Sunday, April 29, 2007
Never mind that I still credit the YMCA child care center for raising my kids. My children attended the center full-time since they were three months old, and instead of shedding tears when I dropped my babies off, I thought to myself, “Thank God they’re with someone who actually knows what they’re doing.” Now in grades 4 and 7, they are healthy, well-adjusted, thriving young people.
Your mileage may vary.
Then, a newspaper column reflected on the value of parental time with children, and how it has changed over the past 40 years. Ironically, while mothers in the 1960s spent more time with their children than now, they weren’t necessarily focused on them. In those halcyon days of June Cleaver, I recall the freedom of roaming the neighborhood as a child, supervised only by a slightly older sibling or friends, while our mothers were in the kitchen (or so we assumed).
No “play dates.” No lessons and structured activities. Most team sports didn’t start till 5th grade, and even then parents rarely showed up for games. Parental child-focused time has actually increased in the past decade or two.
But can there be too much of a good thing with child-focused time?
A National Public Radio commentator discussed the big event taking place in the homes of 17- and 18-year-olds: the arrival of college admission letters. High school seniors are applying to more schools, with more pressure and demographic competition than ever before. And many of them are facing rejection for the first time in their lives.
In all parents’ best intentions, in our attempts to help our children find the best way in life, we forget that life isn’t always rosy. How will a child cope with not getting accepted into the college of his or her choice if we have fought every battle and structured every experience for them? Perhaps a little less intensive parenting, allowing children to find their own way and discover their resilience when things don’t go as planned, is the best gift we can give our children.
Meanwhile, I’ll watch my 4th grader for signs of behavioral problems in the next year or two.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
2nd birthday. Those who visit http://www.webkinz.com/ can spin the Super Wheel for a special prize.
To enter our contest, you must be a Massachusetts resident and fill out a brief survey. One lucky Bay State parent will win this Webkinz monkey for their child. Winner will be announced on this blog next week!
To enter visit: www.baystateparent.com/Common/survey_form.html
FYI: Today, we had more than 1,000 visitors to this site!
Friday, April 27, 2007
Kids can learn to play chess or challenge a new opponent. The library is requesting, kids try to bring a chess set.
Registration is required. To register, call the children's room at 508-393-5025.
The Zoo also announced that the baby has been named Seamus (pronounced “Shay – mus”).
To celebrate Seamus’ birth and speedy recovery, Franklin Park Zoo is inviting anyone who shares the baby’s name to visit the Zoo for free on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6. Simply show proof of identification (driver’s license, birth certificate, passport) at the Zoo’s gates for free admission.
Following a two week long Zoo-sponsored baby naming contest, which garnered more than 1,200 entries from throughout the Commonwealth and even a few from overseas, the name was to be announced on April 18 but was delayed due to the veterinary team’s discovery of the baby’s illness. Pneumonia is one of the most common concerns with newborn hoofstock, but following aggressive treatment with antibiotic therapy, the Zoo veterinary team gave the baby a clean bill of health.
Among the responses to the naming contest, there were nine entries for the name Seamus.
The winning selection, made by the Tropical Forest’s 16 staff members, was chosen in part because the baby was born on March 16 to Milton, a 16-year-old male, and Abby, a 3-year-old female, the day before St. Patrick’s Day.
The 9 winning entries will each receive a coveted “Behind-the-Scenes” tour of Franklin Park Zoo and a one-year Zoodoption of this species.
For more information about Zoo New England visit http://www.zoonewengland.com/
Cumberbatch entered the free raffle, while attending Bay State Parent magazine's 10th birthday party at Garden in the Woods in Framingham last Saturday, April 21.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
While corporate iParty has informed all of its stores that women have the right to breatsfeed in public, the incident highlights the fact that Massachusetts is one of the worst states in America in protecting a women's right to breastfeed.
A point not lost with us here at Bay State Parent magazine.
In fact, we highlighted this lack of support for moms in our 7th Annual Pregnancy & Baby Issue in March. Freelance Writer Jennifer Lefferts researched and wrote the report.
You can read the entire special report online at: www.baystateparent.com/news/2007/0301/Articles/031.html
Additional articles include:
* Massachusetts is one of the worst: www.baystateparent.com/news/2007/0301/Articles/032.html
* Benefits of Breastfeeding: www.baystateparent.com/news/2007/0301/Articles/034.html
* Resources: www.baystateparent.com/news/2007/0301/Articles/033.html
To read more about the iParty incident, visit http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=196602
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Inside the issue is our inaugural Family Dining Guide. More than 75 restaurants are included in the kid-friendly dining guide chart. Freelance writer Leslie Castillo called local and chain restaurants and compiled 6-pages worth of information for families -- which restaurant has a kid's only menu, which offers free or discounted meal nights, which provide entertainment for children, which give free drinks or desserts, which have birthday or kids clubs?
Consider the chart a work in progress. I'm sure there is a restaurant that is a favorite of your family that may not be on it. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com with additions or tell me about eating establishments that you didn't think were family-friendly.
Also inside our first Family Dining Guide, freelance writer Marguerite Paolino explores why families are trying to revive the tradition of eating dinner together and a second report on how to teach your toddler through teenager basic table manners.
Finally, our May issue would not be complete without a few Mother's Day articles.
Being a mom comes with a lot of titles. One title that always gets a reaction - be it positive or negative - is Soccer Mom. Freelance writer Michelle Xiarhos Curran, in her first article for Bay State Parent magazine, talked to moms who are proud of the title, and reported on the debate surrounding Soccer Moms and the stereotypes attached to the title.
