Category - School Kids

Introducing the LeapFrog Summer Camp Program

Thank you to LeapFrog for sponsoring my post about Leapfrog Summer Camp. To sign up for LeapFrog Summer Camp, please click here. #CleverLFCamp #spon

Are you ready for the summer? I am very excited for parties, travelling, heading to the pool, and enjoying time with my family. Miss A had her last day of Preschool last week and we’ve had our full share of, “what can I do now?, I’m bored., I miss school.” Her schedule at home isn’t as busy as it was at school so I think now she doesn’t know what to do with herself. Lucky for us, one of our FAVORITE learning companies, LeapFrog is hosting a great Summer Camp program! {Thank you!!!}

If you have a child or children ages 4 to 7 years, hop into LeapFrog’s 8-week Summer Camp starting June 4th through July 29th 2012. You don’t have to wait to sign up for camp, you can go online now to enroll. Plus it’s FREE!!! We’re super excited because the program is designed to keep kids learning throughout the summer no matter where they are. Yes, that’s right, anywhere you have access to your computer your child can explore geography, writing, science, art and more. Love it!!!

Here is the LeapFrog Summer Camp schedule, take a peek!!

Week 1: June 4-10 Out & About—Learn about the people and places in our world on your way to becoming a global citizen.

Week 2: June 11-17 Caring for Animals—Experience animals in new ways and explore themes of responsibility and compassion.

Week 3: June 18-24 Puzzle Time—Build logic and reasoning skills as you puzzle your way through brain-bending activities!

Week 4: June 25-July 1 Art & Music—Let your creativity run wild as you experiment with a range of media, including handmade instruments, crafts and a home art gallery!

Week 5: July 2-8 Writing That’s Real—Explore fascinating nonfiction topics and try your hand at investigative writing.

Week 6: July 9-15 Storytelling—Bring your ideas to life through storytelling, music, art, drama and pretend play!

Week 7: July 16-22 Science Adventures—Observe, ask questions and draw conclusions as you explore and investigate the world around you.

Week 8: July 23-29 Friendship Week—Get ready for school and International Friendship Day by exploring what it means to be friends.

Which is your favorite?? You don’t have to choose, but if you pick one I’d love your comments here.

So again, it’s super easy to sign up online: leapfrog.com, keeps your kids learning and engaged throughout the summer, allows you to travel and still participate, and you miss a week and not feel bad about it because it’s FREE!!! Your kids will thank you, I promise!!

This post is sponsored by LeapFrog. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sweet End of School Classmate Gift Idea {Craft}

Placemats

Miss A celebrated her last day of school yesterday. Her school put on a great Pre-K (and 3’s) performance and it was awesome. I only teared up a little. Mostly when the teachers were talking about all the amazing students.

We too were super thankful for all of Miss A’s classmates, and wanted to give them a special, “End of School” gift to let them know how much we love them. I knew I wanted something personalized so I went to our favorite kids gift site Frecklebox.com and decided on their place mats. I did a post reviewing their products a while back that you can check out here: Frecklebox Gifts. Since then we have bought several birthday gifts from them and bought some more placemats for the girls, plus they are always running discounts.

Miss A handpicked each placemat, from a number of different themes for each classmate, making the gift even more personal. A dinosaur for Kaleb, ballet theme for Natalie, and so on for each of the 7 children in her class. She was so excited to be a part of the gift selection.

Placemats

The only gift-related problem with our place mats is that I didn’t know how to wrap them or give them a label. I tried to come up with something witty that included, “I’m glad we MAT” instead of met, but scrapped that idea. Then I remembered I had lollipops left over from Miss A’s birthday party, hooray for my brain that never stops!

So on my drive home from her school, yesterday morning, {yes the morning of the last day of school} I was brainstorming wording ideas for the placemats and lollipops. I came up with some fun wording for the lollipops and added our personal information for her classmates to contact us for summer play. Here’s the image of the card I made:

End of School Classmate Gift Lollipop

I found an image of a lollipop and went to town on iPiccy, {which I highly recommend}. I made it black and white and faded the image a little so as not to overpower the words. Then I used a bright, kidcentric font to print our message.

