Thursday, August 30, 2012

Milk Unleashed: On the Go Activities and Giveaway

It's time for back to school, which means it is time to start packing those lunches.  Usually, I pack water or a juice box, but I never thought about packing milk.  I'm interested in trying Milk Unleashed- handy single-serving shelf safe milk and excited to be able to giveaway a gift pack to one of my readers.
Having an on-the-go lifestyle can be challenging to say the least and Milk Unleashed is here to help! You can take it anywhere at anytime! Milk Unleashed goes wherever your family goes, whether it’s a lunchbox, a cooler, purse or a diaper bag! With handy single-serving shelf safe milk there’s no need to ever run out!




Would you like to try Milk Unleashed shelf safe milk? 
Now is your chance!  Just enter my giveaway below!

GIVEAWAY:
One Milk Unleashed variety pack: 4 shelf safe milks (white and chocolate)
One cow stress ball and information about shelf safe milk

To enter:
Explore the app above and comment-share which tip or activity you like best.
Be sure to leave a contact email or website.
Contest ends-9/7/12

Jen

Disclaimer: No compensation was given for the above blog post.  I will be given on variety pack to try and one gift pack to give away to one of my readers.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sibling Snuggles


Isn't it pure bliss when they are all actually getting along?  Love this moment that I caught on film- sibling snuggles.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!
Jen

For more W.W., be sure to visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sensory Fun with Coffee

What do you do when you spill a container of coffee on the floor?  Just turn it into a sensory experience for your toddler!

 Benefits
1.  You won't feel guilty that you just wasted 1/2 a container of coffee.
2.  The kitchen will spell delightful.
3.  Your child will be thrilled to explore a new material. 




I tried to get him to pretend that it was dirt for his trucks, but he kepts saying.. "No, Mom. It's coffee!"  Too funny.

Jen

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Foot Book and Activity

After reading The Foot Book by Dr. Suess, Little Man and I had fun exploring all kinds of feet!!



I found these wonderful animal feet cards at kidz club (love this site) and made this file folder activity.  You can also go to the site and print them in black and white for coloring.


I decided not to cut out the animals. I pasted them on the inside of the folder.


On the back of the folder, I made a pocket for storage for the feet.  (After printing out the feet, I glued them on colorful cardstock.)

A fun activity that is easy to store and pulled out when we study animals or visit The Foot Book again.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.. I also traced Little Man's feet and let him decorate them!


For more fun with FEET...

1. Feet crafts.. make a chick, butterfly, or bumble bee!
2. Ff is for fish, fingers, and feet!
3. It's Jello Time... walk in Jello??
4. The Foot Book Printables and Teaching Ideas-
    www.apples4theteacher.com.


“In the house,
and on the street,
how many, many
feet you meet.”
Dr. Suess

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In Memory of Baby Ryan.. Ice Cream for Dinner

A few months ago, my family came across the story of little boy whose life would be ending soon.  One of his parents last wishes was for families to just enjoy their children.  They wanted to have an ice cream party for their son and for us all to participate.  We decided to do this on the first day of school to celebrate and to honor this little boy's life.  His name is Ryan and he was born with both Down Syndrome and a congential heart defect.  He went to be with the Lord this past July. Our hearts are with his parents and we lift them up as we celebrate his life and the life of our own children. 


 To learn more.. read  
Ryan's Banana Split Party and or watch the video below.









We talked about celebrating life, about baby Ryan in heaven playing with angels, and we prayed for his family.  The smiles above are for you.. Ryan. We never met you, but we love you still.


Jen

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of School!


Mixed emotions.. about this new adventure!  Happy and excited, but a few tears, too!  Prayers for my girls for a wonderful day, new friendships, and new experiences. 

When does your little one start school?  Are you homeschooling or sending them to school this year?

