Bigger, brighter, bolder—change is in the air in New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) Kid Flicks One,
usscm.org | 617-426-1812 • Interactive exhibits for all ages! • Open 7 days a week • Admission by donation 18
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
brimming with fun and clever stories of growth and transformation. Ages 2 and older. Adult: $10, Child: $8. 617-734-2501, coolidge.org
Black History Month: West African Dance with Benkadi Drummers and Dancers 12:30 and 1:30pm, Boston Children’s Museum 308 Congress St. Enjoy a special performance of West African Dance. Dedicated to community-based education and performance, the artists of Benkadi provide a wide range of programming for diverse audiences. Their mission is to bring people together in a spirit of harmony with respect for traditions. Free with admission. 617- 426-6500; bostonkids.org
Fun with Animal Footprints and Signs 1-2:15 pm. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. Explore Broadmoor looking for tracks and signs of otters, rabbits, deer, coyote and many other animals. Learn what tracks can tell us about which animals are active during the winter, where they go and how they survive. This program is for ages 6 and up. Registration required. Adults, $14, children, $8. 508-6552296, massaudubon.org
Owl Moon 6:30-7:30pm, Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Parkway, Sharon. Experience the magic of a full moon and calling for owls after listening to the classic story, Owl Moon. Make an owl craft and discover how owls are adapted for night hunting. This
program is specially designed for families with children aged 3-6, but all are welcomed to attend. Registration required, $6- $10 per person. 781-7845691; massaudubon.org
10 Monday Tot Time at the Nature Playscape 10-11am. 52 Gore Street, Waltham. Tot Time at the Nature Playscape at Gore Place: outdoor fun for kids 1.5-6 years. Explore nature with rocks, sticks, water, and more. Provocations to explore different elements of nature are open-ended and allow children to do as little or as much of an activity as they like. There will be a different focus each month with new activities. $12 per child. 781-894-2798; goreplace.org
12 Wednesday Wacky Art Wednesdays: Design a Valentine Crown 2-3pm, Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington Street, Dover. Wacky Art Wednesday is a drop-in art workshop for children ages 2 and up and their caregivers. Each Wednesday, a different medium will be explored ranging from clay to paint and everything in between. Free with museum admission. 603-742-2002; https://www. childrens-museum.org/
“The best hands-on Museum I’ve seen.”
Exploring the Winter World 10:30am-12pm, Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan. Looking for a morning of fun in the snow? Join in the fun of exciting experiments and creative crafts with the wintery elements that surround us this time of year. Then you will head outside to sample, measure and build with snow. Ages 5-12. Registration recommended. $7. 617-9838500; massaudubon.org
Puppet Playtime 10:30 am, Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. Puppet Playtime is a fun, interactive performance experience designed for very young children and their grown ups. In each hour-long session, a friendly performer guides kids through free play, sing-a-longs, interactive stories, imagination games, and other activities. Ages 0-4. Tickets: $10. 617-731-6400, puppetshowplace.org
Fledgling Fridays: Valentine’s Day 1:30-2:30pm, Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Parkway, Sharon. Create art, participate in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities, listen to stories, and explore the outdoors every Friday afternoon. For children ages 3-5 and a parent/caregiver. Registration required. Adults, $5- $6; youth, $15- $18. 781-784-5691; massaudubon.org
Everyday Engineering: Pop-Up Cards 2-4:30pm, Discovery Museum, 177 Main Street (Rte 27) Acton. Roses are red. Violets are blue. Learn this method and make a pop-up card or two! Use some simple paper engineering and your creativity to make oneof-a-kind Valentines to share with family and friends. Free with admission. 978-264-4200; www.discoveryacton.org
Saturday Morning Family Nature Walks
Magic & Beyond featuring Illusionist David Garrity
10am-1pm, Drumlin Farm, 208 South Great Road, 10:30am, Coolidge Corner Lincoln. Do you enjoy spending Theatre, 290 Harvard St., time outside with your family Brookline. A one-person exploring nature, but would like to know more about SCHOOLS AND what you are seeing? Finally hkcHarvardCoopSociety1701.eps 1 12/6/16 8:14 AM get the answers to your, and your children’s questions, and meet new friends as we explore aANUARY new topic or habitat to play in. Members: $13; Nonmembers: OOP $16. 781-259IDS 2200; SATURDAY, massaudubon.org JANUARY 7
illusion show that features unique theatrical and visual magic and comedy to a custom-edited musical soundtrack. Ages 2 and older. Adults $14, child $11. 617-7342501, coolidge.org
at 11:00 AM
BIRD STORIES AND CRAFT Celebrate National Engineers Week at 14 the SATURDAY, JANUARY at 11:00 AM Discovery Museum: CELEBRATE PETS WITH STORIES AND A CRAFT Engineer a Birdfeeder JANUARY 21 10amSATURDAY, - 2pm, Discovery at 11:00 AM Museum, Street SNOW 177 DAY Main WITH STORIES AND CRAFT (Rte 27) Acton. Design and build SATURDAY, your own bird feeder JANUARY 28 at 11:00 AM using simple, recycled and GUNG HAY FAT CHOY repurposed materials. Hang CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR WITH STORIES AND it in Discovery Woods for the CRAFT birds, or bring your bird feeder TUESDAY at 11 AM homeEVERY to feed you feathered STORYTIME Children ages own 1 to 6 backyard! and their friends in your caregivers are welcome to join Free with 978-264us for admission. stories and snacks. All events are free and open to 4200; www.discoveryacton.org the public.
