Over the weekend, I was finally able to experience the ultimate character breakfast at Walt Disney World Resorts. For someone like me who is constantly at the parks, Chef Mickey's is THE place to go have breakfast at. Located in Disney's Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey's is the only buffet restaurant for breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner to meet the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald)! Reservations are extremely hard to get, so I was able to grab a table for 6 back in October! Using the MyDisneyExperience App, I went under dining reservations, and searched from October onward to February and finally snagged the table.
Since we were going to visit The Magic Kingdom for the day, we went ahead and parked at the Magic Kingdom took the tram over to the Ticket Transportation Center and went through the resort monorail section to hop over the resort. The monorail goes right through the resort, so this added on more excitement for the kids! We always go through the resort when we are on our way to Magic Kingdom, so to actually being on the other side was so much fun.
After checking in, we immediately went over to have our picture taken with the Chef Mickey statue. Disney's Photopass photographers are there for you to capture those wonderful memories. Having memory maker myself, I take advantage of those photos. They always come out clear, and they capture our true feelings as we arrived.
Our table was ready as soon as our picture was taken. We had an amazing view of Bay Lake on that cloudy morning. Having to be on a gluten free diet, The waitress brought me a menu that explained to me everything that I could eat. They also placed in an order of Gluten Free Mickey Mouse Waffles.
There was so much to choose from. I wish I had the guts to be a vlogger so you all can see the amount of options we had to eat! For $40pp (yea I know!), we had many types of egg scrambles such as tofu scramble, cheese and ham scramble, cheesy eggs, and egg whites with peppers which I had and it was delicious. I do have to say the eggs were a little runny. All types of breakfast potatoes, assorted meats such as bacon, ham, beef and salmon.
My children indulged in assorted continental breakfast pastries, waffles, potatoes and scrambled eggs. To my surprise, they ate just about everything, and really left the restaurant with their bellies full, and I was worried that they may not make it at the park afterwards!
To be completely honest, having the character dining is a lot more comforting if you have children who are like mine and despise waiting in long lines. My son doesn't care to wait in line to take a picture with the character and leave. He enjoyed having the characters come to him and interacting with us just as we would in the long lines with other people. The characters are in a rotation, and they come around just about every hour to each section. The cast members do a fantastic job making sure that all the characters get to your table. If you notice that one of the characters did not make it to your table, alert one of the character handlers, and they will definitely have them come immediately to your table.
My favorite moment for us was when I asked Donald Duck: "Where are the Donald Waffles?!" He threw his hands in the air as if he was saying: "I know, right?!" He gestured to me that he was the head chef, and I completely agreed that he would make a great head chef. Of course I got a smooch from him afterwards.
I do think that this was an experience for the loyal Disney fan. I say loyal because the price for breakfast was $40 adults and $20 for children. Disney enthusiast know what they will get for that price, and going to a character dining will cut out all that waiting in the Florida heat and crowds. There are so many options to choose from. I wish that my dietary restrictions did not prohibit me from trying all the other goodness. My husband did eat $40 worth of food, and having the experience itself for the children was well worth it. The best part of eating at the resort is that you do not have to be a guest staying on property or even have a ticket to the parks! For anyone looking to have their little ones meet the characters without going to the parks, this is the best option for you! I know my little one are already asking for another chance for breakfast!
Until next time! Spreading PIxie Dust your way,
(i received a year subscription to the Kidloland app in exchange for an honest review. To protect the privacy of my students and the privacy of my preschool, I have pictures of my very own toddler playing in the App!)
It seems that technology has taken over our kids minds. With the popularity of tablets, apps and Minecraft, children are being immersed into the world of technology. Since STEM is becoming our everyday life, many apps are being created to help young children through educational games. I am 100% for that cause!
It is very hard to find apps out there that we can trust. We, as parents, want to make sure that children are getting a proper education that will be appealing to them. Teachers everywhere from preschool and up are relying on those technologies in the classroom. In my classroom, I am very picky about what apps I would allow my children to play or even watch videos. I want to make sure that it correlates to our inquiry and will benefit that one child that needs that extra push (or even the sneaky way of playing games and learning). With that being said, I have had the opportunity to review Kidoland. Kidloland is an app that allows preschool children to learn a variety of nursery rhymes, numbers, colors Alphabet and more!
As soon as you open the App, the children will be an Awe with the colors and the music! My class loved the bright colors and immediately wanted to try the different learning games. The Nursery Rhymes are very popular since the kids knew all of the songs! What is even better is the fact that the words are on the screen, and highlight as the song goes. This made the kids look at the words, and many kids have progressed their environmental print reading by continuously seeing these words up on the screen!
The Alphabet words were my personal favorite. As a preschool teacher, we put a huge emphasis on literacy. It all starts with knowing the letters, sounds and different words that begin with that letter. In Kidloland, when you choose the letter, we learn the different words that begin with that letter. For example, we learn that Owl begins with O. I ask my three year old student what we learn about Owls in this little rhyming song. He begins saying with a silly dance: "owls are silent flight and they sleep at night!" Not only did we learn the letter O for Owl, we learned some facts about the owl through rhyme and song.
The different activities in the App guide the children to what to do next without necessarily giving away the answers. The "finger" will assist the children with what to do since most children will continue to tap the tablet. Children normally get frustrated when they see that "it is not working". If you get the answer wrong, the kids hear "oh-oh." This positive redirection actually boosted my classes esteem to try again instead of seeing a normal red "x" to indicate they had the wrong answer. It was very easy for the kids to navigate in the App.
To download the App for iOS you do not have to pay anything. Even though it is free, there is an "in store purchase". According to Kidloland on iOS, The subscription to access the full content including future updates.
- There are three options for subscriptions: $4.99/ month, $24.99/ 6 months or the best value: $39.99/ year.
- The payments will be charged to iTunes Account when you get to the confirmation page.
- Cancel subscription renewal anytime under Manage App Subscriptions in your iTunes Settings.
- Subscription automatically renews unless auto-renewal is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current period.
- Account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period.
- Use the subscription in any iPad/iPhone/iPod registered with your Apple account.
- No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during active subscription period.
Once you conclude your subscription, you will have to download the different songs and activities within the App. They are not able to all be preloaded in the App because then it would take up a lot of space. If you uninstall the app or delete the songs to free up memory, you will have to re-upload them. To save on memory, the company has given the option to download the ones your child would like to play and delete them once they heard them. While many people might find that downloading the songs not quite what they were looking for, Kidloland has about 500 interactive games, and that means that would take up lots of room on your phone or tablet. The kids decide which game they want to use!
While many people might think this is pricy for a child's app, think about the benefits your child will be getting from the app. This App would be perfect for the preschool center. The director of the program can order the subscription so the kids can have access to the app during technology rotations. As a mom as well, this app would be perfect if you plan on homeschooling your preschooler. I had a blast playing this in my classroom and with my own toddler at home! I went ahead and gave this App 5 stars in the Apple store!
I have decided to do a giveaway for a free subscription! Check it out and you will not be disappointed! All you need to do is go to:
https://www.facebook.com/kidloland/ and like on Facebook!
Even follow their instagram: page https://www.instagram.com/kidloland/
Make sure to let them know that Kayla sent you!
#preschooler #preschoolteacher #stayathomemom #toddler #homeschooler #earlychildhoodeducation #earlychildhoodeducator
Here is "Cha-Cha" enjoying the Alphabet learning moment! She keeps touching the Apple because she loves the way the Apple moves. Everything about this App is interactive! Never a dull moment!
Look at how much she loves it! Just like my classroom children, my own toddler enjoys learning games. She loves the letter A for Apple song! As we speak, she is asking to play more! I guess that means its time for her own tablet!
During my University days, I was a stay at home mom taking her courses through an online blackboard. I found that online courses allowed me to take care of my son and learn at my own pace. I was majoring in Sociology, and I knew I wanted to teach young kids or even work as a social science teacher. Overall, I really wanted to help children. Towards the end of my earning my degree, I couldn't believe how much my son, as a toddler, was growing! Those milestones were absolutely amazing, and how quickly he would absorb information was wonderful. It was at that moment that I began to do my research on early childhood education. I started to play school with my son at home and talk to him with a big words that he would then repeat. I knew it was time for him to start preschool.
I decided I wanted to teach wherever he went to school and applied to preschools with a real curriculums and had a recognized accreditation. I thought it was a “win-win” situation because he would be getting a fantastic education for his age and I would gain experience in teaching. I began to work as an assistant teacher and observed the day-to-day operations of the preschool.
As my son was learning and having fun socializing, I discovered an inner desire to become a leader at the community within the school. I normally do not like taking on a project unless I am really passionate about it and the job that was supposed to be an exchange of experiences ended up turning into something I took more seriously and, in return, I went to work with pride. The next thing I knew, I took the state mandated classes to become a lead teacher and was promoted to overseeing my own pre-kindergarten class.
Four years later, my son is in 1st grade (Doing fantastic!) and my 2 year old daughter is in a high quality preschool program with her Mommy. I am now a proud teacher to a classroom of three year olds and have become a professional leader and mentor to help guide other preschool teachers in my school (I am protecting the actual job description for not disclosing my company). I wake up ready to tackle the day, even though I have my days where I am wishing I could just stay quiet and alone in my house.
