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Spring Break in Kansas City: 28 Awesome Places to Go During Break

Kansas City Spring Break Guide for Kids


Spring Break Vacations will soon be in full-swing, where you can enjoy sleeping in (a tad late), fun activities with the kids, and being able to go outside in a not-so-winter coat. You may be surprised to learn there is plenty of to do right in YOUR area this Spring Break! If you’re searching for fun, family things to do in KC over the break, you’ve come to the right place.

So, whip out that calendar and start penciling in these fun, family-friendly Spring Break activities and camps around Kansas City. Whether you are wanting to book a camp for the whole week or try a  new activity each day, there are activities to keep everyone in your family busy. Check out our favorite things to do during Spring Break below!

Planning a staycation? Kids want to go swimming (indoors) instead?  We’ve got you covered too!

Family-Friendly Spring Break Ideas:

How to Make your Family’s Spring Break the BEST ever!


#1 Learning2Fly

4711 Lamar, Mission KS

L2F is a fun filled aerial fitness center with class options for every age! Their 2018 A Chakra Circus of Health is March 12th – 15th from 8:30 to 3:30 pm. Educate and empower your kids for a lifelong love of health. This camp will motivate young people towards a lifestyle of healthy choices in every aspect of life. Daily activities include aerial acrobatics classes, yoga and meditation, art activities, hula hooping, creative movement, nature hikes, and educational and interactive videos.

You can visit Learning2Fly online for general class schedules and requirements.


#2 College Basketball Experience

1401 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Located in the Power & Light district, you and the kids can play different activities while learning basketball history at the College Basketball Experience. The Basketball Hall of Fame is open throughout March- closed MONDAYS & TUESDAYS.

Visit the College Basketball Experience website for tickets and schedule.


#3 Ceramic Cafe

9510 Nall Ave, Overland Park, KS

At Ceramic Cafe, you and your kiddos can express your inner artist. Create a masterpiece for your home & make memories that will last a lifetime.

Check out Ceramic Cafe for a list of special classes and events.


#4 Urban Air Trampoline Park

With two locations in the Kansas City metro area (Overland Park & KCMO), there is an Urban Air for everyone. Get active with your kiddos while burning off some of that energy and stress. Every Thursday after 5pm is Family Night at Urban Air! For only $35 you get 5 one-hour jump passes, 5 bottled waters, and 1 large one-topping pizza!

Urban Air is and indoor trampoline park with tons of extra activities to do- Open Jump, Dodgeball, Teen Night & more. Grab details for locations, hours, and special classes and pricing at Urban Air’s website.


#5 Exit Room Express

1021 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s Summit, MO

Located inside Paradise Park, you can put your wits to the test in this express escape room.

To reserve your room or for more details on the rooms, visit Paradise Park online.


#6 Sunset Trails Stables

2100 SE Ranson Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO

Sunset Trails Stables offers lessons and trail rides from beginner level to expert. Come learn how to ride horses from the best in KC! Save $10 on select riding classes (Beginner or Texas Tots) with their ad in iFamilyKC- find ad in our digital issue.

For information on their Spring Break camp, visit Sunset Trails Stables online.


#7 Kick It Foos

8166 Monticello Terrace, Shawnee, KS

One of the coolest indoor activities around. Kick It Foos is a human foosball game, also offering several other life-sized games that you can (literally) get in on.

To get info on group ratings hours and FAQ, visit the Kick It Foos website.


#8 Summit Lanes

803 SW Oldham Parkway, Lee’s Summit, MO

A guaranteed family fun time during Spring Break is bowling. Our friends over at Summit Lanes even have GLOW IN THE DARK bowling. How cool is that?

Visit Summit Lanes online for further details.


#9 Jump City

8020 E 171st St, Belton, MO

At Jump City, you and the kids can enjoy a full day of open-jump fun in their 13 bounce houses! $5 admission to their open gym Tuesday through Friday. Parents are always FREE at Jump City!

For pricing and ours, visit Jump City online.


