Free Digital Books for Kids

You Can't Go To School NakedOkay, so I came across this website that I just had to share. I couldn’t keep it to myself. That would be a crime.

There’s this website that I came across called We Give Books. It has tons of children’s books that you can read on your computer screen. If your child likes books, they will probably like this.

The best thing is that it is free. I just love free stuff.

The first book I came across and took a look at was You Can’t Go To School Naked. And it’s so cute that I can’t wait to show it to him. His little boy mind finds anything funny if it has to do with farting, getting dirty, or being naked. So I know that he will find this book hilarious!

You can filter the search by age range to come up with books to fit your child. You can also look by genre.

This site features both new and classical books.

Enjoy!

Reading Rainbow Reading and Phonics Games

How to Build an Empire with a Lemonade Stand

Lemonade StandAs you may remember, I wrote a post a while back about my son wanting to set up a lemonade stand. And how I had told him no. Well, today I said yes.

I’m not sure if the heat was getting to me, or if I was just in the mood for lemonade, but my son came asking after me to help him set up a lemonade stand for him to make some money, and I told him yes.

I went into the kitchen and got to making some fresh lemonade and added some lemon slices in it to make it extra pretty. We made signs for $0.50 lemonade. We got Mr. GameBoy to set a table out in the front yard, along with a chair for BoogerFace to sit in. We got some ice and some cups and headed out side to make the big bucks.

As I had mentioned before in my previous post is that I didn’t want to have a lemonade stand because we lived in the country. The speed limit is 55 mph and the people that do go by are not going by very slowly. My biggest fear was that he was going to be heartbroken from disappointment when no one stopped by.

This time I figured it would be okay. He might be sad for a little while, but at least he wouldn’t be mad at me anymore for being a “mean momma.”

It was hot outside today… very hot. I don’t know how he stood the sun and the heat, but he actually seemed to be enjoying himself sitting up tall in his little chair, getting ready for all of the customers to show up.

I called my mom to make a run by our house to buy a cupful just so he would at least have one customer. She agreed to head over a few minutes later.

It’s not often that I’m wrong. But when I’m wrong, I will fully admit to it.

I was wrong.

Less than five minutes passed by when he got his first customer. The car sped by, but then something miraculous happened. They did a U-turn and headed back!

They were coming back for a fresh glass of lemonade and to put a smile on that little boy’s face. And, so, he made his first dollar from the car with two people in it.

And this kept happening. A few minutes would pass by with no customers, and I would be getting antsy, ready to give up and head back inside, when another car would turn into our driveway to purchase some lemonade.

I didn’t know he had it in him, but BoogerFace stayed out there selling lemonade for over an hour. Let me tell you, that is something. Getting my son to sit still and stay interested in something for that long is not something that happens very often. I think it was the love he has for money that kept him happily behind his table holding the cups and pitcher. He even made a couple of tips.

I’m so proud of that little boy, and I’m glad that I finally said yes.

101 Easy Craft Project Ideas

Stained Glass Look That’s Easy Using Inexpensive Materials

Recently I was not feeling good and my son was getting restless. When BoogerFace becomes restless, he becomes very, very persistent about having me do stuff for him. But I wasn’t feeling well, so I looked through my Pinterest board for an activity that he could do without a lot of help from me.

What I found was a brilliant idea that I had completely forgotten about pinning.

Sharpie Art-Featuring Stained “Glass”

Sharpie Stained Glass

This was made by a ten-year old girl named Sophie. She has amazing talent.

We decided to make a similar project.

The only materials need were Sharpies and wax paper. Lay the paper out flat and go to town!

It turned out pretty good. It kept my son busy for almost an hour because he was so interested in this project. He was so proud of it that he ended up giving it to his new teacher as a beginning of the year present.

Looking around I have found other examples of sharpie stained glass art. They have been done on pretty much any type of clear material that can hang from a window, such as laminate paper, a clear shower curtain, and on the glass of a picture frame with no backing to let the sun through.

Enjoy!

Click Here for information on teaching your child how to knit and about the gift of giving by sending their knitted items to children in need.

Picking Smart–After School Programs

After School ProgramWith the onset of school beginning, many parents are having to think about what to do when the bell rings. Many parents have to find a good after-school program for their children. I’m one of those parents. I had to find an after-school program that would be beneficial for my son’s mind, keeping him socially involved and playing with other kids, as well as maintaining a safe environment for him to be in.

How to find a great after-school business?

There are many options available for after school in most areas, and some that you may not be aware of. The main program that most people enroll their kids in are the daycares in the area. Daycares are set already set up with classrooms and playgrounds.

