BY Brian Glaser | Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 10:00am |
The South Orange-Maplewood school district (SOMA) racked up so many snow days over the course of the 2013-214 winter season that the Board of Ed has been forced not only to put summer recess on hold—they’re taking the whole season off the calendar.
BoE President Elizabeth Daughtry was still shaking her head in disbelief when talking to Barista Kids about this unusual move. “I mean, the first 10 snow days were a lot, but still reasonable,” she said. “After that, we even stopped having Board meetings. With all that snow and ice surrounding us and keeping everyone in their houses, there seemed no point in going on.”
Daughtry worries about students falling behind from so many missed days.
BY Kristin Wald | Friday, Mar 28, 2014 10:00am |
In just a short while, families around Baristaville will be getting ready to take some holiday time both afar or as stay-cations for spring break. And with the changeable weather we’ve had, chances are at least a day or two will need some assistance to keep fun and peace in the family. Stomping onto the amusement scene is a set of activity books from Parragon Books called New Dino City called Dino Supersaurus.
Three books, each with elements of graphic stories, sticker games, and activity workbooks, are sure to keep the kids happy during a trip or on a rainy day. Officially recommended for ages 6 – 12, Barista Kids believes that children on the higher end of the age scale will find it a bit simple, but still enjoyable. Parents should know that as fun and silly as the stories and drawings are, they are not babyish. The drawings have a sense of cartoonish dino-violence and even some potty humor, all greatly appreciated by children of a certain age.
The best part of these books is the combination of activities in each.
BY Kristin Wald | Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 12:00pm |
Are you as excited as I am about another snow storm? Yeah, I thought so. At least it’s March already, right?
Parents with very young children especially need some additional distractions during winter weather, and happily, there is no shortage of beautiful books that allow children and parents to get through cold, snowy days and nights. Two new children’s books are perfect for helping us appreciate the joys of winter and snuggling with family.
No Two Alike, by Keith Baker, follows two happy red birds through a detailed winter landscape as they explore their wintry world. Small children love repetition, and the text provides many opportunities for them to anticipate words and surprises. In addition, as the title No Two Alike implies, the birds discover many items — nests, leaves, roads, trees — that are almost, almost alike, but not quite.
BY Kristin Wald | Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 12:00pm |
As we approach the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, it’s a good time to ask: are you and your family prepared for a natural disaster? Last year, after surviving Sandy, it seemed that everyone had resolved to create a family emergency plan, purchase a generator, and create a “better than average” emergency kit. Be honest! Have you completed at least two out of those three? To help nudge you in the preparedness direction, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created a fun and informative tool for the whole family: READY.GOV for kids.
Parents know that when the power goes out, storms rage, and schedules are disrupted, a sense of adventure can quickly turn to helplessness, anxiety and fear in children. FEMA has launched a new website designed with kids in mind. Ready.gov for kids is an accessible and age-appropriate resource with the goal of encouraging families and their communities to prepare ahead of time for disasters and emergencies.
BY Kristin Wald | Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 10:15am |
New parents can often feel isolated in the challenges that surround new parenthood. And sometimes, both the physical and emotional strains can be exhausting. These days, there are many resources at the fingertips of eager but tired parents thanks to the magic of the Internet. Local author and parent, Hillary Frank, has been sharing harrowing and heartwarming stories through her podcast series The Longest Shortest Time, a series of podcasts revealing truths about early parenthood.
BY Kristen Kemp | Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 1:00pm |
Here’s what the kids and I are doing Saturday: We’re going to the awesome new LEGO Discovery Center called Snapology to have fun and raise money for the American Cancer Society.
I’m going to write more about Snapology next week because it’s so cool it deserves a blog post of its own. But I wanted to get the word out about their fundraiser today.
Cedar Grove mom Melissa Skabich (see left) will be running the New York City Half Marathon for the ACS in a few weeks, and she and her husband are running the full in November. Her husband Paul (also left) lost his mother to cancer in December, and they’re passionate about the cause and determined to help any way they can. Her goal is in 2013 is to run 13 marathons, all to get donations for what she and Paul call ‘Team Determination.’
So they partnered with Snapology owners Donna and Steve Meccia who donated their space for the party. This Saturday, for $10 per person, families can head to Snapology to play, have LEGO building contests, do arts and crafts, eat snacks and win door prizes. Melissa’s three boys Paul, 9, Christopher, 7, and Evan, 3, will be helping with all of the activities. “They lost their grandmother so recently, so they’re eager to contribute to the cause,” Melissa says.
BY Kristin Wald | Tuesday, Dec 04, 2012 9:00am |
Divorce is never easy. Even amicable separations come with complications and emotional baggage. With children in the picture, all is magnified. No couple, no individual going through divorce, needs to navigate the stormy seas of separation alone. Today, more and more couples are finding creative solutions for living together in peace, apart—but it’s a long journey to “happily divorced.” And finding an objective support network takes the pressure off those already dealing with new and uncomfortable situations. To help make the search for that support network easier, The Modern Village presents: Separated, Divorced or Remarried, Now What?
The Modern Village will gather together experts to the offices of umojawa in Maplewood, NJ to help families going through transition. Our goal is to help everyone involved – parents, children, extended family – come through the life changes to the most emotionally healthy – then hopefully happy – life possible.
BY Kristen Kemp | Friday, Nov 16, 2012 8:00am |
How is it that Black Friday is almost already here? I haven’t had time to save money! Oh but I’m sure I’ll still find the resources to spend dough this holiday season.
I might just start at Uptowne Girl Salon. My 7-year-old twins love the manicures and pedicures, facials and up-dos there. See one of them during her Uptowne Girl birthday party last month at left. (I swear these children are not spoiled.)
If your girl would like some pampering, Uptowne Girl is offering a Drop and Shop day for Black Friday. All ages are welcome from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 23. The idea is that the kids will be supervised and have fun while their moms get two free hours to go shopping (or get their nails done). The cost is $30 per girl.
The children will get up-dos, make up applications, manicures, nail art, snacks and craft time. Space is limited, and Uptowne Girl asks that you RSVP by Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the latest:
BY Kristen Kemp | Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 4:00pm |
On Monday, October 1, Boone Studio moves into town—and the schedule is packed with kids yoga and dance classes. For the first two grand opening weeks, many of Boone Studio’s super fun offerings are free. Yep, totally free.
Owner and longtime instructor Hala Ghanem gave me the details on her new endeavor. She wanted to open a studio that was more mom- and kid-friendly. In her beautiful and huge new space on Church Street in Montclair, Ghanem will teach adult classes in one room while kids take yoga and dance in another. She planned the afternoon schedule this way so moms can get in a workout instead of just waiting around.
Adult classes—Vinyasa yoga, hot Vinyasa, Barre, hot Barre yoga, pilates and more—also run every morning. On certain days of the week, Ghanem offers childcare in a room filled with wooden toys. “They’re really nice things I’d want my kids to play with. No TVs!,” she says.
Her kids classes include creative movement for ages 2 to 3 and jazz and ballet combos for ages 3 to 5, 5 to 7 and 7 to 9. She also offers yoga for kids from age 2 on up.
Music Together of Montclair is partnering with Ghanem and will use her space some mornings.
Click to the jump to see the schedule, and be sure to sign up for free yoga and dance classes online. Ghanem also says to check out her discounted opening prices. Have questions? She encourages you to call: 973-901-1392.