Category Archives: Family

Kick Family Game Night Up a Notch with RoosterFin Games

Do you hold a family game night in your house? With the way my entire family is glued to electronics, family game night is a great way to reconnect with each other and just enjoy each others company over some friendly (and intense) competition. We recently kicked our family game night up a notch with some new game additions from RoosterFin Games.

Kick Family Game Night Up a Notch with RoosterFin Games | #RoosterFinGames #familygamenight #HolidayGiftGuide

~I received samples to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Of course classic games are always a hit during our family game nights, but it’s also fun to try out some new games. The newest additions to our game collection include Bouncing Bots and Lumpy Cubes Hero Edition from RoosterFin Games.

Kick Family Game Night Up a Notch with RoosterFin Games | #RoosterFinGames #familygamenight #HolidayGiftGuide

We first tried out Bouncing Bots and while it’s a simple concept, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Each player gets two bots of the same color and taking turns, you try to bounce your bots onto number values on the scoring boards. The player with the highest score, wins.

Kick Family Game Night Up a Notch with RoosterFin Games | #RoosterFinGames #familygamenight #HolidayGiftGuide

Sounds easy, right? Not so much. I have been having a hard time perfecting the bot bounce, so my bots either bounce off the board or don’t even make it near the board at all. If this is a problem for everyone, you can flip the scoring boards over so they’re more of a bowl shape, making it easier to get the bots to stay on the board. My son on the other hand has been practicing and he’s become our resident professional at Bouncing Bots.

Kick Family Game Night Up a Notch with RoosterFin Games | #RoosterFinGames #familygamenight #HolidayGiftGuide

Kick Family Game Night Up a Notch with RoosterFin Games | #RoosterFinGames #familygamenight #HolidayGiftGuideAfter I got tired of losing at Bouncing Bots, we moved on to Lumpy Cubes Hero Edition. This game is more about testing your memory, reaction time, and motor skills.

Each player gets four lumpy cubes of the same color. Everyone has 10 seconds to memorize the stack pattern on the card and then they have to stack their lumpy cubes to match the card. Whoever does it correctly the fastest yells “Lumpy” and gets the card. The player to collect three cards first, wins.

 

Lumpy Cubes Hero Edition is my favorite of our two new games. Again, it has a simple concept, but what makes this game challenging, aside from a good memory, is that there are four different faces on the cubes. Each cube as one of the four faces on the front and a different one on the back.

There have been many times I’ve gotten three cubes stacked and when I get to the top I don’t have the face I need to finish it. I then have to find where that face is on the back of the cubes I’ve already stacked and figure out how to adjust the cubes to meet the pattern on the card. It can get pretty tricky.

Kick Family Game Night Up a Notch with RoosterFin Games | #RoosterFinGames #familygamenight #HolidayGiftGuide

What types of games does your family like to play? Both of these from RoosterFin Games are great options for the whole family. They’re both curated for ages 6+, have simple concepts, but are challenging at the same time. And another perk is that they don’t have a ton of pieces that can get lost.

Making Time's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide is in the works and this is your opportunity to gain holiday exposure. Spots will fill up fast so contact me today! #HolidayGiftGuide #HGG #giftideas

Ready for some friendly (and intense) family competition? Bouncing Bots ($21.99) and Lumpy Cubes Hero Edition ($18.99) are available for purchase on Amazon today, with Prime shipping of course!

RoosterFin Games are perfect gifts for kids and even the whole family this holiday season. Gift RoosterFin and let the competition begin!

Which RoosterFin game will your family enjoy?

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*I received samples to help facilitate this post. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.


Photo a Day: Weeks 20 & 21

Photo a Day: Weeks 20 & 21 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

Week 20

Photo a Day: Weeks 20 & 21 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week was full of cuddles, morning feet in the face, learning time, movie time, popsicles and even a new baseball cap for the baby doll.

Week 21

Photo a Day: Weeks 20 & 21 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week I had a little helper to put the groceries away, we had some great food, tried out a possible Halloween costume, started nebulizer treatments for a nasty congested chest, and more.

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15 | Weeks 16 & 17 | Weeks 18 & 19

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Photo a Day: Weeks 18 & 19

Photo a Day: Weeks 18 & 19 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

This week you’ll notice that I’ve changed up the format of my photos. Rather than doing a single photo for each day, I’m going to start doing weekly collages. You still get to see a photo from each day, but this way saves me A LOT of editing time. Consider it a new way I’m making time for other stuff. Enjoy!

Week 18

Photo a Day: Weeks 18 & 19 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week was full of school, homework, afternoon naps, book fairs, cake mix cookies, homemade crock pot macaroni and cheese, and eating whipped topping all by itself.

Week 19

Photo a Day: Weeks 18 & 19 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This week was full of new rain boots, unscheduled indoor rain (at least according to my daughter), more self inking, a fall at school which created a big head knot, my daughter putting her shoes on by herself, and a trip to the Danone Nations Cup World Finals at Red Bull Arena.

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15 | Weeks 16 & 17

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017

This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Danone Nations Cup World Final at Red Bull Arena. I cannot express how great of a program this is for kids ages 10-12 and encourage you to attend the event if you ever get the chance. It was a three day event, where kids from 32 different countries worked their butts off, and the results are finally in!

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

~I received complimentary tickets to attend the DNC 2017 to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

First off, these kids may be young, but their talent is beyond measure. I never knew kids could be so talented. I mean every single game was entertaining. The kids had hustle, heart, true skill in the game of soccer, and they really pushed themselves. There’s no doubt in my mind I was watching at least a few future professional soccer players.

And I won’t make you wait until the end of this post to find out who the winners were. Mexico took the trophy for the boys division and Brazil took the trophy for the girls division. Congrats to those teams! (Just check out some of these official photos to see how hard these kids were playing.)

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

What really blew me away was that every team, no matter what ranking they were working to place, played their hearts out. If you knew you weren’t going to come in first, would you still give it your all? These teams did! All of the kids had true dedication to their countries and teammates, and the games were very inspiring to watch throughout the day.

But the DNC World Final wasn’t just a day of soccer games. We got to spend have some fun at the Activity Village right outside the arena. Every Danone brand was present with freebies, coupons, prizes, and games.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

There were quite a few things the kids could do to enjoy the day, like a virtual reality penalty kick, the Danimals Ninja Challenge (obstacle course), photo opp with Spiderman, music, dancing, hula hoops, face painting, and there was even a dairy station to meet a real cow and also practice milking a cow (no, the kids didn’t practice on a real cow, but it looked pretty cool).

On top of that I got to attend the DNC press conference where the CEO of Danone, Emmanuel Faber, and the DNC US Ambassador, Abby Wambach, talked about what the DNC means to them and what they hope children will take from the experience.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer
These kid reports from different countries got the chance to ask some questions.

Faber reiterated that the DNC is all about courage, believing in your dream, working hard to achieve that dream, excelling, be your best self, teamwork, fairness, and more. These are all characteristics he hopes the kids who participate in the tournament learn and continue to practice in their lives.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

From Wambach, it’s easy to get inspired. She spoke about how as a kid she played in different nations, which gave her the opportunity to believe in bigger dreams and realize there’s something bigger than just her. There are different people in different countries with the same dream. Soccer is a universal language, so while we may not be able to communicate verbally, the game of soccer is no different.

This is something the kids who are participating in the DNC are starting to realize. Thirty two countries come together to play a single sport, and while they speak different languages and may not be able to communicate well, it’s completely different on the field.

One of the things that really hit home was when Wambach mentioned that “kids need to know how to fail.” My son hates losing. It’s win or lose, and he always wants to win. But failure is a part of life and gives us an opportunity to practice and come back stronger. If there’s no failure, there’s no room for improvement and I hope that my son will always find room for improvement, as should all of us, and especially our kids. Wambach didn’t always win and wasn’t always at the top, but those failures helped her to come back better than before.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Between all of the games, the activities and the press conference, it was a jammed packed day of family fun. I can only hope they’ll plan to host it in the US again in the future, so we can go back for a second time. Who knows? Maybe the next time the US hosts, my son will be playing.

Do you have a child who’d like to participate in next year’s Danone Nations Cup?

Connect with : Website | Tickets | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

*I received complimentary tickets to the DNC 2017 to help facilitate this post. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

The Little Wolf’s Book of Badness + Giveaway

As parents, we teach our kids to behave and teach them that being well mannered is the way to be. But that’s not the case for Little Wolf. His family wants him to be misbehave and be bad mannered, just as wolves are supposed to. In The Little Wolf’s Book of Badness we get to see it all take place and you have the chance to win a copy of the new DVD release from NCircle Entertainment, along with the complimenting book!

The Little Wolf's Book of Badness + Giveaway | #NCircleEntertainment #DVD #giveaway

~I received a sample to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

I do everything in my power to teach my kids good manners and what behaviors are acceptable, but when we sat down to watch The Little Wolf’s Book of Badness from NCircle Entertainment, we learned that this is the exact opposite of what Little Wolf’s family expects of him. His family is disappointed at Little Wolf brushing his teeth, going to bed early, and saying excuse me. I’d be amazed if I could get my kids to do this without being nagged and reminded over and over.

To set him straight his parents decide it’s time to ship Little Wolf off to Uncle Big Bad’s school, Cunning College, to be taught “better.” Upon arriving at Cunning College, Little Wolf learns the nine rules of badness, but does he abide by those or continue to be himself? To find out, enter below to win you’re very own copy of The Little Wolf’s Book of Badness, along with the complimenting book.

 

What behaviors and manners do you wish your kids would encompass?

Connect with In this new DVD, Autumn Journey: Guess How Much I Love You, your children will follow Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends on 6 autumn adventures. Enter now for a chance to win your very own copy! #giveawayWebsite / Facebook / Twitter


The Little Wolf's Book of Badness + Giveaway | #NCircleEntertainment #DVD #giveaway

One lucky Making Time reader will win a copy of The Little Wolf’s Book of Badness + the complimenting book! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on October 8, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

*I received samples from NCircle Entertainment as part of their Brand Ambassadorship. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir

Do you have a child who loves to help in the kitchen, but you can’t really find safe tools for him to use, or even kid-friendly dishes he can make? This is exactly how I feel about my son. He so badly wants to help me in the kitchen, but when I’m cooking there’s not much he can really help with. In the past few weeks, though, this has changed! I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to get kids cooking in the kitchen with a little help from Kidstir.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

~I received samples to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

What is Kidstir?

Kidstir is a monthly subscription box for kids that offers fun, kid-friendly recipes they can make themselves (mostly). Each month Kidstir sends three new recipes that are perfectly curated for little hands. Each recipe is hole punched to fit in the Kidstir cookbook binder, literally allowing kids the opportunity to build and create their very own book of recipes. How cool is that?!

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

And not only does Kidstir send the recipes, but in the box you’ll also find kid-safe kitchen tools. Think small ice cream scooper, plastic sandwich/spread knife, mini whisk, pot holder, etc. Each recipe comes with a kitchen utensil that needs to be used and if no utensil is included, then there’s always something extra special for that recipe, like themed stickers or straw toppers, depending on the recipe.

The 1st shipment includes:

  • A special cookbook binder to collect monthly recipes, foodie pages, games, and activities.
  • 3 step-by-step recipes covering all food groups.
  • 3 educational foodie pages.
  • 2 kid-sized cooking tools and themed activity materials.
  • A digital and printed shopping list.
  • 3 fun games and puzzles.
  • An e-newsletter packed with recipes and printables.

Kidstir in Action

There’s no surprise, my son is over the moon about having his own cookbook and being able to help out much more in the kitchen. And I’m not going to lie, I didn’t realize there were so many things I could be teaching my son about cooking and letting him do. Don’t get me wrong, there are still things I need to do, like cutting things with a knife, but since he started getting Kidstir I’ve been delegating a lot more cooking tasks to him.

A little over a week ago we went apple picking and it just so happens that one of my son’s new Kidstir recipes was Awesome Apple Crisp. It could not have been a more perfect time to give this recipe a try. So we pulled together all the ingredients, including our freshly picked apples and we got to work.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

While I still did the apple peeling and cutting, my son was able to handle the rest. I helped identify the correct measuring cups for each ingredient and from there he was able to create the crispy topping, mix it up, and put it all together. Then using the cute little doggy potholder that came in his Kidstir box to use with this recipe, he helped carefully put the dessert in the oven.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

The final result was delicious! The recipe included ingredients and directions for making our own whipped topping, but we cheated a little and bought store-ready whipped topping instead. Nonetheless, the whole family enjoyed our fresh picked apples and the Awesome Apple Crisp my son made, and we couldn’t have been more proud of his accomplishment. He was pretty excited about it too!

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Why Kidstir?

Kidstir’s mission is to educate, engage, and empower kids about good food and cooking, while spending meaningful time with their families. The kitchen is the center of many family homes, so it’s the perfect place to teach and spend time together. Kidstir helps give us parents a jump start on teaching basic cooking skills to our children and in turn, we’re spending quality time around something we love – food.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Besides, I am determined that none of my kids will leave home without being able to make themselves nice home cooked meals! I believe starting early is the best way to achieve this and with the help of Kidstir, it’s never been easier.

A Kidstir subscription starts at just $12.95 per month and you can subscribe on a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month basis. Are you ready for some kid-friendly kitchen fun?

Do your kids like to help in the kitchen?

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*Thank you to Kidstir for providing boxes for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear

Sooooo, yea. Life happened again these past 2 weeks and I didn’t post Photo a Day last week. That means you get a double dose again this week. I’m definitely not trying to make this a habit, but at this rate it might just be the norm from here on out. Anyways, hope you enjoy!

Week 16

Saturday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
When she wants a pic just because, then you take one. Messy floor and all.

Sunday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
Looks like one of the kids snagged a pic of daddy while he was playing video games.

Monday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
And we’re back at the mechanic, this time for new tires.

Tuesday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
One of our fur babies passed away in the early hours and the vet was nice enough to get us a mold of his paw.

Wednesday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
My family in SWFL are preparing for Hurricane Irma.

Thursday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
The very first day of school has finally arrived!

Friday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
Celebrating this cutie’s 2nd birthday!

Week 17

Saturday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
Spent our Saturday apple picking.

Sunday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
Cutest minion I’ve ever seen.

Monday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This kid loves putting stuff on her head.

Tuesday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
She loves when her brother gets home from school. And I feel like I live in a madhouse.

Wednesday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
Gotta get his homework done.

Thursday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
This 2 balloon has been in this same spot for a few days now, haha.

Friday

Photo a Day: Weeks 16 & 17 | #photoaday #photoadayforayear
And this basket of clean, folded laundry has been sitting in this spot since Sunday. I have no problem doing laundry, but putting it away is another story.

Did you miss a previous week? Check them out here!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Weeks 14 & 15

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

House Cleaning Habits for the Whole Family

Keeping the house clean and tidy every day can be more daunting when you have a family. Tempers are likely to flare if you don’t figure out a way to get the whole family involved in the process of cleaning.

So how do you keep the peace by getting everyone to chip and cleaning duties done as needed? To engage the family in house cleaning means mobilizing and assigning everyone cleaning duties, and ensuring that they realize that it’s a habit they have to develop and sustain until it becomes something they do without having to be reminded or cajoled.

It could mean something as simple as picking up after themselves, or more difficult like cleaning their rooms, dishes, kitchen, etc. Either way, getting the whole family involved in the cleaning process will go a long way in keeping your house tidy and clean.

House Cleaning Habits for the Whole Family | #cleaning #chores

Here are a few tips from The Home Makers Journal to ensure you develop a house cleaning habit for the whole family:

Ensure There is a Place for Everything

When you assign items around the house their place, everyone will know where to put them. Have you ever found the keys wedged between cushions of the couch, or hidden among the magazines on the rack? That happens when you don’t insist on the right place for items. For example, keeping a hook by the front door to hang the keys will make it easier to find them without ripping the whole house apart!

Teach Kids How to Pick Up After Themselves and Tidy Up

Kids especially leave dirty clothing everywhere. Ensure that there is a dirty clothes hamper in each room, and insist that you will not pick up after them and neither will you allow messy rooms. Give them an incentive to keep their rooms tidy. For example if their beds are well made, their dirty clothes in the hamper and no trash lying around, with everything in its place, then you can add, say an extra twenty minutes past their bedtime for them to continue enjoying gaming, TV or any other activity they are working on.

Create a Schedule and Distribute Cleaning Chores

Simply Maid’s Cleaning Expert, Caroline Nucifora, says “If you hear ‘I don’t have time’ one more time you are going to lash out!” Avoid this, even with yourself, by creating a schedule that the whole family has to stick to. Make sure you work around your kids and whole family’s activities, and assign a daily chore and weekend chores as well.

Distribute tasks easily, assigning the tougher chores to your partner and older kids, and simpler ones to the younger children. Ensure you enforce this habitual cleaning by having a consequence if someone fails to clean properly and on time. For example, take away computer or TV time.

Save Time with These Cleaning Habits

  • Ensure that no dirty dishes are left overnight and assign someone to do this.
  • Have everyone pick up after themselves in terms of clothes and shoes, and after meals.
  • Get everyone to help in tidying up the living room at the end of each day and clean up the kitchen.

What tips would you add?

*This is a guest post. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.


5 Tips for Reading to Children + Giveaway

We recently added another new book to our children’s home library. Surprising, right? Haha! We love reading to our kids, but to say that they love to sit and attentively listen to the different stories, would be a stretch. Getting small children to sit still and focus on the story can be difficult to say the least, but I’ve found a few tried and true tips for reading to children that will work for any family!

