Tuesday, July 24, 2012

BabbaBox Review and GIVEAWAY

When I first heard about BabbaBox, I was intrigued.  A company that will mail you a storybook and a lesson plan for activities and all the materials you need for $29.99 and free shipping?  Sounded a lot like a Mommy and Me Book Club in a box to me.   I was very excited when they offered to send me a box to review!     

Our box contained FEELINGS themed activities and a story book about caring for others.  Here are all of the fun things in our box!  My kids and I were so excited to get started! 

Luckily, the BabbaBox came with a clearly written and easy to follow lesson plan, so we were able to get started right away and they didn't have to wait for Mommy to try and figure things out.

After reading the story, we dove right into the fun activities!  We opened up these included safety scissors and read the sweet accompanying poem.

 Feelings Magnets

The Babbabox included all the materials needed to create Feelings Magnets for the refrigerator. The children could use these to change the magnets to share how they felt throughout the day.

We talked about different feelings, and then I gave each of the children 2 of the feeling faces to color.

We colored the faces with the colored pencils from our BabbaBox.

We added the included magnets to the back.

Then we placed them up on the refrigerator.  The children have spent the entire week changing the face in the box to match their own feeling (or a feeling a sibling is expressing).  

Sock Puppets 

Our BabbaBox included all of the materials and directions needed to make two Sock Puppets that the children could use to express their feelings.

 These were very easy and very fun to make!

Feeling Finders

 The box included spy glasses that the children could put on and search for different feelings in our home. 

My daughter thought that this was a very funny activity.

However my oldest son thought this was all very SERIOUS business.  

A journal and feelings stickers were also included with the spy glasses.  They kids used the stickers to record their feelings discoveries over a few days. 

I appreciate BabbaCo for sending our family this great BabbaBox to try out and share with my readers.  I think the BabbaBox is great for families who are looking for easy, ready to go, book inspired activities! 

BabbaCo is willing to send one of my U.S. readers a BabbaBox of your own to enjoy with your children!  To enter, they just ask that you like them on the BabbaCo Facebook page.   For an additional entry, you can like Mommy and Me Book Club on Facebook .  It isn't mandatory that you like Mommy and Me Book Club, but I would LOVE to share our book inspired fun and updates with you there each week! 

They are also offering my readers 20% off their first box with the code MME20OFF.  And they are currently running a back to school special and offering 33% off the first 3 months (which makes each box $20).  That code is MM33BTS. 

 The winner will be selected using Rafflecopter.  Entries will be accepted until 12:01 am July 31st, 2012.   The winners will be posted on my blog on the morning of the July 31st, 2012.   The winner will have 72 hours to claim her prize and to send me her mailing address.  If the winner fails to claim her prize, another recipient will be selected.   US residents only. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Circle of Moms Top 25

If you enjoy our blog, would you take a moment to vote for us in the Circle Of Moms Top 25 Teacher Mom Blogs contest?  Thank you for reading my blog and from all of your wonderful comments!  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Silly Sally by Audrey Wood

We are so excited to be participating in the July Summer Virtual Book Club with some of my very favorite kid bloggers!  This month we each selected a book by Audrey or Don Wood to read with our children.  We created activities for our children, inspired by the chosen book.

We chose to read Silly Sally by Audrey Wood.  It is a fun, nonsensical rhyming book about a lady who walks on her hands backwards to go to town.  She meets lots of fun friends along the way.   The illustrations are delightful, and it is a book my children request often.

We had 4 friends over for a Silly Sally play date.  With my 3, we had a total of 7 kids ranging in age from 3-11 years old.  All of them liked the book and had a blast with our activities!  


After reading the book, I let the children raid the costume bins. I challenged them to come up with the silliest costume they could think imagine.  They were hilarious, and had a great time trying to outdo each other.  They mismatched pieces of several different costumes, pulled in items that were not traditionally dress up clothes, and laughed.  I loved the sound of laughter filling my home.  Is there anything better?   (For the sake of my future relationship with my son, I will NOT post the picture of him in his sister's pink fairy dress accessorized with clean underwear on his head, red sunglasses, and a sword).


How could we read Silly Sally and NOT make Upside Down Cake????  Family Fun Magazine has a delicious and simple recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes.  It was perfect for a group cooking activity.  Each of the 5 boys took turns helping with all of the steps.  (For some reason, the 2 girls weren't interested in cooking that day.  And I wasn't interested in forcing them to cook.  We were here to have fun)!  The only part of the recipe I helped with was to put the pan in and out of the oven! 

They cut the pineapple by themselves.

They measured out the brown sugar and butter by themselves.

While the brown sugar and butter melted, the boys took turns telling the silliest jokes they could think of.  It morphed into a game of "Who would...(fill in the blank with some crazy thing a 5 year old can imagine.  Like, "Who would eat a Bionicle?").  Again, my house was delightfully filled with the laughter of silly children.

The boys took turns placing the pineapple pieces into the pan.  The only substitution we made from the original recipe was to change the cherries to raspberries.  (Only because I had no cherries).

The boys measured and mixed the dry and wet ingredients.  They even cracked the eggs!

All to make this yummy treat!  They were so proud of themselves! 


Our final activity was to create life sized silly versions of ourselves, walking upside down.

I traced an outline of each child onto large white butcher paper, with their hands reached above their heads.  (I don't have a pic of this, since I was the one doing the tracing). 

