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What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

It’s hard to believe that the end of July is sneaking up (quickly, like a tiger) upon us and it’s time to seriously start thinking about back to school shopping for clothes, shoes, supplies, and everything else that the kids need to get through another year. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad is here to help with some fantastic tips to make your shopping experience a little bit easier this year. Take a look…

 What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

Yes, we are really talking about back to school shopping! Even though we started in the beginning of July (we home school), seeing all these sales really makes the “Back to School” season feel real! All those awesome backpacks, locker decor, and crayons really seem to say summer is over.

So this year as you get ready to pick up all your school essentials, Check out these local places for insane deals and all the things you and your kids will love!

Office Depot

Office Depot has one of the best deals. And by deals, I mean .01 deals! During certain times, they will offer items for only .01! You just have to keep track of the ad. But most of their school supplies is under $5 and backpacks are only $10. You can pick up the paper ad or even see you current stores deals by checking them out online.

Staples

Staples is another great place for cheap Items. Currently, Staples has all of their writing and coloring supplies for .97. They even have Crayola (my family’s fave) Marked down. Compared to 2.50- 4.00, that’s a huge score!

Target

Target was one of my first stops last year! They had almost everything you need for on .50! Notebooks, glue, index cards… you name it! We were able to stock up well into this year with the awesome deals they had. Not to mention, they have a wide variety of colors and package sizes as well.

Dollar Tree

Over the past few years, Dollar Tree has really stepped up their merchandise! Before, I would be hesitant to buy certain things from there because of the quality and also the style as well. But the other day when I was perusing around my local Dollar Tree, I found some of the trendiest notebooks, folders and journals! Perfect for kids of all ages along with more traditional composition notebooks.  Not to mention they have an outstanding teacher corner as well! Plus, you can never really break the bank there because everything is a dollar!

Walmart

Walmart tends to be a lot of people’s go- to store. When I was there last week, they had everything for every grade. Especially some really cool printed notebooks for your trendy teen. I even bought several to have for myself! I mean rose gold foil prints?!?! I’m sold! Not to mention they have a lot of 1.00 or less items as well. Once major steal was a Scotchtape pack of 2 for only $1. That is a pretty good bargain! Plus tons of glue sticks for .25-.50 and folders for only .97!

So, as you get ready to venture out, into the crazy world of back to school shopping, keep these places and deals in mind!  Happy shopping!

Pro-Tip: Check several ads throughout the metro area. Not all cities and counties have the same deals. Last year, I found small price differences that not only saved me money, but saved me time from driving all around!

From iFamily to Yours,

b

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Let’s Talk About Your Mom Bag – What Should You Have In It?

July 22, 2017 at 6:32 AM • Posted in Mom Fun, Mom ResourcesNo comments yet

We all have one, the mom bag…the thing we hurriedly pack on our way out the door for the day.  Have you ever stopped to think about what you need to be packing just for an outing with your kids?! Gabrielle, from our Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts on what you need to pack in your mom bag! Take a look…

mom bAG

Let’s Talk About Your Mom Bag – What Should You Have In It?

There are a lot of changes that come with motherhood.  Physical and emotional changes are to be expected, but there was one change that caught me completely off guard.  The more children I had, the bigger my purse got.    I started off with a convertible planner that had an attachable purse strap.  I transitioned to a bag that was a large enough to carry my planner and a make-up pouch.  Not long ago, I was shopping in a department store and found what I thought was the perfect bag.  Then I looked at the price.  I could not figure out why the not-a-name-brand bag was so expensive.  Then I looked up at the overhead sign.  Apparently, I had wandered into the luggage section in search on my perfect purse.  So basically, I’m wandering the streets with a carry-on bag hanging from my shoulder.

With a bag that size, the surprises are unending.  It is not unusual for me to reach down in my purse and find anything from an Arizona Iced Tea to Zoo passes from two weeks ago.    It is also not unusual for me to turn my purse upside down only to find that the one thing I’m looking for is not in there.  My purse manages to be both a vacuum and a black hole.

I made a conscious effort to pare down the number of items in my purse.  I did a web-search for “What should I have in my purse?” What I found is that some of you are magicians and are fitting twice the amount of items I have in my bag into your cute little clutches.  I also found at that I’m missing a few essentials, and I’m carrying some things I might not ever need.  Anyway, after a couple of searches, I narrowed it down to a few essentials.

Some form of Picture ID

This one is self-explanatory.  The day you leave it at home is the day you’ll be pulled over for speeding or  the day your favorite cashier asks for your ID when you try to buy that bottle at home.

Money

Paper or plastic?  I strongly suggest both, and a little pocket change wouldn’t hurt either.  That way when the mom in front of you is fishing around for two pennies to cover her groceries, you can swoop in and be the superhero.

Cellphone

This item is to remain in your purse until you have reached your destination. Absolutely no texting and driving!  It can also be used to make a call to explain that you’re running 10 minutes late if necessary.  (It’s almost always necessary at my house.)

Breath Mints

Another no-brainer.  They can be actual life-savers (See what I did there?) Ranch dressing breath is not attractive.

A Mirror & Lip Gloss

You can do wonders with fresh breath, a sparkling smile.  (Just use the mirror to make sure you got the remaining spinach out of your teeth.

Hand Sanitizer

Because you’re a mom, and public restrooms are just gross.

Facial Tissue

Because you’re a mom and kids are just gross.

Personal Care Items/Toiletries

This category is broad on purpose.  Tailor it to fit your needs.  Just be aware, accidents and emergencies do happen.  Be prepared.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

 

 

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The Gravity Of War Comes To Life On The Big Screen: Dunkirk Review

July 21, 2017 at 6:44 AM • Posted in MoviesNo comments yet

Let’s face it, Kansas City, it’s really (really, really) hot out this weekend and we know a lot of you are looking for fun and exciting indoor opportunities for your weekend. Maybe you’ve got a date night planned or have the chance to sneak away from the kiddos for a couple of hours to catch a film. Regardless of your reasoning, you might be wondering what’s good out in theaters. We had the chance to send Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, to see the brand new war movie Dunkirk this week and she shares her thoughts with you today on the blog. Take a look…

movie review

A Movie Review: Dunkirk

Two words, Tom & Hans! Okay, so more like two names... Tom Hardy is, by far, one of my favorite actors and Hans Zimmer is my absolute favorite movie score composer. So, I knew when they teamed up again, it was going to be phenomenal!

Dunkirk, starring Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”), Harry Styles (One Direction) and Fionn Whitehead (“HIM”), is the astonishing true story of the French and British armies that were trapped on the shores of Dunkirk, France. Surrounded by the Germans, over 300,000 men were slowly evacuated home. All the while, being covered by the Air Force and small troops on ground.

From the time this movie started and  to it’s end, I was in utter suspense. I have never, in my entire life seen a movie so intense! In the beginning, it seemed as if only a mere 5 words were spoken, but the intensity level was at a constant high. Even the music added levels of intensity that I have never experienced in a movie.

The acting itself  was incredible but it certainly did not outshine the direction of Christopher Nolan (“Inception”). From aerial views to bomb dropping explosions, Christopher Nolan outdid himself and his talent is purely shown in this film.

To be honest, this isn’t your typical war movie. There is no grotesque moments of men being killed and no foul language. Overall it was fairly a clean movie. Definitely one I will show my kids when it’s time to discuss WWII.

I was beyond pleased with this film, I literally left with the theater with goosebumps! I would rate this movie a solid 10! It is a must see!

From iFamily to Yours,

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Save Big This Year On Back to School Shopping

Time never seems to slow down for us as parents, does it?! Sarah, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, was shocked at what she discovered while she was out shopping (read on to find out more!). What she saw reminded her that back to school season is nearly here. She’s sharing her tips for saving big on supplies today on the blog. Take a look…

back to school shopping

Save Big This Year On Back to School Shopping

Seems like summer gets shorter and shorter. As I walked through Hobby Lobby last week I was shocked to find turkey’s and pumpkins next to my 80% spring clearance. I am still decorating with Spring, by the way! Bonus! Two more aisles down—they had Christmas! The classy woman who was nice enough to ignore me when a favorite cuss word exited my mouth is truly a saint!

The more I thought about the coming months I realized just how expensive the last part of the year is! And now we have one entering Kindergarten in the next month—which means school supplies and backpacks and clothes! In fact, a survey on back to school spending from the National Retail Federation found that we spend $27.3 billion on school supplies. I am a type A control freak who likes to get things done early. Waiting until Missouri’s tax free weekend, on August 4th, is completely out of the question! Besides I have coupons that expire before then.

Obviously to save a lot of money, wait for the tax free weekend and head to the Missouri side for the larger items and for the clothes. However for school supplies and backpacks there are some pretty good sales going on right now that you could check out. Below is a few tips on places that you may have not thought of!

Walmart and Target

Obviously. Wal-Mart can usually beat anyone’s prices on the basics–folders, pencils, etc. So check there first, however I know more than one person who won’t set foot in a Wal-Mart so unless these people are closet online Wal-Mart shoppers then head on down the road to Target.  I am a frequent Target Dollar spot shopper and it is amazing what you can find there. For instance I bought the cutest red, blue and Fourth of July patterned stem less wine glasses at the dollar spot—by the way those aren’t dishwasher safe. Now I have the cutest red, blue and Fourth of July patterned children-sized cups! Anyway the dollar shop is a good place to just check for folders and pencil cases; you can usually find these things with no problems and at fair prices.

Dollar Stores

Speaking of dollar spots, Dollar General and the like are a great place to find things from backpacks to larger items like calculators and notebooks. I know these things are much cheaper here than they would be at a big box store so take a look next time you pass one.

Garage Sales

This is way out of the box thinking but just maybe. I know I have some supplies like notebook paper, pencils and pens that yes have been opened but honestly does it matter? Loose leaf paper is going to go in a notebook anyway and pens will be opened and thrown in a backpack. Also backpacks are a good find at garage sales- most are still in great condition and will be a fraction of the cost brand new. The old is new again—old is now called vintage!

Oriental Trading Company

I never thought of my go-to for party supplies and favors to have their share of school supplies as well! Some of their items are going to be sold in bulk but it is worth a look. Bulk stores is another great option for supplies. I am not sure how many people would use 1,000 pencils in a school year but maybe you want to buy for the next 18 years and that is fine. Instead of thinking that far in the future, as my Type A control freak self commends you for thinking that far in advance, let’s stick to a more realistic time period.

I am sure that you know the other parents in your child’s class, you’ve been to PTO meetings with them, you have talked in the halls, you are Facebook friends and maybe even vacationed together; so why not organize a supply master list. All families chip in a said amount, head to the bulk stores and buy the economy sized pencil supply and then you can divvy up the pencils as well as the savings to each family.

6PM- Backpacks

I can remember my favorite part of school shopping was the backpack buying! I always was a JanSport fan and loved the great designs they always had. In researching for this post I found a TON more brands to choose from and the choice is unlimited when you go online. The above site 6pm Backpacks.com has pretty much any brand, color, style that you could ever want and at pretty significant savings. I bought, I mean found, a Vera Bradley backpack for $69.99, which is about 50% of the retail price. And my beloved JanSport? Way more expensive than I remember but at this website still 40% off.

Grocery Stores

Finally, I am always out for the gas rebates from my favorite grocery store. When school gets closer they usually run promotions on school supplies. You can usually rack up quite a few rebates when buying these items. They may not be the cheapest, but you do get to save somewhere in the budget.

From iFamily to Yours,

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Are You Ready For Back to School? Early Shopping Tips!

