How to Have a Natural Labor + Delivery in the Hospital!

We’re about 9 months home with our new bubba and I haven’t quite had the will to put him down long enough to share his birth story but, now that he’s a daily napper and I have a few free hands for an hour each day, I want to give you all the tools to have a wonderful, natural birthing experience in the hospital like I did!

Being that this was my third pregnancy, my decision was already made when we were ready to start trying to get pregnant-I would go au’ natural again during labor and delivery and strive for the most undisturbed experience as possible. To make it easy, I’ve made a list of things that I truly feel were the best tools to have when planning for a natural birth in a hospital!

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FIRST + FOREMOST: PREPARE YOUR MIND + BODY!

I don’t feel like I can stress this as hard as I probably need to through a simple blog post but, I promise you: It’s not enough to just think in you’re head, “hey, I’m just gonna try this all natural thing with ZERO practice or preparation” and magically make it work. Not going to cut it sister. Your mind and body have to study harder than it ever has in your life. Yes. Seriously, I just said study to give birth.

I don’t care if it’s just 15 minutes every day from today until you have your sweet new baby, make the time to:

  • Meditate
  • Stretch
  • Exercise
  • Get your Downward Dog on
  • Sleep
  • Belly dance (seriously!)
  • Watch birthing videos

Get your body moving, stretching, and grow your mind with meditation! Head HERE  and HERE to get my personal experience with prepping my mind and body and some pre-labor faves!

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SECOND: INCLUDE YOUR HOSPITAL BIRTHING TEAM

The next thing I encourage you to do is to include everyone from your birthing team in your plan. Ask your caregiver their opinion, let them know your hopes and desires, and remind them closer to your due date of your birthing plan.

When it comes to family and those who will be in the room with you, make sure to let them know that just because you are still having your baby at the hospital does not mean that you want to have a medicated birth. Your hopes are the opposite. You want the safety and security that comes with the hospital standard but, on your own terms!

*We gave C the choice to be in the room with us during labor and delivery and he was so excited to be able to make this decision for himself. We let him know beforehand what he may see, how I may sound, look, and feel, and what to expect when it came time to bring Lincoln into the world. We also gave him total access to leave with one of our parents during the intense stages of labor and pushing if he felt like it became too unsettling. As a proud mama I have to praise him because this little guy stuck it out the ENTIRE time! My soundtrack to Lincoln’s arrival was C’s little voice shouting, “He’s here! I see him, I see him!!” 

  • OBGYN
  • Partner
  • Parents
  • *Children
  • Grandparents
  • Doula

 

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THIRD: BE OPEN-MINDED

Remember, not every birth is the same just like not all pregnancies are the same. Even if it’s the same woman, the same man, the same doctor and L&D Team, no birth is ever the same! So, be open-minded when it comes to the tools available to you during labor and delivery.

   *Before my first natural birthing experience, I thought I would HAVE to get in the birthing tub at the hospital. When it came down to the day, I never did. BUT. When I was laboring with Linc, I was incredibly nauseous. By incredibly, I mean ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLY NAUSEOUS. When one of my L&D Nurses suggested that I hop in the tub to relieve the intensity of my contractions, I refused because I just didn’t want to switch positions. I didn’t end up needing it the first time so, why would I need it now? WRONG. She suggested it again, and again, and finally once she left the room and I had exhausted all of my other resources besides medication, I took her advice…Do you know what happened? I wished I had listed to her sooner and hopped in that tub LONG before I actually did!

     Although, the tub did relieve my contractions for the short time I was in, I ended up needing medication to subside the nausea and vomiting. THIS is where the Hospital part of this post comes in! Situations like these are exactly why you have a natural birth in a hospital and not at home. There are circumstances, small and big, that can arise during labor and birth. I know, I know, woman didn’t always used to have modern medicine ages ago and we used to birth babies in the woods but, we’re also farther off as a society now. I don’t have anything against home birth, I love it! If I didn’t have debilitating anxiety, I may have had a home birth myself BUT, for me, a natural birth in the hospital takes a few less notches off my stress buckle!

 

Here’s the thing: YOU CAN DO IT! Whether you’re at home, a birthing center, a hospital, or yes, even in the middle of the woods! Your body, just like mine and every other woman’s body on this planet, was MADE to do this!

Before you go do your fifteen minutes of cat-cow, watch our birthing video and give it a like + subscribe! Then, head HERE and HERE for more tips on having a natural labor!

 

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HYATT REGENCY | Sarasota, FL

Last year before having our newest little guy, we decided our fam jam better take as many family trips as a quartet as we could!

One of our favorite Florida trips ever has been our stay at Hyatt Regency in Sarasota, FL! We spent the weekend Kayaking (included in resort fee), shark tooth finding, shell picking, pool splashing + swimming under waterfalls, aquarium visiting, and digging into some really amazing bites (hello, room service!)!

The resort sits above a beautiful waterway and has an amazing breeze when you walk into the lobby! The boys of course were itching to get in the pool or to the closest beach so, after check-in we headed straight for the pool!

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Once we let them get their feet a little wet, we had a super fun surprise! They had never been kayaking in the ocean before so, I knew with the option to do so included in our stay, we had to take them for a swing out to the resort’s private beach!

K was a little timid at first and had to sit right on top of me but, after we got to the open waterway from the canal he was totally into it!

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The private beach was amazing and there wasn’t another soul in sight! We collected seashells, swam, and caught some rays!

After our drive down, pool play, and private family time kayaking, we were ready for some serious grub! Room service is always our go-to when we’re ready to just shower, chill, and fill our bellies! So, we ordered the kids pizza, and shared a Shrimp + Grits dinner and some yummy dessert!

One day two of our trip, we visited Blind Pass Park on Manasota Key to shuffle through the sand for Shark Teeth! We left with a cup FULL of shark teeth of all different shapes and sizes and the boys still bring them out to play, examine, and count them often!

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The water on Florida’s West Coast is stunning! We could have stayed forever if the world would have let us!

Once we had our fair share of sun for the day, we went to visit the MOTE Aquarium back in Sarasota! The boys spied on some super strange and really amazing sea creatures, touched a baby crocodile, watched manatees kiss their tank, played with otters, and saw caimans for the first time ever!

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We wrapped up our trip from the MOTE Aquarium with another order of, yet again, in room dining, and made our way back home bright and early on day 3! This was such a beautiful memory that we made as a family of 4 and I can’t wait to see what this same adventure will bring now that we are 5!

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Little Blue Truck Party on the Farm!

Last month, K turned 4. I can’t believe it y’all. My baby is FOUR!

To celebrate, we had a Little Blue Truck themed party at our favorite family-owned farm!

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For good reason, our local family farm is K’s all time favorite place. So, it came as no surprise that he wanted to have his party here this year!

The Little Blue Truck books are a huge read in our home. The illustrations are beautiful and the story line always teaches a great lesson. To give K the ultimate farm party, we combined his love of the farm and Little Blue Truck to make a totally  awesome party!

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For good reason, our local family farm is K’s all time favorite place. So, it came as no surprise that he wanted to have his party here this year!

The Little Blue Truck books are a huge read in our home. The illustrations are beautiful and the story line always teaches a great lesson. To give K the ultimate farm party, we combined his love of the farm and Little Blue Truck to make a totally  awesome party!

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When we decided on the theme for his party, I started collecting decor pieces as I came across them. Last Spring, Target carried these ceramic berry baskets in the Dollar Spot that I couldn’t resist storing in our party closet until the big day!

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I designed all of the printables for the party myself. I couldn’t resist adding blue gingham to totally tie in our theme with the table covers I found online!

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One of K’s favorite things about his party design were the jumbo animal balloons we tied to a chalk painted IKEA children’s easel that we’ve had for years! I found all of the balloons on Amazon! His favorite was the Jumbo cow but, I couldn’t choose between the horse, frog, pig, sun, pig face, and cow head!

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, we did bring them home as pets until the air fully let out, which was longer than either of us were comfortable with. Imagine waking up to a huge pig face balloon staring you in the face every morning for over a week. Yeah, That was my life.

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These adorable cookies were made by the amazing Sarah of Aloha Cookies & Cakes. She designed these perfect animal cookies for our food table and created a perfect replica of Little Blue for each kid in their lunch baskets!

I’ve learned over the years, and about a million kids parties later, pre-assembled lunch packs are a life saver! It keeps fingers from smashing into snacks on your food table, and encourages your tiny guests to fill their bellies before playing and begging for cake time!

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When I saw these berry baskets and linen napkins on Amazon, I knew they would be exactly what we needed to build the kids’ lunch packs! I assembled the packs with their cookie, a portion cup filled with veggies, a smaller portion cup with fruit, and a wooden fork tied in a napkin with light blue twine!

We served pulled pork in a crock pot so, I left the slider assembly to the parents!

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After the littles ate, each of them were free to play! The family who owns the farm brought out their big farming toys out to take each kid on rides in their cow barrels! It was totally adorable and the hit of the party! K got out of his cow only a handful of times (for cake and presents, duh)!

