Page 1

MAY 2020



Keep Your Kids Busy pg 17 Childhood and Teen OCD


BostonThemed Books


Long-Distance Grandparenting pg 54 MAKE HOUSEWORK

A Family Affair pg 56


Your Child’s Best Summer Ever Starts Here

(pg. 34)

Experience dance in a creative environment under the direction of expert faculty at three convenient locations Ages 3–18 • July & August • Beginners welcome

Register today: bostonballet.org/school Photos by Igor Burlak Photography and Evgenia Eliseeva


Boston Parents Paper | February 2020

May 2020


Volume 35 • Number 8

34 W H AT ’ S I N S I D E

4 Family F.Y.I. 8 Help! We’re Getting on Each Other’s Nerves 10 Ten Netiquette & Remote Schooling Norms 17 Kept At Home? Keep Your Kids Busy 23 Executive Functions: Children Are Apt to Forget to Remember 30 Childhood and Teen OCD 32 5 Lessons Learned at Camp 33 Should Your Child Go To Day or Overnight Camp? 52 Boston-Themed Books to Celebrate with Your Family 54 The 7Rs of Long-Distance Grandparenting 56 Make Housework a Family Affair


Boston Parent 841 Worcester Street Suite 344 Natick, MA 01760 • 617-522-1515 info@BostonParentsPaper.com Visit us online at BostonParentsPaper.com

Advertiser Index Camps..............................................................34-51 Childcare/Preschools..................... 16-21 Classes..................................................53 Entertainment/Party ............................55 Schools . ......................................... 11-15 Special Needs................................. 22-31

PUBLISHER Parenting Media, Inc ART DIRECTOR | Debbi Murzyn ASSOCIATE EDITOR | Jean Abernathy ADVERTISING SALES Holly Castro, David Morney

Boston Parents Paper is published monthly by Parenting Media Inc. Please note that the advertisements in this magazine are paid for, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. Copies of Boston Parents Paper are distributed to locations throughout Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. Past issues are available on our website, www.BostonParentsPaper.com Send letters to the editor or article submissions to editor@ bostonparent.com. Submit events to our Family Friendly Calendar at bostonparentspaper.com/event/ May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


Family F.Y.I. Trustees launches virtual programming, events, and activities.


arents looking for online learning resources can find several local options with The Trustees new programs. Live streamed tours, printable material, educational talks, activities for children, cooking demos, garden how-to videos are some of the programs that are available for those practicing responsible social distancing to experience wonder, and engage. Available on thetrustees.org/ athome

NatGeo@Home National Geographic online resource learning hub


o many online learning resources to choose from, so little time. National Geographic’s new NatGeo@Home is one online learning resource you should consider. With enriching learning resources that help parents find content for kids that will keep them engaged and empowered to make the world a better place, as well as, engaging animal videos and DIY projects, to daily live talks from National Geographic Explorers, Nat Geo has set up a virtual base camp to keep the spirit of exploration and adventure strong for kids of all ages.

MAD LIBS Offers New Educational Workbooks


or more than sixty years parents have been secretly educating their children with MAD LIBS games. In April, MAD LIBS introduced new workbooks targeted to specific grades 1 and 2, with grades 3 and 4 coming in September. Featuring material that aligns with national Common Core Standards and is vetted by a top educational consultant, these educational workbooks explore language arts topics in Phonics, Writing, Spelling, Grammar, and Vocabulary, and are designed to reinforce language arts lessons introduced in the classroom. Who knew distance learning could be this much fun!


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020


Nannies • Housekeepers House Managers • Estate Managers Couples • Mother’s Helpers Special Needs • Chefs/Cooks


Eldercare • Drivers



Referred to as the “Mr. Rogers of ‘Foreign Language’ Instruction,” the PentaLingualTM app featuring “My Friend Lee,” offers a language experience unlike any other – where children & adults, ages 5-105, learn 5 languages interactively and all-at-one-time! The scripts are FUN – SURREAL – ENGAGING – and they EXPAND one’s learning drive. Download the PentaLingualTM app for $4.99. Let’s get started!

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177 Main Street, Acton MA 978-264-4200 • discoveryacton.org May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper




he guide contains important information to help you in your search to find the best program for your child and family. Find out how to assess if your child is ready, what type of early childhood programs are available, questions to ask, site visit information to look for, directory of early childhood programs to choose from and so much more! Go to BostonParentsPaper.com and click on the magazines button.

Why are all the fun things cancelled? Tracey Sutherland, RN, MSN, cPNP Trauma Nurse Practitioner, Boston Children’s Hospital


Quarantunes YouTube Play List


usic has always had the power to lift people up in trying times. Now, dozens of musicians, most based in Massachusetts, are singing to raise money for the United Way Covid-19 Family Support Fund with a YouTube video playlist. Local organizer, Alastair Moock, invited friends to contribute videos and share them with their fans and friends. Dozens of performers–including many nationally known acts, Grammy Award winners, and some pretty talented kids too–have contributed videos. These are truly songs for everyone to enjoy... If you enjoy them (or even if you don’t!), please consider making a donation to the Family Support Fund to help area families hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic at https:// unitedwaymassbay.org/covid-19/ quarantunes/ Quarantunes YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/ playlist?list=PLqiW2kic6t RJCZ9tV-1FjT_VMbVido7Ke 6

Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

e all know children thrive on can. We are fortunate to have techschedules and routine. This is nology on our side with the ability evidenced by the large wall calento have face to face interactions with dars within our homes, speckled friends, teachers and colleagues and with activities filling hour upon hour this has helped maintain a bit of our of our time. We all know what it’s pre-Covid-19 lives. But, we can’t yet like to race from this class to that go back to the schedules we are used practice, hardly resting in between. to, thus keeping us from the security Over the last few months, the world of our routines. has changed moment to moment and One of the most important things our scheduled activities have all but we can do to help our children, no come to a halt. Covid-19 precautions matter their age, is to listen. Each have entered of us experiences every home in One of the most important things challenges differAmerica. Our we can do to help our children, no ently, especially routines have between different matter their age, is to listen. been uprooted age groups. Listen causing great distress to our adult to your children and be as honest lives, but also to the structured rouas possible in your conversations. tine and wellbeing of our children. Uncertainty causes alarm in all of Our younger children can’t unus, but knowledge is power. Fill your derstand why all their activities are children with knowledge they can cancelled and why they can’t play understand and provide hope that with their friends. They are incapable soon, things will return to normal. of grasping the magnitude of what Use this time to engage as a family Covid-19 means, but they see the and start new traditions. Show them result of social distancing first hand, your resolve to work through the on the disruption of their daily lives. challenges and prepare for tomorOur older children hear what is said row. Teach them to be resilient. in the news and understand, to a Be hopeful in what tomorrow will variable degree, the adult conversabring. We don’t have all the answers tions surrounding them. Though they but if we show our children how to may not jump right into the converadapt, maybe, when the fun things sations, they are listening and feeling all get rescheduled, your children uneasy in these uncertain times. will surprise you, and the little daily We’ve been living in this uncertain- challenges in life, won’t be so chalty and doing our best to fill our days lenging anymore. ² with structured activity as best we

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We’re getting on each other’s nerves. By Mira Browne Co-Founder & Executive Director, Prepared Parents

I’ll admit it.

I’ve had a few days in the last month when I’ve lost it. I’ve been stuck in this house with my husband and my two boys. I love them with all my heart, but our togetherness is unrelenting, and there are moments when we’re having conflicts. I know the same is true for moms and dads across the country who are trying to make a tough situation work. We want to help. Prepared Parents brings the science of fulfillment directly to parents through bite-sized tips and activities you can do in your home with resources you already have. We’re applying the best research, psychology, and learning science into knowing what kids need to develop into successful adults, even in these uncertain times.


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

Because we want to get along well with each other when we get to the other side of this, here are three tips for managing clashes right now.

Write a Family Mission Statement Start by setting goals and boundaries as a family for how you are going to cope during this time. Call it a family mission statement or simply write down a set of goals. Either way, it’s a discussion that should include everyone. Here are a few questions to get you started:   • Who are we as a family? • What do we care about?  • How do we want to treat each other?  Once you’ve got your answers, write out a family statement, memorialize it and display it prominently

Start by setting goals and boundaries as a family for how you are going to cope during this time. Call it a family mission statement or simply write down a set of goals. as a daily reminder when things get tough that you’re in this together and this is our mission right now.

Redesign Your Living Space The space you used to eat breakfast at 8:00am is now a home office and the living room couch is a classroom. When the whole family is home day and night, rooms will morph and change depending on what’s happening. A space usage plan is an easy way to designate zones that avoid conflict. Start each day answering these questions (the answers may be different on Monday than on Thursday). • What time does family space become a work space? • What does each person need to accomplish today?  • How much privacy does each person need to avoid distractions? Your kids can have fun with this by making signs to designate work space, study space, play space, and even an art area. They can design Do Not Disturb cards each family member can post when they should not be interrupted. At the end of the day, shut down the work space and turn it back into family space.

Acknowledge Conflict No matter how much we try, we are going to have disagreements. So, when a fight happens, take a breath, shut your mouth, and just listen. It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong. We have big feelings right now

and we’re going to need to get those out. Help your kids understand what’s happening through reflection. This isn’t the time to lecture or reprimand. Instead have a conversation that can lead to a better day tomorrow using open-ended questions like: • What do you want from this situation?  • What emotions do you have? • What behaviors are you exhibiting? • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes – what do you think their perspective is? • What role can you play in getting to your desired outcome? • Is there anything you need to do to make the relationship right? The ability to reflect is the one of the most valuable skills we can nurture in our kids. Reflection prompts your kids to think about who they are, what they care about, how they feel, and, ultimately, what they should do as a result – not because we told them to do it, but because it’s a choice they made for themselves. That’s when true learning and growth happen. ² Mira Browne is the Co-founder & Executive Director of Prepared Parents, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping parents raise kids to be independent, kind, and resilient using the best learning science and research. More tips and tools are available at www.preparedforsuccess.org.