#10 Skyzone

With two metro locations, Sky Zone has everything from homeschool PE time to glow in the dark parties on Friday & Saturdays from 7pm to midnight. Have fun in the Foam Zone during open jump or play dodgeball, SkySlam, ultimate volleyball & more!

Find the closest location to you and pricing at the Sky Zone website.


#11 Kaleidoscope

2450 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO

A family favorite, Kaleidoscope is located by Crown Center & is always FREE for your family. Hallmark donates their extra craft materials for kids to repurpose into new creations of their own! The facility is designed for younger kiddos but will be enjoyed by the whole family.

For a session schedule, visit the Kaleidoscope website.


#12 Code Ninjas

3622 West 135th Street, Leawood, KS

With one location in Leawood currently enrolling and several opening soon, Code Ninjas is perfect for those that love the art of gaming and coding. Kids learn to create video games using coding skills they work their way through the colored belts. Enroll NOW to save big! Drop-in learning is also available.

For information on locations and classes check out Code Ninjas online.

#13 Paint, Glaze, and Fire

12683 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS

Instead of sitting at the movies silently, come get creative with the kids! Paint, Glaze, & Fire offers ½ OFF Studio Fees Tuesday to Thursday each week in March. Family Night is the second Saturday of each month from 5:30-9 pm. $45 fee includes 4 studio fees, large cheese or pepperoni pizza, 4 soft drinks AND 15% OFF pottery painted during the event. Paint Me a Story Pottery classes for kids run throughout March too! Plus, they have a coffee house located right inside.

For hours and events, visit the Paint, Glaze, and Fire website.


#14 Union Station/ Science City

30 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO

There is always an adventure at Union Station! Whether you are visiting Science City to ride Sky Bikes, the Planetarium for a laser show, or a special exhibit, there is something you will love at Union Station. Right now, the special exhibit showing at Union Station, “Art of the Brick”, allows you to see giant Lego structures and intricate pieces.

To get info on hours, tickets, & daily events visit Union Station’s website.


#15 Taste Buds Kitchen

5336 151st Street, Leawood, KS

One way to have a great family outing (or even a Mom and Dad night out) is a cooking session at Taste Buds Kitchen. Their cooking studio offers kids and adult sessions.

For their list of cooking camps and events visit Taste Buds Kitchen online.


#16 Tutor Doctor

Spring Break can be used to catch up on school subjects, and that’s okay. Our friends over at the Tutor Doctor have a customizable program for all styles of learners & help your child in the comfort of their home.

To see a list of subjects and how the process works, visit Tutor Doctor online.


#17 National WWI Museum & Liberty Memorial

2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO

The World War I Museum hosts fascinating events for your family. On Saturdays at 11am, you and your family can actually touch and explore artifacts from the world war.

For information on their upcoming events, visit the World War I Museum website.


#18 Kids Park

15296 W 119th Street, Olathe, KS

During the kids’ break from school, sometimes we need a break from the kids. KidsPark offers hourly child care without the need for a reservation. Relax knowing your kids are being cared for by compassionate professionals in a fun and safe environment.

For hours and pricing visit Kids Park online.


#19 Star Light Theater Spring Break Camp

4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO

This Spring Break camp is during the Kansas City area district’s break. Kids can learn and explore through art, singing, dancing and acting.

For information prices, restrictions and hours visit Star Light Theater’s website.


#20 The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO

Immerse your family in the arts at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art this Spring Break. The museum hosts Free Weekend Fun for families each weekend in March! Create an artistic masterpiece with your kids for FREE.

Full event calendar at the Nelson-Atkins‘s website. Click Family Events to find the above mentioned art event.


#21 The Kansas City Zoo

6800 Zoo Dr, Kansas City, MO

Discover exotic animals & wildlife with your kids at the Kansas City Zoo! Walk around with your family or enroll your kids in one of their 3-Day Spring Break Camps (March 12-28).

Visit The Kansas City Zoo online to learn more.


