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Books We Love: Fairy Ponies

Relevance: 100%      Posted on: June 18, 2016

While my kids aren't reading chapter books themselves quite yet, one of our favorites is the Fairy Ponies books.  When I first heard about them, I knew my daughter would be in love!  We started reading the first book in the series and read a chapter or two a night.  I wanted to keep reading!  They are fun adventures of a little girl in fairy pony land.  We are still working our way through the series, but they are a favorite of hers.  **I am a consultant for Usborne books, so any purchases made through my links benefit our family and we thank you greatly for it!**   Fairy Ponies   Want to know more about the books we love?  Check out our weekly series for a complete list of Books We Love.

Guess What I just Did?

Relevance: 100%      Posted on: March 9, 2016

I am so excited to tell you about my newest adventure.  I am now a consultant for Usborne Books & More!  I have such a passion for books and love to share some of my favorites with you each week on our Books We Love feature.  If you don't know much about these books, I would love to introduce you to them, they are amazing books.  If you see something you love, want to book a party or join my team, I would love to chat more with you.  Check out my Facebook page for Usborne and message me or use the contact me for at the top of this webpage.   Thanks for sharing in my excitement.  Have you been introduced to Usborne books before?  I'd love to know some of your favorites.

Books We Love: Muddle and Match Adventure

Relevance: 99%      Posted on: March 21, 2016

Muddle and Match

If you have been reading my blog over the last month or so, you noticed that I recently became a consultant for Usborne books because I really love these books.  Today I'm sharing one of our personal favorite with you - Muddle and Match.  These are like no books you have ever seen before.  The story can change every time you read it, making it fun and interesting for you and the kids every time. Muddle and Match Adventure To see more of our favorites, check out our Books We Love feature.

Books We Love: I Believe in You

Relevance: 99%      Posted on: October 27, 2016

Such a great story about believing in your kids and empowering them to believe in themselves.

I tried to stop buying books at garage sales because we have so many but I just can't do it.  I have started putting more thought into which books we buy at the garage sales though.  This one, I just couldn't pass up.  **This is an affiliate link.  Our family appreciates when you shop through affiliate links on our site.**   I believe in you BY MARIANNE RICHMOND I'll be sharing soon about a few different books on empowering young kids to believe in themselves. Want more books?  Check out our books we love page.

Books We Love: Fire Truck

Relevance: 93%      Posted on: November 5, 2015

This week our featured book we love is a little different. It can {mostly} only be found on YouTube. If you come across a copy somewhere, I'd love to know about it. I first discovered it when I was teaching 2 year olds and loved it then. One day I played it for my kids and they LOVE it. And beg for it quite often. The book is not available for purchase now. Well, mostly not. I've found a copy available for like $1,000. Be sure to check out the rest of the Books We Love.  Have you ever heard this book before?

Summer #BlogChallenge August 6 Favorite Author

Relevance: 93%      Posted on: August 5, 2012

I have so many favorite author's!  All the same type.  I love books that have the same characters.  Those are the series that I can really get into.  I love murder mystery type books (fits in to yesterdays post on my dream job maybe?).  My runner up author would have to be James Patterson.  I love his books, although the ones co-written aren't generally my favorites.  I love the nursery rhyme series (Mary, Mary; Along Came A Spider; you get the idea) and the Women's Murder Club books the most.My favorite author though, would have to be John Sanford.  They are very fast paced, but what moves him ahead of James Patterson is probably that he is from Minnesota (which happens to be where I live) and his books are based here and in Wisconsin and take place in many areas I have been and know quite well.  I like that while I am reading them, I can completely picture the location.Who is your favorite author?

Books We Love: Just For You

Relevance: 92%      Posted on: October 5, 2014

Just for You

I'm not sure what it is about this book, but this is one of Charlie's favorite books lately. He loves to point out the spider character on each page, and tell me about what happened on the page. While it isn't my favorite book to read, I really love reading it with him because of how much interaction with Charlie as we read it.   Just For You By Mercer Mayer   You can check out other Books We Love here.   What books do you enjoy reading lately?

Books We Love: The Great Turkey Race

Relevance: 90%      Posted on: November 15, 2014

The Great Turkey Race

Keeping up with the fall / Thanksgiving books this month, this one is so much fun to read.  It is actually a book on CD so we read it two different ways.  This story is about the turkeys all competing to be the Thanksgiving turkey.  It's a comical, fun book your little ones will enjoy.   The Great Turkey Race By Steve Metzger Illustrated by Jim Paillot What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving books to read?  Do your kids love books on CD?  You can check out the rest of our Books We Love series here.  

Books We Love: How About A Kiss For Me

Relevance: 89%      Posted on: July 13, 2014

This is such a fun book to read.  It has been a favorite since we first got it, and continues to be a favorite for us all.  Not only are there fun animals throughout for the kids to kiss, but some silliness mixed in that makes us all giggle.  And to end, I get a kiss every time.   How About A Kiss for Me? Written By Todd Tarpley Illustrated by Liza Woodruff

Books We Love: My Very Own Name

Relevance: 88%      Posted on: June 21, 2014

Books We Love

If you haven't heard of I See Me Personalized Children's Books, you should check them out.  We won one when Maggie was a baby, and then I got this to review with Maggie.  I cannot explain how much we love this book.  The pictures, the quality of the pages, and the story in general are all incredible. We love to search out animals on the pages and talk about the letters on the pages.  Maggie will actually read this story word for word without even having the book around.  Because of it, she learned her full name, and her birthdate. Things I was planning on teaching her but she learned on her own just because of this book.   My Very Own Name By:  Maia Haag Illustrated by Mark Mille

Books We Love: That’s Not My Elephant

Relevance: 88%      Posted on: April 8, 2016

*Affiliate links may be included in this post.*   Henry is my silly, happy, always trying to keep up with the older kids "baby" who isn't a baby anymore.  At 17 months old, I love that while he wants to climb and explore, he also loves to sit on my lap and read some stories.  Since he was younger {haha} he has loved touch and feel books.  That's Not My Elephant makes my list of favorites AND Henry's list because the simple repetition paired with the touch and feel pages with different textures on every page make reading and exploring this book so much fun for both him and I.     Not only is this book fun, but there is an entire line of That's Not My ...... books with the same fun, rhythmic repetition that kids love.   To find the rest of the Books We Love features - head on over to this page.

Books We Love: Five Little Pumpkins

Relevance: 86%      Posted on: October 12, 2014

Five Little Pumpkins

Since Halloween is coming, I thought it would be fun to spend the rest of the month showcasing some of our favorite Halloween books.  To start with, here is one that you may very well have read with your children.   Five Little Pumpkins Pictures by Dan Yaccarino Both of the kids like this book and it always elicits some giggles as we read it.  Charlie is really into counting objects lately, so this book is perfect for him. See more Books We Love here. What are some of your favorite halloween books?

Books We Love: Amazing Women

Relevance: 85%      Posted on: October 12, 2019

*Disclosure:  Affiliate links may be included.* I was reading some article on the internet this morning about how by age 10 most girls are giving up on their dreams while that isn't the same for boys. {I seriously wish I could find the article to link to it}. My goal as a mom is to not only encourage my kids to all be whatever they want to be but to chase those dreams and never give up. I have quite a few books that I stock our book bin with because I want to keep those words and successes of others in front of my kids every day. One of the books I love reading with the kids is Amazing Women. There are over 100 women in this book. Each page talks about the life and accomplishment of each of them in short little snippets. Each week we feature books we love and I love sharing them with you all. Who is one woman who has inspired you in your life?

Books We Love: Count to 100

Relevance: 85%      Posted on: August 5, 2016

Count to 100 is packed full of fun illustrations your kids will love.

I'm all about books that encourage concepts we are working on anyways.  I'm also a huge fan of books that work for all of the kids.  Today, our Usborne Books & More order arrived and some of the new titles were in it.  I couldn't wait to dig in and neither could the kids.  One of the books we ordered was I Can Count to 100.  Maggie already counts to 100, but I knew it would be great practice for Charlie and Henry too in the future.   The beginning of the book starts out with counting objects, one, then two, then three, and up to ten.  Then 20, 30, 40, etc. up to 100.  On each page, they are grouped together for different counting skills, counting by 5's, 10's, on 70 you count by 7's, yet you can also count by 1's on each page.  The pictures are so fun and engaging and the pages do more than just get them counting, they ask questions.  The questions have them searching the pages for answers so they don't get bored with just counting their way through the book.  They get them thinking and talking and learning about so much.  Younger readers can learn to count, but as they grow, the book grows with them and they can work on multiplication.   While I AM an Usborne Books & More consultant and do get commission on any orders through my links, I truly share these books because above all, I'm a mom.  A mom who loves to see my kids succeed and grow and I love that books are such a large part of that for us. Count to 100   To purchase this book, visit the website and click on the party name or anytime orders.   I recently wrote about early math books for young learners.  It will be a series by age, I will try to update this post with the rest as soon as they are done.

Books We Love: Look Inside Your Body

Relevance: 85%      Posted on: April 30, 2016

Look Inside Your Body

This may be one of the neatest books I have ever seen.  With over 100 flaps to life, kids and adults alike will have some fun while learning about how your body works.  I've learned a few things and we just have so much fun.  It's so realistic and easy to follow.  For example - when you are on the Eating Food page, it shows your body, top to bottom.  As you lift the flap to eat the food, there is another flap that shows how the food starts to go through your body.  You never know when you lift a flap if you will find one more flap or not.  While I earn a commission on all Usborne books sales placed through my link, I really think that every family should have this book. Look Inside Your Body To see other titles in our Books We Love series - check out this page.

Books We Love: Appaloosy

Relevance: 83%      Posted on: November 17, 2019

*Disclosure:  Affiliate links may be included.* Hey all! Remember that horse obsessed daughter of mine? Guess what? She has discovered some new horse books that are a little different than most of them. They are written from the horses perspective and covers a certain era in history. Appaloosy is the first book in the series. This book is written about the Nez Perce tribe. We enjoyed the story a lot - you can see my full video review and get a sneak peek at the other books in the series.   Each week we feature a book we love and we would love to hear from you.  What book is your family loving reading right now?

Books We Love: The Leaves are Falling One by one

Relevance: 83%      Posted on: November 12, 2014

The Leaves are Falling One by One

This month we will be sharing some great fall and Thanksgiving themed books.  Today we are featuring a book that is just perfect for fall.  This book has a great rhythm and you will probably recognize the song as you begin reading it.   Don't be surprised if you find yourself singing the story as you go.   The Leaves are Falling One by One By Steve Metzger Illustrated by Miriam Sagasti Find the rest of our Books We Love series here. What are some of your favorite fall and Thanksgiving themed books?

Books We Love: Little Blue Truck

Relevance: 81%      Posted on: June 14, 2014

Little Blue Truck

Not too long ago, we participated in a book exchange, you know the ones.  You send out one book, 6 letters, and in the end, you get 36 books I believe it is.  Well, so far, we have gotten two.  Not really surprised by that, but each time a book has shown up, it's been a nice little surprise.  The last book we received was this one, Little Blue Truck.  It almost immediately became Charlie's favorite.  He loves to sit and read it all of the time.  There was a time we had it in the car for a long car trip, and he was so funny.  At bedtime when it was time to read, he looked all over the bedroom for his book, saying truck, truck, the entire time.  I had to go out to the truck and get the book so we could read it.   I love this book because it has really increased his language as well as his interaction during story time.  He will get hung up on a page and keep turning back to it to tell me more about it.  For the boy who hasn't always cared to sit through an entire story, that's a big deal!  It helped him start identifying animals, as well as their sounds and it is so much fun to read with him.  It's a fun story to read about a dump truck who needs the help of the farm animals that he had just ignored, told in a fun, entertaining story kids will love.   Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle Illustrated by Jill McElmurry Is there a story that has turned your "too busy to sit down and read" child into a book lover? To see other books we love, you can visit this page.

Books We Love : The Spic and Span Fairy

Relevance: 81%      Posted on: November 22, 2014

Books We Love

The book I wanted to share with you this week is such a fun read, but has somehow disappeared in the last 24 hours.  So, here is another book that is my personal favorite right now, haha.  We have been struggling lately to get the kids to clean up their own messes.  Some days they do great, but other days it is a huge struggle and has all of us upset by the end of the night.   The Spic-and-Span Fairy By Sally Hewitt See the rest of the books we love and share some of your favorites with us.

Books We Love: National Geographic Kids Halloween

Relevance: 81%      Posted on: October 19, 2014

National Geographic Halloween

I love this book, and so does Maggie.  There is actually one page where there are dogs in costumes and she had to get down from the couch and go show it to Lady Jane, the dog.  It was so sweet.  I like that this book is easy to read, informative, yet interesting to little ones.   National Geographic KIDS Halloween By Laura Marsh What are your favorite Halloween books to read?  For a full list of other books we love, visit this page.  

Books We Love: Slide and See Farm

Relevance: 80%      Posted on: June 3, 2016

Slide and See Farm from Usborne Books & More is a favorite for my little guy. It's so engaging and fun and you can really see their brains working as they read the story.

Slide and See Farm is an engaging and fun book that lets you watch your child's mind at work as they trace and explore each page. With durable moving parts, it is sure to be a favorite.

Books We Love: I Am A Wonder Woman

Relevance: 80%      Posted on: January 19, 2019

I Am A Wonder Woman is an activity book about incredible women. This book belongs on every bookshelf.

*Disclosure: Affiliate links may be included. I received this book to share as I wish.* As a mom, I want my kids to have stories and examples of people who have made a difference in our life. I want them to know they can do anything. That when they see something in our world that they think needs to change - they have the ability to help change that. While we can always tell our children that they can do anything they set their mind to - putting in front of them examples of people who did just that is the encouragement their young minds need. I Am A wonder Woman is hands down one of my favorite books I have ever put my hands on and definitely one of the books we love. I love it so much! Inspiring activities to try - I Am A Wonder Woman - Incredible Women to Discover is a fantastic introduction to 61 women to help your children feel valued and empowered. Each person will be introduced to you and then you do an activity to go along with it. These activities are thought-provoking questions, quizzes, make-and-do challenges, drawing projects and so much more. Do the activities with your child or discuss them with them after and you can feel empowered together. You can view other featured Books We Love by following the link or by entering Books We Love in the search bar on the home page.

Books We Love: Waiting for Winter

Relevance: 80%      Posted on: January 26, 2018

This adorable story about a squirrel who is waiting for winter will have your kids giggling all the way through. Waiting for Winter is sure to be a favorite with the fantastic illustrations and silly characters.

