MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: Activities for Special Needs Children

Sing Explore Create

Sing Explore Create, a studio in Rockland, Mass., for special needs children, specializes in classes for kids with all types of disabilities, such as autism, but also offers classes for the general public and adults.

The studio helps children of all ages who may have a hard time interacting with other people socialize and cope with physical and/or mental disabilities through music and art.  Classes are available for infants all the way up to teens.  A dedicated team of therapists, artists, musicians and teachers all work together to help kids relax and enjoy life by exploring the arts.  Many summer camp classes are available to both the general public and for those who need assistance.

Click arrow to hear more details about Sing Explore Create in the replay of MommaJam on 95.9 WATD’s South Shore Morning News Show with Rob Hakala and Lisa Azizian. MommaJam on WATD

Related Story:  Blind Artist’s Altruistic Vision (Inspiring! Must read!)

Go to for more information, class schedules and camp details.

Additionally, South Shore Conservatory is offering Yoga for the Special Child, a comprehensive training course for those who want a basic certification to teach the theory and practice of yoga to babies and children with learning or developmental disabilities.  The training class runs from July 11 through 17 at the South Shore Conservatory in Duxbury, Mass.

MommaJam airs live every Thursday at 7:10 a.m. ET on 95.9 WATD-FM.  Listen live on the radio dial at 95.9 or from your iPhone or iPad device or desktop.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.

March 31, 2015 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD: Easter and Passover Traditions with Kids

Chalkboard EggsNew Ways to Color Easter Eggs

Spring is here, and with Easter about two weeks away – Sunday April 5 – now is the time to plan when your family is going to color eggs this holiday season.

South Shore Mamas, a popular parenting blog on the South Shore, has a recent post with lots of fun, new ways to color eggs. My favorite is the chalk board paint style.  You can buy chalk board paint at your local craft or hardware store.  Obviously, these eggs are NOT edible, but they are cute looking! Other fun ideas that South Shore Mamas includes are:

  •  Washi Tape.  Washi tape is a great creative supply to have in your craft bin.  Staples and cute tape, an online store, have a hugeWashi Tape selection of colorful washi tape.  It’s not cheap – in fact several rolls make a great birthday gift for kids who are into crafting – but worth the few extra dollars for  beautiful designs and colors.

Related Story:  Washi Tape Discussed on MommaJam

  • Tattoos!  Every mom has tattoos leftover from birthday party goodie bags.  Gather them up and use them to decorate eggs this year.  Or, buy a certain style that you like – hearts, rainbows, bunnies, etc.  Go to South Shore Mamas for the complete tutorial on coloring Easter Eggs.

Click arrow to hear the replay of MommaJam on 95.9 WATD’s South Shore Morning News Show with Rob Hakala and Lisa Azizian.  

We’ve talked about the MommaJam kitchen brewing up natural dyes for Easter Eggs a few years ago…. it was a true science experiment!  While it was fun and healthy, we found natural dyes don’t have the same vibrant punch as the Paas tablets.  If you want bright colors, go for the store bought kits.

Related Story:  Coloring Eggs with Natural Dyes Discussed on MommaJam

Kid-Friendly Passover Dinners 

Passover starts the evening of April 3.  Time for menu planning.  It’s hard for little kids to “do without” for a week, so we’re sharing PopSugar’s ideas for kid-friendly dinners during Passover.  My favorite idea is the brisket taco with a matzo soft taco shells – matzo meal replaces the corn mesa.

Also, try making matzo at home with kids with this recipe from Kitchn, a terrific website for anyone who likes to cook.  This easy recipe also demonstrates how bread doesn’t rise and provides a history lesson for kids of all religious backgrounds.

MommaJam airs live every Thursday at 7:10 a.m. ET on 95.9 WATD-FM.  Listen live on the radio dial at 95.9 or from your iPhone or iPad device or desktop.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.

