Our Family Is Planning To Visit The Dolphins

We Are Planning A Trip To Miami

– I See Dolphins In Sight

We are heading to Florida Keys to watch the dolphins frolic at The Dolphin Research Center!  We’re going to tap into our love for marine nature by bringing the boys to see dolphins and sea lions up close.

I have always wanted to do this since a little girl. Now I know why it was a good thing to wait for this type of trip. I actually get to do it with my Family!

 

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Who Is The Dolphin Research Center

A world-renowned nonprofit marine mammal education and research facility, Dolphin Research Center welcomes families daily to learn about their animal family. Educational narrated behavior sessions take place about every half an hour and inspire kids of all ages to care more deeply for marine mammals and the environment. They also offer swims with the dolphins and other hands-on programs.

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We can’t wait to create great family vacation memories

and learn all about these amazing animals!

Dolphin Research Center features experiential education at its best. Flukes and flippers bring science and other subjects alive!

In addition to individual families and home-schoolers, DRC welcomes field trips and overnight experiences for groups who are sure to have a fintastic time learning from their marine mammal enthusiasts and flippered family members.

Watch Some Dolphin Adventures through their webcam

Those who can’t visit in person are welcome to indulge their curiosity in a distance learning program that brings the dolphins into their classroom or home. Whether presented in person or via the internet, all curriculum is written to compliment your lesson plan and/or meet national and state standards. No matter how you incorporate dolphins into your lesson plan, you’re bound to inspire conservation and conversation.

Planning The Trip To The Dolphin Research Center

We aren’t just going to the Dolphin Research Center to giggle at the dolphins, we will also be learning as well. I will be printing out some Dolphin Lap-book and Marine Life Activities so the boys can learn about the Dolphins and marine life in real time. We will also be making some cool crafts too. 

We are traveling to various places around Florida to show you that Yes, #familyfriendlyflorida is a great place to bring the family too. We are also showing you that Yes, larger families can go on trips and vacations! With great planning and ample preparation time, as a large family, we can enjoy all kinds of places around Florida, that are both affordable and family friendly. 

I created the series #familyfriendlyflorida to help you enjoy vacations and trips with your family no matter what size you are. I will show you all the places we are going to and how it all went down. Starting with the planning and preparations right on through until we land back in our own beds at home. 

Have you been to the Dolphin Research Center? What was your experience? What should we be planning for? 

We are staying overnight because it is a few hours drive for us. So we plan to be at the research center all day, head to the hotel to sleep and refresh and spend a little time taking in the scenery before heading back home. I will keep you updated on our plan and preparation for this fun family trip. I will be creating a family trip planner soon too.

Santa Does Exist, I have Proof!

Santa does exist and I have proof he does!

Santa does exist right mama? Papa, doesn’t Santa exist? Your child came home from school worried that Santa doesn’t exist because a few kids at school or daycare told them something different from what you are doing.

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Now they are very concerned, they are worried, scared and stressed out. They have been good little girls and boys most of the year too! 

I know, I have been through this same thing many times and with having a one year old, it will not stop! 

These days kids are more demanding, they need some type of proof, especially since they can easily Google stuff these days!

Guess what … There is Proof that Santa Does Exist, it will not cost you much to show your child this proof either. Plus Google now helps us out with a Santa Tracking Ticker.

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I remember with my oldest son, he was three years old. He remembered everything! The morning of Christmas when we told him Santa came, he said “no he didn’t, this is the same exact wrapping paper grandma had in her room!”

Yes, he was that much of a critical thinker. From there on, it never worked out for him to believe in anything about Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy etc. 

Then came along my second child, he believed and for a couple of years his older brother played along. He caught on quickly when kids at school continued saying how Santa didn’t exist. It didn’t help when the school had more of a focus on Hanukkah lol, it was a public school but I think our community were mostly Jewish so that could explain why nothing from other religions were ever discussed. No, I didn’t get mad at it, hey it helped my boys learn something new! 

Then came my third son, he was the same as my oldest, he needs that tangible proof or it just doesn’t exist. By this time, they had some cousins that we were trying to play the Santa game with. It was hard since they had so many outside influences telling them otherwise. 

