All posts in Parenting

Celebrate International Book Giving Day

Celebrate International Book Giving Day Feb 14th!

International Book Giving Day, 14th February, is a day dedicated to getting new, used, and borrowed books into the hands of as many children as possible.

Two of my favorite KidLit bloggers are behind the wonderful International Book Giving Day (Delightful Children’s Books and My Book Corner)! To celebrate, I had to attack the piles of books all over my house. My husband is very happy that I am getting rid of some books but for me, it’s all about getting the right books to the right people. Read more…

Getting Kids Reading 12 sure fire ways to get kids reading

Get Kids Reading Strategies: 12 Surefire Ways

I searched five years of digital photographs looking for photos of my kids reading and I only came up with the handful here. Why? It’s not easy getting kids reading, especially to love reading enough that they choose it over more exciting things like screens, playdates or sports!

I started my blog after my oldest had a bad year in first grade. She was a reluctant reader who hated the performance aspect of reading out loud. My second child who is academic preferred less “sitty” past times than reading. She never stops moving so it’s hard to pin her down to read. My son much prefers screens to anything else in life so it’s a challenge to get him to exchange a book for a screen.

Over the years, I have tried EVERYTHING to get my kids to love reading. And that might be the key to eventual success. There is no magic bullet but effort counts. And now, I’m happy to report that my oldest (Grasshopper and Sensei), now  in 8th grade, is a voracious reader. By 3rd grade we had turned the corner enough so that she started posting on her favorite chapter books. Read more…

food stamp challenge

Food Stamps Challenge

Food stamps are far from an extravagant benefit. The average allocation is $1.40 per person per meal. (Try it some time.)

from Rolling Stone The Republicans’ War on the Poor

My mom friend Stella has convinced me to try the Food Stamp challenge. It’s not about losing weight. It’s about bringing attention to Food Stamps and how politicians want to cut this important social program back. The GOP, according to Rolling Stone Magazine, is waging a war on the poor, pushing to decimate the food-stamp program which benefits the most vulnerable out of sheer spite.

The way the program to provide the poor with the bare minimum of daily nutrition has been handled is a metaphor for how the far right in the House is systematically trying to take down the federal government. Breaking all manner of precedents on a series of highly partisan votes, with the Republicans barely prevailing, the House in September slashed the food-stamp program by a whopping $39 billion and imposed harsh new requirements for getting on, or staying on, the program. The point was to deny the benefit to millions. As recently as the mid-Sixties, actual hunger and starvation existed in this country on a significant scale, particularly in the Deep South and Appalachia.

Food stamps are far from an extravagant benefit. The average allocation is $1.40 per person per meal. So, to bring attention to this important social issue, I told Stella that I would try the Food Stamps Challenge. Read more…

4 Animal Picture Book Giveaway!

4 Animal Picture Book Giveaway!

To celebrate Todd Parr‘s  newest padded board books: Doggy Kisses 123 and Animals in Underwear ABC, I’m teaming up with Christina of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers to do a 4 animal picture book giveaway!! Yay!!

We love Todd Parr! Our first Todd Parr picture book was It’s Ok to be Different! and I read it to my oldest when she was in Kindergarten after her classmate’s mom recommended it to me, as a message that would help her son handle questions of why he had two moms. My daughter did wonder that, but out of curiosity, not in a judging kind of way.

We also loved his The Thankful Book which is another gentle message about gratitude. We also liked his TV show. And I checked out his website and found wonderful activities for kids. Read more…

Johnson & Johnson healthy essentials twitter party

Johnson and Johnson Twitter Party with Prizes

It’s January and the holiday season is behind us. Phew! I find that I appreciate coupons more than ever.  But the one thing I’ve learned about coupons over the years is that you only really save money when you are buying something you really need and will actually use!

Now that my two girls are in Middle School, teen acne is on the radar. I like to use teen acne products as well to keep my skin clear and it makes for less clutter in the bathroom that all five of us share!

My dermatologist, Dr. Madeleine Krauss, says that if acne is mild as it is for most teens, try over-the counter acne medication. She posted about her favorite drugstore acne products and included Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash.  She says that the least irritating treatment is a wash that contains salicylic acid.  You can also save $1 by using this coupon for it here.

Neurtrogena-Coupons-Beauty-Skin-Hair-couponsRead more…

lap reading, reading to two kids on my lap

Reading to Two Kids on My Lap and GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest poster, Kristin Briley, a teacher and wife of children’s book author Randy Briley. She is posting today on how to read aloud to two kids of different ages with different interests and keep them happy!

Did you ever have that reading challenge? What books worked for you? Please share!

 

Bridging the Gap: Reading to Two Kids on My Lap

As a bibliophile myself, an English teacher of many years who knows the importance of reading, and a mom who loves quiet moments I can share with my children, books rank high on my “very good things” list. I love reading with my kids, but the challenge lies in finding books that appeal to and hold the attention of both of my sweeties at once. I have a two and a half year old daughter who loves animals and a five year old son who loves all things construction.