They took the ride all around the farm, down to the orange groves, and back through the picking farm where everyone was able to pull up carrots to bring home in their plastic berry baskets that I found by Spritz from Target! (These baskets are only sold near Easter but, these are just as cute!)

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Before we wrapped things up, each little adopted a wind-up baby chick and went home with a board book of K’s favorite in the Little Blue Truck series (Little Blue Truck + Little Blue Truck Leads The Way)!

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Cookies: Aloha Cookies & Cakes

Blue Gingham Linen Tablecloths

Fabric Napkins

Berry Baskets

Wooden Forks

Wind-Up Chicks

Printables

Books

Plastic Mason Jars

Plastic Portion Cups 4 Oz.

Plastic Portion Cups 2 Oz.

Balloons: Cow, Pig, Frog, Horse, Cow Face, Pig Face, Sun

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FREE Doctor Play Set Printables

Does your little one love to play pretend?

It seems like everytime I come around a corner, there’s another set of dress-up or pretend play out of it’s basket in our home! We’re always using our imagination to be Dr.s, Astronauts, Construction Workers, Teachers, you name it! To make their set up more fun, I created this adorable Doctor play kit!

Add this free printable set to your little Doc’s kit for free!

*Laminate for best results!

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Download your free Doctor Printable Set HERE!


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The Happening Housewife Blog | copyright 2018 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com

FREE Mexican Felt Food Pattern

Hey guys!

Did yesterday’s Secrets to DIY-ing Felt Food post have you itching to start creating your own?

Because our entire Mexican Felt Food set turned out to be such a hit, I knew a post all of it’s own would stand strong on it’s feet. So, scroll below to get your FREE Mexican Felt Food Patterns!

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Before you begin, make sure to read the entire post from yesterday if you haven’t already! (It will save you time + frustration!)


 

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what you’ll need:

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Next, download your FREE Mexican Felt Food Pattern Set !

For any questions, comment below!

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Happy crafting!

 

 

The Secret to DIY Felt Food! + FREE Taco Shack Printable Set!

In recognition of Cinco De Mayo last week, the boys and I dedicated our lessons to all things Mexico!

We had tacos for dinner, salsa with lunch, and of course, what’s a little celebratory play without matching felt food?!

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After a quick trip to our favorite place, cough, Hobby Lobby, cough, and loading up on every felt color imaginable, I thought I’d be able to dive right in and come up with these really awesome, totally easy felt munchies in no time. WRONG. There were a few things I wish I’d known BEFORE wasting literally 10 sheets of felt. So, to save you from making the same small mistakes I did, keep reading!


  • Tip NUMERO UNO: SCISSORS. DAMN GOOD SCISSORS.

Before you even think about starting to cut your felt, for the love of all that is Holy, please invest in a good pair of scissors. I like these and these (<< Pinking Sheers) best! A good pair of fabric scissors will save you from hours of misery while trying to tear the felt apart with dull scissor blades, your children hearing you shout inappropriate words at said felt, and raggedy edges that make your food look more like frazzled blobs than tacos and burritos

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This is a life saver. When it comes time to sew your felt pieces together, this stuff works wonders. Cut a piece of Heat N Bond to the size you need, flip it onto the backside of your felt sheet, and iron with a home iron. Next, just cut your shape out from your felt and iron it onto your backing piece! (For the onions you see here, Heat N Bond went onto the white felt and the white felt was then ironed onto the purple and trimmed!)

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When creating felt anything for littles, I always spend the extra few cents on the heavier felt sheets (2mm-3mm). It stands the test of time, gives your food a more realistic and 3 dimensional feel, and of course, doesn’t necessary need to be doubled up if you’d rather not put a stitch in every single piece of food you create.

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There you have it!

Now, you’re totally prepared to dive in and make your own DIY felt food.

Actually, wait! I take that back.

First, download this FREE Taco Shack Printable Set: Taco Shack Play Labels   Taco Shack Menu  Taco Shack Open + Closed Signs to occupy your littles while you’re making their felt food! (*Print on heavy card stock + laminate for long lasting results!)

Next, grab this FREE Mexican Felt Food Pattern to use as a guide when creating your felt masterpiece!

Alright, now you’re ready, and TOTALLY prepared to knock the socks off your kids’ feet when they see what you’ve made with your “I Can Do All The Things” mama hands!

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Pop-Oh-Ver | BEST Kids Toy for Pretend Play! + a GIVEAWAY!

Calling ALL parents of the world!

Role call, roll call!

I have come across something spectacular, something amazing, something that will make your kid’s pretend play hour 1 MILLION times better for YOU!

