A Wee Announcement

A little breaking news Read more

Hello, mamas!

For a little more than five years now, we’ve had the enormous pleasure of running this website — a project that we dreamed up as a brand new mom (Ash) and an expecting mom (Christy). We set out to create a space that we wanted for ourselves as parents—a place to share information and to swap tips and to build a community. That you all showed up to be a part of it was incredibly gratifying, and we’ve never stopped being thrilled about that, or proud of our site.  

Now, after much thought and discussion, we’ve made the decision to stop posting new stories on this site. (We could bore you with our list of reasons, but it’s simpler just to say that it feels like it’s time.) However, we aren’t closing down Wee Wander: You can still follow along on our adventures and get tips on raising kids in Philly on Wee’s Insta and Facebook channels. And you’ll also be able to see the last five years’ worth of stories, reviews, interviews, lists and expert advice on the site, which isn’t going anywhere immediately.

For now, though, we just wanted to say thanks to y’all for reading and for emailing and for sending us news and tips and ideas. (We’ll still be reachable via social.) And here’s wishing everyone a joyful 2019 full of fun, with minimal meltdowns and/or diaper blowouts and/or lost mittens.

Love and hugs,
Ashley and Christy, Wee Wander co-founders and editors

 

Spotlight: Dance Classes For Kids

Jazz! Chinese Classical Dance! Hip Hop! There’s some form of dance for everyone at South Philly’s Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers. Read more

Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers

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There’s a pretty decent chance that you guys have heard about Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers before: The renowned Philly-based contemporary dance company has performed all over the city — and the country, and the world. (The Inky once called them the “pinnacle of Philadelphia’s outstanding dance community.”)

Anyway! What you might not know is that Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers offers youth dance classes for children ages 5 to 15 — and the classes range from jazz to Chinese classical dance to ballet to hip hop. (Not your average lineup!) The spring session begins on January 7 (and it runs through June 8), and the first class is free for new students. All levels of dancers are welcome — no dance experience is necessary for any of the children.

The kids are grouped by age into class: Children from 5 to 7 can take ballet; children from 8 to 11 can take hip hop and kids 7 to 11 can take Chinese classical dance; and children from 11 to 15 can take jazz. (See the schedule below.) In addition to teaching the fundamentals of each style of dance, every class also infuses elements of Chi Awareness Practice, Kun-Yang Lin’s approach to dance, which focuses on breath, awareness and mindfulness. (You can see how this can benefit a kid even off the dance floor.)

Sounds cool, yes? You can read more about it here — the descriptions of each dance class (and their teachers) are awesome, and you can register here, as well! Another cool aspect of these classes is that you can register for the entire season if you wish ($231), or purchase a 10- or 5-class card ($120 and $65, respectively), or even just pay for a single drop-in ($14).

New! GiveBack Workshops

A “high-impact, low-commitment” way to do some good this coming year … with your kids! Read more

GiveBack Workshops, Philadelphia, volunteering

I think lots of us parents are pretty much always on the lookout for ways to teach our children about empathy and giving of themselves, to want to engage with the community in a way that’s helpful and meaningful. So I was really excited to hear about a new workshop series the National Liberty Museum is launching in January: Their GiveBack Workshops allow families (of all ages!) to volunteer for a few hours on a Saturday and work together on a “make-and-donate” activity designed by that month’s partner organization. The charities are awesome — benefiting everyone from shoeless people in Uganda to the SPCA to local seniors to troops overseas — and the concept is simple: Register, show up, and help someone.

So, for instance, on 1/12, families can register to volunteer to work at the museum with Enchanted Makeovers, an organization that nurtures women and children living in homeless shelters. The project will be creating “hero capes” for children in these shelters to let them know they can be their own superhero. (They’ll use an an easy-to-follow design template, provided by Enchanted Makeovers, which allows families to get as creative as they like by decorating their capes with felt cut-outs.) In February, the project will be via a charity called Sole Hope, which creates shoes for those suffering from jigger infestations in the east African nation of Uganda. (Jiggers are a parasite that usually affects the feet and can be fatal.) Families will create shoes made from old denim using patterns and instructions presented in a kit, and the creations will be shipped to tailors, where they’ll be finished off.

You can see why I love this idea: These workshops, as museum’s communications coordinator noted to me, are high impact and low commitment, which is perfect for a busy family with little kids. A few hours volunteering can make a huge difference in someone’s life, and also open up a chance to have conversations with our children that might not otherwise happen, right?

Anyway! Here are more details: Pre-registration is recommended for each GiveBack Workshop. The cost is $20 and up for non-members depending on how many people participate, and $15 for families who are Museum Members. (You can also subscribe to the whole season — five Saturday workshops — for $90.) (Oh! And museum admission is included.) You can read about all the workshops — and register — on the site.

 

Wee Bits: The Warby Parker of Strollers, Peak Baby Shark, Holiday Family Fun and a Good Plane Story For a Change

News, happenings, reads and other tidbits for Philly parents this week Read more

wee bits wee wander

What a lovely idea for helping refugee kids adjust as they start school here in Philly. (Via Generocity.)

Another use for menstrual cups might be … conceiving? (Via Parents.com.)

Of course, this makes me cry, but also: People are good. 

Well this is smart and tragic. (Via WHYY)

Also good? Lego Foundation and Sesame Street, who are pairing up to help refugee children heal from trauma. Via NYT.

Also from Parents: Books for kids about adoption!

Hey, a Wharton guy has developed the Warby Parker of strollers! (And it looks truly cool.) From Fast Co.

This is the uplifting collection of photos we all need right now. From the Atlantic.

I enjoyed this, from the Strategist: If you enjoy this kitchen thing, you might also enjoy this kitchen thing. 

We’ve reached peak baby shark. 

Y’all! Flash sale for Diggerland!! (What a fun Christmas gift, no?)

New idea for a law: The only water elected officials are allowed to drink or bathe with or cook with is from the bodies of water right next to the farms, industrial facilities and oil companies whom they wish to deregulate. (Story from the NYT.)

Guys, there’s a ton of holiday fun for families in Chestnut Hill over the next few weeks. (Santa! A parade! Holiday Garden Railroad! And more!)

More holiday fun: You can make your own snow globe or (paper) stuffed fish at the Fairmount December 26 through December 28 at 11 a.m. at the drop-in Fairmount Waterworks Event, Let It Snow. 

And another thing — this one is a little different than the usual! You can still get tickets for brunch with Santa at Jose Garces’ Olde Bar, and it sounds pretty rad: There’s Santa, waffles, a build-your-own-hot-chocolate bar, a milk-and-cookies station .. and more. It’s this Saturday, December 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and you can get tickets here. ($38 for grown-ups; $25 for kids 12 and under; FREE for kids 2 and under.)

Wee Love: The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank

Here’s a very simple way to help other mamas Read more

Philadelphia Diaper Bank

In this season of giving (and in this very tumultuous moment in time), I will admit that I sometimes feel a bit paralyzed by all the very worthy causes out there — when it comes to donating time and/or money, where to even begin? It’s overwhelming when one stops to consider all the need out there, but for some reason, this year there’s one place in particular that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about: Do you guys know the Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank? It was started a while back, but it’s come up in conversation in my life a few times in recent months, and I thought I’d mention it here, just because we all know how expensive diapers are, and we also all know how very little matters more to moms than keeping their babies fed, and comfy, and clean. To that end — the comfy and clean part — a woman (and mom and former teacher) named Pat Kennedy founded the Kensington-based Diaper Bank in 2011 with the express purpose of collecting diapers to distribute to homeless shelters, food pantries, family service agencies and faith-based organizations so that the diapers can get to the moms — and babies — who need them. (Ever since I read this heartbreaking Atlantic story a couple years back, the notion that a parent might not have enough diapers for a baby has never failed to make me tear up.) Ps. They also collect and distribute women’s sanitary items to schools in Philly!

The Greater Philly Diaper Bank has distributed upwards of two million diapers over the last 7.5 years, and — while I know we all have our own organizations and charities and causes that touch our hearts, and whom we give our time and money to — I thought I would mention this in case you’re looking, or in case you feel like you want to swing an extra box of diapers this month (you can even just buy on Amazon and ship it over!), or even possibly run a diaper drive to collect a whole bunch. They are in special need of newborn diapers right now. If you decide to buy a box or two, you should know that they have a small handful of drop-off locations (you should simply call before you drop off to make sure someone is there). They accept volunteers, too, and also happily welcome straight-up donations on their website.

New! Prime Bib

A new baby-food delivery service … that’s organic … and homemade! Read more

prime bib philadelpha

Y’all know we here at Wee like stories about new businesses coming from local moms. (Mothers have the best ideas, as we all know.) The latest exciting debut? Prime Bib, a chef-driven, all-organic baby food company that specializes in interesting, healthy, yummy purees for babies. And — bonus — they deliver! 

The company is the brainchild of South Philly-based Amanda Cullen, who decided to combine her background in food (she’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who spent time as an executive chef) and children (she earned a degree in childhood education, worked as a nanny, and taught at The Giving Tree daycare here in the city) to make, yes, food for babies that would be healthy and fun to eat. Her Prime Bib menu features a handful of rotating purees that are way more interesting — and also more seasonal — than the sort most of us are used to buying or whipping up in the blender. Right now, for instance? There’s the Squish Squash Puree (butternut squash/chia seeds/nutmeg); there’s Tiny Dragon (dragonfruit/pineapple/pear); there’s Tasty Tofu (tofu/tomato/cilantro/cumin) … and much more. Quite honestly, it all looks awesome. And not only does experimenting with flavors like these pave the way for future adventurous eating, Amanda notes, but the fresh herbs, veggies and spices have the added benefit of immunity properties.

Amanda, who’s also mom to a six-month old daughter, says her interest in making baby food began back when she a nanny making food for her little charges. “I liked being creative with it, and ended up doing a lot of research about infant nutrition,” she says. The research turned into recipes, which turned into the Prime Bib idea, and voila: She’s throwing a launch party for the business tomorrow, Saturday, December 8, at the East Passyunk book store A Novel Idea, from 1 to 4 p.m. (You can expect samples for babies and refreshments for grown-ups!)

Meantime, here’s how the service works: Each pouch is made to order (so they’re fresh). You can order a la carte, if you wish, straight off the menu, which features both the puree blends ($3) and single-ingredient pouches for brand-new eaters ($2.50). (You also get to choose the flavor and the texture of the blend — smooth, delicate texture or finger-food levels.) Another ordering option is to subscribe to a set meal plan: a weekly meal subscription includes 7 lunches and 7 dinners of your choice for $40; the monthly one includes 28 lunches and 28 dinners for $130. (And delivery for the subscriptions is free!)

Sounds wonderfully simple — and yummy — right? You can read more here, or follow Prime Bib on Insta or Facebook.