It was easy to read books with my son when he was a toddler. As he’s grown older, it’s become harder to draw him in and he has outgrown many of the books that my daughter still loves. He does enjoy reading IF I can drag his attention away from Legos, Netflix, vehicles, and building things out of jump ropes, boxes, carbingers, and duct tape.

My daughter loves to read but some of the longer stories my son is ready for don’t hold her attention quite yet. As I try to bridge the age and interest gaps, I find myself turning to a small assortment of books that I can rely on to interest BOTH of my kids…books that they both love hearing and looking at over and over again.

Here are the top ten books that I know will engage both my daughter and son and evoke their laughter as we build their love of reading.

1. A Day at a Zoo by Sarah Harrison OR A Year at a Construction Site by Nicholas Harris
There are several in this series by Millbrook Press, but these two are my kids’ favorites. The scene in the books stays the same, but each page shows the scene at a different time of day, different month of the year, etc. My daughter loves finding the different animals and my son helps to find the suggested images. They both laugh at the little mishaps that close inspection reveals (cement being poured on a worker) and we can spend a long time poring over all the details in the illustrations.

Read more…

Vtech nnotab 3S Kid connect tablet.

VTech Tablet for Kids

I am proud to be writing about VTech toys today as part of a sponsored campaign with Social Moms. I was always a wooden toy kind of mom but when my kids were young, I would buy a few times a year, very carefully, a “bells and whistles” electronic toy for them. It might be for Christmas or a birthday. It had to have an educational angle to it or be a toy that had longevity. And it was ALWAYS a VTech toy.

There was the Alphabet Apple. I think that was the first VTech toy I bought. The new one comes with numbers; ours didn’t. My kids liked lugging it around by the handle though they didn’t play with this as much I would have liked.

The VTech Driving Toy was gold for me. This looked fun so I bought it and it entertained my kids for a very long time. My kids loved shifting gears while steering the driver’s wheel and I liked that there was an educational element hidden as they happily drove.

Read more…

hair chalk

PickyKidPix Wants This: Hair Chalk (and a discount coupon)

PickyKidPix is obsessed with hair styling which she is learning via YouTube videos, mostly through Cute Hair Styles. She’s watched all 200+ of them. I can actually recognize the videos from the audio alone!!

She gotten quite good at complex braids and have moved on to hot styling products including curling irons and flat irons. When I told her I had an offer to try out Hair Chalk, she was all over it! “YES!”, she said. And her disdain for my blogging has moved incrementally but slightly in a more favorable position.

hair chalkRead more…

wonder Twitter Party

Twitter Party Tonight to Win Signed Copies of Wonder by R. J. Palacio

I am excited to be co-hosting a Twitter party of behalf of Wonder by R. J. Palacio! This is one of my favorite books of all time. I met author R. J. Palacio at an Understanding Our Differences event last year and truly think this is wonderful book to give any child, ages 9 and up. You can win a signed copy tonight too!

There is a special guest attending tonight … and mum’s the word who it is. I hope it is author R. J. Palacio! She is such a nice person that I’d love for you to meet her too!

R J Palacio and Mia Wenjen PragmaticMom Wonder

To win signed copies of Wonder and twenty $20 gift card prizes, please go here to Social Moms to RSVP for the Twitter party. You must RSVP to win!

Date: Dec 12, 2013
Time: 4-5pm PST (7-8 EST)
Hashtag: #TheWonderOfWonder
Hosts: @socialmoms
Co-Host: @pragmaticmom
Sponsor: @randomhousekids
Questions: parmeet@socialmoms.com

We are giving away signed copies of Wonder as the grand prizes and twenty additional $20 gift card prizes!

  • Five $20 gift cards will be randomly awarded to participants tweeting an invitation to their followers before the party using the  #TheWonderOfWonder hashtag.

Tweet this: RSVP to #thewonderofwonder party, 12/12, 4-5pm PST! bit.ly/1be9GfB! Don’t miss this profile of the author: http://on.wsj.com/1eTUqWc

  • Fifteen $20 gift cards will be randomly awarded to participants tweeting with the  #TheWonderOfWonder hashtag during the party.
  • Two grand prize winners will receive a signed copy of  Wonder. They will be randomly awarded to a party participant tweeting with the #TheWonderOfWonder hashtag during the party.

(Please see pre-party official rules & Twitter party official rules)

Random drawing winners will be notified within 24 hours of the event on the @socialmoms Twitter page and via DM or @ reply on Twitter. Please make sure you are following @socialmoms so SocialMoms can contact you!

We hope you can join us as we talk about the importance of being kind to others! You’ll be entered for a chance to win prizes just by participating during the party. Also, we will have a special guest attending, so you don’t want to miss out on the fun!

Please make sure you follow @socialmoms, @pragmaticmom and @randomhousekids on Twitter before the party!

 

wonder Twitter Party