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The little book with BIG resources!

Easter Basket Ideas for Every Family [Find Candy Alternatives too!]

Easter is nearly here and the hunt for Easter baskets & things to fill them has begun. Every year my kiddos look forward to Easter egg hunts in the yard & coming down to an overflowing basket sitting on the hearth. There are many varieties of basket themes and fillers; traditional Easter baskets, religious baskets, and some are just for fun.

43 Easter Basket Filler Ideas

Every parent could use Easter inspiration!

Enjoy the season with loved ones without gorging your kids on candy. Find inspiration for the perfect Easter basket for your family below. Happy Hunting!


The religious basket

If you want to focus on the origin of the Easter holiday then this basket is for you. We found kid friendly things that keep the spirit of the season. Bring some joy and learning to your morning with our basket suggestions:


  1. Resurrection Eggs-In this package you will receive 12 eggs that you can either put in the basket for learning or you can set them out for the morning hunt. Inside each egg is a religious trinket. The package also comes with some reading material describing the story of Easter. This great item is prepared by Family Life.
  2. The Beginner’s Bible: Come celebrate Easter sticker and activity book-This fun item is fun for elementary age kids. Find this item, written by Kelly Pulley.
  3. The Glow in the dark religious Easter Egg hunting kit-This kit is said to help your child find the ‘light of Jesus’. It comes with glow eggs with stuffers, religious sayings, and an Easter DVD.
  4. He Lives! Finger puppets- These would be a fun learning toy to go along with any basket. Your kids can have lots of fun reenacting the Easter Story. You can check out this item by Fun Express.
  5. My First Rosary An item ideal for babies and toddlers that can be played with and chewed on. It gives your tiny little loves a first exposure to the Rosary by Sacred Heart Toys.
  6. Catholic Baby’s touch and feel book This book written by James m Cafone is a great item for your little one and a great way to introduce early literacy skills.
  7. Personalized Fabric tote bags– These are great for your kids because they are multi-purpose and can be reused for other occasions. There are several designs to choose from.


Easter Egg Themed Baskets

This basket focuses on everything related to Easter eggs; ideas for decorating and incorporating them in an Easter basket.


  1. Faux eggs to dye If you are looking for some eggs that don’t have to be boiled or eaten then these would be a great alternative. They are ready to go and made from plastic so they can be used as decorations.
  2. DIY Egg shaped string basket- This basket is a fun thing that you and your kids could prepare in advance and set out for Easter morning. Here are the directions.
  3. Egg shaped toys, puppets, tattoos, stickers and more at US Toy – in the store AND online at USToy.com and save 15% on your purchase with coupon code 18IF03.  Give the code at the store or enter at checkout online, and get free shipping on orders over $35 online. Monthly coupon is always available here.
  4. Easter Egg Fry Rings If you want to have eggs for breakfast with fun shapes then check out these fry rings from Williams Sonoma. These are a cute addition for the little chef in your family.
  5. Unpainted Wooden Nesting Dolls- If you are familiar with the Russian nesting dolls then you might enjoy this activity. These pre-cut wooden dolls are blank so you and your kids can paint and customize them. Afterward, your child will have hours of fun stacking and unstacking the dolls while building up their problem solving skills!
  6. Egg Shaped Easter Chalk- This one is for your little artist. The chalk is large and perfect for any size hand. Kids can then have a great time making doodles all over the sidewalk.


The Candy Easter Basket

This doesn’t mean you give the kids an endless supply of candy. For this one, I got a bit more creative.


  1. Candy Craft Chocolate Pen with molds- This is a kit that allows for some creativity. While the outcome will be candy, your kids will be involved in the process of creating it. Once they create the candy, then you can have gifts for the entire family.
  2. Color Scented Smencils- These pencils have a candy scented smell and would go create with a fun coloring book.
  3. Shopkins Coloring Book- If your kid is into these characters then it will be a great accomplice with the Smencils.
  4. Chocolate Scented Erasers- What are pencils without erasers? These erasers smell like chocolate and will be fun to add to this basket.
  5. Candy Chemistry- Add a little bit of science to your basket with this candy making science kit. They will learn about the chemistry involved in cooking and make some really fun treats!
  6. Playdoh Sweet Shoppe Colorful Candy box-This is a fun playdoh kit that your kids can use to make candy that won’t be eaten. There are many accessories to create different shapes and types. What a great way to avoid the sugar at Easter but still have some candy fun!