Also inside the issue is a report on the trend of helicopter parenting and an interview with I Love You Like Crazy Cakes author Rose A Lewis. Lewis, a Needham resident, in a Q&A with me talks about adopting her daughter from China, motherhood, and her latest book Every Year on Your Birthday.
The issue should be at your favorite location in Eastern & Central Massachusetts next week.
1. It’s Spring! What child doesn’t love exploring ponds to find the prize: salamanders and frogs? Bring the kids to a Vernal Pool Exploration at the Mass Central Rail Trail in Rutland at 10 a.m. Your family will learn that a vernal pool can be a mere puddle or a huge body of water. The important thing is that it’s where frogs and salamanders go to lay their eggs. Meet in the parking on the state park entrance road. Call Robin Peters 508-886-6541 with questions and to register. Wear boots or old sneakers - you may get wet. For more information visit http://www.wachusettgreenways.org/. (FYI - This is the postponed event from Saturday, April 7 at 10 a.m.)
2. A Family Fun Fair for families with children under the age of 5 will be held at the Kane Elementary School, 520 Farm Road in Marlborough from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Families will meet childcare providers, preschool centers, local businesses, community resources, family-focused organizations, and children’s entertainers. There will be many free prizes and giveaways. Puppet-making with the Arts Alliance and entertainment by musicians and storytellers will ensure plenty of fun, free activities for children and their families. There is ample parking for this FREE event. The Fair is wheelchair-accessible. For additional information call 508-485-0085. The Fair is sponsored by the Community Partnerships for Children and the Assabet Valley Family Network, a non-profit organization that provides education and support to families with children aged pre-birth through 3 years, who reside in Hudson, Marlborough, Northborough, Southborough and Westborough and is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.
***Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to area food pantries
Monday, April 23, 2007
Regular registration has closed, but late registration, including the morning of the conference, is being accepted on a space available basis at a $140 non-member fee.
The conference offers more than 100 seminars for individuals considering adoption, those who have adopted, or those touched by adoption. This year, there is a new track devoted to children with special needs.
To register, contact The New England Adoption Community, Inc. at 508-429-4260.
To view the seminars offers, visit www.adoptioncommunityofne.org/pages/annual-ne-adoption-conference/34th-conference-brochure/conference-schedule.php
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Thanks to everyone who attended our 10th birthday party at Garden in the Woods in Framingham. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. The children had a fabulous time searching for the nature-themed items on the scavenger hunt and the adults were some of the first to visit the nursery, full of fresh flowers ready for planting.
Walking through the pond area, the kids could hear woodpeckers. Along, the brook and pond, children found turtles, ducks, and salamanders.
The event benefitted Smiling Kids, a Southborough-based charity - www.smilingkidsinc.org
The winners of the raffles will be posted here, later this week.
You can view ALL the photos from the event at the magazine's photo gallery. (click on the link located on the rightside of this page.)
FYI -- The magazine's final 10th birthday party is scheduled for Saturday, May 12 at the EcoTarium in Worcester.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Saturday, take advantage of a special admission rate for your entire visit at the Garden, when you bring a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to www.smilingkidsinc.org along with the coupon pictured here. With the coupon, family members pay for one admission and get one admission free with a toy donation.
While at the beautiful site, enjoy a scavenger hunt, and enter a raffle to win a free birthday party at Garden in the Woods, and pick up a goodie bag provided by iParty.
In excess of 4 million units are involved. The recall includes all sets, except newer Magnetix sets sold since March 31, 2006, that are age-labeled 6+ and sets that contain the following caution label: “CAUTION: Do not ingest or inhale magnets.Attraction of magnets in the body may cause serious injury and require immediate medical care.” Mega Brands advises that sets currently at retail better retain magnets due to improved quality control, material and design changes. These products are not included in the recall.
To date, CPSC and Mega Brands are aware of one death, one aspiration, and 27 intestinal injuries. Emergency surgical intervention was needed in all but one case. At least 1,500 incidents of magnets separating from the building pieces have been reported. Although the hazard was initially thought to be a problem primarily for children younger than age 6, it has since been learned that at least 10 injuries involved children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old.
If a child swallows more than one tiny powerful magnet detached from the plastic building pieces or one such magnet and a metallic object, the objects can attract to each other inside the intestines and cause perforations and/or blockage, which can be fatal, if not treated immediately.
“CPSC is deeply concerned about the dangers that small, powerful magnets can pose to children if swallowed,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. “In order for any product recall to be effective in protecting consumers, we must significantly reduce incidents and injuries from occurring after the recall is announced.”
Mega Brands has been cooperative in this expanded recall.
These older sets, which were manufactured in China, contain up to 250 plastic building pieces and 1/2-inch diameter steel balls. The building pieces include 1 1/2-inch squares, 1-inch triangles, cylinder rods, flexors, connectors, x-tenders, and curves and come in an assortment of colors such as metallic, primary, translucent, and glow in the dark.
Mass merchants and other toy and arts and crafts stores sold the sets nationwide for between $20 and $60, depending on the size of the set.
