Posts Tagged “playground”

NEST: The One Stop Solution Spot

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Somewhere between the birthday parties, homework, errands, and laundry we want to enjoy watching our children develop, play and explore. Especially if you have more than one child, the whirlwind of parenting sweeps us up and from one day to the next we might not be able to account for our “quality time”. And that’s where NEST comes in… an indoor play and activity center focusing on a large variety of enrichment and family programs. And while we will further explore this in just a moment, I want to point out that Nest isn’t just another indoor soccer field, arcade or YMCA but a total parent package find. Nest offers the following conveniences: a snack cafe, stroller parking, handicap access to lower level and nursing area, as well as, salon services in a kid-friendly environment and soon to be added photography. They host birthday parties and special events, as well as, a whole calendar of enrichment classes. This three story facility has it all, including a gorgeous chic shoppe and a WiFi accessible lounge.

Now if that doesn’t leave you drooling let me tell you about the classes. Broken into nine categories, Nest offers something for everyone… starting with newborns to approx age 7. Sports, cooking, art, music, enrichment, yoga, swim and movement with a couple of combo classes mixed in – who could ever get bored? Their classes run in twelve week sessions with the fall session beginning the week of September 10th and ending Saturday, December 8th with a make-up week December 10th -15th. Costs and schedule can be found on their website but since everyone loves bargains and flexibility… let me share this recent change:  NEST Family Movement class (held on Saturdays at 10 AM) has been reduced to $200 for the 12 week program AND will be offered as a “drop in” class for those families with otherwise busy weekends. The drop in rate is $20 and offers the flexibility to come to class as available instead of committing to the entire session. Either way – an amazing deal. A little more about this class: it is intended for family participation with children up to age 7. “Walkers, runners and jumpers will all enjoy high-energy activities that challenge their bodies and tickle their minds.” Using balls, parachutes, ramps and more expect to move and groove with this one. Please note, since they are mid-session, all programs are pro-rated. For more information please visit Nest’s website here or call 215-545-6378.

We had a wonderful time at our cooking demonstration and you can catch a glimpse of our afternoon activities with our short video. Via and I joined several other families to play upstairs and in the lower play space. We made delicious apple cream cheese filled tortillas with a watermelon mint smoothy. Oh so yummy. Our playdate was scheduled before the fall class session began so we had the extra privilege of romping around on the soft gym equipment that would otherwise we used for various movement classes. As you can see from our pictures and video, we had a fantastic time and will be visiting regularly.

Disclosure: We were invited to a preview event including a cooking demonstration, given a complimentary session and a facility tour. Via is enrolled in the Me and My Little Sous Chef.

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How to Beat Kid's Summer Boredom

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Sure there are so many things to do for the summer, and every child anxiously awaits the last day of school.  But nonetheless, they experience days of total summer boredom and with that comes nothing good, including the messiest play, mischief, migraines for parents and constant whining.  So here are a few simple suggestions to shake those days up and avoid the pitfalls of overly boring, super hot-n-sticky days of summer.

1.  Catch the sunset.

Sunset on the Delaware River


Catchin The Suns Rays

We are fortunate to live close to a park situated on the Delaware River… making an amazing backdrop for the day’s end.   The playground provided plenty of entertainment while we waited for each stage of the sun setting.  For my toddler is was a great lesson in colors as well, as we watched the sky transform from blues and greens to oranges and purples.  Just an amazing summertime thing to do.  We didn’t stay long after, but you could certainly take advantage of the light evening darkness for catching fireflies.  For more educational ideas, look for shapes in the distance and clouds.  For us, the bridge provided angles and triangles.  Talk about the different types of clouds, fresh water vs salt bodies of water, and perception of objects (like will that barge fit under the bridge when it looks too large?)  Test your little one to find the best angle to go down the slide or why sneakers might make you go slower.  And be sure to just sit back and enjoy nature’s beautiful daily artistry. 

Pillow Tower Fun

2. Build a tower of pillows.

Pillow Tower Tumbling

Almost like building blocks but bigger and softer.  Bed pillows, sofa pillows, even the decorative throw pillows add a different dimension to your child’s creative structure.  How high can they stack?  How about tunnels or geometric shapes?  Of course they are fun to climb and topple on top of.  The bravest moms might allow sofa cushions in the mix and/or pillow tosses and fights.  (Confession – I wasn’t that brave mom!)

3.  Themed play… in our case it was Star Wars.

These light sabers totally distract kids (and big kids) from unpleasant storms, heat waves or any boredom.  Part of the charm is that these toys rarely get played with, especially for the young one… so I encourage parents to dig deep for something that the kids rarely get to lay their hands on.

Everything Barbie

Another suggestion: clear a play area and pull out ALL of something for a huge focused playtime activity.  By example, we’ve done this with Barbie… lots and lots of Barbies, furniture, clothes, pets, etc and had one big community of Barbie.  Same idea with Little People making a large platform with all the different pieces arranged to create an interactive community (city, farm, circus).

Catching Some Quiet Time

4. Take a trip to your local library.

We enjoyed a variety of picture

Quiet Time At the Library

books and then had some quiet reading time to ourselves.  Unfortunately we missed the children’s story hour by 30 minutes but now we know better.  Be sure to check out the schedule of events at your library since most have programs for families, especially during the summer.

5. Break away from routine.

Find an opportunity to break your schedule.  Enjoy your breakfast outdoors or perhaps an informal dinner on the deck.  Put on a bubbles parade with music and dance.  Consider summer rain showers as natures sprinklers… and dance in the rain.

Picnic With My Brother

Picnic With My Cousins

6.  Create a Fort.

Sharing Our Fort

Pillows, blankets, cushions and large stuffies enable some cool creations.  Once complete, grab your flashlight for some shadow fun.  Pick out some favorite books and read by flashlight in your new cool hiding place.  Challenge your kids to build a tunnel, multiple entrances and hideaways within the structure.  For added educational fun, consider discussions around the pyramids and ancient castles that were cleverly designed with tunnels, secret spaces and defense in mind.

For more ideas visit Kelly Whalen’s article “25 Frugal Ways To Keep The Kids Busy This Summer” at  She includes handy tips like finding free camps, discount museum admission, garden tours and so much more.  Share with us:  What’s your coolest boredom buster?

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