Friday, July 11, 2014

40% OFF Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey in the Bay Area

Get ready for Magic and Wonder to Children Of All Ages

40% OFF Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey in the Bay Area

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey coming soon to the Bay Area

In this all-new show - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS the 144th edition of the Greatest Show On Earth . Tickets Start at $20. 

Experience unimaginable family fun, as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon the mythical and the mysterious: a Unicorn, a Pegasus and a Woolly Mammoth! 

An unforgettable family night of legendary proportions

An unforgettable circus experience for the whole family! Believe in the unbelievable.

40% OFF Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey in the Bay Area

Show Dates and Venues: 

Aug. 14-18: Oracle Arena, 
Aug. 20-25: SAP Center at San Jose, 
Aug. 28-Sept. 1: Cow Palace 

My readers Save up to 40%

Save 40% on tickets to all shows Mon-Fri, excluding holidays and save 20% to all shows on Saturday or Sunday. Savings not valid on premium seats.

Use code MOM3 to receive savings.

40% OFF Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey in the Bay Area

Printable Circus Fun at Home: 

40% OFF Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey in the Bay Area

“I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre‐Show events. Though I am compensated, I always give my honest opinion"

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Family Fun at Gilroy Gardens

  Where can you find a giant dancing garlic?

Family Fun at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets
Discount at end of post

Family Fun at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets

A great place for family fun this summer is Gilroy Gardens Theme Park in Gilroy, CA.

The rides are mainly for the younger kids, but they do have some bigger rides such as a roller coaster and the famous mushroom swings (shown above).

Anyone can have fun there enjoying the beautiful gardens, famous circus trees, learning about our natural world, or taking a paddle boat ride. They have some spectacular picnic areas and even a gorgeous wedding event area.

I very much enjoyed the waterfalls, butterflies, and beautiful flowers. 

#Beautiful #Butterfly at #GilroyGardens #nature #beauty
Swallowtail butterfly at Gilroy Gardens
#Beautiful #Roses at #GilroyGardens #roses
Roses at Gilroy Gardens

Famous #Circus #Trees at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets
circus tree and flowersat Gilroy Gardens

Family Fun at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets
Waterfall at Gilroy Gardens

I don't know of any other theme parks that have so much greenery or are focused on education. They even have educational displays throughout the park where you can learn about bees, irrigation, earthquakes, local history, and more.

The kids' loved the Octonauts show 

#Octonauts #liveshow & #FamilyFun at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets

and all the children got to be on the stage and part of the show.

 They loved all of the rides, especially the boats

Family Fun at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets
relaxing on the boat ride
My daughter loved relaxing on the boat ride that cruised gently along a man made river. My son was in for an adventure, steering a Mallard shaped boat himself across a pond and along the base of scenic waterfalls. He was easily able to steer, once he got the hang of how it worked, though I did all the paddling as he couldn't reach the peddles.

Family Fun at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets
Duck Paddle Boat Adventure


It's best to take family or friends if you have little ones of different ages. I was there alone with my kids for part of the day, but quickly found we could not go on any rides all together. My 7 year old was too tall to go on the kid rides, but my 4 year old was not tall enough to go on the bigger rides. We waited for Daddy, but we could easily have played on the playground or in the water play area.

We were disappointed to learn that the new Water Oasis was not quite open yet. They told us it will be in just a few more weeks. It looks like it will be a ton of fun, with a pool, water slide, and lots of water play.

New Water Oasis at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets

According to their website, it will teach all about water conservation. Also, they are conscious of the current drought here in California, and state that all their water comes from and cycles back through their property in the most conservative way.

Fortunately, the other water area, the Splash Garden, was still open. They could have played happily there all day and gone no where else! I loved that it's mostly enclosed, and small enough that I could see my kids almost anywhere they went. My husband and I sat and had lunch while they ran and splashed.

Family Fun at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets
Splash Garden at Gilroy Gardens

Splash Garden at #GilroyGardens #save $20 #discounttickets
What does this lever do? Splash!
We had a great day of fun at Gilroy Gardens. I can't wait to go back and definitely recommend you pan a visit!

Save $20 OFF M-F or $15 Off Sat-Sun General Admission to Gilroy Gardens with this exclusive coupon

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tools to Inspire Innovative Play

Tools to Inspire Innovative Play

One of the best ways to inspire kids to get innovative is to turn off electronics and give them a chance to get bored. Don't get me wrong, great inspiration can come from games, T.V. and videos, but for your kids to really start to explore, experiment, and discover their world, they need time to ponder.

