Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Handwriting Tracer Freebies

New Years is a great time to work on handwriting especially when you need to learn how to write a new year! Am I the only one still writing the year before way into March?

Your kiddos will love these free handwriting sheets from TeachWithMe.Com!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Free Classic Ebooks - Treasure Island and More

If you have a Kobo or the FREE Kobo app there are a TON of awesome classic ebooks for FREE!! Just head over to the Kobo website and look for the “FREE EBOOKS” section at the top (or the FREE APPS section to download the Kobo app) Here is a list of just a few of the classics and other ebooks that I spotted:

Anne of Green Gables (3 Book set)

Star Wars Books 1-6

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Hound of the Baskervilles

On the Origin of Species (Darwin)

The Communist Manifesto

Persuasion (Jane Austen)

Peter Pan

Sense and Sensibility

Jane Eyre

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Oliver Twist

Don Quixote



Grimms Fairy Tales

A Christmas Carol

Aesops Fables


Around the World in 80 Days

The Invisible Man

The Jungle Book

The Last of the Mohicans

The Phantom of the Opera

The Prince and the Pauper

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

A Journey to the Interior of the Earth

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

War and Peace

The Secret Garden

Pride and Prejudice


Little Women

Anna Karenina

Three Musketeers

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Treasure Island

The Odyssey of Homer

I also spotted The Mouse and the Motorcycle and the 1st Lemony Snicket book for just $1.99 each! So head over to see what KOBO has to offer and fill up your digital library!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Doubling - A Fun Mental Math Challenge To Try With Your Kiddos

Here is a fun mental math challenge to try with your older kiddos. Set a timer for 1.5 minutes then tell your child,

"Write down the number 7

Without a calculator,  double it and write down the answer

Double that and write down the answer

Double that and write down the answer

Double that and write down the answer

Double that and write down the answer

Double that and write down the answer"

.... How far can your child get before the timer goes off?

Try it with other numbers as well.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Get Set For A Pet Hen

Get Set For A Pet Hen tells the story of a girl who gets a pet hen.  It focuses on the vowel word family -et (pet, get, set).

Washington DC

Washington DC focuses on a trip to Washington DC with lots of real world pictures and photographs. The text focuses on the sight words: from, go, and here.

Get Set Go!
Get Set Go!  tells about a little boy's trip to a Dinosaur Museum with his parents.  The text focuses on the sight words: go, see, and you.  It also focuses on the vowel word family -et (get, set).

For more free beginning readers, visit these posts:

Free Beginning Leveled Readers

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Free Disney New Year's Printables

If you are looking for a way to keep your kiddos busy this New Year's you might want to try these free printables featuring everyone's favorite mouse - Mickey Mouse! Here is a fun New Year's Activity Page that features a word search and a maze.

You can also have your child make a wish list for the upcoming year with Mickeys New Year Wish List.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Highlights Hidden Pictures December Freebie

Highlights hidden pictures are a great way for your child to develop concentration and a greater attention to detail. You can download December's hidden picture for free by clicking here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

PeachSuite Hotel Supply

When you think about a great place to go for gift ideas (or items for yourself and your home) the first place you think about is probably not a hotel supply store, but you defintely should consider visiting PeachSuite Hotel Supply the next time you are in search for the perfect gift! We have found a few of our most favorite items while traveling at hotels - like the waffle maker Best Western has for most of their continental breakfasts and the matress we purchased came from the Four Seasons hotel.  We bought both of these hotel supplies online, but I love great selection that Peach Suite has - everything from alarm clocks to cleaning supplies. And those little amenity shampoos and lotions. I first discovered my favorite shampoo and a bed and body lotion from a hotel trip. 

The idea of going to a hotel amenities supplier for your shopping needs may seem a bit odd, but I know you will not be disappointed!

What favorite items have you found from your travels?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Free Beginning Readers

Here are a few more freebie beginning leveled readers, perfect for your beginning reader.

Nan the Red Hen

Nan the Red Hen is about a cute little red hen.  It focuses on the word hen, but has several sight words throughout.

A Walk in Antarctica

A Walk in Antarctica tells the story of a boy taking a walk in Antarctica.  The story introduces your child to arctic animals such as seals, whales, and penguings. The text focuses on the sight words: from, go, and here.

Ten Red Sleds

Ten Red Sleds tells the story of two sisters sledding.  The text focuses on the phonics -ed famuly (i.e. red, sled).

  For more beginning readers, check out these posts

Free Leveled Readers

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where Do Monsters Live Freebie Book for ipad

If your kiddos are anything like mine, they are constantly asking to play with your iphone or ipad.  It is easier to hand it over when you know they will be using them for educational activities, and for a limited time you can download the book Where Do Monsters Live for FREE! About the App:

Children ages 3 and up will enjoy interacting with this colorfully illustrated story through this app, which includes playful, animated monsters and fun activities that reinforce the learning process.

The Where Do Monsters Live? app is based on the award-winning Learn to Read children’s book series. Features of the reading app include the following:

•Read-along narration options with text highlighting.

•Record-and-play selections that allow children and parents to record themselves reading the story and play it back.

•Easy, swipe-friendly navigation.

•Special effects and colorful, mom-approved games, including multiple levels of matching games, mazes, and path play.

•Certificate of completion that can be personalized with a photo and emailed to parents or grandparents.

Additional popular Learn to Read titles, Cinderella Dressed in Yellow, Who Took The Cookies from the Cookie Jar?, and The Bugs Go Marching, are currently in development and will be available as apps in Spring 2013.

