• Home Education,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Jack Hanna’s Awesome Animal Almanac + 10 Animal Crafts

    Jack Hanna's Awesome Animal Almanac | MommyWifeLife

    I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. All thoughts are my own.

    I love a book that can be read over and over and add value to our personal library for many years. As homeschoolers, these types of books often come in handy, finding their way into our lessons. Jack Hanna recently released Jack Hanna’s Awesome Animal Almanac that perfectly fits that bill. Jack Hanna is no stranger to our city, Columbus, Ohio, or the world. As Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Wilds, he has proven that he knows a ton about the animal kingdom. Children who love animals will simply be captivated by this latest work. 

    Awesome Animal Almanac

    Jack Hanna’s Awesome Animal Almanac is a fantastic alphabetized reference book with over 192 pages of animal photography and facts. It’s not the typical reference book where animals can be found by their name. Jack Hanna has centered the book around the attributes of animals, for example, “F” is for Flight, as in animals that fly. Readers can learn about both common animals, such as an elephant, and rare animals, like the axolotl, with each turn of a page. There are three animals per letter, which makes the content easy for children to consume. You can add it to your library by grabbing a copy on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

    Jack Hanna's Awesome Animal Almanac | MommyWifeLife

    Learning and Crafting

    My daughters often ask me if they can learn about a specific topic. The topics are usually random, but with resources such as this one in my library, I can stay ready to answer questions regarding animals. Over 200 animals can be explored in the almanac, which means many zoology and biology lessons can be created with it, which can easily include craft time.

    Jack Hanna's Awesome Animal Almanac | MommyWifeLife

    When I thought about the future lessons I’ll create with the Awesome Animal Almanac I immediately thought of how I could tie in a craft time. I have made a list of 10 animal crafts that are super cute and easy that will help learning about animals become an even more exciting time. You can check them out yourself below.

    10 Animal Crafts to Do with the Awesome Animal Almanac

    Paperplate Walrus Craft by My Mommy Style

    Pipe Cleaner Snake by Kids Activities Blog

    Watercolor Resist Spider Web by Let’s Lasso the Moon

    Paper Roll Owl by The Centsible Life

    Butterfly Life Cycle Craft by Buddy and Buggy

    Balloon Elephant by Glued to My Crafts Blog

    Ladybug Craft by Easy Peasy and Fun

    Foam Cup Frog by Crafts by Amanda

    K-Cup Whale Craft by Craft Create Cook

    Paper Bag Hippo by I Heart Crafty Things

    Are there any animal lovers in your house?

  • For The Home,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Save at Stores You Shop at Most with Groupon Coupons

    Save at the Store You Shop at Most with Groupon Coupons

    This is a sponsored post.

    I have a little problem. I find myself shopping and window shopping a bit more than I should. Most items I buy are for my girls or the house, so don’t think you’ll see me in new threads every time you see me. I guess it’s the mom in me, always looking to keep the family happy and in one piece. Are you guilty of this?

    When I shop, however, I almost always have a coupon, discount or found an item on clearance. I want the most for my money at all times. Recently I discovered that Groupon has more than vouchers for a good meal or local attraction. There are Groupon Coupons and discount codes that can be used at stores you probably shop at a few times a week. One is my favorite store, Target.

    Get Coupons for Target at Groupon

    Groupon Coupons at Target and More

    Groupon Coupons has over 65 sales, and printable and digital coupons for Target, so you can save both online and in-store. One deal they are currently featuring is saving $5 off $50 (no code needed) for simply clicking on a link on their site that takes you over to Target.com. We all know how easy it is to make a trip to Target for only one item, so planning ahead with Groupon Coupons will help you save your coins!

    Get Coupons for Your Favorite Stores at Groupon

    With over 9,000 retailers teaming up with Groupon, the list of stores to save at is long, so I’m sure your favorite stores are listed. Be sure to take note of which stores have deals before heading out to do your back-to-school and holiday shopping!

    Are you already using Groupon to save?

  • how_to_save_your_money_and_time_currentc_mommywifelife-1
    Around Columbus,  Featured,  For Wives,  Reviews & Giveaways

    How To Save Money and Time, The Easy Way

    how_to_save_your_money_and_time_currentc_mommywifelife-1
    This post is sponsored by CurrentC via Blog Meets Brand. All opinions are my own.

    Have you been running around town like a crazy person this season? I know I’m not the only one who has said “Yes” to attending too many holiday events. Although I usually enjoy the time I spend at these special events and the fab people that attend, exhaustion kicks in and I find myself wanting more time for myself and family.

    Since I usually overbook myself, I typically do holiday shopping (or any shopping besides for groceries) online. This year I have braved the crowds and have done some shopping at large retailers. Surprisingly, it has not been too bad. I haven’t had to endure long lines due to stores being short staffed or stores having a low inventory on the items I am looking for, which is a holiday shopper’s dream, right!?

    Saving Time

    Speaking of dreams, we have been in need of new bedding for a while now. My desire for more time for rest–good rest–led me to make a trip to Sears to find the perfect set of new sheets. I thought maybe if I get new bedding, the rest that I do get, will be more enjoyable and beneficial. We made it a family trip to the store, but when we arrived I realized both of our daughters had fallen asleep, which meant I needed to make my shopping trip as quick as possible. Luckily, I was able to easily find exactly what I wanted. Checking out was just as quick because prior to heading to the store I connected my checking account to the CurrentC app. Doing so allowed me to whip out my phone and easily scan a QR code to complete the transaction. Using the app had me back in my car with my husband and girls in just a few minutes.

    How to Save Money and Time, The Easy Way | MommyWifeLife

    Convenience at the Pump

    The best thing happened on our way home from the mall! We stopped at Exxon Mobil for a quick fill up and before ever exiting the car, we initiated payment via CurrentC. After getting the desired amount of gas the transaction was completed through the app all while sitting in the car. Talk about convenience! Stopping at a gas station during the winter months in Columbus can be daring. Cold winds bite every part of you the second you step out of the car. It’s not unbearable, but it sure is inconvenient to be outside of the warmth of the car longer than you have to be.

    How to Save Money and Time, The Easy Way | MommyWifeLife

    In a previous post I shared how to use CurrentC, which is a free mobile app that is a mobile wallet, currently in beta and available only in Columbus, Ohio. Users can use the in-app location finder to see what retailers near them accept payment through CurrentC. Folks outside of Columbus should keep an eye out for the national roll out of the app. (You can read my post on how it all works here.) 

    I love the concept of the app because it takes the place of carrying several loyalty cards, clipping coupons and checking/credit cards and gift cards. App users can use their checking account to via the app at any merchant that accepts payment through CurrentC. Anything that can save time and money is worth using.

    How to Save Money and Time, The Easy Way | MommyWifeLife

     

    How to Save Your Money and Time, The Easy Way | MommyWifeLife

     What could you use more of, money or time?

  • krispy_kreme_doughnuts_feature_mommywifelife
    Around Columbus,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts For A Year?

    krispy_kreme_doughnuts_feature_mommywifelife
    This is NOT a sponsored post, only a recap of a recent experience.

    Once a month for the next year I will receive FREE Krispy Kreme Doughnuts! Krispy Kreme Doughnuts have been my favorite doughnuts since I was a child. The gas station around the corner from my childhood home would get a fresh delivery of them around 10:00pm every night. Sometimes my mom, sister and I would sit in the car, waiting for the Krispy Kreme truck to arrive. We would save the doughnuts for the next morning’s breakfast. Thinking about it makes me laugh, but these treats are just that good!

    Why I Am Getting Free Doughnuts

    Krispy Kreme has just opened it’s third store here in Columbus. This third location is five minutes from my house. When I learned that this store was going up, I KNEW I wanted to be at the grand opening. I read all about the event’s details on the official KK website and was prepared to be there. Well, this past Tuesday at 4:00am, I woke up, freshened up and drove to the new store for its grand opening. When I arrived about 4:45am there was a nice size line wrapped around the building. It was pretty quiet and calm and most definitely, chilly.

    I got in line and soon found out I was the 80th person (later became the 79th) to join the crowd–just the news I wanted to hear! The first 100 were guaranteed to win doughnuts for a year. The very first person in line, who was a slim built man in his 30’s, won a prize of free doughnuts every week for a year–that’s a LOT of doughnuts! The first 150 people in line also received a commemorative shirt.

    After the clock struck 6:00am, the store officially opened and the smell of doughnuts and coffee overwhelmed us all. Take a look inside:


    Winners of the doughnuts for a year received a punch card and were allowed to receiver their doughnuts for the month that day. I took advantage of the deal by getting a dozen original glaze and added a couple more dozens of the same on top of that. Krispy Kreme doughnuts are a favorite amongst family and friends, so I got extra to share.

    You normally won’t find me in many grand opening lines or Black Friday shopping crowds, but I thoroughly enjoyed the grand opening experience Krispy Kreme offered to Columbus. Now to have self-control and avoid the place until it’s time to use my free doughnuts card.

    Have you ever stood in line at a similar event?

  • Featured,  Parenting,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for A Minions Movie Night

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MinionsAtTarget #CollectiveBias

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minions Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Family time in our home almost always includes snacks, blankets on the floor and a kid-friendly film or show. Spending that time together helps us to unplug from the world and connect and build memories with each other. My preschoolers are fans of Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 and have viewed both countless times. One of the reasons they love the films is the inclusion of the little yellow guys, better known as minions. Minions are funny, have their own language and unpredictable, which is why kids everywhere are fans. On December 8, the Minions movie will be available for everyone to have in their home. Target is making sure families have the opportunity to get the Minions movie and then some. When you pre-order the Blu-Ray/DVD Metal Pak Deluxe Edition of the Minions movie online, you will also receive a $5 gift card. Your copy from Target will include 40 minutes of exclusive content! Whether choosing to get the movie shipped to your home on the release day or picking it up at the customer service desk, this option offers great convenience for us busy folks.

    I have shared several times on the blog about my love (almost addiction) to shopping at Target. It’s both a blessing and a curse to live 4-5 minutes minutes away from the store. I’m pretty sure I know at least 3/4 of the regular team members.

    You and I both know one can get practically anything from Target, which is why I love visiting. I’m a one-stop-shop type of shopper, especially when I am preparing for a party or family night. I can always count on them to have most of the items I need for a great event, which is why I headed there to get all my supplies for a minions movie night.

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    What’s a movie night without snacks? Although I don’t consider myself the most crafty mom on the block, I thought it would be fun to create a snack that was inspired by our lovable animated minion pals.

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Stove-popped popcorn is one of my favorite snacks, so snacking on some is a must when I’m watching a movie with the family. Since we are in high anticipation of the Minions movie, I thought it would be a treat to have minion inspired popcorn balls for the kids to enjoy.

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    Getting a decent looking minion face on the popcorn balls was a little tricky and took some creativity. I knew, however, whatever I came up with, the girls would love simply because it was a minion. If you’re game for things to get a little messy, get the kids involved so they can make their own minion popcorn ball!

    Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls for a Minion Movie Night | MommyWifeLife

    MINION INSPIRED POPCORN BALLS
    Yields 12
    Write a review
    Print
    STOVE-POPPED POPCORN
    1. 2 tablespoons coconut oil (you can use vegetable or canola oil if desired)
    2. 1 cup Market Pantry popcorn kernels
    POPCORN BALL MIXTURE
    1. 2 cups sugar
    2. 1 1/3 cups water
    3. 1/2 cup Market Pantry light corn syrup
    4. 1 teaspoon white vinegar
    5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
    6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ITEMS NEEDED FOR DECORATING
    1. black licorice (package of standard size and the nib size)
    2. large marshmallows
    3. gray/silver decorating food gel
    4. blue cupcake wrappers
    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. POPCORN: In a large pot and on medium-high, melt coconut oil. Oil should cover the bottom of the pan. Once melted, add popcorn kernels. Continuously gently move the pot to ensure kernels are evenly heated. Once a kernel pops, cover pot with lid and continue to move the pot around until the majority of kernels have popped. Set aside in bowl.
    2. POPCORN BALL MIXTURE: Combine sugar, water, light corn syrup, vinegar and salt in a saucepan. Cook on high heat until mixture boils for 4-5 minutes or reaches 255 degrees fahrenheit. Stir in vanilla.
    3. POPCORN BALLS: Pour popcorn out on a cookie sheet and pour syrup mixture over the popcorn, coating every piece. Allow the popcorn to cool. Place cupcake wrappers in cupcake pan and set aside. Grease hands with coconut oil and form popcorn into balls. Place balls into the cupcake wrappers. Lightly cover and cool in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to speed up the firming process.
    4. MAKE MINIONS: Cut marshmallows in half or thirds, depending on the desired eye size. Cut licorice (standard size) in half long ways and trim an inch off to form headband for googles. Cut licorice (nibs size) to form eyes and stick them onto the sticky side of the cut marshmallow. Add headband to the popcorn ball, followed by the eyes. To finish the goggles, outline the eyes with gray or silver decorating gel. To add hair, cut licorice into small pieces.
    NOTES
    1. The popcorn balls should be sticky enough to act as glue. If more “glue” is needed, use the decorating gel.
    By Teri Watters

    If you’re excited about the Minions movie, pre-order your copy of the Minions movie at Target.com! If you’re looking for other licensed Minions items for your movie night, you can find tons at your local Target. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to stay in the know!

    What are your favorite movie night snacks and recipes?

     Minion Inspired Popcorn Balls | MommyWifeLife

  • For Wives,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Sweet Potato Casserole Made Easy | Fairwind FWPC6L Pressure Cooker Review

    Sweet Potato Casserole Made Easy With The Fairwind FWCP6L Cooker Pressure | MommyWIfeLife.comSweet Potato Casserole Made Easy With The Fairwind FWCP6L Cooker Pressure | MommyWIfeLife.com

    I received this product from Air & Water for review purposes. All thoughts expressed are 100% my own.

    Why am I just discovering the ease of meal prep with a pressure cooker? All my years of cooking I have been overworked and deprived. As a child I remember seeing big pressure cooker pots sitting around in the kitchens of family members, but never did I see them in use. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I used a pressure cooker for the first time and I have used it every other day since.

    Sweet potatoes are my favorite food to cook with during the holidays. There are many ways to prepare them and they are simply delicious (and healthy, depending on how they are prepared). I had the task of taking both sweet potato pies and casserole to our family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year. I decided I would skip the big pots of boiling water on the stove and cook the sweet potatoes for both dishes in my digital Fairwind FWPC6L Pressure Cooker.

    Sweet Potato Casserole Made Easy With The Fairwind FWCP6L Cooker Pressure | MommyWIfeLife.com

    Features of the Cooker Pressure

    • Indicator beep at end of cycle and when removing or closing the lid
    • Digital screen
    • Keep warm function
    • 6 liter pot
    • 8 Preprogrammed multifunctions
    • Stainless steel finish
    • Easy to clean
    • Lightweight and can be easily stored
    • Includes rice measuring cup, 2 serving spoons & a stainless steel steam rack

    Watch it in action:

    It’s that simple to use! There are plenty of pre-programmed functions, so your cooking is really as simple as pressing a button. The On-demand Pressure function was best for getting my sweet potatoes soft and tender for mixing for the sweet potato casserole.

    Sweet Potato Casserole Made Easy With The Fairwind FWCP6L Cooker Pressure | MommyWIfeLife.com

    Sweet Potato Casserole Made Easy With The Fairwind FWCP6L Cooker Pressure | MommyWIfeLife.com

    Since my initial use I have cooked sweet potatoes, cabbage, chicken sausage and potatoes, and two cornish hens in my pressure cooker. All my meals were completed in under 20 minutes! I had great joy in prepping the food, tossing it inside the pressure cooker and walking away until I heard it beep to indicate it being done–very little work. All of us with busy lives live for quick and delicious meals, right?

    If talking about cooking made you hungry, here’s the recipe for the sweet potato casserole that I’ve shared at Thanksgiving meals for the past three years. It is said to be a copycat of a national steak house franchise. I’ve never eaten this particular dish at that restaurant, however, this side dish delicious and is comfort and dessert in one bite. Pin the recipe for later!

    Sweet Potato Casserole

    Sweet Potato Casserole Made Easy With The Fairwind FWCP6L Cooker Pressure | MommyWIfeLife.com

    SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
    Serves 6
    This is a great side dish for any meal, but especially holiday meals.
    Write a review
    Print
    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    45 min
    Total Time
    50 min
    INGREDIENTS
    1. SWEET POTATO MIXTURE
    2. 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
    3. 1 cup sugar
    4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
    5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
    6. 2 eggs (well beaten)
    7. 1 stick butter melted
    8. CRUST TOPPING
    9. 1 cup brown sugar
    10. 1/3 cup flour
    11. 1 cup chopped pecans
    12. 1/3 butter melted
    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sweet potatoes in pressure cooker (or boil) with skin on for 15 minutes. Remove skin from potatoes and add to a large mixing bowl. Mash potatoes and add/combine the sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in mixing bowl. Pour into a buttered baking dish. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter for crust. Sprinkle the crust mixture evenly on the top of the sweet potato mixture. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Allow the dish to set before serving.
    By Teri Watters

    This post may include affiliate links. See disclosure.

    Find more information about the Fairwind FWPC6L Pressure Cooker on the official website or on Amazon.

    Have you ever used a pressure cooker? If so, what’s your favorite meal to prepare while using one?

  • Featured,  Home Education,  Parenting,  Reviews & Giveaways

    A Homeschooler’s $50 and Under Holiday Gift Guide

    A Homeschooler's $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide

    This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here. Some products were received for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

    What should be on a homeschooler’s Christmas list? I’ve discovered these great items and put them together in this homeschooler’s holiday gift guide so you too can discover and share these items with your little learners, creating fun-filled days of learning.

    A Homeschooler’s $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide

    Delta Character Chairs 

    A Homeschooler's $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWifeLife

    If you’re raising avid readers, then great books and a cozy corner is a must! If your child doesn’t get excited about diving into a book, add their favorite characters to the mix. Delta offers both club and upholstered chairs with characters that kiddos love and sized perfectly for children ages 1-5 years old. Their club chairs ($29.99 at Target.com) are available in CarsFrozenMinnie Mouse and Ninja Turtles. The upholstered chairs, like the one pictured above, (currently $47.99 at Target.com) are available in Frozen and Paw Patrol. You can grab yours at Target.com. If you’re looking for the Paw Patrol style you’ll have to order online and choose store pickup at your local Target store.

    I received the Delta Chair as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts program.

    Mama May I Story Starters

    A Homeschooler's $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide

    The Mama May I Story Starters kit ($25.00 at Educents.com) inspires children of all ages to use their imagination and create awesome stories. Get your learners enthused about creative writing and storytelling with this classic tool. Each Story Starters kit comes in a tin box which includes:

    • 4 Six-sided topic wooden dice
    • Moleskin notebook for writing a story
    • Pen
    • Symbol key
    • Play instructions and suggestions

    This kit would make a great stocking stuffer and can last for years to come. Want ideas on how to play? Check out my full review of the item.

    Highlights Puzzle Buzz Club

    A Homeschooler's $50 and Under Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWifeLife

    Puzzle lovers, like my children, could sit for long amounts of time with Highlight’s Puzzle Buzz Club (Regularly $5.95 per book, plus $2.98 S+H). This club is kids ages 4-7 and includes:

    • 2 new books every four weeks
    • 32 pages of fun for quiet time or for sharing with friends
    • Mazes, word games, codes and more activities
    • 3 sticker puzzles in each book

    Highlights is currently running a great promotion for you to get the first two books free! Click the link below to take advantage of the deal.
    Receive 2 FREE books + a free tote with every Puzzle Buzz purchase at Highlights.com

    Highlights Top Secret Adventures Club

    A Homeschooler's $50 and Under Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWIfeLifeYep, another Highlights Item has made my list. I grew up with Highlights and their brand has been consistently providing great resources and fun to children for years. The Highlights Top Secret Adventures Club is for cool kids ages 7 and up who are curious and, of course, adventurous. Readers can “travel the world” through each book which includes:

    • Mission Assignment Letter
    • 32-page Puzzle Books
    • Villain Cards
    • Fact-filled Country Guidebooks
    • Case File storage Portfolio
    • FREE World Map and Passport with Visa Stickers
    • FREE Mission Tag and Spy Ring

    The Top Secret Adventures Club books are regularly $13.95 per kit every four weeks, plus shipping for $2.95. There’s a special going on to receive a kit for FREE plus 99¢ for shipping.

    Melissa & Doug Tabletop Puppet Theater

    A Homeschooler's Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWifeLife

    Turning cardboard boxes into cars, boats, and puppet theaters for puppet shows excites my daughters more than a lot of things. Like most children, they love using their imaginations AND putting on shows. If you’re kiddo does too, Melissa & Doug have the perfect tabletop theater ($49.99 on Melissa & Doug) to allow your kids’ imaginations run wild. If you’re familiar with Melissa & Doug then you know you can count on their toys to be made of top quality materials that last.

    Petz Beach Nintendo 3DS Game

    A Homeschooler's $50 And Under Holiday Gift Guide | MommyWifeLife

    After long days of learning, kids can wind down by playing their Nintendo 3DS. Animal lovers will love the Petz Beach by UBISOFT ($11.46 on Amazon.com) where they can explore sandy beaches while learning about a couple dozen breeds of dogs, several breeds of cats, plants and insects.

    What’s on your Christmas list for your classroom?

  • Featured,  Home Education,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Creative Writing With Mama May I Story Starters

    Creative Writing with Mama May I Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

     This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here.

    Getting a three year old and four year old to sit down to practice writing is hit and miss. Sometimes writing time ends up as doodling time or arts and crafts. Getting a three year old and four year old to use their imagination, however, is no challenge at all. The girls and I recently had a little fun with a new learning tool that sparks creativity in writing and story-telling, Mama May I Story Starters.

    Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    Mama May I Story Starters

    The Mama May I Story Starters kit inspires children of all ages to use their imagination and create awesome stories. The kit comes in a tin box which includes:

    • 4 six-sided topic wooden dice
    • a Moleskin notebook for writing a story
    • a pen
    • symbol key
    • play instructions and suggestions

    Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    How We Used the Story Starters

    Mama May I includes several suggestions on how to use the Story Starters. However you choose to use them will most likely result in building skills such as improv, public speaking, problem-solving, greater vocabulary and imaginative thinking.

    Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    I intended to use the kit by rolling the dice and having my daughters share a story aloud while I wrote it all down; however, with preschoolers you often have to go with the flow and allow them to lead the learning time. We rolled the dice and landed on the images representing a party, a boy, the sun, and signs. As I prepared to write, my oldest daughter said she wanted to draw the story. It took me zero seconds to realize that was a brilliant idea. So, we got out our drawing supplies and created a story through art about a boy’s birthday party that started out with lots of sunshine and turned into a snowy party. The activity was a great way to spend 30 minutes of our morning together and added some cute art to our cork board.

    Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    Creative Writing With Mama May i Story Starters | MommyWifeLife

    Other Ways to Use the Story Starters

    In a Classroom: Divide students into groups. Have each group roll dice to see what prompts they will use to create a story.  Have each group write their stories and share with the class.

    While Traveling: Road trips without activities for little ones can be challenging. Roll the Story Starters dice and have each person in the car share a story that includes each object or idea that the roll decided.

    Family Time: Create your own bedtime story with the Story Starters. Your family will never hear the same bedtime story twice. Take turns and allow both the parents and kids to share stories.

    What’s great about this resource is it can be used for many years. The quality of the hand-stamped images on each die, topic suggestions and tin box makes the Mama May I Story Starters capable of encouraging creative writing from preschool years all the way to high school.

    You can find this Mama May I resource and MANY others at Educents.com.

    Other Writing Tools on Educents

    Writing Poetry With Children– Step-by-step directions lead students through writing couplets, cinquains, haikus, and limericks.

    The Essential Homeschool Writing Tool– Kids of all ages follow WriteWell’s self-directed instructions to compose a full essay.

    Cursive Writing Hero Worksheets– Meet the Educents Heroes! They’re here to help your child learn cursive upper and lower alphabet letters with 53 pages of FREE writing worksheets!

    I received this product for review purposes. All thoughts expressed are 100% my own.

    What are your favorite writing resources for children?

  • Featured,  Home Education,  Parenting,  Reviews & Giveaways

    2015 Mom’s Guide To All Things Holiday: Multicultural Books For Young Avid Readers

    2015 Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | Multicultural Books for Young Avid Readers

    According to the CCBC, in 2014 over 5,000 children’s books were published. Only 13% of those books were about people of color and of that 13%, only 17% were written by authors of color. These statistics say two things: 1. There’s a need for authors of color and 2. There’s a huge need for multicultural books. So when I discover a new multicultural children’s book or new authors of color I am eager to share it with my family and friends. This year I was introduced to a few new multicultural children’s authors, books and programs that are just as excited about providing children with literature that is both entertaining and a reflection of themselves.

