Alpha Mom » Brenda Ponnay http://alphamom.com parenting and pregnancy opinions and information Wed, 26 Nov 2014 02:34:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Painted Emoji Pumpkins for Halloween! http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/emoji-halloween-pumpkins/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/emoji-halloween-pumpkins/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:31:32 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=35072

It seems like every time we go to the grocery store one of these cute little pumpkins comes home with us. I’m not ready to cut them up and bake them into pumpkin pies (I doubt I’ll ever be that ready, honestly) and I’m not ready to carve them for Halloween yet either but I have a kid that LOVES to craft so you know what we did? We painted them! In the latest trend of course: Emojis, aka my daughter’s favorite form of communication.Emoji Pumpkins for Halloween by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Supplies to make Emoji Pumpkins

1. washable, water-based, non-toxic, acrylic craft paint* (Don’t worry, it’s the most common craft paint out there. You probably already own some.)
2. some little round pumpkins
3. paint brushes
4. your phone or a print out of your favorite Emojis for reference

emoji-pumpkins-painting-layers

Directions to Make Emoji Pumpkins

First, wash and dry your pumpkins. You could add a layer of varnish to your pumpkins if you want the painting to last longer but face it, these are disposable. Halloween is just a few days away.

After your pumpkin is washed and dried you can lay down your first layer of paint. In this case it’s the yellow face, white ghost and red face of the angry pumpkin. I used two layers of yellow because my paint went on a little thin and streaky. Paint as many layers as you need but make sure your paint dries thoroughly in between layers or else the paint will pull up the under-layer just like putting on a coat of nail polish before the one underneath it is dry.

Emoji Pumpkins for Halloween by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

After your first base layers are dry it’s time to add details! Red hearts, eyes, mouths and then finally some outlines.  Real emojis are created on computers so they have lots of gradients and highlights but you can keep your detail simple or go all out. I personally liked to add the black outline to define the edges and cover up some of my smudges.

Emoji Pumpkins for Halloween by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Then set them up along your doorstep (or maybe your Halloween party table) and send a Halloween message!

I think our message is trying to say: Don’t eat all your kid’s Halloween candy or a ghost will haunt and lick you to death or something like that….

Happy Halloween!

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Difficulty Level: moderate (depending on your painting skill level and patience)
Crafting time: 1/2 hour to an hour, depending on how fast your paint dries.
**Always paint outside or in a well-ventilated area.

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DIY Under-The-Sea Kids’ Costumes for Halloween: Round up! http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/under-the-sea-costumes-diy-halloween/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/under-the-sea-costumes-diy-halloween/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 20:07:14 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=34880

By now you’ve noticed we’ve had an Under-the-Sea kids’ costume theme going for Halloween. They’re fun and easy to make, and who knows, you might want to break them out again for an Under-the-Sea themed party later in the year. Here is a quick round up of all the costumes for you. Follow the links to full tutorials below the pictures.

Kids’ Fish Costume

Kids' Fish Costume (from the DIY Under-the-Sea Costume Series) by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Swish your way down the sidewalk for Halloween treats in this swishy fish costume.

Kids’ Jellyfish Costume

Kids' Jellyfish Costume (from the DIY Under-the-Sea Costume Series) by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Twirl the night away with our swirling Jellyfish costume!

Kids’ Octopus Costume

Kids' Octopus Costume (from the DIY Under-the-Sea Costume Series) by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Ink up the night with our octopus costume made from pool noodles!

Kids’ Sea Shell Costume

Kids' Sea Shell Costume (from the DIY Under-the-Sea Costume Series) by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Show your pretty, softer side with this beautiful sea shell costume and giant pearl headband!

Kids’ Starfish Costume

Kids' Starfish Costume (from the DIY Under-the-Sea Costume Series) by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Get your cute on with this adorable starfish costume!

Kids’ Submarine Costume

Kids' Submarine Costume (from the DIY Under-the-Sea Costume Series) by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

And last but not least go down to the depths of fun with this deep sea submarine costume!

If you’ve had fun with these costumes, drop us a line and let us know. Or better yet leave us suggestions for next year. We’re always up for a costume challenge.

 

 

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DIY Under-the-Sea Costumes: Starfish! http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/starfish-costume-kids-under-the-sea/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/starfish-costume-kids-under-the-sea/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 16:29:42 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=34866

Did you want to make a cute little Starfish Costume for Halloween? Out of cardboard and pool noodles, no less? You have come to the right place! Please scroll down and observe these very simple steps.  This costume is the last one in our Under-the-Sea Series.

Starfish (DIY Under the Sea Costumes) by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Supplies for kids’ Starfish costume:

1. one large piece of cardboard
2. one pool noodle (you probably won’t even need all of it, in fact if you made the octopus costume and you have that one octopus leg left over this is what you’ll need it for!)
3. Some paint (spray paint* or acrylic will do)
4. box cutter**
5. serrated knife*** and cutting board
6. some ribbon
7. hole puncher (optional)

Tutorial for kids’ Starfish costume:

First, cut a five-legged star out of your cardboard. Don’t worry about being perfect. In fact, the more rounded and wobbly the starfish arms are, the better. That way your starfish will look like he’s squishing along the ocean floor one suction cup at a time. Cut a hole in the center for your child’s head (or your head).

Next you’ll need to cut your pool noodle into 1 inch segments. It’s easiest with a serrated knife but be careful and use a cutting board so you don’t cut your table or your hand while you’re at it. Ahem. That’s never happened to me. Nope.

Now it’s time to paint! Non-toxic spray paint is the fastest and easiest method but if you have some regular old acrylic paint on hand, that’s good too. For this costume I used some red and some fluorescent orange spray paint I had on hand but I’m the weird crafting lady who has a rainbow of spray paint just sitting in a box in her closet. Feel free to make your starfish any or as many colors as you like. Do however, paint the suction cups (aka sections of pool noodles a contrasting color)

Once all your paint is dry, it’s time to glue. This part is a bit tricky. I did use hot glue but hot glue melts pool noodles so you have to do it just right and fast.  If you have more time I’d recommend regular non-toxic white glue or any quick drying glue. Just make sure you let the glue harden so those suction cups are secure and not sliding off on Halloween night (code for: plan ahead).

You’ll also need to punch two holes on either side of the face hole and attach some ribbon so you can tie it on your head on Halloween night.

That’s it. Add some solid colored outfit under the costume (blue might be nice to look like water) and you are ready to charm everyone with your starfish cuteness!

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Difficulty Level: easy!

Crafting time: 1/2 hour to an hour, depending on how fast your paint and glue dries. Maybe even a whole day if you are using slow-drying glue.

*Always spray paint outside or in a very well-ventilated area. Use non-toxic (low VOC) spray paint or ask your paint store to put no- or low-VOC paint into a spray can for you.

**Box cutters are NOT for children. Have a responsible adult use any sharp cutting devices.

***Serrated knives are NOT for children (and not even some adults!). Have a responsible adult use any sharp cutting devices.

Have you seen the other costumes in our Under-the-Sea Halloween Costume Series? Here is the Sea Shell, Submarine, FishJellyfish and Octopus costumes.

 

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DIY Under-The-Sea Costumes: Octopus! http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/octopus-costume-kids-under-the-sea/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/octopus-costume-kids-under-the-sea/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:45:26 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=34841

Do you have a little sea creature at home who needs a costume this Halloween?  Why not put this summer’s pool noodles to good use and make a kids’ octopus costume out of them! It’s really easy and requires minimal sewing (maybe not even any if you’re sneaky).  This is our fifth costume in our Under-the-Sea series.

Octopus Costume for Kids (Under-the-Sea Costume Series)

Supplies for kids’ Octopus Costume:

1. oversize t-shirt
2. fabric paint (or you could just glue on some of those really big googlie eyes that you can buy at a craft store and skip the paint)
3. elastic (skip if you’re the no-sew type)
4. three pool noodles cut into three sections each (that’s 9 octopus legs total which is one more than you need. But save it for another craft.)
5. some yarn and a yarn needle (not pictured)

Octopus Costume for Kids (Under-the-Sea Costume Series)

 

Tutorial for DIY kids’ Octopus Costume:

First let’s start with the sewing. I folded the bottom of the t-shirt up about two inches and sewed it there. Then I cut a small slit and stuck my elastic through with a safety pin. When it was all the way around I tied my elastic in a knot and it gathered up the bottom of the shirt making a billowy tummy for my octopus.  If you’re at all comfortable with sewing this will be a no-brainer for you.

If you want to skip the sewing you can just tie the elastic in a knot without putting it through the shirt and use it as a belt for flounce up the t-shirt. This might require some readjusting through the night but it’s totally doable and the tucked in part of the shirt could double as a skirt if your t-shirt is long enough.

Once all your sewing (or non-sewing) is done you’re ready to add your octopus face.  I chose to paint on my octopus face with fabric paint but if you are in a hurry, skip the fabric paint and add giant googly eyes from the craft store. The mouth could easily be drawn on with a permanent marker. If your children are the type who like their costumes to be anatomically correct then skip the mouth altogether.

Octopus Costume for Kids (Under-the-Sea Costume Series)

 

Now it’s time for the octopus legs!  Using a long yarn needle, thread some yarn and pierce each noodle through the top about an inch down from the top. Gather them together like a really big hula skirt and tie in a bow. Wear like a belt.

Octopus Costume for Kids (Under-the-Sea Costume Series)

 

Top it with your octopus-head t-shirt and your kid’s an octopus! Add some dark leggings/pants and boots and your kid will be ready to trick or treat!

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Difficulty Level: easy!

Crafting time: 1/2 hour to an hour, if using fabric paint allow one day for drying (or more if you live in a humid climate)

*If using fabric paint, always paint in a well-ventilated area. Follow directions on packaging.

Have you seen the other costumes in our Under-the-Sea Halloween Costume Series? Here is the Sea Shell, Submarine, Fish and Jellyfish costumes.

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DIY Under-the-Sea Costumes: Jellyfish! http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/no-sew-jellyfish-costume-kids-under-the-sea/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/no-sew-jellyfish-costume-kids-under-the-sea/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:48:06 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=34872

I know the jellyfish-made-from-an-umbrella costume has been done many times but I can’t very well create an under-the-sea costume series without including this magnificent NO-SEW wonder! I know, those tendrils look like some kind of fancy ruffling but they’re not. Simple, simple, simple! Everyone should rush out and get a clear umbrella right now and make this adorable Jellyfish costume.

DIY Under-the-Sea Costumes: Jellyfish! by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Supplies for our Jellyfish Costume for kids:

1. a clear umbrella (actually any color would work but we think clear is extra fancy and pretty)
2. Five or six 6-inch squares of fabric. Any kind will do. I bought some $1.98 fluorescent t-shirts and used them for fabric. Much cheaper and I didn’t have to stand in the cutting line at the fabric store (and you know what that can be like this time of year)!
3. Any other kind of notions you think will look pretty hanging from an umbrella and be tendril like. We used a string of tiny pom poms and some sequined thread but ribbons would work, even crepe paper steamers would work.
4. Something to attach the tendrils to the umbrella like quick-drying glue or even clear tape (note: hot glue does NOT work. It will melt your plastic umbrella and there goes all the fun).
5. fabric scissors

Tutorial for kids’ Jellyfish Costume:

The first step is the trick. Take your six-inch square of fabric and round the edges so that it’s a circle. Then cut a spiral into the circle to the very center. When you unwrap the spiral it will hand down in a tight spiral (see photo above). It’s magic! Once you have all your tendrils cut, attach them to your umbrella with glue or tape.

Add a cute coordinating outfit and you are ready to twirl! And just think, if it rains on Halloween night, you’re ready!

DIY Under-the-Sea Costumes: Jellyfish! by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

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Difficulty Level: easy!

Crafting time: 1/2 hour to an hour, depending on how coordinated you are with fabric scissors

Have you seen our sea shell, submarine and fish costumes from our Under-the-Sea costume series?

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DIY Under-the-Sea Costumes: Fish! http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/fish-costume-kids-under-the-sea/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/fish-costume-kids-under-the-sea/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:52:23 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=34853

As you can see we have an under-the-sea theme going here with the Halloween costumes. But you know what is great about these costumes? They are easy to make and you don’t have buy something from a costume store that came in a bag and looks like every other kid out there.  You can pretty much make anything out of cardboard. Fish costume for a kid? We gotcha covered!

DIY Under the Sea Costumes: Fish! by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

At first I was worried about making a flat 2D costume. I thought I’d make two cardboard sides and let them wear one on each arm.  Then I ran out of time and guess what? It turns out, kids don’t care! Add some props (bubbles attached to a fishing pole) and imagination and they are ready to pucker up and make fish lips like there’s candy being handed out or something.

This costume was really easy to make.

Supplies for our Fish Costume

1. a large piece of cardboard
2. non-toxic spray paint** (or any non-toxic paint, just allow for drying times)
3. detail paint (non-toxic acrylic paint works great!)
4. a ping pong ball
5. permanent marker in black
6. a box cutter*
7. bolsa wood stick
8. yarn
9. three clear plastic Christmas ornament balls

How to Make a Fish Costume

First you cut out your fish shape.  This is easier than you think. It’s basically an oval with a triangle attached for a tail.  Get as elaborate as you like. Pull up google images and knock yourself out copying your favorite fish. Or don’t. Don’t forget to cut an armhole in the middle so your child can wear the fish.  You can disguise the arm as a flipper.

Paint your fish with your base coat. I used spray paint but any kind of paint will work well. When the base coat is dry add your fishy details: scales, tail fin marks, maybe some cheeks and an eyebrow. Let everything dry and then add your eyeball.

For the eye, glue a ping pong ball to your cardboard and then draw a black dot in the center for the eyeball.  You could always skip this step but it makes it fun and more dimensional.

Add some leggings and a long sleeved shirt (or if you are in Southern California and experiencing a heat wave, wear your swim suit) and you are ready to trick or treat!

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Difficulty Level: easy!

Crafting time: 1/2 hour to an hour, depending on how fast your paint dries.

**Always spray paint outside or in a very-well ventilated area.  Use non-toxic (low VOC) spray paint or ask your paint store to put no- or low-VOC paint into a spray can for you.

*Box cutters are NOT for children. Have a responsible adult use any sharp cutting devices.

Have you seen our pretty sea shell and submarine costumes  from our Under-the-Sea costume series?

 

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DIY Under-the-Sea Costumes: Submarine! http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/submarine-costume-under-the-sea/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/submarine-costume-under-the-sea/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 18:33:02 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=34862

Blub blub! There’s some fun going on in deep water over here. Here’s an easy way to make a kids’ submarine costume from cardboard, and will make everyone smile when they’re handing out trick or treat candy. This is the second costume in our series of Under-the-Sea kids’ costumes that we will be publishing for the next several days.

DIY Under-the-Sea Costumes: Submarine! by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Supplies for Submarine Costume for Kids

1. one large piece of cardboard (two if you want to make this costume two sided)
2. a box cutter*
3. yellow and black acrylic paint**, or any color you want.
4. paint brushes
5. one large pop-apart plastic Christmas ornament (optional)

Tutorial for Submarine Costume

First cut out your submarine shape. You can cut out three circles for window shapes (the center one for an arm hole) or just one hole for an arm hole and paint in the others. Your choice. An easy way to create circles is to trace around a bowl or jar.

If you have a pop-apart Christmas ornament I say use it for special effects.  You can also add a cardboard propeller wheel to the back if you like. I personally skipped that step but it would have been cool to attach with a brad so that it actually turns.

Add a snorkel, some swim trunks and a swim shirt and maybe some flippers or rubber boots and you are ready to navigate the waters of Halloween! Perfect costume if you live in a particularly warm area of the country.

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Difficulty Level: easy!
Crafting time: 1/2 hour to an hour, depending on how fast your paint dries.
*Box cutters are NOT for children. Have a responsible adult use any sharp cutting devices.
**Always paint outside or in a well-ventilated area.

 

Have you seen our pretty sea shell costume from our Under-the-Sea costume series?

 

 

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DIY Under-the-Sea Costumes: Sea Shell http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/seashell-costume-under-the-sea-for-kids/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/seashell-costume-under-the-sea-for-kids/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 16:00:42 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=34858

You know what is a pretty Under-the-Sea Halloween costume? A giant sea shell made as a sandwich board and topped with a big pearl headband. This is a super easy-to-make and fun-to-wear kids’ (and adults’) costume. (This is the first in a series of Under-the-Sea costumes. Stay tuned as we publish one every day, for the next several days.)

DIY Under-The-Sea Costume: Sea Shell by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Supplies for Sea Shell Costume

1. Two large pieces of cardboard
2. box cutter*
3. spray paint** or acrylic paint in soft seashell colors (2 colors are best)
4. ribbon in a matching color
5. an inexpensive headband you can wrap in ribbon
6. masking tape
7. a large pearlized christmas ornament (not too big though—ours was a little heavy and the headband had to be reinforced with a butterfly clip so it didn’t slip off) or any big bead that can be made to look like a pearl.
8. floral wire (optional)
9. hot glue*** or any quick-drying strong glue
10. costume “jewels” or flat floral marbles

Tutorial for Sea Shell Costume

First you will need to cut your seashell shape out of the cardboard. Draw your shape on the cardboard with pencil and then use a box cutter to cut it out. It’s easiest if you use a smooth arcing motion with your hands to get the scalloped edges.

After you’ve cut out your shapes, paint your shell. Leave light and dark areas that follow the ridges of a shell.

When your paint is dry, cut (or use a heavy-duty hole puncher)  two holes in the top of each shell where your ribbons will go. Lace ribbon through to create a sandwich board.

Tutorial to make headband

I used two really inexpensive dollar store headbands to create this look. I taped them together at both ends and in the middle with a piece of masking tape. Then I took my ribbon, taped it at one end and wrapped it around and around the headband until I got to the other end. I secured the loose end of ribbon to the headband with another small piece of making tape.

To attach the “pearl” (aka Christmas ornament), I used floral wire and wired it to the headband. Hot glue or quick-acting glue might work well here too. I then covered my wire with more ribbon, securing it by tying it in a pretty bow. Then I hot-glued some costume “jewels” and flat marbles to complete the pretty under-the-sea bubbly look.

 

DIY Under-The-Sea Costume: Sea Shell by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

 

Add leggings and rubber boots and you are ready to catch a trick-or-treat wave!

 

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Difficulty Level: moderately easy.

Crafting time: 1/2 hour to an hour, depending on how fast your paint dries and how much of a perfectionist you are when it comes to making headbands.  Feel free to simplify my steps.

*Box cutters are NOT for children. Have a responsible adult use any sharp cutting devices.

**Always spray paint outside or in a very-well ventilated area.  Use non-toxic (low VOC) spray paint or ask your paint store to put no- or low-VOC paint into a spray can for you.

*** Hot glue can burn. Be careful, use common sense and don’t allow children near hot glue until it is cooled.

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10 Tips for Navigating Disneyland With Kids http://alphamom.com/family-fun/activities/disneyland-with-kids-tips/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/activities/disneyland-with-kids-tips/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:34:25 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=32945

As a local Southern Californian, I’ve been to Disneyland quite a few times. Over the years I’ve developed some tips that I thought I’d share with you in case you might be planning a trip to the big mouse trap.

1. Go Early
For the longest time I didn’t think this really made a bit of difference. Why wake up at the crack of dawn and then push yourself to pound every minute out of your feet every hour of the day before the park closes? So I didn’t. I’d show up at eleven in the morning every visit and then would mutter to myself disgustedly that Disneyland was always so crowded. What’s the point in paying almost a hundred bucks a ticket if you only get three rides in? But then I read a few guide books and discovered that if you do show up early you can almost get the whole park to yourself for an hour. Most visitors arrive around eleven. If you arrive early enough, you can skip some of the entry lines (and security) completely. On our latest visit, we arrived earlier and skipped through the turnstiles. It was bliss!

2. Do Bring A Friend
Sure it costs more in absolute dollar terms but if you can buddy up your child with a friend to talk to while waiting on long lines, you’ll find that the kids will bolster each other if one is afraid of a scary ride. A friend might even encourage a timid child to try something new. Plus, taking a best friend to Disneyland is the best kind of memory making.

3. Eat Early in the Day
Plan ahead and bring your own snacks. There’s nothing worse than a low blood-sugar melt-down when you’re literally melting-down in 90-degree weather in a long, long line. Get Fastpasses and take advantage of your wait time by eating lunch early. Eating is boring for kids so make sure you get it out of the way before they are starving and their low-battery lights are flashing in the form of tantrums.

10 Tips for Navigating Disneyland With Kids

4. Do Fastpasses Early
If a line is longer than 20 minutes, take advantage of Fastpasses! They are awesome. All you have to do is find a Fastpass dispenser, stick your ticket in. A Fastpass will spit out of the bottom of the machine and now you are free to use your time for something else. Take in a side-street show, enjoy the scenery, rest on a shady bench…anything is better than standing in line. Especially when it’s time for lunch. Instead of waiting in line while you get hungry, eat lunch AND THEN wait in a much much shorter line. Fastpass holders get special treatment and you’ll feel like a million bucks as you whiz past everyone else to the front of the line.

5. Download the Mousewait Disneyland App
 The Mousewait Disneyland app is great for mapping out the park and seeing which rides have shorter lines. You’ll be surprised, funny things happen and sometimes  rides can go from 120 minutes down to 20 minutes if you keep an eye on them. And while we’re on the subject of apps and phones, it’s a good idea to make sure your phone is fully charged and your screen is set to dim because your phone will run out of battery and plugs are hard to find. If you have one, bring an extra battery charger or look for restaurants and bathrooms with plugs. Here’s a downloadable list of where you can charge your phone if you get desperate.

10 Tips for Navigating Disneyland With Kids

6. Adopt an ‘EVERYBODY RIDES ALL THE RIDES’ policy
This might not work for all parents but I personally have a child who gets extremely timid at the most inopportune times, like right before we are about to get on the boat at Pirates of the Caribbean. She also is very strong-willed and if I don’t watch it, she’ll be the ruling the day like a tyrannical queen. I’ve spent many expensive days at Disneyland riding no rides and fuming because tickets are expensive and I sat around all day while my kid played with the magical moving water ball and climbed around Tarzan’s Treehouse.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love that there are many things to do at Disneyland besides rides. You can have a magical time and never step foot on a ride but personally, I want to get a few thrills in for my money.  That’s just me.

This last trip I took, a friend who has an “Everybody Rides All the Rides” policy and I listened to her explain over and over to her children that Disneyland is designed for kids. She calmly explained that she’d ridden all the rides before and she knew that everyone would have a good time. Sure enough, we took a few tear-streaked children on some fast roller coasters and they were beaming with pride and jumping for joy when we finally disembarked. Everyone had a good time no matter how convinced they were that that they would not.  Again, use this advice judiciously. At the end of the day, you are the expert of your own children.

7. Snack Often
See tip number 2. Hungry kids are not happy kids. Snacks are expensive though so make sure you bring things like non-melting granola bars, trail mix or lots of cash for vendors.

10 Tips for Navigating Disneyland With Kids

7. Be Aware of Merchandising. Fight it. Accept it.
Everyone is going to want a souvenir from Disneyland. It’s inevitable. Even if you just purged last year’s souvenirs yesterday and you swore you wouldn’t fall for any battery-operated, twinkle-glow-in-the-dark, sparkly rhinestone, mouse-ear-ed, princess, whatz-its…. you will fall into this evil trap. There is just something about being at Disneyland that makes you think you neeeed something from Disneyland to commemorate your visit, as if your credit card statement won’t be memory enough.

If you can’t fight it, accept it.  Set a budget for  snacks and souvenirs and let your kids know they are only allowed X-amount of dollars for each. It can be a teachable moment in mathematics! Sometimes mouse ears are worth more than cotton candy and sometimes they are not. Let them decide. Do remember that the lighted, blinking, super-fun, glow-in-the-dark souvenirs come out at night though so don’t blow all your money right away, early on in the day.

10 Tips for Navigating Disneyland With Kids

8. Rest and Recharge
Take advantage of shady spots and put your feet up. Enjoy the view. It’s going to be a long day and you’re probably going to be carrying a little person by the end of it, so pace yourself. Make a note of parade times and scope out a spot to sit long before the event happens. Take advantage of slow rides like It’s a Small World or those little kiddie rides in Fantasyland. Take in some seated air conditioning at Innoventions in Tomorrowland. These rides and attractions might be a little bit boring for grown-ups but they are great for resting. Enjoy your sitting time where you can get it. Your feet will thank you later.

I’m a coffee junkie and I take an afternoon coffee break every day but you might consider it too when you’re at Disneyland. There is nothing better to boost you through the afternoon than a 3 o’clock shot of caffeine. You can do what I did and make you’re own iced coffee gas-station-style with a $2.79 black coffee, a cup of ice and thirty seven creamers OR you can head back to Main Street for a ice-blended frappuccino at the brick and mortar Starbucks. Keep your eyes open for carts too. They tend to position themselves near Main Street as well.

10 Tips for Navigating Disneyland With Kids

10. Stay Late, Leave Early
Do blow your kids’ bedtime and stay for the evening fireworks. They are fantastic! Get yourself situated somewhere along Main Street so you can take in the whole show and not have to crane your neck around some tree or landscaping. But here’s the trick: Leave before it’s over. Leave before everyone else leaves. Even though Disneyland handles crowds better than anyone, there is nothing better than beating the mass exodus. The fireworks show lasts about 14 minutes, so I would recommend watching for 10 minutes and then get a head start on the exiting crowds. You’ll be so happy to be passing through those exit stalls before everyone else, you won’t even notice what you missed.

Hope that helps! Please share your been-there-done-that tips below in the comment section.

Here are our top picks for rides and attractions when visiting Disneyland, Disney California Adventure Park and Disney World in Florida.

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Halloween Craft: Super Easy Spiderweb Candleholder DIY http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/halloween-spiderweb-candleholder-diy/ http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/halloween-spiderweb-candleholder-diy/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:02:55 +0000 http://alphamom.com/?p=34749

If you’re looking for something fun to make to decorate your house for Halloween and you want to keep mess and fuss to a minimum? I have got the perfect Halloween craft for you! It’s so easy I almost wished it was a little harder. These came together in minutes!

Halloween Craft: Super Easy Spiderweb Candleholder DIY by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

Supplies you’ll need:

1. Clear jars in various sizes (stay away from canning jars that have bumpy logos on them. Regular jars from your pantry will work great. So save those pickle jars!)

2. A black permanent marker

3. White paint (kid-safe and toxic-free)

4. a paint brush (sponge ones work best)

That’s it! So easy. You probably already have these supplies and tools on hand.

First make sure your jars are clean and dry. You don’t want any glue/sticky residue leftover from the labels that you have already removed.

Then with your black permanent marker draw a simple spider web on the outside of the jar. This can be done by creating a big star and then adding cross lines in each section around the center. Don’t worry about being symmetrical, spiders can sometimes be sloppy. Add a spider to the middle if you like.  You might even want to draw a little ghost like my daughter did, but keep your drawings simple.

When the marker pen is dry, drop a couple drips of white paint into the bottom of each jar. Paint the paint up the inside of your jar until your it is entirely coated. Add more paint as needed.

Once your paint is dry, add battery-operated candles (always the safest) and let them glow spookily!

Halloween Craft: Super Easy Spiderweb Candleholder DIY

Isn’t October fun?

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