Get the Most Out of Your Visit to the SHARK TOOTH CAPITAL of the World! | VENICE BEACH, FL

With it being the 30th Annual Shark Week, we knew we couldn’t let this week pass without a recap of our trip a few weeks ago to the Shark Tooth Capital of the WORLD! Venice Beach, FL is known for it’s overwhelming count of shark teeth that have been sifted from the sand for decades. We usually pack for a trip down to the beautiful West Coast beaches a few times each summer and come home with jars full of shark teeth! The boys love it but, over the years we’ve found that pining for black gold isn’t always easy with small kids in tow so, I’m here with a few things to help you get the most out of your visit!ManasotaKeyBeach (43 of 49)

First thing’s first, although Venice Beach by name is known for having the most shark teeth, it’s also one of the busiest in it’s area. Not only is it crowded but, it’s sand has also been rejuvenated over the years so, finding teeth these days, aren’t as easy as when we were kids. If your goal is primarily to sift for shark teeth, I recommend skipping Venice Beach and heading a little more south to Manasota Key or Blind Pass Park!

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Next, you’ll need your shark hunting gear. Okay, okay, not really but, you will need a few things:

  • Sifter
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Water Shoes aren’t a bad idea
  • Collection bag or cup (without holes so, no mesh)

We bought an actual “Shark Tooth Sifter” from a small shop in Venice during our first trip but, it’s not necessary. They’re made of a wire mesh, PVC, and pool noodles. They can get pretty heavy for kids when filled with wet sand and shells but, our Dollar Tree sand sifters work like a charm and were only a buck so, we bought one for each of the boys!

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Some of the beaches are covered in shell sand so, walking up and down the beach can get painful on your feet. Sandals or water shoes are awesome for littles to keep them happy, patient, and comfortable!

Make sure whatever you’re bringing to collect your teeth in isn’t full of holes. Mesh bags are great for large shells but, you’ll be bummed when you start finding tiny little teeth only look down in your bag and notice you’ve lost your collection through the holes! We carry a small plastic jar, Itzy Ritzy pouch, or heavy duty zipping ziplock baggy!

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The trouble with having zero experience or having never hunted for shark teeth before, is that it’s easy to assume you’ll be able to simply walk down to the water’s break, fill your sifter, and shake while tons of teeth show themselves through the sand. It can be that easy but, that’s not always the case.

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The thing is, some of the beaches are rocky in the water, and others, the water breaks really hard but, don’t let that discourage you! More than half of our shark teeth are found in the dry sand. Seriously! Within the first hour of these last few trips, I had to sit with little Linc on a towel to keep him shaded under our umbrella and found more teeth sifting through the dry sand and shells than both boys and hub found in the water’s edge and wet sand!

We look forward to our Shark Teeth hunting trips every year! The boys have collected about 300 shark teeth already this summer and spend their days examine them with magnifying glasses and trying to decipher which teeth came from which species of shark!

We want to know if you’ve added Shark Teeth Hunting to your bucket list! Let us know below!


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Shark Week Fun ROUND UP!

Today kicks off Discovery Channel’s 30th Annual Shark Week! The boys are already shark obsessed so, giving them an entire week of shark filled fun is sure to amp up their love of all things finned, rubber-skinned, and dangerous!

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We start the week off wrestling our favorite float from Wal-Mart. The boys have played and splashed in the pool all morning while we watch the minutes tick with Shaq on Discovery Channel’s online countdown clock!

1O0A79251O0A80081O0A80071O0A80061O0A79901O0A7985While we fill our brains with all there is to know about sharks this week, we’ll be mixing in some of our favorite shark themed crafts, activities, and snacks! Catch our round up below!

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Shark Tic Tac Toe  | Shark Slime | Shark Tank Sensory Play  | Shark Sensory Bin

shark crafts

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Clothespin Puppet | Paper Plate Eating Shark Puppet | Popsicle Stick Shark Craft |

Tube Hammerhead Shark | Tube Shark | Rocking Shark Family | Printable Shark Puppet 

| Painted Popsicle Stick Shark 

Shark Snacks

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Shark Mix Cups | White Chocolate Shark Mix | Shark Bark | Shark Whipped Cups 

Watermelon Shark | Shark Bait Popcorn Mix | Marshmallow Shark Pops 

 | Shark Attack Punch | Shark Drink


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Shark Week Play Round Up

 

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What’s in My Citi Babies Diaper Bag? | Day Trip to Central FL Zoo!

Hey guys!

I’m so excited to share this post with you!

Hubs has this entire week off to spend with us so, we’re kicking things off with a day trip to the Central Florida Zoo! It’s not far from us and being that this will be our first trip since re-instating our annual passes, I knew we’d need a pretty stocked backpack for a full day!

When our Citi Babies Explorer backpack came in last week, I couldn’t wait to pack it full for a day full of adventure! We’re always going with the boys so, I knew this backpack would be perfect for our active family!

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Let’s get into our packing list:

  • Hats for each boy
  • Swim Suits
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Drinks for the little boys
  • Water Bottle for us
  • Snack Cup with Trail Mix
  • Towels
  • Picnic Blanket
  • Wet Bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby Powder
  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Changing Bag *Included

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Honestly, I couldn’t believe anything more than 2 huge beach towels fit inside this backpack. I rolled each towel and pushed them to the bottom which left tons of room to continue stacking the rest of our necessities for the day!

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I wasn’t exaggerating, look at the size of just one of those towels compared to the backpack’s size! You seriously wouldn’t think anything more that two of those would fit!

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I’m a huge sucker for organization so, the fact that this backpack has 5 internal pockets, a zipper section, plus two exterior open pockets, and two exterior zipper pockets, quickly gave the Citi Babies Explorer and A+ in my book!

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Check out that exterior front pocket! Each of the cup holders are insulated so, we filled the boys’ cups for the day before heading our and they stayed cold during our outing! We’re usually packing an additional lunch cooler to keep drinks cold so, the insulated cup pockets were a lifesaver!

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WENTWORTH FAMILY TAKEOVER | Greenville, SC

All this Florida heat has my heart aching for another trip to Greenville like the one we took last Fall!

As a top contender on our bucket list for the South East, we knew our official “See The Trees” trip for 2017 would be this beautiful South Carolina town! Since we don’t get to see too much of the jaw-dropping Fall colors in Florida, our entire fam jam looks forward to our Autumn road trips!

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The first box on our list of things to do was marked off when we wandered through downtown and took in all of the breathtaking historic buildings, statues, and clock!

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The weather was perfect for exploring and traffic was light so, wandering on the sidewalk was less risky with three littles as we walked through town! Along the road were full trees worth of leaves laying on the ground waiting for a couple of boys to toss and kick around! I bet you can guess who was first in! K was in heaven and couldn’t resist laying in the fallen leaves!

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As we made our way through town, we could clearly see the beautiful Falls Park on the Reedy!

Equipped with tiny cafe’s, a suspension bridge, stairs, waterways full of ducks, and incredible falls right in the center of town, this spot definitely made for a family favorite!

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See that bridge up there? It’s called the Liberty Bridge and it’s 345 feet of onlooking views of some seriously awesome cascading falls!

This bridge was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in life so far! Being that it’s suspended by cables and it was a bit windy on this day, you could feel the entire bridge sway! The boys spent most of their time running from one end to the other and looked down on the rocks in the falls below!

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The boys were obsessed with the rock walls and climbing structures throughout the park so, prying them away was a chore and thankfully I had a little surprise up my sleeve that hubby and I knew was coming up in our explorations!

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Not far from the Liberty Bridge is the edge of the park that is home to exposed roots of the Medusa Tree. Yes, you read that right. This tree literally looks like someone flipped Medusa upside down and shoved her into the side of a small mountain!

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After touching almost every root of the tree, we were ready for a quick Pizza pit stop! We stopped into a small mom and pop pizza spot on our way back through town and filled our bellies before heading out for more adventure!

At some point in all of our trips, we like to just pile into the car with snacks, blankets, pillows, and spare clothes to hit the road and explore! It may sound a little scary but, we always make the best memories pulling onto the roadside and finding hidden streams, hiking trails, and parks!

This adventure found us under an old gothic stone bridge collecting leaves and and splashing in a creek!

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This bridge is called Poinsett Bridge and it’s the oldest bridge (built in 1820) in South Carolina and presumably the oldest standing bridge in the South East! If you trek atop rocks in the creek, you can stand under the 14 foot tall arch and see well off past the bridge where the creek continues to flow!

Finding the bridge was easy, as it was on the side of the road and clearly visible after a major curve in the mountainside!

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This was definitely a high in our family travels list and we will definitely be going back this year for more adventure!


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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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 Marvel LIVE! Age of Heroes | Save on tickets!

I am super lucky to be a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador! In exchange for sharing my love and thoughts about their super fun awesomeness, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities! Without their generosity, I would not be able to provide my readers with such fun giveaways and/or discount codes like this one!

The time has come…We’re all in full fledged holiday shopping mode and Christmas is right around the corner! Save yourself from the hustle and bustle of downtown traffic to find stocking stuffers for your favorite little heroes by purchasing tickets to see Marvel LIVE! Age of Heroes! Add a few capes and accessories to their stocking with these SUPER awesome tickets, and you’ve got yourself a gift even Santa would love!

This action-packed show for kids of all ages plays Amway Center in Orlando for SEVEN totally rad performances January 12-15, 2018 and features The Avengers, Spider Man, and our personal favorite: The Guardians of the Galaxy! With tickets starting at just $15, it’s an affordable and fun event for us mamas to gift our littles this holiday season!

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Save on tickets by using code: MOM20 at checkout when purchasing online and save 20%! What a SUPER awesome gift idea, #amiright? *Not valid on VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires January 11, 2018!

Want more info about Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes?!

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Check out this quick excerpt from Feld Entertainment about our FAVORITE live show!

“Marvel fans, assemble for this live, legendary battle to defend the universe from evil. The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man join forces with Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, in a race against time to recover the Wand of Watoomb before it falls into Loki’s hands in this all-new, spectacular arena stunt show. Produced by Feld Entertainment, Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes is performing at Amway Center from January 12-15, 2018 for seven performances. Tickets are on sale now. Witness cutting-edge special effects, aerial maneuvers, pyrotechnics, martial arts, motorcycle stunts and vast 3D video projection mapping in this completely new thrilling adventure. Fans of all ages will be immersed in the Marvel Universe and experience it all with their family…LIVE!”

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Marvel Live! Age of Heroes

Get the deets:

WHERE: Amway Center | 400 W Church St #200 | Orlando, FL 32801

WHEN:

 

Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com | Via Phone at 800-854-2196 | Box Office at Amway Center, Orlando.

Make sure to share your experience using: #MarvelUniverseLIVE @MarvelOnTour @AmwayCenter #AmwayCenter!

 

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10 Things To Do Before Your Disney On Ice Experience! + A GIVEAWAY!

This post contains affiliate links which help me fund the free + fun posts on thehappeninghousewife.com! Find a full disclosure on the sidebar of my blog.

 

Get your littles ready for a guaranteed spectacular-fun time at Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream with these 10 tips!

Tip #1. Purchase + pick up your tickets in advance. (Make sure to use a discount code on tickets! )

Go the week of and hit up the box office at your show’s arena to save time and skip lines by picking up your tickets in advance! Save 20% off select seats with code SAVE20. Not valid on premium VIP seating. Get yours now for the best available seats! Code expires September 7, 2017.

Tip #2. Scout parking areas.

While you’re picking up your tickets in advance, ask the box office attendant or scout out the best parking areas for the night of your show! Make sure to arrive early to find the best parking!