March 26, 2015 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: 4 Fun Tips for Valentines Day

Red Velvet Cupcakes, Photo and Recipe By Kitchen Scoop

Red Velvet Cupcakes Photo and Recipe By Kitchen Scoop

Click Arrow for Replay of MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM, Feb. 7, 2013

Here are 4 fun tips for celebrating Valentine’s Day with your family.95.9 WATD

1.  Crafts!  

Get out the glitter, get out the glue.  Valentine’s Day is the best holiday for crafts with kids.  You could spring for the boxed cards from the super market, but it’s way more fun to create homemade valentines.  Use magic markers, colored paper, stickers, glitter and glue to create one of a kind Valentines.  Get your supplies today, so you have every thing you need to work on the project over the weekend during the blizzard.  Don’t forget to make cards for your favorite teachers, crossing guards and other special people in your kids’ lives.

2.  Kick off Valentine’s Day Week with Pink Pancakes

We talk a lot about cooking on MommaJam.  This idea is from Tara Hollander of Doorknock Dinner, a company in Norwell that makes homemade meals and delivers them to your door step.

Tara suggests getting creative in the kitchen with your kids by make pink heart-shaped pancakes on the griddle.

Use roasted, peeled and then ****pureed beets instead of sketchy red food coloring.  Fold the beets into the pancake batter to make it turn pink.  Top pancakes with fresh sliced strawberries and homemade whipped cream.   This is a great idea for the weekend.   We have pancakes every Sunday morning.  We are going to kick off Valentine’s Day Week with Tara’s Pink Pancakes.

*** Test Kitchen Note:  Try juice from defrosted frozen raspberries instead of beets for sweet taste.

3.  Make Heart Shaped Sandwiches for Kids

Mandy Keith, owner of Yummy Mummy Meals Workshop suggests making a Valentine’s Day lunch.  Cut kids’ sandwiches into heart shapes and add fruit shaped hearts to their plates.  This is a fun way to surprise your kids next Thursday on Valentine’s Day.  They will love it when they open their lunch box at school and see heart shaped foods.  Make the moment extra special and pack a sweet  Valentine’s Day note.

Mandy runs Yummy Mummy Meals Workshop out of her home in Hanover.  She teaches moms how to prepare a series of meals and gives you the ingredients to take home and later make the meals on your own.

During February, Yummy Mummy Meals Workshop is making Dishes with with a romance flair, such as Tender Loving Tenderloin.

4.  Splurge on Treats! 

We just finished a January series on wellness… but every now and then it’s fun to splurge.

Three words:  Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 2, 2015 at 10:00 am 2 comments

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: Animals Help Kids with Autism

Rayanie Castillo and Chief, NEADS.Org

Rayanie Castillo and Chief, NEADS.Org

A recent study by Autism Speaks‘ Autism Treatment Network in Missouri further confirms that children with autism do better with pets.

Animals have a unique way of “talking” to kids with disabilities, according to John Moon of NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services), a non-profit based in Massachusetts.

NEADS is one of the top organizations in the United States that trains and places therapy dogs for people of all ages with disabilities.

Click arrow to hear the replay of MommaJam on 95.9 WATD’s South Shore Morning News Show with Rob Hakala and Lisa Azizian.MommaJam on WATD

We spoke with John for additional information on how animals, particularly therapy dogs, help autistic children.  NEADS works with families all over the country, including the South Shore.

Animals big and small help calm autistic kids and give them social skills, which is a huge bonus for those who have a hard time connecting with people.

NEADS dogs are specially trained from when they are puppies.  You get on a “waiting list,” but really it’s “time” to make sure you are matched with the right dog.  It could be two weeks to six months.

It’s a big deal to have with a trained therapy dog, but all worth the effort.  The relationship between dog and child can change lives and positively  impact a whole family.  NEADS asks families to fundraise to help cover the training costs of their dog and to show commitment and dedication to the process.

Go to NEADS.Org for more information.

Local South Shore Resources

January is read-to-a-dog month at the Hingham Library.  Boo and Dash, two trained therapy dogs, will be at the Hingham Public Library on the remaining Saturdays in January.  Kids can register to read to these adorable dogs.  Go to HinghamLibrary.Org for more information.

Pleasant Meadow Farm, also in Hingham, offer horse back riding for families with disabilities.

There are several riding centers on the South Shore that cater to families.  Last year, I covered horse therapy for South Shore Living magazine and profiled Hidden Hollow Farm in Pembroke.  This barn  also help boys and girls with autism and/or medical illness.

Tune into 95.9 WATD-FM on Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 9:22 a.m. ET to hear Lisa interview John Moon from NEADS on Paws and Claws.  Listen live on the radio dial at 95.9 or from your iPhone or iPad device or desktop.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.

