Interstellar Cinderella – Children’s Theater That Brings Books to Life

Interstellar Cinderella – Children’s Theater That Brings Books to Life

There’s nothing like reading a book with children and then watching their excitement when that book comes to life. That’s not something that happens everyday. However, when you find an amazing children’s theater show at the New York City Children’s Theater chances are you may experience exactly that. They are known for creating amazing shows based on a book. A couple of weeks ago a new show premiered and it was nothing short of spectacular. Introducing Interstellar Cinderella, a futuristic take on the classic fairy tale! Music and Lyrics by Laurie Berkner Book by Barbara Zinn Krieger Directed by Marty Johnson Based on the book by Deborah Underwood Best for ages 4-8.

Recently one of our So Family moms got to check out the show with her family. She has two sweet girls and they loved the show. “The music, the audience excitment and the story kept the girls engaged. It was an unforgettable theater experience and educational too. Interstellar Cinderella is the perfect family show and perfect for a friends date or birthday party celebration.”




Image from the show – Photo Credit NYC Children’s Theater

There are always benefits for your children when they are introduced to new experiences. Live shows, specifically, introduce children to new vocabulary, understanding and reading character’s emotions, patience, plots and the confidence to imagine. You’ll know if your children are empowered by their experience when you listen to their conversation and watch their play. New York Children’s Theater connects theater, music and education. Intersellar Cinderella is playing now through- December 18, 2017Check out their events calendar by visiting New York City Children’s Theater today!

~Monica J~
Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own. My mission is to empower children to become their best selves in school and in life. We received free tickets to see Interstellar Cinderella.


Self Care for Moms

Self Care for Moms

Self Care is necessary, especially for moms. During a discussion at The Real Childhood Talks event Dr. Swan Ronde made an important point that everyone needs to hear. Watch now! Monica J  

PlayDough Play For Kids – DIY PlayDough Recipes Inside

PlayDough Play For Kids – DIY PlayDough Recipes Inside

Oh how I love Play-Doh, actually any dough meant for play. Okay Play-Doh just happens to be one of my favorite brands and the one I grew up having all kinds of fun with. As an Early Childhood Teacher this is one of my go to staples that are a must when it comes to fun...

Top 25 Holiday Gifts for Children

Top 25 Holiday Gifts for Children

The Holiday season is here and I'm so excited to share my Top 25 Gifts for children ages 3-7. If you know me, then you know my main concerns when it comes to children's products are quality, fun and unlimited learning. So, here are the toys, games, books, tech and...

15 Top Parenting Questions – Child Mind Institute

15 Top Parenting Questions – Child Mind Institute

I had the opportunity to pick the brains of expert clinicians from the Child Mind Institute in New York City. CMI is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders through evidence-based clinical care...

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Real Childhood Talks – Live Event in Brooklyn, NY

Real Childhood Talks – Live Event in Brooklyn, NY

After a year of brainstorming, jotting down ideas and constantly thinking about bringing moms of young children together with experts in the field of early childhood development, I finally set a date and it happened.   Real Childhood Talks came to life on October 8, 2017.  It was such a proud moment for me, not only because I had amazing sponsors, inspirational guest speakers and real moms asking real questions, but also because I pushed through my fears and saw it through to completion. I have to be real about what it really took to make my vision come to life. Of course, I can write a perfect post about the event, show amazing pictures and video, but there’s so much more that goes into planning an event and actually executing. I can say that fear is real, but the strength we posess is stronger. The process of creating this event made me realize the importance of support, collaboration and not being superwoman. I was able to reach out for support from friends, family, bloggers, co-workers and I was able to collaborate with sponsors and find an amazing space to host the event. One of my biggest takeaways from all of this is “If you walk through the fear there’s something amazing on the other side.”