Then each child decorated his or her own Silly Self.  My two boys did theirs completely on their own.  My daughter told me what she wanted to do and we worked together.

I am so excited to see what fun book inspired activities you did with your children, based on the incredible Woods' Books! Here are the blogs of the other amazing bloggers participating!

Toddler Approved
Smile Play Learn

Want to get a head start on August?  We will be selecting books written by Kevin Henkes!

Please link up your own activities based on a book written by a member of the Wood Family below! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Virtual Book Club: The Woods

We are excited to be participating in the Summer Virtual Book Club again this month, co-hosted by 20+ bloggers!  Each month, we are highlighting a favorite author.  Bloggers around the world are joining in on the fun.

In July, we will be creating activities inspired by books by Audrey and Don Woods.  They are in my top 5 favorite children's lit authors!  They have so many wonderful books, on so many different topics.  There really is something for everyone!  We have already featured 2 of their amazing books on our blog previously. 

One Mommy and Me focused on The Napping House.

At another Mommy and Me Book Club, we featured The Little Mouse,The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear)!

Do you want to join in the fun?  It is simple!

1-Choose a favorite book by one or both of the Woods family members.
2-Share the book with your child and create a fun activity to go with the story.
3-Blog about it and return here on July 16th to link up your post to our Summer Virtual Book Club Linky!

Don't have your own blog?  Feel free to leave a comment that shares which book you chose and what you did!  You can even post a pic of your fun on our facebook page!

Did you miss last month's fun?  We had over 50 bloggers share posts!  Click on the link to see all of the activities inspired by the amazing Mo Willems!

Want to get a head start on August?  We will be selecting books written by Kevin Henkes!

Are you going to join us this month?  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

10 Little Rubber Ducks

This summer, our family signed up to participate in The Educators' Spin On It: Summer Book Exchange!  Twenty bloggers agreed  to 1-0choose a favorite book to share and 2-)send it with activity ideas and supplies to another blogger!  Mommy and Me Book Club was paired up with the fabulous hostess of the event...The Educator's Spin On It!   We had sooo much fun putting our package together to send off to our friends at The Educators' Spin On It!  My three kiddos were very excited to send their kiddos our activities and a beloved book.  (I will share what we sent as soon as they post)!   But my kids were not NEARLY as excited to give as they were when the postman delivered a book box to our home!!!!

My children are a bit obsessed with birds of all kinds...but ducks are currently the favorite! Can you imagine their excitement when there was a GIANT YELLOW DUCK on the outside of the package? Guesses of what duck book might be inside flew wild across the kitchen table.

My eldest son made everyone cover their eyes while I opened the box and revealed the book....

  10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle! It is a sweet story of a box of rubber duckies who fall off of their transport ship and out of their box into the ocean.  Each rubber duckie meets a different ocean animal on his adventure. Perfect for summer!  The book counts from one to ten as it introduces each animal.  (AND it wasn't one we already had or one that any of the kids guessed!  Hooray for surprises)! The Educators' Spin On It sent us SEVERAL envelopes with Rubber Duckie book inspired learning activities!

It was a very rainy day outside, so we started on the activities right away!  (Although there were so many fabulous learning activities, we did have to spread them out over two days)!

My eldest wanted to read the story to his younger siblings.  (Which was perfect for being able to take pictures, so I didn't mind.  Is there anything sweeter than siblings reading together)?

For our first activity, we used the supplies sent, to make our own Rubber Duck Factory Sign.  Each child helped by either writing or decorating.    This was such a fun way to set the stage and spark the children's imagination as we proceeded through the rest of the activities. 


We used these fun art supplies and created each of the characters from the story....including the sun.  Everyone took a couple of different animals and set to work.  I was surprised at how creative they were with the pipe cleaners.  Then they enjoyed retelling the story with the characters they made, over and over again...especially my youngest.  She wasn't really interested in moving on to another activity.... even an hour later. 


Next we had fun with MATH!  My sons created the numeral ducks together and practiced addition and subtraction facts.  Then they played with these adorable ordinal number cards!


My 5 year old practiced spelling these animal names from the story using letter beads and word cards.  He loved it and asked for more words when he was finished. 

My three year old enjoyed making and playing with these ABC duckies with me.


One of the fun activities was to make our own stamps using sticker characters from the book and bottle caps.  This was another activity that my 3 year old had no desire to stop!


We used the duck stamp to create several boxes of ten ducks and practiced counting by tens.


My 7 year old enjoyed playing "teacher" and calling out the positional words to his little brother.  "Move the duck east of South America....Move the duck under Antarctica."  I was surprised how quickly my 5 year old picked up on the names of the continents in order to play the game!


For our culminating event, the children watched a video online about how Eric Carle creates his art and then tried their hands at creating their own!

Thank you so much for the fun activities and new book for our collection!  We had such a wonderful time participating and look forward to seeing everyone else's posts! My 7 year old is creating a list of all the people we know and which books he would like to send them now!

 Here are some of the other participants who have already shared their book exchange posts!  Make sure to check out their book inspired fun!  I will continue to update between now and the end of July!  THANK YOU, Educators' Spin On It, for all of your hard work organizing this exchange and, our own family thanks you especially for the fun activities you mailed us! 

No Doubt Learning
Having Fun At Chelle's House- Five Little Ducks

Make Do and Friend
Taming the Goblin
Growing Book by Book
The Vincent Family
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom
Here Come the Girls - The Worst Princess