#22 Kansas City Young Audiences

3732 Main Street, Kansas City, MO

Come explore and learn to act at the many different summer camps offered at KCYA. Find a complete list of camps to match your child with the the acting camp perfect for their personality! Camps meet Monday through Friday and camp fees include a snack. There is a multi-camp discount if you sign-up for 2 weeks or more of acting camp. (Scholarships are available too!)

More info online by visiting the KCYA website!


#23 Paradise Park

1021 NE Colbern Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO

Come play at Paradise Park with the kids! They offer Spring Break Specials throughout March (March 9-30). Visit https://www.paradise-park.com/spring-break to find the special of the day! Some highlights: Buy a $20 Fun Card- get a FREE personal pizza, Ice Cream Sunday- Get a FREE ice cream treat w/ purchase of any Max Pak , & BOGO Laser Tag.

Visit Paradise Park online for further details.


#24 Greater Kansas City YMCAs

With locations all around the Kansas City metro, the YMCA is a great option for Spring Break activities. Get active with your kids and play basketball, swim in their indoor pools, or attend one of their kids/family events.

Find Kids Night Out events at various KC YMCA locations online.


#24 Paul Mesner Puppets

1006 Linwood Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Enjoy a puppet show with your family at the Mesner Puppet Theater. Choose from the shows: Rhymes, Rap, Miss Mary Mack (through March 4th) or The Cat Came Back (through March 12th).

Buy tickets & explore shows at the Mesner Puppets website.


#25 Ernie Miller Nature Center

909 N Highway 7 Olathe, KS

Visitors are welcome to view the aquarium and hike the trails all week. During the Spring Fling Fun event, park naturalists will entertain guests with a special themed program each day at 10:30am (March 12th to 16th). Each program is approximately 45 minutes in length and the fee is $3- paid on-site.

For more information call 913-764-7759 or visit the Ernie Miller Nature Center website.


#26 Mid-Continent Public Libraries

Visit the MCPL event calendar to find children’s events at different Kansas City metro libraries. (35+ locations) Find story time for preschoolers, story time for families, story time for babies & more at the MCPL website.


#27 Play-Well TEKnologies

Minecraft, Lego, STEM camps and more. Kids dive into their classes and exercise their innate gift for building. They come away understanding fundamental principles of engineering and physics. The experience boosts their confidence, creativity and ability to collaborate. Kids can’t get enough. Programs at lots of locations in and around the KC metro.

Visit Play-Well online to find an event near you!


#28 Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop-Farm

1200 E Kansas City Rd, Olathe, KS

Enjoy 1860s hands on Living History activities such as horse-powered plowing, planting, helping in the garden, stagecoach rides* and cookstove and blacksmith demonstations. *Weather and ground conditions permitting. Thursday, Friday & Saturday, March 15-17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission: $7/ adults, $5/ children ages 5-11.

Visit Mahaffie’s website for more info.


Give your kids a Spring Break they will never forget with these fun things to do in Kansas City. The wide variety of Spring Break camps & activities provides something for every personality in your family. Beat boredom for good and have fun exploring KC with your kiddos!

Also check out the iFamilyKC online calendar for additional events throughout the year 🙂

From iFamily to Yours,

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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,


3 Mistakes Parents Make with Technology

Happy Friday (and St. Patrick’s Day) Kansas City! Our Tech expert, Burton Kelso is back with another tech savvy post, helping parents to fix some mistakes we tend to make with our kiddos and technology. So, if you feel overwhelmed by technology and kids, take some advice from Mr. Kelso to get the family back on track. Take a look…

3 Mistakes Parents Make with Technology

3 Mistakes Parents Make with Technology


Everywhere you look, kids are spending more time with their technology devices. While technology has allowed us to access vast amounts of information and has become a great source of entertainment, it has become the number one source of conflict between parents and their children at home. The problem with technology is it doesn’t turn itself off. Also, many parents are guilty of using technology as a babysitter. I get it. It’s easier to give your kid some form of electronic simulation. It keeps them distracted and allows you to ‘adult’. You get stuff done if they are engaged in tech and it helps them become more tech saavy … right? Wrong! Setting limits on bad behaviors is a very important part of being a good parent. Technology is good, but it will never replace that parent to kid time they need. Setting limits on technology will make you the bad parent, but it is key to preventing problems with technology use in your home. So what mistakes are you making? Here is a list of the most common mistakes parents make and how to fix them.


#1 Failure to Set Limits on Technology Usage.

How much time you allow them to spend with their tech is up to you, but for the love of God don’t allow them to use it all day everyday. Two hours a day everyday is the suggested amount, but you don’t have to stick with that.  Just set limits on how much screen time they have daily. Screen time includes TV, video games, iPods.  If your kids spend too much time in front of a screen, it can lead to obesity, sleep problems, and behavior problems.  Be sure to give your kids the freedom to decide how they will spend their time away from the screen. I suggest giving them some leeway for times like rainy days, cold weather, and long car rides, rather than having rigid, all-or-nothing schedule, but always remember, having no rules will lead to big problems down the road.

#2 Not Having Enough Family Activities without Technology.

Families are spending more time in front of their screens. Immediately posting photos to social media, logging on to your favorite streaming service to watch movies, the list goes on. Be sure to create activities that don’t involve a screen. So what do you do?  Give them ideas for what to do instead. Also, it would be a good idea for your family to plan a day of unplugging from technology or having a No Tech zone in certain areas of your home such as the dining room. Plan a game night for your family. Show your kids how they should experience the world by planning non tech family activities.


#3 Parents are also Tech Addicts  

Parents, you have to set the example with your technology use. Kids will mimic your actions. If they see you using technology on a consistent basis, they will think it’s ok for them to do it too. When you stop and realize that most adults spend more than seven hours a day interacting with some form of technology, it’s not hard to imagine why your kids are doing it too. Just like you set limits with your kids, you need to learn to set limits with yourself. You can wait to send that work e-mail. With most shows on being accessible from a streaming service, you don’t have worry about missing your favorite show. Your kids need you to pay attention to them, not to the device in your hand.


The bottom line is you must control technology or technology will control your kids. Too much technology not healthy for any young person. Find the right balance for technology in your home and eliminate tech addiction in your kid’s future.


Burton Kelso is the Owner and Chief Technology Expert at Integral, an on-site and remote technology repair company for consumers and businesses. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Better Kansas City, Kansas City Live, and the FOX 4 morning show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break

25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break // iFamilyKC Blog


25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this
Winter Break


Winter break to parents mean one thing NO SCHOOL! And if you don’t have a plans, cabin fever can kick in pretty early. So, this winter break, keep the kiddos entertained, save some money and have a great break.


Here are a few things you can do anywhere!


#1 Build a snowman

Most of the time there is snow on the ground so why not play in it!? Get all bundled up and head out side to build your own Olaf or snowman. No snow? No problem! Make your own indoor snow with baking soda and white hair conditioner!


#2 Have a family talent show

If it’s TOO cold to go outside, have a family talent show. My kids love, love, love America’s Got Talent so they are always up to show what they can do! Let the kids practice during the day and after dinner let the show begin!


#3 Have a movie marathon

If I could, I would watch Netflix all day! There are so many different movies and shows available it would probably take years to watch everything! So make a list of the ones you want to see, grab some snacks and enjoy!


#4 Have a scavenger hunt inside

What kid doesn’t like a game where you seek hidden treasures?! Make a list of little toys, random items or shapes and let the kids explore around the house!


#5 Go ice skating



#6 Game night

Pull out the classics, make your own or play some of your kids! There are so many games out now, you can have game night often!


#7 DIY night

Hooray for Pinterest lol! You could lose yourself in so many different crafts it’s unreal! Pick a theme and once everyone is done, you can even put on an art show!


#8 Have a slumber party

Turn your front room into a fort and let your kiddos imaginations run wild! Or if you don’t want to risk losing a night of sleep, wear your pajamas during the day and make little beds in the front room.


