Our Family Vacation to Kos Island, Greece!

On our second night in Israel my husband asked me if I would like to go to Greece for a week-of course I jumped at the opportunity! The last minute deals from Israel are inexpensive-and very family friendly.


Tigkaki Beach


We stayed at Peredise Family Resort near Kos Town.  This resort is great for families with little kids. We had a suite with a small pool.  There is a large resort style pool on the other side of the property along with a baby room, indoor playroom, playground, kiddie pool, and spa.  We had a free breakfast and dinner buffet included with our room -and the food was fabulous!  We looked forward to each meal-every night had a different theme, and lots of vegetarian options. 

We mostly beach hopped: Tigkaki our first day, Paradise Beach the second day, and a small private beach in Kefalos our last day.  Paradise Beach was our favorite-gorgeous sand and perfect water-hardly any rocks.  There was a restaurant and bar next to the beach that we ordered ice cream and coffee from.  The kids enjoyed swimming, building sand castles, and paddle boarding with their dad.

Back in Kos Town we walked around the pier, Kos Castle, and took a tour on a mini train.  The kids adored every second on the mini train and I recommend it for the first day of the trip as it gives you an overview of the town.  We enjoyed coffee and milk shakes in the town center and shipped for souvenirs in the market.  

What I enjoyed most about the trip was our bonding time with our kids.  Watching the kids get some much needed time with their dad who works long hours as a business owner providing for our family was so special.  I love traveling-the magic of it-the closeness it creates in families.  

Tips on Traveling with Jet Lagged Toddlers

This post is completely about what’s happening in my life right now.  We travelled by plane, train, and automobile to Israel this week in a trip that took 20 hours total.  That’s enough to throw off an adults internal clock-so for sure it’s enough to throw off a toddler’s internal clock.

Honestly, last year our trip was easier when it came to jetlagged. I was traveling with a nine month old baby who still slept quite a bit during the day, and my two-year-old was a terrific sleeper.  The good news is that two-year-old is now still a great sleeper at three years old. However that nine-month-old who used to sleep all the time, he is not doing so great this time around.  Leading up to our trip there were often times he would wake up for a couple hours at home in the middle of the night, wanting something to eat and drink. Now, it’s been five nights in Israel and he is still waking up for five hours at night!  So how do we cope?

1. Take turns napping with your partner.  Right now my husband is taking a much needed power nap, and my 20 month old is taking a mini nap.  He’s exhausted but I want him to sleep through the night so I will wake him up for dinner.  Then he and his father can hang out together until they get tired later on.  I can rest until they need me to help with bedtime later on.

2. Consider children’s melatonin for toddlers and kids.  My friend recently moved with her daughter to the other side of the world and recommended the Zarbee’s brand.  I didn’t bring melatonin with me, and I doubt they have it for children in the pharmacy here (which is something to consider when you travel to other countries-medicines are different). I have second guessed my decision not to purchase some for our trip.

3. Try to keep the first few days easy on your trip so you can get ample sleep.  We travel for a month at a time so it makes it easier for us to take our time to transition. Nap during the day as needed.

4.  Set up your child for sleep success.  Cut day napping shorter, bring favorite blankets and lovies, and play light music when it’s sleepy time.

5.  Allow a couple of days to adjust back after your trip.  Yes we had jet lag both ways on our trip last year.  It took 3 days to catch up.

Remember that no matter what the age traveling opens our eyes and senses to the world. Your child will be so lucky to see and experience the world with you, and you will treasure these memories for a lifetime! Don’t let fear of flying with your child or jet lag keep you from making memories.

Four Fall Sensory Bags 

It’s definitely not fall here!  It’s been over 100° F for the last few weeks! Frankly, we don’t really get much of a fall in Las Vegas. My kids sure don’t experience the fall that I had growing up in Buffalo, New York!

