Category Archives: Books

Benefits of Hugging

Bonus Benefits of HuggingMy Thoughts On The Book

We all know that a good hug from someone that loves us can make the world a little better, especially as children.  I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is an adorable little book with all sorts of hugs.  I love it because not only is it adorable, it is also great for encouraging affection.  They suggest it as a part of bedtime routine and I agree that it would be a wonderful way to end the day with your little one!  It’s a quick read and easy enough that they will begin recognizing words and such, which is always a fantastic benefit!  I’ve shared below some of the other benefits of hugs, specifically for children.  There are also some others that were interesting to learn that benefitted adults and elderly persons, but I kept myself focused for once.  LOL

Benefits of Hugs

Hugs increase feelings of:

peace

relaxation

security

love

motivation

attention

They can also reduce:

behavioral issues in children

pain

anger

blood pressure

IM GOING TO GIVE YOU A BEAR HUGABOUT THE BOOK

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!, written by bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney, is a playful and comforting bedtime book that imagines all the wonderful ways a child might give and receive a hug.

Whether it’s a big bear, gasp for air, knock over a chair hug or a wet and drippy, slimy, slippy fish hug, children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples. Cooney’s sweet and simple rhymes encourage playful interaction between parent and child and ultimately help them wind down before they snuggle into bed and drift off to sleep.

About the Author: Caroline B. Cooney was born in New York, grew up in Connecticut, and now lives in South Carolina. Caroline is the author of 90 Young Adult novels in many genres, and her books have sold over fifteen million copies. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is her first picture book. It’s based on a verse she wrote for her own children, Louisa, Sayre and Harold, who are grown now.

About the Illustrator: Tim Warnes has been illustrating children’s books for twenty years. He lives in Dorset, England, with his wife, children’s illustrator Jane Chapman, and their two sons. When he’s not drawing little critters, Tim loves to write, watch birds and play his banjo.  Visit Tim.

Website ~   Twitter  ~Facebook

My Crafty Zoo received this book for free in exchange for this review
 and giveaway.  My opinions are my own.

Originally posted 2017-02-05 13:00:40.

Christmas Love Letters from God

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I can’t even begin to say how much I would love to have letters come from God to my mailbox.  The occasional note of this is how much I love you and you are doing a good job, keep it up.  What we forget is that we DO have love letters from God, as well as advice and help with so many things throughout our lives.  The Bible is full of them.  If we forget as adults, how do we expect our children to know and understand it?

Christmas Love Letters from God is an adorable book that will help our children learn at a young age that not only does God love us, but He also took the time to write so much to teach us and encourage us throughout the Good Book.

Glenys Nellist put so much love into the words in this little book made for our little ones and Rachel Clowes did an amazing job illustrating!  There are a few others available as well, their pictures are below this post.  You’ll love them so much you’ll want to get each of them for the kiddos!Keeping Christ in Christmas

Written for children ages four to eight, Christmas Love Letters from God cleverly combines both prose and poetry as the story of Jesus’ birth unfolds. The book includes seven stories, beginning with Isaiah’s prophecy and ending with the visit of the wise men. Following each story, the child will find his or her own letter from God, folded into a small envelope attached to the page. Each letter begins with a space in which to write the child’s name, so each one can be specially addressed to the child.

Written as if God is speaking, each personalized message gives the young reader a sense of wonder as they discover anew the Christmas holiday and the birth of Jesus. A very special Bible verse, entitled God’s Perfect Promise, also accompanies each story and letter as God’s personal words of love, promise, and hope.

-Amazo

I did receive this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Originally posted 2016-11-28 14:17:50.

#WhereJesusSlept: Keeping Christ in Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas

In a time where the true meaning of Christmas can be lost or misplaced, especially for young children, it is important for my family to remember why it is we have this holiday and what we are really celebrating. Each Christmas even night they open one gift; it contains a new pair of pajamas, a mug for homemade hot coco and a new book. This year my children are going to receive books themed for the true meaning of Christmas (as last year they each received Santa books) and I am anxious to read them to my children as we wait to celebrate the following morning!