#9 Redecorate rooms/home

When the kids are older, this one is definitely a go to! They can help with heavy lifting, deep cleaning and even give you a break by decorating their own space.


#10 Make a special brunch

Brunch is my favorite so why not make a special one during their winter break! They can invite their friends and you can invite yours! Really feeling hum drum during the break? Make it special with unique invites and dress up!


#11 Snowball fight

This one in my opinion is more for the kids themselves lol. Let them burn off some energy with a friendly snowball fight in the yard.


#12 Visit a museum

This is probably one of my favorite things to do! Most museums are free and have tons of cool stuff that will keep everyone happy. Check your closest museum for special kid activities, they are sure to have plenty during the winter time!


#13 Go sledding

Like having a snow ball fight, this is one activity that is sure to use up that extra energy! I mean they are basically running up hills! HAHAHA


#14 Bake cookies

Baking can make your day go by so fast! Plan to make a few different items, play some music and fill your home with sweet smells! Plus the littles love using cookie cutters!


#15 Visit distant family members

One sure way to avoid cabin fever is taking trips! Long or short, a change of scenery will keep the entire family pleased!


#16 Karaoke party

We love music in my family so we are always singing! So why not take it up a notch and invite some family or close friends over!


#17 Read your favorite childhood books

This one is more for me than the kids lol. I love reading classic books I grew up with to my kids. Plus the looks on their face when they hear a new book is always a great feeling.


#18 Go to a sport event

Just about every major city has some form of sports team. NFL, NBA, MLB, Arena or Semi- Pro. If you aren’t sure, just look your city up, google knows everything!


#19 See a musical or play

There are always special plays or musicals that come to town around this time of year so the pickins aren’t slim!

TIP: want to cut costs on those expensive play tickets, call your local box office and ask for group rates! Get the whole family or group of friends involved so you won’t have to pay as much.


#20 Have a dance party

Sometimes you just gotta dance! Forget the dishes, stop folding laundry or whatever chore you have and spend 10 minutes just dancing! You will feel more relaxed and the kiddos while get a break from “boredom.”


#21 Invite family friends over that have kids

Play dates are a win win. You can still do an activity with your kids but also have adult to talk to! Everyone is happy!


#22 Visit the library

Another favorite thing to do is visit the library! They always have family activities that are educational as well! Plus it’s FREE!


#23 Update family photos

Winter break is the perfect time to update those family photos. There are no after school activities, no homework to do and you have more time throughout the day to get the whole family picture ready. Plus, they are usually ready in time for when they go back to school!


#24 Go shopping

Taking the kiddos shopping is always eye opening even if it’s only window shopping. You find out what they like, dislike and can even get some ideas for birthday presents!


#25 Learn about other countries and what they do in winter

The world is a big place, and whatever you are doing, someone may be doing the complete opposite. Research and discover what other countries are like during winter!


As your kids get ready for winter break, I hope these tips give you some ideas on what you and your kiddos can do for a fantastic break!


From iFamily to Yours,





25 Activities to Keep Your Kids Engaged this Winter Break // iFamilyKC Blog

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids



How to Host a Mock Election for Kids!



The big presidential election is coming up in less than a week on November 8th, 2016. I wanted to find a way to get my daughter involved in the election and voting process so I decided to hold a mock election! She was very interested in learning about voting and about our country’s democracy! Check out what we did on our Mock Election Night!


First, we checked out some books at the library about voting and presidents. We picked a few pages out of each book to read. The books we chose were Political Elections, The People Pick A President, and Rightfully Ours: How Women Won the Vote. Other recommended pictures books for kids include: Grace for President, Monster Needs Your Vote, and If I Ran for President.

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids


Next, we created a simple ballot box out of a tissue box, construction paper, glitter, and stencils! My daughter was very excited about this part!

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids


Then, we set up a makeshift voting booth and station. Our puppet show worked perfectly for a voting booth!

