Your parents guide for Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts



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Join Erin Vinacco this Halloween for a free family yoga class on Halloween Day (October 31) at the Motion Center Yoga Collective, Hope Artiste Village, Pawtucket. Halloween Costumes are welcome!

Regular weekly classes will be be held throughout the winter during Farmer's Market starting Nov 1st, Saturdays 10-10:45am, $5 per participant. Free for little ones under 2!


Come move, breathe, play and relax together! Family yoga is active and engaging opportunity for families to connect in a whole new way.  Practicing yoga postures with a new, fun and playful approach helps us all to decrease our stress and increase our joy and connection.  Each class includes breathing practices, group and partner activities as well as tools to calm and focus our minds and bodies both on the mat and at home.  Class concludes with time for quiet guided relaxation and rest even for the most wiggly bodies and active minds.  All abilities welcome.  All children must be accompanied by an adult participant.  Focus is on school-aged children (5-12) but younger and older siblings are welcome to join too.  Aunties, cousins and grandparents are all welcome - bring the whole family!

Erin Vinacco is a native Rhode Islander with over 7 years of experience working with and children,parents and families. She finds joy in sharing both the peaceful and playful aspects of yoga and mindfulness with students of all ages and abilities and currently works with the non-profit ResilientKids to bring mindfulness into the schools.  Her compassionate presence welcomes all students to the mat and allows everyone to explore and develop their unique practice at their own pace and comfort level.  She is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher and has been practicing yoga and meditation for more than a decade.   Erin has completed a 40-hour training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga through the Trauma Center in Boston and over 40 hours in training in teaching yoga to children, teens and adults with special needs through Creative Relaxation Yoga Therapy and My OmAbilities.

Find out more about Motion Center Yoga Collective here.


Rhode Island is not exactly the obvious choice for skiers in New England. The highest point in our state, Jerimoth Hill stands at a lowly 812 feet above sea level and so it is hardly surprising that most folks travel further afield to hit the slopes.  There are some reasonable local options however, which are especially good for beginners, families and younger children.

Yawgoo Ski Area, Exeter, RI

Back in the day, there used to be five local ski areas dotted around Rhode Island but now where is only one remaining, Yawgoo in Exeter.  Yawgoo offers skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing within a  30 minute drive of Providence (on a  good day, with the wind behind you!)

Yawgoo offers a great 5 week learn-to-ski program but crikey, you have to register early (like October!!).  Other options involving less pre-planning are:

February Vacation Package:

Wachusett Mountain, Princeton, MA

Wachusett offers 22 trails, 1000 feet of slopes, night skiing and some great options for children's lessons. Drive time from Providence is approximately 1 hour 45 mins.


Blue Hills Ski Area, Milton, MA

Although a small "resort", the Blue Hills is another local option which is great for more affordable children's lessons. Only 40 minutes from Providence!

Photo Credits: Top (Skiing Forever), Middle (Ninemsn), Bottom (Chamonix First)

I have a confession to make, right here in front of Kidoinfo and everyone. I don’t like football. Not NFL football, anyway. I don’t like it in a box, I don’t like it with a fox (though I suspect I might like it with Tom Brady). Football is a time for me to busy myself in the kitchen and cook up game foods for everyone and occasionally run in to see what the ruckus is about.

joe-montanaMy family of origin was not a sports-watching family. The first Superbowl that I really remember was Superbowl XVI–49ers vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. I was a high school freshman in San Jose, and a new acquaintance from school invited me to her Superbowl party.  I thought, This is odd, a girl having a football party, but I accepted.  I remember nothing whatsoever about the game (I had to google the game to know who the opponent was just now).  Just twelve or so freshman girls in Maria’s living room, cheering and screaming for Joe Montana (M-o-n-t-a-n-a!), her mom popping in and out to bring us snacks and watch with us.  That acquaintance ended up being my closest friend, and I don’t remember ever watching football with her again.

superbowl-abbey irishFast forward some years and my own daughter, Stretch, is a high school freshman. Her family of origin (us) is very much a sports-watching family. Her dad has attended almost every Superbowl that the Patriots have appeared in. Stretch went to her first Notre Dame game with her dad this fall. Despite being raised in a sports-rich environment and being an athlete herself, she has no use for football and has to have it re-explained to her on a regular basis. Her girlfriends will most decidedly not have a Superbowl-watching party together. She will probably be in her room, doing homework, face-timing with friends, and coming down just to see the Halftime Show and find out what there is to eat.

jack bcs

If you’re fortunate enough to have a teenager, and I dare say that it is more likely this will be a male teen (or a tween with a pretty good attention span) who is into the game, then mazel to you, and enjoy! You have earned, over years of entertaining and chasing them out of trouble as you try to watch the game, and trying in vain to get them interested, a good football companion–one who knows offense from defense, one who can spot a facemask offense a mile away.  One who will get the reference when you say, “That’ll move the chains!” This is our LittleMan, the best sports-watching companion that a SportsDad or Grandfather could wish for.

However, the great majority of parents will not be having that Norman Rockwell moment of uninterrupted game-watching with their children.  There will be all sorts of sideshows going on, and all sorts of maintenance to be performed.  Here are a few tips for enjoying the Superbowl with younger–or just less intensely interested–kids:

My Superbowl menu for this year consists of the Main Course Nachos, various chips and dips and salsas, homemade pigs in blankets, gooey cinnamon squares….and of course, plenty of wings. If your kids love helping in the kitchen and you want to whip up some football-themed goodies, here are a few ideas.

s-superbowl-predictionI found this neat bunch of math-incorporating printable activities and passed it to a friend, who will use them with her six and ten year old boys. Like the Bingo cards, these can be tailored to be more or less difficult, based on the age of the children. For younger children (and really great when you have guests with children), having football-lacing activities ready to go is another great idea (scroll down just a bit for the football template).

This is a hilarious Bingo game for adults who are more peripherally into the actual game, but it can be content-tailored for kids. A lot of us worry about the content of the TV commercials. The truth is that we have been through fourteen Superbowls with children now, and I don’t remember any particular ad moment that made me do more than cringe a little bit. As crassly funny (or just crass) as some of the ads are, most of them go over the heads of the youngest kids and don’t faze the older kids.  It’s the tweens who really take these things in, and yes, there will be moments when they see and hear things you’d rather they had not. And there’s no immediately redeeming factor, either–these are not teachable moments–it’s the middle of a football game!

The best you can do is react to things like Janet Jackson’s halftime wardrobe malfunction and Yoko Ono’s warbling and sex-yodeling (okay, that didn’t actually happen, but it would have been funny) and the like, with exaggerated horror, and a “Oh my, that’s TERRIBLE!” and then move on.  Maybe even change the channel for a few minutes during the commercials.

The Patriots are finished for the year and the pressure is off. This year, it’s just about enjoying what bits of the game we do see, eating and drinking and hanging out with our kids and friends (even if only virtually!).

Have a blast, and Go ‘Niners!

The 2012 Summer Olympics start this evening, July 27th with the opening ceremonies and finishes with the closing ceremonies on Sunday, August 12th. It's easy these days to stay connected to the Olympics using Social Media and watch your favorite sports and follow athlete highlights at your convenience. Check the guide below to find the best Olympics sites for families.

Turn the Olympics into teachable moments. Common Sense Media put together a great list of open-ended questions to ask children, as a starting point for more meaningful conversation about the Olympics. Read the full article here.

1. Talk about inspiration. What makes a person want to compete?
2. Get to know the athletes. Explore their back stories.
3. Discuss teamwork.
4. Talk about the competition (not just the winners).
5. The Olympics are a global sport. Talk about the different countries competing in this worldwide event.
6. Discuss the meaning of the advertising since it will be everywhere. Teach kids how to make sense of the messaging.

Guide to the best Olympics sites for families:




More Websites

for mobile devices


Playing alone is far from lonely... kids learn skills, build confidence, and stay healthier. Don't be afraid to send them "outside" to play when they complain there's no one to play with.

We all know that mothers back in the day just told their kids to "go play outside," no matter what was going on outside. Even though times indeed have changed, we need to be mindful that solo play is healthy time for kids, helping them build confidence, hone skills, and actually have fun.

The key to all of this? Solo play away from the digital. Here's a list of 10 ways a child can play all by him- or herself, and be better off for it. Next time your kido is hanging around complaining of having no one to play with, have one of these ideas on hand.

Read more on GoLocalProv. Every week I share tips on how families can make the most of their family time – including helpful hints that make parenting easier and connecting you to great local happenings.

Many of us will be participating in water-related activities this summer. Now is a good time to review water safety rules with your spouse, caregiver, and children.  Follow these safety tips from the Red Cross whenever you are in, on or around water.

Make Water Safety Your Priority

Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

Maintain Constant Supervision

Know What to Do in an Emergency

Rhode Island has many areas of scenic beauty and a growing network of paths for bicycling, walking, rollerblading, and running. The Rhody Bike Path Passport is designed to help you plan trips to explore the different paths in the state. Collect a unique stamp from businesses and organizations near featured bike paths in Rhode Island.

Summer may be half over but there is still plenty of time to plan your trips and and collect your stamps. First, download a passport here or obtain a copy of your passport at the Bayside YMCA or the Cranston YMCA.

If you collect stamps from three different paths by October 15, 2010, you will be eligible for a prize drawing including a grand prize worth at least $250 - check the website later for prize details!

The Rhody Bike Path Passport is a project by the Zeta II class of the non-profit organization, Leadership Rhode Island to encourage people to enjoy Rhode Island's scenic beauty, stay fit, and support local businesses!

Learning to ride a bike is a watershed moment for a child.  The instant a parent lets go of their child’s saddle and they wobble but don’t fall down freedom is born.  If you can remember that moment you might recall the shear exhilaration of knowing that for the first time in your life you were able to get from here to anywhere.  kid on bikeQuickly. The perception of distance and time would be forever altered, as would your parents’ anxiety every time you mounted up and turned a distant corner.

Teaching a child to ride, unfortunately, is postponed longer than necessary.  The use of  “training wheels” has been misunderstood since their invention.  Their original intent was not meant to train someone to ride but meant to train them to wait until someone taught them to ride.  There are many methods used to teach bicycle riding but the best I have found involves no pedals and no training wheels.

The original modern day no-pedal bike was the Like-a-Bike, a German manufactured miniature bike made from wood laminate.  It is a beautiful work of industrial design and has a price tag to match its one of a kind iconic styling.  Its concept was borrowed from the 1800’s Draisienne or hobby horse.  There are knock-offs, of course, but if you already own a bike and your child is able to put their feet firmly on the ground just take the pedals off.  This turns the bike into a two-wheeled walker without the pedals interfering.

Here’s the thinking and method behind this approach.  Training wheels don’t teach balance because the child depends on them to hold him up.  If the wheels are raised slightly to allow teeter then the child waits for them to catch his balance.  The key to balancing is learning the effect of weight on steering.  Using the bicycle as a hobby horse that you push with your feet you learn quickly that weight affects the direction of your bike.  As the steering and adjustment of weight is developed the glide length increases and before you know it — ba-da-bing — your child is balancing.  Pedaling is easily mastered after this.

So…stop waiting and let your child start learning because the sooner they start riding the sooner you’ll be able to rediscover what it’s like to be a kid again through the eyes of your child.

Reed Caster is an avid cyclist and the parent of two children who outgrew tricycles years ago. He owns and operates Caster's Bicycles in Warwick, Rhode Island along with his wife Mindy. They will be opening a second location on the East Side of Providence the end of August.

ob07RCS_0490_4Join the Providence Grays Vintage Base Ball Club for its 12th season bringing to life Providence's historic 1884 National League pennant winning baseball team.  See bare-handed base ball as vividly described by the Providence Journal's Ed Achorn in his new book Fifty-nine in '84: Old Hoss Radbourne & The Greatest Season a Pitcher Ever Had, published by Smithsonian Books.


Their 2010 season started May 15. Here is the Providence Grays home schedule for June through August:

June 19, time T.B.A. -  OLNEYVILLE @ Bristol Common
June 26 - NEWTOWN SANDY HOOK @ Ardoene Field
July 24 - OLNEYVILLE @ Ardoene Field
August 7 - ATLANTIC (of BROOKLYN) @ Ardoene Field
August 8, Sunday - ATLANTIC (of BROOKLYN)@ McCoy Stadium
September 11 - ATLANTIC (of BROOKLYN) @ Ardoene Field

FREE event.
All games Saturday at 11:00 A.M. unless otherwise noted.
Ardoene Field is in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence, off Narragansett Avenue, between Reservoir Avenue and Roger Williams Avenue.

Bike season is here at last in New England. Since kids grow year-round it may be time to buy your child's first bike or upgrade their old one. Although I've had luck getting bikes for my children as hand-me-downs and buying them off Craig's List, not everyone wants to shop this way or happens on a bike when they need one. For those in the market for a new bike or who want to know more about what to look for in buying a bike for their child, Matt Bodziony, owner of NBX Bikes in Narragansett, RI, shares his experience. Matt's been involved in the cycling industry for more than 20 years in retail and the competitive and promotional sides of cycling. Matt and NBX Bikes participate in the Go By Bike initiative, a pledge to help the world by encouraging biking for everyday commutes with Trek's Bicycle program, 1 World 2 Wheels.

Here are Matt's tips for buying bikes for kids and the advantages of shopping at a specialty bike shop.

kidsbike1. The ability to fit children to bikes that will not only fit them well but will allow them to grow into the bike through adjustable systems like Trek's Dial concept, "Bikes That Grow as Fast as They Do."  Trek kids bikes are built on the premise that kids don't have to outgrow everything. They call it Dialed Fit Specific - components that adjust to fit growth spurts - you dial in the perfect fit no matter their leaps or bounds. This is very important for the confidence of the user because it helps them become proficient sooner and their skills dialed in quicker.

2. The importance in building a bike that is an appropriate weight based on the size of child. The light-weight materials like aluminum are being used to help with the strength-to-weight ratio for a child who only weighs 45 pounds. In the past kids might be riding bikes that were double their weight; now that weight has been reduced by a significant amount.  All of this has made the handle of the bike a huge plus. The kids love the lighter weight bikes when they have to pedal up hills, and parents appreciate the lighter weight as they load them on and off the car bike racks!

We all want to get our kids on a bike as soon as we can, and there are some great choices! Children's bikes start at 12" to 16" with training wheels (if needed) and go up to the 20" wheel size. A really fun way to get your little one riding is called "striding" or "floating." Instead of using training wheels to learn balance, a striding or floating bike is one in which the pedals have been removed. The Float by Trek Bicycles is a 16" version; it is light weight with a low stand over for the kids, which allows them to create momentum by paddling their feet and "striding" along. This, in turn, will teach them balance and control in a very fun way, without the need of training wheels! The great thing with this method is that kids can start "riding a bike" to build their confidence at a very young age. Then, once they have mastered the balancing part of bicycle riding, the pedals can be added on, and your young rider will be keeping up with the big kids!

The bicycle industry has lots of great choices for kids these days, ranging from simple, single-speed bikes to geared mountain bikes and even junior road bikes for the young Lance Armstrongs. The BMX bicycles have multiple choices in this category as well. From racing, freestyle and dirt, they all may look the same but are built for specific agendas for the kids whether they are riding around the neighborhood or going to the local park and learning the latest trick, or competing all over New England.

The mountain bike is a multi geared bike that introduces the shifting concept to kids for the first time. They start in the 20" wheel size and come in 24" with a fitted frame to the 26" wheel and multiple sized frames for a better fit are "mini" adult bikes. Built with the same emphasis on the light weight and performance in the quality of parts and the durability over time, these bikes are great to get the kids really moving on the longer adventures as a family.

Whichever of these categories of bicycles is right for the child in your life, keep in mind the two most important considerations: a proper fit and the service relationship with the bicycle shop you are spending time at. These are important for adult or children's bicycles. The fitting of a bicycle is important whether it's a child's first bike or an upgrade for an older child. The purchase of a bike is a long-term investment and we want you to know that you may need things over that time, maybe some adjustments on the bike to make your child's ride more comfortable, maybe to upgrade a few parts; whatever you need it's the old-fashioned customer service that your independent bicycle shop can offer that is so important when thinking about purchasing your child's next bicycle.


NBX Bikes
1153 Boston Neck Rd.
Narragansett, RI 02882
phone: 401-782-4444
website: is published by Gale Force Communications

Mailing address:
57 Rolfe Square, PO Box 10094
Cranston, Rhode Island 02920


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