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5 Family Fun Ways to Make the Most of Summer!

Jun14

What to do with the seemingly endless amount of free time in the summer months away from school can prove to be a difficult task for some parents. For working parents, it may be harder for you to ensure that your child is getting the most out of their summer days, but there are plenty of things you can do to make sure their summer is as much of a development and learning period as it is a break from school.

One thing you want to be sure your child cuts back on is spending too much time indoors with their eyes glued to a screen. This does nothing for their mental processes and can actually become a cause for concern. Activities that incorporate a healthy balance of education, play, and relaxation prove to be the perfect mix to get the most enrichment and growth out of your child’s summer break. We’ve compiled a list of ideas that cover all of the bases that will make this summer one to remember for the whole family!

1. Start a Lemonade Stand

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Nothing really beats a good old fashioned lemonade stand in the hot summer heat! Let your kids express their creativity by decorating their own stand and creating flyers to put out around the neighborhood. Not only is this a fun activity for both you and your kids, this could also be an educational experience. This activity gives parents the chance to begin to instill entrepreneurial qualities in their children from a young age as they learn perseverance, communication skills, and, of course, the value of their hard-earned money and success!

2. Create a Family Cookbook

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Calling all the sous chefs in the family! If your child loves helping out in the kitchen, this is a great activity for them to engage in that interest and take it to the next level. Creating your own family cookbook is a great way to bond with your children. You might have a new family tradition to pass down to future generations!

3. Pick Up a New Instrument.

Columbia Orchestra's Instrument Petting Zoo

If your child is a dancing machine or has ever pounded the “drums” on a turned over pot, learning to play an instrument could be something they will really enjoy! Music lessons of any sort have countless benefits such as total brain stimulation, an increase of brain capacity, and the ability to sharpen your concentration to name a few! Aside from the physical and psychological benefits, learning to play an instrument is a fun and stimulating hobby that kids and parents can really enjoy with no expiration date.

4. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter.

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Volunteering at your local animal shelter is a great educational activity for you and your children over the summer months. Not only will your kids gain tons of knowledge of the different animals and their needs within the shelter, they will also learn compassion and selflessness through volunteering with animals. This type of activity is also perfect for that child who desperately wants a pet of their own. They will learn all that goes into caring for a pet without yet having sole responsibility for one of their own.

5. Have a Family Fun Day at Funderland!

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At Funderland we are all about affordable family fun. Our park features everything a parent may need for a fun day at an amusement park without the crowds, lines, and absurd prices. And the best part is, parents can relax while knowing their kids are safe and having a blast exploring the park. This makes for great family fun on every visit.

Everyone knows that getting your kids out, active, and educated in a fun way during the summer months can be a challenging task, but with this list of activities, you and your child can prepare for one of the best summers yet!

Children Learn and De-Stress Through Playing

May17

Summer has arrived and the outdoors can be your child’s playground. But did you know that playing can be about more than just wearing off some of that endless energy that all kids seem to have? Playing can also be educational. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, when children play, they are learning and reducing stress at the same time.

What They are Learning

They are learning how to be physically active and building up strength and balance. The simple act of running and jumping allows for young children to develop their sense of self and an understanding of how their bodies work. If the child is playing with a friend, they are communicating, both verbally and nonverbally. They could be building (or tearing down) something as a team. They may need to help each other climb, or pick the other up if they have fallen. Maybe they are on a ride together that takes teamwork. Take the Crazy Cups, for example. The more they spin the wheel in the center, the faster the Crazy Cups will spin.

The social interaction and discovery of themselves learned through physical play is something that cannot be replaced by what is learned in a traditional classroom.

How They are De-Stressing

A young child soaks up anything and everything they see. They are learning constantly, which is why their environment is so important. And processing all of that information can sometimes be stressful. Even though they are children without the responsibilities that adults have, they can encounter stress. What compounds stress even more for a child is that they don’t understand the concept of stress and therefore, they cannot self diagnose. But physical activity and play can be a stress reliever for children, just as it is for adults. As the National Association for the Education of Young Children points out, “Play helps your children grow emotionally. It is joyful and provides an outlet for anxiety and stress.”