Here are the finished products, I ended up taping the lollipops and cards on the back of the placemats, all the recipients, aka kids were super excited for their one-of-a-kind gift and pose with Miss A for one last Pre-K picture.

End of School Lollipop Gift Idea

End of School Gift Idea

This was a GREAT way to end a year of school. I hope this gives you some gift ideas for your end of the year classmate gifts.

What are your children doing for the end of the year? Do you have any unique end of the year crafts or ideas??

Oh My, it’s Carter’s Oh So BIG sale! {CLOSED}

CAR_40x18_ohsobig_ceiling3_sale

Carters Oh So Big Kids SaleThis past weekend I dove into my girls closets and turned into the Tasmanian Devil, no not the one on the nature shows, the one from the cartoons. {Insert mental image here, since I do not have rights to this image.} And if you’re not sure who the Looney Toon’s version of the Tasmanian Devil is; Google, baby.

So picture me getting rid of all of the heavy knits, and thick fleece and being left with a rack of empty hangers minus the one or two dresses and t-shirts that can work for the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having. While Little C ,{yes I did just upgrade her from Baby C, remember this moment in time!} has a few hand-me-downs from Miss A, they’re not quite the same size at the same age, and well, Miss A she has some size 10’s from grandparents finding good deals, but won’t be fitting in those for years.

From the time my girls were itty bitty, we have been gifted or purchased clothes we LOVE at Carter’s children’s clothing stores. Not only do I really like the awesome quality of their clothing, {great for passing down to siblings/family members} but they also have really cute styles to offer. Unlike a lot of children’s stores these days, I appreciate the fact that Carter’s clothes are AGE appropriate, yes people a 4 year old can dress their age, no excuses. Not to mention that Carter’s always offers great coupons and discounts, and I love saving a buck when I can. Speaking of which… their, “Oh So Big Sale” is going on as I type this blog post!

From now through April 24th Carter’s adorable kids gear is up to 60% off online and in-stores. Whether you’re looking for baby girl or baby boy sets for all those baby showers you’ll be attending this spring and summer, little girls tunics and leggings to mix and match for pretty, colorful outfits, or adorable nightgowns {plus more} or something for the boys, Carter’s has some great deals on denim and cute t-shirts too!

Here are a three of my favorites from this awesome Carter’s sale:

Carters Oh So Big Sale Girls Dress

I am a sucker for dresses, thank God for giving me two girls {who also adore them}! I really like this one because it’s pink, frilly, and great for spring AND summer. If white’s not your color Carter’s also has some other adorable dresses in their toddler and big girls sections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carters Oh So Big Sale Boy Shirt

Here’s one of my favorite boys t-shirts, not only is it a bright, fun color, perfect for spring, but it’s a cute design without being scary (skulls) or having cartoon characters on it.

I hear from so many moms that most boys clothing only has sports balls on them and you can only have so many of those before you want to pull your hair out {general, not direct quote}. Plus it’s mom-centric, love it!!

 

 

 

 

Carters Oh So Big Sale Pajamas

 

Last, but not least, I had to include pajamas. We in the B household are known to have a pajama party or five each month. I also love monkeys, these girl monkeys are so sweet with their bows and bananas. Don’t you agree?

I also love that Carter’s thought about spring weather when they created this set. I know here in Charlotte the weather has been cold one day and hot the next, so we’ve been mixing up pajama sets to facilitate the temperature of our house, it works, it’s not as cute as this set though.

For more information on the Oh So Big Sale, check out Carter’s online: Carters.com website
“Like” Carter’s on Facebook to discover the latest great deals and Find a Store near you.

I love Carter’s products and because of that, I am giving away a $50 Carter’s gift card for you to do some extra shopping.