Get it for FREE until January 31st!

Where Do Monsters Live App

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Grinch Story Problems - FREEBIE

If your kiddos are fans of the classic Dr. Seuss Christmas story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you will want to check out this adorable freebie from Rulin' the Roost. A fun way to combine some math practice with a great story!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Creating Family Christmas Traditions - Guest Post

One of the people I follow on Twitter, Jenn from @KeepCalmandMom offered to guest post on my blog.  I was happy to oblige!  If you enjoy her post, be sure to follow her on Twitter to see where her next posts will appear.

Christmas is the best time of the year for reinforcing family values and traditions that will be passed down by future generations. The blended family as well as the traditional family may come together during this wonderful season of giving to carry on timeless crafting and creation. There are so many opportunities for family, and friends alike, to interact in festive holiday activities.

Aside from the parties and delicacies that define the season, there are activities that everyone can participate in that will become events that all ages will look forward to. Some of these may include:

Building a gingerbread house - has great gingerbread house ideas, lists all the ingredients and tools needed and even gives you step by step instructions. Planning and designing, baking, cutting, assembling and decorating are just some of the tasks to be shared in creating the gingerbread house. Each year a photo can be taken of the finish project with the construction crew and used for a Christmas Card.

Wreath making – While her instructions may be a bit involved, has some of the most beautiful and unique wreath ideas out there. If you are fortunate enough to live where natural materials like vines and evergreens are readily available, it a great fun to collect these items and have everyone create there own wreath. Grape vine, wisteria and Virginia creeper are a few of the many vines that can be wound for a form. Be sure to identify the vines when they have leaves. Poison Ivy can make you itchy in the winter too.

Make Snow Globes – offers a great instruction guide that’s great for the younger children. All that is needed is some glycerin, a few miniatures, available in any craft store, some glass glitter, glue and a jar. Add a little imagination and a self contained fantasy can come to life.

Put the family Christmas photo on your iPhone case – Online services like can take your family portrait, or informal fun shots, and put them on an iPhone case that you choose yourself from a vast collection of designs. Make the family Christmas photo something you can take with you all year long.

There are so many more activities to get everyone involved, creating a future yearning for the season in the hearts of all. It might be decorating and baking holiday cookies or crafting ornaments. Decorating a gourmet tree for the birds and animals each season will be fun to do, fascinating to observe and appreciated by all the fauna that can work less and eat more.

With Christmas becoming more commercialized and stressful each year, it is healthy to participate in some festive family fun as the holiday draws near. Create memories for your family that they will cherish, while instilling values that will benefit them for life.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Even More Free Beginning Leveled Readers

Gib Got It

Gib Got It is about an adorable squirrel and a raccoon who are out picking flowers.  The text focuses on number words and a few sight words such as: got, and it.

Five Bears, All In A Den

Five Bears, All In A Den tells the story of a bear family. The text focuses on number words and a few sight words such as: got, and it. Family names such as mom and dad are also featured.

Five Stops

Five Stops tells he story of two sisters ride on a school bus.  The text focuses on number words

For more beginning readers, be sure to check out these posts as well:

Free Beginning Leveled Readers

Friday, December 7, 2012

Free Printable Beginning Readers

I have found a few more beginning readers that you can print out (or read on-line) with your beginning readers.

One, Two, Three, Four, Five

One, Two, Three, Four, Five features fun photographs of real-life kids playing at the park.  It focuses on the number words as well as a few common sight words.

A Home for Flap The Cat

A Home for Flap The Cat is about two sisters and their cat, Flap. The text focuses on the number words as well as a few common sight words.

The Path to Frog's New Home

The Path to Frog's New Home tells the story of a frog looking for a new home. The text focuses on the number words as well as a few common sight words.

For more beginning readers visit this post.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Disney's Epic Mickey 2:The Power of Two Video game review

You could have heard the screams from miles away when we told my boys that we were selected to review Disney's new video game, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2. They already loved the first game, so they were excited to try out the sequel. I am by no means a gamer myself, but the boys in my household (hubby included) definitely are.  The boys were jumping up and down begging me to let them play the game already while I snapped this shot of the cover.

Epic Mickey 2 The Power of Two returns the gamer to the Wasteland which is an imaginary world
 based on classic Magic Kingdom attractions like Frontierland and Adventureland. After the Wasteland is torn up by earthquakes, Mickey is summoned to help restore it — and find out what caused the disaster.  Mickey has a magical paint brush at his disposal that can shoot paint or thinner. 

In the second game, Mickey is joined by Oswald the rabbit as he battles to save the Wasteland.  From what my boys tell me (and my observations) - a second player can control Oswald.  If you choose to play alone, the computer will automatically control Oswald.

All six of my boys (ages 6 to 19) were enthralled with the game for hours.

And so was my biggest kid (AKA the hubster)!

While I am not a video game fan, I am definitely a Disney fan, and I really enjoyed watching the boys play.  There is a storyline, Disney characters, references to the Amusment Parks, and great music.  A lot like watching a Disney movie.

One thing that I really loved about the game as a mom is that it really fosters cooperation.  Players have to work together to accomplish things in the game - and that is a skill that any siblings can definitely work on!

If this is not on your shopping list for your favorite gamers for Christmas, it definitely should be!

Epic Mickey 2 The Power of 2 is available on XBox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Wii to satisy any gamer preference.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two the video game. I received a copy of the game and additional compensation in order to facilitate the review, but all opinions are mine.