Category Archives: Kid Stuff

Incredibles 2: Toys, Games, and more!

Check out this list of Incredibles 2 toys and games - perfect for Christmas shopping!

 

I’m not sure who was more excited for the Incredibles 2 more…my kids or myself!  After the long anticipation of a sequel, Disney did not disappoint!  And alongside the movie have come lots of fun new toys and games my kids are begging for.  Here are a few favorites that I’ve come across:

 

The Incredibles 2 Movie (Rental or Purchase)

Incase you haven’t had enough of the movie, I will start with a link to rent Incredibles 2 on Amazon or purchase.  This would make a great Christmas gift! 

 

The Incredibles 2 Gear Set, 3 piece

What is more fun than dressing up like your favorite super hero?  This set includes a mask, gloves, and light up emblem!  And best of all?  It is pretty affordable at just under $10. 

 

Dash and Jack-Jack Figures by Jakks Pacific

Dash and Jack-Jack are my boys’ favorite characters so these are a must-have for our Christmas list!  At 4-6″ tall, these figures are perfect play-size. 

 

Incredibles 2 Little Golden Book

Perfect for those aged 5-8, this book re-tells the story of the Incredibles 2 movie.  This would be a perfect gift for a new reader, or a younger child as a bedtime story. 

 

6-Piece Incredibles 2 Figure Set

Every Incredibles 2 fan needs the full set of characters to re-inact their favorite scenes.  This little set is perfect for your child to tote around in the car, to grandma’s house, etc. 

 

Incredibles 2 UNO Game

Now here is something for the whole family!

 

Jumping Incredible Vehicle

When my kids saw this in stores, they were so excited!  This vehicle fits certain 4″ characters, and does not require batteries.  Push it down and roll it to see it jump.  So much fun!

Ravensburger Disney Incredibles 2 100 Piece Puzzle

This puzzle is a perfect rainy day activity for the whole family to set down together, or a great Christmas gift to wrap up under the tree! 

 

Laser Tag Blasters Set

With 3 shooting modes, vibration when hit, a secret weapon button, life indicator, and no vests needed, this laser tag set is definitely one of the most exciting toys on my list!  You can even add additional units for more kids (or adults) to join in the fun! 

LEGO Juniors The Great Home Escape (and more)

LEGO took the opportunity to create new sets based on Incredibles 2.  Being Juniors sets, they are easier to put together, and just as much fun!  Take a look at more LEGO sets here

 

 

And last but not least….

LEGO Incredibles (Xbox, PS4) Game

My boys (aged 5 and 7) can’t get enough of this game!  They love being able to use each character’s individual powers and work together to complete missions and save the city. 

How to choose a game your toddler will enjoy

Toddlers love playing board games, but it is important to find one just right for their skill level, and short in duration so it can hold their attention. There are so many different games to choose from, knowing what’s right can sometimes be difficult. Here, we have some top tips to help parents find a board game their toddler is sure to love.

 

How to choose a game your toddler will enjoy

 

Easy Toddler Games

The first thing to think about is how difficult the game is to follow. If buying a first board game for your toddler, make sure the rules are simple. Also make sure the game doesn’t last more than 10 or 15 minutes, as toddlers tend to lose interest and stop concentrating after this length of time.

 

What is your Child Interested in?

Think about your child’s interests when choosing a game for them. If your child likes counting, choose a game which involves numbers. If they enjoy matching items, they will probably love a bingo lotto type game where they can match picture cards to their game board.

There are loads of games for toddlers which have play pieces such as toy food. These are great because children can use the items from the game as toys even if they are not yet interested in learning how to play the game properly.

 

Cooperative Games

These are the best type of games for toddlers, as all players work together to achieve a goal. It can help toddlers learn to work together with others – a valuable skill to learn from a young age. Games which have one winner or loser have their place, but very young children can become extremely upset if they lose the game, which can put them off wanting to play it again.

It’s best to play a game with your toddler, as they will love spending time with you and learning how to play. Toddlers can learn important social skills from playing board games, such as taking turns, so it’s a good idea to sit with them and show them what to do.

 

Popular Kids Cartoon Characters

Toddlers love cartoon characters from their favorite books and programs. Choosing a game which features a character they love is sure to help them be more interested in learning how to play it. There are many board games and picture cards featuring popular characters – there is sure to be something your toddler will love!

 

Active Games for Kids

Toddlers don’t often enjoy sitting still, so getting them to sit on the floor or around the table to play a game can be challenging. There are some games which encourage kids to move around, such as those where players have to do certain movements and actions or sing songs. These types of games are great choices for wiggly toddlers who hate sitting still!

 

Reading Skills

It’s a good idea to choose a board game for a toddler which doesn’t involve any reading. There are plenty of games which can be played by those who can’t yet read – as long as parents explain the rules toddlers are sure to learn fast.

 

About the Author

Emily Dick is a writer and blogger and is currently writing for her parenting blog WhooopsaDaisy.com. She enjoys writing about a range of topics, whether it’s toys and games for kids or the latest baby equipment. Emily has recently graduated with a degree in social science from The Open University, and she is currently raising her toddler daughter Daisy.

 

Fun places to take your family in northern Illinois

Fun Places to Take Your Family in Northern Illinois

My family recently relocated from central Illinois to northern Illinois so we have had a blast searching down new and fun places to take the kids.  We’ve found an abundance of state parks and museums and I can’t wait to share some of our experiences with you! 