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

~I received an advance copy of a new children’s book to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

1. Wordless Picture Books

Many parents may find picture books boring, but it’s actually quite the opposite. When you offer your child a simple picture book, it gives them the freedom to make up the story, or to tell you what’s happening in the pictures. This is a great way to help grow their imagination.

You can even ask your child questions like:

  • What’s happening in this picture?
  • Why do you think that?
  • What do you think will happen next?

2. Let Your Child Pick the Book

Kids are always going to judge a book by it’s cover. That’s their first impression of what the book is about, so having books displayed in a way that they can see the covers, will easily allow them to choose which one they may be interested in. By letting your child choose which book they want you to read, they’re more likely to stay tuned for the story.

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

3. Pick a Book Your Child Can Relate To

If you come across story time and your child doesn’t really seem interested in sitting down and picking out a book themselves, you can try picking out a story they can relate to. My kids don’t always want to sit down and read, but if I have one they can relate to, I can usually rope them into paying attention. That’s been exactly the case with their new book, Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash.

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkidsBenji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash is the story of a young boy, Benji, who has saved some banana squash seeds for months so that he can grow his own. When the ground is finally soft enough to plant the seeds, he gets right to it. Then he spends weeks and months watering, watching and waiting for something to happen.

Once the vegetable has finished it’s growing cycle, Benji has himself a whopping 24 pound banana squash. He proudly poses for a photo with his huge vegetable and then his parents cook up the banana squash for dinner.

This is the kind of story that resonates with my kids, as this was the first year we tried our hand at growing some vegetables in our own backyard. We started small, with just two tomato plants, but being able to nourish the plants for months, having them grow larger and produce tomatoes, and then being able to eat our little harvest, has been a fun experience for my kids.

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

They certainly didn’t have any 24 pound tomatoes, but it has still been fun for them to grow their own food. Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash is all about patience, love and perseverance, all of which are important lessons for kids. And gardening, whether one vegetable or many, is a great way to learn those lessons.

Even when not really in the mood to sit and listen to a book, my kids are still happy to hear the story of Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash. Think your child would enjoy it too? Scroll down and enter to win your own copy!

4. Try Short Stories

When you sit down to read to your child, it doesn’t have to be a super long story. Starting with short, simple stories will give your child a better chance of actually finishing the book. I’ve sat to read to my kids many times and only made it a few pages in because they get distracted and we never get to the end of the book. Shorter stories have helped solve this problem and we’re gradually working our way up to longer ones.

5. Use Fun Voices

Have you ever sat and listened to someone read aloud in a monotone voice? It can make even the best story, as boring as ever. When reading aloud, use fun voices to help your kids distinguish between the characters and to keep the story alive. Even as an adult, it’s important for me to imagine different characters speaking in different voices, accents and tones. The same applies to kids.

Do you do any of these when reading to your kids? What tips would you add?

Preorder Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash (available October 16, 2017)!


Enter to win an advance copy of "Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash!" | #giveaway #reading #smartkids #gardening

One lucky Making Time reader will win an advance copy of Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US, ages 18+ and ends on September 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

*I received an advanced copy of a children’s book to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Danone Nations Cup World Final Tickets Giveaway (25 Winners)

The closer it gets to the Danone Nations Cup World Final on September 24th, the more excited my family gets. And now you can join in on the excitement too! Why? Because 25 lucky Making Time readers are going to win 2 tickets!

Danone Nations Cup World Final Tickets Giveaway [25 Winners] | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #DanoneNationsCup #soccer
~I received complimentary tickets to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

The Danone Nations Cup World Final is coming to Red Bull Arena (New Jersey) on Sunday, September 24th. This is the first time in 18 years the event has been held in the U.S. Exciting, right?! It’s the largest soccer tournament for kids ages 10-12, and includes participants from 32 different countries. You can learn more about the Danone Nations Cup World Final here.

Want to join me at the event? I’m so happy that with the help of Danone Nations Cup, I can give 25 of you the opportunity to do so! Just enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada, ages 18+ and ends on September 17, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winners will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. Tickets will be delivered via email to each confirmed winner.

 

 

Can’t wait to see if you win and want to get your tickets now? Head over to Danone Nations Cup and order today! Tickets start at $6 for children under 12, $12 for adults, or you can get a family ticket package for 4, for $30.

I can’t wait to see you there!

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*I received complimentary tickets to help facilitate this post. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.