My kids will start whining that there's nothing to do, like any other, but if I don't entertain them, after about 20 minutes or so, they find things to do. This can get destructive if you live in a small place and don't have a ready stash of tools available that are perfect for innovative play.

-Don't miss the special offer below this post-

Here are some suggestions of items to keep around to get those creative juices flowing:

Craft and Office Supplies: 

Craft sticks
Small paper cups
paper plates
chenille wire
duct tape
glue gun (if old enough to use safely, my 7 1/2 year old handles it fine)

Tools to Inspire Innovative PlayRecyclables:

egg cartons
plastic containers
interesting packaging of odd shapes and sizes
bottle caps
plastic lids
old greeting cards
cardboard tubes (toilet paper & paper towel rolls)

Odds and Ends: 

Broken toys are tossed, but not before they're scavenged first!
Anything small, that looks like it might make for good future building, we keep in a drawer, such as:
interesting plastic parts (with no sharp pieces)
parts that light up
fabric scraps
clothes pins
small clamps or bag clips

There are many more things you can keep, that make for great inspiration. I have to purge when our drawers are overflowing.

I let my kids make a mess as long as they keep it confined to one area and clean it up when they're done inventing. I don't bother them while their creating unless they ask for help. Even then, I only make suggestions to help them think it through to figure out what will work.

The best learning is trying, failing, and trying again. 

They are so extremely proud when they've figured out something on their own. Sometimes they work together, but usually they like to create by themselves.

My son especially loves to create with cardboard, scissors, and duct tape. Often his creations start taking up too much room and he has to decide which one's he really wants to keep! We take pictures before we toss the ones that he's finished with. Or they're torn apart to make way for new things. He's told me he likes his creations better than any of his toys because he can change them and make them just the way he wants.

Some of his inventions include a balance scale, which then became a catapult, an indoor snow machine, arcade games, such as a grabber, and pinball machine, a multiplication calculator, and his favorite, which has been improved upon again and again for many months, a home for Hiccup, his toy from his favorite movie 'How to Tame Your Dragon'.

Tools to Inspire Innovative Play
unfinished version of Hiccups house with bedroom (top right) and kitchen (bottom right, the green a fire pit)



Looking for Bay Area Summer Camps that encourage innovation? Not only super fun, Galileo camps teach pre-K – 8th graders to be innovators who explore, create and fail without fear.

Tools to Inspire Innovative Play and Save $3o on Camp Galileo

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Galileo Summer Camps Innovative kids

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Save $20 Off Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park

$20 OFF #GilroyGardens Family Theme Park and new Water Park #LearnThroughPlay #familyfun #summerfun #kids

Play, learn and grow at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park!
Gilroy Gardens features over 40 rides, attractions and majestic gardens, the perfect place for families and garden lovers alike! Don't miss the world famous Circus Trees.

Brand new this summer of 2014, enjoy a Water Oasis! This half acre water attraction features three unique play elements: Water Journey, Lagoon and Splash Pad. Get soaked by giant flowers, pump and direct the flow of water, slide into a lagoon or just sit in an adirondack chair and sip lemonade.

$20 OFF #GilroyGardens Family Theme Park and new Water Park #LearnThroughPlay #familyfun #summerfun #kids

The best part? 

Learn while you play! By the end of your visit, you and your kids will have a better understanding of how much of a valuable resource water is, what we can do to improve water quality, and simple changes we can make to conserve it.

It's Learning...disguised as FUN!

My readers save $20 OFF M-F or $15 Off Sat-Sun General Admission to Gilroy Gardens with this exclusive coupon

$20 OFF #GilroyGardens Family Theme Park and new Water Park #LearnThroughPlay #familyfun #summerfun #kids

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

10 Steps to Independent Kids Bathroom Routine #LetsTalkBums

Do your kids know what is expected of them enough to take care of their own needs in the bathroom?

Even young kids can handle it if they are set up for success. Make your kids bathroom routines doable for less mess, and greater efficiency.

10 Steps to Independent Kids Bathroom Routine #LetsTalkBums

If you have young kids, leaving them alone in the bathroom can quickly spell disaster, yet eventually you must trust them enough to do so. Independence can happen sooner than you think if you set up a familiar bathroom routine and give your kids the chance to get the hang of it.

Here are ten important tips for kids to leave less of a mess, get through their bathroom routine quickly, and waste as little as possible.  

~Money saving coupon below~

1. One kid in the bathroom at a time. 

This has helped lessen the temptation to goof around. When it's teeth brushing time, my older one goes first and prepares his sister's toothbrush for her. She'll be changing her clothes and then they can swap places.

2. Keep supplies easily accessible.

Store toothbrushes and toothpaste on the counter or a drawer they can get to on their own. You don't want to discourage brushing by having the supplies hidden away, such as in a high cabinet. A liquid soap dispenser next to the sink works best. I have to keep mine literally right next to the sink, not back by the faucet, in order for my 4 year old to reach it. It looks out of place, but I'd much rather her have clean hands.

3. Use only a pea size amount of toothpaste as well as liquid soap. 

Let them practice squeezing out their own toothpaste with help until they have the hang of it. Make sure they know what a pea size looks like, for both toothpaste and soap. For us it's about half a pump of soap. Let them do it, so they know what it feels like and how hard and far to push down.

4. Have a stool handy for kids who can't yet reach the sink.

5. Conserve water. 

10 Steps to Independent Kids Bathroom Routine #LetsTalkBumsTeach them to only turn on the water to wet their toothbrush, then off again immedietly so they don't waste water, then on again to quickly rinse their mouth and the toothbrush. The same goes for hand washing; on to wet hands, off while getting soap and scrubbing, on again to quickly rinse. Discuss the importance of saving water.

6. Let them brush. 

I let my kids brush their own teeth and then I do a quick finish up, to "check for sugar bugs". If they do a really good job on their own, I don't need to finish up for them. This encourages good teeth brushing since they like doing it themselves as well as confidence. I've modeled how to get each side of every tooth while brushing with them the last few years. I'm now confident they can both do a good job on their own and don't hover over them any longer. I do check in on them once in a while and might give them a finish up here and there along with some pointers, but no longer every time.

7. Use 4 squares of toilet paper.

My kids have more than once used way too much toilet paper. It's hard for little ones to know just how much is enough vs too much. My advice is four squares. Teach them not to bunch it up too tightly and to fold it in so they can wipe a second time if possible. If necessary, they can get another four squares. If you use a nice absorbent tissue like Cottenelle Clean Care toilet paper, which is double ply, that should be plenty.

8. Use wipes when necessary.
Sometimes dry paper is just not enough. I have always kept baby wipes in the bathroom for this purpose. Up until recently this would be when a kids would call "Mom!!" at the top of their lungs and I would come to the rescue. However, 4 and 7 years old are plenty old enough to clean up after themselves when in the bathroom. So, I put a package of wipes on the back of the toilet if they needed them and taught them to throw them in the trash and to only put paper in the toilet. This can be hard to remember, though.

I was happy to hear about a flushable wipe and to purchase some Cottenelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths when I stopped by CVS the other day. I had a coupon, so thought why not give that a try. The kids won't clog the toilets and they won't feel like babies using baby wipes.

You, too, can Get Your Coupon for $1.50 Off the purchase of The Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths and Clean Care toilet paper also. Only redeemable at CVS.

9. Clean up when finished.

Wash hands and put anything they took out away. Wipes are also nice to have handy to wipe the counter and around the sink after brushing teeth and especially around the toilet when someone's aim is not quite on target. Kids are very capable of wiping up their own messes. If my kids make a mess of the mirror, they have to wash the mirror with window cleaner as well. The only problem with this is they love washing the mirror!

10. Bonus Fun- Secret Messages with Dry Erase Markers

Keep a dry erase marker in the bathroom so the kids can leave love notes on the mirror. They love writing secret messages for each other or Mom and Dad to find later. My kids know they are only allowed to do this if they've finished brushing their teeth and have cleaned up their mess. If you can't stand a messy mirror, it may take some getting used to, but it is such an easy, free, and sweet way to encourage and express thoughtfulness and love, plus some reading and writing practice. My husband and I leave notes for each other and the kids there, too.

I hope this gave you some good ideas and the confidence to start your kids independently caring for their own hygiene. What tricks have worked for your family?

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bikers Against Child Abuse Awareness Ride This Saturuday May 17th

Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) is having their annual 100 Mile Ride fund raiser and awareness run this Saturday, May 17th.

Starting and ending at San Jose Harley Davidson in San Jose, CA. There will be prizes and it's all for a wonderful cause!

"No Child Deserves to Live In Fear"

Bikers Against Child Abuse Awareness Ride This Saturuday May 17th #SanJose #BayArea #BACA

Anyone can join in, you don't have to be a member. They are in need of donations and your pledge is Tax Deductible.

What is BACA? 

"We are all volunteers and we help abused kids by “adopting” them into the BACA family, going to court with them and anything else required to help take away the fear that they have, empower them, and get them back to being a kid again." Joker, President of the Santa Cruz chapter

Watch the video below or go to for more information.

I blog about many more important issues every Monday on Monday Matters.  

Spread awareness to help important causes and start your week off right by making a difference each Monday, even if that is just to pin, tweet, or share to pass this information on.

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