Upcoming event! Free

Cape Ann Waldorf School is offering free parent and child classes this spring.  You are warmly invited to come with your children (ages 1 ½ to 3 years) and experience a class with bread making, circle games, free play – all in a beautiful setting.  A nurturing environment where parents may share their experiences in a class facilitated by early childhood teachers.  Choose one of the four Saturday mornings, 10:00am – 12:00pm, April 28, May 5, 12 and 19.  RSVP to Kelly, Tel. 978-927-1936.  And be sure to tell Kelly how you heard about CAWS, so we know who to thank!  Space is limited.  Located on historic Moraine Farm, 701 Cabot Street (Rte 97) in Beverly.


Saturday Library Play Date!

Hey All:

Phew, February has flown by!! I am excited for the new year, and to get back to mayhem in the Sohier room of the Beverly Public library.

Please join me on Saturday (we have the space reserved from 9:45-12:30). This is an open playdate, please bring toys your kid will share (please do not bring those little doll strollers, no one shares them very well), books to read, etc.

If you bring snacks for your child, please be aware that there will likely be those with nut allergies present, so be mindful and leave the peanut butter crackers at home!

I look forward to meeting you if I haven’t yet! This is open to anyone, but we have tried to keep it to kiddos on the younger side (under 4 or 5), in part because when this started we had a lot of crawlers, and in part because the toddler crowd is a bit more chaotic in the back play area of the library).

If you have questions, you can email me at norrieaga@gmail.com!

Fun Upcoming Events for Families!

Hello families,

Happy New Year! We want to share with the group two emails we received containing  some great information on very low cost and free events happening in the area.

We hope you are having a fantastic 2012 so far! If you have something to share, please email us at gardencityfamilies@gmail.com – remember, the event must be under $5 or free!


Norrie & Julia


Hi everyone!

I hope everyone’s holiday season was wonderful.  Also, I hope we are all catching our breath with the start of a brand new year and taking at least a few moments here and there to rest and recharge.

Here is a friendly reminder of the upcoming Saturday Morning Kids’ Music and Stories event at the Beverly Public Library on Essex Street.  It will be held Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 10 a.m. 

Each Saturday morning program is a half-hour long in the Sohier Room, right next door to the Children’s Room at the Main Library.  Music and stories are geared toward children aged 0-5, and as you know, everyone is always welcome!

Thank you so much for your food donations at the December program.  We were able to donate almost 5 pounds of peanut butter, and a thank you note was sent to the library addressed to the Children’s Room and to Children’s Room Parents (all of you!!).

My request this New Year is that any and all parents and caregivers who can spare one (unexpired) container of plain peanut butter, would you kindly bring it with you on Saturday, January 14?  Beverly Bootstraps, Cabot Street, Beverly, is a social services agency serving many families and children in Beverly and the surrounding area.  They are in great need of this item for their programs.  What a thoughtful donation from all of us parents and caregivers — from anyone who loves and cares for children and families — this will be!  There will be a marked box into which you may drop your donation that morning or just hand to me and I will make sure it gets there.

As always, please feel free to forward this to family and friends who might be interested in this free event. Looking forward to seeing you soon and thank you!

Warm regards,


a/k/a “Miz Liz!”

P.S. Here are future dates for our program:  same day, same time.  February 11, March 3, April 14, May 12.  See you soon!


Hi All,

I know some of you like to go to the charity Pancake Breakfast that is held at the Vittori Rocci Post once a month. This month, on January 29th from 8:30 – 11, Harborlight Nursery School will be partnering with the Vittori Rocci Post. Harborlight Nursery School will earn 40% of all ticket sales that are made prior to January 24th.

If you plan to go, and would like to help out a wonderful local preschool, please contact me and I would gladly sell you tickets. They are $4/adults and $3/children and include unlimited pancakes, sausages, ham, scrambled eggs, baked beans, applesauce, juice, coffee, and tea. I am so excited about this event! It should be a fun time!


Ann Mueller Wilder

Happy New Year!

Garden City Families would like to wish you and yours a happy and healthy 2012!

Email us at gardencityfamilies@gmail.com with your ideas for our group in the New Year!

Stay in touch daily on our Facebook Page, via Twitter and our Google Group

All the best,

Julia & Norrie

Beverly Santa Parade

We had a fantastic time making and riding a float in today’s Beverly Santa Parade!

Salt Dough Ornaments

Hey All:

It has been a busy fall for many of us! We are starting to gear up for winter, we will have a few fun things doing in the next few months, and then next spring, we are hoping to move forward with a bit more umph!

If you have a chance, swing by the crafts table at the Beverly Indoor Farmers Market today (it is from 2-6pm), at the Cove Community Center. We will have a craft for the kids! I have made a large number of salt dough pieces (mainly ornaments, but they could be medallions, or anything else you wanted them to be).