Tip #3. Eat beforehand.

No-one likes to spend outrageous prices on snacks from concession so, take the family out for a nice meal before you head to the arena to keep from rumbling bellies and empty wallet syndrome!

Tip #4. Be prepared with your children’s necessities.

Does your little have sensitive hearing? Pack headphones.

The show falls 30 minutes after bedtime? Put a lovie or small blanket in your bag.

Pack for your family’s needs and anticipate worst case scenarios! (Diaper blow outs, thirsty babes, etc.)

Tip #5. Dress for the event.

TONS of kids dress up for the big show! To make sure your little fits right in, make sure to dress them in their favorite Disney tee or costume!

Need some ideas?

Girls Costumes

Moana

Cinderella

Elsa

Anna

Rapunzel

Belle

Boys Costumes

Maui

Prince Charming

Olaf

Chip

Beast

Tip #6. Locate bathrooms on your seat level.

Make sure to locate the nearest bathroom to your seat and make a stop there before finding your spot for the show!

Tip #7. Set behavior expectations.

Let your kids know prior to walking into the arena what is expected of them. (i.e. no kicking chairs, keep hands to yourself, staying in their seat unless they’re on mom or dad’s lap, try use the bathroom before + after the show and during intermission, spending limit on souvenirs, etc.)

Tip #8. Make a plan for souvenirs.

If you plan on letting your littles choose a souvenir before or after the show, prepare them with a spending limit or budget. The prices can get out of hand at times and you don’t want to be walking back to the car after your show with $150 in light up wands and cotton candy.

Tip #9. Pack binoculars.

No matter how near or far your seat is, binoculars always add an extra touch of fun to your experience! Grab a pair of these super cute kid-friendly ones for each little to save yourself a mid-show battle!

Tip #10. Pack light + prepare for a security check.

Your show is only a couple hours long so, make sure to only pack the necessities and be prepared for a security check when you arrive!

Want to win tickets to the Orlando show?!

Head HERE to enter!

 

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WIN a Family 4 Pack to DISNEY ON ICE Orlando!

I am super lucky to be a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador! In exchange for sharing my love and thoughts about their super fun awesomeness, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities! Without their generosity, I would not be able to provide my readers with such fun giveaways like this one!

We’re SO excited that Disney on Ice presented by Feld Entertainment will be back in Orlando this September at the Amway Center! The boys can’t wait to get out and do something fun after this long summer spent stuck at home with a very pregnant mama!

To celebrate our excitement and share in all the things we love about Disney on Ice, we’re giving one lucky fam a pack of 4 tickets to enjoy the show!

Want even more exciting news?! Moana, Maui, and their gnarly friends will be ditching the waves to hit the ice for the first time at this year’s performances! K already has his Maui ponytail holder picked out with a side of “you’re welcomes” and temporary tats!

Along with the crew from Moana, you’ll see Beauty, Beast, Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, Flynn Ryder, and my personal favorite-Rapunzel, as they hit the icy stage for a spectacular show!

Enter to win + get more info below!

Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream.

Get the deets:

WHERE: Amway Center | 400 W Church St #200 | Orlando, FL 32801

WHEN:
Sep 8, 2017 Fri 7:30 PM
Sep 9, 2017 Sat 11:00 AM
Sep 9, 2017 Sat 3:00 PM
Sep 9, 2017 Sat 7:00 PM
Sep 10, 2017 Sun 1:00 PM
Sep 10, 2017 Sun 5:00 PM
(*GIVEAWAY TICKETS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR: Friday, Sept. 8 at 7:30pm OR Saturday, Sept. 9 at 11:00am)

Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com | Via Phone at 800-854-2196 | Box Office at Amway Center, Orlando.

Make sure to share your experience using: #DisneyOnIce #DareToDream @DisneyOnIce @AmwayCenter #AmwayCenter

Save 20% off select seats with code SAVE20. Not valid on premium VIP seating. Get yours now for the best available seats! Code expires September 7, 2017.