I know, you’re already dying to know what it is, sitting and waiting for me to tell you all about it. Here’s the thing: this magical chair-covering toy is so awesome that I probably don’t even need to tell you WHY we love it so much. Just look and see for yourself!

(enter the sound of ascending drums…)

Introducing, Pop-Oh-Over!

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Check this out- all you have to do when your kids are ready for pretend play is grab a couple dining chairs from your kitchen table, tie a few bows, and voila! You have a mess-free, space-saving, mythical creature of a toy!

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So, what did I tell you? This thing is awesome, right?!

SAVE the space a huge, plastic, noisy kitchen set would make with this simple, easy to store, folding kitchen!

Not only does this adorable set fold up and install with ease buttt (HUGE BUTT-see what I did there?1 bahaha) it’s made with high quality fabric, magnetic doors for the microwave and oven, clear pockets for all of the appliances, and it keeps the littles entertained for seriously long lengths of time. Yep! You’re welcome, I’ve just turned your 60-minute max pretend play distraction into several hours of busy fun!

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So, what’s our scoop? Do our kids prefer it over the bulky kitchen set they’ve had for years from IKEA?

Well, does an image in your mind of it currently sitting at the end of our driveway with a sign that says FREE on it, answer your question?

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We’ve had this beauty for about 2 days and K has woken up and gone to sleep standing in front of it SINCE DAY 1. At this point, I think I may actually need to get a set of chairs to delegate for his kitchen play since I don’t see us using the space-saving option any time soon!

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Now, I know you’re convinced and any parent-kid duo would love a FULL set of their own!

Want to know how you can win the Pots + Pans set, Oven + Stove Pop-Oh-Ver, and Microwave + Countertop Pop-Oh-Ver?!

(*Chairs, food, and other items not listed on the pop-oh-ver website are not included.)

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First, make sure you comment on this post and tell us the single most reason you would like to win!

Second, grab additional entires by following all of the Pop-Oh-Ver and The Happening Housewife social media pages via the Rafflecopter link below!

Third, for even MORE entries: See that Pin down there? Give it a click and save it to your favorite Pin Board!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER! Pop Oh Ver | Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Baby’s Best Friend + A Giveaway!

Hey mamas!

This one’s for you and that sweet, squishy-cheeked little baby you have!

Read below for the deets on an amazing online boutique and your chance to win a $50 credit for yourself or your little!

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Have you ever purchased an outfit or plush for your baby that is just PERFECT all around? Everything about it screams, “I have to have this in all of the available sizes and colors!” That’s the exact thought I had when we opened our box from Picket Fence! It was like Christmas all over again for our baby Linc and the packaging alone made me want to hop online and order everything available in baby size from their shop! I know you’re dying to know-what was in our box? A charming romper with fish on it’s front and my personal favorite, a Woodland Jelly Cat bunny!

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The fabric of his adorable romper is soft, stretchy, and breathable (making it the perfect match for our on-the-move little guy!). The colors are vibrant and even the tag on his butt puts that extra stamp of “feel good” on it!

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And check out those fish! Aren’t they great for summer? We’re going on a family vacation this July and I can’t wait to show Linc off in this newest addition to his wardrobe!

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I know I know, I could go on about his darling romper and I may be biased because I have my own but, seriously-who’s heart doesn’t melt for a baby in a romper?

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Now, for my favorite item in our box: Linc’s new Jelly Cat bunny. It has him cuddling and kissing all day long! If you have yet to feel a Jelly Cat plush, you’re totally missing out. These things are like the Messiah of stuffed animals. A Jelly Cat bunny has the softest fur you’ll ever pet and the most floppy, easy to hold arms and ears! Linc has carried his bunny around the house since it found it’s new home and it’s ears have become his most prized teether these days!


I know what you’re thinking now, “how can I get my hands on a Jelly Cat of my own or one of these rad rompers?” (For your baby, right?) Here’s the scoop:

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I’m giving away a $50 credit for Picket Fence to one of my followers! All you have to do is head on over to their site and let me know what YOU would like to see in their shop! Once you browse through their collection, I know you’ll want to give them a follow and BONUS, you’ll get extra entries into our giveaway just by following!

HEAD HERE TO WIN!

 


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5 Things To Do BEFORE Using Silhouette Sketch Pens

Recently, I’ve grown a newfound love again for my Silhouette Cameo. With all the amazing upgraded options they offer now and the ease of use in the software and newer machines, I couldn’t not divulge in the awesomeness while planning Kenedy’s fourth birthday which is, uhhh right around the corner!

One of my favorite things to use with my Silhouette Cameo is the Silhouette Sketch Pen Kit. Address envelopes, create coloring pages, wall art, and more with the touch of a button!

