Tag Archives: Emily Moise

Amazon Picks for Spring & Summer Adventures with Kids

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of three kids, ages 6, 5, and 9 months.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ gear as well as local explorations with little ones. See more of them here.]

 

Spring brings so much anticipation for warm-weathered adventures. Whether you’re beach bound or backyard bound, here are Amazon picks that will get you and your kids in gear from here to September.  Most of these recommendations are best for the 8 and under crowd, but some range all ages!

WHEELIE FUN
Dust off the scooters and bikes and get ready to roll. Here are some ways to spruce up your kids’ favorite set of wheels.

 

Bike (& Scooter!) Basket – This basket zips closed and detaches as a shoulder bag. Here’s one for the traditionalists.

 

 

Bike Wheel Spoke Beads – Like Croc charms for your bike! Add some handlebar streamers for extra flair.

 

 

Lights & Sounds Attachment – Choose from 25 kid-friendly sounds – like “race car” and “magic carpet” – to alert pedestrians and drivers.

 

 

Bike Lock – This has a simple self-coiling design, comes in a variety of colors, and has a mounting bracket that would work with scooters.

 

 

Radio Flyer Scoot to Scooter – This one’s for the little ones who want to keep up. Love a grow-with-me item!

 

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WATER-READY
It’s never too early to prep for three months of water life. If your suits are pilling, dive toys dulling, and goggles snapping, refresh your pool bag with these items.

 

Two-Piece Swimsuit – Two-piece for the bathroom break win. Here’s another one chosen by my almost seven-year-old. P.S. These are still our winning swim trunks.

 

 

Seek & Splash Number Dive – A to-dive-for game for any little swimmers in their math era.

 

 

Giant Gator Ride-On – This was one of my son’s favorite birthday presents this year, and he cannot wait to take it for a swim.

 

 

Bungee Strap Goggles – Bungee strap is the frustration-free way to go.

 

 

Travel Size Shower Set – We have this set in a plain (now boring after seeing these) style. Just irresistible.

 

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SMART FASHION
I’m a sucker for kids fashion that’s cute and practical. These are items that I’m doubling down (and up) on.

 

Butterfly Shorts – Flowy bottoms with built-in bike shorts (with pockets!). Perfect for little athletes, or just for the playground hangs and cartwheeling.

 

 

Waterproof Slip-On Shoes – My kids love their Crocs, but Native’s closed-heel shoes are so practical, especially in this go-with-everything rainbow print. Here’s a lower cost option.

 

 

Unbreakable Sunglasses – For kids who want a “cool” pair of shades. This polarized, unbreakable (!) pair looks like a winner for everyone.

 

 

Ponytail Hats – Great for windy beaches, sports, or just for some extra sun protection. Here’s another cute option.

 

 

Baby Booties – The best button-close, gripper-soled baby booties in the sweetest print for the season.

 

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ORGANIZED CHAOS
Half the battle is a great bag! Here are my picks for bags that’ll make you and your kid [appear] organized for any outdoor occasion.

 

 

Freezable Snack Bag – Eliminate the need for separate ice packs! There is a smaller pouch size as well as a classic lunch box size.

 

 

Bogg Bag XL – A standing, waterproof carry-all for parents. I’m eyeing the add-ons too: phone holder, wallet, and keychain.

 

 

Sling Bag – Perfect for encouraging self-sufficient kids during travel or every day outings. My son loves his Pokémon version.

 

 

Snacks Bag – Make your “snack lady” job a little more appealing with this appropriately-sized bag. Here’s a smaller version for an emergency stash.

 

 

Mess-Proof Wet Bags – Swimsuits and wet clothes will have their place! These are machine washable and have a strap to attach to bags or strollers.

 

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Well Played
When my outdoor toys don’t hold up or hold attention, they get the axe. Here are my minimalist musts for outdoor play, plus one to give a swing at.

 

 

Lightweight (Don’t Hurt!) Frisbees – We’ve had these for years now and they are still flying strong.

 

 

Pump & Splash Water Table – This is a totally worth it price tag. The water table phase is a long one, so invest in something good!

 

 

Collapsible Beach Bucket Set – The most compact set for on-the-go adventures. This set of 3 includes buckets, shovels, and mesh bags for carrying and collecting. Here’s a set of 2.

 

 

Family Pickleball Set – Something to consider if your kids are old enough to rally. The paddle rabbit hole is a good one too – so many designs to choose from.

 

 

Extra Large Waterproof Picnic Blanket – Make sure you have a good-sized lounge area for all of the outdoor play time viewing!

