Tag Archives: kids

Kids and Critters

Seems like my kids are always discovering things.  They have a natural curiosity, a sense of excitement and wonder about the world around them.    

And they seem to find critters in the yard, the water, the sky, and just about everywhere we go.  Here are a few of their exciting critters they found so far this summer.

A little lizard.

A snapping turtle.

Little crabs in borrowed shells.

Large crab with blue claws.

Crab with rocks in its shell.

Bees in flowers.

Kittens born in a garden.

They always seem to find a variety of birds every where.

Deer in the driveway.

Baby box turtles discovered while mowing the grass. 

Leaf bugs.

Spiders in their nests.

Little praying mantis who was very unhappy to have his picture taken.

I just love watching my kids discover everything around them with excitement and wonder.

Watching my kids explore and approach everything around them with a sense of excitement and wonder reminds me of the words of Jesus (Yahusha) who encouraged all of us to set aside our preconceived notions, our traditions, our resentments and disappointments, our need to control, and let go and trust and become like children in our relationship to the Heavenly Father and enter his kingdom.

 Jesus (Yahusha) called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Luke 18:16

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Sea Shells By The Shore

On a recent trip to see the ocean, I was amazed at the variety of sea shells by the shore.

The waves constantly washed up an incredible number and variety of shells and deposited them on the sandy beach.

It was like a never ending gift, with each crash of the waves, thousands of new shells landed in the sand.

Every shell was different.

I was in awe that the Lord God has made such variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of shells and the variety of species that use shells as a covering.

The kids were curious to identify what creatures use the different shells. We plan to have some fun matching shells with their occupants.

Some shells get discarded and a new creature takes residence in the empty shell.  We were fortunate to find some creatures had taken up residence already.

Sometimes the shells are spread out on the surface of the sand, and sometimes the shells are piled close together.  The shells left on the shore go on for miles and miles.

I watched several people collecting shells.  Some came with bags and others with buckets every morning and evening and they spent hours combing through the shells left behind by the waves.   I realized they are not only collecting shells, but they also sell these shells.  Some of the shells are also used in crafts and sold in souvenir shops

I thought it would be fun to teach the kids a tongue twister about sea shells that I had learned as a young girl.  A tongue twister is when you say similar sounding words over and over quickly without making a mistake.  However, it is not as easy as it sounds and you will likely mess up or get “tongue twisted”.    The kids think this is hilarious.

“She sells sea shells by the sea shore.
The shells she sells are surely seashells.
So if she sells shells on the seashore,
I’m sure she sells seashore shells.”

I want to encourage you to spend time with your kids today.  Observe and explore with them the amazing things Father God has created all around you.  There is an amazing variety of gifts right in front of our eyes that often goes ignored.   No matter where you are, you will find something incredible if you just take time.  This is an opportunity to connect with your kids in a special way and point them to their Heavenly Father.   You might find a funny tongue twister to try with your kids too and you will surely get plenty of giggles and laughter on the learning adventure.

Be blessed!

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The Beginner’s Bible

The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a great way to encourage children to listen and read Bible stories.  We were sent The Beginner’s Bible for review and I was very excited to receive this new updated version with bright 3D art work and fun illustrations to use in our home.

  The Beginner’s Bible

Hardcover Book

512 Pages

90 Brightly Illustrated Bible Stories

Retails for $16.99

Additional discounts up to 50% for bulk purchases

Recommended for Kids ages 6 and under (Read Aloud)

Easy Read for kids 7-8

But also great as an easy reader for older kids and ESL too.

The Beginner’s Bible was first released in 1989, and has sold over 25 million copies in the past 27+ years.   25 MILLION!  That is an amazing testimony of how this wonderful gem, filled with timeless wisdom, is to share with each generation of children around the world.

Why Use An Illustrated Bible For Kids?

There are many reasons to use the bible in your home.  It is so important to incorporate the truths from the bible in raising children.  It is Father God’s love letter and instruction manual to all of his children, young and old.   Using an illustrated Bible helps kids “picture” the events and people they are learning about.  I like this illustrated version because it simplifies the learning for younger children without taking away from the message that God put there for us to learn.

