A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: kid’s books

Tooth Fairy Fun

So your baby lost their first tooth?  (or getting ready to?)  This is a bittersweet moment for sure!!!  Usually there is a lot of hype leading up to the big event once the tooth gives it’s first wiggle.  Feelings of excitement and fear for the child.  Feelings of nostalgia for the parents.  Regardless of all the different emotions, it is time to dig in and decide on how your family will spread tooth fairy fun!

Of course, the first thought is to go with the traditional route of how the tooth fairy visited you when you were a child.  This is a perfect way to hand down family traditions.  Or maybe you have decided to switch it up a bit.  You’ve seen some fun new ideas you would like to try.   Whatever you decide to do, just remember that you have 19 more teeth to go!

This doesn’t mean you have to do exactly the same thing with each tooth.  I’m only suggesting that you remember that the tooth fairy fun you have with the first tooth will set the stage for the following ones.  Honestly, my biggest memory of those days was trying to make sure I had enough cash on hand for when it finally happened.

The Going Rate for the Tooth Fairy ~

Have you found yourself wondering, “What exactly is the going rate for teeth these days?”  You are not alone.  There are so many articles at your fingertips of what the popular price is for that little gem.  In fact, a new findings were just released by Delta Dental for 2020.  Read the Delta Dental current report here regarding the all time high giving for the tooth fairy!   The beauty of tooth fairy fun is that in the end, you get to decide how you want to move forward…You are the Boss!

Fun Tooth Fairy Ideas ~

With Addi recently losing her first tooth (actually first 2 teeth in the same day!), I had fun looking at some current trends.  As you are deciding what your family is going to do, check out these great ideas:

Fairy Antics ~

This AMAZING post by BuzzFeed is one of the best I have seen!  Here are some of the ideas they share:

You can also choose to put something other than money under their pillow as well.  These specialty pressed fairy pennies are something that all children will cherish for years to come.  Adorable Tooth Fairy Pressed Pennies…check them out!

Tooth Storage ~

Make or purchase a tooth pillow.  This is not only cute, but makes losing that tooth almost impossible.  If you have ever lost a tooth under the pillow you will understand this!  It’s VERY hard to not wake the child when you are frantically routing around under the pillow to find that small little tooth.  (Did I mention how SMALL those teeth are? 😬)

Tooth Fairy Books ~

As mentioned earlier, this event brings on many emotions.  Having some great books on hand is essential to helping your little one feel more of the excitement and less of the anxiety.

The Night Before the Tooth Fairy

Fancy Nancy and the Too-Loose Tooth

How to Catch the Tooth Fairy

The options are endless!  What is important is that you find a way to make this time-honored tradition a fun experience.  I will leave you with this funny youtube video by 3sAnimals.com of some very clever ideas in helping to get that little rascal out!  You will definitely find yourself laughing!  Let me know if you have any fun ideas or pictures to share!

Very clever tooth pulling videos on YouTube!

With Love ~

Mimi

Sampling Book Clubs for Kids – Round 2

The jury is still out on which book club subscription is The Best for kids.  In fact, what I am quickly learning is that there are many different positives to what each company has to offer.  My hope is that by detailing each one as my grandkids and I personally try them out, that you can then choose which one is the perfect one for YOUR family.  Basically, what is perfect for one family may not be perfect for the other.  However, I am positive there IS a perfect one for each and every one of you.   With all of that being said, please read on about our thoughts on sampling book clubs for kids – round 2!

Bookroo ~

This is the subscription we are currently subscribed to.  I chose the Picture Book Club for ages 3 to 6 as this choice perfectly fit the ages of my grandchildren.  We recently received our first shipment and were very excited to explore what books we had been sent.

WINNIE~

Bookroo includes a leaflet with the featured book for each month.  Winnie ~ The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-The-Pooh was this month’s selection.  I had NO clue there was a real bear who inspired this furry little guy that has been a part of almost every child’s life at some point.   Sally M. Walker is the author of this delightful story set during the time of WWII.

