Tag Archives: kids

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo

With all the technology available to our kids today, sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and enjoy the simpler things, things like reading physical books. Shocked to hear that books still exist? Haha! They most definitely do and we are constantly working to expand our kids’ home library. With the help of Bookroo, growing their collection is as easy as it gets.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

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

It’s important that we take the time to help our kids’ imaginations grow, improve their listening skills, and expand their understanding of the world. The easiest way to do this is by reading to them.

It’s not just children’s classics like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” that we need to read to our kids. It may be a favorite, but there’s so much more to be learned by reading a large variety of books.

Bookroo, a monthly children’s book subscription, can help with book selection! One of the things Bookroo offers in its monthly shipments is an assortment of different titles.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

This month we received two titles that I’ve never heard of, but they turned out to be great choices – “Lily Wool” and “Edward Built a Rocketship.”

“Lily Wool” is about a little sheep, Lily Wool, who is a bit of an outcast in her herd. In the end she’s able to find and follow her unique passion, while helping others around her. It’s a great story for those trying to find their place, even if it’s not the norm.

“Edward Built a Rocketship” is a fun rhyming story that follows Edward as he plans and creates his own rocketship, then uses his imagination to journey through outer space. It’s quite the adventure!

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Another fun feature of Bookroo is that each book comes individually wrapped, so it’s always a surprise to the kids as they open them up. Most people don’t think of books as gifts, but I personally think that when books are wrapped and kids get to open them up, it adds a sense of excitement about reading. Gifts are exciting, right? So if a book is wrapped like a gift, they must be a fun item and reading must be exciting.

Making Time 2017 Holiday Gift Guide | #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Bookroo is a wonderful gift for kids this holiday season.

Starting at $15.99 per shipment with a 12 month subscription, and ranging up to $17.99 per shipment with a month-to-month subscription, it’s an affordable option too. And for you deal seekers, each shipment retails for more than you actually pay for the subscription.

Plus, it’s easy to sign up or gift a Bookroo subscription.

First, you choose which type of shipment you want – board books or picture books.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Then you choose your subscription.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

And last, you enter your billing info and then sit back and wait for shipments to come every month.

Share the Joy of Reading with Bookroo | #Bookroo #childrensbooks #reading #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Which shipment option would your kids enjoy – board books or picture books?

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*I received a sample 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.

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.


How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money?

Did you know that only 7% of US high schools require students to pass a basic finance test to graduate? And not only that, but the majority of parents received a grade of C or worse when it came to understanding basic finance themselves. So how can we as parents help our kids learn to manage money? BusyKid is the newest online and mobile platform for doing just that, and I’ve never been so excited to tell you about something, as I am about BusyKid!

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagement

~This is a sponsored post on behalf of BusyKid. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

I remember getting my first bank account and first credit card during my senior year in high school, at the same time I was working my first job. I was ready to get spending and buy whatever I wanted to buy without having to ask permission from my mom. But it wasn’t long before more credit cards came in and the debt kept growing and growing. I have since learned my lesson and paid down a lot of my debt, but I still wish I had done better from the start.

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagementIt’s estimated that today, less than 10% of ALL money in the world is coins and paper. We pretty much live in a cashless society, but the fact of the matter is we’re still teaching our kids about money by using coins, paper bills, and piggy banks. Sure, that’s okay at first, but once they understand the face value of each coin and paper bill, we need to do our duty to teach them about our cashless society and what it takes to actually earn that money. I’m talking budgeting, saving, investing, and taxes, and even responsibility, accountability, and time management.

This is where BusyKid comes in. BusyKid is a new online and mobile platform that acts as your child’s first job and payroll system. You create a profile for your child, customize a chore list for them (this is their “job”), along with an allowance amount for each chore, and when they’ve finished a chore they mark it as done. When Friday roles around, it’s your child’s payday, just like for most of us adults. From there your child has money to spend how they want (with a little guidance, of course). It’s a classic, but advanced earn and be rewarded system.

We created BusyKid because our children need to start experiencing the real world earlier when it comes to the basic financial practices of earning, saving, spending, sharing and investing. As adults we don’t get rewarded with TV time, computer time, stickers, stars or ice cream. Why should we do this with our kids? Eventually, they need to learn the importance of money.

-Gregg Murset, BusyKid CEO

Let’s walk through this with a quick step by step, because I absolutely love the concept of BusyKid.

Chore List

You have the ability to choose which chores you want your child to do and on what days. And if you’re not exactly sure what kinds of chores are suitable for your child’s age, don’t worry. BusyKid provides plenty of recommendations. As your child gets older, new chores will be added, but you still have the ability to customize the chore list as you go.

