Why You Should Read To Your Child!

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Some of my earliest memories as a child involved my mother taking me to our local library. Hand-in-hand my mother guided my sister and I through the library doors ready to fill our bags with books for the week. Once our bags were full, we were ready to head home to start reading. However, this presented us with a very difficult decision. That decision being, which book I wanted my mom to read to me first! As my mother read the contents of the book to me, the pages would come alive, and my imagination allowed me to journey into far off places. I very fondly recall listening to the voice of my mother as she orated, in vivid detail, the the story contained in my library book. My mother would continue to read to me until my eyes would slowly close, and I would begin to sleep. I looked back on my childhood, and my introspection revealed that my mother reading to me taught me three important lessons.

1. Reading Helped Shape My Imagination

My mother reading to me taught me that magic can be found in a book and that a whole new world is on the tip of my fingers. The imagination I learned, carried over into the desire to play outside and recreate these stories with my sister and friends. Her reading to me showed me not only that she cared that I had an imagination, but that she wanted to help shape it.

2. Reading Taught Me Patience

Through reading, I learned that I may not be able to read a whole book in one night, and that I would be required to exercise my patience. This was made more difficult as my mother would occasionally end our reading session just before, or after a cliffhanger, climax, or plot twist. In spite of my pleas, my mother would gently and kindly explain to me that I would have to wait to hear what would happen next. You have to have patience to see a story unfold. This is made even more difficult in a society that is all about the “now.” Invest in your child’s ability to have patience.

3. Reading Taught Me to Pause

Growing up, you have school, homework and possibly some sort of extra curricular activity. Reading with your child before bed, gives you and your child time to pause and dive into a whole new world together. This allows both parent and child to decompress in a quiet and calm environment. Lastly, you will not regret the time taken to be with one another.

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MAY DAYS & MERMAIDS!

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May Day is an ancient spring festival in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s an astronomical holiday, one of the year’s four cross-quarter days, or day that falls midway between an equinox and solstice – in this case the March equinox and June solstice. May Day also stems from the Celtic festival of Beltane, held on the first day of May in Ireland and Scotland, celebrating the beginning of summer and open pasturing. Other festivities included Maypole dances and cutting of green boughs and flowers.

As young girl, my elementary school held it’s own version of a May Day Festival. Which included following the tradition of selecting a young girl as May Queen. I had the honor of being “crowned” May Queen and presided over the festivities which included the popular Maypole Dance. A large pole was placed on the field and beautiful colored ribbons were attached to the top of the maypole and dancers wound them in different directions around the maypole holding a ribbon each to create a complex pattern of colors. After the ribbons have been wound onto the pole, the practice was to reverse the path of the dance to unwind the ribbons again.

In the ENCHANTAILS world of Oceana, the RHOARI (Roar-ri) Realm, is located in the seas near Ireland. Which is home to our Royal Mermaid Daughter TEAGAN. I’m certain if we were to visit Teagan’s realm on May Day, her realms version of the May Day festival would be something quite spectacular!

Here’s a few fun ideas to celebrate May Day with your own royal daughter or a mermaid lover in your life!

  • MAY DAY BASKET
    Make a May Day Basket and deliver to neighbors anonymously. Choose some fun 12”x12” heavy craft paper perhaps with Mermaids or ocean images on them! Cut it in half. It should measure 12?x6?. Using a dinner plate as a guide, draw a half circle on the paper. Cut out with scissors. Holding both ends of your half circle, bring them together and overlap to make a cone shape. Secure with a stapler, tape or glue. Secure a ribbon for a basket handle, using tape. Fill with few fresh spring flowers or candy treats! (Hint, if you don’t have craft paper, pick up a few party hats and add ribbon to the top and decorate, and you’re good to go!)
  • HOW TO MAKE A MAYPOLE
    Here’s how Jordan from OH HAPPY DAY made one, and it looks perfect to us! You’ll need some greenery, flowers, 1.5” satin ribbon, floral wire, 18” wreath base, and an 8’ pole. Follow the instructions on our Enchantails Crafts Pinterest Board. Then invite the neighborhood kids over for some fun snacks and put together your own may day celebration in the front or backyard!
  • MAY FLOWER CROWN
    What royal mermaid wouldn’t love to wear one of these adorable flower crowns to celebrate May Day?! Our Royal Mermaid Daughter Lucienne wears a flower crown. Perhaps you could make your favorite mermaid one just like Lucienne’s and while you’re at it, make one for yourself! Follow the directions on on our Pinterest Board.

