If you were raising your kids in, say, Utah—or any other place that doesn't have a Mommy Poppins daily calendar to point you in fun directions—you'd have to work a lot harder to keep your summer days playful. Our SUMMER OF PLAY partner, KaBOOM!, works with community leaders around the country to create more spaces and ways for kids to enjoy balanced and active play. Mother of three and registered nurse, Cyndalynn Tilley, is one of these community leaders in Woods Cross, Utah, and she's shared some of her favorite ideas for finding opportunities to play while doing ordinary daily activities. Backyard games are great when you have the time and space, but what about when you have to bring kids along to do chores like shopping and laundry? Even then grown-ups can help kids get the play they need to thrive.
For LEGO-obsessed kids, visiting LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Assembly Row in Somerville can be an almost magical experience, especially if you go in with a few insider tips. We recently got a sneak peek behind the scenes and had a chat with Master Model Builder Ian Coffey before exploring the indoor attraction on our own. Here's the inside scoop: Highlights, things to look for, and tips for getting the most out of your visit, whether you're visiting with your family or having a birthday party for your child (a good way to get the "Best Parent Ever" title).
If you are taking a vacation that involves fishing this summer, fish printing is a great way to preserve a couple of fun family vacation memories. Fish Printing, or Gyotaku, is a traditional Japanese art dating from the mid-1800s. Think of it like a pre-Instagram way of recording the size of your catch. In these days of digital media; however, it has evolved into a bit more of an art form. We had the good fortune to learn a bit more about it on vacation in Cape Cod. I wasn't sure how my 2.5 year old daughter would react to painting a fish, but she loved it. Luckily, if she hadn't we had a fake fish on hand to work with too. You can also use this method to create one-of-a-kind t-shirts, a great DIY vacation souvenirs ( I mean, who needs another tie-dye shirt!)
Local mom and “Outdoors with Kids Boston” guidebook author, Kim Foley MacKinnon, shares her best family outing tips and picks with you as part of our guest blog series with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Kids Outdoors Boston free online community.
Going on outdoor summer adventures with your kids often means eating on the go, maybe picking something up at a snack bar or bringing a PB&J sandwich and a piece of fruit. It can be fun to switch the focus to making a picnic the main event, and the setting is the key. Here are some outstanding picnic spots that will make your al fresco meal that much more delicious!
Ever notice how when folks talk about summers back in the day they say things like, “We just went outside and played and we survived.” Yes, surviving is a great achievement, but we can set our sights a little higher, can’t we? We’re sharing our SUMMER OF PLAY with hundreds of ideas for playtime with your kids. So Red Rover those neighborhood kids right on over and teach the whole crew a few of those games that used to occupy the Brady brood in their AstroTurf backyard, and do more than survive this summer. Play!
I’ve probably seen more than my fair share of circus shows, reviewing just about every one that comes through town. I’ve watched as the rise of cirque nouveau, popularized by Cirque du Soleil, has reinvigorated the old three-ring model and rejuvenated children’s theater with amazing new performance troupes. But, even Cirque has started to fall a little flat for me. I’ve been waiting for something new to knock my clown socks off. What I didn’t expect? That the people to finally do that would be a bunch of kids in rural New England.
Circus Smirkus is a youth circus troupe based in Greensboro, Vermont where kids aged 8-18 train and perform in a traveling big top tour each summer. We were able to catch their show, Anchors Away for Atlantis, in Essex Junction, Vermont last week. Both my son and I were blown away by what we saw.
Known as the birthplace of American pizza, the city of New Haven lives up to its reputation as a first class foodie destination and continues to cultivate pioneering restaurateurs. But New Haven is more than a foodie city. It’s a place to explore history and architecture, art and culture. It's where ideas are nurtured and celebrated. Happily, it’s also very accessible to families and is wonderfully walkable. Take the kids for a day trip or a weekend getaway and experience the city for yourselves, with this list as your guide.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara