Family Halloween Yoga Class Fun at Hope Artiste Village. Costumes welcome!

Family Halloween Yoga Class Fun at Hope Artiste Village. Costumes welcome!

unnamed-2

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!

unnamed-3

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.
Ski School is Open!

Ski School is Open!

ski-school

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:

  • Ski/Board
    images1 hour lesson (8.30-9.30am) Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday plus half day lift pass $130, with rental $170.  Children should be aged 5+ to ski and 7+ to snowboard.
  • Kinderschuss
    45 min lesson (9-9.45am) Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday $80, with half day lift pass $120. For children aged 2.5-4 years.
  • Group Lessons
    For children aged 7+
    1.25 hour lesson $35 (times vary)
  • Private lessons
    For all ages (including adults).  Prices do not include equipment rental.
    1 student/1 hour $75
    2 students/1 hour $95
    3 students/1 hour $125

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.

  • Polar Kids (Age 4-12)
    Weekday Lessons: 10.15am and 1pm $45, rental $17.
    Weekend/Vacation Lessons: Full Day 9.30am-3.30pm $85/Half Day 9.30am-12pm and 1pm-3.30pm $60
    Rental $20
    Supervised Lunch $10

child_skier

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!

  • Polar Cubs (Ages 4-6)
    1.5 hour lesson $35
    1.5 hour lesson, all day lift pass, rental $79 (Monday-Friday) and $89 Weekend/Vacation.  Ski or Snowboard options.
  • Mountain Tracks (Ages 7-13)
    1 hour lesson $30
    1 hour lesson, all day lift pass, rental $79 (Monday-Friday) and $89 Weekend/Vacation. Ski or Snowboard Options

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

Kickoff With Kids: Are you watching the Superbowl this weekend?

Kickoff With Kids: Are you watching the Superbowl this weekend?

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:

  • The Food. touchdownmeatloafThe highlight for those of us who really like to cook, but the element of the game that often goes unnoticed, as spouses and children just want to shove chicken wings into their pie-holes and watch the game.  So if you can make something that serious spectators stop and notice and love, it’s a good thing.  I find that the teenagers will eat anything that is piled on top of tortilla chips and called Nachos. The Lady-Teens just want something easy to shuttle off to their rooms with and pick with their fingers while having discussions of Important Matters like, Oh No She Didn’t! and Let’s See if We can Get Them to Take Us to the Trampoline Park Right Now, During the Game.  But I digress. This year, because LittleMan has back to back soccer and basketball games during the day, It’s all pre-made and Crock Pot.  I’m making some Guinness-braised short ribs with vegetables. It will be Duly Noted and Enjoyed by the spouse. It will go on top of some chips and have sharp cheddar and scallions added for Stretch, and she will love these killer nachos.

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.

  • The Amusements.  You’ll have a much better game-watching time if you plan a few activities for younger kids to do.  They can go out and play in traffic, or watch a Pixar movie on a separate TV…but it’s fun if they’re hanging out with the family and starting to participate. Bingo games are always fun–Bingo boards are pretty easy to create and individualize as needed, and the kids can use chips or markers to cover squares with things like “Time Out,” “Extra point” and “Touchdown!” written inside.

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).

  • The Advertisements. Let’s face it, the Amusements are going to eat up….oh, about fifteen minutes of game time. Just enough time for you to figure out how to handle the sex, beer and more sex that is the other big Superbowl attraction–the advertising (and don’t forget the Halftime Show).

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!

Watching the Olympics With Kids

Watching the Olympics With Kids

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:

Facebook

  • Official London 2012 Facebook page
. At the Official London 2012 Facebook page, you can get breaking Olympics news, photo galleries, polls, and trivia. With your guidance, kids can check out the latest comments and even join in the conversation.
  • NBC Olympics Page
. A partnership between NBC Universal’s Olympics division and Facebook will provide moment-to-moment coverage both on TV and on the site.

Twitter

  • Official Olympics tweets
: @London2012
, @Olympics
, @NBCOlympics
  • Olympic Sports (twitter.com/London2012/olympic-sports): 
Tweets from every sport.
  • The Olympic Athlete’s Hub (hub.olympic.org/)
: Social media feeds from every athlete.

YouTube


  • YouTube will be streaming all the events live on NBCOlympics.com. (You have to be a cable subscriber to watch.)
  • Watch the Official YouTube channel. Subscribe to this channel for a wide range of videos, including historical clips and athlete bios.
  • Featured videos of athletes and stars
. Clips of the competitors training, sharing stories, and acting silly. The Paralympics videos share stories about kids overcoming obstacles.

More Websites

Apps 
for mobile devices

 

Family Matters: 10 Ways Kids Can Play All by Themselves

Family Matters: 10 Ways Kids Can Play All by Themselves


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.

  • Take a bike ride. Or roller skate, scooter, or skateboard. (Don’t forget your helmet and pads!)
  • Jump rope and count how many times you can jump before you miss.
  • Play tennis? Try hitting a tennis ball against a brick wall.
  • Like basketball? Try shooting hoops and seeing how many you can sink.
  • Improve your soccer skills. Grab a ball, and see how long you can keep it in the air using your feet, knees, and head.
  • Practice hopscotch. See how long you can hop on one foot.
  • Do jumping jacks.
  • Invent some dance moves.
  • Hula hoop. See how long you can move the hoop before it falls to ground. Try to swing more than one hoop at a time.
  • Do sprints (short running races) and time yourself to see how fast you go. Use a pedometer to count the number of steps between your favorite places, like your house and the park.

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.

Family Matters: Brush up on Water Safety Rules!

Family Matters: Brush up on Water Safety Rules!

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

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
  • If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
  • Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

Maintain Constant Supervision

  • Actively supervise children whenever around the water–even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach–designate a responsible adult to supervise.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.

Know What to Do in an Emergency

  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.