We just got back from Walt Disney World, and I thought I would share how ideal Disney’s Hollywood Studios is for preschoolers and toddlers. I have to be honest– historically, I would have said that of the 4 parks in Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios is my least favorite. It’s always felt more like the action and adventure side of Disney, and less about the magic and wonder. Between the Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the emphasis on Star Wars, it’s just seemed like Hollywood Studios was a park that is geared towards the tweens and older. However, after this last trip to Walt Disney World with my 4-year-old Peanut and 2-year-old Monkey, I can honestly say that after the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the best park for preschoolers! In case you were planning your own trip, here is how to make most of Disney’s Hollywood Studios for preschoolers (or toddlers!)
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My Monkey loves Transformers. Well, not all the Rescue BotsTransformers, but he’s wild about , which are perfect for little hands. Even the Peanut enjoys these Rescue Bots. Well, we’ve got a lot of them, and one day the Monkey decided that he wanted to store them in this large plastic Animal Cracker Container. And I’m willing to do anything that will encourage a 4- and 2-year-old to organize and pick up. When he started putting them all into this container, I decided to make it a bit more in style for his cool Rescue Bots by using an image that I downloaded from the internet and uploading it into Cricut Design Space to create the Monkey’s very own Upcycled Transformer Logo Container.
The Monkey loves Goldfish crackers, particularly when he gets home from preschool and needs a little quiet time after a day of playing and learning. He asks to watch one of “My Shows, not grown-up shows!” and requests Goldfish crackers and a cup of milk. He also likes to be independent. That’s very important for him. We keep most of his straws, cups and dishes at a level that he can reach because it’s very important that he does it “all by myself.” I made with a clear storage jar and some spare vinyl this quick and easy DIY Goldfish Snacks Jar, so that the Monkey can get his own yummy Goldfish Crackers.
Who eats snacks in the car? Who lets their kids eat in the car? I mean honestly, my “Mommy-van” is covered in crumbs. (And sand. Lots and lots of sand, so much so that I am honestly shocked that there is any left in the sandbox at preschool.) The snack that we eat on the playground and the car are usually Goldfish, and I know that my Monkey and Peanut aren’t the only Goldfish cracker lovers out there. When the Monkey had to pick his snack foods for preschool, he usually said that he wanted to take Goldfish to share with this friends. And his class mascot is a Dolphin, so using my Cricut Explore, the two of us created a very special Goldfish Snack Tote that has his “Dolphin School” mascot on it. Since we found that it was a great mommy-son project, I thought I’d share this tutorial for making your very own Goldfish Snack Tote.
Life around here right now has a lot to do with poop. Yes, seriously. Poop is a huge point of discussion around our house because it is our biggest potty training challenge. I’ve talked about a bit before, but I must admit that poop has been my nemesis when it comes to boys and potty training. Thank goodness for Pull-Ups! We tried to move immediately into “Big Boy Underwear,” but at the suggestion of a number of early childcare educators and our pediatrician, we quickly returned to Pull-Ups. And let me tell you, the clean up from a kiddo wearing Pull-Ups versus big boy underwear filled with poop is an entirely different experience– do you know what I’m talking about? I’m sharing this because I want to be honest– particularly as a person who is supposed to know something about child-rearing. Dealing with little boys, poop and potty training is NOT EASY and NOT for the faint of heart. Somehow, it’s easy to get little boys to pee standing up, and much harder to translate that into pooping. Some days I feel like the poop is winning, and I’m not so great with potty training. However, I remind myself that I’ve done this before, and that sooner or later, it will work out. And then I think, “Good grief, I hope it’s not too much later!” Here are a few of the things that we are struggling with in our house, and ways that we are dealing with them.
Constipation and anxiety. Who knew, but this is a huge issue for potty training tots! Basically, our sweet Monkey is a pretty constipated dude. This means that we have to up the fiber intact– did you know that he only eats about 8 foods in the entire world because he’s that kind of kid?! We’ve also been giving him a stool softener in his Apple Juice. Do this under the advice and guidance of your pediatrician. I want families to be aware of this because costipation can make the pooping scary. Constipation can make pooping hurt. For us, adding apple juice has helped, but we have to be consistent and make sure he’s drinking it regularly! He’d rather drink milk and eat dairy and that can plug him up!
Flushable and Portable Wipes. The thing about potty training, and a kid that is struggling with poop, and is needing the support of Pull-Ups is that he wants to feel like a big kid. I know the Monkey wants to be my “Big Little Boy,” (his description of himself.) However, if I use baby wipes and change him like a baby after a poop mishap, he feels discouraged. Going through the process of wiping and flushing like a “big boy,” helps reinforce what we are supposed to be working on. I like flushable wipes right now because they work better than toilet paper on little bums. And they are flushable– so the Monkey gets to use them like toilet paper.
Stay focused. This is the biggest challenge for me. It’s easier to go back to diapers. It may smell more, but when you are already changing one little one, it’s easier to just give up. Don’t do that! (I’m chanting this to myself on a daily basis.) The struggle is real, but it will be accomplished with perseverance. I know because I’ve gone through these Poop Trials before the Big One. I’m happy to report that he doesn’t poop in his pants anymore!
Be Prepared: Take your supplies with you wherever you go. I’ve got wipes and Pull-Ups in my car, and in my bag. We take the potty with us on the road. Seriously– it sits in the back of our car. And the most recent pack of Pull-Ups that we got at Sam’s Club had a cute little backpack— perfect for his potty training supplies! He loves that it holds his Pull-Ups, Flushable Wipes, a few boy treasures like rocks, and it isn’t too big for him to carry. In fact, he’s been wearing it wherever he goes with his pottying supplies there and ready for use! (Don’t worry, there is a cute girls’ option too!)
I’d encourage you to stop by Sam’s Club, enjoy your favorite samples (like my Peanut!), and pick up Pull-Ups for your own Little along with a pack of Cottonelle Flushable Wipes. Right now (until June 30, 2016), you can purchase any two Pull-Ups® Training Pants and/or Cottonelle® Fresh Care® Flushable Cleansing Cloths and receive a $10 Sam’s Club e-Gift Card.