Join squirrel and his friends as they try to stay awake to see snow. This silly story is sure to delight readers as they go waiting for winter.

Books We Love: Women of the Bible

Relevance: 80%      Posted on: November 2, 2019

*Disclosure:  Affiliate links may be included in this post.*   I had spent a ton of time looking for a bible study I could do that was not super time intensive but that I could fit into my days.  I put Women of the Bible on my Secret Santa list last year and got it.  I enjoy this bible study as I learn more about the women of the bible.  I know for me - there are plenty of times I am reading about someone and can really relate it to my life in a way that I obviously needed to read at that moment.  The daily lessons go over her story, her life and times, her legacy and scripture that guides you to dig deeper with thought-provoking questions about the bible verses relating to her, her promise and her legacy of prayer.   It is designed as a Monday through Friday thing. Books We Love is our way of sharing a different book we love every week, this week I decided to add a book I love instead of one of the kids' books.

Books We Love: 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea

Relevance: 79%      Posted on: July 15, 2016

We love this fun book of things to spot in the sea. The kids are learning so much and can't wait to see more of the titles in the series.

1001 Things to Spot in the Sea is one book in a series of 16 titles.  I love how fun the pages are and my kids are learning so much about different sea animals, different things in the sea habitat, and so much more.  I love that there are so many different titles and we can tie them in with our homeschool curriculum at the time.  *I am an Usborne Books & More consultant.  I earn a commission on all purchases through my link.  That being said, I appreciate your support of our family.  If you are interested in hosting a party or joining my team, please let me know.* 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea   Visit our Books We Love page for more of our favorites. Have you checked out the entire 1001 Things to Spot series?  I'd love to know which book you would choose first.

Books We Love: I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More

Relevance: 79%      Posted on: September 27, 2014

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More

This happens to be a favorite of Charlie's lately, Maggie loves it, and I really love to read it. I bought it back when I use to teach and still enjoy reading it to the kids.  It is a great book to help get kids anticipating the end of the sentence.  They can work on their rhyming skills by figuring out what part of the body the kid is painting in the story.   I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! By Karen Beaumont Illustrated by David Catrow   You can check out some of the other books we love here.   What are your favorite books to read this week?

Books We Love: Very First Book of Things to Spot Out and About

Relevance: 77%      Posted on: January 7, 2017

This is such a fun book for toddlers. Watch their faces as they search each page in answer of the question you asked. Get in on the fun as they learn new words, explore the pages and keep those brains engaged.

Books We Love: My First Reference Book About How Things Grow

Relevance: 73%      Posted on: June 27, 2016

Very First Reference Book About How Things Grow is a great reference books for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners learning about how things grow. With the information presented in such a fun and engaging way, your kids will love reading the information and answering the quizzes about everything they are learning. This book has been fantastic for our homeschool day.

I had passed over this book every time I looked through the website or catalog because it just didn't seem that impressive to me.  I was so ridiculously wrong.  I had a customer order it and the order arrived at my house so I got to check it out.  I immediately added it to my wish list.  The toughest part was deciding which book in the series I wanted first - how things grow, our world, or food.  I decided on How Things Grow since it was garden planting time.  I love that this could be used as part of a science curriculum for toddlers, preschool or kindergarten.   It starts out with simple questions like, "How many different green plants can you find?"  You learn about the different types of plant seeds and how they spread.  The questions at the end of the sections allow kids to quiz themselves and check the answers in the back of the book.  There is a ton of information in this book and it's laid out in such a fun and engaging way for kids.  {I am a consultant for Usborne books so I get commission on all purchases through my links.  Our family appreciates your support}.   Very First Reference Book About How Things Grow We really love this book and I can't wait to get the other books in the series.  See the rest of our favorites on our Books We Love page.

Books We Love: You Choose

Relevance: 72%      Posted on: February 23, 2018

Let your imagination run wild in this story where you choose the who, what, when, where and more on every page.

 One thing I like to have in a book is a book that will keep us entertained together while we are waiting.  You Choose is a must have book in our house.  We love to take it when we are going out to eat and will have some time to kill.  

Books We Love: Cars Thunder and Lightning

Relevance: 72%      Posted on: February 3, 2018

The Cars Thunder and Lightning book follows the movie line and my kids love it.

One of our friends knew about his obsession and happened to find a Lightning McQueen Thunder and Lightning book at Goodwill and picked it up for him.  We read it a minimum of twice daily.  Naptime and Bedtime and any other time he decides we need to read it.  I'm hoping to find some

Books We Love: How to Win a Nobel Prize

Relevance: 70%      Posted on: June 12, 2019

Follow along on a journey through the past as you read all about twelve Nobel Prize winners.

*Disclosure:  Affiliate links may be included in this post.*   Looking for a great way to introduce some of the brilliant minds of our past? How to Win a Nobel Prize is a great way to learn about twelve Nobel prize winners. Here is the description from the back of the book. Mary has always wanted to win a Nobel Prize.  She loves doing science experiments at home.  But how can she become a real scientist and win the greatest prize of all?  One day Mary stumbles on a secret meeting of Nobel Prize winners.  Swearing her to secrecy, Professor Barry Marshall agrees to be her guide as she travels around the world and through time to learn the secrets behind some of the most fascinating and important scientific discoveries.  They talk space and time with Albert Einstein, radiation with Marie Curie, DNA with Crick, Watson and Wilkins - and much more.  Join Mary on her time-travel adventure and perform your own experiments along the way! Each Nobel Prize winner chapter also contains an experiment for you to try at home to learn more.   Join us on a time-travel adventure learning about some incredible people.   This book is part of our books we love series.  Each week we are sharing a book we love - follow along by clicking this link - Books We Love.     

Books We Love: Story Path

Relevance: 69%      Posted on: March 23, 2017

Choose from the options on each page and encourage your child to dig deeper in the story with some follow up questions for each piece of the story.

Do you remember reading the choose your own ending books as a kid? I loved them as a kid and now, I love this. Find out why our family loves Story Path.

Books We Love: Smithsonian Readers World of Wonder Level 3

Relevance: 69%      Posted on: February 26, 2016

Smithsonian Readers: World of Wonder

We received a set of these books to review that you can check out next week, but this book instantly became a favorite.  My three year old isn't necessarily an avid reader.  In fact, getting him to sit down can be downright impossible.  Not with this book though.  I cannot be more serious when I tell you that this is his favorite book and he can now tell you all sorts of things about mummies and ancient Egypt.  It's adorable  We did some online research to find out more because he is now obsessed with this stuff and cannot wait to read and learn more.  We read this book almost every single day.  The whole series is packed with information but this is the favorite.  {Note:  this link is an affiliate link and I earn a tiny portion of money if you use it.  Our family really appreciates your support.} Smithsonian Readers:  World of Wonder Level 3    Check out the rest of our Books We Love series.  What books have you read and loved lately?

5 Reasons to Join My Usborne Books & More Team

Relevance: 68%      Posted on: April 29, 2016

Becoming an Usborne Books & More consultant was a great decision for me and my family.  Not only do I get to get these amazing books in the hands of my children, but I get to make a little extra fun money for my family.  The decision was an easy one for me, but I know for some, it isn't an easy choice.  I want to share some of the reasons why you should join my team today!  To start with, the support I receive from my upline is amazing!  They really make it easy to be successful, plus, with some monthly challenges, it keeps me motivated.  Let's check out the reasons you should join today.   Low start up cost. With two different starter kit options, you can choose what is best for you.  The mini is $75 and comes with 10 books.  The full is $125 and comes with 20 books.  You will receive a variety of books so you can see the selection of books we offer. Earn your kit cost back. In your first 30 days, you have the opportunity to earn back half or even the full price of your starter kit. Earn free books AND cash. In your first 12 weeks, you have the opportunity to earn even more free books as well as some cash!  Write Your Own Success Story offers five different levels and ways to earn more just for having some fun with books.  Not only that, but the head office offers two different challenges each month with different rewards. Earn commission on all retail sales - even your own. While the discount isn't upfront, you are paid commission weekly.  Earn commission on all retails sales, including your own purchases.  Who couldn't use a little extra money these days, right?! FREE or discounted books. Let's face it, that's the best part of this, right?!  Not all orders come through parties, so you can catch all of those orders and cash in on the hostess rewards.  FREE, half price books and even some other discounts. Earn your kit price back during your launch party. As soon as you join - get ready for your launch party.  Invite your friends and family, have some fun, and at the end of your party, you will likely have earned back the cost of your starter kit, or most of the cost.  That's right - earn it back right away!  The average party reaches about $400 in sales.  That means you earn back $100 - almost the full price of your starter kit.  The income opportunities are endless, and you get to do it all with a flexible schedule.  You can earn all of this money FROM YOUR COUCH!  You don't have to host parties outside your home, you can do all Facebook parties if you choose.  Or, you can choose to do booth events and so much more.  The best part is, you don't have to be a salesperson to succeed.  The books really do sell themselves.  From the outstanding quality of books to the endless hours of fun the kids can have with these books, everybody will love them.   Tell me, what is holding you back from joining?  I'm here to answer your questions and get you started. Are you ready to get started on your own Usborne Books & More business?  Join my VIP group and then PM me for more information or use the contact tab at the top of the page or email me at summers1405 {at} yahoo {dot} com.  Happy reading!

Books We Love: Art Books

Relevance: 67%      Posted on: January 6, 2019

These books are perfect for any art area or for fun projects to do with your kids.

Kids love art! Keeping some art idea books handy ensures they never run out of new things to make. Find out some of our favorite art ideas books.

Books We Love: Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

Relevance: 66%      Posted on: November 29, 2014

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

            Charlie has been working on learning more colors, so this is a great tool to help him. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle Read about more books we love.  How many of your favorites have made the cut?

Books We Love: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Relevance: 66%      Posted on: September 20, 2014

I'm guessing a lot of you are shaking your head in agreement now because, seriously, who doesn't love this book?   Chicka Chicka ABC By Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault Illustrated by Lois Ehlert My just turned 2 year old has started to point out the letter M for Maggie in the book now.  I'm pretty proud of him for being able to recognize that already!   You can check out more of our favorite books here.

Passport to China: Best Children’s Books

Relevance: 65%      Posted on: July 26, 2017

Best Children's Books About China Pin

You can learn a lot about a place before you travel there. These books about China will bring the culture to life for your kids.

Books We Love: Bear Grylls Adventures: The Jungle Challenge

Relevance: 65%      Posted on: January 4, 2018

Looking for great stories for young adventurers? Bear Grylls Adventures bring the real world to life as Bear helps the kids on a crazy adventure to survive and find their way back to camp.

Are you looking for a chapter series your kids can really dig into? Check out the Bear Grylls Adventures. Follow Omar and his friends as they suddenly find themselves lost and in danger when Bear steps in. See if they find their way back to camp in this wonderfully illustrated adventure series.

Books We Love: Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare

Relevance: 64%      Posted on: April 23, 2016

Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare

*Disclosure:  Affiliate links may be included.*  I NEVER in my life dreamed I would be reading Shakespeare, but when we received this book, my daughter fell in love.  I'm not sure if it's the beauty and the feel of the book, the ribbon bookmark or the stories, but one of my favorite parts of the day has become reading this book with her on my lap. Osborne Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare Check out more Shakespeare stories or view our lineup of favorite books to read.

Books We Love: Ted and Friends

Relevance: 63%      Posted on: April 29, 2017

This collection of phonics stories are fun for kids and were developed with language experts.

*Affiliate links may be included.* I thought teaching my daughter to read would be really difficult.  It actually went so much better than I was expecting.  We were using the Usborne Very First Reading Library as our reading program.  We were going along quite well, up to book eleven when this light bulb went off in her head.  She suddenly realized she could read anything and everything.  It was such an eye  opening experience and I loved watching her realize that there is an entire world around her that she can read!  Lately, she's been reading Ted and Friends almost every day.  Ted and Friends is a collection of phonics readers.  Each story is created in consultation with a language expert.  This collection of fun stories is endless fun for my daughter.  The accompanying CD retells the stories so your child can read along.   Want more books we love?  Check out our feature page.  What is your favorite book to read lately.

Books We Love: Cuddle Bear

Relevance: 63%      Posted on: September 17, 2016

Cuddle Bear is one of the cutest stories with gorgeous illustrations and a message that leaves a smile on every kids face. Usborne

Join Cuddle Bear as he goes through the story spreading love and cuddles to everybody he meets. The illustrations are just as adorable as the story.

Books We Love: Usborne Illustrated Stories of Horses & Ponies

Relevance: 62%      Posted on: February 17, 2018

The Usborne Illustrated Stories of Horses & Ponies

Since I have a horse-crazed little lady, you may as well assume that since we have one horse book....we want them all.  This one is no different.  The Usborne Illustrated Stories of Horses & Ponies is a great addition to our bookshelf.  There is just something about the Illustrated Stories  -  the books are so beautiful starting with the cover.  With tons of short stories and a ribbon bookmark, I can't wait to hear which story is your favorite.  

Books We Love: Not Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus

Relevance: 62%      Posted on: August 12, 2016

Not Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus will have your kids begging to learn more words to write their story. With story starters, fun themes and word games to play together, this book will be a hit in every household.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this book. I know when I write, I try to find different, more descriptive words to say something, but in all honesty, I've probably never looked in a thesaurus myself before. Since becoming an Usborne Books & More consultant though, I basically want all of them and I knew this would be a perfect tool for our homeschool journey. Today I am sharing with you the Not Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus

Books We Love: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Relevance: 61%      Posted on: October 26, 2014

Halloween Books

This is a great book to get kids thinking.  It repeats part of the story line throughout, and Maggie has done great at remembering that part.  Plus, if you want to really have fun, get up and do the actions as you read the story.   The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything By Linda Williams Illustrated by Megan Lloyd What are your favorite Halloween books?  FOr a

Mommy Confessions {Tuesday’s Toddler Tales linkup}

Relevance: 61%      Posted on: April 17, 2013

Okay, fess up mommies, what are your secrets?I will drop absolutely anything I am doing to play or read books, especially read books, and my 2 year old knows that....and loves that.  I said only 3 books before bed and nap, but I enjoy that time so much, I generally just keep on going when she asks.  It's tough.I love the smell of baby spit up, or at least my baby's spit up.  Not a fan of formula spit up, but the smell of his when he was spitting up a lot just made me want to hold and snuggle him more.I also love the smell of his breath!  It's the sweetest scent ever.  I remember feeling the exact same way about Maggie.Laundry is a peaceful chore for me.  Except for putting it away.  But folding laundry calms me.I often stop what I'm doing and just watch the kids play when they aren't aware of it.  I have learned a lot from them this way.I love having my babies sleep with me.  I sleep better, and most nights, so do they.  Maggie now sleeps just as good no matter where she sleeps, but I always sleep better when she snuggles back into bed with me.Each week we are linking up for Tuesday's Toddler Tales.  This week's topic is Mommy Confessions.  Next week, we are talking about what is or was your "other" job if you had/have one?So, what are your mommy confessions?  Share below or better yet, link up with us!   