Each chore is also assigned an allowance amount. This can be anything you choose to be appropriate and whatever fits with your own family budget. Upon completion of the chore, your child marks it as complete and the allowance amount is added to their total allowance.

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagementPayday

Every Friday is payday, just like some jobs in the real world. You are paying your child’s payroll and do so by linking your bank account, debit card, or credit card to BusyKid’s payroll system. On payday your child can choose to request cash, or purchase fun retailer gift cards, or invest, or even have it “direct deposited” onto their BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Card (hello, real world!). Every payday you will receive a text message alert reminding you it’s payday, at which time you can approve payment or not.

Now, you can imagine there will probably be times when your child marks a chore as done, but didn’t actually do it. Obviously, you aren’t going to pay them for that undone chore. In the “activity” section you can see every chore your child has marked completed and in that same location you can disapprove any chore that wasn’t actually done. This will automatically adjust the total allowance amount.

Spending Their Money

As just mentioned, your child can choose to request cash, purchase fun retailer gift cards, invest, or even have it “direct deposited” onto their BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Card that they can use in-store or online. In addition to these options, they can also donate a portion of their earnings to charity if they’d like.

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagement

All of this is done within the BusyKid platform. Of course, you can still help guide your child with how to spend their money, but just imagine how much more real world experience they will have when it comes to budgeting, saving, investing, and spending. If you give your child the freedom to choose what they do with their money, they may not always make the right choice, but it’s better to learn from those fails now than as an adult.

Get Started

You’re probably wondering how much BusyKid costs to use and in all honesty, it’s very affordable. It’s just $14.95 per yer, per family. And if you want to give your child a BusyKid Spend Card (rechargeable VISA debit card), there’s an additional $5 per year fee, but I love the real world experience it can give to kids, so I think it’s worth it.

And for a limited time, two kids from each family that signs up will receive a free $10 stock. BusyKid really wants children to learn how to invest so they’ve decided to give them their first experience in dealing with the stock market.

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagementHow Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagement

It’s never too early to teach children how to budget and effectively spend their money. My son is just 5 years old and wanted some useless toy (in my opinion) from his school’s book fair a few weeks ago. He asked his father for $5 to get it, to which is father replied he had to complete a chore to get the $5. Well, he ended up not finishing the chore and didn’t earn his $5.

Every time we go to the store my son is also asking for something, whether it be a new toy, a new shirt, or junk food. I always ask him if he has the money to buy whatever it is he’s wanting and the conversation stops there. BusyKid is the perfect platform for us to start teaching our son about earning money and the best possible ways to spend his earnings, and we’re all excited to get started!

Have you started teaching your kids about money?

Connect with BusyKid: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of BusyKid. 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.

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch #HolidayGiftGuide

When the kids need something to do, do you usually turn to electronics? I do. We have a variety of tablets and electronic gadgets the kids play with, and they watch TV all the time. In all honesty, we’ve never really set a limit on the amount of electronic or screen time our kids get. But we still realize the importance of simple creativity and Magic Sketch is helping our kids express their creative side.

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch | #MagicSketch #HolidayGiftGuide #GiftGuide #giftidea

~I received a sample to help facilitate this 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.~

It was a few months ago that I realized my son felt pressured to be perfect when drawing. I’d give him crayons and paper and tell him draw me a picture, or he’d draw on his chalk board or dry erase board, whatever medium he chose. He’d always ask me what to draw and when I’d request something he’d just stare blankly like he didn’t know where to start.

This was a little concerning to me because even if he drew a few lines or shapes and tried to make a picture of something, I would have went with it. But it wasn’t even that. He couldn’t come up with anything because he wanted his picture to look exactly the way it was supposed to.

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch | #MagicSketch #HolidayGiftGuide #GiftGuide #giftidea

If I wanted him to draw a car, he wanted his picture to look just like one of his Hot Wheels cars. I can’t even draw a car to look that realistic, but he didn’t even want to try. This was a red flag that we needed to work on his imagination and creativity, so that’s what we did.

Magic Sketch,  a colorful tablet/boogie board with a transparent LCD screen that allows kids to draw, play, create and learn, has been a big help with him lately. It comes with various drawing tools and stamps, as well as fun stencils – learning stencils, game stencils, and even art stencils.

Magic Sketch includes:

  • Magic Sketch Boogie Board
  • Protector Guard
  • 4 Styluses
  • 1 Roller
  • 3 Stamps
  • 20 Learning Stencils
  • 20 Games Stencils
  • 20 Art Stencils

 

 

My son’s favorite thing to do with his Magic Sketch, aside from writing his name, is tracing the art stencils. The stencils slide right into the Magic Sketch and because the screen is transparent, he can trace right over the stencil and create something amazing.

