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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,


10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!

Good Morning, Kansas City!! The rumor’s are true, Thanksgiving is ONE week away. As you set out to buy your dinner ingredients, and tie up any last minute plans, you may be thinking of what you can actually do on the actual day of Thanksgiving. Well, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, has 10 super easy things you can do on Thanksgiving Day. Check it out!

10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


Now that we have Halloween behind us, who’s ready for the big turkey day? Believe it or not, Thanksgiving Day is only 2 weeks away! And the weather is finally feeling a bit more like November. Are you looking for ideas for you and your family to do on Thanksgiving? Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to kickoff the holiday season!



10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


…the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanksgiving morning usually begins in my house with the parade playing in the background while we prepare our dishes, the kids run around like crazies and while we get ourselves all fancied up for dinner.



10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


…football outside with family or turn on a football game on TV. I have great memories of past Thanksgivings where all the men in my family would gather around the TV, nearly in that “turkey coma”, to watch the game.



10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


It wouldn’t be the start of the holiday season unless we all sat around stuffing ourselves after we stuffed the turkey. Don’t feel like cooking? Dine at one of the many fabulous restaurants in KC!



10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


Thanksgiving crafts with your little turkeys! There are tons of ideas via Pinterest or Facebook. One easy, fun idea that younger kids love is the turkey handprint.  Get creative with construction paper, newspaper, leaves, googly eyes, stickers, feathers, paint, glitter, markers and popsicle sticks.




10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


…to your family. We love to sit around and discuss all kinds of things at our table. It’s a great time to catch up with family you haven’t seen in awhile! If you are missing some people at your table this holiday, you could set up a video chat with them!




10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


…at the advertisements for Black Friday! My mother and sister-in-laws love to get the newspaper out after dinner and peruse the ads! I have always been super pumped about finding great deals on Christmas gifts, especially if I find something already on my list!




10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


…on the best moments of the year.       Last Thanksgiving, after we said the blessing, we all went around and said something we were personally thankful for. My husband has a gigantic family, so it was really neat to hear all the wonderful things everyone was thankful for!




10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


…your time to a local charity or soup kitchen. A few years ago, I volunteered on my birthday at Harvesters and it was an incredibly rewarding experience!




10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


…your leftover food to a local charity in need. It seems like we always have SO MUCH FOOD during the holidays. Don’t let that food go to waste! Check out these websites for ways to donate your leftovers. http://www.feedingamerica.org/







10 Simple Things to do on Thanksgiving Day!


…your holiday season with a trip to the Country Club Plaza to see them flip the switch on 280,000 lights! This tradition is extremely special to myself and my family! I can only hope my children will continue the tradition with their own children and have such special memories as I do!


What does your family do on Thanksgiving Day? Let us know and if there are any special events around KC you’d like to mention, be sure to drop us a line in the comments!


From iFamily to Yours,



31 Fun Family Activities for October

Hellooooo, October! (And Kansas City!) It’s fall! It’s really fall! And our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, has some great ideas for family fun in October. Pick a couple for your family to experience this weekend. Enjoy!

31 Fun Family Activities for October


31 Fun Family Activities for October


Despite the sweltering heat it is officially fall! Hopefully cooler weather is on the horizon and here are some activities you and you family can be enjoying all month long.

#1 Have a bonfire

– Hanging around the fire is a staple of Midwest fall nights. A fire pit will do, or perhaps you can tack this on to a visit to the pumpkin patch or farm.

#2 Play in the leaves

– They’ll be everywhere soon. Before the allure wears off and the damp sets in, roll, jump, play in, and compare all the leaves you can find. There are a lot of art projects you can do with leaves too.

#3 Decorate pumpkins

– There are a million and one things to do with pumpkins. We have littles at our house so we usually paint some early on in the month and help Dad carve one closer to Halloween. Don’t forget to roast your seeds if you carve. A yummy and healthy treat!


31 Fun Family Activities for October

#4 Go apple picking

– There are apple orchards all around KC so it’s not hard to find a spot to do this. Check out my earlier article with tips for while you’re there.

#5 Eat caramel apples

– You can buy or make them. Extra points if you use ones you’ve freshly picked. You can melt caramels, or find a healthier alternative. There are various recipes online. Don’t forget to have fun decorating with sprinkles, candies, nuts, chocolates, toasted coconut… the possibilities are endless.

