Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner {Review & Giveaway}

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Hey Mom, I'll Start Dinner2

What’s the next best thing to having dinner make itself?  Enjoying the pride inside your kids when THEY prepare dinner for the family.  Cherilyn Dahlsten has authored an amazing cookbook, Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner, that literally breaks cooking down into tiny increments for children of all skill levels.

Looking through the cookbook, your children will be drawn to the images of dinners they are able to achieve.  Explicit instructions for preparation are given from what to do the night before to numbered instructions as they are working in the kitchen.  You will be amazed with their thoroughness as they follow instructions to prepare AND clean up afterwards.

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Before even choosing a recipe, author Cherilyn Dahlsten recommends having a “cooking weekend” with your children.  We found that this was a valuable time to practice measuring and especially working on our stove and oven skills.  It was time well spent preparing my 7 year old daughter with basic kitchen skills.  Going through several recipes (including peanut butter cookies –yum!), we were able to handle and discuss everything from cooking tools and appliances, to the nitty-gritties of how to approach opening tricky packages.  I highly recommend you take the time to invest in the “cooking weekend” before tackling the main recipes.

My daughter chose to first prepare “Sloppy Joes,” which is classified as a beginner recipe.  As a mom, I loved how the first instructions she read aloud reminded her to wash her hands and go over all of the instructions before even touching the ingredients.  Although she needed a little help with our gas stove, she took full ownership of the meal preparations from browning the meat and mixing in the ingredient to serving.

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I valued the explicit numbered instructions in the book, including the direction to remind my daughter to “rinse the tomato sauce can and put it in the recycling…” which parallels our own personal values to clean-up AND recycle.  Instructions like this are presented throughout the book, teaching that clean-up is a part of the meal preparation process, rather than a chore to do afterward.

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My daughter’s first “real” meal was a huge success.  Everyone in the family cleaned their plates and she basked in the positive comments given around the table.

The experience gave her such a spark of cooking enthusiasm, she later went on to make the Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Turkey and No Bake Cookies, both of which were greatly enjoyed!

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I highly recommend this cookbook for children of all cooking levels as recipes are laid out for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skill levels.  The cookbook not only provides an education in using the tools in the kitchen, but is an easy approach to learning what goes into making a meal from beginning to end.  Not only that, but as a mom, it has taken dinner off my shoulders and put me in the assistant position.

Do your kids love owning their own cookbooks as much as my kids do?  If you’d like a hard copy of the book, be sure to check it out on Amazon where I noticed it is presently marked on sale!

Or…

Scroll below to enter *multiple* giveaways of this cookbook!Whats for dinner

#1 – Enter a contest!  Visit the web site Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner and enter to win a hardcopy of Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner, along with the chance to win a set of cooking supplies for your chef-in-training!  While you are there, be sure to follow Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  This contest runs until April 16th, so don’t delay!

#2 – Enter the Rafflecopter below!  Author Cherilyn Dahlsten has generously offered a pdf copy of the book to the readers of each reviewer.  This would make it easy to follow recipes on your Kindle, iPad, or other electronic device.  Enter to win by following the Rafflecopter link below by the end of Sunday, April 20th.  I will notify the winner no later than April 21st.

* Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! *

 Congratulations to our winner, Tammy C.!

#3 – Click the linky to see what others had to say about Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner…AND be sure to enter to win their giveaways too!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book to share with you my honest opinions.  All opinions are mine alone and not influenced in any way.

Magelica’s Voyage Book Blast (and $25 Giveaway for 2 Winners!)

About the Book

This post contains affiliate links.  For more information view my disclosure policy.