Please stop by to paint one, or glue some magic all over one! If you want to know how to make your own salt dough, here is the skinny!


1 Cup of salt (after scouring the internet, I have been using about 80% regular table salt, and the remaining is sea salt)

2 Cups of Flour

1 Cup of water

(optional=teaspoon of lemon juice, teaspoon of vegetable oil, I added those in to my measuring cup and then filled up to the 1 cup line).

Step one:

dump the salt and the flour into a large bowl. mix. add water, mix.

You can then wrap it and refridgerate for up to a week, you can roll it right out and start turning it into shapes, either with cookie cutters, or with your hands.

It seems the fasted way to get them to set is to bake them at 200 for 2o minutes or so (if you add the oil and or lemon juice this can take longer). They don’t have butter, so they don’t spread like regular cookies…I also put several racks in my dehydrator for a while on the max setting, and that seemed to work.

You can put some food coloring in the dough in the beginning.

Paint them, glue stuff on them, stamp them, what ever you want. If you want to hang them, use a straw to make a hole for your hanging device.

Finish them off with a gloss or something and you will have an ornament that will last forever…

If you would like to participate in our float at the Beverly Santa Parade, please leave a comment here, and we will get back to you with details!!!

Hope to see you at the farmers market!!!


Do it yourself Playdate Guide!!

How to set up your own playdate/playspace at the Beverly Public Library!

Following please find a brief tutorial on how to use the Beverly Public Library’s online meeting room reservation system. This is how I began setting up the monthly Saturday morning “Unofficial Story Time Playdates”. I had just gone to Play Makers in Rowley (last January), and we had a great time. I was struck at how exclusive the experience was though; it required a car, and enough funds to spend on simple morning playdate. I began brainstorming spaces where I might be able to create a similar experience (open play, in the winter), without having to spend money (or repurpose my apartment, which already looks something like a daycare) for my daughter and other little ones…

I grew up using the Beverly Public Library, and when I stumbled upon the meeting room reservations (while reserving zoo passes, which I recommend you check out), and the free ebooks and audio books, it all clicked.

Below is a step by step guide to the room reservation process. I think the process is pretty intuitive; however, I wanted to be as comprehensive as possible, so that you could all be free to set up as many play dates as the library schedule can handle!

You may be wondering why I don’t just go ahead and set up weekly playdates, but, unfortunately, I can’t be on hand during week days, and, the library has a once a month only room reservation policy. I would suggest that you reserve the space as I have, as an “Unofficial Storytime/Playdate”, and either create a group name, or use your child’s first name (for instance, moving forward I am using Garden City Families, in the past I have used North Shore New Moms, and a few others, have fun, be creative, but be aware it will be on the library calendar).

I know that there is a new children’s librarian, and she is aware of my monthly playdates (I took the step of getting background checked to be a library volunteer, in the event they felt they needed that from me), and they have actually contacted me about other playdates, so I think they will be more supportive. I don’t want to undermine their policies at all; I think part of the restriction is so that they don’t have to allocate their limited staff resources to formally overseeing these activities.

If you do set up a date, please please let us know, so we can share it. I know there is already a group interested in Friday’s. Do it!

Step One (we can have lots of fun)

First, you must go to www.beverlypubliclibrary.org

To the right of the screen you will see the menu of options, click on meeting rooms, and click on it!

Step Two…

Next up, read the rules of reservations, if you want a short cut, basically, you can’t reserve the room to sell stuff, you can’t reserve it for birthday parties (I asked, no dice). Unofficially (as in, it is nowhere that I have seen on the website, or in the confirmation materials) I have been told that you can only reserve a room once a month as an individual or organization.

Step Three

Go to the Online meeting reservation form: http://www.libraryinsight.net/roomuserequest.asp?jx=bv

It looks like this:

Click on the date you are looking for, the screen will then pull up all of the available spaces, and times. You will want to select a start time, and an end time. Descriptions of the different spaces are on the library website. The Sohier Room is the room right before the children’s room, it has a kitchen, and nice visibility for people wandering in, but if it isn’t available, I would also recommend the Barnett Room, also on the ground floor, lots of space to run and play.

You will need to click a start time and an end time. Be advised, the library actually blocks off 15 minutes before hand, so budget that in. I didn’t know this at first.

Step Four:

Fill out this form; please feel welcome to steal my language.

Once you submit it, you will get a confirmation from the library. Then you will get a message telling you your space is reserved (not necessarily the same day).

Get the word out, let us know, post on the Facebook Page and the google group.

When you get the library, JUST WALK INTO YOUR ROOM!!! No need to check in. If you are late, they may call you (has happened to me in the past). I do like to let the children’s desk librarian know that I am there, and if anyone wants to join or is looking for the play group to head on in.

I hope this was helpful! Please feel welcome to ask for clarification, or make other suggestions. If your library has similar services, let us know!!

%d bloggers like this: