Kid Lit: Animal Adventures

It doesn’t matter what type – dog, cat, fish, hermit crab (a recent addition to our home) , giraffe, elephant or dinosaur – my kidlets love to read stories about animals.  This month’s Kit Lit review features two stories about animals that take place in very different settings — one living in the urban jungle of the city and the other out in the country on a farm.

THM-KidLit-LittleElliot-BigCity-BookJacketLittle Elliot, Big City By Mike Curato (Macmillan)

Little Elliot is an adorable little polka-dotted elephant living in the wilds of New York City circa 1940.  Amid the hustle and bustle of life in the big city with big crowds and even bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a happy and quiet, but solitary life.

In spite of the daily challenges he faces for being little, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter, a new friend.

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In the Cross Hairs – SoCozy Children’s Haircare Product Review

Thank you to SoCozy for sending us these children’s haircare products for review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own, based on personal experiences with the product. #SoCozyBTS

It’s no secret that I can’t do hair. I’ve had the same bob-style haircut for over a decade because it is simple to do and I can’t mess it up. When it comes to my daughter’s “do” – it really is a hair-raising experience.

It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of pTHM-SoCozy-Daughters-Hairractice, but I have gotten better with my daughter’s hair. At least I can tame her locks enough that she doesn’t look like she’s got a rat’s nest on top of her head!

I’m also working on stepping up my very limited styling game, especially now that school has started again. All the rage in my daughter’s preschool class is to have braids like Anna and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” and she constantly begs me to do her hair that way. I always try my best, but my braids usually turn out lopsided with lots of wisps of hair that just don’t seem to make it into the braid while I’m plaiting.

But I’m not giving up!

I’ve quickly learned that a key element to styling my daughter’s hair – and for that matter my son’s – is that it all starts in the bath, with their haircare products.

We just started using SoCozy products and I have to say, I’m impressed. SoCozy is a salon level quality of hair care products that don’t contain any “nasties,”– you know harmful chemicals, toxins and parabens. Their products are made using extracts and natural ingredients such as hops, rosemary, arnica flower and aloe. They’re also gluten, wheat and nut free – which is super important to many families with sensitive skin or food allergies.Continue reading ⇒

Go Grocery Shopping & Earn Points To Get FREE Stuff For Your School With #Labels4Edu {#cbias}

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #Labels4Edu

Did you know that just by doing your weekly grocery shopping, you can be helping out your local schools?  Though I’ve seen them for years, but I never paid much attention to those education labels on the packages of products I bought. That was until my own kidlets started school and I learned about Labels for Education and realized that I was literally throwing away valuable points that could benefit my local school and community!

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Labels for Education is a great program where you can help your school earn FREE educational merchandise such as computers, software, sports equipment, musical instruments, library books and many other supplies. You can find out if your school participates by going here.  America’s schools and organizations have earned more than $114 million in merchandise over the Labels for Education program’s 40 year history. Who knew?!

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It’s A Chore!

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone.

It’s one of the most dreaded words in our home.  It’s worse than “homework,” “bedtime,” “dentist,” or even “broccoli!” What word is it? It’s C-H-O-R-E-S.

THM-SparklySavings-Responsibility-Chart-Dishwasher Cleaner-Finish

It wasn’t always this way. When my kidlets were toddlers they were always very eager and happy to help mom or dad out.  Upon completion they would beam proudly and openly brag that they were “helpful.”  As they’ve gotten older though, that enthusiasm has morphed into sulky and whiny replies whenever they are asked to do something.

But teaching kids to do chores is important. Just like their father and I, each of my kidlets need to contribute in order to help run and keep up this household.  Yeah, sure, it’s great for mom and dad to have some extra hands helping out around the house, but it’s also a valuable learning lesson for kids.  Kids doing chores teaches them about responsibility, teamwork and helps to build their self-esteem.

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Kid Lit: Comic Books For Kids

Recently my kidlets discovered the wonderful world of comic books. I think comic books are a great way for children to get interested and excited about reading as well as helping to develop and stimulate their imaginations. The illustrations, the exaggerated characters and the way panels are arranged in comic books help to pique a child’s interest.

THM-comic-book-kidsHowever, I quickly learned how important it is to be sure that my kidlets are reading age appropriate material. See if you, or your child, base reading choices  solely on the comic book cover art, you can easily be deceived and accidentally expose your children to themes they may not be ready for.

