The little book with BIG resources!

7 Simple Ways You Can Make the World a Better Place

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

make the world a better place

7 Simple Ways You Can Make The World A Better Place

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

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

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

1. Water

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

2. Carrying Groceries

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

3. Card Kits

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

4. Babysitting

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

5. Care Packs

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

6. Housework

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

7.  Time

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

From iFamily to Yours,

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Gearing Up For Working Out: Affordable Ways To Stock Up And Save Big

Whether you’re working out daily or a few times a week, most of us struggle with stocking up on clothes and accessories for the gym that are comfortable and functional. Connie, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, tackles the issue in this week’s Work It Wednesdays. Take a look…

Work It Wednesdays working out

Gearing Up For Working Out

Affordable Ways To Stock Up And Save Big

Alright all, I am a gym rat and I am proud of it.  But when I workout two and three times a day, that also means I change clothes at least that many times a day.  Since laundry is not my favorite chore, I needed to find some good workout gear that didn’t break my budget.  Here are some of my favorite options:

Scheels 

Scheels in Overland Park truly is a one stop shop for just about everything you could need for working out, spending time outdoors, or playing sports. And they have fudge (it’s all about balance, right?!). One of the best things, as a mom, about shopping there is that they’ve got activities (Ferris Wheel, mini bowling, indoor playground) for the kids so I can take my time picking out the right items to fit my workout needs.

Walmart

Believe it or not, they have some great workout clothes!  And they are super budget friendly!  I’m talking workout leggings for $13 a pair and tanks for as little as $5.  I like their Danskin brand leggings, as well as the Avia leggings.  There are tons of fun prints and different fabrics to choose from.  They have recently started carrying workout tanks and shirts from Athletic Gear.  At just $4.96, and with tons of colors and fun sayings, you can’t go wrong.

Target

Their C9 line of workout clothes are reasonably priced (more expensive than Walmart, but not insanely high) and the styles are constantly changing.  They offer sports bras in several different impact levels, along with leggings, shorts, capris and tops.  Their sports bras are some of my favorites.  They are comfortable while providing enough support for even my high impact workouts during the week.  Watch their ads for special sales or check the Cartwheel app.

Fitness Tee Co

This is my favorite find yet!  It’s a little company based out of Colorado and they make a ton of cute and fun workout tops.  They have two styles of tank tops, plus t shirts, all with fun sayings.  There are tons of colors to choose from.  They usually run weekly specials with tanks as low as $6.99.  They do make the shirts to order, so make sure to allow a couple weeks for your order to show up.  I usually order from these guys once a month or so.

Old Navy

I get texts from Old Navy, guys.  It’s a problem.  They have a great line of athletic gear as well.  I love the variety of fits and fabrics they offer in their leggings and capris.  They are always getting new prints and colors as well.  They have high waisted workout capris for those of us who feel the need to have more coverage, as well as some compression crops that make sure everything stays in place while you workout.  Make sure you try things on just to see what style you like best.  And again, Old Navy usually runs pretty frequent sales, so watch for those and stock up when they come around.

Academy Sports

I can almost always find a pair of shoes for $50 or under, depending on what brand I want, and I love their BCG line of clothing.  Prices are comparable to that of Target, and again, there is a ton of variety in the prints and colors they come out with.  They have tops, bras and capris that won’t break the budget.

I probably own more workout gear than one person should ever have, but I always make sure I keep it in my budget and that I find gear that will last.  In general, I never dry any of my workout tanks, just because they do tend to pill after being in the dryer. Oh, and I use a ton of the Downy Unstoppables and several other brands of laundry scent bead, just to help keep my workout gear fresh.

From iFamily to Yours,

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Five Super Easy Dishes for Busy Summer Nights!

The kids have barely been out of school and I’m already running out of fun ideas for family meals in our house. Surely I’m not alone in that, and neither are you! We’ve got five super easy dishes you can try at home!

super easy dishes

Five Super Easy Dishes for Busy Summer Nights!

It’s summer! Time to take it easy and relax!  Well, if you’re like my family, not every night is going to be relaxing and carefree.  We might even be slightly busier in the summertime because I’m trying to fit in all the fun we can before school starts back up!  I’ve put together a few really simple dishes that are pretty easy to prepare and get in the family’s belly before sports, camps, water parks, swimming and whatever else you might be running to and from.  Check these out!

