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  • Thursday, June 01, 2017 8:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of the healthiest national observance days has arrived!  Treat your kids to a free classic doughnut at Dunkin Donuts with the purchase of any beverage on June 2nd.



  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016 12:18 PM | Anonymous member

    The holidays are busy!  Here are my favorite go-to sites for activities to engage and keep my kids busy while doing something creative and festive.  Some activities only require two pipe cleaners and others will require a trip to the hardware store!


  • Tuesday, March 01, 2016 11:44 AM | Anonymous member

    This month only, new members can join for $20!  If you've been putting off joining, this is the month to do it!  For more information about membership benefits, check out our membership page!


  • Sunday, November 01, 2015 5:36 AM | Anonymous member

    It's fitting that Thanksgiving comes when it does--right after the sugar craze of Halloween and before the gimmes! of Christmas.  By November 1st, I'm usually ready for an activity to remind my kids that Disney Junior does not, in fact, rule the world (or at least, try to convince all of us of it).  

    Last year, we used these Gratitude Conversation Starters.  First, I printed the sheets out and cut out all of the slips of paper.  I folded them and put them in a little dish we keep in the dining room.  Each night, the kids take turns picking a slip from the dish and each of us answers the prompt.  Then I record everyone's answers on a paper leaf (you can use this template to make them) and hang it up in the kitchen to remind us all month long of all the things we are grateful for.  

    It doesn't prevent my kids from begging everything under the sun in December, but it does give me fond memories of a time when they were grateful, if only for a few weeks!

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2015 3:32 PM | Anonymous member

    Now that the leaves are starting to turn, we have a great excuse to head out for a short walk every afternoon.  I'm especially trying to savor this time knowing that Elsa is predicted to return for several months this winter!  

    To keep our walks interesting, I try to focus on a different activity either during or after the walk.  We wind up gathering tons of leaves, so I try to get the kids to count and sort them when we get home--by color, size, or tree type.  We add in pinecones and acorns to keep things really interesting.  

    Luckily, there are lots of good leaf activity resources and craft ideas.  Below are just a few of my favorites!


  • Sunday, June 28, 2015 9:43 PM | Anonymous member

    My mom has made this dessert for the 4th of July for as long as I can remember, and I've made it a tradition to make with my kids each year also.  It's easy for little hands to help with, (somewhat) healthy, and visually on theme!

    Ingredients

    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
    • Sugar (optional)
    • Bisquick
    • Milk
    • Whipped Cream

    Directions

    1. Wash, chop, and combine the strawberries and blueberries.  Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.  Set aside.
    2. Follow Bisquick recipe for biscuits (or make your own favorite kind!) to make the dough. 
    3. After rolling out dough, use a star shaped cookie cutter to form the biscuits and cook as directed.  Tip: don’t make the biscuits too thin—it’s best for them to be about an inch thick when done.
    4. After biscuits have cooled, slice them in half.
    5. To plate, place a biscuit open faced on a plate.  Spoon fruit mixture on top of the bottom side, top with whipped cream, and then put the top back on.  Optional: red, white, and blue tooth picks to hold it all together!

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015 4:06 PM | Anonymous member

    What's on your child's summer bucket list?  There's a lot of pressure to make memories over the summer, but making sure that they are the ones that your child wants to make is the trick!  Here are some questions to get you started:

    • where do you want to go?
    • who do you want to play with?
    • what do you want to learn?
    • what do you want to build?
    • what do you want to practice?
    • what do you want to make?

    Of course, if you all run out of ideas, check out our summer fun guide (2015 version coming soon!).   

    A few people also have cute ways of displaying the their lists once they are done.  Here are two printables you can use, from theidearoom.net and Artful Parent

  • Friday, May 01, 2015 1:44 PM | Anonymous member

    A perfect Mother's Day craft for grandmothers should be sweet, sentimental, and totally hand-crafted--something grandma will hang on the kitchen fridge or in the window for a few weeks and then dispose of.

