Oh my goodness, don’t look now but I think spring has finally made it to New England! Well, it’s about time, right? Now we can really make good use of Mandy’s fantastic playground roundup that she posted a few weeks back:
It also means there’s even more reason to check out some of our favorite indoor/outdoor venues, like Dinosaur State Park–with its awesome exhibit center plus family-friendly nature trails–and these wonderful transportation-inspired outings, both of which we recently featured in our bi-monthly segments on Better Connecticut. (Thanks to everyone who tuned in this month to support us! If you missed it, you can catch us every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month.)
And I know my little guys are soooo excited that Touch-A-Truck season is in full swing! (Check out our listing of Touch-A-Truck events state-wide here.)
In other exciting news, Mandy and I are launching the first of what we hope will be many helpful guides: Our Out and About Mom Birthday Party Directory!
Over the years, we have received so many questions about places to hold kids’ birthday parties, that we thought it might be a good idea to create a resource on this topic for our readers. The list is small now, but we expect that it will grow quickly in the coming months until it becomes your one-stop shop for finding exactly the kind of birthday party venue you’ve been searching for! Check it out if you have a moment.
Plus we’ve got the latest news from all our wonderful sponsors.
Still searching for summer programs for your kiddos? Our sponsors have them! Looking for fun things to do with the family and a great lineup of programs and FREE events for kids of all ages? Our sponsors have that too! Want to keep your kids safe and healthy this season? (And who doesn’t???) You’ll find sponsor resources here for that as well. Because our wonderful sponsors do so much more than just support our site. They offer amazing products, services and resources to you, our wonderful readers. It’s a match made in heaven, isn’t it? 🙂
And we really can’t thank our readers and our sponsors enough, because it’s their combined support that makes it possible for us to continue “scouting your outing.” So if you enjoy reading our blog, please help us support the businesses and organizations that keep us up and running, whether that means simply taking a moment to check out what they have to offer, heading to one of our sponsor’s venues for a play date (be sure to tell them we sent you!), referring a friend or relative, or just “liking” our sponsor posts on our Facebook page to show them a little love.
Naturally, Mandy and I are also super excited to share with you all the cool stuff we’ve been up to this month. And we hope you enjoy reading about all the things we’ve been loving this April!
- All of a sudden, Boo is very into coloring. A quiet, thoughtful activity that also helps him work on his fine motor skills? I totally support that! He adores this giant vehicle coloring book from Melissa & Doug, and we’ve almost finished coloring every single page (many of them are hanging in various places around my house right now!).
- I’m experiencing déjà vu these days as I’m starting to take my little guy to all the classes and activities that Boo and I enjoyed together when he was little. This month we started taking a library class that was actually the subject of one of my very early posts on this blog. Even though they are completely different personalities, I can’t believe how much my boys remind me of each other sometimes–like in these pictures. Boo was also a champion tower-builder with these exact blocks! (Can you guess who is who? 🙂 )
- Now that we are spending so much time at the library again, we are definitely taking advantage of checking out new-to-us books and DVDs each week. Currently, my kids are in a Mo Willems phase. The little guy is getting a kick out of The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, and Boo is obsessed with Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. I find them both hysterical!
- I know there are conflicting theories on whether or not to have white noise and/or mobiles, etc. in kids’ rooms, but I have to say this projector and sound system by Munchkin has been a life-saver for my family. Both my kids were very responsive to white noise as babies and still sleep with this noise machine running even now. Plus the cute light projection is a fun element for the little guy and the device also has a nightlight feature perfect for Boo.
- Since Boo had a speech delay (he didn’t say his first word until he was almost 2 1/2!), sign language was so important to my family. It was the only way Boo was able to communicate with us until he was able to use words. Even though the little guy has been yakking away for months now, we still taught him some basic signs (which is really all we know– the basics!). But both my kids love watching Signing Time videos to learn even more American Sign Language. The videos are colorful and musical, and my kids are really learning! I better start paying attention or they are going to have their own language to speak to each other that I can’t understand 🙂
- Recently my children have become mini-yogi’s. Both Bruiser and Sparkles are now practicing yoga at school and they often ask me to pull out the yoga mats as soon as they get home. I’ve done plenty of yoga classes in my life but I really didn’t know how to make yoga fun for kids. So, with the help of You Tube we discovered a video series called Cosmic Kids Yoga. They love it (and I find it rather entertaining as well). Check it out if you are looking for a great way to help your little ones wind down.
- This week we had some sugar-loaded fun as we chowed down on delicious Sweet Frog froyo while supporting a wonderful cause. Jonathan’s Dream Reimagined, the group working to rebuild the boundless playground on the campus of West Hartford’s Mandell JCC, was hosting a fundraising event and we were happy to participate. If you haven’t seen the new playground design you can find it here. Looks like so much fun!
