Monday, May 31, 2010

Winner! God's Promises for Boys!

The winner for God's Promises for Boys is Tim, Allyson and Kids!  The winner has been emailed and responded.  Thank you!

If you did not win, but would still like the get the book click here: God's Promises for Boys.

I want to thank all blog buddies who entered.  I appreciate your participation.  Please stay tuned for more reviews and giveaways to come.

Some upcoming giveaways:
*Easy Lunchbox system
*Eco Mom Plum Organics

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kid Friendly Friday!

Welcome to another week of Kid Friendly Friday!  Do you have a post to share!  Please link up so we can see what fun things you are doing with your kids.  Thanks for sharing and be sure to tell others that you are linked up here.  

(Mostly) Free and Fun Friday: Parent/Child Class

This last 8 weeks we attended a parent/child class sponsored through a local technical college.  It was a wonderful experience.  The class was for toddlers ages 12 months - 2years old.  We met in a preschool classroom for 1.5 hours on Fridays for 8 weeks.  We sang songs, played at centers, had a parent discussion time and had snack.
Shrade learned a lot about social interaction and also following directions.  I learned a lot about parenting and I got some great ideas for songs and activities that I can do at home with my son.  Every week the parents had a different topic like discipline, potty training, self-esteem and fun things to do with toddlers.  If you can find a program like this in your area, I would highly recommend it.  I attended a special Mom and Me tea and received a $50 gift certificate to register for this class.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Friday Follow!

Smart and Trendy Moms
Hi, I'm Shonda and my son just turned 18 months old.  I dedicate this blog to teaching and learning.  I love to read, cook, knit, travel and blog.  I am so glad to meet you.  I would love to follow your blog.  Be sure to leave your URL.  Have a great Friday!

I'm hooked up with:
*Friendly Friday
*Follow Me Friday
*It's a Social Parade

Also, if you have a Kid Friendly post, please link up to my Kid Friendly Friday to share.  Thanks!

Love and Logic chp 10 (last one)

A great way to teach responsibility is through chores.  Start early in life, model and give choices.

I hope you have enjoyed these few snippets from each chapter.  There were so many more interesting things that you will be able to find out in detail when you read the book.  Here are just a few that are worth trying:
*How to get kids to stop whining
*Using "energy drain" to help kids solve problems
*Have a hassle free morning
*Put an end to arguing

Make Love and Logic a part of your parenting resource today!  I sure am!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What's on our Bookshelf? That's Not My....

Have your heard of this series from Usborne Publishing?  That's Not My...., it's too.....!  Well, check it out.  So they take an animal or object and make touch and feel stories with different parts of the animal or object.  The child learns different features of that animal/object and also gets a sensory experience too.  There's also a cute little mouse on each page that I have my son point to.  He loves it!

That's my lion!

We have That's Not my Dinosaur and That's Not my Penguin.  You can find these at your local library.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Music Notes: Songs for Saplings

Several months ago I found Totally Tots and was so excited for the teaching Bible verses series they have.  Every week they choose a verse from Songs for Saplings.  I bought the CD and it has been a wonderful way for me to teach Shrade Bible verses.  He loves music and so do I.  The songs are Bible verses sung to easy to learn tunes.  I sing them at changing diaper time, at the breakfast table, in the bathtub, during a car ride and anywhere we are.  What a fun way to learn God's Word.  I highly recommend this CD. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Giveaway! Mom and Me Cookbook by Annabel Karmel ends 6/7

Do you want to win a great cookbook for kids?  Head over to Mommy PR to enter today!

Food Fun 4 Kids: Yogurt

So, my son really likes yogurt.  He has it every morning for breakfast.  I found a really easy way to store yogurt for longer and have it ready for breakfast each day.  I scoop the yogurt into ice cube trays and freeze.  Then I pop them out and put them in plastic freezer bags.  The day before, I take out 4 cubes and let them thaw in the fridge.  In the morning I mix it with a few scoops of powdered dry milk to make it creamy and add calcium and also some pureed fruit that I also thawed from food cubes.  I have used the food cube method since Shrade was 6 months old and I love it.  Even though he is 18 months old he still likes creamy yogurt!
Here are some plums that my husband picked last year.  We froze them.  Then I thawed them and whizzed them up in the Magic Bullet to make food cubes for Shrade's yogurt.  Yum!

PS.  Stay tuned for some Super Baby Food for Toddlers and Preschoolers Test Kitchen series I hope to do this summer!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Family Fun Magazine Subscription for $5 for 1 year!!

Hi Blog Buddies-  Is anyone interested in a $5 subscription to Family Fun Magazine?  I put it on Facebook, but I had no response.  I need 3 friends to join up and we each only pay $5.  Leave a comment here or email me ( your interest and we can go from there.  I will not be taking credit card numbers or anything like that.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Summer Reading Challenge! from No Time for Flashcards

No Time For Flash Cards
I just read on Facebook that No Time for Flashcards is having a Summer Reading Challenge.  Please click on the link and get more details.  Prizes are involved too!  Starts May 24!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kid Friendly Friday!


Today is Kid Friendly Friday!  I am hosting for Angela over at Confessions of a Non-Domestic Housewife while she spends some time with her family.  Please link up any Kid Friendly Post that you have and let's have fun visiting each other's  blogs.  Thanks for joining in!

Book Review and Blog Hop Friday

It's Blog Hop Friday and I have a treat for you!

I was asked to review this wonderful ebook by Angie Kauffman called "Finding Educational Activities in the Most Unexpected Places."  This book was written to help parents/teachers use everyday objects for educational activities.  It is not necessary to have all the latest toys to teach your children.  You can just look around your house and see what you have and use this book to try fun activities that you can do with your child without having to spend any money.

This book has over 200 easy ideas to incorporate into your life to teach your child and have a blast!  I read through this whole book and the activities are very appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers.  I chose six activities to play with my son and he loved every one of them.  
#1: Our first activity was balloon batting.  Shrade had so much fun letting the balloon hit him in the head.  He is laughing hysterically in this photo.  He played with this for hours and he especially loved it when I "accidentally" hit my head with the balloon too.  This was good for gross motor and hand eye coordination as noted by Angie.

#2:  Our second activity was finding a hidden treasure in a bucket of cotton balls.  I showed Shrade his favorite car and then dropped it in the bucket.  He was so excited to dip his hand in the cotton balls.  When he found it, he would give it back to me for to put it back in the bucket.  This is a great sensory activity.

#3:  Snack Buffet was a great activity for Shrade who is learning how to eat different foods.  I cut up part of an egg carton and placed four different foods in each of the cups: raisins, cheerios, banana bread cubes and cheese.  I was hoping he would try the cheese, but I ended up eating it.  When he finished what was in the "snack buffet" he would bring it back for me to fill up.  

#4: Egg shakers!  My son was so enamored with the plastic eggs during Easter season.  When we went to library story time they would hand these out for rhythm time.  He always had a hard time giving them back.  So I found a few and filled them with rice and taped them.  We turned on some music and had a shake fest.  Angie says you can fill them with different materials and hear other sounds and compare them.  Great idea.

#5: We used poker chips to learn sorting by color.  Shrade is just learning colors so this was a bit difficult, but he really liked picking them up which was a good fine motor skill.  This activity is best used with bowls as suggested in Angie's book so little ones can make distinctions.

#6:  Squishy bag!  Angie says you can use hair gel, but we used some paint that we made the other day that was squishy enough.  My son has difficulty with sensory defensiveness and this activity is a great resource in helping to learn how to overcome that.

There were so many other great treasures in this book that you will have to discover: great books for toddlers and preschoolers, how to dye pasta and of course, the many activities that are easy to use.  Angie has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Special Education.  She now is a homeschool mom who also works as a part time therapist.  As you can see, her book has a rich background with educational expertise to aid you in giving your child the best education while having fun!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Giveaway! Sweet Melly Jane Finger Puppets ends 5/22

Aren't these little finger puppets just too cute!  I popped over to Twee Poppets and visited Sweet Melly Jane's Etsy website and fell in love with all these little puppets.  My son would love to play with these and it would be a great learning tool for us.  He loves animals!

Love and Logic chp 9

This chapter really opened my eyes to the value of how Love and Logic in my home will grow my child in responsibility and respect.  As a Kindergarten teacher I heard so many of the excuses presented in this chapter from parents as to WHY the couldn't get their kids to BEHAVE!  I especially liked the solution for stopping arguments.  I would love to expound, but I think you would benefit greatly from reading it yourself. 