Consumers should stop using the recalled magnetic sets immediately and contact Mega Brands for a comparable replacement toy. If consumers are uncertain as to whether their product is being recalled, they can contact Mega Brands at 800-779-7122 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit http://www.megabrands.com/
The CPSC is urging consumers to immediately report any incidents of loose magnets to the CPSC Hotline at 800-638-2772 or to the CPSC Web site at www.cpsc.gov
At the EcoTarium, Explore living things to the things we leave behind!
Meet live bats from around the world with the Organization for Bat Conservation, track trash with kids author Loree Griffin Burns, enjoy hands-on art & science activities, music and more!
Drop by exhibitor tables for ideas on how you can do your part for the planet.
For more information, visit http://www.ecotarium.org/
At 11 a.m., there will be a small ceremony attended by Hood Vice President Jeffrey J. Kaneb, Lou Casagrande, president of the Children's Museum, the mayor, and the "Hoodsie Twins" mascots, who will handout ice cream to the children who attend the public gathering.
The bottle had disappeared from its popular spot during the renovations for the museum this past winter. The museum re-opened to the public last Saturday and will welcome the milk bottle back as its neighbor tomorrow.
For those driving in please note the Congress St. Bridge is currently closed to traffic. For driving directions and parking information available at:www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/plan/directions_car.html
Oeuf LLC has received six reports of frames breaking. No injuries have been reported.
This recall involves Oeuf infant bouncer seats with padded canvas supported by a tubular steel frame. The canvas seat is brown with white, blue or pink stripes. A three-point safety belt is attached to the canvas. Model number 2005 is printed on the label.
The seat was sold at specialty stores and Web retailers nationwide from September 2006 through March 2007 for about $100.
Consumers should stop using the infant seat immediately and contact Oeuf LLC to receive a repair kit. For additional information, contact Oeuf at 800-691-8810 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit http://www.oeufnyc.com/new/pages.php?pageid=16
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Visit The Shops at Prudential Center's and The Improper Bostonian's 2nd Annual Volunteer Expo in the Huntington and Belvidere Arcades tomorrow night (Thursday, April 19) from 5:30 to 7:30. This special evening will allow families to be introduced to more than 50 volunteer organizations, including several that help families in need.
Participating organizations include:
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
American Red Cross
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
Benefit for Kids
Big Brothers of Massachusetts Bay
Big Sister Association of Greater Boston
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
Boston Digital Bridge Foundation
Boston Junior Chamber of Commerce
Boston Partners in Education
Bread & Jams, Inc
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Cradles to Crayons
Dress for Success
East End House
Ellis Memorial and Eldregde House
Franciscan Hospital for Children
Habitat for Humanity
Girl Scouts Patriots' Trail Council
The Greater Boston Food Bank
Horizons for Homeless Children
The Home for Little Wanderers
Horizons for Homeless Children
Italian Home for Children
The Jimmy Fund
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly
Massachusetts Association for the Blind
Massachusetts Citizens for Children
Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
The Miracle Providers of NorthEast
On Your Feet Project
Parents Helping Parents
Pine Street Inn
Room To Grow
Single Volunteers of Boston Properties
StandUp for Kids
Starlight Starbright Foundation of New England
Susan G. Komen For the Cure
The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Volunteer Family (www.thevolunteerfamily.org)
The United Way of Massachusetts Bay
ZOO New England
Below are 5 picks for Thursday, April 19 (Please call to confirm event):
1. Comic Book Workshop at the Hudson Public Library, 3 Washington Street from 3 to 4 p.m. Local comic book artist Paul Ryan will teach kids how a comic is produced, what makes a good story structure, then show you the basics of drawing, perspective and visual storytelling. Pre-registration is suggested at the adult circulation desk by calling 978-568-9645.
2. Attend a Stevesongs Children's Concert at the Children's Cooperative Nursery School, Hyde Community Center 90 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands at 10a .m. Tickets are $10 at the door.
3. See a Butterflies Slide Show Presentation at the Northborough Free Library, 34 Main St., Northborough at 1 p.m. Presentation on butterflies by Jerry Schneider and then children can do a T-shirt craft.T-shirts can be purchased for $4 or bring your own. Pre-registration is suggested at 508-393-5025.
4. Watch Circus School in session at the Providence Children's Museum, Providence, RI. at 1 & 2 p.m. See the 3-ring show by kids and for kids. Watch amazing juggling feats, balancing acts and performing acrobats. Kids join in the fun and try out tricks for themselves! Admission to the museum is $6.50 per person. Show is free.
5. Have Victorian Tea with Miss Columbia at the Wenham Museum, Main St., Wenham at 2 p.m. Perfect for children ages 4 and up, tea and story hour is with Miss Columbia's owner Elizabeth Horton. She tells tales of her adventures as a young Victorian girl, shares dolls and toys from the museum's collections and reads a story or two from the Around the World with Miss Columbia exhibit. Cost for the event is $6 per person. It is above the museum admission price of $6.50 for adults, $4.40 for children ages 2-16. For more information call 978-468-2377 or visit http://www.wenhammuseum.org/.
Check back tomorrow on this blog for weekend picks (Friday, Saturday & Sunday events). The good news --- the forecasters are predicting a sunny weekend with temperatures in the 60s. Perhaps, spring may finally arrive?
“While this is a very serious illness, we are aggressively treating the baby with antibiotic therapy and hope to see improvement within the next three to four days,” said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Associate Veterinarian, Zoo New England.
The baby was born March 16, to Milton, a 16-year-old male, and Abby, a 3-year-old female.
More than 1,200 entries were received in a Zoo-sponsored contest to name the baby, which was also posted on this blog.
