National Geographic Kids Not - S0 - Common Cents Book, and What To Do When Your Kid Doesn't Have Enough Spending Money for Disney
I'm not going to lie, the last 14 months have been incredibly expensive for us, and have been so medically difficult, I've had to focus most of my energies on my youngest son and my business that helps pay those medical bills. Yet, one thing is the same: Our love for Disney. After a recent trip to the hospital for a full scoping, he told someone "I can't wait for this summer. We are hoping to go to Disney, and I just know the pixie dust is going to help heal me."
While that's a tall order for Tinkerbell, the good news is that the (super overpriced) medicines he's having to take ARE helping, and with a fair number of restrictions and some intense savings, Disney will happen.
But. And there's always a but, right? Little man also didn't set aside as much money as his brother did for our future trip. He sets aside a dollar a week, plus 25% of his birthday and Christmas cash. However, that's not going to go as far for him this year, with the massive price increases Disney has on souvenirs. So...what to do?
When I was asked to check out this amazing National Geographic book all about money, of course, I said yes! We are already savers, but spending can come a little too easily too. It doesn't matter what your kiddos are, spender, saver, somewhere in the middle, this book is chock full of interesting things that they -- and you, will love!
There are the sections you'd expect about saving... and also a section on what credit is....
But there are also the AMAZING pictures you'd expect from these books, like showing old coins, incredible photographs from all over the world, and lots and lots of money facts!
Because we now homeschool, this is absolutely going to be part of our financial literacy class. It's perfect for the high schooler and the elementary schooler. And if you've one in the middle, perfect for them too. I can say without a doubt this is the BEST kids money book I've EVER seen. And we have a lot, trust me.
So let's talk Disney...because I always have promised if I'm going to talk about something else, I'm going to bring Disney in somehow. Back to the problem of my kiddo not have enough saved for what he wanted. (Yet ANOTHER Legacy lightsaber, ANOTHER droid, and a bunch of stuffed animals.)
He actually solved that problem himself, and I thought it was brilliant! Are you familiar with Daniel Tiger? He sings "Don't think about what you can't do, think about what you can do!" And though we are long past the Daniel Tiger stage, his little songs pop up pretty often in our heads (Way to go with that, PBS!).
So, what does that mean? Being in 4th grade, my son has been learning fractions and division, and decimals so this was the perfect way to put his math skills to real world use. First, he estimated how much money he'd have at his current savings rate. Then, he he decided that he wanted to make a challenge for himself. He wanted to get a souvenir at each of the four parks, Disney Springs, and our resort. He divided the amount that he currently has, and then is projected to have, to see just how much that is that he could spend at each place. Done that way, it will help him to realize that he still CAN shop, even if he CAN'T get the huge items he wants, because this time, he didn't save up enough to do that. Since he knows we will be back, he already has one droid and two sabers, he's okay with that.
But what are some last minute ways he could save even more so he's got spending money? We brainstormed a list.
And while we likely could make the list longer if we worked on it, that's what he came up with. Not too bad!
If you guys are headed to Disney this summer, it's NEVER too late to get saving up. All magic has it's price, dearie, and with inflation, it sure keeps creeping up. Getting creative, making a few sacrifices on spending, or clearing out some unwanted things might help get your kiddo their dream toy. If that's a bit out of reach, then make it a came, and do the challenge! The budget, divided by the number of places, and can you find one souvenir at each place to come in under the budget? Even better if they have leftover to save for next time!
I know this book, along with all of the great information inside, is going to be a huge help for my kids when it comes to learning about money, and each aspect of it!
Debt and Your Disney Vacation
A news article caught my eye, and it was a little alarming. Obviously, the prices at Disney have increased, and on some things, quite significantly. This article claims that of the people they surveyed, 18% of people visiting Disney are going into debt to do it!
While that might not seem like a huge number, it's almost one in five. What's alarming, to me, is that the majority of these visitors might not know there's a way to go to Disney and enjoy it, without going into debt?
My opinion hasn't changed, from the first time I posted this article, that you shouldn't go into debt to go on your Disney vacation. Admittedly, it's harder and harder to save nowadays to achieve that dream of going. Our family sure sees that too!