There are days that my career has its downfalls. I have so many rantings on my experiences from day-to-day "teacher life" that I could write a personal memoir of all my experiences. I come home some days really wanting to chug down a bottle of wine and cry in my car about how stressful it is and sometimes I say things in my head and have to call for someone to cover me while I collect my thoughts. I am human and everyone has those moments in their career. Now, what can possibly go wrong “playing” with kids all day? Well, let me rant or maybe just give you some advice about things I deal with on a daily basis.
1. You have to remember, children are little humans who are learning about the world around them. That means they will question everything you do. When you really need a piece of chocolate and you sneak in the closet to take a bite, they all will hound you like vultures wanting to know what it is you were doing. I look to my experiences with my own children and I remember why I can't eat around them when they're not eating. I even bribe one of the kids not to say anything out loud by giving them a piece of chocolate. It works 10% of the time.
2. Each child has their own personality. Oh yes they do! Sometimes they walk into the classroom, like me walking in if I forget to drink my morning coffee, and bring on the attitude. So if that child comes into your class and they yell that they "hate you," just give them their safe place, please. IT IS FOR YOUR SAFETY AND THEIRS! Remember, just like you, they need their time to collect their thoughts and come to terms with their feelings. Be aware of the parents as well. Some of those parents make me thankful that I am not an uptight Mom.
3. You work around women in a female driven work environment. Child care is predominantly staffed by women and you rarely see men in this line of work. That means you will be a target of "something." I learned that the best thing to do is stay quiet when drama occurs because no matter what, we all will gossip at some point in time. It is in our natures. I've worked with women who create a game of telephone and take something, or everything, you say personally. Example: I asked someone to fix their lesson plan (very nicely) and i heard 5 minutes later that I am too harsh on them. Always remember you should be there for the children and it is better to be with them in the classroom where they accept you and see you as perfect anyways!
4. You will have so much work to do! Many tasks include, but are not limited to, creating files of kid's work, taking antidotal notes, creating progress assessments, preparing the work for the week and designing lesson plans. You will do this all in an allotted planning period given to you. It could be nap time, lunch time, or even an hour before you get off work to go plan. Time is precious as a preschool teacher. If you don't have anything planned you will be in trouble. The days go by much easier when everything is structured and planned out properly and you will find the kids have less time for bad behaviors in the classroom.
5. While doing all of this work you need to remember that some facilities will keep to mandated state ratios and that just means that you will be the only adult to the little sugar filled children running around you. You have to really look at how you use your classroom management skills to make sure that no one is hurting someone else or themselves, hanging off the ceiling, or dumping their hair in the toilet (yes that has happened to me before).
6. With all this hard work of lesson planning, taking notes, watching out which little booger is about to wipe their sweat on your shirt, you need need to remember that the pay absolutely sucks! Preschool education is one of the lowest paying careers in the country. Sometimes it feels as if I am under appreciated and viewed as not really needing a quality education or credentials to teach these children. I take professional development courses each year as required by the state to ensure I am constantly learning and am highly qualified to be teaching young children. Children deserve me and others who truly care about their education as their teachers.
7. Working in preschool education you are mostly paid hourly and miss out on perks like paid sick leave. When the student-to-teacher ratios are very low the school will send me home and I miss out on pay for an undetermined period of time. My paychecks seem to be laughing at me in the face right now because working in the summer months I am lucky if I can secure six hours of pay a day. Be aware that preschools in the summer can be guilty of overstaffing teachers and displacing the student-to-teacher ratios based on the amount of children that participate in summer school. You have to remind yourself that you are not in this for the money at all.
These are just some opinions and experiences that most of us child care professionals feel about working in this line of work. I can say that it may be stressful some days but pursuing a career as a preschool teacher has personally been the most rewarding and caring job experience ever. There are some qualifications that you need to become a preschool teacher and in many states you do need an Associate's Degree or higher to teach in addition to the extra hours needed to understand the basics of childcare. For more information, find your state licensing department to find out what you would need to complete your certification.
Don't forget that in order to be a preschool teacher you will need to be:
Not afraid to act silly
Work under pressure to meet deadlines
Handle working with bodily fluids (because depending on which age you want to teach, you may get peed on or vomited on)
Sending Pixie Dust your way,
30 Question Disney Tag
Normally people do these types of things on Youtube where the “vloggers” have a time frame to complete these questions. Well I am always being asked these questions and decided to do the “My Disney List” because 1. I love List and 2. I love Disney. So here it goes…
The list can go on and on with my favorite things about Disney. So I think that I should challenge my Sister Brianna to post on her Terra Nirvana blog! Let the game begin!
I have to admit that "adulting" is really hard work. As a working mother, I am coming home at the end of the day exhausted, overwhelmed and drained. Everyone around me just told me that it was a completely normal feeling to have and need to understand that "this is just how life is." There was more to this feeling. I came home from being a smiley optimistic Mrs. Kayla from Preschool to just coming home, cooking dinner spending time with my kids and feeling this mental exhaustion. When the weekend came, I would avoid eye contact with people and look down as I walk. I would sit cross legged and wait for someone to ask me a question or converse with me in some possible way. I began to feel like those people hated me and excluded me because I was this rude woman who didn't want to make a conversation.
One day, I had an epiphany driving in the car with my brother on the phone. He started to explain to me the idea that I myself may be an introvert. An Introvert? Really? I was taught by society that introverts were not "people persons." They were lonely, quiet, rude, socially awkward people. To make it in this world, you have to extroverted. While having conversations with my doctor about the anxiety issues and being mentally exhausted, I was told that yes…I am an introvert.
I discovered that my problem is that I'm at a job all day that requires me to speak to other adults, direct them and the children, while always keeping a smile on my face. I came to find out from my doctor that I was experiencing social anxiety and that the best thing I could do was come home and find time alone to recollect my thoughts. When the doctor explained this was the best remedy for my anxiety, I laughed because I have two children and a husband, and even a dog, that needs my attention throughout the day. In order to do what the doctor suggested I'd have to hide in the bathroom pretending to use it just to get a moment of peace.
After that diagnoses I did what I do best. I did some research on the subject and made a list. (By the way, I LOVE to make lists). I decided to embrace my newly realized personality trait and created a list that consists of goals that I would like to achieve in order to help accept myself as an introvert.
Here's my list:
1. Enjoy more alone time.
- Having some alone time helps me recharge my brain and really meditate on my day and what to do next time to make it better. I even give myself praise and words of encouragement in my mind on the good things I did that day. It also affords me time to run away into my imagination and read my books. My books are always calling to me and reading them really gives me an escape from reality.
2. Find more creative outlets.
- I chose writing in my journal and on my blog page. I feel that writing out what I'm thinking is a sort of free therapy to me. I can save some entries to reflect on my life and see what progress I have made or even some things I should improve on. Blogging helps me reach out to those people who are need of finding a safe place for themselves to understand that they are not alone in whatever issues that they are facing.
- I choose to color because coloring focuses on relaxing my mind and body from a stressful day. Adult coloring books are great for those really wanting to relax. I have collected two coloring books, and I am looking forward to the Lisa Frank Coloring Book!
- I also chose photography as an outlet because it challenges me to find beauty in everything. I mostly love to take pictures of the Cinderella Castle and other remarkable things at Disney World and post them to my Instagram page.
3. Know that making time for yourself is not a selfish act!
-This is a big one for me because, let's face it I am the Matriarch of my family. Mommy knows best in the house and everyone flocks to mommy to help with whatever first world problem there is while daddy is standing right next to them. I try not to beat myself up too harshly if I say to myself “I deserve me time!” I do deserve a small portion of time throughout the day for myself because it is the only way my brain allows me recoup.
I know that as time ebbs on and I continue to find myself I will continue to add on to this list. My hope is that in listing all of my introverted quirks I will eventually turn this list into a set of goals that will require me to say "hello" to a stranger on the street or even make eye contact with everyone I come in contact with in my daily life and work surroundings. 'Til then, I will hide in my bathroom hoping that my kids can not find me so I can enjoy my much earned five minutes of peace.
Sending Pixie Dust your Way,
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
I have gone through this magical transformation that could even be form of pixie dust if you may say. I am learning that as a mother, a wife, a teacher, and many other titles, society puts women under this pressure of who we need to be as part of society. It is okay and completely normal to feel these feelings that we feel on a day to day basis. We are tired, stressed, overwhelmed that we forget one thing. We grew up. Now something like that would make me think WWDD? If you do not know, that stands for “What Would Disney Do?”
Disney did quote this. Adults grow up. So here I am ranting this whole time about “adulting” that I lost sight of my innocence and adventure that society told me to let go of.
So who am I exactly? I am a child at heart. A dreamer. A free-spirit. A butterfly or even a tinker fairy just wanting to spread some pixie dust to that one person who needs to hear it. You will find me here ranting for other moms. I will tell you about my Celiac disease (bread and I are star-crossed lovers). I will write to you about my family adventures and offering Disney advice and tips for those families on the go.
Sending some Pixie Dust your way.