Another option are gyms or recreation centers. Most of these do not provide after school childcare, but some do and they are worth looking into. They may offer some interesting activities. For instance, an after school program that is run by a gym in my area has 2 indoor pools that they let the kids swim in twice a week. The children learn swimming skills and they also get to do something fun that others don’t get to do every week. Another thing they offer in this program is a Zumba class for the kids. The kids love boogying to the dance music, but they are getting lots of exercising at the same time.

You may also come across athletic or art centers that do after school. Some of these may include children’s art center, gymnastics businesses, or karate class centers. The children are not doing these activities the whole time, but they will have certain focuses on these special areas of learning.

Things to Consider

When choosing which location is best for your child, there are some factors that you need to take into consideration. A specific place may seem perfect, but it’s always good to find out all that you can before making a decision like this.

  • Reviews and Reputation

One of the most important things to check on are the reviews for that business and, in particular, their after school program. Ask around to see if others have heard anything positive or negative. Do an intensive online search. Sometimes you may find reviews on various websites. It may take a lot of time to go through and locate reviews, but it is worth it. Something to keep in mind is that usually people review businesses when they are either exceptionally happy or exceptionally unhappy with the service they have received. Most people don’t take the effort to review businesses that fall in the middle ground. Also look at the dates of the reviews. Deceitful merchants may post solicited reviews leaving multiple 5 star reviews on the same date as each other. This is just something to keep in mind that I have noticed happen before.

  • Transportation

Check on the transportation, if any, that is provided. Most after school programs will offer transportation from the school to the center, depending on the area. Also, contact the business prior to enrolling to check on which schools they service. You may find that, despite the center being in your area, they may not service you child’s school with after school transportation. This may limit the programs that you can enroll your child into.

  • Activities

Each program will offer different activities and you will want a good list of the schedule they will maintain. A good after school program will have a homework time schedule of about an hour after arriving at the center. This is one of the best things ever, trust me. Their school work will be completed before they are allowed to move on to the other activities and you will not have to worry about it once they get home. It is still a good idea to review what they did, however, as the instructors may not be able to check everyone’s homework. You will also want to ensure that you are comfortable with the provided activities. As I mentioned earlier regarding the swimming pool twice a week at that gym. Some parents may not be comfortable with that, regardless of the presence of two lifeguards. Always check with the after school program regarding what they will be doing.

  • Location, Location, Location

Location is important for a couple of reasons. First of all, you want to make sure that you are sending your child to a place where you are comfortable with the neighborhood. If this is something that is a major concern of yours and you don’t know the neighborhood well enough to judge it, consider riding through it several times, at different points during the day. Secondly location is important because it needs to be close enough to where either you are working, or where you live. It will really be a lot better for your gas tank and your commute time if you are able to get to the location without having to go to far outside of your regular route to get home.

  • Cost and Fees

For obvious reasons it is a good idea to review the cost and fees with each program that you are considering. There can be huge variations in this department because I’m discussing many different options–Karate, gymnastics, daycare centers, etc.

 

Good luck on the hunt!



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10 Unique Ways to Tell a Bedtime Story

Witch Bedtime StoriesDoes your child like for you to tell them bedtime stories? Are you tired of that book they have made you read a billion and one times?

It may seem a bit intimidating, but a great option is to try your hand at making up your own bedtime stories. You don’t have to be an amazing story teller. Just have fun!\

Here are 10 unique ways to tell a bedtime story:

1. Start with an intro and work your way from there.

“Once upon a time you learned how to fly. You flew over the town and saw….”

“If I had a million dollars I would buy you… and we would go….”

“One time we were stuck in the ocean and our boat was leaking. We swam to the shore of this island and…”

2, Tell a story about a superhero with the same name as your child, or a story where everyone in the world has the same name

3. Tell your child a story about your own childhood, how you met your spouse, or about a great grandparent they never met.

4. Make a story box.

Inside the story box there are words, including interesting characters or places. Everytime that you get stuck in the story you pull out a word and you have to add that new character to your story or they have to travel to that new place.

5. … and then something happened.

If you’re a horrible story teller that tends to get stuck a lot, add a bunch of action. Kids will never know or care about the difference and it will probably turn out to be great fun.

“… and then the dragon showed up…”

“… the bear was hiding under the staircase…”

“… the lion began to dance with Sally Sue…”

It can be as crazy or wild as you want. This type of story does not have to make much sense for it to be enjoyable.

6. Retell a story

You know what stories you child likes, or you may have one in mind from your own childhood. Tell the same story, but change the names, places, or things that happened. Even a little change can make it a whole different story. Or better yet, add a twist and a completely new ending.

7. Make up a story together

Pick out a picture from a magazine or from the web. You and your little one take turns talking about who this person is and what happens to them next. Make up a back story for this person, have them fall in love, or go on an adventure, or go home to ride her yard full of unicorns.