14 Friday Valentine’s Day
COOP H A R VA R D
February Coop Kids
1400 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 617-499-2000 www.TheCoop.com SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1 www.facebook.com/TheHarvardCoop at 11:00 AM
Groundhog Day Stories and a Fun Craft SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8 at 11:00 AM STORYTIME & CRAFT Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Stories and Craft Glitter Included!! SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 at 11:00 AM STORYTIME & CRAFT Presidents Day Stories & Craft SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 at 11:00 AM STORYTIME & CRAFT Celebrate woodland animals with Stories and a Craft SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 29 at 11:00 AM STORYTIME & CRAFT Celebrate Leap Year with Stories, Jumping and Movement Children ages 1 to 6 and their caregivers are welcome to join us for stories and snacks. All events are free and open to the public.
1400 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 617-499-2000 www.TheCop.com www.facebook.com/TheHarvardCoop
Our mission is to create an early childhood program that fulfills the cognitive, emotional, social and physical needs of what is known to be the most significant period of human development. Friends Childcare offers an exciting, creative curriculum, as well as fun and stimulating learning activities for all age groups. Tailor-made schedule 7AM-6PM, 5 days a week. Regular in-house enrichment programs such as nature exploration, music, gross motor program, and baby massage are included in the tuition.
(Birth to 15 Months)
(15 Months to 33 Months)
• Preschool/ Pre-Kindergarten (33 Months to 5 Years)
Brookline • 617-731-1008 • 617-739-0854
Call or email us to schedule a tour • firstname.lastname@example.org www.friendschildcare.net
Little People’s Playhouse
Educating and caring for your child like their own!
15 mos. to 6 yrs. • Pre K • Kindergarten Before & After School Ages 6-12 • 7am - 6pm Part-time Preschool • 7am - 1pm ♦ Literacy based academic program focusing on the whole child ♦ Tutoring available ♦ Catered hot meals included
www.peopleplayhouse.net 32 South Fairview Street ♦ W. Roxbury/Roslindale Line ♦ 617-323-2566 4019 Washington Street ♦ Roslindale/Jamaica Plain ♦ 617-323-6144
February 2020 | Boston Parents Paper
Art Lab collaboration with Merill Comeau 12-4 pm. The Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston. Tap into your own creativity Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the Art Lab, a space for visitors to make hands-on connections with the art on view. Join the fun on opening day as we unveil a new installation and project designed in collaboration with local fiber artist Merill Comeau. Free with admission. 617-478-3100; icaboston.org
Black History Month: Storytime 1 and 2pm, Boston Children’s Museum 308 Congress St. Stop by for a storytime and arts and crafts activities as we celebrate the history and contributions of Black and African Americans with educator Ummil-khair Yusuf. Free with admission. 617- 4266500; bostonkids.org
some everyday engineering as you construct and create with repurposed and recycled materials. Craft some simple contraptions - paper helicopters and hoop gliders that harness the power of air to float and glide. Free with admission. 978-264-4200; www.discoveryacton.org
Feb Fest at the MIT Museum 9:30am-3:30pm, MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Every year, during Massachusetts February school vacation week, the MIT Museum celebrates National Engineers Week, with hands-on engineering-based activities, workshops, and afternoon demonstrations led by MIT students. Thru Feb. 24. 617-253-5927; web.mit.edu/ museum
Visit with President Lincoln
1-2pm, Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Road, Concord. The Museum is pleased to host Boston Area Chantey & Steve Wood and his amazing Maritime Sing performance as Abraham 2 – 5 pm, USS Constitution Lincoln. Wood’s first-person Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Listen, learn, historical interpretation, “A Visit with Abraham Lincoln,” and lift your voices! Families includes stories of Lincoln’s can participate in their maritime heritage by joining a early life, campaign debates, rousing chorus of sea chanteys the Civil War, and concludes with a stirring reading of at the USS Constitution the Gettysburg Address. $16 Museum. 617-426-1812; Adults, $8 Children. 978-369ussconstitutionmuseum.org 9763; concordmuseum.org
17 Monday Presidents’ Day Free Admission at the I.C.A. 10am-5pm. The Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston. The ICA offers a robust variety of exhibitions, music, dance, film, talks, tours, family activities, and teen programming throughout the year. Expand your horizons with every visit and discover something new. FREE. 617-478-3100; icaboston.org
Celebrate National Engineers Week at the Discovery Museum: Float and Fly 10am - 2pm, Discovery Museum, 177 Main Street (Rte 27) Acton. Engage in
18 Tuesday Open House Mornings for Families: Eagles, Owls, & Hawks 10am-12pm, Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. Drop in for family fun! You’ll see winter bird banding demonstrations and try out science and art activities. “Miss Lisa” invites you to join her at 11:00 for an energetic educational presentation where everyone participates in the fun of an interactive multi-media show. After the presentation, weather permitting, you may go outside for a group game. For families with children ages 2-10. FREE. 978-462-9998; massaudubon.org
February Vacation Week:
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
Afternoon Birding for Families
see winter bird banding demonstrations and try out science and art activities. 1:30-3:30pm, Joppa Flats “Miss Lisa” invites you to join Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. her at 11:00 for an energetic educational presentation where Can you imagine seeing a everyone participates in the fun Bald Eagle or a Snowy Owl on of an interactive multi-media a winter walk? Families will show. After the presentation, travel in their cars to several birding hot spots on the Parker weather permitting, you may River National Wildlife Refuge go outside for a group game. For families with children ages with Joppa Flats naturalists 2-10. FREE. 978-462-9998; in the lead. Once there, you’ll walk on cleared trails to search massaudubon.org for the birds that are here Sweet History: Colonial for the winter. Then, wrap up Chocolate with hot chocolate back at 10:30am-3pm, Concord Joppa Flats. For families with Museum, 200 Lexington children age 6 & up. Adults, Road, Concord. Grind cocoa $9; youth, $8. 978-462-9998; beans, add spices and concoct massaudubon.org delicious treats by the roaring winter hearth. Read a colonial 19 Wednesday recipe or “receipt” and decipher the steps to cooking rare Feb Fest at the MIT delicacies in colonial Concord. Museum Included with Museum 9:30am-3:30pm, MIT Museum, admission; 978-369-9763; concordmuseum.org 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Every year, during Massachusetts February 21 Friday school vacation week, the MIT Museum celebrates Everybody Loves Pirates National Engineers Week, with 10:30 am and 1pm, Puppet hands-on engineering-based Showplace Theatre, 32 Station activities, workshops, and St., Brookline. Eight-year-old afternoon demonstrations led by MIT students. Thru Feb. 24. Lucy and her goofy pal Little Chucky are searching for 617-253-5927; web.mit.edu/ buried treasure, but a gang museum of bumbling pirates keeps getting in the way! Ages 4 & up. Celebrate National Showtimes at 1pm and 3pm Engineers Week at the Saturday and Sunday as well. Discovery Museum: Tickets: $16. 617-731-6400, Indoor Fort Building puppetshowplace.org 10am - 2pm, Discovery Museum, 177 Main Street 22 Saturday (Rte 27) Acton. Engage in some everyday engineering Gothic Tales for Tykes as you construct and create 10-11am. 52 Gore Street, with repurposed and recycled Waltham. Spooky stories aren’t materials. What can you do just for Halloween! During with clothespins, sheets, Gothic Tales for Tykes, kids and cardboard boxes? Just and parents can enjoy spooky about anything! Jump in and stories in the 1793 Carriage help build an ever-changing, House. They’ll also get to make room-sized blanket fort. Free with admission. 978-264-4200; a Lunch Bag Monster. $10, all ages. 781-894-2798; goreplace. www.discoveryacton.org org
