Anisa Raoof steps down after ten years but Kidoinfo continues under new leadership

Anisa Raoof steps down after ten years but Kidoinfo continues under new leadership

This is my last blog post on Kidoinfo as publisher but not the end of Kidoinfo. As you may know from my announcement on August 28 (read full story here), I have decided to step down from running Kidoinfo after 10 years to pursue other projects and spend more time with family. Although I say goodbye to Kidoinfo, I will stay rooted to the parent community through my work as Executive Director of the Providence Children’s Film Festival, a non-profit organization that presents the best of independent and international children’s cinema.

I am pleased to announce that Kidoinfo will continue as a trusted hub for families under new ownership. After careful consideration and deliberation, I’m excited to introduce Susan Gale as the new Kidoinfo publisher. Susan has the experience to move Kidoinfo forward, having worked in journalism, marketing, advertising, and non-profit development while raising two children, ages 18 and 16, with her life partner. Two years ago, Susan founded Rhode Island Parent magazine, which moved online in September as RIPARENT.COM. (Now find their family content on the Kidoinfo website.)  Her local experience with communications and family and children’s issues makes her the right choice to lead Kidoinfo forward.

But most importantly, we share a similar vision for Kidoinfo’s future – one where the website provides you with all the information, education, inspiration, and connection you need to be the best parents you can be. Simply put, I’m confident that under Susan’s leadership, Kidoinfo will continue to be the go-to family resource in Rhode Island  and southeastern Massachusetts. In addition to carrying on many of Kidoinfo features, she has fresh new ideas and I look forward to seeing Kidoinfo grow even bigger and better! Please join her on this journey and stay connected to the Kidoinfo community.

As part of my goodbye, I thank “YOU” for being a valuable part of the Kidoinfo community from 2007-2017! With your support over the past 10 years, Kidoinfo has grown—bringing together Rhode Island families, businesses, organizations and contributing writers to form a welcoming and vibrant community. It has been an honor to be a part of this expanding circle.

A big THANK YOU to my amazing Kidoinfo family of advisors, friends and contributing writers for your wisdom, support, inspiration and collaboration over the years: Katy Killilea, Nancy King, Elyse Press Major, Ilira Steinman, Jason Thompson, Carly Baumann, Suzanne Cadge, Michelle Riggen-Ransom, Jackie Hennessey, Jennifer C. Smith, Deb Dormody, Micki Whelan, Chris Abernethy, Daniella Norwood, Jake Camara, Alex Taylor, Erin Goodman, Hannah Marcotti, Jeanine Silversmith, Jill Davidson, Kristen McClanaghan Kardos, Kathleen McGuigan, Bonnie Combs, Leah Kent, Marcia Fowler, Genie McPherson Trevor, Jacante Tougas Arnone, Lindsay Shaw, Martha Iachetta, Melissa Brusso, Megan Fischer, Janice O’Donnell, Aja Blanc, Allison Abramson, Anika Denise, Beth Curtin, Carolyn Dalgliesh, Jennifer Huntley-Corbin, Marianne Ruggiero, Alison Paul, Ricky Katowicz, Chrissy Collins, Moe Finnegan, Cynthia Greene Ragona, Elaine Beebe, Kirsten DiChiappari, Karen Krieger, Sue Ambs Azar, Eleanor Pretty Deacon…and to my husband Douglas Itkin and our sons. (Read D&Es 10 year reflection here.)

And THANK YOU to my many advertisers (big and small) and my community partners over the years, including Roger Williams Park, RISD Museum, Providence Children’s Museum, and Audubon Society of Rhode Island – your financial support and collaborations allows the entire community to enjoy Kidoinfo free of charge.

They say it takes a village, and I believe it is true. I am forever grateful for this chapter in my life.

After 10 years, a new chapter begins. Thank you for being a part of the Kidoinfo community.

After 10 years, a new chapter begins. Thank you for being a part of the Kidoinfo community.

UPDATED NOVEMBER 20, 2017: Please note that I am pleased to announce that Kidoinfo WILL CONTINUE on under new leadership before the New Year! Stay tuned for details. You may continue submitting events to the calendar, inquire about advertising, sign up for the camp guide!

