Current Happy Meal Toy Latest Update

Good parenting skills are key to avoiding things like temper tantrums, sulking, and most importantly of all, disappointed children which leads to disappointment for parents too. As a dad, good nutrition is important to me and my kids, primarily because I know how important getting the right foods helps kids stay healthy and grow strong.

On the other hand, having fun is very important to me too. And, as a fully grown adult who not only got an occasional McDonald’s meal when I was a kid, as well as one who ate there waaaayyyy to much in his twenties, I know that a Happy Meal here and there isn’t going to hurt my kids. When you way the fun of a trip to McDonald’s to get a Happy Meal against any nutritional detriments, fun comes out way ahead.

happy meal toy box

The catch to the whole thing is that the toy in a McDonald’s Happy Meal is an important part of the fun. Nothing puts disappointment on a little kid’s face like a crummy Happy Meal toy. That’s why I always like to know in advance what the current Happy Meal toy is.

Often the toys are tied to movies, but many of those won’t end up on the list of good movies for kids.

However, that does not necessarily mean that the current Happy Meal toy is no good.

Trick To Get Better Happy Meal Toy

If you have a younger child and the McDonald’s toy sucks when you go, there is a trick you can use to get a better Happy Meal toy free and easy.

The main Happy Meal toys are almost never “suitable” for children under 3. So, if you have a kid who is under, or even near 3-years old, just ask for the “under 3 toy”. This is a special Happy Meal toy that all McDonald’s restaurants keep on hand for parents who have young kids that don’t meet the official age requirements for the main Happy Meal toy. Don’t worry about making anyone grumpy, they have to have those toys anyway, and it is all the same to them, as long as you aren’t trying to be a weasel and get two toys out of your Happy Meal.

You can also find out the latest Happy Meal toys with the McDonald’s app. And, as an added bonus, if you’ve got more than one child, the app often has coupons Happy Meals, like a Buy One Happy Meal, Get One Free coupon that is on my app for this week.

However your lunch journey ends up going, have a fun day with your kids.

May 2021 Happy Meal Toys

It looks like the May 2021 Happy Meal toys will be either Hot Wheels cards, or Shopkins Happy Places. Remember, don’t say, “boys toy” or “girls toy” when talking about the Happy Meal toy choices.

Hot Wheels are obviously cars. The Shopkins things appear to be furniture turned into cuddly animals.

Like this, but only the furniture, no humans are available as McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys in May 2021.

https://amzn.to/2QLgMrj
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Free Library Perks for Child Entertainment and Education

We’ve been using the library since the first kiddo was born. Young kids love to read new books, and to have new books read to them. It just doesn’t make sense to drop $10 on a new board book, first reader children’s book, or other books every single time you finish reading a book. Even third and fourth grade books seems to come and go quickly.

While owning books is great (and I highly recommend buying their favorites so they can have their own library at home), the quick loan from the library offers plenty of new books.

Reading new books to your child also helps with brain development, and studies have shown that children who are read to during their early years development better vocabularies, writing abilities, and even intelligence. Some studies show that the number of different words spoken to a child during their developmental years can predict future intelligence.

But, there many more free perks from the library than you ever imagined.

Free Library Perks

Every library system is different, so check your local library website for the free perks your own library offers.

We have the good fortune of living near a county line in suburban Denver. That means, we can realistically access three different library systems, the Douglas County Libraries, the Arapahoe County Libraries, and the Denver Public Libraries.

Each has their own list of amazing free services and library benefits.

Free Douglas County Library Card Perks

Like hiking? The Douglas County Library offers backpacks that you can check out. The backpack comes with a parks pass good for any of the Colorado State Parks. Before you use your free parks pass, use the free pro upgrade to AllTrails Pro so that you can plan your hike with all of the cool AllTrails Pro map perks. (Be sure to enter the coupon code when you upgrade, but no billing information. That gives you a free 12 month membership. Otherwise, it might renew at $29.99 the following year.)

all-trails-pro-free

You can also borrow things like an Oculus Go headset, a Cricut Joy machine, cameras, telescopes, microscopes, and tons of other things. Most things have hefty wait lists, though, so take this as an opportunity to try some fun things out, not a way to get equipment when you need it.

Show your library card at certain businesses for discounts as well.

The best perk for us is the free passes to local attractions that we don’t already have memberships to like the Butterfly Pavilion and the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. You can reserve the passes up to 14 days in advance, so it helps to plan ahead.

Other huge library perks are free access to Lynda.com, which offers tons of software trainings, as well as business training and other how-tos. While I’ve never used Creativebug, it looks like it has tons of DIY classes.

