Category - Family

ME to WE School Supply Collection that Gives Back

School is underway, and while you’ve probably already shopped for Back-to-School supplies you may be like me where you’re finding your students need or want a few more things for school.

When I’m looking for school supplies I want to find items that fit three criteria:

1. They should be something my student needs

2. Items should not be too pricey, especially since most are used for only one school-year.

3. I try to look for items that my student will like the style of, why not make school as fun as possible when it’s small things like school supplies?

For us, we rarely think about what impact our school supply purchase might have on others, since so few go beyond simple supply and demand. But when there’s a chance we can find all three of the above criteria AND do something socially-conscious, now that’s an incredible bonus.

ME to WE has partnered with Walgreens to launch a back-to-school collection that not only looks great, is reasonably priced but also gives back to those in need. Each purchase will help fund the education of a child in a developing community. When you make a purchase you are able to see the difference you are helping to make through the Track Your Impact code. How cool is that?!?!

 

Walgreens believes that Every One Counts—every person and every purchase can have a life changing impact on children in the U.S. and around the world. Making an impact is as easy as shopping for everyday purchases. Since May 2018, Walgreens customers have provided more than 11 million impacts, including access to healthcare, education, water, and more, through purchases of Walgreens ME to WE products and accessories. ME to WE products come with a Track Your Impact code that customers can enter at Walgreens.com/TrackYourImpact to see how their purchases are making a difference.

“ME to WE empowers people to change the world with their everyday purchases,” said Roxanne Joyal, CEO, ME to WE. “Thanks to our partnership with Walgreens, back to school shoppers can load up on stylish supplies while also creating positive change. Each purchase helps fund a child’s education in a developing community—helping to provide the tools to succeed in school and create a brighter future for themselves, their family and their community.”

In addition, Walgreens will sponsor WE Schools for the fourth year through the development of its “WE Give Health” lesson plan, which promotes health and wellbeing. WE Schools are a free, yearlong service-learning program that provides educators and students with curriculum and educational resources that help them gain an understanding of the root causes of pressing social issues, and provides the tools necessary to take action and make an impact on those issues.

Supplies in the ME to WE line are quality items that are super trendy with geometric shapes, galaxy designs and holograph inspired. They have some really cute lined backpacks and totes, trendy 18-month planners and notebooks, graphic pencils and more. The back to school collection really has everything your student will need throughout the entire school year at great prices. The collection prices range from $1.99 to $24.99. Check it out in stores near you and online: ME to WE Collection

Your purchase makes all the difference!

What is your favorite item from the ME to WE collection??

 

 

This is not a paid or sponsored post. I received some of the above items to check out quality and share this information with you. I love sharing good products with great causes behind them.

Fun Summer Activity for Indoors and Outdoors

Our Summer break has begun and we are in full-force entertainment mode. If you have kids, you know what I’m talking about. The, “Mommy, I’m bored” can start as early as half a second after the last moment of school and I like to be prepared.

We have lots of lists for the Summer, I keep them put away until Summer break comes and then voila! they magically appear in our family command center (aka the place we keep our monthly calendar, chore charts, etc).

You may have already seen my post on Summer Schedule – Summer Rules but if not click the link HERE to get some ideas to a semi-relaxed semi-scheduled Summer that will help your household run more smoothly.

Another way we combat Summer boredom is by playing creatively. We always try to mix some old games/toys/activities with some new ones and this Summer we had the opportunity to check out the All-New Laser X – Laser Tag set

My girls usually opt out of playing laser tag at amusement venues because they aren’t sure what to expect and being highly sensitive, it can be intimidating with the loud noises and dark unfamiliar place. So when it comes to being able to play laser tag in the comfort of our own home and/or backyard, they were super excited.

Laser X features sophisticated electronics and optics that give players pinpoint blasting accuracy up to 200 feet. You can purchase sets of 1 or 2 and play with friends. Players can
choose to be on teams or select “rogue” mode where it’s every player for his or herself.

All Laser X sets work together, so games can have as few as two players – or the whole neighborhood can play. Advanced sensors in the Laser X blaster know when players are blasting, being hit, running or hiding. An interactive “coach” uses this information to give players tips and tricks throughout the game. Players can even plug headphones (not included) into their chest receiver and play music.

We tried out the Micro Blasters, but you can also purchase Original Blasters, Gaming Tower, and Long Range Blaster depending on the kind of play experience you are looking for. We highly recommend these as a fun summer or year-round toy for hours of fun (and a definite way to get rid of summer boredom!)

Sets range from around $29.99 to $49.99 and are sold online and at retailers nationwide. Get yours at GetLaserX.com before they are sold out for the summer!!