I launched Kidoinfo in the spring of 2007 with a few blog posts and event listings while my boys were at Child’s Play Preschool. It was born from my need as a young mom of twins to find things to do with my kids, exchange parenting tips, and carve out a creative niche for myself. I had no idea then that Kidoinfo would become what it is today — bringing together Rhode Island families, businesses and organizations to form a welcoming and vibrant community. My life has been forever changed.

What an adventure it’s been, exploring the state and beyond with my husband and sons, meeting and working with amazing people as well as collaborating and partnering on programming and events over the years.

I am truly grateful for your company on this journey and for the lasting friendships that have formed. The path may not always have been obvious, but it was always gratifying as I grew the business while my kids navigated pre-school, then elementary, middle and now high school. Today, as they enter a new stage of their lives, it is time for me to reflect and consider what is next on the horizon.

And so I announce that my Kidoinfo adventure is coming to a close, and I plan to wind down the website and its social media on December 1, 2017. Kidoinfo_Family_RallyBut even as I head in a new direction, I would love for Kidoinfo to continue if an interested party should step forward to take over the business. Feel free to share within the parent community and contact me with inquiries or questions here: anisa <at> kidoinfo <dot> com.

Although I say goodbye to Kidoinfo, I will stay rooted to the parent community through my work as Executive Director of the Providence Children’s Film Festival, a non-profit organization that presents the best of independent and international children’s cinema. The annual Film Festival in February and year-round programming and resources aim to inspire, delight, educate, and connect a diverse community of children and families. I feel so very lucky that this venture allows me to work with many of the same great people and institutions committed to enriching the lives of Rhode Island families.

It has been an honor to be a part of this community and I am humbled by and thankful for all of the wonderful support and encouragement you have shown me over the years.

Since this is Rhode Island, I know we will run into one another again.

With all good wishes,

Anisa Raoof

Kidoinfo Storytime + Art in the Park 2017 Schedule

Kidoinfo Storytime + Art in the Park 2017 Schedule

Thursdays (July 13 – August 17) from 10:30am – 12:30pm in Burnside Park, Downtown Providence.

Each summer Kidoinfo teams up with Jen Smith of Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and company to bring Storytime + Art in the Park to Burnside Park. Through this program, DDPC and Kidoinfo invite local authors, storytellers and illustrators to bring their love of books and storytelling to the children of Providence. At this free event, parents and kids sit together under a tree, in front of the Banjotti Fountain, at the city’s only open air Storytime.

This year we have six different guests lined up to bring stories to life in their own unique way.

KidoInfo Storytime happens first on Thursdays from 10:30 – 11:30, followed by Art in the Park from 11:30 – 12:30. Stay for lunch from one of the food trucks, and enjoy a picnic under the tree.

Mark your calendars, here is the 2017 Storytime schedule of storytellers:

July 13
Storyteller Valerie Tutson draws her stories from around the world with an emphasis on African traditions.
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ever wanted to make your own Wonka bars? Me too! This week we’ll be making our own pretend chocolate bars. There may even be a few golden tickets somewhere…

July 20
Local author Kara LaReau debuted her brand new chapter book, The Infamous Ratso, at Storytime last year. This year she’ll be sharing some of her own books, and her kidlit favorites with the audience. In addition to Kara – we welcome Miss Katie for a sing-along, dance-along, musical performance! Our regulars may recognize Miss Katie from of playSCIENCE RI, but she can also be found out of a lab coat, wearing giant sunglasses, and playing a wide variety of instruments, often in the company of the Extraordinary Rendition Band. She’s traveled around RI performing and will be debuting songs from her new CD Candy Cane Glasses!
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores Matilda. In the book, Matilda could make things move with her mind. Together, we can make things move with our crafty hands. Let’s make books that float!

July 27
Art in the Park cofounder author and illustrator Alison Paul joins us again this summer with local illustrator Jen Corace. Long time readers at Storytime, Jen and Alison will read a selection of their own books.
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores Fantastic Mr. Fox. Oh no! Mr. Fox lost his tail escaping the mean old farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean! Can you help make him a new one? Maybe you can make it even better than his old one!