The Little Chef Cooking Easter Basket

So often our little ones observe us cooking and preparing meals but giving them their own tools can get them involved and learn some valuable life skills!


  1. Find great cooking items that would be perfect for this basket at curiouschef.com. (Measuring spoons, Nylon kids knives, mixing utensils, mitt sets, aprons that include utensil sets and little chef hats)
  2. Babycakes Cake Pop Maker- If your kids love cake pops then this would be a fun way to get them involved in the kitchen.
  3. Plant a Pizza Garden- This is a spring friendly kit that gets your kids started on growing some of the items you need for a pizza.
  4. Melissa and Doug Play Food Cutting Set- For the little ones that aren’t quite ready for the kitchen then this play set it perfect. Kids can pretend to chop wooden foods and prepare them for a tasty feast.
  5. Melissa and Doug Sushi Slicing Wooden play food kit- This kit looks fun. Do we have any little sushi lovers out there?
  6. Disney Related Cookbooks for afterschool snacks- This 4 piece book set will give your family some fun ideas for things you can make at home relating to favorite characters!


The Homemade Basket

A fun way to prepare an Easter basket without buying pricey toys or other store bought items.


  1. No Cook Homemade PlaydohHere is a quick recipe that you can prepare for the basket or you can separate the ingredients so your kids can prepare it themselves!
  2. Easter CraftsIf you want to set aside some craft supplies then your little ones can make some fun crafts. Here are 40+ homemade craft ideas.
  3. DIY Treats: If you are looking for a sweet treat to add to the basket as an alternative to candy then here is a link with some fun treats that you can prepare without too much effort.
  4. DIY Stuffed Animals: If you are curious about making your own Easter animals then check out this link for some patterns. These cute gifts will be a great addition to any basket.
  5. Painted Rocks- If you want to get a little artsy then add in some rocks, paints and brushes to the basket for some crafty fun.
  6. Finger Painted Flower Pots- Prepare for spring with these pots. Add in a flower pot, paints, dirt and seeds into your child’s basket for some growing fun.


The Easter Bunny Basket

This basket idea is inspired by no other than the Easter Bunny himself. Check out these ideas!


  1. Bunny Easter Tote bagsThese tote bags will be eggcellent for holding those colorful eggs. There are a few different styles but I liked the burlap version best.
  2. Peter Rabbit This bunny is would be a cute addition to the basket and a fun new bedtime friend.
  3. Reeces Pieces Easter Candy Carrot Bag- Carrot shaped bags of candy are a fun bunny friendly treat.
  4. Give an Easter Movie– An Easter related movie such as Hop or It’s the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown would be a fun addition to the basket.
  5. Give an Easter Bunny Book-You can gift The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter or The Easter Egg by Jan Brett.
  6. Easter MadlibsMadlibs are not only fun but great for learning too. Here is the link:


Sensory Easter Basket

For kiddos that benefit from extra sensory input, check out these sensory based basket ideas that are both fun and beneficial!


  1. Sensory play bag-Fill up an Easter or zip lock bag with related items such as grass, eggs, chick toys, scoopers..etc that can be used in a bucket or sensory tray with water.
  2. Tactile Easter BookYou can buy a touch and feel book or you can make your own using everyday items with an Easter theme. Here is a link to an egg based book idea for Braille readers. However, it can be adapted for anyone.
  3. Decorate Tactile Easter Eggs-Here is a great idea for kids with visual disabilities but it can also be a great activities for kids with sensory needs.
  4. Edible Peeps Playdoh-Here is a fun recipe for sensory play that is safe and edible for little explorers.
  5. Spring Flower Rubber Ducky Set- Perfect for bath time and for sensory water play. Check it out!
  6. Funky Egg Splat Ball- This item is great for stress relief and sensory exploration.