Addi and Max eagerly climbed up to listen to this tale of a bear named Winnie whose journey began through adoption by a vet on his way to WWII.  It is a wonderful story that I believe will become a favorite over time.  I shortened some of the paragraphs while reading to them as some were a bit long for their comprehension.  Even though we skimmed some pages, the kids were engrossed with the adventures of this cute little bear.

**SPOILER ALERTS** ~

A couple of fun facts about Winnie the Pooh that you may or may not have already known:

  • Winnie the Pooh is a GIRL
  • Christopher Robin really did exist
  • Winnie the Pooh was an American black bear
  • Christopher Robin’s father, A. A. Milne, was the original author of Winnie the Pooh

OLD MACDONALD HAD A TRUCK ~

What a fun twist to an old favorite!!!  Old MacDonald is on his farm….with an excavator, a front loader, a bulldozer….and more!  Lots of fun construction equipment in this story!

With a puuush push here, and a puuush push there, here a push, there a push, everywhere a puuuush push!  The kids love singing along to the new lyrics this story introduces.

Bookroo recommendation ~

We LOVED the selection of books so much that we are going to keep this subscription for another month before sampling another book club subscription.  The quality of books are fantastic and the selection was well rounded.  I think a key component to a great book for kids (next to the story itself) is the illustrations.  Both of these books were filled with fun pictures that made the book more enticing to read.

I am very happy to add these to Mimi’s book basket and later to the bookshelf.  Yes, I keep a basket of current books in a basket in the living room for easy access.  It is amazing how quickly the kids run to that basket to select which book they want to read.  When it gets full or a new holiday comes along, the older books go to the bookshelf and the basket gets filled with a new fun selection.

Sampling Book Clubs for Kids ~

The first subscription book club we had was Owl Posts for Kids.  It was also a great book club that the kids looked forward to.  Read about Owl Post Books and other kid’s book subscription boxes we are going to sample here!!!  We received books from them for about 6 months.  There are several posts that I shared on the various books and crafts we received.  You can check out the fun we had with them below!

Check out the books and crafts received by Owl Post Books here!

We are looking forward to trying to help your family choose the perfect book club for you.  Reading is such an integral part of learning and family time.  Book club subscriptions make that family time much easier.  Please share your experiences in the comments at the bottom of this post or your thoughts on Sampling Book Clubs for Kids ~ Part 2!

 

Zany Bookmark DIY Fun

You need to try these little gems!  Kids not only like to get Valentines, but they love to give them as well!  They will be filled with such pride as they help with everything from the design to the fun tassel finish.  Everyone will love being a part of this zany bookmark DIY fun!

Items Needed:

  • Photographs
  • Scissors
  • String, Yarn, Ribbon, Embroidery Floss
  • Thermal Laminating Pouches
    • (you can use contact paper, but this post is about laminating.  I have not used the contact paper, but have read articles about it)
  • Empty Toilet Paper Roll
  • Optional – Laminating Machine
  • Optional – Print Shop Program

Cut Out Photo Bookmark ~

The most fun to making this one is the photo session itself.  Have the children pose in funny ways with their hands up in the air.  Tell them to pretend they are hanging on to a tree limb or rope.  They can put both hands up or just one.  Encourage them to hold their legs in various ways as if they are suspended in the air.  It is also fun to have them make silly expressions.  This makes the final product so much more fun!

Traditional Style Bookmark ~

You can have just as much fun creating the more traditional style of bookmark.  I love to use The Printshop program to create fun backgrounds and wording.  We had fun with the Valentine sayings and created this one saying “Bee Mine” with a little yellow bee fluttering across the top of the heart.

Once your photo session is over or you have selected from photos you have already taken, you will need to print them.  You can also have them printed at your nearest photo store if you prefer.  I like to print them myself so I can play with the sizing of the photograph. *If you are doing the detailed cutout type, you will want to be sure they are printed large enough to cut a hole in for the tassel.   I love to use my print shop program for that.