 

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SEASONAL SAVIORS
Don’t let the best laid plans get spoiled by the small stuff. Here are some ideas and products to help weather the elements of the season.

 

Sunscreen Applicator Brush – IYKYK! Here’s another fun option. I am also restocking our supply of this “clearscreen” for face and the spray version for body.

 

 

Boogie Insect Repellent Lotion – This is a highly-rated insect repellent from a reputable children’s brand. It’s fragrance-free which is great for sensitive skin (and noses!).

 

 

Sand Remover – The sand whines will be defeated! This one has great reviews too.

 

 

Race Car Bandages – Get ready for more outdoor falls! These should help end the tears quickly, and there are lots of styles to choose from, like mermaids and rainbows.

 

 

Tangle Teezer Brush – Beach hair, do care…at some point. These brushes are so gentle on brush-sensitive kids. Add some highly-rated, tangle-free hair care products.

 

 


What’s on your warm-weather shopping list? Tell us in the comments!

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Filed under 2024, Product, Shop, Spring, Summer

What to Expect Behind the Doors at Disney Encanto x CAMP D.C.

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of three young children.  She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area as well as products for little ones and more — see all of them here.]

 

The word “immersive” is thrown around often these days, so going into the Disney Encanto x CAMP D.C. experience, I had modest expectations. Those expectations were blown away! It was some kind of Disney World meets Broadway dreamland, and it is the definition of immersive. Here’s what you can expect…

 

Live musical performances. Forget front row seats at the theater…be a part of the show as you sing and dance along with the cast of characters. Expect to hear all of your favorite Encanto songs, and get reeled into the fun by lively performers and guitarists.

 

Intricate sets with integrated play structures. You’ll feel transported to the real Madrigal casita with its’ magical doors and vines of roses. Multiple slides, spinning chairs, rocking donkeys, and more are seamlessly incorporated throughout.

 

A guided tour with Disney-level staff. Arrive ahead of your ticketed time so you don’t miss any of the action. You will be led from room to room, performance to performance. But you are also allowed to roam free, explore, and pretend play with the characters.

 

Endless photo ops. Forewarning: the lighting is tricky, but you will still get so many great photos. And the performers will help you! There is also a family photo room as you exit the experience—these photos can be printed at an additional cost

 

A once-in-a-lifetime experience, perhaps. While the new CAMP toy store and party venue is now a fixture at Tysons Corner Mall, the immersive show space is rotating. Expect five months of Encanto before it transitions to one of these: Trolls, Bluey, or Little Mermaid.

 

You can read more FAQs here, and view more of my experience here.

Disney Encanto x CAMP D.C.
Where: CAMP at Tysons Corner Center | Tysons, VA 22102
When: Grand Opening December 8 with dates through April
Admission: Starts at $32; free/age 1 & under | Purchase tickets in advance

[Note:  You may have seen this included in the KFDC Holiday Gift Guide — surprise the kids with a visit here in 2024, since December is mostly sold out]

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Filed under 2023, 2024, Winter

5 Festive, Kid-Friendly Destinations for the Holiday Season — Within 3 Hours!

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of three young children, who just visited Koziar’s Christmas Village with her family.  She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area as well as products for little ones and more — see all of them here.]

 

Mix it up this holiday season with a quick getaway to a festive destination! When you feel like you’ve seen and done it all around DC, or just want to add a little extra magic to the season, road-trip-it to one of these locations less than three hours away from the DC metro area — and maybe make some fun stops on the way. Your kids will love the thrill of it all (and, for overnighters, your heavily-tinseled hotel)!

 

 

Koziar’s Christmas Village – Bernville, PA
Experience an old-timey Christmas Village unlike anything in the DC area. The self-guided tour features a 75-year-old collection of lights and decor, housed displays of memorabilia, a garage of vintage sleighs, gift barns for your holiday shopping, and snack shops with candy cane straws for your hot cocoa. Arrive early to avoid long lines into the winter wonder-farm-land.

Festive stops along the way: Dutch Winter Wonderland, Strasburg Rail Road Christmas Train Experiences

 

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Photo: Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Christmas Town – Williamsburg, VA
Go for the big thrills with a holiday celebration at this popular amusement park. Enjoy spectacular light displays, over 25 rides and coasters (many with a 48” height requirement), live entertainment and shows, the Mistletoe Marketplace, a holiday scavenger hunt, visits with Santa and Rudolph, and much more.