August 3
Internationally acclaimed RI Storyteller Len Cabral retells African, Cape Verdean, and Caribbean folktales as well as original stories + tales from around the world.
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores The BFG. We can collect dreams just like the BFG with our very own Dream Jars! What kind of dreams will you collect? Some dreams will be included and others you’ll have to find! Fill up your jars with dreams.

August 10
The Ricky Rainbow Beard Show kicks off Storytime and is joined by intergalactic creature troupe Big Nazo joins us. A group of visual artists, puppeteers, and musicians, Big Nazo makes their way across Kennedy Plaza and get kids singing and dancing. It’s always a fun day in the park with Big Nazo invades!
At Art in the Park The Wonky World of Roald Dahl explores James and the Giant Peach. How big would your GIANT peach be? Let’s make some peaches that are as big as our heads, or maybe even bigger!

August 17
Keith Munslow, hilarious musician, cartoonist, storyteller will once again join us in the park. Keith always has kids and parents singing, dancing and laughing.
At Art in the Park Sail Away Summer!  A super special day of activities in the park including The Wonky World of Roald Dahl Finale: Sail Away Summer! Join artist Alison Paul making ship’s captain hats with Roald Dahl storybook pages inspired by the Matilda quote: “So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”

Following Storytime, local artists bring books to life at Art in the Park. Each week Ricky Katowicz or Alison Paul will bring an iconic children’s book author to life through hands on art projects. This year’s theme is: The Wonky World of Roald Dahl! Many readers will know Roald Dahl for his classic books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. With so many inspiring books to choose from, this promises to be an extra creative summer.

These events are always FREE and everyone is welcome. Let us know you’re coming on the FB events!

Follow Kidoinfo and DDPC on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to stay up to date on all our summer programming.

COMMUNITY-MINDED KIDS: Field Guide, Resources, and Conversation Video

COMMUNITY-MINDED KIDS: Field Guide, Resources, and Conversation Video

Talking about how we raise community minded kids, seems as relevant today as it was when first posted in 2011. Check out our booklists and download the PDF for for some guidance and useful suggestions.

How do we raise our children to be thinkers and doers and to care about the world around them? I invited five community-minded parents and the community to share resources and ideas at AS220 on May 25, 2011. Some of the ideas discussed; Tell stories and read to your children about people with different experiences and from different cultures, teach them to be socially responsible by being a role model–sometimes it is the simple everyday things we do such as where and what we shop and how we treat our neighbors that teaches our children to care about the world around them. If you missed the conversation, join in now. Watch the video here.

Download a PDF version of the CMK Field Guide here. *If you would like to special order a large quantity of CMK Field Guides, please contact Anisa (at) Kidoinfo (dot) com.


I believe books are important to share with our kids at any age. Here are books recommendations from local experts that support the idea of kids learning a sense of self, diversity, tolerance, compassion for others, awareness of their sense of place in the world, and social responsibility to their community.