Thanks to Element Associates for sending a sample for review.

A Visit to the North Carolina Zoo – Travel Tips

This is NOT a paid post. Thank you NC Zoo for hosting our family for this trip. All opinions are honest thoughts from MommyB Knows Best.

 

Imagine walking around on a beautiful day enjoying time with your family surrounded by some of the most incredible animals nature has to see.

Our family had the opportunity to visit the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro recently and we wanted to share our experience with you. In this blog series you’ll find out helpful travel tips, learn more about the zoo and it’s different areas, and hear about upcoming events.

 

For this first post we will focus on some travel tips we have for visiting the zoo.

Getting Around the Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo is an expansive zoo that houses many different animals. It should take around 4-6 hours to visit the entire park. Touted as the worlds largest zoo there’s no surprise that when you visit there will be a fair amount of walking involved.

Major animal habitats provide a good amount of space to roam around and not feel as confined. Habitats are roughly 8 minutes walking distance from one to the other. It’s a good idea to wear comfortable walking shoes and take plenty of breaks. There are some areas to sit, take advantage of those with a short break, enjoy the scenery and check out where you’re headed next on the map.

Strollers and wheelchairs are permitted and strollers are highly recommended for little ones to offer a break from walking. These items are also available for rental on a first-come, first-served basis at the Earth Explorer Gift Shop and Safari Gift Shop.

The park offers tram cars and buses inside the park and I would encourage your family to make use of them when possible, especially when weather conditions are hot or if you have very young or elderly guests.

Parking

Parking is free and there is also a free shuttle that operates from 11:am to 5:30pm during peak tourist season. We got to the park pretty early and had a very easy time parking and were able to have a short walk to the park.

Tickets & Fun Tickets

Single ticket costs are $15 per adult, $13 per senior, and $11 ages, 2-12, ages 2 and under free. (*ticket price subject to change). For us this was a very reasonable cost for entry because of how large the park is and what we were able to see. You can check out ticket pricing and get yours HERE.

AAA, SEANC and military members receive general admission discount with member identification.

If you think you will want to visit several times a year, park memberships may be purchased through the North Carolina Zoological Society.

During peak visiting season you can save by purchasing fun tickets in bulk. Whether your kiddos would like to ride the Carousel, hang out on the Giraffe Deck, or your family would like to make use of the Paddleboats or sit in and watch the latest move at the 4D Theater, there’s something for everyone. *Some attractions are weather dependent.

We used our Fun tickets for Rio 4D and it was a great experience, got us out of the heat and was something fun for the whole family.

Food

There are picnic areas open outside the park and several restaurants and snack shops and food/drink carts located throughout the park.

Our family dined at Billy D’s Fried Chicken restaurant. We loved the idea of a sustainable meal. While sustainable and farm-to-table are buzz words these days it really is neat to know where your food is coming from and knowing that it’s benefiting local vendors. When we visited they had recently opened and we were excited to try their yummy offerings. The waffle fries were a family favorite and I loved the dill in the ranch dressing. If you’re looking for food that everyone will enjoy but have a fun twist, definitely check out Billy D’s.

Shows & Attractions

The NC Zoo features regular feedings, check the feeding times for each animal as they vary. While we didn’t experience this first hand I can only imagine how neat it would be to check out.

If you’re looking for some adventure the park also offers the Air Hike Ropes Course for a nominal fee. Height restrictions apply and activity is weather dependent.

Another new attraction that we were able to check out during our visit was the Birds in Flight Bird Show. This show is around 25 minutes of feathered-fun! We saw funny birds, beautiful birds, talented birds and loved the audience interaction. This is a show that’s great for the entire family! Tickets are $3 per person over age 2 and well worth the cost. A great chance to relax, laugh, and see some beautiful birds.

 

Head HERE for more park tips and purchase your tickets!

 

In our next posts we will highlight favorite parts of our trip in both of the zoo sections, North American and Africa.You won’t want to miss it so make sure you subscribe!

 

Have you ever visited? If so, what are your tips for visiting?

Have any questions about the zoo? Head to my Facebook page!

Ways to Encourage Creative Play

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Child’s Play Communications. All opinions are my own honest thoughts.

Whether you have a child who is naturally creative or one who needs some encouragement in that area of play, enriching our child’s imagination is beneficial to them in so many ways.

It helps them to become problem solvers.

It encourages them to be dreamers and share their ideas.

It helps them understand who they are as a person.

It teaches them to be bold and proud of their accomplishments.

Creative play is incredibly rewarding so why wouldn’t we want all these things and more for our children while also letting them be kids and have fun?!?

