How To Have A Successful Lake Trip According To Toddlers

We just got back from our annual trip to the Family Cabin. We had so much fun and loved every minute we were down there for. I wish we could have stayed longer and had even more adventures. Oh well, maybe we will get to stay longer next year.

As my kids are getting older they are become quite the adventurers and use their imagination constantly. The whole time we were at the lake the kids had a blast and we let them enjoy it to the fullest. Here are their tips to insure your kids have the best time ever.

1. Play!! There is so many new things to explore. If you leave kids to it they will find some excellent ways to entertain themselves.


2. Get in the water. Have a blast splashing, tubing, going on the knee board, swim or collect the best rocks ever. Whatever you do just get in there.


3. Make a clubhouse or fort. We have an old tent trailer that we didn’t set up this year. The kids made it into their awesome club house, no adults allowed. They hauled tons of rocks into the fridge. Collected pine cones for the horses (imaginary) and swept the entrance constantly. I have no idea what else they did but they spent tons of time in the club house.


4. Dig in the dirt. Almost every kid that I have every met loves to dig in the dirt. I don’t really get it but a shovel with a couple buckets makes for enormous amounts of fun.


5. Bathe half as often as you should. Sometimes a quick jump in the lake before bed is good enough. Other occasions call for extra soap….


6. Be goofy with cousins. Cousins are the best! I have many fond memories of time with my cousins and I hope my kids will have the same opportunity. They played constantly for the whole week. Sometimes bubbles, puzzles or activities filled their time but more often than not they used their imagination for tons of fun.


7. Stay up hours late. Seriously hours….  At the cabin, time is a whole different thing.  We are too busy having fun that  the kids don’t even start to settle down til 9 pm. Oy. The kids love staying up late but I always look forward to getting back to our routine. Aka early bedtime.

8. Eat too much food. Our entire extended family are all amazing cooks which leaves us all stuffing our faces during meal times, snacks and deserts. Tiger especially loved to fit all the watermelon in his mouth at once. Silly boy.
9. Lay trap for adults. Rocks make the perfect trap, without shoes on its close to the kids leaving Legos scattered around. Sticks work good too but are more easily seen.


10. Go boating. We watching skiers, went in the paddle boats, went behind the boat and even helped drive the boat with Grandpa for some small cruises.


11. Read tons of books. Have great grandparents to read them, grandparents, cousins or anyone that walks in the room. There is almost always time for one more story.


12. Snuggle. When you wake up in the morning snuggle for a bit longer. When your reading, curl up under a blanket. When your drying off from a super ski ride, snuggle up. Steal some kisses too, if you can. When your kids run, chase them and snuggle them again.


13. Explore Nature. Go on hikes if your close to the mountains or just explore the area your in. Look for different types of wildlife. See the colors all around you. Notice the different patterns on birds and leaves. Observe the bottom of the lake (if its clear) or look at the banks. Count the lily pads as you pass them.  Wherever you are just take a minute to really look around. Maybe even touch some new textures.


14. Fall Asleep in unusual places. I don’t think my toddlers set out to accomplish this one but they often reached their fun maximum and collapsed in funny spots. Sweets often curled up by my Dad’s feet as he was driving the boat. Its shaded under there and the motor sounds help lull little ones to sleep. I was always surprised she went willingly. I guess she was just that tired.

15. Work Hard. Include your kids in what you are doing. Growing up we always had to work on a project of some sort before we could play in the lake for the afternoon. It worked out well as the water is chilly in the morning. The cabin is much more established now so our projects are generally smaller but when one comes up every pitches in. Yes, even the toddlers.

This year we started to build an addition to the retaining wall. Lots of rocks needs to be moved. The kids helped to move rocks that they could lift but they also supervised Great Grandpa as he drove the Kubota to the unloading area. Once they were parked the kids unloaded rocks and threw them where they needed to go. When it was the big boys turn they moved out of the way but they were included. Doesn’t seem like typical vacation fun but they loved helping and proving how big they are. Vacations aren’t always about having fun but doing things together.Our vacation was so much fun and I am already looking forward to next year.

What are you and your family doing this year? What would your kids add to our list?

Love Is All Around Canada Book Review

When I first received this book I thought it would be about Canada and how much we love our beautiful country. One read through and I quickly determined it was about Canadians. As a whole we are wonderful amazing people who open our hearts and homes to many.

“Love’s all around, if you just pay attention, in people and places too many to mention. Go look at the park, on the street, at the mall. You’ll see love all over. It’s big and it’s small!”

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I Finally Took the Leap

I did a thing.

An awesome and exciting thing.

I have finally made the jump into selling Usborne books!

Our shelves have been slowly filling up with them and we are constantly checking them out from the library. We absolutely adore these books. Both the kids and I have found ourselves diving into them and loving all of the wonderful things that we have learned. Every book we have read has been so well done and prompted much laughter, many questions and discussions.

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As my kids are getting older and starting to read themselves I knew that our home library needed to expand so they could freely explore various topics without daily trips to the library. We will always go to the library but there is something about going to your own shelves and finding love.

I want our kids to be able to devour their favorite books until the bindings can no longer stay together. I want my son to carry his books down by the river without me worrying about library fees. I want books to be a part of their life. Their everyday life.

You know, the life that includes curling up with a blanket and chocolate chip cookies with your favorite book. Mountains of pillows and piles of books that almost seem to reach the ceiling. A semi disaster in a mom’s perspective but magical as a kid. This is the life I want for my kids.

I would give my kids the world if I could. I can’t so instead I will give them books that will transport them around the world and through time. Books that will stretch their imaginations and expand their knowledge. I can’t answer every question my little’s have however I can teach them how to find the answers they seek and where to look.

Usborne is already a part of our life and I can’t wait to bring it to the homes of many wonderful families. Follow along with us here for deals and discounts! I have extra special deals for those that host an online party in the next two week. Double Points!!! Yeah, more books for you, from me.

 

Easter Book List

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. Mostly because of all the wonderful traditions and memories we have made over the years. We always get together with one of my Aunts and her family which is a blast. They are awesome!

One of our traditions has been to have the Easter Bunny bring a new Easter Book to the kids in their baskets. Well, its a nice idea but we have so many Easter books and the rest of the holidays (minus Christmas) are lacking. Ooops.

At least the intentions were good and now I have this incredible list to share with you.

Somebunny Loves You

When I first picked up this book I thought for sure it was going to be goofy pictures that my kids would giggle at for days. I was so surprised when I opened it up. This book is filled with adorable pictures and poems. Well, fun little poems and sing song poems. Many board books have bright colors and this is so exception. The colors are beautiful. Atypical to board books this one has incredible vocabulary and descriptions on every page. It is fun to read as an adult and my kids were captivated from the baby to my four year old.

“Wherever you go,

whatever you do,

always remember:

somebunny loves you!”

Easter Is Here

Little People puts out some excellent books. On our shelves we have quite a collection of their board books. Easter is here is still a board book but it is geared towards older toddlers. It has a ton of flaps in it and awesome lists for searching and find. Some pages have you hunting for colors, objects, bunnies, baskets and even an egg hunt! The colors are bright and vivid and the flaps are quite durable even when reading with energetic tots.

Happy Easter Corduroy

Join Corduroy and his friends as they die eggs, hunt for hidden Easter eggs and have a picnic. This is a wonderful choice for a first Easter Book.

Egg

My babies have always loved this book. It is bright, colorful and filed with lots of different animals. All the animals take their turn finding eggs until the very end when the chicks hatch into baby chicks.

The Littlest Bunny in Canada: An Easter Adventure

Flop is such a cute bunny owned by two siblings. To their surprise they brought the Easter Bunny home with them. Flop sure is a busy bunny. Once the kids are in bed he gets to work traveling coast to coast hiding eggs and baskets. I first read this book to myself and enjoyed it. It was a nice read. At the end there is an egg hunt that goes though the book. What a great idea! When I read the book with my kids I didn’t even have to mention the egg hunt before they were already counting eggs as they found them. The eggs have numbers on them too which is an excellent way to sneak in number recognition.

The Great Easter Race

Sesame Street is always a classic. In this tale there was a mighty race between characters. Most of them got distracted along the way but once the race was finished they found the best prize. It was a cute story and like a sesame street books the drawings are adorable.

How to Catch the Easter Bunny

When I first read this book I immediately noticed that it contained many great rhymes and  intellectual words. We are just getting into learning how to read so the rhymes are extra appealing at the moment. E. B., as he is known, is quick and kinda spunky. He might just be my favorite Easter bunny character. The Easter bunny finds himself in a couple of predicaments in which he must escape. He uses his lucky rabbit feet and always escapes. This books would be especially wonderful for a writing prompt, discussion or even the beginning  of many experiments. Ask your child how they would catch the Easter Bunny and maybe try some of them out. You might be surprised by what they come up with.

The Great Easter Egg Hunt

What a fun book! The Great Easter Egg Hunt is actually a puzzle book filled with mazes, word searches and riddles. The majority of puzzles are probably best for age 5+. My little’s (4 and under) didn’t grasp most of the puzzles but enjoyed the story line and chasing the bunny through the book. Quite a few pages are too busy for my tastes but it was an enjoyable read.

The Night Before Easter

I love when authors can take a classic story like “The Night Before Christmas,” and adapt it to tell another tale. Often it goes terribly wrong but not this time. It adorable and so much fun. This is a book that you can read a couple times a day and still enjoy it. Be careful though, if your not you might have visions jellybeans dancing in your head.

Peter Cottontail

When I was a little girl I received a Rabbit stuffed animal. I don’t remember receiving it but I cherished it. That bunny looked exactly like Peter Cottontail. To this day when I think of the Easter Bunny, I imagine a bunny with a vest and those teeny tiny glasses. This book has similarities to “The Grinch.” There is a wolf that does not want he bunnies to celebrate Easter. He schemes up a plan to get rid of the Easter eggs, preventing Easter fun. Of course this didn’t foil Easter. They all had a wonderful Easter party then ended up on a hunt for the eggs that Willy Wolf hid. This book will always be in our collection. Great illustrations, awesome message and it leads right into a fun egg hunt.

The Best Easter Eggs Ever

The Easter Bunny works so hard every year and in this story he has three adorable helpers assist him in decorating the eggs. The little bunnies all found inspiration in different places. The only thing that I didn’t like was that each bunny received a medal for their work. I don’t have a problem with the Easter Bunny loving all of the designs, just the medals. I know I am just being nit picky but I don’t love that they included that line. Other than that I really enjoyed the book. My kids also enjoyed the book and have been searching for their own inspirations for when we decorate eggs this weekend.

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of our Easter Books. Maybe you found one or two more to add to your collection this year.

Happy Easter from my home to yours!

 

Spark Your Child’s Imagination Though Reading Aloud

There is a whole big world out there filled with magic and adventure. I don’t know about your family but we have not been able to see all of the corners of the earth and beyond. However we have found a way to ignite our imagination and explore more than I ever thought possible.

Now for the best news. You can have this same experience in your own home.

That’s right.

Grab your kids, a blanket, turn off your phone and open a book. The world is yours.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Curious George Book Review

Curious George is a such classic character. Around since I was little . Now that I am a parent I love sharing him and his mischievous adventures with my Little’s.

One of my newest books from Raincoast Books is “Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Curious George.” I was so glad to receive it for a couple reasons. One being that it is quite difficult to find good books about St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not entirely sure why but it is one holiday that isn’t represented well in literature.

The books starts out at the beginning of the day with Curious George getting ready in his special green attire. Once he is dressed he is ready to enjoy the festivities of the day. He goes from event to event having lots of fun and learning a bit about Irish culture and folk lore.

I quite enjoyed this book. It is a board book but it has a decent amount of words to appeal to kids preschool level and up. It’s not long but long enough to introduce lots of the fun that revolves around St. Patrick’s Day.

Of course after reading you will be inspired to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a little bit more. Get out your green clothes, we are going to have so much fun!

Curious George, St. Patricks Treasure Hunt

Here are some options to inspire your St. Patty’s fun.

First off  lets chat about leprechauns. Leprechaun’s are little men who are quite mischievous and magical. Quite the combo. They love to pay tricks and hide their gold. Because leprechauns are so tricky it is nearly impossible to find their gold but if you manage to catch a leprechaun then you might just have hit the jackpot. Gather up some supplies and build a special trap only for leprechauns. Make sure to use some glitter to help lure them in.

While you are waiting for your trap to catch a Leprechaun you might as well search for some coins. Parents, you could do this many different ways. Hide coins outside, in your home or even use a sensory bin to keep them mostly in one spot. My kids love sensory bins so we choose to make one. We might have gone outside if their wasn’t so much snow.

Feeling crafty? Make your own four leaf clovers. Once your finished don’t forget to make a very special wish.

If your family loves to eat and cook together check out some recipes and try a new Irish dish. I’d go with Corned Beef if I were you.

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! I hope all your wishes come true.

Will the man in the  yellow hat don green on St Patrick’s Day? You are going to have to get your own copy to find out.

What I Love About You!

As a wife I have been blessed with a wonderful hubby. He amazing but not really a talker. Its just not his thing. Sometimes that drives me crazy but its who he is.

A few years ago I was in a rough spot. You know, the one where your not sure how awesome you are or you can’t think of anything about yourself except the negative things that continuously pop into your mind. I was wallowing a bit. Stuck in self pity and a bad case of the bla’s. I was telling my husband all of the negative things about myself and he was so kind and honestly told me that I was lying to myself. That I was better than my mind was telling me. That I am loved. I didn’t have to be perfect to be loved and that I can be awesome without being perfect.

The next day during his lunch break he texted me a simple and sweet message. I don’t remember the exact message but it went like this. I love your _____. After I received the message I thought about thanking him for his kind words but instead I texted him back something that I loved about him.

Three years later and every lunch break I still get a message to pick me up and remind me that I am loved. It has made a huge difference for me. Now imagine how this would effect a child. Your child.

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The Intentional Bookshelf Review

In our home we love to read. We read in the kitchen during breakfast. We read in the living room snuggled up by the fireplace. We read in our beds. We read under tents. We read just about everywhere.

We love reading!

Before my first was born I knew that I wanted a home filled with books that inspired, transported and transformed my kids. What I didn’t know was what books I should add to my shelves. There are so many great options and alot of not so great ones. Starting from square I found myself completely overwhelmed. Have you been there too?

I wish I would have read “The Intentional Bookshelf” in the beginning. It would have helped me to get started off on the right foot.

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Arctic Book List for your Little Readers

Baby, it is cold outside!

We are under lots of snow which was perfect for our week long study of the Arctic! We gathered up lots of great books and cuddled under a pile of blankets. Reading and snuggling is one of my favorite activities to do with my little’s.

Good books open up the doors of curiosity and exploration. Here are the books that we used during our Arctic study.

Arctic Book List

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