How to Win

Mandatory Entry {must be done in order to get additional entries}: Head to Carter’s Website HERE and click on the Oh So Big Sale link and tell me: What your favorite product in the Carter’s Dresses & One Pieces line is in the comments section below this post.

For additional entries:

1. Leave a comment on another post on my website. (1 comment per post, no limit otherwise.)

2. Follow MommyBKnowsBest on Twitter

3. Tweet– using @mommybknowsbest and linking back to this giveaway. (up to 5 tweets a day)

Not an entry because MommyB Knows Best follows Facebook TOS, but we’d love it if you want to follow MommyB Knows Best (again not an entry but I’d love you forever if you did) click here: MommyB Knows Best Facebook

RulesGiveaway ends April 25th @12:00 am. The winner will be chosen at random, verified, emailed, and announced in a Winner’s post. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the email from MommyB to claim the prize, if the prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen at random. You must be a US resident and 18 years or older to enter.


Carter’s partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their Oh So Big Sale. As part of the program, I received product or gift cards. Carter’s believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words, and therefore did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. Carter’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of any giveaway in this program will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

 

An Introduction to Paper Snaps Products

Paper Snaps Address Label

As parents, especially those of us who stay at home with little ones, often do everything and share everything with our kiddos, even going to the bathroom. Since it’s very seldom that we have our “own” things, once and a while it’s nice for me to have things that reflect just me as a person.

We have really fun family address labels, but sometimes I send mail to my readers, people I work with, and just want to have my own, professional, address labels for those specific items. Because Paper Snaps has a sophisticated line of products to choose from I had a hard time choosing just one, but ended up with the Contemporary Colorblock Address Labels, clean, but pretty.

Here’s an example:

Paper Snaps Address Label

Paper Snaps is awesome because their designs are classy, fun, and pretty, what more could I ask for?!?

I heart Paper Snaps’ contemporary look, and while they do have some really great stuff for just me, they also have great lines that cover lots of different needs from, “Save the Date” cards, to kids birthday invitations, baby announcement magnets, and more. Here’s a collage of some of my personal favorites from Paper Snaps.

Paper Snaps Collage

 

I encourage you to check them out too, here’s a handy-dandy list of their social sites for you to peruse:

What’s one thing that you make sure is “all yours”? 

Do you have a favorite Paper Snaps product yet??

Paper Snaps Logo I received complimentary products from Paper Snaps in order to give you my honest opinions about their products. The opinions expressed in the post above are my own thoughts and words, yours may vary.

A Healthier Me with Invisalign

Invisalign_logo

Happy March, or what’s left of it 🙂 Last month I wrote about my, “Induction to the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board.” A lot has happened since then.

I met with my assigned orthodontist for my initial consultation which included:

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  • Filling out dental and general health history forms
  • Meeting with the Orthodontic Treatment Coordinator
  • Having photos taken at several angles of my teeth and bite
  • An extensive consultation by the Orthodontist with explanations on how Invisalign could help improve my smile.

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After my initial consultation I scheduled the next appointment for my impressions. After my x-rays I prepared myself for my impressions. I had heard they were the worst part of the Invisalign procedure, but in my opinion they were a breeze, of course the “goop” didn’t taste great, but it also wasn’t the worst thing I’d experienced in life and my technician was pretty quick too.  I even learned that some offices {including mine now} offer a new technology that scans each tooth and is “goop-free”.

Here are my pictures of the equipment they used for impressions:

Invisalign Impression Equipment

and my impressions:

Invisalign Impressions

Although it seemed like forever until I got my first set of Invisalign aligners the day finally came. The technician had me try them on and checked the fit and also explained how to remove and replace the aligners, it was actually much easier than I had originally expected. I got 3 sets of aligners, {one for each week} and here’s what I think of them so far:

They have  improved my life in a lot of ways I never expected with very minimal side effects {mild soreness, and irritation of one aligner but solved with some dental wax}.

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  • My teeth are already moving – Not a whole lot but I can definitely feel and see the small changes
  • My teeth are whiter – I am brushing more than I ever have in my life AND drinking less coffee and pop {soda}
  • I am snacking a lot less, mostly because I don’t want to take my aligners out then clean my teeth and clean my aligners. A few chips isn’t worth it for me now.

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Now Invisalign only claims the first reason I love my aligners – teeth straightening, and I’m excited to go to my next appointment where I’ll get my attachments, and I think I heard the Orthodontist even mention rubber bands for my bite.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress as I go. Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment here or email me with any questions you may have for yourself or your teen regarding Invisalign and Invisalign Teen.

Let the teeth straightening begin:

Invisalign Aligners MommyB

Also check out Invisalign on Facebook and Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/invisalign

I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board, I receive complimentary Invisalign treatment, but am posting my own, personal opinions.

No More Moose and Zee – Nick Jr. Changes

No to Nick Jr.?

Lately Nick Jr. has been making a lot of changes, and not everyone is happy about them. First, a new Marina appeared on The Fresh Beat Band with no warning or transition, then Nick Jr. lied about when new episodes of Fresh Beat Band would appear, new show Mike the Knight aired on February 6th in the US, and now a slurry of changes have hit the channel and parents are not happy. Here are just a couple of comments from Nick Jr.’s Facebook wall this morning:

Nick Jr Facebook PagePersonally, I think that Nick Jr. should have learned it’s lesson from The Fresh Beat Band and the uproar from parents being upset about such an abrupt change with no transition or warning. Some parents hate change and will be upset regardless, however I think there are parents/viewers who would have been more receptive to the changes had Nick been more up front with things going on behind the scenes.

Sprout does a great job of introducing new characters, like one of their Sunny Side Up Show co-hosts Liz. Weeks before they broadcast Liz they showed her on breaks in-between the show, they also let children know who the host of the next week’s show will be. Disney Junior too is among children’s programming that understands that children transition better when change is slow rather than overnight. Disney Junior has been showing off commercials for one of their upcoming shows, Doc McStuffins throughout their normal programming and even recently announced that they will be airing programming for the younger crowd all day. {Which I personally am very excited for since we’ll have an alternative to other channels that we watch solely because Disney Junior changes to cater to older kids at a certain time of day.}

So it’s not that Nick Jr. couldn’t transition, however we may never know why they didn’t choose to transition more slowly or keep Moose and Zee around. No more recycling Gnomes on Ice cups, silly songs about candy canes and candy corn, and fun learning games about the hidden letters Big R and little r.

What are your thoughts? Are you bothered like so many other parents, do you want to Boycott Nick Jr., or could you and your children care less?

What programming will you and your children continue to watch?

View Results

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No to Nick Jr.?

also check out these other related Nickelodeon posts:

Interview with 2Carats – Shayna Rose & Elizabeth Shea Part 1

Interview with 2Carats – Shayna Rose & Elizabeth Shea Part 1

Shayna Rose and Elizabeth Shea 2Carats Trailer by MommyBKnowsBest

What Happened To The Fresh Beat’s Marina

Fresh Beat Band Season 3 Episodes

Fresh Beat Band Season 3 – New September Episodes

Dora’s Explorer Girls: Dora All Grown Up

NickJr Lied!

Ubisoft’s Drawsome Tablet Review

Drawsome Box

Drawsome Box

Having a little girl who loves to learn and try out new things {she’s like her momma}, it’s always neat to be able to test out the newest gaming technologies and tools. We were very excited to check out Ubisoft’s Drawsome Tablet, a new drawing peripheral for the Wii™.

 

Here are some things we like about it:

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  • The Drawsome Tablet comes with two games, DrawsomeTM Artist and Drawsome Sketch QuestTM. {Both are easy for Miss A, age 4.5 to play}
  • Drawsome Tablet is very sturdy, no small pieces and very light.
  • SD card allows users will be able to easily share their masterpieces with friends and family
  • Great quality graphics for the age range it caters to

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The Drawsome Tablet features a large 8.5-inch screen, and a wireless stylus that is easy for small and large hands alike to grasp. Miss A loved being able to trace her favorite characters and practice her writing skills, which is great for preschool and school aged kiddos.

