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The little book with BIG resources!

Disney World Must’s!

  • Get a park hopper pass (to visit any or all parks in a day)
  • Disney Resort plans can include a meal plan, free and convenient transportation to parks, and extra hours at the parks.
  • Fast Pass.  If line is long for a particular ride…grab a fast pass and it will give you a no wait return time.
  • Quick Service meal plan is convenient, easy, and can be used at many theme park restaurants. It includes 2 quick service meals and 1 snack a day per person. A quick service meal includes a main course, drink, and dessert.
  • Add water parks for a little more.  Typhoon Lagoon wave pool rocks!
  • Keep photo pass, camera, autograph book and water bottles in small backpack.
  • The parks have photographers all over, just give them photo pass and check out pictures online that night.
  • When entering parks, get maps and times for shows, parades, park hours etc…
  • Magic Kingdom musts: watch fireworks at Cinderella’s castle, ride all the rides, tomorrowland at night, splash mountain (go during a parade to avoid a crazy long line or get a fast pass)
  • Epcot musts:  The ride Soarin’ (get fast pass) the ride in the Epcot ball, fireworks at night can be viewed great in front of Italy. Good quick service meals there: fish n chips in Germany and the tangerine in Morocco for vegetarian.
  •  Animal Kingdom musts; Kilimanjaro rapids, the roller coasters, and the safari.  Also see the Lion King! Visit the tree of life and watch “It’s a Bugs life”.  This park closes the earliest. Restaurantosaurus is a great choice for a quick service meal.
  • Hollywood Studios musts; The Tower of Terror ride, Fantasmic fireworks show, Indiana Jones show, and stunt show. Pizza planet is a fun quick service meal.
  • If staying at a Disney Resort make sure to request a room that is close to dining etc…
  • http://disney.go.com/ games for kids
  • https://www.disneyvacations.com/dv/en_US/VacationPlanningDVD/index?&sourcecode=18917&INT_CMP=INT-BAC-DPFY14Q1DPVPD0001   for a free DVD of what to expect!
  • http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/downtown-disney/ Downtown Disney is fun to shop, eat and movies.  We do movies here if it rains.
  • http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ this is where to get started!  Can plan everything online.


Top 5 Books Requested By Toddlers

As a two’s teacher, I read a LOT of books. Some of them were required by curriculum and others were just ones the kids picked out. Some books may have been rated the best by scholars but they are only great if the toddler enjoys listening to them. It is hard enough to keep a little ones attention on something that they find fascinating. Here is the list of top 5 books that were a hit for my kiddos.

1. The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort

2. Going on a Lion Hunt by Margery Culyer

3. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Baeumont

4. The Potty Train by David Hochman and Ruth Kennison

5. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss

 

 


Enter to WIN Christmas Classics Sing Along DVD!


I’m not sure who will enjoy these Christmas classics more, the kiddos or you! Be sure to enter to win and get the magic of the season started.  This DVD includes 11 classics from your childhood.  Share the magic and sing along to your favorite sons from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Frosty the Snowman and more! Follow the bouncing SNOW ball as Hollywood legends Fred Astaire, Burl Ives, Mickey Rooney and Jimmy Durante sing with you.  Click below to get entered NOW! Lucky winner will receive our Christmas Classics Sing Along DVD:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Christmas In The Sky

It’s one of our families traditions to go out and kick off the holiday season here locally at Christmas in the Sky. It is a fantastic family event held annually the Wednesday before Thanksgiving out at Longview Lake. You watch a great show of dancers from the Monica’s School of Dance on the stage. You can tell that every year much work from many people go into this show because it is fabulous. Then Santa makes his first appearance and gives out the first gift of Christmas on the stage. To keep you warm, there are a few concessions available and the Salvation Army is always there giving out free hot chocolate and coffee. After the dance show you watch the sky light up with fireworks to the tone of Christmas music. It’s a great event and did I mention that it’s FREE!!!!

