Our Favorite, Must-See September News & Openings for Kids
As the national editor for Mommy Poppins, a lot of kids' stuff comes across my desk (well, kitchen table). I mean, a lot. And some of it is pretty ridiculous (like high heels for babies and diaper-changing gloves—really?). But one of the perks of the job is watching events and activities pile up in my inbox that I just can’t wait to do, see, and experience with my kids. Because that sense of discovery—of finding something that leads to new interests and passions for my kids—that’s what parenting is all about. And if I discover something that makes my life a little easier along the way...all the better!
Check out the stuff I’m super excited about in September 2021, and discover a few things that will make this month of back-to-school and pumpkin spice lattes even more fun for families.
This month, I’ve also found myself drawn to some of those things that are making it easier to talk to kids about anxiety and sadness. There’s a lot going on in the world and anything that can help us process this with our kids is exceedingly welcome. Happily, there are some books, movies, and even cool products to help us dive into this topic.
Baby Must-Know News
1. You Are Home by Mackenzie Porter, illustrated by Xin Li
This looks like one of the rare, amazing board books that are actually written for kids. It grows from a read-aloud for baby into a board book that toddlers can flip through on their own. It’s a reassuring story about love, and reminds me of my all-time favorite board book: I Love You, Stinky Face.
2. Cat Dog by Mem Fox, illustrated by Mark Teague
Both the author and illustrator of this one can do no wrong, at least in my book! In addition, this new book asks questions that draw kids into the story and illustrates how books come alive. It’s a book (like Duck on a Bike) that I don’t think parents will get tired of reading aloud—a rare gift.
I’ve seen pretty much every baby product on the planet, and I’m more of a "let babies sleep in a dresser drawer" person than a "buy the latest wipe warmer doodad" mom. (To the chagrin of every PR person I know!) Baby products rarely get me excited, but this one does. This tub is soft, you can wring it out and hang it up to dry in the shower, and it’s even cute.
Kids can pop their worries away with silent and portable fidget toys. Photo courtesy of the manufacturer
Kid Must-Know News
These pop-it fidget toys have been all the rage this year, and popular as a sensory toy for even longer. I love the llama version! Given the anxiety that many kids have experienced this past year, and just general back-to-school jitters, I ordered a bunch of the small sizes to leave in the car and school backpacks. It’s like popping bubble wrap, and both my kids like them (even though they think they’re too old). I have to admit that I find myself toying with them, too!
Consider ordering a few more of our favorite fidget toys before we get too far into the school year.
The long-awaited National Children's Museum is opening in Washington, DC on September 2. This museum is a hybrid of all the best things about a children's museum mixed with all the STEAM activities typically found in science centers. Believe it or not, for the last 18 years, DC was the only major city in America without a children’s museum or science and technology center, and the new National Children's Museum aims to fix that in a big way. It’s now on my list of places to visit next! Mentally bookmark this for a trip, and meanwhile check out all the best children's museums in every single state, including your own.
Looking for something wholesome to watch as a family? Look no further! Photo courtesy of Netflix
6. Ada Twist, Scientist — Premieres September 28 on Netflix
This show has a pedigree: it's based on the fabulous book by Andrea Beaty and produced by the Obamas and the creator of Doc McStuffins.
7. Change Sings: A Children's Anthem by Amanda Gorman
My family has been waiting for this book since the inauguration. It’s finally getting released on September 21, and our copy is already preordered.
8. Talk Like a Pirate Day — September 19
This is my favorite September holiday—sorry Labor Day! In my family, we eat copious amounts of Pirate Booty (and maybe some oranges to combat scurvy), and watch Pirates of the Caribbean (it was Jake and the Neverland Pirates when they were younger), and speak with really annoying pirate accents all day.
Dear Evan Hansen is now a movie—and returns to Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Tween & Teen Must-Know News
8. Kristy and the Snobs: A Graphic Novel by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier
This is one my daughter put on the list; she tracks when a new Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel is coming out and counts down the days. I devoured the books as a kid, so now this is something we can share. (The Netflix show is awesome to watch together, and season two arrives in October!)
10. Billie Eilish Cinematic Concert Experience: Happier Than Ever — Premieres September 3 on Disney+
Tweens and teens might even let you watch this concert film with them. It features animation, Billie's brother Finneas, the Los Angeles Children's Chorus, the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, and world-renowned Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo.
11. All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal with Climate Change by Leslie Davenport
Kids are stressed about pretty much everything these days, especially climate change. Some kids (like Greta Thunberg) describe the hopelessness of the situation as driving them into an almost immobilizing depression. I’m really excited to get this book and read it with my kids to help us all process how to talk and think about this issue—and learn what we can do.
12. Dear Evan Hansen — Opens September 24, in theaters
This Tony-winning Broadway hit is finally coming to the big screen with original star Ben Platt, two new songs, and Julianne Moore and Amy Adams. If you’ve got a little musical theater buff who has missed going to shows like mine has, this will be a very welcome new kids movie. Plus, coming out just as school is starting up, this story of anxiety and depression just might give us a side door to talk to kids and teens about these issues without putting them on the spot.
13. Broadway Reopens
There's a million things we haven't done this past year but just you wait! The Great White Way is lighting up again, and several kid-friendly shows are welcoming back audiences in September 2021. If you can’t get to NYC to see Hadestown, The Lion King, Wicked, Hamilton, and Aladdin, fear not, as traveling shows are hitting the road this fall, too. Check out our calendar of events and activities in your city to find out what's playing near you.
Got something you’re excited about? A new opening near your house? A book you just read, or a TV show you’ve discovered? Let me know.
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