In addition to advice and instructions in the Bible, you also read about the fascinating lives of the men and women who lived during the time it was written.   Reading the Bible actually causes your faith, and your children’s faith, in Father God and his son Jesus to grow.  The bible helps you see how consistently faithful God is and how much he loves us.  It shows you the ups and downs in people’s lives and how God brought them through the good and bad experiences that people live through.

The bible teaches us how to handle good and bad experiences we go through in life and how to trust in God who hears our prayers and helps guide us everyday.  The bible gives us values to live by called a biblical worldview.  People still go through good and bad experiences today and we need God more now than ever.  The bible tells us about his only begotten son he sent to save mankind from their sin and eternal separation from God.  Jesus paid the price so that we can spend eternity with God if we will believe, love and obey his teachings.

A few ways we can incorporate using The Beginner’s Bible with kids in our every day life:

  • Read aloud by parents, grandparents, and older siblings.
  • Read along for beginners.
  • Independent reading for beginners.
  • Circle Time, Quiet Time, Bed Time
  • Story telling.
  • Retelling the stories using additional props such as  Legos, Crafts, Puppets, Diorama, Costumes, etc.
  • Homeschool Projects, Home, Bible Study, Get Togethers, Sunday School
  • Create Lap Books, Note Books, Timelines, etc.
  • Writing Practice as children copy the story onto their own notebook pages.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)

The Beginner’s Bible Experience In Our Home

We have been using The Beginner’s Bible since the beginning of having children in our family.   Let me see…that is over 16+ years!  We received our first copy as a gift when our oldest was born.   We have purchased a few more copies over the years.  Our current version is still on our bookshelf and has lasted through lots of little hands, quiet times on the couch, and several moves across country.  This illustrated bible for kids has been a family favorite of ours for many years.   We have six kids and each one started their Bible learning with The Beginner’s Bible.

We have made it a priority to spend time reading in the bible each day.  Our younger kids listen to bible stories being read to them and our older kids read the bible themselves and also read to their younger siblings.

Once a week we set aside time for the kids to retell bible stories they have learned.  They can choose any props or make crafts or use Legos, etc.  The older boys also like to make Lego stop motion movies to retell the events in the bible stories.

Sometimes we turn the learning adventure into a Unit Study and spend an entire month on a specific theme such as “forgiveness” or “Ancient Egypt” or “the miracles of Jesus” etc. This is a great way for the kids to learn hands on and practice sharing what they have learned with each other and also share with daddy when he gets home from work.

There are 90 stories in this illustrated Bible.   That is over a year’s worth of stories if you focus on learning one new story a week.   Or complete it in a year if you read two stories a week.  If you want to go faster, you could read this in 90 days if you do one story each day.  You can go at a pace that works best for your family.

Another great way to use The Beginner’s Bible with your kids is to include the free printables and games on The Beginner’s Bible Website (recommended for kids 12 and under).   Perhaps you can print them off as you read each story or print them off ahead of time and make a folder with the printables for each story and build a story unit study.   You can also add more materials to your folders as you find additional resources.

Since we love making unit studies with stories we read, we are using two to three related stories each week.  It will take us about a year to do the entire book at this pace.

Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study

Be sure to check out a story I posted using The Beginner’s Bible called Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study.  Unit Studies are one of our favorite ways to learn.  They are cross-curricular and subjects (math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a theme, they are hands on,  and they help children retain what they have learned. 

We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities, including the FREE sample curriculum lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study.  These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.

The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son” , watching  the lesson video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on.

The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page.

This was a lot of fun for the kids.  You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.

Noah and the Lego Ark

Check out another story I posted using The Beginner’s Bible in  Noah and the Lego Ark .

We used The Beginner’s Bible and Legos as a way to retell the bible story of Noah.  That story includes more fun ideas on using this children’s illustrated Bible in fun hands on learning ways.

More Learning Fun

After reading the stories in The Beginner’s Bible, my kids love to watch the animated videos by the same company.

You can find these on “youtube.”  There is also an APP from their website for these stories, games, and videos for your smart phone.