BOOK LIST FROM LINDSAY SHAW, children’s librarian at the Providence Athenaeum


  • Good Morning Digger by Anne Rockwell


  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams
    After a fire has destroyed their apartment and the neighborhood joins together to replace their losses; a grandmother, mother and a daughter save their coins in a big jar to buy a new chair for Mom.
  • Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
    A beautifully and whimsically illustrated book, with simple to understand definitions of sometimes hard to understand behaviors.
  • Is There Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis
    A lively story set to rhyme, that shows with humor and charm  how our attitude and behavior can help our world
  • Henry Works by D.B. Johnson
    Henry Thoreau, represented as a bear, assists his friends and helps out around his rural community on his path to work.
  • Curious George Plants a Tree by Monica Perez
    The irrepressible Curious George gets into trouble with newspapers again! This time he is trying to help the environment and all is well when he and his special friend plant a tree. Child friendly “going green” tips at the end.
  • Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
    Will Mr.Rabbit get along with his new neighbors? He will when he remembers the Golden Rule.
  • The Empty Pot by Demi
    A talented young gardener named Ping, joins in a competition to grow the most beautiful plant for the Emperor. The winner will become his heir. When his carefully tended seeds fail to grow, Ping must face the Emperor with an empty pot. His thoughtful honesty saves the day.
  • The Milkman by Carol Foskett Cordsen
    A kindly milkman does his rounds delivering milk and acts of kindness along the way.
  • Me–Jane by Patrick McDonnell
    A lovely and simple story of the young Jane Goodall, beautifully designed for young children. A mini biography and a message from Jane Goodall are at the end.
  • Pelle’s New Suit by Elsa Beskow
    After his sheep gives him wool, Pelle helps out by running errands for all those who are responsible for making his new suit of clothes, his grandparents, mother and tailor.
  • Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
    A wonderful and realistic story of a child looking for beauty in her neglected neighborhood and finds it through conversations with the grown-ups in her community. Eventually she successfully works to bring beauty to her corner of the world.
  • Stone Soup — Multiple versions
    This tale told in countless versions from Nail Soup to Bone Button Borscht (Davis and Petricic) is great no matter the retelling. It is the star of any early lessons of cooperation and sharing.
  • Westlandia by Paul Fleishman
    A fun, funny, inventive and touching story of a young misfit, a rare plant and the unique world created in his back yard. The story embraces creativity, environment, cooperation and friendship.
  • Yoko’s World of Kindness — Wells, Rosemary
    A collection of stories for school age children that help them learn about positive social skills.
  • Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth and Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
    Through the stories and examples of the kindly giant panda Stillwater, these books reflect the beauty of the Zen Buddhist experience in a way that is both understandable and meaningful.
  • The Three Questions: Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy by Jon Muth
    The beautifully illustrated story of a young boy’s quest to discover the answer to three important questions. (older children)


  • Buddha in the Garden by David Bouchard  (picture book for older children)
    A young boy tends the gardens at a Buddhist monastery and discovers enlightenment and peace along the way.
  • Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop
    Inspired by a photograph by Lewis Hines of a young textile factory girl, this story is about working children and their efforts along with the help of a teacher to change their conditions.
  • Hoot by Carl Hiassen
    Adventure surrounds children living on the edge and fighting developers as they plan to destroy the habitat of an endangered bird. Though some of their tactics for winning the battle are not recommended, they are presented with humor. (older children 10 and up)
  • The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
    As the class pet, Humphrey, the hamster, teaches the children lessons in kindness, understanding and wisdom


  • Kid Blinks Beats the World by Don Brown (history) (picture book for older children)
    The colorful and true story of “newsies” (newspaper boys) who go on strike in 1899 and take on the two most powerful publishers in the nation.
  • We Were There Too! by Phillip M. Hoose
    Crisp and entertaining accounts of children who made a difference in America from pre-colonial times to the present.
  • Girls Who Rocked the World by Amelie Welden


  • How to Raise a Child with a High EQ (Emotional Quotient) by Lawrence E. Shapiro Ph.D.
  • Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

BOOK LIST FROM CHERYL SPACE, youth services coordinator / library program specialist at Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services, BONNIE LILIENTHAL, Providence Public Library and AARON COUTU, Greenville Public Library


  • Mama Panya’s Pancakes by Mary Chamberlin
    Mama Panya has just enough money to buy ingredients for a few pancakes, so when her son Adika invites all their friends to join them, she is sure there will not be enough to go around.
  • How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham
    In a city full of hurried people, only young Will notices an injured bird lying on the ground. In this spare urban fable, Graham presents one small boy, one loving family, and one miraculous story of hope and healing.
  • Rose and Mr. Wintergarten by Bob Graham
    Rumor has it that Rose’s neighbor, Mr. Wintergarten, has a pet crocodile that eats children. So when Rose’s ball flies over his fence, she’s scared to retrieve it. But when she bravely sets out to go where no child has gone before, she discovers the startling truth about her neighbor: he’s friendly!
  • Good-bye, Curtis by Kevin Henkes
    Curtis has been delivering mail for forty-two years. Today is his last day. And all the mailboxes along his route are filled with surprises. There is a drawing from Debbie, Dennis, and Donny. There is a bottle of aftershave from the Johnsons. There is a small, fat book from Mr. Porter. But the real surprise is at the very last house on the very last street. There is no doubt that everyone loves Curtis!
  • You Can Do It, Sam by Amy Hest
    When Mrs. Bear and little Sam deliver the cakes they have made for their friends in the neighborhood, Sam carries the cakes all by himself, through the snow and up to the front doors.
  • The Big Green Pocketbook by Candice Ransom
    On her day in town with her mother, a little girl starts off with an empty big green pocketbook-just like her mother’s-and along the way collects pieces of her day to put inside, inventing stories for each treasure.
  • Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice by Rosa-Casanova, Sylvia
    Mama Provi lives on the first floor of a tall apartment building. Her granddaughter, Lucy, lives on the eighth floor. But Lucy can’t come to visit — she has the chicken pox. Mama Provi knows just what will cheer Lucy up: a yummy pot of arroz con pollo (chicken with rice). As Mama Provi climbs the stairs to Lucy’s door, she meets several neighbors, each with something delicious to trade for a bowl of her rice. By the time she reaches the eighth floor, Mama Provi’s pot of rice has become a multicultural feast, complete with all the fixings, and apple pie for dessert.
  • Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson
    When Bear is too sick to play, his animal friends go to his cave to make him soup and tea and keep him company.


  • Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn
    On Chinese New Year’s Day, Sam can hardly wait to go shopping with his mom. His grandparents have given him the traditional gift of “lucky money”-and this year he is finally old enough to spend it any way he chooses.
  • A Castle on Viola Street by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan
    This warm, vibrant tale is inspired by the author’s own experiences with a community group. Andy is used to his family’s small, run-down apartment, but when he hears about an organization that turns abandoned houses into homes, he sees an opportunity his family cannot miss.
  • City Green by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan
    Marcy and Miss Rosa start a campaign to clean up an empty lot and turn it into a community garden.
  • Grandpa’s Corner Store by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan
    Grandfather’s corner grocery business is threatened by a new supermarket, but his granddaughter, Lucy, organizes the neighbors to convince him to stay.
  • Chestnut Cove by Tim Egan
    When King Milford offers his entire kingdom to the person who can grow the largest juiciest watermelon, the inhabitants of Chestnut Cove become selfish and stop helping each other.
  • Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
    After a young Dutch girl writes to her new American friend in thanks for the care package sent after World War II, she begins to receive increasingly larger boxes.
  • The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
    Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds to the big gray city, where she goes to stay with her Uncle Jim, a cantankerous baker. There she initiates a gradual transformation, bit by bit brightening the shop and bringing smiles to customers’ faces with the flowers she grows. But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece – an ambitious rooftop garden – which she hopes will make even Uncle Jim smile.
  • The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
    Minna does a lot of thinking about her project to do something kind, make a picture about what she did, and share it with her classmates, but finally comes up with an idea that spreads to the whole school.


  • The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty B. Birney
    Eben McAllister searches his small town to see if he can find anything comparable to the real Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
    Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.
  • 8th Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (middle school)
    After half-heartedly joining his church youth group’s project at a homeless shelter near his Brooklyn middle school, eighth-grade “loser” Reggie McKnight is inspired to run for school office on a platform of making a real difference in the community.
  • The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman (8th grade +)
    A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an “invisible-ish” boy who is tired of blending into his surroundings and going unnoticed by nearly everyone.


  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba
    Forced to drop out of school when famine hits his village-which has no electricity or running water-a Malawi boy tinkers with scrap metal and builds a windmill that lights a few bulbs and catches the world’s attention.
  • Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola
    Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she found the village gardens dry, the people malnourished, and the trees gone. How could she alone bring back the trees and restore the gardens and the people?

BOOK LIST FROM ANISA RAOOF, publisher of Kidoinfo


  • People by Peter Spier
    A meditative book illustrating the broad diversity of people in the world today.
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
    It chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees against the greedy Once-ler.
  • The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
    This story is an allegory for prejudice and discrimination, and also offers a lesson of materialism and entrepreneurship.
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
    A tale about a relationship between a young boy and a tree.
  • Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
    A book about peace and equality and that celebrates the differences in different cultures.
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
    The book follows the life story of Miss Alice Rumphius, a woman who sought a way to make the world more beautiful, and who found it in plainting lupins in the wild.
  • The Teddy Bear by David McPhail
    This is the wonderful story of a friend who is lost and found and lost and found again, and of a little boy who begins to understand the meaning of compassion.

