iFamilyKC Search

Search our Blog Posts:

Search our Calendar:

Search our Directory:

Select a Directory Category:

The little book with BIG resources!

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,

Get the scoop sent to your inbox. Coupons Events Camps

Learn How Reinforcing Positive Behaviors Will Change the Way You Parent

Searching for parenting tips to encourage positive behaviors in your kids this year? You’re not alone. We’ve been researching negative reinforcement vs. positive reinforcement and have some great ideas for reinforcing good behavior in your kids. Take a look…
reinforcing positive behaviors

Reinforcing Positive Behaviors Will Change the Way You Parent

Let’s face it: When you have three kids to corral (or even one), behavior can sometimes get in the way of fun. It’s not always as negative as it sounds. In some instances, behavior could be hitting, fighting or just not listening. Sometimes reinforcing behaviors just helps nudge stubbornness or helps your child get their school work done in a timely manner or even just to clean their room but there’s a big different between positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. While negative reinfocement can sometimes be usefull in stopping certain behaviors, positive reinforcement rewards and encourages great behavior while simultaniously lifting the child up and building their confidence.

How does reinforcing positive behavior help?

Whichever your reason, positive reinforcement can help in many situations. It also sets a precedent for future learning and responsibility in a better light. If you are looking for a new strategy to change your game at home, then these parenting tips may work for you.

This fall our family tried a new strategy. We created a ticket reinforcement system where our kids can earn tickets for helping out around the house, getting homework done, playing nicely, getting a good report from school, sharing and so on. They collect tickets throughout the week and then at the end of the week they can earn a big reward. There is also a smaller ticket prize in their pouch they can earn sooner to keep them motivated. Each week we change out the prizes so they don’t get bored. Nothing that we do costs much. For example, the small prize is currently a sticker sheet with their favorite characters on it. The big prize can sometimes be a surprise, a trip out for ice cream or a fun family activity on Sundays.

What’s the objective?

They key objective of this plan is reinforcing your child’s behavior immediately for what you want them to do. The more immediate the reward then the bigger impact it will have on your child. When my 9 year old comes home and does his homework without piddling around, he earns a ticket for getting things done timely.

My 6 year old can earn a ticket for sharing nicely with her little sister and my youngest can earn a ticket by taking her nap without a fight. If they do something positive on the fly then then earn a bonus ticket. I give them a ticket for doing something helpful without being asked to do it first or for using their manners without being reminded to do so. This strategy also works if you want to target one specific behavior at a time. We choose many things because it helps them feel accomplished.

On the flip side, they can also earn a natural consequence. A natural consequence, rather than negative reinforcement, is where they receive a consequence for their actions that doesn’t require us to do anything extra. For example, if the kids are all earning tickets to receive ice cream on Sunday, but one of the kids doesn’t earn their tickets that week…then the natural consequence is that they get to go with us to our destination but they don’t get any ice cream on that outing. Sometimes natural consequences are the best reinforcement because generally kids don’t like to be left out of things.

What You’ll Need:


coins, tickets, tokens, etc.


a jar, baggies, paper pocket, etc.


White board, dry erase marker (paper and pen works too)


Small: stickers, quarter machine toy, candy..etc

Big: Family outing, Ice cream, extra tv..etc.

And a kid or two or three, of course. 

The best part of this is that you can tweak it to meet your family needs or in a way that best captures the interest of your child.

From iFamily to Yours,

Homeschooling – Part I: 7 Great Options for Alternative Learning

When it comes to learning, there are many options available for your family from homeschooling to traditional public schools and just about everything in between. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, is a homeschooling parent here in the community and is sharing some incredible options that are available to your family if you’re ready to explore k-12 homeschool options for yourself. Take a look…


Homeschooling – Part I: 7 Great Options for Alternative Learning

Hey KC! As you prepare to start a new year off on the right foot, you may be considering making some major changes in your family life. For a lot of families, homeschooling may be one of them. Most families tend to withdraw their child or children at the end of the year to avoid any chaos with planning and major changes. Another favorited time to start a homeschool journey is in between semesters. Again, there is less going on and families can make what I call a “clean break” from public school and an easy transition into homeschooling. If you are planning to go the homeschool route at any point, I have compiled a guide of different methods for you to choose from!