The videos are a great way to reinforce the learning.  They are entertaining and engaging.   We set aside time to fix a snack like pretzels and apple slices and my kids sit down to watch the bible stories.

Check The Beginner’s Bible website and youtube for more details on fun ways to enhance the learning.

The Beginner’s Bible

Website & Teaching Resources

Please check out The Beginner’s Bible website for wonderful FREE resources to compliment your child’s learning and enjoyment using The Beginner’s Bible.

They have free printouts for coloring pages, word puzzles, mazes, online learning games etc.  Print as many copies as you need and create your own folders filled with fun learning projects to go along with the bible stories.

Free Stuff From The Website To Use With The Beginner’s Bible:

  • Coloring Pages (40+ printable coloring activities)
  • Drawing Pages (I loved these!)
  • Read Together Sheets (print and bind these for an additional story book)
  • Writing Sheets (practice writing letters and numbers)
  • Place Mats and Posters (so many uses!)
  • Book Marks (everybody needs book marks!)
  • Mazes
  • Paint Online
  • Online Games, Quizzes, etc
  • Word Puzzles Printouts
  • Matching
  • Videos
  • Recommended Bible Story Reading Schedule for the year.
  • APP for your phone or electronic device with stories and activities.

They also offer 2 lessons for free from their curriculum kit:  “Creation” and  “Jesus Rescues the Lost” .  I would encourage you to get a copy of these free lesson plans and see how easy it is to use this illustrated Bible in your learning adventures.

If you want to purchase the complete lesson plans, they are available for an additional purchase on the Zonderkidz website and are called “The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit”.  After using the free lesson plan they offered, I think this would be a great resource.  It would make it simple to use The Beginner’s Bible as a curriculum and the lesson planning work is all done for you.

The kit comes with a hardback copy of The Beginner’s Bible and a DVD with a year’s worth of lesson plans including 30 teaching lessons that incorporate the 90 bible stories, and a DVD with 28 animated video stories, fun activities, and lots of additional classroom use ideas.   There is also a family take-home page for each lesson for kids to share with their parents and to further the learning at home.

The Beginner’s Bible Is Fun For Kids

The Beginner’s Bible is full of faith building stories and fun illustrations to enhance the learning.  It is a wonderful gift for your children and grandchildren, classrooms, and kids clubs.   Zonderkidz also offers resources in English and Spanish, I can Read Books, The Beginner’s Bible Deluxe, The Beginner’s Bible For Little Ones, The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit, etc.  as well as additional resources on their website.   I think using this children’s Bible is a an essential piece for teaching young children about the stories and people of the Bible.   Every page is filled with full-color illustrations that retell 90 Bible stories in a fun and engaging way.

Our younger kids love the bright colors of the illustrations in this children’s Bible.  Looking at colorful pictures helps keep their attention whether they are listening to it as a read aloud, or if they are reading the stories for themselves.  It is a great way to include Bible learning in our home and incorporate into our homeschool learning too.  I am sure they will continue to use this treasure this illustrated Bible for many more years to come.

AWARDS

The Beginner’s Bible was named the 2006 Retailers Choice Award winner in Children’s Nonfiction.

Social Media

Be sure to connect with Zonderkidz on their social media links for all the latest news, special offers, and resources to further the learning.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zonderkidz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zonderkidz

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/zondervan

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/zondervanp/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zondervan/

The Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out how other families on the Homeschool Review Crew used this product in their homes.

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Tales from the Circle C Ranch Review

We have been having so much fun reading Tales from the Circle C Ranch.  We love these books! This is the second book by Susan Marlow from Circle C Adventures we have had the privilege to review.

Circle C Adventures

What We Received:

We received the Tales from the Circle C Ranch book, and also a PDF download of the corresponding Andrea Carter’s Tales From The Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook and Study Guide for the purpose of this review.

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

by Susan Marlow
Historical /Christian / Fiction /
160 pages
Paperback Book
For ages 9-14
Retails for $7.99

Lapbook

A Journey Through Learning: Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch, Learning Lapbook and Study Guide.

E-book PDF digital download.
39 pages
Instructions, study guide pages tying each chapter of the book with historical facts, and printout activities to create fun learning lapbooks.
Retails for $7.00

Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a book about a young girl named Andi (Andrea Carter) who lived in the late 1800’s.  The book is a collection of short stories about her life between 1874 to 1881 (about ages 6-13) and relates to the other Circle C series of books.  The author wrote this book to answer questions about Andi’s life sent in by her fans who read one or more of the other books.  Andi has a lot of fans!

How We Used This In Our Home.

We are having a blast with this book and study guide-lapbook combination.   Lapbooks and unit studies are some of our favorite ways to study.

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I received the reading book in the mail, and the lapbook PDF came in an email link.

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When I received the link to the PDF download, I printed it and put it into a three ring binder.

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The Lapbook is 39 pages, and is made up of a little less than 1/2 study guide (17 pages), and 1/2 activities (22 pages).   I printed off a copy of each of the activity pages for the kids, but did not print the study guide pages for them.  I have 6 kids and 22 pages a piece is a whole lot of printing!!!  I also glued two folders together for each child, that will hold their activity pages and eventually become their lapbooks.

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Instead of each of the kids having their own copy of the study guide, we read from the study guide pages from the main copy I put into the binder.  That way each child only had to keep track of their own activity pages, and I kept track of the main copy (study guide, instructions, activity pages) in the binder.   This method worked out well for our family and helped me save a lot of ink and paper!

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I also opted to save more money and printed the lapbook activity pages in black and white and let the kids color them while they listened to the book being read aloud, in instead of printing them in full color.   By having to color the activity pages instead of choosing them pre-colored, it helped them be even more involved in the learning process, and personalize their lapbooks so each one looks a little different from their siblings.

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For this review, each day I gathered all of the children together at the table to learn as a group.  One of the reasons we love lapbooks and the unit study approach to learning is the fun we have learning together.

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Our oldest son read the book aloud to the kids.  He read one short story a day to them, but he also enjoyed reading ahead on his own too.  Several times I found him reading after we were all finished at the table.  He couldn’t wait to get to the next story in the book.

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While he read the book, the younger children colored the corresponding lapbook worksheets.

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They loved coloring while listening to the story.

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After he read the chapter, he would then read the corresponding page about a related history subject in the study guide.  Then I would give the children instructions (cutting, stapling, and arranging the booklet position, and gluing it into their folders) to complete their lapbook assignment.

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The older boys preferred to just listen during the story read aloud, and then work on their lapbook worksheets afterwards while the study guide was being read.

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After completing the lapbook pages for each chapter, the children glued the finished activity into their lapbooks.

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The kids really enjoyed reading this book and creating their lapbooks. They have several things in common with Andi (Andrea Carter).  They could relate to her even though she lived during the late 1880’s.    This made it really fun for them to follow along in the story.  For example:

  • She has several siblings and we have a lot of siblings.
  • She lives on a ranch and has chores and we live on a homestead farm and have chores too.
  • She has horses and we have goats, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dogs as well as a big garden and several acres to play and run on our homestead.
  • Andi is a Christian and grows her faith through the experiences she lives out, and we do the same.  The kids can identify with her trust in the Lord.
  • In the book she buys a gift for her mom for her birthday, and we did something special for dad for Father’s Day and celebrated 2 birthdays during this review.  We celebrated each of these with gifts, cheesecake, and vanilla cake  and chocolate cake.

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There are several things I would like to do before we finish this fun learning adventure.   I hope I can schedule a field trip to take the kids to see some other things relevant to Andi’s life and the experiences shared in the book.

A few additional things I would like to add to this learning project is:

  • take the kids to see some horses, learn about different kinds of saddles and tack used to care for horses, get to feed the horses, maybe find a stables where we can ride horses on a trail, or take a carriage ride.
  •  I hope to find a good youtube video of a recent horse race for the kids to watch.
  • Visit the ocean.  Find a crab and clam shells.  Taste the salty ocean water.
  • Visit a nature center and hold a snake.
  • Attend a ball game.
  • Create some fake snow to play in since it is not winter here, but if you read this book in the winter, be sure to include some snow activities.
  • Visit a photography studio and learn how they process photos.
  • It would be awesome to be able to take a trip out west to see California, Oregon, and Washington where the story takes place.  I visited these states in my youth and those are awesome memories.  But I don’t really see a cross country trip to the west coast happening anytime soon though.
  • Cook food from the 1800’s that Andi mentions in the story, like Molasses Cookies, Crab, Flapjacks, Peppermint Sticks, Apple Pie, Roast Beef Sandwiches, Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Cake,

I hope round out this book, lapbook, and our own unit study of this time in history by planning a field trip to a pioneer village from the 1800’s,  an outing at county or state fair, and to visit a horse ranch, as well as cook a couple of recipes like the ones mentioned in the book that were served for dinner, to enhance our learning even more with this study.

You will enjoy this book by itself or with the additional lapbook.  You don’t need anything other than a desire to read and learn to use either.  But you can also really enjoy this time period in history by including a few fun projects to enhance your child’s learning too.  Either way, this book is a winner and goes into a permanant place on our family book shelves to read again and again for years to come.

About the Author:

We fell in love with the books when we read Thick as Thieves earlier in the school year.   We couldn’t wait to get a hold of more books by Susan K Marlow !   Susan is a homeschool mom who has dedicated her life to her family and to writing wholesome Christian fiction books for kids of all ages to enjoy.

Susan Marlow

Susan Marlow has authored over 17 books and workbooks for children. She offers several free study guides to enhance the learning too.   The sequel to the Thick as Thieves  book we read earlier this year for the 12 and older age group is called Heartbreak Trail and is coming out later this summer.  My older sons are begging for me to get it for them.  I don’t know of too many boys who beg their mom for more books, (especially books that center around a girl character), but these books are a winner!!!

Susan Marlow Books

Each skill level / age level has it’s own series of books to read about Andi’s life as she grows up. To access the various levels of books, from the Susan Marlow web site, you will see this info-graph I have posted above.  Once you click “enter” on the picture of the series or learning level you are interested in, a whole web site for that specific learning level appears with books, study guides, lapbooks, more articles, and fun photos about Andi.  Susan Marlow has done a wonderful job organizing her website into an easy to navigate, and user friendly resource for families.

Susan Marlow lives on a homestead in the state of Washington.   She also teaches writing workshops, and hosts a writing contests for youth too. Her connection with homeschool life and homesteading really comes through in her books and my kids can relate so easily to Andi and the other characters even though the stories are written about a girl and her friends and family who lived in a previous time in history.

I haven’t yet told my kids that Susan also wrote a series of books about a 12 year old boy named Jem who grew up gem mining during the Gold Rush in California.  We enjoyed gem mining and gold panning few times while we lived in North Carolina where the Gold Rush began.  My kids have fond memories of those fun times.  I just know they are going to want every book Susan Marlow has ever published about Andi and Jem as these stories are so exciting for kids to read.

Social Media:

Be sure to follow the social media links for Susan Marlow to find out updates and more about the adventures of Andi’s life in all the wonderful series of Circle C books, study guides, lapbooks, coloring pages, and more.

Andi’s Blog: Circle C Adventures   http://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CircleCAdventures
Twitter http://twitter.com/SuzyScribbles
Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/susankmarlow/
Writing Contests
(enter 9/1- 1/10) http://www.circlecadventures.com/Writing-Contest.html

Dynamic Literacy Review

Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using this product with their kids.

Crew Disclaimer

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Getting In More Fruits and Vegetables

I’ve been making healthy changes in my life. I’m 45 and I realize I haven’t always made the best food choices.  There are things about my health I can improve. One of those is to consume more healthy fruits and vegetables.

Fruit Kabobs

It is recommended that we eat at least 9 to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  Those are minimum numbers for basic nutrients. You  will want to eat a lot more to stay healthy and fight disease, and also if you do athletic activities.

