July 2014 Preview

July goes forth



The stretch of a summer day can pose a challenge to parents used to packing in a ton of activities in a short window of time. Even if your kids are signed up for camp or the pool, the days last much longer than they do during the school year. How do you fill all those extra hours organically, productively, with as little reliance as possible on an electronic babysitter?

MK Staff Picks: What We're . . .

Reading: If you’ve ever wanted to ditch it all and open a bookstore on a Nantucket-like island, Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry will charm and resonate.

Snacking on: String a few healthy “candy” bracelets, so kids don’t have to come inside for a snack. Thread toasted O cereal pieces and freeze-dried fruit (strawberries, bananas, apples, with a skewer-poked hole through the middle) onto an elastic cord that ties onto little wrists.

Counting on: Queuing up a video lesson on KhanAcademy.org is a quick, entertaining way to keep kids’ math skills sharp over the summer. 

Luckily we live in and around Philly, which makes answering that question a breeze. You could dip into one of the area’s air-conditioned venues for a $1 kids’ flick, free bowling, a lively storytime or a fascinating factory tour. You could hit the road for a one-tank day trip that beats the crowds and builds a child’s worldview. Armed with our tips for an easy shopping trip with kids in tow, you could even turn an hour at the grocery store or Target into a diversionary outing.

Or you could follow the lead of our cover model, 6ABC Action News’ consumer reporter Nydia Han, and check out one of the city’s newer summer-fun options: Art Splash at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After attending the program’s debut season last year with 2-year-old daughter Sabine, Nydia became a vocal Art Splash supporter. We had a ton of fun when we recently met up with Nydia, Sabine and 2-month-old Harrison in the PMA galleries (above), where the broadcast journalist filled us in on her life as a local, working mom who happily takes full advantage of the family-fun resources within our reach. Read about it here.

What else will you find in July? An update on the Pre-K for PA push to grant every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania access to high-quality preschool. A state-by-state ER guide to the best dedicated pediatric emergency care around. More medical news, letting you know the warning signs of chidhood diabetes, a disease that's distressingly on the rise. A handy, what-to-do-when maternity leave timeline. A primer on prepping kids to fly solo safely, if they're off to visit famliy this summer. And, of course, our annual roundup of all the fireworks, parades and patriotic July 4 festivities the area has to offer.

Finally, make sure you click in to our 72 Days of Summer Fun page daily. That’s where you’ll find giveaways galore — both venue tickets and active, seasonal toys — and a rundown of everything there is to do with kids that day, in 15-minute increments. Log on and let us know your favorite Philly summer activity.  

Keep cool and have fun,

Cheryl

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