HOW TO DO A MERMAID BRAID LIKE AN ENCHANTAILS ROYAL DAUGHTER

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One of the most impressive features of a mermaid, aside from her glorious tail, is her hair.  If it’s not flowing freely in the water, it’s often seen braided with pearls, kelp and flowers.  No wonder an intricate braid helps bring out your inner mermaid!  Here are tips on how to create braids that will make you feel like an Enchantails Royal Daughter.

As many already know, a braid is a hairstyle created by weaving two or more stands of hair together.  But mermaid braids are usually more unique, adding twists, extra strands of hair or ornaments.  And when it comes to the Enchantails Royal Daughters, their braids also reflect aspects their realm and their story.

The Royal Daughter Kelani is from the Polynesian realm of Kumi Tai.  She has a secret island, filled with exotic plants that she can grow with her special powers.  The island also has a hidden waterfall, where Kelani and her dolphin Sea Buddy, Keiki, can hide from danger.  For this reason, Kelani’s favorite braid is the Waterfall Braid.  This creative style braided on the crown of the head, allows strands to fall down along the way – just like a waterfall.  These strands can also be woven back into the braid at the end to create a special mermaid effect.  Take a look at these detailed instructions on how to create a classic waterfall braid. Or check out a more advanced version.

The Royal Daughter Lucienne is from the Arctic realm of Grileglas.  She is a creative mermaid with short ice white hair, who loves to go on adventures with her penguin Sea Buddy, Prince.  Even though she doesn’t have the long hair typically worn by mermaids, she still finds a way to braid it.  Lucienne loves to wear a crown of ice flowers, which is why her favorite braid is the Crown Braid.  This braid and this braid achieve a royal look that is great for all hair lengths.

The Royal Daughter Tasi is from the deepest realm in all of Oceana, Mariana, located in the Mariana Trench. Tasi is artistic and brave, and she uses her power of bioluminescence to protect her Sea Buddy, Copper, a tiger tail seahorse.  Tasi has long red hair that she often throws to the side over her shoulder.  For this reason, her favorite braid is the side Pull-Through Braid.  This braid is different because it puts the twisted hair on top, making it look full and impressive.  Here is a great tutorial on how to do one yourself, and here is a close-up of how it looks.

What’s exciting about braids is they look unique on each person – bringing out the special qualities of your hair and your personality.  As you experiment with your own styles, you take yourself one step closer to being a real princess of the sea.

3 INTERESTING FACTS FROM THE WORLD OF OCEANA

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  • INTERESTING FACTS FROM THE
    WORLD OF OCEANA

    The world of Oceana is filled with educational and entertaining adventures! Here’s 3 fascinating facts featured in the Enchantails Mermaid Adventure Series!

    1. MARIANA, where Mermaid Tasi lives, is the oldest of the 12 Realms in the world of Oceana. This realm includes the mysterious Mariana Trench that lies east of China and the Philippines. Watch our :60 second “What’s on your Mermaid Mind” video to learn a little more! Then go on an adventure to Mariana and read “Tasi & The Danger of the Deep”, on sale now in the Enchantails Store.

    2. GRILEGLAS, where Mermaid Lucienne lives, is the coldest realm in the world of Oceana. The realm is made up of icebergs, sub volcanoes, ice caves, ice deserts and dangerous moving ice forests. Check out these awesome images featuring 50 Amazing Facts about Antarctica from livescience.com. Then go on an icy adventure with Lucienne and her sea buddy Prince in “Lucienne and the Leopard Boy”, from the Enchantails Book Series.

    3. KUMI TAI, where mermaid Kelani lives, is located in Polynesia. In the Enchantails Book “Kelani’s Secret Island” we meet her sea buddy Keiki, an endangered Maui’s Dolphin, that lives in the shallow waters off the coast of the island Kelani takes care of. Maui’s dolphin are listed as “Critically Endangered”, with an estimated 55 individuals left in the world! Learn more about how you can help to save the Maui’s Dolphin.

