One of my favorite things to do in Boston in the summer and fall is to browse the SoWa Market, New England's largest outdoor weekly bazaar. May through October, this three-block section along Harrison Avenue (South of Washington Street = SoWa) turns into an open-air crafts and art market featuring amazingly talented local small business owners and their wares. What better way to expose your children to the arts andthe outdoors...for free? I get it: Tightly packed toddler-height tables displaying potential breakables may not seem like the kid-friendly activity you were going for, but it can be done, and it can be fun! Here is a top 20 list of helpful tips to browse these sought-after "mini" shops with your mini people:
Sometimes Mom and Dad's ideas for summertime play involve hopping in the car and getting out of Dodge. Many of us have fond childhood memories of family road trips taken with our own parents, but now that we're grown up, we sometimes forget how boring the backseat can be. A great SUMMER OF PLAY should involve games that can be played inside, not just outside, and definitely within the confines of a car. So put away the electronics this road trip, and try some of these fun games that keep everyone in the car playing together.
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.
This season, we're partnering with KaBOOM! to promote a SUMMER OF PLAY. A few months back, KaBOOM!, the nonprofit dedicated to bringing play to all children, held a nationwide contest with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to find America's Most Playful Family. Families all over the country shared the different ways they like to play, often illustrating that you don't need lots of toys or organized activities to have a great time. Play ideas can come from people of all ages, even caring adults who ensure kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive.
You can't help but be inspired by America's Most Playful Family contest winners, the Thomases from Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. Even though they don't have playgrounds in their community or fancy playthings, they invent games that incorporate cultural traditions and all three generations of family. Watch the video family portrait that won them the title, and then read about some of their fun games that you can try at home—no batteries needed.
My husband grew up in Boston and, like the rest of the state population, is a die-hard Red Sox fan. Our son was born right before last year's World Series win and my husband called him sport-spoiled. After all, my husband had to wait 26 years for his first World Series Red Sox ring! The obsession has already been handed down to our 3 year old daughter. I think she may know the names of the Red Sox players better than her numbers.
For Father's Day, I decided to go for "Wife Of The Year" and score us tickets to a game. Here are my top 10 tips to help make the game a success for you and your family (and last at least to the 7th inning stretch.)
What about the egg hunt at home and the kids’ Easter baskets? Does the thought of stuffing them with candy and weathering the ensuing sugar high give you a headache? If you’re looking for some ideas for filling baskets and eggs without going overboard on the sweets, read on for basket themes, egg fillers, and places in and around Boston to get great little gifts.
Last year for April Fools' Day, we rounded up 10 fun pranks to play on your kids, but some of them were a bit elaborate and required a lot of prep. This year, we have 10 more pranks for parents who want to show their kids that they have a sense of humor, but also want the jokes to be super easy to pull off.
Regardless of whether your kids attend public, private or parochial, chances are their school is always looking for ways to raise much-needed funds to pay for enriching extras. Parents are often called upon to give money. But there are also lots of fun and easy ways for families to get involved in the fundraising process that involve donating your time and creativity, not your cold hard cash.
A few years back, I wrote a post featuring 7 successful large-scale fundraising projects I helped oversee at my son's school when I was PTA president. Today I'm sharing 9 simple fundraising ideas that can be implemented relatively quickly. In fact, inspired PTAs could get a couple of these off the ground before spring break arrives! You may have heard of some of these before (hello, bake sale) but I've included tips for ways to maximize profits and enjoyment.
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