May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


By Courtney Dickinson

IN THIS ERA OF REMOTE SCHOOLING, there are new tech platform norms and social coaching advice that we, as parents and educators, need to expressly spell out for our children. Framing and coaching how students can engage productively will support their success in on-line learning and social collaboration in a video classroom world. Students need explicit guidance to know how to bridge “in-person” social norms into this virtual world.


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

Being in a virtual classroom is a social experience and requires conscientious self-awareness and self-management. As is the case when students are together at school, there are many behaviors which can be inappropriate and risky; comments and actions can be misconstrued and backfire. Make it clear to kids that when they are not in person, there is an even higher risk that they will be misinterpreted by others.

Being in a virtual classroom is a social experience and requires conscientious self-awareness and self-management.


The following are norms that teachers can implement in online classes:

1 2 3

LOCATION MATTERS! Find a spot in your home where lighting and sound work well, where you can be physically comfortable, and distractions are limited. BE DRESSED FOR CLASS. You wouldn’t wear pajamas to school on a regular day, so don’t wear them now.

LISTEN AND AVOID INTERRUPTING VERBALLY or through chat, just as if you were sitting in the classroom. You might need to mentally “bookmark” your idea even longer than you would during an in-person discussion. Write it down so you don’t forget it, and then insert it later when it fits.


DON’T YELL BY USING CAPITAL LETTERS, bold font, or excessive punctuations. You won’t get the result you want. You will just make people feel annoyed at you, and then they may YELL back – which is unproductive – or not listen to you at all. 


ATTEMPT TO FIND YOUR OWN ANSWER. Take the time to read and reread directions and information in emails and other written messages. See if you can figure it out before asking for the answer. Believe in yourself!

KEEP YOUR WRITING IN THE “CHAT” FUNCTION FORMAL. Textspeak can b gr8 4 ur friends, but in class your written communication should reflect proper writing style.


ALWAYS USE A RESPECTFUL TONE AND DO NOT SAY UNKIND THINGS. While it feels easier to say hurtful or disrespectful things when you are not standing face-to-face with someone, remember that your classmates and teachers are real people who are affected by the words you say and write.


THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE. You can even say the words out loud before you send a response. Written communication is not the same as an in-person conversation because important cues like tone, body language, and immediate listener feedback are missing. Sarcasm can – and will – backfire.


BE FORGIVING! This is different for everyone, mistakes will happen, and plans may not come together as intended. Pause to take a breath and be kind. You will be back in person with them, and you want to keep these friendships! continued next page >>>


May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper



Thayer Proactively help your child set up video chat meet-ups with their friends outside of school day hours. This additional “screen time” is valuable and worth it.


Thayer’s teachers pay attention to students. They’ll go over things with you. They really care about how

you’re doing and how things will turn out.

Lucy Hisenberg ’26 Sixth Grader, Thayer Academy Activities & Interests: Science, Chorus, Drama

Thayer Academy Founded in 1877, Thayer Academy is an independent, co-ed day school for grades 5-12



Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

DON’T ABUSE THE CHAT BOX and avoid using or changing your virtual backgrounds. If used at all, the chat box should improve the conversation, not distract from it. Changing the virtual background distracts others in ways that may feel fun to you but actually are just annoying to others. If what you really want is to connect with friends and laugh together, set up a video chat time to socialize at a non-class time! For parents serving as the school-day facilitators and monitors of your child’s focus, accountability, and morale, there are home-based norms which you might consider as well: • Keep habits and norms on a schedule at home with consistent wake up, meal and bed times.   • Expect that everyone in the house gets dressed every day.   • Have family meals whenever possible. Even historically snarky teenagers may actually really be craving conversation, even with uncool parents!  • Expect that everyone goes outside every day and, ideally, exercises every day.   • Limit the amount of discussion and newscasts about COVID to which your kids are exposed. They have even less reserve to process this than we do, as adults.   • Say “no” and shut off TV and video games with clear, firm, consistent limits when you see that too much screen time is eroding your child’s mood, undermining their willingness to go outside, or distracting them from school work.   That said, proactively help your child set up video chat meet-ups with their friends outside of school day hours. This additional “screen time” is valuable and worth it.  It is difficult to support your child to stay engaged and to follow through and also to know when to “let them off

See if you can figure it out before asking for the answer. Believe in yourself!

onstage for “Being Declamation, musicals,

and plays has taught me to be more comfortable in front of a lot of people.

Shanveer Gupta ’26 Sixth Grader, Thayer Academy Activities & Interests: Ensemble, Diversity Club, Flag Football

the hook” and opt out of school for emotional wellbeing. Emotional well-being and feeling connected with other people is far more important than any academic learning or growth right now. Without emotional health, no academic learning or growth can occur, anyways. Prioritize your kids’ time this way. It’s OK to say “yes” to video chatting with friends as more important than the on-line math tutorial program.   Reach out to your child’s teachers and school counselor to share your observations and kids’ needs. The ways teachers and counselors monitor kids’ wellbeing and engagement are no longer available to them, and they still worry and care. They may be able to set up additional supports if they know what you are seeing at home with your child.  Assess if a child’s behavior is truly problematic or if they are doing something which may be a coping mechanism. Try to understand what is at the core of your child’s choices and behaviors when you intervene.  All the norms that make things work during in-person schooling still apply in this remote schooling world. The benefits of a clear and consistent daily schedule and rhythm top the list of things parents can provide their kids. For students, engaging with heightened awareness about how they impact others will be best supported by adults who convey the translation of in-person social conventions and kindnesses into the video chat world.  Making things clear to them supports kids to feel safe and to know what to do to be successful. ² Courtney Dickinson is founder and director of Acera: The Massachusetts School of Science, Creativity and Leadership. Acera’s free downloadable remote learning lessons for K-12 schools can be found online at www.aceraschool.org/remote-learning.



Thayer Academy

745 Washington Street Braintree, MA 02184 Accessible by the Red Line (Braintree


Learn more about Thayer Middle School at


May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


Apply Now for Fall 2020 Learn more at bardacademy.simons-rock.edu

High School. Reimagined. Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock is the nation’s first two-year high school. Our 9th- and 10th-graders pursue a curriculum taught by college faculty and enter Bard College at Simon’s Rock after the 10th grade. Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock | 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230 | bardacademy.simons-rock.edu



Boston Parents Paper | May 2020


this Summer


Our programs are moving online this summer! Students in Prek − 12th grade can choose from a variety of online courses — from those teaching the fundamentals of math to ensure students are prepared for the year ahead, to competition courses for those seeking an extra challenge. Named among “the top 10 schools in the world” by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, the Russian School of Mathematics is an award-winning, afterschool math enrichment program for K-12 students.

Schedule a FREE Math Evaluation!

Summer Classes Now Enrolling!



May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper




Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center at Temple Israel of Boston


Thursday, October 22, 2020 Tuesday, November 17, 2020 Thursday, March 18, 2021 7-9 PM

Please contact Jenny Gamson for an application: fjeccassistdirector@tisrael.org 617-566-3960 ext. 148 @fjeccboston


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020


CONTACT US TO ENROLL FOR FALL 2020 OR FALL 2021! • 1 year and nine months - Kindergarten • Professionals with degrees in early education; average tenure is 13 years • Innovative secular and Judaic curriculum • Early morning (8-9 am) and Late Stay (3-5:30 pm) options available 477 Longwood Ave, Boston | www.fjecc.org

Kept at Home?

Keep Your Kids Busy... and Maintain Your Sanity! By Kerrie McLoughlin


s plans are cancelled daily due to the COVID-19 virus, we are all feeling a little disoriented. I truly believe that boredom can be a gift for our kids because it forces them to get creative (and get along!). It never hurts to put a few fun suggestions in front of them to get them started, so some of the following ideas kids can do on their own and some you’ll want to get involved in.


Break out the Legos because kids of all ages can get in on this one. Start by taking turns tossing out ideas for things to build (if you’re stuck, there are some great ideas for printable cards online). For example, you might tell the kids to build a refrigerator, then everyone tries their best to build that. Everyone’s creation will be different, so it’s not really a competition, but it’s fun seeing what everyone comes up with! Then pop some popcorn and turn on Lego Masters (Hulu).


This one just takes a few minutes of your help and then the kids are off on their own, creating for hours. You could always just buy the stuff, but here’s a simple recipe, as well. Pair with a rolling pin and cookies cutters for even more fun! 1 cup flour ½ cup salt 1 cup water

1 T. oil 2 t. cream of tartar Food coloring

Mix all ingredients except food coloring on low heat in a pan. Once the consistency is of play-dough, take pan off heat, let cool, then add food coloring a few drops at a time. Knead until the color is all mixed. Grab some cookie cutters and other kitchen items and let the fun begin! Store in air-tight containers or baggies. continued next page >>>


Kids love to draw and color! I have tons of artwork on my fridge, but how about REALLY showcasing their special artwork of the day? All you need is a long piece of thin rope or yarn hung from one end of a room to another. Then hang finished pictures using clothespins, pretend you’re having a grand gala opening, serve some snacks and you have an art show! (Bonus activity: get some canvases, paint and a variety of paintbrushes and you have art to hang on your wall that can be switched out with other pieces they’ve created.)


I loooove when my kids play restaurant because I get to be the diner sitting at the table reading my book while they serve me different foods and drinks! They get to play waiters, hostesses, managers and cooks (depending on age and what they are making, of course, but what a great opportunity to do some cooking and/ or baking with them as well!).

May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


of paper). Ideas include: a winter glove, a cotton swab, a doll shoe, a pie pan, etc. Now send the teams off and whoever gets back with the most items from the list first wins a prize.


There are so many to choose from it’s insane! Depending on the ages of the kids and how much time you have, great games include: Clue, Bananagrams, Tenzi, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Apples to Apples, Ticket to Ride and so many more!


Break out the mini marshmallows and spaghetti noodles and have the kids construct creations like houses,


Kids are full of stories, but some aren’t old enough to write them down. That’s where you come in! Have each kid tell you a story that’s been running around in their mind and you can either write it out or type it. Then have your child illustrate it! If you’re creating the story on the computer, you can go to free photo sites like Pixabay to grab images for the story!


Take out a piece of paper and write down different items in the house on it (if you have two teams doing the scavenging, write the same items down on another piece



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Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

patterns. You can turn creations into necklaces, magnets, cool things to put inside school binders! Once the beads are in place, you’ll need to place parchment paper over them and iron on low until the beads melt together. Flip it over and do the other side, then they are stuck together and ready to go!