8. Talk about what interests them, like trucks, animals, pirates, etc.

9. Make their fantasy a reality

Most kids dream of being something… make that happen for them in their story, If you have a girl that wants to be Cinderella, make her Cinderella. If you have a little boy that wants to be some weird pokemon master… by golly, let him be a pokemon master.

10. Add special effects

Act it out! Turn off the lights and turn the flashlight on for an extra effect. Use funny voices with different characters. Make it fun and entertaining and they won’t care too much what you’re talking about…

Enjoy!



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1st Grade Has Arrived! And So Has the Bus!

It’s hard to believe that Booger Face has reached 1st grade already. Just last year he was starting Kindergarten and I was crying as he walked away from me into his classroom for the first time.

Okay, so I didn’t really cry, but there was a definite sting going on.

Anyways… 1st grade starts tomorrow. I look back from last year to this year and scoff. Last year I was a nervous wreck and didn’t want to let him go when it was time to.

This year…. I can’t wait!

Now, now, I don’t mean it like that. I love spending time with my child. But, in all honesty, he’s tired of spending time with me! He’s ready to go back and see all of his friends, and play pokemon, and make fart jokes. I guess I’m not as fun as they are.

Which is fine… I’m fine… not going to cry….

I’m not crying. There’s something in my eye.

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Anyways, tonight we went over the school bus safety rules, since I’m the little worry wart.

I’m always worried that the bus is not going to stop in time. Or another car won’t stop when they’re supposed to. Or he’ll trip in the road. Or a drunk driver passes the stopped school bus.

In any case, I like for my Booger Face to be prepared when he’s getting on that bus in the mornings.

I wanted to share my tips for getting on the bus safely. Please comment if you have more tips to share!

So here’s how we do it:

1. Wait inside the glass front door and watch.

I have a rule that he is not supposed to wait on the front porch for a couple of different reasons. #1, he likes to draw on the dew-covered windows and leave fingerprints. And, #2, if he waits on the front porch he will run out to the bus when it comes, without telling me first. My worried self thinks he’ll jump into the road or something. A silly but effective paranoia.

2. When the bus comes, walk to the driveway and wait behind daddy’s car until the bus has come to a complete stop.

The bad thing is, if we don’t cover this step with him, just about everyday, he will walk to the end on the driveway and wait 1 foot off of the side of the road.

3. Look both ways.

In my local area there have been several cases of kids being hit and run by cars this past year while getting on the bus. I try to teach him that he has to watch out for other people that don’t want to follow the rules of the stop sign on the bus.

4. Sit properly

Although I have no way of knowing if he follows this rule, I still tell him to sit where he is supposed to and stay quiet and respectful for the bus driver.

Writing out this list makes me feel way less worried about that ride to school my son takes every morning.

He loves it, he loves school, and he’s a pretty good boy. I’m a proud momma!

Glittered Ombre Seashell Ornaments!

Ombre Flittered Seashell OrnamentsOne of the most popular trends now-a-days is the use of ombre blending in the use of crafts, painting, or decor. As beautiful as it can come out, it is certainly easy to understand jumping on the band wagon!

Booger Face has a thing for seashells. Booger Face also loves glitter (although he doesn’t like to admit it). I recently can upon a craft idea that includes all of these things! Which definitely peeked my interest.

Here are a list of instructions for Ombre Glittered Seashell Ornaments, from the Martha Stewart website.

The best thing about crafts like this is that it requires very little prep and very little cost! I hate spending money on things that I want to use in a craft, so I’m always in search of crafts that can be created with materials I have on hand.

Seashells of course are the main ingredient. Check, I brought some of those back from the last trip to the beach.

Glue. Check!

Glitter. Check!

She lists some other things in there, but really that’s self explanatory. No need, Martha!

Some of the seashells that I had brought home already had the hole in them, should I choose to make them hanging and not just beautiful baskets decor. So really, I glossed over the other materials she stated….

She says to use baking cups to mix the glitter, but shoot… muffin cups are more likely to be found in my home!

Take at least two colors and gradually blend different amounts of the colors together to create a smooth blend from one extreme to the other.

Brush on some glue to your shells and start to sprinkling with a spoon. This is where the kid comes in. Wow, do kids love glue and glitter! Since you are using the unsteady hands of a young child, you may want to cover the shell you want a different shade with a piece of paper, gradually moving it down with each shade added.

Honestly, even if it doesn’t turn out “ombre”, instead a hot mess of clumped glitter on a shell, it will still be loads of fun for your child! And if you do choose to turn these into ornaments, why not give them to loved ones as gifts? I know that my mom would love to get one of these bad boys from my son!

Enjoy!