With 3 boys, staying active is no problem!
Maria and her 3 boys live in Jamaica Plain and seem to be on the move all the time. Alex, age 2, wants to do everything his older brothers Arthur and Michael do – and all 3 of them are full of energy! Fortunately, Maria’s neighborhood has lots to offer, and she finds nearly every opportunity out there for her boys.
“Healthy Family Fun” met Maria and her family through the Brookside Health Center, which is where Maria learns about many of the programs and activities for her boys (she also learns a lot through the Martha Eliot Health Center). Maria and the boys enjoy swimming at the pool of the Boston Center for Youth & Families’ Hennigan Community Center, which hosted the photo shoot for Healthy Family Fun’s first advertisement, featuring Maria and Alex (see more photos from the photo shoot below). In addition to swimming, Maria’s son Michael takes advantage of the Hennigan’s basketball program.
We next caught up with Maria and her boys at the Johnson Playground and spraydeck in Jamaica Plain (check those photos out below), where she and the boys often go to play. Maria, Arthur, and Michael talked more about how they like to have fun together and on their own.
Right now, Michael, age 6, is open to trying all kinds of things, from piano lessons to swim classes. Michael is constantly in motion, so Maria is always looking for new outlets for his energy! 12-year old Arthur has tried lots of activities, including Body By Brandy Kidz Gym and cooking classes at Haley House. His current favorites are art classes at MassArt and summer camp at Camp Harbor View, where he looks forward to sailing and kayaking (and even the food, which he says is great!). In a couple years, Arthur will become a counselor-in-training. Camp Harbor View even offers a monthly parent group, which Maria enjoys for the opportunity to connect with other parents.
So when they’re not at camp, class, or another program, what do Maria and the boys do for fun? Movies are a favorite – and so is playing with Nerf guns! Mom Maria limits TV time by not having cable in their home.
It’s hard work, but Maria keeps her boys active and engaged. What’s her advice to other parents? First, help your child try a variety of activities – every boy or girl is different, and it can take time to find what they enjoy. Next, don’t be afraid to look into every opportunity for your children. Many classes and programs offer sliding fee scales or scholarships. Ask questions and go ahead and apply!
Here are many of the programs and resources Maria and her boys recommend:
- Body by Brandy Kidz Gym
- Huntington YMCA summer day camp
- Camp Harbor View
- Roxbury YMCA
- Castle Island
- JP Youth Soccer
- Hennigan Community Center
- White Stadium
- MassArt youth programs
- Johnson Playground and spray deck
- Nutrition and cooking class at Haley House
“Healthy Family Fun” thanks Maria, Arthur, Michael, and Alex for their energy and enthusiasm! Watch for the next Healthy Family Fun advertisement featuring a new local family, debuting in July.The campaign's first featured family!,