Each of these methods are unique in their own way and you never really know what is best for you and your soon-to-be homeschoolers until you try it!


#1 Project Based Learning

Project based learning is almost polar opposites to the learning styles of public schools. There are a lot of projects, hands on learning materials and your child really can “direct” themselves in learning about topics they choose. When doing PBL, it is important to remember that your homeschooler is in control. Try resisting the urge to correct their projects or be helpful when they are creating. Learn more about Project Based Learning to discover if it’s the right fit for your K-12 homeschool needs.


#2 Unit Studies

Unit studies approach is also similar to PBL when it comes to homeschools. Unit Studies focus on a theme and all of the subjects are based off of the chosen theme. For example, when picking a theme you would do research on the history of your particular theme, study the scientific process of it and make a replica of it out of clay. Unit studies really focus on your child’s interests and they are incorporated throughout the learning process.


#3 Unschooling

Unschooling is one of the most unique approaches homeschooling programs where your child takes the lead. They learn things they want and daily living is their teacher. From a simple trip to the grocery store to daily chores, unschooling  allows your child to explore the world around them.


#4 School at Home (School In a Box)

This is one of the more traditional approaches to homeschooling. School in a box is very similar to the public school learning style. You can purchase a full curriculum and complete assignments through text books based on grade levels. There are also many online homeschools that meet this criteria as well.


#5 Montessori

The Montessori learning method is more rigorous in terms of language, numbers and life skills. Simple tasks like cleaning up after themselves or washing their own dishes teaches them more independence in their daily lives. If you’re considering the Montessori approach, dive into researching this homeschooling option before you make the choice.


#6 Classical Approach

This approach teaches children to think as opposed what to think. This approach focuses more on thinking, grammar and speech. With different stages of learning, the classical approach is very rigorous and requires more formal study habits from your homeschoolers.


#7 Eclectic Homeschooling

This approach combines the best of all styles. Eclectic homeschooling is a lot more relaxed than most methods but still maintains more structure than some.

With so many methods to choose from, it can feel overwhelming and confusing. It took me almost 2 years to settle into an eclectic learning method before I felt confident! Remember, no two families are the same, no child learns the same and every family knows what works best for them. I hope this list is easy to follow and helps you find the best approach for your family!

From iFamily to Yours,

Let’s Talk About Your Mom Bag – What Should You Have In It?

We all have one, the mom bag…the thing we hurriedly pack on our way out the door for the day.  Have you ever stopped to think about what you need to be packing just for an outing with your kids?! Gabrielle, from our Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts on what you need to pack in your mom bag! Take a look…

mom bAG

Let’s Talk About Your Mom Bag – What Should You Have In It?

There are a lot of changes that come with motherhood.  Physical and emotional changes are to be expected, but there was one change that caught me completely off guard.  The more children I had, the bigger my purse got.    I started off with a convertible planner that had an attachable purse strap.  I transitioned to a bag that was a large enough to carry my planner and a make-up pouch.  Not long ago, I was shopping in a department store and found what I thought was the perfect bag.  Then I looked at the price.  I could not figure out why the not-a-name-brand bag was so expensive.  Then I looked up at the overhead sign.  Apparently, I had wandered into the luggage section in search on my perfect purse.  So basically, I’m wandering the streets with a carry-on bag hanging from my shoulder.

With a bag that size, the surprises are unending.  It is not unusual for me to reach down in my purse and find anything from an Arizona Iced Tea to Zoo passes from two weeks ago.    It is also not unusual for me to turn my purse upside down only to find that the one thing I’m looking for is not in there.  My purse manages to be both a vacuum and a black hole.

I made a conscious effort to pare down the number of items in my purse.  I did a web-search for “What should I have in my purse?” What I found is that some of you are magicians and are fitting twice the amount of items I have in my bag into your cute little clutches.  I also found at that I’m missing a few essentials, and I’m carrying some things I might not ever need.  Anyway, after a couple of searches, I narrowed it down to a few essentials.

Some form of Picture ID

This one is self-explanatory.  The day you leave it at home is the day you’ll be pulled over for speeding or  the day your favorite cashier asks for your ID when you try to buy that bottle at home.


Paper or plastic?  I strongly suggest both, and a little pocket change wouldn’t hurt either.  That way when the mom in front of you is fishing around for two pennies to cover her groceries, you can swoop in and be the superhero.


This item is to remain in your purse until you have reached your destination. Absolutely no texting and driving!  It can also be used to make a call to explain that you’re running 10 minutes late if necessary.  (It’s almost always necessary at my house.)

Breath Mints

Another no-brainer.  They can be actual life-savers (See what I did there?) Ranch dressing breath is not attractive.

A Mirror & Lip Gloss

You can do wonders with fresh breath, a sparkling smile.  (Just use the mirror to make sure you got the remaining spinach out of your teeth.

Hand Sanitizer

Because you’re a mom, and public restrooms are just gross.

Facial Tissue

Because you’re a mom and kids are just gross.

Personal Care Items/Toiletries

This category is broad on purpose.  Tailor it to fit your needs.  Just be aware, accidents and emergencies do happen.  Be prepared.

From iFamily to Yours,





The Importance Of Impromptu Dates With Your Significant Other

Impromptu dates with your significant other not only help to keep your relationship exciting but also serve as an important time to spend some time connecting without the kiddos in tow. We’re excited to share today’s post, and to welcome, the newest member of our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, Gabrielle. Today’s post is one that is near and dear to her own heart. Take a look…

Impromptu Dates

The Importance Of Impromptu Dates With Your Significant Other

A few years back, my husband and I decided to play hooky from work.  We dropped the kids off at school and then met for breakfast.  After breakfast, we went to the mall, hung out at our favorite book store, and did a little window shopping.  We saw a movie, then we grabbed some lunch and hung out for a bit until it was time to pick up the kids from school.  We had such a great time that we decided to do it monthly.  Now I know many couples have standing monthly date nights.  They hire a baby-sitter for the night, or send the kids off to grandma’s house for the weekend.  I absolutely support this, but I strongly recommend trying a date day at least once.  The benefits are amazing.

First, we save money.  There’s no need to hire a baby-sitter.  Also, the meals are much cheaper during the day.  My husband and I can eat both breakfast and lunch for the same amount of money that we would spend on a dinner date.  Lunch dates are a great way to experience fancy cuisine in smaller portions and at a cheaper prices.  Check your favorite spot to see if there is a lunch menu.  Want to see a movie, instead? The theaters are empty and most offer matinee pricing.

Second, we save time.  My husband and I once attempted an impromptu dinner date on the weekend.  We found ourselves wandering up and down 119th street looking for any place that didn’t have an hour and a half wait for dinner.  We were so hungry, we wound up at a chain restaurant eating tacos.  On date days, the longest we’ve ever had to wait was a couple minutes for a server to actually notice there was a customer who walked in the door.  Not only that, but a six-hour marathon date provides enough adult conversation, that you don’t go crazy when you return home to non-stop Disney channel reruns.  We don’t have to try and get everything in between the appetizers and dessert.  We have all day.

Finally, it’s like a micro-vacation.  Who does not need a day off in the middle of the week?  When is the last time you spent eight hours alone with your significant other?  Our date days allow us time to slow down and just enjoy time with each other.  We can go to the amusement park and not be stuck in the kids section, riding the same tiny roller coaster multiple times.  We can go gaze at million dollar homes and dream together.

Date days have become a priority in our household.  We tell every couple we know to at least give it a try.  The only people we haven’t told are the kids… and grandma (because she’s our daycare provider and we do not want to ruin our good thing!)

From iFamily to Yours,



For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

Summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and that means that many of you are also super busy with sports and family fun. Connie, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts today on coaching her kids’ sports teams. Maybe her thoughts will encourage some of you to do the same next season. Take a look…


For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

It’s that time of year when I feel like all of my evenings are spent at the ballpark.  My calendar is completely full of game times and fields.  While this can sometimes be overwhelming, and even a bit exhausting, I love it.  Let me say that one more time: I love the chaos and craziness that is coaching.

Last summer, I coached both my son and my daughter’s t-ball teams.  There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.  So, this summer, when my son moved up to machine pitch and I decided not to coach him any longer. I was looking forward to just being able to watch and enjoy and coach my one team.  Well, that didn’t happen.  I had so many kids I knew coming back, that I am now coaching two t-ball teams and helping run the dugout for my son’s machine pitch team.  This means coordinating three teams schedules, practicing with two teams, making sure my son gets to his practices and lugging around two teams worth of gear in my car all summer.  And I love it.

“There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.”

There are times when a practice gets a little crazy, or when a drill I am trying to run doesn’t go so well when I think “what in the world am I doing?” or “this is like herding cats!”  But then one of those cats comes running over and says “Coach! Did you see what I just did?” and I am sucked right back in.

As a coach of the youngest group of kids that play, I have to constantly remind myself, they are 4-7 year olds, they are not going to be able to make every play.  In fact, some of them may not make a play all season.  My job is to teach them the basics, and make sure they’re having fun.  What I didn’t count on when I started doing this again three summers ago, was how much fun I would have along with them.

“My job is to teach them…and make sure they’re having fun.”

Before I was married and had kids, I coached my step-niece in t-ball for three summers.  It was all girls and it was in my hometown.  We had so much fun.  I taught them to get their gloves in the dirt and keep their elbows up when they swung the bat, and they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.  I was invited to one of those sweet girls 13th birthday party this summer and was so touched that she thought of me and even remembered me.  There was no way I was missing that party.

“…they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.”

Just this past week one of my smallest kids on one of my teams came up to bat and said to me “Coach, I’m going to hit the ball really hard tonight.”  He always has been a very consistent hitter, making good solid contact, but being one of the smaller kids on the team, always got a single. After I checked his stance to make sure he was ready to hit, he swung through and just nailed the ball.  It went past all of the infielders and through the legs of the outfielder.

I was so excited I started jumping up and down and yelling for him to “take two!”  He made it safely to second base and I started dancing at home plate.  I had tears in my eyes and I was still wound up about it at 10:30 that evening.  There is just something magical about seeing a kid succeed and enjoy the game.

Coaching is sometimes totally frustrating.  Kids get tired, and bored and sometimes don’t want to listen.  Some drills don’t work the way I thought they would in my head.  And sometimes I am just tired.  But it is all so worth it.  It’s so worth it to see a kids face light up when they get a good hit or make a good stop.  Its so worth it to hear a kid say “Thanks Coach!”  I am not sure how long I will continue to coach my daughter.  Sometimes I wonder if I don’t just love coaching because I love the little ones.  We will find out eventually, but for the time being, I am going to enjoy every second I get to spend with my crazy t-ball players.

From iFamily to Yours,


Beat The Summer Slide: A How To Guide

Avoiding the summer slide can be difficult, especially when your children are eager to get out and enjoy pool time, run around with friends, and get away for that much needed family vacation. Make sure that your child doesn’t fall behind before the new school year starts with these six simple (and fun) ideas from Erin. Take a look…

beat the summer slide with six steps

 Beat The Summer Slide: A How To Guide

School is out for the summer!  My kids and I are embracing summertime full force with picnics, parks, pool time, and nature walks. We are loving summer and I know the “official start” to summer may be up for debate but it has definitely started in our house!  I definitely plan on sharing some super fun summer activities and boredom busters later on this season! However, I thought it was important to share with you some tips on beating the summer slide, where knowledge and skills are lost over the course of summer.  I read a statistic recently that said when kids go back to school in the fall that teachers will spend around six weeks re-teaching old material to make up for lost time.  My kids’ education is so important to me, so hearing that stat made me think about some ways to beat that summer slide and keep the kids learning and on track for the next school year.  Take a look at some ideas here and feel free to add your own ideas below in the comments.

#1 Read

Read 20 minutes a day. Read aloud. Have your child read to you. Listen to audio books. Lead by example and encourage your kids to read by enjoying a book yourself. Let your child pick out a book based on their own interests.  Read outside on sunny days or build a fort on rainy days and read inside the fort. Make it fun and engaging!

#2 Visit The Local Library

The MCPL branches have a fantastic summer learning program going on now until July 31st for ages birth to 19 years!  Kids can earn points by reading, doing small various activities at home and attending programs throughout the summer. Book prizes are awarded with each completed level and drawings are taking place throughout the summer for tickets to the Royals, Legoland, Powell Gardens, Coco Key, and much much more! Check it out and sign up online.

#3 Sharpen Math Skills

There are some awesome math apps out there like Reflex, which uses fun games to practice math skills.  You can also create good ole fashioned flash cards for addition and subtraction, multiplication and division facts.  Workbooks and activity books can be fun for road trips or for the daily commute. I’ve found some great flashcards and workbooks at Dollar Tree and Five Below.

#4 Take Field Trips

KC has SO many things to do for kids! Make it fun and educational by visiting fun places: Union Station and Science City, Money Museum, SEALIFE, KC Zoo, Harry S. Truman museum, Burr Oak Woods, National WWI Museum and the list goes on and on.

Pro Tip: Check out FieldTripGuideKC.com for inspiration on enriching activities for your kids! 

#5 Learn Around The House

Use everyday tasks you can encourage your kids to learn different things.  Take the kids grocery store and give them a chance to practice math skills, cook together, do fun science experiments with everyday household items, measure things inside and outside the house, chart the weather highs and lows and different weather patterns.

#6 Play Board Games

Uno, Monopoly, Bananagrams, Battleship, Memory, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Checkers and Chess, Dominoes are all great games to boost brain power!

By providing opportunities for your kiddos to keep learning throughout the summer months, you will give them an excellent head start to school in the fall and have some fun in the meantime!  And the teachers will thank you for it too!

From iFamily to Yours,


The Results of Practicing Self Care (and How to Do It)

Happy Monday, Kansas City! It can be difficult to focus on ourselves as parents, but practicing self care is an absolute must to maintain sanity in this crazy life. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, shares some ways we can all take care of ourselves, and what happens when we do. Check it out..

The Results of Practicing Self Care (and How to Do It)


The Results of Practicing Self Care (and How to Do It)

As a mom or dad, we tend to always have a lot on our plate. From working outside or inside the home, taking care of kids and keeping them on schedule, helping our husbands or wives with their various schedules like work, appointments and things. And even helping others outside the home can be overwhelming and take a lot out of us.

Once I had kids, a lot of the time I would take to get myself ready for the day or unwind for the day seemed to vanish into thin air. I would get so wrapped up in everyone else’s schedule that my time would seem to be nonexistent. One of my kiddos was born with several life threatening heart defects, so running around the city to different doctors was when I really had “down time”. I was in the car most of the time headed to a different doctor every week. Then when it came to the weekend I was shuttling my step daughter back and forth from our house to her mom’s house. So there was a little more down time since we lived in different cities lol. But it wasn’t until my 4th child that I realized just how important taking time for myself would be.



When you don’t take some time for yourself, you start to feel like you are falling behind in life. You feel overwhelmed, worn out and let’s face it, you don’t look like yourself. I mean if you ever ran into me at 5 below on one of my busy days, whew sorry! My hair is a mess, I probably have on some form of athletic wear, sweats or even an old pair of crocs. Not to mention my stress level is at a million because I just want to get in and out without buying one more Shopkin 5pack for the girls. Side note, I’m really kinda upset I know what that is lol) But when we don’t take time to take care of our self, physically and mentally, we begin to crack.


When you take a little time for yourself, the world seems to be in a different color. The stress of the day no longer has you seeing red! You are happier, your body is no longer getting stress paralyzed and you tend to just have more fun. I know I like when I am happier and so do my kids! When we became parents, we automatically signed up to be the best parent we could be for them. Same for your husband or wife! We are on our A game and it brings so much more love and positivity into the house.



Look I get it, we all can’t up and leave for a weekend away or take a mid-week trip to a spa. And honestly those things are GREAT! But you can take time to take care of yourself at home every day for 30 minutes- an hour and feel just as relaxed and recharged.

  • Prayer- For me saying a small prayer throughout the day can help me focus and take on the day.
  • Music- Music is so powerful! It can change your mood, relax you and even empower you.
  • Laugh- Watching a show or short movie that is funny definitely helps. Laughter is a natural healer and if you can just take a moment and laugh, you will feel better!
  • Writing- Writing for me is one of my biggest stress relievers. I am able to focus all my energy, emotions and thoughts in one place. It really helps to ease stress!
  • Hot Showers- A hot shower can go a LONG way! Put on some tunes, relax and enjoy!
  • Getting Ready- Sometimes, when I just dress up, put on my makeup and act as if I am going somewhere important, I feel better! I feel like I have everything together and I feel much more at ease. When you look your best, you feel your best!
  • Exercise- Everyone knows that exercise increases endorphins, a natural chemical in our body that not only helps with pain but also puts us in a happier mood.


There are so many ways to make sure you are practicing self-care. These are how I make sure I am relaxed, focused and energized for the day. Whatever you do, make sure it is something that relaxes you, makes you feel happy and is good for you!


From iFamily to Yours,







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

Celebration of Motherhood: How to Establish a Sleep Schedule

Sleep, glorious sleep. It’s the wonderful thing that often evades when we first become parents, and the 18 years that follow. Luckily, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, has some fantastic steps on how to get your little one on a great sleep schedule. Take a look!

Celebration of Motherhood: How to Establish a Sleep Schedule

Celebration of Motherhood: How to Establish a
Sleep Schedule


If you don’t have a newborn, this post is going to be a real snoozer for you because today I’m giving out advice on how to train your baby to love sleep as much as you do.


When I was asked to write a blog post about advice for new parents, I really had to think for a bit. Our oldest just turned 6, our middle guy is 4 and our “baby” turned 3 this summer, so I should be full of advice. But here’s the deal, I barely remember those newborn days. You hear that new parents? It’s going to seem like an eternity (lack of sleep does that to you), but in the grand scheme of things it’s a very short period in your life and theirs, and I PROMISE you will make it to the other side.


One thing my husband and I became quick pros at was how to get our babies to sleep. Outside of eating, sleeping is my favorite activity, so the faster I could get my kids to sleep during the night, the happier I was going to be. This advice won’t work on all babies, but it worked like magic on our babies, who were all sleeping soundly throughout the night around 8 weeks. Hope it helps some of you.


Five tips that MIGHT help your baby be a great sleeper.


Set a schedule

Put your baby to bed immediately following his last feeding at about the same time every night. We’d do this pretty late, after 11PM in hopes to buying ourselves some quality sleep in the prime sleeping hours. Our babies usually got pretty drowsy after eating but if yours needs some extra help going to bed, try giving him or her a bath. Babies are usually pretty alert during baths which can wear them out. And who doesn’t love to rest once they’re all clean, warm and snuggly?


Swaddle that baby

The swaddle is easily in my top five products for newborns. I can’t say enough about this product. If you don’t have one, buy one (actually 3 because you know, $H*t happens) and wrap your baby up like a Chipotle burrito. Sure, you can go the old fashioned route and just use a regular blanket but babies tend to turn into Houdini in the middle of the night and one loose arm will wake them (and you) up.


Change first, feed second

When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, always change her first. When she’s feeding there’s a good chance she’ll fall asleep while feeding or at least be nearly asleep. Changing her after you feed her will cause her to wake up and want to party.


Keep the lights off

Start training your newborn from day 1 what’s day and what’s night. If she wakes up in the middle of the night, keep it all business. Keep the lights off, keep it very quiet, change the diaper, feed her, swaddle her, turn on the sound machine, put her back in bed and tip toe out of there.


Teach your baby how to fall asleep by herself

It’s tempting to always want to hold your baby and let her fall asleep in your arms first, before placing her in her crib, but it’s important they learn how to fall asleep on their own without all the help, too. Don’t be afraid to put an awake baby down to sleep. Turn on a mobile and sound machine and she’ll start to pick up clues that she needs to go to sleep

Like I said, it’s been too long since I was dazed and confused and spit on and peed on and had no sleep and woke up at every little movement on the baby monitor and wondered if I’d ever get a good night’s sleep again … so I’m sure I’m forgetting some great tips, so please share yours. What worked or is working for you and your newborn?

Celebration of Motherhood: How to Establish a Sleep Schedule


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


From iFamily to Yours,



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