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids



We found these super cute ballots, registration cards, and “I Voted” stickers to add to our fun! You can download and print these for FREE.


How to Host a Mock Election for Kids


Lastly, we cast our vote for President of the United States!

How to Host a Mock Election for Kids



She was so proud to have voted and was excited to find out the results! By a landslide victory, we declared our winner and had a little celebratory dance around the living room!


How to Host a Mock Election for Kids


One of the books we read discussed how as a high school student you can run for class president. And I am so proud to say, without missing a beat, my 7 year old daughter replied, “Or I could just run for president!”


There are tons of activities and resources online to get your kids involved in the voting and election process. On election night we plan on turning on the tv to see if our winner is declared the President of the United States! As an extra fun thing to do, I plan on making some fun red, white and blue fruit skewers with marshmallows, blueberries, and raspberries!


This is one simple way to teach your kids about the process of voting and elections in America. How have you involved your kids in the election? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


How to Host a Mock Election for Kids


From iFamily to Yours,



5 Tips for Encouraging Gratefulness in Kids

Happy Tuesday, Kansas City! I hope you all are recovering from Halloween last night. I can hardly believe it’s November! The great part of this month is that it often reminds us to be grateful. Sometimes, with all the hustle and bustle of life, it can be difficult to keep perspective with this. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette has some great tips to help you encourage gratefulness in your kiddos. Check it out!

5 Tips for Encouraging Gratefulness in Kids


5 Tips for Encouraging Gratefulness in Kids


As a mom of 4, I know what it’s like to go all day, all week feeling underappreciated. Even the embarrassment of apologizing for your kid’s attitude, rude comments or just being straight up ungrateful. And over the years, I have learned that raising kids is not some cookie cutter fantasy land where everyone is perfect. Let’s face it, kids will be kids! But does that mean that we just let them flow freely trying to figure out how “they” want to treat others or how “they” want to respond to certain situations? Of course not… we want our kids to be well mannered, respectful, wholesome children.

As a seasoned mom, I know that a child who is grateful, tends to ease a lot of pain in the parenting world. So, I have decided to share with you my top 5 tips on how to encourage gratefulness in children.

Be a GRATEFUL parent

Our kids are like little sponges and they soak up everything. We must lead by example at all times… and because we are human, when we know we are not showing respect or being ungrateful, we must correct ourselves. How can we expect our little ones to be appreciative if we aren’t?

Don’t give in.

No matter how cute they say “mommy/ daddy please” or how many times they flutter those lashes, we can’t always give them what they want. No matter how much they whine, cry or if they are like mine, bargain, just say no! It’s ok, look at it as character building. Which leads me to…

Allow them to “adult” i.e. work for it.

Chores and responsibilities are a major deal in our house. The more they work to earn something, the better they will take care of it and appreciate it. When they are older you can start making things even more clearly by going over a budget with them. Let them see just where everything goes and how much time and effort goes into making the whole family comfortable. Every grocery trip I tell my kids our budget and we get what we need first. Then, if we have room in the budget we can throw in a few wants too.

Remind them of all the blessings you have.

You don’t have to throw it in their face every single second of the day, but when it’s clear that they are just not getting the full picture, don’t be afraid to remind them! Let’s be honest, with kids we want to paint the world for them as sunshine and rainbows. But the reality is, it’s not and them being reminded that whatever they have, someone somewhere doesn’t is ok.

Last but not least,

Please and thank you!

I tend to go overboard with this one lol. A please and Thank you is required for just about everything! Not only does it show respect, but it shows that you are kind and grateful for what some has done for you or what they will do for you. You can honestly never say it enough.

Well there it is folks! My top 5 tips on encouraging your child to be grateful. Does it happen overnight? Nope! Will it be constant work? Yep! Will it be worth it? ABSOLUTELY!

What do you do to encourage gratefulness in your kids? Let us know in the comments!