My latest pleasure is Mango Languages. It lets you learn languages, and your library card gives you free access to brush up on your German, or Spanish, or to learn French.

If you’re doing research, most libraries offer free access to numerous online research databases with your library card number and password.

Multiple Libraries Perks

There are likely plenty of great free library perks at your local library, but if you can easily access more libraries, they often do not require you to live there to get a library card.

So ask! You could get even more free library perks.

Here in the Denver area, the Denver Public Library system dropped Lynda.com over privacy issues, but I still get free access from the Douglas County Library system.

Denver Libraries replaced Lynda with Udemy Learning, so I can get free online training from two premier technology training companies. And the Denver technology labs will 3D print items that you send to them for free.

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Free 5th Grade Ski Pass Colorado

Colorado Ski Country USA offers a neat program for 5th graders in Colorado. Basically, you can get a free ski pass for 5th graders in Colorado to several different ski resorts. It’s a bit different since my last kiddo was in 5th grade, so I suppose it’s time to dig back into the details. It should be easy. I just got the 2019-2020 5th Grade Passport Kids Ski Free brochure from the school. (Actually, I dug it out of his backpack while looking for something else.)

5th Graders Ski Free Pass

If I remember correctly, the older versions of the free 5th grade ski pass allowed actual free skiing as much as you wanted at the participating ski resorts. It doesn’t quite worth that way anymore, but it’s still a really great deal for skiing in Colorado.

free 5th grade colorado ski pass

Where Does the 5th Grade Fee Ski Pass Work?

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The 2019-2020 5th Grade Ski Pass lets you ski for 3 days each at 22 different ski areas throughout Colorado. As a Colorado parent, that has locals knowledge of the ski resorts, you are basically looking at the NOT VAIL owned ski resorts. In other words, the free 5th grader ski pass does is not accepted at:

  • Vail
  • Breckenridge
  • Keystone
  • Beaver Creek

The free ski pass for 5th graders also is not accepted at Crested Butte, although, I can’t blame that on Vail.

It does work at plenty of other popular and quality ski resorts including

  • Loveland
  • A-Basin
  • Copper
  • Winter Park
  • Steamboat
  • Aspen
  • Snowmass
  • Telluride
  • Eldora

If you’re the type that hits some of the lesser known / farther flung ski areas in Colorado, the 5th grade pass also is accepted at:

  • Powderhorn
  • Sunlight
  • Howelsen Hill
  • Grandby Ranch
  • Echo Mountain
  • Cooper
  • Monarch
  • Kendall Mountain
  • Wolf Creek
  • Purgatory
  • Hesperus

Other 5th Grade Passport Benefits

Obviously, the main reason you should get the 5th Grade Ski Passport if for the free skiing, but it does come with a couple of other benefits that you might be able to take advantage of depending upon your family ski situation

You can get ONE free junior rental from Christy Sports. Obviously, if you are going up enough to claim a few of these resorts, you should get a season ski rental, or have your own gear. Otherwise, free is still free, even if it’s only once.

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You can also get a Level One Beginner lesson, “for those who qualify.” That won’t be us, so I’ll let you go hit up the website to dig into details for that.

Colorado Gems 5th Grade Free Ski Passport

Potentially useful for some families is a parent benefit that you can buy along with getting the free 5th grade ski pass.

It costs $30 to add on a 2019-2020 Colorado Gems Card. The Colorado Gems card gets you EITHER 2-1 adult lift tickets (full-price adult lift tickets that is), or 30% off of adult tickets. You’ll need to do some math to determine which is the better deal.

This benefit is only good at some of the 22 ski resorts your 5th graders free ski pass works at. Also, you can only use your benefit TWICE per resort, unlike the 5th grade pass that works three times per resort. The Colorado Gems resorts are:

  • Arapahoe Basin
  • Loveland
  • Cooper (not Copper)
  • Monarch
  • Eldora
  • Echo Mountain
  • Grandby Ranch
  • Hesperus
  • Kendall Mountain
  • Powderhorn
  • Sunlight

How To Get a 5th Grade Ski Free Pass

The easiest way to get your free 2019-2020 5th Grade Passport is to get the brochure from your kids’ school. On the back of that brochure is a unique registration code that lets you skip all the different verification hoops to sign up for the free 5th graders ski pass. (If you have non-skiing friends and you get the brochures, and you have a kid that’s in 4th or 6th grade, I’m not saying you should cheat, I’m just saying you could cheat.)

To sign up for the 5th Grade Ski Free pass, you need to go online at ColoradoSki.com/Passport. You need a “digital image of your child” (a picture) and the unique registration code. This isn’t a passport, any relatively decent face picture will do.

