High-Tech Family Fun: 5 Ways Technology Can Be Family Time

My family has been having a great summer and making use of several ideas from our Ultimate Summer Play List along the way; it's hard to believe we're already more than halfway through the season. We've cooled off with water games, revisited classic backyard games from our childhoods, and turned childhood stories into family games. Of course, most plans we make involve asking someone to put down an electronic device (and give the poor, hounded Pokemon a rest). Wouldn't it be great if we could put those phones and tablets to more enriching use? Maybe even use them for some family playtime?

Ask and ye shall receive: check out these five ideas for exercising minds and thumbs together.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Dogs, Stories, Shows, August 8-12

Ah, the dog days of summer are here in Philly and so are a variety of events featuring some precious pups. Children can read stories to Raffi The Reading Therapy Dog at Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library. Bring Fido (and the kids, too) to Stateline Woods Preserve for the 3rd annual Dog Days of Summer event where doggies can play, and families can check out local shelters with puppies available for adoption. Or, check out the dog show, either before the match or at halftime, at the Philadelphia Freedom's Kids' Night held at Villanova.

Once your fur baby is tuckered out, take the kids to a local story time such as Pottery Barn Kids in King of Prussia, Story Art in Sister Cities Park, and Barnes & Noble in Neshaminy Mall. Or, visit Penn Museum for its Storytime Expeditions session which provides storytime and museum exploration. End the week with a theater production; both Bucks County Playhouse's The Sound of Music and Upper Darby Performing Arts Center's The Dinosaur Musical take the stage this week.

Be sure to stay up to date with the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Stay cool!

Learning Through Play Day Cares and Preschools in Philadelphia

More and more studies are showing how important the role of play is in early childhood learning. Kids develop important social and cognitive skills from play, and become more self-confident and emotionally mature when allowed to learn by playing. Finding a daycare that goes beyond simply watching your kid, and fosters this independence and imporant early learning skill isn't always easy. We've rounded up a few great daycares (some of which also have preschools) where your child will love to learn while they play.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Festivals, Rock Party, Star Party, Aug 6-7

Once the calendar turns to August, every Philly family knows that summer days (and nights) are fleeting. Thankfully, this weekend's Event Calendar provides lots of fun to make the most of the remaining, carefree summer moments.

Celebrate summer with lawn games and antique cars at Pennypacker Mills' In the Good Old Summertime event. Indulge in sweet tomatoes at Oasis Family Farm or juicy peaches at Linvilla Orchards. Learn about geology at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education's Rock Party! or gaze at the stars in the summer skies at Delaware Museum of Natural History's Star Party. Conclude the weekend at a festival such as Penn's Landing's ACANA Festival, Northern Liberties' 2nd Street Festival, or the Philadelphia Museum of Arts' Sight & Sounds Family Festival.

Continue reading for our top picks for the weekend ahead. With just a few more weeks before school begins, seize the opportunity to make the most of this summer weekend.

Worth the Money: Splurge Worthy Philadelphia Experiences for Kids

Parenting in Philadelphia is pretty awesome. With access to so many free places to take our kids, expose them to new learning activities, or just have a great time, its no wonder we have more than 100 places to check off our parenting bucket list! But sometimes it's fun to spend a little and try something new and amazing. Whether it's a special occasion to celebrate, or a special memory you can't wait to create, there are a number of options in and around Philadelphia that are really worth the cost. Here are our picks of some you might want to add to your "worth it" parenting bucket list!

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Nightscape, Balloon Freak, Campfire August 1-5

One of the best parts of summer is the free time on the family calendar. There is no homework (well, perhaps some summer reading and math pages), music lessons, soccer practices, dance classes, and scout meetings. These activities are put on hold allowing more time for semi-spontaneous fun. Find some great ways to fill those empty moments with experiences from our Events Calendar.

Visit The Colonial Theatre to watch balloon tricks by John Cassidy. Go for a stroller walk at Winterthur. Cool off from summer heat with a day trip to a nearby lake or a swim at a pop-up pool. Once the sun sets, head to Longwood Gardens for a nighttime spectacular called Nightscape or gather by the campfire to enjoy the nighttime sky at Churchville Nature Center.

Overwhelmed with all the options? Relax! Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has our top weekday picks below. And, be sure to check out our August GoList to plan out the month ahead.

Paris with Kids: 39 Fun Things to Do for Families

Paris is consistently one of the top visited tourist destinations in the world, but it’s not always considered particularly kid-friendly. Parisians have a reputation of being snobby and not tolerating misbehaving children. If you make an effort to bridge the cultural differences, though, Paris has its own unique stripe of kid fun. One of the gratifying things for families visiting France is that kid fun is never totally kid-centric, but typically has a level of sophistication that means parents can find it as gratifying as their children.

In light of the recent attacks on Paris and France, we thought it was a perfect time to celebrate our love of the City of Lights with a list of the most amazing kid-friendly fun in Paris.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Car Show, Birthdays, Harry Potter July 30-31

For many Philly families, summer weekends are relaxed, unplanned, lazy, full of possibilities. So, if your calendar is open and you are searching for some excitement, look no further. Our events calendar is exploding with fun just in time for the weekend.

Nature lovers can start the weekend by waking up early to bird watch at Bucktoe Creek Perserve or Churchville Nature Center. Is your family ready to party? Celebrate at two local venues as both Sesame Place and Franklin Square recognize birthdays this weekend. Indulge in delicious foods including sweet corn, honey and BBQ at festivals throughout the area. Or check out the fast cars and Kids Zone at East Passyunk Avenue's Car Show and Street Festival.

If you have Harry Potter fans in the house, the most important thing about this weekend is the release of J.K. Rowling's latest book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Many bookstores such as Big Blue Marble Bookstore, The Doylestown Bookshop, and Children's Book World are having events to mark the occasion.

To stay up-to-date on the latest fun, follow Mommy Poppins Philadelphia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Have a great weekend!

4 Awesome Places to Explore in Tree Houses Near Philly

With screen time, lessons, daycare, and school it doesn’t seem like there’s much time to explore nature and discover new places, but tell kids that there’s a special house built in a tree for them to discover, and watch their curiosity take over. Tyler Arboretum, Longwood Gardens, Morris Arboretum, and Treehouse World are perfect for kids of all ages because there's plenty of places to explore. Parents who have dreamed of building a tree house in the backyard will find plenty of inspiration, too.

Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: PoliticalFest, County Fair, Carnivals, July 25-29

Whether you follow politics or not, there is no escaping it this week since Philadelphia hosts the Democratic National Convention. As media, politicians, and citizens of the nation attend the convention and visit the sites that Philly has to offer, be aware that traffic and wait times in and around the city could be longer.

However, hosting the convention does has its perks for us locals. The National Constitution Center along with 6 other locations throughout the city present PoliticalFest, a one-of-a-kind festival showcasing our country's political history and government in a non-partisan way.

On the other hand, consider taking this opportunity to enjoy the suburbs and all they offer. This week, families can enjoy good old-fashioned carnival fun at Kimberton Fair, Midway Fire Company Carnival, or Cochranville Fire Company Carnival. Create art at Darlington Art Center, Monkey Fish Toys, or a Michael's near you. Visit the Bucks County Children's Museum for its Summer Nights event featuring the Sound of Music by Bucks County Playhouse Youth Company or take a ride to Winterthur for its Terrific Tuesdays children's program.

Putting all politics aside, certainly everyone can vote for a fun-filled week ahead!


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