August 7, 2018

Kids Night In - Mind Your Manners

Set the scene: You’re out to eat with your family when your child lets out a HUUUGE burp….and he laughs. Dad chimes in, “What do you say??”

Sound familiar? If you have children, I can most likely answer that question for you—YES! It happens, especially at meal time (or not), but teaching them to be polite and say excuse me is a huge step forward in learning manners.

Why am I talking about burping? This month’s theme for the Kids Night In Box, from Night In Boxes, was Mind your Manners…a perfect topic for all kids! Night In Boxes is a monthly subscription service that sends themed boxes every month with either a kids geared theme or a date night theme, we have been enjoying the kid themes for the last few months. Oh, excuse me, where are my manners, lets discuss what this box was all about!

What’s Inside?
night in itinerary*
book related to topic (Mind your Manners B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra)
2 labeled placemats
2 plates
2 straw cups
2 paper napkins
2 sets of “silverware”
materials for napkin rings: beads, pipe cleaners
Colored pencils (for coloring placemat and decorating cups)
Materials for spinner board: brad fastener, spinner card, paperclip
2 pack of cookies
*within the itinerary you would find recipes for your night in, games, and how-to instructions for folding napkins, making napkin rings, setting the table, etc.

Manners Themed Menu
Sweet Honey-Lime Fruit Salad

Tea Sandwiches
Or simple cookie party option

We started off our manners lesson with read the included book, Mind your Manners B.B. Wolf. It’s a cute book about B.B. Wolf attending a tea party in hopes of getting cookies. He learns some manners and has some silly mishaps in this colorful attention-grabbing book. My son loves when the wolf says, “excuse me” BEFORE he burps…now that is being on top of your manners! We then pulled out the colored pencils to decorate their cups (after washing). This lasted a whole hot minute because my boys aren’t into coloring just yet, but they loved that they were putting a special touch on their cups. Side note: I love that these boxes come with enough materials for 2 kids. I can do the activities with both of my boys and no arguing about who gets to do it! We also made their napkin rings since the cup decorating went so quickly. Putting beads onto a pipe cleaner is a simple activity but is so great for little hands, I loved that my boys were working on their fine motor skills without knowing—especially my 2-year-old.

We could have colored the placemats as well, but I chose to skip right to setting the table. The placemat is great because it is labeled, but obviously with a 2 and 4-year-old who can’t read I did show them where everything went on the placemat. They were totally shocked that I gave them a knife, or a “sharp” as my 2-year-old calls them, I told them not to get used to it..ha! I told them that this is how you set a table to for a fancy dinner with friends, even if you don’t use all of the silverware. My youngest really didn’t grasp the whole set table thing and I wouldn’t expect him to, but my 4 year old was able to remember where everything was supposed to go once we played a round or 2 of the spinner game. This is when we ate our delicious tea sandwiches, applesauce, and cookies.

The tea sandwich recipes included a chicken salad sandwich or pimento cheese, we chose to make chicken salad because my kids are big fans of it. We made it a little differently as we don’t like celery or grapes in our chicken salad, but there are so many varieties you really can’t go wrong going your own direction. Although they would have loved the fruit salad, my kids decided to have applesauce on the side. They aren’t the biggest lunch eaters, so small tea sandwiches were perfect for a light lunch.

The itinerary gives a lot of great tips for using manners at the dinner table like not talking with a full mouth and keeping your elbows off the table. My kids also already know to ask to be excused after dinner, which is great for keeping them at the table longer since they aren’t allowed to just get up and go. “May I be excused?”, “no, eat your green beans!” Sometimes it works, other times they just stare at me in disbelief, but that’s ok because they are being respectful by asking. It also includes a link to music and instructional videos to end your dinner party with ballroom dancing. Now I don’t know if my wild boys would appreciate a good ballroom dance yet, but they do like to dance post dinner!

My kids have thoroughly enjoyed receiving and reviewing these boxes each month and we think you’re family would enjoy them too! If you’re interested in learning more click my affiliate link here or the picture below!

*I received this Kid’s Night In box for free in exchange for a review as an affiliate, all opinions are my own. This post DOES contain affiliate links, which means if you click on them and purchase your own Night In Box using the links posted, I may make a commission.

July 26, 2018

Inglesina Zippy Light: Review

As a family with two young kids we are no strangers to strollers. We mostly use our inline double to accommodate both kids but there are times where a single, much smaller stroller comes in handy. Before trying out the Inglesina Zippy Light, I had searched high and low for a great lightweight stroller. They were all pretty similar in their specs and would easily get the job done, but I will skip those details and get right to why the Inglesina Zippy Light has stolen all my stroller love!

One of the biggest issues with lightweight strollers is the smaller child weight limit, and I wanted something that my oldest son, 4 years old, would also be able to ride in if he were to get tired of walking. The Inglesina Zippy Light has a higher seat weight limit of 55 lbs., my son is just under 40 lbs. so he has quite a ways to go! The stroller itself weights a very light 15 lbs., and folds up one handed almost as small as an umbrella stroller…in fact it is actually shorter than another I owned when folded. I know what you’re thinking, how can a stroller with such a small fold and lightweight be any better than any other light weight stroller? Simply put, because it is! Even with the small fold and lightweight, it opens up into a very roomy stroller. Aiding to the roominess of the stroller is that the seat reclines flat with an adjustable foot rest. Does your umbrella stroller do that?! On our most recent vacation, my youngest son was sleeping upon arriving at Mt. Rushmore, so we deiced to use the stroller. He happily laid there fully reclined, just strolling around until we took him out. He seriously looked SO cozy!

Another great perk is the UPF 50+ sun shade; it unzips and extends for great protection. It also has a small mesh window for air flow or to just peek in on your sleeping baby. The storage basket underneath isn’t huge, but I wouldn’t expect it to be with a small stroller. That being said though, it is a great size, easy to access, and held quite a bit when we needed it to. Unlike some other light weight strollers, the seat cover is soft, padded, and is completely washable…winning! The back of the seat feels so sturdy and that helps me to know my children are comfortable while riding. The Zippy Light also comes with a cup holder that hooks on to the frame, and a tried and true rain cover (I would not suggest having the child ride with the rain cover on as it would probably get way too hot, my child was already in the stroller when I remembered I wanted to take a picture of the just rained on cover, but I removed it right after).

Now I know I already mentioned the small fold, but the Zippy Light also stands freely on its own when folded, which is awesome for storage or when visiting spaces in which you need to fold and stash your stroller; and because of the easy fold and light weight, it’s easy to quickly fold and carry up a flight of stairs if needed. This stroller does have all-wheel suspension, but I wouldn’t suggest using it on bumpy mountain trails because it really wasn’t made for that kind of rough terrain, but it does handle the smoother rough surfaces like brick roads well when you lock the wheels.

Detail Round-Up:

  • Stroller weight: 15 lbs.
  • Child weight limit: 55 lbs.
  • Fully reclining seat back
  • Adjustable foot rest
  • Large storage basket
  • One handed, free standing fold
  • All-wheel suspension
  • Fully washable seat cover
  • Sun protection (UPF 50+)
  • Includes: Rain cover, bumper bar
  • Infant car seat adaptable

The Inglesina Zippy Light is easily one of my favorite strollers and I have used it on vacation, around my neighborhood, and throughout the Disney theme parks. It is simple to use, convenient, and very sleek looking. It may not be the stroller for taller people (I am 5’5”) as it is easy to kick the wheels, though at my height I do not really run into this problem unless I am really booking it somewhere, which I don’t necessarily plan to do with a lightweight stroller.

This made in Italy stroller does a run a little pricey if you are looking for a basic umbrella stroller, but you can purchase it HERE starting at $349. Other retailers including Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, and Target sell the Zippy Light for the same price. We have the Safari Beige for reference.

*I received this product for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

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June 30, 2018

Camp Kid's Night In

Last month’s Kid Night In box was a huge hit so I was excited for this month’s to be delivered, even more so when it turned out to be a camping themed box! We love traveling and outdoor activities, I knew this was going to be right up our alley. As soon as I showed my oldest son the box, he couldn’t wait to see what we inside!

If you are new to following along with us, Kids Night In boxes are part of a monthly subscription service from Night In Boxes. Each month you are sent a themed box in the category that you are signed up for (Kids Night In, Date Night In, or those with faith options). The boxes include just about everything you need for your night in, except for [most] food items. Last month’s Kids Night In box review can be found here. Let’s take a look at the camping box!

What’s Inside?
night in itinerary*
book related to topic (Tiny Goes Camping)
ingredients for 2 s’mores: marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate
foil for a solar oven
paper plate
materials for 2 harmonicas: straw, rubber bands, tongue depressors
materials for camp binoculars
*within the itinerary you would find recipes for your night in, games, and how-to instructions for the solar oven, harmonica, and binoculars.

Camp Themed Menu
Pigs in a Blanket
Homemade Lemonade
S’mores Enhancement
*the menu gives a list of all ingredients needed and preparation directions.

We made some adjustments to last month’s menu, but my kids love hot dogs so I knew the Pigs in a Blanket recipe would be perfect! We did use Pillsbury Crescents rather than a puff pastry as the recipe calls for, but it is the same idea. Once I had the hot dogs cut in half and the strips of the crescents rolled and cut, it was an easy enough task for my kids to help roll them up. They really enjoyed helping out in the kitchen and cooking! We made these for lunch so my kids enjoyed them with fresh peaches on the side.

One of the main activities is creating a solar oven to make the s’mores. My husband and son made the solar oven together using the box the materials came in and the included foil with tape. Luckily, I picked a sunny time of day to do this, so we were able to use the heat of the sun to make the s’mores, but in case it’s cloudy there are alternative directions in the itinerary. I did let my kids place the bottom graham cracker in the solar oven after warming for a few minutes (it wasn’t hot, just warm) and place the marshmallows on top. They enjoyed the extras too! Once the marshmallows were squishy, they placed the chocolate on top, and it didn’t take long at all to melt…hello Florida sunshine! Dinner was cooking while making the s’mores, so they enjoyed these as dessert following their meal. There are points of discussion in the itinerary to talk about solar energy and how the Sun heats up the Earth, they even have fun facts for “Little Campers”, and more advanced facts for “Older Campers”. We make s’mores over a fire quite often, so it was fun to make them another way!

My kids really enjoyed the included book, Tiny Goes Camping, and being a Penguin Young Readers book, it was really geared towards my young kids. It’s about a little boy and his dog who go camping and all of the fun things they do and find. We have read it multiple times SINCE doing the camping box! This is great to go along with the included activities inside the itinerary. Some of the activities include writing the steps on how to make s’mores, making a harmonica and some binoculars, and going on an outdoor scavenger hunt. My oldest really enjoyed taking his newly made camping binoculars out in the backyard to do the scavenger hunt, we almost found everything on the checklist and even after we finished he kept running back to tell me what else he saw. I love that there is always an educational sense to the lessons, even in the scavenger hunt we were looking for objects of a certain shape or color, and even though that is nothing to older kids, it is perfect for my little ones.

There were so many fun things about this month’s box and we even spanned the activities out over a couple of days, although it could be completed in one. We really enjoyed the camping theme! Ready to try out your own Night In Box? Click my affiliate link here to find the perfect night in for you!

Want a chance to win a Date Night In or Kids Night In? Visit my Instagram to see how to enter! @thelittlestadventures

*I received this Kid’s Night In box for free in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own. This post DOES contain affiliate links, which means if you click on them and purchase your own Night In Box using the links posted, I may make a commission.