From iFamily to Yours,brigettev8
5 Tips for Encouraging Gratefulness in Kids

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Great Christmas Gifts Older Children Can Make

Charming Magnet Necklaces

What you’ll need:

  • 20-inch length of 1/8-inch braided elastic
  • 1-inch metal washer
  • Strong nontoxic glue such as Weldbond Universal
  • Small strong craft magnet ($3 at craft stores)
  • Clear packing tape
  • Artwork or photos on card stock
  • 1-inch-circle hole punch (or a quarter, a pencil, and scissors)
  • Metal bottle caps
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic glaze ($6 at craft stores or plaidonline.com)
  • Fine glitter (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Make the necklace base by looping the elastic cord around the washer as shown, then gluing the magnet to the washer.
  2. To prevent bleeding or fading, apply a layer of packing tape to the front and back of your artwork or photos. Next, cut the images into circles with the hole punch (or trace a quarter over the image, then trim along the line with scissors).

Squeeze a thin layer of glaze into a bottle cap and press one of the cutout images into it. Let it dry, then fill the cap the rest of the way with glaze (adding a sprinkle of glitter first, if you like). Repeat to create a set, then let them dry overnight.

Courtesy of  www.Spoonful.com and Family Fun Magazine


Bowling Boys

What you’ll need:

  • Grosgrain ribbon
  • 10 wooden “boy” game pieces (available at craft stores or caseyswood.com)
  • Double-sided carpet tape
  • Ultra-fine permanent marker
  • Small rubber ball
  • Small plastic bag
  • Paper

How to make it:

  1. For each bowling boy, wrap the ribbon around the body and trim it to fit. Trim a length of tape to the same size as the ribbon, then use it to secure the ribbon to the game piece. Repeat with the remaining game pieces.
  2. With the marker, draw a face and hair on each piece. Package the boys with the ball in the small plastic bag. Staple on a paper tag with instructions to set the pieces on a tabletop, then use the ball to bowl them over.                  Courtesy of  www.Spoonful.com and Family Fun Magazine

Family Story Comic Book

What you’ll need:

  • 3 to 5 sheets of 8 1/2- by 11-inch white
  • card stock
  • 9 1/2- by 6-inch piece of colored card stock
  • 3- by 2-inch piece of cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Colored pencils

How to make it:

  1. Fold a sheet of white card stock in half lengthwise, then fold it in half again, short side to short side, and cut along this fold. Repeat with the other sheets to make as many pages as you like.
  2. For the cover, fold the colored card stock in half, short side to short side. Insert the white pages between the covers and staple them along the spine.
  3. Use the cardboard to trace 2 illustration panels per page. Have your child draw in the panels, then title and decorate the front of the book.

Courtesy of  www.Spoonful.com and Family Fun Magazine

Great Christmas Gifts Older Children Can Make
Submitted by Keri Nichol


As the hot weather gave in, I thought it time to take a trip with the kids out to Bonner Springs for the Renaissance Festival. It has been about 10 years since I had been and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but we had a great time. We spent about 4 hours out there doing all kinds of fun things. When we first came into the festival my youngest daughter, Jasmine, was given a Bingo sheet where she was to find different characters throughout the day and then if she got a BINGO she was to bring the sheet back to the entrance and redeem for her prize. She was absolutely convinced she was going to get an awesome knick knack to take home. So the game was on and we all played trying to search out different characters.

There were lots of things for the kids to do. You could get face art, ride a ride for $1, do some sand art in a bottle for between $6-$12, buys lots of different costumes for about $8 and up. My girls saw the elephant ride and fell in love. For $4 each they got to take a lap around the elephant area on top of a real live animal. Evidently the elephant was hungry because he kept trying to eat the trees above him but the girls were very excited anyways.

Then we took a walk through the mermaid area and read all about how the Mermaids were discovered. Then they got to see “real” one.