 

Enter to Win!

Giveaway begins 12:00am August 15, 2017 + ends 12am August 24, 2017. Winner will be selected at random. The winner will be notified on August 24, 2017 of their winnings and must promptly reply with 24 hours to confirm, claim, and select their showtime. Tickets must be picked up at the Amway Center Box Office starting Thursday, September 7 during regular Box Office hours (Monday through Friday | 9am to 6pm and three (3) hours prior to any event). Please arrive to pick up your tickets the day of, no later than 30 minutes before show time. Paid parking is available in the nearby GEICO garage.

 

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Disguise Learning with Play using STEM! (+ A Snapology LEGO GIVEAWAY!)

I’m so excited to be partnering with Nakturnal for a giveaway! Read below to find out how you can enter to win a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot- Sebastian Gator! Find a full disclaimer on the sidebar of my blog!


It’s no secret that we eat, breathe, live LEGO and all things STEM-based in our home. Not a day goes by that one or both of the boys isn’t stimulating their brain with those small colorful blocks, folding a paper airplane out of an old piece mail, or manipulating K-Nex into crazy, crime-fighting vehicles and winding roads.

When we realized that Col was a little different than other kids, it took no time at all to see the potential benefits of what STEM-based learning could do for him. Writing, Reading, and Speech as separate subjects are definitely a must-have in your child’s learning plan but, for kids like Colin, a science and mathematical learning environment is the most beneficial way to grow their unique little minds!

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Fast forward to when we had K! We were quick to realize once he was at a play age that typically developing kids thrive in the same STEM-based environment as well! Which made play time between the two of them a bonding experience and way to encourage them to teach each other new ways of learning!

Now that you know our little back story, let’s get to why you’re really here: “How do I disguise learning with play using STEM and what exactly is it?”

  • What is STEM?

STEM is a way of learning based on the idea of educating children of all ages in four specific areas — Science, Technology, Engineering, + Mathematics in an applied, hands on approach. Rather than teach the four subjects separately, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.

Pretty cool, huh?

  • What are the benefits of STEM?

1. It’s CURRENT!

In a technology-based society, science is forever changing and growing. As work places change by frequently updating their software, and equipment that we use in our daily lives becomes more advanced, STEM knowledge is vital. Staying up to date on the latest techy trends is a must in today’s world!

2. GET CREATIVE!

Creativity is one of the many benefits of a STEM education by implementing the idea of “Learning by Doing!”

Ironically, creativity is also the result of a STEM-based education ! STEM-based learning encourages students to get their hands ‘dirty’, solve problems, create new designs and functions, and make tools out of something that otherwise wouldn’t be!

3. INNOVATE, INNOVATE, INNOVATE!

With the growth of technology, is the freedom to invent and engineer almost anything you can dream of! Starting at a young age, we can encourage our kids to use their minds and create the impossible with STEM.

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1. OFFER THE RIGHT TOYS

I’m totally not suggesting that you go out and spend hundreds on an entirely new toy collection but, when birthdays and holidays come around, encourage friends and family to give more significant gifts that stimulate learning rather than the typical stuffed animal or piece of junk that will end up in a garage sale pile a few months later!

Some of our favorites:

  • LEGO
  • Magna-Tiles
  • Tegu Blocks
  • KIDS FIRST Engineering Tubs
  • Marble Run
  • Lincoln Logs

When choosing toys, try to make sure they incorporate and/or encourage one of the following: tinkering, building, circuit creation (adding pieces and parts to the toy that make it GO! or turn on and off), problem solving, or tech-based growth and learning.

Does the anticipated and totally loathed “LEGO dump” have you resisting adding them to your STEM collection?! Check out my post to help with that!

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2. ALLOW UNINTERUPTED + FREE WILL TINKERING

Sometimes, regardless of the mess it makes, you just have to let your little ones free with their tinkering toys without borders. I know, I’m with you. Walking into our home to a ‘road’ of K-Nex that stretches from the front door to, well, I don’t ever really know where, can be super annoying and seemingly pointless but, they’re actually using their little minds to create something super awesome and through the mess is some really great learning!

