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FREE | November 2019 | KCParent.com | Since 1985

thanksgiving hacks genius ways to make your prep work easier

tips for choosing best pet + CUTEST PET CONTEST WINNERS

FOSTER CARE IN KC

one local family’s story

toy guide

top picks for the holidays


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NOVEMBER 2019

IN EVERY ISSUE 10 Date Night 12 Mojo for Moms 14 Five Things We Love 17 Word from Dad

THANKSGIVING GUIDE, PG. 42

43 Craft Corner 46 Tasty Treats

SPECIAL SECTIONS

FEATURES

24 Party Guide 42 Thanksgiving Guide 52 Calendar of Events

16

22

50

Homework Help

Be Well Guide

Go Explore

Ideas on helping kids with homework at every age

Tips for keeping everyone in the family healthy

Ways to explore the great outdoors even when it’s chilly

Our cover features Hattie from Shawnee and her dog Finn, a rescue. Photo by Swade Studios Photography SwadeStudios.com FREE | November 2019 | KCParent.com | Since 1985

ON THE COVER Foster Care Choosing Family Pets Pet Contest Winners Toy Guide Thanksgiving Hacks

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20 28 30 38 44

thanksgiving hacks genius ways to make your prep work easier

tips for choosing best pet +

CUTEST PET CONTEST WINNERS

FOSTER CARE IN KC

one local family’s story

toy guide

top picks for the holidays


EDITOR’SLETTER NOVEMBER 2019

F

on Dec. 7 at the Muehlebach Tower, followed by performance of

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Publisher Michael Gimotty Michael@KCParent.com Associate Publisher Darrell Dean Darrell@KCParent.com Editor Margaret Sarver Margaret@KCParent.com Art Director Kim Tappan Tappan Design Kim@KCParent.com Advertising Sales Debbie Clark Debbie@KCParent.com Darrell Dean Darrell@KCParent.com Digital Media Manager Kristina Light Kristina@KCParent.com Event Calendar Susan Lynn Calendar@KCParent.com Copy Editor Susan Crainshaw Susan@KCParent.com Distribution To be added to our distribution list, e-mail Distribution@KCParent.com Local Contributing Writers

LOCAL CONTENT

Kim Antisdel (Liberty), Bill Bartlett (Belton), Hannah Berry (Kansas City), Jamie Bosse (Manhattan), Emily Cline (Lenexa), Megan Coffey (Overland Park), Wendy Connelly (Overland Park), Allison Gibeson (Lee’s Summit), Judy Goppert (Lee’s Summit), Lauren Greenlee (Olathe), Amy Hundley (Olathe), Gina Klein (Kansas City), Kristina Light (Kansas City), Emily Morrison (Independence), Andrea Plunkett (Kansas City)

Mailing Address 11936 W. 119th #335, Overland Park, KS 66213 913.782.3238 phone • 913.681.5139 fax

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thanksgiving hacks genius ways to make your prep work easier

500+

tips for choosing best pet +

UNFORGETTABLE ATTRACTIONS

OCTOBER- DECEMBER 2019 | KCPARENT.COM

PTSD from the NICU unexpected aftereffect

FALL FUN

for tiny tykes in kansas city

CUTEST PET CONTEST WINNERS

FOSTER CARE IN KC

one local family’s story

toy guide

top picks for the holidays

ONE DAY IN KC CUSTOM ITINERARIES

LEARN HOW TO DECODE

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TIPS

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SUGAR PLUM FAIRY CHILDREN’S BALL

ive years ago, if you told me I’d own a dog, I would have laughed. Really hard. Because I didn’t grow up with dogs, am allergic to them and don’t consider myself a dog person. But then my younger came along and she really, really, REALLY wanted a dog. But she, too, suffers from allergies and asthma. That didn’t deter her. There are lots of hypoallergenic dogs, she reasoned. I thought I had my ace up the sleeve with her allergist. I told her she could ask him what he thought and that I’d respect his decision (because he was going to say no, I was just sure of it). Well, as you can guess, he said no problem, as long as it was a dog that doesn’t shed. Fast-forward four-and-ahalf years, and I am now a dog person. Truly, it’s one of the best decisions we’ve made. Don’t get me wrong, he can be a royal pain, but he sure has a way of bringing people together. Is a pet right for your family? Gina Klein provides tips for choosing the best pet on pg. 28. And, we recently hosted a “Cutest Pet Contest;” see the winners on pg. 30. Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Ready or not, it’s coming! Olathe mom Lauren Greenlee has some tips and tricks to help ease some of the prep stress. My fave tip? It doesn’t have to be homemade. That’s a good one to remember. If a favorite restaurant’s cooks can make pies that are yummy, then let them. Each year I’m asked to bring pies to our celebration and each year I order them and let someone else do the work. There’s no shame in that game! Whether your pies are store-bought or homemade, I hope you enjoy them and the day!

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Margaret Sarver, Editor

Kansas City Parent Magazine is published 12 times a year by Family Media Group. It is distributed free of charge throughout the Kansas City area. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect KC Parent’s opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission. Kansas City Parent Magazine does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. All photography and letters sent to KC Parent will be treated unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to unrestricted right to edit and comment editorially. KC Parent often includes websites that may be helpful to our readers. We verify each site prior to publication. However, content changes frequently. We encourage you to use caution and discretion when visiting a website.

Postmaster, please send changes to KC Parent, 11936 W. 119th #335, Overland Park, KS 66213

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YOUR LOVE WILL CREATE MORE MOMENTS LIKE THIS.

Your donations drive the innovations available at Children’s Mercy. Like the vagus nerve implant that stopped Natalia’s seizures and kept her hiking with Dad. Learn how your LOVE WILL help more kids by giving today at childrensmercy.org/lovewill.


DATES WITH LETTER B

DATENIGHT

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This month’s roundup of dates is brought to you by ... the letter B! BUDDY HOLLY For an amazing date night, check out New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, which is the largest and most successful theater restaurant facility in the nation. They offer five shows each season, and there is always something for everyone. We especially enjoy the shows with lots of music. In addition to a great show, your ticket also gets you a wonderful dinner buffet. For an extra charge, be sure to try one of their scrumptious desserts. We recently got to see the incredible story of Buddy Holly ... for the second time. Zachary Stevenson, who played Buddy Holly, did a superb job. The overall storyline was similar to the show we had seen a couple of years ago but had some fun changes. So much music and so many feel-good moments! Look for The Buddy Holly Story to return again to the New Theatre. Or try one of their other great shows, such as The Million Dollar Quartet, coming in the spring of 2020.

BIKING SMITHVILLE LAKE Smithville Lake is a 7,200-acre lake in Clay County with 175 miles of shoreline. The area also has 25 miles of paved walking/biking trails. One morning, we loaded up our bikes and headed out for a somewhat leisurely bike ride on the Cabin Fever Trail, which is 15 miles out and back. Neither of us had ridden more than a mile or two for the past 3 years, so our shoulders and thighs were screaming at us about halfway through. Despite the pain and achiness, we really enjoyed the trail because it was in such great condition. Much of it runs along the water, and there are ponds and campgrounds to see along the way. I personally have ridden on a number of paved trails in the Kansas City area, and I thought this was one of the nicest. We will definitely return to ride that one again and to check out some of the others.

BLACK SHEEP + MARKET For a farm-to-table dining experience, check out Black Sheep + Market, located on 39th Street in the Volker neighborhood. Black Sheep is from the same owners as the Farmhouse in the River Market. We recently tried them out for dinner, but we both decided on breakfast food since they serve it all day. We highly recommend the omelets, breakfast burritos and pancakes, which are more like Swedish pancakes than your typical fluffy ones. The entire menu is full of unique items and combinations of ingredients, including their desserts. The great thing about Black Sheep is that they source as much of their food items from local farmers as they can, and this also means their menu changes seasonally with what’s available. We also want to check out their market, which was closed when we visited. It carries locally-grown and sustainably-raised sundries, including dairy products, eggs, local meat, desserts, and more. Hannah Berry is a freelance writer who lives with her husband in Kansas City. They enjoy regular date nights and love trying new restaurants and activities.

FOR GREAT DATE NIGHT IDEAS STARTING WITH THE LETTER A, HEAD TO KCPARENT.COM!


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MOJOFORMOMS mōjō: 1. influence, especially magic power 2. mom joy

MANTRAS FOR MOMS Motherhood isn’t always easy. From the moment we begin nesting in anticipation of our first child’s arrival to the day they fly the nest, having kids can trigger thoughts that mess with our inner peace. Raising kids is an enormous joy and privilege, and at times it’s also frustrating, overwhelming, stressful and exhausting. We moms need as much encouragement as we can get. And when we’re barely getting by and at the tattered edges of sanity, unable to conjure a coherent thought in the fog of fretting and fatigue, it’s helpful to have some threads of wisdom to cling to. And so, fellow Mamas, I offer you these simple mantras.

“I’m exactly the mom my kids need because I’m the mom they have.” So many women feel as if they’re not enough, and this can be amplified in our role as moms. I coach incredible moms who think they’re failing their kids, or believe that their kids deserve a better parent. When you find yourself feeling like you’re less-than and not-enough, remember that you’re exactly the mom your kids need because you’re the mom they have. Enough said.

“This too shall (quickly) pass.” When kids go through those seasons we affectionately call “phases,” it sometimes feels like we can’t catch a break, and our kids will never outgrow these irritating behaviors. But precisely like the seasons and all transient things in nature, children grow and change. When you feel stuck, worried this stage will never improve, take heart and remember: “This too shall (quickly) pass.”

“I am the eye of the storm.” During the swirling chaos of fitthrowing tots, remember this soothing metaphor: I am the eye of the storm. During a hurricane, when gale-force winds wreak havoc with every biting blast, there is one eerily peaceful place, the very center or eye of the storm. Apply this now to tantrums and fits. Instead of jumping into the fray and ratcheting up the chaos of “Hurricane [Your-Kid’s-Name],” take a deep breath, choose to respond rather than react, and be the eye of the storm.

“My kids’ behavior is not evidence of the sort of parent I am.” Why do we cringe when other people give us the stink-eye when our kids act out in public? Usually the reason has less to do with their behavior and more to do with the embarrassment we feel because we think it makes us look bad in other people’s eyes. Very often, though, our kids’ behavior has nothing to do with us and doesn’t reflect what we’ve taught them. Of course they’re acting out and pushing boundaries; they’re kids. It’s a natural step in their development as individuals. Let’s just remember to disentangle our identity and worth from their behavior.

Wendy Connelly, M.Div., is a podcaster (MoJo For Moms podcast), life coach and mother of two from Overland Park. You can find Wendy’s latest podcasts, TV appearances, retreats and more at MoJoForMoms.com.

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FIVETHINGS Sweet Tea

Spot Shot Sometimes my well runs a little dry on things to feature in this column. I reached out to friends for things they love, and our very own copy editor, Susan, shared how she loves Spot Shot. I’m always on the hunt for a good stain removal product, especially on carpets (my nemesis). Susan reports that it’s gotten both old and new stains out of carpet (even the majority of some tar that was tracked in from a roof repair project). I’m sold and on my way to purchase Spot Shot!

5

THINGS WE

LOVE RIGHT NOW

Compiled by Margaret Sarver

B.R.A.K.E.S. There’s no sugar coating it, teen drivers, especially MY teen drivers make me all sorts of anxious. Enter the B.R.A.K.E.S (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) program, a proactive advanced driver course that puts kids through all sorts of situations. Topics covered include panic breaking, crash avoidance, off-road recovery and more. My older took this after a good six months of driving experience, and I highly recommend it. Details at PutOnTheBrakes.org.

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I don’t care for tea (hot or cold), but my husband, on the other hand, loves the stuff. More specifically, sweet tea. Through him, I’ve learned there’s a large difference between sweet tea and tea with sweetener or sugar added. The first is acceptable, the second, not so much. For the real deal, he enjoys McAlister’s sweet tea. It’s made the right way (according to him), and you can enjoy it at the restaurant or pick up a gallon and sip at home. McAlistersDeli.com

Spotify In our family we love music, and Spotify is our service of choice on which to listen. We have the family plan, and it more that pays for itself with how much we use it. Here’s the thing—most days, Spotify just gets me. My “Daily Playlist” made just for me always has the perfect song I didn’t even know I wanted to hear. Slade’s “Run, Run Away” to start my day? Yes, please! Want to hear U2’s “Lady with a Spinning Head” on the daily carpool run? Yes! How did you know? Thanks, Spotify! Spotify.com

Puzzle Time We started a new tradition a few years back having my mom spend an extended weekend with us when she comes to KC for the Thanksgiving holiday. We love tradition and routine in our family, so her visit always includes watching the Macy’s parade and having our first peppermint mocha of the season. She also brings a puzzle each year that we work on during her visit. After some trial and error, we’ve found Springbok puzzles to be the best! Sturdy pieces and great designs! Springbok-Puzzles.com


 



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helping kids with homework

ith a positive attitude and a plan in place, homework can be a rewarding experience for students of any age. Below are tips for helping kids of all ages with homework.

PRIMARY

(kindergarten-second grade) • Routine, routine, routine. For the same reason you establish a strong nighttime routine you should establish consistency when setting your child up for homework success. A routine helps your child know what to expect and can lessen worktime arguments. • Establish a specific time to do homework and be consistent. It’s a good idea to let your child have at least a short playtime after school before hitting the books again. • Select a location. Maybe your child has a small desk she likes to work at, or perhaps sitting at the living room coffee table or kitchen table seems more inviting. Select a homework spot and stick with it. • Be available for help. At this stage, you are going to have to guide kids concerning teacher expectations and work requirements for optimal success. • Mindy Rawlston, a second grade teacher in Overland Park, says the purpose of homework for students this age is to “get students thinking about what they learned outside of the school setting.” Homework time can be a great opportunity to open up meaningful conversations with your child about what’s going on in school.

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UPPER

(third-fifth grades) • Routine is also important at this age, but these older students should have some choice too. Be sure to let them have a voice when selecting the time and location for homework, which can help them feel in control of their time. • Students should be more independent when completing homework at this age, but you’ll still need to be available on an as-needed basis. A good way to be available, but not hovering, is to select a project you can work on at the same time. Maybe you’ve got work to do, emails to send or papers to sort. Not only will you model work ethic and diligence in front of your child, but you may get something checked off your to-do list also! • Focus on the process and not the outcome. Brain-based learning proves that the act of struggling and persevering leads to greater learning than just getting the answer right immediately. Talk to your child about how the process of figuring something out is when our brain grows the most.

SECONDARY

(sixth grade and up) • If you’ve got older students in the house, you should still be aware of their homework load. Be sure to attend backto-school night to clue you in on different teachers’ homework expectations.

