You’ve breathed through birth classes, drooled over adorable baby clothes, picked out the perfect stroller, and decided on a pediatrician. What about having a little fun after baby is born? Connecting with your baby and other new parents may seem like luxury, but we think it’s incredibly important. Here are a few things to check out before baby comes to ensure you have a social network and plenty of fun ways to connect with your little one once she arrives.
A preschool tour is the best opportunity for parents to get a feel for a school before tackling the admissions process. Hopefully, you see the school in action, or at least check out what the classrooms look like. Keep your eyes open for important details. What type of student work is on display? Do the kids seem happy and engaged? How do the teachers interact with them?
When you're on the tour, don't be shy about asking questions. This is your chance! "Parents should ask as many questions as they want to help understand and grasp our program's philosophy," says Lisa Pacheco, center director at Children’s Creative Learning Center. Jennifer Jones of Battery Park Montessori and the Pine Street School adds, "I encourage parents to ask questions based on their personal priorities for their children. For example, if the child is physically active and the parents are concerned about it, they should ask how the school will satisfy the child's need for physical expression." Open-ended questions are best, as they tend to reveal more about the school. For example, "How do you support literacy?" is better than, "When do you teach the alphabet?"
Here are the top 10 topics to ask about when you're visiting preschools.
We recently spoke with Leslie Venokur and Risa Goldberg, the driving forces behind Big City Moms and the organizers of the Biggest Baby Shower Ever. Big City Moms is a resource for for moms, moms-to-be, and families to connect through a variety of special and customized events. For the first time ever, the company has brought the Biggest Baby Shower Ever, a show that features over 100 of the best companies in the baby industry, to Boston. We are excited to attend this event and meet our readers (and future readers!) face to face. Stop by the Mommy Poppins Boston table to find out about our favorite things to do in Boston with kids, what you can do now to get connected with other new parents after the baby arrives, and how to get through the winter months with little ones. But first, get the details on the Biggest Baby Shower Ever straight from the moms who are making it happen.
Last weekend, Mommy Poppins sponsored a preschool fair in New York City where families were able to meet dozens of directors from neighborhood preschool programs. Parents said it was immensely helpful to talk to NYC preschool directors in person because it demystified the often fraught admissions process. It’s understandable that applying to preschool is nerve-racking: It’s one of the first decisions you make for your child’s education. But at Mommy Poppins, we believe that applying to preschool can be a sane experience, and we want to do what we can to dispel some of the anxiety. So we're sharing the inside scoop from our preschool fair, including expert tips from directors about the admissions process. After all, who knows it better than the people who make the decisions?
When I received a flyer in the mail for the grand opening of Toddler Town at the Marina Bay Sports Complex, I practically jumped for joy. As the days grow colder I can't help but think about the indoor house itch we all tend to get with young kids. There are plenty of museums in Boston and lots of great indoor play spaces outside of Boston to the west, but there wasn't much available to us south of Boston. Until now. The Bay's massive indoor turf field in Quincy has been turned into the king of all jungle gyms, complete with a snack bar, infant play area, and even Disney tunes bumping! That's my kind of turf. Below are some highlights and tips to maximize your play time at the Bay.
If this is your first Mother’s Day as a mom, congratulations! As a new mom, one of the best gifts is a group that provides support and a sense of community. Because we know from experience how important it is to connect with other new parents to commiserate, get advice, and celebrate parenthood, we’ve rounded up several groups for new moms. What they give new moms is priceless, and almost all of them are also free – read on to find one that works for best for you.
Halloween is almost here, and my kids don’t have costumes. It’s not unusual for us to wait until a week before Halloween to put something together, but this is cutting it a little close, even for us. I searched the web for the best costumes that are easy to put together quickly and use things we probably already have around the house. I was also inspired to come up with a couple of ideas of my own. Here are 9 last-minute Halloween costumes for kids that can be made in no time and on a dime (OK, maybe a few dollars, max).
If you're also looking for quick and easy Halloween decor ideas or just need a fun mask, check out DIY Halloween 101.
There are many reasons not to take your kids out for traditional, around the neighborhood, nighttime trick-or-treating: Your little pumpkin is just too young and is afraid of the dark; you have a sensory-sensitive child (like mine) and a complete meltdown seems inevitable; you’re trying to move toward a more earth-friendly or less sugary Halloween; or you just want your kids to think more about giving than getting.
Whatever the reason, there’s no need to feel left out on Halloween. There are plenty of alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating for Boston area families, and dare I say, they may be even better than the real thing!
Great, the big kids are all set for the school year, but what are you going to do with the little ones? Feeling like you need a little structure in your days with your bundle of joy and energy, but school is a long way off? We’ve rounded up a few nice playgroups for tiny tots. Read on for groups ranging from casual drop-in to structured, multiple-week commitments that get you out of the house and making new friends.
Does your child come home from a kindie concert completely star struck by the performer on the stage? Does he know - and sing - all the words to all of Josh and the Jamtones’ or the Jumpin' Monkeys' tunes? Does she want to dress up and perform just like Karen K or Marcie Joy? Would you like to get the award for Best Parent Ever by offering your little musician the opportunity to sing and dance with these stars?
Well, you’re in luck, because quite a few of our favorite local musicians are also amazing teachers, sharing their talents with kids lucky enough to live in the Boston area. (Please check out our other music classes post for more local options.) And for information about watching these musicians performing live, check out our Events Calendar.
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