Now on to the event recap. Powerful is the word I use to sum up the 2 hours of event time for Real Childhood Talks. It was powerful because everyone that attended the event was truly a part of the conversation. Guest were allowed to share their experiences, ask questions, support one another and leave with valubale information. What makes it even more powerful is that all of the information will ultimately change the life of a young child and that is my ulitmate goal. Dr. Swan Brown Ronde and Dr Kristin J. Carothers left us with plenty to think about and even more to work on as parents, educators and professionals that have the privelege of having young children in our lives. One critical point that Dr. Ronde made was about the importance of Self-Care, especially for moms. How can we take care of a young child without taking care of ourselves. That is a hard truth pill to swallow, but it’s so true. I talked about this in recently and can watch that video right here, SELF CARE VIDEO.  Below is the event recap video, so you can get an idea of the vibe we had going on.  I hope you’ll be a part of the next conversation. Don’t worry, the next event is coming soon.



Dr. Carothers talked about tantrums and ways on decreasing a tantrum that a child may be exepriecneing. I know you’ll want to watch what she had to say, so that video is coming soon along with more video clips from the event. What made the event even more special was that the conversation shifted into another important topic, the importance of the teacher/parent relationship. Communciation is key between both parties, but how do you cultivate that realtionship? Great question, right? Well, we talked about it with everday parents and everyday teachers, all of whom were guest at the event. I now realize even more than I did before that this event platform is needed, it’s wanted and people will show up. I’m not going to just stop at the live events, I also want to continue these conversations online, where so many of you are. Chat with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and of course right here on the blog.



I’d like to take the time to thank my two sponsors for believeing in me and taking the time to be a part of Real Childhood Talks.
I first tried Kaiso Cocktail at a wine and food festival in Brooklyn, NY. I fell in love with it after my first sip. I immediately thought of girls-night-in, parties and my mommy friends, becasue they’re always looking for a great cocktail. I knew this would be the perfect cocktail for an afternoon of real conversations. Kaiso Cocktail brought island flavors to the guest in a glass over ice. You have to try it. Check out their website here,


I was introduced to the owner of The Brown Crayon Project by the owner of Kaiso Cocktail. Talk about women empowerment and #BlackGirlMagic. Yes, it was all of that. The Brown Crayon Project brings quality hair and skin products to the forefront for our young children of color. From the names of the products like, Sunday Oil, which she gave as a gift to all of our guest, to the packaging, it highlights the importance of our own self-care in our community. They are teaching children the importance of caring for self starting at a young age. I appreciate what Selma is doing for young children and families of color. I support her mission and hope you will as well.  Please check out The Bown Crayon Project website and products. Happy shopping!

Monica J


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PlayDough Play For Kids – DIY PlayDough Recipes Inside

PlayDough Play For Kids – DIY PlayDough Recipes Inside

Oh how I love Play-Doh, actually any dough meant for play. Okay Play-Doh just happens to be one of my favorite brands and the one I grew up having all kinds of fun with. As an Early Childhood Teacher this is one of my go to staples that are a must when it comes to fun and learning. Kids love to create and manipulate PlayDough. Anytime, you whip out the PlayDough just know that your kids are going to have a valuable learning experience. Chances are they won’t even know they’re learning or building necessary developmental skills.

This type of play focuses on the strengthening of your child’s fine motor skills, which are building their small muscles in their hands and fingers. Your children can also work on using their imagination, language skills, social skills and even math skills. There are so many positive benefits of play with PlayDough. The possibilities are endless.

You may also want to add a few props to your child’s play which will extend the learning experience. Look around your house for these added bonuses, no need to go on a shopping run. You can give them old games pieces, craft sticks (Popsicle sticks), plastic utensils, blocks, toys and more. Make sure you open your mind up, use your imagination and jump in on the play with your child.

Now, for the parents who aren’t so keen on the commercial dough brands, well then you can surely make your own at home. There’s even a gluten-free PlayDough recipe I’ve stumbled upon. Check out the recipes I’ve found across the Internet below.  My replay video of me actually showing you how to make the gluten-free play dough will be coming soon to the blog.

For more kid’s products, games, crafts and toys jump on over to the So Family Fun Store on Amazon. Visit here, So Family Fun Store. Join the family!

