How Many More Days of Vacation Week or Is It Over Yet?

It is that time of year again – school vacation week! If you have planned ahead, your children are in daily activities, if you have not, you are no doubt washing crayon, and quite possibly food, off the walls and hoping for enough time for a shower. I have experienced many, many school vacation weeks – some better than others.

My advice? Get moving and keep moving. Do you need to pretend you are a shark and only your constant movement keeps you alive? No. Does this mean no slow-moving sleeping-in mornings? Depending on the age of your children, maybe. You can do it, you just need the right attitude. I don’t mean you can’t have lovely mornings at home.

When my children were younger we had a breakfast where we practiced math facts with dominoes and had our breakfast in pretty dishes. Sometimes we even played school with real worksheets and stickers for work well done. They are older now and that won’t fly (we didn’t have smartphones, tablets or apps back in the day, either) but if your little ones are quite young, it will get you some quality hot beverage time before you roll.

If you are still reading, you may need help. No worries – here are some ideas and links for local activities. KidoInfo out of Rhode Island but covers Southeastern Massachusetts, too. Founder Anisa Raouf has done a fantastic job of lining up the best resources and she shares so nicely, too! From the website: Kidoinfo is Rhode Island’s guide to family fun, creative ideas, resources and local events. With fresh ideas everyday, we keep you in the know with DIY projects, kid-tested recipes, after-school activities, camps, story times and so much more. From new parents to grandparents, babies to tweens, we have something for everyone.

Boston Area – Moms A great site with Guides, Things To Do listings, Discussion Pages for Parents and much more. From the site – a listing of family activities for the next seven days. You’re welcome!  Go to Momsfor great local activities and events.

Here is a link to the Museum of Fine Arts  with its great vacation week programs. Don’t forget the Museum of Science  – The Pompeii Exhibit is great and good for most ages (it may be hard to explain that we don’t live near an active volcano to young ones but the world map of active volcanoes is a good visual reassurance). If you are going to the Pompeii exhibit it is worth getting a membership, really, it is always worth getting a membership here. I signed up online and picked up my membership card and packet when we got to the museum. Super easy.
Need more? Click on these links for vacation week ideas: The Boston Children’s Museum,The Harvard Museum of Natural History, The Peabody-Essex Museum and The Discovery Museums.We also like to take walks at the Weston reservoir or Lake Waban at Wellesley College – both places are dog-friendly and nice easy trails.
Arts and Crafts? Check out Artbeat in Arlington, Sew Easy in Needham and Wellesley or Hip Stitch in Newton.
It is also a great time to make some healthy resolutions and cook together as a family. I attended a blogger event at the Chestnut Hill Shaw’s Supermarket and they were rolling out a Nutrional IQ progam that helps you make healthy choices. Not that I am giving up the holiday cookies quite yet – just not making a meal of them!
Crafts at home – Here is a great link to Pragmatic Mom’s site for homemade play dough. Definitely a longtime favorite at our house, too.

Kidoinfo Traditions – Providence RI

kidoinfo conversations logo capability momThat is where I want to be and that is where I was supposed to be tonight but I have been slammed with some health issues. Please, thank you for your kind inquiry, nothing serious and I will be fine but I am not fit for company and for sparing you, you should be glad.

I was looking forward to a visit to Providence where (as the plan went) I would meet my sister, attend the Kidoinfo Conversations on Traditions and write about my impressions of the event for KidoInfo.  Okay, or not. I am very disappointed to miss this and to miss meeting the founder of the site, Kidoinfo, Anisa Raoof.  We spoke one day while we were both multi-tasking (I was returning a candy corn Halloween costume) and she is charming, well-spoken and a wonderful communicator. She is also, I understand, a modest and talented artist.

From KidInfo: is a new hip guide for parents and kids, designed and run by Anisa. We are based in Providence, Rhode Island, and reaching out to the world. This independent weblog is brimming with information, creative ideas, things to do, places to go and links to family resources. Visit regularly – to see what’s new in books, music, food, schools and more. Search the calendar for ongoing and special events and read the A-List to find the best cookie, pizza, playground, etc.