Resource Books:

  • The Complete Guide to Service Learning by Cathryn Berger Kaye.
  • A Kids’ Guide to Climate Change & Global Warming by Cathryn Berger Kaye
  • Step by Step! by the Mosaic Youth Center Board of Directors
    with Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner
  • The Kid’s Guide to Social Action by Barbara A. Lewis
  • The We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Kids by Michael Ungar

Kidoinfo Presents: Raising Community-Minded Kids Conversation from Kidoinfo on Vimeo.

Foo Fest: AS220’s Family-Friendly Block Party Returns August 13, 2016

Foo Fest: AS220’s Family-Friendly Block Party Returns August 13, 2016

AS220’s FOO FEST returns to downtown Providence on Saturday, August 13th, 2016 for the annual block party of music, art, performance, kid and family-friendly activities, hands-on interactive art experiences from local artists and organizations, DIY technology, delectable food and drink, and much more, all highlighting arts, culture, and creativity in Providence and the Ocean State!

Printmaking at Foo Fest

Also at Foo Fest, AS220 is also producing the 8th annual Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire, featuring hands-on making, building & hacking, crafting, garage technology, arts and creativity for sale, and robots. Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

Soldering at Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire (photo credit Mary Johnson)

Kidoinfo is a proud partner of Foo Fest! Visit countless artist and maker demos, performances and musicians and check out these not-to-be-missed activities with Foo Fest and RI Mini Maker Faire:
  • Make crowns and masks with local artist Carmel Dundon, a Kidoinfo sponsored activity
  • Create hands-on art-making activities with The AS220 Industries including screenprinting, mask-making, a DIY photobooth, and much more
  • Learn to solder with AS220 Labs and make a blinky labs badge
  • Fabricate a straw rocket and learn how to build an “asteroid field” with a science fiction author
The Details:
When: Saturday, August 13, 2016, 1:00PM – 6:00PM for activities (the event goes on until 1AM for grown-ups)
Where: Empire Street, Providence
Tickets: $7 in advance here. $10 day-of. Kids 10 and under are FREE!
For a full list of activities, artists, music and food vendors check out the website
Family Fun on the Plaza! 2016 Kidoinfo Play in the Park and Storytime + Art in the Park: Making on the Moon!

Family Fun on the Plaza! 2016 Kidoinfo Play in the Park and Storytime + Art in the Park: Making on the Moon!

Kidoinfo + Downtown Parks Conservancy present: Summer Family Fun on the Plaza in Burnside ParkKidoinfo-DDPC-Banner

Tuesdays and Thursdays (July and August). FREE. All Ages.

Storytime @ Burnside Park 7.14.11

Now in its 7th year, Kidoinfo has partnered with Jen Smith of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy to create FREE weekly summer events, both fun and enriching, that attracts hundreds of families to downtown Providence.

Downtown Tuesdays! Kidoinfo Play in the Park

Every Tuesday (July 5 – August 30) from 3-6pm
Music, games, educational activities, a Free-Play Mobile Playground and more for kids of all ages! Added bonus: Food trucks and Farm Fresh Rhode Island Downtown Farmer’s Market!

Designed to support and encourage children’s playtime: Music, games, educational activities and more for kids of all ages along with weekly enrichment programming from community partners. This year, Kidoinfo will be teaming up with playSCIENCE in July and August to offer hands-on fun. Miss Katie will be leading nature-oriented expeditions and musical shindigs to enlighten our little ones.


DPPC_Storytime+ArtThursdays on the Plaza! Kidoinfo Storytime + Art in the Park: Making on the Moon!