July 18, 2017 at 7:33 AM • Posted in Mom Resources, UncategorizedNo comments yet

It’s hard to believe that we’re already closing in on July here in the metro area and, before we know it, back to school time will be upon us. Even though we’ve got another month before the kiddos return to their classrooms, it’s never too early to start preparing and grabbing those must need items from the store to stock up for the coming year. Gabrielle, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares three simple tips to help you get a head start on your upcoming year today on the blog. Take a look…

back to school

Are You Ready For Back to School? Early Shopping Tips!

As usual, my bi-weekly Target run was full of wonder.  There were the usual adorable finds in the $1.00 bins, a great pair of yoga pants that I just had to have, and some surprising deals. But when I got to the checkout line, I was hit with the most unexpected reality check.  (And not the usual one of “OMG, I only came in here to pick up two things.  How did this cart get full?)

This was different.  Directly in front of me was a little girl, gleefully loading her newly purchased school supplies into her newly purchased backpack.  The little girls eyes sparkled with delight, while mine widened with fear. I haven’t done half the things I wanted to do this summer.  It cannot be time to buy school supplies already.  A quick look at my calendar tells me I am wrong.  The school year is quickly approaching, and if you’re anything like me, you haven’t even peeked at the supply lists the schools sent home.  Don’t worry.  Here are few tips to help you get prepared.

Tip 1: Don’t Panic

There are still a few weeks left.  You do not need go into the nearest store and empty the office supply shelves.  That’s a great way to waste money on lots of things you do not need.  However, now would be a good time to gather those aforementioned lists.

Tip 2: Check Your Inventory

My kids came home on the last day of school with tons of barely used binders, un-sharpened pencils and at least 3 functional pencil boxes.   We have several unused backpacks that we received as birthday gifts or from church giveaways.  All of those can be used again next year.

Tip 3: Buy Some Essentials

There are a few items on almost everyone’s list.  Plan to pick up a couple of packs of paper, and a few spiral notebooks on the next Target run.  Next week grab a box of crayons and a couple of packs of pencils.  Throw a box of Kleenex and some hand sanitizer in the cart next to that cute little top from the clearance section.

Doing a little bit at a time takes the sting out of back-to-school shopping.  Using what you already have on hand will save time and money, and sticking to your list will help you avoid unnecessary clutter  and confusion.  I’ll try to remember that next time I head to Target.
From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

 

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The Importance Of Impromptu Dates With Your Significant Other

July 16, 2017 at 7:12 AM • Posted in Mom Fun, Mom ResourcesNo comments yet

Impromptu dates with your significant other not only help to keep your relationship exciting but also serve as an important time to spend some time connecting without the kiddos in tow. We’re excited to share today’s post, and to welcome, the newest member of our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, Gabrielle. Today’s post is one that is near and dear to her own heart. Take a look…

Impromptu Dates

The Importance Of Impromptu Dates With Your Significant Other

A few years back, my husband and I decided to play hooky from work.  We dropped the kids off at school and then met for breakfast.  After breakfast, we went to the mall, hung out at our favorite book store, and did a little window shopping.  We saw a movie, then we grabbed some lunch and hung out for a bit until it was time to pick up the kids from school.  We had such a great time that we decided to do it monthly.  Now I know many couples have standing monthly date nights.  They hire a baby-sitter for the night, or send the kids off to grandma’s house for the weekend.  I absolutely support this, but I strongly recommend trying a date day at least once.  The benefits are amazing.

First, we save money.  There’s no need to hire a baby-sitter.  Also, the meals are much cheaper during the day.  My husband and I can eat both breakfast and lunch for the same amount of money that we would spend on a dinner date.  Lunch dates are a great way to experience fancy cuisine in smaller portions and at a cheaper prices.  Check your favorite spot to see if there is a lunch menu.  Want to see a movie, instead? The theaters are empty and most offer matinee pricing.