• Joseph Cline, a high school teacher in Overland Park, says that “juggling different teacher expectations can be tricky, so be sure your middle or high school student has a planner to track assignments and due dates.” Parents, be sure to take a peep at this occasionally, too! • Cline also says that when parents utilize online resources such as gradebooks, Google Classroom and other platforms, this can go a long way in making sure there is solid communication between teacher, student and parent.

HOMEWORK STATION Being prepared always goes a long way! Consider stocking necessary homework supplies near your chosen homework spot. That way, you and your child are prepared for any homework task, which lessens the chance of fizzling out of energy when you don’t have a needed supply. A small rolling cart is a convenient way to store everything for easy access. Here’s the short list of items to have on hand: • Post-its, index cards, notepads, graph paper • Markers, crayons, colored pencils, highlighters • Extra pencils, and don’t forget the pencil sharpener! • Glue, tape and scissors • Atlas, ruler, calculator, math blocks

Emily Cline lives in Lenexa with her husband and 3-year-old son.


WORDFROMDAD

AND THROUGH THE WOODS

“Settle down!” My mother-in-law’s voice cut through the bickering in the back seat of our minivan. “You boys have been fighting and squabbling for the last half-hour, and I’m sick of it. If your mom had acted like that, I’d have pulled off the road and paddled her. Now, be quiet.” I ground my teeth but kept my mouth shut, as did Sandi. Our Thanksgiving trip to see Sandi’s sister, Deborah, for the holiday was almost a spurof-the-moment thing. Sure, they lived near Cincinnati, but we’d made long trips before. However, we hadn’t made a journey of 10 to 12 hours with our two sons, aged 5 and 6, who’d recently been diagnosed with autism. We discarded any misgivings and picked up Grandma at 2:00 a.m. Time to begin our adventure. Almost 12 hours later, we found ourselves immersed in the love of family and stuffed with a wonderful dinner. So far, our plan had worked better than we’d hoped. The next morning, we bade our loving farewells and headed home. The trip started off well enough, but near Illinois, the boys grew restless, and Grandma’s nerves snapped. Her outburst caught me by surprise as we continued west. Sandi and I were still learning about their disability, but Grandma knew little about autism, and she, like many other people, blamed us for a perceived failure to discipline our children. But Sandi placated her mother as she soothed our sons, a minor miracle, while I drove homeward and cooled down. Like every Thanksgiving, I had ample reason that year to offer thanks. In retrospect, I’m especially thankful for not shouting at my mother-in-law, who would pass away four years later. And, I’m more than thankful for not paddling my children whose behavior is still governed by a condition they can’t control. William R. Bartlett lives in Belton with his family.

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Teaching Kids

Kindness M

y bad day was instantly made when a stranger bought my coffee in the Starbucks drive-through line one morning. Two years ago, the sweetest lady decided to pay for my groceries at Target because she “could just tell I was a good mom.” Little did she know, I felt defeated that day, and those were the words I needed to hear. I’ve locked my keys in my car in a parking lot and had a gracious stranger with a shopping cart full of kids hand me her AAA card, no questions asked. In those moments, I realized the most important quality I could cultivate in my son: kindness. It is never too soon to take the time to teach your children the importance of kindness. Small steps will make a big difference as they get older. You may want your son to be a doctor. You might always have envisioned him as a successful business owner. Maybe you dream of him joining the Kansas City Royals. No matter your wishes for your children, teach them to be the “helpers”—encourage them to brighten someone’s day in the simplest ways. They might grow up to be the person who buys a stranger’s groceries. The world needs more of that.

Use positive reinforcement

Start at home. Kids will model behavior, so begin by using kind words. Compliment your toddler’s efforts. Say, “I noticed you tried really hard to pick all those toys up. Good job!” Tell a tot, “Thank you for holding my hand when we cross the street.” Glance over at her in her car seat when you’re at a stoplight and remind her, “You’re being so patient!” Kids pick up on our encouraging tones and enthusiastic expressions. Validate them.

Combat littering

I love going for walks with my 4-year-old. One time while strolling through the neighborhood, I noticed and collected three stray nails. Tip: bring a plastic bag with you on your next walk to clean up what you find along the way. Your little one might notice your kind gesture each time and associate walks with clearing his path. The consistency will model the importance of being kind to our environment.

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Share smiles Not every day merits a great big smile, but sometimes we feel like sharing a smile with a stranger passing by or a close friend we’ve missed. Take the time to smile at strangers when you’re at the store. Smile if the person at Walmart is taking too long in the aisle you need access to. Smile and laugh with your friends during playdates. Your little ones will pick up on the positive energy.

Explore empathy

Although empathy is tough to teach, it can be modeled. Practice sharing feelings with your older kids or teach all of the different facial expressions to your younger ones. Ask them what each expression represents and how it makes them feel. Reassure them it’s okay to feel sad one day and happy or angry another. Exchange compliments  Teachers can incorporate kindness into their curriculum by taking a few minutes each day to practice a compliment exercise. Have the students sit in a circle and toss a ball back and forth among the group. Each time a student catches it, she must think of one nice thing to say about the person who threw it. This teaches kids to look for the best in each other.  

DID YOU KNOW? 70% OF COLLEGE STUDENTS HAVE FOUR OR FEWER DRINKS WHEN SOCIALIZING.

Write a thank you note

Practice writing thank you notes with your kiddos, even your toddlers. Maybe you want to thank a teacher or a police officer. Maybe you want to let your son’s day care center know how much you value their care.

Make a donation

If you’re like me, your house may be cluttered with dinosaur figurines or fire trucks and race cars. Chances are, your child doesn’t play with every single one of those toys. Choose a box to fill with his or her least favorite or outgrown toys and take it to a donation center. Include children in this process. Try to explain where these toys are going and that another child will be so excited to receive them.

Read to shelter dogs

Check with your local animal shelter first to see whether they provide this service. Several shelters would probably love for you and your kiddos to spend quality time with the dogs. At the end of the day, if a boy trips and drops all of his books in the hallway, we want it to be our son or daughter who jumps in to help. We would want the same kindness shown to our kids. Even we adults need a boost some days too. Emily Morrison is a freelance writer, former copy editor, full-time mommy and Disney fanatic who lives in Independence with her husband, 4-year-old son and two dogs.

THE REALITY IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT YOU THINK. Know the facts. Stay true to yourself and act responsibly.

SOURCE: NATIONAL COLLEGE HEALTH ASSESSMENT, FALL 2016 FINDINGS. AMERICAN COLLEGE HEALTH ASSOCIATION. ENJOY RESPONSIBLY © 2018 Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO

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FOSTER CARE IN KC

I

was in the grocery store when I got our first placement call. The agency told me the child’s age, name and gender, and some basic information. She needed a place to go that night. Would I be able to help? I said yes, and two hours later she arrived at our home with her basic belongings. So began our journey into the Kansas foster care system. We decided to foster after hearing about the great need for foster homes. More than 13,000 children are in foster care in Missouri, and in excess of 7,440 children are in the Kansas system. We’d read about some of the children having to spend nights in agency offices or group homes because of a lack of available foster homes, so we decided to take the leap and help where we could. We had no idea what to expect and, not having children, we lacked experience. Kansas has a privatized foster care system, and Missouri’s system is administered through the state. However, both states have similar requirements for foster parents. In Kansas, you can choose between several different agency options, depending on the area in which you live. KVC, St. Francis, TFI and DCCCA are a few of the options. There are some differences among the agencies, so it’s best to research them before starting the process of getting your license. However, if you decide down the road that you want to transfer to another agency, the process is fairly simple.

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After you choose an agency (Kansas) or sign up for the STARS class (in Missouri), both states have fairly similar requirements. For example, both require you to be at least 21 years old, complete a background check and be fingerprinted, and meet basic minimum income requirements. Both states also require you to take a foster care class, which varies in length and amount of time. After graduating from the class, you’ll face home visits and paperwork—be prepared for lots of paperwork! All in all, it took us about six months from when we started the process to when we received our license and could “open” our foster home to children. You are able to set parameters on the type of care you are able to provide. You can provide long-term foster care (lasting typically at least a year, sometimes more); respite care, which is caring for other foster parents’ placements on a short-term basis when they need help; police protective custody care; care for medically fragile children; or one-nights, where you take a child just for the night when you’re not available for a long-term placement. You can also set boundaries about what type of children you are willing and able to care for. Some of those categories have to do with the child’s age, sex, types of behaviors, and medical or physical impairments. During the end of the licensing process, you’ll begin to prepare your home for the child(ren). We made our spare bedroom into the kids room, stocked up on children’s clothes in every size, and got a variety of toys and games. Our support system was a tremendous help and gave us duffle bags, backpacks and boxes of toiletries, so we could make sure that every child who came through our home left with the basic items they should have. Once you’re licensed, you typically receive calls for placement fairly quickly, thanks to the high need. We learned quickly that you can ask as many questions as you can think of, but nothing can really prepare you for the things you will hear and see. You

just have to be committed to doing the best possible job you can for the child. Over our first year of fostering, we had more than 40 children come through our home. Many of them stayed short term for a few nights, and some of them stayed longer. Once we became more comfortable with the process and started feeling more confident in our abilities, we decided to branch out on our age range and take sibling groups.

Regardless of what direction you take in your foster care journey, you will encounter challenges but you’ll find fostering to be one of the most profound and transformative experiences you will have.

We have had children ranging in age from 3 to 16 years old, male and female, with various levels of behaviors. Regardless of the children or how long they will be in your home, the important thing is to offer them stability and treat them like part of your family. That can mean anything from doing laundry for a one-night stay so they have fresh clothes when they leave, to teaching your long-term teenager how to write a resume and apply for jobs, to taking an 8-year-old to a movie for the first time. Having a long-term placement allows the children to be exposed to a stable family life where they can have structure. Long-term placements are particularly important for older children and teens because bouncing from home to home can have extremely negative impacts on their education—and whether they will be able to graduate from high school on time or at all. However, long-term placements may not be for everyone, and if that’s your case, you’ll still find numerous ways to help children

in foster care. If you’re interested in getting licensed but don’t want to commit to a longterm placement, you can offer respite for other foster families or provide one-nights when needed. If you’re not ready to get licensed, you can support foster families by providing child care when needed, helping out with transportation to appointments or just giving moral support. The foster care journey can be draining and daunting, so it’s crucial to ask for help from your support systems when you need it. The kids in care come from every possible walk in life, some having endured unimaginable traumas, all of them dealing with being separated from their families and loved ones. It can be a very scary and uncertain time for them, and being a foster parent allows you the opportunity to step in to support, nurture, protect and advocate for these children while they’re with you. The case outcomes for children in care can be as numerous as their individual stories. Reunification with their parent(s) or families is always the first goal; but other outcomes are also possible—placement with a non-parent relative or kin, adoption, transition out of the system into independent living and others. In foster care, you can’t go in with any preconceived notion about the children or what will happen with their case. The process can be very long and take many twists and turns, and being open to the process is crucial in managing expectations. Regardless of what direction you take in your foster care journey, you will encounter challenges but you’ll find fostering to be one of the most profound and transformative experiences you will have. Making a difference in a child’s life, even if just for one night, makes the whole process worthwhile.

Andrea Plunkett is a licensed foster parent in Kansas City. She enjoys volunteering, traveling and learning new things.

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be well guide

tips to keep your family healthy

W

e all know sickness is a part of growing up, but there are ways to keep those ailments to a minimum.

Encourage hand washing. This may seem like a given, but doctors do emphasize washing your hands as the number one deterrent to sickness and the spread of germs: before meals, after using the restroom, after touching or playing with pets or animals and, of course, after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Also, some research has shown that although antibacterial soaps and chemical cleaners kill bacteria, they also can destroy some of the good bacteria that help keep us healthy. Simple soap and water are plenty fine for hand washing, and try gentle cleaners, including vinegar and water, for household cleanup.

Keep current. Making and keeping routine checkups, including dental and eye exams, helps identify ways to stay healthy, provides the opportunity to receive preventive services and can help detect health problems early, when chances for treatment are better. Vaccinations help prevent many diseases and save lives. Keep track of your and your family’s checkups and vaccinations to make

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sure they stay current. Use stickers on the calendar and make these appointments an adventure. Try making a back-to-school ritual of getting everybody’s flu shots—you all can roll up your sleeves together!

Offer healthy meals and snacks. Research has shown that a healthy diet is truly the foundation of good health. Offering plenty of fruits and veggies and limiting added sugar are simple steps. Eating an unhealthy diet causes inflammation in the body, which stresses the immune system. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to ban all junk food. When foods are forbidden, children will end up craving the forbidden fruit, and this can set them up for eating problems later than life. Don’t label foods good or bad, just use in moderation. For example, when you fix a veggie platter with Ranch dip, add kids’ favorite chips too! Allowing the occasional junk food with meals and at snack times is almost like inoculating kids. Those foods lose their mystique, and your little ones learn to manage them as just another food. Involvement is another twist to try. When you visit the grocery store, have your kids pick out colors they like, for example, tell them to grab everything red. They’ll end up with things like apples, tomatoes, strawberries and red peppers.

A hunt for green can yield celery, lettuce and cabbage. Then have the kids help prepare the finds.

Give a daily probiotic. These live bacteria and yeasts are good for your health, especially your digestive system. They’re often called good or helpful bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. Recent research suggests a link between probiotics and the immune system. Try those gummy probiotics every day. They also can boost the body when given at the beginning of any symptoms kids show.

Play and exercise. The fact has been proven that children don’t exercise like they used to, thanks to all the video games and cell phones at their disposal. This is a major cause of childhood obesity and illness. Pediatricians recommend old-fashioned play, which means tech-free time. Shoo your kiddos outside at least once a day when weather permits. Or join a family fitness center and swim together, play basketball and try a fitness class.  

Keep them home when they’re sick. When a fever or cold comes on, taking it easy for a few days greatly boosts your son’s or daughter’s chances of a quicker recovery. Plenty of rest, fluids and TLC can do the trick.


A child who continues to go to day care or school could catch a secondary infection or even spread the virus to other children.

Stay mentally healthy. The American Academy of Family Physicians has noted that poor emotional health can actually weaken the immune system, which leaves children more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. Don’t instantly say, “It will be ok,” or “Don’t worry.” Instead, let your child talk while you listen. Never make fun of even the smallest problem. Instead, say something like, “That sounds like it was really hard,” or “I’m sorry you’re going through this.” Whatever your child’s age, stay in tune with him. If you notice him sleeping more, picking at his food or having trouble sleeping, schedule me-time together. Sometimes, all kids need is to be told they are loved, they are smart and they can handle anything. Give them a “superhero” mentality!

Live a smoke-free life. Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are harmful to you and your family.

Be smoke-free during pregnancy to help prevent premature birth and other health problems. Stay smoke-free to help lower your children’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), bronchitis, more severe asthma, ear problems and pneumonia. You can help protect your children by making your home and vehicles smoke-free too. Quitting smoking is the single best way to protect your family.

Make sleep a priority. The importance of sleep to your children is high. Sleep helps their bodies restore and repair themselves. When they are sleepdeprived, they are, in fact more susceptible to germs and viruses. As a parent, you can model good sleep habits. Everyone should start to wind down at a certain time. Set a timer for when you should turn off cell phones, computers and other devices. When my children were young, I did not allow a TV in their room. They are both grown now and have told me they appreciate it. They didn’t like it then, but they understand now why their mom did it!

Your responsibility to your children begins the second they are born. As their parent, you know them the best. Their smiles, their hobbies, their favorite things to do and their hearts. Keeping them healthy has been your priority their entire lives, whatever their age. Together, you can make sure they are physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. These are some tips to simply take in stride and tailor to your own family’s needs.

An avid outdoors girl, Judy Goppert lives in Lee’s Summit and enjoys all seasons, especially summer. She enjoys drawing on her personal experiences to write about the nuances of everything wonderful about life. As always, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns.

Sources: Parents.com, CDC.gov, HealthyChildren.org.

kcparent.com november 2019

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25


LET THEM W ! e t a

Cre

Creative Ways to Spark a Child’s Imagination

Have TONS of artwork from your child and nowhere to display? Head to KCParent.com for creative ways to show off your kids’ masterpieces.

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kcparent.com november 2019

e must teach our children everything. Even though we are told—or maybe just expect—that children have these grand imaginations, sometimes they need some inspiration or springboards to get them started. Many times, they need a chance to be bored and a box of potential for some time to create. On the flip side, most of the time my mind feels like it has a dozen browser tabs open, so it’s helpful to have some fresh ideas to pull from to help me help my children have the opportunity to be more creative. With the younger crowd, availability is key. Everything is still new and fresh for them because they haven’t used crayons, markers, paints or play-dough before! Keep handy an art bin filled with different art supplies and paper, and they should be set. To keep things fresh, cycle in some stickers, glue sticks, stamps, pipe cleaners and tape. Pinterest has a lot of ideas on invitation tubs that rotate throughout the week for your child to discover either in the morning or after a nap. Bins can hold different types of blocks, dressup clothes, dinosaurs, musical instruments, or even feature sensory items such as water beads, kinetic sand and play-dough. Another way to keep those imaginations growing is to try new and unusual ways to be creative. Let them tape paper under the table and draw lying on their backs, or use window markers to decorate the windows. Create a challenge for them such as drawing something that begins with each letter of the alphabet or using a Lego book to inspire new creations. Sometimes, simply a change of scenery can spark creativity. Take some notebooks and colored pencils and have a picnic in the backyard or a park while you create. You can also employ unusual materials, like apples or potatoes as stamps or even things destined to leave your house. KC Parent’s digital media manager, Kristina Light, suggests, “My girls love to ‘play with the recycle bin.’ I’ll let them peruse whatever they find in the bin to make things. My second daughter loves to make mini-villages from the recycle bin using Pringles cans as a tower, cereal boxes for the cardboard, and other items for turrets and bridges. The nontraditional craft supplies are endless!”


Allyce Trusheim, mother of two and elementary art teacher, says, “When boredom strikes, creativity takes over. Let your kids be bored; you’ll be amazed at what they find to occupy their time. My kids frequently find ways to reinvent the items destined for the garbage or recycling bins.” Sometimes, kids just need us to show them how to be creative. If we take a few minutes to show them how to do something or use a new art supply, then they can take off on their own. “When I was teaching, I noticed confidence and creativity tend to go hand in hand. When I was teaching writing, the class would completely prewrite, write and illustrate a mini-book together. Then I would get them started on brainstorming their own version and send them on their way! When they had done it before, they could be creative in what the story was since they knew how to do it,” says Amanda Wetterson, mom of two and former teacher. “Now, when I take the time to make something with my own kids, like drawing a huge golf course for example, they will then snowball off of that idea on their own for a lot of projects.”  

Along the same lines, if your children are a little older and past the coloring book stage, let them find some drawing tutorials online or watch a cooking show and be inspired to try their hand at something new. We often lump technology under the screen time category, but allow your kids the opportunity to be creative with technology. Let them type their story or a play, let them take and edit digital photos, or encourage them to make their own movie. Music is another creative outlet older children may take interest in. Parents generally dread the year the recorders come home, but music is a wonderful way for children to try new things and express themselves. If you’re up for it, let them try some music lessons for piano, voice, guitar or violin. Look into instrument rentals before a big investment in case your child loses interest and wants to try something else instead. My older two children began lessons when they turned 5 and practiced (almost) daily. My daughter added guitar about three years later.

As parents, we need to take a minute of our time to invest in teaching our children a new way to be creative or setting up a new bin of inspiration to allow for (hopefully) an hour or so of letting their imaginations run wild. Teaching children trial and error and that practice makes perfect can show them they can actually do things if they put their minds to it, a realization that builds confidence that will help in all areas of their lives. “Don’t be afraid of messes,” Trusheim says. “Creativity is a messy process!” If you’d prefer a break from the creative messes, check out Kaleidoscope, Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City, or sign your child up for some creative classes through your local rec center. You might also check out a make-your-own pottery place like Paint Glaze & Fire Ceramics and Coffee House in Overland Park. Stephanie Loux is the mother of Layla, 9, Mason, 7, and Slade, 4, and enjoys crafting with her children but still needs to breathe through the mess that comes along with it most days.

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choosing the

best pet

for your family

A pet is like a child, and owning one should never be an impulsive decision.

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“I want a puppy!” “I want a kitty cat.” “Can I get a hamster?” Ah, the infamous words ring from the mouth of nearly every child out there. We’ve all heard it—and if you haven’t yet, you probably will in time. Although the thought of our kids’ loving on animals and wanting to add one to the family is heartwarming, getting a family pet is something that needs to be planned properly. The task may seem fairly easy but it can actually be quite tricky. Planning for a pet involves way more than just agreeing on what type of pet and who will feed it. Be sure to do your homework. In many ways, a pet is like a child, and owning one should never be an impulsive decision. It’s a lifetime commitment, and one that everyone must be comfortable with. Although your kiddo may have a puppy, ferret or fluffy cat in mind, remember that not all animals are kid friendly. Some may be

aggressive or high energy (prone to biting or scratching), while others are easily frightened or skittish. And let’s not forget about allergies. Some family members may be allergic to certain animals, so it’s best to rule that out before finalizing an adoption or sale. When considering which pet is right for you and your family, here are a few more things to think about: n Do you currently own a pet? If so, how will this pet behave with another one around? Try to introduce your pet to the potential newcomer before you make the commitment. This will tell you how they’ll interact, and if you’re still unsure, ask your veterinarian. Like humans, animals can be very selective in who they want to be around. n What qualities do you want your pet to have? Make a list with the family. Do you want a pet that’s easy to care for? A pet that’s snuggly and a great lap warmer? One that will play with toys? One that doesn’t shed? A pet that doesn’t need a lot of exercise or playtime?


n

Is this the right time to add a pet to your home? If there is a new baby in the house, or if you and the family plan to travel or move soon, the time is probably not right to consider a pet. A new pet will need time to adjust and get comfortable with its new home and routine. n Decide who will be responsible for all of the duties required to care for the pet, such as cleaning the litter box, feeding, bathing, nail trimming, walking, etc. Is everyone ready for the responsibilities? n How much time do you have to spend with the animal? If your house is empty eight hours a day, a puppy or kitten isn’t a good idea since they require a lot of extra care, attention and training. Older cats and dogs, however, can make great friends since they can usually spend more time alone. This is good if parents work all day and kids are at school. Plus, older pets are often already trained and much calmer. n Who will care for your pet when you travel? Is there a family member, friend or neighbor who can look after your pet while your family travels? If not, check into boarding facilities in your area and compare prices. Traveling without your pet and paying for pet sitters or boarding will definitely add to the cost of owning an animal.

its tail when it greets you, but a fish can still provide entertainment and teach children about responsibility. You and your little ones can enjoy feeding or adding water to the bowl together.

birds

dogs

They’re the classic family pet. They’re soft, warm and loyal, but which pups make the best pets for children? Generally, mixed breeds are more laid back and easygoing than purebreds. Larger breeds are also often more tolerant of a toddler’s rough play than their counterparts. Smaller breeds tend to nip and bark more. But every dog is different, so it’s best to spend time with the pup you’re considering to be sure she will fit in well with your family. Before bringing any dog into your home, be sure to get as much information on it as you can from the shelter or breeder.

Still on the fence about what kind of pet would fit in with your family? Remember, there are pros and cons to every type of animal. Not every family should own a dog, so here are some helpful tips on what you can expect with some of these more popular first-time pets:

cats

fish

A fish is always a great starter pet for households with little ones, especially if you choose a type that’s low maintenance, such as a betta fish or goldfish. No, it won’t wag

You may think a kitty cat would make the perfect pet, and while that may be true, remember that cats are less tolerant of a small child’s roughhousing. Some cat breeds, however, are more kid-friendly than others, such as Maine coons and Persians. So, do your research before you bring home the first cat you meet, and make sure there are no allergies.

If a four-legged pet is out of the question right now, you may want to consider a domestic bird. A bird can entertain everyone from inside its cage. Be sure to choose a kid-friendly breed, though, like a playful parakeet or conure. Remember to keep the cage out of reach when you aren’t around and teach your little ones to keep fingers out of the cage.

guinea pigs

Not fond of fish or birds but need a low upkeep pet? A pet guinea pig might be a good choice! They’re cute, cuddly and they rarely bite. They are, however, small and more delicate than cats and dogs, but not as fragile as hamsters. For this reason, some experts don’t recommend them for kids under 6. If your family decides on a pet guinea pig, be sure to always supervise your child when he’s playing with it, and don’t let him carry the guinea pig around because he could easily drop it. No matter what type of pet you decide on, always be sure to check out local shelters and rescues first. So many animals have been given up (even guinea pigs and birds) and need new, loving homes!

Kansas City mom and author Gina Klein resides with her husband, two daughters and a houseful of amazing pets. There’s never a lonely moment in her home! kcparent.com november 2019

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MAGGIE

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Tip 1–Cut down germs naturally With cooler weather, shorter days of sun, more sugar, large crowds, comes “cold and flu season.” It’s the perfect time to remind your kids how to cover their mouths when they cough, how to wash their hands properly, and when you’re on the go, it’s nice to have a waterless option that works and is safe for sensitive skin. We’ve been using Young Living’s Thieves Hand Sanitizer for years and love how it works without harsh ingredients and doesn’t dry out our hands. We also use Thieves spray or wipes when we travel and go shopping (goodbye sticky, germy cart handle and tray tables.) We spray all the handles, knobs, toys, and surfaces more liberally with Thieves cleaner concentrate-best bang for the buck as it makes up fourteen 30 oz spray bottles for only $22.

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Tip 3–Curb Cravings Stress can add to the cravings and lower resolve so I keep a stash of Thieves Lozenges in my purse, on the counter near the pantry, and on my bedside. The added benefit of popping a lozenge, besides fighting off cravings, and freshening breath, is it is infused with Thieves essential oil, which has ingestible vitality oils like Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary, Clove, Lemon, and Eucalyptus-as well as the addition of Peppermint oil, which all have been shown in studies* to be beneficial for overall health. We also keep pouches of Ningxia Red antioxidant drink handy for that midafternoon slump, it’s caffeine-free, naturally sweet, and low glycemic. This time of year, we can ALL use a little extra help! Hop on our website TheOily HomeCompanion.com for some tasty “healthier” recipe alternatives and a Holiday Hospitality guide to help you through the before, during, and after of this upcoming season. Looking to order any of these products but not already a YL customer? Contact us so we can help.

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glow like candles would, without toxic chemicals and carcinogens.* Young Living has options that make your home smell fresh, clean and set a mood that your family walks into each day. Diffuser recipes can transform your room into a bakery, a peppermint factory, or a tropical oasis in the middle of a blizzard. Tame those witching hours with your babes and sleep in heavenly peace by diffusing calming oils like Lavender or Young Living Calm oil or Gentle Baby oil. Kick your morning up a notch by diffusing uplifting oils like Peppermint, Motivation oil, or Enrgee oil. Add Thieves and R.C. oil blend to the diffuser for a Wintry night time boost while you rest. Diffusers will become your favorite friend! Leather jewelry, USB diffusers, felt pads, scarves, and cotton balls also make diffusing your favorite oils convenient on the go.

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THE BENEFITS OF

VOLUNTEERING

TOGETHER AS A FAMILY Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – DR. SEUSS (THE LORAX)

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. – ALBERT EINSTEIN

J

uggling work, school, errands and everyone’s social lives is a real challenge in today’s families. The whirl of activity can catch us up into our own world and all the things we need to do, causing us to neglect those who are less fortunate. Sadly, statistics show that only one in four Americans spends any time volunteering. However, carving out time for occasional volunteer work can be infinitely rewarding and is so important to teach kids about from an early age.

TOGETHERNESS One benefit of volunteering as a family is that it allows for meaningful quality time together because it involves communication and teamwork. And that, in turn, can help build stronger bonds. Kansas City, MO, mom Dot Beckham says that it’s “great bonding” time and “the kids really do enjoy serving together.” Also, when you volunteer together as a family, you put screens and their distractions aside. An added bonus is that volunteer work is an inexpensive family outing. Having quality time together and helping others is a win-win.

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INTROSPECTION Doing charitable work provides ample opportunity to teach kids and teens how others may have much less than they do and to be thankful for what they have. It shows them what it means to make a difference and to build community. It helps instill traits such as selflessness, gratefulness, generosity, awareness and empathy. Olathe mom Deb Clegg says she and her family like volunteering because it allows them to take the focus off themselves and put it onto others. Kansas City, MO, mom Tiffany Koontz and her daughter recently helped out at Harvesters in the BackSnack program, which involves packing backpacks with nutritious food for kids to take home on the weekends. Not long after, Koontz’s daughter noticed some kids at school receiving those backpacks. She found it encouraging to see directly the difference she was making, and Mom says it was a good reminder to her daughter of all the luxuries she has.