“Where Jesus Slept” is a beautifully illustrated book worded for young children, to tell the story of the birth of Jesus. The story is told in a catchy rhyming scheme that invites our babies to discover where Jesus slept on Christmas, and how so many came to adore him. The illustrations are wonderfully done to draw in the attention from all ages. Like so many popular children stories the rhyming scheme in this book it one that is destined to become a favorite; because it is so catch a rhythm it also allows children to generate a strong willingness to memorize the story and eventually they will learn how to read it on their own if they are not yet reading to themselves!Keeping Christ in Christmas

Our Children Need Christ in Christmas!

The Christmas holiday has dramatically changed in what is expected and appreciated out of this time of year. Where it was once solely about praising God for the birth of the savior, but about bringing a family together and sharing this magical time with our loved ones! Lately Christmas has become commercialized, bargain shopping and big gift buying has replaced priorities in some families. Children’s “wish lists” have gone from that heartwarming “I want to see granny!” to “I want that toy that everyone else has!”

Children need Christ in Christmas because it brings them to understand the gift of love! Quoting from How the Grinch Stole Christmas… “Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!”

Look for ways to keep Christ in Christmas for your family! Here are a few ideas from the Unlocking the Bible:

1) Read the Bible story with your family

2) Use and advent calendar with scripture

3) Listen to Chris-exalting Christmas music for the holidays

The above mentioned site contains great way to making this Christmas more about Christ and less about that gift those precious babies want so much!

Now for the giveaway!
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**Please note: I did receive this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions are from My Crafty Zoo and are not influenced by sponsors.**

About the book:

“This is the bed where Jesus slept. This is the straw that lined the bed where Jesus slept.” From here, the story builds with each spread, adding a new element and explaining the relationships among the participants and witnesses to the first Christmas. From Jesus sleeping sweetly to the wise men bringing gifts, this charming book reminds readers young and not-so-young of the joyous event we celebrate at Christmastime. Children will love the delightful illustrations and the engaging repetition in this cumulative tale.

Format: jacketed hardcover

Trim size: 10×10

Page count: 32

Retail price: $16.99

Reading age: 4-7

About the author:

Norma Lewis is the author of ten books. She lives in Grand Haven, MI, with a marmalade cat named Scalawag. They both love spending time with her six grandchildren, ranging in age from three to twenty.

Illustrated by Katy Hudson.

Originally posted 2016-11-18 15:55:05.

Steam Lab for Kids: Hands On Learning!

Steam Lab for Kids: Looking for great ways to make science blast off in your child’s life?  Hands On Learning!

Steam Lab for Kids: Hands On Learning!

If so you need to check out STEAM Lab For kids! Its an amazing book filled with incredible at home experiments, activities, art projects and much more all geared toward making science and math so fun that your kids don’t even realize they are learning! With step by step guides, material lists, and side notes to help parents educate and become more involved, this book has everything you need to make a huge impact on how even parents view learning! We have all heard or have at least been told by someone that learning through play is the best way. There is a lot of, you guessed it, science backing up that old saying!

Steam Lab Learning!

Hands On Learning with Steam Lab for Kids!

52 Creative Hands-On Projects for Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math
Author: Liz Lee Heinecke
Format: Paperback / softback, 144 Pages
ISBN: 9781631594199
Publisher: Quarry Books
Series: Lab Series

About STEAM Lab for Kids:
There’s a science to great art. While many aspiring artists don’t necessarily identify with STEM subjects, and many young inventors don’t see the need for art, one is essential to the other. Each of the projects in this book is designed to demonstrate that the deeper you look into art, the more engineering and math you’ll find. From graphite circuit comic books to edible stained glass, young engineers and artists alike will find inspiration.
WATCH Liz host an activity from the book: https://youtu.be/xY5kUdii7Ow
About Liz Lee Heinecke:
Liz Lee Heinecke has loved science since she was old enough to inspect her first butterfly. After working in molecular biology research for ten years and earning her master’s degree, she left the lab to kick off a new chapter in her life as a stay-at-home mom. Soon she found herself sharing her love of science with her three kids as they grew, chronicling their science adventures on her KitchenPantryScientist website. Her desire to share her enthusiasm for science soon led to a regular segment on her local NBC affiliate, an opportunity to serve as an Earth Ambassador for NASA, and the creation of an iPhone app. Her goal is to make it simple for parents to do science with kids of all ages, and for kids to experiment safely on their own. Liz graduated from Luther College and received her master’s degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Liz is a frequent quest on Minnesota’s WCCO, The Jason Show, and KARE11 and contributes regularly to Scholastic Parent & Child.