Easter is right around the corner and one of these ideas are sure to brighten that special morning! We hope your family has a great Easter, surrounded with loved ones. 🙂


Until next time,

Mommy Ruby


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Family Valentines Day Activities: Ways to Give Back & Spread Love

Looking for a few ways to enjoy family Valentine’s activities AND give back to others at the same time? We’ve got the scoop on five things your family can do this year that will spread love and help you get the most out of the holiday. Take a look…

Family Valentines Day Activities: Ways to Give Back & Spread Love

valentine's day activities

Usually when we think of this holiday, we think of love in relationships but there are other things that we can consider. Love for one another is a great facet and a love for members of the community is even better! Thus, I have dedicated this blog to a list of great ways that you can share your love for others both near and far. Celebrating differences and showing love and care for those in need or those that could use a little cheerfulness to their Valentine’s Day!

#1 Surprise Your Family With Gala Tickets

Charlie’s Ball, a family gala, is coming up at Science City (inside Union Station) at the end of the month. What better surprise for Valentine’s Day than to get tickets for your family. Not only would you be gifting your family a post-V-Day celebration but you’re also supporting an amazing cause that helps save lives so other families can celebrate special moments and holidays with their kids.

#2 Share a Handmade Valentine

Enjoy some family time and share a handmade Valentine’s day card by attending a community outreach program to benefit sick kids and elderly that are spending Valentine’s Day in the hospital. This year, you can pariticpate in an annual card shower at Once upon a child in Lees Summit, MO on Monday February 12th at 5:30pm. You can stop by and make Valentine’s on site for kids or donate some handmade cards from home.

#3 Send a Hand-Written Letter to a Child with Special Needs

Kids with Special Needs is seeking Monthly Magical Buddies to befriend a child with special needs or a chronic illness and send them a letter, card or gift once a month. You and your family can volunteer a little time and energy to creating a special experience and bond with another child in the country. There is no fee to sign up, just the cost of a stamp and whatever you decide to send each month.


#4 Participate in the Run 4 Love 5k and 10k

This virtual run can be done anywhere you live so no traveling but you get a bit of exercise! Should you choose to take on this adventure, 15% of the proceeds will benefit Heart to Heart International which is an organization that helps communities gain health access, providing humanitarian development and administering crisis relief worldwide. Your virtual race can take place any time in the month of February, so what have you got to lose, except maybe a few pounds?

#5 Do a Random Act of Kindness

They say to “spread kindness around like confetti” and we couldn’t agree more. What better way to celebrate a day of love than by doing kind things for others randomly throughout the day. Need some inspiration? You could…

  • buy a stranger a coffee.
  • give someone on the street a Valentine’s Day card.
  • dole out kisses (of the Hershey variety) to people you run into throughout the day.
  • hold the door open for people at the store.
  • offer to help someone carry something heavy.

From iFamily to Yours,


Three Crafty DIY Valentines Ideas for Kids

Like most kids, mine absolutely loves creating valentines crafts for family and friends. When it comes to DIY valentines, my kid is a natural! If you’re looking for fun valentines ideas for kids, this post is for you. Liz shares three great DIY valentines ideas for kids to try out this year today on the blog. Take a look…

Three Crafty DIY Valentines Ideas for Kids

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays! I love everything about showing others how much I care about them. So now that my daughter is 3 and into art and crafts, I am beyond excited to create some fun and loveable holiday crafts! I chose these projects because they were easy, we had all the supplies in our home and it was fun for her, as she was able to do most of the work! It also gave us a chance to create something together! Plus, our family will love and cherish these homemade gifts.

DIY Valentine

I Love You To Pieces Heart


  • Mixed colors of paper
  • Stick or white glue that dries clear
  • Heavy piece of paper to use as the outside lining for the heart shape

I found pieces of unused scrapbook, computer and construction paper to find the mix of colors. Get creative and add tissue paper or different embellishments! We chose to use red as our background color for our heart. I used an old calendar for a heavy-duty paper to cut out my heart. I did the old trick where I folded it in half so the sides matched. You will be using the outside of the cutout, not the actual heart.   I only taped around the sides so the white paper could easily come off when we were done.

DIY Valentines Crafts

I cut all the little pieces of scrap paper for my daughter to glue. She personally separated them all into little piles to keep her colors organized. It is up to you if you want to use white glue or stick glue. From there I set her free to glue, stick, smudge, create and pile on all the “pieces”.

DIY Valentine

When she was all done I cut around the white square and slowly peeled off the heart cut out and TA DA! ( As my daughter said.) This would make a great gift for grandparents with the added words “I (we) Love You To Pieces” and the grandparents will adore the sweet valentines crafts.

