Is Your Child in the Right Britax Car Seat?

Disclosure: I was provided a Britax car seat, however, all opinions are my own.

Is your child in the right Britax car seat?

Emma Kate turned four on Monday, and over the past couple of months, I had some serious questions about what type of car seat she should be in. Since this week is child passenger safety week, I wanted to share my findings with you because, like me, some of you may be a little unsure as to what type of seat your child should be in as they grow. Especially for someone like Emma Kate, who is very tall for her age, I wanted to make sure she was comfortable, but more importantly as safe as possible.

For a couple years we have been in the Britax Boulevard ClickTight seat. First as a rear facing seat, then eventually as forward facing seat. However, over the summer we noticed how tight the seat was getting on her and she just seemed huge in this little seat, so I started doing some research. Thanks to some help from the kind folks at Britax, we were able to figure out a good option for Emma Kate and this new seat, the Frontier ClickTight, fits her so much better!

It has cupholders and will grow with her, even as a backless booster when she is ready to get out of the five-point harness. It has 2 layers of side impact protection, and a foam lined headrest. There are also multiple recline positions, and there is a 9 position quick adjust harness (it really is quick adjusting!) She feels like a big girl in it and I know it has the same safety and quality features as Britax seats we have had and enjoyed in the past.

Here are some things I learned about fitting your child for a car seat (pro tip: their website has a tool that helps you decide what Britax car seat to get for your child based on a number of factors. Check it out here!)

Child Fit & Best Practice:
• Rear Facing: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants and toddlers should ride in a Rear-Facing Car Seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer. Britax strongly recommends that children ride rear-facing to the highest weight or height specified.
o Shoulder harness straps should be in the closest position at or below the child’s shoulders.
• Forward Facing: Britax strongly recommends that children should be secured with a harness system until they exceed the weight or height limits specified.
o Shoulder harness straps should be in the closest position at or above the child’s shoulders, parallel to
level ground.

Looking to put your child in a booster? Here is what you should know (also check out the Booster basics page)

“Belt-positioning boosters are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing harnessed seat. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is best for children to continue to use a forward-facing car seat with a harness and top tether in the back seat for as long as possible. If your child outgrows his or her forward-facing seat but is not yet ready to stay seated properly in a belt-positioning booster using the lap and shoulder belt, consider using a Harness-2-Booster for the transition.”

 

How To Tell If It’s Time To Move Up

How can you tell that your child is ready to move on from their forward-facing car seat into a Harness-2-Booster? Here are a few things to look for:

  • Your child reached the top weight or height allowed for their convertible car seat with a harness. (These limits are listed on the seat and also included in the user guide.)
  • Your child’s shoulders are above the top harness slots in their forward-facing seat. (This was Emma Kate’s problem!)
  • If your kid is a wiggle worm or sleeps often in the vehicle, then the booster may not be an appropriate selection just yet.

And finally, you may be wondering when to switch your child to a vehicle seat belt. Check out these tips:

Britax recommends that you continue to use a car seat to the upper limits of its recommended use, or until your child can fit properly in the adult seat belt.

To be able to fit an adult seat belt, a child must:

  • Be tall enough to sit without slouching
  • Keep his/her back and buttocks against the vehicle seat back
  • Keep his/her knees completely bent over the front edge of the vehicle seat
  • Keep his/her feet flat on the floor
  • Be able to stay comfortably seated this way, AND
  • The vehicle seat belt must be positioned correctly across the child’s hips and shoulder/middle of the chest

Not sure if your seat is installed correctly? Visit www.SafeKids.org to locate a checking station near you.

Britax car seat

Thanks so much, Britax for making sure Emma Kate was safe and comfortable in her new Britax car seat. Now, this mama can rest easy!

Related: Tips for stroller running in the heat

Real Life Tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach

Disclosure: Disney provided me with park tickets and meal cards for the day, however, all opinions and tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach are my own.

I see a lot of Disney tips posts floating around that have great information, but it’s either things that everyone already knows, or it’s not practical tips to help you make the best of your day at the water park. As a real-life mom with a very real life diva three-year-old, I need the “good stuff” when it comes to tips. With that being said, let’s get down to business:

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

1.) Wear water shoes: Florida is hot (and water is wet, I know I know). While Disney does an amazing (seriously, amazing) job of having water sprayers spraying down the sidewalks in a lot of places at the water park, it’s impractical for every square inch of the sidewalk to be wet. This creates very hot pavement for a large portion of the year. Solution: water shoes. Not only will you be thankful for them when you see others frantically running from wet spot to wet spot, but they really come in handy if you or your kids prefer to “walk” in the lazy river.

For instance, my darling three-year-old did not want an intertube in the giant river MADE FOR INTERTUBES, no no, she just wanted to wear her puddle jumper and run along the bottom. Even when her smart mommy told her that she was going to make her feet raw, darling daughter paid no mind and well, you can guess who was crying on the way home (ok, so maybe that was both of us, because her screaming plus traffic on I-4 tends to make me a bit teary.)

Real Life Tip: When you have a 3-year-old, the lazy river isn’t super relaxing, so set the bar low. It IS a ton of fun though, but relaxing…not so much.

2.) Tikes Peak for small kids = a parents dream: When you come into the main area of the park, be sure to hang a right and head into Tike’s Peak if you have a toddler or preschool-aged child. You will thank me later. This adorable area is a scaled-down version of Mt. Gushmore, and not only is this space mostly contained (re: once they go up the top of the “mountain” the only way down is the way they just came walking up, or to go down a slide), but it’s also super adorably themed and has PLENTY for the little Mouseketeers to do. We honestly could have stayed in this area the entire day and never gone to any other parts of the park and my child would have been happy.

Real life tip #2: Keep an eye out for photopass photographers in this area. They tend to hang out in the wading pool area and will snap pics of your kids for you. They can link to your magic band or give you a card to link later. There are usually a lot people vying for these action shot pics, so you may have to wait a minute to grab the photographers attention, but it’s well worth it!

3.) Check all the food options: It’s tempting to think that Blizzard Beach will have standard water park fare on the menu, and while you will find your favorite comfort foods, there is also plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. I had the hot dog with bacon and mac and cheese, and check out some of these other options in my photos below. Doesn’t exactly look like your typical quick service meal, right?

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Real Life Tip #3: There are several food locations scattered through the park so be sure to check out all the menus beforehand. The lines can get a little long at high noon so eat a little earlier or a later to avoid the rush.

4.) Refillable drinks: If you are familiar with Disney resorts, you may know about rapid refillable mugs. Blizzard Beach has their own version that is good for the entire day for $11.99 on sodas and the like. (Sadly no alcohol.) You can also hang on to it and bring it back another day for a discounted price on your next day of refills. If you plan to stay all day I think this is a great deal. Best to stay hydrated in the sun!

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Real life tip #4: For those that like adult beverages, there are plenty of places to get them. My favorite is the bar right in front of Melt Away Bay (the wave pool) because it’s a great spot for people watching and has a nice view.

Related: Beyond the Parks Part 1

5.) Arrive before park opening or mid-afternoon: I know I know, this sounds contradictory. Allow me to explain. If you plan to stay all day or prefer the morning hours like we do, arrive early. Every time we have gone we have been allowed in the gates before the advertised opening. While there are PLENTY of chairs at the park, some of the more coveted areas and areas in the shade go more quickly, especially areas along the wave pool and in Tike’s Peak.

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Real Life Tip #5: Tike’s Peak chairs go super quickly because all the parents want to lounge in them and sit fruity drinks while they “watch” their children play. Or maybe that’s just me? Either way, head there first to put down your stuff if you are wanting to have a seat.

A lot of people leave after lunch or in the early afternoon after there wee ones have had enough (hand raise) so this opens up chairs and spots in line for those willing to come in the afternoon after the initial crowd has gone home.

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach

Blizzard Beach is an amazing place to visit while at the Walt Disney World resort. The lines are usually never super long, it boasts an almost mile long lazy river, and most of the slides are family friendly. In fact, only 3 slides have height requirements! Whether you are a local coming in for the day or in the middle of a week-long vacation, be sure not to skip out on this fun opportunity to make some “real life” memories with your family. Be sure to check out my recap video below of our fun-filled day in our happy place and thanks for reading my tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach.

Summer Humming with Humm Kombucha

Disclosure: I’ve teamed up with Humm Kombucha for this sponsored post, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It was about a year ago that I tried Kombucha for the first time. I had read great things about it, but y’all I’m picky. I’m all about overall health and wellness here on the blog, but I just wasn’t so sure. I am happy to report after a year I am still humming along drinking Humm Kombucha (my favorite flavor is coconut lime!) from Publix here in Tampa!

humm kombucha

I actually get a good amount of questions about this, so let’s back up a bit. First, what is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea with probiotics and antioxidants that help contribute to your overall digestive condition. Probiotics found in kombucha balance the good and bad bacteria in the body and the antioxidants positively impact multiple systems in our body. It’s also vegan, dairy and GMO free. Humm Kombucha, is live and raw kombucha, with 2 Billion Probiotic Cultures at bottling, and comes in 8 flavors, including Pomegranate Lemonade, Hopped Grapefruit, Lemon Ginger, and Coconut Lime. Not to mention, it tastes really good! Especially on a hot summer day.

Keep reading, I love a good story like this one:

Humm Kombucha was started by two women in Bend, Oregon, brewing a mother-in-law’s kombucha recipe in their kitchen during the recession. They then created a door-to-door delivery service (hello! sign me up please!) with folks leaving money under their mat for kombucha with the goal to help the local community feel better and do better. It hits all the feels right? Nine years later, they are now sold at major stores nationwide as well as in Canada and Sweden!

So now I have a question for you. Humm is asking me, and you, how you #HummAlong this summer. And no, you don’t have to know how to sing. Trust me it’s not one of my gifts. You don’t even have to know the song, just grab a kombucha, open it up, and Humm Along. You can Humm along as you go to work, go for a run, pick up your kids from camp, or enjoy a day at one of the beautiful local beaches around your area.

Humm’s #HummAlong campaign is inspiring people like you and me to join a collective humm, bringing more people together to feel better and do better in the world. Always a good goal, right?  While we are all on our own paths and journeys, it’s the attitude we take, in good times and bad, and the company we keep that shapes us. Remember, you are the only one that can change your attitude! So how about on one of these hot, sticky days you mosey on over to Publix, grab some Humm kombucha, and #HummAlong with us. (Search the hashtag on social! Use it yourself!)

Me? How do I #HummAlong? I have been enjoying the pool life here in Florida this summer. We were able to get away for a “staycation” this weekend and make some awesome family memories. Kids grow up so fast, so getting to spend time with the ones I love is my favorite way to #HummAlong. What about you? Share on social media!

humm

Be on the lookout on my Instagram for a giveaway later today!

5 Reasons to Visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

Disclosure: I attended a media event at EPCOT and was able to try out some of the delicious food and drinks, however I was not asked to write this post and all opinions are my own.

5 reasons to visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival this spring at Walt Disney World Resort

Every spring, Epcot is blanketed in gorgeous flowers, topiary figures and gardens, and is peppered with delicious food and drink booths. It’s one of my favorite times of year to visit Walt Disney World, and the weather is the best at this time of year, too. Every year EPCOT seems to outdo itself and this year’s festival is definitely one you won’t want to miss. I could go on and on about why, but I have condensed it down to the top five reasons to visit the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival this year. Check it out:

 

1.) Flowers: This one is kind of a given, but if you love nature and the beauty that surrounds us every day, you will love seeing EPCOT decked out in bursts of color and some of your favorite characters in plant and flower form. Emma Kate loved spotting her favorites like Daisy, and the clear blue sky gave us a beautiful backdrop. I love spring in Walt Disney World! These fun characters can be found all over the park as well as gorgeous gardens, even one with butterflies!

2) Merchandise: Who doesn’t love a good Disney souvenir am I right? Not only is there a ton of new merchandise out just for the festival, but you can even buy these adorable gift cards to put on your wrist as you walk around the “world” sampling food and drink, and purchasing that new garden statue or cute light up purple rose cup.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

The mouse ears pictures below are sure to be a hit! I just love the detailing.

EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

This is one of two magic bands available during the festival. Any collectors dream come true.

 

 

3.) Play area for kids: I have a very active three and a half year old, but happen to be a very tired mommy. I love the special play area for kids, not only because it keeps my child busy and exploring, but because it has chairs, and umbrellas, for tired walking feet. Double win for our family! This play are can be found on the right on your way into World Showcase.

 

4.) Garden Rocks concert series: Music lovers listen up! During the festival there will be over a dozen musical acts at 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00 pm on the Garden Rocks stage. There will be some old “familiar” faces as well as some new ones!

 

5.) Food: Not to be missed are the outdoor kitchens, which is my favorite part. There are over a dozen stops that open at 11:00 am daily. Check out the Disney Website for a list of all the kitchens and menu items. Below are some of my personal favorites.

 

  • Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky and
  • Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato

  • Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle

  • Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese. (I had two of these!)

There were so many other delicious things to eat and drink but I just wanted to share my absolute MUST HAVES. I would love to know your favorites! So be sure to get to EPCOT as soon as you can. Don’t wait, because the festival will only be around until May 28th, 2018.

 

5 Reasons to Stay at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Disclosure: I was provided a hotel stay and park tickets from Universal Orlando Resort, however all opinions are my own.

Recently I had the opportunity to stay at Universal Orlando Resort’s newest hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls. I had only seen pictures, which looked beautiful so I was really excited to experience this resort for myself. There is a lot that could be said about this gorgeous tropical retreat, but I condensed it into my five top reasons that you will want to visit (and stay at!) this property.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

1.) Easy access to the parks: We arrived at the resort early in the morning so we could have a full day at the parks. After parking in the convenient parking garage, we set out to find our way to the theme parks. We discovered not only is there a gorgeous and tranquil walking path, but a leisurely boat ride that drops you off at City Walk. We took the boat and walking path during our stay and enjoyed both! There is also a bus if you prefer to take that instead.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

2.) Beautiful and bright rooms: I’m a big fan of tropical and bright decor, and Loews Sapphire Falls did not disappoint. We were honored to have been upgraded to a suite which was HUGE! Below you can get a feel for the color scheme and amenities in the rooms. I’m not oing to post photos of the rest of the suite as to not confuse anyone about the rooms. One of my favorite things was the fact that there were power outlets and USB plus everywhere! I hate going to older hotels and not being able to find outlets for everything I need to plug in. Not the case here. It made me a happy girl.

sapphire falls resort

 

Everything was so nice and fresh and clean, I felt so relaxed the whole time. There are lots of blues and whites which are so peaceful to me.

sapphire falls resort

sapphire falls resort

 

3.) Extra options at the resort: I love staying at a resort where there is so much to do, you don’t even feel like you have to leave. If you are like me, then you will love it here. There was an arcade, several restaurants, and a gorgeous fitness center. This wasn’t like a little room with a few dumbbells and a treadmill. This was a real gym and it was so nice!

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

4.) Great pool area: Having a kid, one of the things I always look at when trying to decide where to stay is the pool. We did not have a chance to swim this time, but we did go check it out and it looks fabulous! First of all, when you walk outside they had corn hole, ping pong, and other games as well as a bar and tables to sit at and eat.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

There were cabanas for rent, and nice sandy areas making you feel like you were at the beach.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

There was also a water slide which I know my daughter would have loved.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

This just means we have to go back, right?

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

5.) Early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: When you stay at Loews Sapphire Falls, you have the added bonus of getting entry into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter an hour earlier than park guests not staying onsite. Especially at peak times of year, this is a huge deal! Getting to head into that part of the park with hardly anyone there is amazing, and great for photo taking. I was able to ride everything and see all the things I wanted to see within that first hour.Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

If you are planning a visit to Universal Orlando Resort, consider staying at Loews Sapphire Falls. You will fall in love with it’s charm and will enjoy the tranquility of this beautiful resort.

 

 

 

Residence Inn Clearwater Beach

Over the weekend, Bobby and I were in Clearwater for a local beach festival, and were invited to stay at the new Residence Inn Clearwater Beach. If you follow me on social media, you may remember we attended the ribbon cutting for this gorgeous property last month. I was so excited to get to stay here after seeing the spacious rooms and pool at the ribbon cutting!

Our studio king room did not disappoint. It was HUGE and had a full kitchen plus living room and sleeping area with a very modern but cozy vibe. Plenty of room for a family to spread out.

Residence inn

The kitchen had a stove, microwave, dishwasher, and refrigerator. There were even bar stools at the counter if you wanted to sit and enjoy a meal.

Residence inn Clearwater

There was plenty of space going into the bedroom area, and the television swiveled so you could view it from the living room or bed. (Not going to lie, we may have eaten dinner in bed while watching football!)

Residence Inn Clearwater

My favorite has got to be the modern bathroom. It has a huge shower and ample space for storing your things. There is even a little hallway going into the bathroom with drawers and a counter to put your things (or your suitcase) on, as well as a closet. it was nice and bright and we had plenty of towels, which is always a bonus.

The best part about this property is the proximity to the beach. We were a block away from the sugar white sands, and we could even see it from our room! No need to use your car, it’s so walkable here to everything from shops to restaurants to of course, the famous Pier 60.

Residence inn clearwater

Something special that this hotel offers is a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool overlooking the bay. What a set up!

I could stay here all day.Residence inn

There is also a free breakfast, a fitness room, conference rooms, and valet parking. Everyone we encountered was so friendly, and we had a great stay. I hope to come back and visit this hotel soon, so I can enjoy it and all that Clearwater Beach has to offer.

Disclosure: I received a free night stay for my review, however all opinions are my own.

Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive

Disclosure: I was hosted by Wyndham for my stay in their resort. However, all opinions are my own.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Bobby and I decided we wanted to take Emma Kate to her very first water park in Orlando. When Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive invited us to stay as their guests, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity.

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The best thing about this resort is that you can stay where you play. It is the official resort of I-Drive 360, and there is so much to see and do, many things within walking distance (Like the Orlando eye). It’s also only twelve miles from the airport, so you are literally close to everything. The resort also offers a complimentary shuttle to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and SeaWorld.

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I loved all the greenery and tropical plants surrounding the walkways and the pool areas. There are also plenty of dining options including a bar in the lobby and at the pool. The resort is also home to Gatorville, he poolside grill and bar.

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The rooms all have pillowtop mattresses, 40” flat screen tv’s and mini refrigerators. We were in a king room/family suite that included a separate area with bunk beds and another TV for the kids.

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I really love the idea of the bunk beds, I just wish there was a door or partition to close off this area from the rest of the room. Emma Kate LOVED the bunks though and hung out on the top one all evening.

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Another thing I liked is there is complimentary wifi at the resort. I was given a password upon check in and logging on was super easy.

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Also, there are TWO outdoor pools as well as a heated spa, and a renovated fitness center. The lounge chairs at the pool looked so nice and relaxing!

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This resort also boasts over 60,000 square feet of meeting space. There are two grand ballrooms, and a catering team ready to meet your wedding, party, or business needs.

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I wish we had more time to explore the area, as there were so many things within walking distance we could have done! There is the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, the 7D Dark ride adventure, and great restaurants and shopping like Tervis, Buffalo Wild Wings, and the Sugar Factory.

Probably the best thing about this resort is the price. Rates start at just $79 per night, so it’s perfect for a quick getaway, girls weekend, or business trip.

QOTD: Have you ever stayed here? What do you look for in a resort?

New Mizuno Wave Sky


Disclosure: This post about the new Wave Sky is sponsored by Mizuno through Fitfluential. All opinions are my own.

If you have been reading my blog lately, you know I have been struggling with a quad/knee injury that sidelined me for around 8-9 weeks. Not running was no fun, but I knew I needed to be extra careful when I did come back to the sport. When I was asked to try out the new Mizuno Wave Sky, I was pumped as the timing was when I was coming back from my injury, and I couldn’t help but think maybe some new shoes would help my knee to not hurt.

wave sky

Well, I was absolutely right. Not only has my knee not hurt running in these new shoes, but I feel like I am running on a springboard. There is just something about running in new shoes that makes me run taller and faster. However, after five runs in the Wave Sky, that feeling has not gone away with the cloudwave technology in these shoes.

wave sky

This is a neutral shoe, but it has plenty of cushioning, and as someone who prefers a wider toe box, I am happy to same my toes have not gone numb like that have in other shoes. I also really like the new thicker premium sock liner for a better, more comfortable fit.

Wave sky

This shoe comes in three great combos for the women, and you can check them out here. I have a feeling I will wear these out really quickly and will need a new pair, I’m digging the pink and want to get those next time!

QOTD: What do you look for in a new shoe? Have you tried Mizuno running shoes before? What is your favorite color combo on the new wave sky?

KidsPark: Easy, Fun Childcare

When we moved to Tampa at the end of last year, I knew one of the things we were going to miss most was being close to family. Not only did we enjoy hanging out with them on a regular basis, but we really loved the option for babysitters, and never had to have a stranger watch our two year old!

Not only does Tampa offer a wide range of fun activities I wanted to attend, but as a blogger I get invited to special events and dinner etc., too. Not knowing anyone made it difficult to find a baby sitter, so when I saw an ad in a local paper for KidsPark, I knew I needed to investigate.

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The website is very informative, and I found out that KidsPark is actually a pay by the hour daycare franchise with many locations throughout the country. I was super excited as my babysitting problem was solved! Not only that, but Emma Kate would get to play in a new environment and have fun interacting with other kids all at a very low hourly rate, while mom and dad go to have fun of our own. Lucky for us, the nearest location is less than ten minutes from our house. The best part is there are NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED! You simply show up, check your child in, and leave. Some people drop their kids off for an hour or two so they can go get groceries or go to the doctor, and some leave them for a full day of fun. It’s up to you!

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When you arrive, you register and pay a small registration fee, and then are charged by the hour for your child’s time at KidsPark. At the end of the day the price per hour is WAY less than I would have to pay an in home sitter, plus my child is getting to be in a new fun place with new friends, which I prefer.

There are cubbies at the front for your child’s belongings and shoes. Children are required to take their shoes off, but must wear socks, so don’t forget them!

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Another thing that I love is there are meals and snacks at KidsPark. Meals at our location are $4.00, or you can bring your own meal from home (we have done both, it just depends on the menu and home much time I have as to what we do). Snacks are at no additional charge. Wondering about ages and activities? Kids can start going to KidsPark at age two through age eleven at our location. The “big kids” also have a special play area so they aren’t constantly on top of the little kids, so no worries there!

They even help assist with potty training. Emma Kate wears a special color sticker on her name tag so they know to remind her about the potty. Awesome! Sometimes Emma Kate comes home with a craft or picture that she drew, so it’s nice to know they are doing different activities with the kids. They also have different themed days and weeks depending on time of year, holidays, etc.

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As you can see from this happy face, Emma Kate has never been upset when we leave her! There is so much to do, and so many new friends to make! Another favorite thing about KidsPark is that it is open on a lot of holidays when regular schools are closed. There have been times when EK’s daycare was closed that we brought her to KidsPark because I needed to get work done. They are also open late into the night for those date nights for mom and dad (midnight on Friday and Saturday!)

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Another option we have not taken advantage of is that KidsPark operates as a preschool during the day. It’s a traditional preschool with a modern twist, so think music, drama, art, math and science for your little ones. You can even start a young child at one day a week and move up to five days.

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Emma Kate LOVES the little house and kitchen area!

KidsPark is even open for private parties on Sunday mornings and evenings when the center is closed to the public. You get a hostess to help with your party so you can enjoy instead of clean up, lead games, etc.

Don’t forget KidsPark is licensed and all the teachers have early childhood backgrounds and pass background checks. They are great at making your child feel comfortable and they always remember Emma Kate’s name, even after she had only attended a couple of times (they know her as the girl with the big bows, of course!) KidsPark’s mission is simple: Happy kids, happy parents, and in our family, they have succeeded!

Click here to see if there is a KidsPark location near you!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Imaginative Play with LEGO® DUPLO ®

I am really loving the age that Emma Kate is at right now. Just in the past month, her language has exploded, her motor skills have gotten a lot better, and she has gotten way more imaginative with playtime, which is also really fun for me! One of her new favorite things to do is to play with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks.

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These preschool building toys are specially designed for little hands (ages 1½ – 5 years old). They are much larger than regular LEGO® bricks (twice the size!) Making them safer for toddlers and preschoolers and easier for them to handle.

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I have to admit, playing with these toys brought back so many childhood memories for me, I love how LEGO® bricks have stood the test of time, and more than 25 years after I played with them in my living room, now my daughter is playing with them in our living room!

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As soon as Emma Kate opened the box, I was down on the floor next to her, helping her set up the “choo choo train” and building tall towers that are “so high” (her favorite). I think it’s so important to not only let a child’s imagination grow, but as parents, we should be partnering with our kids in playtime, showing them the ropes and encouraging them to learn new things. Kids learn by playing, touching, and experiencing new things. It is my job to guide Emma Kate on this learning journey, and LEGO® DUPLO® just makes it a lot of FUN! The nice of the legos is that you can build anything you want, there are few toys like that, for example a spinning toy that you can learn how to build your own.

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LEGO® DUPLO® offers so much flexibility and open-ended play for each stage of your young one’s development. You can do things from build towers, to trains, to buildings and more. There are even figurines like cute dogs and little people to put in the structures.

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Ready to be inspired for playtime with your little ones? Head over to LEGO.com/Family and see what you can do to help nurture your child’s imagination.

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QOTD: What is your family way to play with your kids and help their imaginations grow?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.