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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Nancy Gillespie

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Looking for new ideas for places to take your kids in Columbus? Each month I feature a local parent who will share 3 places they love to take their kids in Columbus! Thanks to Nancy for sharing her Columbus Favorites today!

1. WeJoySing

WeJoySing story time

WeJoySing is an early childhood music based class! It focuses on teaching music, movement, social and cognitive skills to your child while you play and learn alongside them. We joined our first 6 week session of WeJoySing in the Spring and were so happy to be in Ms. Joy’s class, who is the Director of the program.

They offer a $5 drop in class throughout the summer, which is a nice way to meet other Mom’s with children the same age. We’re already looking forward to joining the Fall session which begins in September. Classes are offered throughout Columbus, with both morning and evening options.


2. Dublin Pool South

Dublin Pool South

Dublin has two outdoor community pool options during summer. This summer, we have preferred the South pool mainly due to its zero depth entrance (perfect for babies + toddlers!). We also love this pool because of the shaded grassy areas surrounding it, as well as the splash pads across the street at Ballantrae Community Park.

Season pool passes are available to Dublin residents and daily passes are also an option if you only plan to go a few times throughout the summer!

Related: Free Columbus and Central Ohio Splash Pads and Fountains


3. Avery Park

Avery Park in Dublin, Ohio

We are lucky to be walking distance to so many great parks within Dublin. Avery Park has been our go-to park because to the big playground it offers! There is a larger playground for older kids and a smaller option for toddlers.

The surface is made from rubber, so there is no need to worry about mud or mulch. We have spent many early mornings and evenings at Avery Park enjoying this free activity!

Related: 6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers


Nancy Gillespie runs the website Gillespie & Co. with her husband Mike, which is a family + lifestyle blog located in Columbus, Ohio! With Nancy’s background in Buying/Merchandising in corporate retail and Mike’s experience in Video Production, they offer fresh content on everything from fashion and interior design, to their favorite local businesses and upbeat short videos. Follow along at @gillespieandco as Nancy and Mike navigate parenthood + life one sweet moment at a time.


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Central Ohio Fall Farms and Festivals

ICYMI: Central Ohio Fall Farms and Festivals


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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

 

ICYMI:  6 Columbus Area Parks for Toddlers

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Your Kid’s First Swim Lesson at Goldfish Swim School: What to Expect

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This post was sponsored by Goldfish Swim School.

We started swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School in Dublin this summer! So far I have nothing but good things to say about the experience! But if you’re like us on the first day, you might not know what to expect and your kids might be a little bit nervous. Here are 10 things you can expect to make your first lesson go as smoothly as possible!

1. Key Tag Check-In

When you arrive and sign in at the front desk, you will be given a key tag for your key ring. At subsequent lessons, just check in by scanning your key tag!

2. Goggles and Swim Gear

Kids are encouraged to wear goggles for the lessons (I say encouraged because my kids are a little skittish about this, and the teachers don’t push it when they are.) Kids who aren’t potty trained must wear a reusable swim diaper. I neglected to read this fine print until the morning of our first lesson, but luckily both of these items are available for purchase and you will receive a discount on your first purchase!

3. Family Friendly Changing Rooms

Lots of space is available in the changing rooms – all three of us fit in to one in order to get suits on and everyone ready to go! There always seems to be enough changing rooms – we’ve never had to wait!

4. Easy Viewing Area

To view the lessons there is a large seating area with a glass wall separating you from the pool. It’s easy to find a seat to watch your child closely. One of the teachers suggested that I try different things with my youngest who is having a harder time being separated from me, so being poolside is an option, too, if that helps your child adjust.

5. Play Area for Little Sibs

Got a little one in tow? Books, coloring sheets and some toys are available in the viewing area!

6. Hair Dryers

There are hair dryers available to dry hair if needed before you leave. This will be especially handy in the winter! (Forgive me for mentioning the “W” word in August . . . )

7. Swim Suit Dryer

After your kid’s lesson, you can put your suit in a dryer for a quick spin to get out the extra water!

8. Snacks

Snacks, drinks and coffee are available for purchase. $.25 candy is available as well – just drop a quarter in the money box and take a candy!

9. Tears

I’m not saying there will be – but there might be – tears. There have been for my kids and several moms have come up to me and said, “we’ve been there, it will get better!” A big thanks to those moms for having my back. 🙂 And also a big thanks for #10:

10. Caring Teachers

I knew my kids were going to be stand offish about swimming lessons. They haven’t had a ton of experience in the water and they’re generally cautious kids. The teachers have been nothing but supportive, encouraging and non-judegemental. We’ve had 4 lessons and their comfort level has improved each time. By lesson 4, my oldest got in without any tears and my youngest didn’t cry through the WHOLE lesson, so there’s improvement! 😉


Thanks to Goldfish Swim School for sponsoring this post!

Goldfish Swim School offers perpetual, year-round swim lessons for kids ages 4 months to 12 years old. Our pools are warm and inviting (90 degrees) and our class sizes are small (4:1) so kids receive the personalized attention from our Ellis-trained swim instructors. Our curriculum focuses on water safety so we teach kids at all levels how to be safe in and around water. Goldfish Swim School has two Central Ohio locations, in Dublin and Westerville, and for more information, visit http://westerville.goldfishswimschool.com and http://dublin.goldfishswimschool.com.


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ICYMI: Kid Friendly Put-in-Bay: 11 Things to do with Your Kids


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