DIY Valentines



  • Masking tape
  • Variety of acrylic or water-color paints
  • A few extra pieces of 4 x 6 paper, color does not matter
  • 8 x 11 inches or larger white card stock paper
  • Old towel or sheet and wipes for cleaning up paint
  • Paintbrushes

This project was a joint effort from both of us which made for some messy and fun memories. I started off by taping “L O V E” on the large white paper. We used a large 12 x 12 paper which I will eventually trim down to frame this project.   The letters were all easy to tape, except for the “O”, as you can see that took a little more effort.  My daughter had no interest in painting on the white paper but wanted to use the acrylic paint on some scrap paper laying near.

DIY Valentines

I went with and let her paint on the small paper than I took the paper layer with blobs of paint and pressed that down on to the LOVE paper. It was genius! I kept pressing in different directions and the textured look really turned out nice! I let that almost dry before adding the new colors. We let that all dry for a few hours before carefully peeling the masking tape off. For younger kids you could also use water-color if that is their choice of medium. I am so excited to have this project set out for all future Valentine Days!

DIY Valentines

I O-fish-ally Love You


  • Construction paper
  • Heart shaped embellishments and stickers
  • scissors and glue

DIY Valentine

This project is perfect for the kids who love stickers! There really isn’t any set way to do this project. Just let your imagination flow. I cut out the initial hearts to make the fish’s body and showed my daughter how to line up the hearts as scales. I found these heart stickers and heart cutouts at craft store in the Valentine’s section.

We used glue to stick the construction paper together and the heart cut outs. She added the heart stickers where she felt necessary.  I absolutely loved how this turned out and she is very proud to have this one hung high on the refrigerator!

Happy Crafting!

From iFamily to Yours,

5 Great Family Valentines Day Activities the Kids Will Love

The Colorful Displays at my local Target tell me that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner here in the metro area and, just to be safe, I checked the calendar. How is it already the end of January? That doesn’t even seem possible. But here we are…February 14th will be here in a flash. We want to encourage you to spend some quality family time together this year with 5 great family Valentine’s Day activities that your kids will love this year. Take a look…
 valentines day activities

5 Great Family Valentines Day Activities the Kids Will Love

Valentine’s Day is not just about flowers and boxes of heart shaped candies, romantic dates and extravagant dinners, it can also be about sharing your love and appreciation for loved ones and enjoying family time. There are many ways to show your family how much you love them that don’t even require gifts. Spending time together and creating memories is the best way to show them how much you care. If you want to give gifts that are more meaningful then avoid the commercialized items that you can buy in the store. Think about what the person would really enjoy or a special item that comes straight from the heart. I have created a list of valentines day activities that help bring a whole to meaning to family Valentines and turn it into a celebration.

#1 A Day of Surprise Fun- “We love to be a Family Day”

Make it a day of little surprises with fun activities that the family can enjoy. Elicit some help with the planning your valentines day activities from your older children or spouse and create a fun day together. It doesn’t even need to be on Valentine’s Day. Family time on a Saturday will do just fine.

#2 Family Time & Dinner Out

Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year and it’s not exactly an ideal time for a celebration. However, you could go check out that family style restaurant that you know and everyone loves or try out a new place that everyone may enjoy. Skip the gifts and splurge on a yummy dessert!

#3 Dinner & A Movie

If you want the best of both a dinner and a movie without staying out too late on a school night, why don’t you try one of the areas dinner and a movie combo locations. It would be great on a weekend too. Here are some are locations where you can do just that. *Tip: be sure to book your tickets early, they may be likely to sell out.

  1. Standees Theater
  2. AMC dine in Studio 28 in Olathe KS
  3. Screenland Armour Theater
  4. Cinetopia Overland Park 18 

#4 Snail Mail Valentines

A fun family tradition that you can do year after year is to write your children or have everyone in the family write each other or create a personalized Valentine. Then you drop it in the mail to be delivered to your home at a later date. Kids enjoy receiving mail and most of the time all we receive are bills. This fun activity can also teach your child how to properly address a letter.

#5 Have a Read & Feed Day at Home

This one might be best reserved for the weekend but it is a great activity none-the-less. Snuggling and reading together is a great way to show your loved ones that you care. There are many children’s books that say ‘I love you’. You can just cuddle and read if your kids are older. You can create some simple snacks or appetizers, lounge around in your comfy clothes with warm blankets and hot cocoa. Relaxing together is a great way to relieve stress too! Plan your day of reading and get ready for some great family time.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope your Valentine’s Day is special!

From iFamily to Yours,


How to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a young preacher who dedicated his short life to the ideals of “freedom and justice for all.”  He was a gifted orator and a vital figure in American history.  On the third Monday of every year, we take time to honor his legacy.  This year, the holiday will be observed on January 15th, 2018. We’ve got the scoop on ways you can honor Dr. King with your family on MLK Day this year. Take a look…

How to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day

Martin Luther King Jr

Cleaver Family YMCA Volunteering

Kansas Citians honor Dr. King in a myriad of ways.  Many people consider King Holiday to be “A Day On, Not A Day Off.  As such, many people set this day aside to participate in community service projects.  Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, is hosting one such event at the Cleaver Family YMCA, where there will opportunities for service for the entire family.  This event offers the chance to do everything from making birthday bags, to making memorial hearts for those in an area hospice.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City also commemorates the holiday with nearly two weeks’ worth events culminating with a mass celebration on January 15th, at the Palestine Missionary Baptist Church at 3619 E 35th St, and awards dinner on January 17th.  For more information, check out their website at .

Motocade for Hunger

In Kansas City, Kansas, there will be a Motorcade for Hunger starting at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 417 Richmond.  The goal is to collect 5000 cans of food.  The motorcade will travel to the Reardon Center at where the annual King Day celebration will be held.  The celebration will include a 200-voice mass choir, and scholarships will be presented to more than 30 area high school seniors.  The keynote speaker will Dr. Calvin Butts III.  Dr. Butts is the pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Series

Later in the month, Dr. Joy Degruy will be speaking as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture series at the University of Missouri Kansas City.  Dr. Degruy is scheduled to speak on January 30th.  The cost of the event is $7.00 for community members.  Students of the university can attend for free.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an important figure in American History.  It is important that we honor his legacy, celebrate his accomplishments, and keep his dream alive.

From iFamily to Yours,





Fun and Creative Thank You Notes from Kids

Growing up, my grandmother was always a stickler about expressing gratitude after recieving a gift. In this modern age, which technology at our fingertips, the art of letter writing seems to be lost…but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Liz shares three fun and creative thank you notes from kids with us today on the blog that we hope will inspire your family to send some gratitude out this month. Take a look…

creative thank you notes from kids

Fun and Creative Thank You Notes from Kids

After receiving many thoughtful gifts from family and friends this Christmas I feel it is important to teach my kids the importance of thank you cards and being grateful for what they have been given!  I have always made it a priority to write cards after all holidays, birthdays etc. but this is the first year I had my 3 year old make her own with my help. She was so proud of herself for what she created! Here are the 3 thank you cards that we created this year. Choose whichever one your kids would enjoy doing! My kids are young so I need to wait until they are excited to do artwork and get them done as quickly as we can.

Crayon Resist Thank You Notes from Kids

creative thank you cards from kids

A white crayon, watercolor paints and white paper is all you need! This is a fun project for kids of all ages, even toddlers with the help of an adult.


  • White crayon
  • Water color paints
  • Water color paper, white card stock or blank cards
  • Paintbrushes
  • Small cups or ice cube tray for water

Have your child or yourself write out words on the paper with the white crayon. It’s a little challenging to make out what you are writing but do not worry about it being perfect because the end will result will be awesome!

creative thank you notes from kids

Next, your kiddo will simply swipe watercolor paint over the paper to the reveal the message that was written! It’s such a fun process and a fun result! After letting the watercolor dry we glued our artwork to a different color piece of paper. The paper tended to curl up a bit so this gave more of a flat surface. We turned it over and wrote our thank you message on the back!

Thumbprint Thank You Card

creative thank you notes from kids

These cards are so easy and cute! They are also so easy to do that you can make a good amount in one sitting, pending your children are cooperating. I used a stamp pad with my kids but you can also use a washable marker to make the print. Decorate your card with extra embellishments, such as colored taped, stamps and stickers!

