Philadelphia

12 Easy DIY Sensory Activities to Entertain Babies

Sensory activities for babies open the world up to our kids while they're still happily stationary. Maybe even more important, it begins to familiarize them to their own bodies. Every new day delivers a fresh overload of sights, sounds, and sensations. 

Bonus: Sensory games give us something fun to do with our little ones beyond tummy time! We've rounded up a dozen of our favorite sensory activities that you can create right at home. DIY sensory toys nurture a basic understanding of the people, places, and stuff that populate their lives, along with the motor and communication skills that they'll need to interact with the world. There will be new things for baby to touch, smell, see, and figure out. Watch as your little one giggles her way through these micro-discoveries. 

Everything featured here can be crafted from simple, recycled materials and stuff found within reach around the house or a couple of clicks on Amazon. Read on for sensory fun, and check out our Boredom Busters Guide for more all-ages crafts, recipes, and rainy day fun.

Ways for Philly Kids to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, January 15th is a day off from school and, for some, work. However, it is much more than that. MLK Day is a day that we reflect on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision for the world. If your family is looking for ways to reach out in the community or to learn more about this great man, take a look at this list of options. Many activities are geared towards older kids, while others are perfect for younger ages. From community service to story telling and letter writing, there is something that everyone in the family can embrace. Read on and find a way you can honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this year.

Free Things to Do with Philly Kids in January

January is a time of new beginnings, resolutions, and goals. If one of your focuses is to save money in the new year, you are in luck! Mommy Poppins has rounded up an extensive list of free activities happening throughout the Delaware Valley. From science and computer activities to outdoor encounters with wildlife, there is plenty of variety for everyone in your tribe. Families with kids at any age can share quality time together with a visit to the Franklin Institute, free festivals such as Lambert-New Hope Winter Festival and Groundhog Day Family Festival, and service opportunities at The Michener Museum, Bristol Marsh Nature Preserve, or Delaware Art Museum. Continue reading to fill your family calendar with free fun!

How to Make Frozen Bubbles with Kids in This Freezing Weather

We're no fans of the freezing, and even below zero temperatures, that have ushered in the new year. But we are fans of the new viral sensation to come out of this frigid nonesense: frozen bubbles!

We saw these mesmerizing bubbles popping up all over our feeds, and couldn't wait to give it a try IRL with real kids. Read on for the recipe and see our video of this DIY science experiment in Connecticut, a day after the dreaded "bomb cyclone," aka, Winter Storm Grayson.

Don't forget you can find more at-home fun, like 40 Things to Do Indoors on a Snow Day, in our Mommy Poppins Boredom Busters Guide.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Trains, Shows, Family Festival January 6-7

It's hard to believe that January is here because Philly families can still find plenty of remaining holiday fun in our event calendar. From admiring the beauty of Yuletide at Winterthur to viewing the holiday lights at Shady Brook Farm or Colonial Lights Displays, die-hard Christmas fans can savor the last bits of the season. Plus, trains are barreling down the tracks at Brandywine River Museum, Longwood Gardens, Schuylkill Valley Model Railroad Club, and The Museum of American History to entertain train lovers.

Families can also welcome the new year with new experiences. Jam out to music with Gustafer Yellowgold at World Cafe Live, see Daniel Tiger on stage at the Merriam Theater, or take a magic carpet ride to see Aladdin at People's Light and Theatre Company. Spend some family time together by exploring Fonthill Castle or by experiencing Wonderlandscapes at Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Check out our top winter activities post for even more winter fun. For now, continue reading for the rest of our top picks for the weekend ahead.

40 Snow Day Boredom Busters for Kids

Whenever the weatherman predicts a big snow, you can almost hear the collective cries of joy from children, and the sighs of resignation from the adults who know they’re going to have stir crazy kids at home. Somehow the initial excitement always seems to wear off way too early in the day, leaving hours still to be filled.

Before your brood drives you batty, scan through this list of things to do at home on a snow day, from baking projects (cake in a mug) to cool crafts (homemade puff paint) and fun games (indoor snowball fight or DIY obstacle course). We think you’ll find enough ideas to keep them happily entertained until the school bus pulls up again. Have fun and good luck!

Find more crafts, recipes, and at-home projects and games in our Boredom Busters Activities Guide.

The Best Places for a Family Dinner During Philly Restaurant Week

Now that the New Year is upon us, the holiday menu is in the rear view. This year's restaurant week runs January 14-26, 2018, and there are more than 100 different restaurants to choose from. We've gone through the options and picked eight options for the family to try. Every winter and fall, restaurants offer three-course dinners for $35 per person. Some will also offer a three-course lunch for $20 per person. Resrvations are required and can usually be made through OpenTable. We also recommend checking out these spots for kids to eat free.

Vienna with Kids: 33 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Austria's Capital

Exploring the great cities of Europe with children in tow may sound more complicated than it's worth—except that it's really worth it. And speaking of great cities of Europe, there is none greater than Vienna. Once the seat of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Central European capital packs in museums, palaces, and epic landmarks the way Mary Poppins packs surprises in her carpetbag. Vienna is a feast for the eyes, with a feast for the belly waiting at every corner, too. I'll take Vienna over Paris every time.

But kids? What's there for them, amidst all of these old buildings? If you dread dragging little ones on cultural tours, but long for a bit of culture yourself, check out Vienna. In summer, the city has an astonishing number of kids' activities, well organized in the city's Ferienspiel plan listing free and cheap kids' activities all over town. In winter, holiday themed activities turn Vienna into a twinkling, often snowy, wonderland.

Coding for Kids: Free Websites That Teach Kids Programming

As technology dominates our lives, learning basic computer programming isn't just a smart idea, it's an essential skill for grown-ups and children alike.

Learning how to build simple websites and games helps kids refine their design, logic, and problem-solving abilities. It also allows them to express ideas and creativity in unique ways. There are a number of FREE websites that teach children how to play around with code. We've rounded up a dozen of our favorites. 

Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox, and find even more educational tech posts for kids in our Geek Guide.

January GoList: The Best Things To Do With Philly Kids

January is such an exciting time for Philly families! The new year has begun and new adventures await. Create new memories this year by checking out each of our GoLists every month to see what's happening near you. Don't forget to read our Annual GoList to find all the best events happening in 2018. 

Mommy Poppins wishes everyone a happy and healthy 2018!

Be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter to see our weekly roundups of events as well!

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