The Traveling Sisterhood: June 2015

Tuesday, June 30

Trudi Plush Mama and Baby Animal Puppets #Giveaway: Cuteness you have to see to believe!

Congrats to Cheryl R., the winner of this giveaway!

Get ready for some cuteness! Today I want to share four styles of completely adorable, softer-than-butter mama and baby puppets (or daddy, really, that’s up to you!) Magicforest's Trudi Puppets take “peekaboo” to a whole ‘nother level, and the baby finger puppet is the cutest thing ever! Plus, it tucks into mama’s pocket.  We chose to review the Koala Mama and Baby, but there is also a Hen, Owl, and Penguin set.  Aren't they adorable?!  

The Mama Koala is super soft with grey fur and white fluffy ears and chest. Mama's pouch for baby is accented with blue gingham check. The Baby Koala finger puppet is a puff of white with a smile just as big as his Mama’s.  



More about the toys:
Trudi Mama and Baby Puppets are a unique collection of pairs characterized by simple lines and extraordinary softness. They are the perfect size for little hands – and yes, even mom and dad can join in the fun too! Made by renowned Italian plush maker Trudi, you can rest assured that these puppets are safe for your little one. 



GIVEAWAY
One of my readers will receive their choice of Puppet Set! U.S. only.
Enter by 6/27 at 11 pm anyone's time. 




You Can Find Magicforest On
Pinterest

Which animals do you think  your kiddo would like best?

Special thanks to the wonderful people at KidstuffPR and PomTree for this review and giveaway opportunity! 


Lions And Tigers... Or Bugs? #Giveaway Crafty Kids Will Adore!

The arts and crafts summer theme is going strong at our house this year!

My kiddos have spent hours creating with their Zoo 2 Do, Creative Fun Tote and Paper Pals kits!  These are recommended for 6 and up, and my 7-11 year olds love them.  They inspire so much creativity and there is so much variety--both in themes and materials included.  We were impressed!  Each box is packed with a TON of stuff!!  You can find them at a variety of stores--Kroger, Fred Meyer, Zulily, and Meijers. A few days after we received the kits, I brought them to my bible study kids.  They had so much fun at the craft table!




All the Kits in this Series: 

Zoo 2 Do  
 
All the animals in the zoo are jumping up and down for you! Available at retailers Fred Meyer, Meijer and Kroger, this Zoo 2 Do kit with the tote-able handle, features monkey, giraffe, lion, zebra and others for a total of 25 zoo-themed projects.
 
 Creative Fun Tote
Rainy days and Sundays are ideal for this overflowing box of craft pieces that can be transformed into animals, cupcakes, bugs, pencil toppers and whatever the imagination can conjure. This fun tote is available at Fred Meyer, Meijer and Kroger stores. Kids can follow the enclosed project sheet or personalize with their own wacky ideas. Art is in the eye of the beholder!

Paper Pals Bugs & Flowers  

Even kids will allergies will adore these pretty flowers and friendly bugs that are tucked inside Paper Pals – a kit that starts with paper plates and paper cups! Available at Zulily and Meijers retailers coast to coast, this tote-able kit makes 12 big projects. A project sheet is included to start kids off. The final results are totally up to them!








Giveaway
One of my readers will receive all three craft kits (MSRP total value $38.97)!  Enter below by July 10th, at 11 pm anyone's time. 


You Can Find Fibre-Craft on  

Special thanks to the wonderful people at KidStuffPR and Fibre-Craft for this review and giveaway opportunity!

Monday, June 29

Games People Play! #SummerFun

Today's Jitterbugs Funshine Express Summer Theme was "Game Day!" Among other games, the kiddos made these Catch a Bead old-fashioned games along with Butterfly Flying Discs. In the pic below, you can see that everything you really do need comes in these kits! Each activity is packaged in a giant bag complete with everything you need--it's very organized and takes me zero prep time which I love! I can't say that loud enough!  The kiddos love their kits, too, and we're so happy we get to review them all and recommend them to you guys!  It's also easy to adapt each craft a bit if you have certain preferences--for instance, we wanted the variety of markers to add to the crayons for the flying discs. 

For our other reviews and more inspiring crafty pictures, head over to our dedicated Funshine Express tab.

Catch a Bead
Butterfly Flying Discs
Catching a bead!
 
Catch a Bead!

Butterfly Flying Disc... minus the butterfly. ;)
There are 2 different Jitterbugs Theme Kits Available!  Choose one or both.  We chose both!  You can read about the rest of them at our Funshine Express tab above.
Included in each kit are supplies to make 8 creative projects with child-directed instructions, additional activities and games. Each kit is packaged with enough materials for 4 children! Designed for kiddos ages 6-10.
 
