Summer is here and so are festivals and fairs! Find rides, visit with animals, shop the markets and stay up…
Looking for inspiration + ideas for things to do with kids in Metro Detroit? Tried and true suggestions that real moms actually do? Here they are! We’re asking local Metro Detroit families to share their favorites, to help you find yours.
Are you following @EduKidsMom on Instagram? Zena is the local mom behind EduKids which provides fun sensory play kits and book recommendations based on her experience and background as a teacher. She also shares the fun and easy ways she incorporates books into everyday life with her three little ones.
My name is Zena Samona Ibrahim. I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit raised by my amazing parents (Najib & Sue Samona). I’ve been married to my husband, Andy Ibrahim for 5 years. We have 3 children (all 3 are 14 months apart), Michael-4, Alexander-3, and Madeleine-2. I was a middle school science teacher at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in Farmington Hills for 15 years. I loved every second of my job. I worked part-time when I got married until I had my second child.
Even when I was a SAHM, I would incorporate my teaching background with my children, providing educational lessons and specifically incorporating reading daily with my children. I was inspired to start EduKidsMom on Instagram to help mothers encourage instilling early education in a fun way. I saw a lack of educational blogs on Instagram and wanted to reach mothers like myself looking for extra activities to do with their children. I started a corporation called EduKids and started making sensory kits. My sensory kits revolve around a book to make reading and learning fun while strengthening speech and fine motor practice. I am also a Team Leader for Usborne Books & More, which I absolutely love!!!! Getting books in homes right now is so important especially with libraries being closed.
Favorite Ways To Spend Family Time:
- Sundays eating with our extended families
- Reading books together after bath time
- Outdoors in the summer in our backyard
Favorite Places To Go:
- Shenandoah Country Club (West Bloomfield)
- Detroit Zoo (Royal Oak)
- Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit)
Favorite Bedtime Stories:
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- Where Happiness Lives by Barry Timms
- Oh, The Place You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
- My mother’s chicken biryani dish. It’s a seasoned rice middle eastern dish.
- Chicken Picatta
- Turkey Meatballs with linguine
Our favorite playground is Conant Elementary where we played soccer on Saturdays in the spring & fall. We love this playground because it is multi-aged. Our favorite park is Booth Park again because it’s multiage.
Best Family-Friendly Annual Event: The Independence Day Celebration at Shenandoah Country Club (West Bloomfield)
It’s our favorite event because there is wonderful food, music, entertainment, and fireworks to top off the night.
Your Mom Must-Have: Baby Wipes
Having 3 children 4 and under, there is always a dirty hand to clean or a mess to wipe up. They make my life less stressful.
Best Winter Destination: Birmingham Tree Lighting
Sadly, right now, we really are not attending many events to make sure we stay safe. Our favorite winter event in the past has been Sunday Brunch with Santa and the Birmingham Tree Lighting event.
“Pat Yourself on the Back” Accomplishment: Motherhood + Marriage
My biggest accomplishment is being granted the responsibility of these 3 beautiful children of mine. I am beyond grateful to God for blessing me with them and my husband.
#MomLife is the best life, if you’ve got more love to give, learn about becoming a foster parent at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services website, Raise Hope & Foster Dreams.
Photo credit: @monifahsymone
About Ashley Hubbbard-Porter
Ashley Porter is a Chicago native who now calls Birmingham home. Ashley and her husband Mike and son Jake love attending local festivals, exploring Detroit’s diverse food scene, and venturing outside of Metro Detroit to enjoy the natural beauty of Michigan. With a background in Early Childhood Education, Ashley loves connecting with and supporting families in her community, which is why she is so excited to be a part of LittleGuide Detroit.