Tuesdays Toddler Tales – We love to read!

Relevance: 60%      Posted on: January 29, 2013

Each week, Karine from SAHM of Drama Queens and a Prince link up to share some great toddler tales. This week, our topic is your child's favorite book.We love to read and have always spent a lot of time reading.  I'm not so sure what Charlie's favorite book is yet, but he loves to be read to, and loves when we read books with baby's in them.  Baby Faces may be one of his favorites!Maggie, however, has favorites.  And a lot of them.  She has many favorites, including Good Night Moon, The Barn Storm, How about a kiss for me (one of my favorites as well), and Brown bear, brown bear.  Her current favorite book is The Easter Story.  I love reading this with her.  I am so proud when we read this to know that I am teaching her some good stuff and she understands it.She will look at each page and ask what the people are doing, and ask Where's Jesus?  Then we talk about how the people are praying or crying or who the disciples are.  It's so fun to read with her.  She's at that age where she understands the books and what is going on.Another one of our favorite books we don't have, but we watch on youtube all the time. It's a catchy tune!How about you, what are your children's favorite books?

Books We Love: Snuggle Puppy!

Relevance: 60%      Posted on: July 21, 2016

This adorable board book is really a song, and one that your whole family can enjoy.

We received this book for one of the kids' birthdays and it is such a fun, cute story.  Actually, it's a song.  Or at least when I read it it is.  It's seriously such an adorable story and the kids just love it.  The end is so much fun.  I whisper sing it and then on the last page we all shout it out together.  What kid doesn't LOVE that, right?!  I love it because not only is it a fun story to read all together, but it is a board book so I can let Henry play with it and try to eat it after we finish reading it.  {This is an affiliate link, our family thanks you for ordering through it}.   Snuggle Puppy!     To discover the other stories we love to read, be sure to visit our Books We Love page.  

Books We Love: March Reading List

Relevance: 58%      Posted on: April 2, 2019

I'm pretty sure I took half the books we read back to the library without adding them to my list, but here we are. I kind of feel like I need to make a list of just books my daughter reads on her own - that girl loves to read! To see more books we love, visit our page of weekly posts sharing our favorites. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox This is a cute story about how a little boy helps someone remember things about their life. I love how it shows that being little doesn't need to stop you - you can still make someone's day better. Bear Grylls Adventures: The Earthquake Challenge We love this series and are starting on the last in the series that we haven't read yet. They are absolute favorites in our house. Leif the Lucky by Ingrid & Edgar Parin D'Aulaire This is part of our reading list for Beautiful Feet Books. {Check back soon for my full review of their American History Primer and Character Training curriculum} The Clown of God by Tomie DePaola I love how this story shows that giving and using the gift God gave you as an individual really counts. Addy Learns A Lesson by Connie Porter We are reading the entire American Girls series about Addy. A Walk in New York by Salvatore Rubbino Kitty Kat, Kitty Kat, where have you been? I've been to New York and guess what I've seen... by Russell Punter & Dan Taylor This series of books is adorable and fun. We love to look at the map on the front and back inside covers to see the tracks the kitty leaves as he walks through the city visiting tons of landmark buildings. New York, Baby by Ward Jenkins Tuttle's Red Barn: The Story of America's Oldest Family Farm by Richard Michelson I love this book for so many reasons. I love how it goes through from the first generation to own the farm through the most recent - all while showing how farming the land changed from one generation to the next. This one is on my "add to my bookshelf" list. Kitty Kat, Kitty Kat, where have you been? I've been to Washington D. C., and guess what I've seen... by Russell Punter & Dan Taylor She Persisted 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton Have we talked enough yet on how I want strong individuals from history being put in front of my children all the time? I love this story and how these women succeeded because they didn't give up. No Truth Without Ruth - The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Kathleen Krull The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan E. Goodman The Battle of Gettysburg: Would You Lead the Fight? by Elaine Landau This is another series I would like to own all of. You read a page or two and then it asks you what you would do if you were the one making the decision. It gives you options, you decide what you would do, then turn the page to find out what that person decided to do. It really helps the history to sink in and be remembered. New York's Bravest by Mary Pope Osborne The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln Who Was Milton Hershey? by James Buckley Jr. Do you love the Who Was books? This one was fun to read. I learned a lot and had no clue what a generous person Milton Hershey was. Finding Providence: The Story of Roger Williams by Avi I loved this books! It was fun reading about how Providence got it's name and the special meaning behind it. We ended up reading this as part of a curriculum we were reviewing and I absolutely loved the book list for it. Lighthouse Family: The Whale by Cynthia Rylant The telling of this story made me feel like I was right there at the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun and the sand on my toes. September Roses by Jeanette Winter This is a great tribute to September 11th and a story I had no clue about until reading this book.   These are the books I remembered to add to our list, maybe in April I'll do better, ha! Have you read any of the books on the list? Do you have a fantastic book you read this month that I should read to the kids?

Books We Love: Jem Strikes Gold

Relevance: 55%      Posted on: October 25, 2019

*Disclosure:  Affiliate links may be included.* We just finished Jem Strikes Gold recently. It is recommended for ages 6-8 as a read alone but I have been reading it to my seven-year-old. What I love is that he has recently really taken a giant leap in his reading ability so he will take the book from me and do the reading aloud to me. The story is cute and about a few kids and he loves that. Plus - we have a friend who mined gold so we are panning for real gold and he thinks that is super cool! Each week we are featuring a different book we love that we have been reading that week.

Books We Love: When God Made You

Relevance: 55%      Posted on: February 24, 2019

When God Made You is an adorable, feel good story you will read time and time again.

When God Made You is an adorable story full of inspiration for young minds and vibrant, fun pictures.

A Christmas gift they will keep forever – I See Me Personalized Books

Relevance: 55%      Posted on: November 13, 2013

I See ME! Personlized Books - My Very Own Name

*I received this book in exchange for this review.  All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from yours.* One of my favorite things to have around us all of the time is books. I really love personalized books, especially when it's one that can teach them things, like spelling their name. That is just what the book, "My Very Own Name" does. It spells their name, letter by letter, page by page. We won an I See Me book when Maggie was a baby and love reading it. This one is no different. From the very first page, this book is personalized, starting with the dedication page. Personalize it for your child, their date of birth, and whatever else you want it to say. The pictures draw your children in from the first page. As soon as I turn the page, they are reaching to point out the animals on the page. Maggie even stops me to tell me {every time} that that is her sleeping in the bassinet in the picture. She gets so excited and it is so much fun!!! My Very Own Name is does more than just teach them to spell their name, it tells a fun story of how the animals choose her name. It is such a fun story that we love to read together. As it spells out her name, there is an animal that starts with that letter. They can see the letter individually to reinforce the name of the letter. The best part - they spell out the first and last name of the child. As you can see, Maggie and Charlie both get very excited as we read the book.   At the end of the story, there is a fun game you can play with your kids. The Animal Encyclopedia tells them a little about each of the animals. Then, we go back through the book and try to find a few each time we read it.   Did I mention the quality of the book and pages?  Much more durable than your average kids book and the glossy pages the kids will love.  The pages will stand up over time {don't let that fool you into thinking I let Charlie touch it unsupervised, the kid is a destroyer}.  It's a fun, easy read with rhyming phrasing to keep kids attention throughout the entire story.  With the gorgeous pictures, your kids will find so much to look at and comment on as you read the story with them.   When I say that we REALLY love this book, I am not exaggerating.  We are actually planning to buy 5 more I See Me books as gifts.  We had 5 babies born between our families this last year or so, starting with Charlie, and want to get each of those babies one of these books all their own.  It is that awesome!  Added bonus:  they are made here in Minnesota!   Visit I See Me and discover all of the personalized story books you and your children can enjoy.  Want to know about new releases and deals?   Win a personalized storybook of your choice {excluding gift sets} starting now through November 30th.  Open to US only.  Giveaway will end at 11:59 pm EST on November 30th.   Good luck! Entry-Form Disclosure:  I received this book for the purpose of this review.  However, all opinions are 100 % my own and may differ from yours.*    

Using Sticker Books to Supplement Homeschool

Relevance: 54%      Posted on: February 9, 2017

Sticker books are more than just fun. Kids can learn so much, from eye-hand coordination to reasoning and creative thinking. Get those hands and wheels turning with Usborne sticker books.

In books like the Superheroes sticker book, they work on fine motor skills and hand - eye coordination, strengthening the child's ability to

6 Ways to Make Reading Fun for Small Children

Relevance: 52%      Posted on: October 11, 2015

I See Me! Personalized Books

Since Henry is my third baby, I feel like I've learned a few things along the way.  One of those things is how to make reading fun for small children.  Maggie has always loved to read.  We would read tons of books all day long.  Charlie has always been a little busier and has trouble sitting down to read.  He is three now and just starting to calm down more when we read.  Even though he loves the stories, sitting down and looking at the books is tough sometimes.  Now that we have added Henry to the mix, he's starting to enjoy story time more but against my wishes, he just keeps getting bigger and is very much a toddler now.  He no longer sits quietly in my lap while I read to the older kids.  He wants to be involved and he loves to point at things. Bring it to life. When reading a story about bears, bring out some stuffed bears or small bear figurines for them to touch as you read to them. Point it out. When you read about a dump truck, point to it.  Take a break from the story and talk about it, the color, the size, what it's doing.  This brings the story to life for little readers. Let them choose. Let your small humans choose what stories they want to read. Act it out Some stories are made to act out.  Be a bear crawling or a snake slithering.  They will learn a ton and have so much fun doing it. Encourage questions and interruptions As frustrating as it may be, let them ask questions.  Let them interrupt you for the millionth time to ask a question or tell you something they remember about that thing or animal.  That 3 sentence page may take five minutes to get through but it's also a fantastic time to bond with your little people.  Most days, this is my favorite part of the day.  The calm down before bed when they remember everything they have ever learned about an excavator and we talk about the time they got to help drive one for the millionth time.  I know we are building memories that will last a lifetime and encourage a love for reading. Personalize it. If you have followed along with our Books We Love Friday feature, you may have seen that a few of our books come from I See Me! Personalized Children's Books.  I'm a sucker for personalized things and the kids absolutely love personalized books.  Our latest book that we received for review, Henry's Very Own Trucks is one of Maggie and Charlie's favorite books right now.  It's so fun because of all of the different types of vehicles.  Maggie already knows all of her letters and Charlie is learning his letters.  Seeing the letter by itself in upper and lower case multiple times, as well as part of his name and a vehicle that starts with that letter are all great ways to reinforce not only letter identification but also the letter sound.  Plus - vehicles.  Everybody loves vehicles, right?!  Henry's Very Own Trucks is similar to My Very Own Name because at the end of the book, there is a Things that go Encyclopedia.  An alphabetical list of vehicles that you may find throughout the story.  The kids love to go through and name them. I love that we all enjoy reading this book and it makes a great addition to our tot school and preschool time.  Plus, it makes a great addition to our homeschool unit about things that go.  I really love that I See Me! offers other personalized items like stationary, lunch boxes, stickers and so much more.  To see more great titles offered, be sure to follow I See Me! on Pinterest.   What are your favorite ways to make story time fun for small children?

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Book Review

Relevance: 51%      Posted on: October 18, 2019

You may recall a few months back when we reviewed books three and four of The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series from WorthyKids Books. Well - we loved them then and we love books five and six as well. If you haven't heard of them before - let's get to the introduction.  The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Shepherd's Stone (Book 5) and The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls:  The Lion's Road (Book 6). The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls is a bible-based adventure series of paperback books. Peter, Mary and their dog embark on a different adventure in every book that takes them through a bible story that kids will love. They are just hanging out living their life at their Great-Uncle Solomon's house. When they hear the lions roar - they are off on the adventure. Throughout the story, they have to solve a secret scroll message. In The Shepherd's Stone - they meet David while he is tending his sheep. They follow along with him as he brings food to his brothers in Bethlehem and then as he fights Goliath. Each step of their journey presents them with the opportunity to see God at work in the life of David. We loved the way Hank and Mary got to hear how much David trusted in God. As they journey through Death Valley, we read about how Satan tries to deter us but how God is there to keep us safe. A powerful message. The adventure is very captivating and the kids always ask for more than one chapter a night. I love having these amazing stories that I can read with the kids or they can read to themselves. Finding quality stories with good values that I want my kids to read can be challenging but The Secret of the Scrolls totally nails it. The kids and I love the stories. At the end of the book - there will be a few different bible verses you can read that point to different events in the story. In The Lion's Roar - some of these verses point to the story of David and the Israelites being captured, Daniel in the lion's den and more. While the story itself is an adventure - it brings into perspective for the kids that the story is really a bible adventure. The story is told in such a fun way that keeps us wanting to read more - and waiting for the newest book to release. Keep your eyes peeled - book 7 all be here soon. Now that you know what these books are all about and how much our family loves reading them - I have a surprise. You can enter to win the entire set - books 1 through 7 AND they are choosing three winners. Awesome, right?! Make sure you enter because you WANT these books in your kids' hands.   Read what others are saying about The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls by clicking the image below.

College is expensive! Are you paying too much for your books?