If I’m honestly speaking, the idea of using sketch pens in my machine really intimidated me for the longest time but, I couldn’t have been more wrong! It took forever for me to finally make the leap and just do it but, here I am *almost* a sketch pen pro sharing with you the 5 things I wish I had known before popping the pens into my machine!

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1. Check your new ink

Like any brand new pen, you need to give each of your pens a good roll before locking it into the cartridge of your machine. I made the mistake of not doing this and after several attempts finally realized that because the pens are just that: pens…not markers, they need to be tested first! Roll each pen along a piece of paper and then voila! Your pen is ready to go!

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2. Double, Triple check your cartridge placement

If you’re using a new Silhouette Cameo with dual cartridges, make sure to check the cartridge each of your pens are in before sending your project to the machine! There’s a blue and red circle on your machine atop each cartridge and in the send tab of your software. Make sure to double and triple check your marker colors and software before sending!

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3. Change your settings

Before officially sending your project to the machine, make sure to change your settings from “cut” to “sketch!” You can easily do this in the drop down coordinating with the “Action” and “Tool” selections.

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4. Reverse if need be

Reverse your project in Design before sending your project through when using vellum or a clear paper. Also, be careful of smearing with this paper, maybe stick to sharpies in a pen holder for this one!

5. Use the cut and sketch option together

Have a machine with dual cartridges? Make sure to put that to use! Save time and send your blade to cut immediately following your sketch!

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Well, there you go you crafty little thing you! Happy sketching + cutting!

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Give Your Kids The Greatest Summer Of All Time In Clearwater!

I know what you’re thinking, “SUMMER of all time in Clearwater?! We’re only right smack in the middle of Spring Break!” but, Summer will be here in no time and you’ll be looking for anything to get the littles out of the house while wearing down all of their batteries!

So, to help you cross one more thing off your long, daunting, never-ending parental to-do list, I’m giving you 3 totally awesome bucket list ideas to help give your kids the Summer of all time in Clearwater!

For all my Florida parents who follow along and even those just coming to our beautiful Sunshine State to visit for the summer, Clearwater is a must as your Summer vacay spot this year! Clearwater is home to one of our most beautiful beaches but, too much fun in the sun can get exhausting quick and a break from the rays does us all good. So, these bucket list ideas are sure to keep the fun rolling without burning you and the littles to a crisp while continuing to strengthen their brains!

Before adding these awesome spots to your summer bucket list, check out what Barbara over at Edutopia has to say about Summer Learning Loss! I like to encourage our boys to always do something fun but, stimulating for their brain…Something that will continue on the knowledge after the school year has ended!


1. Snapology

First on the list is Snapology! They just opened a brand new franchise in Clearwater and it will get your kids’ minds working as they play! Let them free to tinker, build, and experiment!  Snapology’s mobile service makes the fun super easy and they offer AMAZING summer camp opportunities! Need a break to get grocery shopping done or just want to lay on the beach solo?! Maybe a camp class is more up your alley! Enroll them in one of the totally rockin’ Summer programs offered at the Clearwater location!

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Your littles are guaranteed to leave wanting more so, once you’ve arrived home from your visit, check out more about Snapology online to stay up to date on classes, programs, and more! Better yet, live the Snapology way and open a franchise of your own! Check out more info on Snapology in my previous post HERE!

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2. Heritage Village

Once you’ve gotten their brain gears turning over at Snapology, go back in time at Heritage Village Museum. Wander around the grounds to get a feel of life back in the early 1900’s. Take in the school house, sugar mill, water tower, and over 15 other historic buildings! While you’re there, think of some fun questions to ask them as you explore! (i.e. “What do you think that does?”, “What would you say this cost back in the old days?”, “How do you think life has changed since this was used?”, etc.)

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3. Whimzeyhouse

Ready to zoom forward in time after your visit at the Heritage Village Museum? Slap on a yin-yang necklace with some bell bottoms and take the littles to see the coolest bowling ball collection you’ll ever lay eyes on! Todd and Kiaralinda Ramquist are owners of the super rad bowling balls and have an abundant collection of other quirky, unique gifts, art, and items on display! You’re guaranteed to leave here inspired!

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Well, there it is! Can you tell we like to carry on the whole “learning vibe” even after the school year has ended and we’re enjoying the summer off!? Take it from Morgan and David over at Brookings: Summer learning loss can significantly change the way a child starts their following school year! We don’t want that now do we? So, add these spots onto your list and keep that craving for knowledge strong!

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What’s one of your favorite spots to continue education while having summer fun?

 

Comment below to let us know!

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