Balance Bike Giveaway

I am so excited to welcome our sponsor, Balance Bike Town and share our thoughts and experiences with our personal balance bike.  We also have an AMAZING balance bike giveaway, so be sure to keep reading!

Balance Bike Giveaway

We got our first balance bike many years ago, when Krash was 3.  It was a Strider bike and we were in love instantly. He was a quick learner, was zooming around quickly, and then transitioned to a pedal bike when he was 4.  He never used training wheels and was pedaling within minutes of trying for the first time.  We were in shock after teaching our oldest son traditionally {with training wheels and no balance bike}.

Balance Bike

When Ladybug got old enough we had already passed on our orange Strider bike to a great friend and we got her a pink one!  She was slower to get the hang of it, not really enjoying the Strider bike until she was 4 1/2 but she also learned to ride a pedal bike within minutes when she first tried at age 5 1/2.  Again, we had the exact same experience, she hopped on and began pedaling and never used training wheels. 

Balance Bike

Having the balance bike for our two younger kids when they were little was such a blessing.  I wasn’t so convinced about the benefit until I watched both of them ride a pedal bike with such ease.  I am a firm believer and recommend a balance bike to anyone with a young toddler!  Get them started scooting around on a balance bike early!

Balance Bike

 

Balance Bike Town not only carries Strider bikes, they carry all sort of balance bikes, and they have a price guarantee!  Be sure to look for the live chat option if you need help selecting the right bike for your child.

Free shipping, a 10% discount code for my readers {code: 10plus}, and a price guarantee ~ you can’t beat that!

Balance Bike Discount

 

For one of you, this is going to be really exciting!  Balance Bike Town is giving one of our readers a balance bike of your choice valued at $150 or less!  I am so excited to know one of you will be blessed in this fun way!

Balance Bike Giveaway FB

Balance Bike Town has just started their Facebook page so be sure to like them and learn more about balance bikes and stay up on their current offers!

Giveaway is only open to 48 contiguous US States, and ends 12/5/14. Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gift Ideas for 8 year Olds

Many Christmas gift ideas have been shared here on our blog in the past and I have a new list for you today all centered around what our 8 year old loves right now. My 8 year old is a boy, but most of these would be great for a boy or a girl!  Most of these are also loved by my 12 year old son, and my 5 year old daughter too. This is a list for a wide age range, my son just happens to be 8 and these are a few of his very favorites!

Gift Ideas for 8 Year Olds

Suspend

We all love this game!  My boys got it for a joint gift over a year ago and we have played it TONS. It is a game of balance and brings loads of laughter {sometimes tears with the younger crowd}. We love it so much we have given it as a gift! 

Suspend

Citiblocs

These blocks are a gift my kids got last year that have turned into a favorite. The unique creations built with a bunch of flat blocks amaze me! 

Citiblocs

Here’s my 8 year old’s recent creations…

3rd Grade -1792

Straws and Connectors

Another family favorite!  Personally I love how quiet these are! Hours and hours of building fun.Straws and Connectors 705 pieces

Perplexus

This has become a recent favorite for both of my boys {8 & 12}.  The one shown below is the more advanced version, we have the original too.  They sit for so long and play this maze game.

Perplexus Epic

Rip Rider and RipStick

LOVE. THESE. Both of my boys, absolutely love both of these!

Rip RiderRipstick

Connect 4 Launchers

My 8 year old loves to play this game with me.  I don’t think we completely follow the rules, but we have so much fun with this one. This is also one my younger kids enjoy playing alone, it’s fun to just practice flipping the pieces!Connect 4 Launchers

See more ideas for boys here…

Christmas Gift Ideas for Boys

 

See our gift ideas for 5 year olds here…

Gift Ideas for 5 Year Olds

Gift Idea for Everyone with Kids!

Do you have kids?  Have grandkids?  Have friends with kids?  Teach kids?  Care for Kids?

I have a great gift idea for you!

150  Screen-Free Activities for Kids DIY Gift Basket

{disclaimer ~ I was sent the book free of charge to review}

The new book, 150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids,  from Asia of Fun at Home with Kids is simply awesome. The book alone would make an incredible gift, or you can get SUPER fun and create a gift basket with supplies to go along with the book. Asia provides ideas here on her blog, and there’s a page in the Amazon preview sharing the 15 items recommended for a gift basket or a simple get-started list. I compiled many of them here for you to glance through.

150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids contains ~

  • 50% all NEW activities never before featured on Asia’s blog.  It also contains favorites from the blog!
  • 120 activities can be completed using items found at a regular grocery store.
  • Most of the activities were designed to encourage multi-age/sibling play. 
  • All activities are coded and marked with allergy codes to make things easier for those of you with kids who have allergies.

The book is divided into 7 sections, each section contains multiple ideas!

  • How to Use the Book
  • Slimes
  • Doughs
  • Paints
  • Small World Play
  • Simple Sensory Activities
  • Do-It-Yourself Toys

We have already done many of Asia’s ideas, but when I presented the book to my daughter who is 5, she immediately saw the image on the front cover of the Frog World and wanted to make that, she loves frogs and water. 