January 12, 2015 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: 6 Tips for Getting Kids to Eat Real Food, Not Junk

Pomegranate Power!

Pomegranate Power!

How do you inspire kids to eat whole foods?

The two hardest parts to overcome are convenience and habit.

Here are 6 tips for getting your whole family into a healthier eating lifestyle.

1.  Flavor!

Believe it or not, kids love yummy food just as much as grown ups.  Start by making fun, flavorful dishes right in your own kitchen.  Have healthy, fresh snacks readily available – red pepper slices, cucumber circles, and homemade hummus, which is so easy to make.

 Click ARROW for AUDIO Replay of MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM, Jan. 24, 2013.

2.  Explain Where Food Comes From

Teach kids how to cook and teach kids where food comes from:  is it imported from Italy, South America or California?  Explain to kids the difference between manufactured foods infused with chemicals and preservatives like hydrogenated trans fats, which are linked to cancer, versus fresh from your backyard garden, CSA or local, regional supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables like South Shore Organics.

Also discuss topics, such heritage cooking and whether a recipe is passed down from your family or certain region in the world.

3.  Use Cookbooks

Three cookbooks we suggest:

Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollencamp, a new overall cookbook that is a beautiful Cooking 101 Cookbook with family-friendly recipes.

Naptime Chef by Kelsey Banfield has easy recipes that busy moms can make while taking care of the kids.

Tyler Makes Pancakes by chef Tyler Florence is  fun book about where food comes from and culminates in making pancakes.

All of these are available at the Westwinds Bookshop in Duxbury.

4.  Take Cooking Lessons

Take a family cooking lesson or let kids take their own lessons to learn basic skills, new recipes or new food genre.

The South Shore Seafood Exchange is teaching lessons on how to cook with fish on Friday, Jan. 25 at the Maritime Center in Scituate.  My favorite provider of fresh fruits and vegetables, South Shore Organics, will be there.

5.  Let Kids Loose in the Kitchen 

The part!?  Let kids loose in the kitchen.  Have kids create their dishes, recipes and shopping lists.   More advanced kids can even make a budget for their menu items to get a better understanding of how much food costs.

Project Idea:  Make a family cookbook with iPhone photos and everyone’s favorite recipes.  Kids love getting involved in a project and having them design and create their own cookbook or a family cookbook is a winner on many levels.

While creating your cookbook, your kitchen becomes a bonafide Test Kitchen.  This is a great way to get kids to try new foods.

6.  Have fun!  

Check out the MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM interview with top chef Denise Herrera from Burtons Grill to learn how to set up a your own turnover bar – it’s a fun segment packed with ideas for cooking with kids.

Tune into MommaJam every Thursday at 7:10 a.m. ET live on 95.9 WATD-FM’s South Shore Morning News with Rob Hakala and Lisa Azizian.  Listen live on the radio dial at 95.9 or from your iPhone or iPad device or desktop.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.

January 12, 2015 at 10:00 am 1 comment

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: Adrenaline Rush!!! 5 Fun Outside Activities To Do This Winter

Adrenaline Rush!

Adrenaline Rush!

There are lots of laughs in this segment – picture Morning Show Hosts Rob Hakala and Lisa Azizian snow shoeing to the studio during a blizzard (I must get to the WATD…I must get to WATD…)!

Here are 5 fun outside activities to do this winter:

1.  Down Hill Skiing 

The Blue Hills in Canton is a great local spot to take lessons and go for an afternoon on a bright sunny day.  You can’t beat the proximity for South Shore families.


2.  Snow Shoeing  

This is my favorite outside winter activity.  It’s so easy and a great work out.  You can get snow shoes for the whole family at REI in Hingham or rent them on organized outings.

Check out trails at the Wompatuck State Park or just snow shoe in the backyard.

3.  Pond Skating

Pond skating is another great activity for families.  It’s free and easy and so fun to be outside, especially on a bight sunny day.

When the weather is cold enough, check out local ponds or go to Hidden Pond at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham.

4.  Hiking

In warmer winter weather, hiking is a fun way to get kids outside.  Go to the Blue Hills and hike to the Summit or check out the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.

