Tag Archives: parenting

Fun at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL

Fun at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL

 

A few weeks ago, my boys and I got a chance to go to the Field Museum together.  It was just a mommy and son day out since my husband had a nearby appointment.  I hadn’t been to the museum in about 13 years but they had been there just the year before, so they decided to “teach” me all about everything we saw.  It was so much fun and so educational!

We only had a couple of hours to explore but we made the most of it.  I let the boys lead me through and pick which exhibits they wanted to see.  

 

Be Prepared

  • Check local event schedules and time your trip accordingly – holiday weekends, Cub game days, special events at the museum, and even rush hour and construction could majorly impact your travel time.
  • Plan to arrive early – the museum can easily keep you entertained all day, and if you are done early, there are plenty of fun sights nearby.
  • Plan ahead on your parking – the Field Museum has some tips for where to park on their website, click here for parking information.
  • Bring snacks/lunch – you are allowed to carry a backpack, so I recommend bringing snacks and lunch to save a bit of money, or to help be more prepared if you have food allergies.  There is an area on the lower level as well as a beautiful grass yard outside for a lunch break.  If you do not want to tote around food, there are two restaurants at the museum.  
  • Look for discounts – As stated on their website, “Families with valid EBT (Link) or WIC cards from any state are eligible for $3-per-person Basic admission for up to six people.”  You can also qualify for free or discounted visits if you are a member of another museum.  I am a member of a local children’s museum, the Discovery Center Museum, in Rockford, IL and qualified for free basic admission for my family at the Field Museum.  You can also visit the museum on “Free Admission Days” but be aware that it will be very busy.  

 

Inside the Museum

After checking in, the first exhibit we went to was Inside Ancient Egypt right there on the first level.  It was absolutely amazing!  First you walk into what looks like a (mini) pyramid.  After walking through, you will reach a staircase.  You can go down into the “pyramid” and view real ancient mummies!  They have 23 human mummies and over 30 animal mummies.  You can also learn about ancient Egyptian life and see real and reconstructed artifacts.  

Inside Ancient Egypt - at the Field Museum in Chicago

 

The Egyptian exhibit was so impressive and interesting that we had to go through it again before we left the museum.  It was definitely a favorite of ours!

 

Maximo the Titanosaur at Field Museum Chicago - #HelloMaximo

 

Next, we couldn’t help but go check out Maximo, the Titanosaur!  Modeled from fossil bones, Maximo stands over 28 feet tall! 

 

Meteors, gems, and minerals at the Field Museum in Chicago

 

We wandered through some more exhibits, took a few bathroom breaks (and snack breaks because that’s life with two growing boys!) and eventually came across the Metetorites, Minerals, and Gems exhibits.  We probably spent equal time in each as my boys oohed and awed about everything.  Now that both are becoming avid readers, they were able to read the descriptions and maintain interest as we walked through.  They read and learned about birthstones and found each one around the room of gems, and then looked to see which gems were their favorites.  

We checked out more exhibits but I was focused on my time with them so I didn’t really get a lot of photos.  I am actually patting myself on the back for that.  It felt great to just be there in the moment!  

 

Chicago Illinois (behind the Field Museum)

 

Since we only had a couple of hours to explore, we got through everything that was on their list, then went behind the Field Museum for a snack and quick view of the city and Lake Michigan before we had to leave.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we took a nice walk before leaving.  

We definitely look forward to another visit as there were several exhibits we didn’t have time to see.  Next time we will definitely set aside more time since it just wasn’t in the books for us that time.  The Field Museum has so much to offer and you will discover something new with every visit!  It is such an educational place for all ages.  

 

CozyPhones – cozy comfy headphones for kids and adults!

Paw Patrol Marshall CozyPhones Headphones for Kids

 

Just before Christmas, CozyPhones sent me a pair of Marshall and Chase Paw Patrol headphones to try out.  I was able to get them added to my 2018 gift guide, but I have been bogged down with multiple family health issues that I didn’t have time for a full review. I’m so excited to finally get around to telling you how much we like our CozyPhones!  

Most headphones are too big for kids; they slide around, fall off, or just are plain uncomfortable.  CozyPhones sit snug on your head and are comfortable, so you can almost forget you even have them on! 

My kids were so excited to have their favorite characters that they immediately put them on and had to test them out.  Since the headphones do require a cord, they are easy to use.  Simply plug in and enjoy.  There is no need to mess around with complicating Bluetooth buttons to set them up.  The cord is actually pretty durable too which is a major plus around kids.  However if Bluetooth is more convenient for you, you can purchase a Wireless Bluetooth Adapter separately.  

My kids use headphones most while working on their Acellus homeschool work.  Wearing their favorite characters definitely made them a little more excited to get started, which definitely makes my day easier!  There is no more fidgeting with and being distracted by their headphones as these stay comfortably on their ears without needing much adjustment.  I was glad to learn that there is a volume limit as well!  

Who wants a pair of CozyPhones for yourself now, after hearing of how comfortable they are?  There are Lycra active-style headphones as well as sleep headphones with a cool mesh lining for adults.  I am so excited and definitely looking into getting a pair for myself.  

And good news – all CozyPhones are washable by removing the cord and speakers to wash the headband.  

What pair excites you most?  Honestly this pair of Unicorn kid’s CozyPhones is absolutely adorable and I wish they had it in adult size ;)  

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Day More

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Day More

 

  • Start the day by thinking of 3 positive things about yourself or about your previous day.  Thinking about the positive things can really change your mood for the better.  You can think of what you accomplished, how you handled a particular situation, or just the simple fact that you are alive and healthy.  

 

  • Make a list of what needs done – as you check it off throughout the day, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.  Unfortunately we can’t just put all of our responsibilities aside, so let’s find a way to make the best of them! 

