Family fun made simple, Western Mass.

It's cold, we've been quarantine for almost a year... and you are in need of some new ideas to entertain your kids. Here are some fun family friendly activities that you can do to shake things up.


The Children's Museum at Holyoke opening on January 26.


ADMISSION:

Children & Adults $8.00 Seniors (62+) $5.00 Children under 1 year of age and members are FREE


The Springfield Museums are offering safe visits with advanced ticket purchase.

ADMISSION

1 Ticket = 5 Museums

Adults: $25 Seniors (60+): $16.50 College Students: $16.50 Youth 3–17: $13 Children Under 3: Free Springfield Residents (with valid ID):Free – youth included


Mill 180 Park - Easthampton MA - Indoor hydroponic park

Covid Measures including air-purifiers to help keep playmates and parents safe.




Winter walks/hikes

Forest Park, Springfield MA

Mt Tom, Easthampton/Holyoke MA

Ashley Resevoir

Summit House, Amherst MA Skinner State Park

Taylor's Notch Trailhead

Nonotuck Park


Pack some hot chocolate, plenty of water, and a some tasty winter snacks!

It's pretty cold outside, so make sure you and your children are prepared to face the New England cold!


Bike trails can be great for riding, rollerblading or walking!

Western Massachusetts Scenic Byways


How to facilitate learning on hike or bike trail :

- before you hike make a scavenger hunt list - of outdoor.nature items you might find. As you go, you can take a picture with the kids holding the item, collect items in a bag, or cross them off your list!

- self talk on your way up, talk about what you are doing, what you see.

-parellel talk- comment on what your child is doing or see's.

-talk about colors, practice counting leaves, rocks, trees.


Ice Skating

Here are some pro tips for teaching your little one to skate


Fun indoor activities - for when it's just too cold!

Build a fort! Real Simple has some lovely ideas on how to make the best fort ever!


Have a movie night, sleep over in the living room.



Bake or cook some yummy snacks together


- a list of kid-friendly baking recipees.

-a list of kid friendly cooking recipees


Way's to facilitate language in the kitchen:

- give 1 or 2 step directions and help your child follow it/them.

- use prepositions (on top, under, over, inside)

- narrate the process using specific vocabulary and names of items (whisk, mixer, cut,

spatchula, etc.)

Order books from the library and pick them up each week.

Here's a great website to find recommendations of age appropriate books, then see if your local library can order them for you to borrow!


You and your child can take turns reading, they can read to the family pet or to their stuffed animals (even if they are just using the pictures!) They can zoom with grandma, grandpa, uncle, friends and show them their book1


Arts & Crafts activities abound on pinterest!


VISUAL SCHEDULES

Many of you know your kids do better with increased structure. Feel free to make a schedule of the activities you plan to do when they are not in school or participating in virtual learning. This will help them complete their tasks, know what to expect out of the day, and have some special fun time to look forward.



If your kids would benefit from a visual schedule, Choice Works, offers schedules that can be quickly modified, and that your chid might enjoy 'checking off' as they complete it.





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