The name was scheduled to be announced today, but has been delayed given the circumstances.
“We are very excited about this birth, but are concerned about the illness. He is receiving top-notch medical care from our staff but, just as in the wild, there are heightened risks with young animals,” said John Linehan, President and CEO, Zoo New England. “Abby has proven to be a great mother, but neo-natal mortality is always a concern.”
Baird’s tapirs are considered endangered in the wild. While they are hunted for food and sport, their greatest threat to survival is habitat destruction due to logging and clearing of land for agriculture and development. Tapirs are the largest land mammals found in Latin America.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
This can range from the death of a pet through the death of a family member, all the way to local or national tragedies they see or read about in the news.
“Kids gain mastery through repetition - they may ask repeatedly about the incident to gain understanding--parents and caregivers need to be prepared to answer the same questions over and over and using simple, honest, and age appropriate answers,” says Kelly Chasse, PhD, with the Bradley School in East Providence, RI.
She also suggests that parents stay away from using euphemisms when talking about death.
“Statements such as “resting in peace;” “passed on to another life;" “we lost her;” “she is no longer with us” are not helpful to children and are confusing.
Using the words death or died, although difficult for adults, will be more helpful to kids,” says Chasse.
1. Remember to consider the developmental level of your child: Teenagers understand the concept of death. It is important to provide honest and factual information when talking with teenagers about death. Couch these facts in as warm and supportive a framework as you can; for instance, with reassurances that you are going to be there for them. With teenagers, it is appropriate to give more information than you would a younger child.
2. Invite questions: Even if your teenager seem to understand what happened, remind them that they can ask you questions any time. Many times, teenagers take some time to process tragic events, and will not ask about them until later. Remind them that questions are okay.
3. Expect regression: In the wake of loss or tragic events, many teenagers will regress to earlier behaviors, particularly ones that are associated with comfort, such as seeking favorite toys, or wanting to sleep in the same room with their parents. These behaviors are normal coping mechanisms in the face of tragedy, and are no cause for alarm. Most teens will return to more age appropriate behaviors in 1 - 2 months after the event, and often much more rapidly. However, if these behaviors continue beyond this general time frame, consult your pediatrician. Particular attention should be paid to regressive behaviors that interfere with your teen’s functioning, such as excessive school refusal and sleep or appetite disturbance.
4. Teenagers express grief differently than adults: Teenagers are on their way to becoming adults, but it is important to remember that they are not yet adults. As teens try to make sense out of what has happened and they experience their grief, you may see anger, disobedience, and acting out behaviors. If you see this happening, it helps to sit down with your teenager and talk with them. Give them permission to experience their feelings and encourage them to express their feelings. Let them know that the intensity of feelings they are experiencing will not last forever.
5. Structure helps: One of the things that most help teenagers through tragic loss is a continuity of family structure and tradition. If at all possible, continue to do the things your family usually does - whether these are mealtimes, special games, or involvement in religious or cultural groups. While teens need to have the tragedy acknowledged, they also need to know that the world will go on.
6. Remember your own grief: Often, parents will try to repress their own feelings in order to stay strong for their teenagers. While it may not be helpful to grieve extensively in front of your child, it is very important to take care of yourself, and your own feelings of loss. Teenagers can easily sense when a parent is tense or anxious, and it is important to acknowledge your own pain and loss, and to get whatever help you need.
Finally, remember that tragedy is a part of every life - the job of parents is not to shield their teenagers from tragedy, but to help their teens become resilient enough to survive it. This is not often a job that anyone can do alone, and if you need help, ask for it, from friends, family, clergy, or helping professionals.
Chasse says that parents and caregivers should not be afraid of not having all of the answers.
“It’s okay to say “I don't know:” You are helping your children by letting them talk about their feelings and listening to them.”
Founded in 1931, Bradley Hospital (www.bradleyhospital.org) was the nation’s first psychiatric hospital operating exclusively for children. Today, it remains a premier medical institution devoted to the research and treatment of childhood psychiatric illnesses.
The recall involves footed pajamas made of 100 percent cotton. The sleepwear was sold in two styles including green with blue sleeves which has a caterpillar design on the front, and yellow with orange sleeves which has a duck design and “Quack! Quack!” printed on the front and duck beaks on the feet. “Baby Einstein” is printed on the back of the sleepwear. “Disney Store” is printed on a tag inside the pajamas. Only sleepwear in sizes 12 months and 18 months is included in this recall. Sleepwear sold in sizes 3, 6, and 9 months is not included in this recall. The sleepers were sold exclusively at Disney Stores nationwide from April 2006 through May 2006 for about $20.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled sleepwear and return it to any Disney Store for a full refund. For additional information, call toll-free at 866-902-2798 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific time Monday through Friday.
* Preschool guided storytime, crafts activities and live animals at the EcoTarium at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester beginning at 10:30 a.m. Kids play and parents relax. Free coffee, cocoa and snacks courtesy of Starbucks. This storyhour is free with Museum admission. Admission is $10 adults, $8 children ages 3-18. For more information visit http://www.ecotarium.org/
* Invention Convention at the Children's Discovery Museums in Acton starting at 10 a.m. Children can design their own invention prototype with recycled materials. Admission is $8 per person. For more information, visit http://www.discoverymuseums.org/.