Print out all photos you are wanting to use first, then laminate them.  By doing this you can fit as many pictures as possible into the laminating pouch to alleviate excess waste.  I love having a laminating machine.  It comes in handy for so many different projects and they are very inexpensive.  Get your own laminating machine here for only $21.99.

Of course, you will need laminating sheets as well.  I love the pouches.  I found mine at the local craft store, but they do have them online as well.  Get a pack of 100 thermal laminating pouches for only $14.10!!!  I have discovered that buying the larger packs is way more cost efficient.  Plus, it is always good to have them on hand whenever you need them.

         

Once they are laminated, the cutting process can begin.  The children can help with this step as well, however, if they are younger you may want to do the more detailed cutting.  If you have chosen to make the more traditional square ones, you can have the children cut those out with more ease.

Of course, you can spread the love and add your favorite furry friend to the bookmarks as well!

Making Tassels ~

This is where that used toilet paper roll comes in.  Cut the toilet paper roll in half for easier tassel making.  Start wrapping your yarn or embroidery thread around the roll.  Continue wrapping until you get to the desired size.  I wrap mine about 15 to 20 times.  This is another fun activity for the kids to get involved in.

Gently ease the wrapped yarn off of the roll.  Tie a small piece of the same colored yarn (or get artsy and use a different color) around the wrapped yarn about 1/4″ down from the top and tie tightly.  This creates the top of the tassel.  Then cut horizontally across the looped bottom portion to create the dangling tassel part.

As you can see, the yarn creates a poofier (is that even a word???) tassel, while embroidery floss makes a more sleek tassel.  I suggest experimenting with both to see which style you prefer more.

The sky is the limit with this zany bookmark DIY fun…from the photos, to the sayings, to the tassels.  If you don’t have a program to create fun artwork, use old greeting cards or images from magazines.  You can also use various sizes of sticker letters.  Paper House Productions has tons of fun stickers….you really need to check them out!  Check out the HUGE variety of stickers from Paper House Productions here!!!   Here are some fun sayings you can use:

  • You are my fav❤rite person!
  • No bones about it, you are top dog!
  • You are beary special!
  • Bee mine!
  • You’re toadally awesome!
  • Hugs!
  • You’re a purrrfect friend!
  • You shine!
  • Sending you hogs & kisses!
  • I’m so hoppy you are my friend!
  • You have my heart Valentine!
  • Valentine you are out of this world!
  • You’re #1 in my book!
  • I’ve got my eye on you Valentine!
  • You are so cool Valentine!

Go gather your materials and get started on the fun….Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!

Hugs~

Shelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children’s Book Club Subscription

What is not to love about a monthly subscription box?  I remember as a kid my mom would order different monthly magazines for me.  Excitement was high on the days those magazines hit the mailbox.  Memories of running into the house with my coveted treasure still makes me smile.  I would head straight to my bedroom to explore what this month’s book had in store for me.  Fast forward to the 21st century.  NOW, we have BOXES!  Boxes filled with all sorts of treasures and surprises!  Oh, how I have fallen in love with the children’s book club subscription from Owl Post Books!!!

Let’s face it…we love to spoil our children and grandchildren.  Nothing makes me happier than to see the faces of my grandchildren with a smile plastered across their eager faces.  They jump around and ask, “Can we open it now, Mimi?”   I truly love it as much as they do!  Not only do they love the books, but they have already become accustomed to the idea that a craft is included as well.  Th  Everything is all right there in one cute little box without having to prepare a special activity.

October Books ~

This month’s books included:

  • I Love You Little Pookie ~ This is a delightful book that teaches love.  It offers many opportunities for kids to hear the words “I love you.”
  • The Itsy Bitsy Duckling ~ I love singing this book to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider – the kids love this.
  • Halloween Peek-A-Boo ~ This was our favorite this month.  Each page has a “spooky” Halloween character.  They challenge the child to mimic their “frightening” look in the provided mirror.  Many belly laughs were shared while each child tried this!