For more information check out the Jackson County Event Website at

http://www.jacksongov.org/content/7894/7898/8077/9678.aspx


ABC Kids Expo Showcases Products for KC Parents!

iFamilyKC was honored to have representatives attending the annual ABC Kids Expo (www.theabcshow.com) that took place in Las Vegas, NV, October 15-18, 2013 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The ABC Kids Expo had nearly 1,000,000 sq. ft of expo space showcasing the latest and greatest products for children including toys, gear, strollers, bath time accessories, clothing, and more.  Manufacturers  and reps from all over the globe attended with over 1,000 exhibitors from 66 countries.  There were over 3,600 booths filled with exciting new products for your family!  We are thrilled to bring  KC parents the details and scoop and our favorite finds.  We’ve already started with some awesome “Enter-to-Wins” given away to some lucky readers:

 “I’ m the Daddy” t-shirts from www.DaddyScrubs.com:

 

Tooth Fairy Kits from www.BabyToothAlbum.com:

 

Innovative  juice box drink holder “My Drinky” from www.inchbug.com:

And we have lots more coming!   Stay tuned to our iFamilyKC Facebook page and blog over the next several weeks for more items that will help you entertain and care for the kiddos.  We love being able to gather these products and resources for you in order to make life easier.  We at iFamilyKC (www.iFamilyKC.com) attended with our colleagues from Rio Grande Valley Tots-Tweens (www.tots-tweens.com).  We were proud to make the trek in order to explore and learn about products for your family.  As members of Kids & Family Media (www.KidsandFamilyMedia.com) we make it priority to be on the look out, in our marekts and across the world, for the newest items to help you navigate parenting.  Please be sure to visit the web sites and facebook pages for each product to learn more.  AND, be sure to stay connected with iFamilyKC so you don’t miss out on more upcoming Enter-to-Win contests for some awesome new products!


2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Pillow Pets

“Oh the weather outside is frightful…”

 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

But this holiday gift guide is delightful!

Hello and Happy Friday! I’m so excited to be continuing the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide today and to share some great ideas for the special little ones in your life.  As any parent knows, traveling with small children is no easy feat.  I’ve found that bringing the right stuffed and cuddly travel companions can make all the difference in the world.  For that reason, I present to you the second item in the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Pillow Pets.

Pillow Pet

Pillow Pets retail at around $20 a piece and are a great gift idea for any little one. The company has been around since 2003, and, as the name suggests, are designed to function both as a soft and cuddly stuffed animal friend, and then unfold into a comfortable pillow.  The company has grown to include an extensive line of options, including all sorts of different kinds of animals as well as Disney licensed characters like Nemo, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, and many more.

Pillow Pets Square_Nemo2NEW

When we travel, we try to travel light. The ability to combine two essential items (and yes, stuffed animals for a toddler are essential) is extremely helpful and means one less item to worry about .  My favorite is the Swirly Dolphin. It’s adorable, the colors are vibrant, and you have to love dolphins. The pillow itself is so soft and comfortable that I wish they made an adult line so I could have a few of my own. Also on my list of favorites are the Sully pillow (from “Monster’s Inc.”) and the Zany Zebra which  is fun and bright. Each pillow unfolds for naptime and is easy to transport from one location to the next.

Pillow Pets

The Swirly Dolphin pillow pet (pictured above) is roughly 18″ and is recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Zebra Pillow Pet

The Zany Zebra Pillow Pet (above) is so  much  fun. What I like best about this particular item is that you can personalize it for a nominal fee. This item retails at just under $20 (without the personalization) and is a great gift idea for children on the go.

The makers of Pillow Pets didn’t end their creativity with their original invention. The company also offers Glow Pets, Dream Lites, Brush Pets, and so much more…all of which can be easily ordered online from their website. Be sure to check them out and let me know what you like best. When you stop by, be sure to let them know that iFamilyKC sent you!

Pillow Pets was gracious enough to send over items over in exchange for my review. I am under no obligation to write a positive review and all expressed opinions are uniquely my own. Please feel free to reach out to my by email with any questions.