As a child I remember picking apples, raking colorful leaves from the ground and jumping into the pile, and drinking homemade apple cider!  In Las Vegas we try to have fall by going to a pumpkin patch and farms.  With the excessive heat it makes it difficult to really enjoy the day. So I came up with these four easy sensory bags with the theme of fall in mind to allow my boys to experience fall with all of their senses. The best part is they do not require any special supplies, most likely these are items you have laying around the house!

For sight we had the colors of fall through out all of my bags. We had the sound of fall through my tissue paper leaf bag, it sounds like leaves crunching when you squish it in your hand! With every sensory bag project there’s always the sense of touch being included with different textures the children will feel from our squishier to our crunchier bags. Smell could and taste from the walnut sensory bag that we ate the contents of as we made it!

Shaving Cream Sensory Bag

For this bag I focused on the color red, however you can try a different color such as gold or orange to focus on. I filled the bag halfway with shaving cream then added red food coloring.   I squished the bag around to mix the food coloring and shaving cream together until it was evenly mixed. Then I added red glitter. This bag felt like a stress ball. My oldest child loves squishing it. He would not stop squishing it in fact this was his favorite!


Tissue Paper Fall Leaves Bag


For this bag I used half a bottle of orange hair gel that I got at the Dollar Tree. Then I added in brown, green, yellow, orange, and red tissue paper squares. You can also pick these up at the Dollar Tree. They are a huge time saver! Then I added gold glitter and strings of brown yarn. The brown yarn stuck together creating sort a viney-tree trunk effect. Once I closed up the bag and squished it and made the crunchy sound that leaves make in the fall as you walk across your yard.

Cotton Ball Bag

For this bag I again chose red as the main color. I think if I was going to do this project again I would do an orange or gold bag for the shaving cream and keep this one as my red bag. Red is so synonymous with fall. For this bag I added a full bottle of clear hair gel and I filled up the bag halfway with cotton balls. Then I added in some red Pom Poms and strands of red yarn.  Lastly,  a few drops of red food coloring to swirl as the children played with it.

Walnut and Burlap Bag 

This bag is made of used pieces of burlap that I cut into basic shapes like triangles and rectangles. Then I added in walnut halves from my pantry.  The main ingredient is steel cut oats. They look almost like sand. I gave it a nice grainy texture. With this one the children could see different shades of the same color: brown. My oldest son could tell me the different names of the shapes. My youngest son could feel the different textures from the more flimsy burlap to the very hard, curvy walnut halves.

My three-year-old and I put all of these and three bags together in about an hour one afternoon while my 20 month old slept. Both boys had a great time playing with them. In fact they’re still playing with them! One thing I like to do is use clear tape on the top of all of my sensory bags to make sure they stay shut. Another idea is taping them to a sliding glass door or a big window so the kids can look inside of them better and see all the different variations of colors.
I hope you and your children have as much fun as we did with this project. It’s a great project for kids three years old and younger.  Older kids can even make it for their younger siblings!

Fall Process Art Projects for Toddlers

There has been a recent debate in art education about whether we should be focusing on process or product. Process art refers to simply the student focusing on the process of making art rather than the product. Art that is focused on product would result in well-made, well crafted projects that result in a beautiful “product”. 

The three projects we are sharing with you today are process art projects. My boys while making them were not given any guidelines, just materials and free expression.  These three process art projects were crafted with the theme of autumn in mind.

The first project is a yarn wrapped apple. I’m starting to think about teaching Ben how to tie a knot. Just becoming comfortable manipulating yarn or string will be an excellent start I think. So for this project I had him simply weave and wrap the cardboard apple with red yarn.  

In preparation for this project I simply cut out an apple shaped from cardboard. Then I cut slits all around the edge of the apple about a quarter of an inch apart and about a third of an inch long.  To start I taped one end of the yarn onto the back of the apple and began weaving and wrapping the apple while showing Ben how to find the slits and slide the yarn through.  He definitely had some trouble with this. He’s not used to manipulating string or tying. However, he did stay with it for a good 15 minutes working on it and we were able to work on it together to finish the project.