Veggie Sandwich

4 Ways To Get In More Fruits And Vegetables.

Here are 4 ways to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet:
1. Make fruit bowls, fruit or fruit and veggie kabobs, and smoothies at breakfast.
2. Include vegetables on your sandwich, in a salad, or as a fresh crunchy side dish for lunch.
3. Set out vegetable trays, or make your own “???” (salad, taco, loaded potatoes, veggies and dip, etc) for supper,  and offer bowls and plates filled with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from. The more exposure your kids (and husband) has to seeing and sampling these, the more likely they will be to develop a desire to eat them.
4. Take Juice Plus+ Capsules or Juice Plus+ Chewables.

Veggie Tray

The Next Best Thing

I know I don’t eat enough servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.  Over time this creates a gap in my nutrition and health.   I am thankful for the option to eat additional whole food nutrients in a simple way, dried and encapsulated. It is the next best thing to fresh fruits and vegetables and supplies a full spectrum of nutrients, enzymes, probiotics, and the synergy of the live food my body needs.

Juice Plus+ Capsules

I am bridging the gap with these 6 capsules.  I am eating the nourishment of 30+ fruits, veggies, berries, and grains. All the nourishment is in tact, just like when I use my juicer and dehydrator to preserve my garden harvest. It is still whole food and all of the nutrients are there including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, cartenoids, phytonutrients, chlorophyll, anthocyanosides, polyphenols, immune boosting and histamine lowering herbs, and so much more.  I wish I had known about this years ago, but it’s never to late to make a positive change.

Fruits, Veggies, Berries Juice Plus+

KIDS

And I don’t have to worry about my kid’s diet missing out on vital whole food nutrients. Juice Plus+ offers the same whole food nutrition in gummy chews that kids love.

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My kids love these amazing chewy fruity gems of nutrition.

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On average most kids in the USA get less than 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies.   That is far less than the 9-13 servings that are recommended.  Let’s face it, kids don’t always have big appetites for fruits and veggies.  They prefer cookies, junkfood, hotdogs, and chicken nuggets.  So what is a parent to do?

Spinach and raspberry salad

Keep trying.  Keep introducing fruits and veggies at each meal and snack times.  And then do the next best thing to be sure you have covered all the bases.

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But with Juice Plus+ Chewables, parents can have the confidence that they are bridging the gap in their child’s nutrition too.  And Juice Plus+ offers the chewables to children for free with the parents purchase of adult capsules or adult chewables.

Juice Plus Chewables

Let me know if you would like more information about how Juice Plus+ can help you and your family with bridging the gap in your healthy lifestyle.

Be blessed!

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Fall Tile Art At Homeschool Coop

Creating personalized seasonal art is a great activity to do as a homeschool project. We participated in this project for homeschool coop. My kids had a blast learning how to make Fall Tile Art and will treasure these creations for many years to come.

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To make the Fall Tile Art project, you will need to cut out pictures with a fall theme. This is fun for kids to do and gives the project a personal touch because they chose their own special pictures. We cut out our pictures from fall themed paper bags, but you could also use magazines, wrapping paper, or print them off the internet, etc. You will also need ceramic tiles, modpoge, small felt cushions that stick on one side and are soft on the other, and a sealant.

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Next have the kids place a rough draft of their pictures on their tile so they can see where they want to place them or if they want to change the arrangement. Once it is stuck in place, they won’t be able to change their mind, so now is the time to decide where they want to place their pictures.

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Next have the kids remove the pictures from the tile and place them in the same arrangement on the table. Then have the kids brush modpodge all over the tile. Next place the pictures back in place. Then they need to brush the tiles again a second time, with modpodge and gently brush over the top of the pictures. Set the tiles somewhere to dry. It took our tiles about an hour for the modpodge to dry. We let the kids play games in the gym and exercise while the tiles dried.

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When the tiles were dry, we added small cushions to the four corners of the back side. The cushions are made of felt and are very soft.  If you don’t have cushions, you could glue or stick on a piece of felt too.  Finally we applied a clear spray sealant over the tile. For safety (breathing, etc), the sealant was sprayed onto the tiles by an adult outside in an open area. The sealant will help these masterpieces resist moisture and last a long time.

The tiles are lovely to display, and could be given away as wonderful homemade gifts too.   They can be used to decorate your home for whatever season you chose as your theme.  You can display them flat, or hung up.  The cushions on the bottom should help protect your furniture from scratches, or you could display these in a picture easle, plate display holder, or hang them on the wall.  To hang them on the wall you will need to ad a picture mount of some kind.  If you wanted to keep your expenses down, you could hotglue on a soda can tab as a picture mount and it wouldn’t cost but a few pennies for the hot glue you use.

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Fit Made Fun Day

Disclaimer: I recieved free products in order to host the LeapBand, Clif Kid sponsored MommyParties and participate virtually with the National Fit Made Fun Day. All opinions expressed here are my own.”

We had a great time joining in to help beat the Guiness World Record for the National Fit Made Fun Day on Saturday September 6, 2014!

We recieved a party kit with ideas and included were 2 Leap Frog LeapBands for kids to use for activities, and three flavors of Cliff Kid Zbar Protein Bars to enjoy during the event.

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We had arranged to have our Fit Made Fun Party at the local park, but we got rained out of our festivities.  I was worried we would miss getting to join in on this National celebration to break the world record of kids all over the USA getting active on the same day.   I thought we would have to reschedule until the following day, and I kept watching the weather.

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Finally by late afternoon, things began to dry out some and we were able to have fun games and activities outside in the yard instead of the park.  Better late (in the afternoon) than never!

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We activated the LeapBands ahead of the party.  I also printed out several games from http://www.leapfrog.com/en-us/learning-path/leapband-party-planning-guide.html with more game ideas, board games, coloring pages, activity cards, and more.

The Leapbands must be registered and activated online ahead of time. The creates access to a dashboard that keeps a cynced record of their activities recorded by the LeapBands.  The process is automatic each time you connect the LeapBands to the computer and allows you to change the settings of when they are active, sleeping, at school, etc if desired, and also recharges the LeapBand so it is full of energy.

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The kids couldn’t wait to put on their LeapBands and get busy following along with the instructions for activities.  They earned Joules for each activity they completed.  Later we connected them again to the computer after we were done using them for the day, the Joules they earned and information about their activities was transferred to their computer dashboard.

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LeapBand is a wearable activity tracker that talks to kids, keeps track of movement, and records their answers to games.  It is kind of cross between a pedometer, a watch, and an activity gaming console all wrapped up in one.  It encourages kids to get active with 50 preprogramed games and activities for endless hours of fun.  It also has virtual pet pals. They earn points called Joules for moving and being active. They can see the points they earned right on the face of the LeapBand. The more points they earn, they can unlock new levels in the games and also earn rewards for their virtual pet pals.

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We had water bottles and Clif Kid Zbar Protein bars on hand for rehydration and energy.  We also made Turkey Pita sandwhiches and had fresh strawberries.  The kid’s favorite snack was the Clif Kid Zbar Protein bars.  They are delicious. We tried the Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Mint, and Peanut Butter.

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Our absolute favorite flavor was Peanut Butter. They taste like a cross between a candy bar and a granola bar.

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But we honestly liked all the flavors. My personal favorite was the Chocolate Mint.  I was surprised how delicious and satisfying it was. Definitely passed for both kids and adults.

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As part of the National Fit Made Fun Party participation with kids nationwide, we spent 10 minutes doing the “Snorkel Dance”, 10 minutes rolling around in the grass making “Grass Angels”,  and 10 minutes playing “Follow The Leader”. We played games like “Frogs on the Lily Pads”,  “Healthy Habits Hunt”, and “Relay Races”. The kids had so much fun doing cartwheels, dancing, and hopping around.

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They made grass angels (like snow angles), did a swim dance, flew around like birds, and before I knew it, they were doing flips upside down on their hands in the grass too.

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They were having so much fun, they decided to take advantage of the little bit of sunlight left in the evening to climb trees and take a nature walk too.

Up the tree with LeapBand.

At the end of the party, everyone received a participation certificate. We had so much fun! We are already looking forward to joining the National Fit Made Fun Day again next year and hope we can help them set the next Guiness World Records!

Disclaimer:  We were provided a party kit with LeapBand and Clif Kid products in exchange for an honest review and for the purpose of facilitating a Fit Made Fun Day party sponsored by LeapFrog and MommyParties.  All opinions expressed are my own honest opinion.

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Happy Kids Songs Review

We have been having fun finishing out the end of summer and getting started back to school with a review of Happy Kids Songs.

Happy Kids Songs Review
 

 

Sometimes my younger kids are impulsive and not so happy. Happy Kids Songs has a lot to say about our attitude and how we treat each other. This is a great tool for parents to teach younger kids about behavior and focussing on the right things. This product is geared for kids 4-8 years old, but I had my 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 year olds do the activities and had the 14 year old assist as a teacher’s helper. He helped me set up a play list on the computer and print off worksheets and organized the craft materials. This way I was able to include all 6 of my kids in using this product. We all can use some lessons in how to be happy, no matter what age.

Happy Kids Songs was created by Dr. Mac who is the song writer of the wonderful TV program for kids called Jay Jay and the Jet Plane from PBS Kids. He is a talented song writer, accomplished musician, child psychologist, school consultant and has won numerous awards for his talents and skills. He has won the iParenting award, Teacher’s Choice award, The National Parenting Center’s Seal Of Approval award, and many more.

Happy Kids Songs currently has 8 Volumes to choose from. Each Volume contains 5 songs, and retails for $4.95. The lyrics to each songs help your kids develop good character trates, treat others the way they want to be treated, and become happy people. For this review, we received three Volumes as a download, pdf lyrics and worksheet for each song (download), and a physical workbook /songbook was mailed to us for this review.

Vol. 1  Friends And Sharing
Retails $4.95

 

Happy Kids Songs Review
Songs include:
Sailing on the Seven Cs; Everybody Wants to Find a Friend; Sharing Friends; Happy as Happy Can Be; Together

There are a few YouTube Videos of some of the songs being made, some interviews with Dr Mac, and a couple of music videos too. Here is a video of the song Together from Volume 1 Friends and Sharing:

Volume 6 Happiness and Attitude
Retails for $4.95

Happy Kids Songs Review
Songs include:
Shake It Out and Dance; Who Knows What’s a Kudo?; I Don’t Understand; Be Good to Yourself; Better Together

Volume 7 Manners and Character
Retails $4.95

Happy Kids Songs Review
Songs Include:
H-O-N-E-S-T-Y; The Magic Word; Quirks; The Golden Rule; Six Little Kids

Songbook / Workbook Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands On Activites To Build Character, Social & Emotional Skills
Retails for $12.56

Happy Kids Songs Review
The workbook has over 100 lessons.  It includes all the lyrics and worksheets, coloring pages, and lesson plans and activity ideas for all 40 songs in the Happy Kids Songs 8 Volumes.

Our family has enjoyed sitting together at the table and listening to the songs, learning the lyrics, coloring pages and completing corresponding activities (word puzzles, coloring pages, arts and crafts).

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We downloaded the songs to our computer to listen to at home, and also burned them on a CD so we can take them on the road in the van too.

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The workbook has all of the song lyrics organized by Volume at the front half of the book with a corresponding worksheet. In the second half of the book, it has lesson plans also organized by Volume.

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For me, the workbook was indispensible and very easy to implement. You just find the lessons for the Volume you are listening too, learn the lyrics, do the activity sheets, and optional activities and arts and crafts.

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The kids really enjoyed making crafts while listening to the songs. Here they are making a friend puppet.

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Happy Kids Songs products are great! Kids enjoy using them. The songs are catchy and easy to remember. They are handy for adults because they have everything organized in the workbook and come with a license to re-produce the lyrics and coloring pages and worksheets, and you can use them in your family or group settings with multiple students. This makes them a great option for Sunday School, clubs, and Homeschool Coops too.

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Be sure to follow Happy Kids Songs on their social media links for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook
Twitter
Youtube
Blog
And be sure to sign up for the monthly news letter and receive a free song of the month and other special information. Samples of songs and more are also available on their web site.

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Check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using Happy Kids Songs products in their home.

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