Thursday, January 30, 2014

Go Green Party~ Don't Miss Out This Year!

The Go Green Party was a huge success last year as the community rallied together to support building Greene's Field's new playground structure. It was a sell-out event. This year's event helps support the continued use of the Dover Playspace for our members, plus other new coming events.

Join us on Saturday, March 15th at Powers Hall for a casual evening of festive drinks, dancing, and silent auction. It's your chance to enjoy a night out with friends - and to make some new ones as well. And of course, it wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without green beer! Tickets are $50 in advance, and $60 beginning March 1st. 

Order Tickets now via Pay Pal and they will be emailed to you. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Toy Cleanse

We welcome local organizer Danielle Weil today to share some tips on organizing toys after the holidays.

Now that the holiday magic has worn off, are you left feeling weighed down by too many gifts and toys? It might be time to reclaim your space by beginning a toy cleanse.

At this time of year it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the toys around you. If so, it’s time to clear out some of the old to make room for the new. Start out by sorting and separating older toys that don’t get used, are damaged, or are missing pieces, and then later find them a new home or recycle. {Save the date for the next Parent Talk Used Clothing/Toys/Gear Sale on Saturday May 3rd! Put your donations aside to drop off in April}  I personally find that sorting through toys without my 2 boys (5 and 6) is much more productive. If I am uncertain of something I set it aside, out of sight for a few days to see if it’s missed, or I’ll discuss it with them. Be mindful with your clear-out choices to avoid any unnecessary upset feelings, but don’t forget your first intension - to cleanse your space.

Expedit wicker toy storage

Following your clean-out, the next step will be organizing the new toys in a way that provides easy access and good visibility so the kids can really enjoy their fun new gifts! Start by grouping the smaller/medium size toys. For example, at home I use the IKEA EXPEDIT shelving unit with wicker baskets, each of which contains a toy group. I have baskets for action figures, vehicles, tools, animals, musical instruments, etc. Every little person, animal and thing has a home. 

Using clear boxes obviously can make it so much easier but can sometimes be visually unappealing. Whatever your choice, it is very important to label each box clearly and simply, using words for older kids and pictures for younger ones. 

Remember: if a toy is not seen it probably won’t get used! Game or puzzle boxes are best grouped by size on shelves, creating little stacks no more than 4 boxes high. It can be fun to display books and games on the same shelving unit, incorporating little stacks between the kids books. Helping the children see their toys and giving them easy access to them will make play-time more productive and fun. These simple steps and tips will help you kick start your toy clean-out to achieve a fresh new look for your play area in 2014! 

About the Author
I’m a married, stay-at-home mother of two boys, living in West Roxbury. My architecture and design background, coupled with having lived in small homes has taught me the importance of maximizing a space’s potential. Helping other busy mothers and friends made me realize that I enjoy helping people get organized, and collaborate to create that happy space they desire. With a passion for interior design and my organizational skills I can help you tame any space and turn it into that perfect place you have been dreaming about!  Organized by Danielle Weil, #781-710-4885, email: szpunt (at)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sleep Consultant Discount!

Written by Caitlin Moran

Use this new discount to help your little one (and you!) get more sleep and on your way to a better routine! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE DISCOUNTS!!!! You have paid your dues – now get the reward!

Peaceful Sleep Solutions - Local mom, Anne Grier, RN, BSN, is a Pediatric Sleep Consultant who specializes in working with children ages 4 months - 6 years. No child or situation is the same, so Anne will customize a plan to help you gently change you child's sleep habits so that the whole family can get the sleep they need. Anne creates the plan and then supports the family though the sleep coaching process. 
Parent Talk members will receive 10% off her sleep bundle., 781-312-8610.

If you visit the Member Discounts page by clicking here, you can view all of the discounts, or search by category (fitness, activities/classes, home, clothing, food, retail, sitters/au pairs, spa/hair, photography, tutoring, pets, and other). This should make it easier to find what you are looking for! Happy searching!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Parent Talk's Reaction to the Loss of Isis Parenting

Written by Wendy Todd

If you live in the metro boston area and have children under age 10, unless you've been living under a rock you've heard the news that Isis Parenting announced very suddenly that it would be closing it's doors effective immediately last Wednesday.

My first reaction to this news was very personal - I was in total shock and then began to take a walk down memory lane, sifting through pictures from my Great Beginnings class in early 2007 and my second time moms class from spring of 2011.  As it has for so many of us, Isis served as the outlet I needed to get out of the house and connect in those hazy early days of motherhood, when I wasn't quite sure if I was up to the task of keeping another human being alive for the next 18 years.  Like many of you I forged lifelong friendships both for myself and for my kids, by walking through those doors in 2007. 

Now, as a few days have passed and an influx of information has begun to hit our inboxes, I realize that as an organization, Parent Talk also has a reaction to the news of Isis closing. We had a long-standing relationship with Isis, and so many of our members also took classes, shopped or otherwise leaned on Isis during the early years of parenthood.  They were part of our community and we hate to see them go.

In the coming days, weeks and months as you may be searching for options to fill the void left by Isis closing, Parent Talk offers the following resources:

Our Yahoo! Group - Any information that we get about other local entities offering discounts or make-up classes to folks that were currently enrolled in a class at Isis will be posted to our Yahoo! Group.  We encourage members of the Parent Talk community to also post information they are aware of on the same string.  For more information on the Yahoo! Group:

Our Facebook Page - similarly we will post information that we received about discounts or make-up classes for folks that were currently enrolled in a class at Isis. We encourage members of the Parent Talk community to also post information they are aware of on our Facebook Page as well. Parent Talk's facebook page:

Our Playgroups - While not a facilitated playgroup like the Great Beginnings or Next Step classes at Isis, Parent Talk's play groups are a great resource to connect with other parents of similarly aged children:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Think of Summer and Mark Your Calendar for the 2nd Annual Summer Camp Fair

It might not feel like it yet, but summer is just around the corner. Here in Needham and surrounding towns, we have many options for summer activities for our kids, but sometimes there are too many options to choose from. Is a half-day program right for your kids? Do you need extended days? Are you looking for sports? Gymnastics? An overnight camp? Is swimming a must-have for summertime? Or, are you leaning more toward the artsy side of things? Where do you start?!? Fortunately, Parent Talk has taken some of the guesswork out of planning your family's summer.

On Wednesday, January 22 (snow date: Thursday, February 6), from 7-9pm, Parent Talk will host its Second Annual Summer Camp Information Fair. Summer camps will gather together in the Newman Elementary School cafeteria to meet with local parents and discuss summer options. Each camp will be assigned a booth where their representatives will distribute literature and answer your questions about their camp programs. Meeting face to face with the camp staff really makes a difference when choosing a program for your child, and the process is so much easier when they are all in one room! Best of all, everyone who attends the Camp Fair will walk away with an informational booklet packed with information about each attending camp.

Last year was the first time Parent Talk hosted this event, and it was even more successful than anticipated. Last year's fair hosted 28 camps and almost 200 parents, and this year is going to be even bigger with almost 40 camps attending! This year, the Camp Fair is also introducing more overnight camps into the mix, along with favorites from last year, of course. Best of all, this event is FREE, and there is no pre-registration required, so tell your friends, and come to the Camp Fair on Wednesday, January 22 from 7-9pm in the Newman Elementary School cafeteria (1155 Central Avenue in Needham).  See you there!

Questions? email

Image One photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Are your kids getting enough imaginative play time?

It won’t surprise you that a 2003 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that most pre-schoolers and toddlers have watched TV or DVDs or have used a computer.  It is surprising that, on a daily basis, the kids participating in this study spent as much time in front of a screen (2 hours) as playing outside, and much more than they spent reading books (38 minutes). Sure, some of that screentime might include Skyping with Grandma.  But how much of it is Curious George, Baby Einstein, or even an iPad filled with educational apps? And is any of it really nurturing our kids’ imaginations or creativity?
The same study found that kids are asking for brand name items as soon as they learn to talk.  We parents spend hours hunting online for the best deals on Thomas trains, or Dora pajamas and sneakers, and we have to stop and ask – who’s really getting the best deal here?

Join us on Wednesday, January 8th at Wellesley Books for a talk given by Dr. Susan Linn, in which she presents us with the case for imaginative play that fosters kids’ creativity and psychological health.  She suggests that we put our wallets away and help our kids to find their own way to an imagination-fueled playtime.  A nationally-recognized expert on the effects of media and commercial marketing on children, Dr. Linn has written for the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post and been featured on Sixty MinutesWorld News Tonight, and Dateline.
Instead of relying on marketing companies and brand managers to determine which program or device our child most needs to grow and develop, perhaps it is time for us to use our creativity to nurture our children’s?

photo credit: Krissy.Venosdale via photopin cc

Printer Friendly