* Diane Kordas Romper Rhythm and Puppets show at the Hudson Public Library, 3 Washington Street, in Hudson at 2 p.m. The show features Sir George and the Dragon. It is a fun and exciting medieval tale with Diane's trademark humor and audience participation. For more information call 978-568-9645 or visit http://www.hudsonpubliclibrary.com/.
* Fairy Houses, Fairy Moon performance at Providence Children's Museum at Providence, RI at 1 and 2 p.m. Artist Maria Sangiolo combines literature, music, song, and play into an inspiring and imaginative performance for children. Maria's songs enhance "Fairy House" by Tracy Kane, a story of a girl's adventure as she travels to Maine and takes part in the tradition of building fairy houses. Children, ages 3-11, can build their own fairy houses using natural materials, inspiring creativity and imagination. $Admission to the museum is $6.50 per person. For more information, call 401-273-KIDS or visit http://www.childrenmuseum.org/.
* Miniature Kite Building Workshop at the Wenham Museum on main Street in Wenham at 3 p.m. The workshop features Glenn Davison, master kite designer, builder, author and Director of Kites Over New England Kite Club. Admission is $6.50 adults, $4.50 children ages 2-16. Preregistration may be required. Please call, 978-468-2377 or visit http://www.wenhammuseum.org/ for more information.
* Scott Kepnes Family Concert at St. Mark's Episcopal Church at 75 Cold Spring Road in Westford at 10 a.m. A fun, funky folk-rock concert with this favorite storyteller & songwriter for children of all age. The artist encourages audience participation. Tickets at the door are $9. For more information, call 978-692-4544.
* The Stupendous Mr. Magichead performance at Congregation B'nai Shalom at 117 East Main Street in Westorough at 10 a.m. This magic show is appropriate for children ages 3+. All proceeds to benefit the non-profit JFS of Worcester. Tickets at the door are $5 each. For more information, call 508-755-3101.
Check this blog tomorrow for Thursday picks!
Monday, April 16, 2007
On Tuesday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Calderwood Courtyard (but most likely indoors at the Lower Rotunda) children can create a nature collage. First families are encouraged to explore the African and Oceanic galleries to see how artists have used natural materials in their artwork; and then learn techniques of collage and then use materials from nature to design a work of art of your own.
Other daily events scheduled:
* Art InterACTions with the Underground Railway Theater: Join the Underground Railway Theater for an interactive performance exploring nature in art. Audience participation is encouraged! The event takes place at the 17th century Dutch Gallery on the second floor at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
* Children’s Story Hour with Laura Ziman Enjoy a variety of children's stories about nature in the African Arts Gallery on the first floor at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
*Clare Walker Leslie Drawing Workshop. Join renowned nature artist Clare Walker Leslie for a drop-in drawing activity sketching objects from nature. Visit http://www.mfa.org/ for more info.
If the museum is not your child's idea of fun & adventure, try these 3 ideas for Tuesday:
1) What's the Buzz? Bee & Butterfly Gardens at the Children's Discovery Museums in Acton at 10 a.m. Find out why bees and butterflies like certain kinds of flowers, and plant your own bee and butterfly starter-garden to take home. Admission is $8 per person. Call 978-264-4200 or visit http://www.discoverymuseums.org/ for more info
2) Cooking with Kevin at Verrill Farm, 11 Wheeler Road in Concord starting at 3 p.m. Chef Kevin Carey teaches a hands-on cooking class featuring a Tex-Mex menu for children in grades one-three. Pre-registration is required. $15 per child. Call 978-369-4494 or visit http://www.verrillfarm.com/ to register. Chef Kevin will offer a cooking class for students in grades 4-6 on Thursday, April 19.
3) Game Day at the National Heritage Museum at 33 Marrett Road in Lexington from noon to 4 p.m. Challenge family and friends to a board game and see other toys and games throughout the Museum. This event is free. For more information visit http://www.nationalheritagemuseum.org/
Check back tomorrow (Tuesday) for picks for Wednesday fun!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
The Doodlebops, straight from their hit TV show on Playhouse Disney, performed two shows at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium this afternoon. The crowd (of which, a majority was 2-6 year olds, most at their first-ever rock concert) danced and bopped for the 90-minute concert. Deedee, Rooney, and Moe Doodle got on a bus (Yes, one did drive onto the stage with Bus Driver Bob,) sang, and danced for the crowd, which included many Deedee and other Doodle look-a-likes.
During the concert, Moe pulled the roped, Deedee was a Queen for a Day, and Rooney rocked on his guitar. The trio performed many of the songs from their popular television show and bestselling DVDs and CDs, including: I Can Dance, Hold Your Horses, Let's Get Loud (of which the audience did), Wobbly Woopsie, The Bird Song 2006, Get On The Bus, and Together Forever.
If you have never seen the PlayhouseDisney show, produced by Cookie Jar Entertainment in Canada, the Doodlebops are a trio of siblings, whom just happened to be rock stars. Their songs are engaging and even you will find yourself humming them, even if you don't want too. During the show Rooney tried to engage the adult audience members. First, he commented on a man in the second row being a brave soul for wearing a NY Yankees baseball cap in Red Sox country. And then later, when the bus screeched onto stage, and someone asked what that noise was? Rooney suggested "Sanjaya" from American Idol.
This is the Doodlebops first tour. They were travelling to 80 cities and Lynn was their only Massachusetts stop.
Photos from the Doodlebops first Bay State concert are posted at the magazine's photo gallery. Click on the gallery link on the right of this page to view and order photos or click on this link: http://www.gocentralmass.com/mycapture/index.asp?view=yes&groupingid=21529.