Kit A Themes
Magical Metamorphosis
Nature Explorations
Games People Play

Kit B Themes
Wranglers and Rodeos
Spectacular Sports
Summer Cook-Out

Discount: Get $20 off!
Click the picture link in our left sidebar for that special discount!  They'll be shipping the July kits soon!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Funshine Express for providing us with these kits to review!

Sunday, June 28

Hedgehogs and Picnics, and a Free Fireflies Kit! #SummerCrafts



Who doesn't love hedgehogs?! And picnics?! 

The picnic theme for Funshine Express was so fun.  The kiddos decorated these cute cups, made pink lemonade for them, and made these super cute Hedgehog food carriers.  We were in the mood for pancakes which fit perfectly in the Hedgehog plates!  Aren't these cute?  They were so fun!   Maybe you've read my past Funshine reviews, but if not, you should know their summer subscription kits come with so many fun, organized crafts (enough items for 4 kids) and include everything you need for each theme plus they're customized for a variety of ages.  We love them!  For our other reviews and more inspiring crafty pictures, head to our dedicated Funshine Express tab.

We got creative with personalized cups and Hedgehog plates/containers.

So cute!  So easy and fun!

Pancakes + Lemonade=Delicious
What's inside the hedgehog?  Pancakes!

Discount: Get $20 off! 
Click the picture link in our left sidebar for that special discount!  They'll be shipping the July kits soon!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Funshine Express for providing us with these kits to review!



Saturday, June 27

Owls! #SummerCrafting

Who doesn't love owls?!  I was happy to see them in one of my kiddos' FunShine Express kits. As you can see, they're made with construction paper, googly eyes, and a variety of scrapbook paper--which I thought was a great idea! (thank you, Funshine Express!) The different varieties of bark and wood themed paper was a great touch for the noses and feet, but there was a country theme my daughter loved, too.  

Aren't the owls adorable in their natural habitats? I wish I could tell you the wind didn't bluster and blow the poor things upside down and all around... but it did, so we brought them in. ;)  For our other reviews and more inspiring crafty pictures, head over to our dedicated Funshine Express tab.




Discount: Get $20 off! 
Click the picture link in our left sidebar for that special discount!  They'll be shipping the July kits soon!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Funshine Express for providing us with these kits to review!

Friday, June 26

Butterflies Emerging From Cocoons! #SummerCrafts

Our summer break is in full swing!

Even so, I like to keep my kiddos busy with arts and crafts, new books and activities to make the summer even more rewarding and to keep the boredom at bay.  The other day, they made these butterflies and cocoons with their FunShine Express kit.  What I especially love is that the kit included everything my 4 kiddos needed, as well as directions they could follow themselves to create and play with these butterflies for hours.  Check out one of the favorites.  Isn't it gorgeous in its natural habitat?

For our other reviews and more inspiring crafty pictures, head over to our dedicated Funshine Express tab.





Discount: Get $20 off! 
Click the picture link in our left sidebar for that special discount!  They'll be shipping the July kits soon!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Funshine Express for providing us with these kits to review!

Thursday, June 25

Desert Landscape Paintings #SummerArt

My kiddos made some gorgeous paintings as we studied the Wild West themed section of their FunShine Express kits.  The kits included everything from the cups for the water colors (made with food dye) to the sand for the texture of the desert landscapes.... not to mention all of the materials inbetween like the watercolor paper, poster-board, and cactus shapes. I love the way my littles did the cactus shadows and the sunsets.  Aren't they beautiful? We decided to combine acrylic with water color for more contrast and some brighter colors.  The kiddos wanted to stand next to my Mother's Day gifts from them (potted flowers and a garden songbird) for their pictures--how cute they are!

For our other reviews and more inspiring crafty pictures, head over to our dedicated Funshine Express tab.







Discount: Get $20 off! 
Click the picture link in our left sidebar for that special discount!  They'll be shipping the July kits soon!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Funshine Express for providing us with these kits to review!

Wednesday, June 24

Make Your Own Play-doh! Original & Edible #Recipes

We never, never buy play-doh at the store.  Making it is much more affordable, super easy (you could do it with your eyes closed after your first batch), and it lasts much longer than the store-bought kind.  

Here's my tried and true recipe.

Flour-based play-doh

Ingredients
1 cup of flour
1 cup of water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 cup of salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
food coloring of preference


Directions
Put all the ingredients into a big pot and mix them up. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly. In a few minutes time, the dough will become hard to stir and will start to stick on the spoon. At this point, dump the dough onto wax paper, allow it to cool, and knead it until it is smooth.  Store the cooled “play dough” in a plastic bag or containers.   


