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The little book with BIG resources!

Top Five Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Renaissance Festival

It’s the LAST weekend for the KC Renaissance Festival!  If you haven’t been yet, here are just a few reasons you should!

renaissance festival

Top Five Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Renaissance Festival

If you’re looking for something a fun autumn family activity, I highly recommend loading up the SUV and heading to the Renaissance Festival.  There are many reasons I love the festival, but here are my top five:

5) To get some (relatively) fresh air.  

Too many of our children spend all of their free time glued to electronic devices.    The only trees and grass they experience are the pixelated versions they have created on Minecraft.  The Renaissance Festival (link “renaissance festival” to www.kcrenfest.com) is completely outside, with the exception of a few of the shops, and the first aid area (which, unfortunately I have visited several times in the last few years.)

4) It gives everybody a chance to stretch their legs. 

You’ll get plenty of exercise, walking from booth to booth, and between shows.  There is also free kids’ area where kids can run, jump, climb and slide.   It’s a great way to burn calories, which you will need to do because of number 8.

3) The food! 

My favorite Renaissance festival food is the apple dumpling.  Who doesn’t love a deep-fried apple, served with ice cream and caramel syrup?  If apple dumplings are not your thing, there are plenty of festival favorites.  You can get deep fried everything, from cauliflower to cookies.  I rarely leave any festival without trying a funnel cake…but without a doubt, the Renaissance Festival’s most popular food item is the Turkey leg.  There is nothing cuter than watching a tiny person try to eat a giant turkey leg.

2) The shows!  

There are gymnastic feats and acrobats, people hula-hooping with fire, and some of the funniest pub songs you will ever hear.   Take your kids to watch a jousting match and let them cheer for their favorite knight.  The shows also serve as a great way to rest your well-exercised legs between stretches of walking.

1) Character Bingo. 

Collect a bingo card at the gate, and let each of the characters you meet sign mark your card.   There’s a prize for winning bingo cards at the end of the game. It will keep your children observant for the day, but there’s also a secret history lesson.  The actors are not supposed to break character have researched their roles.   Last weekend, Queen Isabella, explained told my daughter each of her official royal titles.  It was impressive.

Seriously, there are games and shops, and for the second year, an Escape Room.  It is fun for the whole family.

From iFamily to Yours,



KC Pumpkin Patch Preview!

pumpkin patch

KC Pumpkin Patch Preview!

Happy Fall Y’all! It is officially Fall so that means it is time to hit up the good old pumpkin patch! Luckily as a Mom Squad ambassador, I get to do all the dirty work for you and check out this season’s must see places! I was so excited to have the opportunity to preview this year’s activities at the KC Pumpkin Patch!

The KC Pumpkin Patch is a”Kid- friendly country- style entertainment just a few miles from Kansas City” and it is so much fun! It really is a perfect family outing for this Fall season. With tons of stuff to do, wide open spaces for the kiddos to run around and amazing food (especially the apple donuts), everyone is sure to have a great time! Plus, there is plenty of picnic areas to sit and enjoy your lunch or quick treats.

The KC Pumpkin Patch is open every day this season and closes for the season on October 31st. The KC Pumpkin Patch has not 1, not 2 but 3 slides perfect for everyone. They also have a zip line, hay rides, tricycle tracks, a Kiddie corn maze, grain truck ski-ball, a jumping pillow and tons more to do! Plus your little critters can feed little critters too! Of course, we can’t forget they have TONS OF PUMPKINS! We were there for 2 hours and we still didn’t get to do everything lol. Visiting the KC Pumpkin Patch really is an all-day adventure!

General admission tickets are only $9.95 + tax per person, $5 for military and 2 and under are FREE! General admission includes most activities on the farm and the hayride! If you plan your trip on the weekends, your admission includes special stage shows! Plus you can experience haunted trailers and more (extra cost). You can purchase your tickets, plan your trip, see the menu and more online. Head over to their website to see full list of activities too.