For some kids, play is the No. 1 way they learn. Getting outside and having your child discover new ways to play will mean they are discovering new ways to learn. Be an example and show them that you are never too old to play outside either. And if you feel adventurous, plan a trip to Funderland Amusement Park and let them discover the most fun place in the Sacramento region for kids.  You never know what they may learn!

4 Tips to Get Your Kids to Wear Sunscreen this Summer

Apr11

Summer is fast approaching and with that comes long days at the park, trips to the ocean and amusement parks. What that means is a lot of fun in the sun and parents should remember to protects themselves and their kids against the strong rays that can be harmful to the skin. But not all kids are ready and willing to apply sunscreen when they will be out in the sun. So what is a parent to do?

4 Tips Parents can Use to Get Their Kids to Wear Sunscreen

  1. Talk to them about it often – When you wake up and see that it is bright and sunny outside, take this time to remind them about how it is going to be really hot today and that it is important to protect their skin. When you are out and about and it is sunny, remind them how important it will be for them to wear sunscreen later when they are playing.  
  1. Make it cool – Kids love superheroes. Make them one by fighting the sun. Sunscreen gives them a “protective shield” that makes their skin operate like superheroes’ suit of armor. When they are ready run out the front door ask them if they have their superhero suit on.
  1. Involve them in their own health – This will be a good opportunity to educate them about their health and how taking care of themselves is important. Explain how getting a sunburn can happen and how it is easily preventable. Taking ownership of this might even empower them to not only protect themselves, but also remind you about putting sunscreen on!
  1. Be an example – Don’t give them a reason to remind you to put sunscreen on. If you are going to be outside for a long time with them reach for the sunscreen and begin to put it on yourself before starting anything else. If they see this enough it will become routine and they will expect it.

Sun Safety tips From the American Academy of Pediatrics

For babies under 6 months: Avoid sun exposure and dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets a sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.

For all other children: Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97-100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave. On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to apply enough sunscreen – about one ounce per sitting for a young adult. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. Use extra caution near water, sand and snow as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.

Even though Funderland Park is well shaded, we encourage all attendees to think about how they will protect themselves against the sun’s rays when they arrive. Once you have that taken care, have a good time!

How to Get the Kids to Put Down the Screens and Pick up the Great Outdoors

Mar01

About half of parents in the U.S. say their children get too much screen time. And most parents would agree that they prefer their child to be learning and/or playing outside. With the rainy days in Sacramento dwindling and spring and summer quickly approaching, parents should consider planning outdoor activities for their kids. So how do you get the kids to put down the screens and pick up the great outdoors?

1. Fly a kite. The Sacramento region is full of parks with expansive grassy areas. A wide open space free from trees is the perfect spot to show your child the magic of flying a kite. Show them how it operates based on the wind’s force and watch their eyes light up with wonder.

 

2. Go on a hike. Based on your child’s age, there is no better way to show them what the great outdoors has to offer than taking them on a hike. Make sure to do your research first – you don’t want to pick a location that is too strenuous for you and your young child. Keep in mind, a “hike” can mean walking along a semi-flat path through an area rich with trees and shrubs. Explain to your child what they see along the way.

 

3. Work on a house project together. Whether it is mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes or hanging a new photo, showing your child how things “work” makes them think and shows them the importance of completing tasks that you begin. If it is raking leaves, give them a smaller rake and let them go at it. Buy them a kids’ tool set and let them build something next to you while you complete your project.

 

4. Let them hang a photo of their choice in their room. Is there something your child really likes? Trains? Planes? Flowers? Take them on a trip to find whatever it may be and let them take a picture of it. Print the photo and bring it home and let them choose where they want to hang it in their room. Giving them ownership of the project will stimulate their imagination and make them more excited about what is on the walls in their room. Watch as they show every friend or house guest “their picture.”

 

5. Let them play in the backyard. First and foremost, make sure the backyard is kid-proofed and safe. Next, get them some outdoor activities they will enjoy. A makeshift sandbox or small pool with toy boats could work. Sidewalk chalk also can come in handy. Sometimes the quickest way to unplugging and letting your child experience the great outdoors is by opening the door to the backyard.

 

6. Visit William Land Park. Land Park is 166 acres of developed space that includes picnic areas, an amphitheater, a rock garden, lakes, a wading pool, and of course, Fairytale Town, the Sacramento Zoo and Funderland. Come see us and enjoy the wonders of what Land Park. Our rides here at Funderland are a regional favorite, and we love making sure families have a great time! 



Being outside helps kids build up their immune systems, provides exercise, enhances their imaginations and gives them a steady dose of vitamin D. So put down those phones, tablets, and remotes and head outside this month for some good old fashioned FUN!

How to Get Your Child to Drink More Water

Feb11

Here at Funderland, we get excited about ways to keep you and your family healthy. And one often overlooked way to easily improve health is to make sure your kids are staying hydrated throughout the day. Water is a key to life and overall health, and this is a message that should be engrained in children from a very early age. In fact, a new study shows a significant correlation between lower risk of obesity in elementary and middle school students and higher intake of water.

Choosing water over sugary drinks is something most parents know they should do more often with their children, but sometimes it can slip the mind. So how can parents make sure their kids not only drink water but actually want it?

How to Get Your Child to Drink More Water

1. Keep water front and center – Simply putting water in front of children regularly can create healthy habits. Always offer water first when a child is thirsty and make sure you are drinking water both for your own health and as an example.

2. Empower them – If you are the type of person who prefers buying water bottles, let your child pick which kind to buy at the store. Making them part of the selection process will make it more enticing for them to try their selection. Also consider purchasing a unique set of straws. Letting your child choose from a colorful batch of straws for their cup of water may make them forget all about the fact they wanted cranberry juice instead.

3. Show them water can be cool – Show your child how ice cubes work and have them make their own. Maybe explain how water helps plants grow and have them water the garden. Ask them if they want to grow and be strong like the plants in the garden and the trees around the neighborhood. Explain to your child that water is the most natural thing they can drink and that it is good for everyone. This type of knowledge may even help their friends if they think it is “cool” enough to share.

4. You shouldn’t waste it – California has been dealing with a drought for a while. Everyone has learned to conserve water, even us! We’ve removed our Log Water Ride to make way for a water efficient ride & have reduced our sprinkler use as well! So share your conservation efforts with your children and explain that you are doing it because water is very important to the whole family. By showing how much you care about water, they will understand its importance.

How to Set New Year’s Resolutions With Your Children

Jan02

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to make some changes! As New Year’s resolutions become more popular, your children may be more interested in participating in making New Year’s resolutions. Whether you personally make resolutions or not, we’ve gathered a few tips on how to help your kids make resolutions of their own.

Make It a Family Affair

Gather around the table and celebrate the New Year while discussing your resolutions together. Go around the table and have each person share something that they are proud of from the last year, and something they’d like to work on in the upcoming year. Keep the discussion positive so that your children will be more excited to make and keep their resolutions.

When you discuss together, you’ll be able to help each other come up with resolutions. You’ll also be more aware of each other’s resolutions and will be able to encourage each other throughout the year. You can make individual resolutions, family resolutions, or both!

Don’t Push It

If you have a specific item you want your child to work on this year, don’t push them toward it. You can make small suggestions to help them decide what they want to work on. You want this to be a positive experience and not something that they dread.

Make Baby Steps

Make resolutions that you can accomplish with baby steps. For example, instead of saying “I will eat healthier,” make a resolution of eating one serving of fruit or veggies with breakfast and dinner. You’re stepping toward your bigger goal of eating healthier, but it doesn’t seem like such a tough resolution. It makes it easier for children to get excited about it if they have a specific goal rather than a larger, vaguer goal.

Narrow It Down

Children may get a little excited and begin making a long list of what they want to work on this year. The bigger the list, the more difficult it is to keep those resolutions. Help them narrow it down to just a few resolutions that they can focus on.

Be An Example

If you make resolutions with your children, keep them! Children follow in the footsteps of adults, so if you decide to ditch the resolutions, they will too! Be encouraging to them and yourself. You can make a master list of resolutions to hang up in the house as a reminder throughout the year. Your children will see it and be reminded of their resolutions as well.

If one of your resolutions is to spend more quality time with your kids, bring them over to Funderland! Our new season begins Jan. 16 (weather permitting)! We’ll see you there!

Teaching Your Children the Habit of Giving

Dec14

With the holidays, comes presents. More and more commercials start popping up about this toy and that toy. Stores begin advertising the ‘hot toys’ of the season. These ads are usually directed toward children. How do we make sure they don’t get in the habit of saying “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” or “I want! I want! I want!” and begin saying statements like, “I bet Susie would love that!” or, “Can we buy this for Tommy?”

“I want this, this, this, this….”

Have you heard this from your kids before? It’s natural for humans to want things. Children are curious, from the time they are infants, they gravitate toward things that look interesting to them. They grab the things that catch their eye. It continues as we get older. Even as adults, we still try to get the things that we want.

How Do We Teach our Children to Have a Desire to Give?

Starting at a young age, you should begin teaching your children the importance of charity and giving. Though this season usually tends to be focused on charity, we need to teach our children the importance of giving throughout the year rather than only focusing on it during the holidays. We’ve compiled a few different ideas on how you can go about teaching your children to give.

Sign up for a local giving tree

There are usually local businesses that have a giving tree. On the tree there are ornaments that have information for different families or children in need. These families don’t have the means to buy toys or much-needed clothes for themselves. Take your child to pick an ornament of their own. Let them help choose what you’ll buy for the family in need. If possible, make sure they are involved in wrapping the presents and dropping them off. Remind them throughout the process of why you are giving to the family in need. Tell them how happy you will make that family.

Volunteer

There is always a need for volunteers to serve food in homeless shelters. There are also several different charities that need volunteers. A good one for families to join would be Meals on Wheels. You deliver food to people who aren’t able to leave their homes to buy groceries. Bring your children along. They will be able to meet the people who you are serving!

Donate unused toys and clothes

Even when we try to avoid it, we usually end up having more toys and clothes than we could possibly need. Have your children go through their toys and pick out the toys that they don’t play with anymore. Have them gather up their clothes that are too small. Donate them to shelters. Remind them that you are giving to families who can’t afford to buy toys and clothes.

Participate in a Toy Drive

During this time of year, there are usually several toy drives going on. Many stores have bins you can put donated goods in. You can teach your child about the toy drive and then have them pick out a toy from the store that they think other children would enjoy. Have your child put the toy in the toy drive box before you leave the store.

Have your children pick out presents for others

Whether it’s Christmas presents, birthday presents or anything in between, letting your children pick out presents to give others is a great way to help them learn charity. One way you can do this is to give them a set amount of money that they can spend. Let them look around the store and pick things out they think the recipient would love. This not only teaches them to give, but also can help them learn the importance of keeping track of their money! You can go to a thrift store for this one so your kids can have more choices!

Lead by example

We all can agree that children learn best by watching others. If we really want our children to learn to be charitable, we have to be charitable ourselves. Even when you don’t think your children are listening, make sure you are always giving. They are usually listening and watching even when you don’t think they are.

Just as kids are born to want things for themselves, they are also born wanting to be charitable. I’m sure we’ve all had half-eaten food offered to us, or pacifiers pushed toward our mouths. Children naturally want to give. Somewhere along the line, the selfishness starts to take over. Use these tips to help your children stay charitable.

We want to wish all of our customers a happy holiday season! We hope you enjoy spending these precious moments with your families!

For a Limited Time – Save $15 Off 2016 Season Passes

Dec04

All aboard! We’ve got your ticket to FUN! Purchase your 2016 Season Passes by Dec. 31 and save $15 off the regular price. Season Pass Holders get great perks like:

  • Unlimited riding all year long
  • 10% discount on food and Birthday Party Packages
  • Half priced weekday wristbands for 1 friend (exclusions apply)
  • Season Pass Holder only event & specials
  • Discounts on food and beverages & more!