So, what can you do? First, start by looking at your day to day expenses. What can you cut? Can you air dry your laundry? That's 50-75 cents a load! Could you skip eating out a meal, or order something cheaper? For me, I've learned that doing a grocery pickup instead of browsing the shelves saves me at least 10%, because I'm not getting items that look good. Sure, I might miss some "deals" but how many times are deals things we don't need?
When you go to plan, what can you cut? Can you stay off property? Stay at a value resort? When it comes to food, can you breakfast in your room? Could you pack a lunch and bring in one meal a day? Disney has an incredibly generous outside food policy, and makes it easy to save a little on food!
A Disney vacation can still be all you've imagined, and without going into debt. If you are planning a 2023 or 2024 trip, think smart, and save big so you can enjoy your trip while you are there, not feel miserable while you pay off the trip for a year.
Disney Parks Edition of Candyland
When I was a preschooler, I had two favorite games, and each of those I could play for hours at a time, with or without others. One was Memory. I can still remember the red and white speckles on the backs of the cards and the little red tray the squares fit into. the other, was Candyland. Being a child of the 80s, my board then looked quite different from the current boards, and was always preferred to me, even over the version my kids have.
This past summer, after many years of telling myself no, I said yes, and picked out a Disney Parks version of a board game. There were not a lot to choose from at the time, but Candyland caught my eye, especially when I flipped over the box and saw the breathtaking game board.
Look at this thing! Isn't it stunning? I could stare at this for quite a while, and still not see everything there is to see on it.
When I first opened the box, I was impressed with the quality. Let's be real. Not everything at Disney you can buy is high quality. We've had our share of flops, and also the prices of things jacking way up, from one trip to the next. This though, was surprisingly good quality!
Inside the box are the cards, and they are a bit bigger than the ones with our Candyland set. The pieces are fun and detailed! You get four, in the traditional Candyland colors.
Like normal, the cards have the colors on the back, or the special spots everyone hopes they get at first... then desperately hope they don't get as they draw closer. Here, the cards are popular park treats, like dole whips, popcorn, and pretzels, along with the standard one space and two space cards.
Honestly, after seeing how well this set was made, I'm kind of thinking I might have to buy another game on our next visit! My kids and I are huge into board games and have quite a few, but this one isn't going to go into the games closet. I'd be quite sad it the box got smashed!
Currently, the price is $24.99, which is a lot for Candyland, but honestly hot horrible for a Disney souvenir, considering that many plush toys are more than that. This was on the lower side of the board games they had at the time, if not the cheapest.
Any suggestions on which Disney Parks game we should get next time? I'm all ears! Mickey ears, that is!
DIY Mickey Bars...Fun or Flop?
When I saw these Mickey ice pop molds on Amazon, I had to try them! Mickey Mouse bars at home? What a great idea! There are even recipes to make the magic shell if you don't (or can't) but it in the store. Since one of our kiddos has a nut allergy, we can't do the bars in the park. Well, let me rephrase. If he can't, we won't. It's not fair. So, this looked to be a pretty intriguing idea...
Follow along with me!
First, you'll gather the ingredients for your favorite ice cream recipe, and put it in your ice cream maker. If you'd rather use store bought, that's fine too! You'll want to let it soften a bit so you can handle it.
I started by washing the molds. They came in sets of four, so I did buy two sets. They consist of a silicone mold Mickey, a hard plastic flat Mickey, and a too short stick.
Since I make our ice cream, here's a fun photo of that. My youngest says it looks like a...well, I won't tell you what. I mean...boys, right?
I really love our Cuisinart ice cream machine. We've made all kinds of great flavors, but what I love best is the ingredients are so simple. For vanilla, you just need milk, cream, sugar, a pinch of salt, and vanilla. None of those ingredients you can't pronounce! Whisk it up and dump it in!
Next was the messy part, and I think if I'd been patient and let me ice cream harden a bit more, and maybe it wasn't over 90 outside, it would have gone a bit better. I filled the molds, stuck in the sticks, and put on the backs.
Thankfully, we have a chest freezer, so with the Mickey bars on a baking sheet, I left them in there. I fully intended to make magic shell or decorate super cute...but...and here's where things got dicey. Remember I mentioned those short sticks? Yeah. They are short. They also didn't go into the ice cream very far, so this happened...
Those wee little sticks just don't work. I'm thinking wooden popsicle sticks would be better. But, it's not a total loss! My oldest and I love rice crispy treats, and when I've tried to use my Disney Parks sandwich cutter, it's always made a mess. These might be perfect...they are flexible, shaped cute, and I'm actually really excited to do that as I sis here and type about it. It might be easier, too.