2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Introducing Discovery Toys

“Baby, it’s cold outside…”

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Brrr! We’ve gotten our first taste of cold here in Kansas City. Let’s heat things up with our next idea in the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.

logo

My good friend Dawn (Hi!) recently introduced me to a great company that offers fun and educational products for young children. Discovery toys has an extensive selection of age appropriate goodies that are not only enjoyable but also budget friendly. The best part about them is that each toy is guaranteed for life so if there’s ever an issue with your toys, you’ll be taken care of.

Discovery Toys has items for every stage of a young child’s development. My little one has been very much into puzzles recently (and I’ve been very much into owls) , so we were able to placate both of our recent obsessions with this adorable Night Owl puzzle.  I like that this puzzle is reversible and is a fun way to teach your child the difference between day and night. I’m sure it’ll be a great addition to our growing puzzle family and I can’t wait to see the look on her face as she unwraps it this Christmas. Who knows, I might even sneak in some puzzle time after she goes to bed. Don’t judge me.

 

1087_Night-Owl-Puzzle-2

Here’s what Discovery Toys has to say about their product:

“Is the Owl asleep or awake? This unique wooden puzzle with 8 two-sided symmetrical pieces offers numerous color combinations. Complete with or without the base. The different possibilities spark the imagination.’

‘from 2y – kindergarten”

Benefits:

  • Develop early critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Visualize the possible solutions.
  • Improve memory.
  • Strengthen fine motor skills.
  • Develop hand-eye coordination.
  • Learn how parts fit together to form a whole.
  • Explore different ways to solve.
  • Rationalize different combinations.
  • Fosters story-telling.

I am excited to announce that Dawn has graciously offered to give one of these adorable Night Owl puzzles to anyone who hosts a Discovery Toys party this December or January. The party can be hosted in your home (assuming you’re in the Kansas City metro area) or online (for my distant readers). Contact Dawn anytime through her Discovery Toys page and be sure to let her know that iFamilyKC sent you!

Tell me…what’s your favorite product from Discovery Toys?!


Christmas Tree Safety with a Toddler

As it has been several years since I have had to worry about this issue; I forgot the problem of Christmas decorations and toddlers. I bought my tree this week and it is in the living room waiting to be decorated, but I am so afraid to put anything on it. My 17 month old son is already bound and determined to pull it over, and there isn’t even anything shiny and attention-grabbing on it just yet. Thinking other people have the same issue I thought I would scan the web for some ideas to make this season go smoothly and without any ER visits.

  1. Many people suggest the safety gates around the tree idea. For me, this is a last resort. It just ruins the look and doesn’t feel right.
  2. If you are not keeping a close eye on your little one then UNPLUG the lights. Yes, even toddlers will chew on them. Mine toddler ate my iphone 5 charger the other day. Just for safety’s sake, do not underestimate them.
  3. Don’t use the fragile glass ball ornaments. They will crush in your hand easily and they break into very sharp slivery pieces.
  4. Anchor it with fish line to avoid tipping over
  5. Consider a table top tree
  6. Try to avoid placing it right in the middle of normal play area
  7. Use more ribbons instead of ornaments
  8. Try using the ribbon for a hook rather than the metal hooks we sometimes use for hanging ornaments.
  9. Make sure that a real tree is watered well or that fake tree is fire safety tested
  10. Keep those more dangerous ornaments up high. Most of the time the toddler is looking and grabbing at eye level. Maybe put a few things at their level that they CAN rearrange often.

– Keri Nichol, Mom Squad Blogger


Disney’s “Frozen”: Headed Your Way this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving…ahh. It’s a time for turkey, pumpkin pie, awkward conversations with your great-aunt Bethel, and celebrating family traditions. It’s usually around this time (when I’m starting to feel the rush of the holidays closing in around me) that I reminisce about my own childhood and the family traditions that I bring  into my own family of three. Of the many things I remember from my own experiences growing up, the one thing I carry with me is the tradition of seeing the newest big family film each year. Perhaps it was there that my love for movies and film was born and it’s because of those fond memories I have from my own childhood that I’m so thrilled about Disney’s release of “Frozen” this Thanksgiving.

