Boredom Busters

99 Sensory Activities for Any Child

All kids can be affected by sensory processing issues. Certain situations just make them freak. So it makes sense that exposing kids to a variety of sensory activities in a calm, playful manner can alleviate some of these problems.

In that spirit, we've put together this list of 99 sensory activities for any child. Though these activities involve sensory stimulation, they are great all-around activities for any child, from toddlers on up. Some are even good for babies. These sensory activities also can help you. My kids' school's occupational therapist once gave a seminar to parents on sensory balance and activities for maintaining a sensory-savvy schedule. I now realize my engine tends to run too low and I need to work harder at energizing myself throughout the day. I have incorporated some of these activities to keep my own energy up.

For more tips on dealing with sensory issues, see our posts on sensory savvy-snacks and OT-recommended toys.

25 Rainy Day Activities for Families in Philadelphia

If rainy days and Mondays bring you down, it's probably because you feel stuck indoors. While a rainy day here and there is a great excuse for cuddling on the couch and watching movies or baking cookies, a few rainy days in a row can be a drag. But don't fret, there are many ways to get out of the house to have an indoor adventure in Philadelphia, from indoor playgrounds to more educational experiences than we can possibly name in one list, it could rain for 40 days and 40 nights and there would still be plenty to explore.

Giveaway: Our Generation Dolls Opens World of Imagination

Confession: I might be a bit of a Target addict. I've spent my fair share of rainy days wandering the aisles looking for nothing in particular and the Our Generation Dolls section has caught my eye on more than one occasion. All those pink and orange boxes, displaying a tempting array of dolls and tons of accessories to make a child’s imagination go wild, have had me itching for when my kid would be old enough dive into this world.

So I was intrigued to partner with Our Generation Dolls at the recent in-store event at Target in Mt Laurel, NJ. It was a great opportunity to spend some time in that oh-so-tempting doll area and explore the universe of OG Dolls a little more closely. Plus, Mommy Poppins gave away a $100 Target gift certificate. If you missed the event, don’t worry, because I have lots to report back and we’re giving away another $100 Target gift card here!

Drama Classes for Kids in Fairfield County, CT

Multiple Choice.  Your child: A) confuses all sources of light with limelight, B) is woefully shy, but shocked everyone (not least of all, you) with his breakout performance at last year's Christmas pageant, or C) doesn't enjoy physical/mental activity of the sporting sort.  If you chose A, B or C, drama lessons might be the plot twist your child's after-school routine needs!  Actually, an expert in Parents magazine this month explains any kid can benefit from a little drama, saying "one landmark study found children involved in the arts for nine hours a week are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement."  That's the sort of return on results you want before investing in another extracurricular activity. We've researched the group classes, but many of the studios in Fairfield County also offer private lessons for those super-dedicated to their craft! Check out our Classes and Activities Guide for even more after school fun!

High-Tech Family Fun: 5 Ways Technology Can Be Family Time

My family has been having a great summer and making use of several ideas from our Ultimate Summer Play List along the way; it's hard to believe we're already more than halfway through the season. We've cooled off with water games, revisited classic backyard games from our childhoods, and turned childhood stories into family games. Of course, most plans we make involve asking someone to put down an electronic device (and give the poor, hounded Pokemon a rest). Wouldn't it be great if we could put those phones and tablets to more enriching use? Maybe even use them for some family playtime?

Ask and ye shall receive: check out these five ideas for exercising minds and thumbs together.

25 Mostly Free Outdoor Movies, Concerts, and Festivals in Fairfield County

Many Nutmeggers plan their family vacations for August, but it's actually a fabulous time for a staycation with so many outdoor movies, concerts, and festivals that you can have a brand new adventure almost every day--from evening movies in Mill River Park to lunchtime concerts on Sherman Green.

We've collected some of our favorite events in Fairfield County this August. All events are family friendly, but some movies and concerts may be more appealing to kids than others. Most of these events are free, but some--especially those on the beach--charge for parking if you do not have a resident sticker. In the event of rain, check individual websites for information regarding rescheduling or changes in venue. We have listed many more great events happening this August across our state in our August GoList.

Have fun!

Aether Game Cafe Opens in Hoboken

I love board games, so imagine my excitement when I spied a new venue in Hoboken: a cafe devoted entirely to sitting around and playing Scrabble. And Pictionary. And Clue. And... well, you name it, and the Aether Game Cafe has it. Read on for my review of this delightful spot for gathering, eating snacks, and playing Monopoly. And Dominion. And Dungeons and Dragons. And... well, you get the idea.

Dinosaurs Unearthed: A New Adventure at the Academy of Natural Sciences

If there's one thing we love in my family, it's dinosaurs! If you're anything like us, the idea of life-size animatronic dinosaurs, probably sounds pretty amazing. Dinosaurs Unearthed at the Academy of Natural Sciences features more than a dozen of these massive creatures, and you can see them before you've even walked through the door. Running through January 16, 2017, this exhibit is perfect for the dino lovers in your family.

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