The calendar says Mother’s Day is approaching. Mothers beg to differ. The coming week can’t promise Sunday brunch with the aunties, impromptu spa experiences, or unfettered mall excursions. Instead, moms — and everyone spending 24/7 at home with kids — will have to settle for taking a break while their children partake in innocuous, even beneficial, live streams.
Baby sing-alongs, spiritual story times, sports Zooms, and happy-hour dance classes are the mother’s little helper of spring 2020. At this point, we’ll take whatever we can get. These are some of this week’s best:
10 a.m. Mondays & Wednesdays on Instagram @babywordplay (6 months to 4 years)
Miss Pam and Ms. Martina conduct virtual versions of the trilingual “storyplays” (in English and Spanish, with American Sign Language) that are familiar to patrons of their very-little kids’ theater-bookstores in Fairmount, Grad Hospital, and Queen Village. Songs, nursery rhymes, stories, counting, and colors are typical ingredients in each 30-minute, literacy-minded session. Classes are pay-what-you-wish. The half-hour of guilt-free screen time is worth the suggested 10 bucks.
1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on Instagram @delish (preschool and hungrier; grown-up required)
The popular home-cooking website demos its most basic — and gooey — recipes on Insta every weekday. At least one kid assists a grown-up in each 15-minute-or-so creation. Another kid often operates the phone that’s recording the whole, glorious process of making Princess Leia cupcakes (this Monday), Copycat Crunchwrap Supremes (Tuesday), French toast fries (Wednesday), fruit rollups (Thursday), and Morning Glory Muffins (Friday).
4-4:45 p.m. Tuesdays at interfaithphiladelphia.org (preschool and up)
Interfaith Philadelphia invites authors and faith leaders to read stories about diverse springtime faith traditions, using books from South Philly bookstore A Novel Idea on Passyunk. Ramadan and the Buddha’s birthday have been covered. This week, author Linda Ahdieh Grant reads her book, I Love My Name, and Homa S. Tavangar explains the Bahá’uí festival Ridván. Next week author Najmun Riyaz reads The Essence of Eid, about Eid al-Fitr.
3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursdays through June 4, register free at mightywriters.org (ages 11—14)
Longtime Philly mentor and kid-motivator Maurice Williams leads a laid-back, low-pressure Zoom about something this age group is missing especially: sports. Since this is Mighty Writers, the idea is to get participants to think critically, express feelings and opinions clearly, and connect — whether they’re lamenting lost seasons or hoping for fall ball.
Various times Thursdays through Sundays on Instagram @balletx.official (ages 2—10)
Contemporary dance company BalletX has taken classes to Instagram Live — and removed the price tags. Especially useful for working-from-home adults who become increasingly desperate (read: thirsty) as the weekend approaches, these end-of-week youth classes require no experience (and coincide with happy hour). Dance eXchange (5-5:45 p.m. Thursday, ages 6-10) is about call-and-response movement. Groove fitness (5-5:45 p.m. Friday) features classic moves like the whoop and the whoa. Weekends bring creative movement (9-9:45 a.m. Saturday, ages 3-5), and toddler and me (9—9:45 a.m. Sunday, ages 2-3).
Noon Friday, May 8, on Instagram @amrevmuseum (ages 9 and up)