Anisa lives in Providence with her husband and 9-year-old twin boys. She works on finding ways to make parenting easier, still fun and even a little cool. Being a parent means not staying put and being open to new adventures. Anisa created Kidoinfo in early 2007 to be the central source for everything about kids in the Providence area. But Kidoinfo also goes beyond the city borders – wherever our kids will travel. This essential online guide is for parents, caregivers, and families living in the area or just visiting.

While I have never been cool, my sister is and let me know about this site. I got brave and contacted Anisa who could not be lovilier. Check out her site – did I mention it once or twice? – Kidoinfo is a great resource for parents.  Check out their  Fall Guide, Conversations Series (scheduled events designed to connect parents) and events calendar and deals.

The Series tonight is entitled Traditions and I was looking forward to hearing from her well-chosen panel -below, also from the website:

At Kidoinfo we like to share; connecting parents with information, new ideas and their local community. This November we will talk about Traditions and what this means to families.

Traditions connect your children with your personal and cultural history and form the memories they will later pass on to their friends and families. Stemming from religion, birthplace, seasons, or revolving around a treasured activity or possession, families today decide how to carry on, blend or create new traditions. This event gives panelists and attendees a forum to describe their traditions and learn something new to share with their loved ones in the upcoming holiday season.

Plan to join the conversation with moderator Wendy Lawton.
Our panel: Beth Curtin, Artist, Sarika Parikh, Teacher at the Gordon School, and Teny Gross, Director of the Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence

There is still time to sign up for the Winter Conversations Series which looks wonderful.

WINTER (February): Parenting Simply
Parents are busy juggling work, home and child-care and today’s children seem to be scheduled from birth. What do parents and kids really need? Can parenting be simplified to create a satisfying lifestyle for you and your kids? Panelists will share online tools and offline tips to foster balance and peace of mind.

SPRING (May): Community Minded Kids
How can we instill volunteerism and community activism in the next generation? A panel discussion with projects, online resources, and examples of how families can create meaningful connections to their communities and impact real change in the world

Click here to go to Eventbrite to pre-register. There is a raffle, appetizers from Whole Foods and beverages from natural soda company Snow Beverages and you get a Traditions Resource Guide.

Do it for me since I can’t go. Have fun and report back!

Great Summer Activities for the Whole Family

There are so many good resources for things to do with your kids – Here are a few I like and really use.

Parents Connect – A well-organized easy to navigate site (from nickelodeon) that shows activities and events (on-going and special) by area – even by neighborhoods. Great listings and ideas.

Daily Candy Kids – I like the regular newsletter (for me!) and the Kids newsletter has cute stuff (usually for kids 8 and under), things to make, eat, wear and do.

KIDOINFO – Parents Guide – Providence and beyond – This is a terrific resource for all things Rhode Island and truly beyond. There is a great camp guide, summer guide and 100 things to do with your kids in Rhode Island (and Connecticut and Massachusetts, too). has a great Things to do section as well and organizes it by neighborhood, too. Here is a sample of this weekend’s line-up:

Cirque Du Soleil – Ovo

The thought of paying to see insects eat, crawl, work, flutter, play, fight, and …
8/13/2010 Friday 4:00p
(repeats 5 times)
Featuring: Cirque du Soleil

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WBZ Free Friday Flicks

Wouldn’t it be cute to pack a picnic dinner of meatballs to eat before or during …
8/13/2010 Friday 6:30p

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Seven Boston-area playwrights, including Lydia R. Diamond and Gregory Maguire, adapt …
8/13/2010 Friday 8:00p
(repeats 2 times)

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Movies By Moonlight

Fridays at dusk. Time is only approximate according to dusk time. June 18: “Driving …
8/13/2010 Friday 8:00p

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