Jen

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Yogi Bear Jellystone Park 2012

Such a great trip...tenting, cooking over the fire, hay rides, swimming,water slides, tubing, dancing, fire-truck rides and of course visiting the bears... Cindy Bear, Boo Bear, and Yogi Bear!

Little man and Daddy at our campsite!


 Mmmm... ice cream for Mommy and her little man!

Do you like to camp with your family? 
Great for exploring nature and creating fun memories.

Enjoy your weekend!
Jen



Friday, August 17, 2012

Fun Science for Kids

Getting kids interested in science is something a lot of parents want to do. And the earlier we start, the better the results. This is because early on, kids get the impression that science is a subject that is fun and engaging. Aside from this, if they understand the easier basic science concepts, then it will be easier for them to grasp the more complex concepts later on.


So how exactly do parents go about to create an environment of fun science for kids? There are numerous books out there that can help. One of these books is “The Amazing Science Discovery Series”. This series specifically targets kids in the elementary grade levels and covers grade 1 to 5 science lesson. It’s a set of 5 ebooks designed to help parents re-discover the fun in science together with their kids.


Here are some tips adapted from this book to help you plant the seed of love for science in your little ones.

 

Fuel their curiosity.

If your child asks you a question the answer to which you aren’t sure of, don’t invent an answer or end it by saying you don’t know. The best way to approach this tricky situation is to find the answer together with your child. Research together. Maybe do an experiment together to check the outcome. That’s the scientific method in action.

Children learn a lot by doing. And if they see that you are enthusiastic about finding the answers and if you both are successful in finding it, it will show him that science is fun and that it is something comprehensible.

Encourage your child to ask questions and take time to help him find the answers. This will keep him interested and involved in science.


Allow your child to explore.

As parents, we can be naturally over protective of our kids. But in the interest of science, we need to give them the opportunity to get down and dirty and explore the natural environment. Go on a trip to the beach, or a fishing expedition. Go camping with them once in a while or help them plant an herb garden. All of these activities provide them with the opportunity to interact with the natural world, which is something they will learn about in their life science classes.

Letting them go out and explore will allow them to observe first hand the effects of weathering on various rock formations, the water cycle, and food chain and so much more. It will also make them aware of the need to conserve our resources and to be conscious of some of our actions that can harm the environment.


Throw a science party for your kids and their friends. 

This is not as geeky as it sounds. Science parties are a great way to make science fun and cool for your child and his peers. You may not realize it, but something like a magic show can become a fun science activity for your child if the magician is also a good teacher and talks about how concepts learned in the physical sciences are used to make some magic tricks possible.

Another idea is a kite making and flying party. Through this party, your host can talk about how kites are able to fly and how the weather can affect how high you can fly your kite or how specific kite designs are better compared to others.

For more ideas like these, be sure to check out “The Amazing Science Discovery Series”, exclusively available at: www.amazingsciencediscovery.com


Disclaimer:  This is a guest post by Gabrielle Hunter for "The Amazing Science Discovery Series".  I did not receive compensation to post this article, although I am an affiliate and will earn compensation through the sales of this series.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hey, Yogi Bear!

We'll be away for a few days having fun with.....

Yogi Bear, Boo Boo and Cindy Bear.  Camping trip 2012.. here we come!

Enjoy these last days of Summer with your kiddos!
Jen

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chameleon Themed Books and Activities

My children have always been fascinated with chameleons! When peanut was just 2, she would ask the librarian for the same Chameleon book weekly- Chameleon, Chameleon by Joy Cowley.  She adored the photos in this non-fiction book and would "read" along with her favorite parts.



Little man has been fascinated by the chameleon characters in his fiction books: The Mixed up Chameleon by Eric Carle, A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, and Chameleon's Colors by Chisato Tashiro . 








Chameleon isn't happy with being a chameleon and wishes to be like other animals, even humans.  We enjoy seeing him get mixed up as he wishes to be a flamingo, a deer, and more.  At the end of the story it teaches a great lesson about being happy with just being you! 