This is another one of my favorites because I usually can get a 5-minute back or neck massage while playing this. It’s also a blast to have the kids do my makeup, wipe it all off and start again. Then I get to do their makeup or, for my boys, tattoos on their arms using washable markers. Then it’s time for a bubble bath for the kids to wash off makeup (and germs — for the parenting win!). bridges, towers and more! If you have rice around (and you should right now!), put a bag into a large baking pan and let the kids play around in it on the kitchen floor. Excess can be vacuumed up, and the rest can be put into a bag to play with later.


You may know them as those things that go crunch when you vacuum, but kids recognize them as hours of fun! Using flat, plastic shapes with spikes, kids can create all sorts of things by placing Perler beads in different


No, I’m not talking about the swimming pool game! I’m talking about the smartphone app that lets you leave video messages for friends and family. Depending on the age of your child, let them make all the video messages they want for their friends, and especially for grandparents! My own dad and grandma love to see what we’re up to each day indoors and in our backyard.² Kerrie McLoughlin doesn’t really mind being safely tucked inside with her 5 kids and does all the things on this list! Check up on her at TheKerrieShow.com.


St. Mary of the Assumption School

67 Harvard Street | Brookline, MA | (617)566-7184 | info@stmarys-brookline.org

Now Enrolling: Pre-K to Grade 8 | Classes starting at age 2.0

Visit our Digital LookBook at: www.stmarys-brookline.org/digital-lookbook May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper



2018 TOP 5


2019 TOP 5

“We 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!!� Woburn - 781-281-2983 | Weston - 781-703-5088 www.tenderlovingcarechildcarecenters.com 20

Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

T h an k you to h e al t h care profe s s ion als an d e s s e n t ial worke rs arou n d t h e globe . You r work in s pire s ou r le ar n in g.

A hidden gem located on the beautiful campus of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA Rich curriculum, large playground, indoor gym, music and movement and other enrichment classes for ages 2 years 9 months to age 6. 400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 To learn more, please email Davida Bloom, Child Study Center Director, at dbloom@pmc.edu. And visit www.pmc.edu/csc


To d d l e r – G r a d e 8 · N e w t o n C e n t re · w e l l a n . o rg

Infant nfa f nt (1 month) through PreK Pre Open Year Round Mon–Fri • 7am-5:30pm Now enrolling children age 2+ for September We offer a pleasant mix of fun & education to develop young minds! • Breakfast, lunch & snack prepared on site • Two age appropriate playgrounds & large indoor play space • Individual classrooms with well-rounded curriculum including: fieldtrips, computers & music class

The Village Pre-School 25 Cummins Highway, Roslindale

617-323-5141 May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


Helping Families for Over 40 Years!


Informing, Educating, Empowering Families

The Federation for Children with Special Needs is the place families turn to when they need information and resources to help their children with disabilities. Our programs offer training opportunities, support groups, and one-to-one assistance on special education, healthcare, community resources, and parent/professional collaboration.

We are still here for you! Do you have questions about your child’s IEP during school closures? Remote learning? Returning back to school? FCSN is still taking calls and answering emails! Contact our call center: fcsn.org/ptic/call-center/call-center-intake-form/


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020


The Schrafft Center | 529 Main Street, Suite 1M3 | Boston, MA 02129 | Phone: 617-236-7210 | info@fcsn.org

Executive Functions


Executive functions are a collection of mental processes that guide our everyday actions and help us plan for the future. Think of them as the characteristics and behaviors a person in charge of running a company would need to succeed. Some executive functions help us pay attention and remember details, others help us organize our thoughts or the physical space we live in, still others help us figure out the best way to solve problems or plan what we should do next. Researchers are trying to sort out and define executive functions with names such as metacognition (thinking about thinking), working memory (visual or verbal information we hold onto while we’re making decisions), response inhibition (holding back unfruitful reactions), and task initiation (getting started on non-preferred tasks). Some figure we have eight or ten distinguishable executive functions. Others suggest there could be more than thirty. Although all executive functions interact and some overlap, we can make sense out of most executive functions by categorizing similar ones together into four groups:

GROUP ONE IS WHAT I CALL THE STP GROUP: SPACE, TIME, AND PLANNING. This group has to do with keeping physical space organized, having a sense of the sweep of time, and planning that has to do with time management. Caution: organized space can look messy to another person. The key factor is whether the organizer can work effectively in the space. For children, these spaces are typically their homework space, backpack, and locker. If your child’s spaces look messy, but they know where everything is and can find things they need, then they have some kind of organization scheme that makes sense to them. Sensing the sweep of time means being accurate when estimating how much time a task will take, and as you work, gauging whether you need to speed up to finish. continued next page >>>

May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


Executive Functions continued

GROUP TWO IS THE GET UP AND GO GROUP. This group has to do with getting started on your work, keeping your attention focused on the work, and sticking with a goal that you work at little by little, like saving up money over several weeks to buy a toy or game.

GROUP THREE IS THE HOLD ON! GROUP. This group has to do with holding back knee-jerk responses and being aware of when your emotions are getting out of control so you can pause and calm down.

GROUP FOUR IS THE PROBLEM-SOLVING GROUP. This group manages your working memory, your ability to think flexibly, and your ability to step back and look at your overall progress. Executive functions can be assessed using both formal and informal methods. Formal assessments were designed for clinical use with adults and test language, memory, and motor skills. Informal assessments were designed to uncover information about naturally occurring behavior in an everyday environment. With formal methods some tests to measure one executive function can mask other executive functions. For example, test items are often presented in brief groupings that may mask sustained attentional issues. INFORMAL ASSESSMENTS



Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

important to consider: standardized behavior rating scales and classroom observations. Parents, teachers, and sometimes the child, can be interviewed, or can fill out a structured interview form for behavior rating scales which provide a statisticallynormed comparison to highlight areas of concern. They gauge how well your child’s environment and behaviors may be contributing to struggles with executive functions and can be a starting point for developing interventions. CLASSROOM

OBSERVATIONS, CONDUCTED BY A TRAINED OBSERVER, CAN PROVIDE MORE OBJECTIVE VIEWS OF YOUR CHILD IN THE CONTEXT OF THE DEMANDING ENVIRONMENT OF THE CLASSROOM. Observations can be reviewed to select interventions that will be most effective for your child in different types of classroom situations. For example, your child may need more guidance during less structured times like gym or lunch. Executive function assessments will generally provide information on attention, working memory, organization, concept formation, and flexible thinking. A CHILD’S ABIL-


Some childhood daydreaming is to be expected, but moderate inattention may impact your child’s success when teachers are giving instructions or when chatting or playing with peers. A CHILD’S ABILITY TO


TO THINK BEFORE ACTING IS TIED TO SELF-CONTROL. Although self-control takes time to develop, it is important when children must assess a new situation and consider the correct or most effective way to respond.

WORKING MEMORY MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO HOLD ONTO INFORMATION TEMPORARILY IN ORDER TO PUT IT TO USE. If a teacher gives a three-step instruction, your child may lose track of where she is in the sequence, resulting in frustration or anxiety. Planning, sequencing, and organizing information are essential for learning new information, for problem-solving, for completing tasks efficiently, and for participating in complex discussions. Concept formation is the ability to categorize items based on what they have in common, select items that are different and explain why, and figure out patterns or relationships between items. If your child cannot readily see relationships between items, he will struggle to link new ideas with what he already knows. Concept formation is also the basis for more abstract thinking. FLEX-

IBLE THINKING MEANS YOUR CHILD CAN SHIFT FROM ONE TASK TO ANOTHER OR BE OPEN TO A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE WHEN LEARNING NEW INFORMATION. If your child can think flexibly, she can see new ways of doing things, or be willing to think of or try out a new solution to a problem. Speaking of solving problems, in part two we will look at how to support your child’s executive functions. continued on page 24 >>>



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Executive Functions continued DOWN THEY FORGOT AS UP THEY GREW By Kat Marsh, M.Ed.

As your child grows and develops, his executive functions will develop along with him. Executive functions continue to develop into early adulthood, so it’s never too late to raise your expectations of what your child may be able to do in this area. YOUNG CHILDREN AGES 3-4 SHOULD BE ABLE TO FOLLOW A SIMPLE DIRECTION SUCH AS, “GET YOUR COAT,” OR, “PUT THESE TOYS IN THE TOYBOX.” They should be able to hold back from touching a hot stove or hitting another child. Over the next few years and into first grade, your child will expand on those skills by carrying out simple two-step or three-step instructions, and recalling safety rules. With some reminders, your 5-7-year-old can carry out more generalized chores such as, “make your bed,” or, “unpack your backpack,” because they will be able to sequence the specific details on their own. Children this age will begin to sense the sweep of time, understanding that if they get out of bed late, they will need to speed up their morning routine to get to school on time. With some reminders, they will be aware of papers that need to be brought home and some that need to be brought back to school. By the time your child is well into elementary school, between 8 and 11 years old, she should be able to work more independently with chores, keep track of belongings, and recognize when best behavior is required. Children at this age will also experience and learn to manage days with different schedules, unexpected changes in schedules,

and assignments that require some planning such as selecting a choice book to read or creating a poster with printed pictures, drawings, and words. At this age your child’s ability to get started on homework, stick with it until it’s done, or ask for help when needed are signs that executive functions are in the process of developing. PRE-

ADOLESCENT CHILDREN MAY TRY OUT DIFFERENT SYSTEMS FOR ORGANIZING SCHOOLWORK, AND RECOGNIZE THE NEED FOR PLANNING AFTER SCHOOL TIME, BUT THEY MAY NEED REINFORCEMENT OR SOME TRIAL-AND-ERROR TO FULLY EMBRACE THESE SKILLS. Preadolescents are also developing their sense of how to manage themselves when they are away from adults, such as when babysitting or when their teacher is temporarily out of the classroom. By the time your child enters high school, he should be ready to take on more complex tasks such as managing a varying workload of homework, projects, upcoming tests, and after school activities. He should recognize social situations where recklessness or taking risks is too dangerous, and he should start thinking about longer term goals such as developing plans for after high school. Executive functions will continue to develop

and be refined as your child moves beyond high school, but be on the lookout for a progression of skills, and prepare for setbacks along the way.


supports for a child is the time you take to reflect briefly on what’s working and what’s not working for your child and your family. Caution: aim for a truly reflective discussion, rather than jumping right to a lecture about how you think your child should manage things. It’s important for a child to have the benefit of their own experiences along with tales of your struggles and successes. It can take three times as long for a three-year-old to put on and zip his own jacket, rather than having you do it for him, but the experience is worth the time. Consider how to further your relationship with your child around executive functions.



Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

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Executive Functions continued

Art by Dominic Killiany, an artist living with autism

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Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

Acknowledge the current situation and try to keep discussions focused on the future. Tell them about how you struggled to organize your backpack or desk. Then, instead of telling them what you think they should do, ask them about some possible things they think they could do. Once they start thinking about solutions, you can offer some suggestions of your own.


about whether they have completed their homework, you might ask, “Did you do your homework?” Even if you say this in the most comforting and solicitous tone, it may sound like an accusation to your child, resulting their anxiety or frustration. INSTEAD ASK, “DID THE HOMEWORK GET DONE?” Now, you have removed the possibility of direct accusation and raised a joint concern along with your child about the homework. Oh, the poor homework, did it get done?

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LANGUAGE CAN HELP CUE YOUR CHILD TO DEVELOP HER EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS. INSTEAD OF TELLING YOUR CHILD WHAT TO DO, ASK HER WHAT OR WHEN SHE PLANS TO DO SOMETHING. “Clean out your backpack now,” becomes, “When would be a good time to clean out your backpack?” If you cue them to know what to do by themselves, it becomes easier to follow up without a confrontation because, “you didn’t do what I told you to do,” is going to lead to an argument, but, “you didn’t do what you said you were going to do,” will lead your child to follow through on her own promises. If reinforcement is needed, you can always ask, “How can I help you with your task?” You avoid a direct confrontation, and emphasize that they are capable, and you are supportive. You may have to guide them through the initial step to get them started. Afterwards, you can revisit and talk about what they think worked and didn’t work and what they might do differently next time. As they grow, they will benefit from these initial experiences developing executive functions that will serve them well in the future. ² Kat Marsh teaches study skills at Commonwealth Learning Center in Danvers.

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leagueschool.org 30

Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

Childhood and Teen OCD By Kerrie McLoughlin


hat’s the first thing you think of when you hear about obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? Maybe you think of the TV show “Monk,” of someone who washes their hands over and over, of someone who loves a schedule and hates germs. Did you realize that as many as 1 out of every 200 kids or teens has OCD? For most of us, it’s easy to keep ourselves from performing an action over and over. Sure, I might really want that third piece of cake, but I stop myself. There is no voice in my head egging me on and telling me I simply must have it or that I might die if I don’t get it … or that something bad could happen to my family or myself if I don’t eat it. So when my 7-year-old son could not stop himself from going up and down our stairs in a specific pattern one day, I was worried. He was crying while he was on the stairs but said he couldn’t stop. He had done quirky things in the past like walking in a pattern or stepping over cracks, but these things had never made him upset. As his symptoms got worse, I went into Mama Bear mode. I got on the phone and Internet to navigate the world of insurance, therapy visits, typical treatment length and costs. A therapist came to our house for the first visit, and I bought the book “Talking Back to OCD” by John S. March so I could be doing something in between weekly therapy appointments and know what was ahead. Kids and teens with OCD feel compelled to perform an action (e.g., washing their hands dozens of times or tapping out a pattern on the table hundreds of times) or something bad might happen, and they become obsessed with performing the action to obey what their brain is telling them to do. Their brain is essentially telling them that they will feel better if they perform the specific action. In reality, obeying the action sets the brain so that it wants to do it even more frequently. What works well for many kids facing OCD is Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) treatment. In essence, it’s like having to face one’s fears. If a child’s compulsion is being afraid to go up stairs because he always has to perform the same debilitating rituals, then he doesn’t avoid the stairs (exposure). Instead, he faces the stairs head-on and might keep a chart of how many times he performs the ritual on the stairs and how many times he is able to stop (response prevention) so he can see his progress. If you suspect your child or teen has OCD, you are certainly not alone. Make an appointment with a reputable therapist and see what she has to say. OCD can definitely be treated. Children’s books about OCD: • Up and Down the Worry Hill: A Children’s Book about ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder and its Treatment, by Aureen Pinto Wagner Ph.D. • What to do When Your Child Has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Strategies and Solutions, by Aureen Pinto Wagner Ph.D. • Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Powerful, Practical Program for Parents of Children and Adolescents By Tamar E. Chansky ² Kerrie McLoughlin, mom of 5 great kids, can be chased down at TheKerrieShow.com.

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ife lessons. These are

moments where the lightbulb goes off over child’s head. They understand the concept of two plus two. They see something they can’t un-see or learn something they’ll never forget. Over the last 150-plus years, camp has provided opportunities for children and adults to discover or further develop many life lessons. Here are just a few.

IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS Life doesn’t exist in a vacuum and no one can do this alone. Just like a classroom, children have opportunities at camp to share experiences with peers, develop friendships, and learn the ups and downs of getting along with others. By the nature of co-existing in the same space and enjoying similar experiences, camp encourages children to develop and maintain skills necessary to relationship building.


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

I CAN DO THAT — CONFIDENCE! Camp thrives on self-efficacy in young people. Enjoying success in a healthy manner and learning to overcome obstacles or even failure are hallmarks of a camp experience. For both campers and staff, camp allows young people to feel proud when things go well and encourages resilience when they don’t.

TAKE A RISK One way to build confidence is to try something new. Camp is rife with safe, healthy opportunities for children to take a chance. This could mean climbing a 30-foot wall, trying out for the camp production of Peter Pan, riding a horse, or trying broccoli for the first time. At camp, young people learn how to take risks and learn from their outcomes.


When a child goes to camp, they interact with peers and adults from places they might have never seen

or even heard of. Campers might hear a new song or accent. They may meet someone from another state or country, and sometimes they run into people from home who become lifelong friends at camp. Camp is an opportunity to both try new things and meet new people.

NOT ALL LEARNING HAPPENS IN A CLASSROOM Last but certainly not least, campers discover that school does not have a monopoly on learning. Campers develop new skills, learn about their own passions and interests, and are exposed to ideas and experiences that don’t normally sneak into a formal classroom. Without knowing it, campers are learning every day by simply getting out and going to camp. ² For more information about camp and the benefits of the camp experience, contact the American Camp Association New England or visit www.acanewengland.org.

Should They Stay or Should They Go?



eciding between day camp or residential (overnight) camp is one piece of the decision for families. Camp is an experience and not limited to a singular location. Campers can develop the same skills, both hard and soft, whether they’re sleeping away from home or returning to their own beds each night. While there are differences between day and residential camps, above all else, the most important outcome of this decision is finding the right fit for your camper and family. This begins with knowing your camper. Many overnight camps begin taking campers between ages 7-9 years old. However, some children may be ready at 6 and some oth-

ers may not be ready at 10. While there is no clear, linear checklist to determine whether day or overnight camp is right for your child, the questions listed here can help guide that conversation: These questions can help begin a dialogue with your family about which camp experience is the best fit for you. The choice of day versus residential camp is one important aspect of the overall decision. But even then, make sure you follow up with those potential camps. Talk to directors. Ask for tours. Ask for references. Do your due diligence. In the end both you and the camp want this summer to be the first of many and the beginning of a great relationship. ²

• What is the primary reason for wanting to go to camp? • Has your child ever spent multiple nights sleeping away from home? • What’s your budget for camp? • Can your child bath and dress themselves independently? • How far away from home do you want your child’s camp experience to be? • What activities are important to your camper’s experience?

May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


Summer Camp Listings Your Childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best summer ever starts here

34 34

Boston Parents Paper | March 2020

Boston Parents Paper | May 2020




781-729-3489 Age or Grade Range: Ages 4-17

617-993-5215 Age or Grade Range: Grades 6-12

617-566-5715 Age or Grade Range: Ages <4-Adult

The Acera Summer STEAM Camp is a creativity-based arts and sciences day camp where children ages 5-17 can nurture their natural desire to inquire, create, and innovate. https://aceraschool.org/summer-camp

At Belmont Hill Summer School, students from grades 6-12 can explore new subjects, hone skills, and gain valuable academic experience from expert faculty. Whether it is a six-week credit course or a three-week academic workshop, our curriculum is designed to position students for success in their upcoming school year. https://www.belmonthill.org/about/ summer-programs/summer-school

Summer starts here. June - August. ArtVentures, jewelry and metals, painting, drawing, pottery, mixed media, comics, and more! Classes and workshops for children, teens and adults! https://brooklineartscenter.com/ summer-classes/

BC HIGH SUMMER PROGRAMS (BOSTON) 617-474-5181 Age or Grade Range: Grades 5-12 Explore new interests. Build your confidence. Challenge yourself! Choose from over 30 programs in our Sports Camps, Academic Courses, Middle School Enrichment Courses or Specialty Programs. Registration is ongoing until a program is full. https://www.bchigh.edu/summer

BOSTON UNIVERSITY-CAMP TERRIER (BOSTON) 617-353-CAMP Age or Grade Range: Ages 5-15 Camp Terrier offers campers a variety of options for an exciting summer for ages 5-15. http://www.bu.edu/fitrec/camp

CAMP AKEELA (THETFORD CENTER, VT) 866-680-4744 Age or Grade Range: Ages 9-17 Co-ed, overnight camp in Vermont where “quirky” kids thrive! We focus on the social growth of campers. http://www.campakeela.com

CAMP ALSING (UNITY, ME) 207-805-4155 Age or Grade Range: Ages 9-17 Camp Alsing is a premier, co-ed sleep away camp in Maine for kids ages 9-17


168 engaging, hands-on, unique and fun offerings for children ages 4-17!