Magelica's Voyage by Louise Courey Nadeau

Title: Magelica’s Voyage

Author: Louise Courey Nadeau

Publication Date:August 24, 2013

Publisher: Kite Readers

Pages: 48

Recommended Ages: 5 to 10

Summary: Who ever heard of a girl being hatched from an egg the color of sapphires? Magelica doesn’t know where she came from or who she really is. But when she’s transported to the Isle of Dreams in a flying bathtub, she launches into an adventure of discovery, and learns that wonderful things can happen when she uses her imagination, believes, opens her heart and trusts in love. Come fly with her and discover for yourself the power of imagination, gratitude, believing in yourself, and love! In this special first voyage, fantasy, adventure, magical illustrations, empowering messages, and a wonderful cast of enchanting characters come together as Magelica takes young girls and the special people in their lives on a fun, inspiring voyage about making your life magical. * Available in English / French / Spanish *

Our Thoughts

This short, fanciful chapter book made an enjoyable bedtime read for my girls (5 and 7) over the course of a week.  My girls enjoyed the Magelica’s adventure as she encountered one magical character after another, from creatures, to wizards, to queens.  They especially enjoyed Magelica’s pet, Tris, and thought Odin, was adorable as a puff-ball of feathers.

There were many unique aspects to the story.  From the beginning where we learned that Magelica was hatched from a jeweled egg, and the idea of a flying bathtub, these are just a few examples of the author’s creative imagination.  The instant that Magelica learned to fly, had my own girls wistfully imagining what it would be like and they especially loved the fact that a whole kingdom, The Isle of Dreams, resided on the back of a turtle’s shell.

Even though there are many things Magelica seeks in the story, she finds that she is able to change someone’s sad disposition by taking her time to connect with the character, showing him loved and friendship.  As a mom, I enjoyed the positive message of the story, that kindness to others can bring happiness to many.

The book was enjoyed by both my girls, whose only complaint was that the book ended.  They can’t wait to find out what other adventures Magelica will face in the future!

Purchase

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

 

Book Trailer

About the Author: Louise Courey Nadeau

Louise Courey Nadeau A marketing and advertising executive, a tireless fundraiser for many charities, a painter, gardener and mother to two daughters and two sons, Louise’s passions keep growing. Sensing the need to do more for young children in our challenging world and inspired by life itself, Louise created MAGELICA, a young girl with fairy blood and her own questions about life. In the first book of Magelica’s Voyage trilogy, Louise takes our winged heroine along with her fun and wacky friends to new worlds of magic and adventure, where the reader discovers the magic of life and the power of love and how faith in the unknown can create confidence and a sense of empowerment . More than a decade in the making and with new stories underway, Louise and MAGELICA intend to spread their magical feathers and create a bond with children and their caregivers around the globe.

Book Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card  Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: Two winners will each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: May 2, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Louise Courey Nadeau and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

**Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway **

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CC and Draw Write Now: The United States

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I just came across a new resource that I’m excited to use for Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations: Draw Write Now, Book 5: The United States, from Sea to Sea, Moving Forward

This book is one of a set that contain directed drawing lessons across a variety of topics.  This book, in particular, I noticed contains several aspects of American History which are similarly covered in Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations.  I took some time to correlate the weeks and drawing lessons below, and also uploaded the resource as a pdf on CC Connected.

Cycle 3: Draw Write Now (Book 5) Weekly Match-ups

CC Week

Draw Write Now Page #

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

United We Stand pg. 15

5

We the People pg. 12

6

Louisiana Territory pg. 33,

The Frontier pg. 30

7

 

8

 

9

 

10

 

11

Divided We Fall pg. 16

12

 

13

For All pg. 23

14

Railroads pg. 50, Roadways pg. 52, Flight pg. 54

15

 

16

 

17

 

18

 

19

Trails pg. 48

20

 

21

Space Travel pg. 56

22

Flag pg. 10

23

A Look at American Coins pg. 24-25

24

Liberty pg. 18

If you plan to use these directed drawing lessons, you might consider using the free handwriting printables to go along with the book from 1+1+1=1.  Enjoy your planning!

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Good Night Animal World Review & Giveaway

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About Good Night, Animal World

Good Night Animal World by Giselle ShardlowTitle: Good Night, Animal World: A Kids Yoga Bedtime Story

Author: Giselle Shardlow | Illustrator: Emily Gedzyk

Publication Date: September 20, 2013 | Publisher: Company: Kids Yoga Stories LLC

Pages: 32

Recommended Ages: 2.5 to 6 years

Summary: Say good night to the animals of the world! Calm your mind and body before bedtime by taking a journey around the world with this kids yoga storybook. Join six Kids Yoga Stories characters as you perch like a bald eagle, crouch like a tiger, and curl up like a sloth. The book includes a list of Kids Yoga Poses and a Parent Guide with tips on creating a successful bedtime experience. Learn something new, explore movement, and unwind together before bedtime!

 Amazon  Goodreads

Our Thoughts on the Book

If your kids tend to wind up at bedtime, try calming them down with a little yoga to put them in a sleepy time mood.  Throughout the book Good Night, Animal World, kids will enjoy trying out 13 animal-related yoga poses, while following along with the colorful illustrations across 6 continents.

I followed this book with my 5 and 7 year old girls, who were immediately interested because they look up to their yoga-practicing aunt.  We used the suggestions in the enclosed parents guide to create a calming environment by rolling out towels in one of their rooms and playing soft music, while we read slowly through the book.   They had so much fun with trying to hold the poses, especially the Downward-Facing Dog Pose and the Cobbler’s Pose, and had lots of laughs attempting the Eagle Pose, which took a little more coordination than the rest!

The book on its own is an enjoyable bedtime story, but to really enjoy this book to its fullest, I would suggest utilizing the parent guide in the back of the book to develop a nightly routine using the yoga poses including breathing, reflection, and more.

I was impressed with all the learning connections my girls encountered in the book: animals, continents, and several countries with their flags.  My girls were especially interested in the map showing which continent each animal lived and are now interested in learning more about the echidna.  As we strive to develop a new routine of yoga moves, we are excited to add this to the bedtime routine in our house.

Meet the Author: Giselle Shardlow

Giselle Shardlow from Kids Yoga Stories

Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga-inspired children’s books get children moving, learning, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the stories found at www.kidsyogastories.com or on Amazon (amazon.com/author/giselleshardlow) worldwide.     Book Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+

* $25 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: April 8, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Giselle Shardlow and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

**Click here for this Rafflecopter Giveaway **

**Bonus!  If you are interested in purchasing the book instead, there is a coupon code available for this Book Tour which will provide a discount of 20% off the current sale prices on all of the Kids Yoga Stories books. The direct link to the website is  http://www.kidsyogastories.com . To apply the coupon code, simply enter “marchtour” before you checkout and you will receive 20% off the cart value.  The coupon expires on 04/01/14.  Note that the 20% off will be on top of the current sale prices.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of the book above to aid in the writing of an honest review.  A positive review was not required and all opinions are mine alone.

Animals Aren’t the Only Entertainment: Zookeepers at Work

If you’ve ever taken a trip to the zoo, you might have found that your kids are fascinated with the zoo maps.  If this is the case, give your child the map, help them locate their present point, and then have them take you on a tour of the zoo.  But this time while you are visiting, don’t just rely on the animals for entertainment, check out what the zookeepers are up to as well!

zookeepers at work

In an effort to open my children’s eyes up to zookeepers, I created a place for my kids to record their observations. Clipboard in hand, my kids made tallies to record the zookeeper’s job at the time.  They had tally space for four sections: feeding, cleaning, giving attention to the animals, and talking to zoo visitors.  If nothing seemed to fit, there was an additional “other” section to place tallies.

Zoo Keeping Tally

The zoo became much more interesting as we both observed the animals AND the zookeepers, instead of just letting them blend in with the environment.

Once the trip to the zoo concluded, they took the tallies and transposed them into a bar graph so we could visually compare and contrast the zookeeper tasks.  We also ended up using this graph in math as we added, found the difference, and made other conclusions about the sections of data.

Zookeeping Graph

Finally, to record all the interesting (and funny) things we saw zookeepers doing, the kids drew a picture and recorded an observation.  We thoroughly enjoyed the zookeeper who was talking to the apes as she fed them food!

Peek at Zookeepers

If you’d like to use any of the documents, feel free to click the pictures above to download the files. 

This post is the first of several zoo and circus related posts.  Hop on over to check out the series and be sure to visit my friends at The Usual Mayhem for some other zoo and circus fun!

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parents as teachers

Introducing a Zoo and Circus Unit

This post contains affiliate links.  For more information see my disclosure policy.

I’m excited to share that I’ve teamed up with Erin from The Usual Mayhem to bring you yet another fun unit of study!  In the past, we’ve brought you planning resources for Worms, Winter Hideaways (hibernation), Polar Animals, and Germs, so this time we’re helping you plan some Zoo and Circus fun!

hang on button

Over the next four Wednesdays, we will be posting educational ideas to use with your lower elementary children.  This post will be linked to to reflect each post as it goes live, starting next week.

Week 1: Zookeeper Surveys {and interpreting data}

Week 2: Reading and Writing the Zoo

Week 3: An Education in the Circus {history}

Week 4: Circus Fun! {art and physical activity}

March 17th: Review of Good Night Animal World

Interested in finding some other Zoo or Circus resources?  Follow our collaborative Pinterest Boards below:

image       image

 

While you are preparing for next week, check out a few friends’ posts with additional Zoo fun!

The Bifrost Bridge Review and $25 Book Blast Giveaway!

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As the Winter Olympics puts some of it’s best Norwegian athletes forward, get ready to step back into the time of the Norse through a story of princess-power in the new book The Bifrost Bridge.  Written by an academic librarian for his two daughters, James Bradley Clarke has woven an entertaining fantasy for children and adults, alike. 

The Bifrost Bridge by James Clark

The Bifrost Bridge is a Viking princess fairy tale intertwined with Norse mythology. Silya, the feisty ten year old Princess of Norway, eagerly awaits the arrival of her cousin and best friend, Princess Hedda of Denmark. The princesses are both looking forward to the summer solstice celebration, but trouble lurks in their future as magical villains see the girls as being vital for their deadly conspiracy. Hedda and Silya find themselves cast into a dangerous adventure filled with fire giants, female warrior angels, and the God of Thunder.

I used the book as a bedtime read-aloud with my daughters 5 and 7, who are fans of princesses and mystical creatures.  They were delighted with Molock the troll, giggled at the repetitive chatter of Ratatosk the squirrel, and enchanted with the adventures of the young princesses, Silya and Hedda.

The book tied in nicely with some of the geography and history we have been covering in Classical Conversations (Cycle 2), so they had some background knowledge of the area and times, which helped, but is by no means necessary.

I have to admit that sometimes we had to stop for clarification of supportive characters and some of the vocabulary, but that was mainly because my children are on the younger side of what this book is geared towards.   Neither of these hindered our enjoyment of the book, and in fact, made the book a richer experience for them as it broadened their interests in the Norse.

Overall, it was an enjoyable book to read aloud and my kids looked forward to it each night.  They both were sad the book came to an end and are looking forward to future sequels.  They would particularly love to see a spin-off book about Molock the troll {hint, hint to the author}.  Although only appearing in two scenes, his mannerisms and speech (lacking the pronoun I) tickled their funny-bones.

My daughters and I recommend this book to others who are interested in fantasy and mythology.

Extra information:  Illustrator: Marcus Gran | Publication Date: January, 2013 | Publisher: Wynwidyn Press | Pages: 92 | Recommended Ages: 8+

Check out the book for yourself on Amazon | Wynwidyn Press Books.

