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Books We Love: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Relevance: 66%      Posted on: September 20, 2014

Books We Love:  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

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.

Books We Love: Bear Grylls Adventures: The Jungle Challenge

Relevance: 65%      Posted on: January 4, 2018

Books We Love:  Bear Grylls Adventures:  The Jungle Challenge

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.

Passport to China: Best Children’s Books

Relevance: 65%      Posted on: July 26, 2017

Passport to China:  Best Children's Books

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: Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare

Relevance: 64%      Posted on: April 23, 2016

Books We Love:  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: Learn About Trees

Relevance: 64%      Posted on: October 27, 2020

Books We Love:  Learn About Trees

Learn About Trees is the perfect book for any nature loving family to explore together. With so many facts, information and pictures along with activities and experiments, your kids won't want to put it down.

Books We Love: Ted and Friends

Relevance: 63%      Posted on: April 29, 2017

Books We Love:  Ted and Friends

*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

Books We Love:  Cuddle Bear

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

Books We Love:  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

Books We Love:  Not Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus

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: 60%      Posted on: October 26, 2014

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

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: 60%      Posted on: April 17, 2013

Mommy Confessions {Tuesday's Toddler Tales linkup}

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

Tuesdays Toddler Tales - We love to read!

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

Books We Love:  Snuggle Puppy!

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

Books We Love:  March Reading List

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: 56%      Posted on: October 25, 2019

Books We Love:  Jem Strikes Gold

*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: 56%      Posted on: February 24, 2019

Books We Love:  When God Made You

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

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

*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: 53%      Posted on: February 9, 2017

Using Sticker Books to Supplement Homeschool

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: 51%      Posted on: October 11, 2015

6 Ways to Make Reading Fun for Small Children

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

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Book Review

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

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

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

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

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*

Books We Love: Cars Look and Find

Relevance: 50%      Posted on: September 20, 2019

Books We Love:  Cars Look and Find

*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.

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

Relevance: 50%      Posted on: February 17, 2013

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

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.*

Join my Mystery Hostess Party

Relevance: 49%      Posted on: March 20, 2016

Join my Mystery Hostess Party

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!

Top 6 Usborne Books for Babies

Relevance: 49%      Posted on: September 12, 2016

Top 6 Usborne Books for Babies

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

$25 Usborne Books Giveaway

Relevance: 48%      Posted on: September 4, 2016

$25 Usborne Books Giveaway

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

Early Math Books for Babies and Toddlers

Relevance: 48%      Posted on: July 18, 2016

Early Math Books for Babies and Toddlers

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

Making Homeschool Fun with National Geographic + Giveaway

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

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

*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

Learning to Read with the Usborne Very First Reading Library

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

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

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

Quiet Time Activities with Smithsonian Readers

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: 45%      Posted on: August 8, 2016

Back to School Giveaway - 2 Winners!

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: 45%      Posted on: March 28, 2013

Making Spanish learning fun with Booklingual + {Giveaway}

*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: 45%      Posted on: March 28, 2013

Making Spanish learning fun with Booklingual + {Giveaway}

*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

Books We Read in 2019 - January

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.

If You Were Me and Lived In…{Review}

Relevance: 45%      Posted on: March 12, 2020

If You Were Me and Lived In...{Review}

Take your kids on an adventure to explore different countries with the turn of the page. The introduction to different countries and their cultures will leave your children wanting to know more!

Books We Love: The Last Tree

Relevance: 45%      Posted on: March 13, 2021

Books We Love:  The Last Tree

The Last Tree is a great visual for kids of how our actions alter the world around us and how one person can make a big difference.

Books We Love: Usborne Children’s Picture Atlas

Relevance: 45%      Posted on: June 11, 2016

Books We Love:  Usborne Children's 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

Books, Books, Books

Relevance: 45%      Posted on: April 6, 2021

Books, Books, Books

I'm so excited to share these books with you! We are loving these all and so many are great additions to our homeschool life and some are just plain amazing stories! Check out the video to learn more --->

Memorial Day Book Pack

Relevance: 44%      Posted on: May 24, 2021

Memorial Day Book Pack

Check out these incredible stories to help your children learn what a Veteran is, what Memorial Day means and so much more.

Valentine’s Book Giveaway + Free Printable

Relevance: 43%      Posted on: February 2, 2019

Valentine's Book Giveaway + Free Printable

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

Toddler Activities to Encourage Literacy

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?    

$25 Usborne Books Giveaway

Relevance: 43%      Posted on: October 3, 2016

$25 Usborne Books Giveaway

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

Design a Creative Art Space Kids Will Love

Relevance: 42%      Posted on: January 6, 2019

Design a Creative Art Space 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.

Relevance: 41%      Posted on: September 21, 2021

We love National Geographic Books - we read a lot of them.  I'm excited to share these six books from Nat Geo Kids so watch the video to check them out.  The links to see more are below.   National Geographic Kids books are sure to have your kids digging in to learn more every time they pick up a book. Watch this video to read about some new releases. Follow the links below to see more or purchase any of these. Almanac 2022 5000 Awesome Facts About Everything 3 101 Life Hacks Smart Squad Zeus the Mighty Explorer Academy The Tiger's Nest   See the full of collection of books we love that we have shared.