Curiosity, creativity and innovation come alive at Acera’s Summer Camp! Choose from courses like: • Mini Treehouse Building (ages 4-7) • Fantasy, Forts and Friends (ages 5-8) • Backyard Biology (ages 7-10)

• Lions and Tigers and Robots, Oh My! (ages 7-10) • Drones & Flying Machines (ages 10-14) • Marshmallow Crossbows (ages 11-15)

Register online today! | aceraschool.org/summer-camp May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


with high-functioning autism or other social challenges. http://www.campalsing.com

CAMP ARCADIA (CASCO, ME) 203-956-0939 Age or Grade Range: Ages 7-17 Camp Arcadia has been teaching 21st Century skills since the early 20th century. We offer 2, 4 and 7 week sessions for girls currently in 2nd grade through 11th grade. We also have 2 different Family Camp weeks in August. http://www.camparcadia.com

CAMP BIRCH HILL (NEW DURHAM, NH) 603-859-4525 Age or Grade Range: Age: 6 - 16 Nestled in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, Camp Birch Hill offers a fun, elective based program where boys and girls aged 6-16 can participate in over 50 diverse activities of their choice. Each summer they welcome campers to their grounds in New Durham, NH. This traditional, overnight summer camp sits on a 100 acre piece of private, lakeside

land where kids can come for two, four or six weeks of their summer. It is a home away from home where kids have the time of their lives for two, four or six weeks while making lasting friendships and memories. campbirchhill.com

CAMP CLARK - OLD COLONY YMCA (PLYMOUTH) 508-888-2290 ext. 204 Age or Grade Range: Ages 4-15 Old Colony YMCA Summer Day Camps teach self-reliance, foster a love for nature and the outdoors, and encourage the development of attitudes and practices that build character and leadership...all amidst a fun and creative learning environment. http://bit.ly/CampClarkBPP

CAMP CODY (FREEDOM, NH) 954-803-8655 We strive to maintain an environment that both encourages personal growth and creates an unforgettable summer experience. Regardless of what age a camper joins us, we work hard to make

them feel like part of the Cody family. http://www.campcody.com

CAMP PINEHURST- A TRADITIONAL COED OVERNIGHT SUMMER CAMP IN MAINE (RAYMOND, ME) 603-880-6287 Age or Grade Range: Ages 6-14 Facing the sunset on the sandy shore of Crescent Lake, Camp Pinehurst is a traditional summer camp for boys and girls that emphasizes skill development, outdoor adventure and teamwork. http://www.camppinehurst.com

CAMP WEKEELA (HARTFORD, ME) 201-612-5125 Age or Grade Range: Ages 7-16 Camp Wekeela is a premiere summer camp on a bucolic setting in the beautiful state of Maine. http://www.campwekeela.com

CAMP WINGATE*KIRKLAND (YARMOUTH PORT) 508-362-3798 Age or Grade Range: Ages 7-15 Located on Cape Cod, Camp


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020


May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


Wingate*Kirkland is a traditional overnight and day camp offering a daily choice program which allows campers to choose their own schedule and design their perfect summer. Camp is completely peanut, tree-nut and sesame free. http://www.campwk.com

Also, exceptional programs in all other camp activities including Archery, Riflery, Tennis, Arts, Land Sports, Drama, Woodworking, Swim http://www.capecodseacamps.com


617-744-0081 Age or Grade Range: Ages 6-13

508-947-1390 Age or Grade Range: Ages 5-15 Old Colony YMCA Summer Day Camps teach self-reliance, foster a love for nature and the outdoors, and encourage the development of attitudes and practices that build character and leadership...all amidst a fun and creative learning environment. http://bit.ly/CampYomechasBPP

CAPE COD SEA CAMPS (BREWSTER) 508-896-3451 Age or Grade Range: Ages 4-15 SUMMER AT THE BEACH. CCSC is a traditional camp boasting one of the finest sailing programs in a camp setting.


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

CENTRAL ROCK GYM SUMMER CAMP (MULTIPLE LOCATIONS) Week long programs all summer long. Indoor rock climbing, games, obstacle courses, challenges, crafts, and more. Prices and dates vary by location https://centralrockgym.com

CHARLES RIVER CREATIVE ARTS (DOVER) 508-785-8250 Age or Grade Range: Age: 5 - 15 Charles River Creative Arts Program, located in Dover, MA, has been a pioneer in multi-arts education since 1970. Here, young people take risks, learn new skills, and discover new talents within a nurturing and diverse community of experienced and dedicated artists. Two 4-week sessions are offered every summer. Students

may enroll in one or both sessions. Creative Starts provides an opportunity for children ages 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8 to begin exploring and developing their artistic talents in an encouraging, stimulating environment. Each two-week session runs 9am â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4pm, Monday through Friday and features a unique theme, tying together creative projects with diverse art forms. We offer an age-appropriate balance of choice and structure to encourage experimentation, independence, and creative confidence. http://www.crcap.org

CHINESE SUMMER CAMP FOR YOUTH (SMITHFIELD, RI) 401-232-6883 Age or Grade Range: Ages 11-18 This two-week program is designed for local middle and high school students to learn Chinese language and experience its culture in a university campus. There is No previous Chinese learning experience required. https://china.bryant.edu

Tabor Academy Summer Programs Tabor Summer Camp Tabor Marine Science Camp Tabor Gateways Program What do you want to discover and explore this summer? Whether children want to discover new sports, enrichment, or arts in our traditional camp, explore the ocean environment in our Marine Science Camp, or make global connections in our Gateways Program, there is something for everyone at Tabor Academy during the summer.

Register SOON!

66 Spring Street - Marion, MA - https://www.taboracademy.org/page/summer

PURSUE YOUR PASSIONS Choose from over 100 courses in visual arts, drama, game design, music, sports, & MORE! REGISTER TODAY for the comprehensive 5 week program & specialty 1 week camps! J U N E 2 2 T O J U LY 2 4 â&#x20AC;˘ A G E S 3 T O 1 5 â&#x20AC;˘ H I N G H A M

WWW.DERBYACADEMY.ORG/S U MMER May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper



Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

DEBATE CAMP (WEST ROXBURY) 888-512-8154 Age or Grade Range: Ages 10-16 Debate Camp provides summer training programs in public speaking, debate and Model UN for students in grades 5 to 11 http://www.debatecamp.com/boston

DEDHAM COMMUNITY HOUSE SUMMER CAMP (DEDHAM) 781-329-5740 Age or Grade Range: Ages <3-14 Since the 1920’s, the Dedham Community House Summer Camp has helped create lifelong childhood memories of summers filled with fun in the sun! http://www.dedhamcommunity house.org

DEDHAM COUNTRY DAY CAMP (DEDHAM) 781-320-1832 Age or Grade Range: Ages 3-15 At Dedham Country Day Camp, we believe that summer time should

reinforce the wonders of being a child, and the enduring joy of friendship. While we offer a broad range of activities from archery to woodworking, we also allow time in each day for the simple enjoyment of catching frogs in the stream, climbing trees and building forts in the pine grove. https://www.dedhamcountryday.org/ community/summer-camp

DELPHI ACADEMY (MILTON) 617-333-9610 Private day school and summer camp in a beautiful Milton setting. http://delphiboston.org/

DERBY SUMMER ARTS (HINGHAM) 781-740-4766 Age or Grade Range: Ages 8-15 Summer Arts is a 5 week comprehensive program for ages 8 to 15. Campers choose their own schedules from over 100 choices. There are also programs for ages 3 to 7. Campers may attend less weeks. https://www.derbyacademy.org/summer

EXPLO (NORTON, WELLESLEY, NEW HAVEN, CT) 781-762-7400 Age or Grade Range: Ages 7-17 For more than 40 years, EXPLO has brought together bright, curious, and interesting young people from around the globe. EXPLO provides a range of one-, two-, and three-week summer programs for students ages 7 to 17 on the campuses of Yale University. https://www.explo.org

EDGE ON SCIENCE (PLYMOUTH, WESTIN) (315) 773-5673 Age or Grade Range: Ages 8-14 Edge on Science offers week-long, project based, day programs in applied science and engineering. A back-tobasics approach is taken where children get to work independently and in teams to problem solve, all while having fun and making new friends! https://edgeonscience.com

12 Highland St., Natick, MA 01760

Summer Arts Programs For creative kids ages 10–17 SUMMER YOUTH DANCE SUMMER THEATER INTENSIVE

Registration & Information:

NEW SUMMER INSTITUTES! Visual art, photography, classical music, voice, creative writing, filmmaking

walnuthillarts.org/communityacademy May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


EXXCEL GYMNASTICS & CLIMBING (NEWTON) 617-244-3300 Age or Grade Range: Ages 3+ Gymnastics, climbing, water slides, field trips, swimming, trapeze, bungee, zip line, skits, arts & crafts, games…what more could a kid want? http://www.exxcel.net/

FALMOUTH ACADEMY SUMMER 2020 (FALMOUTH) 508-457-9696 Age or Grade Range: Ages 6-18+ FA SUMMER has activities for every age and interest (child, teen & adult). Half, full and extended day options available from June 29-Aug 21. Robotics, marine science, fort building, ceramics, biking, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, tennis, Spanish, French, drama, painting, sketching, animation, and cooking–are just some of the great programs. FA SUMMER, there’s nothing like it! https://www.falmouthacademy.org/summer



617-912-0400 Age or Grade Range: Ages 3-18

617-350-8335 Age or Grade Range: Ages 5-17

Give your child a full immersion experience of summer fun and learning! With native French-speaking and bilingual teachers, varied and engaging curriculum, and a convenient location in the heart of Back Bay, our Summer in French program is the perfect way to improve your child’s skills and confidence in French, no matter their age or level. Each week focuses on a theme with a variety of special activities geared for children to increase their vocabulary and stimulate their conversation skills. Outdoor activities take place at a nearby playground and at the Boston Common. https://frenchculturalcenter.org/ summer-in-french/

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts offers resident and day camps in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Every girl is invited! From our youngest campers in pre-Kindergarten programs, to our 12th graders becoming CIT’s, and every girl in between. http://www.hercamp.org


GREATER BOSTON STAGE SUMMER FESTIVAL (STONEHAM) 781-279-7885 Age or Grade Range: Grades 1-12 Whether you’re new to theatre or looking to deepen your experience, the Summer Festival at Greater Boston Stage Company has something engaging and exciting for you! https://www.greaterbostonstage.org/summerfestival.html







• summer STEM programs •

Visit edgeonscience.com 42

Call (315) 773-5673



Boston Parents Paper | May 2020 DHAC_1/4_Camp_BostonParents_1219.indd 1

12/18/18 4:12 PM

Choose from over 130 classes and create

your own summer adventure!


