This time of year can be wonderful and magical for kids and adults alike, but I often worry about my kids turning into little “gimme” trolls when the holidays come around. To help the whole family focus a little less on getting and a little more on giving this holiday season, take a look at these local opportunities. They are easy to incorporate into hectic schedules and perfect for teaching kids the joy of giving in a meaningful way. If you’d rather donate your time as a family, check out my post about volunteering with kids during the holidays.
Although you may have decided to give out non-edible treats this Halloween, chances are, your neighbors are still handing out the sweet stuff. When your kids come home from trick-or-treating with all that loot and start sorting through it, the sheer volume may make you freak out (even more than the pint-sized grim reaper at your door did).
What are you going to do with all that candy? You could let the kids eat most of it in one sitting (and get sick), or you might be tempted to dump it in the trash. There's no need to take drastic measures! I recommend giving your kids the opportunity to pick out a few of their favorite pieces and then make the rest disappear like magic. Read on for a few neat tricks.
He Named Me Malala opens this week, and some of our older kids are going to want to see it. Malala Yousafzai is kind of like this generation’s Anne Frank: an articulate, wise-beyond-her-years teenage girl who remains optimistic about our world’s prospects for peace despite her own encounter with unspeakable evil. Malala is a child, but her story is not necessarily for children. I wanted to check it out before taking my own kids.
What's the first thing my family does to prepare for Halloween season? No, not make costumes or crafts or plan out our calendar. Our very first activity is to throw out all the stale candy my daughter has been hanging on to since last October 31.
Whatever you do with your child's Halloween haul—donate, repurpose, hoard or eat—there's no question that trick-or-treaters collect way too much candy. And while I'm glad my kid doesn't actually ingest it all, many children do, and the health implications of that are pretty scary.
So this year I'm not going to be part of the candy craze. Instead, I plan to give out small, fun, non-edible treats, like the kinds of tchotchkes you might find in a birthday goody bag. (So if you have any of those lying around the house, start gathering them up now.) Yes, I realize these things may end up sitting around as long as last year's candy, but since they don't go bad I can always hand them out again next Halloween.
Here are some cool things to hand out on Halloween besides candy that won't get you egged.
As parents, it seems like the list of things to worry about never ends. From prenatal health to getting them into college, raising kids is probably the most anxiety-provoking thing we will ever do. And, as if that isn’t bad enough, the 24-hour news cycle seems determined to inject new fears into our overwrought minds all the time.
But, as it turns out, much of what we’re told to be concerned about is actually quite harmless, while more likely dangers are seldom discussed. If we’re going to put so much energy into worrying about our kids, let’s at least worry about the right things.
Shaun the Sheep Movie, the latest feature from Britain's Oscar-winning Aardman Animation team behind Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, and The Pirates!, opens nationwide this week. The film is mostly charming, frequently hilarious, and likely to be a great choice for many families to see together. We got an early peek, so we can help you decide if it's right for your flock.
What kids eat is very important and having the right snack can actually improve a child's ability to learn. Our school occupational therapy consultant, Casey Halper, put together a list of sensory smart snacks just in time for back to school. That means that they are snacks that help kids stay alert and focused in school without making them hyper and restless. These are great snack ideas for children in school, but would be equally great snack choices for toddlers too. Some of the themes for healthy sensory snacks are:
Crunchy and chewy foods help make kids more alert by engaging their senses.
Sipping or sucking can help organize and calm children.
And of course fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and calcium rich foods make them healthy overall.
The back-to-school season is filled with anticipation, excitement and stress—for kids and parents. There are new clothes and school supplies to buy, lunches and snacks to plan, and classes to prepare for (no easy task after summer slump). If you're worried that you'll never get it all done, stop, take a deep breath and check out our Back-to-School Guide, which is packed with simple tips and advice to help take the edge off.
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