About the Author: James Bradley Clarke

James Bradley Clarke James Bradley Clarke is a graduate of Hiram College, The University of Houston, and the University of Michigan. He currently resides in Oxford, Ohio, where he works as an academic librarian for Miami University. He grew up near Ann Arbor, Michigan, and he has spent most of his life in the Great Lakes region. The Bifrost Bridge is Clarke’s first work of fiction. The children’s book was first developed as stories Clarke started telling to his two daughters back in the summer of 2003. Both girls shared a love for classic princess fairy tales, so he invented original princess characters for both of them. As residents in Riverside, Illinois, Clarke’s family lived in walking distance of the Brookfield Zoo where the girls regularly admired the Norwegian fjord horses. When he learned this ancient breed of horse was used by the Vikings, a specific medieval setting for the stories came into focus. As a Hiram College student, Clarke had developed a love for the epic poems of Homer and Virgil, so he chose to borrow from mythology to provide magical elements. The girls became instantly enamored with these stories and they insisted on developing new adventures for the two Nordic princess characters. The first draft of a manuscript was produced during the summer of 2005. Clarke’s daughters were delighted with the bound copy they received as a Christmas gift later that year, so he began the process of becoming an author. Clarke has a love for history and a taste for plot driven stories about extraordinary individualism. Themes of fortitude and self-determination lay at the heart of Clarke’s writing interests.

Facebook (Book Fan Page) | Facebook (Author Fan Page) | Goodreads

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: February 10 to March 9, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, James Bradley Clarke and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

*Click here to enter this Rafflecopter giveaway*

MDBR Book Promotion ServicesDisclosure: I received a digital copy of the book above to aid in the writing of an honest review.  A positive review was not required and all opinions are mine alone.

“Fox Talk” Review & Giveaway

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Over the years, I feel foxes have acquired a negative reputation for being cunning, sneaky, and tricky, but all that is about to change with the new book “Fox Talk.”  If you are looking for a nonfiction book that will enlighten both you and your children, don’t rely on fables…check out L.E. Carmichael’s new book!

When you talk to a dog, does the dog talk back? Many people think so. But for a long time, scientists didn’t know how our furry friends learned to communicate with people. Luckily, Russian scientist Dmitri Belyaev had a plan. If he could tame wild red foxes, he could learn how dogs first came from wolves. By studying the way these foxes changed during domestication, the mystery of communication would be solved at a last. More than 50 years after the experiment began, Belyaev’s foxes have become so tame, you can have one as a pet! Packed with eye-popping photos and first-hand research, FOX TALK reveals the story of these amazing animals… and everything they’ve taught us about wolves, dogs, and communication.

Our Thoughts

After reading “Fox Talk,” both of my girls (4 and 7) desperately want a pet fox because they are “so adorable!”  Incredibly, they aren’t simply adorable to see, but my girls now understand that domesticated foxes are amazing communicators with humans, making them seem far more “adorable” to my girls than looks alone.

The book goes way beyond simply demonstrating the difference between domesticated and wild animals.  Throughout the text readers are taken on a journey from our current canine pets (dogs), as far back as 12,000 years ago when foxes appear to have been a special friend of humans.  Readers will discover how researchers have studied foxes to learn more about our current pets, while discovering new information and participating in simple experiments to learn about behaviors.  Pictures, charts, and graphs help engage younger readers as they listen to how scientific discoveries have been made.

My girls were particularly impressed with all the different sounds foxes make, from coughing to mooing and from whining to panting, depending on the fox’s feelings.  As a teacher, I believe the book provided great exposure to how researchers test their theories and form conclusions, making this book a perfect tie-in to learning about the Scientific Method.