Relevance: 51%      Posted on: October 13, 2012

Are you a college student?  Parent of a college student?  Anybody who has ever heard of college?  If you are, then you already know just how expensive college can be.  I feel like my loans will never be paid off.  I remember being a struggling student trying to come up with the big bucks to pay for my text books.  Are you thinking - been there, done that?  Well, I'd love to offer you some help in cutting the costs for this part of college.  Campus Book Rentals can save you between 40 and 90 % off of bookstore prices!!  For instance - I studied Criminal Psychology when I was in college.  A book I may have needed for class -  Criminal Profiling:  An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis by Turvey, Brent E.  would cost me between $66.40 and $89.95 through most places.  Through Campus Book Rentals - that same book is $47.69.  That could save me almost 50 %!  For a struggling student, that is a huge savings!  And that is only one book for one class - multiply that by all of the books you will need before you finish college, and we are talking tons of savings!  Seriously, do the math for your school, but the savings really add up and that starving college student could afford a little more food! *If you find a better price elsewhere, they will match it!*But wait:  It gets better - the savings aren't the only perks.  Campus Book Rentals offers free shipping both ways, you can highlight in the textbooks - something I think every college student does.  They have flexible renting periods and donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented.   Plus, a 30 day risk free guarantee; something that could be real handy if you end up dropping a class and not needing the book.  this way you aren't out the money! But, if you really like the book and want to keep it as a reference, you can purchase the book  for the difference between what you have paid so far and the value at the time you initially rented it.  I love spending money at places that give back in some way, and they do with Operation Smile.  What is Operation Smile?  It is an awesome organization that performs life changing cleft lip surgeries on kids whose families otherwise couldn't afford it.  And believe it or not, this isn't the only way they give back!  Campus Book Rentals also sets aside $90,000 in textbook scholarships distributed out in the community!  And just for fun, they have monthly giveaways!  Want to know how it works?    Still have questions?  You should watch this video no matter what - you can tell they had fun making the video!Are you ready to trade in buying your textbooks that you are only going to use for a few months and then collect dust?  Did you go to college?  What did you study?  Do you use your degree?  *Disclosure:  I was monetarily compensated for this post but any opinions are 100 % my own*

College is expensive! Are you paying too much for your books?

Relevance: 51%      Posted on: October 13, 2012

Are you a college student?  Parent of a college student?  Anybody who has ever heard of college?  If you are, then you already know just how expensive college can be.  I feel like my loans will never be paid off.  I remember being a struggling student trying to come up with the big bucks to pay for my text books.  Are you thinking - been there, done that?  Well, I'd love to offer you some help in cutting the costs for this part of college.  Campus Book Rentals can save you between 40 and 90 % off of bookstore prices!!  For instance - I studied Criminal Psychology when I was in college.  A book I may have needed for class -  Criminal Profiling:  An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis by Turvey, Brent E.  would cost me between $66.40 and $89.95 through most places.  Through Campus Book Rentals - that same book is $47.69.  That could save me almost 50 %!  For a struggling student, that is a huge savings!  And that is only one book for one class - multiply that by all of the books you will need before you finish college, and we are talking tons of savings!  Seriously, do the math for your school, but the savings really add up and that starving college student could afford a little more food! *If you find a better price elsewhere, they will match it!*But wait:  It gets better - the savings aren't the only perks.  Campus Book Rentals offers free shipping both ways, you can highlight in the textbooks - something I think every college student does.  They have flexible renting periods and donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented.   Plus, a 30 day risk free guarantee; something that could be real handy if you end up dropping a class and not needing the book.  this way you aren't out the money! But, if you really like the book and want to keep it as a reference, you can purchase the book  for the difference between what you have paid so far and the value at the time you initially rented it.  I love spending money at places that give back in some way, and they do with Operation Smile.  What is Operation Smile?  It is an awesome organization that performs life changing cleft lip surgeries on kids whose families otherwise couldn't afford it.  And believe it or not, this isn't the only way they give back!  Campus Book Rentals also sets aside $90,000 in textbook scholarships distributed out in the community!  And just for fun, they have monthly giveaways!  Want to know how it works?    Still have questions?  You should watch this video no matter what - you can tell they had fun making the video!Are you ready to trade in buying your textbooks that you are only going to use for a few months and then collect dust?  Did you go to college?  What did you study?  Do you use your degree?  *Disclosure:  I was monetarily compensated for this post but any opinions are 100 % my own*

Thanks to Frecklebox, Maggie is learning to spell her name! #EggsInTheBasket

Relevance: 50%      Posted on: February 17, 2013

I have always liked getting personalized gifts.  Especially things that say my name, so I have to assume that my kids will feel the same.  When I stumbled across Frecklebox, I knew I had to check it out.  Everything they sell is designed to be personalized.  Frecklebox is founded by these two guys, Mark and Scott.  Even before they had little people of their own, they worked together, so when they had kids of their own, Frecklebox was born.  These guys are very serious about engaging those little minds.  Since their previous business was web based digital printing, it only seemed natural to move forward with that.  Plus, these guys are pretty funny - check out their website and you will see why I think so.  Especially their FAQ page.  It makes me giggle!Their mission:  to educate and entertain.  Frecklebox offers unique, personalized gifts for children, all at affordable prices.Frecklebox offers a fantastic selection of personalized books, posters, growth charts, journal books, coloring books, stickers, placemats, puzzles and more.  Your kids will love having their own personalized lunch box to show off at school!  We were given the choice of what we wanted to review, and I tough time deciding what it is I wanted.  But of course, personalized books for kids wins  Books are always winning in our house since they can keep them for a long time.  We chose 2 books; My name is MAGGIE (for Maggie) and What We'll Do, Just Me and You (for Charlie).  I love how every page has their name on it, and they have a huge selection of books.  These books are much more durable than I thought.  I was expecting a regular paperback book, but these pages are sturdy and durable.  They are thicker than regular paper and glossy.  I especially love the inscription in the front of the books - ore personalization!  And, they are printed on recycled paper AND made in the USA! Two things I love in a product.  The pages are so vivid and Maggie loves to talk about them.  She will talk about the flowers, the ladybugs, or whatever else is on that page.  She loves to spell her name along with me as we read it and now, she is starting to spell her name on her own.  Pretty awesome I think since she's only 27 months old! We love our Frecklebox books and know you will too.Frecklebox has so much to offer for your child.  Plus, ordering is super easy.  1.  Choose the item you want.2.  Click on Personalize It3.  Enter any info asked, name of child, inscription from parents, and some items, like the books allow you to customize the skin tone.You can even preview each page of the books to see them before hand so you can have a sneak peek.  Yes, it really is that easy to do!  Shopping is easy, you can browse by boy or girl, theme, age, occasion, school stuff.  Find what you want fast!  Head on over to Frecklebox and find personalized gifts for kids that they will love for years!  Or find them on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.For your chance to win $40 to Frecklebox, head on over and enter the Grand Prize packages for Eggs In The Basket and get a head start on Easter.What do you think your kids would love from Frecklebox? *Disclosure:  I received the above mentioned products for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are 100% my own and only influenced by my experience with the product and company and may differ from yours.*

Books We Love: Cars Look and Find

Relevance: 50%      Posted on: September 20, 2019

*Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.*   Henry loves any book about cars, construction trucks, tractors - basically if it has wheels, he loves it. Lately he has been loving this fun book. Each turn of the page in Cars Look and Find gives you a few different items to find related to Cars in some way. Simple enough for his little four-year-old eyes to find but still be challenging. Each week we feature a book we love. Find a complete list of them by visiting this page.

Join my Mystery Hostess Party

Relevance: 49%      Posted on: March 20, 2016

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about my excitement over becoming an Usborne Consultant?  Well, I just can't keep it to myself anymore - I have to share the party atmosphere with you all!  If you have kids, I bet you want to encourage them to love reading.  Usborne books can really get them excited because the books are so fun and engaging! Want to join?  Head on over to the Facebook event page to RSVP as going!  I can't wait to see you there!  I will be giving away all of the hostess rewards earned during the party, as well as a FREE book!  Find the details on the event page and join the party today!

$25 Usborne Books Giveaway

Relevance: 49%      Posted on: September 4, 2016

The kids are back in school and summer has come to an end. The Anti-June Cleaver and Our Piece of Earth have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to say goodbye to summer and welcome all things pumpkin spice.   MY GIVEAWAY I'm super excited to be giving away $25 Usborne Books & More gift card to one of you lucky readers.  Our family LOVES these books so much and I know your family will too.  I can't wait to hear what your favorites are.  *Consultants not eligible to win.*   Have a long wish list?  Host a party with me!  All parties held by October 31st are eligible to win $50 in free books.  Qualifying parties in September earn an additional $75 in free books on top of regular hostess rewards.   Giveaway open to US only.  Ends at 11:59 pm EST on September 19, 2016.  Good luck! Entry-Form Once you've entered my giveaway, hop around the linky below for a chance to win even more great prizes. Good luck! DISCLOSURE: The Anti-June Cleaver, Our Piece of Earth, and the rest of the bloggers participating in the Say Goodbye to Summer giveaway hop are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations

Top 6 Usborne Books for Babies

Relevance: 49%      Posted on: September 12, 2016

Check out my top picks from the Usborne Books & More baby books. Which one is your favorite?

Did you know you should start reading when your babies are brand new? Here are some of my favorite baby books from Usborne.

Early Math Books for Babies and Toddlers

Relevance: 48%      Posted on: July 18, 2016

Books make learning fun and these early math books for babies and toddlers do just that. Encourage a love for reading and math from the very early years.

I love math, I always have.  Now that I have three little ones, I love how easy and how much fun teaching math is to little kids.  When you have babies or toddlers, math is all about introducing numbers and starting to count.  So much of every day life make great learning moments for the little ones.  Ooh, look at the birdies, should we count them?  1. 2. 3..  If you have little ones, I bet you have done this already. Now, being the crazy book lady that I am, I want books in the hands of my kids from day one.  I remember when Maggie was born.  I couldn't wait to rock her and read her her first story.  I felt oddly sad that she just didn't care, you know, because she was a newborn and didn't know what a book was, haha.  I also remember getting so excited when she first wanted to read.  Her first book that she loved was an Usborne Books word book.  Pictures of bedtime things and then we look for certain objects.  We read that book about a bazillion times! Since I am an Usborne Books & More consultant, I've had some fun discovering even more books that I love and can't wait to share with friends, family and my readers.  Here are some Usborne math books that are great for introducing numbers to babies and toddlers.  *Because I am a consultant, I earn a commission on all sales through my links.  By ordering through these links, you help support our family and we thank you greatly for that.* 1-2-3 Counting 123 Counting is an amazing book for new babies.  With a fold out, standing book, the fun and engaging pictures are perfect for babies to look at to stimulate their minds while having tummy time.     Very First 123 Very First 123 is a great introduction to numbers, as well as practice counting to 5.   Little Red Penguin Numbers These fun little books keep introducing numbers, this time learning numbers 1 to 10.  As part of a fun little four book series, Little Red Penguin Numbers is sure to be a hit.   I Can Count What baby or toddler doesn't love chunky board books, right?!  Learning to count is so much fun with this series of nine mini board books.  Little ones will have so much fun playing and exploring numbers with these books that are stored in their own matching, magnetic close case.   Those are the Usborne books that are perfect for little baby and toddler hands.  Now, onto some books for toddlers.   Get Dressed, Max and Millie Come along with Max and Millie as they get ready for their day, counting as they go. Count to 100 This is a new release and I haven't even had the chance to check it out yet but it looks so fun!  You've been learning about counting from 1 to 5 and 1 to 10.  What is next?  Let's add in counting to 100.  With the fun and engaging photos you have come to love from Usborne, this book will be on your bookshelf for years.  This book sticks with them as they grow, grouping things together in a simple introduction to multiplication. Edited:  I have this book now and I love it!  The photos are amazing, and the way they group the images help early multiplication skills.  You start by counting objects up to ten.  Then 20, 30, 40, etc up to 100.  You can find out more about this fantastic counting book that is so much more than just counting on my Books We Love post about it.   1001 Animals to Spot This book is one in a series about 1001 things to spot.  With titles like 1001 things to spot on vacation, 1001 bugs to spot, 1001 things to spot in the sea, the list goes on and on.  Each page has different things to spot in the big picture, along with how many of that thing there is.  Not only are they counting out a certain animal while they search but they are learning about different animals.   How Big is a Million This cute story is sure to delight your kids as a little penguin goes on a search for a million.  Read along to learn about the different numbers he encounters on the way.   Finger Match Math Readiness With some fun, hands on learning time, even the youngest of learners will want to get started. These are my Usborne Books math choices for babies and toddlers.  Which one are you most excited about?  Visit my website to place your order.  Want to earn books for FREE?  Hosting a Facebook party is so much fun with almost no work for you!  Find out more by contacting me today or email me at summers1405 {at} yahoo {dot} com.                

Making Homeschool Fun with National Geographic + Giveaway

Relevance: 48%      Posted on: September 2, 2015

Here are some of the best books to add to your homeschool library.

There are many reasons that families choose to homeschool.  I'm not even sure what to say that my main reasons are, but I know that is the path that I want to pursue with our kids.  One reason is that I love being able to just build off of something that the kids are interested in.  Example:  Charlie has a love for rocks.  Rocks of all shapes, colors and sizes and he has to collect them.  We never come home without a new rock for the collection.  We decided to embrace it by making alphabet matching rocks where he can match upper and lower case letters.  As he gets the concept, I will add stickers to one side of each rock and he can work on letter sounds by guessing the letter on the back of the rock.  Whatever he really cares about we can use to encourage learning.  Rocks are a big part of our learning day. One way we like to explore a concept more is through reading.  We have so many books that we can probably find something in our collection to teach us more about something.  When I had the chance to review some books from National Geographic I knew that we would love them for homeschool.  When they arrived we were outside playing.  I opened the package and the kids completely dropped what they were doing to sit down and read.  It was adorable.  With a wide range of books from board books through chapter books, there was something for everybody and the kids quickly picked a favorite.  They both really loved to read Ugly Animals.  We have read it a lot and Charlie seems to have memorized the entire book.  He loves to read the book and knows the names of almost all of the animals.  He loves to tell you some of the fun facts about a certain one, especially the short horned lizard {go ahead and Google the interesting fact, I will wait}. I especially love that sometimes the kids have a question about one of the animals, where it lives, what it eats, does it go out at night, bite people, etc..  Tons of questions and lucky us, we have an iPad.  We can Google the answers to their questions.  I also love that National Geographic has a website designed to go along with the early readers series.  With tons of fun activities, charts and so much more to encourage more in depth learning.  I don't know about your kids, but mine really love any chance to use the iPad and usually don't argue with me when I tell them it's time for learning games on it.   Just the other day I was scrolling through my newsfeed and saw this video. It immediately reminded me of Flutter, Butterfly that was one of the 11 books we received from National Geographic.  Maggie loves this book because, well, she loves pretty things like butterflies.  We watched the video together and talked about what was happening and then we read the book again, stopping to talk and ask a lot of questions on the page that described what was going on.  This was a great learning experience for the kids and we had lots of laughs and giggles as we watched the video, read the story and talked about it. I'm a big fan of owning things that will actually get used for the long tern in our house.  These books are more than just books to read.  They are learning tools that we can pull out over and over.  The books are written with different teaching points; how to pronounce a word, a definition, a did you know question.  All things that help teach as you read the story.  They are fun and engaging books with vivid, lifelike pictures that draw your kids in and keep their attention. The National Geographic books have been a great addition to our home and our homeschool library.  Now I want to own every National Geographic book out there.   What are some of your favorite books to read with your kids?  Do your kids love to ask questions as you read? One lucky reader will win a set of 11 books as part of the Reading Rocks with National Geographic Kids Giveaway.  Giveaway open to US only.  Ends at 11:59 pm EST on September 16, 2015.  Good luck. Entry-Form

The Little Free Library joins our community thanks to Alpha-Bits

Relevance: 47%      Posted on: May 28, 2014

Little Free LIbrary

*Disclosure:  I was provided with some books and the Little Free Library.  All of the story details are my own.*   Over the last few months, I have been given the opportunity to do something amazing in our community.  Install a Little Free LIbrary!  When I first heard about it, I had absolutely no idea what it was, but seeing this opportunity, I knew I wanted in.  I did some research and found out a little more.  You see, all I heard was the word "library" and that was enough for me.  There are some places that I could get lost, and libraries and book stores are two of them.  I love books.  I love reading, and over the last 3 1/2 years, I have enjoyed watching Maggie and Charlie develop a love for reading also.  Shortly before the library arrived at our house, I went to my Godson's basketball game and got my first look at a Little Free Library!   Books are one thing that I think everybody should have and love.  I know people have gotten on board with the whole Kindle idea, or other digital books, but there is absolutely nothing that can replace the feel and smell of real books.  {Do you think I'm crazy?} The best way to love books is to have access to them.  Not all that long ago, the only book store in our town closed.  I was so bummed!  I loved taking the kids up there for story time because it was so fun for them.  There isn't a library in town, so now, we were down to nothing.  The Little Free Library concept is perfect!  You get to install a small library on a post in the community, and people can freely take and leave books.  Are you excited about it yet?  First up though is to decide where the perfect place in our community is. As soon as the library arrived, it took up residence in our house where I looked at it day after day trying to decide where it would most benefit our community.  The coffee shop in town sounded like a great place for it.  I set out for town one day to go talk to them about it, but as I was driving, I was struck with an even better idea.  Dairy Queen!  Seriously, how many of you have awesome memories of going to Dairy Queen as a kid and sitting outside chatting or playing?  I know I do.  So what if the idea came to me because I am pregnant and thought I should have ice cream, right?!  So I changed direction and went in to talk with the manager of the Dairy Queen.  Right away she was on board with it.  While we waited for the approval from the district manager, I was busy getting started with donations.   To start with, Post Alpha-Bits sent us not only the library itself, but also 10 books to go with it.  While we waited to install it, the kids and their friends had fun "borrowing" books in our living room.  I was amazed at how quick people were to donate books for the library.  In no time at all, I had more than a box full of books. Then came the fun stuff.  We headed to Menards to pick up some paint and the lady in the paint department was really excited when she heard what it was for and assured me that she would be there to use it regularly.  Then, John got to work painting {we even used Dairy Queen colors to match}.  On the sides are some cool Super WHY! characters provided by Alpha-Bits to promote reading skills as well as encourage children everywhere to become Super Readers! Yay!  It is finally time to install the Little Free Library!  Our family, along with Angie, the store manager at the Dairy Queen, her district manager and Debbie, a writer for the Star News were all there for the big day!  Having some ice cream treats outside as we got it installed was such a great start to the day. What made it even more exciting was that later on that day, my sister happened to be driving through town and sent me this picture of the Little League team with some of them checking out the Little Free Library. If you have been looking for a way to make a difference in your community, the Little Free LIbrary is a great way to do that.  For details on how to get started, visit their website.   If you happen to live around here, be sure to head up to Dairy Queen for some treats and check out the Little Free Library and let me know what you think!      

Learning to Read with the Usborne Very First Reading Library

Relevance: 47%      Posted on: September 24, 2019

I have to say - having worked on learning to read with two of my kids so far - the experience with them both has been so very different. How we have approached it and what works best for each of them is different too. No surprise there - right? I'm excited to see what it looks like with Henry when he's ready to learn to read. Full disclosure - I am a consultant but that isn't why I'm sharing this with you - I love and believe in this and I want you to know about it too. The Usborne Very First Reading Library has worked so well for them both that I'm excited to share this with you. First of all - what is it? The Usborne Very First Reading Library is a set of 50 books designed to teach your child to read as you read with them. The first 22 books are from the Very First Reading series. These books are dual readers. You read them together with your child - meaning there are words for you and words for them. The early books only have a few words on a page and the number of words increases as you progress through the series until your child reads the entire book on their own. The rest of the books progress through Usborne First Reading Levels one and two. In the back of each book is a parent section that shows the sounds you will be working on today. There are also a few games or puzzles for your child that focus on the sounds in that book. The early books have two books for each set of letter sounds, allowing your child more practice and building confidence in their reading ability. You can also print out more games and a word bank to go with each book. When you go to the website, you can listen to the letter sounds. I want to share some tips and how we use the reading library. To begin - go slow. Only a few minutes at a time. You want to make this experience fun and a bonding experience for the two of you. Encourage them when they make a mistake instead of giving them the correct sound or letter. With Maggie, we always read through the book a few times. When we finished, we would work through the puzzles and go over the word bank words if necessary. This is where it went very differently for Charlie. He prefers to read the word bank words first. Then he is ready to read through the book with me. For him, that seems less upsetting so we just roll with it. They both have learned to read using this system in different ways. For added fun if we need extra work on the book we are on, I have printed out the word bank words twice and we play a matching game with the words. The kids like this, especially if I add in something like a penny or m&m with each correct match and reading of that word. I cannot say enough about how much I absolutely love this set. I have told so many people about it and I cannot express enough how many friends have ordered it to teach their child to read as well. It's simple. It's rewarding watching your child learn to read. I have looked at and tried a few other programs just to see what we thought and every time - we came back to this one. If we want to talk about cost - and I imagine if you are researching reading programs that you are - this is a great deal. It is a very comparable price, probably a better bargain than other reading programs you have looked at. Plus - if you book a party, you can get this for free or half-price so shoot me a message if you are interested in that option. I love this program so much and will absolutely be using it again with Henry. I cannot add enough to this post about what we love about this reading library so ask away if you want to know more.

Summer #BlogChallenge July 18 – 5 Things To Do If The Power Goes Out

Relevance: 46%      Posted on: July 19, 2012

This is a great topic!  I hope you will comment with your ideas.  In Minnesota, we have had some bad storms over the last few years and losing power isn't unheard of.  With just an infant, I wasn't too concerned, but now I have a toddler who definitely needs to be entertained.   1.  Flashlight tag with others or with the dog.  Maggie loves to use the flashlight and shine it on the floor to get our female dog to chase it.2.  Books.  When we end up down in the crawl space, we have ours stash of things to do in a cramped space.  Maggie loves to read, so we always have tons of books to read down there.3.  Pen and paper / crayons.  Maggie also loves to draw with a pen, so we have to keep those two things in our storm basket as well.4.  Games on the phone.  Although, this depends on whether we have a severe weather alert and are down in the crawl space.  If we are, I save the battery to check the weather alerts.5.  In our crawl space, I actually have my stash of old teaching materials from when I taught two year olds.  There is always something fun in there, an activity, song, fingerplay, something fun. I know there are a ton more ideas, but I am completely drawing a blank on that thing that would make everybody say...aha!  What a great idea.  We definitely need to do that.   I would love to hear your ideas for what to do when the power goes out.  Most of the things I can think of involve the crawl space since I am terrified of storms and we seem to have a lot of sever weather out here this year.  

Quiet Time Activities with Smithsonian Readers

Relevance: 46%      Posted on: June 2, 2016

These Smithsonian Readers are perfect for homeschool or for anytime!.

With three little ones and one who no longer naps, it is so hard to find quiet time.  I've been working on getting the kids' quiet time bins filled and available so I don't lose my mind.  I fill them with a variety of different things that they enjoy, are quiet, and allow me to have a little bit of quiet time to myself during the day. When I received a set of four Smithsonian Readers books and 2 magnetic kits as well as a card box full of fun facts, I was probably as excited about it as the kids were.  I was blown away by how wonderful these books are, and I loved the different levels of the books.  What I love the most though, is that my three year old started sitting there and looking through page by page and asking to read "his" book all of the time.  World of Wonder Level 3 is not a book I would have pegged for Charlie's type of book, but I clearly know nothing.  He grabbed the book one day, opened it to the mummies and was so drawn in that we read that section over and over every single day.  He loves this stuff - it has become a crazy obsession but I'm telling you - my little three year old guy can tell you more about Ancient Egypt and mummies than most people you will ever know.  This alone was enough for me to fall in love with the books, but it didn't stop there. Each book has quizzes at the end of each section, and fact cards that are perforated and can be torn out.  The sections also have a glossary at the end for reviewing new words.  I love that the different topics covered in each book are clearly labeled on the front of the books.  These books will be a welcome addition to our homeschool library and I can choose the right books to go along with our studies.  Our curriculum starts with a unit on habitats and as I look at the topics covered, these books will be out and being used regularly. While the kids and I love to read, there is more to our quiet bins than just books.  The two Smithsonian Magnetic Adventures {Jungle and Solar System} are perfect for our quiet bins and provide tons of entertainment and learning fun for the kids.   Not only do we love them during quiet time, but they are perfect for taking along in the car, or for Charlie to play with while Maggie is at dance class and we have time to wait.  They are just having fun and have no clue how much learning is actually taking place.   The window cling type stickers are a huge hit with my sticker loving kids. Maggie loves the Smithsonian Sticker Creations:  Wildlife because it's all about the animals.  The stickers are almost 3D like and so lifelike that it almost feels real.   While the Smithsonian Everything You Need to Know fact cards are for grades 4-5, Charlie is having so much fun with them, but again - that's his thing.  Facts about anything he decides is interesting and he remembers it all.  I won't lie - I'm learning quite a bit along with the kids, the cards are so much fun.  Plus, they are separated by categories {well, were separated, until Charlie pulled them all out to read} so you can easily find the topics you are looking for and learning about.   Smithsonian will be a part of our homeschool library from now on.  With engaging pictures, fun facts for the kids to learn and quizzes to see just how much they remember, these books are fun for all.  I love that the books advance in reading levels to not only keep your child engaged, but let them do the reading and learning in a fun way. I'm also a huge fan of how easy it is for the kids to tell what topics are in that book even before they can read.  The bright, vivid images on the front covers of the books make it easy to find the topic you want.   I'm so excited to have found these books, and so our the kids.   What types of things do your kids love reading about?  Have you discovered things that interest them that you never knew about until you saw it in a book?    

Back to School Giveaway – 2 Winners!

Relevance: 46%      Posted on: August 8, 2016

Enter to win two prize packages. $25-$30 prize package from Usborne Books & More or $45 prize package from I See Me! Personalized Books. Ends 8/22/2016. US Only. Good luck!

It's that time of year again. The kids are going back to school and to celebrate, The Anti-June Cleaver and Our Piece of Earth have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you some great prizes for kids of all ages who are heading back to school. As always, once you have entered a giveaway visit the linky below for a chance to win even more great prizes. Good luck!linky below for a chance to win even more great prizes. Good luck! MY GIVEAWAY I'm excited to offer you two chances to win!  The first winner will receive $25-30 in Usborne Books with a book package designed with your little one{s} in mind.  With an amazing selection of books from infant to young adult, there is something for everyone.  Host an Usborne Books & More Facebook party with Shannon and earn $50 additional free books with qualifying parties.  {See entry for details}. The second winner will win a 1-2-3 Blast Off With Me package from I See Me! Personalized Books. Giveaways open to US residents only.  Ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 22, 2016.   {Usborne Books and More Consultants ineligible to win first prize package}.   Good luck!   Entry-Form   Disclosure: The Anti-June Cleaver, Our Piece of Earth, and the rest of the bloggers participating in the Back to School giveaway hop are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations

Making Spanish learning fun with Booklingual + {Giveaway}

Relevance: 46%      Posted on: March 28, 2013

*Thank you to BookLingual for sending us these books for review purposes.* Ever since my teaching days, I always knew I would like to at least introduce a second language to my kids when they were young, but not have it seem like work.  Booklingual provides a fun way to introduce it to them.  A set of 32 books to help your child learn Spanish.  Don't worry, even if you have no idea how to speak or read spanish, there is a help sheet and you can learn along with your children.Booklingual is a fun learning program to not only teach your children spanish, but also reinforce their comprehension of the english language.  The books are full of colorful illustrations to keep your child focused.  The books flow for the children and it's like reading a fun story for them, but they are learning as they go.  Different parts of the sentences are written in different colors.  Language patterns are repeated throughout the book to reinforce some of the most common spanish words.  The stories are available in different skill levels to grow with your children.  Booklingual alone won't teach your child spanish, but will aid in a very big way.We received a set of 6 ebooks to read: Bilingual Benny Likes Too MuchBree and the Bee Can't ShareCome to the Zoo!Oh No, I'm Sick!Grandma Cooks a Grand DinnerCan You Guess What I Am?At the end of each story are "games" to help your child remember and comprehend what they are reading.  The games vary but are fun for the kids.  Maggie really enjoys the games at the end of Grandma Cooks A Grand Dinner.  They are xxxx or xxxx and she loves to choose which one she thinks is right.BookLingual was started by Michael, a dad to a 2 year old.  Their plans had been to teach their daughter both spanish and english, but they realized that wasn't happening.  She was only picking up English, which was a problem because mom was a native Spanish speaker and they had agreed to teach her both.  Being a writer and children's educator, he knew that books were a very important piece to teaching children and he set about to design a program to help not only his daughter, but other children as well.  I know that Maggie loves to read, and she loves the computer, so mixing the two works well for us.  I love that you can use the BookLingual system on your smartphone or ipad.  However, my phone is not quite working as it should so it wouldn't connect to the computer and I wasn't able to put the program on my phone to use.  A total bummer because we had a lot of waiting to do lately and keeping her occupied would have been nice.  That being said, we have read these books many, many times on the computer.  Just this morning, Maggie and I were reading them and she kept repeating the words.  I have been really enjoying reading the books to her.  I took 5 years of spanish in high school, but haven't really used it at all since.  I have been surprised by how well I can still speak and read it. I know Maggie loves it because all day long I hear, I want to read a story.  I put the cursor over the page button, and she can even turn the pages herself while I read.  We have had so much fun reading these books together.  I am a book fanatic, and a strong believer in the idea that you can never own too many books, so getting more books to read with my kids is perfect for us!  If you are looking to incorporate a second language into your children's lives, you will want to include bilingual children's books.  Help your little ones learn to read in Spanish.  Right now, you can purchase the entire set of 32 books for only $32!   Head on over to their Facebook page to stay up to date.One lucky reader will win 6 ebooks from BookLingual!  Ends 11:59pm EST on April 11, 2013Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveawayI received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Making Spanish learning fun with Booklingual + {Giveaway}

