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The little book with BIG resources!

A Great Spot for a Day Hike in Kansas City

One of our favorite weekend activities is to explore the various hiking trails around Kansas City. This last week we went back out to Cave Springs in Raytown.  This is one of our favorite places to hike. It has a lot of “attractions” that make it fun for the kids and allows for multiple destinations. That is one of the more difficult parts about hiking in Missouri.  It seems like there are no destinations to the hikes. Missouri day hiking doesn’t offer the breathless views at the summit. The following are our favorite destinations on this hike.

The Cave

This is always our first stop when we come because when you go to a park named Cave Springs it just seems right that the cave is your first stop. While the cave is not much to look at and could probably only fit five adults, it is the perfect cave to spark intrigue and imagination in kids. It allows them to test their courage by entering the cave with no real threat that comes with more traditional spelunking. My oldest daughter gets a little bit braver with each visit, making it the perfect Goldilocks challenge.

The Cascades

I am not totally sure what the true definition of a cascade is or if this would qualify. The name and the pictures on the internet make one think they are going to witness a real piece of grandeur. However, I do think this “waterfall” destination is dependent on the weather. We have seen the stream and fall at several different levels. Don’t get me wrong it is a beautiful landscape and makes for great pictures in the morning. It is similar to the cave in that in the mind of a child it is just big enough. It offers those perfect challenges that nature is so great at providing. The challenge being to walk up the stream on top of rocks so that your mom can get a picture. The fun and imagination keeps building with the next destination.

The Chimneys

While this last stop is not one made by nature but rather man, it is no less intriguing. As you walk up the trail you start see chimneys in the woods of to the sides of the trail until you come to a clearing that is full of old brick chimneys, the houses long gone. If your little explorer’s imagination isn’t sparked to life by the ruins am not sure what it would take. We read the sign to our daughters and they decided to memorize that, so they haven’t come up with crazy stories to explain the strange chimneys. This is where we usually do snack. You cannot take little people on a hike and not pack some snacks, it would be mutiny for sure.

Bonus

There is a Scout Camp with a tree house right before the above-mentioned cave, but we have never gone to play on it. Or at least that is what it looks like from the trail. This could also be a highlight destination along the hike. But like I said I don’t know much about it as we have never ventured over to it.

The other bonus that is really fun about this hike is “Raytown Rocks”.  These are painted rocks that are hidden along the trail. If you find one you are supposed to carry it with you and re-hide as you hike.  Or at least that is what we do. The kids love this because it is like a treasure hunt.  They get to try and find a good hiding spot before we leave. We always go and check the spot when we come back to see if the rock is still there. This is a lot of fun for the kids!

This is a great place if you are new to hiking because it is close to town, it is one of the cleanest trails in the metro that we have been on, and it is a series of loops (so if you walk long enough you will always end up back at your car!) Seasoned hikers will also find this to be a fun hike because the trails loop and cross enough that you could put together a substantial hike and not have seen the same scenery over and over. Getting kids outside and on trails is a must in my book, the fresh air does amazing things to their personality and they get so many opportunities to test their courage and strengthens their decision-making skills for the rest of their lives. What are your favorite trails or hacks for taking small children out into nature?

From iFamily to Yours,


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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