LEARNING Volunteering allows kids (and often parents) to develop new skills, everything from cooking, construction work and gardening to organization, management and

problem solving. Likewise, volunteering can help you learn new social skills and improve upon existing ones. Clegg says she loves “seeing the talents in [her] kids come out in fresh ways. Their leadership, creativity, obedience, patience and compassion grow each time.” Volunteering teaches kids and adults how to be more comfortable in their own skin and gives them the courage to leave their comfort zone. Charitable work also helps instill a good work ethic and boosts self-confidence and self-esteem. It may lead to new friendships for both parents and kids. For older teens and college students, philanthropic work looks good on college applications—and on resumes too! In fact, 60 percent of hiring managers see volunteerism as a valuable asset when making hiring decisions. Volunteer work can also offer a chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment.

MEMORIES One unexpected and often overlooked benefit of volunteering is making memories. Beckham says that her kids “always talk about it after, things that happened, things people have said, the experience.” Charitable work is a prime opportunity to make unforgettable


memories. One way that many families do this is volunteering together around the holidays. And it’s not always just immediate family but extended family as well. Instead of having a big meal for Thanksgiving, why not volunteer together at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter? Or instead of buying gifts for each other for Christmas, why not adopt a needy family and buy gifts for them instead? My own family has done this, and we still talk about how fun it was when we shopped for the gifts together. Plus, we all felt so blessed afterward. Another way to make memories with charity work is to go on a missions trip as a family with your local church or take a humanitarian trip with any number of great organizations. Traveling and being immersed in different cultures always leads to memorable moments.

HEALTH BENEFITS Philanthropy is really beneficial for your mind and body. It releases all of those feelgood endorphins. Not only is it fun, but it leaves you with a smile knowing you have helped others with a job well done. As Helen Keller famously said, “The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.’’ Volunteering helps combat stress, anxiety, anger and depression because it allows for meaningful connection with others. Volunteering also provides a sense of purpose, keeps you physically healthy and aids in mental stimulation. Research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health indicates that volunteers spent 38 percent fewer nights in the hospital than non-volunteers. Other research shows that people who volunteer 100 hours or more a year are some of the healthiest (and happiest) people in the United States, and their mortality rate is lower than those who do not volunteer. Human beings are hardwired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel. Being a blessing to others results in being blessed yourself. Koontz likes knowing that she and her family are “doing [their] part to make the world a better place.’’ Hannah Berry lives in Kansas City and enjoys giving her time to various nonprofits around the city.

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teaching kids about money when it is

INVISIBLE

D

aily we are reminded of how financially troubled our society is. Debt levels are extremely high, bankruptcies are commonplace and many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Even folks with great careers and six-figure incomes have trouble managing a monthly budget and being prepared for emergencies. How did we get here? Well, for starters, adults today were never taught about finances in school, so what we did learn we picked up from our parents or friends, and the rest we learned through trial and error. For kids today, the same circumstances exist, but learning finances is even harder navigate because money has become almost completely intangible. Young kids today seem to have no concept of money or how it works. All they see is Mom and Dad swiping a card at Target or pushing a button on their phone, and then Amazon boxes full of stuff just magically appear on the doorstep. So how do we teach kids about money when it is invisible? We must be intentional about teachable moments and creating them where we can. We need to put our kids in scenarios where they make and manage their own money before they are out in the real world. We want them to learn and make mistakes while the stakes are lower so they don’t get into trouble as adults. First of all, parents need to create a “payday” or “allowance” for kids to

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practice handling money. Whether the pay is tied to chores or not is up to you, but every resource I’ve seen on this topic shares the theme of teaching kids to work. Kids who don’t understand the value of work grow up to be entitled, unhappy and incapable of facing a challenge or managing money on their own. As with most things, the sooner you start the better. Kids as young as 3 to 5 are very interested in money and can grasp basic concepts: You need money to buy things, money is earned by working and sometimes you have to wait to get what you want. Children are sponges eager to soak up information. They want to know about money, mainly because money can lead to new stuff (they love stuff!), so use their curiosity to your advantage. You can start paying them for short, simple chores in cash and let them spend it on what they want. They will begin to understand how much things cost and learn that money is a finite resource.

Kids as young as 6 can grasp the concept of saving, and by 13, they probably have some specific things they want to save for—cool shoes or jeans, phones, tablets or other devices. If philanthropy is a value you want to pass down, you start teaching them to give at this age. Begin the habit of dividing each paycheck up into what kids will give, save and spend. By the time they are 14, they should have a checking account and be paying for most of their expenses themselves. You simply take the amount that you would normally spend on them for entertainment, clothing and other needs and put that in their checking account each month. Let them manage it. If they spend all their funds on a pair of designer sneakers in the first week and have no money to go to movies with friends later, they will have learned a valuable lesson and will do better the next month. If they feel they need more money than what is allotted each month, encourage them to figure out how to make more. They can babysit, dog walk or get a real part-time job to supplement their income. This will teach them grit, independence and a can-do attitude. When they are ready to leave the nest, you want your kids to have some work experience and understand they can’t have everything they want right when they want it. You want them to be comfortable handling money and know how to think ahead to make their paycheck last. As with most things, the sooner you start the better. If you can engrain a behavior early on, the better it will stick. Kids who grow up with a good education about money, with healthy financial habits, will grow into adults who are less likely get stuck in a dangerous debt cycle, are better prepared for emergencies and have the surplus to give to charity and support their communities.

Jamie Bosse, CFP, RFC, is a financial planner at Aspyre Wealth Partners. She is a mother of four and author of the children’s book Milton the Money Savvy Pup: Brings Home the Bacon.


Marty the Martian, the Library’s mascot, will be celebrating his fourth Earth birthday and the Grow A Reader early literacy program throughout the month of November at a Mid-Continent Library branch near you!

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kcparent.com november 2019

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the

Consistent

parent

Being a consistent parent is hard. Full stop. It takes enormous amounts of thought and intention, and you will most assuredly have moments where you fall short.

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I

n some ways, being a consistent parent is simple. We consistently eat pancakes every Sunday and order pizza consistently from Manny’s every time we get a hankering. But what about all the other areas? The harder ones. The consistency opportunities that sometimes result in tears and tantrums and sleepless nights wondering whether you’re doing it right? Here are five ways you can start to be more consistent with your children today and tips to stay consistent with those efforts. And remember, practice makes perfect. (There’s another word for that, you know. It’s “consistency”.)


Consequences

We may as well start with the hardest one, right? Consequences are the absolutely most difficult thing for me in relation to the constancy department. My intentions to be strong and sturdy and foreboding are always there. But darn it if my toddler doesn’t have eyes bluer than the deepest ocean that he can bat better than Babe Ruth could ever dream. I often find myself throwing out a ridiculous threat in absolute frustration without ever thinking it through. “If you kick your sister one more time I am throwing your Buzz Lightyear in the trash!” I can picture my child laughing at me as I say the words. Who am I kidding? He knows I’m not going to do that. That stupid plastic extravaganza cost $25.00, and he needs it for his best friend’s Toy Story birthday party next week. My threats have no backbone, and sometimes, neither do I. When doling out consequences for actions, consistency is paramount. If a child hears the promise of a consequence, but finds a way to slide out of it, then it isn’t a consequence. It’s simply words that a red-faced adult is screaming at him … and he will give it no credence. Conversely, an intentional and clear promise of a consequence that is consistently carried out is taken seriously. Your child should know that if you threaten to leave the movie theater, you are willing to leave the movie theater, wasted money and all. Plain and simple. No wiggle room. The faster you can demonstrate that immobility, the more seriously the kids will take you.

A United Front

Okay, so you’ve got a handle on consequences and promises you make. But will your spouse crumble under the pressure if you’re not around? Don’t give your kids the chance to test that theory out. Sit down with your spouse today and decide together what consequences will be given for behavior that is unacceptable. If your teen missed curfew and knows Dad will get angry but Mom will definitely take the car away, guess which parent she’ll hit up to make an exception just this once? Don’t let your children divide and conquer. Be

resolute in your decisions as a parenting team. If one of you feels weak, share that with your partner and let the other be the strong one for that time. That isn’t to say that one parent should always be “the bad guy,” but it’s okay to admit when you need the support to carry out the promises you’ve made.

Chores and Responsibilities

If you haven’t set very clear expectations and responsibilities for every member of your household already, you need to start today. You are a parent, not a maid. The earlier you teach your children they are expected to be a contributing member of the family, the likelier they will grow to become a contributing roommate in college, contributing employee at work and contributing spouse in a marriage. While this all sounds well and good, know that kids are crafty. As a child, I once weighed the odds of skipping my Saturday chores in the desperate hopes my parents would forget and I’d be off the hook for one more week. So I gave it a try and I can tell you that not only did they notice, but also that the consequences were absolutely not worth it. From that moment on, my chores were done on time and on point. Only one instance of you throwing up your hands and taking on (yet another) chore for yourself officially moves the job in your kid’s eyes from their responsibility to yours. Don’t take the bait. Create a list of tasks for each member of the household and assign each task a deadline. Then clearly communicate the consequence that will be given if that task is not completed. Your daughter didn’t take out the trash by Monday at 8:00? Sayonara, cheerleading practice. Hopefully, she’ll learn for next week! Full disclosure: Remaining consistent with this is so incredibly hard. It’s easier to heave a huge sigh and just unload the dishwasher yourself. But by allowing inconsistency, you are weakening your child’s ability to function properly in the real world. You wouldn’t want to shortchange him, would you? And really, you don’t want to unload the dishwasher anyway.

Let the good times roll … for a while

In your children’s lives, they will encounter boring times, sad times and downright awful times. Take heart and know that negative experiences help children be grateful for the good times. Difficulty bolsters their empathy for other people and gives them an understanding of something beyond themselves. All that said, the temptation is incredibly great to consistently create a world of wonder. But before you mow over every hurdle and hiccup, take a step back and consistently evaluate your child’s experiences. When was the last time she solved a problem on her own with zero help from you or a sibling? When was the last time he was bored and found a way to entertain himself? When did your kids last read a book cover to cover because it was just so good? Children who are consistently led to think for themselves and create excitement independently will thrive. They won’t give up quickly. They will become resilient. Remember that, and chickity-check yo-self with the “here, let me help you with that” mentality. Consistently remind yourself you are raising a lifelong learner, and even the best learners must fail a few—or maybe even several—times. Being a consistent parent is hard. Full stop. It takes enormous amounts of thought and intention, and you will most assuredly have moments where you fall short. Know that parenting is a learning process, and that consistency does have to have an opposite: flexibility. There is a way to have a healthy balance of both. Understand that if you haven’t lived the most consistent life as a parent, there’s always time to change. Communicate what you’re doing and why, and your family will appreciate the effort. They may not like the changes right away, but you’ll stay steadfast and consistent, and you all will reap the benefits.

Kim Antisdel is a freelance writer and interior design sales rep for KC. She lives in Liberty with her husband, stepdaughters and toddler son. kcparent.com november 2019

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GUIDE best finds for the holidays With the holidays approaching, it’s time to think about toys! The folks at National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA) have had a fun year unboxing, testing and playing with lots of toys and other family products. Here are the best of the best for this year.

By Elena Epstein, NAPPA Awards Director

Moving Creations with K’Nex

Fun & Learning Coding Critters These interactive pets introduce preschoolers to critical thinking, problem-solving and other STEM skills with the help of fun playsets, storybook coding adventures and two interactive modes. $39.99, 4+, LearningResources.com

Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit Combines hands-on play of Friedrich Froebel’s and Maria Montessori’s manipulatives with advanced computer vision for a personalized and highly engaging experience. $79, 3-5, PlayOsmo.com

Color Chemistry Arctic Lab STEAM-infused, playful experiments exploring color, texture and temperature. Set includes materials and supplies to do 15 experiments right out of the box. $24.99, 7+, Shop.Crayola.com

Botzees An augmented reality robotics kit that combines construction, coding and creativity. Kit contains 130 uniquely shaped, easy-togrip blocks. $99.99, 4+, Pai. Technology/botzees

Learn to apply STEM principles just like an engineer with this kit that includes nine different builds, 18 STEM experiments and “Think Bigger” challenges. $39.99, 8+, Hand2Mind.com

Smart Sizzlin’ BBQ Grill Attach the food pieces on the skewer, and the grill will recognize each piece while introducing food and colors. Turn the skewer lever to count along from 1 to 10. $39.99, 2+, LeapFrog.com

Design & Drill Space Circuits With 20 different space-themed missions, kids create circuits that really work. $49.9, 6+, EducationalInsights.com/design-drill174-tech-space-circuits

Collectibles Blume Dolls that mix imaginative, over-the-top hairstyles with an awesome blooming effect for a surprising toy “reveal.” $9.99, 5+, BlumeDolls.com

Hatchimals Pixies Feature super glittery hair, wiggling wings, poseable heads and sculpted fashion inspired by their Hatchtopia homes. $9.99, 5+, Hatchimals.com/en_us

Jurassic World Snap Squad Assortment Featuring fan favorite dinosaurs with mouths that open to “snap on” to backpacks, lunch bags and more. $4.99, 4+, Target.com

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Pinata Fiesta

JAKKS Pacific Character Tents

There’s a party in every piñata. Surprises include charms, bracelets, rings and tons of confetti! $7.99, 4+, Jakks.com

Twist, pop and play technology that pops up and folds up in minutes. $19.99, 3+, Jakks.com

Shopkins Real Littles

Robo Alive Ice Blasting Dragon

Miniature versions of real iconic brands with a matching Shopkin inside. $9.99 (Lil’ Shopper Pack) ages 4+, MooseToys.com

They walk, roar, breathe fire (or ice) and gnash their teeth! $24.99, 6+, RoboAlive.zuru.com/

Disney Junior T.O.T.S. Nursery Headquarters Playset

Game On! Pick Me Up, Piggy! Tell stories to improve language skills, remember where to find hidden farm friends, take turns and work cooperatively to win the game. $19.9, 3+, Mindware.OrientalTrading.com

Disney Villainous: Wicked to the Core Discover your unique abilities while dealing twists of fate to your opponents. $24.99 Ravensburger.us

Meltdown The ooey-gooey game of skill. Stack cubes on the putty goop that shifts and moves. $17.99, 7+, PlayMonster.com

Butts Up A fun twist on musical chairs. Fess up about things you’ve done, stuff you like and things you wish. $22.99, 7+, PlayMonster.com

Mickey’s Snuggle Time Snuggle up for a calming game that’s perfect for bedtime, nap time or any quiet time. $24.99, 3+, Amazon.com

Imaginative Play DreamWorks Dragons: Hatching Baby Toothless Toothless comes to life inside the egg. Outside the egg, he plays game, moves, roars and purrs. $59.99, 5+, Target.com

Care for these baby animals until they’re ready to be delivered to their forever homes. $39.99, 3+, JustPlayProducts.com

JoJo Siwa Singing JoJo Doll D.R.E.A.M. Sporting her signature double bow, this 10-inch doll sings her newest hit song, “D.R.E.A.M.” $19.99, 6+, JustPlayProducts.com

Croco Jungle Research Station Set off on a research mission and discover rare species, look after injured animals and find the secret treasure. $99.99, 5+, Schleich-s.com

KidiGo Walkie Talkies Keep in touch anywhere with these kid-safe, two-way radios. Include two-player games for real-time gaming between devices. $34.99, 4+, VTechKids.com

American Girl Bowling Alley Fully functional doll-sized alley, complete with lights, bowling sounds and score-keeping. Set also includes a rental counter, bowling balls and shoes, and pretend snacks. $150.00, 8+, AmericanGirl.com

Let’s Pretend Shopkeeper With a chalkboard top, hanging sign and magnetic menu, this setup has plenty of opportunities for personalization. $69.99, 3+, KidKraft.com/us_en

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GUIDE Kindi Kids

Fuzzikins Cozy Cats

Bobble head dolls that invite imagination and come with interactive food-themed accessories. $24.99, 3+, MooseToys.com

Use the included washable markers to color and create your very own animal friends. Then, rinse and redesign. $14.99, 4+, PlayMonster.com

DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free Spirit & Lucky Grooming Paddock Features an upstairs loft to drop hay into the nursery corral and washing station to give Spirit a bath. Comes with one poseable Lucky doll, Spirit horse, one foal and 21 pieces. $39.88, 3+, JustPlayProducts.com

Myla the Magical Unicorn Touch Myla’s wand to the butterfly palette to choose a color, then touch the wand to her eyes, wings and horn to decorate Myla in a variety of colors. Glitters with lights as she talks and sings. $59.99, 4+, VTechKids.com

Zoomigos Pumping up these cute animals is easy, and their see-through legs give inquisitive kids a look at how it all works. Watch them go for hours of unplugged play. $14.99, 3+, EducationalInsights.com

Creative Fun New glam styling tool that allows you to add gems to your hair, clothes and more. $19.99, 6+, WickedCoolToys.com/brands/blinger/

Playfoam Pluffle The Squishologists have formulated a brand new squish-sation that never dries out. $29.99, 5+, EducationalInsights.com

smART Pixelator Design and build 2D and 3D projects using Bluetooth connectivity, easyto-follow lights, and smART Pixel beads, sequins or pegs. $59.99, 7+, SmartPixelator.com

kcparent.com november 2019

Braid beautiful friendship bracelets and necklaces. Load the colorful spools into the machine, spin and create in minutes. $24.99, 8+, CoolMaker.com/en_us

Aquabeads Deluxe Studio Create fun 3D designs with two flip trays. Set contains more than 1,300 jewel and solid beads in 24 colors. $29.95, 4+, AquaBeadsArt.com

SHOP LOCAL Visit FAT BRAIN TOYS in Prairiefire or online at FATBRAINTOYS.COM for tons of great gifts!

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Personalized Name Puzzle A custom name puzzle just for your child! Encourage logic, fine motor skills, name recognition and spelling, and self-esteem.


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kcparent.com november 2019

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thanksgiving

2019

table of contents

43 creative turkey place cards

44 thanksgiving hacks

46 festive & colorful healthy treats

47 pumpkin pie treats

48 express a thankful heart

50 enjoy the outdoors


CRAFTCORNER

Materials Needed: • Brown, red and orange paper (or color white paper these colors!)

turkey place cards

• Black marker/pen • Scissors  • Hershey Kiss candy • Hot glue/regular glue  • Googly eyes

Busy prepping for Thanksgiving dinner? Let your kids help out with table decorations with these fun and simple place holders your guests will love.

Step one: Draw your turkey’s feathers on brown paper and cut out. A scalloped circular shape works well! Step two: Draw the turkey’s wattle on red paper and cut out. Step three: Draw a small triangle on orange paper and cut out for the beak.

Step four: Write the guest’s name toward the top of the brown feathers.

Step five: Glue the brown feathers to the back of the Hershey kiss. Step six: Glue the googly eyes toward the top of the candy, adding the wattle below the eyes and the beak on top. Step seven: Place your turkeys around the table and enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with your family! Megan Coffey is a former kindergarten teacher and lives in Overland Park with her husband and two kids. She loves encouraging creativity with her children through art and play.

Candy Favors

Fingerprint Turkeys

Napkin Holders

For TONS more great craft projects, log onto KCParent.com! kcparent.com november 2019

43


Ah,

Thanksgiving hacks simple ways to prep and celebrate

Thanksgiving! It’s a time centered on family, sweet friends and good food. Take the stress out of your holiday season with these simple tips.

be official Don’t leave it to Aunt Josephine to ensure that everyone in the family receives word that Thanksgiving is at your place this year. Send out invitations with an RSVP request, either the old-fashioned snail mail variety or one in digital form such as an Evite or Facebook event. Not only does this build the anticipation factor for your guests in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, but it also better equips you for meal prep and table settings. After all, there’s a big difference between hosting a meal for 12 or 20. Knowledge is power!

delegate Hosting a family gathering is a gift in itself. Asking others to join in the preparation not only lightens the load of the hostess, but it also provides opportunity for family and

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friends to serve one another. As host, you could simply request that everyone bring a side and hope it all works itself out. But let’s be honest … more than likely, you’ll end up with three sides of mashed potatoes and a copious amount of pumpkin pie. Save yourself the hassle and use an online tool like Perfect Potluck, which is free and private. Once you set up your potluck group, family members can log what they’re bringing and how much. Not only does this ensure variety, but it also helps guests with food allergies or specific eating restrictions keep tabs on what will be served, so they can prepare accordingly.

keep a log book All the Type A hostesses may rejoice at this notion, and it might seem like unnecessary work for those that aren’t. But trust me—if you’re a repeat hostess, going over your own notes from holidays past will save you a ton of time and headache in the future. Lists don’t need to be complicated or cumbersome. Just stick to the basics: How

many people came each year, what recipes you cooked (and how much), what you ran out of, what was well-received and what didn’t get touched. What you find out may surprise you (like the fact that Grandma Lorraine’s cottage cheese jello mold actually does have a small but loyal fan base, yet the cranberry sauce isn’t worth making since no one goes near it—who knew?!).

it doesn’t always have to be homemade Want to know a secret? My favorite pies happen to be store-bought and under $10 apiece. I would much rather commit time to making homemade yeast rolls than pies, so what do I do? I buy the pies, make the rolls, and no one knows the difference! If baking is a labor of love for you, by all means go for it, but don’t spin your tires unnecessarily. Finding a shortcut here or there can have you eating dinner an hour earlier, and you won’t lose your sanity in the process! Some of my favorite store-bought shortcuts include premade gravy and smoked turkey


thanksgiving (prepackaged is fine, but getting a turkey breast smoked in the deli section the day before is divine!). And don’t forget the beauty that is buying catered options (Jack Stack’s cheesy corn, anyone?!).

guests that have joined us in select years, such as elderly neighbors, recently widowed or divorced friends and a few college kids that couldn’t travel back to their own homes for the holidays.

document your time

there’s only one deadline

My family has a Thanksgiving tradition that’s so longstanding, no one even needs to say anything for it to happen. Once the last family member arrives, we each take a sign and convene on the front lawn (weather cooperating), where my sister sets up a tripod and a camera on a timer. We happen to have a big enough crew that each person holds a sign with a single letter, and all together we spell “Thanksgiving.” The grandkids know their place: right up front, together holding a poster board that touts the year. This has been an ever-simple measure to document who is with us. Not only do we see changes in core members (children getting older, young adults getting married and adding to the fold, not to mention a few gray hairs and extra girth!), but we also are able to remember the extra special

The best traditions happen on their own and shouldn’t require a lot of effort or upkeep. For my family, that means it’s only a matter of time before the boys (both young and old alike) run to the backyard for a game of flag football while the less athletically inclined make themselves comfortable in the den, eager to cheer on their favorite professional teams during the big game. And speaking of games, board games and card games inevitably make their way onto the scene sometime postdinner. No one once set an agenda that said football would commence at 10:00, and games would proceed after our mealtime. But over time a natural rhythm began to evolve, and the holiday took on a life of its own. That’s the beauty of a day that is relatively unplanned: It naturally structures itself in a way that’s organic

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2019

and relaxed. Don’t feel compelled to fit an activity in for every hour you have company. Enjoy the time to talk, catch up, nibble off the snack table and play with the nieces and nephews. The only thing that need be clearly communicated is when you want everyone to start showing up and/or when you plan to have the meal on the table. Be considerate of your guests when choosing your mealtime. If there are little ones present that need afternoon naps, scheduling dinner at two is going to be less than ideal for everyone (after all, tantrums can still be heard even with a kids table in the other room!). Likewise, if you have elderly guests that have a distance to drive or prefer to hit the road before it gets dark, consider hosting a lunch instead of an evening meal. Lauren Greenlee is a writer and mom of three whose all-time favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. She can be found preparing for her favorite holiday in the days leading up to it and is already looking forward to the next family photo out on the lawn.

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SummitFairShopping.com 840 NW Blue Parkway Lee’s Summit, MO 64086 kcparent.com november 2019

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TASTYTREATS

ipes to the rec d ll n fi o T stive fa hese fe t d e a k e a m re, h nd mo foods a nt.com! are to KCP

FESTIVE & COLORFUL FOR A HEALTHFUL FALL

Fall’s festivities are in full swing! Make them healthful by filling your family’s menus with these nutritious fall-colored foods.

Beautiful Beet Smoothie

Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Carrot Fries

Red Fall Foods

Yellow Fall Foods

Orange Fall Foods

Apples, beets and cranberries

Spaghetti squash, yellow bell peppers and mangos

Carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin

Red Fall Foods Benefits – Apples

are loaded with powerful antioxidants which, in turn, build strong immunity. Beets are rich in naturally-occurring nitrates, compounds that support healthy blood pressure. Cranberries protect your kiddo’s cells from cancerous changes.

Red Fall Foods Meal Ideas – Apples

can easily top morning oatmeal or be an enjoyable whole snack with nut butter or cheese. Beets are delicious when added to salads and quinoa. For a tart snack, combine cranberries with mixed nuts and dark chocolate.

Yellow Fall Foods Benefits –

Spaghetti squash provides a stable source of carbohydrates for good, long-lasting energy. Yellow bell peppers supply vitamin E, essential for healthy nerves. Mangoes pack a hefty dose of the folate needed for brain development.

Yellow Fall Foods Meal Ideas –

Use spaghetti squash in place of noodles and pair it with meatballs, marinara sauce, garlic and parmesan. Yellow peppers can be added to stir-fry, wraps and tacos. Mangoes are great when diced and added to salsas or served as a sweet dessert dish with an array of tropical fruits.

Orange Fall Foods Benefits – Carrots

pack a mighty punch with crunch for all the vitamin A they provide. Not only is this vitamin good for your kiddo’s vision, it also aids in skin health. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, crucial for a happy and strong heart. Pumpkin is filled with fiber, keeping your child full to focus on the festivities ahead.

Orange Fall Foods Meal Ideas –

For a quick snack, munch on carrots dipped in creamy hummus. Sweet potatoes can be added as a side dish to dinner meals or incorporated into a hearty breakfast hash by peeling, dicing and cooking with onions. Add pumpkin to pancake batter, oatmeal or smoothies.

Amy Hundley is a registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed in both Kansas and Missouri, and a published freelance nutrition writer. She is currently practicing as a clinical RD and has been a resident of Olathe since early childhood. Sources: EatRight.org, Prevention

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thanksgiving

flavorful pumpkin pie treats

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This Thanksgiving season, try one of these treats that offers a new spin on the traditional pumpkin pie dessert.

Pumpkin Pie Concrete: Andy’s Frozen Custard

EatAndys.com Andy’s is beloved for their frozen custard concretes. Just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, they offer the seasonal favorite frozen custard blended with a slice of freshbaked pumpkin pie. One thing we love about Andy’s is that they are very attentive to food allergies, so grab a seasonal treat today!

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Pie: Betty Rae’s

Pumpkin Pie Latte: The Filling Station

KC’s Pumpkin Pie Fudge: Chip’s Chocolate Factory

BettyRaes.com

FillingStationCoffee.com

ChipsChocolateFactory.com

StrawberryHill.com

Every holiday season, Betty Rae’s transforms your classic holiday pie with their signature ice cream spin. Holiday favorites include pumpkin ice cream pie, butter pecan ice cream pie, berry ice cream pie, cookies and cream ice cream pie, and custom orders. You may order the pies in advance for your holiday gathering.

Does the chill in the air have you craving something warm and cozy? The pumpkin pie latte and sliced pumpkin pie at the Filling Station is a classic autumn pairing. The coffee shop locations all offer a welcoming atmosphere and a delicious menu, making each the perfect place to work, study or catch up with a friend.

Chip’s is always a hit with the kids. They love watching the resident fudge makers prepare homemade fudge from scratch right before their very eyes. A variety of flavors are offered year-round, but the holiday season means the arrival of their classic pumpkin pie fudge. The classic flavor is a fall favorite.

Since 1903, Strawberry Hill has been famously serving their Eastern European pastry to Kansas City customers. The delicious bread hand-rolled with filling is a delicious treat. If you have loved ones who aren’t into pie but want the seasonal flavor, this pumpkin povitica may be the perfect dessert for your holiday table.