From iFamily to Yours,


40 Fall Bucket List Ideas Your Family Will LOVE

Fall is a great time for making memories!  Apple picking, pumpkin patches, baking and snuggling up with some warm apple cider and just a few of our favorites!  Liz, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares some fall bucket list ideas for your family to enjoy this fall!  Take a look…

fall bucket list

40 Fall Bucket List Ideas Your Family Will LOVE

Now that the season of pumpkin spice is here, I have compiled a family bucket list to make this fall the best ever!

  • Roast marshmallows, either outside or use an indoor fireplace
  • Carve pumpkins together
  • Take a hayrack ride
  • Visit an area fall festival
  • Go camping in your backyard
  • Enjoy a foggy morning walk together
  • Create your Halloween costumes together
  • Bake Halloween treats
  • Go apple picking at a local orchard
  • Snuggle up and eat chili
  • Decorate your porch with fall flair
  • Visit a local pumpkin patch together
  • DIY fall crafts together
  • Get lost in a corn maze
  • Sit outside with hot chocolate while telling spooky stories and telling funny jokes
  • Have a slumber party on the living room floor while watching Halloween movies
  • Open the windows to let in the crisp fall air in
  • Make pumpkin bread, pumpkin dip and caramel apples
  • Discover a new place to explore for colorful full leaves
  • Walk or run in a local race together
  • Tailgate together at a local football game
  • Get spooked in a haunted house together
  • Trick or Treat as a family
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest with sausages and German food
  • Host a potluck Halloween party
  • Do a nature scavenger hunt together
  • Sip on apple cider
  • Bake a pumpkin and an apple pie
  • Jump in a pile of leaves
  • Host a family trunk or treat in your neighbor
  • Decorate the inside and outside of the house for Halloween
  • Check out fall and Halloween books from the library
  • Decorate and send out Halloween cards
  • Make a festive fall wreath
  • Create a countdown to Halloween
  • Go star gazing
  • Donate to a food bank or food pantry
  • Host a family garage sale
  • Rake a neighbor’s yard
  • Visit a local farmers market

Take some time to search around for more ideas around your area to do for the next few weeks. Look up easy recipes and craft projects for your family to do together. When in doubt, grab a pumpkin spice latte sure and refer back to this list to keep your family’s fall season full of fun!

From iFamily to Yours,

Five Easy Ways To Make Learning Fun This Fall

Leaves are beginning to change and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere!  It’s officially fall!  Ruth, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad has some fun activities for making learning fun for your family this fall!  Take a look…

fall learning fun

Five Easy Ways To Make Learning Fun This Fall

Fall has finally arrived and it is, by far, my favorite time of year. I love everything from the new colors in the leaves to all the neat activities that you can do in the area and of course, Halloween! Fall is also a great learning opportunity because there are so many things that you can discover with your kids. I have compiled a fun list of things you can do this season with your family.

Go For a Walk 

As the leaves change color, you can find your favorite trail or even discover a new one. You can take a walk, collect leaves for crafts, count animal tracks, listen and discover all the animal sounds. This would be a great time for a fall scavenger hunt! Pinterest has some great printables for your family to share.

Rake Those Leaves  

Yes, I did suggest what could be a chore but it can be fun too! Get the whole family outside with this activity and be sure everyone has a job. Even the tiniest helpers can hold the bag, pick up leaves or join in the leaf pile jumping fun! If you want to stay productive, you can buy those nifty Halloween leaf bags to decorate your yard like pumpkins or you can use some old clothes to make a scarecrow. All the while your kids are learning about team work and developing those motor and creative skills! This YouTube video gives you scarecrow directions:

Attend a Learning Activity 

You can find a fun family fall workshop where your kids can have fun and learn something too! Munchkins Programs is hosting a Jack O’ Lantern Bash on October 7th from 2-4 pm. Each month they hold a family friendly activity geared toward sensory friendly fun. Kids with special needs are always welcome! October will feature all things pumpkin including crafts, a spooky play house, games, mini painting and the opportunity to learn and explore in pumpkin guts! For more information you can find the events link on their Facebook page.