How To School Little Mermaids

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How To School Little Mermaids

 

School. As we round the first of the year, I am still asking myself, “how did the first semester go by so fast?” Seems like it’s become year-round. We have barely eight weeks for sun and fun, before it’s time to backpack shop and brush up on last-minute math again. And in less than two months, the thrill of a new year has already faded. “But why do we have to go to school mom,” my 5th-grader asks as she faces another Monday. Yeah, I feel her pain. “You’ll be a smart mermaid if you keep on swimming,” I say, trying to encourage her. But her muffled “hrrumph” indicates she clearly thinks otherwise.

Smart mermaid. Smart Fish. It’s amazing how most things in everyday life draw my mind back to the oceans that have inspired Enchantails. It’s funny that we say fish swim in schools. Do fish actually learn? Seems like they just hang out together. Yet in my research, I discovered that fish are not considered to be in a “school” unless they are swimming. If they are just hanging out, it’s called “shoaling.” (I did a lot of “shoaling” in school myself.)

But why do fish actually swim in schools? One reason is they do it for safety reasons, to avoid predators. Scientists think fish also swim in schools to conserve energy. Large numbers of fish swimming in close proximity of one another reduce the friction in the water, making journeys easier. Lone fish may have trouble finding meals on their own, but lots of hungry eyes can spot dinner pretty fast.

How many fish are technically required to make up a “school?” Turns out, you need at least five fish; but in the wild, hundreds, thousands even billions of fish can make up one school. In the North Atlantic, people have observed herring schools with an estimated 4.5 billion fish in them. Can you imagine? And they all manage to swim and move like synchronized swimmers without ever having practiced! I guess it’s like driving in traffic on the 405 freeway that connects the valley where I live with Los Angeles. We don’t personally know our fellow commuters, and yet we all move together. You just stop and go with the people around you. Fish have eyes on the sides of their heads which probably help them move together. But scientists think their sense of hearing and smell help fish keep track of the others around them. Huh. Seems like the fish and I have quite a bit in common. I can shoal, school, and spot hungry beasts, all while tracking the little fish swimming around me… Maybe I am part fish. Definitely a mermaid.

An Ocean for All Seasons

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An Ocean for All Seasons

 

Pumpkin Spice. Yummmmm. I wait every year for it. It signals the cooling of summer and the promise of jackets and boots. School is well underway and the remnants of summer dangle in the trees: gold, amber, and ruby. Well, it’s the idea of fall, and that it happens somewhere, that makes me happy. The blast of heat that hits my face at the coffee drive-thru window is a cruel reminder that fall doesn’t quite happen here the way I wish it would. I live in the desert of California where summer is eternal. (sigh)…Fall happens here for a second and then it’s gone, almost as fast as my pumpkin spiced latte!

While I lament the “barely-there” seasons as I sip my coffee, it’s nice to know seasons DO happen elsewhere – even in our oceans! In my quest to create the world of Enchantails, I always look for real world facts about the mysterious seas. I originally had no idea the oceans were as seasonal as the land above. The seasons above bring changes to the oceans below. Marine life, especially zooplankton, and phytoplankton which feed the animals of the ocean, are completely dependent upon these changes. Seasons regulate the sunlight, the day length, water temperatures and wind. All of these in turn affect our ocean currents, which
change with the calendar year.

We are used to four seasons on land, but there are actually only three seasons in the ocean: upwelling, oceanic, and winter storms. Spring and summer combine into one season known as “upwelling.” Upwelling occurs between March and August, when brisk spring winds move the churned up waters of winter from the deeper parts of the ocean. These tides spark photosynthesis in microscopic sea plants, known as phytoplankton. As the water temperatures warm, these phytoplankton bloom and feed the zooplankton (microscopic animals), which are the staple food for larger marine animals. Toward the end of August with the onset of fall, the phytoplankton supply depletes and the ocean currents begin to cease, signaling the
arrival of winter.