Be sure to ask your kiddo to keep an eye out for the ski pass brochure, because if your child’s elementary school is anything like my child’s they bring home more than a few things that seem irrelevant to them that they forget all about while they get shoved further and further down into their backpack.

Also, remember they don’t mail you a fifth grade ski pass or anything. You get it picked up at the first resort you go to, so either plan ahead and arrive a bit early on your first ski day of the season, or drop by a lift ticket window ahead of time if you’re the type that is in the area.

When To Get the Free 5th Grade Colorado Ski Pass

According to the brochure it takes 5-7 business days for a child to get approved to get their pass, so you’ll need to plan ahead a bit. My kiddo’s brochure came home today, and right after I finish writing this up, I’m headed over to the website to sign up. While some people plan out their whole ski season, we don’t roll that way so I have no idea when our first ski day will be. Might as well have this whole 5th graders ski free thing sorted before it becomes any sort of issue.

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Halloween Candy

Halloween is one of those holidays where parenting styles really differ. Some parents worry about safety and maybe morality issues. Other parents are fine with the holiday itself, but aren’t so keen on things like costumes and candy. For us, our holiday is colored by the knowledge that, unlike some other holidays, this one comes with a pretty short life span.

From birth to around Age 4, you pick your kid’s costume, and any trick or treating is pretty limited. A little bag or bucket and just a few stops is the whole thing. We did our early trick or treating at a day time event at the Denver Zoo called Boo at the Zoo. They have little trick or treat stations as you walk around the zoo. It’s safe, easy, and it comes with a visit to the zoo.

halloween-fun-parenting

Marry Poppins, a football, the Deathly Hallows, and an owl.

Fast forward, and realize that many kids stop trick or treating with their parents in their early teens. Add it all up, and that means that, as a parent, you will get 10 total Halloweens with your children. After that, they’ll want to trick or treat with their friends, or go to a costume party at someone’s house, or whatever. Either way, it won’t necessarily include you.

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I don’t know about you, but with that limitation, I’m going to go ahead and do it up a bit. We get costumes, go to a few trick or treating places, and carve up pumpkins with our kids. You can worry about them getting a costume they will never wear again, but if you look at it from the perspective of, you get to buy them 10 costumes their whole life, that changes the math a bit.

Halloween Costumes for Kids

Asking your kid what they want to be for Halloween is a good start, but many of them don’t know what the options are. Obviously, if your kiddo loves Curious George and wants to go as Curious George, then done and done.

But, if your child seems to be having trouble deciding what they want, they may not be able to conjure up a full vision of choices. Looking online is one option, but that can lead to unrealistic, or very expensive, choices. I prefer a quick stop into either a Party City, or one of those temporary Halloween shops that pop up each year. We do pretty well at Halloween City, and there always seems to be a 20% off coupon you can get on your phone, or print off. With that discount, the costumes there cost just about what they cost online, and your kiddo gets the joy of walking out of the store with the costume in hand.

This year, our kids went in different directions. 7 decided to go as a football player. He chose that costume only half because he really wanted to be a football player, but he most definitely, 100% wanted a football helmet. Fun is fun, No matter how you get there.

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Our older one with with a cool costume from the video game Assassins Creed. Although none of us have ever played, or really seen, the game, a cool costume of belts and cloaks and hoods, is a cool costume of belts and cloaks and hoods. Through in a cool, plastic, assassin weapon, and you’ve got a sweet Halloween costume.

Halloween Candy

In our neighborhood, we don’t get too many trick or treaters. In part, it’s because we go out trick or treating during prime hours ourselves, but our street is also a side street off of a long, well lit, street with limited participation from neighbors. Whatever the case, we end up with plenty of left over candy.

halloween-candy-parents

If you’re the same, consider buying everyone’s favorites for your own candy bowl. That way, your leftovers can be your Halloween treat, and you won’t have to resort to stealing, or “taxing”, you little one’s hard earned candy.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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Disneyland Halloween

We went to Disneyland during the end of October to see the park in its Halloween glory. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t know about the separate Halloween night time park tickets, which were sold out on our dates by the time we learned. It was still tons of fun, after all, it IS Disneyland, and the October days were much less crowded and hot than the usual summer visits. All in all a huge win.

We were getting ready to go to Disneyland for Christmas this year, but with the new Star Wars Land opening next year, I think we’ll wait and go after it is up and running. I’ll fill in some more details soon, but for now, enjoy this pictures of some of the Halloween decorations around Disneyland Halloween last year.

Disneyland Halloween Nighttime Gate decoration Disneyland old town decorations halloween Disneyland halloween decorations giant mickey pumpkin head disneyland halloween time pole decoration Disneyland Halloween Arcade decoration

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