Festive stops along the way: Christmas in Williamsburg, Christmas at Mount Vernon

 

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Photo: Experience Harpers Ferry

Old Tyme Christmas – Harpers Ferry, WV
This two-weekend-only Christmas celebration offers seasonal activities for the whole family. Featuring historic tours, wagon rides, caroling, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, shopping at the Handmade Holiday Market, and much more. View the full schedule of activities for December 1-3 and December 9-10 here.

Festive stops along the way: The Old Lucketts Store, Christmas in Middleburg

 

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Sesame Place “A Very Furry Christmas” – Langhorne, PA
Bring the littles to a holiday celebration with their favorite Sesame Street friends. This amusement park is transformed with millions of twinkling lights and festive decorations. In addition to fun rides, you can sing and dance along at music and light shows, and enjoy the Sesame Street Christmas Parade with festive floats.

Festive stops along the way: Baltimore’s B&O Polar Express & Christmas Village, Longwood Gardens, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village & Macy’s Christmas Light Show

 

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Photo: Schellville

Schellville Enchanted Winter Celebration – Rehoboth Beach, DE
Head to the beach for this family-friendly event with endless activities—most included with your free admission. Featuring live music, train rides, sledding, roller skating, maze of lights, play house village, holiday shopping, beer garden, and visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. You can even splurge on a heated Alpenglobe.

Festive stops along the way: Berlin’s Christmas Parade & Hanukkah Celebration, Chocolate Binge Festival

 

What is your favorite festive destination? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Filed under 2023, Destination from DC, Maryland, Virginia

Amazon Holiday Gift Picks for Ages 8 & Under

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of three young children.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ items as well as local explorations with little ones. See more of them here, hereherehere, here, and here.]

 

It’s that time again to light up the lives of the little people who light up ours when we need it the most. My kids have already circled the catalogues and have compiled the lists — to which I do a heavy edit, because mama knows best. Here are my 2023 Amazon picks for little kid gifts, including many of our personal favorites and soon-to-be favorites, sent with best wishes for a happy and peaceful holiday season.

 

FOR THE ANIMAL LOVER
Guess Who Animals – A kid-friendlier update to the classic game.
Toniebox Audio Player – National Geographic story-tellers include a whale, dinosaur, & penguin.
Robo Alive Lurking Lizard – To get you through the wanting-a-pet-lizard phase.
Warmies (Alligator) – The newest craze: microwaveable, weighted animal stuffies.

 

 

FOR THE LITTLE ENGINEER
LEGO DUPLO Gingerbread House – A seasonal intro to the LEGO world.
LEGO Marvel Spider-Man Set – We’ve spent many hours scheming at this webquarters.
Alphabet Transformers – So much play-based learning in this set!
Diamond Magnetic Tiles – The best building toy ever, but prettier.

 

 

FOR THE 2023 MOVIE-GOER
Barbie Festival-Themed Doll – Not from the movie, but six-year-old me wants this one.
The Little Mermaid Doll – Almost as beautiful as Halle Bailey!
Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie Firetruck – Paw Patrol vehicles will earn their keep, trust me.
Ninja Turtle Hoodie – Put your little heroes in a half-shell zip-up hoodie

 

 

FOR THE SWIFTIE
Karaoke Machine – With Bluetooth to sync Taylor’s version.
Unicorn Fleece Jacket – Sequins and lavender…IYKYK.
Friendship Bracelets Kit – Includes a variety of letters and easy to DIY elastic string.
Taylor Swift: A Little Golden Book Biography – A story so good it seems like folklore.

 

 

FOR THEIR LITTLE PIGGIES
Fuzzy Lined Crocs – Your best bet transitioning to “winter” footwear.
Tiger Paw Slipper Socks – My son would roar for these!
Bunny Slippers – Is there anything cuter?
Glitter Boots – All sparkly, everything.

 

 

FOR THE SENSORY LOVER
Cosmic Shimmer Unicorn Slime Kit – I give up, slime wins!
Plush Diary and Squishy Pens for all the feels.
Play Doh Pizza Oven – Just be prepared to pretend-pizza-eat for hours.
Bluey Slimy Sand – A Bluey kinetic sand set—for real life!

 

 

FOR THE LOVE OF ICE CREAM
Little Tikes Ice Cream Truck – The coolest cozy coupe in town.
LeapFrog Ice Cream Cart – My kids gravitate to this as much as real ice cream.
Play Doh Ice Cream Truck Playset – Take the Doh to the next level.
Magnetic Ice Cream Sorter Board – Hello, uninterrupted time!

 

 

 

FOR THE BABY
Treetop Adventure Activity Center – With sectioned off parts for focused or parallel play.
Baby Einstein Around We Grow Walker & Activity Center – Hands-down my #1 baby item.
Baby Tissue Box Toy – Round of applause for the creator!
Indestructibles: Jingle Baby – Babies devour these rip-proof, waterproof books.