Having a hands on experience is more meaningful and memorable which makes the lessons learned unforgettable.

Here are some expert opinions on why hands on learning is the most effective style, and why parents should get more involved with their childrens playful learning.

 

  • Busy Hands, Busy Brains
    As students put projects together, create crafts, or use familiar materials in new ways, they’re constructing meaning. “Kids learn through all their senses,” says Ben Mardell, PhD, a researcher with Project Zero at Harvard University, “and they like to touch and manipulate things.”

 

When you combine activities that require movement, talking, and listening, it activates multiple areas of the brain. “The more parts of your brain you use, the more likely you are to retain information,” says Judy Dodge, author of 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom (Scholastic, 2009). “If you’re only listening, you’re only activating one part of the brain,” she says, “but if you’re drawing and explaining to a peer, then you’re making connections in the brain.”

You can check out more on this by visiting http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3751901

Learning through Play is the BEST Way!

  • Students who physically experience scientific concepts understand them more deeply and score better on science tests, according to a new UChicago-led study.

This study went even deeper into what it means to have hands on learning by using brain scans to back up their theories. Check out these brainiacks have to say about it:

https://news.uchicago.edu/story/learning-doing-helps-students-perform-better-science

  • Experts believe that by involving students in a total learning experience (i.e. learning by doing), their ability to think critically is significantly enhanced. It teaches them to rely more on evidence (observed data), encourages them to think independently, and reduces their dependence on authority.

There is a lot of information available to back up this once “fad” I education styles. Read more about it here, and decide for yourself if hands on is beneficial for your little ones:

https://info.gbiosciences.com/blog/hands-on-science-as-a-teaching-advantage

  • Research consistently shows that children who have opportunities to actively investigate natural settings and engage in problem-based learning greatly benefit from the experiences. They gain skills, interests, knowledge, aspirations and motivation to learn more.  

https://www.paesta.psu.edu/article/science-nation-hands-learning-research-benefits-economy-environment

Getting interested yet? I certainly am!  So, come on parents! Let’s jump in and get our hands dirty with our kids! We can all agree that their education holds precedence to most other values, and its equal is your involvement with your kids and the memories they will have to look back on. so if you are looking for fun ways to make lasting memories that build your child’s knowledge of the world around them, or if you are just looking for ways to have some fun all year long; check out this book for some amazingly fun and educational ideas!

STEAM LAB for Kids…get your learning fun on!

Steam lab for kids, make science fun, hands on activities for families, fun learning activities

Learning through Play is the BEST Way!

The Legend of the Easter Robin #EasterRobin #FlyBy

EasterRobin

With Easter fast approaching, this book has come out at a perfect time!  The story is adorable and sweet and even teaches us a few Dutch traditions.  The illustrations are very well done and a sense of love is emitted from each and every page.  Written for children ages 4-8, I think this book is perfect for Easter baskets and to keep on the bookshelf to re-read all year long!

About the book:
In the center of the nest lay one perfect egg, the color of a spring sky. The father robin sat on a branch nearby, guarding his family. Tressa spotted raccoon tracks below and a blue jay eyeing the nest. “Gran, how are we going to keep the egg safe?” “We’ll have to leave that one to the Creator,” Gran said. Robins have built a nest on the window ledge at Grandmother’s house! Tressa is thrilled―and concerned. What will happen to the sky-blue egg laid by the mother robin? As more eggs appear, Tressa witnesses the daily drama of the robins’ nest and learns how God cares for all creatures. Besides watching the birds, there are Easter eggs to color. And there is a very special story to hear―a tale of long ago about one small bird with a very big heart. How did the robin get its red breast? Tressa is about to find out as Gran tells her the story of the Easter robin. Brought to life with colorful, tender illustrations, The Legend of the Easter Robin will captivate and teach your child about compassion and faith.

Originally posted 2016-02-24 08:00:13.

Children’s Book of Adventure

What a fun andChickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy Willow Trees and Two-and-A-Half: A Children's Book of Adventure exciting book!  I enjoyed going through the book and enjoying the adventure!  It was wonderful to share with the little one!  So many opportunities to teach her about traveling, friendship and adventure of course!  While the time hasn’t come where I can take her physically on adventures, I love that I can take her with words and pictures.  Through these pages we got to go to see many things, both real and pretend.  While this fun little book is targeted toward ages 4-9, I feel like it is never too early to expose my little Cub to any appropriate book.  I want her to have the best chance I can give and a huge part of that includes books.