We all know the saying that dogs are “man’s best friend,” but throughout the book, we learn that foxes play a special part in this relationship.   Between the interesting facts, research studies, at-home experiments, and engaging photography, learning about foxes was enjoyable and effortless.   My girls and I highly recommend “Fox Talk” to others interested in learning about these incredible furry creatures.Fox Talk Blog Tour Button

Title: Fox Talk

Author: L.E. Carmichael, PhD

Book Designer: Michael Penman

Illustrator: Jody Bronson

Photography: Brian Dust

Publication Date: August 8, 2013

Publisher: Ashby-BP Publishing

Pages: 62

Recommended Age: 8+

About The Author: L.E. Carmichael

L.E. Carmichael Author Lindsey Carmichael never outgrew that stage of childhood when nothing’s more fun than amazing your friends (and correcting your teachers!) with your stockpile of weird and wonderful facts. Her sense of wonder came in handy during her career as a scientist, and in 2006, she received the Governor General’s Medal for her PhD thesis, Ecological Genetics of Northern Wolves and Arctic Foxes. Lindsey finds talking about science more fun than doing it, however, and now writes for kids, teens, and occasionally adults (a sense of wonder is essential for this, too). Lindsey publishes under the name L. E. Carmichael, and her work has appeared in Dig, Highlights for Children, Kiki, and Canadian Tales of the Fantastic. Her published science books cover everything from animal migration to hybrid cars. When not digging up obscure or wacky details for her next nonfiction project, Lindsey’s probably working on her young adult fantasy novel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash) + a Skype visit to a school or library of the winner’s choice ($250 value).

Contest runs: January 27th to February 21, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Worldwide

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, Ashby-BP Publishing and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

*Click here to enter this Rafflecopter giveaway!*

 Would you prefer to purchase this book? Find it available in hardcover, paperback, or digital editions:

Fox Talk by L.E. Carmichael

 Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapter/Indigo (Canada)

To find out what other people are saying about the book, visit the Fox Talk Blog Tour schedule by clicking the image below:

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Disclosure: I received a copy of the book above to aid in the writing of an honest review.  A positive review was not required and all opinions are mine alone.

Potato Olympics Winter Games {Part 2: The Games}

Ready to see some “hot” potatoes?  Yesterday I shared with you how to prepare for your own Potato Olympics Winter Games, so today I’m going to detail the events in which your participants and potato athletes can participate.  The event is about to begin!

Olympic Event Collage1

Opening Ceremonies

What would the Olympic Games be without opening ceremonies?  After participants introduce the names of their spuds and the country they represent, share the history of the Olympic flame with participants.  Encourage everyone to spread out along the path around the park to form a circle.  Pass the torch to the first runner, who will pass to the second, and so on, creating a relay around the park. The flame will end up back at the beginning to be placed in the Olympic Village.

The Olympic Village

The Olympic Village is simply an area to host your flags and back-up athletes.  I used a hula hoop on the grass and kids placed their flags and athletes inside.  In the center was our Olympic flame, glowing in its glory.

Olympic Events

I put together 8 different activities for our potato athletes to compete.  Each “station” was designated with it’s own sign.  Click the image to download the signs.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get them to post in a publisher file, but you can easily make them using MS Clip Art if you need to modify stations and the font is simply Comic Sans.  You can tape the signs to each “station” area, or slip them into a plastic page protector, taped to a paint-stick so they stand upright in the grass or dirt.Olympic Signs

What exactly will your participants and their potato athletes be doing during the event?  Following is a run-down of the activities I decided on for our event.  We traveled as a group from station to station so we could cheer each other on and support our diverse countries.  As you plan your Potato Olympics, you may decide to choose different events or organize them differently.  It’s all part of the Olympic fun!

  1. Curling (broom, cones) – Set up an area where kids can push their potato athlete across a distance to a goal set by cones.  Beware, it’s harder than it looks!
  2. Ice Hockey (hockey sticks, cones) – Similar to curling, participants push their potato athletes a distance to a goal designated by cones.
  3. Figure Skating (flat surface) – Time to spin some potato athletes.  Encourage kids to spin their potato, sit back and count the rotations!
  4. Speed Skating (cones) – Just like speed skaters who want lots of speed, so do we!  Kids place the potato athlete behind their backs and run to the cone and back, all the while holding the potato with both hands behind them.
  5. Bobsled (plastic Tupperware, super-tall slide) – Place 2-3 potato athletes in a Tupperware and time them coming down the slide.  Do they make it down in one piece?
  6. Downhill Skiing (double slide) – Two potato athletes can compete on a double slide!  Kids hold the potato athletes at the top of the slide and let go at the same time.  Which potato makes It down the slide first?
  7. Skeleton/sledding (slide with bumps, small flat cups, such as paint water cups) – Time potato athletes coming down the slide or see if the athlete can stay in it’s sled the whole way down!
  8. Bowling (empty water bottles) – Kids toss their potato at the water bottles to see how many are knocked down.  If it’s a lumpy potato, it might be hard!

