The little book with BIG resources!

iFamilyKC Kids Club FUN at @create2day

LIVE from Create 2 Day for our iFamilyKC Kids Club event! JOIN US 12:30-2:30 or 3:00-5:00pm session TODAY: app.robly.com/archive?id=17c1ef998b34fe94c3f2c6d5a978d63b


iFamilyKC Kids Club Event at Creat2Day! Create2Day.com

Crafty, Creative, Re-Use FUN at Create 2 Day! Join us for 12:30-2:30 or 3:00-5:00pm session TODAY! app.robly.com/archive?id=17c1ef998b34fe94c3f2c6d5a978d63b Crafting, Sewing, Knitting, Woodworking classes, programs, Birthday Parties, REAL Soda Fountain and so much more!


Branson Scenic Railway REAL Train always provides family FUN!

We are LIVE with your scoop on what’s going on in and around the metro this week! Today we’re doing things a little bit differently and we’re coming at you LIVE from Branson Scenic Railway, home of the Polar Express Train! BransonTrain.com has rides and family FUN all year long, but make sure you get your Polar Express Tickets EARLY! They always sell out! Calendar and details in comments below too!


iFamilyKC Kids Club Event at Create2Day!

LIVE from Create 2 Day for our iFamilyKC Kids Club event! Create2Day.org is a wonderful destination for a Reduce, Re-Create, Re-Use Celebration! More Sessions TODAY: 12:30-2:30 & 3:00-5:00pm too! Come on over to 115 Oak, Bonner Springs, KS, and have the kiddos CrEaTe a project using the multitude of their Make-It/Take-It materials, Monetary Donation Per Project, + FREE Karaoke & FREE Ice Cream Cone for each crafter in their real Soda Shop!


Summer Learning: A Lesson On Telling Time

The kids are out of school but that doesn’t mean that summer learning has to stop. Becky, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, has some great tips for continuing that learning for your kids over the summer. Take a look…

summer learning

Summer Learning: A Lesson On Telling Time

It’s summer time and the living is easy—unless you’re in my house and there are lessons to be learned! Chop, chop! Last week, it was all about introducing our 6-year-old to the concept of time. It was time well spent (sorry, had to). Here’s how I did it:

Get A Clock

summer learning

Get a clock, or better yet, make one together with a paper plate, some paper, markers and a brad. We already had this puzzle clock that worked great as a teaching tool. Or, take one right off the wall and take the battery out to use how you please. Hot tip: The Dollar Store also sells signs with moving clock hands like this:

summer learning

Use this clock to demonstrate time, quiz your child on time, and keep it throughout the day for the child to update the time.

Worksheets… I mean FUNsheets!

Every morning, practice with these FREE clock-themed worksheets here. For an incentive (it is summer) give him/her a bonus 5 minutes of TV/tablet/book time for every final worksheet answer they get correct.

summer learning

Schedule It!

Give your child a schedule to fill out and try and stick with it. They will quickly learn how you really can’t do everything in one day.

summer learning

Stopwatch

Finally, a real answer to “Are we there yet?” Let your child use your stopwatch app on your phone in the car to get a better understanding of how long it will take to get somewhere.

summer learning

Books & Dvds

Get a week’s worth of books and DVDs that are time-related from the library. From educational to silly, there are all kinds of kid books around the theme of time.

summer learning

Reward

Bonus! As an award learning how to tell time, at the end of the week take a field-trip to shop for a watch together. (Feel free to set a time limit on his/her decision.)

From iFamily to Yours,

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Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three, and blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog


22 Spraygrounds To Check Out This Summer

With summer temperatures in full swing here in the metro area, you’re likely wondering how you can both escape the heat and keep the kids active this year. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team has put together your ultimate guide for Spray Grounds here in the metro area. She’s compiled a list of 22 places you need to put on your summer bucket list. Take a look…

sprayground guide

22 Spraygrounds Around Kansas City!

It’s summer, you’re hot, I’m hot… we’re ALL hot! And nothing says summer like water parks, splash parks and really anything to do with water. As a mom of littles and mediums that don’t fully know how to swim or have been scarred by going under water one time, it can be nerve wracking when going to the pool.

Take my pool for example. Living downtown is great! You get a mix of people, however, they are mostly young and no kids. So it can cause a lot of stress on everyone when trying to take your kids to a populated pool.

So over the past few years, I have grown to LOVE spray grounds! The water is not too deep and they can enjoy themselves in a fun, non-scary place with water. I can either join them in the fun or relax on the side. Mind fully at ease.

So if you are like me and you love spraygrounds, then have no fear and take a look at this amazing list of spraygrounds throughout the metro area!

