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Five Ways to Stop the Flu in its Tracks

Flu season seems to be hitting everyone hard and, for my family, this year has been no exception. Gabrielle, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, understands what a hardship the flu can have on families and is offering up five ways to stop the flu in its tracks today on the blog. Take a look…

Five Ways to Stop the Flu in its Tracks

stop the flu

The flu epidemic has hit our nation hard this year. Unfortunately, the Kansas City area was not spared. As caregivers, we are often hit the hardest when illness enters our homes.  There is no way to completely germ-proof our homes, but there are a few things we can do (besides washing our hands).

#1 Disinfect Common Surfaces

Sure, we all wipe down our counters when we clean the kitchen.  But there are a few places that even the tidiest of moms could forget about.  For instance, wiping down the refrigerator door handle should become a common practice.  Every person in my house has their fingerprints on that surface.  The same goes for door knobs, and cabinet door handles.  Electronic devices are another place where germs might be passed amongst siblings.  Disinfect phones and other handheld devices.  Wipe down those video game controls and the TV remote while you’re at it.  Use the dishwasher to disinfect silverware and cups if you have one.  If not, tossing a little bleach in the dishwater might not be a bad idea.

#2 Take it Outside

Wastebaskets fill up fast when someone in the household is sick.  Take the garbage out as often as necessary, and don’t just empty it all in the big waste basket.  Tie it up in plastic and place it in a bin away from the house.  So many of these illnesses are airborne.  One misplaced tissue could cost you a week’s work of down time.

#3 Keep Remedies in Stock

Many pharmacies are sold out of common flu and cold remedies now.  It’s a good idea to pick some up if you see it, even if no one is sick at the moment.  I’ve heard tales of parents driving to 3-4 different pharmacies trying to find medication.   If over-the-counter medications will work to soothe your ailing loved ones, absolutely take advantage of them.

#4 Stay Away From Sick People

It seems obvious, but the best way to not get the flu is to stay away from people who have the virus.  The CDC and every health agency in the world is screaming at people to stay home if they are sick.  As a caretaker, if you have to care for someone who is fighting the illness, wear a mask and gloves and whatever protective gear you can find.  Don’t share food or drinks with sick kiddos, no matter how badly the toddler tries to feed you some of her Cheerios.

#5 Don’t Ignore Symptoms

If you think you might be sick, go to the doctor.  Early detection and treatment are extremely important when fighting the flu.

Stay healthy.  People are counting you.

From iFamily to Yours,


5 Ways to Get The Most Out of Your Amazon Echo Alexa

We were so excited to unwrap two echo alexa dots under the tree this past holiday season and have really enjoyed getting to know all of the fun features available to our family through our new devices. Even though my husband and I are both pretty tech savvy, there are still benefits available through our Echo dots that we don’t know about. If you’re like us, you’re probably in the same boat. Burton, our resident tech expert, is here to help with some great ideas for getting the most out of your Amazon Echo Alexa this year. Take a look…

amazon echo alexa

5 Great Ways to Get The Most From Your Amazon Echo Alexa

Making it’s debut in 2016, the Amazon Echo Alexa has quickly become one of the hottest gadgets around. If you have an Amazon Echo Alexa, Echo Spot, Dot, Tap, or Show, there are lots of things you can ask Alexa, the virtual assistant to do. This device has so many useful features, it’s easy to overlook everything it can do.  To help you get the most out of the Echo Alexa, I’ve put together a list of tips and suggestions that make sure you enjoy this awesome device to the fullest.

What’s the big deal about the Amazon Echo Alexa?

Amazon Echo Alexa connects to your home WiFi, which allows you to connect to the Internet to give you the information you want by vocal commands. The setup process is very simple making it easy for even the basic user to configure. Once you have your Echo setup,  Alexa the personal assistant listens to your voice and responds to your requests either returning information found online or syncing with Amazon compatible devices that allow you to vocally control items in your home.

What are the cool things you can do with your Amazon Echo?

#1 Control Your Smart Home

One of best features of an Amazon Echo is being able to give voice commands to control the environment of your house. You can tell Alexa to dim your lights, lock your doors, turn home security on or off, change the temperature, and make coffee for you. Remember, all devices that you want to control must be compatible with the Echo.  Look for the Amazon logo when purchasing product that you want to work with your smart home. 

#2 Purchase Items Using Your Voice

Echo Alexa allows you to buy stuff from Amazon using your account and default payment method. Search for something  you like, buy it and it magically appears on your doorstep. The challenge is, anyone can talk to your Echo and make purchases. If you’ve got kids or have visitors who like to play jokes, you should probably turn that feature off.

#3 Listen to Audible or Kindle books on your Echo Alexa 

If you have an account with Audible or Kindle, you can have Echo Alexa read books to you.  While Alexa does a great job reading books to you, you will get a more robust reading through Audible. If you don’t have an Audible account, you can sign up for a free.

#4 Make Voice Calls

When you link your mobile number to your Echo, you can call anyone who is in your phone contacts. To make a call from your compatible Echo Alexa devices, just ask Alexa to call the person or contact you want to reach by name.

#5 Control Your TV

If you’re the owner of an Amazon Fire Stick, you can use your Echo to control it using your voice. To use your voice as a remote control, just say “Alexa,” followed by a playback command, such as pause, fast-forward or skip an episode. You can also tell Alexa to search for a specific video and open other apps on your smart TV.

This is just a few of the things you can do with an Amazon Echo Alexa.  How do you use your Echo?  Drop me a line and let me know.

From iFamily to Yours,


Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

I’m Burton Kelso and I’m a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear 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 me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


A Library Lovers Guide to Family Activities Near Your Home

Can you believe it is already February? It honestly feels like I was just talking about things to do for New Years Eve! February may be a short month, but there are tons of fun “National Day/Months” One that I absolutely love is National Library Lovers Day!

A Library Lovers Guide to Family Activities Near Your Home

National Library Lovers Day is February 14th and in honor of this day, I thought I would highlight our own fascinating libraries around the metro area. I for one love the library. They always have fun and FREE things to do. Not to mention, anything you want to learn, perfect, or just fact check, it is all available right there at your fingertips.  The metro area has great, history rich libraries that are an adventure in their own right. So, even though you may have already visited  your  local library, here are a few things that these branches offer that you may not know!

library lovers

Mid-Continent Public Library

Mid-Continent Public Library’s mission is to enrich our citizens and communities through expanding access to innovation, information, ideas, and inspiration.

Mid-Continent Public Library is the largest library system in the metropolitan area, operating 35 libraries and serving nearly 800,000 people in Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties. The Library strives to enrich our citizens and communities through expanding access to innovation, information, ideas, and inspiration.

With the 19th largest public library collection in the nation, over 10,000 live programs per year, and constantly expanding resources, Mid-Continent Public Library has been providing world class customer service to the area since 1965.

Antioch Branch

6060 N Chestnut Ave, Gladstone, MO 64119

  • Storytimes for toddlers and babies
  • STEAM Powered Programs
  • Quilting Classes
  • Tax Help
  • Computer Classes
  • Book Clubs
  • Interior Design Classes

Blue Ridge Branch

6131 Raytown Rd, Raytown, MO 64133

  • Storytime for kids and families
  • STEAM Powered Programs
  • Kids Create Workshops
  • Kids Shows
  • Kids Games

Blue Springs North Branch

850 NW Hunter Drive, Blue SpringsMO 64015
  • LEGO Events
  • Read to a Dog
  • Storytime for Families
  • KC Magic Man

Blue Springs South Branch

2220 S. 7 Hwy, Blue Springs, MO 64014

  • Storytime
  • Kids Create Workshops
  • Kids Lab

Boardwalk Branch

8656 N Ambassador Dr, Kansas City, MO 64154

  • Homeschoolers at the Library
  • Storytime
  • Kid Reads
  • Sensory Lab – Play & Learn
  • Yoga Tales
  • Brixology


309 E. U.S. Highway 69, Claycomo, MO 64119

  • Read & Draw
  • Lego Time
  • Kids Create
  • STEAM Powered Programs
  • Zoomobile Visits

Colbern Road Branch

1000 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s SummitMO 64086
  • Stuffed Animal Sleepover
  • Storytime
  • Play & Learn Time
  • Family Night

Lee’s Summit Branch

150 NW Oldham Pkwy, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081

  • Gardening Workshops
  • Storytime
  • Play & Learn Time

Liberty Branch

1000 Kent St, Liberty, MO 64068

  • Homeschoolers at the Library
  • Play & Learn Time
  • Storytime
  • Read to a Dog
  • Stuffed Animal Sleepover
  • STEAM Program

North Independence Branch

317 US-24, Independence, MO 64050

  • Kids Create
  • LEGO Robotics
  • Yoga for Kids
  • Pet Safety Classes
  • Art Classes from Nelson Atkins

Kansas City Public Library

Lucile H. Bluford Branch

3050 Prospect Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64128

  • ABsolutely Amazing Abs
  • Cardio Kickboxing with NickiFit
  • Full Body Chair Fitness with NickiFit
  • HIIT Training with NickiFit
  • Kids Café ( free healthy snacks for kids 18 and under)
  • Strength Training with NickiFit
  • Tech Coach Drop In at Bluford
  • Teen Tabletop Gaming and more!

Central Library

14 West 10th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105

  • Storytime at Central
  • Citizenship Interview Practice
  • Graphic Novel Book Club at Central (7-15)
  • FREE Tax Preparation
  • Coffee & Conversation
  • Ukes on the Roof Monthly Meetup
  • Coffee Tastings and Pairings

Irene H. Ruiz Biblioteca de las Americas

2017 West Pennway Street,Kansas City, MO 64108

  • Lego Time

Plaza Branch

4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64112

  • Baby Bounce
  • Tales for Tiny Tykes
  • Preschool Story Time
  • Tommy Terrific’s Wacky Magic
  • Wildcard Wednesdays
  • Book Club (topics vary)
  • Tabletop Gaming

Sugar Creek Branch

102 South Sterling Avenue, Sugar Creek, MO 64054

  • Walk with us
  • Teens After Hours
  • Low Impact Cardio Workouts
  • After Lunch Book Group
  • Preschool Story Time
  • Kid’s Craft Time

Trails West Branch

11401 East 23rd Street, Independence, MO 64052

  • Rockin’ Ramblin’ Readers
  • Tuesday Family Fun (every Tuesday)
  • KC Kids Create: Kitchen Science
  • Coffee and Coloring (adults and seniors)
  • Teen’s Group

Waldo Branch

201 East 75th Street, Kansas City, MO 64114

  • Teen Gaming Club
  • Tabletop Tuesdays
  • Stories for Ones (12-24mo)
  • Preschool Story Time (2-5)
  • Read to a Dog
  • Lego Club
  • Parents as Teachers Playgroup

Westport Branch

118 Westport Road,Kansas City, MO 64111

  • Preschool Story Time
  • Library Yoga
  • Grown Up Game Night
  • Between the Lines Book Group

Kansas City Kansas Public Library

Main Library

625 Minnesota Avenue,Kansas City, KS 66101

  • Working Wednesday
  • Baby Story Time
  • Computer Training
  • Kids A Cookin
  • Kids Cafe
  • Family Story Time
  • STEAM Story Time
  • Anime Club
  • Book Clubs

South Branch

3104 Strong Avenue,Kansas City, KS 66106

  • Quilting
  • Little Learners Story Time
  • Teen Time
  • Conversational Spanish
  • Movie Night (varies in rating)

Turner Library

831 S 55th Street,Kansas City, KS 66106

  • Anime Club
  • Friday Story Time
  • Cubs Corner Crafts

FL Schlagle Branch

4051 West Drive,Kansas City, KS 66109

  • Homeschool Adventures (weekly age varies)
  • Project Feeder Watch
  • Nature Story Time

All of these libraries host recurring clubs and activities that vary in age. They also host a wide variety of special events that take place only once! To make sure you get the full details on age ranges, times and if a reservation is needed, you can check out the full list of events on the library’s websites! So this National Library Lovers Day, head to your local library!

From iFamily to Yours,






Save $20 with Kona Ice & Bring the Fun to YOU! Fundraising Options for Your School

It’s hard to believe that we’re already a month into the second semester of school here in the metro area. Like many other across the metro, our school is looking to plan our upcoming Spring carnival in May and we’re on the hunt for fun ideas that a) don’t break the bank and b) help set us up for a great 2018-2019 school year. Our friends at Kona Ice have the solution and they’re offering you a pretty sweet deal to boot. When you book a Kona Day (details below) now through May 1st and mention iFamilyKC, you’ll save $20! Kona Days are incredible ways to fundraise at your school and, because Kona’s treats are smart snack approved, you can know you’ve made a good choice in bringing them out…

Save $20 with Kona Ice & Bring the Fun to YOU!

Fundraising Options for Your School

Save $20 When You Mention iFamilyKC

Kona Ice & School Go Together Like Peanut Butter & Jelly!


We’ve raised over $30 million dollars for local communities and organizations since 2007. So yeah, you might say that fundraising is our thing. The best part about it truly is that it’s so easy – for you AND for us. Fundraising should be a great experience for everyone involved – it should be fun! That’s where we come in – we put the “fun” back in fundraising.

We can fundraise for just about anything – schools, sports teams, band programs, etc. We have pre-paid Kona Cards that you can sell OR you can have us out at any event and we’ll donate a portion of the sales back to your program. Basically, if you have need, we’ll try and meet it as best as possible. We’re a fundraising machine…literally.

Bring the FUN to YOUR party, event, activity, fundraiser, or school function by booking the Kona Entertainment Vehicle TODAY. You just tell them where to park! Save $20 when you mention iFamilyKC (Expires 5/1/18). Call Kona Ice at (913) 709-3370 or reach Eric by email at KCKonaIce@gmail.com.

4 Steps to Disinfect Your Tech During Cold & Flu Season

Like so many of you, my family has been battling the flu lately. Whether you’re dealing with the common cold or full blown influenza, it’s important to disinfect to prevent the spread during cold flu season. Don’t forget to disinfect your tech! Expert Burton Kelso is here to help with 4 steps to make sure your devices are cleaned and ready to go. Take a look…

4 Steps to Disinfect Your Tech During Cold & Flu Season

4 Steps to Disinfect Your Tech During Cold & Flu Season

Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert

Cold and Flu season is here with a vengeance. We are in the midst of a flu epidemic and many experts predict it hasn’t reached it’s peak.   Public health experts recommend you stick the basic steps to avoid the flu such as washing your hands, getting a flu shot, and disinfecting surfaces you touch on a regular basis.  One of the most ignored surfaces we touch are our smartphones and our keyboards.  We place our smartphones on many surfaces (such as the bathroom counter) that can have many forms of bacteria and viruses. If you come in contact with people day to day, what are the chances you wash your hands every time you sit down at a keyboard? How can you protect yourself? Follow these simple steps to keep your phone and other gadgets clean during cold and flu season.

The most common way that the flu is spread is from person- to- person contact, as well as from dirty hands that come in contact with your face, eyes, nose and mouth. These areas are points of entry for the flu virus. Did you know the average person touches their face up to 16 times per hour? Even more disturbing is that if you don’t clean your smartphone, computer or laptop keyboard on a regular basis, it can contain more germs than a toilet?  Now you can see the concern. Here’s what you can do:

#1 Use cleaning products designed for technology

You don’t want to use harsh cleaning chemicals on your devices, including water. Remember these are delicate gadgets. While you can use Anti-bacterial wipes on your computer keyboard, you want to avoid using them on your smartphone. They are very abrasive and can leave scratches on your phone. My suggestion is to run to the store and get Wireless Wipes (www.wirelesswipes.com) or the Tech Armor Cleaning Kit (www.techarmor.com)  These handy wipes are guaranteed to keep your smartphone and tablet germ free.

#2 Make Your Own Cleaning Solution To Clean Your Devices

If you want save a few pennies, you can create your own mixture using You could also make your own cleaning solution using a 50-50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and distilled water. When wiping down the surface of your keyboard, smartphone or tablet, always use a microfiber cloth.  Never use paper towels or other standard cleaning clothes.

#3 Get Some Tech that Will Clean Your Tech

If you want a high tech solution for sanitizing your phone, consider the PhoneSoap Charger (www.phonesoap.com).  This device will make your smartphone and tablets germ free and charge them all at the same time. It might be a little pricey, but PhoneSoap will also clean things such as keys, credit cards and watches.

#4 Get a Cover that Will Minimize Germs on your gadgets

Use a surface cover or case for your smartphone or tablet that has antimicrobial protection.  One of the best products you can get is from BioArmor (www.bioarmortech.com). These products offer 24/7 protection from the germs your tablet and smartphone encounter.

Some more things to consider during cold and flu season:

  1. Do not share Smartphone with others.  If you do, wash your hands before handling your device or use a hand sanitizer to kill germs.
  2. Keep your smartphone out of the hands of your children. You take the risk of infecting your child and they can be can be a major factor for spreading the flu to you |
  3. Consider using your phone ‘hands-free’ or use ear buds for phone conversations.

Following these tips can help keep you and your family safe from germs during cold and flu season.

Do you have tips to disinfect your tech devices, drop me a line and let me know. Please share this information with everyone.

Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

From iFamily to Yours,


I’m Burton Kelso and I’m a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear 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 me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com



Family Fun at Jump City KC: A Recap from our iFamilyKC Kids Club Event

Our team here at iFamilyKC is excited to introduce you to new and exciting places all around town where you can enjoy family fun with your kids. One of the ways that we do this is through our exclusive iFamilyKC Kids Club events which offer you deeply discounted admission to fun Kansas City spots. We recently spent an evening with some of you over at Jump City KC in Belton. Didn’t make the event? Save BIG anytime you visit using our exclusive coupon on page 22 of this month’s issue of iFamilyKC. Erin, one of our Mom Squad bloggers, had the chance to check it out with her kids and shares our recap from the event today on the blog. Take a look…

Family Fun at Jump City KC: A Recap from our iFamilyKC Kids Club Event

Jump City KC

The trusty groundhog saw his shadow (which means 6 more weeks of winter, right?), but I am so ready for spring and warmer weather! In Kansas City we always seem to get one last blast of winter weather right before spring, so I’m thinking it’s not over yet.  Luckily there are some GREAT indoor places in KC and surrounding areas that you can take the kids to burn off some of that crazy energy. We had a chance to check out a super fun place where kids can do just that at the latest iFamilyKC Kids Club event, Jump City.

What do they offer?

Jump City is located in Belton, a quick 20 minute drive from the downtown metro area.  This place is HUGE! It has tons of bounce houses, giant inflatable slides, obstacle courses, bounce houses for the littles, gameroom, and concession stand serving pizza and snacks. The staff was super nice and accommodating. My kids had an absolute blast. We started out in the toddler area, which has some smaller bounce houses (perfect for toddlers).  And soon I was chasing my kids over and up and down and through the inflatable paradise.  We played games in the game room that has several affordable and fun interactive options.  It was nice to take a little break there and at the concession stand, since my kids were beet red.

What about parties?

Jump City is a fantastic birthday party destination! They offer several different affordable, fun-filled options for everyone’s budget! They do all the set-up and clean up and have a dedicated party room available.

How can I save on admission?

Daily admission starts at $8 a person and parents always play free! Check out jumpcitykc.com for more information! And be sure to check out the February 2018 issue of iFamilyKC (available online 24/7 at www.iFamilyKC.com) for $2 off admission.

Be sure to join our iFamilyKC Kids Club

If you haven’t already joined the iFamilyKC Kids Club, it’s FREE!  You’ll definitely want to get on the list so you can get in on the next super AWESOME event. Just click on the green banner below my signature to get on our list. Make sure you check out our main website, ifamilykc.com, for all the details on the Kids Club and much much more!

From iFamily to Yours,

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,


Winter Olympic Games for Kids: 8 Ways to Get in the Game at Home!

Winter Olympic Games for Kids: 8 Ways to Get in the Game at Home!

The 2018 Winter Olympic games are coming up and what better way to celebrate them than having your own olympics games for kids at home. These games are perfect for the whole family and best of all, they can be done inside and outside. The Winter Olympic games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9th, so you have just enough time to grab a few last-minute items for your own winter Olympic games.

winter olympic games

#1 Long Jump

If you are inside, take some different colored or patterned tape and cut 5-7 pieces about 12 inches long. Place them on the floor laterally and space them 12 inches apart. Have each person test their long jumping skills by starting at the same end and seeing who can go the furthest! Want to take it outside? Try using chalk! No matter what the weather is, you can still enjoy the olympic games.

#2 Balloon Tennis

This simple DIY is great for the whole family, including those little ones just learning hand eye coordination. Take a paper plate and glue it to a sturdy base to make it resemble a racquet. You could use something like a paper towel roll or paint stirrer! Then blow up 1 balloon for every 2 people and get the game going! You can keep score or first one to drop loses.

#3 Ring Toss

Before you and the family get ready to watch the winter Olympic games, grab those bottles of beverages and set up a ring toss. You can use glow sticks necklaces, pool rings or make your own from paper plates by cutting out the inside. *** BONUS** Paint the paper plates the official colors of the Olympics.

#4 Balance Beam

Take out those old pool noodles and put them to use! Let your kids use them as a balance beam to practice their balance and bring out their inner Olympian.

#5 Javelin Noodles

Another great use for those olde pool noodles are using them as javelins! In a spacious area, create a bullseye on a piece of paper and tape it to the wall. Then using the pool noodle, try to hit as close as you can to the center. Make sure you move anything breakable out of the way.

#6 Table Soccer

All you need for this DIY is straws, cotton balls and tape. Use some tape to make a  rectangle on two opposite sides of your table and one long strip to divide the table in half. Then, using a straw blow the cotton ball into the opposite rectangle to score a point.

#7 Sock Skating

This is something that we have all attempted at one point or another growing up. Turn up your favorite tunes, slip on some of those fuzzy socks and start your routine. Have your kids create their own routine or make one up with their siblings.

#8 Obstacle Maze

This is a one item DIY that is sure to bring out your inner Olympian! In a hallway, grab some toilet paper or streamers and tape them to each wall in different angles. Make big enough spaces to climb over or under each piece. Time each other to see who can make it through the fastest.

I hope you enjoy these winter Olympic games for kids. Let us know which ones you try!

From iFamily to Yours,