The “oceanic” season is the calm before the storm. From September to November, winds around the globe slow or reverse direction, causing the ocean to shift warmer waters towards the coastlines. The warm waters expand on the surface, and the deeper waters become denser. As the upwelling ceases, ocean nutrients become depleted from the surface and sink back into the depths. With the continuation of fall, the tides slowly begin to move faster, and larval fish and invertebrates are swept towards the coast lines. This draws out the deep sea creatures towards the shores. The deep waters begin to become colder as sunlight fades. The tides and
winds start to pick up at the end of fall, signaling winter.

“Winter storms” is the final oceanic season. From December to February, immense swells and winter squalls churn up the ocean, changing its chemistry. Ocean currents become stronger in the winter. Just like a snow globe when it is shaken, the ocean mixes vertically over depths of several hundred meters. Vertical mixing brings nutrients up from the bottom to the surface, feeding organisms like phytoplankton, which are depleted from summer. Limited sunlight around the globe preserves these surface nutrients until spring, when the phytoplankton can bloom.

As winter fades, the waters warm up, the tides begin to calm, and winter is swallowed up into upwelling once again… sort of like my pumpkin-spiced latte. The fine layers of my drink that were poured into the perfect assembling of coffee, milk, and whipped cream, jostle around my cup and blend into one last delicious sip, that I eagerly ingest. Mmmm…It’s not boots and jackets, but there’s nothing quite like the thrill of my once-a-year flavor. It’s the promise of my coming winter, which for me means 80 degrees instead of 100. Not quite the winter wonderland I wish for, but I’ll take it!

 

Must Have Movies For Every Sleepover Part 2

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Must-Have Movies For Every Sleepover Part 2

 

In our last blog post we covered a few of the movies that are perfect for girls sleepovers. Our suggestions covered titles like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Mulan and, of course, The Little Mermaid. The reason that we always suggest these movies for sleepovers is because any girl that can strongly relate to the life of a mermaid has a sense of adventure, curiosity and will have friends that are feel similarly. With a heart like that, we always suggest finding things that help these morals and curiosities thrive while still building strong friendships and making the most out of these traits. There are a few other movies that are perfect for any girls sleepover, and we’ve got a few more titles for you to add to your collection for the times that your children are snug in their cute sleeping bag.

The Parent Trap

This movie is one of the older Disney movies, but it has yet to fail in popularity for sleepovers. This movie tells the story of two girls who meet at camp and decide to switch places. Each of them living very different lifestyles learns more about who they are after switching places with the other. Aside from that, each kid learns more about their family and where they come from. The end drives two lives together, creating one giant family. A story about friendship, finding oneself and taking chances makes for a great sleepover movie night. The best part about this movie is that it never really gets old. Especially for girls that are between the ages of 8 and 12 and may be visiting summer camps that are fairly similar to the one mentioned in the movie.

What A Girl Wants

Another story that goes back a few years, What A Girl Wants stars Amanda Bynes. On a journey to learn more about her biological father, the leading lady winds up in a castle and in a lifestyle entirely different from the one she grew up knowing. Bynes learns to deal with a new wardrobe, a new group of people and entirely new expectations. What makes this story so great is her ability to show that the standard isn’t always the best way of going about things. Sometimes a fresh perspective and a wild personality can do more and be better. Aside from the challenges of staying true to yourself, this movie touches on the importance of family, friends and and adventure. Your children are sure to enjoy the comedic voice that this movie has.

The Princess Diaries

While we’re on the pathway of movies that tell the stories of girls that wind up in situations entirely different from the ones that they grew up in, we might as well touch on The Princess Diaries. This movie is entirely hilarious but serves provides us with another great story of a teenage girl that is challenged to stay true to who she is. Mia, played by Anne Hathaway, is a typical teenager in high school, except for the fact that nobody seems to realize she exists. That all changes when a long lost grandma comes to visit and informs Mia that she is actually a princess, and the next in line to be queen of Geneva. This winds up challenging friendships, relationships and an overall sense of self. Overall, this movie has it’s ups and downs, but is a great story for sleepovers nonetheless.

Having a good selection of movies is something that every parent should be prepared for, especially before a sleep over. If you are looking for movies that are entirely mermaid themed, make sure to keep an eye out for the next blog that is coming out, because that blog will touch on a few different movies that are all mermaid related, sleepover approved and not The Little Mermaid. Stay tuned, that blog should be out in the next couple of days and will be perfect for the nights that your children are wrapped up in their mermaid sleeping bags.