October Craft ~

The kids loved the craft this month from their children’s book club subscription.  They got to punch out, peel off the backing and stick  foam stickers wherever they wanted.  They even changed their minds as they were crafting and moved some around.   It was a great craft that they could do together even though there is a difference in their ages.  The final product was a super cute Halloween frame that we will print out a picture from this post and insert.

The subscription box we receive is for ages 0 – 3.  We chose this because I wanted to have something special to do with Max while Addi was at school.  What we have discovered though, is that Addi loves them just as much as Max.  This leads me to believe that Mimi will be setting up a second subscription soon.  I’m anxious to see what all is included in the next age group of 4 – 7 years old.

It is safe to say that our family is obsessed with this whole children’s book club subscription idea.  What a great way to foster the love of reading that has the child excited for each month’s selections.  Try it out for yourself here:  Owl Post Books!  What a great time to get started too…the holidays are just around the corner!  If you would like more details, I provided detailed information in last month’s post…..Check out the details here for Owl Post Books!

Happy Reading!!!

The Best Halloween Picture Books

Are you tired of reading the same Halloween picture books to the kids every year?  Yes, there are always the favorites that everyone looks forward to each year, but maybe it’s time to spice up your collection.  You are going to want to try this list of the best Halloween picture books.

Last year I hosted a Witches’ Tea Party for the kids.  I’m not sure who had more fun…me preparing for the big event or the kids when they got to partake of it.  I will do a separate post on that later, but suffice it to say that it was a huge hit!  As I was planning all of the festivities for that day, I was overjoyed to discover that there are actually books titled The Witches’ Tea Party….how frightfully awesome!  (I was happy to see that there are other crazy Halloween lovers like myself out there in the big world 😉)

Below are some of the new books I have purchased over the last couple of years…and one that I am ordering this week to add to our spooky collection of Halloween books!  There are also some fun FREE printable coloring pages🖍 included at the end of this post!!!! Continue reading

Raise Good Humans!

I am loving this new blogging journey so much!  Not only because I love to write, but also because I am meeting so many others on the same journey.  Many of these women are young moms.  Yes, that part of my life has passed, but isn’t it still our responsibility to encourage the next generation?  Not only in this crazy year of 2020, but always because it is important that we raise good humans!

I recently have read several other blogs about ideas for raising kids who are kind to others.  I especially loved this post by “Simply Snapping” that is cleverly titled, “Raising Kids Who Aren’t Jerks!”  Catchy isn’t it?  Read this great idea which includes a great interactive calendar for kids!  She walks through daily ideas of how to help kids focus on kindess.  A wonderful interactive calendar for kids is also included for you to print off and have your children follow along with to promote kindness in various ways….clever!!!

Teaching kids to be kind gets tricky when they are with a group of friends.  They know how they should act, but peer pressure kicks in.  If we teach our children that it is brave to be kind, it can make them feel better about their choices.  Everyone likes to feel brave!

It’s Brave to Be Kind by Natasha Daniels~

There are a lot of wonderful books out there to help reinforce kindness in our children.  This inspirational book includes a story as well as activites!    Click here to get your copy of “It’s Brave to Be Kind”.  As we all know, this is a year with a lot of hatred being spewed everywhere we look.  It seems to be especially important in these times to help our children understand how important empathy and friendliness are.  These are the things I love about this book:

  • The character is a little girl who meets someone different from her and learns to be kind, even when others aren’t.
  • Activities are included to reinforce how to be kind to others
  • Tips are provided to use both the story and activities to learn skills of kindness and empathy

Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler

Another great book that helps kids understand that they really can make a difference!  Mrs. Ruler challenges each student to complete five acts of kindness.  It takes some time for some of the students to join in, but soon the entire class is filling the bulletin board with all of their good deeds.  Whether doing helpful tasks within their own homes or reaching outside of the home to help those in need, the kids quickly learn that each deed makes the world a better place!  Get your copy of this wonderful book here!

These are just a couple of the books I like among the many, many options out there.  I believe we need to make a concentrated effort to continue to reinforce these ideas to our children from an early age.  In fact, with our current situation in the world creating more depression, sadness and anger, I am focusing on it even more than normal.  I have created a new Pinterest board named Raising Good Humans that I will be continually adding to as I see more great ideas.  I hope you will check them out.  Click here for more ideas on spreading kindness one step at a time!

As Ellen always says, “Be kind to one another!”  Hugs to all!

Have you Met Larry? (Book Review)

THIS is Larry…and he is one of our new favorite characters.  Have you met Larry?  If you haven’t, you need to follow this link now and add at least one of these books to your bookshelf.    Don’t Touch This Book-Meet Larry Now!

DON’T TOUCH THIS BOOK! ~

Addi and Max absolutely laugh with delight when we read these books.  The author is great at getting the kids engaged with each story.  Of course, the title alone, Don’t Touch This Book! makes kids want to do what????  You guessed it, they WANT to touch the book.  As I read it to them, I move the book all over during the first couple of pages, and they laugh hysterically while trying to touch the book.

As you venture through the story, Larry gives the kids permission to touch the book with one finger, then all of their fingers and then gets them to spin, wiggle and walk and talk like robots.

 

DON’T PUSH THE BUTTON! ~

The next book we chose by Bill Cotter is Don’t Push the Button!  Larry is at it again with all of his shenanigans.   As he allows the kids to push the button once, twice, then a bunch of times, multiple Larrys appear in the book…each one a different color.  You must then start shaking the book and rub his belly to make them all disappear.  The laughter this incites is music to my ears.  Larry in Don’t Push the Button!

OTHER BILL COTTER BOOKS ~

There are other books in the Don’t Push the Button series including Christmas, Easter & Halloween versions.  There is also a Christmas book titled Don’t Shake the Present.  These books don’t yet grace our book shelves, but by the time each of these holidays roll around, you can bet they will be!  Our family loves Larry and I am sure yours will too!

Favorite Books to Read to Kids

I LOVE READING!

I love reading to my grandchildren, I love reading to myself, I love reading to anyone who will listen!  Reading takes you anywhere you want to be.  In fact, I am known in my family for not enjoying travel very much.  I believe that is because books take me anywhere I want to be while allowing me to stay put  in my own home.  (Plus I don’t have to face that daunting task of packing–yuk!)

There is nothing better than snuggling with the grandkids and listening to them laugh.  You know the kind of laugh I am talking about…that deep down from the belly laugh.  I bet you are smiling right now just thinking about it!

There are so many great books out there, however, I have 3 favorites that I truly enjoy reading to the children.  None of them are particularly new books….just tried and true favorites!  These books require interaction and crazy voices, which make the reading experience even more fun.  They are outlined below (along with a link to check them out):

  1. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury & MIchael Rosen – This fun book takes you through several different landscapes all while searching for a bear.  Do they find a bear?  I will leave that for you to find out, but I will tell you it sure is a lot of fun to make all of the landscape noises (stomping through mud and swishing through tall grass)  with the little ones as you journey through the pages.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Classic Board Books)       

 

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2.  The Monster at the End of This Book  by Jon Stone & Michael Smollin – Who doesn’t love Sesame Street characters?  This book completely engages the children by trying to keep you from getting to the end of the book.  The children laugh with delight as they try to quickly turn the pages….even though Grover tries his hardest to stop them!

The Monster at the End of This Book     

 

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3.  Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett – You must buy this one as the kit….it is a MUST!  You wear the fluffy mitts and do lots of tickling as you venture through the pages.  Talk about deep belly laughs!  This one also makes a wonderful gift.

Tickle Monster Laughter Kit — Includes the Tickle Monster book and fluffy mitts for reading aloud and tickling!

 

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If you haven’t already discovered these books, I think they would be a great addition to your bookshelves.  I would also love to hear of any books you recommend as well.

Happy Reading!!!!

 

 

 

 

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