Jumping Around at Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park

Indoor trampoline parks are a great way for kids to burn some energy! They’re our go-to spot when it’s rainy or too hot to play outside but my son is ready to run and play. Jumpstreet in Jacksonville Beach is the closest one to us, but our city has several different options and I’m sure there are ones just like it across the US.

Jumpstreet has a special area called the Earthquake zone for smaller kids under five. They have a trampoline area, plus a blow-up slide and maze. It’s enough to keep most kids entertained for a couple hours.

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Before you go, it’s best to sign their waiver online. That way you can just go in and give them your name. It’s hard to fill out the form on the computers there with an antsy kid jumping around, pulling at you and begging to run and play.

The first time we went, it took my son 30 minutes to work up the courage and figure out how to climb the ladder on the blow-up slide. Now he’s an expert and loves sliding down on his belly and running up in the wrong direction!

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We usually go in the early afternoon and it’s never too crowded. We did try it once in the evening and it got a little packed. The kids don’t need any special socks to jump (some places require this) so they can jump barefoot or in their own socks.

My son loves it when they put out the bouncy balls on the trampolines. They usually have them out unless it gets packed.

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The total with tax for little kids comes to about $8.50 and is good for the entire day. They get a sticker and as long as they have that, you can leave and come back. They don’t charge anything for parents unless you plan on jumping as well. If you join their rewards program on the Fivestars app, then they will often send you great coupons like $5 off a jump session or 1/2 off your purchase.

They have tables around the place with good views of all the activity spots, so the bonus for parents is mostly getting to stay in one spot and keep an eye on the kids. Hurray for a moment to rest!

If you haven’t tried out an indoor trampoline park yet, I totally recommend it. Most will have a special area for small kids and some even have a special “Toddler Time” where kids under five get the run of the place for a few hours on special days. And if you are looking for more indoor fun, check out this post about Kids Bowl Free all summer!

 

 

 

Real Mom Life, Making it Work

Being mom means being the ultimate multitasker, squeezing things in whenever you can, and trying to do most things with a companion of questionable temperament.

My friend Georjie snapped this pic while she was highlighting my hair one afternoon. It’s not exactly a glamorous shot, but it’s a little peek into daily “mom life.” Me trying to get things done with a little guy at my feet.

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I’m most likely checking an Instagram post while my son plays on the floor of the salon. We were lucky that it was empty that day because he didn’t want to sit quietly and watch TV or his iPad. And I was lucky to have met someone who worked at a cute little salon in the back of a boutique who was OK with having my son scurry around while she did my hair.

We made it work. That’s what moms do. All day, every day.

Making Wall Worthy Kids Art with Stencils

Stencils are a great way for kids of almost any age to make wall worthy art. As long as they can hold a painting utensil or sponge, then they should be able to transfer paint onto the prepared stencil surface and have it result in something pretty decent!

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We recently took advantage of a cold rainy afternoon to do an art project compliments of Stencil Revolution. I picked out a neat seahorse stencil to go with our beach house renovation decor and set it up so my three-year-old son could do the painting.

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The first thing we did was head to the hardware store to get a piece of wood to use as a base. I also had a second Halloween themed stencil, so I got a 4ft. piece of wood to fit them both for just $9. After cutting it to fit both stencils I still had enough left over to make something else. After cutting the board to fit, I stained them a navy blue. You can also paint the boards a solid color.

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After the stain was dry, I taped the stencil where I wanted the design to be. My board wasn’t as wide as I should have been, but I just went with it. I realized later, as my son was really going crazy slapping on the paint, that it is best to have all the sides taped down really well. I was only able to tape down the top and bottom so it slipped a tiny bit, but not enough to mess it up in the end. You do need to have it secured better than we did if you want a crisp stencil edge.

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With our surface prepped, next we mixed our paints. We used acrylics in a metallic teal, blue and a dash of white. Our painting tool or choice was a sponge painter. My son took to sponge painting with gusto, scooping large blobs of paint out and slopping it down as I scrambled to make sure it wasn’t splattering beyond our small art mat.

At first I kept trying to limit his paint and show him how to do it, but then I just let him go with it and his unique blob painting technique actually resulted in a really cool texture! The bubbles and lumps make it look almost like the seahorse has scales.

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I made sure every spot was covered and then Mr. Impatient had to see his creation immediately, so I removed the stencil and we were both very excited to see something so pretty! I’m sure you’re probably supposed to let it dry and then remove it so you don’t risk smudging it, but it was hard enough to stop the flailing little arms from smearing the whole thing while it was on so I figured I’d better show him and then display it up high where he couldn’t touch it.

After I removed the stencil, I immediately rinsed it off and the acrylic paint easily came off with a little scrubbing. The stencil is made from laser cut 12 mil Mylar and can be used over and over again. It can also be cleaned with paint thinner if you choose to let the paint dry on it and have a harder time cleaning it off. Acrylics will usually wash off or peel off easily though, even when dry.

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So you can see our seahorse doesn’t have super crisp edges and isn’t “perfect” but I think that adds to its beachy vibe. I just have to add a little hook to the back and I’ll be hanging this little masterpiece on the wall. And thanks to StencilRevolution.com for sending the stencil for this fun little project!