Activities
1. Act out the story with...
The Mixed Up Chameleon Story Patterns from Kiz Club

2. Paint a chameleon
Art Project by in His grace

  ****************************************************

"Parrots are green, elephants are gray, pigs are pink." But chameleons change color wherever they go. "On lemons they are yellow. In the heather they are purple." One chameleon is not pleased with his changeable appearance. He thinks, "If I remain on a leaf, I shall be green forever, and so I too will have a color of my own."

Read to find out what this chameleon discovers! Another sweet story about accepting who you are. Great for teaching colors and camouflage science concepts.

Activities

1. Explore camouflage with this cool activity!
Colorful chameleons activity by Helping Little Hands

2.  Play a game.
Camouflage Chameleon Game by Bright Hub Education


3.  Toddler Activity
After cutting out a variety of different colored chameleons, have your child match colorful pom poms to the different chameleons.  For fine motor fun, provide plastic chop sticks. (If creating the above game, the chameleons can be reused for this activity.)

 *****************************************************


What a fun story written by the Japanese author, Chisato Tashero. We love the colorful illustrations of the different animals yearning to be different colors and patterns.  What happens when all of the animals turn different colors?  Read to find out how the problem in this story is solved! Great story to be combined with the above stories of self acceptance and differences. 

Activities
 
1.  Make a Chameleon Puppet
-just add a popsicle stick to make it into a puppet

2.  Explore Culture
Teach your child about Japan. Read a book or explore online.  Next, share on a  map Japan's location in relation to our country.  Share simple phrases in Japanese.

 *****************************************************

More chameleon themed printables/activities-

ABC matching chameleon cards from The Virtual Vine
Chameleon Party Blowers from Disney Family

Books we'd like to explore...


So much fun.. looking forward to doing lots of chameleon activities with my kiddos... hope you'll join in on the fun!  Leave a link in the comments if you have a post or a fun idea!!

Enjoy your day!
Jen


Astrobright Back to School Crafts

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know about you, but we go through a lot of paper in this house!  Computer paper, construction paper, cardstock, you name it.  So when I was asked to share about Astrobrights paper, I thought who better to share then someone who uses paper daily for craft projects, creativing thinking, and to make activities for my kids!

Astrobrights Paper come in 23 different colors. Bright and colorful, these papers are great for your next project, whether it be a flyer, brochure, invitation, or craft project.  How about a back to school craft?  Maybe your child can make something for their new teacher!  Other ideas.. make a summertime scrapbook, PTA flyers, attention-getting book reports, afterschool chore chart.  What ideas do you have to get organized and ready for back to school?  Well, if your family would like to get their creative juices flowing, be sure to check out  Astrobrights on Facebook where you can find fun design challenges.  Enter the "Make Something Astrobright" and win fun prizes for your family.  You'll also find a lot of creative ideas/pictures on their facebook page. 

Astrobrights also is running a wonderful sweepstakes that can benefit your child's school.  Enter the Astrobrights "Give a Bighter Year" sweepstakes to win $30,000 in supplies for your favorite school and a $500 gift card for your family.  Be sure to enter here "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes by Liking Astrobrights on Facebook.

Astrobrights paper is about being creative and getting noticed. They provide a bold color canvas because they think ideas are important, thoughts aren't shy and they're not afraid to stand out from the crowd!  What will you make with Astrobrights paper?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to School with Famous Footwear

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

With my girls going back to school this year, it calls for some major school shopping. No more homeschooling in their jammies! Time for uniforms, backpacks, and of course NEW SHOES!  Luckily, Famous Footwear can help make our back to school shopping easier by offering 15% off in addition to a Buy One, Get One Half Off Special. (20% for Rewards Program Members)

FF-BiggestVictory-GIF_300x250(1).jpg

Print your BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon today to start saving. Be sure to redeem it before 8/18.