Missouri

#1 Dagg Park

701 East 21st Avenue, North Kansas City

#2  Harmony Park

East 10th Street & Agnes Avenue, Kansas City

#3 Blue Valley Park

23rd Street and Topping, Kansas City

#4 Douglas Park

2632 Jarboe Street, Kansas City

#5 Jacob L. Loose Park

52nd Terrace and Summit Street, Kansas City

#6 Sunnyside Park

8255 Summit Street, Kansas City

#7 Longview Tract

7101 Longview Road, Kansas City

#8 Golden Oaks Park

North East 46th Street & North Antioch Road

#9 Garrison Square

4th Street and Forest Avenue, Kansas City

#10 Central Park

Linwood Boulevard and Bales Avenue, Kansas City

#11 Lynkins Square

East 8th Street and Myrtle Avenue, Kansas City

#12 Parade Park

1600 John “Buck” O’Neil Way, Kansas City

#13 Seven Oaks Park

East 39th Street & Winchester Avenue, Kansas City

#14 Spring Valley Park

East 27th Street and Woodland Avenue, Kansas City

#15 McCoy Park

24 Highway and North Delaware, Independence

#16 Rotary Park

24th and Hardy, Independence

#17 John Anderson Park

4701 East 135 Street, Grandview

 #18 Miller J. Fields Park

1301 South East 3rd Terrace

While the amount of Spraygrounds in Kansas is not as extensive, these are great parks to check out as well!

Kansas

#19 Pierson Park

1800 South 55th, Kansas City KS

#20 Eisenhower Park

2901 North 72nd Street, Kansas City KS

#21 Heathwood Park

North 10th Street and Parallel Pkwy, Kansas City KS

#22 Roe Park

10400 Roe Avenue, Leawood KS

While I have not been to most of these parks, this is merely a guide of locations throughout the metro area. It is always wise to check the time and dates before heading off for a day of fun!

*Pro tip* Pack plenty of snacks, water and extra clothes/towels when heading to the sprayground. Also, if you have or can purchase some, water shoes are a great idea for your kiddos when they are playing in water. Some of the grounds can get slippery and the last thing you want to do is heal boo boos when you want to have fun.

I hope you find this list helpful and enjoy your time this summer!

From iFamily to Yours,

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Don’t Miss A Day Out With Thomas At Midland Railway!

If you haven’t been to Midland Railway in Baldwin City, Kansas yet, you’re missing out. They’re on a mission to keep the history of railroading alive with their unique seasonal events and special activities, including one that your family can take advantage of this weekend ONLY and don’t forget that you can save $2 per ticket using our exclusive code (at the bottom of this post) for your trip! Erin, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, had a chance to check out the limited time Day Out With Thomas and Friends this morning and is sharing her experience with you this evening on the blog. Take a look…

Don’t Miss A Day Out With Thomas At Midland Railway!

day out with thomas midland railway

ALL ABOARD! The FINAL weekend for Day Out with Thomas at Midland Railway is THIS weekend! My guys and I had the opportunity to check out the festivities in Baldwin City, KS, located about an hour or so from KC. Check out our day!

My husband, son, and I ventured out this morning and made a SUPER fun day of it!  They offered free parking with a shuttle bus from the elementary school.  It was my two year old’s first experience on a school bus so he was excited from the moment we got out of the car.  We arrived just in time for our departure on Thomas!  The look on his face when he saw the giant train with Thomas pulling it was best part of the whole experience for this momma!  He is a HUGE fan of trains, Thomas and all his friends!

The ride lasted about 35 minutes or so and takes you on a scenic tour of Baldwin City farmland!  When we got off the train and all the memorable pictures in front of Thomas were complete, we were free to check out all of the other many fantastic activities: bouncy house, Imagination Station, mini golf, gift shop, Sir Topham Hatt, story telling and videos, magic show and much more! The bounce house was the perfect size for little ones ages 2 to 6!  When you arrive you are provided a Passport to Friendship with 4 different “stamp stations” and once you complete your passport you get a little prize!

There is a gift shop with lots of fun exclusive Day Out with Thomas merchandise to remember your trip! We wrapped up our trip with lunch at Moose Backwoods BBQ, a restaurant located inside the gas station, on the way out of town.  It was pretty good (but I think as Kansas Citians we all know who rules the roost on the gas station BBQ thing!)

A combo ticket gets you a ride on Thomas AND on Percy!  Tickets are still available at midlandrailway.org. Be sure to use discount code IFKC2017 for $2 off each ticket! It was a great little day trip for my family and I definitely see another visit to see Thomas and the gang in our future!

From iFamily to Yours,

Erin

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6 Simple Ways To Make Life Easier

As moms, we are always looking for ways to make life easier and more simplified. As our little ones continue to grow (and grow, and grow!), life doesn’t seem to slow down no matter how much we wish it would. If you’re like me, and you’ve been trying to find ways to get more organized, you’re in luck. Today, on the blog, iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Sarah shares some simple ways to make life easier and you happier along the way! Take a look…

make life easier

6 Simple Ways to Make Life Easier – And You Happier!

I am constantly looking for ways to make my families’ life run smoother. And from my recent round of Facebook stalking, I can see that everyone else could benefit from this as well. And what a great time to start getting in these habits—summer! So when school starts up again you are ready to go!