Movies Entirely About Mermaids for Your Next Sleepover

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Movies Entirely About Mermaids for Your Next Sleepover

 

If you’ve been following our current blog series, then you know we’ve been talking about movies that are perfect for your little one’s sleepover. We’ve primarily been focusing on movies in general that have been major hits at sleepovers, but our blog post today is for the girls that truly can’t get enough mermaid in their lives. The movies that we are going to cover in our blog post today are movies that are focused on the story of a mermaid, but are not the classic and well known Little Mermaid.

If your child does love mermaids, then adding some of these to their overall collection of mermaids may be something fun to do, just for the fact that it allows for them to develop their overall understanding and idea of a mermaid and creates an entirely new story from the well known stories and the fun Enchantails that come with their mermaid sleeping bag. Without further ado, here are our favorite mermaid themed movies.

The 13th Year

This is an older Disney Channel Original that was initially on the Disney Channel. While this movie never made its way to the big screen, that never stopped it from being one of the more well known, and well liked, Disney movies. Released in 1999, this movie tells the story of an adolescent boy who is on the swim team. On his 13th birthday, he begins to grow scales, breathe underwater and develop fins. Aside from that, he can totally talk to fish. This insane realization has main character Cody freaking out, but his friend quickly realizes what this development must mean; he’s a mermaid. This fun story is perfect for any age group and is endlessly entertaining.

Aquamarine

Another fantastic movie that is centered around mermaids is the quirky movie known as Aquamarine. This movie follows the story of three girls all on the quest for something different. Two of the main characters, Emma Roberts and JoJo Levesque, discover that mermaids are in fact real when they meet the other leading lady, Sara Paxton. On a mission to prove to her father that love exists, Paxton recruits the others to help her win the affection of a boy in town. Between the sass, adventure and friendship that this movie dives into, you can count on any tween girls finding this movie to be incredible and likely develop into one of their favorites.

Fishtales

The last movie that we are going to focus on with a mermaid theme is Fishtales. This movie takes place on Spetses, a Greek Island. A professor in this movie has spent time and money focusing on love spells and knows that he’s nearly reached a breakthrough. Given a final chance he is driven to continue his work on this Greek island, and takes his 12 year old daughter with him. This young girl is on the hunt to find new love for her father, after the passing of her mother, and it’s in this search that she finds a beautiful mermaid. While this mermaid is the ideal candidate, it turns out that she is dealing with a cruel Captain that is on the hunt for her beautiful tail. This movie screams of adventure, love and change, but leaves everyone in smiles. This is another great movie to add to the watchlist for any mermaid themed parties and is a perfect match for when your little ones are in their sparkly and brightly colored mermaid sleeping bags.

Every Enchantails sleepover will be set with the help of our fun mermaid sleeping bags, but these movies truly are the icing on top. Make sure to keep up with our blog as we continue to dive into the world of adventurous mermaids and the world that they live in.

Must Have Movies For Every Sleepover

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Must-Have Movies For Every Sleepover

 

Every sleepover consists of delicious food, make believe games and some girl talk, but no sleepover is complete without a good selection of movies to pick from. Regardless of if the kiddos are settling down to watch a movie early on in the night or it’s put on right before falling asleep, movies are an absolute must. Even in the case that they don’t wind up watched, it’s always good to have a selection of movies to choose from. The couple of movies that we’ve included in the list below are all adventurous tales of women that are being challenged by the situation they wind up in, and we couldn’t help but offer selections that also included a touch of friendship. We promise all of these are perfect while they’re snuggled up in any of our children’s sleeping bags.

The Little Mermaid

If your children are having a mermaid themed party, then it goes without saying that they are fans of anything that has to do with mermaids. The Little Mermaid is an animated, mermaid classic that tells the story of a young mermaid princess with an underlying desire to be human. While it seems the tables have turned in the instance of your girl’s sleepover, this is a tale that boasts of adventure, thrill, romance and hilarity. I can’t imagine a mermaid sleepover without this movie in the selection. If your mermaid guests are fans of the storyline, you’ll be thrilled to know there are two other movies that were created to carry the story on. Why not make it a marathon?