Visit our Season Pass page for more details or call 916-456-0131 to purchase today! You can also email [email protected]

Family Dinners Have Positive Impact on Kids

Nov19

With Thanksgiving upon us, food becomes a frequent topic of discussion. What should you make? How long do you bake the turkey again? What is Aunt Ruth’s favorite pie? Regardless of what is made, the time together giving thanks and talking amongst each other as a family is an important time for many and can result in lasting memories.

Family Dinners Aren’t Just for Thanksgiving

Research shows that finding time in the hectic school/work week for regular family dinners can have some rewarding benefits. In fact, there is a direct link between the frequency of family dinners and the quality of a child-parent relationship. The study found that compared to teens who have infrequent family dinners, teens who have frequent family dinners are:

  • One-and-a-half times more likely to say their parents know a great deal or a fair amount about what’s really going on in their lives.
  • Five times less likely to say their parents know very little or nothing at all about what’s really going on in their lives.
  • Almost one-and-a-half times likelier to say they have an excellent relationship with their mother.
  • One-and-a-half times likelier to say they have an excellent relationship with their father.

It is important to set the precedent early in life with younger children, so that traditions and expectations are established by the time the teen years are reached. So start having family dinners as soon as you can as parents. And make sure to put those smart phones and tablets down! Your children are so much more important than whatever is happening online.

As you look around the table this Thanksgiving, take notice of the smiles and conversation happening and think about trying to have a smaller scale version of that dinner more frequently. It could be better for the whole family.

Helping Children Choose Honesty

Sep18

“Honesty is the best policy,” said Benjamin Franklin. It’s definitely one of the top characteristics we want to develop in our children. And sometimes it’s easier said than done! Here are some strategies for helping your children choose honesty.

Model Honesty

It begins with us as parents. Our children are watching us daily and imitating our behavior. They will listen to what we tell them, but more importantly, they will copy our actions, even if they contradict what we’ve said. Think about times when you’ve been dishonest while your children are watching and listening. Have you told somebody that you can’t come over because you’re going somewhere else, but you’re really not? Have you made up an excuse for being late? Have you purchased something for your child and told them not tell the other parent about it?

Stop and think about the ways you model honesty (or dishonesty) throughout the day and make an effort to always show honesty to your children. Point out the times that you wanted to be dishonest, but chose honesty anyway. Share stories from your childhood of how being honest or dishonest impacted you.

Praise Honesty

Rewarding children for choosing the right kind of behavior helps reinforce it. Sometimes we overly focus on “catching” our children doing the wrong things and forget to praise them for doing the right things. By really watching for those times when your child chooses honesty and talking to them about it, you’ll be encouraging them with the positive attention.

Watch and listen as your children go through the day. Try to “catch” the moments when they are honest, especially when you know they struggled to be honest. Praise them for making a good choice.

Explain that Perfection is not Expected

One of the reasons that children are tempted to be dishonest is that they are afraid of disappointing their parents. If they get the sense that perfection is expected, or that parents will think less of them for messing up, they may choose to be dishonest rather than upset a parent.

Explain to your children that while you expect them to make good choices, you do not expect perfection. None of us are perfect! Let them know that you love them no matter what and that you know they will make mistakes. Continually let your children know that they can tell you anything and you’ll help them to be less fearful of being honest with you.

Allow Consequences for Dishonesty

Children learn by having consequences for making poor choices. Some consequences occur naturally, like getting caught in a lie and losing a friend because of it. Other times, we need to give our children appropriate consequences for dishonesty. By having consequences, we help train our children to avoid the poor choices and that honesty is the better way to go.

Those consequences will be different for each child and in each family, but should be something unpleasant or some sort of sacrifice. You can even let your older child have some input (within reason) on what they think would be an appropriate consequence.

Helping your child choose honesty now will help them make better choices in the future. By helping them with their choices, we show them how much we love them and have their best interests at heart.

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