Rockford/Stateline Area 

  • Rock Cut State Park
    • canoeing on Pierce lake
    • Olsen beach swimming in summer
    • hiking trails
    • recreational opportunities
    • great place for fall family photos
  • Discovery Center Museum
    • children’s museum with large outdoor play place
    • water tables, dress up / pretend areas
    • several interactive educational exhibits, events
    • membership available (totally worth it if you ask me!)
  • Burpee Museum
    • award winning exhibits including a young t-rex skeleton
    • 4 floors of exhibits
    • admission varies by age
  • Anderson Japanese Gardens
    • beautiful gardens to visit with the family
    • evening and weekend events
    • closes for winter
    • donation days
  • Nicholas Conservatory
    • third largest conservatory in Illinois
    • sits next to the Rock River
    • 11,000 square foot plant exhibition
    • tickets available online or at the door
  • The Pottery Lounge
    • located in CherryVale Mall
    • paint pottery pieces or canvases in store (paint and cleanup included in price of piece!)
    • in store parties available
  • Carlson Ice Arena
    • skating and hockey
    • public skate
  • Sapora Playworld
    • indoor play structure for ages 5-12
    • smaller structure for ages 4 and under
    • admission fee varies by day/age, discount days
  • Magic Waters Waterpark
    • water slides, wave pool, lazy river, and more
    • area for ages 6 and under
    • cabana rental available
  • Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden
    • year round garden
    • handicap accessible path
    • snow shoeing and cross country skiing in winter
    • butterfly garden in the summer
    • admission fee varies by age
  • Belvidere Parks
    • this smaller town near Rockford has some beautiful parks along the Kishwaukee River that I recommend checking out
  • Byron Forest Preserve
    • hiking, sledding, and star gazing are among the options you have in this quiet forest preserve, just outside of Byron
  • Parks along the Kishwaukee River
    • head south of Rockford and you will find an abundance of parks and nature preserves just off of the Kishwaukee River
  • See more (including event calendars) at Go Rockford

 

Oregon Area

  • Blackhawk Statue
    • located in Lowden State Park, you will find the iconic Blackhawk Statue.  This statue is impressive with its size and serves as a great family trip.  There are nearby hiking areas as it overlooks the river. 
  • Lowden State Park
    • Enjoy scenic views of the Rock River from the Blackhawk Statue or hike the four mile trail!  Campsites are also available. 
  • White Pines Forest State Park
    • Lodge in one of the cute little cabins at White Pines Inn and check out the teepee on the grounds.  Enjoy wildlife watching along one of the park’s two steams, or hike one of the seven hiking trails. 
  • Castle Rock state park
    • A beautiful place to practice photography, Castle Rock State Park is also a fantastic place to take your family on a hike or enjoy the serene scenery.  The views are amazing! 

 

Chicago Area

  • Shedd Aquarium
    • indoor aquarium with 32,000 aquatic animals
    • changing special exhibit (your visit will always have something new!)
    • ticket prices vary, membership available, EBT cardholders receive free admission
  • The Field Museum of Natural History
    • one of the largest natural history museums in the world
    • 65,000 exhibits including temporary traveling exhibits
    • tickets available online and at the door, $3 admission via Museums for All (EBT) program
  • Museum of Science and Industry
    • over 2,000 exhibits in 75 major halls
    • 3,500 foot fall model railroad
    • domed space theater
    • relics from the Titanic
    • tickets available online and at the door, limited tickets for free via Museums for All (EBT/WIC cards)
  • Adler Planetarium
    • three full size theaters
    • space and science exhibitions
    • antique collections
    • Doane observatory
    • tickets available online and at the door, basic pass available for those with EBT or WIC cards through Museums for All Program
  • Navy Pier
    • landmark with 50 acres of attractions including outdoor Ferris wheel, restaurants, cruises, IMAX theater, park, and more
  • Millennium Park
    • outdoor ice rink (winter)
    • outdoor art and theater
    • famous “Bean” sculpture
  • The Skydeck
    • located in the Willis tower (formerly known as the Sears tower)
    • glass viewing area on the 103rd floor with glass floor
    • open all days of the year
    • tickets available

 

Schaumberg

  • Woodfield Mall
    • LEGO store
    • fun eateries including Dave & Busters and the Rainforest Café
  • FireZone
    • anything and everything firefighters…just for kids!
    • check the activity calendar for “drop in” times as some times are reserved for events
    • admission for children (1 adult free per child)
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center
    • play zones
    • 4D cinema
    • rides
    • tickets available online and at door, discounts for homeschool weeks
  • Pirates Cove Children’s Theme Park
    • open June – August
    • 18th century pirate ship you can climb aboard
    • children’s paddle boats
    • Castle playground
    • rock climbing
    • admission fee for ages 1-9, adults are always free

 

Bloomington-Normal

While this is more “central” than northern Illinois, I wanted to include Bloomington-Normal because there are some fantastic places to visit here.  Maybe you’ll pass through the area on your way to or from northern IL, or maybe you will just want to take a day trip to check out these places.  Regardless, I couldn’t leave them off the list. 

  • Discovery Museum
    • three floors of hands on exhibits for toddlers through preteens
    • paint wall (just washes away when you are done!)
    • Ag area, water table, and more
    • admission for ages 7 and up, works together with membership of some other museums
  • Grady’s Family Fun Park
    • 18 hole mini golf, go karts, kiddie rides, batting cages, adult/big kid rides and more
    • price varies depending on activity, wristbands available
  • Pepsi Ice Center
    • hockey and ice skating classes, free skate
  • Miller Park Zoo
    • wide variety of animals including wolves, reindeer, Sumatran tiger, and river otters
  • Upper Limits Rock Climbing Facility
    • 20,000 feet of climbing space indoor and outdoor
    • 110 feet tall routes
    • Classes, parties, membership, and day passes available

 

Other activities and places to visit in northern Illinois

 

Image Map
Copyright 2014 Family Centsability