For lunch we sat on hay bales and ate some chicken strips and fries, which were $5 and too bad of a price for a festival. Then, Jewelia had a hair piece made with one of the characters, we watched the parade, seen some fire, bird and fighting shows and thought we’d call it a day. Unfortunately, Jasmine had one more character she needed before she could call a BINGO. It was Rapunzel. Oh my goodness, we searched out Ms. Rapunzel for at least an hour before finally finding her in the Queens Quarters. We returned Jasmines Bingo Card to the entrance and she was rewarded…….with a free ride card for one of the rides in the Children’s Realm. Although, we were all very ready to leave, Jasmine had to ride her ride so we waited in line for the Barrel Swing. After a fairly short wait Jasmine decided she didn’t actually want to ride and that we could now leave.  Don’t you love the thought process of our children…lol


All in all it was a GREAT day. This was such a fun activity to do with the children. You want to make it a day event since it is a fairly long trip and after all the walking and adventure you are pretty worn out afterwards. The bathrooms that we used did have changing tables for the babes which was a big relief since I didn’t know what to expect. Words of advice….don’t bring your umbrella stroller, it is very hard to maneuver in that terrain; don’t lotion up your feet and wear sandals or crocks or you will leave with very nasty feet, and do bring some cash and the whole family cause you will have a great time.

– Keri Nichol: www.newfrugalmomma.wordpress.com

KC Pumpkin Patch FUN for the Whole Family!

Fall time is upon us and that means lots of fun at the pumpkin patches. This past weekend we loaded up the kids and headed out to Gardner KS to the KC Pumpkin Patch. Normal admission is $9/person with kids 2 and under free. That gets you into the patch and allows you to participate in many free activities. My kids had fun watching the shows, going through the haunted barn, having duck races and racing kids on the pedal cars. Then we dug out a little change and went to feed the goats and the pigs. They are free to pet but the feed is a quarter if you want to do that.


Next on the list were a couple of the activities that were a little extra. My 7 year old went in the spinning ball for $2 and my 9 year old who was super scared of the ball decided she would shoot the gourds for $1. After that little adventure we had some more of the free fun and went down the giant slide in potato sacks.


We were all a little worn out from all the fun and posing for pictures so we thought we would take a tractor ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins. Pumpkins at the patch are .60/lb. and gourds are $1 each. The kids all picked out their own pumpkin. Bigger seemed to be better until they got tired of packing them around so they traded in for something a little more manageable. We decided not to participate in the corn maze although lots of people appeared to be having a great time. On the way back from the patch on the tractor ride we got to see the area where the Fear Farm takes place at night and boy did it look scary.

We found a wagon when we got off the tractor and loaded up our pumpkins, got some kettle corn and shopped in the country store. Then we looked at all the giant pumpkins and decided it was time to head out.  We made a day of the KC Pumpkin Patch and had a terrific time out in nature. I think we will be returning again next year to pick out our pumpkins.



Submitted by Keri Nichols, iFamilyKC Mom Squad Member

Accelerated Reader Tools in Schools and Home

For the past couple of years my kids have been tested at school on their reading ability and comprehension. Through this special test that they are given the teachers are able to give them what is called an AR (Accelerated Reader) rating. “For example, when you see an AR rating of 4.5, that indicates that the book is considered appropriate reading level for a reader in the fourth grade at the fifth month of schooling.  Please keep in mind that these are simply guidelines.  There will be children you are capable of reading books above their level, as well as those who will only be able to tackle books below their assigned reading level.  Every child is an individual and develops at different rates” (The Reader’s Polaris, 2013). This rating can be used by the children and the parents to choose books that are appropriate for their child’s reading level. Normally the kids are tested at the beginning of the school year and then again at the end of school. There is also a website that allows the children to enter their AR rating and their book interests and the search engine will find books that meet those specific criteria. This site can be found at http://www.arbookfind.com/UserType.aspx. If you are interested in testing your own child you can find the quiz and other info here:  http://www.renlearn.com/ar/takeaquiz.aspx.

References: The Readers Polaris. Retrieved on 9/4/2013 from http://readerspolaris.wordpress.com/what-are-ar-ratings/.

– Keri Nichol www.newfrugalmomma.wordpress.com