Our second project is a shofar. This project is for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. The shofar is an instrument made from a ram’s horn that is blown ceremoniously to welcome the new year. It was used by the ancient Israelites to call attention in the villages.  In Judaism it is considered a good deed or a mitzvah to hear the shofar be blown in the beginning of the Jewish year.  To make the shofars I simply drew and cut out the shapes from white card stock. Then I had the boys decorate with markers, stickers, and Dobber markers.

When the boys were done I stapled the sides of the shofar together and I popped a piece of toilet paper tube inside with some glue around the outside of the edge so it would dry inside and create that puffed out, 3-D look to our shofar.

Then the boys took the time to pretend to blow their shofars. They had a lot of fun making this project and watching it come together. While this project does have a definite product at the end, the children are focused on the process rather than the product. 


The last project is a collage using tissue paper squares I purchased from the Dollar Tree.  In fact, all of these projects could be made with items from the Dollar Tree.  They have an extensive amount of arts and craft supplies for kids. Most of the items in our art cabinet or from the Dollar Tree.  As we live in Las Vegas we don’t get the fall foliage here. I’m from upstate New York originally and the colors changing were such a part of fall and my childhood.  I spent many falls raking the leaves up and jumping in the pile.  So to give that a fact the tissue paper has a crunchy sound that it makes if you squish it up in your hands. I actually use this concept to create a sensory bag for my boys that I’ll be sure next week in my post. The boys used glue sticks and the tissue paper squares in fall leaf colors to create a collage.  This is a true process our activity. I was hands off. I just showed them how to rob the glue on the paper and press the tissue paper squares down in it. They took it from there.


The boys had a lot of fun making these projects.  They are very proud of their shofars and continue to play with them a week later. I love making handmade toys like that with them.  I hope you’ll try some of these simple, process art projects this season with your toddler! Please share and Pin for future reference.

My Favorite Fall Pins

Fall LeavesYes fall is here, at least in my heart.  Why the rush?  We’re going to Israel for the High Holidays so I miss a chunk of my favorite season and it’s American traditions: apple picking, pumpkin spice everything, and Halloween for a month.  This year we’ll be coming back two weeks before Halloween so I’ll get to feel the holiday a little more.  It is my favorite holiday and the memories of my children these past few years celebrating with me are so precious.

With my early fall celebrations I’ve started pinning crafts, decorations, DIY projects, and recipes to enjoy when we get back.  Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Popsicle stick monster craft.

Craft Stick Monsters - Kid Craft More

2. Metallic foiled pumpkins

Painted Metallic Foiled Pumpkins. It makes your pumpkins stand out and brings a new decoration to the home!

3. Acorn Donut Holes

This acorn donut hole recipe is a fun way to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall!

4.  Speaking of donuts, Maple Glazed Donuts!

Baked Maple Donuts Recipe with Maple Glaze

5. Bronze Pumpkin Stack

You won't waste your $1 buckets on candy when you see her porch trick

6.  For the High Holidays there are so many edible Torahs and Sukkahs!

Design Megillah: Edible Torahs for Children

I have linked all of the images back to the pin so you can explore these ideas.  Please be sure to follow My Petite Picassos on Pinterest for more autumnal awesomeness!

 

 

Baked Chocolate Milk Doughnuts with Nutella Frosting

Chocolate milk is something I should  think about getting stock in.  Ben loves his organic, whole, with vitamin D.  I know it has added sugar, but the good outweighs the bad right now so I let him enjoy his favorite drink.

Another thing he has recently discovered is Nutella.  He loves Nutella on challah bread sandwiches for lunch at camp.  He also likes plain peanut butter sandwiches, but no jelly!

Since starting camp 7 weeks ago he has had so much fun making friends, learning, and he loves his teacher!  He gets so excited for camp everyday!  I love watching  this little learner grow and develope!

Even though he loves camp he has had separation anxiety and when he’s home he wants “momma!” Last weekend he was really dealing with some rough anxiety and was right next to me all weekend.  I thought this would be the perfect time to do a project.  He loves doughnuts and so we made doughnuts!

I have a 6 doughnut pan and this recipe makes 6 baked chocolate doughnuts with Nutella frosting.  I made the batter thin with chocolate milk so I could pipe it into the pan using a gallon sized Ziploc bag.  This is my first attempt at making doughnuts and I must say I was pleased at how they turned out!

donuts

One of the nice things about making doughnuts is that the ingredients are in small amounts-so if you’re being frugal they will stretch into several batches!

This was the first time Ben helped me cook.  Even Adam got into it.  They used spatulas to stir and dumped in the pre-measured dry ingredients.  We counted how many tablespoons of this and scoops of that.  I showed Ben what “half” means using my measuring cups.  Baking is wonderful for math and science.  We also talked about powder, solid, and liquid ingredients.  I really believe that moments like this where I take a little time out of my day to teach makes a big difference!

Ingredients for doughnuts:

Dry

1c. all purpose white flour

1/2t. baking soda

1/2t. baking powder

2tbsp.  baking cocoa

1/4c + 2t. granulated sugar
Wet

2 eggs

2t. melted coconut oil

2/3c. chocolate milk

Set oven to 325 degrees F.  Combine dry ingredients first in a mixing bowl.  Then add wet ingredients until a batter is formed.  Spoon into gallon size Ziploc bag or piping bag and pipe into a sprayed doughnut baking pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Tip:  Do not over fill the doughnut pan with batter, these doughnuts will rise in the pan and you want them to keep their shape.  Allow to cool before frosting.

Frosting:

3 tbsp. Nutella

1c. confectioner’s sugar

1t. Vanilla essence

Mix together, and spoon into a a Ziploc bag or piping bag to pipe onto the doughnuts.

I am not expert piper, so I just went around my doughnuts twice with the icing.  Then I added sprinkles and edible pearls.  You can add cut fruit like bananas or strawberries, crushed Oreos would be heavenly!  Enjoy with a nice tall glass of chocolate milk!

 

The Etiquette of Disciplining Other People’s Children

We’ve all been there: a child throws a toy at your child at an indoor playground or your child pushes a kid on the ground.  Next the parents intervene. The question is how?

Should you get down into a kid’s face it you don’t know and yell at them because they hurt your child?  I would very strongly advise against that.  More times than not your child will be perfectly fine in an hour. Also, the child who hurt your child didn’t mean to do it with a serious intent to harm.  Small children don’t understand the concept of consequences to their actions. Little kids see a toy they like in a sibling’s or friend’s hand that they want and they will hit, push, snatch. Sharing is a wonderful skill to discuss and teach our children at a very young age, however they don’t really start to understand sharing until after they are three years old.  The child who hurt your child was probably simply getting what they wanted. 

If this is a situation where your child is being hurt at a playground or public place you probably don’t know the child. The child could be on the spectrum, having a bad day, not feeling well, or have sensory issues.  These are other reasons why not to aggressively discipline.  By aggressively discipline I mean to discipline with intent to punish.  Yelling, getting in close proximity of a child’s face, shaking your finger, and any form of physical contact would be considered aggressive.  I would not recommend using any of these forms of discipline with children you don’t know.  While I have been known to lift up and separate my children when they’re not getting along I certainly would not want some stranger at the park lifting my sons!

I have been a teacher for 15 years and I was in charge of disciplining other people’schildren in my career. I recommend thinking of disciplining as guiding rather than punishing. In a moment when your child is crying hysterically because they just got hurt and you’re the first person on the scene, I would recommend asking in a firm tone that the other child “Please stop” and take your child away from the situation.  If the child continues to bother your child, then I would just go somewhere else.  Their parents should be disciplining them if you’re somewhere public and this is happening.  If the parents of the other child are not stepping in to help-removing your own child will put a stop to the situation without getting the other parents involved.

Another situation you may find yourself in is that of catching something at school or day care. Teachers are so busy with their students that they don’t always have their eyes on each and every child all the time. You might catch something when the daycare teacher is changing a diaper.  For example, I have seen a child hit another child with a book while the daycare teacher had her back turned.  In this case, I would just let the teacher know. It is their job to handle the situation.  Don’t blame them that they didn’t catch it, they were probably doing their job and meeting the needs of several of their children.

Lastly, if you are in a social situation such as a play date or party where it’s a small group and you know the parents when a situation arises that needs a behavioral intervention I would just let the parents know what happened in a calm voice. I’ve told friends that their child pushed my child. I just left it up to them to discipline their child.   However, if my boys have a friend dropped off at our house and I’m watching while an incident happens I go into guidance mode.  I might tell them “no thank you” and redirect to another activity. I might remind them “We keep our hands to ourselves.” If I see we are having trouble sharing I will change the activity the children are doing (this is a great time for snacks!).  If the other child gets hurt by your child I would definitely recommend letting the parents know upfront, as it builds trust.  

This article has actually been inspired by a recent occurrence I had in which my child harmed a stranger’s child at a playground innocently. He was playing too rough. The parent aggressively yelled in my child’s face. I did not apologize to the parent because I went into protective mode. I understood why she was upset, I was sorry he hurt her children, however my son is only three years old and he’s learning the ways of the world. He makes mistakes and sometimes he plays too rough. I immediately took him away from the play area where the incident happened and kept him away from there for the entirety of our playground trip. He was really upset after this happened and cried for a while because the parent got in his face and yelled. The parent continued to follow us around and glared at us. Please if a child harms your child, at a young age, know that there was not an intent to do harm.  Kids are learning and growing every day.

 I have been on the other end of this when my son was 18 months old and a child at elementary age pushed him.  I was the only parent who intervened. I firmly told the child to “stop” and explained that my son was “just a baby who wanted to play in the same area with him, could he include him?”  The child included my son from that point on.  Their parent did not intervene at all situation and I could tell that child was not familiar with babies. 

If you keep in mind that discipline is really about guiding children and not punishing them you’ll be coming from a positive place and really teaching children an important lesson.  I will make a list below of tools you can use and strategies to handle these delicate situations.

  • Physically remove your child from any situations in which he or she is being harmed.  Don’t yell at other people’s kids while your child is crying.   Protecting your child should be your first priority.
  • If you see a young child not sharing or including your child, walk up to them and introduce your child to them. Say something like “This is Alan, he would really like to play ball with you. Do you think you could play ball with him?”
  • Never touch another person’s child, just focus on removing your child from the difficult situation.
  • Remember that young children are growing, learning, and do not think about consequences. When you approach another person’s child come from a place of guidance.
  • If you know the parents of the child who has been playing too rough with your child, let them know what happened.
  • As a teacher I always used a firm “No thank you” to diffuse situations quickly.
  • Remind children we keep our hands to ourselves and redirect.

Tie-Dyeing Tips for Large Groups


This week at camp my boys tie-dyed for the first time. Growing up this was one of my favorite camp activities! I attended summer camp from the time I was five until I was 15, and even after that I was a counselor.  So seeing my little boys making their tie-dyed napkins at camp was definitely nostalgic for me.

In the past as an art teacher I have done tie-dying for field day. I did it with all 850 of my students! So this advice is for teachers or group leaders that are doing a tie-dye project with a large amount of kids.  I hope these tips and tricks make it easier for you!