It caters a little more to his need to be perfect, but I’ve also noticed him trying to draw the images himself without the stencil. And erasing his artwork and starting with a clean slate is as easy as pushing the round black button. It’s like magic!

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch | #MagicSketch #HolidayGiftGuide #GiftGuide #giftidea

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch | #MagicSketch #HolidayGiftGuide #GiftGuide #giftidea

My favorite thing about Magic Sketch is it’s kid proof durability. It can be dropped, stepped on, spilled on, and none of this will affect it. Plus, the battery lasts for seven years! Thank goodness for no chargers or constant battery changes.

And just imagine how perfect it is to carry along during car trips, or to use at restaurants or in waiting rooms. You don’t have to worry about battery life, there are no annoying sounds, and your child is learning to express their creativity.

 

While we still have some work to do, my son has come a long ways with his creativity. Now that he’s started kindergarten he comes home with drawings all the time. Of course, I have to ask him what they are, but if he can give me an answer, I’m happy. I can at least now recognize his creativity is starting to show. And when he asks to use his tablet, he’s not talking about his electronics anymore, but is wanting to draw on his Magic Sketch.

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 #giftideasMagic Sketch has helped my son so much that it’s earned a spot in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide. It’s the perfect gift for kids! Magic Sketch retails for $29.95 and can be purchased directly from the Magic Sketch website or Amazon.

Do your kids struggle with creativity?

Connect with Magic Sketch: Shop

*I received a sample to help facilitate this review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. 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.

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?

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*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.

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.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating

Do you have a picky eater on your hands? I certainly do and getting him the nutrition he needs is a challenge I’ve been experiencing for some time now. He has his favorite foods, the only ones he’ll eat, and they do not include any form of fruits or vegetables.

At this point I have absolutely no idea how his little body is even growing. So anytime I come across something I think he’ll enjoy and will give him the nutrition he needs to grow, I’m first in line to give it a try. Our newest addition to his diet is Daily Sunshine by Beachbody.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

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

Beachbody is known for quite a bit – P90X, Insanity, and the 21 Day Fix workout programs, as well as Shakeology nutrition shakes. But adults aren’t the only ones who need to keep their fitness and nutrition up. Kids, and especially picky eaters like my son, may have the fitness aspect down, but are lacking in the nutrition department. That’s why Beachbody created Daily Sunshine, a nutrition shake for children!

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

The first thing to tackle is taste because we all know that’s most important when it comes to our picky eaters. Daily Sunshine is available in two kid-friendly flavors, strawberry banana and chocolate, and I’d say these are a pretty good start to getting my son to try one. He’s not too keen on chocolate in general, but loves strawberry banana flavors so I knew he’d try it. The chocolate is going to waste either, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Each Daily Sunshine shake is a perfect blend of fruits and vegetables, plant based protein, and healthy fats. It’s literally a 3-in-1 power shake for kids.

Daily Sunshine Features:

  • Non-GMO
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free (vegan)
  • Gluten free
  • Low glycemic
  • Contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives
  • 4 out of 5 pediatricians approve the formula

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

My son actually likes smoothies and shakes when they have the right flavors in them, but mixing up a smoothie every day can be pretty tiring. Daily Sunshine takes nutritious shakes to the easiest level ever. All you have to do is add a packet of Daily Sunshine to 8 oz. of water, and mix it up in the shaker cup.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

In a matter of minutes my picky eating son has a nutritious shake that’s he loves, and that I love giving him. He’s been enjoying one either in the mornings before school, or as an after school snack. I’m starting to think he only needs one in the morning because his afternoon energy has been through the roof lately.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

Not Just for Kids

Oh, and Daily Sunshine isn’t just for kids either. If you want to get on the healthy action, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t. We got a combo pack that includes both flavors. I already mentioned my son isn’t a big fan of chocolate, but he loves the strawberry banana. So, to make sure nothing goes to waste, when he gets his shake, I get one too. He takes the strawberry banana and I take the chocolate. It’s a really great way for us to actively partake in healthy nutrition together.

How to Enjoy Daily Sunshine

There are so many ways to enjoy Daily Sunshine – the quick and simple shake method with 8 oz. of water or milk (my son likes his in milk); blended into a smoothie (I sometimes mix the chocolate flavor into a peanut butter and banana smoothie); or however you want to incorporate it into the day. If you’re kids don’t like shakes or smoothies, think outside the box too. Try adding it to pancakes or muffins, or something with a similar taste so it blends easily.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

Purchase Options

I’m going to be honest. I personally find Daily Sunshine to be pretty pricey, but on the other hand, can I really put a price on my son’s health? I mean, he actually likes it!

  • Daily Sunshine Sampler (2 packets of each flavor – 4 total) = $19.99
  • Daily Sunshine Combo Pack (12 packets of each flavor – 24 total) = $129.99
  • Daily Sunshine Strawberry Banana OR Chocolate (30 serving bag) = $129.99
  • Daily Sunshine Shaker Cup = $6.95

Do you have a picky eater?

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*I received a sample 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.

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.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy

Whether you’re sending your kids back to school, are trying to give them a head start on learning, or are looking for a tool to supplement their education, LeapFrog Academy is one you should definitely consider. I’ve tried my fair share of educational tools for young kids and LeapFrog Academy has quickly become my go-to.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

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

My son has been working with LeapFrog Academy for a few weeks now and it’s safe to say he’s a big fan too. As if we couldn’t get enough of everything LeapFrog already has to offer, we now have something to add to the list. And this one is pretty epic.

LeapFrog Academy is a monthly learning subscription designed for kids ages 3-6. It’s an interactive program that guides them through preschool, pre-K, and kindergarten activities, where they’ll not only learn school related topics, but life skills as well. Core skills include reading and writing, math, problem solving, science and the world, creativity, feelings and health.

 

With over 1,000 activities including books, games, puzzles, videos, music, and art, there’s a possibility your child won’t want to leave their Learning Adventure. The activities themselves are pretty fun and along the adventure your child will earn bonus opportunities and rewards as motivation to continue.

Some rewards include accessories to change their avatar appearance and collection pieces to build all kinds of fun stuff (castles, dinosaurs, etc.) When asked to step away from the program, my son has said many times, “But mom, I have to get a reward.” He’d play and learn all day if the device didn’t need charging.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

And speaking of, device compatibility happens to be one of my favorite features. In the past you’ve always been required to use a LeapFrog product for anything LeapFrog related, but LeapFrog Academy is available on the computer (both Windows and macOS), iOS and Android devices (tablets and phones), as well as LeapFrog Epic and Epic Academy Edition.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

My son started out on my Windows computer and after discovering the LeapFrog Academy app automatically uploads to the Epic after it’s added to your LeapFrog account, he quickly switched over to the Epic. If you purchase the Epic Academy Edition, the LeapFrog Academy app is already installed.

But can we rejoice for a minute that it’s available on iOS and Android devices?! If you don’t already own a LeapFrog Epic tablet, there’s no need to go out and get one. Just download the app on your existing device and you’re all set.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

And wait, it gets even better! And you may want to sit down for this. —– LeapFrog Academy does NOT require Wi-Fi. Well, at least not all features. Woohoo! Road trips and airplane rides, here we come!

To clarify a little, not every feature of LeapFrog Academy works offline, but as your child is going through their Learning Adventure they have the ability to choose their favorite activities (games, books) and make them favorites. If ever in an offline situation, those games and books identified as favorites (up to 24) will be available for use without a Wi-Fi connection.

In true LeapFrog fashion, you also have the ability to track your child’s progress. Just sign into the Parent Dashboard where you can choose and change your child’s Learning Adventure, see what your child has completed, along with their score and what they learned in the activity, and this is also where you manage the account and your child’s profile.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription
These are the Learning Adventures my son has already completed and it also shows me which adventure he’s working on now. I can click on any of these he’s completed to check his scores.

 

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription
This is one of the activities my son has already completed. If I want him to go back and try it again, I can adjust his Learning Adventure so he can do that.

 

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription
This is the Learning Adventure currently being worked on. I can see that my son is just starting this one and hasn’t completed any activities yet, but I know the types of activities he’ll be working on.

 

In just the few weeks my son has been using LeapFrog Academy, he has really been surprising me. Since he’s starting kindergarten next week, I started him with the Introduction to Kindergarten adventure, which he’s already completed and has moved on to other things.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

Yesterday he was telling me about the body’s intestines, and lungs, and the skull and brain, and biceps, and ribs, and heart, and oh. my. goodness. The boy is only 5 years old! I’ve overheard him doing multiple “Human Body” activities the past few weeks, each one a little different than the last, and he was really taking away some info from them.

I’ve also seen him doing alphabet, counting, math, feelings, expressions, and life cycle activities. Many of which I’m sure I’d have a hard time teaching myself. I can’t wait to see what else LeapFrog Academy throws at him and for my toddler to get to an age where she can start using it too.

Ready to leap into learning? Sign up today for a free 1 month trial. The subscription is $7.99/mth after that and if you decide you want to cancel, you can do so at any time.

And by the way, I’m sure many of you have more than one child who would love to use LeapFrog Academy. One subscription allows up to 5 child profiles to be created!

What is your favorite feature of LeapFrog Academy?

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*I received a complimentary subscription 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.