20 Thursday Open House Mornings for Families: Backyard Birds in Winter 10am-12pm, Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. Drop in for family fun! You’ll
Frozen Fruitlands Weekends Noon to 5pm, Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. Bring your sleds, snowshoes and cross country skis to explore the snow covered hills and trails. Then warm up at the fire
with cocoa and explore the museum. Weekends through March 31st. Free with Winter Admission. 978-456-3924, fruitlands.org
to families with children ages 5 and up. $9 Adult, $6 Child, 978464-2712;www.massaudubon. org
Family Owl Prowl
5 – 7pm, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton, Owls are fascinating birds. Did you know that some species breed in winter? Or that they can be very vocal as they establish territory and communicate with mates? We’ll learn all about owls in a hands-on indoor introduction followed by a short hike to listen for owls WHOO might be nearby, or other nighttime wildlife. Open
The Airborne Comedians 10:30am, Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. The Airborne Comedians are two performers who’ve traveled the globe performing their high-energy, unorthodox comedy juggling show to the delight of all ages. Ages 3 and older. Adults $14, child $11. 617-734-2501, coolidge.org
Disney on Ice presents: Road Trip Adventures
Various Showtimes, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. Road Trip Adventures will whisk families away on an immersive getaway chockfull of magical participatory moments. Featuring new and classic tales, this a multigenerational experience visiting Boston from 2/19-23. 617-488-2893; DisneyOnIce. com
Asobouyo! Explore the Songs and Toys of Japan 10-10:45am - 2-2:45pm, Discovery Museum, 177 Main Street (Rte 27) Acton. Join visiting student teachers from Showa University in Tokyo to explore classic Japanese children’s songs and toys. We’ll learn some simple Japanese words as we sing and play together. Free with admission. 978-264-4200; www. discoveryacton.org
Blue Hills Winter Fest 5:00-8:00 p.m. Blue Hills Ski Area, 4001 Washington St.
CLASSES AND ENRICHMENT TM
Exxcel Gymnastics and Climbing February Fun!
Valentine’s Kids’ Night Out Feb 8th – 6:30-9:00pm - Ages 4+ Open Gym Activities & Pizza!
Vacation Camp – Feb 17-21 Gymnastics, Climbing, Ninja Warrior Ages 3 and up
Awesome Birthday Parties! Gymnastics – Ages 3+ Rock Climbing – Ages 7+
Where kids matter most!
88 Wells Avenue • Newton, MA 02459 617 244-3300 • www.exxcel.net Lessons at your school! We bring the instrument and the instructor for ages 3-14 Now offering in-home private lessons
GET THE BEST REPORT CARD YET! GET AHEAD IN MATH & READING. Join us as we play math games, read books and apply our studies to our daily lives. Call in today to reserve a slot!
Fun • Creative • Small Group Lessons
2018 TOP 5
32 South Fairview St., Roslindale, MA
Contact Molly at
Bay State Skating School LEARN TO SKATE CLASSES for Recreational • Figure • Hockey As Skating Skills featured on Over 50 Years Experience Chronicle Children (4-18 years)
Cambridge, Brookline (Cleveland Circle & Larz Anderson), Medford, Newton-Brighton, Quincy, Somerville, Waltham, West Roxbury, Weymouth
2019 TOP 5
781-890-8480 • www.BayStateSkatingSchool.org February 2020 | Boston Parents Paper
(Route 138), in Canton. Join Fledgling Fridays: Fun the Friends of the Blue Hills with Snow for a free evening of winter 1:30-2:30pm, Moose Hill fun at Winter Fest! Come for a Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 night hike or get your exercise Moose Hill Parkway, Sharon. on the slopes downhill skiing. Create art, participate in Whether or not you choose STEAM (Science Technology the outdoor activities, there Engineering Art and Math) is plenty of inside fun too: you activities, listen to stories, can tap your feet to the spirited and explore the outdoors Irish tunes of Songs for every Friday afternoon. For Ceilidh, taste chili from some children ages 3-5 and a of the best local restaurants, parent/caregiver. Registration entertain the kids with crafts, required. Adults, $5- $6; youth, and warm up to the company $15- $18. 781-784-5691; of old and new friends. massaudubon.org FREE. 781-828-1805; www. friendsofthebluehills.org the Tanglewood Marionettes. Reservations required. FREE.