Relevance: 46%      Posted on: March 28, 2013

*Thank you to BookLingual for sending us these books for review purposes.* Ever since my teaching days, I always knew I would like to at least introduce a second language to my kids when they were young, but not have it seem like work.  Booklingual provides a fun way to introduce it to them.  A set of 32 books to help your child learn Spanish.  Don't worry, even if you have no idea how to speak or read spanish, there is a help sheet and you can learn along with your children.Booklingual is a fun learning program to not only teach your children spanish, but also reinforce their comprehension of the english language.  The books are full of colorful illustrations to keep your child focused.  The books flow for the children and it's like reading a fun story for them, but they are learning as they go.  Different parts of the sentences are written in different colors.  Language patterns are repeated throughout the book to reinforce some of the most common spanish words.  The stories are available in different skill levels to grow with your children.  Booklingual alone won't teach your child spanish, but will aid in a very big way.We received a set of 6 ebooks to read: Bilingual Benny Likes Too MuchBree and the Bee Can't ShareCome to the Zoo!Oh No, I'm Sick!Grandma Cooks a Grand DinnerCan You Guess What I Am?At the end of each story are "games" to help your child remember and comprehend what they are reading.  The games vary but are fun for the kids.  Maggie really enjoys the games at the end of Grandma Cooks A Grand Dinner.  They are xxxx or xxxx and she loves to choose which one she thinks is right.BookLingual was started by Michael, a dad to a 2 year old.  Their plans had been to teach their daughter both spanish and english, but they realized that wasn't happening.  She was only picking up English, which was a problem because mom was a native Spanish speaker and they had agreed to teach her both.  Being a writer and children's educator, he knew that books were a very important piece to teaching children and he set about to design a program to help not only his daughter, but other children as well.  I know that Maggie loves to read, and she loves the computer, so mixing the two works well for us.  I love that you can use the BookLingual system on your smartphone or ipad.  However, my phone is not quite working as it should so it wouldn't connect to the computer and I wasn't able to put the program on my phone to use.  A total bummer because we had a lot of waiting to do lately and keeping her occupied would have been nice.  That being said, we have read these books many, many times on the computer.  Just this morning, Maggie and I were reading them and she kept repeating the words.  I have been really enjoying reading the books to her.  I took 5 years of spanish in high school, but haven't really used it at all since.  I have been surprised by how well I can still speak and read it. I know Maggie loves it because all day long I hear, I want to read a story.  I put the cursor over the page button, and she can even turn the pages herself while I read.  We have had so much fun reading these books together.  I am a book fanatic, and a strong believer in the idea that you can never own too many books, so getting more books to read with my kids is perfect for us!  If you are looking to incorporate a second language into your children's lives, you will want to include bilingual children's books.  Help your little ones learn to read in Spanish.  Right now, you can purchase the entire set of 32 books for only $32!   Head on over to their Facebook page to stay up to date.One lucky reader will win 6 ebooks from BookLingual!  Ends 11:59pm EST on April 11, 2013Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveawayI received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Books We Read in 2019 – January

Relevance: 45%      Posted on: February 9, 2019

Disclosure: Affiliate links may be included.  Some books we received for review.  All opinions are my own.* We read a ton of books together as a family and this year I thought it would be fun to keep track of them all. I have a massive children's library in our toy room yet somehow we still manage to end up borrowing from the library and paying fines on them. This list will be about as good as I can do and won't include books we have read multiple times in the month and probably won't have all of the library books since I will probably forget some, but I hope this list is fun to read through and inspires you to read some new books together. I also didn't think about this until partway through the month so I know January will be missing some. I will also add that I'm only including books I read to them, not books they read themselves. For reference - my kids are 8, 6 and 4. My oldest is obsessed with horses. My six-year-old is Star Wars obsessed and my youngest is crazy about Cars and Lightning McQueen so you can expect to see a lot of those. Check out our list - I hope you feel inspired to check out some new books. I am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer I am Harriet Tubman by Brad Meltzer I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer If you haven't read any of these books yet - I really encourage you to do so. I'm a believer in teaching history through biographies. My daughter is also the kid who reads a story like this and is angered and wants to take action. A CARS Christmas by Melissa Lagonegro Have I Ever Told You by Shani King How Full is Your Bucket For Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer This is a great reminder of what you can do for a person simply by being kind and how it helps your attitude as well. Miss Pinkletink's Purse by Patty Brozo This is a book you NEED in your home. There are a few others by this author that I intend to get as well. This book speaks to homelessness and how one small person can make a difference. This book had my heart from the very start and I can't wait to read the others. Star Wars The Clone Wars Watch Out for Jabba the Hutt by Simon Beecroft LEGO Star Wars Anakin to the Rescue by Ace Landers I Believe in You by Marianne Richmond You will find that I absolutely love books that build kids up as much as possible. You will see with many of these titles that we read a lot of books like this. Duck on a Tractor by David Shannon Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell This is another book that encourages kids to be themselves no matter what. Henry's Very Own Trucks and Things That Go by Maia Haag Little Golden Book CARS Tractor Trouble by Frank Berrios Goodnight, My Angel A Lullaby by Billy Joel I'm Gonna Like Me Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell Jessica's Box by Peter Carnavas Who Was Rosa Parks by Yona Zeldis McDonough A Day in the Life of a Firefighter by Linda Hayward Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner This story is absolutely adorable. From the cute story to the adorable pictures, we love reading this one. If DaVinci Painted a Dinosaur by Amy Newbold This and the next book are fun picture books about how one image can look so different depending on the artist and the style. A great reminder to them that everyone is an artist. If Picasso Painted a Snowman by Amy Newbold Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle Mother Earth's Lullaby:  A Song for Endangered Animals by Terry Pierce What books did you read this month? I'd love to hear your favorites for January.  Want more inspiration?  Each week we feature Books We Love.

Books We Love: Usborne Children’s Picture Atlas

Relevance: 44%      Posted on: June 11, 2016

I love everything about the Usborne Children's Picture Atlas https://b5806.myubam.com/p/32/childrens-picture-atlas

My kids love maps, atlases, and anything that resembles either of them.  I've been checking out a few different children's atlases to see which one we would like the best.  I fell in love with this one.  I love how it tells you about different climates, habitats, etc. and that at the bottom of each of the pages it has a few items for you to look for in the maps toward the back of the book.  It's such a fun way to really bring the information they just read about to life.  BUT I think my favorite part of this atlas is the world map section on each of the different map pages.  Not only does it show you Africa, for example, but at the bottom of the page, in a section that says The World, it shows you where Africa is on the world map, making it easier for the kids to relate to the big picture.  I hope these pictures make it easier to see what I'm trying to share with you.  We just love this and it's so much fun looking at all of the different things that represent the different regions.   *Note:  I am an Usborne Books & More consultant so I receive compensation for purchases through my link.  However, these are the honest opinions of our family.*   The Usborne Children's Picture Atlas Illustrated By:  Linda Edwards

$25 Usborne Books Giveaway

Relevance: 43%      Posted on: October 3, 2016

Thank you for stopping by the Fall Fun giveaway hop hosted by The Anti-June Cleaver and Our Piece of Earth. Fall is officially here and it's time to celebrate! We have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you a variety of prizes to make your fall fun! After you have entered a giveaway visit the linky at the bottom of each post to visit the other blogs for more great prizes.   MY GIVEAWAY One lucky reader will win $25 in Usborne Books!  Giveaway open to US only.  Ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 17, 2016.  Good luck!    Already have a long wish list?  Contact me to schedule a party of your own.  All October parties are entered to win an additional $50 in free books from Usborne with Shannon.  *Current consultants ineligible to win*   Want more chances to win?  Join our Fall Usborne Book Bash where I will be posting LIVE the entire party with some of our favorite books. Entry-Form     DISCLOSURE: The Anti-June Cleaver, Our Piece of Earth, and the rest of the bloggers participating in the Fall Fun giveaway hop are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations

Valentine’s Book Giveaway + Free Printable

Relevance: 43%      Posted on: February 2, 2019

Who wants to win some books just in time for Valentine's Day? If you said yes - you are in the right place. Check out this giveaway below for a set of three books from Stacy McAnulty. These three titles are fantastic books to put in the hands of your young readers. Enter below to win Brave, Beautiful and Love. Critically acclaimed children’s author Stacy McAnulty follows up her Braveand Beautiful titles with Love continuing to share a message of diversity, inclusivity, and compassion that is more needed now than ever. Brave:  An empowering picture book for all kids that demonstrates to children that they can be real-life superheroes and that all kids have what it takes to be brave. Superheroes seek adventure, never give up, and stay calm when others are afraid. Superheroes are brave. But they aren't the only ones. Kids are brave every day. When they are told they are too little, but accomplish something big. When they check for monsters under the bed, just in case. When they face something uncertain, whether a thunderstorm or a hospital visit. When they stand up for what's right, even when it means facing consequences.  Like superheroes, brave kids can save the world, just by being brave. Thoughtful text from Stacy McAnulty paired with vibrant illustrations from Joanne Lew-Vriethoff encourage kids to be brave in all the ways they can: trying new things, speaking theirmind, confronting bullies, and more. This book will inspire kids to follow their hearts and to have courage, no matter the situation. Beautiful: Every girl is unique, talented, and lovable. . . .Every girl is BEAUTIFUL. Much more than how one looks on the outside, true beauty is found in conquering challenges, showing kindness, and spreading contagious laughter. Beautiful girls are empowered and smart and strong! BEAUTIFUL breaks barriers by showing girls free to be themselves: splashing in mud, conducting science experiments, and reading books under a flashlight with friends. This book will encourage all girls to embrace who they are and realize their endless potential.  Giveaway ends 2/6/2019 at 11:59 pm EST Open to US and Canada Entry-Form Grab your FREE Valentine's Day printable below.

Toddler Activities to Encourage Literacy

Relevance: 43%      Posted on: March 31, 2014

Ways to Encourage Literacy in Young Children

It is no surprise, I am a huge fan of books.  I love to read.  I miss having the time to read like I did before children, so now, I get my fill of reading with children's books.  If I were to just say I have a ridiculous amount of books, you probably wouldn't understand just how serious I am.  So I will show you.  This picture is only the books that we don't have out on our upstairs or downstairs bookshelves.  They are organized by topic/season/holidays.  Most have come from garage sales, some from Scholastic's $1 books, and some as gifts.  I love books, and so do both of my kids.   Lucky for me, both of my kids feel the same way about books as I do.  I imagine that is due in part to them seeing me read during bath time.  Whatever the reason, I am so excited about it.  And I am really excited about the Little Free LIbrary I get to set up in our community thanks to Alpha-Bits.  It arrived last week, and the kids are so excited to open it and read the books.  Plus, everybody I tell about it is excited.  They keep donating books for it which is AWESOME! Okay, back to the topic at hand.  There are so many ways to get toddlers excited about books and learning about letters.  Here are a few of our favorite ways to get the kids excited about reading.   Read.  Yep, that simple.  I let them choose the books.  Anytime, and I really {almost} mean anytime they want me to sit down and read, if at all possible, I do.  Charlie has recently started getting very excited about books.  He has definite favorites and is starting to enjoy longer stories.  I encourage it by sitting down with him when he is ready for story time.  Go to the library for story time, or just to check out some books. Make letters readily available in many ways.  I'm talking things that are out and available for them to play with during the day.  We have the Leap Frog letter thing on our fridge, along with regular magnet letters.  We have alphabet bean bags, a pop up letter game that teaches sounds, a caterpillar letter sound toy, and Take10 Cookie game from Learning Resources that we like to play a lot. Get artsy.  It doesn't have to be extravagant.  I found a printable {I wish I could remember where} and each page is a letter of the alphabet made of circles just perfect for bingo dobbing.  Both of the kids love these.  Or you could cut out the letter and let them paint, color, glue things to it.  It's really fun to glue things that start with that letter or pictures of things that start with that letter. Make it messy.  We use our fingers to create letters and words in shaving cream on the table.  Or, tape letters to the bottom of a pan of dry rice, or better yet, hide the magnet letters in the rice.   Get it to go.  It takes no effort.  We are driving, Maggie will yell out that she sees a letter that she knows.  If she sees a sign anywhere, she will tell me the letters.  I recently found an idea on Facebook, author unknown, at least to me.  Take a paper plate, not a styrofoam one, write the letters of the alphabet around the edge of the plate.  Cut a slit in between the letters and go for a walk.  As you find the letters, fold them down.  You can do this with letter sounds as well.   Food is fun.  You can make these fun alphabet crispy bars using Post Alpha-Bits cereal.  Make them as normal crispy bars and use cookie cutters to cut them out into letters.  Have fun forming words with them.  Or, just play with {I mean, search} through the cereal looking for words and letters.  Maggie loves to look through the cereal and spell words and names and glue them to the paper.     There are so many ways to encourage literacy in young kids.  Pretty much anything you do in your day can involve letters and reading.  Maggie is really into writing letters right now, and this may be one of the funnest stages ever!  We were driving down the road the other day and she's in the back seat telling me, in her most excited voice, that she wrote my letter.  She made an S.  Sure enough, she did!  Then I told her the next letter, which is one she knows and is really good at.  She wrote that one too.  She has learned to write her name all by herself and it is so exciting.  There are some stories we have read a ton, and while she isn't actually reading the words, she can "read" the story to me, pretty much word for word, turning pages when it's time and everything.  My love for reading has definitely been passed down.   I can't wait to set up our Little Free Library in our community to help share our love of reading with so many other families.  The kids are so excited just seeing it sit here in the living room.  Keep your eyes peeled.  In the next few weeks, we will be getting our library out into the community and it is going to be so awesome!   In what ways do you encourage literacy in your little ones?    