Disney has done  lot to promote their newest family flick including their “Frozen Truck Tour” which rolled into Kansas City over the weekend. The tour, which was co-sponsored by Ore Ida, received a reception from local residents that was anything but frosty. Did you attend this event? We’d love for you to share your pictures with us on the iFamilyKC Facebook page.

In case you missed it, here’s a little tidbit of what you can expect from this newest in the line of wonderful Disney films:

‘Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” presents “Frozen,” a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.’ 

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?


2013 Holiday Gift Guide & A $50 Gift Card Giveaway!

Fa la la la la la la la la…

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Don’t you just love the Holiday season?!

love cold weather. Snowfall, crisp air, and the sweet smell of a fresh Christmas tree…you’d be hard pressed to find something I don’t enjoy about winter. Today marked the first legitimately cold day here in the Kansas City metro and there’s no better way to celebrate the coming of the season than by launching the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide! Over the next couple of weeks I’ll take some time to outline some great gift ideas for your little ones this season. To kick off the series, I present you with a review and $50 gift card giveaway from For Small Hands. This company provides unique and developmentally appropriate games and activities for children ages 3 to 8 years. Their parent company, Montessori Services, has items geared towards schools. Both sites have some pretty incredible learning resources and I’m excited to present one of their most unique items to you today.

Design Your Own Lamp (Item #A503)

Image Credit: For Small Hands (Montessori Services)

For the purposes of this Gift Guide, I asked For Small Hands (Montessori Services) to send over an item that they thought would be a fun, unique gift idea for this Christmas. They sent over this really incredible design your own lamp, which I’ve fallen in love with. Here’s what they have to say about this item:

“Create a thrilling one-of-a-kind lamp with your child’s artwork. Redesign your mini-gallery as often as you (or the children) like. 

‘Anything flat fits between the flame-resistant shades: fabric, postcards, wrapping paper, ribbons, sheet music, theater programs, ticket stubs… A unique gift for grandparents!”

The design your own lamp is an ideal gift for children who enjoy showcasing their favorite artwork around the house. We plan to place this lamp in our daughter’s art area of our newly finished basement (more on that later). I have no doubt that children of all ages will enjoy displaying their creativity in a way that is as unique as they are. This is also a fun gift idea for parents to put in their offices or grandparents to have at home. Standing at just over a foot high, pictures and artwork can be rotated as often as you like relatively easily. It only took me about two minutes each time I switched things up. Take a look:

Design Your Own Lamp

Design Your Own Lamp Review

It's An Ordinary Blog Small Hands Review

The Design Your Own Lamp retails at just under $30 and makes for a really great gift for children and adults alike. For Small Hands has an assortment of gifts for families to match just about any budget. The company has graciously offered a $50 gift card to one lucky reader! Want to get in on the action?! Simply follow the steps below for your entries! A winner will be randomly selected from all entries on Wednesday November 20th at 5:00pm CST. As always, good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.

$50 For Small Hands Gift Card Giveaway

*each option earns you one entry*

1. Head on over to the For Small Hands website, take a look around, come back and comment on THIS post telling me what your top three favorite items are from their site.

2. Head on over to the iFamilyKC Facebook page (“like” it) and say “hi”. Be sure to mention how excited you are for the #ItsAnOrdinaryBlog and #iFamilyKC giveaway from #ForSmallHands.

3. Head on over to the It’s An Ordinary Blog Facebook page (“like” it) and say “hi”. Be sure to mention how excited you are for the #ItsAnOrdinaryBlog and #iFamilyKC giveaway from #ForSmallHands.

4. Head on over to the For Small Hands Facebook page (“like” it) and tell them that @ItsAnOrdinaryBlog and @iFamilyKC sent you!

Disclaimer: For Small Hands sent over a Design Your Own Lamp free of charge in exchange for a review. I am under no obligation to write a positive review and my opinions are uniquely my own. Please feel free to email me anytime with questions: ItsAnOrdinaryBlog@gmail.com.