3. HELP + ANSWER WITHOUT FRUSTRATION

I know this one can be a bit difficult, especially when your knee deep in your own project but, when your little comes to you for advice or answers, they’re seeking you out for a reason! Curiosity is natural for growing minds and by shooting them down or showing frustration when they’ve asked the same question every single day for a week, you’re discouraging one of the greatest forms of learning. If you don’t know the answer to a question yourself, let them watch as you figure it out. Whether it be from a book, video, or the internet, seeing you seek out an answer encourages them to continue doing so through you.

4. ALLOW FREE PLAY WITH CRAFT SUPPLIES

Yes, for real. I mean, don’t give your kid all access freedom to liquid glue and finger paints but, offer them a bucket of dry supplies! Rubber bands, tape, twine, paper clips, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, clothespins, dowels, empty toilet paper rolls can all be used in creating some really awesome things. Change it up every other week or so with fresh supplies and new tools!

5. TRY A “BUILDING SNACK” TRAY

Similar to free play with random craft supplies, you never know what your little one will come up with when you offer them a tray of “building snacks” at the table! We love pretzel sticks, mini marshmallows, grapes, sliced olives, cheese cubes, and cheerios. You’ll be amazed at their first cheese cube-pretzel stick car with grape wheels!

6. INCORPORATE EDUCATIONAL SHOWS DURING SCREEN TIME

If you allow screen time in your home, there are a TON of education shows that go hand-in-hand with STEM-based learning! One of my favorite things as a mom to my littles is walking in on them super indulged in old school Bill Nye and The Magic School Bus. I love when they approach me to spill their guts about friction or some other super sciencey topic three days after watching an episode. It’s always a proud moment for us, even if they got it from a screen!

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We use all of these tools in our day to day life as a family and although it took a little practice, it’s now just routine! Our family truly enjoys play time together AND apart because of this method and as parents we’ve learned to embrace the repetitive questions and constant mess of LEGO!

 


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Giveaway closed.

Congratulations to Jenna!


Want to win a Snapology Sebastian Gator LEGO Set?!

(Recommended for ages 6+)

As parents of special needs + typically developing kids, we know from experience that every child is different and so is their preferred method of learning. So, as a soon to be family of three crazy boys, all different and unique, we’d love to know: Which of the ideas in this post is your littles’ favorite way of STEM-based play? (Haven’t tried one yet? Answer: Which idea are you most likely to implement first?) Comment below to be entered!

*Winner will be chosen at random 10 days from the post date on July 23, 2017 and will be notified via email. US entrants only please. Prize is a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot, Sebastian Gator, mailed directly to your home!


Curious about Snapology?!

Snapology is a STEM-based kids’ facility that hosts totally rad play dates, birthday parties, field trips, workshops, + summer camps where littles (ages 1 and up) use LEGO, K’nex, art + mosaic, code, robotics, and more to learn through play! Sounds super awesome right?! Well, they’re looking for someone interested in becoming a franchise owner in the Central Florida region! Give them a call or apply online today if this sounds like the spot for you!

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6 Ways to Stroll with Evenflo Pivot

A huge thank you to Evenflo for gifting this stroller to our growing family in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.

Florida, sweet Florida!

There aren’t many places that you can spend the first weekend of March in swim trunks and flip flops and for that reason, we’re so happy to raise our babies in this sweet Sunshine State! For us, March calls for open windows, fruit picking, diving into the questionable temperatures of the pool, and renewal of our annual passes to the Central Florida Zoo!

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Over the weekend, we hopped in the car and made the short trip to visit the zoo! I’ve been dying to test drive our new Evenflo Pivot Travel System since it’s arrival and knew the zoo and all it’s terrain would be the perfect spot (even though the cheerios on the tile and our super plush shag rug did offer substantial terrain on the night of our new stroller’s unboxing).