Every Thursday (July 7 – August 18)
10:30am – 12:30pm
Families bring a blanket and enjoy different storytellers under the trees near the fountain in Burnside Park followed by art-making with guest artist Ricky Katowicz.
With PVD Food Trucks @ Kennedy Plaza (11:30am-1:30pm)
And later on Thursday: Family-friendly music series and beer garden from 4:30 — 7:30pm


  • 10:30am: Storytime IMG_5882features at least one story each Thursday morning from a local Rhode Island author, illustrator or storyteller and is accompanied by a mini-mobile playground and face-painting for little ones who have the wiggles, so the whole family can enjoy!
  • 11:30am: Art in the Park – Making on the Moon! This creative program encourages children to make and participate in their own storytelling magic through art. Our visiting artist Ricky Katowicz is back for a third year of programming to host Making on the Moon: The World of Tomi Ungerer! Tomi Ungerer’s books will be transformed into magical experiences using all of the five senses! Katowicz will be hosting several guest artists to lend their specialties to bringing the playful and curious world of Tomi Ungerer’s books to life in Burnside Park.

Open Air Reading Room and Imagination Center At Our Open Air Reading Room browse books featured in past Storytimes, as well as books from our Leave a Book – Take a Book program. Explore with our Imagination Playground and new Imagination Theatre!

Imagination Center

GET WITH THE PROGRAM! Donations for our “Leave a Book — Take a Book” bin are sought for the series. Your donations can make it possible for any child who needs or wants a book to take one home with them and keep the excitement about stories and books going! If you want information about how you can get involved and support this free, high-quality & accessible family programming, email:

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS: City of Providence, The Dept. of Arts Culture & Tourism, Dept. of Parks + Recreation, Greater Kennedy Plaza, Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, Providence Foundation, Providence Tourism Council, RISCA, Hasbro, Inc., Kidoinfo, Books on the Square.

Big Nazo-Kidoinfo-Storytime

Family Fun on the Plaza Schedule:

Burnside Park, Downtown Providence, Rhode Island

Week 1 :
Tuesday, July 5: Play in the Park

  • 3:00 — 6:00pm
    Family friendly activities and Playspace at the Imagination Center
    Featured Activity: Super Seeds with Miss Katie from playSCIENCE RI: This week we’ll explore the amazing science of SEEDS! We’ll look at seeds large and small, make a mural using fruit as our paintbrushes and every child will plant their very own seed to take home and grow.

Thursday, July 7: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm

  • Storytime with featured storyteller: Storyteller and re enactor John Mcniff, with Tales of the Gaspee
  • Art in the Park: Making on the Moon! (following Storytime) with guest artist Ricky Katowicz
    Featured AIP Activity: The Mellops Go Diving for Treasure: We’ll make treasure maps to find our buried treasures!

Week 2 :
Tuesday, July 12: Play in the Park

  • 3:00 — 6:00pm
    Family friendly activities and Playspace at the Imagination Center
    Featured Activity: Marching Music with Miss Katie from playSCIENCE RI: Let’s make a parade! We’ll need drums, horns and musicians! Build your own rainbow horn to play in the parade. Miss Katie will bring her drooling horn (gross) and we’ll explore how horns turn our breath into music!

Thursday, July 14: Storytime and Art in the ParkKidoinfo-Storytime-BurnsidePark
10:30am — 12:30pm

  • Storytime with featured storyteller: Len Cabral
  • Art in the Park: Making on the Moon! (following Storytime) with guest artist Ricky Katowicz
    Featured AIP Activity: The Three Robbers: In this classic story, the children all wear red caps and red capes and live happily ever after. Together we’ll all get a chance to make our own caps and capes!

Week 3:
Tuesday, July 19: Play in the Park

  • 3:00 — 6:00pm
    Family friendly activities and Playspace at the Imagination Center
    Featured Activity: Radical Rainbows with Miss Katie from playSCIENCE RI: We’re going to make our own rainbow concoctions while we explore what happens when we mix different colors together. We’ll collaborate on an epic chalk mural of the park’s walkways AND make a colorful piece of art using rainbow BUBBLES!Kidoinfo-Storytime-BigNazo-500x373

Thursday, July 21: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm

  • Storytime with featured storyteller: Intergalactic creature troupe BIG NAZO
  • Art in the Park: Making on the Moon! (following Storytime) with guest artist Ricky Katowicz
    Featured AIP Activity: Moon Man: Let’s make spaceships so we can go visit the Moon Man!

Week 4:
Tuesday, July 26: Play in the Park

  • 3:00 — 6:00pm
    Family friendly activities and Playspace at the Imagination Center
    Featured Activity: Open Drum Circle with master percussionist Sidy Maiga, 5-6pm!