Second, we save time.  My husband and I once attempted an impromptu dinner date on the weekend.  We found ourselves wandering up and down 119th street looking for any place that didn’t have an hour and a half wait for dinner.  We were so hungry, we wound up at a chain restaurant eating tacos.  On date days, the longest we’ve ever had to wait was a couple minutes for a server to actually notice there was a customer who walked in the door.  Not only that, but a six-hour marathon date provides enough adult conversation, that you don’t go crazy when you return home to non-stop Disney channel reruns.  We don’t have to try and get everything in between the appetizers and dessert.  We have all day.

Finally, it’s like a micro-vacation.  Who does not need a day off in the middle of the week?  When is the last time you spent eight hours alone with your significant other?  Our date days allow us time to slow down and just enjoy time with each other.  We can go to the amusement park and not be stuck in the kids section, riding the same tiny roller coaster multiple times.  We can go gaze at million dollar homes and dream together.

Date days have become a priority in our household.  We tell every couple we know to at least give it a try.  The only people we haven’t told are the kids… and grandma (because she’s our daycare provider and we do not want to ruin our good thing!)

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

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Ultimate Staycation: 9 Must See Spots You’ll Love in Downtown KC

Happy Friday, Kansas City!

There are so many incredible activities and opportunities available to you and your family here in the metro area and we are so excited to share 9 places you can visit in downtown KC this summer. Take a look…

downtown kc

Ultimate Staycation: 9 Must See Spots You’ll Love in Downtown KC

Alright folks, Summer is in full swing and back to school shopping is already in the talks! So if you haven’t had the chance to take that once a year vacation as a family, consider these places for an amazing staycation. Kansas City has so many wonderful family friendly places to visit! And don’t worry about that bank account, there are Cheap and FREE places too! Check them out.

Crown Center

Crown Center is a great place for everyone in the family. There are awesome toy shops, cool local threads, great food and fun discovery centers! Currently, Crown Center has a free exhibit featuring Thomas the Train! It is great for the younger kids.

Savings Tip: Check out their website for free movies and music on the weekends this summer!

Coterie Theater

The Coterie Theater is another family favorite. While tickets can be a little pricey for a larger family, they have great group rates as well. The theater runs various shows throughout the year and they vary in topics and age ranges.

Science City

Whether you are looking to explore nature or architecture, Science City is not only educational but fun for everyone! I always find something to explore when I go myself lol. Grab your walking shoes and plan a day filled with Science.

LegoLand Discovery Center

Next to Crown Center, LegoLand Discover Center is perfect for the creative mind in your family. Spend the day exploring the world of Legos in a fun interactive indoor attraction including rides, a 4-d theater, and a massive supply of Legos perfect for your master builders!

Savings tip: Your kids go FREE using our exclusive code that you can find here

Kaleidoscope

This is probably my family’s favorite place! The Hallmark Center donates art and craft supplies for kids of all ages to create and express themselves artistically! This Free space is open Monday- Saturday and they offer various times.

Savings tip: This activity is FREE for families! 

College Basketball Experience

Located next to the Sprint Center in downtown KCMO, your family can learn about college legends and experience the game of college basketball! They are open daily this summer.

Savings Tip: Save $2 on admission with our exclusive discount offer here!

Sea Life

Located directly next door to LegoLand, explore the deep sea at Kansas City’s #1 aquarium! They are open daily and with over 5,000 sea creatures, you can touch starfish and more in the touch pool!

Savings Tip- Your kids can get in absolutely FREE using our exclusive coupon code found here!

City Market

The famous City Market has amazing restaurants, fresh produce and on the weekends, unique entertainment. Visit the market and grab a bite or two with fun activities inside the market, like the Steamboat Arabia.

WWI Museum

A stellar museum full of history and a memorial, visit the WWI Museum to learn and explore the history of America and its part in WWI. Also check their calendar for special events and programs.

Savings tip: The museum offers FREE Hands On History and Storytime At The Museum sessions each month!

Summer vacation will be over before you know it! Make sure you check out these local favorites before school starts! Also, since all of these locations are located downtown, you can ride the free KC Street Car to avoid extra parking costs!

From iFamily to Yours,

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For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

Summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and that means that many of you are also super busy with sports and family fun. Connie, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts today on coaching her kids’ sports teams. Maybe her thoughts will encourage some of you to do the same next season. Take a look…

coaching

For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

It’s that time of year when I feel like all of my evenings are spent at the ballpark.  My calendar is completely full of game times and fields.  While this can sometimes be overwhelming, and even a bit exhausting, I love it.  Let me say that one more time: I love the chaos and craziness that is coaching.

Last summer, I coached both my son and my daughter’s t-ball teams.  There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.  So, this summer, when my son moved up to machine pitch and I decided not to coach him any longer. I was looking forward to just being able to watch and enjoy and coach my one team.  Well, that didn’t happen.  I had so many kids I knew coming back, that I am now coaching two t-ball teams and helping run the dugout for my son’s machine pitch team.  This means coordinating three teams schedules, practicing with two teams, making sure my son gets to his practices and lugging around two teams worth of gear in my car all summer.  And I love it.

“There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.”

There are times when a practice gets a little crazy, or when a drill I am trying to run doesn’t go so well when I think “what in the world am I doing?” or “this is like herding cats!”  But then one of those cats comes running over and says “Coach! Did you see what I just did?” and I am sucked right back in.

As a coach of the youngest group of kids that play, I have to constantly remind myself, they are 4-7 year olds, they are not going to be able to make every play.  In fact, some of them may not make a play all season.  My job is to teach them the basics, and make sure they’re having fun.  What I didn’t count on when I started doing this again three summers ago, was how much fun I would have along with them.

“My job is to teach them…and make sure they’re having fun.”

Before I was married and had kids, I coached my step-niece in t-ball for three summers.  It was all girls and it was in my hometown.  We had so much fun.  I taught them to get their gloves in the dirt and keep their elbows up when they swung the bat, and they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.  I was invited to one of those sweet girls 13th birthday party this summer and was so touched that she thought of me and even remembered me.  There was no way I was missing that party.

“…they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.”

Just this past week one of my smallest kids on one of my teams came up to bat and said to me “Coach, I’m going to hit the ball really hard tonight.”  He always has been a very consistent hitter, making good solid contact, but being one of the smaller kids on the team, always got a single. After I checked his stance to make sure he was ready to hit, he swung through and just nailed the ball.  It went past all of the infielders and through the legs of the outfielder.

I was so excited I started jumping up and down and yelling for him to “take two!”  He made it safely to second base and I started dancing at home plate.  I had tears in my eyes and I was still wound up about it at 10:30 that evening.  There is just something magical about seeing a kid succeed and enjoy the game.

Coaching is sometimes totally frustrating.  Kids get tired, and bored and sometimes don’t want to listen.  Some drills don’t work the way I thought they would in my head.  And sometimes I am just tired.  But it is all so worth it.  It’s so worth it to see a kids face light up when they get a good hit or make a good stop.  Its so worth it to hear a kid say “Thanks Coach!”  I am not sure how long I will continue to coach my daughter.  Sometimes I wonder if I don’t just love coaching because I love the little ones.  We will find out eventually, but for the time being, I am going to enjoy every second I get to spend with my crazy t-ball players.

From iFamily to Yours,

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Inspiring Creativity at Home: Dimensional Art

July 10, 2017 at 7:01 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Mom FunComments Off on Inspiring Creativity at Home: Dimensional Art

Are you struggling to come up with fun, inspiring activities for your kiddos this summer break? Becky, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team shares a great dimensional art project that you can do with your kids at home this week. Take a look…

dimensional art

Craft:  Dimensional Art dimensional art

Time: Approximately 30 minutes

What you’ll need:

  • Large sheet of paper
  • Strips of construction paper (variety of colors)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Wax Paper

What they’ll need to do:

Pour a shallow pool of glue on the wax paper.