Frog World Play

I must be honest and tell you that the night she asked wasn’t a night I really wanted to dye water blue and cut out foam lily pads.  It had been a long emotional day and I was tired.  But, I said yes.  It didn’t take me long to set both of my kids up with their frog worlds and it gave me about an hour of peace as they played. 

Frog World -2303

They both went on to play with the bins again the next day. The effort I put in at the beginning proved to be totally worth it in the end.

Frog World -2320

Sometimes I am super creative on my own and other times I feel my brain is dead and completely emptied of all things creative.  Asia’s book is a reminder that it doesn’t take much to do something creative like this.

Frog World -2301

My kids are 5, 8, and 12. The 5 and 8 year old played with the Frog World, extensively. The 12 year old wasn’t home that night but probably would have joined them. My 12 year old has looked through the book and found many ideas he wants to try. It really is a book for a VERY wide age range.

Frog World -2313

It is a recipe book for me.  An easy tool to pull off of the shelf to stimulate my thinking and give me the idea and the recipe all in one place.  I am so thankful to Asia for taking the time to write this and know it will bless many people out there, including me!

Frog World -2323

 

See more here ~

This awesome book is available worldwide, most of my readers will happily find it on Amazon, there’s a link here to Amazon

Tot School Gathering Place Week 97

Welcome to Tot School™ Gathering Place! Gather together here, gather ideas from other blogs, share your own ideas on your own blog. Browse around at the other posts linked up, leave a few comments if you have time, and be sure to check back to see if your blog was featured!

Each week we will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Remember, provide a link back to Tot School Gathering Place within your post that you link up, so you can be considered for the feature!

Tot School Gathering Place Week 97

Has the holiday frazzle hit your house yet? We have been trying to keep it at a minimum here by focusing on what we are thankful each day and not on the wants! What do you do to keep the holidays focused? Be sure to share your ideas with the rest of us Mamas! We love to hear how you are raising your Tots with grateful hearts!

I love learning about different holidays – ones that aren’t common to America. Check out Adventures In Tot Schooling to see what Munchkin recently celebrated!

Adventures in Tot Schooling 2

 

Have you thought about teaching your Tot geography? There are some easy concepts that our Tots can grasp at an early age! Check out the activity that Mama Jessica from Scattered Yet Together put together for Tot Curls!

Scattered Yet Together

 

Are you going through the alphabet with your Tot? Head on over to RA Hippie Mama to check out the fun that Jackson and Alex had learning about the letter B this past week! RA Hippie Mama

 


See ideas by ages below!

Tiny-Tot-School-Ideas-for-Ages-9-12-[1] Tot-School-Ideas-Ages-12-18-Months62 Tot-School-Ideas-Ages-18-24-Months62


Were you featured?

You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional!

Tot School Feature

<center><a href="http://bit.ly/W32RDO" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src="http://bit.ly/13tsB2r"/ ></a></center>


Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?

Tot-School-eBook-332222222

See the Tot School webpage here!


Are you NEW or have never been featured? Read this!

Basics: write a specific post about what you did with your tot, link up the permalink from your post, link back to Tot School within that post, put your tot’s age in months in ( ) like this: (43 months).

Gift Ideas for 5 Year Olds

We have shared tons of Christmas Gift ideas in the past and have a list for you today all centered around what our 5 year old loves right now. My 5 year old is a girl, but most of these would be great for a girl or a boy!  Of course she also has other loves like My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, and Minecraft {thanks to her big brothers}. I wanted the ideas in this post to be more for gift buying outside of the known loves and give you some different ideas!

Gift Ideas for 5 Year Olds

 

Small Animals

We have so many of these set and my daughter plays with them all of the time!  We have collected most of our sets using coupons from Michaels, getting one set at a time with their 40 or 50% off coupon. We have also gotten some from Amazon and some as gifts.

Safari Pets Toob  Safari Animals

Colorful Counters

We have always had colorful counting bears but last year we did a review for Learning Resources and got a few more of these awesome sets.  Just like the Safari animals above, these are a top favorite.  She has several sets now and they are all mixed up in a bin together and are played with almost daily.

prod3361_3_lgprod3341_3_lg

Playmobil

She got her first and only Playmobil sets this past year and she LOVES them. We have this one and a unicorn set in a bin which also gets tons of play. Personally, I love how little space they take up! 

Playmobil horse

Gobblet Gobblers

We have had Gobblet Gobblers for years and it was a favorite of my son’s when he was this age {he still likes it now too}, and now is a favorite of Ladybug’s.

Gobblet Gobblers

Sequence Games for Kids

We have the Sequence for Kids and she LOVES it.  It is the most requested game we have.  I want to get her the Letters version this year for Christmas!

Sequence LettersSequence for Kids

PlasmaCar

PlasmaCar’s are awesome!!!  We got our first one from a review years ago and have since bought a second one personally.  We all use the cars and love them. We even bought one as a family gift for my husband’s sister’s family a few years ago!

plasmacar

 

Looking for more ideas for this age group?  Here’s our Preschool/Kindergarten Gift Idea post!Christmas Gift Ideas for Preschoolers

Do you have gift recommendations for a 5 year old?  Leave your ideas in the comments below!