Why shop Famous Footwear?  Famous Footwear offers a variety of styles at a great price. They have 100's of brand names shoes from Nike to Sketchers and thousands of styles.  Besides shopping in store, you can shop online at www.famous.com and have your shoes shipped to your favorite store at no charge. Famous Footwear wants to make your shopping experience easy with stores that aren't overwhelming and by respecting your time. Being a busy Momma, I appreciate that, especially if I'm shopping with all three of my kiddos.

Famous Footwear also offers their customers a free Rewards Program.  When you join, you will receive the following benefits:

  • Earn 1 point for every dollar spent online or in store
  • Accumulate points to earn certificates up to $100 a year
  • Discount offer just for signing up
  • Other special inside discounts and perks

And best of all, you can easily sign up for the rewards program right online. 

Okay..Time to pack up the kids and go shoe shopping at Famous Footwear. And whatever you do, don't forget to take your coupon! 

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Kissing Hand



Do you have a little one going off to school for the first time.. either Preschool or Kindergarten?  If so, you'll have to share this lovely and sweet story.. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It was very helpful for peanut in her early years.. she would often need a "kissing hand" before leaving Momma.







After reading the story, kiss your child on the hand and talk about how much you love them.  Next, create Chester Racoon together.

Printables from Make Learning Fun:

Isn't he super cute?


If you'd like more ideas, be sure to visit Busy Teacher's Cafe!  So many ideas, activities, links and printables!!

the Purl bee
                                                                                              
And wouldn't these little hearts be adorable to send off to school with your little one.. maybe to put in a lunch box or backpack.  The little pocket would be cute for a note or treat!









11 more days... my kids have started their back to school countdown!  Off to 3rd and 5th grade.  Where did my preschoolers go?  Yikes! Boy are they going to miss their little brother.. he just might have to give them a kissing hand.

Jen

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Pre-teen Sleepover

Well, I survived a pre-teen sleepover!  There was a disco ball, dancing, lots of nail polish, and make-overs- Yikes! 

GOTH GIRL
GIRL or MAN? a mustache- silly girl

Okay, little man and I barely survived... take a peek..

HE DID HIS OWN MAKE-UP

AND THEN THE GIRLS GOT MOMMA!

4 PRE-teen GIRLS, ONE LITTLE GUY.. LOTS OF FUN- LITTLE SLEEP..LOTS OF GIGGLES!

Enjoy your Wednesday!
Jen

For more Wordless Wednesday, be sure to visit 5 Minutes for Mom!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Puzzle Activity

Just a quick post!  I found this cute puzzle template at Crayola.com today and thought that I would share. My kids love open ended activities, so they could create a puzzle based on a theme or just create whatever comes to mind. Great for a rainy day! 


Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 
Jen



Friday, August 3, 2012

Learning With Puppets

Puppets!  If you've been reading my blog for some time now, you would know that we love them.  My children love to paint theaters and act out shows for the neighbors.  Our library has such a great collection as well. Often, I'll catch my girls making their own puppets and writing shows. 



We have quite the collection, so they have been great for not only inspiring creativity, but for teaching new concepts or preparing the kids for new experiences. Mom (that's me!) even had the opportunity to teach Bible stories using puppets to young children this summer- so fun!

Below you will find a variety of ways that we've used puppets...

Puppets and Conflict Resolution
5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for the Dentist
Making Puppets- Ideas!
Alien Invasion
Interview with an Animal

Peanut's dragon puppet- fun activity we did while teaching
about the Chinese New Year! Goodness, she's just a little squirt in this picture.

When I was a child, I was fascinated with Marionette puppets- remember the ones with the strings that you would control from the top?  Wouldn't this be a fun craft to do with our older children?


The video below shows how we've used puppets to enrich little man when he was just a tiny little guy! Love watching videos of the kids when they were just babies... tear!

video

What are some creative ways that
you've used puppets?

Jen

The above photo of the Marionette puppet is from Family Fun.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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