* Make Your Own Pop-Up Book at the Barnes & Noble in Bellingham at 10:30 a.m. For more information call, 508-966-7600.
* Performance of the Last Dragon on Earth Crabgrass Puppets at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston at 10:30 a.m. Beautiful puppets, creative scenery, and witty dialogue and humor, evoke a timeless story of tolerance and friendship that will delight audiences of all ages. Visit http://www.jfklibrary.com/ for admission prices and more.
* Delve into space at the new Planetarium at the EcoTarium in Worcester from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. After much anticipation, the Alden Digital Planetarium is open with exciting, entertaining and educational lineups of multimedia planetarium shows produced by museums and renowned space centers from around the globe. Admission is $10 adults, children under age 18 $8 and children under age 3, free for more information, visit www. ecotarium.org
Check back Monday for picks for Tuesday.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
1. Sat. April 14 - Sat. April 21: It's Patriots' Day in Historic Concord. Experience what life was like as you witness British and Colonial re-enactors bring the Revolutionary War to life in Concord and surrounding towns. Tours, parades, battles, memorials, and more provide living history lessons as well as a memorable outing. We've listed scores of events in this month's calendar listings, but you will also find information at the Concord Museum (978-369-9763, concordmuseum.org) and the Old Manse (978-369-3909). Also visit, www.battleroad.org and www.thetrustees.org.
2. Friday, April 13: Kick off your school vacation week with a Family Fun Night at the Discovery Museums in Acton. Enjoy a special after-hours opening from 5:30 - 8 p.m. with Earth Day activities. Admission is $5 per person with a $20 family maximum. For more information, contact 978-264-4200 or visit www.discoverymuseums.org.
3. Saturday, April 14: 14th Annual Teddy Bear Clinic. This very popular FREE event sponsored by UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center takes place at the Greendale Mall, 7 Neponset St. in Worcester from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Center's doctors, nurses, and staff volunteer their time and expertise to promote health and safety. Learn about health, safety, visiting the doctor, having surgery and injury prevention. Bring a teddy bear or toy for the doctor to examine. For more information, call 508-856-1650.
4. Saturday, April 14: Soccer Revolution. The New England Revolution's home opener is a double header with the United States Women's National Team taking the field against Mexico at 5 p.m. and the Revolution taking on Major League Soccer (MLS) newcomer Toronto at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $32, $42, & $50. For more information visit www.revolutionsoccer.net
5. Sunday, April 15: Take in a concert by Manguito: Rumba, Bomba, Plena, Merengue, presented by Music Worcester and sponsored by Bay State Parent magazine at Bancroft School in Worcester at 3 p.m. Specifically for elementary-age children, the concert features five internationally-known Latin American musicians, who will take families on a musical tour of the Caribbean as they play the rhythms of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. For additional information visit www.musicworcester.org.
6. Monday, April 16: There's no school today, so gather along the route of the 111th Boston Marathon. Starting at Hopkinton Center and ending 26.2 miles away on Boylston Street in Boston, more than a half million spectators are expected to watch 20,000 runners, including some of the best in the world, compete in the oldest marathon. In terms of media coverage, the Boston Marathon is the second biggest single-day sporting event in the U.S., just behind the Super Bowl. For spectator tips, visit http://www.baa.org/.
Please take a few minutes to answer the questions at this link: www.readexsurvey.net/ppa/BayState.asp
The questions are specific to Bay State Parent magazine. One winner, nationally, will win a 5-day, 4-night Jamaican vacation plus $500 in cash. The deadline to enter is July 1, 2007.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Consumer Board, a leading private research firm, found that this year will mark a 28-year
low in travel, and a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll found that one-third of Americans said they were changing their summer vacation plans because of higher gas prices. Of those, 37 percent said they would reduce the number of trips they normally take, 26 percent said they’re canceling plans or simply can’t afford to take a trip and 23 percent said they will take
Beyond disrupting travel, increasing gas prices are affecting all areas of family
budgets. A Quinnipiac University Poll found that 72 percent of people said that
the rising price of gasoline has been either a "very serious problem" or "a somewhat
serious problem" for their family.
Consumers should immediately take this toy away from children and contact Small World Toys to obtain a free replacement toy. For additional information, contact Small World Toys at 800-421-4153 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday or visit www.smallworldtoys.com. Parents may also e-mail the firm at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
For example, Norvell said, a child may excel in a sport so parents may want to send them to a sports camp all summer. But the child might not want to go to a sports camp all summer - they might want to go to a traditional camp, with a variety of programs that a friend went to the summer before.
"That's why we suggest parents have a conversation about camp with their child to see what options are out there," Norvell said. "Cost and geography may limit options, but at least having the conversation is a start."
With numerous camp options that include co-ed camps, residential camps, and day camps, parents may not be sure their child would be ready for those experiences. But camp directors agree that children can be more ready for residential camps than their parents' may think.
Monday, April 9, 2007
The magazine now has seven advertising sales representative serving Eastern & Central Massachusetts.
The new team members include:
* Christina Walton is a Lowell resident and mother of one young daughter. She worked for several years at Community Newspaper Company focusing on a territory northwest of Boston.
For Bay State Parent, Christina will handle clients from Arlington, Belmont, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Westford, Lowell, Medford, Winchester, Woburn and communities further north.