In Drawsome Artist, players can draw, paint and color by sketching on their own or learning advanced art techniques step by step. They even can interact with their favorite characters from The Smurfs, the world renowned animated brand, and learn how to draw and color them thanks to a huge gallery of predefined models. Also included is Drawsome Sketch Quest, in which players embark on an adventure to help a variety of cute animals race through their world by drawing bridges, trampolines and more. With 40 characters and 80 levels there is never a dull moment in either solo play or family-friendly four person co-op.

Miss A is not quite 5-years-old and once she got the hang of The Smurfs game was off and running on her own. The Drawsome Sketch Quest gave her a little bit of trouble once she got a few levels into the game, but with some pointers and help from mom we were able to progress. I think unless your child has been using the Nintendo Wii from birth, or in the womb they may need some help if under age 7.

Here’s Miss A using the Drawsome Tablet:

Miss A Ubisoft Drawsome Tablet

and some screenshots of the games that are included when you purchase the Ubisoft Drawsome Tablet:

Smurfs Coloring Game

Drawsome Screenshot

 Some tips that would have helped us use the Drawsome Tablet for the first time:

  • Wait until you’ve made all of your selections on the Wii Drawsome Games before you place the Wii-mote into it’s slot on the tablet.
  • Make sure you have a flat surface for the tablet to rest on, it makes it much easier to navigate and maneuver.
  • Go through the games one time yourself {or a few if you’re really loving it} that way you can help your child while they are playing.

Ubisoft’s Drawsome Tablet for the Nintendo Wii retails for around $59.99 but you can certainly find it online for as little as $29.99, which in my book makes it an amazing price. I have not seen any other games compatible with the Drawsome Tablet, however it was just released {on my birthday}, December 6th, 2011 so I can only guess that there will be some coming our way. I can’t wait to see what other fun ideas they come up with. Totally Drawsome!!! {Sorry I couldn’t help myself.}

Check out the Drawsome Tablet for yourself here: www.drawsometablet.com

I received the Drawsome Tablet in order to give you my complete, honest opinions about this product. The opinions expressed above are my own, true thoughts, yours may vary.

Disney’s Lady and the Tramp DVD Blu-Ray

Lady and the Tramp

Happy Valentine’s Day!! A day for love, romance, and having fun with those closest to you. I tried to think of, “the greatest love story of all” to share with you. I thought of writing about my own love story with DaddyB but figured it may be too epic, then I thought of sharing my love with my children and while I love them immensely it’s not quite the same love I was thinking of writing about. Then, it hit me, why not write about a couple with love that bridged the divide, a classic love; Lady and the Tramp. 

I know that’s probably not what you were thinking, but for me, this Disney movie is timeless. I’ll admit it’s been quite a few years around a decade at least  since I’ve seen the movie. I remembered the general plot, but for some reason couldn’t remember the “villian.” Until I saw the box open up with the Siamese cats and then remembered the red-eyed rat that may scare some children.

Miss A is now almost 5, but she’s always been very sensitive to violence and “scary things” and was a little frightened by the movie, but I can see her enjoying it when she is older. I know many of her friends who are the same age also enjoy this, and other, more intense Disney movies. I think it really just depends on your own child.

Overall, I love this movie because I think it’s a sweet love story that shows it’s good to open up to new experiences and people. And the movie can teach about love, but it’s an innocent love that can translate to friendship as well. It’s the perfect pick for Valentine’s Day and already out on the store shelves. If you’re looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift or just something fun to do with the kids, make a big bowl of pasta for dinner, grab your copy of Lady and the Tramp and enjoy watching with a bowl of popcorn for family movie night. There’s something for everyone. Be sure to visit my post with great printables, recipes, and activities here: http://www.mommybknowsbest.com/friday-fun-with-lady-and-the-tramp/

Also check out one of my favorite movie review sites for ratings and how appropriate it is for your family: Common Sense Media’s Lady and the Tramp Review.

Are you watching any movies with your family for Valentine’s Day? Which one??

I received a review copy of this DVD, and have not been paid for my opinions. The opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions. Yours may vary.

Friday Fun with Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp

Unbeknownst to most of you I was ill with the flu on Sunday. Full-on-flu. I was in bed right after church at 1:30pm and stayed in bed till 6:30am the next morning, mostly because my body wouldn’t let me move. I was achy all over, joints, head, back. Flip-Flopped all day and night long between being super cold and having chills and needing the fan on. No fun at all.

Lady and the Tramp

Needless to say I’m still recovering, each day I’m feeling better and was so blessed to have hubby home on Sunday so that I could stay in bed and not have to take care of the girls in my poor condition. I figured today would be a nice opportunity to post something fun, that the family could enjoy, yours and mine.

And if any of you aren’t feeling well, need a break, or even want to color and have fun with your kiddos here are some great activity pages from the movie Lady and the Tramp. This great, classic movie hit store shelves this Tuesday on DVD/Blu-Ray! I love that all the great movies are starting to do this because I enjoy watching films that hold special meaning and memories to me and the fact that I can now share that with my girls is priceless.

So here you go, feel free to print, and if you want to take a picture and add it on my Facebook page that would be incredible and totally make my day. It may just make my sickies go away all-together!!

Here’s a little preview of one of the coloring sheets (there are several, but this one is super cute!!) Click on the links to the right for the PDF versions and print out for hours of fun!

Lady and the Tramp Color

 

LADY AND THE TRAMP – COLORING SHEET

LADY AND THE TRAMP – CONNECT THE DOTS

LADY AND THE TRAMP – SPAGHETTI & MEATBALL RECIPE

Do you have memories from Lady and the Tramp or other classic Disney movies? Please share them here, in the comment section, I would love to hear them!

 

 

How do you Celebrate Black History Month?

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. For those you who you don’t know, here’s a little background info:

In 1926 historian, Carter G. Woodson and some other influentials created, “Negro History Week”, however the beginnings of what is now, “Black History Month,” began years before. His goal was to educate people about African-American history, their cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements. In 1976, February was proclaimed “Black History Month” and continues to be observed each calendar year.

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

As you know DaddyB and I have two beautiful girls, who are almost 2 and 5. He is African American and a smidge Native American and I am Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon) and that makes our girls AMAZING!! Oh yeah, and they’re multi-racial. We are very blessed to be living in the world today, as opposed to several years ago, and while we’ve seen our share of racism displayed in many ways, we are thankful to those who paved the path for where we now stand.

Miss A RACE exhibitThis time of year last year I got to visit an amazing exhibit called, “RACE: Are We So Different,” and it was amazing, I learned so much and really enjoyed it, definitely wish I could have bottled all of that information to show the girls as they grow since some of the material was way over their heads. Miss A did get to play with some puppets from different races and check out some other aspects and Baby C was thrilled to sit in her stroller and people watch.

We may be naïve, but we see each person as they are and love our family just how we are too. Because I do not know as much as I would like about Black Culture both in the states and around the world, I have spend some hours online educating myself and trying to figure out how to best celebrate this month, Black History Month with my family. Since my girls are still quite young we want to make sure we engage in activities and practices that are age appropriate and family appropriate.

I have always said, and will always say that as a parent or caregiver, you have to do what you think is best for your own family, so while we may not choose to celebrate how another family celebrates that’s what makes us unique and our very own family of four. We don’t want race to be the only determining factor in their life, however we do want them to embrace and celebrate their background. I know many African-American people who do not celebrate and also some who are very diligent about it, would love help figuring out the best fits for our family to introduce our daughters to this side of their heritage.

We want our girls to have a balanced life and most of all to love and honor God, each other and others.

If you have any tips, blog posts or ideas on how you and your family celebrate, I would love to hear them. Thanks in advance for the support.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: User dbking