Boston is known for many great things including the Red Sox and, of course, the Museum of Science! My children and I went to the Museum of Science and here are some of our favorite things:
Big Bird's Adventure: One World, One Sky – Teach your child about the North Star, Big Dipper, the Sun and the Moon with the help of Big Bird and Elmo.
Meet Triceratops Cliff – Introduce your Dinosaur lover to a 65-million-year-old fossil discovered in the Dakota Badlands in 2004.
Discovery Center – Filled with hands-on activities that are designed to encourage discovery through play. Allow your child the opportunity to explore natural history, physical science, and technology topics.
Science in the Park – Teach your child all about the science of movement in a super fun atmosphere. Lots to see and play with!
Hall of Human Life – Teach your child all about their bodies and how they work.
Museum Store – This is where we finished our day at the museum. There is something for everyone and your child is going to have lots of fun choosing a new toy that they can't find anywhere else!
As fun as traveling is, there's always the chance that things might not go according to plan. Here are some things that went awry during one of our trips:
As you can see, things do go wrong.
Here is what went right during our travels:
Despite the things that went wrong, the experiences that my kids and I had together are the memories that we carry with us for the rest of our lives. In a year, I will forget the plane delays and cancellations, the upset stomachs and inconveniences, but I will never forget the sun and the warm breeze and my kids' laughter as we flew our kites that beautiful afternoon!
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It's impossible to choose your favorites things to do at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas! That being said, when I asked my two children to name their favorite things about our time at Atlantis, this was their list:
SpecialGlobe Tip – There are Beach Wheelchairs onsite.
SpecialGlobe Tip – Limited accessibility due to the 5 stories climb and no
elevator to the top.
SpecialGlobe Tip – There are numerous places to enter along the one-mile
loop, including a zero entry area near the Toddler Water Park.
SpecialGlobe Tip - The underground dig is wheelchair accessible with an
elevator to the entrance via the lobby.
SpecialGlobe Tip – This is the first time I tried the Kid’s Club with my daughter
with Special Needs. The staff is fully trained to work with kids with special needs
and they provided a one-to-one instructor for my daughter. It was a big success and
my daughter loved it!
SpecialGlobe Tip – This is a zero entry pool.
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Giving your children responsibility during your travels will allow them to feel empowered and included. It will also impact the way in which they remember the trip. Having a hands-on experience will help them remember the trip more vividly and more positively.
Below are 10 ways in which your children can participate in your upcoming family trip and also give them the opportunity to strengthen their social and reasoning abilities as well as math and reading skills all while having the time of their lives!
Let your children be in charge of their own bags – Whether you are flying or driving, if your children are able, let them roll or carry their own bag in the airport or to your hotel room. Allow them to find their bag as it comes around the conveyor belt.
With flight delays and cancellations, car rental issues and crowded flights, travel can be challenging for everyone. When you travel with kids it can really be trying and if you add children who have special needs, it gets exponentially more difficult. It is understandable why some parents raise the white flag and say NO WAY!
Remember, though, that travel is tremendously rewarding for kids. Experiencing new destinations, meeting other children from other places, trying new foods and gaining the knowledge that there is a big, wide world out there beyond their own community—these are not things that your child can truly learn from a book.
So just breathe and trust me when I say people around you understand the difficulties you may encounter when traveling with your family. Most people are patient and kind and will often offer a hand. Lower your expectations and plan for the best case scenario, but expect some challenges along the way.
Traveling with your family is possible and it can be fun! And believe me when I say from experience, your children will thank you someday for giving them tremendous memories, opening up the world to them and giving them the gift of family travel.
See you on the road!
Taking kids to a restaurant can be stressful but it’s an important social skill for them to learn at a young age and something they will need throughout their lives. Below are some Tips and Tricks I’ve learned along the way in my travels with my kids.
Restaurants SpecialGlobe has enjoyed on our travels:
My daughter, Eliza, was diagnosed at the age of one with Atypical Rett Syndrome, a genetic neurological disorder that primarily affects girls. The doctors told me that she would never walk or talk and that her life would be a non-functioning one. A prognosis no parent ever wants to face.
Despite those early predictions, I have been inspired watching Eliza over the last eight years since her diagnosis. I have witnessed her patience, her diligence, her persistence and her dedication to learning how to walk, to speak and, most recently, to read. Eliza gives all of herself to her teachers, her therapists and her family. Even when things are obviously difficult for her, she has a smile on her face and a tremendous sense of humor.
Eliza has always had a strong affinity for water. From infancy, being submerged in water has had a calming effect on her. This passion of hers has led us to visit some of the most amazing aquariums around the United States and to spend countless hours in the water as a family.
From the first time that Eliza watched the movie Dolphin Tale she fell in love with Winter, a young dolphin who loses her tail. Eliza seemed to innately understand the dolphin’s struggles. I would sit and watch her as she seemed to follow along with the story line. Cognitively, I’d not seen the level of awareness with such a mature story from her before. She seemed to experience deep emotions of joy, laughter, friendship, fear, despair and triumph. She would laugh as Sawyer and Hazel would interact and she would worry when Winter refused her tail. She expressed joy as Mandy and Mavis were released back to their families and cry with sadness every time the credits rolled at the end of the movie, as though she were saying goodbye to her friends forever. The show of emotional expression was significant and a sign of growth for Eliza as she had never had interest in anything other than animation.
We’ve watched both Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2 well over a hundred times now and recently, we had the opportunity to travel to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to meet Winter in person. As you can imagine, Eliza was beyond excited to reach out her hand and touch her wonderful friend in person. It took every ounce of my strength to hold Eliza on the platform so she wouldn’t dive deep into the water and swim with Winter and Hope as had her friends Sawyer and Hazel.
I was so relieved that there were no tears as we said our goodbyes. Only the promise to visit Winter again at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, to watch her movie and always, whenever we close our eyes, to feel her in our hearts.
Thank you Clearwater Marine Aquarium for giving Eliza a wonderful experience and for sharing Winter and her inspirational story with the world.
Bright lights, big city. You probably think I’m referring to New York, but in fact, I am talking about Pigeon Forge, TN. Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, there it is, in all its glory — a 6-lane, 5-mile-long strip filled with anything and everything a child could ever want. Arcades, amusement park rides, attractions, NASCAR-inspired go-kart tracks, waterslides, restaurants, ice cream parlors … and the list goes on and on.
The first trip on an airplane can be exciting but also intimidating. Often books are a great way of preparing children for an unknown experience. Books about air travel do not necessarily need to be geared toward special needs children but can be helpful for all children preparing for their first flight. In addition to helping children with special needs, the following books would also be beneficial for an anxious child who wants to understand what to expect.
"Hi Eliza, it's me, Dad," were the first words that he said to her. It had been a long and very difficult delivery. For three days, we had labored and so we were both ecstatic, relieved and exhausted when our daughter Eliza came into the world in the early morning hours of the 4th day. The bond between Eliza and her dad was so beautiful to witness. It was immediate and instinctual. I remember laying in my bed and watching Eliza and her father fast asleep next to me on the cot that my husband had been occupying for the previous three nights. They both slept peacefully skin to skin with not a care in the world. I recall feeling envious of his ability to just be one with her with no playbook in hand. We were both first-time parents with very little experience with babies. While I sat watching, thinking, Will he drop her? Will he smother her? Is she OK? He quietly slept as though he'd been holding her in his arms forever. It was a beautiful moment that I will forever remember.