 

  • Set the technology aside – it really does help!  You will engage your other senses, your body will benefit from the decrease of “blue light”, and you will stay away from all that Facebook drama that is secretly driving you nuts!  You will finally find the time to finish projects or even extra time to spend with your family.  I am guilty of this myself and have to tell myself to put my phone or computer down at times.  

 

  • Close your eyes and listen to music for 15 minutes or have a solo dance party!  Forget about any nagging thoughts and just let go for a bit.  If silence is your jam, enjoy some silence instead of music.  Just take this time to let go of your thoughts and sort of re-set yourself.  

 

  • Declutter.  Clutter and messes can paralyze our motivation and enjoyment of being home, in our office, or even in our car.  Tackle each area, one at a time, and soon you’ll feel more free and have less bogging you down.  Check out Embracing Homemaking’s awesome list of 200 Things to Throw Away

 

As you start to follow these suggestions and make habits of them, they will become easier and easier.  Eventually you will have a routine to help you get through the days easier and you won’t know what you did without it!  

Feel free to comment below with any other suggestions you have! 

Top Gift Ideas for the Home School Family (2018 Holiday Gift Guide)

Gift Ideas for the Homeschool Family (Holiday Gift Guide 2018)

 

As a homeschool mom myself, I came up with a list of what I think would make great gifts this Christmas.  They are mostly practical and encourage education or physical activity, while also being fun!  Take a look and let me know what your favorite idea is or if you have something else to add to the list!  

 

 

Flybar iPogo Jr – more than just a basic pogo stick, you will find that this one counts your child’s jumps and encourages them to keep going!  Recommended for ages 5+ and 40-80lbs.  The Aero 2-Wheel Scooter and Pogo Ball Trick Board are also great gift ideas to encourage physical activity.

 

Minecraft Workbooks by Skyhorse Publishing – Make learning extra fun this year with this themed workbook!  Available for grades 1 & 2 and 3 & 4.  For those who are reading youth chapter books, check out The Unofficial Minecrafters Mysteries Series Box Set

 

 

Casio 61 Key Keyboard with App Integration – my own 2nd grader started having much more interest in music this year while learning some basic tunes on our keyboard.  It is absolutely amazing how he has taken to it and I can’t wait to see his musical skills grow.  Having a keyboard in our home has been a wonderful experience for our family and I highly recommend it.  I received my first as a 6 year old on Christmas and I have had a love for piano ever since.  There are many to choose from with varying prices for every budget.  

 

 

Thinkfun Math Dice JR (or the original Math Dice) – I have been eyeing these dice for a while now and I think this is the year I will finally get them for my kids since both are old enough to play the Junior version.  They will be a great way to practice math while still having fun!        

 

 

Learning Resources Pretend & Play Cash Register – another fun way to add math to daily play is this cash register.  My kids love playing grocery store (or toy store), exchanging play money, while not even realizing the educational value it is to them.  

 

 

Lil Gadgets Headphones – kids with tablets or laptops will be excited to have their own pair of headphones!  Lil Gadgets has wired and wireless options, as well as earbuds.  All are volume limiting and durable.  My boys have had the Untangled Pro for four years now and love using them as they complete online lessons or games.  

 

Crayola Create ‘n Carry 75 piece art set – every year, my kids tell me they want more art supplies for Christmas.  You can really never have too much :)  This set is great for kids to take with them on-the-go or around the house and keep their supplies together. 

 

 

3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Pen Set for Kids – this STEM inspired gift idea is made especially for ages 6 – 13.  It is safe to use with no hot parts.  Your creations are only limited to your imagination! 

 

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet – the Fire tablets have come a long way.  With 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited (giving access to over 15,000 popular apps, games, books, and educational content), this affordable tablet is a great option for any budget.  There is also a great replacement guarantee for accidents.  

 

 

Boogie Board 8.5″ LCD Writing Tablet – rather than dry-erase, chalk, or classic paper and pencil, this LCD writing tablet is a fun way to get kids to write and draw.  The drawing will stay until you simply press the button above the screen to make it disappear.  There is no need to charge it or connect it to anything.  The Scribble & Play or Play & Trace versions are great options for the younger children ages 3+.  

 

 

Wall Pops USA Dry Erase Decal – this 36″ x 24″ poster decal would make a fantastic gift for elementary or middle school aged kids. It is easy to read and works great with dry erase markers.   The dry erase monthly calendar is a great option too for older students or the homeschool parent.  

 

 

Book of Paper Airplanes – my boys have a similar book and have so much fun trying to create the different paper planes.  While they think they’re having fun, they’re actually learning about physics! 

 

 

Grow Your Own Crystal Mini Worlds Kit – while learning science and Chemistry, your homeschooler can create 3 projects: a dragon’s cave, a unicorn’s forest, and a seahorse’s coral reef.  

 

 

Blank Comic Book – bring out your child’s imagination and drawing skills with this fun Blank Comic Book.  This is perfect for girls and boys alike as they can create stories to their heart’s desire.  

 

 

Genius LEGO Inventions with Bricks You Already Have – inspiring STEM creations, this book will take the LEGO bricks you already have and show you how to get even more creative with them. 

 

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition – I highly recommend adding a smart speaker to your home, whether it is an Amazon or Google device.  There are many fun activities, free music (I personally enjoy Piano Guys while my boys study) and even Audible Books available through these speakers.  The Echo devices connect to each other, allowing you to even use them as an intercom system throughout the house.  

 

Homeschool Mom Shirt – Don’t forget the homeschool parent too!  I just love this and so will the homeschool mom in your life.  Got a homeschool dad instead?  I recommend looking around on Etsy.  There are a lot of fantastic options on there as well! 

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