Closing Ceremonies

At the conclusion of the games, don’t forget to recognize all of your participating countries with a medal. I chose to make my own chocolate gold medals to reward my participants in order to keep the costs down, but there are several plastic versions you could buy online.  To see how I made my medals, visit my post.Olympic Medals

So there you have it!  Some Olympic fun for kids that will have them creating, laughing, participating, and learning just a little more about the Olympic Games.  I wish you luck in your own planning and look forward to hearing about your event!  If you missed yesterday’s post on how to prepare for the Potato Olympics, be sure to check it out to determine what needs to be done before the event begins!

Potato Olympic Image2

I’d LOVE to hear how your own Potato Olympics turn out!

Announcing the Potato Olympics Winter Games! {Part 1: Organization}

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As you know, the Winter Olympic Games are coming up, and it wouldn’t be complete without a little pre-game fun for kids…and their potato athletes.  This past month I put together a Potato Olympic Winter Event for our local group and I’m sharing the fun with you as well providing resources you can use to put on your own Potato Olympic Event.

Potato Olympic Image2

First, you’ve got to get organized!  Here’s a letter I sent out to announce the event.  Feel free to click on the picture below and modify it to use with your own group.

potato sign up image

Next, create a spread sheet with 3 columns to record participant names, ages, and the country they will represent.  You can find a list of all the countries participating in the Olympic Games here and a map here.

Participant Supplies

  • I provided each participant with 2 potatoes, so there was a back-up potato athlete in case one was “injured” in action. (It would be easy to have participants bring their own potatoes, but I opted to supply them all so they were relatively the same size and shape.) 
  • Participants create a potato athlete by drawing on them or adding other artistic touches (Sharpies work well).
  • I provided participants with a half sheet of tracing paper so they could color a flag to represent their country.  At the event we taped them onto skinny wooden dowels.

Olympic Park Location

Host the event at a park.  Look for a park location that has:

  • a circular path around it
  • Very tall slides
  • Medium height slides
  • Double slides
  • Lots of grass running space

Organizational Supplies

Gather up the supplies you will need.  A list of what I used for our games follows, but you might find you use different items, and that’s all part of the fun!

  • hula hoop (If you don’t have one, check the dollar store, or a “big box” store)
  • torch (luckily I had a Statue of Liberty torch, but there are several options on the Internet to make your own)
  • timer (counts seconds)
  • cones (I love these because they stand out)
  • hockey sticks (we got ours from Big 5, but you can find a set here)
  • a broom
  • small rectangular Tupperware (fits approx. 3 potatoes)
  • paint water cups (or any mostly flat dish)
  • 12 pack of plastic water bottles
  • awards (see my previous post for one option)
  • 8 foot table
  • wooden dowels (to use as small flag poles)

Extra Olympic Fun for Kids

Head on over to my Olympic Pinterest Board to get some ideas on how to build up the Olympic with your young ones! 

Also, check out some free resources from The Wise Owl Factory: a Winter Olympics Word Find, Winter Sports Writing, Winter Sports Matching.  In fact, you can “like” her Facebook page for even more Winter Olympic Freebies to get your kids in the spirit of the games!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I will detail the events in which the potato athletes participated!

Interested in making your own gold medals?  Check out how I put together our (chocolate) gold medals by clicking the picture below.

Olympic Medals