With Christmas quickly approaching, it’s easy to get lured in by the mega-sales, sparkling lights, and shiny wrapping paper. Even for those of us who try our best to be good to the Earth during the rest of the year, the holiday season can completely derail our efforts as we endeavor to please everyone, outdo our neighbors, and make Christmas magical for our kids. Celebrating Christmas in an Earth-friendly, sustainable way doesn’t mean taking the fun out of the party. Here are tips to help you go green (and maybe even save some green) this Christmas in Boston and beyond.
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 10 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 still afraid of the dark. You have a sensory 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 for Halloween. There are plenty of alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating in Boston, and dare I say, they may be even better than the real thing!
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has helped us discover local playgrounds with shade, easy Boston area hikes for preschoolers, nearby farms, and family friendly tent camping. Now, AMC has a new endeavor: A unique kind of prescription program called Outdoors Rx. Through the program, healthcare professionals at MassGeneral Hospital for Children give families in Waltham and Framingham prescriptions for regular outdoor physical activity. Then AMC fills the prescriptions with free, easy, and fun local outdoor programs.
Pam Hess, AMC’s Director of Youth Engagement, is one of the primary architects of Outdoors Rx and is AMC’s Outdoors Rx Program Director. We interviewed her to find out how the program started, why she’s so passionate about getting families outdoors, and what her family does for fun.
My eight-year-old daughter is the Imelda Marcos of costumes. Every Halloween she's invited to a terrifying number of celebrations and she insists on a different outfit for each one. I happen to love dressing up, too, so, I admit, I indulge her. Trouble is, she outgrows her costumes much more quickly than I do mine—we never get more than one Halloween season out of them.
Instead of throwing all of those barely used costumes into the donation bin (or worse, the landfill), we've found a better, eco-friendly option that saves us money and is actually pretty fun: Halloween costume swaps. At these community events, you trade your child's old costumes for new-to-you outfits. My daughter enjoys tearing through tables piled high with outlandish getups, and I love hanging on to my cash.
Costume swaps have really taken off in popularity in recent years as families become ever more frugal and environmentally aware. In fact, there's even an annual National Costume Swap Day! This year's edition officially takes place on Saturday, October 12, but local community organizations across the country hold costume swaps on various dates throughout the month. We've got the scoop on how to find costume swaps in your area and tips on how to host your own.
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 and Audrey