*Mark Steina is the former owner of Ovations Model and Talent, and familiar with Bay State Parent as an advertiser and reader. He is by his own words "One of Bay State Parent's Biggest Fans!" Mark lives in Oxford (along with an extended family that includes an 8-year-old granddaughter) and has an extensive background in sales and fund-raising including efforts for the United Way, Worcester Chamber of Commerce, and UMASS Memorial Hospital. He is also a former teacher in Central Mass. Mark will focus on Worcester and the South County region. Mark's e-mail is email@example.com
* Julie Barrett comes to us following nearly four years selling advertising for Quilting Arts magazine in Stow. Prior to that Julie held design and sales positions at Ethan Allen and Helen Herold Interiors. Julie lives in Marlboro with her husband and two sons (ages 4 and 2) and will focus on the following territory: Ayer, Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Concord, Groton, Hudson, Lancaster, Littleton, Marlboro, Maynard, Northboro, Shirley, Stow, & Sudbury.
* Laura Lepard lives in Auburn with her husband and two young children, and is another self-proclaimed "huge fan" of the magazine having read it cover-to-cover for years. Her professional experience includes children's instruction at the YMCA of Greater Worcester, marketing assistant at TJX companies, and account executive for Chancellor Outdoor (billboards) Advertising in Ohio. Laura also ran her own wedding and bridal accessories shop from her home for more than five years. Laura will focus on clients in Shrewsbury, Millbury, Sutton, Bellingham, Franklin, Wrentham, Blackstone, Uxbridge, Hopedale, Milford, Whitinsville, Upton, Northbridge, Mendon, Plainville, Attleboro, and North Attleboro.
Laura's e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
These four join:
* Susan Beaudry, who covers Worcester and Northern Worcester County, including Fitchburg, Leominster, & Gardner. Sue's e-mail is email@example.com
* Terry Dayhoff, who covers MetroWest, including Framingham, Newton, & Needham, as well as Boston, and other Eastern Massachusetts communities south of the Massachusetts Pike. Terry's e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
* Deb Pillsbury, who covers Southern Worcester County from Auburn through Sturbridge and intro Western Massachusetts. Deb's e-mail is email@example.com
For more information on advertising with Bay State Parent magazine, visit: http://www.baystateparent.com/Common/Original/bpadvertising/rates.pdf
If you miss the special airing tonight or want to watch it a a more convenient time with your child, the entire program can be viewed online at http://www.sesameworkshop.org/wpad/
The special builds upon Sesame Workshop's recent educational outreach program produced in partnership with Wal-Mart Stores, Talk, Listen, Connect: Helping Families During Military Deployment.
Compelling research illustrates how Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has been successful in helping children cope with the challenges of military deployment.
In July 2006, Sesame Workshop launched Talk, Listen, Connect: Helping Families During Military Deployment, a bilingual, multi-media outreach kit developed to provide tools and ideas to parents and caregivers on how to help children cope with the process of deployment.
Findings from the survey including a national sample of 367 spouses of active duty, National Guard and Reserves personnel from all five branches of the military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Coast Guard), indicated that after four weeks of exposure to the kit:
* More than 80 percent of families rated the kit as highly appealing, effective, and comprehensible for adults and children.
* Families expressed increased comfort levels in helping children cope with current and future deployments by utilizing suggestions and strategies from the materials.
* Parents reported feeling less depressed and hopeless.
* Families reported that their children exhibited fewer negative behaviors and an increase in constructive family interactions about deployment.
“The evaluation data strongly supports that parents appreciate and want resources on how to support their young children during deployments. I am so pleased that Sesame Workshop undertook this effort to support military parents of young children, and I am especially pleased that careful evaluation was part of the effort from the very beginning,” stated Shelley MacDermid, Ph.D., co-Director of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University. “The thoughtfulness with which the developers sought guidance from researchers and other experts as the materials were constructed was instrumental to their success, and today’s findings speak for themselves.”
The Talk, Listen, Connect materials include a DVD for children and adults featuring the Muppets from Sesame Street; a poster for children; and a magazine for children, parents and caregivers that addresses the challenges and concerns experienced during various phases of deployment (pre-deployment, deployment and homecoming).
The kits were distributed to military families by The Department of Defense through Military OneSource various outlets at no cost.
In just the first two weeks of distribution, more than 100,000 requests for kits were received and interest continues each day.
The Talk, Listen, Connect kits are also available online at www.sesameworkshop.org/tlc, where streaming video is being provided by The Department of Defense Quality of Life Information Technology Center.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Friday, April 6, 2007
Carrie & I will both be attending the second of two shows on Saturday.
We'll be taking photos for the magazine's photo gallery and blogging about the concerts.
Ushers will be distributing copies of our April issue, which features the Berkner interview, at both the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. shows
And tonight, Boston College's men's hockey team outscored North Dakota 6-4, to advance to the NCAA Championship game Saturday night. After two periods, the two teams, who have met several times at the Frozen Four in the past five years were tied 2-2. With seven minutes to go, Boston College and North Dakota scored 6 goals - three goals in the final minute. (Even, non-hockey fans love that type of shoot out.)
BC will face off against Michigan State for the right to be #1.
Sports are a terrific activity for children.
Not only do they teach children lessons on teamwork, winning & losing, and self-esteem; sports can help children to manage time and support a healthy lifestyle.