    My favorite art site for kids has a list of over 50 suncatchers that are just that.  There are so many kinds you are sure to find something that you already have all the supplies for, and grandma will appreciate it!  My favorites are the nature ones because they also celebrate spring!  Here's the complete list

     
     
     

    Another popular way to go is the hand/foot print picture.  Here are fourteen (!) different ways to make those. 

    And of course, flowers are always appreciated, in any form!  This is just a regular clay pot, painted by the kids and containing a sweet flower. 

    Whatever form your Mother's Day celebration takes, enjoy the day with family!

  • Tuesday, March 24, 2015 11:00 PM | Anonymous member

    Given the winter we’ve had, my kids and I have totally forgotten how to play outdoors.  But I am choosing to be optimistic and plan for spring anyway! 

    With spring, we have opportunities for two different kinds of outdoor play: sunny and rainy.  Of course, you can just head out the door and see what you can find—your kids will get fresh air, exercise, and likely see something interesting.  But sometimes, I like to spice up our afternoon stroll around the block. 

    This first link takes you to a spring scavenger hunt complete with photographs.  There are many more of these on the web, so you can try a different one every time.  This second one takes it a step further and includes clues for all five of the senses.  And once things start blooming, try a rainbow scavenger hunt!  Lastly, if you are going on a longer nature walk, try out one of these Spring Bingo cards from Mass Audubon. 

    That brings us to rainy day outdoor activities.  As much as these are harder to gear up for and clean up from, they still offer great opportunities for burning off energy and exploring.  This article from Psychology Today explains some of the learning benefits of puddle play.  We do a lot of puddle walks, so I’ve included tips from my own experience and reading here.

    1. Dress appropriately.  Water proof boots are a must so that you and your kids don’t want to head home after 3 minutes.
    2. Give yourself over to the mess.  Any pants, shirts, socks, coats, etc., that you all are wearing will likely wind up wet and need to go immediately into the washing machine.
    3. Find the right place.  Hopefully you can find a spot nearby that has lots of puddles, gentle slopes, mud, and maybe a stream.  And if you can’t, you’re more than welcome to come over to our street—plenty of potholes here!
    4. Ask questions as your kids explore. 
    • Does that puddle look deep or shallow? Is the water cold or warm?  Is the water clear or muddy?
    • What do you see when you look in the puddle?
    • What happens if we tiptoe through the puddle?
    • What happens if we stomp in the puddle?
    • How does the puddle sound?
    • Does that mud look squishy or hard?
    • Whose foot print is that?

         5. To take it to the next level, find out what happens when you introduce  props.

    • What sound does this pebble make when it splashes in the puddle? 
    • Does the pebble change the puddle at all?
    • Do you think this stick will float or sink?
    • If we put the stick in here, where do you think it will end up?

    The most important thing is to celebrate spring and reacquaint ourselves and our kids with the outdoors!

  • Friday, March 20, 2015 12:34 PM | Anonymous member

    Help Parents of Tots support the Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry during our drive March 28th. Volunteer with your child or bring by a donation of non-perishable goods. Check out the calendar for more information, Parents of Tots Food Drive.

    Many families want to include their children in the community service they participate in, but talking to children about hunger can be difficult. One way to explain why we are collecting items and volunteering our time is to involve the child in a conversation about what it feels like to be hungry. Below are several questions you might ask:  

    • What do you feel like when you feel hungry? (grumpy, tired, distracted)
    • Can you imagine feeling like that all the time?     
    • What would happen if you didn’t eat a healthy breakfast before you went to your (soccer game, swim class, ballet class)? Would you be able to listen to what your teacher was asking you to do? Would you be able to do your best?    

    In some families, they don’t have money to go to the grocery store and buy all the food they need. Instead, they might go to the food pantry, where they can get some food for free.  We are helping those families by bringing these items to the food pantry.

    For five more activities for kids of all ages and a suggested reading list on hunger, please visit 
    Project Bread’s HungerCurriculum

    Margaret previously worked at Project Bread--The Walk for Hunger for eleven years.     

     


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