After selecting their favorite colors of construction paper, have kids measure .5” strips with the ruler and pencil then cut the strips.

dimensional art

Form the strips of paper into shapes like circles, petals and hearts.

Dip the edges of the shapes into the glue and stick on the large paper.

dimensional art

Continue to add strips in different shapes and colors.

dimensional art

For curly strips, wrap one strip of colored paper at a time around the pencil to curl it.

dimensional art

Why I like this craft:

This isn’t just a good craft to flex little ones’ creative muscle, but with all the measuring and cutting, their motor skills get a great workout, too.

Pro Tip:  Center the art work on the right side of the paper, fold and create a very artistic card for grandma or a favorite neighbor.

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three, and blogs at Party Box KC.

From iFamily to Yours,

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7 Simple Ways You Can Make the World a Better Place

July 7, 2017 at 7:20 AM • Posted in Mom Fun, Mom ResourcesComments Off on 7 Simple Ways You Can Make the World a Better Place

We often talk, in my household, about ways that we can work to make the world a better place, even if it’s just our little corner of it and summertime provides the ideal opportunity to do something meaningful with the extra time on your hands. Our post today comes from Brigette, of our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, and is full of great ideas for small things you and your family can do to make a difference today. Take a look…

make the world a better place

7 Simple Ways You Can Make The World A Better Place

A lot of times, people feel that the only time to give back is during the holidays or when it’s those cold and rainy months. But the truth is, we can always give back! There are so many ways that we can give back to our family, friends and community, all it takes is an idea, a plan, and action.

Outside of winter, summertime may be the most crucial time to give back! It is so hot, there are barely any shady spots, and you know Kansas City… it is humid! Giving back isn’t just for those suffering from being in the heat all day, there are those that won’t be able to experience it at all.

So if you and your family are wanting to give back this summer, here are a few ideas that don’t cost a lot of money or time, but can make a huge impact!

1. Water

Passing out water to those in need is a great way to help them combat the heat. You can keep a pack of water in your car whenever you are commuting to work, play groups and the park. Or if you can’t keep water in your car, you can plan a day to drive around your area with a cooler full of cold water and dedicate an hour or so to passing out ice cold water.

2. Carrying Groceries

A lot of times when our elders or those that are not physically able to carry heavy items go to the store, a paper boy or girl will help them carry their items to their car. But what about when they get home? Asking friends or relatives if you can help them shop and put away groceries is a simple way that your family of all ages can help with. All it takes is a phone call.

3. Card Kits

Since we home school, I am always looking for ways we can volunteer. A few months ago, I contacted Children’s Mercy Hospital and they shared with me an awesome way to give back! Card kits are simply a bag filled with paper, stickers, crayons, markers or any other items you would want to decorate a card with. A lot of times these kiddos don’t get spend time with their loved ones for special events or holidays. They said the kiddos loved receiving card kits!

4. Babysitting

We all know that mom or dad who is constantly working, planning playgroups or volunteering their time. And sometimes they forget to take time for themselves. So why not give back by watching their kids for a few hours so they could relax! If you have older kids, they could also volunteer to babysit. This would also be a great way for them to prove how responsible they are and potentially turn into a lucrative job.

5. Care Packs

Like passing out water, there are other things that are so crucial to those in need. Care packs are small bags filled with daily necessities. Items like a toothbrush and tooth paste, nonperishable snacks, soap and rags are perfect items to help those out daily. The dollar tree even carries ones that expand with water! They start out as a small ball or odd shape, but once water hits them, they expand to a full washcloth.

6. Housework

Another way to give back is by simply helping around the house. Sometimes people are not able to take care of small tasks throughout their home. So helping them with small tasks will surely take a load off of them.

7.  Time

Out of all these ideas, the best way to give back is just time. The most impactful way to give back is just giving a little time to those in need. I hope these ideas will help you and your family brainstorm on how you can give back this summer.

From iFamily to Yours,

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