Just as children can be naturally creative or not, so can the big kids, the adults. If creative play doesn’t come easy to you, that’s ok. The Schleich brand brings inspiration to you with their carefully hand-painted figurines.

When you encounter a brand that was founded over 80 years ago and is sold in more than 50 countries you know it’s a business your family can trust. When we first unboxed the adorable animals we noticed the incredible details right away. There is no doubt these figurines are very high quality as they look like the real animals rather than a cartoon version.

The Schleich Farm World set and Wild Life Starter Set (sold separately) feature easily recognizable animals, not to mention there are so many other sets they offer including a unicorn set, and Marvel comics! Both my girls would be in heaven. I personally love the elephant the most.

Of course you’re thinking my child can play with these animals and make believe, but what else?

Although ideas are endless, here are a few ways we thought would be fun to play with the figurines:

Grouping and Sorting – Using the figurines (and other toys too) group them into different categories.
{The Schleich website has scientific AND fun facts on each figurine/animal.}
  • Group by letter in the word
  • Sort by where the animal might live
  • Sort them by most furry to least furry (or another describing word)
Use them for storytelling starting with one animal and introducing each to the story line until the ending.

Play hide-and-seek or use them for a scavenger hunt. Clues could be things the animal eats or sounds the animal makes.
Ask your child to pick a figuring and draw their own rendition of it. It will be neat to see how they view the animal from their point of view.

 

What other ideas do you have to get creative with your kiddos? Thank you for sharing your ideas for other parents and caregivers.

 

Spring Reading List – With Reading Reward Chart Printable

As the weather warms up and we have more daylight that means we have more time to read and enjoy new books as a family. When the Bradford pear trees aren’t stinking up our yard {can I get an Amen?!?} we love to sit outside with our books before it gets too hot out.

The B girls really enjoy reading a variety of books and we wanted to share some of our favorites that you might want to add to your child’s spring reading line-up.

Bible Belles

We recently heard about the Bible Belles series. These books take a strong woman from the Bible and show how her story encourages the main character Rooney to grow in Prayer, Patience, Bravery, Loyalty, and Leadership.

There are currently 5 books in the series and C is absolutely loving these books written by Erin Weidemann. We have two books from the series, Hannah the Belle of Prayer (Book 1) and Deborah The Belle of Leadership (Book 5) we found that the books seem to go better when you have the backstory of the previous book.

Also being a super hero-loving family these books definitely draw in kids who love action with a little bit of “time travel” to books of the Bible and empowering stories. We love strong women role-models and who better than those God has called to inspire our kiddos?!?!

Purchase a 3 book set kiddos are sure to love: BibleBelles.com

 

The Greatest Brick Builds: Amazing Creations in LEGO

If you have LEGO or block builders in your family The Greatest Book Builds by Nathan Sawaya is a MUST HAVE. This book features so many unique amazing creations that are sure to inspire your children. These jaw-dropping creations are presented in full color, with close-up photos, scale representations, historical commentary on the structures, and details on how each model was constructed using LEGO bricks. Included in this collection are the Golden Gate, the USS Missouri, and the Great Sphinx of Giza, as well as other iconic structures created by LEGO crafters from around the world.

My girls enjoy trying to replicate some of the builds in the book while others they try to imagine how they are created. I love how LEGO creations are presented as art and giving this generation some “outside-the-lines” ideas to encourage creativity.

Get your copy here:

Cul-de-Sac Kids Series

Both of my children LOVE a kids mystery. I guess they’re a lot like their mom because I really like mystery as well. The Cul-de-Sac Kids series features great, non-scary story lines. The characters are funny and easy to relate to and you don’t have to worry about rude language or inappropriate/bratty behavior like some books that are similar in this genre and age-range.

{Someone please tell me why kids have to be disrespectful in books, television, and movies!?!?}

We’ve purchased several box sets that our 7-going on 8 year old, has whizzed through. We almost can’t keep up with her. It looks like there are 24 books in total so we have at least 2 more box sets.

Check them out for yourself, makes a great gift too!

 

Samantha Sanderson Series

Speaking of mysteries, here is one for the older crowd, the Samantha Sanders series by Robin Caroll. Again, appropriate behavior and language so you don’t have to worry about what your kiddos are reading {though it’s never a bad idea to pre-read or read books with your child.} We love FaithGirlz brand books and these are among some other great books we are excited to check out.

Miss A has all 4 of the books in this series and I’m sure once C gets a little older she will be excited to read them as well. When A gets really passionate about something I can tell in the way she talks about it and she loves sharing stories from these books, always a great sign.

Add these to your cart today: 

 

Some other books that your kiddos might like:

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes, we haven’t read this yet but it looks like something C will adore, it has dress-up, creativity, and a fun spirit. I can’t wait to see what she thinks!

Case for Christ for Kids by Lee Strobel, we love this series, perfect for your inquisitive kids who love black and white answers. It’s great for them to hear another perspective on faith and these books focus on several topics like Christ, Grace, the Creator and more.

 

Before you go, here’s a fun printable to encourage reading! You may want to offer a reward for reaching a certain number of books read, something fun that will motivate your child, if they need a little extra encouragement. And don’t forget, even as your children grow and get older it’s to read to them now and again, that can provide some incredibly sweet moments.

Click here to print – Kids Reading Tracker

 

 

Now it’s your turn to share: What books do your kiddos love?

 

 

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, if you purchase through the links I thank you in advance for contributing to my coffee funds and helping me keep MommyBKnowsBest.com up and running!

Code Ninjas – Kids Coding Program

With STEM fields continuing to grow, both parents and children alike are looking for effective and fun ways to join the movement.

As a technology savvy family we love that our girls want to learn more about coding. For Christmas Miss A got a coding robot that she loved figuring out how to make move, spin, and turn. We can see both our girls love for figuring out how things work and that not only includes things they can touch but also things in the computer world. It’s pretty inspiring to see their curiosity.

Entrepreneur David Graham created Code Ninjas for Children ages 7-14 to learn how to code in a fun, non-intimidating way — by playing and building their own video games with peers in a social environment.

In addition to coding, children gain skills in robotics, math, logic, and problem solving. The game-based curriculum and welcoming atmosphere enables kids to have fun, while parents see tangible results.

If coding wasn’t fun enough Code Ninjas is taking it one step further. The program is set up in martial arts style with different belt levels for children to work on, a fun belt color bracelet allows them to check-in for their twice-weekly hour-long sessions.

The Greater Charlotte area is now home to two Code Ninjas locations – Fort Mill, SC and Concord, NC. We had the privilege of visiting the NEW Concord location and meeting with owner Anjali Dighe who is one of the most passionate business owners I have met.

Whether it was finding the perfect school for their son, being part of organizations that encouraged growth and development, or how they are adding personal touches to their Code Ninja programs to bring learning to life, it is very clear that the Dighe family values learning no matter what form it takes.

As they open their doors at the Concord location and prepare to open in Ballantyne, Meyers Park, and Chapel Hill, {for starters} there is one thing that shines through, Anjali’s commitment to excellence.

In speaking with her she was excited about the Code Ninjas program that features Scratch programming, Java Script, Roblox, Python and so much more. Seeing the world with a different set of eyes is very important at this Code Ninjas location and their senseis (the name appropriately given to Code Ninjas instructors) who work with students.

One thing I thought was very fascinating and a great touch to the Code Ninjas program is that in the upper levels students learn how to create, develop, and even market their own apps. Kids are not only learning how to code but so many great life skills; perseverance, consistency, business ethics, creativity, and the list goes on.

We are so excited at the opportunities and love that Code Ninjas is giving the community something different and very valuable in this technologically focused world.

If you haven’t checked out Code Ninjas and live in the North Carolina area request more information or come visit codeninjas.com. If you’re not in North Carolina never fear Code Ninjas are quickly popping up across America as we speak – Locations Near YOU!

 

 

Thanks Code Ninjas Concord for letting us visit and play, we can’t wait to come back again soon.

Fun and Easy Valentine’s Ideas for Kids

Valentine’s Day is a great holiday to celebrate with kids. My girls love languages are gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time, so basically they cover 4 out of 5 of the love languages. If you haven’t heard about love languages check out my blog post on Exploring Love Languages.

 

Because they have different love languages we do a few things both leading up to Valentine’s Day and on the day itself. Here are just a couple new and old traditions that we partake in to celebrate.

Valentine’s Day Countdown – Make a paper chain, calendar countdown, or think of something creative to count your way down to Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter what day you start but here are some ideas of what you and your family can do to count your way down to the 14th.

  • Hug someone in your family
  • Read John 3:16
  • Make a craft with hearts
  • Say one reason you love each member of your family
  • Help cook a family meal or treat in the shape of a heart
  • Look at pictures from past V-days
  • Help someone in need
  • Spend time with another family
  • Invite someone to church
  • Color pictures for extended family members
  • Write a letter to a missionary or military family
  • Make Valentine’s Day cards
  • Decorate your home with words of kindness


Valentine’s Day Tree

We found this Valentine’s Day Tree in the dollar section at Target. It was made for the classroom, but I find a lot of great items that we can use at home are teaching tools or made for school. I love how easy it is to love with words of affirmation and kindness using this simple decoration.

