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. 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.
For little kids, Halloween is usually more about the treats than the tricks. The excitement is in getting dressed up, making decorations, and enjoying sweet treats from neighbors – not gore, creepy stuff, or being scared silly. I guess that usually comes later, although it’s hard for me to imagine a time when my kids will appreciate the more macabre side of Halloween.
For fun, not-so-scary – but maybe slightly spooky – Halloween happenings in and around Boston this month, read on. I’ve rounded up activities for creative types, nature nuts, Curious George fans, and animal lovers who just want the Halloween festivities to be sweet.
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.
If you went to the One Family Music Festival last year, you have a pretty good idea of how rockin’ the Boston Kids Really Rock music and arts festival will be. Conceived of and organized by the very same visionary, Karen Kalafatas of Karen K and the Jitterbugs, the festival will feature many of the same wonderful Boston bands and community-building activities for families. What you may not know is that Boston Kids Really Rock is going all out with Dan Zanes as headliner and special guest Father Goose. The festival's focus is on sharing messages of kindness, creativity and community spirit with Boston kids. Mommy Poppins Boston will announce the winners of our Boston Kids Who Really Rock contest at the festival, too. We're excited to celebrate local kids and tell the inspiring stories of how they are making a difference in their communities.
If that’s not enough to convince you, keep reading for the top five reasons to make some time in your schedule and take the kids to the Lawn on D this Sunday for a glorious day of community, music, arts and family fun.
A recent study estimates that the average adult spends about an hour a day waiting for something—the bathroom, the cashier, the bus, you name it. But parents seem to wait around even more than that. Plus we get the added bonus of hearing our kids whine, "I'm bored!" and beg incessantly for our smartphones.
But waiting with your kids doesn't have to be dull. You can turn that downtime into quality family time by finding ways to play together (and no, we're not talking about Candy Crush). Inspired by our series of SUMMER OF PLAY posts, here are 10 no-tech activities to try when you're stuck waiting somewhere—hopefully you won't be there long enough blow through all of them in one go!
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 Bostonfree online community.
Let’s be honest: it only takes so long to pick out a pumpkin, even if your kids like to examine every pumpkin in the patch for the perfect jack-o-lantern. My family likes to combine pumpkin-picking with something else, like a corn maze, a train ride, or a fall festival. Here are a few places to elevate your autumn outing.
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.
The Museum of Science recently sent me tickets to check out the 4D movies it is currently showing: Dora & Diego and Happy Feet. My three year old doesn't nap anymore, but every afternoon we have "rest time," when I'll put on a short movie to let her body rest. I was excited to switch it up and go experience something a little different for an afternoon. But let me tell you, it was the opposite of "rest time"! 4D movies feature multi-sensory effects to provide a thrilling immersion into short films. Sure, I knew this going in, but I thought, "What could be so thrilling about a cartoon penguin and a pre-schooler?"
Nothing says fall in New England like a family excursion to the apple orchards. With many orchards to choose from, families can head a short distance from Boston for their choice of places to pick their own apples starting in early September through mid-October.
We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite places to pick apples near Boston, but with over 50 farms in the area offering apple picking, there are many more to choose from. In addition to apple picking, many of the orchards offer petting farms, country stores, hay rides, corn mazes, and other kid-friendly activities, so leave plenty of time to take advantage of all these farms have to offer. You can also plan your child's fall farm birthday party at some of the farms.
And if you're looking for some ideas for what to do with all those apples, we've put together some of our favorite apple recipes for inspiration!
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