Category Archives: Parenting

Apples, Apples Everywhere!!

Apple Tree

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at

I LOVE Fall! It is by far my favorite season. I love the colors, the temperature, the fashion, I love it all! In our family we signal the start of Fall with a trip to the apple orchard. So in honor of our upcoming trip to the apple orchard I thought I would share with you a few of the fun apple activities we have planned to help us get geared up for the trip!

We are huge fans of Do-a-Dot Sheets at our house. They are great for using Dot Markers (which the kids love) or using stickers which are always a big hit. I love the ones I found in the A is for Apple Preschool Worksheets over at Crystal & Co.

I love the pattern template and cards found in A Teaching Mommy’s Apple Preschool Pack.

Since we have been all about the play dough lately we will be trying this homemade apple scented play dough recipe I found when visiting The Preschool Toolbox.

I love some good messy fun so I am super excited to pull out the paints and cinnamon and do some painting. I found this idea over at From ABCs to ACTs.

I am so excited to try the Erupting Apple experiment I found over at Little Bins for Little Hands! Everything you need for this fun example of a chemical reaction can probably be found in your home. It’s super simple, fun and easy to put together!

I love these Apple Number Puzzles from Totschooling. They are a super clever and cute way to work on counting, number recognition, and one-to-one correspondence.

Apple Stamping is a super easy and fun way to really spice up painting time. I found this idea over at Teaching Mama. The kids have such a good time using unconventional tools to paint! They love to paint anyway but when we can use something unique and that we already have around the house it is even better!


Image courtesy of tuelekza at

If you are looking for some great books that go with all things apples here are a few of our favorites:

Ten Apples Up On Top!

Apples for Everyone

Apple Farmer Annie

How Do Apples Grow?

Johnny Appleseed


I would love to know if you give any of these ideas a try! Let me know below or comment over on Facebook or Twitter!

Until next time!

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Books We Are Reading This Week – September 2, 2015

PicMonkey Collage

Happy Wednesday!! Welcome back to another look at some of the books we have enjoyed this past week.

The Moon Book is a great non-fiction book that has a ton of information written at a first to second grade level all about the moon. I love introducing higher level non-fiction books to my kids. I am sure they don’t pick up on and understand all the information but building a foundation for these concepts is really important to my family. In this book we learn all about the phases of the moon, the moon’s role in Solar and Lunar eclipses, it’s effects on the world’s oceans and so much more. It also goes into moon folk-lore from around the world. At the end of the book there is a great lesson on making your own solar eclipse viewer.

Love Monsteris the story of Monster, a monster that is different from all the other monsters found in “Cutesville”. He is lonely and doesn’t have anyone to connect with because he is different. He heads out in search of someone who will love him just the way he is and finds it in an unexpected place. It’s a great lesson for the kids and the bright, bold illustrations really helped engage the kids in the story.

Have You Seen My Duckling? is a cute seek-and-find book that the kids really enjoyed. We follow mama duck and her seven ducklings as they search for their missing sibling. They explore the pond and try to get help from several other creatures that call the pond home. The fun part for the kids was realizing that the little missing duckling is never far away and in fact the kids can find him hiding on each page. It’s a fun little game watching Soph & Jack try to find the duckling in each picture.

It’s a Firefly Nightis a great summertime book that is beautifully illustrated using deep, rich colors. We follow a young girl around her yard as she chases and catches fireflies with her dad. After counting them she very sweetly releases them. This is a great story made even better by the awesome end notes with some great facts about fireflies!

A Camping Spree With Mr. Mageeis a fun read along all about Mr. Magee and his faithful pooch enjoying a nice, peaceful camping trip when all of a sudden they find themselves flying down a mountain and on the precipice of a waterfall. Follow along to see how they get themselves out of trouble this time.

As always let me know what you are reading in the comments below or over on Facebook or Twitter! I would love to know!!

Until next time!

Full Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

Planning for the Future While Having Fun at the Fair

American Goathic Pic

This past week the fair was in town so we decided to pack up the kids and head out for a while this past weekend.

We have our first BIG  family vacation coming up next year and we have been attempting to plant the seeds needed for a great vacation in the months leading up to it. We are visiting Walt Disney World next year and while my husband and I have been many times we have waited to take Soph and Jack.

We have been very deliberate in planning when we want the kids to make their first trip and while I know my Type A planning won’t mean we will have a “perfect” vacation I want to mitigate as many problems ahead of time as I can!

Walt Disney World is very much sensory overload for little ones. There is so much noise, lots of people and tons to look at and experience. Since we have a good chunk of time before our vacation we have tried to plan certain experiences to help prepare the kids for what is to come.

Jack at Fair
My kids have a very set schedule as far as naps and bedtime are concerned and as a result if they don’t get their naps or to bed on time they become different kids almost instantly. With this in mind it is our plan to stay on our nap and sleep schedule during our trip, so this means heading out to the parks first thing in the morning then leaving in the middle of the day for naps and coming back in the evenings.
For the past few months we have tried to take the kids to places where they will encounter situations similar to what they will encounter at Disney. We have taken them to small amusement parks to see how they handle lines, rides, crowds and loud noises. The only problem we run into is not being able to just leave and take a nap in the middle of the day which usually results in a not so fun afternoon for everyone and an early exit. We are fortunate enough that the fair is held right in our hometown making it possible for us to test our theory that all would be right in the world if we broke up our day taking time to rest!

Spoiler Alert: it worked like a charm!

We usually wait until we are getting ready to go before we tell the kids what we are doing so we can avoid the “when are we leaving”, “are we there yet” questions for as long as possible. So shortly before we left for the fair we sat them down to talk to them about what we were going to do. Once the kids were in on the secret we explained how we expected the day was going to go and what we needed from  them. Before we left the house they knew we were going to check out the animals and exhibits in the morning then eat lunch (I mean it’s fair food, you have to eat it!) and head home for naps. After naps and only if they actually napped would we go back that evening and hit up some of the rides and games.

Soph at Fair
Having the expectations laid out ahead of time made all the difference. We passed the rides as soon as we entered and there was no meltdown or asking to go on them. We had a great time in the morning petting all the animals and playing in the corn. Whoever came up with the idea of a sandbox full of corn was a genius!! My kids could spend hours in there if we would let them. After a few hours and some lunch we made for the car to head home. Much to my surprise we had no meltdowns and all was good.

Soph and Jack in Corn
As soon as we got home they went right down for their naps and when they woke up we had a snack and made our way back out for the rides and games part of the day. Again we explained our expectations (rides first, then games) ahead of time. We had a great time on the rides and a ton of fun playing games. When we had done all we wanted to do we told the kids it was time to go and had zero problem getting them out without a fight and home to bed on time!

Soph and Jack in Car

This was the first time that we had a day like this out and about with zero problems and I am feeling more and more confident that if we stick to our regular schedule we will be able to avoid some of the meltdowns we are likely to come across on vacation. I will try this theory out a couple more times in the coming months but I think this will help everybody have a great time!

Soph and Jack Dolphins

Lessons this mom learned this week: Explain expectations ahead of time and make sure they understand what is expected of them and stick to a schedule!!

How do you prepare your kids for vacation? What fun things have you done this summer? Let me know in the comments below or find me over on Facebook or Twitter!

Until next time!

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