I have tried all the Pinterest posts about posting a calendar for the family, running a chore chart, and organizing to your schedule but something always happens—one of the kids spills something on her dress which sends us all into a code 10 freak out mode or the dog chews up my razor and I can’t seem to find the other two blades which means a code 10 call to the vet. Whatever the issue our best laid plans don’t always go on schedule, so I am sharing with you just a few tips and tricks that I have found helpful. Will these all work for you? No. Will you be able to use all of them? Probably not. But hopefully adding a few things will create just a few more minutes and feel free to use those minutes for you. Cleaning the dog slobber off your black dress pants or something!

1. Sunday-Funday

Or as I like to call it Sunday-Plan Day, this usually means an hour or so planning out the week. My family did well at this for a little while, then we stopped, then we went back to a few things. Basically when it all works we can organize several things in this hour: we plan the weekly meals, pickup schedules, clothes, and after work/school activities. It basically gets my husband and I on the same page so we aren’t making the 4:45 in the afternoon call as to whether or not you can pick up the girls.

2. Planning Weekly Meals

If you buy for the week you know that everything is defrosted and in the fridge instead of the moment of panic when you realize you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer! It can also save a lot of money too; when you realize said chicken is not defrosted then you won’t spend additional money going through the drive thru on the way home! Everyone who knows me knows that I am huge proponent of the online grocery and pickup or delivery service. I can still find the best price and I trust the associates at my store to pick out the freshest items on my list. It makes me so happy that I don’t have to spend my weekend at ten grocery stores or drag the kids to the store only to strategically plan not to go near the candy or toy aisle. And you purchase right from your meal list no more and no less!

3. Planning Clothes For the Week

I personally can’t do this. I am what you can call an emotional dresser. I wake up and then decide what I want to wear; I get anxiety if I plan what to wear and then it doesn’t look right or it is just one of those days that black looks better! But for my girls I can still do this! I have learned to let them help with this planning, for anyone that asks it’s such a good learning tool to help them learn organization, days of the week, weather—but really? I can’t do the code 10 freak out when one is wearing a dress and the other wants to wear one too but that is not in their Monday box. Invest in 5 small plastic shoe boxes and a label maker and get to planning—make sure to include underwear and socks too!

4. Money Is The Root Of All

I am not the expert in financial planning. My husband and I have an “awkward financial discussion” about every month. So I refuse to give you tips on what works or what you can do. I will say that right along with that Sunday Plan Day is a Money Date. Communication and discussion about upcoming debits to the finances can save on many “AFDs” and this will help work into your budget as well. On our money date we look at the month, look at the budget and then always communicate in a non-judgmental and supportive way. We also take a look at last month and see where we need to improve. We can also look at any extra monies we may have coming in or going out.

I also may have an addiction to online shopping. Confession—there have been some months that packages have shown up on our door and I couldn’t tell you what they were! First of all take all those apps off your phone and disconnect the one touch buy on Amazon! When you have something that you just aren’t sure would fit into the budget this month and could be considered frivolous go ahead and add it to your cart but wait 48 hours before you click “buy”. If in that time you still feel like you need this then buy; most of the time though that 48 hours puts some perspective on if you really need the patriotic pillow covers!

5. Time Is Never On Our Side!

I am not one for clocks; I have never really been a fan of having them and especially not in the bathroom. I find myself checking everything and then hurrying and causing more chaos than it is worth. However, when my girls get up in the morning and are waiting for me to get ready I turn on a show for them, don’t judge me! Have you ever put mascara on while one is going in and out of your legs and keeps turning on the water in the bathtub to give the dog a drink? That morning I only put mascara on one eye—everyone at work thought I had pink eye! In any case I always put on a 30 minute show which means that I can time myself without having the use of a clock. Another tip along this same vein is creating a playlist for the time that you want to spend getting ready; once that playlist is running down you should be dancing out the door!

6. Outsource

Such a bad word in this day and age, maybe delegation sits a little easier.  It is okay to ask for help. A mantra that I am trying to learn myself but relying on your village to help with little things around the house or picking up something you forgot on your online grocery list is perfectly okay. Summer is the worst for things like this; even though it is summer break we are almost busier on weekends and in the evenings than we ever were when school was in session. My girls’ birthdays are both in the summer and from previous blog posts I am sure that you know I don’t go small when it comes to birthdays so planning and preparing for these starts in May. Right now I have my mom tying together silverware packets! Something that isn’t much but would have taken more time than needed to when I could be focusing on other things.

