First Dentist Appointment a Success at River Park Dental

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River Park Dental provides a kid-friendly, stress-free dental appointment in Dublin, Ohio!

A big thank you to River Park Dental for sponsoring this post!

I’m embarrassed to admit this and I’ve struggled with a lot of mom guilt over the fact that I hadn’t taken my oldest son, now 6, to the dentist! I had a multitude of excuses, the biggest being the fact that my son is “slow to warm up,” if you will, and very wary about new experiences, ESPECIALLY when it comes to doctors.

Quote from Where The Wild Things Are

We’ve had a few scarring (for me and him) experiences that had made me gun shy about attempting the dentist! When I called Ellen at River Park Dental to set up our appointment, she made me feel like this was totally normal and assured me I was not a bad mom! (Though for the record, they do recommend bringing your kid around age 3 1/2 to 4.)

River Park Dental Front Office

As we headed to our appointment, I was definitely nervous. I just didn’t know what to expect or how my boys would respond. Ellen assured me that Missy, the RDH, was great with kids and would go at a speed that worked for them. She assured me they were flexible and would just see how it went. I tried to breathe easy and believe that they would not judge me if my child refused to open his mouth and went running out the door (not an unlikely situation).

Coffee Bar at River park Dental

When we walked in the door at River Park Dental we were warmly welcomed and offered a latte (which was a huge plus in my book! 😉 ).

Waiting Room at River Park Dental

Not only that, but the waiting room is filled with children’s books, iPads and a tooth-fairy house! My kids were immediately at ease.

Kids on iPads at River Park Dental

Luckily, we were able to pry the kids away from the iPads by promising them the same shows were available while they were getting their teeth cleaned! Offer my 6 year old the chance to watch LEGO videos while doing anything and he’s going to be a lot more willing to cooperate!

kid in dental chair at River Park Dental

Missy was SO good with Jaden, who went first. She explained every move she was going to make and got him to help her count his teeth. She told him that it was going to “tickle” when she cleaned his teeth and even got him to laugh in the process! She took the time to teach Jaden how to brush his teeth at home without missing any spots!

Kid brushing his teeth at River Park Dental

By the time Jaden was done and it was my 3-year-old’s turn, Jaden was ready to walk Mayson though the process like an experienced pro!

Kids in dental chair at River Park Dental

Even after being right next to Jaden for his whole cleaning, Mayson was still weary about getting into that dental chair all by himself. Missy offered that Mayson could sit on a parent’s lap or Jaden could sit with him and Mayson chose Jaden to sit with him in the chair!

Kids in dental chair at River Park Dental

Kids in Dental Chair at River Park Dental

I’m not going to lie. This was one of my most heart warming experiences as a mother. You know how you spend what feels like 90% of your waking hours breaking up sibling fights? Well, this moment made it all worth it.

Kid getting teeth cleaned at River Park Dental

After each cleaning, Dr. Saurer came in to check the kids’ teeth and talk with us. She was so kind and gentle with the boys. Being a mother herself, she knew exactly how to talk to the boys.

Dentist checking kid's teeth at River Park Dental

Dentist checking teeth at River Park Dental

After each boy finished their cleaning, Missy gave them a token for the treasure box. They took their token out to the front desk to exchange it for the key to open the treasure box and pick out a prize! Oh my, were they in heaven!

Kid picking from treasure box at River Park Dental

Ellen took their pictures and printed them out in front of them, which they thought was the coolest thing! Then they hung them on the wall! No cavities! Yay!

Kid printing out photo at River Park Dental in Dublin, Ohio

I am so relieved that this first dentist visit is done. It was one of those nagging weights I had been carrying around! And thanks to a positive experience, my boys know what to expect and I don’t have to be nervous about next time!

2 Kids' pictures at River Park Dental in Dublin, Ohio

I cannot say one bad thing about our experience at River Park Dental! If you are looking for a kid-friendly dental experience, I highly recommend them. I’m honestly so grateful for them for graciously getting us through an experience we were all anxious about!

Know Before You Go:

River Park Dental
6605 Longshore St., Suite 220
Dublin, OH 43017
Call (614) 689-8686 to schedule an appointment.

