Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Road Trip Word Search for Kids {free printable}

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This post contains Amazon Affiliate links that go to help run this blog at no extra cost to you.
 
Summertime is the primetime for road trips. As a kid, I remember vacations to see Mt. Rushmore, the South Padre beach, and the St. Louis Arch. Riding in the car and seeing the sights our country had to offer was novel and exciting. We played road trip bingo and the license plate game, read books, and stared out the window as the American terrain passed by. Don't get me wrong, our Kindles, the DS, and a travel DVD player have gotten us through many a long drive. But there's just something about looking in the backseat and seeing my son's head bent over a word search that brings about nostalgia of my youth.
 
With the success of our 4th of July word search, I plan on creating fun and free word search printables for you every Wednesday this summer! Last week, was a Summer Fun word search available here.   Next week's free summer word search for kids will expand some horizons and take your little puzzle-solvers around the country!


  
Get the Road Trip Rules Word Search Printable here

Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new word search!. Are there any themes you’d like to see? Leave a comment below and let me know!






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Monday, July 18, 2016

25 Children's Books About Bedtime

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This post contains Amazon Affiliate links that go to help run this blog at no extra cost to you.

Bedtime is a fun time around our house full of snuggles on the couch, snacks, and reading books.  I've put together several book lists on lots of topics, but this time I thought I'd share with you some great children's books on bedtime that we've read.

 

And If the Moon Could Talk by Kate Banks
Ever wonder what the moon thinks about all that happens at bedtime? This sweet book gives its take on nighttime happenings.
 
Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton
Going to sleep doesn't come as easily to Russell as it does the rest of the flock.  A cute book to read that got some giggles out of my troop.

No Jumping on the Bed! by Tedd Arnold
If you're a fan of the Fly Guy books, them this one is for you!  It's a fun book about what happens to an uber wild boy at bedtime.  The rhymes are fun for our toddler while the hilarious pictures entertain our 7 year old.
 
Ben Over Night by Sarah Ellis
Ben loves going over to his friend's house to play.  One night, he gets asked to stay overnight.  But Ben feels he might be too afraid to sleep somewhere unfamiliar.  This book is a great one to help children prepare for their first nights away from mom and dad.

Tuck Me In! by Dean Hacohen
This book is fun because of the flaps that let little hands tuck in a variety of baby animals. I will say, the toddler loved it more than the 7 year old.


 

The Napping House by Audrey Wood
This is book is one that we read every few nights, the kids love it so. With a "House That Jack Built" vibe, we see a sleeping child, his dozing granny, and the family pets plus on uninvited guest that shakes things up. Love the illustrations in it, too!

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
This book has been one of our favorites for some time now; first with Bear, now with Sunny.  Through cute rhymes, the reader says goodnight to all the different trucks at the construction site.  Great for kids who love rhyming and/or trucks.

How Many Kisses Do You Want Tonight? by Varsha Bajaj
This is a fairly simple counting book.  Would be a sweet little nighttime tradition to start.

Day Is Done by Peter Yarrow
This book is based off of a song I've not heard, but the words are lovely just the same.  As all the animal parents tuck their babies in, they reassure them that they are there with them and will keep them safe. I got a bit teary while reading this book!

There's something about the How Do Dinosaur book series.  Who would have ever thought to imagine what life would be like with dinosaurs as your children?  This is a cute book that shows what NOT to do at bedtime.



Cuddle Up, Goodnight by Katie Cleminson
This is a simple book, but darling nonetheless.  A great book to cover routines.

There's a Train Out for Dreamland   by Frederich H. Heider
With illustrations that have a very classic feel, we get to tour a dreamland all based on the song with the same title by Nat King Cole.
 
When the Moon Smiled: A Bedtime Counting Book by Petr Horacek
This is super fun book to read with emerging counters because you can involve them in the counting of the stars. Definitely best for preschoolers!
 
Stars by Mary Lyn Ray
I'm not sure which is my favorite about this book... The darling illustrations or the evocative text. Either way, this book is both gentle and exhilarating in its exploration of the world's nightlights.

It's Time to Sleep, My Love by Nancy Tillman
This book goes on to my "have to read" list. Tillman's books are staples for me. (I give On the Night You Were Born to every new baby I know.) I love her books because her rhyming verses read like a mother's whisper.



No Go Sleep! by Kate Feiffer
Oh yeah... Who else has heard those words, "No go sleep!" This book has a very sweet, simple message for kiddos who struggle to go to bed.

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
The Llama Llama books are another series that we can't live without. Llama Llama wakes up and calls for his mom, but she doesn't come right away... This book was instrumental in helping us get through all those late night wakeups with Bear. 
 
Charlotte Jane Battles Bedtime by Myra Wolfe
Charlotte Jane is a strong girl who loves adventure and knows what she wants. And what she wants is to avoid bedtime.  A cute book if you've got little ones who struggle to slow down for sleep.

The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra
This is another one of our favorites. Through rhyming text, we get to see the bedtime antics that correspond to each letter. A definite must-have!

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
If you've not yet read this book to your children, get up and RUN to your nearest bookstore and purchase it.  It's a classic with simple verse and pictures.

The Mouse That Snored by Bernard Waber
On a dark, stormy night, the tiniest mouse awakens a quiet family with his monstrous snores. The fallout from his snoring always cracks Bear up. And how the family handles this disruption is equally pleasing.



When You Wish Upon a Star by Leigh Harline
Based on the classic song with the same name, this book contains those lyrics coupled with breathtaking illustrations.

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
For a book with few words, a hilarious story is told of a gorilla who follows a zookeeper around as he checks on the animals one last time before heading home.  Little does he know, the gorilla has stole his keys and is letting all the animals loose!

Creak! Said the Bed by Phillis Root
This is one of our favorite books from when Bear was younger.  The house is quiet. Mom and dad are sound asleep until the bedroom door opens and in tiptoes a child, then another, then another, then... A funny surprise ends the book. Perfect if you've ever dealt with little monkeys climbing in your bed in the middle of the night.
 
The Squeaky, Creaky Bed by Pat Thompson
A little boy visits his grandparents only to be scared by the creaking of his guest room bed. His grandparents get a menagerie of animals to help him, but none do the trick. My kids love helping me make all the sounds when we read this book.
  
 
What are your favorite books about going to sleep? I'd love to add some new ones to our rotation.



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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer Fun Word Search {free printable}

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It's summertime! Time to go swimming, have barbecues, and go on vacation. But how to keep the kids busy in between all the running around? I know that there are schools of thought on both sides of the worksheet debate. But I tend to not count word searches as worksheets. Maybe it's because of all those summers I spent in the backseat completing books of them while we traveled.
I always love to get feedback on my posts here. Gone are the days when we {bloggers} used to get to connect with our readers via the comment section. So you can imagine my joy and surprise when I heard from several people that they loved our 4th of July word search. So I made one up another word search that was a little more all-encompassing of the summer.  Looks fun, right?

  
Get the Summer Fun Word Search Printable here


I'm going to try to get one out a new word search for you every Wednesday. Are there any themes you’d like to see? Leave a comment below and let me know!






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Friday, July 8, 2016

Small Spaces Family Wall Map with At Home Stores

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This post is sponsored by MomSelect and At Home Stores as part of their Back to Campus Campaign.

 
Distance is hard on family and friends sometimes.  Often enough, it seems, those we love the most are farthest away.  We've got loved ones spread all across the country.  Sometimes it's hard  for the little kids to understand that the reason why we only talk to certain people on the phone and the computer is because they live so far away.  We recently got an opportunity to work with At Home stores and I found the perfect item at our local store to help illustrate this to Bear {7 yrs}.

Bear's room is pretty small. With the window, the door, the closet, and the Minecraft camo accent wall, there's little wall space left to set up anything big in regards to displaying family photos. But we found a vinyl wall decal of the United States that pretty closely matches the colors in his room and is the perfect size.  After we put it up, we used sticky flags to denote where all our family and friends are.
 

As soon as our photo order comes in, we'll post up pics of all our family and close friends right underneath. It's such a great way to decorate Bear's small room with an item that is cute and can be made personal!
 
I'm thinking that I'll have to make another trip to our At Home store with Pip {20 yrs} so she can pick out a few things to refresh her dorm room look for the start of her Sophomore year. You can find a dorm room move-in checklist and check out the fun, fresh new 2016 Campus Collection here. The  Campus Collection has tons of darling, whimsical, and funky items to decorate not just dorm rooms, but kid's rooms, living spaces, and the rest of the house, too. With their affordable prices and wide selection, I could easily spend hours in our store and redecorate the whole house!  See what I mean?


We'll be new house shopping next summer. You bet your socks I'm going to be back to our At Home store to set up our new home!



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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of MomSelect and At Home Stores.
I received compensation for this opportunity, however, all opinions are mine.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

21 Fun Activities to do with Sidewalk Chalk

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Sidewalk chalk is one of those staples of childhood.  It can be used to set the scene for simple games like hopscotch and four square or to create drawings inspired by imagination. It’s one of those must-have items… especially in the summer.  Here are some great activities that you can do with children and sidewalk chalk.

 
Get your color game on and play Sidewalk Simon.
 
Make fun summer memories by creating sidewalk chalk photo ops! There are so many great options!
 
Need an activity that a little more "out there"? Make constellations using chalk and rocks.

Let the kids create sidewalk chalk versions of themselves.
 
If you've got a car fanatic, you can always go this "route" with sidewalk chalk.


Add a little water to sidewalk chalk drawings and see what happens!
 
What do your kids want to be? Create a chalk background of them in their future dream profession.
 
Practice literacy skills and creativity while creating chalkboard stories.
 
Create a driveway shape maze for the kiddos to navigate.
 
Practice math skills and prevent summer slide with this math game.


Mix up some sidewalk chalk paint and create driveway masterpieces.

Practice those math and measuring skills by hiding them in chalk line fun

Kiddos need to learn how to tell time? Create a sidewalk chalk clock.
 
Mix things up with black light glow chalk from Fine Time Motor.
 
Too hot to go outside? Create an indoor sidewalk to draw on like we did.


Practice color matching using chalk and these items

Create a sidewalk chalk farm for some moo-ving dramatic play fun. 

Make a splash helping your young reader practice sight words.

Got bean bags? Play this fun game and see who can get the highest score.

Draw yourself a board and play a game or two of sidewalk chalk checkers.

Have fun with these various ideas on an abc chalk grid game.



Feeling inspired? Grab the chalk, get the kids outside, and have some fun! I'd love to see your take on these activities.




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