Only one more chapter to go!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tot Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Brown Bear, Brown Bear is such a classic book for teaching animal names and colors.  I found this as a board book at a book sale last summer.  I have read this over  and over to him in the last year.  So a few weeks ago I decided to do some teaching along with reading.  I chose to follow Tot School's idea for making a Tot Book.  So I gathered my materials and made 3 different activities: matching head and tails, shape/animal book and number cards.  I proceeded to read the book every day to my son during 5 days and incorporate some of the activities each day.

First we did matching.  Shrade mostly wanted to throw the cards around, but by day 5 I played an actual matching game with him.  He didn't take much to the number cards, but I let him play with them and talked about all the animal colors and pictures.

He really liked the shape/animal book and he even started pointing to the animals and shapes.  But what really astounded me is one day when I was reading the book , I almost skipped the last page because I get tired of reading all the animals (I know, I should read them) so I decided to see if Shrade could point to the different animals.  I said them in random order and he got 80% correct.  Now, that is his favorite page and he comes up to me holding it out so I can "quiz" him!  How fun!

Tot Books & Packs

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Giveaway: God's Promises for Boys

I recently reviewed this book: God's Promises for Boys and I would like to give it away to one of my lucky readers!

You can win this book by...
1. Leave a comment
2. Become a follower on my blog (2 entries)
3. Put my button on your blog and provide the link
4. Post about this giveaway on another site (Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc) (1 entry for every post)

Be sure to provide your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Giveaway open until Friday, May 28 @ 11:59pm.  Winner will be announced and emailed on Monday, May 31.  US entries only, thanks.

Learning Activity: Recognizing pictures

So, in my 12 years of teaching Kindergarten I have accumulated a lot of stuff.  I have started pulling a few things out for Shrade to look at.  He really liked this short vowel poster.  He started pointing to pictures and I told him what they were.  Now he can identify about 4-5 pictures on this chart.  He even started saying "apple" since we took this out!  One thing I thought was interesting is that he didn't even notice the letters, but I pointed them out to him anyway.

Have fun learning!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tuesday Tag Along with Twee Poppets and Follow Me Back Tuesday!

Tuesday Tag-Along


I'm Shonda and I'm here with Milk N' Honey!   This is my place to share learning and growing with you. I was a Kindergarten teacher for 12 years and now I am a SAHM of a wonderful almost 18 month old son who was born on Thanksgiving day 2008.  He is the light of my life!  I started this blog to share about teaching and learning.   Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to get to know you better.  Please leave a comment and I'll check out your blog.  Have a great day!

Winner for Books by Tara!

I am very happy to announce that the winner for the Books by Tara giveaway is MELISSA.  She chose SNOWMAN.  The winner has been emailed and has 48 hours to contact me.

I really want to thank all you who entered my very first giveaway and review on Milk N' Honey Learn and Grow.  I hope to have many more to come.  Stay tuned!

Hey, it's Meetup Monday!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Giveaway! Gaddy Nipper Crayons ends 5/24

Look at these cool crayons I found that you can win over at My Four Monkeys!  Enter to win by 5/24.

Love and Logic chp 8

This chapter addresses what parents of young children can do now so that they can enjoy the teen years.  One major step that parents can take is to establish Love and Logic authority.  Here is just a few ways:  unconditional love and respect, some freedoms within limits, and an understanding of the difference between needs and wants.  For a full explanation and several great example stories, be sure to get a copy of Love and Logic for your own!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What's on our bookshelf? Goodnight Gorilla

This book, Goodnight Gorilla (by Peggy Rathmann), has been a FAVORITE of Shrade's since he was an infant.  I first found this book as a video and watched it and thought it was so cute.  So I read the book to my son and made up little sounds of the animals walking and he thought it was a hoot.  It has only a few words, mainly the animals names and Good Night.  It's quite humorous too.  A zookeeper says "good night" to several animals.  Meanwhile the gorilla has stolen his keys and unlocking all the cages so all the animals eventually follow the zookeeper to his house.  I want you to read the book to find out the ending though!  And my mom found this stuffed animal that looks like the main character and we have named it "Goodnight Gorilla."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Giveaway! Bubbly Meadow Hooded Towel

My Four Monkeys has another great giveaway!  Bubbly Meadow is Ali's business and she makes these cute, personalized hooded towels.  Enter to win one today!