  1. Figure out where your T-shirts are going to come from. They need to be white T-shirts. Either the kids can bring them from home or see if there is a budget for these. The PTA might be able to come up with some money for it especially if it’s going to be a huge order of 500+ T-shirts.
  2. There are all kinds of dyesavailable. I recommend buying dye in large bottles rather than small spray kits.  I used old-fashioned RIT dye from the corner market and it worked perfect!
  3. For sizing T-shirts the P.E. teachers held up T-shirt samples to each student as they did attendance and wrote down the size before ordering. This was a lot more efficient than waiting for a written slip from home.  
  4. Have large buckets, rubber bands, and rubber gloves ready.
  5. You’ll need either a tarp or deep sink to place your buckets of dye.  Another option if the weather is good is to work outside on grass.  
  6. Have samples of different tie-dye techniques ready to show the kids.  This is also really good opportunity to practice these techniques!
  7. Have the kids rubber band and fold their T-shirts on their own or with help from an adult.
  8. Place the T-shirts in the dye bath of their choice and once the dye has settled in put the T-shirts in plastic bags with the kids name on it to take home.
  9. Another option is to have the T-shirts placed in plastic bags per class and give them to the classroom teacher to allow dry or wash.
  10. With our T-shirts we used five colors of dye, however red white and blue works great or school colors is another option.  Having limited colors can simplify and streamline the process. I do not recommend asking students to choose which color of dye they want-if you’re working with a huge group like I did that would take a lot of time!

I hope these ideas will inspire other art teachers and group leaders to have fun tie-dying with their students. My students always looked forward to this every year! They wore the T-shirts throughout the year, and they were always excited leading up to this project.  Below I have included some pins for more tips, techniques, and inspiration!



Dealing with Daycare Separation Anxiety

daycare
This past spring I felt that my home business was growing to the extent that it was taking a lot of time away from my children and my personal time. If I wanted to go even further with the business I would need either a nanny or daycare to free up time for me to grow. Over the summer we started sending our boys to our synagogue’s day care program. My older son, Ben, attends services with my husband every week there. So for Ben it wasn’t a new place or new people. For Adam who stays home with me – this was a totally new experience for him.

While I stayed home last year the boys went a couple hours here and there to the day care center at our gym.  So they have experienced a small amount of separation from me. An hour or two a few days a week was the standard amount time away from each other.  I recommend if you are nervous about starting day care with either a baby or a toddler who has never been before start them slowly.  When I was teaching full-time I would typically drop Ben off at the daycare or nanny for a couple hours 2 weeks before the school year started. This way it was not an unfamiliar place when he started going full-time.  This short amount of time that the child spends at the daycare or nanny can also alleviate any separation anxiety for the parents as they transition back into full-time work.  The parent gets to know the teachers or the nanny better, they get used to saying goodbye, and having time without their child.

As we started daycare the first two weeks this summer Ben was really excited, but then separation anxiety did start setting in.  What helped Ben was having some time with Adam in the morning to play and get settled then. So the teachers at the daycare center coordinated a time first thing for the boys to play outside together. This 20 to 30 minutes helped Ben get over his separation anxiety very quickly. This works well if you have siblings or a friend who’s child your child is already friends with.

For Adam, he has always had separation anxiety.  He doesn’t even want to walk into the door in the morning. I simply pick him up and have a routine with the classroom teacher to get him settled in quickly. I lift him into the classroom, hug and kiss him, give him to the teacher, and she takes him over to his favorite toy to distract him immediately, calming him.

I don’t recommend elongating the goodbye, or feeling guilty. If your child sees you feel badly dropping them off at daycare then they will feel that there’s something bad about dropping them off at daycare. If you just keep it quick, happy, and set up a routine they will transition into their day better.  Stick to this transition routine, and stay positive. For a young child like Adam who is only 18 months old and has been home his entire life up until now, a short daycare day is a huge change in his life.