Design a Creative Art Space Kids Will Love

Relevance: 42%      Posted on: January 6, 2019

Design a creative art space your kids will love.

Giving kids the freedom to explore is a blast. Check out these fun ways we designed a creative art area for the kids to let their imaginations run wild.

How We Use the Usborne Not Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus for Homeschool

Relevance: 41%      Posted on: August 13, 2016

Usborne Books Not Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus

I'm such a sucker for books and I feel like I fall in love with most of the books we have. I knew I wanted the Usborne Not Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus for homeschool, but once it arrived, I realized I had bigger plans than just pulling it out occasionally. Before I tell you how we will be using it, I have to tell you about it because it is so awesome.

Best Books for Your Aspiring Writer

Relevance: 41%      Posted on: March 17, 2017

Best Books for your Aspiring Writer

Do you have an aspiring writer or story teller? I do and I love having fun with them as I encourage it. Check out this list of the best books for your aspiring writer.

Day 16 #30things My 5 Greatest Accomplishments

Relevance: 41%      Posted on: January 17, 2013

My 5 Greatest Accomplishments.  When I sit down to type this.  I can't think of a thing.  1.  My kids.  They are still works in progress and I can't wait to see who I helped to mold.2.  My college degree.  I love having them.  I worked very hard for them and spent many sleepless nights to get them.3.  The scrapbooks I have actually finished.  Someday, I will actually start both of my kids' books.4.  Selling my very first house as a real estate agent.  I worked so hard on that one and wasn't quite sure what I was doing yet.  I was so proud of it.  5.  My blog.  Did you think I would forget to add that in?  I haven't had my blog that long...not quite a year that I have actually been blogging regularly.  Those are the 5 that I can think of.  I imagine that there are bigger accomplishments, but I honestly can't think of anything else right now.  What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?  Or even one of them, come on, spill the beans. 

Books We Love: February Book List

Relevance: 40%      Posted on: March 7, 2019

*Disclosure:  Affiliate links may be included in this post.* Balto of the Blue Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Book Three: The Great Escape by M. J. Thomas Meet Addy {American Girl} by Connie Porter So Tall Within - Sojourner Truth's Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Book Four Journey to Jericho by M. J. Thomas Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser Bear Grylls Adventures The River Challenge by Bear Grylls Monkeys by Lucy Bowman How About a Kiss For Me? by Todd Tarpley The Very Stuffed Turkey by Katharine Kenah Elephants by James Maclaine Cars Thunder and Lightning by Katherine Emmons Harry the Homeless Puppy by Holly Webb The Clown of God by Tomie DePaola Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright Lizards by James McLaine   Every month when I write these, I feel like we haven't read very much except that I know we have read a lot.  Many books day after day and lots of chapter books.

Fun, educational one on one time with your kid

Relevance: 40%      Posted on: December 10, 2013

Hot Dots Jr., Educational Insights

While my kids have plenty of toys to play with, I mean it.  But getting Maggie to sit down and "play" something with me isn't always easy, especially if I am aiming for some one on one time while her brother is sleeping{I use the term sleeping loosely}.   I'm a huge fan of educational toys and was happy to get the chance to review a few things from Educational Insights. We were sent the Alphabet Bean Bags {review here} and Hot Dots Jr. book set with the "Ace" the talking teaching dog pen. I knew right away that she would love the set of 4 Hot Dots Jr. books and the talking dog pen.  We can read the books, and do the activities together.  Whether it's counting objects, rhyming, finding a certain color or shape, she loves using the pen to find the right {or wrong} things.  And, Ace the dogs eyes light up when he touches the page.  Green for right answers or red for wrong answers.  Not a dog lover {really?}, you can get Kat, the talking, teaching cat pen.  Plus, the volume on the pen can be adjusted up or down.  The dog makes happy dog sounds when it's a right answer, and sad dog sounds for a wrong one.  It's so much fun.  But even more fun, with the press of a button, you can change it to words.  Sorry, or Good Job!  My kids adore animals, so the animal sounds is kind of their favorite thing.   I love that the books are fun to do with your child, but can also be used independently.  The activity on each page has pictures with it that your child can identify.  For example, after the sentence explaining what to do, {find things that are green} is a green picture.  This makes it so that the books can grow with your child and help them read more independently. Sign up for Educational Insights newsletter here. What are some fun activities you and your children do together to learn letters and sounds?  What products from Education Insights would be helpful to have around your house?   Enter to win Hot Dots Jr. or Alphabet Bean Bags through December 16, 2013.

Fall Fun Giveaway Hop Grand Prize #2 Little Tikes, Project Pomona and I See Me! Personalized Books

Relevance: 40%      Posted on: September 30, 2015

Enter to win a Little TIkes 3 in 1 Adventure Course, $25 Project Pomona and I See Me Personalized Storybook {My Very Own Trucks}

Thank you for stopping by the Fall Fun giveaway hop hosted by The Anti-June Cleaver and Our Piece of Earth. We have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you a variety of prizes to make your fall fun! After you have entered a giveaway visit the linky at the bottom of each post to visit the other blogs for more great prizes. There is also a dual grand prize for this event for the kiddos sponsored by Little Tikes. You can enter to win the first grand prize below featuring prizes from Little Tikes, Project Pomona and I See Me! Personalized Books.  Be sure to check out my review of the Little Tikes Lil' Ocean Explorers 3-in-1 Adventure Course.   So - enter to win here and then head over to The Anti-June Cleaver for a chance to win a Little Tikes Cook N Store Kitchen. Your little one will have a blast on the Lil' Ocean Explorers™ 3-in-1 Adventure Course™.  Keep it together, pull it apart, rearrange it for nonstop fun.  $25 to Project Pomona - if you haven't heard of these, you will want some.  Stretch your budget with these pants that fit longer.  Read my review.  And lastly, one of my favorite companies because we really love books.  I See Me! Personalized books is giving away My Very Own Trucks.   Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 14, 2015.  Open to US residents only.  Good luck. Entry-Form The Anti-June Cleaver, Our Piece of Earth, and the rest of the bloggers participating in the Fall Fun giveaway hop are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Usborne Complete List of Weather Books for Homeschool

Relevance: 39%      Posted on: October 6, 2016

Check out this complete list of Usborne Weather Books for Homeschool.

Disclosure:  I am a consultant for Usborne.  Our family receives a percentage from all sales without costing  you any extra.  We appreciate any purchases through our website.   We are onto our second theme unit in our kindergarten homeschool year.  The last few weeks we have been learning all about habitats and had so much fun.  Now we are onto weather and we are already having a blast. Weather is one of Charlie's favorite things to learn about, so even though he is only four, he is really taking the lead on this unit.  Since we live in Minnesota, we are constantly experiences changes in weather and extremes of all types, so a lot of this isn't new to us.  I've probably already told you a dozen times that I love Usborne because the books are so packed full of information in such a fun way that kids WANT to dig in.  The weather books are no exception so let's get to them! *Lift the Flap What Makes It Rain Ages 3+ $14.99 This book is the perfect size for smaller hands.  Each page features engaging photos with tons of questions like what's it like inside a cloud?  What makes sunsets red and orange?  and so many more questions.  With tons of flaps on every page, your little reader will love discovering the answers to some fun weather related questions.  You will see their little minds soaking up all of the information as you explore the weather together.  Aside from just flaps, your little ones can explore the feel of different cutouts in the book.  This is perfect to have for my littler ones to have fun being a part of our school day. Children's Picture Atlas Ages 3+ $12.99 While this book just touches on some weather around the world, it's a good amount of information for the 3+ crowd.  I wouldn't buy it solely for the weather info, but it's a great book that we have used often, so bringing it out to talk about the weather in it works for us. *Weather Picture Book Pack 4 book pack Ages 3+ $14.99 Explore the different types of weather in a fun story setting in these four picture books.  The Windy Day, The Rainy Day, The Sunny Day, an The Snowy Day each take you through a day in that weather.  These cute short stories are perfect for bedtime or anytime. *Weather Beginner Book Ages 6+  $4.99 This book features 2 pages about each of the different types of weather and is full of vibrant, engaging pictures that keep kids interested.  There is a glossary of weather words and a list of websites to visit at the end of the book.  This book also features internet quicklinks with a list of websites that are relevant to the topic.  Follow the instructions, click on the pages you want more info on from the drop down menu and keep the learning going.  There are also other activities related to the topics.  This is part of why we may very well ditch the curriculum next year and just use Usborne Books for school.  I'm including all of the books that we have or know contain information on weather and weather related topics.  The books with an * are very on topic books or contain a decent amount of information on the subject.  The rest also contain information, but not enough to make it worth spending money on just for this topic. *Storms and Hurricanes  Beginner Book Ages 6+ $4.99 This book is the same style as the Weather book above but covers the different types of storms and information and facts to go along with them.  There are also the website quicklinks for more information and links to videos of the different storms. Illustrated Dictionary Ages 6+ $15.99 Google is great, but having the ability to look things up the old fashioned way is still a skill I want my kids to have.  When we begin a unit, we take time to discuss some of the vocabulary words that we will be talking about, so we use our illustrated dictionary often. *Weather & Climate Change Ages 7+ $10.99 This encyclopedia style book will give your kids all of the weather info they need at the tips of their fingers.  Embark on a journey learning about the weather, climates and everything that goes along with it.  Explore the history and future of our world and the weather.  Test yourself when you get to the end with some multiple choice question.  The glossary will explain the definitions of all of the weather words.  Not only does this book have tons of internet links, but there are also tons of downloadable pictures you can print and use for hands on learning. *See Inside Weather and Climate Lift the Flaps Ages 7+ $14.99 The first time I laid eyes on this book, I knew we had to have it so this was our first Usborne weather book.  With so many flaps, your kids will be asking and answering questions all through the story.  From exploring the weather today to learning about the different types of weather, onto climates around the world and changing climates, this book provides endless learning fun.  With a list of weather words and their definitions, as well as internet links, the learning never ends.  This is  probably my favorite of all of our weather books.    This book also has internet quicklinks. *Not Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus Ages 8+  $12.99 or $20.99 for library binding This is a must have in our homeschool library.  We use this book every week for creative writing and expanding our vocabulary.  Not only is there an entire page of weather words and symbols, there are also sections for each of the four seasons.  Your weather vocabulary will keep expanding with this fun, must have thesaurus.  More writing tips and word games can be found in the internet quicklinks. *Children's Encyclopedia Ages 8+ $15.99 This book is a must have in any home.  The illustrations are incredible as you explore the different types of weather and absorb all of the information.  There are actually quite a few pages that cover weather in this book, but we use it for pretty much every topic we cover. First Encyclopedia of Science 8+ $9.99 or $17.99 library binding This is a great beginner science book {and definitely good for younger than 8}.  It goes beyond simply introducing topics, but also gives them ideas and activities they can do {for example, how to make your own rainbow}.  Of course it also features the beautiful illustrations that keep kids engaged, but you also get the internet links as well.  There are only a few pages on weather and the seasons, but a lot of information on those pages. Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary Ages 8+ $12.99 or $20.99 library binding While I wouldn't buy this book JUST for the weather section because it's only a half a page long, we have this book and it's a great resource when the kids want to look at just a little bit of info on whatever page they decide to stop on.  With fun pictures that get them thinking and asking questions, we love this dictionary as a starting point.  Check out the internet links as well. Living World Encyclopedia Ages 8+ $14.99 This encyclopedia has gotten a lot of use in the few weeks we have had it.  With a few pages touching on the seasonal weather changes and how it affects living things, both plants and animals, there is still a lot of information packed into this book.  Since it covers all living things, it's a great additional to our library.  Also - internet links. My First Reference Book About Our World Ages 8+ $9.99 While this book says ages 8+, I would definitely say it's a great book for younger ages.  {Especially considering we love it and my oldest is 5}.  I love how the information is laid out in the first reference books, where there are pictures with descriptions about the different types of weather.  What makes it rain is a fun, visual explanation of what is going on.  The back of the book has simple quiz questions to see what your kids remember as you read through the book.  The glossary in the back has simple explanations to help kids better understand the words.  This book is also internet linked for more on topic learning. I *think* this is a complete list of Usborne Books on weather.  If I discover that I'm missing any, I'll come back to add them.  You can purchase any of these books through the links on the titles. Simply choose anytime orders at checkout.  As always - let me know if you would like to see additional pictures of any of the books.   If you want to get them for free - host a party with me!  It's fun, easy and you get some great books while introducing your friends and family to Usborne.  Use the contact me page to set up your party.  I'd love for you to follow my Usborne journey on Facebook.      

$25 Usborne Books Giveaway

Relevance: 39%      Posted on: December 5, 2016

Thank you for stopping by the Home for the Holidays giveaway hop hosted by The Anti-June Cleaver and Our Piece of Earth. We have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you a lot of fantastic of prizes to kick off the holiday season. After you have entered my giveaway, be sure to visit the linky below for more great prizes.   MY GIVEAWAY One reader will win $25 Usborne Books & More gift code.  Current consultants not eligible.  Giveaway open to US residents only.  Ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 19, 2016.  Good luck! Entry-Form DISCLOSURE: The Anti-June Cleaver, Our Piece of Earth, and the rest of the bloggers participating in the Home for the Holidays giveaway hop are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

6 Non-Toy Gifts for 2 Year Olds

Relevance: 39%      Posted on: September 12, 2014

6 Non Toy Gift Ideas for Two Year Olds

Let's face it, our children don't need every single toy out there, but people love to give fun gifts to kids.

When toddlers meet technology {Tuesday’s Toddler Tales linkup}

Relevance: 39%      Posted on: May 28, 2013

It seems that technology is everywhere, even in places you may not think of it.  We go to a baby class once a week.  Mostly, we do it just to change things up, and so I can hang out with some other wonderful mommies who have become good friends of mine.  A few weeks ago, our topic was technology.  I think it's no secret that TV isn't recommended, especially in large amounts, but it doesn't stop there.  We do not have our TV on during the day, except at nap time.  We ended up with another TV which is now in our bedroom and almost never turned on.  Once in awhile, Maggie wakes up and will turn it on and watch Curious George, but she doesn't really watch it.  She will for a minute or two, and then forgets about it. But what about the computer, or smartphone?  How much is too much for a toddler?  It's not like she can really operate the computer, but she knows how to use YouTube, on both the computer and the phone.  Do you know how easy it is for them to click onto something else that they should not be watching and listening to?  Way to easy!!! Maggie loves the computer so much.  It's nice that I have a few things that she is allowed to do on here, like watch CopyKids DVD which only encourages her to choose healthy snacks instead of junk.  She doesn't get to watch it all the time, but when she thinks about it, I usually let her.  The other thing we do a lot of together on the computer is read her BookLingual books.  They are written in Spanish and English and are fun for us to read together. We also YouTube books on CD sometimes.  Mostly we do that because one of my favorite children's books is not available for purchase for less than somewhere around $50 and we are not paying that!   It's Fire Truck and it's very catchy and really super awesome!  I try really hard to not be playing around on my phone when the kids are awake, but I am guilty.  When Maggie pipes up and says, are you on Facebook mommy - I feel very guilty and know that I am not focusing on what I should be.  Thanks baby girl for making me remember. A statement I heard in our class that really puts things in perspective for me is - turning on the TV or computer, whatever it may be - is allowing the media into your house.  Whatever is on the TV is now invited into your home.  Does that show have the values you want to teach in your house? Each week we are linking up for Tuesday's Toddler Tales. This weeks topic is Toddlers and Technology. Next week is Favorite Sassy Moments. How is technology viewed in your house?  

The Best Green Living Books for Young Kids

Relevance: 39%      Posted on: July 9, 2016

30 of the best green living books for young kids.

We read A LOT in our house, and I love sharing books we love each week.  I'm not even joking when I say we read close to twenty books a day.  I'm so glad the kids share my love for reading.  We read, read, read a lot and I love that I can steer what we read about.  One topic that I think is so important for the kids to learn about is green living.  Today I am excited to share some great books about green living with you.  Affiliate links are included in this post.  Our family gets a small portion of all sales through these links and we really appreciate it when you shop through them. Just a Gum Wrapper by Mercer Mayer It’s Earth Day – Hooray!  by Stuart J. Murphy It's Earth Day! (Little Critter) by Mercer Mayer Earth Day Every Day by Lisa Bullard Don't Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book about Recycling and Reusing (Little Green Books) by Lara Bergen Compost Stew:  An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals What Does It Mean to Be Green  by Rana DiOri What Does It Mean to Be Green by Artie Knapp All The Way to The Ocean by Joel Harper This is Our World by Emily Sollinger Easy to be Green by Ellie O'Ryan Why Should I Recycle by Jen Green What's It Like Living Green? by Jill Ammon Vanderwood The Earth Book by Todd Parr One Well by Rochelle Strauss 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh Bag in the Wind by Ted Kooser The Curious Garden by Peter Brown Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins The Green Mother Goose by David Davis I Can Save the Earth by Alison Inches The Three R's by Nuria Roca Where Does the Garbage Go? by Paul Showers Green Thumbs by Laurie Carlson The Little Composter by Jan Girardi Recycling Day by Edward Miller The Little Recycler by Jan Gerardi 365 Ways to Live Green by Sheri Amsel   Which books will you check out first to get your kids excited about the easy ways to live green?   This post is part of a weekly series on green living that I co-host.  Check out these other green bloggers for more ways to live a greener life. An InLinkz Link-up If you would like to share the linky, get the code here: get the InLinkz code

Nature Scavenger Hunt + More Nature Activities

Relevance: 37%      Posted on: May 3, 2017

We found this badger skull on a nature walk.

It's spring you guys!!!!  That means we get to spend all day outside without the bugs, it's wonderful.  In all seriousness, we've had so much fun because the weather has been {mostly} pretty nice.  The kids have learned to ride their bikes on two wheels and spent many days riding from the second they got up until they went to bed.  The newness of it is wearing off though and they are ready for more fun.  That's where the nature scavenger hunt comes into play.  My favorite part of where we live is that we are practically on a wildlife refuge, how awesome is that?!  There are so many experiences almost in our backyard {plus tons of things they love to do that are actually in our backyard}. There are so many more things I could add to the nature scavenger hunt but I don't want to be walking forever.  The things I did include give them room to explore and decide for themselves what works for each item on the list.  My favorite thing we've found on our walks through the wildlife refuge has been a badger skull.     We love to take our learning time outdoors.  With three young creative minds to help shape, we make the most of our time outside with some nature art ideas.  We love making homemade bird feeders to invite the birds into our space.   Click the links below to be taken to the pins for these activities. Make paintbrushes from nature finds   Make Mud Paint   Pound out the color   Leaf Rubbings   Paint shadows and watch them change   Find shades of green   Make names or pictures out of things you find in nature   Make a nature inspired sensory bin I'll also add in that creating a nature journal is so much fun and a great way for the KIDS to record what they are learning about.   Nature and plants books   *Affiliate links may be included.* I confess, one of my favorite things to do outside is read.  Turns out that I'm raising a little lady who feels the same way.  While she will ride her bike, climb a tree, build a fort and do just about anything else outside, she also loves to read.  Almost every day she'll ask to take some books outside with her to read.  {I'm working on building a comfortable reading area for her outside}.  What better to read outside when you are playing in nature than books about nature and plants.  While I'd love to link to each individual book, it would end up being very lengthy.  These two graphics cover most of them.     Nature is one of our favorite ways to learn and we are having so much fun while it happens.  What are your favorite nature activities?    

Homeschool Complete : A Unit Study Curriculum Review

Relevance: 37%      Posted on: March 8, 2019

I remember when I first decided to homeschool. It occurred to me that I was already doing unit studies with them as toddlers and preschoolers because it was fun. It seemed to really bring it all together as we learned about a certain topic. Now, if we start learning about something, I always add in a few things that go along with it to make it really sink in that the topic is about more than just a book - it's relevant to our world. With Homeschool Complete, you will get a curriculum that covers Language Arts Mathematics Social Studies Science Fine Arts Physical Development and Fitness Character Development and Bible all while encompassing a topic or unit. Units take one to three weeks to complete. Each unit is laid out with easy to follow instructions for each lesson including materials, literature, and any included worksheets. There is also a daily calendar routine with different skills to work on as well as time to say the Pledge of Allegiance, the Pledge to the Christian Flag and the Pledge to the Bible. A daily journal prompt is also included in each lesson. The lesson plan is laid out in the beginning with a list of materials needed for every lesson in the unit, literature included and extra reading materials you can add in. At the beginning of the unit, there is a sheet with the unit literature that includes all of the books for this unit. It is further broken down into individual lessons. Each lesson is clearly laid out with a section for skills, materials, calendar, language arts / social studies, math, art, etc.. If you follow this step by step, you will cover the entire day's lesson with no hassle. While there is not much prep work for this, I do suggest taking a little time to print and cut out the letter sounds, etc. that are included with that unit prior to beginning the unit. I want to share with you how I lay out the entire unit plan to make it really simple for me to pick up and get started each day. Prior to starting the unit, after printing and cutting everything and picking up our books from the library, I went through the unit lesson by lesson. I put all the materials for each lesson under that lesson page and then the books for that day's lesson at the back of each lesson. When it was time to get started, I simply grabbed from the top down to the book{s} and sat down for some fun learning time with the kids. We have been working on the Northeast States unit for 2-3 grade but we also received the digital copies of Johnny Appleseed and Colonies. The lessons we received all include a paragraph or two about that day's lesson that your child can read aloud. After reading, there are some reading comprehension questions. I love that it encourages {and is written in each lesson to do so} your child to answer the question in a full sentence instead of a one or two-word answer. Use the code CREW2019 and can get 10% off their orders until 3/31/2019. Now - if you read my site, you know how much I love books and how we are a very book happy family, so I love that there are plenty of quality stories to go along with the unit. The one thing I did run into was that I was not able to get about five of the eighteen books on the list. I did substitute for some books we had around the house or could get from the library. Can we talk about the books a little more though - I absolutely love the books included on the list. There are some that immediately went into my Amazon cart for purchase because I know we will read them again and again. The printables for each unit has directions for the game or activity clearly labeled on the page. When it comes to language arts - I seldom find something that we enjoy. Something that is simple enough yet continuously introduces new concepts. I really like that about the language arts in the Homeschool Complete unit studies. One day we are introducing pronouns, the next lesson may be about root words, etc.. Another thing I really want to mention about the Northeast States unit study is that as you learn about each state, you also learn things like the capital, the state bird or flower, abbreviation, etc.. As it tells you the capital, it gives kids a visual on how to remember the capital for that state and paints a picture for your children that they can then draw to help them remember it. They are funny, silly visuals that are sure to make you giggle together as you work on it. If you are a homeschool mom who likes to keep things digital - at the end of every unit you will see a page that says student workbook pages. Instead of printing all of the pages, you can print those for your student or just print them that way to keep them all together in a binder for your child. Overall, we are enjoying the unit studies that we received. While my darling daughter may grumble when it's time to do her work, as soon as I pull out the stories for the day, she is all smiles. The books really encourage you to think about the time in which they were written and what life must be like in that state. You can read about some more of the unit studies and what different families think of them by clicking the image below.

Happy 4th Birthday to my Favorite Princess

Relevance: 37%      Posted on: October 15, 2014

My gorgeous, sweet, smart, sassy and very talkative little girl just turned 4 last week.  I cannot believe she is 4!  She had a fun birthday, and was making me laugh all day.  She kept wondering why her friends were not at her house for the party.  The fact that we already had her party wasn't clicking for her.  We stopped at a friends house to play and she had lots of fun there.  We also went to Dairy Queen and she got to pick out her favorite cake.  We probably would have made one, but since they had spent a lot of time sick lately, we figured that wasn't the best idea already. Happy birthday my sweet princess Maggie.  I love you so much!  From your world of make believe to your unending need to learn something new, you amaze me every single day!  I get so excited at your love for books and learning.  It reminds me so much of myself and I love to see that part of me in you.  You have such a kind, generous heart and really think about other people a lot.  You will be the first person to call me out when I am saying the wrong thing to you or Charlie and, while it may make me crazy, I am so proud that you know when I need help to do the right thing.  It means you know what the right thing is too. You have the sweetest heart and I am so excited for this next year of adventures with you.   I love you.

Hooray, Hooray, Today is Pi Day

Relevance: 35%      Posted on: March 13, 2016

  Are you celebrating Pi Day?  Get your kids on board with this fun activity book from Usborne Books.   How are you celebrating Pi Day?

7 Awesome Ideas for Baby's First Easter Basket

Relevance: 34%      Posted on: March 21, 2015

What to put in baby's Easter basket

Babies don't eat candy, so what do you put in their Easter basket? Check out these fun ideas to make baby's first Easter even more exciting.

I’m teaching my 2 year old to read

Relevance: 34%      Posted on: July 25, 2013

Since having kids, John and I have had many discussions about education.  He has always struggled with reading and it made school very difficult for him.  I've always loved to read and do it every chance I get.  As a new mom, finding time to read wasn't easy, but Maggie still saw me many times reading my book.  That love for reading has grown in her and she will ask me to play books with her many times throughout the day.  She is 2 1/2 and now "reads" her books to me as she either remembers or imagines them.  I find such great joy in her stories, and know that I will get years of listening to her read. When I had a chance to review Children Learning Reading, I knew I had to check it out. Children Learning reading is a simple, effective program based on synthetic phonics and phonemic awareness that teaches children to read in a logical and sequential order.  Rather than teaching children words by sight, they are actually learning what the letter sounds are and how to form words with them.  This program isn't just designed for children, but can be used by adults as well.  Even children as young as 2 years old can learn to read using Children Learning Reading.   I started off by reading through {most} of the information.  I will admit, I did skim some of it, but actually read most of it.  Then, during nap one day, I made up some flash cards for the first few letters and the words to go along with it.   Finding the right time{s} of day to work on our reading lessons is important.  We have found that right after she wakes up from nap works best for us.    We have tried working on it during other parts of the day, but it seems the time that is most effective for us is right after nap.  She still wants to snuggle, so she focuses on whatever we are doing.   10-15 minutes a day isn't much at all.  Especially broken down into smaller blocks a few times a day.  We work at each lesson for as long as she wants, and some days, that is well over the 15 minutes a day.  Since we read about a gazillion books a day, I have been working on drawing out words with the sounds that we are working on.  Sometimes she will copy me, and other times, she tells me to just read the words already.  Ha.  Funny girl. Children Learning Reading was started by Jim and Elena, parents to 3 good readers.  They had originally started teaching their oldest with another reading program, but quickly discovered that it was not teaching their kids to read, and so began looking for a better solution.  They valued education and having quality reading skills was very important to them.  Through extensive research, testing, and trial and error using their own children, they were able to develop a reading program that showed clear results.  Now, they want to share that program with you!   I love that not only is Maggie learning the letter sound, but she is also learning letter recognition.  She is starting to look at words written here or there around the house or in books, on signs, anywhere, and every now and then, she can recognize A or B.  It has allowed us to get some extra one on one time and it generally involves a lot of snuggles.  I love being able to encourage her when she recognizes a letter and makes the right sound. I think I get as excited when she succeeds as she does sometimes. Making learning fun is important to us.  Maggie likes to carry her flash cards around and practice on her own, or climb up on daddy's lap to practice some more.  Thanks to Children Learning Reading, I get to see my daughter already succeed at something I really enjoy - reading!  I can't wait to get to the section of this system where we get to read nursery rhymes or other books that go along with it.  Maggie and I are both enjoying our time spent together as she, being the little peanut that she is, learns to read all by herself!  In no time at all, Charlie and I will be working on it as well.   Children Learning Reading is going to give one of you lucky readers a chance to win this material to help your child learn to read too. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Passport to China + Review

Relevance: 34%      Posted on: July 26, 2017

Add culture to your day with this culture bundle which includes Eat Your Way Through the USA, Eat Your Way Across the World and Geography Through Art

While I'm not able to travel the world with the kids right now, we can travel the world in other ways. Join us as we explore China in new and exciting ways.

M is for Me in this #Free4Fall #Giveaway

Relevance: 33%      Posted on: September 23, 2014

M is for Me

Welcome to the It's a Free for Fall Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. The days are getting a bit cooler and Fall is just around the corner! We're celebrating the upcoming season with a fun giveaway hop. Each blogger in the hop has a prize for you worth at least $25, so don't forget to hop around to them all in the linky at the bottom of this post. I See Me!  Personalized Books happens to be one of my favorite companies and I am so excited to bring you another chance to win!  This time, one lucky Our Piece of Earth reader will win the M is for Me personalized book.  I don't have this book yet, but know that, like our other I See Me!  books, we would love it!  You can check out my latest review of Charlie's 2nd Birthday Book here. Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 8, 2014.  Open to US only.  Good luck!   Entry-Form So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Free for Fall participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.