Wee Essentials: The 2017 List of Great Spraygrounds, Splash Pads and Philly Parks Where You Can Get Wet

FREE water fun for the family Read more

sprayground guide philadelphia 2017

It’s that time of year, y’all: Long, hot summer days, and kids who are dying to be outside for every single moment of them. It’s why Wee Wander’s annual list of spraygrounds is so popular and why we’ve updated it for 2017.

But first: The official, city-listed hours for most city-run spraygrounds are generally 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends, “with varying schedules” — with definite emphasis on the “varying schedules” part. Hours of operation have been known to be sporadic and do vary. So here, where we could, we’ve provided the latest known hours, though some sprinklers are run simply by community volunteers and don’t necessarily have set schedules. (In short? A quick call to the park or park rec center before you go might keep things from getting tantrum-y.) Also, it’s very helpful to follow your local park or parks on Facebook: Information tends to be updated pretty regularly there.

Anyway. Without further ado … Read more →

Wee Alert! Adorable Baby Clothes

Finally, baby boy clothes are getting some love, thanks to a local company Read more

cuddle sleep dream

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Just when you think there’s nothing cuter than your regular, run-of-the-mill teeny little baby clothes …  well, y’all have to check out Cuddle Sleep Dream, a Willow Grove-based business that makes the most adorable special occasion outfits — complete with snap-on ties — for baby boys. (What sort of special occasion? Anything you can think of, really: Homecoming, baptism, holidays, weddings, birthdays, and so forth.)

The brains and talent behind Cuddle Sleep Dream is Ryann Kahn, who started the company in 2012 after her son was born and she couldn’t find anything that didn’t feel like “an afterthought” in the boys’ sections of kids’ clothing stores. (As a mom to a boy, I’ll attest: Baby girl clothes almost always blow boy clothes out of the water when it comes to both selection and personality.) So Ryann started making her own special-occasion outfits — and today, her business offers loads of cute options to choose from: Dino themes, donut themes, taco themes, fishies, monsters, lumberjacks, polka dots, cacti, trains, every holiday you can think of … you name it. (What’s more: Ryann keeps close tabs on what’s trending as far as birthday party themes go, so if you’re looking for ideas, you can ask her opinion, and then plan the ensemble to match the theme!)

Not everything is themed, of course — some outfits are monochromatic, some are just cute patterns, some are adorably wedding-appropriate, and some are precious little cardigans and V-neck onesies. So take a look, boy mamas — you’ve got all the cute you can handle here (and nary a Paw Patrol/camo-print/superhero T-shirt as far as the eye can see).

You can read more — or shop — here!

Photo credit: Photo on left and on bottom right are courtesy of Crush Photography PA (@crush_studio); top right is @hwalser. 

Wee Bits: Doctor-Prescribed Playtime, Prime Day Deals and What Women All Over the World Bring to the Hospital to Give Birth

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

wee bits spring

This Atlantic piece is crazy fascinating, about what women in a bunch of different countries bring to the hospital to give birth.

From KQED: 7 books that teach kids about activism and social justice.

The type of story that makes me think we should just move to the countryside: Philly Doctors Are Now Prescribing Park Visits To City Kids. (Via Philly.com.)

Fun event to keep on your radar: To celebrate their first birthday, the wonderful Tildie’s Toy Box in South Philly is hosting Crazy Aaron — the inventor and founder of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty (puttyworld.com) — in the shop on Sunday, July 16th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The putty, which is made in Narberth by adults with disabilities, is popular around the world!)  It’s FREE, and sounds like a good time!

Speaking of fun events: This weekend is Thomas the Train weekend at Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railroad! Your Thomas lovers will ADORE it.

Freaky news out my alma mater: Evidently, research is showing that banned flame retardants are still passing through the umbilical cord from mother to baby. Sigh.

More cheerful news: Quartz reports that having kids lowers women’s self-esteem for three years. (This doesn’t feel true. Does it??? Though to be fair, there are a LOT of caveats in this piece, so …)

Liked this NYT piece about the mom who bonds with her kids over roller coasters.

Despicable Me 3 is at The Prince Theater until Thursday — and if y’all use the promo code DM3PRINCE, then you’ll get $2 off adult tickets!

From Fast Company: The best Amazon Prime Day deals. (Including $50 savings on Amazon Echo.) Oh, and here’s some more great buys, via The Strategist. 

This Al Franken/David Letterman collab seems worth the watch, no?

Target is debuting an “all-gender product line” for kids. (Via Fast Company.) Looks cute.

Outdoor Movie Nights: Summer 2017

Summer’s half over — time to take advantage of one the most magical parts of a Philly summer Read more

outdoor movies, philadelphia

Summer’s officially half done (sigh), but even after all the Welcome America hoopla, this city is still jam-packed with outdoor movie nights for the next couple of months, which is awesome. (It’s one of the best parts about a Philly summer, don’t you think?) Here, a snapshot of great, easy places to catch a flick — for free, with or without the kids — under the stars.

Where: The Schuylkill Banks, at a couple locations along the river. There’s FREE films at the Walnut Street Bridge and Grays Ferry Crescent (at the Esplanade). (If you get there early enough, there’s even free snacks!)
When: Thursday nights, through August 10.
What you can see: Finding Dory, Ratatouille, Jaws, Hidden Figures ... among others.

Where: The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
When: Thursday nights, through August 31
What you can see: Star Wars: Rogue One; LaLa Land; Beauty and the Beast; The Lego Batman Movie … to name a few. Read more →

Wee Find: DIY Sewing Kits for Kids

How cute is this? Read more

little workshop glenside

Spotted at Spruce Street Harbor Park: The cutest little sewing kits, designed so littles can make their own superhero or kitty-cat masks. Turns out, they come courtesy Glenside-based The Little Workshop and owner Ali Dworsack, who says she created the kits to teach kids how to “create a heirloom keepsake that will not only teach them new skills but help them gain confidence in their little creative selves.”

The kits, which are aimed at kids 7 and up, come with everything you need — sewing tools and materials and instructions. (Seems like a fun project to stash away for rainy days, birthday presents, little surprises and the like, no?) And if you’ve missed her at SSHP, you can also find The Little Workshop (and the masks!) on Etsy, or you can hit up the Haddonfield Arts and Crafts Festival on July 8 and 9.

But that’s not all … Ali also does birthday parties for kids aged 4 and up, at the rate of $20 per kid, with a minimum of 6 kids and max of 10 kids. (Actually, you can do more than 10 kids, but there are additional fees per kid after that.) She shows up with two crafts and a game that will keep everyone occupied for about 1.5 hours — and her crafts are textile-based, and completely customizable. (She’ll also provide decorations for additional cost if you want!)

Such a fun find, no!? You can see more here on Etsy, or here on Facebook, or on Insta @tlworkshop.

 

Photo credit: Photos courtesy of The Little Workshop Co.

 

 

Wee Bits: Awesome Kiddie Pools, Raising Book-Lovers, Harry Potter 20 Years On, and Mocktails You Actually Want to Drink

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

wee bits philadelphia news

Cool story in Philly.com about two entrepreneur moms who founded the (wildly successful) Dreamland Fairy Kits. (The kits, by the way, are adorable.)

We’re old: It’s been 20 years since the first Harry Potter came out. Here are snippets from the first reviews, via the Independent.

Speaking of: You’ll be shocked at how hard this H.P. quiz from Quirk Books is.

Thanks, Strategist, for this look at the most most enthusiastically rated backyard pools on Amazon.  Read more →