From Preschoolers to Princesses: Atwood’s Princess in the Park

This weekend, Mila and her friends were transformed from their fabulous, preschool selves to beautiful princesses. Atwood Lake Park hosted Princess in the Park for area girls and it was a fairytale for everyone involved.

Naturally, Mila took the afternoon napping and getting ready for the event.

There were two sessions for it, but we went to the later one at 5:30. Thankfully that nap came in handy. To get her ready, she got her hair curled, put a little bit of makeup one, and was dressed in her favorite princess dress.

She was too excited to take pictures before we left, even though she made me and my parents dress up for the occasion.

It only made sense since we were going to be in the presence of a ton of princesses!

When we got there, the girls were divided into four groups: red, purple, silver, and blue (or maybe pink, we weren’t in that group). You could tell their group by the necklaces they gave them when they were registered. Mila was in the purple group, so that’s the timeline of the night I’ll be following.

There were four different princess activity stations: craft, carriage ride, story and snack time, and nail and hand painting.

The first station Mila went to was the crafting one. Here, all the princesses decorated a frame and a princess wand. Mila absolutely LOVED the wand and it turned out so cute. She held it most of the night and pretended to have magic powers too.

They had all the craft supplies ready for us. There were wooden skewers, stickers, ribbons, stars, and the frame. I think Mila tried to put everything on her wand. It turned out adorable.

It seemed like all the other princesses enjoyed their craft too!

After craft time was the carriage ride.

Cinderella brought her magical carriage with her beautiful horses for all the little princesses to ride. Of course she joined in too! They had six girls at a time join Cinderella and they took a carriage ride around the Atwood Lake Park. It took about fifteen minutes, but it probably seemed a lot quicker for the little ones.

Honestly, this part was just as magical for the parents as it was the kids. The carriage was breathtaking and I hope it made Mila feel so special. Her smile was radiating.

When the carriage ride was over, the other half of the group of kids went on and Mila’s got to meet Mrs. Ohio from 2011. Her name is Mrs. Melanie Miller and she did amazing with the little ones. Mila was so happy to meet another real life princess for the night!

She instantly wanted to give her a hug and sit and talk with her. I think Mila was a little awe-struck because she didn’t say a lot, but kept looking at Mrs. Miller and her crowns. I think she loved her sparkly dress too. They discussed how their favorite letter was “M” and how Mila should always follow her dreams. It was so adorable. Mrs. Miller also gave Mila an autographed picture that she talked about and showed us on the way home.

Mrs. Ohio, if you are reading this, thank you so much for being patient and so caring. It truly made an impact on our girls. I know Mila enjoyed meeting and talking with you.

Next it was story and snack time!

They had cupcakes there for the kids to ice and decorate. Although they didn’t have tea, they had apple juice that were perfect for princesses.

As the kids decorated their cupcakes and ate them, a man (whose name I didn’t catch) read a story to the kids. He let them name the princess and unicorn. Mila came up with the name Aveena for the princess and another girl names the unicorn Sedine. They really gave him tricky names to remember. It was pretty comical.

It was a really cute story and gave the kids time to calm down after all the carriage and Mrs. Ohio excitement.

I love watching Mila decorate her cupcake too! She gets better at it every time.

The next and last station was the nail and hand painting. Although a lot of girls sat and got theirs done, Mila had other plans. She’s not the “let’s get our nails painted” princess. Instead, she decided to play.

Since my parents went with us, she had my dad play on the playground with her. They had so much fun on the equipment and the swings.

It also was nice that she got to get really tired before we left!

I love watching her play and interact with other kids and her grandpa. I swear every time I look at her it looks like she’s grown up more. It’s one of the most bittersweet feelings that all parents (I think) feel.

After the last station, we could leave. Instead though, Mila got to meet up with her friends. They, again, went to see Mrs. Ohio and took pictures with her. It was so cute watching them listen to her and wanting to see her crowns. I swear us parents looked like the paparazzi taking a ton of pictures. It was just so exciting.