Museum, 125 West Bay Road, Amherst. Pop in to make special valentines for your family, friends or classmates. Registration recommended. $12 per pair or trio. 413-658-1100; carlemuseum.org. AND PARTY NEEDS ENTERTAINMENT
Winter Backyard Birding, 10:30am, Boston Nature Play Date: Crafting Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. Learn to use Community binoculars, go on a bird hike and create some seed and Doggy Days: Puppy fruit art for the birds to enjoy. Registration required. 10am-4 pm. The Institute of Playthings Youth, $7. 617-983-8500; massaudubon.org. Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor
10-11am, Discovery Museum, Drive, Boston. Kids St., Matias Latelier, 10:30am,Shore Regent Theatre, 7 Medford 177 MainArlington. Street (Rte 27) rule the ICA thefrom last Saturday An hour of magic and surprises a Chilean Acton. Abby is a certified magician and mentalist. Adults, $10; youth,when $8. the of every month, Therapy781-646-4849; Dog from the regenttheatre.com. Pets museum fills up with fun, & People Foundation, which creative, and even zany SOUTH means she’s happy to meet activities for kids and adults Tracking the Winter Wild Thing, 9am, Francis William both enthusiastic dog-lovers to do together. Adults with Bird who’s Park, 251 Washington St., Walpole. See Jan. 14 listing. and anyone curious children get free admission! but might be shy. Free Up, with2-6pm, 617-478-3100; Winter Warm World’s End, Hingham. Get icaboston.org admission. 978-264-4200; outdoors for hiking, sledding, snowshoeing, owl prowls www.discoveryacton.org and tales around the campfi re. Adults, youth, free. Davey the$10; Clown 781-740-7233; ttor.org.
10:30am, Coolidge Corner
Family Owl Prowl, 7pm, Blue Hills 290 Trailside Museum, Theatre, Harvard St., 28 Friday 1904 Canton Ave., Milton. Practice owl calls and meet
Brookline. Davey the Clown is
some of the owls before goingjuggler, on a a physical comedian, Imagine, Sing & museum’s Learn: resident night hike to search for them. Registration required. $10. unicyclist, and accordionist. Bald Eagles on themassaudon.org. River 617-983-8500;
Davey’s show is big and funny, 10am-11:30am, Joppa Flats Stargazing: Jewels of the Night,entertainment 7pm, North River perfect that will Education Center, 1 Plum Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main Marshfi eld. Join keepSt., kids and adults convulsed Island Turnpike, Newburyport. astronomy enthusiast Peter—Reed he guides you 2 and withaslaughter! Ages These fun-filled through morning the constellations.older. Registration required. $13. Adults $14, child $11. programs are perfect for 781-837-9400; massaudubon.org. 617-734-2501, coolidge.org both you and your active preschooler! Our structured ENTERTAINMENT activities include hawon science, music and movement, J & JCelebrate Pony Rentals a thematic snack, and an everything in outdoor adventure if the • Pony parties for all occasions weather complies. For families at your place or at 2017 atthe farm. • Riding Lessons with children ages 3-6. Adults, • Summer Camp $9; youth, $8. 978-462-9998; massaudubon.org
Wild by the Fire: Sleepy Rosalita's Puppets Snakes www.rosalitaspuppets.com
10-11:30am, Drumlin Farm 617-633-2832 Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 S Great Road, Lincoln. Local J & J Pony Rentals reptiles have been sleeping, but a warm day in February • Quiet, gentle, lovable ponies; large and up small available for might wake a snake! Learn any occasion. how to slither and slide while • Pony parties at your place or listening to sagas of serpents. at the farm. For families with children • Customized packages at ages 2-5.reasonable Registration required. $16. rates 781-259-2200; massaudubon. org
Online Ordering Available
Host your next party in our new Decorating Kitchen
29 Par Sunday ents
Children’s Musician ice Award The Enchanted Forest, 10:30am, Coolidge Corner& Instructor Cho r eHarvard ner nne nn Win Wii290 W Theatre, St., Brookline. Artbarn, a youth Birthday Parties, community theater company, presents the tale of a Schools, Concerts, family vacation gone wrong. Adults, $13; youth, $10. Libraries 617-734-2501; coolidge.org.