What I really loved about pushing the Pivot around all day is the “toddler seat recline to bassinet” action. (Side note: We have a luxury brand stroller that I had to have JUST for the bassinet and to tell you the truth, the whole seat removal and replace with a bassinet and vice versa, is a TOTAL pain.) With the Pivot, there’s a lever on the back of the seat which reclines it ALL.THE.WAY. down to a bassinet. I really just can’t get over how much of a time and energy saver that is. How do you get it back into seat mode? Pull that lever and lift up. Seriously, it’s that easy! There’s a buckle on the back side of the seat to give the seat shape and keep it stable. I’ve got to give it to Evenflo for making it so easy and affordable to leave the extra bulky bassinet behind and transform your stroller from sit to sleep mode in 2 easy steps, WITHOUT the hassle of unlocking, removing, and storing a bassinet!

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Not only does the seat transform into a bassinet but, it can be unlocked and reversed for a parent-facing stroll. This was perfect while we waited in the long line to renew our membership before entering the zoo! The belly bar is easily removable and has an awesome snack tray which occupied little K with carrots and cucumbers during our wait!

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Once we got into the zoo, we just flipped the seat around and he was content all the way until he needed to exercise his bitty legs when we entered the petting area!

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Going through two toddler stages, several strollers and wagons, tons of terrain and adventure, and the constant feeding of growing boys while on the move, I think it’s safe to say that we’re pretty experienced when it comes to knowing a good push to bad push in a stroller and the severe need for a well thought-out stroller basket.

Knowing that we’d be spending our entire day at the zoo, changing from play clothes to swim suits and back again, and snacking during our visit, the large and realistically functional basket on the Pivot, was a HUGE plus. It’s super easy to get in and out of, with a large enough space for two towels, a wet bag, lunch box, and more! I can’t thank Evenflo enough for creating this stroller with such an easy to access basket! TOTAL LIFE SAVER.

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Now, let’s talk about the push!

I’ve had my fair share of stiff wheels, blow outs, terrible turns, and squeaky strolls when it comes to strollers. Five years ago, being a first time mom, I was so excited to have an over the top, drop-in, majorly bulky travel system. BIG mistake, HUGE.

Going into our second baby with a toddler on the run, I REFUSED a travel system and instead told myself I’d be a baby-wearing feign. WRONG. (I mean, I love wearing but, I’m certainly not an 80% of the time baby-wearer. Heck, I’m not even a 30% of the time wearer.) Eventually, I caved and purchased a Sit and Stand…TERRIBLE. The idea was great but, the push was so difficult that we never used it.

Now onto my third baby, with TWO toddlers CONSTANTLY on the go and a storage unit full of mom knowledge acting as my brain, it’s easy to know what works and what doesn’t in only a matter of minutes (BEFORE purchasing and exiting the store to find you’ve made a huge mistake weeks later). Even my husband can appreciate a good stroller with an easy push and after our day trip, we both agreed that Evenflo has totally nailed it with the Pivot! Each of us had a chance to push through dirt and rocks, over boardwalk trails, water covered walkways, and mulch with ease!

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We wrapped up our long day filled with tons of snacking, playing in the sun, petting and visiting our favorite animals, and test driving our newest addition and I think it’s safe to say that every one came home a happy camper!

After a little thought, hubby and I have both decided to let go of our luxury stroller (with the bassinet) and replace it’s spot in the back of the mom mobile with our new Evenflo Pivot!


Want a full list of the 6 Ways to Stroll with the Evenflo Pivot? (Of course you do, that’s why you’re here!)

  • Front Facing Carseat Drop In
  • Rear Facing Carseat Drop In
  • Outward Facing Bassinet
  • Parent Facing Bassinet
  • Front Facing Seat
  • Parent Facing Seat

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Because each system comes with a SafeMax Infant Car Seat which features an Anti-rebound bar, we can’t wait to install it in our family car to bring baby #3 home!

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