Learning Activity : Painting (Art)

So we (well, I) decided to do some messy art with Shrade.  He doesn't like mess and I don't either, but I thought we should do it anyway.  So we made Creamy Soap Flake Fingerpaint which I found the recipe in First Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl.
*2 cups warm water
*1 cup Ivory soap flakes (I just used my cheese grater)
*Beat until stiff and add food coloring
Well, I think I did more painting than Shrade.  He did not really want to have anything to do with the paint.  I went into this project with NO expectations.  Yes, I did spend more time preparing and cleaning, but I did make an experience for my son and we will try again!  :)

So what did you do for your Milk N' Honey today?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Giveaway: A set of bath products from Episencial

OK, so I thought this was such a cute company that I had to post about this giveaway.  Go to the The B Keeps Us Honest to enter to win a set of bath products from Episencial which is inspired by Eric Carle.

Love and Logic chp 7

This chapter was excellent in teaching parents how to give responsibility to the child for the misbehavior by getting them to think of how to solve the problem.  There were so many great examples using a technique called "energy drain."  Also, delaying consequences and giving an appropriate consequences are key.  Be sure to snag this book for full details on "energy drain."  I thought it was a great way to teach responsibility.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book Review: Birds by Books by Tara (Giveaway too!)

Shrade and I were so thrilled to review Tara's new book- Birds.  Right away Shrade lit up at the cover of the book.  Inside we found a cute poem (written by Tara) that introduced us to the birds that we might find in the book.  She clued us in to features to look for as we perused the book.
Each picture was taken by Tara and we could not believe the variety of the types of birds featured.  There are 23 birds in this well bound book with sturdy pages. There is also a label on each page to identify the name of the bird and it is written in large font that is easy to read.  All of the birds you see in this book are what you might find as you walk around your neighborhood, local park or on a visit to the zoo.  But there were even a few that I had never heard of before and peaked my interest to find out more about those birds.

Even Shrade (who is only 17 months) could point to the birds on each page.  What we found really exciting was the possibility of endless learning with this simple book.  Recognizing features such as feathers or identifying colors for the very youngest to exploring the different habitats of birds for older children.  You could also make graphs or charts of similarities and differences.  Tara also has a special feature on her website for extension activities in a pdf format.
Thank you, Tara, for letting us review your book!  We loved it and can't wait to use it for many fun learning times together!

About Tara: She is a mother of two sons and a former teacher.  Tara began focusing on special needs children when she learned that her youngest son was autistic.  She developed a simple way to connect to children with books she created.  I met Tara through a giveaway when I signed up for her newsletter.  I have found Tara to be very warm and professional.  Her interaction has been so positive and encouraging.  I am pleased to be her friend and colleague.  Tara's website is easy to navigate and features a welcome page that highlights her fabulous collection of books.  Her website is very inviting and informative.

AND now for the giveaway!  One winner will get to choose which of Tara's fabulous books to make a part of their library!

Mandatory entry: Please visit Tara's website and choose which book you would like (HOLES, tiny HOLES, WATER, Car Wash, Autumn Leaves, Jack-O-Lantern, Snowman, and now Birds). Be sure to provide your email.

For other entries:
*Become a follower on my Milk N' Honey blog
*Put my button on your blog (provide link)
*Sign up for Tara's newsletter
*Become a fan of Books by Tara on Facebook
*Put Tara's button on your blog
*Blog about this giveaway (provide link) 
*Post about this giveaway on another site like Twitter or Facebook (1 entry for every post)

Giveaway open until Sunday, May 16.  Winner will be announced on Monday and emailed.

Have fun and good luck!  Blessings, Shonda

I'm also linked up with Kid Friendly Fridays and Feed Me Books Friday!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Giveaway! Craft Pack

My friend, Jennifer, over at Toy Box Years is giving away this Craft Pack Set.  Looks like fun!

Learning Acivity: Eco-dough

I was so excited to win this Eco-Dough from Eco Kids USA from 24/7 MOMS a few months ago.  The ingredients are earth friendly and the colors are natural.  Shrade is just discovering how to squish this dough in his fingers.  So dig out your playdough and have fun exploring!