    Multicultural Books By Multicultural Authors & Products to Add to Your Young Reader’s Holiday List

    Beautiful Beautiful Me by Ashley Sirah Hinton

    Every shade and ethnicity is represented in this multicultural book. Children are encouraged to be accepting of themselves and others, seeing all skin as beautiful. You can see the gorgeous illustrations inside the book here.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    Curiously Coiled by Fila Antwine

    Naturally curly hair is being embraced by more people and cultures than ever. If you have little curlies in your home, this book is great for helping them to appreciate and love their curls. It may even cause you to want curls too! Learn more about Curiously Coiled here.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    I Am Amazing/You Are Amazing by Ty Allan Jackson

    A little encouragement goes a long way, whether your an adult or child. Pictures of real children and words that empower youngsters can be found on every page of I Am Amazing/You Are Amazing. This work by Ty Allan Jackson is also two books in one! Click here for all the details.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    When I Close My Eyes by Ty Allan Jackson

    Great illustrations are key to grabbing the attention of young readers and When I Close My Eyes has them. If your kiddo enjoys using their imagination and is a big dreamer, they will love this picture book. Take a peek inside the book.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    Bee Me Bookshelf, Created by Nina Candia

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

    I discovered Bee Me Bookshelf on Instagram. They are on my list of black businesses to support which is why I’m including them in this gift guide. Bee Me Bookshelf is a monthly subscription where children receive age appropriate books. They currently offer subscription packages for two groups, ages 0-3 and ages 4-8. The mission of this company is simple. They are “.. committed to providing access to important books that reflect our diverse world, and a robust curriculum to help children think through and understand the words they are reading.” Visit their website to find out how you can subscribe.

    Mom's Guide to All Things Holiday | MommyWifeLife

     

    This post is a part of the 2015 Mom’s Guide to All Things Holiday Blogger Collaboration. Scroll down to see what fellow bloggers are talking about this week!

    Monday: Gift Guide & Shopping Tips

    Kat of Type 4 Naturals

    Danielle of Mamademics

    Tuesday: Holiday Family Activities & Traditions

    Toya of Mrs. Toya Carter

    Cynthia of Mrs. Wright Writes

    Jennifer of  Baby Making Machine

    Wednesday: Holiday DIY and/or Home Decor

    Sheena of Sophistishe

    Bee of Bee So Simple

    Erin of Live Pretty on a Penny

    Britney Britney Dearest

    Thursday: Holiday Recipe

    Shanna of Ms. Naturally Random

    Arnitris of Blessed Be the Tie

    La Dale of Johanna’s Mama

    Friday: Holiday Fashion

    Tamara of Simply T Nicole

    Diedre Anthony of Are Those Your Kids

  • Around Columbus,  Parenting,  Reviews & Giveaways

    Recap: Fun Family Night at the LEGO Creativity Tour in Columbus

    LEGO Creativity Tour Columbus Recap | MommyWifeLife

    I received admission to the LEGO Creativity Tour in exchange for my review through U.S. Family Guide.

    Over the weekend my family and I enjoyed some much needed time together outside the house at the LEGO Kid’s Fest at the Columbus Convention Center. This event is a part of the LEGO Creativity Tour that makes stops across the country, giving kids and their families a chance to create, build, and celebrate LEGOs®. Each session was three hours long, which was plenty of time to see the available stations in the exhibit hall; however, there was so much to do! There were many areas for kids to build a small set, show the event’s staff and receive free kits. (I did not expect to get freebies.)

    LEGO Creativity Tour Columbus Recap | MommyWifeLife

    My family especially enjoyed taking pics with the collection of statues made of LEGOs®. You could find everything from animals to princesses to superheroes taller than most adults. Other cool features of the event were the huge piles of LEGOs® for kids to build whatever they could imagine, a photo booth to capture the moment, plus a LEGO® Friends™ kit.

    LEGO Creativity Tour Columbus Recap | MommyWifeLife

     

    LEGO Creativity Tour Columbus Recap | MommyWifeLife

    The activities in the room were divided by age, sometimes gender, which helped to keep the smaller children from getting trampled by bigger (excited) kids. The LEGO® Creativity Tour is fun for all ages and is a great way to spend quality time together.

    LEGO Creativity Tour Columbus Recap | MommyWifeLife

    Have you ever attended a LEGO event? What’s your favorite LEGO set?