 

 

FOR-EVER ON OUR LIST
Dino Egg Bath Bombs – Never not needing a bath time bribe.
Crayola Coloring Set – Replenish the dried out supplies and add these Mini Sketch Pads.
Squishmallow (16”) – Can someone just invent a Squishmallow bed?
Shearling-Lined Puffer Coat – This 3-in-1 dinosaur coat looks like a winner too.

 

 

JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT
Disco Light – Add an Echo Dot (Kids) and the dance party will commence.
Sushi Bar Train – Influenced by an Instagram reel!
Claw Machine – I can see so many bribes uses for this.
Gumball Machine – Fulfilling FAO Schwarz kinda kid dreams.

 

What’s on your kid’s wish list this year?  Tell us in the comments!

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one and make a purchase, I may get a small commission.  This helps me continue to produce KFDC, all completely free to readers.  Thank you so much for the support!

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Filed under 2023, DC, Holidays, Product, Shop

KFDC Contributor Emily Shares Thoughts on Antisemitism, “Otherness”, and Resources for Kids

Emily on her Birthright trip in Israel, the soldier referred to in the article on the far left

 

[Note: This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise.  When she sent me the draft and asked if I might want to share it here, I didn’t hesitate for a second after reading it to tell her, “Yes!” 

I’ve drafted a similar post in my head numerous times over the years, as antisemitic incidents have occurred in the world and in our communities, or when I’ve encountered it through casual jokes, “accidental” comments, and pro-Nazi graffiti etched into a bench at the park two blocks from my house.  While I’ve shared some thoughts on all of it through links, I’ve never put them all in one post.  But Emily does that beautifully here…and I can relate to much of her experience.  Maybe we all can in some way. 

She also shares some resources for discussing this topic with children, and something I’d like to add is the new(ish) Capital Jewish Museum is hosting a monthly story time with a session taking place tomorrow, October 12. Thank you for reading and feel free to share resources and more thoughts in the comments.]

 

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No words on my paper make a difference for a decades-old land battle and horrific terrorism in Israel. But maybe I can add a few meaningful ones to the discourse on modern-day antisemitism and feelings of “otherness” in the U.S.

As a Jewish kid growing up in Montgomery County, MD, I naively thought I was in a well-sized segment of the U.S. population. I never felt like an “other” except maybe around Christmas — though eight crazy nights of Hanukkah was more than consolation. My knowledge of antisemitism was around the Holocaust and the KKK in white robes — a barbaric thing of the past.

In college, my sheltered bubble burst. It started out innocently…

“You’re the first Jewish person I’ve ever known!” a small-town Pennsylvania friend exclaimed.

“Both of your parents are Jewish??” a sorority sister questioned.

And became more direct…

“No Blacks, No Jews” read a short-lived, handwritten sign on a fraternity dorm room.

Post-college, as a young woman in the corporate world, the comments I received were more mature, yet equally laden with antisemitism…

“How are so many Jewish people so successful (i.e. wealthy)?” probed a much older colleague.

One colleague enlightened me that according to his beliefs, “Jewish people do not go to heaven.”

On a Birthright trip to Israel at age 26, I began to wrap my head around my Jewish-ness as a secular (non-religious) person. Several Israeli soldiers accompanied my tour group as we traveled through the beautiful, embattled country. One of them, an 18-year-old girl half my size, wore fatigues and a cross-body weapon covering most of it. She was fulfilling her country’s service requirement, and she could have been me.

My ancestors fled Europe to the U.S. The young soldier’s ancestors fled Europe to Israel. Both of us were born Jewish, yet born into much different circumstances. Since that trip, I have never forgotten the notion of being born into privilege — or not.

My Jewish is your Irish (if only it were that simple). Today, my mixed-faith family enjoys Christmas and Hanukkah, Easter and Passover. We don’t practice a particular religion, we practice traditions (some stick, some don’t!). But we never forget where we came from.

I hope to teach my children about all religions, spirituality, the ecosystem, and our place in it. I will do my best to explain the value of religion towards community, connection, and purpose, and where it can go south—disconnection, bigotry, and war. When needed, we will discuss the subtleties of antisemitism, religious assumptions, and to never impart that feeling of “other” on others.

You likely want to do the same. Here are a few children’s books that may help:

Elle the Humanist

The Kids Book of World Religions

Annabelle & Aiden: OH MY GODS! A History of Belief 

 

Do you know of other resources to aid this discussion with kids? Tell us in the comments.

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