Considering the alarming statistics on childhood obesity (Check out Bay State Parent's special report: http://www.baystateparent.com/news/2007/0301/Articles/007.html), sports is an ideal way to get children off the couch, away from video games, and actually exercising.
One of the most popular sports for boys & girls in Massachusetts, under the age of 13, is not baseball nor hockey, but soccer.
According to the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association (http://www.mayouthsoccer.org/), more than 185,000 children in Massachusetts play youth soccer annually. Many community soccer programs will begin its spring season this month.
To learn more about soccer's popularity in Massachusetts, check out the magazine's report last fall: http://www.baystateparent.com/news/2006/0901/Articles/019.html
In the meantime, here's hoping for the Red Sox to win another World Series and for my alma mater to win another national hockey title. Go BC!
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Entries will be accepted through Sunday, April 15.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 18, 2007
To enter the baby naming contest, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name suggestion and contact information.
Please visit www.franklinparkzoo.org for more information or to plan a trip.
Consumers should take the Easter basket away from young children immediately and remove the beads and ribbons to prevent the choking hazard. Consumers also can return the item to the nearest Wal-Mart store for a full refund.
For additional information, please contact Gemmy Industries at 800- 231-6879 between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at http://www.gemmy.com/faqList.cfm?faqCatID=16
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
WHEN: Saturday, April 7th from 10 a.m. to noon (Photos are from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
WHERE: Belkin Family Lookout Farm, The Farm Market & Garden Center, 89 Pleasant St. in South Natick
COST: Egg hunt & crafts are FREE. Photos with Easter Bunny are $5 each.
Belkin Family Lookout Farm has been in operation since 1651, and is one of the oldest continuously working farms in the United States. Lookout Farm grows a variety of fruit and organic vegetables, creating the most nutritious and tasty produce possible. Joan and Steve Belkin purchased the 180-acre farm in 2005, and their family is dedicated to continuing 350 years of farm tradition for future generations
LOOKING FOR OTHER EASTER EVENTS THIS WEEKEND?
Check out what's inside the April issue of Bay State Parent magazine at:
The carts were sold at Target stores nationwide from July 2006 through March 2007 and on www.target.com from October 2006 through February 2007 for about $20.
Consumers should take the toy away from children and return the item to any Target store for a full refund. For additional information, please contact Target at 800-440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday, or visit the Web site at http://www.target.com/gp/browse.html/ref=br_bx_0/602-5556973-4215029?ie=UTF8&node=1041388
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
I have never been a fan of it.
But this morning's weather was worse than rain.
I had just dropped my daughter off at school this morning, when it started hailing & then sleeting ice.
I know it's April, but I'll take a couple of inches of the white fluffy snow rather than this cold icy rain hitting me and my car this morning.
Better yet, I'm sure it won't be long before I encounter one of those hot, hazy, humid 90 degree-plus days.
Because as most Bay Staters know ...
It's not April Showers Bring May Flowers but rather ...
long, cold winters, followed by long, cold rain storms, and then unbearable heat.
Spring, TYPICALLY, rarely makes an appearance here in Massachusetts.
It must be why Autumn is my favorite season!
Monday, April 2, 2007
Naturally, my daughters (ages 4 and 6) were visibly traumatized to think that something could happen to their special “pets.” In just a few months, they have gotten attached to their Webkinz. Having that link with the virtual pets on Webkinz World – feeding them, taking them to the vet, setting up rooms for them – has increased their attachment to the Webkinz stuffed animals they carry around with them. Taking care of the pets in the virtual world makes them seem just a little more real than the other stuffies that fill their room. (www.webkinz.com)
So hearing that something was out to destroy their pets was upsetting, to say the least.
They cornered my husband as soon as he walked in the door that night. They knew he’d get to the bottom of it quickly, and it didn’t take much digging on his part. Right there on the Webkinz World homepage, there is a corner called “Webkinz Bulletinz.” Apparently, the tall tale didn’t start in our small town’s elementary schools after all.
The website assures users that Webkinz World is “a safe, happy and fun place to play” and that the stories are just rumors.
“Many people have been writing in, asking about a rumor that is going around,” the message states. “The rumor is about something in Webkinz World hurting Webkinz pets. The most important thing to know is that this rumor is not true at all. Nothing in Webkinz World would ever hurt your Webkinz pets.”
My husband was the hero of the day when he gave them the straight story.
But it’s hard for young children to truly understand the difference between the virtual world and the real one. They know their Webkinz will get sick if they don’t feed them every few days and put them to bed before they log off the site. That’s part of the system. The kids play games to earn money to take care of their pets. If they don’t take care of them, they don’t stay healthy and happy. If they get sick, according to the logic of my daughters, then why can’t they die? The fact that it’s all make-believe doesn’t factor into their thought process. They needed it explained. A couple of times.
The part that was hard for them to understand? Why anyone would want to scare them like that.
And that’s one question I had no good answer for.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
The hardcover book will hit bookstores this week, (Little Brown Young Readers, $16.99). The book can be ordered online at www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com
I posed questions to Brown about his new book with Wells, his beloved Arthur character, and his love of Massachusetts inside the March issue of Bay State Parent magazine.
Parent: How do you think The Gulps can help to combat this country's childhood obesity problem?
Marc: "We hope that by reaching young children, perhaps it will help them think early on about the choices they are making."
Parent: Truthfully, what is your junk food of pleasure?
To find our Marc's answer and to read more of the interview visit: http://www.baystateparent.com/news/2007/0301/Articles/013.html