~Monica J~

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I review products on my own and turn into a big kid with my teacher hat on.


Play-Doh Receipes From Across the Internet


Colored Playdough
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
Food coloring
1 cup flour
Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
Remove from heat and add flour.
Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don’t have it on hand.
Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.


No Bake Play-Doh

large mixing bowl
1 cup water
4 cups flour
2 to 4 tablespoons of cooking oil (we used Canola)
1 1/2 cups of salt
food coloring (we used red and blue to make purple)

Pour water into a large mixing bowl.

Next add food coloring. We added generous amounts of red and blue food coloring to make purple, which seemed like a galactic color! Once you add the food coloring to the water, stir well.

Add the dry ingredients ( flour and salt) to the mix. You can stir a little at this point to begin blending the ingredients.

Next add 2 to 4 tablespoons of oil. You can add more oil later if the mix seems to dry. Oil is the secret to keeping this “no cooking required” recipe soft! If you don’t add enough oil, the mix will be very crumbly.

This next step is a big hit with kids! Add generous amounts of glitter to your mix and begin mixing everything together.

Knead the ingredients together until a soft dough is formed.

To store, simply roll the dough into small balls and keep in plastic bags or a plastic container!



Gluten-Free PlayDough

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup corn starch
3/4 cup water
food coloring

Video for mixing directions coming soon 

Have A Ton Of PlayDough Fun!!!

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Routines And Schedules For Kids – Easy Schedules To Create At Home

Routines And Schedules For Kids – Easy Schedules To Create At Home

After a long conversation with one of my student’s parents about creating routines and simple schedules at home, I wanted to share some of the ideas I use in the classroom with all of you.  Over the years I’ve seen how important routines are in the lives of young children.  As a teacher, we use simple schedules in a variety of ways to assist children in understanding routine and knowing what to expect.  Routines and simple schedules go a long way in the life of a child.  Young children, between the ages of 3-7 don’t live their lives according to time.  They aren’t checking their watch or their smart phone for the time every minute or every hour.  At young ages they don’t have a concept of time, so how can we help them understand what’s going to happen throughout their day?  We can start with creating routines at home.  The easiest way for them to get used to their routines is to implement simple schedules.  I use schedules everyday, especially the ones that allow the children to manipulate them.  Allowing children to be involved in creating and using these schedules assist in their understaning and growth.  The more involved they are, the more they will be engaged and excited to use it.  In return, this will make their days at home run a little smoother.

I’ve created a variety of schedules in the classroom over the years, because there are so many beneficial ways to create them.  You have to find and use what works best for you and your child.  Everyone’s schedule is different, so what works for me may not work for you.  You may be a parent just looking to assist your child with a bedtime routine or a parent homeschooling or maybe you’re a teacher looking to assist your students with their daily classroom activities.  Well, I have good news.  Creating simple schedules can work for your family and all you have to do is adapt it to the needs of the children in your lives.  Now let’s get started. Watch Below!

I’ve created a list of links to some amazing FREE printable schedules that you can print and customize for your use.  These schedule samples will also give you ideas on exactly what you want to add into your child’s schedule.  Have fun while creating your child’s schedule and allow them to get involved int he creation process.  This will help them own this schedule as their own.  Have fun and let me know how your schedules work out for you at home or in the classroom.

Teacher Tip:  When implementing simple schedules for children, remember to always be consistent. Consistency is key.

Free Printable Schedules

*These are free printables found on Pinterest
  1. Free Printable Daily Routine Chart for Kids-
  2. From Kid To Kid Blog –
  3. From girl In The Garage Blog –
  4. This is one of my favorites from My Name Is Snickerdoodle Blog –
  5. From Raining Hot Coupons Blog –
  6. From Raining Hot Coupons Blog –

For more kid’s products, games, crafts and toys jump on over to my Fun Store on Amazon. Visit here, So Family Fun Store. Join the family!

~Monica J~

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own. I always review products on my own and turn into a big kid with my teacher hat on.

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