#6 Hit up your local farmer’s market

– There are markets in nearly every city. They will be winding down soon and we will have to wait until spring to visit again. They will be brimming with squashes, apples, pears, mushrooms and cabbages.

#7 Star gazing

– You can probably do this in your own backyard! If not, head to the country where there’s less lights or an observatory. There are two public observatories in the area.

#8 Wildflower picking

– Remember how excited we all were when flowers showed up this spring? Well they’ll be on their way out soon. Get outside for a nice walk and be sure to pick a bouquet to enjoy when you get back home.

#9 Go on a picnic

– We love picnics at our house. Sometimes they happen in our yard, sometimes at the park, but eating outside is a fun and relaxing way to enjoy a meal.

#10 Tell ghost stories

– You can gauge what your kids can handle, but sharing spooky stories is another classic October pastime. Our kids enjoy passing around the flashlight to hold under their chin while they tell silly ghost stories.

#11 Check out a festival

– There are so so so many festivals going on this month, I could have written 31 festivals to go to. Gladfest, Weston Applefest, and any Oktoberfest are among my favorites. There are a ton of art festivals going on too. These are a great way to connect with your community and there is something going on every weekend.


31 Fun Family Activities for October


#12 S’mores

– Everyone needs s’more s’mores. Make ‘em on a fire or in the kitchen, but enjoy these ooey gooey treats.

#13 Camp out

– I am not a camper. My husband totally is, so this falls under his jurisdiction. You can go on a weekend trip somewhere, or set up a tent in the yard, or heck even the living room. I’ll be in the house drinking wine.

#14 Go to the pumpkin patch

– Is the pumpkin patch optional this time of year? I’m under the assumption that it isn’t. We have covered many local places, so please check out our other posts for inspiration and information.

#15 Make some art

– Making art is easy and free around here. You can always create something at home, or you can make an outing of it. Nelson-Atkins has free workshops every weekend. Kaleidoscope is a free and popular option too.

#16 Plan a murder mystery party with your friends

– Ok, I’m planning a murder mystery with friends. I think it’s a fun idea. For a smaller scale activity, you can play werewolf or Clue.

#17 Root, root, root for the home team

– Going to college and pro-athletics is always a fun time, but can be pricy or difficult. Even though we don’t know any one at the high school, we still enjoy going to our local schools’ games. They are fun and usually cheap and our kids enjoy seeing the older kids.

#18 Watch Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus is my favorite Halloween movie, but there are so many good ones. Pick one and have a movie night.

#19 Engage in a little DIY

– Fall is a good time to get some of those outdoor or home projects done before the winter. Paint a room, make a craft, and enlist the kids as helpers.


31 Fun Family Activities for October


#20 Get some BBQ

– The American Royal World Series of Barbeque is at the end of the month. Your family can declare their own winner by trying out a few different restaurants or recipes this month.

#21 Make a costume

– Make a Halloween costume or even just play a little dress up with the kids.

#22 Go to the Renaissance Festival

– It only runs through October, so head there soon.

#23 Go to the Great Pumpkin Fest at Worlds of Fun

– Worlds of Fun is known for getting pretty spooky this time if year. If you have younger kids though, Planet Snoopy gets a Great Pumpkin Fest makeover and offers seasonal activities.

#24 See a play

– There are a ton of kid-friendly theaters in Kansas City. There’s the Coterie, the Theater for Young America, Trilogy and many more.

#25 Host a football party

– Can’t tailgate every weekend? Host a get-together to watch the Chiefs. Have everyone bring his or her favorite sports-viewing snack.

#26 Square dance

– You may be able to find a proper square dance to take part in. If so- let me know! Or, you could do our version and dosey-doe in the living room. Take turns being the leader yelling out moves.

#27 Shadow puppets

– My grandparents gave me a book showing how to make shadow puppets as a kid. My children found it a couple years ago and they love it. Take advantage of the earlier sunsets and have a shadow show before bed.

#28 Watch a movie under the stars

– Drive-ins are always a lot of fun, and now that the weather is cooling, they’re even better. There are also Movies in Park, or maybe you can project a show in your own yard.

#29 Play some outdoor sports

– Remember how nice it was when the kids were go straight to sleep, exhausted from swimming all day? Well, it’s time to find a new way to wear them out. Soccer, football, baseball… have a friendly game at the park.

#30 Make a fairy house

– Design and build a fairy house to decorate your garden.

#31 Head to the farm

– Tours and fun can be found throughout Kansas and Missouri, Johnson Farm, Shatto Dairy Farm and Deanna Rose Farmstead are just a few.


From iFamily to Yours,

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Explore and Enjoy Johnson Farms for Pumpkins, Decor, and Fun!

Happy Monday, Kansas City! Hopefully, everyone had a great weekend, and if you’re already looking forward to next weekend — consider checking out Johnson Farms. It’s located in Belton, MO, has u-pick veggies, a petting zoo, and plenty more for the whole family. Check out our Mom Squad Ambassador’s review of the beloved pumpkin patch for the low down on all the fall fun.

Explore and Enjoy Johnson Farms for Pumpkins, Decor, and Fun!


Explore and Enjoy Johnson Farms for Pumpkins, Decor, and Fun!


Today I, and some of our kids club members, got a sneak peak of Johnson Farms before they open to the public this Saturday. Johnson Farms is in Belton, MO and it is a one-stop shop for fall fun. Expect to spend the day when you come out, because there is so much to do!


Explore and Enjoy Johnson Farms for Pumpkins, Decor, and Fun!


They have a 20-acre corn maze, train and tractor rides, u-pick vegetables and flowers, a petting zoo, playgrounds, a sand bus (yep) and concessions. I honestly couldn’t list everything. What I really like about this place compared to other pumpkin patches is the range of activities. There’s something for everyone and every age. There are awesome designated preschool areas with an easier maze and swings for babes. We all know how annoying it is when your kids are small and you shell out a ton of money to go to a pumpkin patch were there is maybe one or two things for them to do. You will not have that problem here!


Explore and Enjoy Johnson Farms for Pumpkins, Decor, and Fun!


We didn’t get to pick pumpkins on our outing. The mud was still drying out- but should be good for Saturday. They have very nifty wheel-barrels, which is enough to lure me here. Who wants to carry a forty-pound pumpkin around? We did get to pick vegetables and they had a lot of variety. We picked our first eggplant and the biggest cabbages I’d ever seen.


We got lovely bouquets of sunflowers and zinnias. We also tried pumpkin donuts, which were a hit with everyone. Plenty of slides and rides kept all the kids there busy and despite it being a HOT day, none of them wanted to leave. If you have a bit of a shopper on your hands (me- I am the shopper) there is a lovely shop with décor and plants to decorate for the fall.


Explore and Enjoy Johnson Farms for Pumpkins, Decor, and Fun!


If you have one day to devote to pumpkin picking- Johnson Farms is when you should go. There are a lot of options this time of year and I know everyone has their favorite or local pumpkin patch. I really think you should make Johnson Farms yours. It was easy to find, easy to navigate, and a ton of entertainment.


If you haven’t yet joined iFamilyKC’s Kids Club- quit missing all the fun and join us!


From iFamily to Yours,


Become a member of our inner circle! Receive exclusive access to events, freebies, COUPONS, enter2Wins AND tons of Family FUN!

Top 10 Simple & Fun Fourth of July Family Traditions

One of the best parts of any holiday is the chance to create new memories, and carry on family traditions. This weekend, as the city grills out, lights off fireworks, and enjoys the warm weather, try on a few of the traditions below. Our own Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah provided us with a great jumping off point for some easy family traditions you can start this weekend! Take a look…

Top 10 Simple and Fun 4th of July Family Traditions

Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

The Fourth of July is a time of celebration, food, freedom, family,fireworks, and fellowship. One of the best things about holidays are the traditions that come along  with them. There is something euphoric about seeing everyone  being together. Life gets so busy that often times the value of togetherness gets lost. I find solace in traditions. They have a way of creating a sense of  comfort. I hope this Fourth Of July you able to smile,laugh, and enjoy the value of simply being together. I have created a list of traditions that many families  enjoy doing every holiday. My hope is that you are able to find something that you all can do together for many years to come.