In the morning after I drop off Adam I go to I drop off Ben. I simply give him a kiss goodbye and he starts  playing with his friends. When I walk back past the baby room I peek into Adams classroom and he’s busy happily playing.  Daycare and preschool give parents a chance to teach their child that school is cool from a young age. If you keep it upbeat and positive, they will come around to it being an upbeat and positive experience.  As a teacher, I will tell you that separation anxiety as at its highest during drop off in the morning. Most kids settle into school and have a great day. The following morning the separation anxiety returns. I know that Adam is having a great time playing with his friends, helping his teachers and his room, and is being taken care of while I’m out with him. I don’t feel guilty dropping him off because he cries in the morning. I know he’s going to be okay.  I have seen kids of ages  five or six have terrible separation anxiety in the morning and later during the school day are happily playing with their friends.  The worst separation anxiety I ever saw was from a six-year-old who when I taught her in the afternoon was a complete joy to have in my classroom.  Try to set up a plan with the classroom teacher every day to get your child settled in and comfortable. Work with your classroom teacher or the school counselor if the separation anxiety is extreme.

Another tip I have for older toddlers joining daycare for the first time is when you are home with your child talk positively about the teacher and their friends are making. Our daycare put out a newsletter with photos of what’s happening in the classroom each week, so I gave the photos to Ben and talked about his friends with him when we got home. We talked about how much fun he has playing with them every day. We talked about the fun things he’s learning in school.  Now he loves going to school! In fact,  yesterday he left the school building crying because he had to leave school!

If you’re returning to work immediately after your maternity leave and leaving your child to day care or with a nanny as I did when I left Ben at 4 1/2 months- there was no separation anxiety. Babies don’t understand that we can actually get up and be somewhere else. He went to school every single day for half a year with not a tear in his eye.  He was too little to understand. The older they get, closer to nine months to a year old they start to understand that mommy goes away. Remind them that mommy always comes back. Start with leaving them with dad while you go for groceries show them mommy goes bye-bye and comes back. Take a date with your husband or start daycare in small increments like I recommend. Small amounts of separation can ease a later larger transition.  I believe that consistently separating this past year from Ben helped him get over his separation anxiety quickly, he knows mommy always comes back. As I said that out loud just now he replied “yes.”

Legoland Fun in San Diego

If you follow My Petite Picassos on Instagram you’ll know that we recently went to Legoland, California. We had an amazing vacation and the boys had so much fun!

Compared to other theme parks in SoCal Legoland is really affordable!  We were able to go for $123.99 all together!  We had a Bogo coupon for buy one adult hopper ticket get another one free. Hopper tickets allow you to go in between Legoland and either the aquarium or the splash park. We chose the splash park, however we were only at Legoland one day and we didn’t end up going there.  Kids under three years old are free at Legoland so the boys got in with for free. This was a lot cheaper than last year when I paid $300 a day for myself and my husband at Disneyland. Legoland is not as magical as Disneyland nor as large, but it definitely is a great theme park!

We went on a Saturday in July and while it was crowded it was not overcrowded. We downloaded the Legoland app to find out which rides had the shortest wait time. We only waited a long time for a boat ride. Even though my boys are young toddlers they were able to enjoy a variety of rides and activities. They had several boat rides and cruises through at the same park that the boys could go on, a carousel, a train ride, and little car rides. A lot of the boat rides and such are going past full Lego exhibits such as the Lego towns/monuments or fairytale stories.  I loved seeing Las Vegas made out of Legos, so much detail-they even had a pool party at one of the hotels!

img_9847

It was more challenging to find things for Adam to do than Ben. Ben even got to ride some rides by himself! A lot of rides are appropriate for ages three and up however they do have a whole Duplo Town for little guys . Duplo Town is where we rode the train and there was a large playground.  When my husband to take Ben on rides I would walk around with Adam and take him to the area where you can build with large Legos or go in search of characters. One of the favorite places in the theme park for the boys was the area where they could build Lego cars and race them!

Th hands on activities kept the boys busy for at least 45 minutes to an hour and we found ourselves prying them away to check out rides or get something to eat.