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Friendship is forever, and as a girl you know this. Very few things can truly break the bond of a best friend, and at any sleepover you are celebrating the bond that has been created. A movie that truly shows off what friendship is capable of is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. This fantastic movie tells the story of four friends that wind up going down separate paths during summer. The one thing that ties them all together is a pair of pants that somehow fit them all. This movie is a great example of what a strong friendship is capable of conquering. This movie is also part of a series and was created off of a series of books, so if your girls like reading, this is a good story they could also pick up in the form of a book.

Mulan

If your kids love the tale of the Little Mermaid, then they are sure to love the story of Mulan. Another brave and adventurous girl takes on a leading role in order to protect her father from war. In this tale, the main character is challenged with various life or death situations and is pushed to become a stronger individual in just about every sense of the word. This is a great story for girls that are just beginning to learn that they are not tied to any certain future, and that they are entirely capable of achieving anything that they set their mind to. Aside from inspiring, this movie is also extremely funny and thrilling. If they become huge fans of Mulan, this movie was also given a sequel, so there’s an opportunity to add one more movie to the list.

There are a few more movies that we believe are must have movies for all sleepovers, so make sure that you check into the blog that we’ll be posting in the next couple of days for the rest of the list, and as always, make sure to order your children’s sleeping bags from Enchatails. Our mermaid sleeping bags bring your child’s imagination to an entirely new light.

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The Perfect Time For A Mermaid Sleepover

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The Perfect Time For A Mermaid Themed Sleepover

Oct 24, 2016

Halloween is undoubtedly one of the best holidays when you’re a little kid. Not only do you get to stay up past your bedtime and go door to door and ask for candy, but you get to dress up as something that you love! As a parent, we all know how much fun this night is for children, and being able to see them have this much fun is something that we can all look forward to. One of the best ways to end this fun day, when the day of the week allows for it, is with a themed sleepover, and Enchantails sleeping bags allow for you to take on that task!

We’ve touched in our last couple of blogs about how fun themed sleepovers can be, especially for birthday parties, but on a night like Halloween, we can’t imagine a reason why you wouldn’t want to keep the fun rolling. When you think about it, this is the one night of the year where everyone is able to go out and be something entirely different, so it only makes sense that the role play continues.

If your children are out trick or treating, coming home to a mermaid themed sleepover party is something that you can entirely take them by surprise with. While they’re out trick or treating, you can start setting up the area where the party will take place. Here are a few things that you can start with so that when they come back home, they are immediately welcomed into a new world that feels like it truly is under water.

Set The Underwater Scene

The human world is entirely different from the world undersea. If you’ve ever seen the Little Mermaid or read any of our stories, then you know just how different these worlds really are. If you’re going to go all in with this party, then you need to set the scene. Add some green streamers to the room and you’ve got seaweed for your little ones to swim through. From there you can add blue balloons to act as bubbles.

Food Worthy of a Mermaid

After a night of trick or treating, you can guarantee that your kiddos will be hungry. Rather than let them dig into the pounds of candy that they just received, make sure that they have food sitting out and ready so that they don’t immediately resort to the candy. Since it will be later in the night, we figured some light snacks are all that they really need to make it through this party. Bowls of goldfish, sandwiches shaped like starfish and a colorful plate of fruit that matches that of the coral reef, will definitely keep them happy and only contribute to the overall feel of the mermaid cove.

Enchantails Sleeping Bags

The mermaid sleeping bags by Enchantails are the finishing touch to any mermaid themed sleepover. While they are the best part of any sleepover, they definitely make the whole experience everything that your kiddo wants it to be. It’s one thing to set up a scene, but another to really become a part of it. Lay out these fun mermaid sleeping bags in the middle of the room so that when your kids finally come home from trick-or-treating, they’re entirely ready to dive into character.

While you may not be equally as excited to stay up all night, and let’s face it, very few of us are actually able to, your kids will definitely appreciate all of the thought and hard work that went into planning this mermaid themed sleepover. Make sure to check out the mermaid sleeping bags that we carry so that you can stay on top of these types of sleepovers! Enchantails loves being a part of your child’s imaginative play!