See comic books have a reputation for being “for kids,” but quite the opposite is true. Walk into a comic book store – yes they actually do still exist – and who do you see hanging out in the aisles and checking out the latest releases? It’s not kids, but rather adults.

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Bringing a Child’s Artwork to Life With Their Own Custom Made Stuffed Animal – Budsies Review

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal growing up that you carried everywhere with you? What about your kids? Do they have a favorite that they can’t seem to put down?

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Check out these stuffed animals, they’re my kidlet’s newest favs. Not only are these dolls cute, cuddly and colorful, but my kidlets actually designed them.  Yes, these two dolls were created from artwork that my kidlets made and turned into a reality through a wonderfully whimsical company called Budsies.

Budsies brings artwork to life created by children (or adults!), by creating one-of-a-kind stuffed dolls.

The Budsies process to make your own doll is super simple. Your child creates a color drawing using crayons, markers or even paint. It can be of anything your child desires…an animal, a person or even an object. Then you take a picture of it and upload from your computer or smartphone to Budsies website to order. In five weeks or less a custom-made stuffed animal inspired by your child’s drawing arrives at your home.

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Liberty Science Center – #ScienceSummerFun Giveaway

What do you do with your kids on summer days when you’re tired of going to the park, beach, library or movies? What about on rainy days? While the Hubs and I might want to go to a museum, the kidlets prefer places where they can have lots of fun and get “hands on.”

PrintThe Liberty Science Center is just the place to meld our parental & kidlet preferences. It’s a 300,000 square foot fun learning center located on the banks of the Hudson River in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park.  You should make the trip over there just to see the spectacular and unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower.

Dedicated to bringing the excitement of science to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center (LSC for short!) features 12 museum halls featuring ongoing exhibitions such as Skyscraper!, Infection Connection, Energy Quest and Communication. They also host a live animal collection with 110 species and giant aquariums where you can actually touch sea creatures. The Center also houses a 3D theater, the nation’s largest IMAX Dome theater and tornado/hurricane-force wind simulators.

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Kid Lit: Avoiding “Summer Slide” – Read A Book, Or How About Forty Of Them!

Ah, summertime!  It’s what my kidlets look forward to all year.  Two solid months of fun, excitement and no stress.  Days filled with playing, hanging out with friends, swimming, making crafts and eating lots of ice cream.   Hearing about my kidlet’s daily adventures makes me wish I could be a kid again – having a pretty-much carefree summer instead of going to work everyday.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-boy-girl-reading-books-image19977713However, as many of you moms out there would agree, while I want my kidlets to enjoy their break, I don’t want them to suffer from “summer slide.”  That’s what happens when young minds sit idle for weeks at a time without any learning instruction.  To help avoid this, I enrolled both the kidlets in our local library’s summer reading program.

Each of my kidlets – my son is almost seven, my daughter is 4½ – got their own personalized reading log.  We keep the logs hung up on the bulletin board in our kitchen for easy access.

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Kid Lit: Another “Good Question!”

A few months back I wrote about how my kidlets ask me about a million questions a day and how I used Good Question! books to help me answer some of their more probing ones.   My kidlets devoured those books and by the time they were finished with each of the five books we had, they were all smarty pants about things like the five senses, the American Civil War, the Earth, how plants grow, how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and our solar system!   And then another round of questions began….

THM_GoodQuestion_1Thankfully a new series of Good Question! books recently showed up at our home, courtesy of Sterling Children’s Books, so once again, I’ve got answers!

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Why Children Shouldn’t Play With Matches: Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

Easter is supposed to be a day of glory, celebration, resurrection and new life.  Unfortunately, this past Easter Sunday while watching the news I heard about a tragic story about a brother and sister, both only 4 years old, who had died earlier that morning after a fire erupted at their grandfather’s home Queens, NY.  What made it even more devastating was that the fire was apparently sparked by one of the children playing around with a lighter in a basement bedroom.  This was truly a sad story, but also frustrating because it could have been prevented by teaching that child about the power and danger of fire.

THM_FirePreventionSo today’s post is a sort of fire prevention PSA, I’m not waiting until October for Fire Prevention week.  If this information can help to prevent even one fire or save one person, sharing it now is well worth it!

According to research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), each year there are more than 1.3 million fires reported in the United States. These fires cause more than 3,400 civilian deaths, 17,500 civilian injuries and cause more than $12.4 billion in property damage.

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