THE J UST

Pumpkin Spice Povitica: Strawberry Hill

PE R F E C T GI F T I S A GI F T C A R D AWAY

GI F T C A R D S AVA I L A BL E I N ST OR E A N D ON L I N E AT

C H A R L E STONS .C OM

8 817 STAT E L I N E R D. K A N S A S C I T Y, MO 6 4114 ( 816 ) 731-1424

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Creative

ways to express a thankful heartw teach kids to celebrate blessings in unique and meaningful ways

a

ppropriately saying thank you to someone who has played a vital role in your life isn’t easy. For that matter, neither is expressing gratitude for simple everyday blessings. It’s important to teach children to have thankful hearts, and to accomplish that we have to model thankfulness ourselves. Truly expressing how we feel can be difficult, but during this month of Thanksgiving, it’s important to take some time to show gratitude for everything you have been given—and encourage the kids to do the same. Here are our tips to teach kids to creatively express thankfulness.

give an honorary charity donation Is there a person in your life or your child’s life who has blessed you in an incredible way? If so, find out what charities or causes are especially important to that person and consider supporting such efforts as a way of multiplying their impact. Encourage your kids to come up with ways to raise money for such organizations or causes. This support doesn’t always have to be strictly financial, either. For example, if it’s a teacher that has been influential in the life of your child, consider volunteering in

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that teacher’s classroom or school. If you or your child have been impacted by the work of a charitable organization, give back to that organization and encourage others to get involved by sharing your story. Have your children brainstorm some people in their lives who are deserving of such an honorary donation, and help them discover ways they can contribute because someone gave to them first.

create a thankfulness collage

It’s always helpful for children to have visual reminders of important information, and this includes having visual reminders of their blessings. Consider taking pictures of specific people, places or objects your child is thankful for and work with her to create a collage of all the pictures. Hang the collage in a prominent place so your children can see it often and be reminded of their blessings. If a child begins to complain about something, have him add something new to the thankfulness collage to help him put aside complaining and recognize he has more to be thankful for than reasons to complain.

share your blessings with others

When you are truly thankful, you naturally want to be generous and give to others out of your blessings. There are countless ways to bless others through your blessings, so explore your options. Your child can personally give his old toys to another child and see the joy they bring

someone else. If you are blessed with a large kitchen and backyard, consider inviting the neighborhood over for a cookout to simply express you are thankful to be able to host others at your house. If your child is good with animals and thankful to play with them, she can offer to walk the neighbor’s dogs. If your kids are good at art, they can draw pictures to give to others as a way of showing what they are thankful for about that person. Kids themselves often have great ideas on how to bless others, so have them brainstorm additional possibilities.

nominate those who bless you for an honor

There are various ways to officially recognize those who make a difference. Research the best way to honor the special person in your life and have your child help you with the nomination. Even if that person doesn’t win the honor, they will still feel honored for being nominated.

use your voice

With all the bad news in the world, positive news can make all the difference in someone’s day. Hearing from a thankful heart is refreshing, so use your outlets in social media, blogs and other spaces to express thankfulness for your blessings. Your children can do likewise by practicing saying more positive things than negative things throughout the day and telling one person every day something that makes them thankful. They can also write their own journal entries about their blessings.


thanksgiving do something for someone else without being asked We are constantly telling our children what to do, so it’s especially worth recognizing when they do something kind, helpful and meaningful without being asked. Start by having your child brainstorm small things they can do for others and then put them into practice. The more you make it a habit for them to think of little ways to

be a blessing, the more likely they will be to do it at other times without being asked.

never underestimate the power of a handwritten note

In today’s world of texting and social media, our kids rarely write handwritten notes, and that is precisely what makes receiving such a thoughtful note even more special. Teaching kids to write personal notes is an important skill, and it’s a way

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of more authentically expressing true feelings. It will also make more of an impact on the recipient than another type of message. Put some of these ideas into practice. You never know the kind of difference it will make in your life and the lives of others. Allison Gibeson is a Lee’s Summit writer and mom who wants to start giving others more handwritten notes of appreciation.

thankfulness all year long November is the month when we intentionally think about thankfulness, but it is important kids keep it top-of-mind all year long. Here are a few ideas to keep a thankful heart as the seasons come and go:

Winter: Have the kids create valentines for friends and family, expressing why they are thankful for them. Spring: Consider decorating an Easter basket with the kids, filled with eggs containing written messages of why they are thankful. Better yet, have the kids put on a thankfulness Easter egg hunt for someone special. This could involve writing messages expressing why they are thankful for the person, placing those messages in the eggs and having a special person find them all.

Summer: Write notes with the kids to service men and women to thank them for their service to our nation. Consider passing out ice cream or Popsicles to the neighborhood kids to express gratefulness for summer fun. Fall: When the kids go trick-or-treating, have them give out something small to the homes they visit instead of just taking candy.

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enjoying the GREAT OUTDOORS... even especially when it’s cold outside

t

he air is brisk and it’s sweater weather. City-dwellers often are tempted to spend the colder months cuddled up inside with warm drinks, hot soup, blankets and books … and all of these things are delightful. However, it’s easy to miss out on the grandeur and beauty of the great outdoors this time of year if we don’t make a point to get outside. Fortunately, many great local sites are just a short drive or day trip away and offer terrific cold weather adventures.

A Bountiful Harvest: Powell Gardens

Powell Gardens in Kingsville, MO (about 20 minutes east of Lee’s Summit), is a beautiful botanical garden that happens to be open year-round. The Heartland Harvest Garden, where everything is edible, is one of the best-loved attractions at the site, and on Nov. 3 Powell Gardens is giving a “Thanksgiving from the Garden” tour. The tour is included with admission and provides inspiration to incorporate new varieties of seeds, nuts, vegetables and other edible plants into your Thanksgiving dinner plan. You’ll even learn about edible flowers on this tour and how to include these ideas in your cooking. Throughout the winter, the indoor conservatory displays feature a variety of plants, and the outdoor gardens become a winter oasis. From Nov. 29 through Jan. 5 (Thu.-Sun. evenings), visitors are invited to the Festival of Lights. This year’s display theme is Luminosity, featuring a dazzling display of colored lights along a mile-long walking path through the Heartland Harvest Garden. Free children’s activities, including an ornament station, are included with admission. With roaming carolers (on select evenings), hot cocoa and treats, this holiday tradition is a favorite.

Outdoor Stories: Ernie Miller Nature Center Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe offers beautiful paved trails to enjoy fall foliage and wildlife, as well as a small nature center with animals and exhibits. The center regularly hosts classes and story time events for young children, but they especially celebrate the art of storytelling with their Tellebration event in November. On Nov. 16, visitors are invited to celebrate the International Day of Storytelling with nature stories starring live animals and including themes of environmental awareness and ancient myths. Learn more about this event and other Johnson County Parks and Rec events at JCPRD.com.

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America’s National Mammal, the Bison: Prairie Park State Park The bison is iconically American. The animal played an important role in the lives of Native Americans and it roamed the plains and prairies of Missouri and Kansas for thousands of years. In Missouri, bison still find a home at Prairie State Park in Mindenmines (about an hour north of Joplin, MoStateParks.com/park/prairie-state-park). Scenic trails and picnic spots are found throughout the park with beautiful tallgrass prairies. On Nov. 2, celebrate National Bison Day at the park with two special hikes (10:00 and 1:00). Visitors are invited to take a guided hike, photograph bison and enjoy the autumn prairie. You may visit the park year-round.


America’s National Emblem, the Bald Eagle: Loess Bluffs

thanksgiving

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Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge (north on I-29 near Mound City, MO, FWS. gov/refuge/loess_bluffs) is a 7,440-acre scenic wildlife preserve consisting of wetlands, grasslands and, most notably, a breeding ground for migratory birds and wildlife. The beautiful and unique hills offer remarkable views of rocks, geologic features and native plants and prairie. The hallmark of the refuge, however, is its role in the migration of the American bald eagle. The birds are known to migrate to the refuge in late fall and early winter, making this a wonderful day trip for families to enjoy a bit of nature this month or next. Throughout the season, you’re likely to see several hundred bald eagles, and some golden eagles, at the site. Some eagles spend winter and summer at there. Visitors may enjoy bird watching and exploring throughout the year, but November and December are especially wonderful for eagle watching. This year, mark your calendar for the annual Eagle Days on Dec. 7 and 8. The free event includes live eagle shows, staffed spotting scope stations, guided bus tours, exhibits, activities, videos and more

Wild Turkeys: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area Legend has it that Benjamin Franklin believed the turkey should be America’s national bird. Although he never actually proposed using the turkey as the symbol of freedom, he did defend it as “a more respectable bird, and withal a true original Native of America.” It’s not our national symbol, but the turkey is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving meals. You can visit wild turkeys at one of the best local nature centers and conservation areas in the metro, Burr Oak Woods (Nature.MDC.mo.gov), located in Blue Springs. The 1,071-acre property includes a variety of nature trails for every ability and skill level, as well as the first nature center in Missouri. Walking or hiking the trails allows visitors to watch wildlife and explore limestone boulders, restored prairies and woodlands, and outdoor play spaces where children learn more about nature. The center includes hands-on exhibits for children, an aquarium with native fish, and wildlife and bird watching areas. Guests at the center enjoy watching the wild turkeys that roam the property, including the bird watching land around the center. Every month, the center hosts free workshops and programs for children and families to learn more about local conservation.

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland: Overland Park Arboretum The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are open year-round with walking trails through picturesque gardens that always offer something new to see. Although the gardens are always a fun family outing, a favorite tradition for many local families is the annual Holiday Luminary Walk (ArtsAndRec-OP.org). This year’s event will be held weekends Nov. 29-Dec. 14. Visitors walk through woods and gardens over a mile of candlelit pathways, enjoying music and holiday lights. The most whimsical features of the event are the gnome and fairy villages, the colorful Children’s Garden and visits with Santa. The perfect finale for the evening is a mug of hot Louisburg cider around the campfire and a horse-drawn wagon ride. Reservations are required for this event, and discounts are offered for garden members and First National Bank customers.

Kristina Light and her girls enjoy outdoor activities year round. kcparent.com november 2019

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november

THE KCPARENT.COM CALENDAR FEATURES OVER 1,000 EVENTS EACH MONTH!

CALENDAR

Cirque Mechanics at Carlsen Center

No part of this calendar may be reproduced in print or web format.

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celebrate

watch

give

see

enjoy

Grab some girlfriends for Ladies’ Day Nov. 8 at Family Tree Nursery. Get 20 percent off your purchase and enjoy music, wine and appetizers 3:30-7:00. FamilyTreeNursery.com

Cirque Mechanics comes to the Carlsen Center on Nov. 8. Enjoy circus acrobatics, mechanical wonders and a bit of clowning around. JCCC.edu/theseries

Nov. 18-25 is collection week for Operation Christmas Child. Pack a shoe box full of gifts to help spread the Gospel to kids all over the world. SamaritansPurse.org

The family will enjoy Matilda the Musical Nov. 21-23 at City Center Church. The Culture House presents the story of this young girl with courage and cleverness. CultureHouse.com

Continue the holiday festivities with Family Day Nov. 29 at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Enjoy the museum and special activities. 816.235.8000


1 Friday Opening Day 6:00-9:00, Crown Center Ice Terrace. KC’s only public outdoor rink opens for its 46th season. Enjoy free skating, coffee and hot chocolate. 816.247.8411 Holiday Open House Today & tomorrow, Downtown Lee’s Summit. Check out all the wonderful gift and decorating ideas. DowntownLS.org Expanding Oz Thru Nov 2, Johnson County Museum. See one-of-a-kind Oz memorabilia, from original books to stage productions and pop culture. JoCoMuseum.org Preschool Dance Party 10:30, Indian Creek Library. Come shake, shimmy and dance to favorite songs from children’s music collection. OlatheLibrary.org Clay Holiday Custom Ornament 11:00, Paint, Glaze & Fire. We’ll capture your child’s handprint or footprint to create a custom ornament. Pre-reg at 913.661.2529. Holiday Market 3:00, St Thomas More School. Annual holiday mart features 50 vendors, food trucks and fun! STMKC.com/school.

Hometown Christmas Bazaar Today & tomorrow, Adam’s Mark Hotel. Lots of great shopping for all of your holiday needs. 816.313.2603

Holiday Extravaganza 9:00, Belton High School. Shop from 140 vendors, savor food and enjoy entertainment—all indoors! BeltonMOChamber.org

Madagascar-A Musical Adventure Thru Nov 3, Culture House Stage and Studio (Oak Park). Take an adventure out of the zoo and onto the stage! CultureHouse.com

American Eagle Craft Project 9:00, Home Depot. Use a hammer, sandpaper, wood glue and more to create the bird craft. HomeDepot.com

Matilda the Musical Thru Nov 3, Bell Theater. CYT presents the story of this young girl with courage and cleverness in equal amounts. CYTKC.org

KidDo Fair 9:00, Mill Creek Middle School. Resource fair featuring vendors who provide services for birth to age 5. 913.667.3512

2 Saturday 10th Annual Turkey Day 5K 7:00, Grandview Amphitheater. Event for all levels of runners. Start and end at Grandview Amphitheater. Grandview.org Badge Event 9:00, TimberRidge Adventure Center. Daisy, Brownie and Girl Scouts can earn Eco Learner & Buddy Camper or Eco Friend badge. 913.826.2800 Wilderness Run 9:00, Shoal Creek Living History Museum. Run takes participants on a 2- or 5-mile course through the village, around fields and more. 816.792.2655

Great Pumpkin Smash Today & tomorrow, Kansas City Zoo. Watch as the zoo’s animals crush, kick, bounce and play with big pumpkins! KansasCityZoo.org Shapes & Balance 10:00 & 2:00, Nerman Museum. Learn about symmetry and then create a mask sculpture. Ages 5-7. Pre-reg at NermanMuseum.org. Holiday Open House & Lighting 10:00, Leavenworth Main Street. Kick off the holiday shopping season with special activities. LeavenworthMainStreet.com

WINTER CLASSES FIND YOUR CHARACTER

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Marty’s Party Various dates, MCPL. It’s Marty’s birthday! Come celebrate and enjoy stories, songs refreshments and fun. Find events and pre-reg at MyMCPL.org.

Little Acorns 10:00, Anita Gorman Discovery Center. Join naturalists for a journey through magical places as they read select books. 816.759.7300 Hands-On History 11:00, National World War I Museum and Memorial. History is brought to life. Handle Great War artifacts. TheWorldWar.org Family Cosmic Bingo 4:30, Vesper Hall. Win prizes while playing glow-in-the-dark bingo. Dinner included. Pre-reg at BlueSpringsGov.com. Holiday Painting Party 6:00, Paint, Glaze & Fire. Enjoy holiday painting, cookies, music and movies. Call 913.661.2529 to reserve your spot. Major League Improv 7:30, Comedy City. A comedy sporting event where everything is based on suggestions from the audience. $9$13. 816.842.2744 National Dance Company of Siberia 8:00, Carlsen Center. See stunning costumes, great choreography, precision dancing and more! JCCC.edu/theseries

3 Sunday Little Leapers 9:00, Sky Zone. A time for little ones to bounce under the supervision of their parents and without interference from the big kids. SkyZone.com Day of the Dead Celebration 10:00, NelsonAtkins. This lively festival celebrates Mexican art and culture. Fun for the entire family! Nelson-Atkins.org

Registration Opens Christian Youth Theater. First day to register for winter classes. Register by Nov. 10 to receive early bird discount! CYTKC.org

Peppa Pig Live! 3:00, the Midland. Join Peppa and the gang in an all-singing, all-dancing adventure full of songs, games and surprises. AXS.com

Jazz on the Square 5:30, Corbin Theatre. The Corbin Theatre presents Jazz on the Square once a month on a Monday. Free. CorbinTheatre.org

4 Monday Free Adult Admission 9:30, Paradise Park. Free adult admission in Discovery Play with a paid child’s admission. 816.246.5224

Day of the Dead Celebration 6:00, Turner Community Library. Celebrate Day of the Dead with sugar skulls, games, snacks and crafts. KCKPL.LibraryMarket.com

PEMBROKE HILL SCHOOL ADMISSIONS OPEN HOUSE Early Childhood and Lower Schools, Age 2-Grade 5

Nov. 13 | 8:30 a.m. Register at www.pembrokehill.org or 816-936-1200

Get to know us! We might surprise you! • • • •

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Small classes Innovative curriculum Outstanding faculty Clubs and 23 sports

• •

Financial aid Transportation from Johnson County, South Kansas City and the Northland

The Pembroke Hill School | 400 W. 51st St. | Kansas City, MO 64112

kcparent.com november 2019


5 Tuesday

Critter Feeding 3:00, Burr Oak Woods. Discover what’s for dinner as the captive amphibians, fish and turtles enjoy their feast. 816.228.3766

Indoor Playground 9:30, Sylvester Powell Community Center. A safe, clean indoor play area for kids 6 years and under. $2/child. 913.722.8200

7 Thursday

Creative Story Time 10:30, Ceramic Café. Hear a story, create a pottery piece and enjoy a simple snack. $12. CeramicCafe.com

Just Between Friends Sale Thru Saturday, Overland Park Convention Center. Shop for name-brand items at 50 to 90 percent off retail. JBFSale.com

Kids Eat Free Main Event (various locations). Receive a free kids meal with the purchase of any entrée ($8.99). MainEvent.com

6 Wednesday Animal Tales Story Time 10:30, Ernie Miller Nature Center. Listen to a story and meet a special animal friend. Today’s theme: Bedtime Burrows. 913.826.2800 Rainbow Fish 11:30, Folly Theater. See the tales of the most beautiful fish in the sea, based on the best-selling book by Marcus Pfister. FollyTheater.org Kenya’s Kids Thru Jan 4, Kansas Discovery Center (Topeka). Discover what life is like for children in Kenya through an immersive exhibit. KansasDiscovery.org

Madagascar-A Musical Adventure Thru Nov 9, Culture House Stage and Studio (Oak Park). Take an adventure out of the zoo and onto the stage! CultureHouse.com Aladdin Jr Thru Sunday, Bell Center. The story of Aladdin and his three friends is given the royal treatment by CYT. CYTKC.org

8 Friday

Big Fall Kids Book Sale Thru Saturday, Central Resource Library. Thousands of gently-read books and A/V materials available at bargain prices. JoCoLibrary.org

Ladies’ Day 9:00, Family Tree Nursery. Shop the winter wonderland and receive 20 percent off. Enjoy music, wine and appetizers from 3:30-7:00. FamilyTreeNursery.com

Toddler Time 2.0 9:30, Blue Springs Fieldhouse. Play inside the fieldhouse on mats, scooters, slides, a bounce house and more. $2-$3. BlueSpringsGov.com

Veterans Weekend Thru Monday, National World War 1 Museum and Memorial. Discount admission and special activities. Visit TheWorldWar.org for details.

Moms Group 9:30, Indian Heights United Methodist Church. While kids play, moms enjoy coffee, support and friendship. Free. 913.649.9040

Scribble Workshop 10:00, Kansas City North Community Center. A child/parent art event with a different theme each month. Dress for mess! 816.513.7741

Star Wars Evening 6:00, Olathe Downtown Library. Enjoy Star Wars-themed crafts, activities and displays. Costumes encouraged. OlatheLibrary.org

Paint Me a Story 10:30, Paint, Glaze & Fire. Paint a pottery piece that goes along with a favorite story. Snack included. $13-$15. Pre-reg at 913.661.2529.

WE’RE SETTING THE STAGE FOR BIG FALL FUN / PARLOR PERFORMANCES: THEATRICAL TOYS FOR HOME PLAY / OCTOBER 19, 2019 − AUGUST 16, 2020 A special exhibit examining the rich history of theater toys and the role of performance in childhood play. DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING FAMILY DAY / NOVEMBER 29 | 10AM − 4PM Gather for a day of exploration and a chance to create your own miniature theater in our workshop. COLEMAN HOUSE OPENING / DECEMBER 7 | 10AM − 4PM See the walls of a nine-foot-tall dollhouse opened to reveal a festive interior.

Plan your visit today at toyandminiaturemuseum.org. THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF TOYS/MINIATURES OPEN WED – MON 10AM – 4PM, CLOSED TUES 5235 OAK STREET, KANSAS CITY, MO 64112 816.235.8000 TOYANDMINIATUREMUSEUM.ORG kcparent.com november 2019

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Holidays Come Alive Nov. 23, Union Station. Celebrate the start of the season at the Holidays Come Alive kickoff ceremony. UnionStation.org

Veterans Celebration 4:00, Memorial Park (Raymore). Ceremony honors all who have served. Hear from special guests and enjoy refreshments. 816.331.5167

American Fur Trader’s Encampment 9:00, Fort Osage. Discover how traders and mountain men survived rugged terrain. FortOsageNHS.com

Teen Lock-In 6:30, MCPL (Boardwalk). When the branch shuts down, it’s time to party! Tonight’s theme” Back to the 80s. Pre-reg at MyMCPL.org.

Military Appreciation Weekend 10:00, Kansas City Zoo. All military personnel (retired, active, veterans, etc.) with valid ID receive free admission. KansasCityZoo.org

Night at the Arboretum 7:00, Overland Park Arboretum. Enjoy the trails with a flashlight, look at the stars and make s’mores. 913.685.3604

Holiday Catalog Launch Party 10:00, Fat Brain Toys. Launch of 2019 holiday catalog! Enjoy toys to demo, create a wish list and more! Facebook.com/fatbraintoysop

Cirque Mechanics 8:00, Carlsen Center. Enjoy circus acrobatics, mechanical wonders and a bit of clowning around. JCCC.edu/theseries

City School Fair 10:00, Central Library. More than 50 schools, 20 partner organizations, entertainment, food and fun! ShowMeKCSchools.org

9 Saturday Superhero VIP Breakfast 9:00, Paradise Park. Come dressed up as a superhero and spend a super-power-packed morning with superheroes! Paradise-Park.com

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Mother Nature Reads 10:00, Lakeside Nature Center. Children hear a story, make a craft and often see a wildlife interpretation. LakesideNatureCenter.org

Tea Party 2:00, Shawnee Indian Mission Museum. Enjoy finger foods and high tea cookies, as well as story time and a craft. Prereg at 913.262.0867. Holiday Open House 5:30, Downtown Weston. Holiday parade with Father Christmas, followed by tree lighting. Shops open late. WestonMo.com Elf the Musical 7:00, Lee’s Summit West HS Performing Arts Center. Feel-good musical is the perfect way to start the holiday season. 816.986.4055


Turkey Bowl 7:00, Aaron’s Family Fun Center. Family fun with three games and $5 to throw frozen turkey. BeltonMOChamber.org Robert Randolph and the Family Band 8:00, Carlsen Center. Guitarist Randolph blends rock, funk, soul and jazz. JCCC.edu/theseries

10 Sunday Gobbler Grind 8:30, Corporate Woods. Race features three great distances to get you ready for the feast of all feasts: Thanksgiving! GobblerGrindMarathon.com art + family = FUN 1:00, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Join us every Saturday and Sunday for free activities for all ages! 816.751.1278 Free Afternoon Program 1:30, Prairie Park Nature Center. Free program for the family may include video, slideshow and going outside to enjoy nature. LawrenceKS.org Meet the Experts 2:00, National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Join for an engaging presentation on the cultural history of theater toys. 816.235.8000

11 Monday Veterans Day Thank a veteran for his or her service to our nation. Scout Month Thru Nov 30, Sea Life. Scout groups of any size are invited to visit at a discounted rate throughout the month. VisitSeaLife.com Homework Help 4:00, Jo Co Library (Central Resource). Homework coaches help students work on a specific project or use library resources. JoCoLibrary.org Veterans Day Celebration 4:00, Shawnee Civic Centre. Ceremony honoring all men and women who have served or are currently serving. 913.631.5200

12 Tuesday Toddle Time 9:00, Matt Ross Community Center. Open playtime with an array of toys, including blocks, balls and puzzles. $1-$2. 913.895.6350 Genghis Khan: Bringing the Legend to Life Thru April 24, Union Station. World-class exhibition that explores the world’s greatest conqueror. UnionStation.org

Kids Eat Free Main Event (various locations). Receive a free kids meal with the purchase of any entrée ($8.99). MainEvent.com Live Music 6:00, Grinter Place State Historical Site. Enjoy food, beverages and great live music on the second Tuesday of the month. 913.481.3527

13 Wednesday Open House 8:30, Pembroke Hill. Visit the Wornall Campus to see teachers and students in action and learn about our educational programs. Pre-reg at PembrokeHill.org. Retro Story Time 10:00, Johnson County Museum. Enjoy a story from long ago read by a special guest, plus a craft activity is included! Pre-reg at 913.831.3359. A Charlie Brown Christmas 10:00 & Noon, the Coterie. The animated classic will come to life on stage with a live jazz trio. TheCoterie.org Splash with Me 10:00, Lenexa Rec Center. Kids can swim, play and become more confident in the water at the kiddie pool. $2. 913.477.7100 Marty’s Party 11:00, MCPL (Kearny). It’s Marty’s birthday! Come celebrate and enjoy stories, songs refreshments and fun. Pre-reg at MyMCPL.org.

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Critter Feeding 3:00, Burr Oak Woods. Discover what’s for dinner as the captive amphibians, fish and turtles enjoy their feast. 816.228.3766

14 Thursday The Stinky Cheese Man 10:00, Mesner Puppet Studio. Join Jack as he takes you through the twists and turns of zany versions of classic tales. MesnerPuppets.org Midwest GameFest Thru Sunday, Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center. Game convention brings game organizations under one roof. 816.868.1194 Holiday Season Opener Thru Sunday, Brookside District. Open houses, outdoor music, pop-up events, giveaways and so much more. BrooksideKC.org School House Rock Jr Thru Sunday, Bell Center. CYT presents this energetic and most fun musical based on the Saturday morning cartoon. CYTKC.org

15 Friday Shadow Day/Campus Visit 7:30 & 1:00, Summit Christian Academy. Register now to shadow (grades 2-11) or visit the campus (grades K-12) to learn more about SCA! 816.525.1480 Opening Day 10:00, Nelson-Atkins Museum. Opening day of exhibit celebrating Queen Nefertari. See royal palaces and tombs and more. Nelson-Atkins.org Holiday Container Workshop Thru Sunday, Family Tree Nursery. Let us help you create a fabulous container for your home! FamilyTreeNursery.com Custom Clay Print Ornaments 11:00, Paint, Glaze & Fire. Using your child’s hand or footprint, create a custom ornament. Call 913.661.2529 to reserve your spot. Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 4:00, Downtown Overland Park. A familyfriendly night full of hayrides, carolers, Santa and more! DowntownOP.org Third Friday Art Walk 5:30, Englewood Station Arts District. Tour the art galleries, view live performances and meet artists in front of shops. EnglewoodStation.com Holiday Lighting 6:00, Heartland Imaging KC (Martin City). Bring the family to enjoy the annual holiday lighting ceremony. MartinCity.org

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KC Parent oct ad.pdf 1 9/12/2019 3:10:05 PM

16 Saturday Christmas Open House Today & tomorrow, Family Tree Nursery. Visit as the garden centers are transformed into a winter wonderland! FamilyTreeNursery.com Giftmaking Classes for the Holidays 10:00 or Noon, Nelson-Atkins. Three-week class session for ages 4-5, 6-8 and 9-13. Pre-reg at Nelson-Atkins.org.

C

Architecture in Art 10:00 & 2:00, Nerman M Museum. Learn about buildings in art and then Y create a miniature monument. Ages 8-11. PreCM reg at NermanMuseum.org. MY

Tellebration 10:30, Ernie Miller Nature Center. CY Hear nature stories with live animals that CMY will delight audiences of all ages. Pre-reg at K 913.826.2800. British Faire & Tea Abdallah Shriners. Join the Daughters of the British Empire for the British Faire & Tea. Tea served at 10:30, 11:44, 1:00 and 2:15. DBEKansas.org Giving Thanks Tea 10:30, Anna Marie’s Teas. Fall is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends over tea. HistoricDowntownLiberty.org Hands-On History 11:00, National World War I Museum and Memorial. History is brought to life. Handle Great War artifacts. TheWorldWar.org Legendary Lighting Ceremony 5:00, Legends Outlets. Annual tree lighting ceremony with entertainment and fun for the entire family! LegendsShopping.com Foundation Fiesta 6:00, Indian Creek Library. Celebrate the new Indian Creek Library with a fiesta! Live music, food and activities. Tickets at OlatheLibrary.org.

17 Sunday Farmers Market 8:00, City Market. The market features a mix of dining, shopping and entertainment in an open air setting. 816.842.1271

nelson-atkins.org/kcparent

OPEN I N G 1 1 .15 .19

Parlor Performances 10:00, National Museum of Toys/Miniatures. A special exhibit thru August 2020 examining the rich history of theater toys. 816.235.8000 Free Afternoon Program 1:30, Prairie Park Nature Center. Free program for the family may include video, slideshow and going outside to enjoy nature. LawrenceKS.org

Members & under 12 FREE Votive statue of a cat, Late Period, 25th Dynasty 712-332 B.C.E. Bronze, 8 3/4 x 3 x 4 1/2 in. Museo Egizio, Turin.

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Celebrate November KC Style

Nov. 1-2: El Dia de los Muertos Celebration The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art hosts an annual Day of the Dead Celebration on Nov. 3, commemorating the rich and beautiful Mexican culture, including an altar installation that’s a tribute to loved ones who have passed away, hands-on art activities, music and authentic Mexican food.

Nov. 6: Saxophone Day Charlie “Bird” Parker is one of the most famous and celebrated jazz saxophonists of all time, and the Kansas City legend is commemorated with a statue in the 18th & Vine Jazz District. The statue was pieced together rather than cast and features a green patina and inscription stating, “Bird Lives.”

Nov. 11: Veterans Day The National World War I Museum and Memorial (TheWorldWar.org) honors veterans all with free general admission for active duty military/veterans and half-price general admission for the general public all weekend (Nov. 8-11). The museum will host family-friendly activities all weekend too.

Nov. 17: Homemade Bread Day No time to bake your own bread but still want to enjoy the deliciousness? Support Kansas City’s own Farm to Market Bread Co. The company is known for making allnatural, hand-formed, hearth-baked bread delivered fresh to local grocery stores and restaurants daily.

Nov. 29: Black Friday Most Americans have a love-hate relationship with our annual shopping holiday, the day after Thanksgiving. For great local shopping, our favorite Black Friday destination is Legends Outlets that offers shopping specials, giveaways and events throughout the day.


18 Monday Operation Christmas Child Collection Week Thru Nov 25, various locations. Pack your shoeboxes and drop off during the week to spread the Gospel. SamaritansPurse.org Kenya’s Kids Thru Jan 4, Kansas Discovery Center (Topeka). Discover what life is like for children in Kenya through an immersive exhibit. KansasDiscovery.org Happy Birthday, Marty! 6:00, MCPL (Lee’s Summit). Join the fun as Dino O’Dell and Marty celebrate with singing and dancing. Pre-reg at MyMCPL.org.

19 Tuesday Creative Story Time 10:30, Ceramic Café. Hear a story, create a pottery piece and enjoy a simple snack. $12. CeramicCafe.com Tots on Tuesday 10:30, Kemper Museum. Sing songs, read books, explore art and make your own art with a Kemper Museum educator. KemperArt.org Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting 6:00, Linden Square. Enjoy music from school choirs, a visit from Santa and Mrs Claus and more! LindenSquare.Info Useful Things Often Forgotten 7:00, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm. A presentation on everyday objects from life in the 1800s. Mahaffie.org

20 Wednesday Indoor Playground 9:30, Sylvester Powell Community Center. A safe, clean indoor play area for kids 6 years and under. $2/child. 913.722.8200 Animal Tales Story Time 10:30, Ernie Miller Nature Center. Listen to a story and meet a special animal friend. Today’s theme: Let’s Talk Turkey. 913.826.2800 Scout Month Thru Nov 30, Sea Life. Scout groups of any size are invited to visit at a discounted rate throughout the month. VisitSeaLife.com

21 Thursday Moms Group 9:30, Indian Heights United Methodist Church. While kids play, moms enjoy coffee, support and friendship. Free. 913.649.9040

Toddler Time 2.0 9:30, Blue Springs Fieldhouse. Play inside the fieldhouse on mats, scooters, slides, a bounce house and more. $2-$3. BlueSpringsGov.com

The Scared Scriptless Tour 8:00, Carlsen Center. Armed only with sharp wit, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood create a hilarious two-man show. JCCC.edu/theseries

Playdate Thursdays 11:00, Independence Center. Each playdate includes a craft and reading from Mid-Continent Public Library. Free. 816.795.8602

A Christmas Carol 8:00, Spencer Theatre. The KC Rep’s performance returns for its 38th season. A favorite holiday tradition! KCRep.org

Turkey Can Hanger Craft 6:00, Turner Library. Get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with a fun craft! KCKPL.LibraryMarket.com Ararat Shrine Circus Thru Sunday, Silverstein Arena. Enjoy high-flying acrobats, mesmerizing aerialists, daredevils and those hilarious clowns! 816.442.610 Matilda the Musical Thru Nov 23, City Center Church. The Culture House presents the story of this young girl with courage and cleverness. CultureHouse.com

22 Friday

23 Saturday Holiday Craft Show 9:00, High Blue Wellness Center (Belton). Enjoy more than 40 great holiday shopping options all under one roof. BeltonParks.org Penguin March Today & tomorrow, Kansas City Zoo. Stop by the Helzberg Penguin Plaza to see the birds march outside, weather permitting. KansasCityZoo.org Holidays Come Alive 10:00, Union Station. Celebrate the start of the season at the Holidays Come Alive kickoff ceremony. UnionStation.org

Splash with Me 10:00, Lenexa Rec Center. Kids can swim, play and become more confident in the water at the kiddie pool. $2. 913.477.7100

Sketchbook 10:00 & 2:00, Nerman Museum. Learn about a variety of drawing techniques and then create a unique sketchbook. Ages 5-7. Pre-reg at NermanMuseum.org.

Best Little Arts & Crafts Show Today & tomorrow, Roger T Sermon Community Center. Enjoy 110 vendors with original merchandise. 816.325.7370

Holiday Craft Show 10:00, Raymore Activity Center. Shop local for everyone on your holiday list at the craft show. Raymore.com

Mistletowne Market Thru Sun, NKC Parks & Rec Center. Live entertainment, photos with Santa and art from local artists. NKC.org

Christmas in the Country 11:00, Mt Gilead Historic School & Church. Crafts, music, hot cider and cookies, and Mr and Mrs Claus. 816.835.8500

Journey to Judea Thru Sunday, Countryside Baptist Church. Experience the sights and sounds of God’s story. Free, but tickets required. JourneyToJudea.com

Christmas Kickoff Celebration 11:00, various locations, Excelsior Springs. Mistletoe market, elf factory, Christmas parade, tree lighting and more! 816.630.6161

Mayor’s Tree Lighting 6:00, Downtown Lee’s Summit. Performances, a visit from Santa and much more! Many shops open late. DowntownLS.org

Winterfest 5:00, Worlds of Fun. Sparkling lights transform the park that features live shows, holiday characters and activities, cookie decorating and more! WorldsOfFun.com

Fourth Fridays at the Artisan Market 6:00, Liberty Artisan Market. Meet the artists every Fourth Friday over pieces of original art. The-Artisan-Market.business.site

24 Sunday

Kids Night Out 6:30, Paint, Glaze & Fire. Drop the kids off for popcorn, a movie and an instructed canvas painting. PaintGlazeAndFire.net/events Matilda the Musical Today & tomorrow, City Center Church (Lenexa). Culture House presents this family-friendly show based on the Roald Dahl book. CultureHouse.com

Genghis Khan: Bringing the Legend to Life Thru April 24, Union Station. World-class exhibition that explores the world’s greatest conqueror. UnionStation.org art + family = FUN 1:00, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Join us every Saturday and Sunday for free activities for all ages! 816.751.127

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Holiday Luminary Walk Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 6-7 and 13-14. Overland Park Arboretum. The arboretum transforms into a wonderland of candles, music and holiday fun. OPKansas.org

A Charlie Brown Christmas 2:00 & 4:00, the Coterie. The animated classic will come to life on stage with a live jazz trio. TheCoterie.org

25 Monday Free Adult Admission 9:30, Paradise Park. Free adult admission in Discovery Play with a paid child’s admission. 816.246.5224

Kenya’s Kids Thru Jan 4, Kansas Discovery Center (Topeka). Discover what life is like for children in Kenya through an immersive exhibit. KansasDiscovery.org Kids Eat Free Main Event (various locations). Receive a free kids meal with the purchase of any entrée ($8.99). MainEvent.com

Splash with Me 10:00, Lenexa Rec Center. Kids can swim, play and become more confident in the water at the kiddie pool. $2. 913.477.7100

Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 6:00, TB Hanna Station. Enjoy complimentary cookies, hot chocolate and photos with Santa! Raymore.com

Feel the Warmth Thru Friday, Macken Park. Donate hats and scarves, handmade or bought (with tags), to help those in need. 816.300.0545

Turkey Bowling 6:30, Line Creek Community Center Ice Rink. Bowl with a frozen turkey while wearing ice skates! 816.513.0760

26 Tuesday

Dancer: Lilliana Hagerman. Photography: Kenny Johnson.

Creative Story Time 10:30, Ceramic Café. Hear a story, create a pottery piece and enjoy a simple snack. $12. CeramicCafe.com

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27 Wednesday Museum Free Day 9:00, Johnson County Museum. Bring the family and enjoy the museum for free today! JCPRD.com

Indoor Playground 9:30, Sylvester Powell Community Center. A safe, clean indoor play area for kids 6 years and under. $2/child. 913.722.8200 Marty’s Party 9:45, MCPL (Red Bridge). It’s Marty’s birthday! Come celebrate and enjoy stories, songs refreshments and fun. Pre-reg at MyMCPL.org. Christmas in the Sky 5:00, Longview Lake. Fireworks set to music kick off the season and are the opening to Christmas in the Park. Free. 816.503.4805


28 Thursday THANKSGIVING DAY Happy Thanksgiving, KC Parent readers! We are thankful for your 34 years of readership and support!

PROUDLY PRESENT

Thanksgiving Day Run & Walk 8:30, 85th Street & Ward Parkway. Kick off Thanksgiving Day with a morning run. WardParkwayThanksgivingDayRun.com Pilgrim Run 5K/Children’s Dash 9:00, Pilgrim Chapel. Jumpstart your Thanksgiving morning with a fun family walk or run through Hyde Park. PilgrimRun.org 90th Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony 5:00, Country Club Plaza. Enjoy a holiday tradition like no other. CountryClubPlaza.com

29 Friday Santa Dives with Penguins Thru Sunday, Kansas City Zoo. What’s red and swimming with the penguins? Santa! Get a photo as penguins torpedo around him. KansasCityZoo.org

NOVEMBER 29 & 30 AT THE OVERLAND PARK ARBORETUM & BOTANICAL GARDENS DECEMBER 6 & 7, 13 & 14 TICKETS $12 AT OPABG.ORG

HAVING A BABY SOON? Check out KC Parent’s Interactive Virtual Hospital Labor & Delivery Guide at KCParent.com

Our interactive virtual Hospital Labor & Delivery Guide has images, complete descriptions, video, social media links and much more. SEARCH HOSPITALS BY: LOCATION | NICU LEVEL | CLASSES OFFERED kcparent.com november 2019

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Family Day 10:00, National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Enjoy exploring the museum with family and create a tiny tinsel Christmas tree. 816.235.8000 Victorian Seasons Greetings 10:00, Vaile Mansion. Tour the mansion and see the Christmas decorations. VaileMansion.org Make a Joyful Noise 10:00, Bingham-Waggoner Estate. Tour the historic mansion and enjoy the holiday decorations. BWEstate.net/events The Wizard of Oz 11:00, Puppetry Arts Institute. Favorite characters come alive in an exciting production of puppet theater flair! PuppetryArtsInstitute.org Jurassic World Live Tour Thru Sunday, Sprint Center. Jurassic World comes to life for the first time in a touring arena show. JurassicWorldLiveTour.com Festival of Lights 4:00, Powell Gardens. Botanically-themed lighting displays that stretch along a mile-long walking path. PowellGardens.org Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 5:30, Crown Center. The 100-foot-tall mayor’s Christmas tree is lit up to kick off the holiday season. CrownCenter.com

Holiday Luminary Walk Today & tomorrow, Overland Park Arboretum. The arboretum transforms into a wonderland of candles, music and holiday fun. OPKansas.org

30 Saturday Open House 8:00, Louisburg Cider Mill. Shop for unique gift items and enjoy tasty samples, festive music and more. LouisburgCiderMill.com Breakfast with Santa 8:30, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm. Enjoy breakfast, make an ornament and visit with Santa! Pre-reg at Mahaffie.org. Queen Nefertari 10:00, Nelson-Atkins Museum. Visit the exhibit celebrating Queen Nefertari. See royal palaces and tombs and more. Nelson-Atkins.org

Princess Sing-Along 11:00, Independence Center (Lower Level Dillard’s Court). Karaoke with your favorite princesses! ShopIndependenceCenter.com Lanesfield School Country Christmas 1:00, Lanesfield Historic Site. Write a letter to Santa with pen and ink and create your very own ornament. JCPRD.com A Christmas Carol 2:00 & 8:00, Spencer Theatre. The KC Rep’s performance returns for its 38th season. A favorite holiday tradition! KCRep.org A Charlie Brown Christmas 2:00 & 4:00, the Coterie. The animated classic will come to life on stage with a live jazz trio. TheCoterie.org

Small Business Saturday 10:00, Downtown Lee’s Summit. Find holiday gifts and enjoy lunch or dinner while supporting local businesses. DowntownLS.org

Winterfest 5:00, Worlds of Fun. Sparkling lights transform the park that features live shows, holiday characters and activities, cookie decorating and more! WorldsOfFun.com

GREAT GIVEAWAYS AT KCPARENT.COM

You’ve Got Help!

Visit mymcpl.org/homework

One Day Sale 10:00, Degage Dancewear. Purchase three items and receive 30 percent off! Restrictions apply. 913.381.8492

Santa & Me Custom Plate 9:00, Paint Glaze & Fire. Watch the magic unfold as your child meets Santa and makes a plate. Pre-reg at PaintGlazeAndFire.net.

If They’ve Got Homework,

If you live or work in Clay, Jackson, or Platte County and have a Mid-Continent Public Library card, you can start using FREE online resources for elementary, middle, and high school students today.

Small Business Saturday 10:00, Fat Brain Toys. Shop local! Stop in today to receive $10 off a $50 purchase! Facebook.com/fatbraintoysop

$300

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Win Tickets to the

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23RD ANNUAL VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS

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DECEMBER 7, 2019 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$5 per person (Age 5 & under FREE)

JOIN US FOR A 19TH CENTURY CHRISTMAS! Access Insight

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kcparent.com november 2019

Details at KCParent.com


NOV. 22

DEC. 17

Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood

Bandstand

The Scared Scriptless Tour You’ve laughed at their hijinks on “Whose Line is it Anyway?” Now these masters of improv bring their mad skills to Yardley Hall.

From three-time Tony Award® winner and Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. Six soldiers return from war and, through the power of music, finally find a place to call home.

FEB. 7

Anderson & Roe, Piano Duo Known for their adrenalized performances, original compositions and notorious music videos, Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe are revolutionizing the piano duo experience.

E N D L E S S V A R I E T Y , M AT C H L E S S T A L E N T ! Tickets start at $25! Build a season package of 5 SHOWS (or more) and save 10%.

jccc.edu/CarlsenCenter | 913-469-4445 FREE PARKING | WINE & BEER AVAILABLE | NO ONLINE FEES


Explore

Kansas City Zoo November 2 Cub & Scout BSA Day

Meet our

Sloth

November 2 & 3 Great Pumpkin Smash

in the Discovery Barn!

November 9–11 Military Appreciation Weekend

Spend Thanksgiving Weekend at the Zoo November 29, 30, and December 1 • FOTZ Bring a Friend Weekend • Santa Dives • Gentoo & King Penguin Marches

Always a New Adventure! Hoots & Howls and Boo at the Zoo Sponsored by Ford

Open Year Round

Check online for more Zoomazing experiences!

kansascityzoo.org | 816.595.1234 | Open Daily The Kansas City Zoo, a private, non-profit organization is operated in agreement with the Kansas City, MO Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, partially funded by the Zoological District in Jackson and Clay Counties in MO, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


Profile for KC Parent Magazine

KC Parent magazine November 2019  

KC Parent magazine November 2019

KC Parent magazine November 2019  

KC Parent magazine November 2019

Profile for kcparent