Edible Peanut Butter Play-doh
You can also be adventurous and try this recipe.  I haven't tried it yet but it's next on our list!  This treat can serve as edible play dough. Children can mold and shape while eating it. It's a great after school snack. Store extra portions in plastic bags in refrigerator or freezer.

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups peanut butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 3/4 cups honey
2 cups dry milk powder  

Directions
In a large bowl, cream together peanut butter and confectioners' sugar, then beat in honey and fold in milk powder. Divide into equal portions and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sunday, June 21

Live in or Visiting Arizona? Sea Life Aquarium Discount for My Readers! #SummerTravel

I have a great special to share with you for SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium! 

My Readers Save $3 off Child Admission and $5 off Adult Admission! - Valid for up to 6 discounts per coupon. We went to Sea Life Aquarium in another state and it was so amazing.  I can't wait to take my kiddos again this summer!





And here are some great Summer Programs if you live in Phoenix:
 World Oceans Day
This World Oceans Day SEA LIFE Arizona will be taking part in the #BetterBagChallange. On June 8th, guests can bring in plastic bags, sign the #BetterBagChallange Pledge, and receive an amazing reusable tote. This will be a great way to help our oceans and receive something special for it.


New for 2015, dive in to summer camp at SEA LIFE Arizona!
June 15 - June 19, June 22 - June 26 and July 6 - July 10
Discover amazing ocean creatures, enjoy hands-on activities and participate in exclusive experiences. SEA LIFE Adventure Camp is for kids age 7 to 12 years old and is $200 plus tax per Camper. Each 1-week session is Monday-Friday from 9:00am - 3:30pm. Select which session works best for you and enjoy 5 days of fun ocean-themed activities! 

Octonauts Training Academy
Sound the Octo-Alert! This June 8th- 21st  SEA LIFE Arizona welcomes Captain Barnacles and Peso from the hit animated TV show, The Octonauts. Participate in the Octonauts Training Academy and learn what it takes to become a member of the crew. As cadets, they'll master the specialties of their favorite characters across 6 fun zones, meet Captain Barnacles and Peso in person* and then be rewarded for completing their training with a very special Octonauts certificate!

For more information please visit visitsealife.com/Arizona/Octonauts




Special thanks to the wonderful people at USFamily Guide and Sea Life Aquarium for this discount!

Friday, June 19

A Breakfasty Picnic! #FunshineExpress

The other day, we took the classroom outside after making some fun crafts with our Funshine Express kits.  Though we're officially on summer break, I still make sure and have a variety of activities for my kiddos to do throughout the week. FunShine Express kits has made it super easier than usual for me this summer!  My kiddos love these kits but what I especially love is that they include absolutely everything you need--down to the directions and ideas that go along with the theme--games, links to videos, so many ideas for days of educational fun! 

There are kits for every age from babies to 10 year olds!

Buttercups: Adaptable for children ages 6–36 months
Buttercups offers 8 weeks of interactive fun. These 2-month infant / toddler activity kits develop gross and fine motor skills, as well as provide music, language, art, cognitive, social, and sensory experiences. Check out this video to learn more about our Buttercups Kits.

Fireflies: Adaptable for children ages 3–5
Fireflies is a high-quality, professionally-designed preschool curriculum that creates enthusiasm for learning and builds school readiness skills. The monthly preschool activity kits provide educators and parents with strategies for children with various developmental needs, experiences, and diverse culture. Activities and assessment materials are aligned with early learning standards. Check out this video to learn more about our Fireflies Kits.

Jitterbugs: Adaptable for ages 6-10
Designed for summertime fun! Jitterbugs promotes physical development, cognitive development, creative expression, and social/emotional development. Included, per child, are supplies to make 8 creative projects with child-directed instructions, additional activities and games. The three themes included correspond to some of those offered in our Fireflies and Buttercups summer kits.

Discount: Get $20 off!Click the picture link in our left sidebar for that special discount!  They'll be shipping the July kits soon!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Funshine Express for providing us with these kits to review!

Thursday, June 18

Summer Denim #StyleMoi

I love denim!  Especially denim dresses.  They're my favorites lately! Style Moi has a ton of cute stuff that I've put on my "denim wishlist".  Click my favorites collage below to check out all their styles and maybe add something to your wish list!

My favorite denim dress... so far.

http://www.stylemoi.nu/?acc=545

 

Saturday, June 13

#Giveaway Growing Crazy Crystals With #YoungScientistsClub!