Visit a Corn or Hay Maze 

Another important skill to practice is problem solving. At School we see this a lot in worksheets (not developmentally appropriate for young children) and in other learning activities. There are ways to practice these skills outside of the classroom in a fun way with your family. A family favorite of ours is to visit a large scale maze where our whole family can try to figure out who can get out the fastest! Here are a few locations that you can check out. Maybe you can make a family challenge to visit as many locations as possible.

Create a family bucket list 

Choose some activities that you and your family want to try this fall and check off each activity as you complete it or a family challenge. In our family we decided that we would watch then entire Goosebumps series and the movie by Halloween. Whatever you decide, you can make it fun and educational. As we are watching the series we take time to talk about some of the things we see such as nice/not nice behavior, real vs fake and we make predictions about what may happen next. Each episode can be its own learning opportunity if you take the time. An expansion could be to also read books relating to certain episodes and comparing their similarities and differences while practicing literacy skills.

Whatever you decide, make sure it is fun for everyone. Happy Fall everyone!

From iFamily to Yours,



Fun Things To Do In September Series – Talk A Pirate Day!

Aaarrrrgh!  September is here and we have some fun ideas coming for you to celebrate!  The first in our series of fun September activities is ‘Fun Ways to Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day’ from Ruth, with our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad!  Read on mates!

Pirate Day

Fun ways to celebrate International Talk like a Pirate day!

International Talk like a Pirate day is a fun made up holiday that rolls around once per year. It seems each year more people and companies are joining in the fun with neat promotions and activities that get families together. As a lover of all things pirate related, I always take advantage so I can do something fun with the kids! Here are some fun ways that you can celebrate at home.

Pirate dress up

If you already have a costume great, but if you don’t you can use your imagination to create a pirate type outfit. Easy items include capri pants, a loose white top or shirt with frills, a wide belt, boots and a bandana. If you want to add accessories then include anything with skulls or skeletons, hoop jewelry, plastic swords, a stuffed parrot and eye patch.

Pirate meal time

Pirates aren’t worried about etiquette or fancy foods so finger foods work best. The messier the better! Ditch the silverware for a night and have a little fun. Roast some chicken legs and corn, large hunks of bread and your beverage of choice. Set the table with mismatch dishware, dim the lights or use candles, play some pirate worthy music and let the feast begin!

Check out fun pirate promotions

One day per year restaurants around the country celebrate pirate day with fun promotions.

  1. Arby’s (aka Aaarrrby’s) offers pirate day food specials. To cash in on this year’s promotion start by texting AHOY to 27297.
  2. Krispie Kreme offers an option this year to receive free donuts. Yes I said free! If you come in on Talk like a Pirate day and talk like a pirate when you order then you will receive one free donut. However, if you come in dressed as a pirate, then you can earn a free original glazed dozen! If you follow them on facebook then you can keep track of the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/607830256057224/.
  3. Long John Silver’s hasn’t published their promotion yet, but they are a fun place to go if you want a pirate themed meal. You might even be able to score one of those cool paper pirate hats and don’t forget their new menu item….deep fried twinkies!

Pirate worthy activities

If you and your sea worthy crew want something to do then here are a few activities for you!

  1. Get a pirate name: http://www.owlkids.com/find-your-pirate-name/
  2. Seek out a pirate themed park to play at such as: Frontier Park(Olathe, KS), Listowel Park (Shawnee,KS), Williams-Grant Park (Lees Summit,MO), Kemper Dietrich Park (Kansas City, MO).
  3. Rent or watch a pirate movie. My kids like the Veggie Tale flick, We are the Pirate’s who don’t do anything, and I love Disney’s Pirates of the Carribean.
  4. Do some crafts or learning activities: http://3boysandadog.com/free-international-talk-like-a-pirate-day-printables-and-activities/
  5. Go to your local library and check out some pirate themed books or join any pirate themed events that they may have.
  6. Talk or sing like a pirate: http://talklikeapirate.com/wordpress/junior-pirates/

International Talk like a Pirate day is September 19, 2017, and on a Tuesday this year. Be sure to plan ahead so you can enjoy all the pirate related fun that you can stand!

From iFamily to Yours,