The Big Picture

Improving the Childcare Experience with the Power of Streaming Video

5 Essential Apps for Modern Parents

Summer has launched us into two months of light commuter traffic and plenty of planning, juggling and driving the kids around to have adventures and make memories.

Our team has compiled our favorite sites that help busy parents with everything from summer reading and movies to afternoon inventions with the kiddos.


If you’ve ever wondered if a certain book, game, or movie is okay for your child, the Common Sense Media website and mobile app will save you countless hours of research. Common Sense Media reviews books, movies, TV shows, video games and more for parents to make their own value judgments on how ready their kids are to experience them. It rates them for age appropriate content and gives specific examples of profanity, violence, role models and more. So you can see if the fond memories you have of Beetle Juice will keep your kids up at night or make them cackle with laughter. 


This site redefines quality time with the kids by offering videos and printable instructions for building toys that fly, bang, pop, and soar from inexpensive craft store items. SonicDad videos are easy to follow and the projects offer great lessons in engineering and physics. Your kids will remember these projects forever, and so will you.


Love your childcare center? Let other moms know that it’s a great place to send their kids through Parents in search of care for their kids see listings of centers in their area, then connect through Facebook and see which of their friends (and friends of friends) have kids enrolled, letting you sing the praises of your child’s awesome experience!


We know it’s not new (it’s been around since 2006!) but Google Calendars remains among the top used websites and apps to keep families organized. Many people say “If it’s not in Google Calendar, it doesn’t happen.” Activities, appointments, deadlines, and weekend plans can be shared among parents and older children so that everyone is in sync. New features include drag and drop events and color coding by member of the family. Each user can set up reminders as they like--a text, an email, or an alarm to let you know when it’s time. You can even use it to send invitations and gather RSVPs.


Remember walking into your childcare center for the first time? Laughing children, warm teachers, and colorful art on the walls were wonderful, but that gut-stomping feeling of leaving your sweet baby was not. Knowing that you can securely log in to WatchMeGrow anytime and watch her happy in circle time, enjoying her snack, or drifting off for her nap made those fears instantly vanish.


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