5.  Tips from an Expert – Healthy South Shore

I interviewed Stacey Shipman, editor in chief of  She has great tips for going outside with kids:

– Keep it fun – create an adventure.  If there is snow on the ground look for animal tracks and try to identify the animal.  In warmer months we search for critters (snakes, frogs, small furry animals).

– Bring snacks to keep kids nourished/hydrated.

– Take pictures and create a memory.

–  Bundle up!  Layers are best, bring a small backpack to carry extra layers if necessary.

“My niece and nephew love to draw, so when we get back we draw what we saw.  We also warm up with a hot chocolate,” says Stacey.  Great ideas!

Remember, Fitness is Fun! 

Get out there this weekend!

Play football in between quarters while watching the Super Bowl and don’t go crazy with the snacks!

Enjoy every moment with your kids.


Tune into MommaJam every Thursday at 7:10 a.m. ET live on the radio dial or from your iPhone or iPad device or desktop.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates.

January 11, 2015 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: 7 Tips for Meeting Other New Moms

Moms-and-BabiesBecoming a mom is life changing and puts you into a whole new world, whether you’re a stay at home mom, working mom or part-time working mom.

All types of mothers want and need a connection with other mothers.  But finding that connection can be tough especially if you are new in town or changing lifestyles.

How do you find this network?  You have to make an effort – which is easier said than done because you’re sleep deprived, maybe feeling a little shy or nervous about meeting new people, and it requires research.

We tackled this topic today on MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM:   Click arrow to hear the replay of MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM’s South Shore Morning News with Rob Hakala and Lisa Azizian.MommaJam on WATD

Here are 7 tips to get started:

1.  Meet Ups

You may have heard about “Meet Ups for Singles who like to Mountain Climb” – there’s a Meet Up group for just about any activity out there!

Meet Up for Quincy Area Moms with Babies and Toddlers is a social and support group for mothers in the South Shore area.

Jennifer Sammons joined and took over this Meet Up group in 2014 when she moved to Quincy and was clueless about where the playgrounds were, how to register for library story time – all of the critical new mom things you need to know about.

The group helped Sammons get out of the house with her new baby and meet other women who knew exactly what she was going through as a new mom.

The Meet Up for Quincy Area Moms group has an active Facebook page where moms swap info on events, recommendations and babysitters.  Love this resource!  Krista Spencer founded the group in 2011, and it’s been growing ever since.

Go to for more information.

2.  Libraries 

Most public libraries have toddler time where you can listen to stories, play with puppets and hang out with other moms.

The Ventress Library in Marshfield is next door to a huge playground, which is good for when babies are older (and the weather is warmer).  Plus, Peppermint Twist Candy Shoppe is across the street – stop in for your sweet tooth fix after story time!

3.  Sports and Exercise for Moms

New moms should seek out women who have the same interests.  Sports is a big draw because many news moms want to get back into shape after having a baby.

Oh Baby Fitness is a great group to join for stroller workouts, pool work outs and socializing.  They offer numerous classes at the University Sports Complex in Hanover.

Check them out on Facebook:

4. Town Groups for New Moms, Babies and Toddlers 

Most towns have a formal group for babies through pre-K.  The Hingham Mothers Club is a great example.  Call your Town Hall to ask about new mothers groups.

5.  Area Hospitals Where You Delivered

South Shore Hospital has new moms groups that are facilitated by registered nurses with years of experience caring for women and families during the childbearing years.  The South Shore Hospital group meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month.

Call additional hospitals on the South Shore for further assistance and connections.  Most of these groups are led by specialists in breast feeding, post partum living, exercise, and much more.

6.  Holistic Moms Network in Plymouth offers support and connections for moms who are interested in a natural, organic lifestyle.

7.  Very Important:  South Shore Post Partum Support Network This is a Task Force to help mothers – from Quincy to the Cape – with post partum depression.

They have link, Where to meet other parents, that is helpful. If you need support for post part depression, please get help immediately – you are not alone.  Professionals are available to guide you and your family.

Let us know if you have a favorite connecting place and we’ll add it to the list.

Thanks for listening to MommaJam.  Tune in every Thursday at 7:10 a.m. ET on 95.9 WATD-FM.  You can listen live on the dial or stream live from your iPhone, iPad or computer.

January 7, 2015 at 6:57 pm 2 comments

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