The princesses took more pictures and played for some time after too. I loved seeing them all dressed up. They’re usually beautiful, but they looked extra cute all dressed up.

I am so thankful for everyone at Atwood Lake Park and the princesses that made this happen. Mila and the rest of their kids really enjoyed themselves. I know she will be talking about this event for days, especially when we go and print pictures out!

Since we live in such a small, tight community, it’s amazing to get our kids together and interacting. It’s truly special and amazing.


If you live local, what are some events you’re looking forward to this fall? If you don’t live local, what are some fall events that you think Mila and I should do? Let me know in the comments.

Toddler Activity: Dinosaur Activity Box.

No matter if your little needs to stay busy after school or during the day, activity boxes will help! This week, Mila has been enjoying a Dinosaur Activity Box.

Filled with books, educational worksheets, sensory objects, and dinosaur toys, Mila has been engaged with this activity box all week. Every time she goes to pull something out, she can explore a new way to play. That’s what makes these boxes so intriguing to kids.

I’m actually really happy that Mila is interested in dinosaurs. Here’s a little secret… dinosaurs are one of my weird fears. I mean they’re extinct. Since Mila is interested in them now, I’ve learned a ton about them. Thank you to all the authors who have simplified the terms and information to toddler books. I really think the dancing dino books have been a huge help into getting Mila interested in them.

Anyways, since Mila is in a weird in between of waiting for preschool while I’m at school, I thought putting together activity boxes would be perfect.

This is a low prep solution to keeping her engaged while she’s with my mom. I can imagine babysitters would love this idea too. All my mom has to do is grab the box and take it. Next week, I’ll have a different theme with similar activities.

Here’s what’s in the box…

Dinosaur Books

Mila learns best with books and activities. We’ve collected a ton of books in her three years, but they have paid themselves off with all that she’s learned.

A few months ago, we actually did a fun activity with Dino Dance by Sandra Boynton. Mila actually remembered it when she saw her activity box and flipped to their dances. It’s so nice to know she has that information stored somewhere.

The other books are just as valuable. We love them all and read them even without talking about dinosaurs…

Dino Dance by Sandra Boynton

Night, Night, Dino-Snores by Nicola Edwards

Five Dancing Dinosaurs by Little Hippo Books

Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide by Emma Yarlett

Let us know your favorite dinosaur books in the comments! We’d love to grow our library.

Workbook Pages and Crayons

It turns out, Mila loves worksheets. She loves the idea of ‘working,’ so it’s made learning a breeze.

I went through all her different workbooks and found the dinosaur themed ones. Some of them talk about the letter ‘d’ and others are working on prewriting. Either way, they are her level and she’s learning.

I’d definitely recommend starting your toddler or preschooler with worksheets at home. Target and Amazon always has amazing options!

Resin Letters

Resin letters are a must to add to any activity. I love that they help familiarize kids with the alphabet in a fun way that they can hold in their hands.

For this activity bin, I obviously put ‘dinosaur’ in an egg for Mila to explore. She matched them up with the letters on the books and we went over them too. This particular set was made by one of my students. However, I love Beags and Bubs‘ resin letters on Instagram. I bought a custom set a few weeks ago and have used them a ton. They’d be a great Christmas or birthday present!

Dinosaur Toys

Pretend play is Mila’s favorite way to play. She likes to make up different voices and scenarios. I HAD to include them in her bin.

Not only did the dinosaurs dance, they played all types of different games with them too. Mila likes to make the dinosaur toys act out the books as well. She could pretend play for hours. This was no different than usual!

Play-dough and Slime

I also added some sensory play items in there for her too. She loves the different textures of the play-dough and slime. In this bin, I only put in ‘dinosaur colors,’ which are greens and blues. This way she can make foot prints, try to make dinosaurs, or just give her brain a little break.

Some of the other sensory items I added were beads, a dinosaur egg, and play-dough moulds.


Overall, this activity box was a success! Mila loved it and I love watching her learn.

I have a few ideas for future boxes, but would love to hear what you all would like to see too! Let me know in the comments!

Then check out these dinosaur inspired activities: