Now that my oldest child is a 'tween, I understand that phrase I heard often during those difficult baby/toddler times, "The days are long, but the years are short." Thankfully, filling those short years with quality bonding time is even easier with our Top 100 not-to-be-missed family activities right here in the Garden State. From indoor play to awesome parks, and from quiet fun to thrill-seeking adventures, there's tons of incredible stuff to make memories that will last forever!
'Tis the season for many things—including the spread of cold and flu germs. With school back in session and the colder weather upon us, it’s no surprise kids get sick more often. With the holidays coming up, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everyone's kids stay healthy, but both of my sons have already battled the common cold, as well as a crummy case of the croup.
And while traveling to the pediatrician’s office is part of being a parent, there are times when I wish there was another option. I not only dread the drive in bad weather, but I also worry about exposing my kids to a waiting room filled with even sicker children. Last year, I took my older son to the pediatrician with a simple cough (with my younger, healthier son in tow), and a week later they both came down with a whole new nasty virus. So when I found out about our sponsor KidsHousecalls, which sends a board certified pediatrician to your home to treat your child, I was all ears.
A preschool tour is the best opportunity for parents to get a feel for a school before tackling the admissions process. Hopefully, you see the school in action, or at least check out what the classrooms look like. Keep your eyes open for important details. What type of student work is on display? Do the kids seem happy and engaged? How do the teachers interact with them?
When you're on the tour, don't be shy about asking questions. This is your chance! "Parents should ask as many questions as they want to help understand and grasp our program's philosophy," says Lisa Pacheco, center director at Children’s Creative Learning Center. Jennifer Jones of Battery Park Montessori and the Pine Street School adds, "I encourage parents to ask questions based on their personal priorities for their children. For example, if the child is physically active and the parents are concerned about it, they should ask how the school will satisfy the child's need for physical expression." Open-ended questions are best, as they tend to reveal more about the school. For example, "How do you support literacy?" is better than, "When do you teach the alphabet?"
Here are the top 10 topics to ask about when you're visiting preschools.
Last weekend, Mommy Poppins sponsored a preschool fair in New York City where families were able to meet dozens of directors from neighborhood preschool programs. Parents said it was immensely helpful to talk to NYC preschool directors in person because it demystified the often fraught admissions process. It’s understandable that applying to preschool is nerve-racking: It’s one of the first decisions you make for your child’s education. But at Mommy Poppins, we believe that applying to preschool can be a sane experience, and we want to do what we can to dispel some of the anxiety. So we're sharing the inside scoop from our preschool fair, including expert tips from directors about the admissions process. After all, who knows it better than the people who make the decisions?
We sit through three meals a day, seven days a week. So sometimes we just need to shake it up a bit and do something out of the house that promises fun along with the food. From knights and horses to magicians to locomotives, from Northern NJ all the way down to the Shore, there are many ‘interactive’ dining experiences for the entire family. Bon appetit!
As busy mamas, we cherish those oh-so-rare moments when we have a few hours (if we're super lucky!) to do whatever we want; whether it's sleeping, shopping, taking a class, or hitting the gym for an intense workout. It can be tricky to squeeze in a spin class when you're in full-time mommy mode, but there are many gyms in New Jersey that offer babysitting options so you can get in shape while your children stay safe. Below is a list of gyms that offer on-location daycare for fitness-oriented mamas.
Add another item onto your Summer Day Trip list: The Delaware River. Whether it’s hiking to Sunrise Pond or floating quietly in a tube, there's a variety of activities to suit all members of your brood. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area offers fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, camping, and water sports. Enjoy local farms and eateries, or take in a historic landmark. Horseback riding, picnicking and bird watching are also options to make a full adventure complete!
The power of touch strongly comes into play when it comes to babies. Gentle, soothing infant massages are a great way for mommy and baby to bond. Infant massage is delicate, loving, and tender—an action that truly speaks louder than any words. Some of New Jersey’s infant massage experts weigh in on the power of touch—and offer classes on infant massage for those moms who want to learn more.
When I had my first child in the middle of winter, I was dying to get out of the house and meet other moms with babies the same age. Solution? A Mommy and Me class. Suddenly I was meeting moms who provided me with some adult conversation after weeks of being home alone with a screaming infant. Back then there weren't too many options, but now the choices are endless: music, art, yoga, foreign languages, nature, swimming... You are sure to find something that will interest both you and your baby! And check out our Enrichment Programs, Classes and Activities Guide for NJ Kids.
Looking for an enriching activity for the kids this fall? Why not sign them up for a language class? Early exposure to a foreign language can be a rewarding and fun experience for a young child. Fortunately there are many programs throughout New Jersey, representing a wide variety of languages and cultures. Read on for our picks of the best options available—everything ranging from Mommy & Me programs for the little ones to group or private lessons for older children. And for more great class options, visit our Enrichment Programs, Classes and Activities Guide for NJ Kids.
Welcome to Mommy Poppins New Jersey! The free online resource for parents and kids where you’ll get the scoop on what’s fun, unique, outdoorsy, indoorsy, artsy, bouncy, sassy and splashy in the Garden State. Come play with us, won’t you?