Here at Mommy Poppins, we enjoyed spending quality time with our kids during our SUMMER OF PLAY CHALLENGE, and we're thrilled that it resonated with our readers, too. Hundred of parents from across the country shared photos of their playtime adventures with us on social media. We loved seeing so many pics inspired by the ideas in our SUMMER OF PLAY GUIDE; some folks transformed old cardboard boxes into really nifty playtime items, like the cool plane in our photo gallery. Other families played dress-up, fashioned and flew kites, made a mess and buried each other in the sand. We also saw some ideas we're going to have to try next year, like sticking snowballs in our freezers in the winter and then breaking them out on a hot summer day (our NYC editor Raven thought of that one, but it takes advance planning). Click through the pics above to see some of our favorite SUMMER OF PLAY moments. You can see all of the awesome photos submitted throughout the season on our Facebook page.
Bart Simpson isn't the only one who loves slingshots. Kids love anything that flings things across the room. This upcycled pea shooter can be made in seconds and is loads of fun. A great way to get the kids outside and running around and with the soft paper ammo, you don't have to worry about injuries.
What about the egg hunt at home and the kids’ Easter baskets? Does the thought of stuffing them with candy and weathering the ensuing sugar high give you a headache? If you’re looking for some ideas for filling baskets and eggs without going overboard on the sweets, read on for basket themes, egg fillers, and places in and around Boston to get great little gifts.
The best kind of project is one that is as much fun to play with as it is to make. We learned how to build these parachutes at the new Brooklyn Robot Foundry in Tribeca last weekend and couldn't wait to make them again at home. With a couple household items and a few minutes of crafting you'll have a great toy that will keep kids occupied for ages.
The first time I saw this neat little trick was on a stalled subway. A woman turned her gloves into a bunny to entertain her toddler. I couldn't believe I'd never seen this clever idea before and learned how to do it myself. Check out how to make this cute puppet and keep this trick up your sleeve for spontaneous play time any time.
Spinning a top takes some dexterity, making it a toy with the added benefit of teaching fine motor skills. Creating your own paper top is even more fun and requires a bit of dexterity of its own. Young children won't be able to do all the steps in this project, but anyone can help with at least part of it. And everyone will have fun with the top at the end.
A young child’s interest in toys changes quickly. A new plaything that was a huge hit when first received is forgotten just a few days (make that hours) later. That can be frustrating for parents as the clutter and the bills mount up. That's why a toy rental service makes so much sense. It saves money, space and the environment. Less junk to throw in the landfill!
Toy rental websites offer Netflix-style subscriptions so your kid can try out new playthings on a regular basis. These services are also great for when your child goes on an extended visit to a grandparent or another relative who doesn't have playthings lying around the house. Traveling families can also benefit from shipping toys to a destination to lighten the luggage, just like you might rent strollers or car seats on the road. Here are some toy rental websites that ship packages throughout the United States.
Catapults are awesome fun. They fling things through the air, which is always a hit. Add in marshmallows, and you're pretty much guaranteed happy kids. This marshmallow catapult is easy and fun to make, even more fun to play with, and kids won't even realize they're learning about physics along the way.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara