StoryCraft Box Review and Giveaway!!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013 1 comment
One of my very favorite alphabet books is LMNOPeas by Keith Baker so I was SUPER excited when I saw it on the StoryCraft Box list! 

A friend was bragging about these boxes and I knew I had to try one with T. Big problem though-choosing just one! I love The Big Orange Splot as a back to school read and to keep handy when a situation arrises in my classroom. I love A Bad Case of the Stripes and all things David Shannon in general. I love Room on the Broom and read it every Halloween without fail. I love Gregory the Terrible Eater and consider it a classic. I love Miss Rumphius and have many fun activities to accompany it at school. I also really love Come on, Rain! and use it as mentor in workshop. I am not as familiar with The Scrambled States of America but I have seen it and I feel certain my class would love it! 

Knowing how much my guy is into letters and words and sounds right now, I felt like I should jump on that, so I went with LMNOPeas. I have the book in my classroom but we did not have a copy at home. So glad we do now! We've revisited it many times!

When the box arrived, T was ecstatic. He loves getting mail and a package really throws him over the top! We opened it to find a list of  skills that can be supported with the text. <teacher happy> 
 The box is had every material needed to complete the activities-glue stick, watercolors, popsicle sticks, cards, velcro, cup for water, binder ring, stingers, art paper, and letters. WOW! I told T I couldn't believe how easy this was and he said, "Mom it's not easy for everyone." HA! We were on two different pages!
After reading the book (which we did the night before and then on the same day, I let him choose our first activity. He chose painting. We folded the paper, he traced the lines, wrote the letters of his name, decorated and then painted a name masterpiece. It now proudly hangs in our home! He is so proud of it!
While he designed, I put the velcro on the sticks. There was no prep before we started. It was AWESOME! These would be used for making letters of the alphabet. He loved this and I love knowing I have these around for later! I'm thinking road trips, hotel stays, etc for these bad boys! 
This is how he made an A.
We did alter one of the activities that suggested glueing letter cards to the index cards. T is a little beyond that so we added family names and basic sight words to the cards. The box absolutely encourages you to branch out and use these supplies to meet your needs. We used the letter cards to play games with sounds and matching. We even made a few words. We also completed one of the extension activities involving careers. T now knows all about yogis. 
The directions are very clear. I love that. I wish the pictures (I'm visual) were on the same page as the directions, but that is the only thing I would want to change about the whole activity box! I think that says a lot....I'm a little opinionated! :)

StoryCraft Boxes were created by reading people, by educators. They are fun, hands on, book based projects that are super parent friendly. They are realistic in the amount of time you need to do them. They address different learning styles, introduce new textures and mediums, build academic skills, and fine motor. Most importantly, they allow you to focus less on finding materials and focus more on quality time with your child. I think that was the best part. It is all there-book, materials, directions. Perfect. 

We are sharing the love and giving one reader their choice of StoryCraft Box! Enter below! Tell your friends! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All opinions are my own. I received one StoryCraft Box to review with my honest opinions. Check one out and see what you think about it! 

Jackie Robinson

Friday, June 28, 2013 No comments
Have you seen 42, the Jackie Robinson story? N and I saw it last week at the Fabulous Fox Theater during the summer movie series. (Next time you are in the ATL, be sure to see a show at the Fox!) 

I am embarrassed to say, up until seeing the movie, I had little knowledge about Jackie Robinson. I knew he was a hero our 2nd graders all learn about in Georgia. I knew he was the first African American to play on a Major League team, but that was about it. <Hangs head in shame.> 

Watching the movie though, laughing out loud, cringing with disgust, and crying because times were terribly hard for so many, and then crying more because all over the world the same battle is being fought every single day--I decided to learn more.

I read information online at and visited Jackie Robinson's page.  That did not cut it for me. We loaded the car and headed to the bookstore. Our local used bookstore had book featuring a few pages on Mr. Robinson, but nothing more. Next stop, Barnes and Noble. 

I chose these two books-one for information and the other for a fun read. I told my husband they were an investment as I am sure to recommend these two books to children soon!

I enjoyed both books and thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this Civil Rights hero, this amazingly strong individual, this person who changed baseball. I have told T a little bit about him, but can't wait to share more when he is a bit older. 

If you know all about Jackie or just know a little bit, go see the movie. (NOT recommended for elementary students. Language is disturbing-or at least it was for me.) It is powerful stuff. Some of the acting is a bit over the top, but the story is quite moving. 

If you have a 2nd-4th grader, I recommend both of these reads! I know some powerful family conversations could be hatched from learning more about the life and times of Jackie Robinson.

Who do you want to know more about? Next for me? Andy Warhol!

7 Tips for Cruising...with a Kid!

Thursday, June 27, 2013 No comments
Here are a few tips and tidbits for cruising with a kid! 

1. Tips are automatically charged to your account, around $11 each per day. Additional tips are at your discretion, and we absolutely thought our room stewards deserved a little extra....especially since we have a kid!

2. Take your own aloe gel! The one we bought from the cruise gift shop was $15. That's right-fifteen dollars! However, it was worth every penny at the time!

3. Let go of any idea of following your regular routine! We threw in the towel the first day and we are so glad we did! Vacations should be fun and responsibly carefree (does that even make sense?) Let your kids live a little!
4. Take your own drinks! Carnival allows you to bring your own Cokes, Capri Suns, juice, etc. Do it! Drinks are costly! A bottled water was $4, juice was around the same, and I'm not sure about the colas because we are not cola people. We did however pack a few waters and Capri Sun waters and I'm glad we did. They came in handy, especially at night when no one felt like making a drink run! Next time, we will bring the full amount allotted! 

5. There are washers and dryers on the ship! It is like a little laundromat and for about a buck, you can wash and dry clothes. I might not have packed 1,432 extra things if I had known this. (We all know that is a lie.)

6. Be prepared for the paparazzi! Carnival has photographers everywhere! This is great on one hand because you come away with some awesome family pictures. On the other hand, the pictures are about $11 each. YIKES! My advice here is avoid the photo walls unless you are willing to buy. I mean, my kid is so cute, I just had to buy them! (and Carnival knows that mom and dad!)
Last but not least....
7. If you are thinking about going on a family cruise, do it! With kids, it will not be the most relaxing trip you ever take, but it will be fun with entertainment provided, and meals ready when you are. No planning-just fun!

If you have any questions, let me know! I'll try to answer them! :)

Heading Home

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 No comments
Day 5 of a 5 day blog fest all about our Carnival Cruise! This is not a review or anything official~just wanted to share our week cruising with a preschooler!

Our last day was upon us! It was another day at sea! We laid around for awhile (missed breakfast completely) and had room service lunch. I'm telling you, that is a perk people! Then we let T make the plans for the day! 
First stop, Waterworks. We were there for like 22 hours. Sunscreen, water, play, repeat! 
Water down the swim trunks! Is that a boy thing? He did it EVERY TIME he had the chance!
T had been a little uncertain of the big slide the first few days, but today, with Atlantis and the private island behind him, HE WAS READY! 
After all that outside fun, we passed out. It was a perfect last day treat~family nap time! We woke up late, got dressed, walked around some more, and headed to our last, yummy dinner. Dancing for evening including gandham style. T was all about it! 
 We arrived in the room to this special last night treat. T said, "Mommy, he made us a heart because we love it here." How sweet is that?!
 Our last day was done! Had it really already been 5 nights?!? 

Have you ever wished a trip just would not end?

Ooh a Private Island...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 No comments
Day 4 of a 5 day blog fest all about our Carnival Cruise! This is not a review or anything official~just wanted to share our week cruising with a preschooler!

Our 4th day on the cruise was perfect because after walking like 10,000 steps around the Atlantis property, we all needed to relax! 
Again, Carnival was super efficient! We loaded the little boat to take us to their private island, Little Stirrup Cay, with very little wait time. T loved the ride over and being on top of the open boat! He went straight for the water! We walked around in the water and saw lots of fish and even a barracuda! So cool! 
We found lots of seashells and a few still had inhabitants. (We left those behind.) We built a couple of sand castles, too. Then mommy hit the beach chair while the two boys goofed off. I ended up with a sunburn on my legs. What am I 16? I mean, shouldn't I know better! Every other part of my body was coated in sunscreen. Oh well! We had the lunch provided-burgers and dogs along with tons of delicious, cold fruit and lots of water! Hours later, we headed back to the ship!
Of course, rather than nap, T decided to create a pulley system with the closet handles, a small rope he brought on the trip and some other random toys. Whatever works! :)

Dressed for dinner, we took another walk around the ship (burning off a few ice cream calories.) We checked out the putt putt course where the boys played yesterday. We also took advantage of another couple and had a few pictures taken. Generally speaking, travelers on cruises are super nice! 
Dinner was a big hit and featured T's favorite new food-mango soup. He also loved the evening performance where the wait staff dances around the room. We joined each night...making memories for sure! He also drew a picture of my sister while waiting for our food. "Here's Nina, mommy-out of the blue." He misses her, too. 
Back in the room, N and I were ready to pass out. Instead, T wanted to write in his journal about the beach and sort his shells. How could we say no?

Day Four was coming to a close and I was getting a little homesick. Internet connection is super slow and expensive and I was starting to miss my family. Not talking to them each day is hard for me. 

Prayers and a recap of the day were finished. We moved this little guy over and all passed out!
Tomorrow is our last day, another day at sea! 

*None of us have been sick during the trip! Do you get seasick? What is that like!?! (or do I even want to know!)


Monday, June 24, 2013 No comments

Sign-ups are open for the fabulous Kinderfeets Giveaway
This event is free to join with an announcement post. 
For participation, you will receive 2 free links (Facebook and Twitter)
Sign-ups for the event closes on June 28th
Sign up for the event Here

Hello Atlantis!

Day 3 of a 5 day blog fest all about our Carnival Cruise! This is not a review or anything official~just wanted to share our week cruising with a preschooler!

Hello Atlantis Resort!

We liked Atlantis, but are not planning a trip any time soon. It was fun, but I feel like we can check it off the list!
Are you a resort kind of person? 


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