Thursday, July 28: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm

  • Storytime with featured storyteller: Kara LaReau, Gaia Cornwall, Anika Denise + Christina Rodriguez from Kid Lit!
  • Art in the Park: Making on the Moon! (following Storytime) with guest artist Ricky Katowicz
    Featured AIP Activity: Fog Island: The pictures in this book all have this wonderful misty quality that really make you feel the fog. We’ll make our own fog pictures using chalk!

Week 5:
Tuesday, August 2: Play in the Park

  • 3:00 — 6:00pm
    Family friendly activities and Playspace at the Imagination Center
  • Featured Activity: Wondrous Water with Miss Katie from playSCIENCE RI: Let’s explore the power of water! What disappears in water and what doesn’t? How can we make frozen water melt faster? We’ll make our own floating vessels and then try and sink them.

Thursday, August 4: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm

  • Storytime with featured storyteller: Keith Munslow
  • Art in the Park: Making on the Moon! (following Storytime) with guest artist Ricky Katowicz
    Featured AIP Activity: The Beast of Monsieur Racine: You might think this is a story about a mysterious creature but really it’s about disguises and acceptance. This week we’ll make ourselves into little beasts and capture our newfound forms in photographs!


Week 6:
Tuesday, August 9: Play in the Park

  • 3:00 — 6:00pm
    Family friendly activities and Playspace at the Imagination Center
    Featured Activity: Wriggling Reeds with Miss Katie from playSCIENCE RI: What makes a kazoo buzz and a saxophone sing? Let’s find out! We’ll make our own kazoos and explore the source of the saxophone’s smooth sound.

Thursday, August 11: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm

  • Storytime with featured storyteller: Valerie Tutson
  • Art in the Park: Making on the Moon! (following Storytime) with guest artist Ricky Katowicz
    Featured AIP Activity: Crictor: Reading this book will give us a chance to make our own little pet snakes on a leash so we can take them for a walk around the park!

Week 7:
Tuesday, August 16: Play in the Park

  • 3:00 — 6:00pm
    Family friendly activities and Playspace at the Imagination Center
    Featured Activity: Amazing Air with Miss Katie from playSCIENCE RI: Bubbles, balloons, and crystal balls, oh my!

Thursday, August 18: Storytime and Art in the Park Closing Event
10:30am — 12:30pm

  • Storytime with featured storytellers: Jen Corace & Alison Paul
  • Art in the Park: Making on the Moon! (following Storytime) with guest artist Ricky Katowicz
    Featured AIP Activity: Snail, Where Are You?: We’ll make our own new characters using snails, shoes, leaves, and many other found objects!

Week 8:
Tuesday, August 23: Play in the Park

  • 3:00 — 6:00pm
    Family friendly activities and Playspace at the Imagination Center
    Featured Activity: Join us for the second Cape Day lead by Kalie & Patch – this time including book-making with superhero stories!

Week 9:
Tuesday, August 30: Play in the Park

  • 3:00 — 6:00pm
    Family friendly activities and Playspace at the Imagination Center
    Featured Activity: 3rd Cape Day with more costume and book-making, a season end show of Cape Day projects, and from 5-6pm Open Drum Circle with master percussionist Sidy Maiga!

Kidoinfo-Storytime-Burnside Park


Location: Under the trees near the fountain in Burnside Park, Kennedy Plaza
Rain/Heat location: Aurora, 276 Westminster Street, Providence, RI
Parking: Metered street parking. Park in the mall parking lot. $2 for up to 3 hours. Or check for schedules.
Food: Bring a picnic or buy food from an array of local food trucks.
Ages: All ages
Cost: Free event

Story hours are a great way to discover new books with your child. Oftentimes kids love to hear their favorites over and over. Find them at the local library. When we want to a buy a copy for our own personal collection, we love to support local bookstores.

Here’s a list of some of our favorites:
– Books on the Square: 471 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906
– Barrington Books — 184 County Rd. Barrington, RI, 02806
– Myopic Books — 5 South Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906
– Symposium Books — 240 Westminster Street, Providencea