These can also be used for chocolate or to make ice cubes! So if you try them out (They were about $15 a package) and it doesn't work in your house for ice cream, try one of these other fun ideas! If you make soap, it might even work for that.
Fun or flop...it was both! But there's also a world of possibility out there, and I'm not done with these molds yet!
It’s no lie to anyone who knows me that next to the Magic Kingdom, where I feel like I’m stepping right into my favorite stories, I love Animal Kingdom. Soon, I’m going to be sharing some of the AMAZING photos I got of KiteTails, Disney’s special 50th anniversary show at Animal Kingdom. Today, however, I’m so excited to share these incredible, in fact, so awesome I’ve got to say it again, incredible National Geographic books.
National Geographic is a staple in our house. Since a young age, my kids have devoured their books. The photographs are amazing, the facts interesting, and if one ever has had a question: “Let’s see if we can find the answer in a National Geographic Book” is usually what someone says.
I was thrilled to be sent FOUR National Geographic books to share my opinions on. For a new homeschooling mom, not only are these going to be perfect for this year’s life sciences study in fourth grade, and Greek mythology in ninth grade, they have my kids begging for summer 2023 to get here so we can visit Animal Kingdom again.
While at Animal Kingdom, one of our favorite things to do is walk the different treks. My youngest likes the Maharajah Jungle Trek, where he can see the various wild cats! Tigers are his favorite, so he was excited to see that the 2023 National Geographic Atlas had a tiger on the front! He also wondered if it was a typo, (spoken like a true editor’s child!) as he said we weren’t in 2023 yet.
These books are not only going to teach us about many of the animals found at Disney, but also introduce us to new ones!
Each of these books are incredible. I’m honestly not sure which is going to be looked at the most. Check out some of these photos! What surprised me about the atlas, was it also had pages like this!
Do you kids love just random facts? Some of these completely surprised me. I loved the tidbit about snow cones, one of our favorite summer treats! (See photo!) From everything to treasure and weapons, to animals, money, and well, everything in between, this is tied for my favorite of these four books.
It’s getting close to Christmas. If you are anything like me, you like to shop early, hit the sales, but also have the best selection in the stores, right? When it gets a little too close to the wire, it’s ALL picked over. At least, that’s how it is here in our town. Wouldn’t one or more of these make a great gift for someone? If not for a child, then to a classroom! Mr. Disney Magic is a teacher, and I love to stock his shelves with high quality books for the children to curl up with during silent reading and absorb. I’m pretty sure every kid likes animals!
Do you see these incredible and vivid images? The sea animals make me long for the amazing aquarium at EPCOT, at the Seas with Nemo.
These also make for perfect road trip entertainment, instead of just electronic devices! Even if your kiddo only looks at each page, I’m thinking an hour of silence per book. Maybe more!
The thing I really love most about National Geographic books, is they take into consideration the target age of their audience. You know a kids book is going to be safe to leave kids alone with. It’s going to have age appropriate language, pictures that are engaging, and…I’m going to say it again…are just incredible.
Now, yes…Greek mythology, that’s not quite Animal Kingdom, right? And everything I review has to have some sort of a Disney slant. That’s my thing. Don’t worry, it’s still Disney related!
For years, Disney has been teasing that EPCOT may get a new pavilion. Greece is one that many people have asked for. It wouldn’t be a stretch, think about how many times a character from Greece has appeared in a Disney movie. Ahem, Hercules anyone? What about Mal from Descendants? Did you realize that Zeus was her uncle? Zeus actually makes several appearances in Disney films, everything from muppets and animation, like Fantasia, to in Marvel movies. That’s right…Thor! Loki! Some of the most popular Greek names are in those movies. Maybe Season 2 of Loki will introduce us to a few other gods or demigods? In the meantime, you can get refreshed on your Greek mythology.
Tell me, don’t these pictures just make you want to read more? What was neat about the Greek mythology book, was it’s not just stories, but interesting facts, too.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these pictures and these connections to Disney as much as I have! As my husband says, I can turn anything into Disney. Maybe it’s true…I don’t know, but I see these books, and I sure think so!
Stop by my Facebook page, tell me some of your favorite National Geographic books! How do you connect those to Disney?