  • Tater Tot Casserole – Brown 1-2 lbs of ground beef or turkey. Add onion and garlic powder and let it simmer a few minutes. Mix together milk and 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup. Layer the ground beef with the mushroom soup mix poured on top. Then layer the tots in rows and top it all cubed Velveeta cheese, enough to cover the tater tots. Bake at 350 until brown.

 

  • Shepherd’s Pie- First, brown 1 pound of hamburger and drain it. You can add a packet of ranch or any seasoning you like to the hamburger. Layer a can of corn and a can of green beans on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Next layer the hamburger and then a layer of mashed potatoes (shortcut: Idaho instant mashed potatoes are yummy). Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese and add green onion or parsley flakes on top and bake at 350 until the cheese is melted on top.

 

  • Layered Taco Salad Casserole – Brown 1-2 lbs of ground beef or 3 chicken breasts (shortcut: Tyson sells precooked grilled diced chicken). Add taco seasoning to the meat after draining it.  Layer with refried beans and Mexican or fiesta style shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted.  Top with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sour cream, jalapeños, and tortilla chips or any other toppings of choice!

 

  • Pizza Waffles – Bring out your waffle maker for this one! No, we aren’t making breakfast! (Stay tuned – I might share my other fun waffle maker foods later on!) These are so much fun because the kids can make their own mini pizzas and they are ready in a matter of minutes! Spray your waffle maker down with cooking spray. I        recommend precooking the dough and then putting the sauce, cheese and toppings on it and let it sit while the lid is open to prevent the cheese from sticking to the top.  It is so good and the kids will love it!

 

  • Taco Soup – I must love tacos from the number of taco recipes I have! Why, yes I do! And here is another delicious way to eat tacos – in soup! This can be prepared the night before and thrown in the crock-pot before work or chaotic summer days! Brown 1 onion and ground beef together and drain.  In a big pot, add can of Rotel, can of red beans, black beans, and navy beans.  Stir in a can of corn, tomato paste, a package of Hidden Valley ranch and a package of taco seasoning.  Simmer an hour on the stove or put it in the crock pot on low for 8 hours. Dish up in bowls and top with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Do you have some favorite summer recipes to share?  Feel free to add yours below!  If you get a chance to try some of the recipes above, let me know what you and your kids think!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

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Mapping Out July: Events at National World War I Museum & Memorial

Happy Saturday, Everyone!

It’s hard to believe that June is over and we’re heading into the seventh month of the year (where does the time go?!). We are so fortunate to have such incredible family friendly opportunities, resources, and events going on all the time in and around the metro area and we waned to share the full calendar of opportunities that are available to your family at the World War I Museum and Memorial this month. Take a look…

In the throes of the summer, the National World War I Museum and Memorial continues to serve as a destination of activities for people of all ages and interests. As children are on summer break and looking for activities, the Museum hosts a variety of events for children of all ages related to World War I.

world war i museum

July National World War I Museum and Memorial Events

Wednesdays

World War Wednesdays (all tickets $8)

Thursdays

Complimentary Tour, 2 p.m. (FREE with paid admission)

Saturdays

Hands-on History, 2 p.m. (FREE to the public)

Calendar Of Activities

Sunday, July 2

Vive I’independence!, 2 p.m. (FREE with RSVP)

Wednesday, July 5

35th Infantry Division Band: A Home Front Concert, 2 p.m. (FREE to the public)

Friday, July 7

Save a Life: Centennial Blood Donation, 8 a.m. – Noon (Walk-ins welcome)

Sunday, July 9

Day in the Life: Soldiers on Global Fronts, All Day (FREE to the public)

Wednesday, July 12

Children’s Gallery Tour, 2 p.m. (FREE with paid admission)

Modernist Meetup: Curators’ Gallery Conversations, 5:30 p.m. (FREE for members only)

Thursday, July 13

Cinetransformer Immersive Experience of “Dunkirk” Movie Prologue, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (FREE to the public)

Friday, July 14

Film Friday: Jules et Jim, 6:30 p.m. (FREE with RSVP)

Saturday, July 15

Story Time: Why War is Never a Good Idea, 11 a.m. (FREE with RSVP)

Wednesday, July 19

Fueling the Fight: Foraging and Food Conservation, 6 p.m. (Tickets $10)

Saturday-Sunday, July 22-23

WW1USA Amateur Radio Station, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (FREE to the public)

Thursday, July 27

Pilates in the Park, 7:30 a.m. (FREE with pre-registration)

Sunday, July 30

The Great Car Show, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Tickets $5 for adults, $2 for youth)

About the National World War I Museum and Memorial

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war.

The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.

 

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This Weekend At The Box Office: Despicable Me 3

The highly anticipated third installment of the “Despicable Me” series hits the box office this weekend. Does the movie fulfill the hopes of moviegoers who will be heading out to the theater? We had the chance to send Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, to catch an early screening earlier this week. She’s sharing her thoughts with us today on the blog. Take a look…

movie review

This Weekend At The Box Office: Despicable Me 3

Here’s the thing, keep in mind that I have a tendency to be “that mom”. Just know that my opinion is coming from that mind frame. I’m not going to lie, I was a little hesitant at first to see the latest installment for this series. I saw a trailer for it on T.V a week ago and was not pleased. The trailer showed an old lady drumming on a guys behind in swimming attire. I instantly thought, “I don’t want my kids to see that, it is totally unnecessary.” So, when I had the opportunity to screen the movie first so I could see if it was appropriate, I jumped on it.

The Not So Good

I’ve always thought the Despicable Me series were cute little movies but knew they had some adult jokes that go over kids’ heads. I feel like a lot do these days. So I already knew what to expect with them. But this go round, there was just too much for me to really think of this as a kid friendly movie. At least for younger kids.

I won’t go into too many details at the risk of spoiling it for you, but I will say this, there were quite a few suggestive scenes that I just don’t feel comfortable showing my younger kids. One scene in particular when the minions make a joke that includes the word boobs! It’s just something I don’t particularly want my younger kids to joke about.

The Really, Really Good

However, the main villain this go round was PHENOMENAL! My husband and I still can’t get over how funny Evil Bratt was! Evil Bratt, an ex-child actor shunned by Hollywood, is back for revenge. All the while being stuck in the 80’s. CLASSIC! We are hoping that he has a spin off very soon! Every time he hit the screen, I was laughing at everything from his looks to his nostalgic 80’s sayings and dance moves. I really, really enjoyed him!

Gru also finds his twin brother that he was separated at birth from and he tries to build that relationship the only way he knows how. Although they didn’t really elaborate on their story, Evil Bratt fills in all the missed opportunities to really make this story heartfelt.

In Short:

Altogether, I would give this movie a solid 7. I’m pretty sure that as a parent, you will enjoy the 80’s references and music, and I’m sure the kiddos will enjoy the mischievous antics of Gru and company. Just know that if you do have issues with adult jokes or suggestive scenarios, this film has quite a bit.

From iFamily to Yours,

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Throwing a Fabulous DIY Summer: A How To Guide

Despite unseasonably cooler temperatures this week, summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and we’re excited for all the DIY Summer fun in store for your family this season. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team is sharing her ideas for fabulous summer parties today on the blog. Take a look…

diy summer fun

Throwing a Fabulous DIY Summer: A How To Guide

Summer time can mean a lot of things. Swimming pools, drive ins, picnics and more. One of my favorite things to do is throw and attend parties. Just fun, let’s celebrate summer and have a great time party! So why not hit up your local dollar store or Target and put on a great party.

Here are a few ideas you can easily throw together AND entertain a large crowd for the low!

DIY Summer

Build a Hot Dog Bar

Who doesn’t love a good weenie roast?! Hot dogs are a great way to feed a crowd without spending too much. A simple hot dog bar doesn’t require much, grab some ketchup, mustard and all your favorite fixin’s and you are good go to go.

diy summer

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Take your love of ice cream to the next level with insane toppings! Gather all your favorite candies, nuts and sauces and let everyone build their own sundae. Don’t forget the root beer to make sundae floats too!

DIY SUmmer

Movie Party

This is probably the easiest way to entertain a crowd. Pick a cult classic of fave family movie, pop some popcorn, add a variety of pops and salty snacks and you are ready for an evening under the stars or your living room full of people in their pjs!

DIY Summer

Taco Party

Another fun way to feed a crowd is a taco party. Much like the hot dog bar or sundae bar, you and your guests can grab a bag of chips or shells and then add all their favorite toppings. Tacos are always a favorite among most people so this would definitely be a great way to celebrate Taco Tuesday!

DIY Summer

Carnival Party

A friend of mine through a summer carnival party two years ago and it was AMAZING! Popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs and of course carnival games! She even had a face painter or strong man there to entertain! A circus or carnival party can be done in so many ways that everyone will have a great time.

DIY Summer

Camping Party

Camping is one of my favorite past times. Fires at night, s’mores and ghost stories. The summer is the perfect time to have a camping party. Grab some stuff for s’mores and a sleeping bag for a late night.

DIY Summer

Luau Party

Luau parties are always fun too. Bright colors, grass skirts and pineapples! Grab some bright table cloths, throw some Hawaiian dogs on the grill (wrapped with bacon and pineapple) and get ready to dance the night away. You could also throw in some great games like a hula hoop competition or limbo.

DIY Summer

Southern Belle Tea Party

Want a more chic party? Throw a Southern Belle party. Have your guests dress in their Sunday bests, throw on some lace gloves and get ready for a variety of teas. Have your guests bring their favorite tea (preferably already brewed) and sip while eating bonbons or pecan pie.

DIY Summer

Beach Party

What better way to celebrate summer than a beach themed party? Head to the dollar store and grab some floaties, noodles and beach balls. Have everyone pot luck style their favorite food or make a spread of your favorite picnic foods. Don’t forget the pools! Get a blowup pool or have some bring theirs!

I hope these ideas were enough to spark your summer party planning adventures!

From iFamily to yours,

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Work It Wednesdays: The Ugly Truth About Fitness

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City!

We are so excited to share today’s Work It Wednesdays post with you because, like many of you, we each struggle with finding the motivation to get to the gym (or out for a neighborhood walk, or downstairs to hop on the treadmill) on a regular basis. Connie, from our Mom Squad team, is sharing the ugly truth about fitness and heading to the gym with you this morning on the blog because, guess what?! You’re not alone. Take a look…

 

work it wednesdays

Work It Wednesdays: The Ugly Truth About Fitness

I go on and on about how much I love working out, how great I feel after I get a good sweat on, and how centered and calm I feel when I’m ready to face the day.  But let’s be real.  The gym, my fitness journey, working out, all of it is not always sunshine and rainbows.  Some days are just plain hard.  There are times when I feel defeated.  Some mornings it’s the last thing I want to do.  Now, while these days are few and far between for me now, they are definitely still there and should be addressed and talked about.

Sometimes I’m tired.

I get up between 5:00 and 5:30 every morning to get a workout in before my family wakes up and needs me to Mommy.  And most mornings I wake up before the alarm even goes off.  I am ready to get my day started and get my sweat on. And then there are those mornings every 3 weeks or so when I audibly groan when my alarm goes off.  I hit snooze three times and it’s not enough because I am tired and don’t want to leave the warm comfort of my bed and my pillow.  My head feels cloudy and I don’t want to get up.

Sometimes my body is tired.

I work out twice a day 5 days a week.  Some days I work out three times in a day between my own workouts and teaching classes.  And then I teach on a 6th day during the week.  Which leaves Sunday as my rest day.  And I love it. But I’m not 20 anymore.  My 35 year old body desperately wants to be 20 again, but it’s just not.  So sometimes my body is done.

Sometimes I just want to be lazy.

I feel fine physically, I got enough sleep the night before, but I just want to be lazy.  Lay in bed all morning (and by all morning I mean until 7 or so when my kids get up) and then lounge around with them on the couch all day watching cartoons.  I want to be a human slug.

Sometimes, I just need a change.

I get annoyed with someone or something at the gym and I just need a change.  I need to not see that person or do that thing that is annoying me for just a bit.  Just long enough to get over the irritation.

Sometimes the weather makes me want to curl up in a ball and stay under the blankets all day.  I hate cold, so winter is especially hard for me, but I am also not a huge fan of rain.  Dreary days seem to dampen my energy and often times my mood, which can make it hard to get motivated to get done what I need to do.

The Solution

What’s the solution (and the point of this post), you ask?  Well, the answer varies.  Sometimes I give in to whatever excuse I have that day.  If I am exhausted and need sleep, I take the day and I sleep in.  I can always hit up the gym later in the day when I am feeling more rested.

If my body is really tired and telling me it needs a break, I listen then too.  I can’t afford to injure myself, not to mention, I am a horrible patient and just basically loathe being sidelined.  If it is just a lazy day, I try to make myself go anyway.  Once I get there I always feel better and shake off the urge to be a slug.  Or I can go home and slug it up after I’ve burned some calories at the gym.  When I need a change, I find a new workout or try some new machines, or a new class.

Luckily I have a membership to multiple gyms just because I am on the staff, so I can move around if I need to.  And the weather issue, that one is tough.  We live in the Midwest, so winter and rain are inevitable.  I try to prepare myself with fun winter workout gear, and remote start on my car for those cold winter mornings.  And I remind myself that the rain doesn’t have to drain me.  In fact, a couple of friends and I finished our outside run the other morning in the rain.  It was fun.

Sometimes I just have to get out of my own head.

Working out is something I love and yet I still sometimes struggle to stay motivated.  What I will not allow to happen again is my lack of motivation for a day or two to turn into a week or two and then into quitting.  I take my rest days, I listen to my body, but I don’t quit.

I’ve quit too many times before and starting all over is the hardest part.  I can’t go there again, so I keep going.  And I remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect and get every workout in to be fit.  I can give myself a little grace and a little space to get my head right on the days it doesn’t feel like what I want to do.  I don’t ever want to let a day of feeling defeated completely throw me off track.  So in your own routines, when you find yourself feeling like giving up, or being tired or sore or just plain over it, embrace that feeling, take that day, make whatever change you need to and then get back at it.  You’ll be glad you did.

From iFamily to Yours,

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36 Summer Camps Your Kids Will Love In July

Happy Tuesday, Kansas City! Like so many of your children, my daughter’s last day of summer school is rapidly approaching and (confession!) I haven’t made a whole lot of plans for her (yet) for the month of July. After speaking to many of my fellow mom friends, I know I’m not alone in this (and neither are you!) so we thought we’d share some pretty incredible summer programs that are available to your family for the rest of this summer! Take a look…

summer camps

36 Awesome Summer Camps Your Kids Will Love This July

Are your kids ready for some fun activities around the metro this July?! We’ve got a list of 35 places in and around Kansas City that your kids are going to love next month! As an added bonus, many of them have special discounts that are available to you within our monthly issue (which you can access online anytime through this link) so be sure to check out our guide to take advantage of extra savings when you book your child’s summer camp experience this year!

1. Science City 

Going on until August 4th, your kids can create, explore, and experiment at Science City’s STEM learning camps!

2. CYT KC

CYTKC has camps all across the metro area for kids ages 4-12 for musical and non-musical sessions including Disney Around the World, Disney on Broadway, High School Musical, Star Wars Episode II, Lord Of the Rings, and MORE! Learn more and get $10 off using the code IFAMILYNEW at cytkc.org.

3. We Rock The Spectrum 

At the metro area’s only indoor sensory gym with a focus on Autism, your children will enjoy Rockin’ Friends, arts and crafts, sensory activities, and open play at We Rock The Spectrum Kansas City. They’re offering half and full day camp options in June and July. Grab the details on their website and call (816) 844-9580 to pre-register. Single day camp admission is available!

4. Summit Stables 

Summit Stables offers a summer camp perfect for all riders, ages 6 and up! No prior experience necessary, riders will be grouped with those of similar ability levels for their daily lessons, taught by experienced trainers.  They feature lessons, horsecare 101, grooming, driving lessons, arts and crafts, water play, and finish the week with a mini horse show for friends and family so riders can show off their new skills.  Check out www.summitstablesmo.com for more information or call 816-607-1440 to reserve your spot today!

5. J Camp at the Jewish Community Center

This day camp also has a wide variety of activities for your child including swimming, drama, sports, culinary, tennis and more!

6. Paint, Glaze, and Fire Ceramics & Coffee House 

Join Paint, Glaze, and Fire for their 20th camp session! Children will have fun creating ceramic, clay, canvas, and glass fusion projects. Sign up early since class sizes are limited! (913) 645-1966

7. Sky Camp at Sky Zone

Located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, kids can jump around either for a full day or half day and this cool facility!

8. The Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art

Who said camp was only for kids? The Nelson Atkins Museum of art has summer art classes for kids and adults!

9. Emerald City Gymnastics

During any of the five sessions to join in on, your young athletes will develop their gymnastics skills, climb the 5,000 sq. foot indoor rock wall, enjoy fun playtime, participate in crafts and games, and get a fun camp shirt! Open to children ages 5 thru 12 with full day, morning, and afternoon sessions available. Grab a spot now!

10. Jacomo Summer Camp

Your kids can spend their summer, swimming, fishing, hiking, canoeing and more! Located at the Kemper Outdoor Education Center in Jackson County, Missouri! To request more information, contact organizers at 816-229-8980

11. Summit Lanes Lee’s Summit 

Kids bowl FREE all Summer long at Summit Lanes in Lee’s Summit! Children ages 15 and under can bowl two free games every day in the summer. Pre-register online or call (816) 524-3322 for more info.

12. Lori’s School Of Music

Give your child a taste of Music with Lori’s School of Music. Group summer classes are only $12 per week and are  a great way to introduce your budding pianist to music. Call for more details (816) 478-4838.

13. Horizon Academy

Located in Roeland Park, Kansas, hey offer academic tutoring for students with Add/Adhd, dyslexia and specific learning disorders.

14. Sion Summer Spectacular at Notre Dame de Sion School

Your kids can participate in Art, Stem, Fitness and health enrichment.

15. Accelerated Schools of Overland Park 

Students enjoy 90 minutes of creative expression as well as 2 1/4 hours of individualized academic instruction at Accelerated Schools of Overland Park. Open to 4th-8th graders June 5th- July 28th. Call for more info (913) 341-6666.

16. Ceramic Cafe

Fun themes that change with each camp session, their program provides instruction in ceramic art techniques including glass fusing, pottery painting, and hand building with clay. Email ceramiccafekc@gmail.com for more info.

17. Debbie Howard’s Gym

Located in Olathe, Debbie Howard’s Gym offers gymnastics classes, open gyms, birthday parties, and full gym rentals. They aim to teach your kids how to believe in themselves. Call for more info (913) 829-3006.

18. Kansas City Ballet Summer Programs 

Your performers will enjoy classes, workshops, and ballet camps at Kansas City Ballet this summer for ages 3-18. Space is limited so be sure to reserve your space soon! (816) 931-2299.

19. Theater of the Imagination

Located in Overland Park, Kansas, kids can act, sing and make movies! Plus when you enroll, mention iFamilyKC for $10 OFF!

20. Sunset Trails Stables 

Sunset Trails camp fun includes horseback riding, care for animals, outdoor activities, barn games, gardening, fun crafts, and more! Available for kids ages 6 and up in Lee’s Summit. Call (816) 554-7699 for more details.

21. JCPRD Summer Camps 

Friendship, teamwork, and exploration are all in store for your kids at JCPRD’s Summer Camps! They’ve got indoor and outdoor full day and partial day options available. Connect with Johnson County Parks & Rec directly for more information.

22. Kids On Campus KCKCC

Ideal for ages 8 thru 18, KCKCC’s Kids On Campus program provides sports, STEM enrichment, arts, field trips, life skills, and more during their day camp in June and July. Grab more info online and register for your child’s spot now before space fills up.

23. Learning 2 Fly

Learning 2 Fly is the place to be for curious minds and energetic bodies. Their summer camps are a fun way to enjoy aerial fitness and more! Call (913) 262-2600 for more details.

24. Shakespeare Summer Camps 

Camp Shakespeare is a fun and unique summer arts experience you kids will never forget! Taught by theater professionals in a neighborhood near you from Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Grab more info at (816) 531-7728.

25. Kanakuk 

Since 1926, Kanakuk has been providing America’s premier summer camp experience for boys and girls ages 6-18. here is no better way to create lifelong friendships and build your child’s character and confidence this summer. Call for more information (417) 266-3000.

26. Kansas City Young Audiences 

Conveniently located in Midtown, Kansas City Young Audiences offers camps and classes all summer long for ages 4 through 18. Schedules and class descriptions are available online.

27. i9 Sports of Johnson County

Located in Lenexa, Kansas, i9 offers a wide variety of sports for boys and girls! Focusing on new sports and sportsmanship while having fun!

28. Kansas City Zoo 

Zoofari Adventures and Junior Zoologist Camps are now enrolling at the Kansas City Zoo! These camps are an excellent way for your animal enthusiasts to get the inside scoop about the Zoo’s amazing creatures for children between the ages of 4 and 14. Camps start May 30th! (816) 595-1234

29. Champions Gymnastics Academy 

Starting June 5th, from 7am-6pm (Monday thru Friday), you kids can enjoy Summer Day Camps at Champions Gymnastics! Drop in by the hour ($5/hour) or pay $150/week. Call their location in Raytown at (816) 360-9879 to sign up!

30. Jazz Camp 

Kansas City Community College and the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra present Jazz Camp, a summer program for people ages 13 and up. Includes lunch and a camp shirt. Call (913) 228-7503 for more details.

31. Camp Grow

Camp Grow introduces your child to 4-H! Completed projects will be entered into this year’s fair. The program is presented by the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame. Call for more information (913) 721-1075.

32. Crescendo Conservatory

Calling all fairy princesses and rock stars! Join Crescendo Conservatory this year for fairy princess camp and rock star camp. Twirling in tutus though a magical forest or dancing under a mirror ball are all in store for your dancers this summer. Visit online for more information.

33. Xtreme Gymnastics 

Registration is now open for campers at Xtreme Gymnastics! From Day camps to gym warrior camps and gymnastics camps, there’s something for everyone at XGT Kids!

34. Engineering for Kids South Kansas City

This summer camp introduces your child to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through project based learning! For more information you can request info from southkc@engineeringforkids.net.

35. Cub Creek Science camp

You kid can learn, explore and experience animal adventures! They are a sleep away camp and are located in Rolla Mo. Check them out, enroll here or call them at 573-458-2125.

36. StageWorx 

StageWorx is a theater day camp that offers various sessions for age groups from preschool through high school. They focus on providing excellence in theater performance, depth of personal character, and lasting friendships. Call (816) 536-2840 for more details!

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Four Simple Ways To Enjoy Independence Day

Independence Day is just around the corner and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably trying to think of simple ways your family can have an enjoyable holiday this year. Look no further! Our very own iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger has put together four ways you can enjoy the fourth this year. Take a look…

4 tips for a fabulous fourth

Four Simple Ways To Enjoy Independence Day

I love the Fourth of July. When I was a kid it meant fireworks and “God Bless the USA” on repeat, hot dogs and apple pie and as I have grown older not much has changed. I now find myself yelling at my kids not to run with the punks and don’t stand over the firework—something I am pretty sure I did more than once including the one year that I got so brave as to launch the bottle rocket from my hand! I really don’t know how I survived!

But if you are anything like my family, your summers are sometimes even busier than during the school year! We have one daughter’s birthday right before and the other daughter shortly after the holiday. Of course birthday’s in my house take precedence over ANYTHING so we always try and make it bit lower key. Here are my four easy steps to a fabulous fourth!

#1 The Food

You gotta eat right? But everyone in the neighborhood is going to have the typical hot dogs and hamburgers, which is just fine but maybe spice them up a little. The fresh meat counter at the grocery store may have something that could help there! Our family LOVES brat burgers (basically the ground up brat formed into a patty) they always have great flavors and you can make some great toppings to go one them. Instead of just a plain mayo, why not make it a spicy mayo or add some chopped up pineapple or mango salsa to really get some good flavors going!

Usually these are just as inexpensive as getting hamburger and you don’t have to make the patties yourself! Chips and dip are table staples at fourth parties, but again take a look around your local grocery and think about an additional out of the box dip. Hummus for instance or create an easy Mexican flair dip with sour cream and taco seasoning, cut up some tortillas and serve with some pico de gallo or salsa. And don’t feel like you have to do everything just because you are hosting; have your friends bring the sides or something for their kids if they have the picky eaters!

#2 The “Frinks” (sorry I couldn’t find an F-word for beverages!)

Obviously the only drink of summer is kool-aid but let’s branch out a little more! I cheated and went on Pinterest and found some really neat red, white and blue drinks one in particular I think I am going to try for the kiddos. You take a clear cup (they used milk bottles) pour in a small amount of Cranberry-apple juice, then load up on the ice pour in a little amount of SoBe Pina Colada drink (no alcohol) and then finish by pouring in a little blue Gatorade.

According to my friend on Pinterest it is supposed to work! Basically you are just stacking the drink by sugar content—more sugar goes toward the bottom. I haven’t tested this but will report back! For the adult drinks, if you are making them alcoholic just make sure they aren’t too strong. We need adults on full alert in order to watch for rogue bottle rockets or a tipped over artillery shell container (I know this from experience—sober you right up!). Beer and a nice summer sangria really hits the spot and you can dial down the hard stuff for this night.

#3 The Fireworks

You have to have them! I realize that a lot of communities around the area don’t allow fireworks for understandable reasons; chances are there is a display just a short drive away. If not a city display ask a local fireworks tent if they are planning on doing anything; a lot of them will shoot off their larger fireworks because they know they won’t sell them for this year and obviously can’t save them for next year.

If you are one of the few that can shoot off fireworks make sure you have a sturdy board or table to shoot them from. I would also recommend rigging some sort of holding device for those artillery shell launchers (see above statement) they aren’t made to really withstand much so they can get really tippy which means they are aimed straight at your guests! Putting the launcher inside the hole of a concrete block would help this tremendously!

#4 The Favors

If you have read any of my posts about parties you know that I love party favors! It’s what makes coming over to my house unique. Now is the time to start looking! Target’s dollar spot has tons of glow sticks, head bands, wands, and necklaces that are very affordable so you can buy one for everyone. Plus it looks really neat to see everyone lit up after dark. I also need to mention that it is a really nice tool to keep an eye on your kids; sometimes you can’t see them in the dark but you can see their glow stick bracelet walking ever closer to the firework launching pad! Favors and life-saving all in one package!

Have fun, be safe, and Happy Independence Day!

From iFamily to Yours,

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12 Dazzling Fireworks Displays in KC You Can’t Miss This Year!

Independence Day is almost here, Kansas City and we are so excited for all the fun in store for your family here in the metro area. If you’re looking for fun fireworks displays around the metro, we’ve compiled a list of 12 spots you don’t want to miss this year. Take a look…

fireworks displays

12 Fireworks Displays in KC You Can’t Miss This Year!

It’s almost the 4th of July and you know what that means.. FIREWORKS! Fireworks are one of the best things about the 4th of July, and if you have a crowd, they can get expensive and the process of finding the perfect spot to show them off can become tedious.  So, why not go and enjoy a show instead! There are so many places around the metro area that put on great shows for the entire family! Check out this list!

#1 River Fest

Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park, 1298 Riverfront Dr., Kansas City, MO 64101 July 4th. You can find ticket information, directions and more online!

#2 Worlds of Fun

4545 Worlds of Fun Ave July 1-4th

#3 Parkville

July 4th Celebration: English Landing Park – Over the Missouri River
8701 Clark Avein Parkville, Missouri 64152.

#4 Olathe Red, White & Blue

Various addresses July 4th. For information on parking locations visit them online.

#5 Gladstone Independence Day Celebration

Oak Grove Park July 4th. This is a free viewing and you can find more information on parking here.

#6 Red, White and Blue Springs

2000 NW Ashton Drive in Blue Springs, Missouri 64015, July 4th.

#7 Platte City Fireworks Display

High School Pirates Stadium 1501 Branch Street in Platte City, Missouri 64079.

#8 Pleasant Hill Fireworks

Skyline Field – 1301 Myrtle in Pleasant Hill, Missouri 64080.

#9 Salute to the Union Fireworks

Merritt Lake, Grant Ave., Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027 July 4th.

#10 OP Fourth of July Celebration

8717 W. 110th St.

Overland Park, KS 66210 July 4th.

#11 Westwood Fireworks Display

St. Agnes Athletic Field MONDAY JULY 3rd.

#12 July 4th Celebration in Gardner, KS 

Live music, food vendors, out of this world bounce houses, face painting, portable zip lines, interactive entertainment and one of the best fireworks displays in the area!

Before you head out to view the fireworks, check your destinations site to see if there are any rules and guidelines for pets, chairs and beverages you can bring. Some places are located on school and church campuses so glass and alcohol may be restricted. Also, fireworks have gotten louder over the years, make sure you bring noise reduction headphones or earplugs. Don’t forget the snacks and blankets too! Have a great 4th of July!

From iFamily to yours,

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