Staff:
Dr. Phing Saurer, DDS, PhD
Ellen, Practice Administrator
Matt, RDH EFDA
Missy, RDH

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River Park Dental First Visit

 

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How to Rock the Twelve Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt

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Over the weekend we spent Saturday morning exploring Historic Downtown Dublin doing the Twelve Elves of Dublin scavenger hunt! This is a totally fun outing with something for the whole family! I’m partnering with Historic Dublin to tell you how to Rock the Scavenger Hunt in this December!

Found the Elf at Daso Custom Cabinetry!

In 12 participating businesses around Historic Dublin, an elf is hiding, just waiting to be found by your eager kiddos! You can begin the hunt at any one of the 12 locations by picking up an Elf Card and finding the elf. At each stop, the kids can point out the Elf to the employee and they will receive a small prize and a stamp on their card. The small prizes are a mix of candy, stickers, tattoos, etc.

Finding the Elf at Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland brought this little guy lots of satisfaction!

Head to all 12 locations, in no particular order, collecting your stamps and prizes. When finished, you can turn your Elf Card into any of the participating businesses and the accompanying adult will be entered into a drawing to win a prize basket filled with prizes from each of the participating businesses! (See, there’s a win for the parents, too! 😉 )

Dublin Ohio CVB Visitor Center was one of our first stops!

Getting our cards at Boho 72 Boutique!

My kids were totally into the hunt! They were surprisingly focused on finding each elf. Well, let me clarify, my first born, type A child was focused on the exact number they had found and how many more were left to find. My second child, just 3 years old, was focused on where to get the next piece of candy! 😉

Candy cane prizes at Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland!

It had been a while since I walked around Downtown Dublin on foot, so I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of getting the kids around. It turned out that all of the locations were surprisingly close! My 3 year old had no trouble keeping up without a stroller. We even back-tracked a few times to go to places that hadn’t opened yet when we started the hunt.

If you aren’t in the holiday spirit before walking around Downtown Dublin, you will be! The city is beautifully decorated! It’s kind of like walking around in a Christmas card!

Historic Dublin

This was such a fun thing to do as a family! It took us about 2 1/2 hours, but that included a leisurely stop for lunch. I would allow 1-2 hours to complete the hunt depending on your family and your schedule.

This scavenger hunt is NOT hard and we accomplished it with very little planning ahead! BUT I’m going to give you 5 tips to rock the scavenger hunt so you have a fun family time with very few hiccups!

1. View the Elf Card and Map online

Click here to view the Elf Card and Map! The kids loved having the official Elf Card, so I would suggest picking the actual card up at your first stop, but having the map printed out will help you plan out your path ahead of time if you are so inclined!

2. Know your parking options before you get there

There are several public parking lots in Historic Dublin. See this map for ideas.

3. Check the hours of the stores

We got a jump start on Saturday morning, and some of the shops did not open until 11:00 AM or 12:00 PM so we had to backtrack. Also Daso Custom Cabinetry generally closes at 1:00 PM on Saturdays, so this is something to keep in mind if you’re doing it on the weekend. (Though they will be staying open until 4:00 PM this Saturday, December 9th.) Backtracking wasn’t that big of a deal for us because everything is so close, but if you’re on a time crunch, you’ll want to pay closer attention to this. See the list of participating locations here.

4. Plan out your options for snacks and meals

There are two stops on the hunt where you can have a full meal. We had lunch at Donatos about halfway through the hunt. La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro is the other option with a full menu. You may also want to consider your timing when stopping into the other restaurants! Perhaps pick Winans for a coffee stop before lunch or Johnson’s Ice Cream or Our CupCakery for dessert afterwards! (Though I do want to say you are not required to purchase anything to participate in the hunt and we felt no pressure to do so at any of the locations!)

Chocolate is the prize at Winans Dublin!

Can’t beat pizza at Donatos for a mid-hunt break!

Finding the Elf was tricky at La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro!

Find the Elf and a little ice cream treat at Johnson’s Real Ice Cream!

The cutest holiday cupcakes at Our CupCakery!

5. Build in time for the adults to enjoy the hunt, too!

This hunt doesn’t have to be just for the kids. This is a great opportunity to get some holiday shopping done, pick up a few decorating tips or take care of some business! We even took a few minutes to appreciate fine art at Terra Gallery! (P.S. There is an Adult Holiday Hunt taking place on December 9, 2017!)

Perusing the finer side of art at Terra Gallery!

Decorate for the holidays at Chelsea Borough Home!

Kids you can pick out a Christmas gift for mom at Boho 72 Boutique . . . Hint Hint!

A Christmas Story throwback at Dean Insurance Group!

We had a blast seeing Dublin in a new way! I highly recommend this activity for a low-cost holiday outing that is fun for the whole family!

The boys were very proud of their completed Elf Cards!

Mail a letter to Santa while you’re at it!

Know Before You Go:

-The 12 Elves of Dublin scavenger hunt takes place between December 2 – December 16, 2017.

-The participating locations are as follows:

Boho 72 Boutique
Chelsea Borough Home
Daso Custom Cabinetry
Dean Insurance Group
Donatos Pizza
Dublin (Ohio) Historical Society at Dublin Ohio CVB Visitor Center
Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland
Johnson’s Real Ice Cream – Dublin
La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro
Our CupCakery
Terra Gallery
Winans Dublin

-Your completed card must be returned to any of the participating businesses by the end of day December 16, 2017.

-The winner of the grand prize drawing will be awarded Wednesday, December 20, 2017.

See all the details here!

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NEW! Children’s Play Area at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing

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On May 25, 2017, The Mall at Tuttle Crossing launched a soft opening of the new Children’s Play Area, beginning with an 8 AM sneak peek for local bloggers and their kids! Your kids can play here now, too, but the official Grand Opening is this Friday, June 2, 2017 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM! To celebrate, there will be a ribbon cutting, face painting, a balloon artist and an opening statement from the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

The play area uses the theme STEAM. No, not STEM, STEAM! I’m happy to report they’ve added an “A” for Art, a movement created by the Rhode Island School of Design! Good for them!

There are 5 main activity areas, each representing a letter of the acronym STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

1. Science Scramble:

On one side of the square cards, you can put a science-themed puzzle together. With the other side, you can play tic-tac-toe with periodic elements!

2. Techno Tunes:

Make music with the power of technology! By stepping on the squares in front of the rainbow steps (which lead to a slide!) you can play a tune with the sounds of different instruments! One thing I appreciated here was that music was always playing, but it was NOT loud! 🙂

3. Wonder Wall:

At the Wonder Wall (who’s singing Oasis?) you can use levers, pulleys, wheels and other simple machines to move a ball up through the maze and back down again. This one was a hit with my kids!

4. My Art Gallery:

Tap, slide and pinch with your fingers to choose the scene of your art work, add items to it, enlarge them and then change the style. There are three “easels” to work on around the wall. When you’re done you can email the artwork to Grandma (or whomever you choose)! When you tap “Finish,” the screen says LOOK UP! and your artwork is then displayed on the screen above you! The look on my 2 year old’s face when this happened was priceless!

5. Tile Table:

The Tile Table was, by far, my 5 year old’s favorite station. This was popular with lots of the kids! I apologize to all the kids out there who wanted a literal piece of the action as he stood guarding his castle, making sure it didn’t get knocked down.

In addition to the 5 activity areas, there is an additional toddler zone, STEAM Jr., which is separated from the other areas by a soft, immovable barrier.

My kids, age 2 and 5, were engaged for 3.5 hours at this play area! Honestly, that’s the longest they’ve ever spent at a mall play area before begging me to move on! I had to pry them away because I was hungry!!

Let’s address the number one comment/question I received on social media! There are no more walls! Will this be an issue? For the majority of preschool-aged children? I don’t think so. For your 9 month old crawlers? I don’t think so. For your 18 month old runners? Yes it will be.

After the sneak peek, the mall opened and the play area got busy! There were one or two runners during that time, but most of the kids were engaged in the activities that were presented. There is definitely a shift in focus from large muscle play to fine muscle activities. This isn’t a play area for running around, climbing and sliding, though there is room for a little bit of that.

The truth is that the soft toddler barriers are not large enough to keep bigger kids out and the lack of a barrier around the general play area also allows teenagers in, which I did witness the day I was there.

These are some logistical things that we as parents will encounter, HOWEVER, in my mind, the benefits and engagement level of the activities here outweighs the negatives. I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my kids back here to play. The play area was designed by designers who create a lot of children’s museums, and I think if you shift your focus from what the play area at Tuttle used to be (gross/large muscle), to thinking of this as a small section of a STEAM children’s museum, you’ll be on target with what the play area is designed to be!

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