Colored Card

My daughter is in a stage of coloring in the lines, so this card was so much fun for her! You can printable cards on line or make your own! I drew out THANK YOU in block letters with a sharpie and let my daughter color away with markers and crayons. We flipped the card over to write out our thank you note.

My daughter is too young to write so I “write” the note for her but have the card be from her. Her little brother is just a baby so she will mention him in her note with how much he loves his toys. I have gotten compliments over the years on the personal touches I try to add to my thank you notes. They go such a long way in making someone’s day! Hope these thank you card ideas work for you and your littles! Happy New Year!

From iFamily to Yours,







7 New Year’s Resolutions for Tech: Best Practices for the New Year!

Happy New Year! 2017 is coming to a close and it’s time to look at New Year’s Resolutions for the upcoming year. Burton, our resident tech expert here at iFamilyKC, has your new year’s resolution list for tech today on the blog. Take a look at 7 things you need to do this year…

new year's resolutions

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Tech: Best Practices for the New Year!

The beginning of a new year is ripe for resolutions: We make goal lists for our bodies, our lives, our hopes, our dreams… why not our tech? As we get ready for a new year I’ve been thinking about some tech resolutions that you can use to help you have a year free from technology problems. Whether you want to become more secure online, maintain a better life balance with your tech or just make a good new habit, I’ve put together a few small ideas that can make a big difference; and some tips to make them stick for real. Check out my tech resolutions and be your best tech self in 2018.

#1 Make sure you’re Cyber Secure

There are a number of things you can do to avoid opening yourself up to cyber criminals:

  • Change your online passwords.
  • Use password managers to sync your passwords across multiple devices – stop reusing passwords!
  • Use secure Wi-Fi networks and , never, ever conduct banking or make online purchases over a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Educate yourself about the latest phone and computer scams that are going around.

#2 Get rid of your unused gadgets

If you have gadgets lying around your office or house, then now is the time to start clearing them out. Whether it is a stereo system you received a replacement for over Christmas, or an old handset, then get it on eBay, take it to a charity shop or see if a recycling site that will take it.

# 3 Update all your computers and smart devices and get the last Operating System Software. 

Updates, whether Android, iOS, Blackberry or Windows don’t just appear for the fun of it .An update will normally bring a fix for a bug, or make your device run  faster, sometimes it will even introduce new features so they are worth doing, and staying on top of – don’t ignore them.

#4 Back up your devices to a cloud backup service

Backing up your computer or smart-device is something you don’t always think to do until you lose everything. There no excuse not to back up your information to the Cloud.  Services like Carbonite, Google Drive and Google Photos are perfect for saving your documents, photos and videos.

#5 Disconnect before bed

The blue light from your laptop, phone or tablet can mess with your sleep patterns making sleep shorter and less restful. Experts recommend powering down half an hour before bed.

#6 Manage your phone contacts

A year is a long time, and people change jobs and numbers so it’s worth going through, checking for duplicates, and making sure you have everyone you need saved. Save your contacts to the cloud in case you lose your phone.

#7 Check your Online Identity

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to think interactions with websites like Facebook, Google and other web communities are private, but in fact, it’s easy for anyone (particularly cyber criminals) to gather information about you just by doing a few quick internet searches. Google yourself to find out what information is out there about you.  Also, go to www.haveibeenpwned.com to see if your email address has been part of the many data breaches of recent months.  If it has, change your online account passwords immediately.

From iFamily to Yours,


Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


6 Ways to Help You Unplug and Recharge to Relieve Holiday Stress

The holidays are upon us here in the metro area and, if you’re anything like me, you likely need to find some ways to releive stress during the busy next couple of weeks (especially while the kids are out of school). Burton Kelso, our resident tech expert here at iFamilyKC, has some great ideas to help you unplug during the holidays and get in some much needed holiday stress relief. Wondering if it’s all about popping in some relaxation music and calling it a day?! Think again, Burton’s out of the box ideas will help you get through the holiday season. Take a look…

6 Ways to Help You Unplug and Recharge to Relieve Holiday Stress

unplug and recharge

Let’s face it, we all love our smart devices and most of you probably can’t imagine a minute without them. I’m even guilty of it, but we all need to unplug sometimes and take a break from technology especially during the Holidays.  It’s important to capture those special moments, but you don’t have to post every photo on every social media site to show how your Holiday was. This Holiday, focus on putting your phones down and interacting with the people around you. Need help? Here are 6 ways you can unplug and recharge this Holiday Season.

#1 No Devices at Mealtime

unplug and recharge

Designate all mealtimes as periods where devices are put away and face-to-face conversation can be had. That’s how our grandparents used to do it! For added ambiance, play some relaxing music at mealtimes to help fill in the gaps in conversation.

#2 Discuss and Write Down Goals

unplug and recharge

Let your kids be apart of setting the goals and sharing their input. Schedule (limited) time that both the kids and parents can use technology.

#3 Stick to Your Guns

unplug and recharge

Like every good goal, it needs to be enforced. Parents, let your kids know you are serious and set tech time limits. Your kids can help keep you in line as well.

#4 Use Technology Together

unplug and recharge

If you must have access to the Internet and use technology, use it together. Look for games and activities on apps that everyone can play together.

#5 Don’t Check It If There Isn’t a Notification 

unplug and recharge

Kids watch and learn from their parents. If you are constantly checking your phone, your kids will too. Think before you check; use downtime to improve family time rather than your relationship with friends and coworkers. You’ll be surprised to discover how leaving your phone at home can help you with your holiday stress relief goals this year.

#6 Go Old-Fashioned Style

unplug and recharge

Challenge each other to have fun offline. Play versions of your favorite games that don’t require technology. Get creative! Do you plan to reduce or eliminate your technology use this Holiday Season?

From iFamily to Yours,


Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


10 Cool Christmas Gifts that Won’t Clutter the House 

Merry Christmas Kansas City!  If you’re searching for gift ideas that are unique, affordable and won’t clutter the house you’ve come to the right place!  Ruth has put together a list of 10 cool Christmas gifts that won’t clutter the house.  Take a look…


10 Cool Christmas Gifts that Won’t Clutter the House 

(Read with a little bit of sarcasm. :))

Every year, it seems like there is an endless toy parade in the living room. Kids unwrap Christmas gift after gift and the mountain grows adding to what they already own. The kids are excited to be rolling in presents. They are more excited about the opening process than the actual toys themselves. After they have shredded the wrapping paper like the wild animals that they are, they (of course) want to open all the boxes at once. They beg to have us cut every twist tie and release every miniscule piece from its plastic prison. As good parents, we ask them to wait and open only one at a time. This leads groans and complaints. The world must be ending. Their fragile emotions are shattered because we are obviously the meanest parents in the world.

Following Christmas day, we are left with a sea of tiny parts ready to be lost and toys they are already bored with, because they weren’t as exciting as they believed they would be. The trash overflowed into a series of black trash bags that will puzzle the sanitation worker and our neighbors who don’t realize that hosting a holiday means 14 plus people will be exchanging gifts. So what can we do to mitigate this mess?

This year my husband and I are requesting a change of pace. We are asking for less tangible gifts. While we appreciate the thought put into the gifts and the joy put on tiny faces, we know our kids are spoiled at Christmas. We are requesting gifts that won’t clutter the house and add to the waste.

Here are a few Cool Christmas gifts to give the kids that won’t clutter the house:

  1. A gift card to a restaurant or store that they enjoy.

Ideas: Sporting Goods Store, Outlet mall,

  1. A gift certificate to a fun and educational place to visit.

Ideas: History Museum, Bowling Alley, Human Foosball, Coding workshops, Language or music lessons, dance classes, Create 2 Day,

  1. Tickets to see a play at an area theater.

Ideas: The Storybook Forest

  1. Memberships to local attractions.

Ideas: Union Station, College Basketball Experience, Legoland, SeaLife,

  1. Tuition for a camp or activity they want to participate in.

Ideas: Gymnastics Classes, Ceramic Café,  Piano Lessons, Sports Programs, Horseback Riding, Ceramic Studio,

  1. Gift certificate to a local play center or indoor park.

Ideas: Urban Air, Sky Zone, Paradise Park, Aerial Yoga, Gymboree, Jump City

  1. A donation to a charity organization in their name.

Ideas: The Farmer’s House, Charlie’s House

  1. A weekend getaway to a fun place they would enjoy or a waterpark themed hotel.

  2. Gift card for movie rentals.

  3. Practical items that they may need but with fun characters on them, bath wash, soap, tooth paste and a brush, a new loofa, etc.

Whatever you choose to do this holiday, these ideas can be family fun that everyone can enjoy together.

From iFamily to Yours,


Fun in Kansas City: New Year’s Eve Family Guide

The countdown to 2018 is officially underway here in Kansas City! If you don’t have plans yet for a safe New Year’s Eve for the whole family, don’t fret! We have the inside scoop on some pretty awesome New Year’s Eve parties throughout the Kansas City metro area! So, pull out that calendar and get ready to start making plans for some fine holiday fun with our New Year’s Eve guide!

New Year's Eve

Fun in Kansas City: New Year’s Eve Family Guide


Family Fun for New Year’s Eve

Paradise Park

Located in Lee’s Summit, Paradise Park has one of the biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations for families. This New Year’s Eve, you and the family can celebrate early with an awesome Ball Drop at Paradise Park’s Foam Factory!  This kid- friendly New Year’s Eve party is from noon to 6pm and includes awesome door prizes you can use all year long at Paradise Park!

Union Station

Practically the most popular pic for metro area families is the science city noon year’s eve celebration! Another safe kid- friendly New Year’s Eve party fit for the whole family! Located inside Union Station near Downtown KCMO, Science City’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration offers hands on science experiments, stage shows and even some cool science items you can take home. Join other families from   12-7pm on December 31st! Plus, it’s free for Station Members!

Summit Lanes Lee’s Summit

Roll in the New Year with Summit Lanes Lee’s Summit from 9:30pm-12:30am. They’ll be offering Glow in the Dark Bowling! Party favors and shoe rental are included for $20/person (4 people per lane). Reservations are required and space will fill up FAST. Call to secure your spot (816) 524-3322.

Zoo Year’s Eve

Celebrate the new year in true “zoo-style”. Come see all the animals and enjoy an interactive DJ, make noise makers and have fun with festive enrichment activities! Plus, check out the Kansas City Zoo’s photo booth to create special memories!

Wonderscope Children’s Museum

Wonderscope is always an excellent choice for family fun. But another great thing they offer is their early New Year’s Eve party! Their WonderEve activities start at 9am on SATURDAY, December 30th and end with the big countdown to noon! Kids can enjoy a balloon artist, story time, art activity and treats including doughnut holes and juice.  A special performance by Mr. Stinky Feet himself will be at 11am where he will lead the countdown. Plus, there will be noisemakers, hats and a confetti shower! All of these activities are included with admission which is only $6-$7. If you have questions or want to purchase tickets you can give them a call at 913-287-8888.Or, visit them online.

Dave and Buster’s

Games, Food and a ball drop! Dave and Buster’s offers two package deals for families this year! Each including food, drinks and games!


Adult Festivities

New Year’s Swingin’ Eve

Located at Union Station, this 21 and older New Year’s Eve party will be one to remember! Enjoy big band swing style music from 8pm- 1am! Plus, your ticket includes live music, party favors, drinks, hot appetizers and a midnight champagne toast!

NYE Live!

Located on the Kansas City Live block in the Power and Light district is Kansas City’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration! There will be access up to 12 bars and nightclubs, special bar packages, live DJ’s, party favors, Champagne toasts, confetti cannons and a Times Square ball drop!


Check out the VooDoo Lounge inside of Harrah’s Casino in North Kansas City. This years theme is Havana Nights! With different styles of music, party favors and a toast, you will be sure to have a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration! To get tickets head over to Ticketmaster now before they sell out!

New Year’s Eve at the Temple

Worried about the cold and prefer to stay indoors this New Year’s? Then the NYE at the Temple is perfect for you! Located at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo, you can enjoy 4 floors, 8 party areas, DJ’s and unlimited drinks! Enjoy the night with family and friends in an amazing venue.

We have rounded up some of the best and safest locations for you and your family to enjoy ringing in the new year! As always, when heading out at night always take caution of your surroundings. If you are attending an event which serves adult beverages, please drink responsibly! I hope you found this list helpful with making plans for your New Year’s Eve in Kansas City! I hope you have a great rest of the year and see you in 2018!

From iFamily to Yours,