Now comes along my fourth son who is now eight and this year my toddler. We are continuing with the Santa, Jehzel is eight, he loves Santa. He can’t really comprehend just yet what others tell him so he gets pretty confused. One day he is all over Santa and the next he is questioning his where-about. 

 

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What I am Doing To Show Proof Santa Does Exist

How am I helping my boys belief in Santa? My boys are getting a Package From Santa that will arrive addressed to my boys coming directly from Santa’s workshop in the North Pole! 

To continue showing our Christmas Spirit to the elves we will be doing these fun Elf Activities and I will be behind the scenes capturing all of this activity and placing these wonderful memories inside our Time Capsule.

Yaidan and Jehzel will get a Package From Santa that will show them proof that Santa does exist. Their Santa Goodies will include:

  • Custom Santa Goodies
  • Personalized Phone Call
  • Personalized Santa Movie, Staring My Boys

Watch this quick video on how it all works

Hearing, touching and seeing is believing! Result …

No more non-believers! (Be sure to have your camera ready!)

Jehzel’s Video Arrived Check It Out!

Guide Your Kids To Keep Their Behavior In Check

Keep your child behaving during the hectic (and sugar laden) days leading up to Christmas with a free personalized printable ‘Nice-List Guide from Santa Claus.” Includes your child’s photo, name, and top 10 behaviors needed to stay on Santa’s Nice List! Personalize your child’s Santa Nice-List Guide now.

 Now it is your turn to also continue the belief that Santa Does Exist, we want to keep the magic alive. Get more Packages From Santa to as many children as possible and strengthen the belief.

My loyal readers get an exclusive 25% discount on every Package From Santa now!

SAVE 25% OFF every Award-Winning Personalized Santa Letter Package (even the Platinum Package!) sent directly to your child from the North Pole!

Start a new Family Christmas tradition with the #1 online Santa Letter service today!
Use coupon code FAM2016 to save 25% off every order. Offer Expires 12/15/2016

 

Free Hanukkah Download and Print Activity Pack

The Holiday Spirit Begins With Family

Hanukkah is an important time to love and honor family. It was so amazing the light lasted so long. I really enjoy my friends who celebrate Hanukkah. They share not just interesting recipes, but also great family traditions and family time experiences. This truly warms my soul.

So I wanted to share something of my own with my Jewish friends. 

This Hanukkah Activity printable pack was created to give your child a little something to do. Complete as a family or have a group of kids do them together. Download, print and use. We would love to hear about how your family celebrates Hanukkah. Tell us in the comments about your Family Hanukkah Celebrations.

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What is Hanukkah?

Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. (source Hebcal)

My family wanted to come up with something for their Jewish friends so we came up with a Festival Of Lights printable activities pack. 

We are also printing it out and the boys will be sharing what they learned and came up with here. 

 

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Happy Hanukkah Everyone!

 

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This word-search can also double as a way to learn about each of the words and how they relate to

The Festival Of Lights

 

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Another fun activity plus you can get creative and play around with the words. Get the children to create an amazing story related to The Festival Of Lights, I would love to hear what they come up with. Can you share with us in the comments what they came up with? 

 

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My family is not Jewish but we have lots of great friends that are. I like my children to know about various religions and cultures. I want them to not be ignorant when they become adults and go out there into the real world. 

  • Our Family Does Not Believe In Being Closed Minded

They are encouraged to freely learn and have very open and detailed conversations with us. Religion and belief is no different for us. It isn’t our jobs as parents to dictate, push or coerce our children into believing or following something that we do. They are absolutely free without judgement to follow their own paths. 

They wanted to learn about what the Menorah is and what it symbolizes. We once lived in a community where the elementary school talked lots about all the Jewish holidays, so they would at times bring home different arts and crafts about The Festival Of Lights. So I think it is important for the kids to learn about other holidays, not just ones we celebrate.

 

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A fun poem to highlight important points about the Hanukkah celebrations.

 

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Another little activity to help the kids learn about important words related to The Festival Of Lights.

Share in the comments below, how your family celebrates

The Festival Of Lights – Hanukkah Traditions.

What else should I help my boys learn about it? 

Click the Festival Of Lights Preview photo to get your free download and print at your convenience activity pack

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Free Kids Elf Activity Cards for Blissful Holiday Memories

Use These Elf Activity Cards to

Open the Holiday Spirit

Kids Elf Activity Cards are a fun way to get the kids even more excited for the holidays. These are free to download and print at your own convenience. 

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I suggest laminating them and cutting them out so they are easy to use, handle and last a long time. They can be passed onto another family if they are laminated to protect them. 

elf-cards-set-1-sample-previewStay Tuned to See What We Came Up With!

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These activities are great to do as a family or individually. 

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How to get and use these Elf Activity Cards

  1. Click the photo preview below and request your download
  2. Confirm with us that yes you are excited to get your free Elf Activity Cards
  3. Download your activity cards on your computer where it is easy to find
  4. Print out the cards, they are on three separate sheets to easily print at your convenience
  5. Laminate the cards and cut them out. This makes them last for a long time and easier to handle.
  6. Complete the different suggested activities either as a family or as individuals and then come together as a family and show off to each-other what each of you came up with!

 

Click This Photo To Request Your Free Elf Activity Cards

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How To Survive Thanksgiving With Babies and Toddlers

Thanksgiving With Babies and Toddlers can get pretty hectic

Are you spending Thanksgiving with a baby or toddler this year? Are you dreading what may happen at the dinner table, or how much longer it will take to prepare for the Thanksgiving festivities? How about entertaining them? 

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I know I am! I am a very seasoned mama, but this year I was dreading Thanksgiving because I already have a hard time just getting everyday things done. I don’t want to imagine what it will be like trying to cook and all that. 

I know you’re thinking but mama, you literally have had babies and toddlers in your care for the last twenty years! 

You are right, I have spent plenty of years at the mercy of surviving Thanksgiving with toddlers and them. 

Why is this year different? I don’t know? Have you ever felt that? 

Yaidan is still a very high needs child. Everyday is a worry of what will he get into, what foods will he refuse, what thing will he try to climb all the “what” can get tiring. 

Thanksgiving this year will just be us, so it is like cooking dinner on a regular night and with Yaidan, this isn’t easy to do. Most times he is on my hip. It seems like he still has colic, he still has lots of his crying fits. He basically cluster feeds now. And you guessed it, no-one else exists to him for the most part. He will go to others, for maybe ten to fifteen minutes at a time. Barely enough time for me to catch my breath. 

Mama, you aren’t alone in wondering how you will make it through

Thanksgiving With a Baby or Toddler

I have been following and joining many conversations on Facebook with other moms and what will they do with their baby or toddler while they are busy running around cooking, cleaning and entertaining guests. 

The common answer I see is, “the child will be so busy with guests and not to worry about it.” – But what if that isn’t the case? – What happens when it just isn’t that easy to do? What if you have a child with sensory or other limitations?

 I know the photos we see all across Facebook and Instagram will only show the fun parts of Thanksgiving, but what is really going on there? This year, I can’t show you my behind the scenes workload. If you would love to send in your Thanksgiving story with your baby or toddler, we would love to add it to this post ( email us the story and a photo that we can share to marilynprteam @gmail .com )

I cheated and we ordered catered foods! I honestly didn’t want to stress myself out. What else am I doing to make eating with a toddler easier, healthier, safer and overall stress free? I created a meal plan, a menu for Yaidan and collected some activities. 

Keep going, there are so many resources below, go through them all so you can have a wide variety of things to choose for your own baby or toddler.

Thanksgiving Toddler Food and Meal Plan

Have you been wondering what to feed your baby or toddler? 

Yes! This is so common, I’ve seen at least fifty conversions with at least one-hundred other moms replying to those posts; All wondering the same things about foods and our little ones. 

What to do when Aunty Jeanny wants Maxy (who is under six months old) to “try” some gravy, mashed potatoes or how about a lick of some ice cream, oh but Maxy will devour some of my pumpkin pie! 

Are … You … Cringing Yet?!!? I know I am. 

This taste or that lick isn’t good for such immature GI Tracts at all. Humans simply do not have digestive enzymes to digest anything but milk until after they are six months old. You are causing harm to their GI Tract by giving them something their body isn’t physically capable of processing just yet. You know those adults with things like GERD, IBS and other GI issues, well it all started with a taste, a bite and a lick of something other than milk before age six months old.

Put together a meal plan, with a menu. Include the whole days worth of food and drinks, not just dinner.
Here is  Free Download and Print Baby – Toddler Menu and Meal Planner.

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So what can you give your baby that is older than six months old? They just aren’t exactly ready to chomp on everything on our plates but you don’t want them grabbing at your foods either. And you want to help them feel like they are inclusive of family Thanksgiving dinner. 

Check out some nutritional information about what we are eating on Thanksgiving Day

Food And Drinks For a Filling and Healthy Thanksgiving Baby or Toddler Belly

Ideas of food choices for older babies ( 6+ months ), toddlers and even some preschoolers can easily and safely enjoy Thanksgiving meals from brands such as Earth’s Best, Ella’s Kitchen and Gerber. 

Make Little Ones Little Foodies By Introducing Flavors And Textures – Even Spices! Little Ones Can Enjoy Cinnamon, Cumin & Rosemary. ~ Get Your Little Foodie Going This Holiday Season! – Deena Blanchard MD, MPH is a board certified pediatrician working at Premier Pediatrics.

A Baby or Toddler Thanksgiving breakfast can include some fruit , yogurt from Gerber, Cheerios an egg (for toddler) and a couple of ounces of Ella’s Kitchen juice. 

Baby’s First Thanksgiving Breakfast Meal Idea

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Toddler’s First Thanksgiving Breakfast Meal Idea

 

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A Baby or Toddler Thanksgiving Lunch can include Ella’s Kitchen – Chicken Casserole, some Earth’s Best Mac n Cheese with Carrots and Broccoli pieces, if there are any fruits left over from breakfast and the remaining juice from the morning. 

Baby’s First Thanksgiving Lunch Meal Idea

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Toddler’s First Thanksgiving Lunch Meal Idea

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A Baby or Toddler Thanksgiving Dinner can be the main feast! Earth’s Best has a tasty Turkey dinner. Your child wont have to miss a thing when it comes to sharing foods that are like our own, except their foods have just the right amount of seasonings that are just right for their developing and growing bodies.

Baby’s First Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Idea

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Toddler’s First Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Idea

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Thanksgiving Snacks For Baby Or Toddler

If you can prepare some snacks ahead of time, that would save you some anxiety on Turkey day. If not, here are some snack suggestions to keep on hand for your baby or toddler. Sometimes they just need a little snack in between meals. Have these ready to eat so reduce hunger meltdowns.

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How about Toddler Thanksgiving Entertainment, What Can They Do? 

Set up a Toddler activity center. Get various art supplies that are safe for toddlers like crayons made for toddlers, paper, feathers, glue sticks, Popsicle sticks and other fun items. Let them explore the supplies and freely create something.

The more items that can be used independently without too much help from you, the better. One item can entertain a toddler for about fifteen minutes. That gives you time to check on the turkey! 

Prepare multiple activities ahead of time when it comes to having toddlers or preschoolers during the thanksgiving celebrations. Make a Thanksgiving Sensory Bin with items that let them use various senses. Items can be Thanksgiving themed felt pieces, colored rice, feathers,  buttons, pumpkin scented Playdoh and other Thanksgiving related items that are also safe for your child. 

Put together an activity center where it’s not in the way but you can also keep a watchful eye out. 

Check out Toddler Workboxes, setting this up ahead of time will save so much frustration on thanksgiving day. Click through this slideshow for more Thanksgiving fun that are baby and toddler friendly.

 

DIY Thanksgiving Hat Kids Craft Honey and Lime Blog

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DIY Thankgiving Turkey Hat Tutorial | Thank you Deanna for your contribution!