Preschool & Elementary
NORTH Music Specialist Ward Winter Fest, noon to 3pm, Ward Reservation, Andover. Explore the property on a guided hike, orfor All! Lots of Participation & Fun bring your snowshoes and sled to play. Then warm up 508-358-1614 • www.franfriedman.com with refreshments by the fire. $10 per car. 978-886-5297; ttor.org.
31 Tuesday THEMED PARTIES AT DEDHAM HEALTH & ATHLETIC COMPLEX
LASER TAG PARTIES LASER TAG PARTIES WEST Backwards Storytime, 10am, The Discovery Museums, PRINCESS ★ PIRATE ★ SUPER HERO ★ POP STAR DANCE 177 Main St., Acton. Celebrate National Backwards Day PARTIES SPORTS PARTIES ★ POOL with silly stories and activities. Free with admission. 978-264-4200; discoverymuseums.org.
& PARTY NEEDS
D e d h a m H e a l t h K i d s . c o m / B i r t h d a y - Pa r t i e s
Parents Choice Award er ner nne inn Win Wi W
LLeett’s’sy! t ! Pa arrty P
Children’s Musician & Instructor
Birthday Parties, “Come Bounce Off Our Walls” Schools, Concerts, Libraries • 100% Private Birthday Parties • Open Bounce & Family Fun • Field Trip Programs • Glow & Rock Star Parties
Preschool & Elementary Peabody, MA 978-532-5868 Music Specialist TM
TOP 10 Lots of Participation & Fun for All! 508-358-1614 • www.franfriedman.com
BIG JOE the Storyteller
Original & classic stories Props, puppets, & surprises HUNTERS HAVEN FARM
Birthday Parties Schools Libraries Special Events
104 King St., Groveland, MA
Star Gazing Nights
12-6 pm, Fruitlands Museum, 7-9pm, Moose Hill Wildlife 102 Prospect Hill Road, Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Harvard. Throw out the Parkway, Sharon. Join local winter blues and awaken astronomers for a look at the the Fruitlands hillside with a stars and other night objects festival day of family-friendly through big telescopes. Drop in activities. Join for a day for all or some of the evening. of seasonal celebrations! Event subject to weatherActivities will include: 5k related cancellations. Ages 6 Road Race, Sledding, Historic and up. FREE. 781-784-5691; Games, Fire Pits, S’mores, massaudubon.org Little Women Tours, Chili Contest, Wassailing the Orchard followed by live music and beer and wine in a heated tent. Members: Free, WEST Nonmembers: $5. 978-456Valentine Card Making Party, 10am, The Eric Carle 3924; fruitlands.org
Boston Parents Paper | February 2020
The Center for Pediatric Dental Care and Orthodontics Arnold I Weiss, DDS Wesley Barton, DMD Ronen Krausz, DDS Danya Mermelstein, DMD Carmen Brambila, DMD Myles Clancy, DMD Roger Taylor, DMD
FEBRUARY SCHOOL VACATION WEEK PROGRAMMING
Untold American Stories: Black History Month
Tuesday, February 18 to Friday, February 21 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Join us for a fun-filled week of educational programming, as we explore inspiring true stories! In collaboration with Sweet Blackberry and local artists, the Library will offer morning and afternoon activities to complement short film screenings. Don’t forget to check out our all-day art activities from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. And be sure to explore the Mapparium®— it’s free all week for everyone 17 and younger! 200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston
MBELIBRARY.ORG | 617-450-7203
Caring for Children in Brookline, Newton, and Greater Boston for over 40 Years! TM
• Quality care in a professional, friendly and fun environment. • We will create a legacy of positive dental experiences. • Exceptionally trained, warm and friendly staff. • Braces and Invisalign for teens and adults. “Each child is treated as an individual and as a member of our family.” “Our team’s attention to detail is uncompromising…” Call for your first Dental or Orthodontic visit!
209 Harvard Street, 2nd Flr|Brookline, MA 617-731-KIDS (5437)
www.PediatricDentalCare.com February 2020 | Boston Parents Paper
2018 TOP 5
2019 TOP 5
â€œWe LOVE Tender Loving Care. The teachers are like family. They care for each child like their own family. They are knowledgeable in early childhood education as well as the gentle care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers!!â€? Woburn - 781-281-2983 | Weston - 781-703-5088 www.tenderlovingcarechildcarecenters.com