Kids love science! Introducing children as young as 5 to the interesting world of science is as close as the kitchen cabinet--and my kiddos definitely do love it. Everyday items like salt, sugar and baking soda become ingredients for learning through science experiments. The Young Scientists Club, makers of entertaining, informative kits, suggests crystallizing a lifelong love with science with their newest offering, The Magic School Bus Growing Crazy Crystals.

Our Sugar Crystals (a.k.a. rock candy)... one of the many crystals we made with this box!
 
Eating those crazy crystals!

The well-known characters from The Magic School Bus guide youngsters on a journey making and observing crystals, rock candy and more. Ms. Frizzle, their eccentric third grade teacher, spearheads all of the crystal capers in this colorful kit that includes an observation chart, tweezers, brushes, magnifying glass, petri dishes, measuring cup and much more. The simple at-home experiments included with this science kit are spelled out in a delightful instruction booklet which introduce elementary school-aged children to basic concepts in chemistry, physics, geology and mathematics! Plus their home-grown crystals are beautiful. Young scientists will discover that creating crystals are as much art as they are science. As Ms. Frizzle often says, “dynamic deduction.”





ABOUT THE BOX
The Young Scientists Club's subscription kits are mailed monthly to thousands of children around the nation and the company’s retail kits are sold in hundreds of specialty stores. We've tried a ton of their kits and have learned so much and had great fun with each and every one.  You can subscribe your kiddo here!

A trip to the Mineral Museum to compliment our learning!

Giveaway
One of you will win a Crazy Crystals box! Enter below by 9/7 at midnight.  I'll choose a winner the next morning.


You Can Find The Young Scientists Club on

What's your kiddos favorite sciency thing?

Special thanks to the people at The Young Scientists Club for this opportunity!

Wednesday, June 10

I Was Bullied: Mean Girl Makeover, A Teen Fiction Giveaway



I was bullied in school for years.  Until 10th grade, I had glasses, was totally dorky, my hair was frizzy and unmanageable, and was I incredibly shy because of my unconfidence.  My face hadn't grown into my teeth yet and one bullies favorite joke was, "Hey, Celena, can you open this soda bottle for me with your teeth?"  The bullies copied my homework, cheated during tests by making me show them the answers, and made me wish I never had to go to school again.  Something happened in 10th grade--suddenly I developed some fashion sense, discovered how to make my curly hair gorgeous, convinced my parents to let me have contacts, and learned that I could be myself and people would like me.  Two years later, I went to the prom with one of the popular guys who used to pick on me.  Of course, when I saw him belittling one of the "nerds", I gave him a piece of my mind and he never did it again... at least, not in my presence.  Before I knew it, guys were falling at my feet.  Suddenly I had everything I had ever wanted.  Of course, something was missing--and that was Jesus!  I could probably turn my little nerd-turned-pretty-girl into a teenage fiction novel, but for a lot of kids, bullying is no Cinderella story.


According to the Ambassadors 4 Kids Club, one out of every four students is bullied—and 85% of these situations never receive intervention. Parents, students, and teachers have amped up solving the bullying problem for a networked generation of kids. Written by bestselling author Nancy Rue, each book in the Mean Girl Makeover trilogy focuses on a different character’s point of view: the bully, the victim, and the bystander. The books show solid biblical solutions to the bullying problem set in a story for tween girls.

Sorry I’m Not Sorry tells the story of Kylie Steppe, former queen bee of Gold Country Middle School. After bullying a fellow GCMS student, Kylie has been expelled—and she has to attend mandatory counseling. Without her posse to aid her and other peers to torment, Kylie focuses on the person who stole her GVMS popularity crown: Tori Taylor. As Kylie plots revenge on Tori, she attends therapy sessions, where she reveals a few details that might explain why she finds power in preying on her middle school peers. After a rough year with bullying backfire, will Kylie decide to become more empathetic with her peers?


It's hard for tweens to imagine why a bully acts the way she does. Sorry I’m Not Sorry shows girls that they hold the power to stop bullying through mutual understanding and acts of love.  We had the opportunity to review each book in the trilogy and I highly recommend them!  I love that each book is told from a different characters point of view: book 1, So Not Okay, is written through the eyes of the bystander; book 2, You Can't Sit With Us, through the eyes of the one being bullied; and book 3, through the eyes of the bully.  Definitely a must-read series for any girl in a middle-school setting!

Giveaway
Enter below by 6/12 to win"Sorry I'm Not Sorry". 


Special thanks to the wonderful people at Tommy Mommies for providing us with this series to review, and the book to giveaway!