From iFamily to Yours,

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Fun & Easy Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Be Active Year Round

Are you looking for fun and easy ways to encourage your kids to be active this summer and beyond?! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad, shares some simple ideas you can use at home (and on the go) to get the kids moving this year. Take a look..

encourage your kids to be active all year round

Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Be Active Year Round

As a parent, you always wonder about your kids. Are they sleeping enough? Eating enough? Playing or laughing enough? It’s a constant cycle of questions that circulate your head space everyday.

When I look at my kids, I see them living a life that I always wanted. Not like a stage mom kinda life, but one full of friends, happiness and healthy habits. I have blogged about my life growing up and how it wasn’t the healthiest and how I wish someone would have guided me down a healthier path as a child instead of an adult. So I strive to make sure that my kids are eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise so ensure that they will live happier and healthier lives as they grow. Try to remember, while you’re encouraging your kids to be active, that they’re not adults and they’re not in boot camp. Making sure that they’re having fun is always the key to keeping them active.

Here are some easy ways to get them moving:

#1 Sports

Obviously this is a no-brainer but sports is not only limited to soccer or basketball – There are many, many other things that your little ones can do. Try putting your kiddo in dance or gymnastics. These activities also require a lot of muscle movement and, of course, they are fun!

#2 Hiking

A simple family outing is my favorite! Enjoying nature and each other’s company not only gets you moving but it also builds that family bond!

#3 Exercise

As a family, my kiddos and I go on jogs in the morning and occasionally they participate in a few fun circuits with me. My kids love going to the gym as well but it can be a little difficult for two of them since the equipment they want to use is so big.

#4 School Yard Games

Games like tag, kickball and all those fun activities are great! They are running, laughing and of course, throwing in a little friendly competition.

#5 Swimming

Swimming is a great way to keep your kids active. For one, they just think they are having fun in the pool (which they are) but they are actually doing forms of resistance training. The pool was my favorite way to exercise during the last few weeks of my pregnancy.

#6 Stairs

Simply taking the stairs when you are at places like the mall or library is an easy way to add a little extra cardio. We live on the 7th floor so we rarely take the stairs at home. But when we visit the library we almost ALWAYS take the stairs. The kids love to see who can get to the top first!

#7 Biking

Riding bikes always seems to be one of the kids favorites! They can ride for hours and not think a thing about it. Again, it is great for muscles and balance as well.

#8 Parks

This is what they are made for! Running, climbing, swinging and all that jazz. Find a great park that “grows with your kid”, meaning they have different levels for different ages is a great way to keep them busy. Don’t forget to bring water and band-aids. There are usually a few scrapes that come  along!

#9 Skating

Ice in the winter and roller all year round! Ice skating takes a lot of muscles to balance yourself. Not to mention you are having fun listening to music too!

I hope these were some easy tips on how  you can keep your kiddos active all year round!

From iFamily to Yours,

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Donating Blood? What You Need To Know Before You Go!

Donating blood can feel like an intimidating process if you’re not familiar with it but it’s an incredible gift to give to our community. If you’re able to donate, check out these six, simple reminders to know before you go from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Erin. Take a look…

What you need to know before donating blood

Donating Blood? What You Need To Know Before You Go!

If you’re looking for something to do this summer to “give back” that is free, easy and (fairly) painless, think about donating blood!  A few years ago my husband started with the American Red Cross and we started giving blood regularly.  It has been an extremely rewarding experience for both of us and I would highly recommend it!   Here are some reminders to know before you go:

Reminder One

In the words of Derek Shepherd, “It’s a beautiful day to save lives!” A pint of blood has the potential to save as many as 3 lives so get out there and start saving people!

Reminder Two

Drink lots of water and eat iron-rich foods a few days before giving blood.  Both men and women have a certain iron level you must meet in order to give blood or you will be deferred.

Reminder Three

In most states, you must be 17 years or older to donate blood. Also, certain health conditions and travel destinations can affect your eligibility to give blood. You must be at least 110 pounds to donate.

Reminder Four

It is helpful to know a few things about blood types.  If you are O negative, that means your blood is universal and can be used by anyone without the chance of rejection so therefore this blood type is in high demand. If you are AB, you are able to receive any type of blood donation.

Reminder Five

Whole blood donations can be done every 56 days and power red cell blood donation can be done every 112 days.

Reminder Six

If you are afraid of needles, just look at the picture of my husband below! He conquered his fear after many years and is able to regularly give blood with no issues!  The feeling of accomplishment and helping people far exceeds the small feeling of the pinch of the needle!

donating blood what you need to know

There are many opportunities to donate in KC! If you are looking for a place to donate check out the American Red Cross or Community Blood Bank. Both companies are running promotions right now with the KC Royals and Worlds of Fun if you donate.

From iFamily to Yours,

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