 

There’s also something similar on Amazon*, and of course you could make your own as well:

 

Now that I’ve shared a couple of things we do in our home, I would love to hear your ideas for Valentine’s Day. Share how you celebrate by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you make a purchase I get rewarded too. I would never link something I didn’t think would be a good purchase for my readers. Thanks for supporting MommyB Knows Best and be sure to leave a comment!

American Girl – Girl of the Year 2018 – Luciana Vega

We are excited to share with you the incredible, empowering, and sweet American Girl Girl of the Year for 2018, Luciana Vega.

This 11-year-old dreams of being the first person on Mars.

Luciana celebrates being a natural-born leader who puts her whole heart into making her dreams a reality.

Cool fact: American Girl worked with NASA, including a task force of advisors (scientists, astronauts, and more below) who helped ensure the accuracy and authenticity of Luciana’s world—from her story and products to a STEM-based educational program in partnership with Scholastic and Space Camp.

Looking beyond her cool line of space-inspired products (like a Mars habitat and flight suit!), American Girl’s purpose behind this character is what it means to be a girl of strong character this day in age. Celebrating creative thinking, collaboration, and STEM literacy providing opportunities for meaningful growth and development.

My girls love science and exploration and this doll is the perfect fit for encouraging learning and allowing for creative play. It’s really great when toys can meet several needs of the child and I feel that really makes it a worthwhile addition to our toy collection and isn’t just gathering dust on the shelf because of that. If you’re anything like me you don’t want to just have a bunch of toys just to have them, and this is one that your child will enjoy playing with for years to come.

Luciana and her story help kids to learn about their infinite potential to change the world. How empowering is that?!?!

As you’ve probably noticed from our other American Girl posts that we really love how inspiring American Girl Dolls can be. Miss C was so excited that she read this entire book in a day and a half. We love the thought that was put into Luciana’s life changing story.

To find out more about Luciana Vega head to American Girl’s website: Girl of the Year 2018

 

 

Thanks to American Girl for sending us Luciana, this is not a paid post, all opinions and thoughts are honest.

Eternity Rose – Valentine’s Day Gift Idea

It’s not always easy finding the perfect gift, wouldn’t you agree? That’s why I appreciate companies like Eternity Rose and the beautiful selections of stunning jewelry and keepsakes. I can honestly say I have never seen any of the products that Eternity Rose has to offer before and I really love that I can give a gift that will be unexpected and appreciated.

This Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of year to give the one you love a rose, and better still these roses won’t wilt. A gift from Eternity Rose, the name says it all, a gift that will last for a lifetime and be treasured for that long as well.

If you are looking for a thoughtful gift for her this Valentine’s Day, whether she loves beautiful jewelry or adores blooming roses, she can have it all.

Eternity Rose has pretty pendants, necklaces, and earrings in their jewelry line. They also sell authentic dipped roses and rose vase sets, not to mention a couple of items if you’re shopping for him as well.

You will be thrilled with the quality of your purchase. Each item comes with a certificate of authenticity and is beautifully wrapped and ready to gift to that special someone.

Visit Eternity Rose’s website to pick out the perfect Valentine’s Day gift – eternityrose.com

 

Comment below: What gift would you pick out??

 

This is not a sponsored post, I received product to review. All my thoughts are honest and my own opinion.

Kids Holiday Fashion Tips

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

 

The holiday season is busy for our family, from hosting our own gatherings to attending get togethers with friends and even school parties and Christmas programs. As modern traditional parents, we want our kids to look festive but still be comfortable and age-appropriate.

We love the kids fashion that OshKosh B’gosh offers this time of year. Whether you have a child who likes fancy dresses or a child who prefers a nice sweater and jeans, OshKosh really does cater to a variety of styles.

With so many events to attend it gets pricey paying for several new outfits, but instead of buying one outfit for each event we love to buy separates that you can mix and match and Osh Kosh B’gosh kids has a great selection of coordinating pieces.

While shopping we saw adorable ponchos and super frilly dresses. Miss C ended up choosing some adorable print leggings and a romantic flowy top. She also picked out a glittery navy skirt to mix and match.

Another great way to save on the holiday clothing for your children is with an amazing Osh Kosh B’gosh coupon!!

Save 20% off $40 or more purchase with the following codes:

In-Store: 037264
Online: OKBG3418

 

And as a treat for the holidays, enter to win a $50 Osh Kosh B’gosh gift card!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway