You can see stars all over Boston. No, we're not talking about spotting Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen at the playground with their kids. The stars we're seeking are in the sky over Boston every night – even if the city lights make them a little difficult to see. Stargazing in the city can be very rewarding if you know where to look and you have access to the right instruments, which is where local observatories and planetariums come in. Take your kids to these places to make the whole family feel closer to the stars.
The kids and I had the pleasure of attending opening day of Thomas Land in Carver, MA on the day of Thomas the Tank Engine's 70th birthday. For those who already know Edaville, this brand new section of the park is absolutely worth a trip back. Twelve years in the making, Thomas Land–right in our backyard–is the only one in the United States. The other park is in England, but ours is bigger!
Thomas Land is a treat for the young and the young at heart; the creators have done a great job of making the park fun for all ages. Here are some highlights, plus a few tips along the way. All aboard!
There are certain must-do activities for Boston families during these magically long days and warm summer nights. Somehow it all seems to come to a halt once Labor Day arrives and school starts: Bedtimes are once again enforced, the swimsuits are packed away in the closet, and every day is scheduled down to the minute.
It’s time to seize these summer days before they start slipping away! Here are 25 Boston summertime experiences to have with your kids before it turns colder, because that's where it ends. (Are you hearing "Summer Nights" from Grease? You’re welcome.)
We thought we’d take advantage of some free time this summer and make our own ice cream. After all, how tough could it be? But by the time we had Googled a recipe (found plenty that did not require a machine) and made a list of ingredients we needed, the enthusiasm had waned, and we decided it would probably be best if we left the ice cream making to our favorite ice cream shop and enjoy the fruits of their labor!
From good quality ice cream chains founded right here in New England to one-of-a-kind specialty shops, there are plenty of places for Boston families to satisfy that need for something cold and sweet to beat the heat. Read on to find some of our favorite ice cream and frozen yogurt experiences.
English is a tricky language with a lot of words and a whole heck of a lot of crazy rules (and exceptions to rules) about how things should be spelled. When I watch a kid learning the English language I honestly don't know how any of us do it. It's truly amazing that any of us learn how to read and spell.
Parents can support their kids learning to spell and write in school by spending time with them at home, reading and playing word games. Word games can help early writers just learning how to spell, as well as more advanced writers to increase their vocabularies. I've picked out a few word games that help kids with spelling words and tried them out with my seven year old. Not only have I been impressed with his growing ability and comfort (sometimes that's the most important thing) with spelling words, but we've had a lot of fun too. And great warm up for back to school.
It's back to school time and so we are thinking about all those little details of preparing for the school year. Making healthy school lunches and snacks is a big one. We asked the moms of Mommy Poppins what their best tips for easy healthy snack options and school lunch recipes were and they came up with a bunch of really original school lunch box ideas, as well as some old standbys.
Read on to find out what we're putting in our kids' lunch boxes for school lunch and snacks:
Last week there was an article in the NY Times, “Watch How You Hold That Crayon,” about OT and handwriting. In the article Anthony DiCarlo, a Principal stated, “In the last five years, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of kids who don’t have the strength in their hands to wield scissors or do arts and crafts projects, which in turn prepares them for writing."
He goes on to say that while many kids head back to school with accomplishments like music, yoga and sports classes, they may not have logged enough time in open-ended play. “I’m all for academic rigor,” he said, “but these days I tell parents that letting their child mold clay, play in the sand or build with Play-Doh builds important school-readiness skills, too.”
Granola bars are a snack that kids love and parents can feel good about giving their kids - or so the ads say. But many granola bars aren't much better than candy bars and are loaded with sugar, fat, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. I found a really easy recipe for granola bars on AllRecipes and I've been making our own ever since. We whip up a batch every weekend for the upcoming week - perfect for back to school time. You could also make more and freeze them. The kids love them and love making them. It's fun for them to eat healthy snacks they've made themselves.
Last year at this time you may have been wracked with anxiety about finding your child the right preschool or elementary school. Now all of that is behind you and next week or soon there after your kid or toddler will be starting school for the first time or starting at big kid school for the first time. Either way, it's their turn to be filled with anxiety. Even the most cool NYC kid is bound to feel some jitters when faced with a completely new school situation
Every June, we pack the kids into the car and head to the Cape, where we hop on the ferry over to Nantucket. It's a family tradition we hope to keep up for many years to come. Although it is further than Martha's Vineyard, we choose Nantucket because of the wealth of things to do on the island with young children. Here are some of our favorite spots (including a few secret gems), plus insider tips for getting the most out of your visit. See you "on island!"
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