CHARLES RIVER CREATIVE ARTS PROGRAM Choose from over 100 classes Lunch included with tuition For students ages 6-15


May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper





Tufts engineering workshops are designed by engineers, educators, and researchers to foster creativity, curiosity, problem solving, teamwork, and STEM skills for your child.

LEGO Robotics with new SPIKE Prime Art and Robots Circus Engineering

Engineering for Wizards Girls Week

Pet Helpers

Environmental Engineering Solutions for Book Characters Engineering for Middle and High School






Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

• Family friendly scheduling: “Choose Your Days, Choose Your Weeks”


• Weekly Swim Lessons & Free Swim, Special Visitors, Field Trips, Theme Days, and more! • Open 7:00am - 6:30pm daily, with full-day, early-day and mid-day options – the most family friendly summer program around! • Programs offered for children 2.9 - 4 years and children entering K-8th grade in the Fall. Contact us today to learn more!

Alex Maider, Senior Director • amaider@tobinbeaudet.com 781-444-5444 • www.tobinbeaudet.com



• Flexible scheduling: “Choose Your Days, Choose Your Weeks”

• Weekly Swim Lessons & Free Swim, Special Visitors, Field Trips, Theme Days, and more! • Open 7:00am - 6:30pm daily, the most family friendly summer program around! • Summer at Tobin Jr. Program offered for children entering JrK and Kindergarten in the Fall. Summer at Tobin program offered for children entering 1st - 5th grade. Contact us today to learn more!

Joe Dumas, Assistant Director • JDumas@thetobinschool.org

508-650-1561 •

www.tobinafterschool.org/learning/summer-at-tobin/ May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


GROTONWOOD CAMP & CONFERENCE CENTER (GROTON) (978) 448 5763 Age or Grade Range: Ages 5-18+ 40 minutes from Boston, Grotonwood has been providing life changing experiences for over 60 years. Situated in 250 acres of woodlands with a 1.5 mile waterfront & boat dock. We are an inclusive Christian sleep-away & Day camp for kids in grades K-12. http://www.grotonwood.org

HALE DAY CAMP (WESTWOOD) 781-326-1770 Age or Grade Range: Age: 4 - 13 Hale offers a wide variety of summer camp experiences. From our Traditional Camp to our Specialty Camps, including Outdoor Adventures, Mountain Biking, and our Leaders in Training (LIT) program for teens, Hale has a summer of fun waiting for you! We believe in continuing camping traditions such as being outdoors with your friends all day, getting plenty of exercise and swimming in our natural ponds. Here at Hale Day Camp we also provide a hands-on experience that recognizes the campers’

need for a nurturing environment where they can mature socially, emotionally and intellectually. www.hale1918.org/bpp

HIDDEN VALLEY CAMP (FREEDOM, ME) 800-922-6737 Age or Grade Range: Ages 8-14 For over 65 years, Hidden Valley Camp (HVC) has been a leader in progressive international sleepaway camping, featuring the finest in visual and performing arts and exciting outdoor adventures. https://www.hiddenvalleycamp.com/

HILL HOUSE (BOSTON) 617-227-5838 Age or Grade Range: Ages 3-12



•Weekly Day Camp field trips •Kiddie Kamp onsite adventures O u r c a m p s •Expanded enrichment opportunities •Sailing,Theater, Sports & Film camp options feature: •Weekly themes •Extended day options for Day Campers •Expanded LIT program for 13-15 year olds june 15 - august 27

Our camps feature: 127 Mount Vernon Street, Boston 617.227.5838     hillhouseboston.org


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

978-373-1300 Age or Grade Range: Ages 6-18+ Full Day Weekly Horseback Riding Camp at beautiful Hunters Haven Farm in Groveland MA. http://www.huntershavenfarm.com

ICODE OF WELLESLEY (WELLESLEY) 781-291-3131 Age or Grade Range: Ages 5-18 iCode of Wellesley is a STEAM summer camp and after-school program to engage children in a STEAM learning experience using AGILE teaching methodologies on a dynamic technology curriculum. https://icodeschool.com/wellesley107/

Hill House summer staff kicks off the organization’s 21st summer of camp for children ages 3 to 12. Weekly themes, INCARNATION CAMP a balance between structure and play, field trips, and age-appropriate activities (IVORYTON, CT) promise a well-rounded experience. 860-767-0848 Age or Grade Range: Ages 7-15 http://www.hillhouseboston.org

Register online today for:

Camp is in session:


Incarnation Camp is the oldest Coed

JOIN US FOR SUMMER CAMP Full Scale Productions

Grades 2-8

Grades 2-12

Grades 8-12

One Week Theatre Arts Camps 4 Years - 12th Grade

Space Is Limited - Enroll Today!

781- 235-1550

www.wellesleytheatreproject.org May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper 47

Summer Camp in America! Located on a 700 acre wooded property with a mile-long lake, providing 130 summers of fun to campers from all over the world! Our age range is for campers 7 to 15 years old. https://www.incarnationcamp.org/

all of the opportunities that Boston has to offer! https://info.kingsley.org/summer-2020


603-731-8047 Age or Grade Range: Age: 4 - 14

617-499-1451 Age or Grade Range: Grades PK-5 Get ready for a summer to remember at the ISB Summer Camp! Under the guidance of bilingual (French & English) teachers and counselors, children take part in recreational, creative, educational and academic activities. Previous exposure to French and English languages is not required. https://www.isbos.org/campus-life/ summer-camp

KIDS 4 CODING | SUMMER TECH PROGRAM-AGES 7-16 (CAMBRIDGE & WALTHAM) 770-642-0004 Age or Grade Range: Ages 7-16 Nationally Recognized KIDS 4 CODING Two area locations: CAMBRIDGE at Lesley University & WALTHAM at Bentley University. Quality tech programs at an affordable price. https://www.kids4coding.com

KIDSTOCK! CREATIVE THEATER (WINCHESTER) 781-729-5543 Age or Grade Range: Ages 4-15 Kidstock! Creative Theater offers a performance arts summer camp opportunity for children ages 4-15. http://www.kidstocktheater.com

KINGSLEY SUMMER IN THE CITY (BACK BAY) 617-226-4927 Age or Grade Range: Grades Toddler - 6 Come join Kingsley Montessori School for a fun-filled summer of learning and hands-on experiences! Uniquely nestled in the heart of Back Bay, Kingsley Montessori School offers studentdriven, experiential programming yearround. Summer in the City at Kingsley provides students with an opportunity to pursue their interests throughout the summer, while exploring and utilizing


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

LETGO YOUR MIND STEM PROGRAMS (MULTIPLE LOCATIONS) LETGO Your Mind programs offer a safe, educationally enriching STEM Program experience that is fun and challenging using LEGO bricks, motors, elements in the areas of simple machines, robotics, stop motion animation and programming Minecraft. The programs focus on the vital STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and challenge the kids to think while having fun. Our programs are for students between the ages of 4 and 14. http://www.letgoyourmind.com

LINX CAMPS (WELLESLEY) 781-235-3210 Age or Grade Range: Ages 3-15 LINX Camps offers award-winning full and half day camps for kids 3 years 10th grade. We provide a traditional day camp experience that builds community and character while allowing kids to explore their interests. https://www.linxcamps.com/

MAC SUMMER CAMPS (MANCHESTER) 978.526.8900 x 257 Age or Grade Range: Ages 3-16 MAC Camps offer a diversity of activities for youth ages 3-16. Our programs range from engaging day camps to full week adventure camps – we even offer Tennis and Sailing camps! All of our camps encourage learning, growth, and FUN - spend your at MAC! http://www.macathletics.com/summer-camp/

MASS AUDUBON SUMMER CAMPS (MULTIPLE CITIES) 781-259-9500 Age or Grade Range: Ages 3-15 Have fun, make friends, and experience nature this summer! Mass Audubon campers enjoy outdoor exploration, habitat hikes, wildlife observation, hands-on activities, interactive games, imaginative free play, creative crafts, and more. Small group sizes ensure camper safety and engagement with positive role models who are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge of the

outdoors. Sign up for hands-on, outdoor fun this summer. With 19 day camps and one overnight camp, there’s something for everyone. https://www.massaudubon.org/

MEADOWBROOK SUMMER PROGRAMS (WESTON) 781-647-0546 Age or Grade Range: Grades K-8 Meadowbrook Summer Programs all share the philosophy of The Meadowbrook School of Weston: nurturing a child’s personality, encouraging his or her special interests, and embracing the whole child. Meadowbrook campers agree – summer is FUN! . http://daycamp.meadowbrook-ma.org/

NICOLE’S ART SPOT -- ART AND CRAFTS CLASSES & SUMMER PROGRAM (NEEDHAM) (781) 343-1250 Age or Grade Range: Ages 5-15 Nicole’s Art Spot Summer Program offers children a hands-on opportunity to delve into week-long intensive arts and crafts classes that interests them the most. In each class children can explore and expand their love of art and craft media. http://www.nicolesartspot.com

NIGHT EAGLE WILDERNESS ADVENTURES (WALLINGFORD, VT) (802) 446-6100 Age or Grade Range: Ages 10-14 Located in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains, Night Eagle Wilderness Adventures is a unique primitive summer camp where boys live in tipis and do things that boys did hundreds of years ago. http://www.nighteaglewilderness.com

NORTH EAST RHYTHMICS SCHOOL OF GYMNASTICS (MIDDLETON) 978-548-7559 Age or Grade Range: Ages 4-18 Rhythmic gymnastics and contemporary dance performing and competitive program.Stretching flexibility and conditioning clinics,adult fitness. http://www.northeastrhythmics.com

PCC ASP - RESIDENTIAL SUMMER PROGRAM AT STONEHILL COLLEGE (EASTON) 508-565-5202 A 6 week residential Advanced Studies Program at Stonehill College. Stay



Pine Village Summer Program

Math • Science • English • SAT Test Prep • Art • Baseball • Basketball • Field Hockey • Flag Football • Lacrosse • Multi-Sports • Soccer • Strength & Conditioning www.belmonthill.org/summer-programs

Summer fun for campers 3 to 15 years old

Vengan y Exploren con nosotros! A bilingual Spanish summer program for children ages 15 mos. to 7 yrs.

• Traditional Camp and Sports Option Available • Half-Day & Full-Day Programs • LIT and CIT Programs

Un programa bilingue de verano para niños de 15 meses a 7 años.

• Brighton • Jamaica Plain (Revere St.) • Jamaica Plain (South St.) • Kendall Sq.


• Needham • West Newton • Porter Sq. • South End

July 6 - August 28, 2020 Join us on the Pine Village “Avión Imaginario” for the adventure of a lifetime as we explore and discover Spanish-speaking countries of South and Central America and the Caribbean.


2016 Camp programs for children with type 1 diabetes. Programs offer fun, recreation, diabetes education, and support. • Clara Barton Camp for girls • Camp Joslin for boys • Day Camps

• Adventure Programs • Family Programs • Year-round Programs

The Barton Center for Diabetes Education, Inc.

30 Ennis Road, P.O. Box 356, North Oxford, MA 01537 508-987-2056 | www.bartoncenter.org








www.PineVillagePreschool.com enrollmentpvp@gmail.com 617-416-7763 May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


Monday through Fridays, live on campus, take 2 classes based on interest, academics, sports or the arts! Meet friends from all over and have the “Summer of a Lifetime at PCC”! http://pccasp.org

PENGUIN CODING SUMMER SESSION (LEXINGTON) 781-277-2755 Age or Grade Range: Ages 5-18 Penguin Coding believes in the joy of creation as the motivation for learning. Students build games and animation in Scratch for 2-4th graders, website/ games using HTML/CSS/Javascript for 4-8th graders, and apps with Java/ Python for 6-12th graders. http://www.penguincodingschool.com/

REVELS SUMMER VAUDEVILLE WORKSHOP (WATERTOWN, MA) 617-972-8300 Age or Grade Range: Age: 7 - 14


✺ ✺ ✺

Specialty Programs GRADES 5–8

Sports Clinics GRADES 6–12

Academic Courses GRADES 6–12

SUMMER AT TOBIN (NATICK) 508-650-1561 Age or Grade Range: Ages 4-10 Our summer program is designed for families looking for a reliable, nurturing place for their kids to spend time in the summer – with a lot of fun field trips and activities! http://www.tobinafterschool.org/learning/ summer-at-tobin/


A Revels Summer Theater Workshop is a complete theater experience. In the mornings young people will participate in theater games, acting, singing and traditional dance. In the

afternoons we will be participating in “Production Time;” making the printed program; designing and building sets, costumes, props; and creating a slide show. Along with creating the show, we will have electives, where young people can choose areas to learn more about theater including; play and song writing, creating a mummers’ play, audition techniques, writing and performing a monologue, clowning, and the art of improv. Everyone will have a part and auditions for the parts are held on the first day of the workshop. There will be a performance at the end of the workshop. www.revels.org/summer


bchigh.edu/summer REGISTRATION BEGINS FEBRUARY 11, 2020!


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

SUMMER AT TOBIN BEAUDET (NEEDHAM) 781-444-5444 Age or Grade Range: Ages 2.9 - 8th Grade We are busy planning another amazing summer for your children at Tobin Beaudet! Choose Your Days, Choose Your Weeks! Open 7am – 6:30pm Programming available the day after Needham Public Schools closes through the day before school begins http://tobinbeaudet.com/programs/summer/

SUMMER IN FRENCH AT THE FRENCH CULTURAL CENTER/ ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE OF BOSTON (BOSTON, MA) 617-912-0400 Age or Grade Range: Age: 3 - 17 Language Studies www.frenchculturalcenter.org

TABOR ACADEMY (MARION) 508-291-8342 Age or Grade Range: Ages 6-17 Established in 1917, the Tabor Academy Summer Program gives young people


Farmwork, F armwork, Friends, Friends, Food, Food, and and Fun! Fun! 21 ne 15 - August Ju | 4 -1 4 s e g s For Youth A rnoon session te af d an g in rn Weekly mo Learn more and register at

www.natickfarm.org 117 Eliot St. (Route 16) Natick MA

ages 6-17 the opportunity to develop their full potential as individuals, athletes, and students. http://taborsummer.org/


WALNUT HILL SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS SUMMER PROGRAMS (NATICK) 508-650-5020 Age or Grade Range: Ages 10-17

Walnut Hill School for the Arts offers dynamic summer programs for creative middle and high school students 781-326-2900 passionate about music, theater, dance, visual arts and film At the Ultimate Day Camp we aim to make each day the “BEST making. Each summer, we welcome hundreds of talented DAY EVER”. We pack all that DHAC has to offer into every students from across the country and around the world to week! Campers love the water park. our Natick, Massachusetts, campus. Students enhance their skills and work with expert faculty and peers who share their http://www.dedhamhealthsummer.com/camp/ exceptional abilities and love for the arts. TUFTS UNIVERSITY DESIGN AND ENGINEERING https://www.walnuthillarts.org/communityacademy

WORKSHOPS (MEDFORD, MA) Age or Grade Range: Age: 4 - 18

Join us as we explore robotics and engineering in fun week-long summer workshops! Kids will learn about the Engineering Design Process through hands-on activities. Grades: K - 12. Learn more and register at http://outreach.tuftsceeo.org/

WALDORF SCHOOL OF LEXINGTON SUMMER PROGRAMS (WELLESLEY) 781-863-1062 Age or Grade Range: Nursery - Grade 5 Consistent with the mission of WSL, the program aims to cultivate in each child a sense of wonder and curiosity for the natural world, creativity, collaboration with others, and confidence to engage in new experiences. The program offers crafts, group games, hiking, and nature-based play on campus and in the nearby meadows and forest. To this we’ve added an essential ingredient for summer fun—water play with sprinklers and a shallow pool in our nursery play yard. https://thewaldorfschool.org/summer

WELLESLEY THEATRE PROJECT SUMMER CAMP (WELLESLEY) 781-235-1550 Age or Grade Range: Ages 4 - Grade 12 Wellesley Theatre Project offers a variety of Summer camps including full scale production camps and weekly camps for students 4 years old through 12th grade. Sessions include three production camps geared for students between 2nd and 12th grade in addition to one week Theatre Arts camps for Pre K- 12th grade. The production camps are: Annie, KIDS! (Grades 2-8), Newsies (Grades 2-12), and Footloose (Grades 8-12). https://www.wellesleytheatreproject.org/summer-camps

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Summer Camp

Week-long sessions: July 6–August 7, 2020 Ages 5–12 decordova.org/CAMP

Where KIDS can


creative summer programs for ages 4-14 single days - mornings - full day weeks

June 15 - August 28





Boston’s famous duck family brass statues in Boston Public Garden.

Boston-Themed Books to Celebrate as a Family By Alyson Young Gregory


here’s no better way to make the pages of a book come to life than reading about places you’ve been—or even better, the very place you live! Seeing page after page of colorful illustrations portraying your favorite parks, streets, stadiums, and landmarks not only brings back cherished memories, but reminds us of all the places we still want to explore (that list is floating around somewhere!). From tots to tweens, and kids in between, these Bostonthemed books are on the must-read list for families celebrating all things Beantown!

TOTS An essential to every Bostonian nursery, and easily Boston’s most cherished children’s classic is Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. First published in 1941, the book’s popularity was crowned almost 50 years later with the bronze sculpture of Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings in the Boston Public Garden. Visited and beloved by children from around the world, a picture of your kids sitting on one of one of the ducks (maybe in every season) is a rite of passage you’ll all treasure for years to come. And speaking of landmarks, bedtime in Boston just wouldn’t be complete without the perfect local lullaby. Goodnight Boston, a complete adventure imagined in a single day highlights the best of


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

Boston’s history and attractions just waiting to be explored. Traveling? This board book is a proven winner when it comes to soothing even the most homesick of toddlers!

ELEMENTARY It’s a well-known fact that when it comes to cheering on their local teams, Boston sports fans are in a league of their own, and so is local author Jerry Pallotta! F is for Fenway, the shelf-worthy picture book for all future Red Sox Nation fans promises to make your family’s next trip to the ballpark magical. You don’t know what the Green Monster is? This alphabetical tribute to Fenway is full of history and trivia parents will love sharing with their kids. H is for home run. What is it about hunting for something that is so delightful? Kids are in for a real treat with Sage Stossel’s interactive On the Loose in Boston when they get to help the zookeeper find the animals of Franklin Park Zoo hiding throughout the city of Boston.

With over 100 animals skillfully camouflaged among Boston’s favorite neighborhoods, there is loads to discover on every page. Did someone say candy at bedtime? Eye candy— this Atlantic magazine cartoonist’s elegant and highly-detailed illustrations are pure fabulousness. Oh my darling, Oh my darling… Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine chapter book series is just that… and so much more! If you know someone who might appreciate a spirited, independent, third-grade heroine full to the brim with creative ideas, and a penchant for missteps, this is your girl. Six books set in and around Boston span an entire school year into summer, and will remind parents everywhere that what looks like trouble on the outside are often a child’s most endearing qualities! 1 million copies sold.

alone in a small cabin? The American classic, Walden, inspires connection with nature and observation of our environments, and reminds us all to appreciate the magic of these simple impressions, along with the outdoors. Reading this book in Boston is made all the more special being a stone’s throw from Walden Pond, where you can step back in time and visit Thoreau’s replica cabin and admire the famous waters. Immerse your whole family in Thoreau’s philosophy, and

read ahead with the youngest from the exceptional children’s picture book, If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond. Another classic novel marked by a local landmark to visit, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, follows the lives of the March sisters growing up in Concord during the Civil War. This beautiful coming of age story from girlhood into womanhood is full of insights, hopes, and dreams every reader can relate to. Family ties, a mother’s love, and qualities such as courage and loyalty every family needs to thrive make this a mustread for the whole clan. A guided tour of the Orchard House, where Alcott both wrote and set her novel, is guaranteed to inspire. ² Alyson Young Gregory is a native New Yorker, and Boston-based freelance writer, mother, and Holistic Health Educator specializing in Ayurveda. She has a passion for maximizing vitality through nutrition based on environment and individual body constitution for all ages, supporting children’s wellness policies, and finding inspiring local activities for families.

TEENS What teenager doesn’t fantasize about escaping society and running off to the woods to record their thoughts in a notebook, and live


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!

Lessons at your school! We bring the instrument and the instructor for ages 3-14 Now offering in-home private lessons Fun • Creative • Small Group Lessons


2018 TOP 5

32 South Fairview St., Roslindale, MA

Contact Molly at


617-999-8794 www.pianoplaytime.com




Come Discover the Joy of Dancing!

CLASSES START AT AGE 2 AND ARE OFFERED 7 DAYS A WEEK Register now for Summer & Fall Ages 2 and Up • Ballet • Tap • Jazz • Hip Hop • Contemporary • Creative Movement • Pre-Ballet/Tap • Musical Theater • Street Jazz and Lyrical • And More!



330 Watertown St., Newton • 617-641-0784 www.AllThatJazzNewton.com May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper



By Kerrie McLoughlin

ost long-distance grandparents will agree that you don’t have to live in the same town to play a huge role in the life of your grandchildren. Yes, you might be sad that your grandkids don’t live close by, but you can certainly still create a special and lasting relationship with some planning. Here’s how:

Do Your Research Joy Candrian of the blog XOXO Grandma suggests: “Research the places where your grandchildren live and when FaceTiming or talking on the phone, ask them intelligent questions about their home, school and the things they have done that week.” Another example might be checking out the latest children’s movie in your own town if you know your grandkids are going to see it as well so you can talk about the best parts together. 


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

Read to Them and Play Games “Record yourself reading a book and then upload that recording to YouTube so your grandchild can hear your voice and see you reading them a story. After you’ve got your recorded story online, mail the book to your grandchild so they can follow along while they watch your video,” shared Candrian. Buy a blank puzzle at a craft store then, if you are arsty, draw a picture on it. If not, write a message and color in some of the pieces. Your grandchild will have a blast putting it together over and over. Online games like Words with Friends are also a fun and educational way to connect.

Recognize Holidays and Special Dates Keep track of important dates so you can be there for the big events. Set reminders on your phone or put them on your wall calendar so you can send cards or plan a video chat for birthdays, graduations, last day of school, prom, sports, spelling bees and so much more. Candrian offers, “I think giving gifts is such a natural way to show we care, and giving a handmade gift [such as a quilt] shows we care enough to spend our time for those we love. Your grandchild may not understand that now but as they grow older and wiser, your gifts should help them feel the love you have for them.”

Raise Video Chatting and Social Media to a New Level Skype, FaceTime and Zoom make it so much easier to see their faces and keep yours fresh in theirs. They grow and change so quickly, so make

weekly dates to do things like call up the grandkids and take them on a walk with you, let them watch you bake something, read to them. One way my 90-year-old grandmother loves to keep up with her grandkids and great-grandkids is to hop on Facebook daily to check out status updates and photos.

Remembrances Make sure you have plenty of photos of your grandchildren around your home and send photos of yourself to them as well. You want them to get to know you as well, and it’s so easy these days to create photo books and books of stories from your childhood for them on a site like Mixbook. Check out the Marco Polo app for a FaceTime meets voicemail experience, where you get to the receive Tanglewood Marionettes. Reservations FREE. leave and video messages, and they required. don’t disappear… 617-514-1644; you can savejfklibrary.org. them on Marco Polo indefinitely and Winter 10:30am, Boston also save themBackyard to your Birding, phone or forward themNature to other Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. Learn to use family members.


binoculars, go on a bird hike and create some seed and fruit art for the birds to enjoy. Registration required. Youth, $7. 617-983-8500; massaudubon.org.

Plan Regular Visits and Special Trips Carissa Jones, mom10:30am, of 8, shares, “Both sets of grandMatias Latelier, Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., An hour of magic and from a Chilean parentsArlington. take small groups of one tosurprises two kids home with magician andtake mentalist. Adults, them. My parents the kids to $10; theiryouth, home$8.for their 781-646-4849; regenttheatre.com. 10th birthday and they have a special long weekend SOUTH together that each kiddo has anticipated in the months the Winter Wild Thing, 9am, Francis William leadingTracking up to their birthday.”

Bird Park, 251 Washington St., Walpole. See Jan. 14 listing.

Winter Up, 2-6pm, World’s End, Hingham. Get Ready forWarm a Fun Visit outdoors for hiking, sledding, snowshoeing, owl prowls

When it’stales time for the tore. come to $10; youryouth, home, make and around thekids campfi Adults, free. 781-740-7233; ttor.org. sure you have a stash of games, books and universal toys (think Legos so they feel at home. Scout Familyand OwlMagnatyles) Prowl, 7pm, Blue Hills Trailside Museum, 1904 Canton Ave., Milton.parks, Practice owl calls and meet out local indoor trampoline nature centers, kidsome of the museum’s resident owls before a all friendly restaurants and other activities thatgoing you on can night hike to search for them. Registration required. $10. do together during the visit. 617-983-8500; massaudon.org. Despite distance, you can form close bonds with your Stargazing: Jewels of the Night, 7pm, North River grandchildren and ensure play key role in their Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000you Main St., a Marshfi eld. Join lives. Carissa Jones sumsPeter it upReed nicely: “I think you much like astronomy enthusiast as he guides through the constellations. Registration required. $13.of parenting, relationships are built on the foundation 781-837-9400; massaudubon.org. time together and on traditions.”

Book Recommendations:

Kerrie McLoughlin is the writer mom of 5 kids ranging from 10 to 18 and blogs at TheKerrieShow.com.

• Connect with Your Grandkids: Fun Ways to Bridge the Miles by Cheri Fuller • Long-Distance Grandparenting: Connecting with Your Grandchildren from Afar by Willma Willis Gore


J & J Pony Rentals

• Virtual Grandma: A • Pony parties for all occasions how-to guide on “virtuat your place or at the farm. ally connecting” with • Riding lessons for all ages and abilities • Summer Camp little ones up to age five WEST using FaceTime, Skype, Valentine Card Making Party, 10am, The Eric Carle and other apps by AliMuseum, 125 West Bay Road, Amherst. Pop in to make sonvalentines Hillhouse special for your family, friends or classmates. Registration recommended. $12 per pair or trio. • Long Distance Grand413-658-1100; carlemuseum.org.

ma: Staying Connected Across the Miles by Janet Teitsort

29 Sunday

The Enchanted Forest, 10:30am, Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. Artbarn, a youth • The Long-Distance community theater company, Grandmother: How topresents the tale of a family vacation gone wrong. Adults, $13; youth, $10. Stay Closecoolidge.org. to Distant 617-734-2501;

Grandchildren by


NORTH Selma Wassermann ² 104 King St., Groveland, MA Ward Winter Fest, noon to 3pm, Ward Reservation, 978-373-1300 Andover. Explore the property on a guided hike, or HuntersHavenFarm.com bring your snowshoes and sled to play. Then warm up with refreshments by the fire. $10 per car. 978-886-5297; ttor.org.

Parents Choice Award er ner nne Win Wiinn W

Fran Friedman

31 Tuesday

Children’s Musician & Instructor Birthday Parties,

WEST Schools, Concerts, Backwards Storytime, 10am, The Discovery Museums, Libraries 177 Main St., Acton. Celebrate National Backwards Day Preschool & Elementary with silly stories and activities. Free with admission. Music Specialist 978-264-4200; discoverymuseums.org.

Lots of Participation & Fun for All! 508-358-1614 • www.franfriedman.com

ENTERTAINMENT & PARTY NEEDS Celebrate everything in 2017 at Online Ordering Available

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May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


Make Housework a Family Affair By Kerrie McLoughlin


arents, trust me here. Society will not be pleased with you if you set your kid loose at age 18 with zero life skills (like how to do laundry without turning it all pink or how you should take out an overflowing bag of trash without being asked). It’s never too early to get your child to start helping out around the house. But where to start? What can a teeny two-year-old do? Check out these ideas to turn the chore of housework into a fun family affair.

TOTS Toddlers might surprise you with their mad cleaning skills. They can fold napkins and towels or pick


Boston Parents Paper | May 2020

up their own toys, even if that just means tossing them into a catch-all like a toy ottoman or set of colorful bins. They can also water plants, feed animals, dry pots and pans, toss wet laundry into the dryer, throw things away, recycle and help put away groceries.

LITTLE KIDS Preschoolers can do all the things a toddler can do … plus empty smaller trashcans into a big one, put away silverware, match socks, dust, “mop” and “vacuum,” and even put away their laundry (hang a wooden rod in their closet low enough for them to be able to hang up their clothes). Jayna Ely said of her now 7-year-old son, “When my son was a preschooler, we started a game called ‘clean up hide and go seek.’ While one person counts, the other people go hide. Once a person is found we pick up 2, 3, 4 or 5 (depending on how messy the house is) things in the room they hid in.” Set up a chart with simple pictures so your child knows the chores you would like her to do.

BIG KIDS School-age kids can do dishes, empty the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, take out the trash, help with bathrooms, vacuum (for real!) and

put away their own laundry. A great way to connect with your child as he gets older is to dump the laundry out on the bed then fold it together as you chat. When things get really messy, I like to write tasks on pieces of paper, fold them up and put them in a bowl. I have one kid pick a task and then choose the person they want to help them. For harder tasks, create an instruction sheet, put it in a sheet protector, then do the task with them until they get the hang of it. Whether or not you use an incentive system is up to you. Some parents pay out cash per chore to older kids, while some may pay with a sticker or the promise of a small toy for a preschooler. Some parents simply use the promise of an outing (park, pool, playdate) as incentive to clean up. Remember that these are kids, and the job doesn’t have to be done perfectly. They will learn it well in their own time. The point is they are learning a life skill, so be patient. And don’t forget to put on some upbeat cleaning music! ² Kerrie McLoughlin, mom of 5, (TheKerrieShow.com) still can’t get used to the fact that her 17-year-old son does his own laundry without being asked!

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May 2020 | Boston Parents Paper


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Boston Parent May 2020  

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