- This month I’ve been wasting a lot of time watching some of my favorite television shows (they are just so good!). The latest season of Game of Thrones is on and the last season (sniff sniff) of Mad Men is airing. But my absolute favorite guilty pleasure right now is catching up on two (bad but good) reality series: Southern Charm and the Real Housewives of New York City (Bethany is back!)
- Activities are in full swing at my house and this past weekend Sparkles and Bruiser had their first day of t-ball. They participated in an opening day parade and were so cute as they walked out onto the field hand in hand. And Sweetheart had her own activity fun as she celebrated her last day of dance class with a parent-viewing session. I just love getting a chance to capture these moments.
- A friend mentioned to me the other day that she wished she could lock her iPhone so that her son couldn’t move around between apps. I told her to just use Guided Access and she looked at me with a blank expression. She had no idea what I was talking about and another friend said she had never heard of it as well. So, in case you are in the same boat, I wanted to share this little tip. Guided Access is a feature that can be used to keep a user in an app (so you don’t set your little one up with a letter writing game and they immediately move over to You Tube videos) and it has other features such as setting time limits, and locking out touch features on the screen. I find it pretty handy. If you want to check it out for yourself, find the details here.
But we’re really loving our amazing sponsors!
Don’t forget to check them out too. And help spread the sponsor love. If you know friends, family, neighbors, coworkers or anyone else who might be interested in what our fabulous sponsors have to offer, please share. It’s one simple way you can help support our site and keep us “Scouting Your CT Outing.” Thanks!
CONNECTICUT CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER, Hartford, CT
Connecticut Children’s is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the health and well-being of children. For the sixth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Connecticut Children’s a top hospital in the 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.
Our top physicians and researchers are dedicated to advancing pediatric care through medical innovation and cutting-edge technology. With more than 200 pediatric residents and fellows in over 20 pediatric subspecialties, Connecticut Children’s is the primary pediatric teaching, clinical and research partner for the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Connecticut Children’s research portfolio includes nearly $20 million in active awards.
Getting kids healthy and home is our goal. And we do it every day. Do you have a Connecticut Children’s experience that you would like to share? Tell us about it.
Visit www.connecticutchildrens.org or call 860.545.9000 for more information.
THE INDEPENDENT DAY SCHOOL, Middlefield, CT
The Independent Day School is design thinking and hands-on. It’s life long friends and knowing that you’re known. Nature trails and vegetable gardens. And academic rigor and preparing for next steps. It’s finding out who you are and what you’re good at. It’s making mistakes and trying again. It’s being a kid, the best kid you can be. It’s not like any other school. It’s IDS. It’s the way we are. All for the love of fearless learning. 1:6 teacher/student ratio. Discover how The Independent Day School can unlock your child’s full potential. Schedule a weekday walk-through by calling 860-347-7235. Summer Programs start June 22.
THE MANDELL JCC, West Hartford, CT
Now in its Centennial year, the Mandell JCC serves people of all backgrounds and at every age and stage of life. It is a gathering place and resource for the Hartford region, providing recreational, cultural, educational, and social programs designed to promote physical, intellectual, and spiritual well-being of its members and others who participate. As a center where all are welcome, our mission is rooted in a fundamental commitment to inclusivity and in universal Jewish values. As part of the Centennial Celebration, the Mandell JCC is offering Shabbat in the Park – a FREE community celebration in Elizabeth Park on Friday, May 29, 2015 from 6-8pm. For more information contact Elana MacGilpin, 860-231-6327 or visit www.mandelljcc.org.
THE NEW ENGLAND AIR MUSEUM, Windsor Locks, CT
The New England Air Museum is committed to presenting the story of aviation, the human genius that made it possible and the profound effects that it has had on the way in which we live. We achieve this by preserving and presenting historically significant aircraft and related artifacts, engaging our visitors through high-quality exhibits that help them understand aviation technology, history and the stories of the men and women who built, flew and made history with these famous machines, and inspiring visitors through our innovative and hands-on education programs delivered on-site that allow them to discover and reflect on aviation technology and history and its ties to social studies, science, geography and technical advancements.
Today the Museum houses one of the world’s most outstanding collections of historic aviation artifacts: more than 80 aircraft and an extensive collection of engines, instruments, aircraft parts, uniforms and personal memorabilia. The Museum is open daily (except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day & Easter) from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Once again, a great big “thank you” to our current sponsors. We are very proud to showcase them here on our site, and we look forward to introducing you to even more family-friendly businesses and organizations in the future.
Are you interested in becoming an Out and About Mom sponsor?
It’s easier than you think to become an Out and About Mom sponsor! Get all the info on our unique advertising program here. No ad? No problem! May we introduce you to PicMonkey andCanva, two totally FREE photo-editing websites. They are simple to use and, best of all, in just minutes you’ll have a fabulous, professional-looking ad for your business that will really stand out in our sidebar
Want to keep up with things to do with kids in Connecticut?
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