Children love to explore; it’s intuitive. And they tend to struggle when asked to confine their activities and behaviors to our adult-imposed rules and paths. Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half is a vibrantly and exceptionally well-illustrated adventure book meant to inspire children to follow their urges to explore and to appreciate diversity. The book starts off when “One day a little brown monkey with dazzling olive green eyes, a friendly smile, and a long curly tail asked his father if there was more to the life than just hanging around with other monkeys and eating bananas.” Before long he meets a lovely grey cat and a majestic blue pelican each on their own quests. Together, they explore a foreign island and when their journey takes them into a private swath of land, they befriend a local dog who takes them further than they ever imagined.

Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half emphasizes several significant values, which help us subsist and ultimately thrive: learning through independent exploration, the need for friendship, the importance of respect and tolerance for other cultures, languages, and lifestyle diversity, along with a healthy understanding of the powers of mother nature.
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Originally posted 2015-11-15 00:01:09.

Dev & Ollie

Devon
Dev has just unwrapped his favourite birthday present…a cool new kite! But there’s a
problem. He doesn’t know how to fly it! Grandpa claims to be an expert and promises
to teach Dev tomorrow but Dev is too impatient.
Ollie, Dev’s magical bedtime owl, comes to the rescue. Together they set off on an
action packed journey to one of the largest kite festivals in the world in Gujarat,
India.
The pleasure of kite flying doesn’t come easy though. Along the way, he encounters a
couple of mishaps and a few bumps on the head. To his surprise, Dev has to work hard
to get his hands on a kite and learn the skill of kite flying.

Finally, fighting through all the hurdles, Dev emerges victorious. When he returns
back home in the morning, he beats Grandpa at his own game!

Dev and Ollie books can be enjoyed by children aged 4+ from any background. They are a truly unique combination of festival experiences, hilarious adventures, and ‘virtual’ sightseeing in India. What’s more, all this is beautifully wrapped around the magical relationship of a child and his bedtime cuddly toy.

My Thoughts

Full of color, wonder and adventure even my 8 month old enjoyed the pictures as I read the story to her!  I greatly enjoyed the imagination in the story as well as the little tidbits of kite knowledge dropped throughout the book.

The book is full of brightly colored, well drawn pictures giving the eyes plenty to keep them busy!  Even my 6

month old was fascinated with the pictures!

I will be giving away 1 copies to 2 lucky winners!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

author

I created Dev and Ollie following a ‘light bulb’ moment at
a festival in Watford, England.
Indian by origin and having grown up in Japan, I now live
in England with my family. My upbringing has been that
of a global citizen. And after having children, I am keen
for my children to be global citizens while also to be
proud of their own culture and heritage.
As a mother of two young children and a British Indian,
I’m forever exploring ways to impart cultural knowledge
to them. Also, my children are avid readers and adding
variety to their bookshelf is something I actively work on.
My mission is for children not just to be reading well, but
to be well read. Realising that this can be easily
achieved if children can relate to the characters in a
book, Dev and Ollie were created – Dev, a cheeky,
curious and sometimes clumsy boy and Ollie his magical
bedtime cuddly owl.
What sparked their conception was an Indian cultural festival experience in England. Festivals
evoke the best of any culture! Colour, noise, excitement, family, laughter – all are perfect
ingredients for children’s stories with a universal appeal.
During my time in India from 1995 to 1999 for my undergraduate degree in computer science, I
traveled extensively within India. That’s when I experienced an array of amazing festivals.
Kite Crazy is about one such experience. One of my most cherished memories is the annual
kite festival in Gujarat, India…flying kites on the rooftop with cousins from dawn till dusk. Food,
drinks, piles of kites, everything would be planned for. We’d fight to have a go (because we had
fewer kites remaining than the number of cousins!). Then seconds later, we’d be ganging up
and competing against others on neighbouring roof terraces.
I’m working on many more Dev and Ollie books to be released soon, not just about festivals in
India, but unique festivals around the world that haven’t been discovered on an international
level…festivals that children will love to read about! In fact, I’ve had tremendous fun researching
such festivals, so much so that my bucket list now includes some of them (Tomatina Festival in
Spain and Snow & Ice Festival in China)!

disclosure

Originally posted 2015-09-16 00:01:27.

#BiggestStory

TheBiggestStory

About the book:TheBiggestStory2
Hardcover: 132 pages
Publisher: Crossway (August 31, 2015)
In The Biggest Story, Kevin DeYoung – a best-selling author and father of six – leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heave and new earth.  With powerful illustrations by award-winning artist Don Clark, this imaginative retelling of the Bible’s core message-how the Snake Crusher brings us back to the garden-will draw children into the biblical story, teaching them that God’s promises are even bigger and better than we think.

KevinDeYoung

About Kevin DeYoung:
Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan.  He blogs at the Gospel Coalition and has authored or coauthored numerous well-known books, including Just Do SomethingThe Hole in Our HolinessCrazy Busy, and Taking God At His Word.  He lives with his wife and their 6 children in Central Michigan.

DonClark

About Don Clark:
Don Clark is an artist and the cofounder of Invisible Creature, a widely respected and award-winning design studio in Seattle that has worked with clients such as Target, Nike, LEGO, and WIRED magazine.  He lives with his wife and their 3 children, 4 goats, 12 chickens, and 1 crazy dog on a farm just outside the city limits.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Originally posted 2015-09-15 00:00:05.

#PajamaGirl

PajamaGirl_FlatCover   Can I just start out by saying that I love the title of this little book and the series!  It sparks such imagination.  What kind of adventure idea will this spark in my little girl’s head?  I look forward to hearing her give out all kinds of dreams and I look forward even more to joining her in acting out all sorts of wonderful little fantasies!  Oh, the magic of special pajamas!  pajamagirl_social1

While the title of the book The Adventures of Pajama Girl is a quite obvious little title, the various adventures she goes on will leave you smiling.  In this particular book, Pajama Girl is joining in the Coronation of the Cupcake Queen!  The adventure she takes to get there will leave you smiling as it takes your own imagination on it’s own ride but the story about Pajama Girl and the Cupcake Queen have your little one giddy with excitement about the story, the colors and the detail in the pictures!

pajamagirl_social3

To add a little sweetness to your day, when you get your copy of Pajama Girl, you also get free activity printables!  You can even get a set of them to check out here: PajamaGirl_ActivitySheets.

 About the author
Sandra Hagee Parker lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Ryan, and their daughters, Olivia and Elliana — the original pajama girls. A practicing attorney, Sandy is also a part of the music ministry at Cornerstone Church where she and her husband are leaders.

When not working or writing, Sandy enjoys traveling with her family and mastering the art of making Pancakes à la Pajama Girl with her two girls.

pajamagirl_social4

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disclosure

Originally posted 2015-04-09 09:55:14.

#JesusSeesUs


I always love Mommy inventors!  The Jesus Sees Us Doll was created by some Mommy’s wanting to teach their little ones a little more about Jesus.  I think this is a great idea as children need concrete things to better understand the world around them.  The book that comes with the the Jesus Sees Us Doll is full of lessons that we try to teach our little ones, such as being honest, sharing, helping others and other principles that help us all learn to be better Christians.  The book is worded simply and each new thing it teaches has a scripture ‘address’ so that as they grow older we can look in the Bible to further our understanding not just of the lesson, but also of the Word.

Jesus

Product Description:

Give your children a gift they can carry with them always—faith! The Jesus Sees Us doll and book are so much more than just a doll and book. Jesus Sees Us is a beautifully relatable tool for introducing faith, Jesus, and His teachings into your child’s life. Children cling to things that make them feel secure and are drawn to the wonder of something they can believe in. Why can’t that belief be in Jesus and that security be their faith? The Jesus Sees Us doll and book are reminders that Jesus Christ is always with them, guiding and loving them every day! He will be by their sides to help them through tough times and to celebrate their victories! The doll will help remind your child of the lessons that Jesus taught while He was on earth. He is a huggable reminder that Jesus loves them and is always watching over them. He cares about the way they live their lives and wants to teach them how to be good Christians!

If you’d like to get $10 off, use code JSBlog10

 Jesus Sees Us Christian Doll and Lesson Book

You can also learn tons more about the product and creators at:

http://www.JesusSeesUs.com

disclosure

 

 

Originally posted 2015-03-16 23:57:48.