Monday, May 5, 2014

How To Make Learning Fun For Your Toddler

There are many ways to make learning fun for your toddler and they won't even realize that they are doing something educational! Studies show that playing board games can increase children's memory, cognitive development and help them when they go to school. Make learning fun for your toddler by introducing new board games and playing them together as a family. For toddlers playing a board game teaches them how to follow directions, take turns and share. There are many great Disney themed board games available for ages 3 and up. My 2 1/2 year old loves to play Disney Princess Memory Game. She loves to find the matches and gets very excited when she finds a match. I have found it is easier to play the Memory game with about twenty cards. It can be overwhelming trying to play the game with too many cards.

Disney Princess Memory Game

Another great game that my kids love is the Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Letters & Numbers game pictured below. This game is great for helping toddlers recognize their ABC's and numbers. They pick a card from the blue bag and then try to match the number (or letter) to the numbers on their card. This game is for ages 3 and up and comes with 4 game cards.

Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Letters & Numbers Game

Each board is reversible with one side the number matching game and the other side the letter matching game

Friday, May 2, 2014

Packing For A Family of Five: Tips & Advice

When do you start packing for your Disney vacation? I have heard people say that they start the packing process as early as a month out. Packing for my family of five is no easy task and I like to start packing about 7 to 8 days before departure day. I've learned from the past that it is no fun to stay up packing and doing laundry until midnight the night before a big road trip.

Packing the food and snacks for the vacation in my 31 tote bag

I started doing the kids laundry and the adult laundry at the 7 day mark. After everything is cleaned I lay it all out on the bed and sort out each person's outfit per day. I always over pack because with a toddler and preschooler you just never know when someone's going to have an accident or need to change into a second outfit in one day. After organizing the clothes into outfits I add each outfit to a large plastic bag and label it with the child's name on the bag and the day of the week the outfit is going to be worn. This will help the kids when we arrive at the destination and most importantly it will help ME. They will be able to easily unpack their own luggage while keeping each outfit secured together.

Excited to use my American Tourister Colora Luggage

Packing for a family takes a lot of time, organization and many check lists! I make a list of all of the items we need from the kitchen about two weeks before we depart. I always like to take snacks, juice boxes, sippy cups, etc. in a big tote bag for the actual road trip. Then I make a separate list for packing clothing and toiletries-be sure to read my tips for packing toiletries. if you haven't already.

To save as much room in the van as possible we pack the adult clothes in one big suitcase and then the girls pack their luggage in the same suitcase also. We use a small duffel for my son's clothes. Each child is allowed to bring a small backpack with whatever items they plan to use in the van during the road trip. My 6 year old always packs her Nintendo DS, Ipod & a few books to read. My preschooler packs his Tag pen and Tag books and his favorite monkey. My littlest one usually gets help packing her backpack. She will bring a few board books and her favorite kitty.

Packing Tips:

  • Always over pack and include an extra outfit for each child
  • Don't forget to leave extra room for the items you may purchase on your vacation
  • Sort each outfit out for each day of your vacation to save time each morning getting ready
  • Label and pack each child's outfit in a sealed bag to prevent confusion in the early mornings
  • Don't forget girl's hairbows, earrings and brushes, etc.
  • Always over pack diapers and wipes, it is better to have too many than not enough (learned this the hard way-on the way home from vacation last year we had a 12 hour drive and only 2 diapers left!)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Top 3 Snacks At Magic Kingdom

Welcome to those of you joining me from I Am A Mommy Nerd and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

It is hard to pick just three of my favorite 'must have' snacks at Magic Kingdom! There are so many amazing choices to choose from. However, my #1 'must have' snack has got to be the infamous DOLE WHIP!

1. The Dole Whip
The Dole Whip can be found at Aloha Isle in Adventureland. There are two ways to get a dole whip, as a soft serve ice cream or as a float. The soft serve dole whip is available in three flavors: vanilla, orange and pineapple. My favorite is the swirl version where guests can choose to mix the flavors. A soft serve swirl is $3.79. If it is a really hot day and you want more of a drink than ice cream I would highly recommend the pineapple float which costs $4.99. This float is available in three flavors also: pineapple, vanilla and orange dole whip which is my personal favorite.

This is the place to find a Dole Whip folks

Dole Whip Float *Picture credit Disney Food Blog*

2. Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bar

The best $3.75 you will spend the whole week! My children love these things! They can be found throughout the park at the ice cream carts. This is a classic vanilla ice cream bar with chocolate ice cream on the outside shaped like Mickey! What's not to love? Caution-these are addicting!

My little guy enjoying a Mickey Ice Cream Bar

My daughter enjoying a Mickey Ice Cream Bar

3. Mickey Shaped Pretzel

Mickey Shaped Pretzel-Excellent snack choice with a side of icing to dip in

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories
2nd Stop ~ I Am A Mommy Nerd
3rd Stop ~ Disney with Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers *You are here*
4th Stop ~ Two Moms And A Mouse
Final Stop ~ In The Mouse House

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Two Moms And A Mouse.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Genevieve Goings From Choo Choo Soul Releases First Single "My Telephone Number Is"

Genevieve Goings has spent 10 years teaching toddlers fundamental fun. From her
debut on Playhouse Disney as the hip singing train conductor on the educational
interstitials known as “Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve”, through her remaking Classic
Disney sing-alongs again with Choo Choo Soul, and voicing the learning bumpers
featured on the new Disney Junior network. Genevieve is now welcoming a second
generation of viewers and listeners with the release of her first solo album doing what
she does best - teaching and entertaining children.

“Do You know?” is a new presentation path for learning for young children age 2-7
year old. It features songs and videos aimed at helping preschoolers learn their phone
number, telling time, putting themselves to bed, and the more personal things like
hygiene and dealing with potty training in a dignified manner. This new inspiring set of
songs is fun for the whole family and will have you, as parents and teachers, singing
and dancing along.

Genevieve is releasing the first single "My Telephone Number Is" on April 22 from her
upcoming solo album "Do you Know?" scheduled to be released June 3, 2014. The
album focuses on teaching pre-school FUN-damentals in her funky, cool, kid-friendly

Album release date is June 3, 2014. If you pre-order the album (available for pre-orders
in early May), fans will receive instant access to the albums next single “Gotta Do My

Link to pre-order single “My Telephone Number is”:

Link to download iTunes app for FREE:
Here is the link to the super cute you tube video

Twitter: @ChooChooGirl


*Disclaimer I was sent a complimentary single of "My Telephone Number is" by Genevieve Goings to review as a influencer with Entertainment New Media Network.  My thoughts and opinions are always my own.*

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Disney Princess Birthday Party + Giveaway

My daughter celebrated her 7th birthday recently! She wanted to have a Disney princess themed party complete with her friends all dressing up as their favorite princess. The girls enjoyed some fun Disney themed crafts, games and pizza and cupcakes. We wanted to keep the party simple but fun because we will be at Disney World in a few weeks on my daughter's actual birthday. 

The princesses decorated these adorable foam door knob hangers with Disney princess foam stickers that I found at Hobby Lobby:

The birthday princess & the cupcakes

Birthday girl loved her new Anna & Elsa dolls

Tips for keeping a birthday party simple:

  • Have a fun craft to keep the kids busy
  • Choose at least two quick games for the kids to play
  • Allow the kids free time to just play and have fun
  • Have a backup plan if you're party is scheduled to be outside just in case it rains
  • Ask all parents about food allergies before creating the menu
  • Allow 20 minutes or more for the birthday girl (or boy) to open presents at the end of the party

Party Favors included Ariel themed pencils, mini notebooks & Ariel keychains. You can purchase the Ariel keychains at Disney For Fun Etsy shop. Another awesome party favor is this adorable Ariel pendant necklace. You can purchase the Ariel necklace at Pearls Pigtails Etsy shop for $19. 

One lucky reader will win this adorable Ariel necklace from Pearls Pigtails Etsy shop! To enter simply follow the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How To Create A Disney Themed Easter Basket + Free Easter Printables

In three simple steps you can create a magical and memorable Easter basket for your little one. I always recommend keeping things simple at any holiday especially Easter. It can really add up if you have multiple Easter baskets to create for multiple children. My rule of thumb is stick to a simple guideline when choosing items for your child's Easter basket. Three items--one book, one dvd, one stuffed animal (if your child is older then you could always skip the stuffed animal and add some fun art kit) and candy. I try to avoid giving too much candy, if your child is 3 years or younger then I would recommend Gerber snacks which tend to have less sugar. Give the amount of candy based on the age of your child, for example, a 5 year old would get just 5 pieces of small candy in their basket. A 10 year old would get 10 pieces (a jumbo chocolate bunny does NOT count as 'one' piece of candy though folks). Here are some fun Easter themed preschool free printables.

---Book, DVD & Stuffed Animal

Make things fun, hide a small toy or sticker in the Easter eggs. This keeps things exciting and really gets the attention of children who are younger. Dye Easter eggs with your children and let them get messy! Don't be afraid to let them get food coloring on their hands, it is a great way to experiment. Just place a trash bag on the table to prevent messes and spills. Children won't remember what was in their Easter basket years from now, but they'll remember the memories you made with them. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The First Years "What Would You Do With More Time For You" Contest

I absolutely love The First Years products! Ever since my first child was born I have been a big fan of The First Years. You can always count of these awesome sippy cups and rest assured that they won't leak. I am SO excited to share with my blog readers this amazing Facebook contest!

The First Years “What Would You Do With More Time For You” Facebook Contest
The First Years is here to help make life easier and solve parenting challenges. We know you must get tired of the time it takes to organize a drawer full of mismatched sippy cup parts. That’s why The First Years has more than 20 sippy cup designs that feature a spill-proof, super-easy-to-clean One Piece Lid that’s interchangeable across all of our soft spout, sippy and straw cups. We’ll drink to that, and to all the time it saves! So tell us, parents – with all the time these cups save, What Would You Do With More Time For You? Take a cooking class with a master chef? Indulge in a spa weekend? Plant a dream garden? Each week The First Years is giving away prizes, and on Mother’s Day three parents who enter this contest will receive a surprise they won’t soon forget: their wishes (valued up to $1,000) will be fulfilled! Visit The First Years Facebook page to enter. Contest runs April 1 to 30, 2014. See official rules for complete details.

*Disclosure-I received The First Years sippy cups in exchange for this review. However the review is completely my own opinions of the product.*