1) Go to a local parade or create your own neighborhood parade.


2) Hang a flag together. You can use this as a teaching moment. Let this be an opportunity to educate your children on our history.

Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

3) Wear your red, white, and blue proudly. Take this as a time to capture adorable photos. You can find many festive pieces at your local Dollar StoreTop 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

4) Host a neighborhood block party… who doesn’t enjoy getting to see all the neighborhood kids interact. You can have each families serve different items and create a potluck feel. You can crank up the music, have fire works, and just let the kids be kids.

 Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

5)Host a back yard cook out. You can have relay races, play horse shoes, get out the slip and slide, play football,have a pie eating contest, water balloon fight, etc.

Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

5) Go to your favorite park, local lake, or even your own back yard  and have a family picnic.

 Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

6) Go to your local pool or get one for your back yard

 Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

7) Bake up something fun in the kitchen. Let the kids get messy and be apart of the fun.

  Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

8) Eat some ice cream… you can go to a local ice cream shop or create your own sundaes together. Don’t forget to stock up on sprinkles.

Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

9) Go catch a free  out door summer concert. Our city has so many free concerts to choose from.

 Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

10) Go see a fireworks show . It is safe to say that nearly every city hosts a free fire works show. Get out there and enjoy one of the best parts of The Fourth Of July. There is also the option of putting on your own fireworks show. What kid doesn’t love to pick out their own fireworks?

Top 10 Fourth of July Simple & Fun Family Traditions

From iFamily to Yours,


Five Reasons to Send Your Child to Summer Camp

Submitted by
Dawn Cox, Guest Blogger

1 – Identity and individuality

At summer camp, your kiddo will not be “brother of” or “son of”, he’s going to be a camper.  He gets to make his own choices, from how much to eat all the way down to which activities he wants to participate in.  Summer camp is a great and safe environment for kids to start spreading those proverbial wings.


2 – New experiences

At Cub Creek Science Camp, campers get to interact with animals at our private zoo.  They can adopt an animal of their choosing for their stay and learn how to properly feed and take care of “their” animal.  Cub Creek has domestic and exotic animals and is licensed by the USDA.  A camper could adopt a sloth, a fox, a camel, a lemur, or yes, even a dog!


3 – Meeting new people

Campers come from all walks of life and all geographical locations.  Here at Cub Creek, we get international campers AND counselors.  It’s so much fun to hear the campers talking about the cultural differences.  We love knowing those kids will become pen-pals and likely remain friends for a long time.  Without the social expectations of school, campers are free to laugh and make friends easily.


4 – Unplug from technology

Technology is such an important part of our lives.  But it’s so important for our children to learn how to unplug and rediscover their own creativity and imagination.  Camp allows campers to engage with each other and their own emotions without the crutch of technology.


5 –   Learning valuable social skills

Coming to camp means campers have to learn not just sharing but cooperation and respect.  Kids have to share chores and compromise when they live in a cabin with each other.  Nothing says cooperation and compromise faster when having to share a bathroom with 8 other girls!


You can check out Cub Creek Science Camp at mosciencecamp.com.  We’re also on Facebook under “Cub Creek Science Camp”.


Breakfast Sushi

This is a little twist on breakfast to keep things fun and interesting with the kiddos. Peel the banana and completely cover with a thick coat of peanut butter. Then roll in rice krispies. Then you can cut it into sushi size rolls. Breakfast Sushi! Enjoy.

I love recipes like this because these are easy and safe enough that the kids can even do it themselves.

Complements of Mashable.com

Submitted by:

Keri Nichol, Mom Squad Blogger

Lights, Camera, Action!

By: Shari Jacobs

My daughter recently finished a month long theatre class in May called, Circus Hilarious at the Coterie Theatre in Crown Center.  She had so much fun pretending to be a lion tamer, a tight ropewalker, an excited clown, and even a sad, scary, and confused clown! The Coterie Acts Theatre School will be offering more exciting summer theatre classes for grades K – 12 beginning in June. The list of classes being offered is long and class sizes are small so make sure to check out all the opportunities at www.coterietheatre.org and www.pembrokehill.org for Pembroke Hill classes.

This is a great chance for kids to be around other kids their age, make new friends, learn about theatre all while keeping it cool in the hot summer months!  Make sure to check out the class schedule to find out if there is a theatre class that is offered near you.  With a variety of classes and class locations convenience and fun could be just around the corner this summer!

Some of the summer classes offered for the older grades are “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “Comedy on Your Feet”, “Advanced Musical Theatre” and even “Fun Effects in Theatrical Makeup”.   For the younger students classes range from titles like “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” to “Summer Term at Hogwarts”!

My daughter looked forward to going to her “Circus Hilarious” class every week and the homework that her teacher assigned kept her excited and engaged!  Parents can visit the final class to watch performances. I was so surprised to see how much she learned, there was a big focus on teamwork and self-expression.  I have to say “Circus Hilarious” was definitely hilarious! The teachers at the Coterie Theatre are professionals, very good with kids and great at communicating with the parents.

Flowers & Fun: A Day at Johnson Family Farms

Let’s be honest: Life is busy and no matter what we do, time just doesn’t seem to slow down. That’s probably why they say that we should always remember to ‘stop and smell the roses”. Thankfully beautiful flowers, and the opportunity to take a break and enjoy some time with your family, are in abundance at Johnson Family Farms in Belton. Nestled on 140 acres of land, the location is as vast as it is beautiful and their selection of plants is unparallel to anywhere I’ve seen in the metro area. With nearly five thousand options to select from, Johnson Family Farms is sure to appease the horticulturist in all of us. But that’s not all that the location has to offer. The family friendly atmosphere, play areas, and live animals provide for an enjoyable day out with the entire family.

Last week iFamilyKC hosted a morning out for children and families. The two hour event offered the opportunity to witness, first hand, what Johnson Family Farms is all about. Laid back back and relaxed, it made for a really comfortable experience. Participants were given the opportunity to put their green thumbs to good use by potting either a vegetable or a flower. Afterwards, the children enjoyed a quick snack before heading out to explore the rest of the farm. From the jumping pillow to the pig races (which the farm does daily), Johnson Family has something to offer guests of all ages. My two year old spent a majority of her time playing on the slide and in the old school bus which has been converted to a sand pit. They had a large tunnel area for older children and several animals for the entire family to enjoy.

Our day was cut short when the rain drops started to fall but we plan to be back over the summer for some family fun and again in the fall for their annual Pumpkin Patch. For more information on Johnson Family Farms, visit them on Facebook or stop by Monday thru Saturday from 9:00am until 7:00pm or on Sunday from 11:00am to 6:00pm.

 Find pictures from this event at It’s An Ordinary Blog. You can follow all of Holli’s blog posts by email or on the It’s An Ordinary Blog Facebook page.

Rockfest and Kids

Keri Nichol


Rockfest is here in Kansas City today and over and over again I hear all the kids wanting to go. Between our kids and various friends the kids range from the ages of 6-16 years old. It makes me think about when the perfect age is for kids to attend concerts. I definitely do not think that all concerts are created equal. I don’t even think I am old enough to go to Rockfest…. (jk).

My 6 year old knows every word to a lot of the Taylor Swift songs. She is a sponge when it comes to music. Her dad listens to lots of heavy metal and rock and she will repeat songs that she has only heard one time. I have always thought that music is food for the soul but it’s the lyrics and lifestyles that I am afraid to expose my young children to. However, what is the point of sheltering them completely from it if we are going to pull up at a gas station or stop light just to hear some person blaring profanity that they call music so loud that my children are forced to listen.

I was talking to a friend who has a 16 year old that wants to go to Rockfest with her Dad and he says that he is afraid to take her because he would end up in an altercation. I never really thought too much about that part of it since my girls are so young. However, I can imagine taking my 16 year old daughter and having some drunken 40 year old hitting on her. I am pretty sure things would go all downhill from there.

I think when my girls get to be teenagers I will begin taking them to concerts that are more mellow like country and some of the more teenage bands. However, I am afraid that Rock and Heavy Metal are going to have to stay for the adults. I am going to have to set an 18 year old age limit on that just because of the element that those concerts draw. I am not saying that they are bad people, we are those people, but it’s just not for children. Anyways, Rockfest just got me thinking about this and I thought I would open the subject up to see what other views are on the subject.