by Amaya Papaya's Mom on November 11th, 2018

​Happy November Amaya Papaya Community! As Amaya Papaya enters what is generally the scariest season for us as a small businesses I'd like to ask you to help us keep our lights on during this holiday season. I really appreciate the love and support from all of you during the hot months. If you guys could set aside at least one day a week to come play with us during your week that would be amazing. If you are coming to play more than two days a week, we offer money saving punch cards and memberships as well. https://squareup.com/market/amaya-papaya

Did you know that you could host your child's birthday, a  holiday party or a child friendly adult party at Amaya Papaya. We have a weekday semi-private party option for only $100 and PRIVATE weekend party options where we can do it all for you or where you can be your own Pinterest star and do it yourself. Give me a call to book via phone or book online at amayapapaya.com/party.

Cash is always best for small businesses. Of course we always accept card payments however, if you want to help us save money, when coming to PLAY, pay with cash to help us avoid the merchant fees. 

I have planned so many events for your family to celebrate the holidays with us! You can come drum with a drummer from the Congo that drums regularly at the Animal Kingdom or you can have your little ones dance and PLAY with 5-7 REAL ballerinas to the Nutcracker Suite! For New Year's Eve we have our annual New Year's Eve Baby Boogie Bash featuring our balloon drop at 12pm. And if you are wanting to make a major impact on Small Business Saturday,  join us on November 24 for FREE,  to take advantage of some of our great deals. Tickets for our events can be purchased here: https://squareup.com/market/amaya-papaya

by Amaya Papaya's Mom on September 30th, 2018

Earlier this year, at Amaya Papaya, I began hearing talk about a character named Blippi. The children were singing songs about trucks by the character, and the parents spoke of an uncle turned YouTube star by videos that he began creating for his nephew. In the spring, a parent booked a party and requested that the theme be Blippi. Aside from his signature outfit and the things mentioned in the lounge, I knew very little about the character. Upon research, I discovered that Blippi was very educational and a lot of fun! If you have never watched a Blippi episode on YouTube, do it! Your little one will thank you. 
Blippi wears a collard blue shirt, orange glasses, a bow tie and suspenders. I knew that I wanted to incorporate these elements into the cake table and backdrop. Blue curtains and a blue table cloth was used to mimic Blippi's shirt. Using my Cricut, I cut glasses, a bow tie and large buttons to complete the shirt. I chalked the words Happy Birthday. 
At Amaya Papaya our chalk board backdrop is a unique element for birthday parties. On it, I chalked the birthday boys name and his age. I added teal, light blue and orange balloons to compliment the cutout image of Blippi within the chalk art. 
For the favor bags, strips of orange paper and small bowtie cutouts were glued onto aqua bags to look like Blippi's shirt. They were so simplistic and cute! 
Blippi talks about trucks a lot. The cake was a pull apart cake shaped like a truck!  On the cake table I used big Tonka trucks and for the center pieces I cut out dump trucks and a Blippi image using my Cricut. Each cut out was hot glued individually to wooden dowels and stuck into a glass jar filled with orange crinkle paper. Each place setting had a truck coloring sheet with orange underlay for a pop of color. I like using coloring sheets at the place settings for toddlers and preschoolers to avoid the spread of germs on plates and napkins by curious little ones. 
This was a super fun party. The birthday boy even came dressed in his own Blippi outfit! He even had the signature Blippi hat! 
Are you in Central Florida? Would you like to host your little ones Blippi party or another unique theme at Amaya Papaya? Log onto our website for more information. 

by Amaya Papayas Mom on August 30th, 2015

Sensory Play encourages children to explore all of their senses. From touch, taste, sight, smell, and sound, stimulation of the senses help children become better aware of different environments and experiences. 
It is so easy to get your child involved in sensory play since it is all around them! Take them to the beach to play in the sand, smell the salt water, hear the waves crashing on the shore, see the seagulls flying above their heads, or maybe just sit and eat the delicious snacks you all brought.
 In almost all situations, you can identify all the senses to your child. Talk to them and ask them about what they are experiencing and what it reminds them of. Just don’t be afraid for them to get down and dirty because they are learning after all!

Join us this week during our Baby Buddies group on Tuesday or one of our Sensory PLAY Thursday sessions for Amaya Papaya University as we blast out of this word on an Outer Space Journey of the senses with water bead PLAY "on the moon"  

by Ashlei King on August 17th, 2015

Our story all started on a beautiful day in the Fall of 2014. It was October 15th and my beautiful baby boy was just 3 days old and we were released to leave Winter Park Memorial Hospital. 
Because of financial reasons, we decided to cloth diaper our little guy. It was unknown and lonely waters as not a single person I knew used cloth diapers. Family and friends all thought I was crazy for trying it and was told that I wouldn't stick with it. What those people didn't know, we didn't have a choice. My wonderful husband, Sean, was taking on the difficult task of now supporting a family of 5 All. By. Himself. I didn't even know how we were going to make it. I was terrified. Our finances on thin ice, I recovering from a traumatic c-section, and I was a MOM! The realization that I was now responsible for this precious life was surreal. I had no idea what I was doing. 

This is where Kelly Martin steps in, the owner of Baby Bottoms Boutique. As if the word owner could encompass all of what this wonderful woman is. Throughout the last couple of months of my pregnancy, I endlessly emailed her, asking a million and one questions about this taboo thing we HAD to venture in, of cloth diapers. Kelly was ever so patient with me, answering all of my concerns and reassuring me that it was all going to be ok. So, we set it up and committed to getting a Cloth Diaper Newborn Rental for 3 months. We went for the 3 months in hopes that we could get enough money saved up to fund our little Isaiah's fluff. In order to maximize our time with the rental, we arranged to pick them up the day we were released from the hospital. 
So here I am, feeling like my body will split apart if I dare stand straight or move in any direction, fresh new baby in tow, and we make our way to Amaya Papaya.

We initially intended to have Sean go in, pick up and go, but the diapers hadn't been dropped off yet. So we parked the car, Sean took Isaiah inside, out of the heat, to change him. I very slowly hobbled my way across the street into a place I unknowingly would one day call home. 
Here is where I met the amazing Yolonda Tyler. All I can say is "Wow!" I came in and was greeted so graciously and with such sincerity. That's not something that I'm used to experiencing in this rough world we live in. I filed that thought away as I was trying to focus on moving one foot in front of the next. She offered me a seat and I slunk down in the first lounger near the play lounge entrance. By then, Sean comes back out with the baby and places him in my arms. I looked around and asked Yolonda, "Is there somewhere I can breastfeed the baby??" For those that knew me before I had Isaiah, you'd know I was very modest when I came to showing off my skins. But in a way that only Yolonda could say, she tells me, "Feed yo Baby!". Those 3 words from a complete stranger, empowered me and gave me the courage to publicly breastfeed my child for the first time. In that moment, feeling physically and mentally defeated from labor and delivery, I felt STRONG! I felt confident. I told myself, "I GOT this!". 

Fast forward to January 2015, I go in to drop off my cloth diaper rental and pick up our package of our first diapers. We were picking up 12 diapers. I, like a kid in a candy store, took my time and picked out all the different colors I wanted. Isaiah was snuggled up in my Moby wrap fast asleep. Now let me share something with you that took me aback. When I came in the doors of Amaya Papaya on that day, Yolonda did something that no other business owner has ever done to me. She. Remembered. Our. Names! And maybe to someone else, that may not seem like a big deal, but it meant the world to me! This is the second time she'd seen us and she remembered us and when we first came in months back. I admire her, I can't even remember if I'm wearing my pants that day but not Yolonda. She remembered my family. 

Now we jump into February. I was running a few errands nearby and decided to stop in on a Tuesday. I had heard that a baby group had started up and wanted to check it out. I didn't have a dime on me, no work, new baby, you know how it is. When I walked in, there wasn't a single person there. I thought, "huh! oh well". So I took the opportunity, since I was already there, to take a small glance (yeah right lol!) at Baby Bottoms Boutique and all the lovely fluff. 
Yolonda asked, as I perused Heaven on earth, if I had come for Baby Buddies. Sadly, I said no as I had no money to pay for it. I also thought to myself, "even if I DID have the money, what's the point of taking an infant to an indoor playground??"  Boy! Was I wrong!
She decided to let us come in and do the Baby Buddies program, just for Isaiah. I was like, sure, why not. I didn't want to be home, that's for sure! First thing she asked was if I had done bubbles with him. I was like, "noooo, he's a little baby." I never even thought as that being something to do with a newborn. So she pulled out this biiiig rainbow parachute, got the bubble machine in place, and we sat little man down in one of the Prince Lion Heart chairs smack dab in the center. She read to him a story about a little rubber duck. Man! What a great story teller! Even I was into this little cardboard book! Then she turned on the bubble machine and sang her bubble song. Isaiah was absolutely fascinated! Trouble is, when the bubbles would get near his face, he'd hold his breath. Weirdest thing I've ever seen! She carefully would wave away the bubbles and sang to him. Then she took out a wooden box of different colored scarves. One by one, she pulled them out, teaching him about colors and playing hide and seek. He was entranced. It was as if I didn't even exist, he was so fixed on his Mrs. Yolonda. 
We've been hooked on AP ever since! 

Shortly after, I was offered to become an AP Ambassador. I was now volunteering at a place that had become my home away from home. Yolonda put value in a place I never thought I'd have the chance to visit until he was a toddler. Her passion for children, the care and concern for her guest and the people of the community is astounding. These 2 women, Kelly and Yolonda, have touched my family in a way I don't think they could ever understand. These powerful, hard working mom's inspire me to be better. To reach out to other people and help them as I have been helped. I love the community that we have built and love seeing it continue to flourish. Seeing all the moms and dads come every week to Baby Buddies gives me such joy in knowing, we have each other. We all lovingly support each other, you all are so beautiful. 

Today, I am proud to say that I am a Baby Bottoms Boutique and an Amaya Papaya Ambassador!

Ashlei King is also the Happy Mama Orlando for Happy Family Brand Foods.
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by Night Lite Pediatrics on January 25th, 2015



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