Parragon Books Makes Summer Reading Fun

It’s an exciting time in our house these days.  Not only are we having fun being outdoors all day, but we’re enjoying our downtime with reading.  My older son is reading fluently now, in time for First Grade in a few weeks.  He’s at that cool/funny phase where he’s spelling everything—his answers to questions, all the signs he reads and even the things he’s thinking about out loud.  It’s both hilarious and borderline a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g.

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Just in time for this special time of further cultivating my book lovers, we were asked to join a fun program with Parragon Books.  Parragon Books has a cool Book Buddies program where a select group of bloggers read and review their titles. 

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For June, we had a great time checking out Stickersaurus and Discovery Kids 1000 Strange but True Animal Facts.

Stickersaurus is a quirky novelty book that has hundreds of dinosaur stickers and pullout pages. With the stickers and word bubbles, it has a comic book feel.  I especially love the thick pages, which makes the application and re-application of stickers easy and fun.  Stickersaurus not only encourages imagination and creativity, but it reinforces story creation and story sequence.  It’s ideal for ages five and up.

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Discovery Kids 1000 Strange but True Animal Facts is perfect for curious animal lovers.  As a kid, I loved books with lists and fragmented thoughts, so books like these would keep me occupied for hours.  I love how the book is full of education and eye-catching lists. Most of the facts are weird facts that I never knew, but ones the big kid and I enjoyed poring over on a rainy day.

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We loved checking out these great books and can’t wait to read even more fun titles from Parragon!

Oscar Buzz: The Wizard of Oz Tribute + First Look at Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

At the Oscars tonight, The Wizard of Oz will be honored by Judy Garland’s three children: Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft. It’s been 75 years since the classic made its debut, and it’s time for a new generation to be introduced to Dorothy’s picturesque adventure down the yellow brick road. 

Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz trailer

Perfect timing for new movie buzz, as the trailer for Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is set to debut during the Oscars.  The all-star cast to this classic story with the twist includes Lea Michele, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Kelsey Grammar, Patrick Stewart, Bernadette Peters, Martin Short, Oliver Platt, Hugh Dancy and Megan Hilty.

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In addition to planned Oz themed TV shows, films and Oscar tribute, Roger Stanton Baum’s (L. Frank Baum’s great-grandson) books are the inspiration for this new 3D-animated musical Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which is set to release on May 9, 2014.  

The trailer can be viewed here.

 

And with a new movie, that must mean new toys!

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While at Toy Fair, I actually first heard about Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return while touring the Bandai booth.  The pr rep breezed through this part of the tour; however, it was truly one of the most interesting toys they were showcasing.  From the toys, especially the dolls, you can really get a feel for Dorothy’s Return. Dorothy’s crew looks more modern, more vibrant and will, no doubt, be more commercial. As much as I love Wizard of Oz, the thought of this new animated feature is starting to growing on me.

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Christmas books and instilling family traditions

Christmas brings with it a myriad of traditions and nostalgia.  Perhaps my favorite traditions are reading Christmas-themed stories with my brothers and fully divulging into the Christmas spirit through festive stories.

I’ve tried to instill this fabulous tradition with my boys by reading stories with them throughout the season.  I recently received two new books that are worthy of adding to our library and Christmas tradition. The Magic Christmas Key and My Snowman and Me, both from Pine Tree Publishing embody the beauty of the season and all that I hope to share with my kids.

 

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The Magic Christmas Key by Leeann Smith is about Andy’s adventures with a magic key, which his grandfather gave to him for safekeeping.  With this key, Andy learns about Christmas and Santa and the magic of believe firsthand.  In the story, the key finds its way into the wrong hands, but with his bravery and courage, Andy’s adventures lead him to the big guy in red himself.  

This is a beautiful and well-written book that keeps kids engaged in the Christmas spirit.  For younger kids, it’s a special book that can be read over a course of a few days. And for older kids and families, it’s well worth sitting and reading together.  The beautiful metal key that comes in the book set is a fun tactile extension of the book that kept my kids intrigued.  There’s so much beauty and mystery with a beautiful Christmas key, and one worth sharing.

 

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My Snowman and Me by Leeann Smith also comes in a fun gift set, complete with a stuffed and detachable snowman.  This story is an easy read, and totally appropriate for that first snowfall, or if you’re lucky, a white Christmas.  This is such a cute, fun read that teaches kids the magic of building a snowman, and that despite him going away because of warmer weather, the snowman will always be back when it snows.  The end of the book has a great way to engage kids even further and to capture memories for days to come.

Kidz Vuz Holiday House Party Highlights

A couple of weeks ago, Biggie and I had a much-needed mom and J day.  But it wasn’t just a regular day out, it was a day well spent getting our hands on some of the best gear for tweens.

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Though J is a few years away from the official tween stage, we were in great company at the Kidz Vuz Holiday Party.  In case you’re not familiar, Kidz Vuz is a safe online hub where tweens gather to dish and disseminate their thoughts on any and everything, including the latest gadgets and gear.

The Kidz Vuz Holiday Party, held at Gary’s Loft just footsteps away from the hustle and bustle of Herald’s Square, was abuzz with a slew of tween-appropriate goodies.  From tablets to gaming consoles to books to broadway, The Kidz Vuz House Holiday Party had everyone covered.

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Here are some highlights of the wonderful day we had at the House Party of the season:

Samsung

Samsung was front and center showcasing their Galaxy Tab 3 Kids 7.0.  Just as the name suggests, this 7 inch tablet is geared to kids and packs a punch in a colorful little package.  Heavy on the parental controls, this wi-fi enabled tablet allows kids a safer, yet simple interface.  There’s also a standard mode so parents can use the tablet as a fully functioning tablet.

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I didn’t get that much time with this cool device, but I was quite impressed with this kid-friendly tablet.  My only reluctance about this device is the yellow and orange, which, for us, wouldn’t be as appealing in a year.  At just six years old, my older son is already turned off by electronics or “babyish” devices.  We’ll group him into the spoiled Apple generation.

Nintendo
We didn’t spend much time at the Nintendo Lounge, but it was quite the hotbed for the tweens and teens, which meant the target audience was satisfied.  We did, however, have a chance to check out a few of the Nintendo DS games, which were fun.  Unfortunately, we’re not a big DS family since we mostly co-play on our XBox and PS3 and J prefers the iPad to a DS.  Nevertheless, I always enjoy Nintendo’s expansive offerings on their various platforms.

Spinmaster

J spent almost the entire afternoon at Spinmaster’s nook.  He was immediately drawn to the Tenkai Knights building sets.  Along with several other dudes, J built creation after creation until he could build no more.  Untitled
We are longtime Spinmaster fans, so we have been testing out the other toys they had on display.  I loved seeing how my favorites, Kawaii Krush and Zoomer, were well-loved.  Tenkai Knights have firm placement on our Christmas list.

Hasbro

Hasbro, another longtime favorite of ours, had several fun toys for the kids to explore.  The most popular of the Hasbro corner, though, was definitely the Rebelle shooting range. This fun extension of Nerf includes the Heartbreaker, Guardian, Sweet Revenge and Pink Cross.

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À la Katniss from Hunger Games, the Rebelle Heartbreaker underscores the popularity of archery, especially for our fearless females.  Make no mistake though, plenty of boys were giving the gear a spin for themselves.

The Furby Boom, which is looking like a hot item this holiday season, was also a featured product from Hasbro.  This new take on the quirky character is interactive via an app, is responsive and loves to dance.  This latest iteration of Furby is much more vibrant (if that’s even possible) and has more flair than ever.

Downtown Bookworks

This fun children’s publishing company had a selection of superhero books that made quite an impression on us.  With board books featuring DC Superheroes, such as: DC Superheroes, ABC 123 and My First Batman Book, this publisher has numerous titles that would make our littlest superhero fan stand proud.
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But it was The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook that kept my biggest superhero fan completely engaged. I love that this book combines two of our loves: superheroes and cooking.  The Downtown Bookworks table let the kids decorate their own superhero cookies with a stencil.  J made his own Flash cookie, which we devoured on the bus on the way home. By the way? This Wonder Woman apron was EVERYTHING!

Green Mustache Smoothies

One of my favorites of the day was Green Mustache Smoothies.  Created by a mom of a picky kid, these smoothies are made with a full serving of greens and fruits.  It’s non-GMO, organic and tastes amazing.  My younger guy is showing picky tendencies or textural issues, but he absolutely LOVED these smoothies.
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We normally buy another brand of smoothies, but after tasting these, we are sold.  In fact, I’m headed out today to pick up a few flavors at our closest store, which is 20 miles away.  I will be dropping off an info sheet at my local organic store, in hopes they pick this product up.

Chloe’s Fruit

Chloe’s Fruit was another delicious treat, this time featuring frozen fruit.  With quite a few flavors to choose from, I can see myself choosing this delicious treat over Tasti d-lite anyway.

The Lamp NYC

The Lamp NYC is an organization described by NYCcharities.org as an organization that educates and equips people to shape the media landscape through hands-on training.  The Lamp NYC teaches young, impressionable minds about news, reporting, commercials, digital media and more.  The purpose of this charity is to immerse kids head-on with the different types of media that shapes our ever-evolving informational landscape.  I love the purpose and meaning of this charity, and it’s one that I hope to get my kids involved in, when the time is right.

Kids’ Night on Broadway

Kids’ Night on Broadway takes place on Feb. 24- March 2.  For this program, kids 6-18 see a Broadway show for free with a full-paying adult.  Tickets go on sale on January 8th for this fabulous experience that gives kids a taste of culture as well as a peek behind the scenes during a fan festival.  This is definitely something I’m hoping we can take part in, so I’ll be penciling in the dates now!

Stonefire Flatbreads

Lunch was catered in part by Stonefire Flatbreads.  J and I ate some delicious sandwiches made with these amazing breads.  These are the fluffiest flatbreads and pitas I’d ever tasted.  Seriously, so fluffy and filling!  A big thanks to Stonefire for introducing me to a new family staple.

Homewood Suites

One of our absolute favorite places to stay when we’re on the road is most definitely Homewood Suites.  In fact, during Hurricane Sandy last year, we had a family member who was staying at a local Homewood Suites and we had the opportunity to stay there for a week.  We had the chance to experience the great complimentary weekday meals, fabulous indoor pool and impeccable service.  Whether traveling for business or with family on vacation, we personally seek out the comfort and convenience of establishments such as Homewood Suites.

Dermalogica

I had the opportunity to get my face mapped while at the Kidz Vuz House Party.  The well-versed aesthetician told me things about my skin that I had no idea about, such as I could still have acne prone skin and it still be dehydrated.  I also learned a bit about the Dermalogica’s teen line, which is more concentrated for problem skin that is often brought about during those hormonal teenage years.

Justin Case

Kidz Vuz had a lovely raffle going towards Lamp, which I was more than happy to make a contribution.  As luck would have it, I won a fabulous Justin Case Rechargeable Power Case from Innovative Technologies, which is a back up battery and iPad case all in one.  I read all about it on NYTimes.com, so I’m quite excited about this win!

A big thank you and congrats to my friends Rebecca and Nancy of Kidz Vuz.  I attend a lot of events throughout the year, and this was, by far, one of the most well-organized and informative events where my kid and I both came away with a lot of great information and fun goodies to boot.

Full disclosure:  I was not compensated, although I did receive a generous swag bag from the event.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Best Kid-Centric Twitter Profiles

Happy seven years to Twitter!  As a writer who has transitioned mainly from print to digital, I’ve found Twitter to be an invaluable resource. But more importantly, as a digital mom, Twitter is always there at 2am when my IRL network of family and friends are asleep and I have a bizarre question about one of my kids or some random thought that’s keeping me up at night.

Seriously, social media is my bff when it comes to researching ideas or stirring up inspiration. And in between the actual writing of articles, I appreciate tweeting with friends and kid-centric brands and organizations.

Always researching the latest in kid trends and relevant parenting topics, my Twitter Favorites list is a hotbed of profiles that (I think) are worth following.

1. @PBSKids

While yes, I may be a PBS Kids VIP, but I’ve been following every PBS Twitter profiles long before joining this fun ambassador program.  Specifically, @PBSKids does a great job with sharing great ideas for the kids, as well as relevant show and digital media information.  I’m big on continuing educational conversation at home, so even if it’s a 20 minute after school activity, I appreciate PBSKid’s helpful links, which often highlights their curriculum-based media with characters that my 5-year old knows and loves.

My most recent @PBSKids favorite links to some writing milestones for kindergartners from @pbsparents

I’m such a fan of Sara DeWitt, VP of PBS Kids’ Interactive.  I favorited her tweet that shared the link to her Podcast of her session at SXSW.

2. CBC Book

The Childrens Book Council dishes out the latest and greatest in children’s and young adult lit news. One of my most recent favorites from them was this one:

3. Kidscreen

Kidscreen tweets timely headlines about children’s entertainment industry.  And because they cover the global market, they share breaking news about toys, online media, tv shows and much more.

4. @Inhabitots

Inhabitots tweets interesting news that may be relevant for the eco-concious family.

5. @Playworks

I’m all about playtime and encouraging play and recess, which is why I appreciate following Playworks.  They not only share helpful stats and articles relating to play, but they also engage with like-minded advocates.

6. @HasbroNews

We’re all about toys and theHub as of late, so I love checking out @HasbroNews to keep abreast of all of their properties.

Overall, I’d love to see more organic conversation on Twitter, including these brands, I do like seeing them in my Twitter stream.  Everyone I know uses Twitter differently, but I really wish people didn’t use it as a surveillance channel or as an promotion machine.  I get it, people enjoy “watching” others online, but Twitter was actually created to stay in touch with friends.  As in, conversation.  Conversation, to me, is key when it comes to Twitter.  Sharing information and interacting with others first-hand is perhaps the coolest aspect of this social media channel.  I appreciate brands and organization who “get it” and follow through with dialogues that were created by “regular” followers and fans.  Better yet, I appreciate fellow Twitter users who still engage with one another!

And if you’re one of those who just funnel links to your work on Twitter, well, I’m just not a fan…and I know many others aren’t a fan either.

So, who are your must follow Twitter profiles?

Classroom Fun: Oh, The Places You’ll Go and Oceanhouse Media Dr. Seuss Apps

As Read Across America week winds down, I thought I’d share about my fun afternoon with J’s class today.

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Dr. Seuss reminded us that Life’s a Great Balancing Act (Just never forget to be dexterous and deft).  Which is why I chose to read Oh, The Places You Go! in class today.  In my trajectory as a writer and parent, I want to believe that it was his suggestions and wise words that have pointed me in this direction. (More on this later…)

Even though Oh, The Places You’ll Go! can be verbose for young five year olds, the class very much understood Dr. Seuss’ ideas and emphasis on imagination.
After reading to the class, we continued the conversation about Dr. Seuss with What’s in the Cat’s Hat, a hands-on game game from my friends at Wonder Forge.

This game is a classic guessing game, where the kids can utilize their senses by guessing what’s hidden IN the Cat’s hat.  Each kid took a turn poking and shaking the hat, even reading off prompted questions from the cards.  We heard silly guesses, but once the kids started getting their guesses right based on clues, the momentum of their deductive reasoning started to roll. I can’t say enough good things about Wonder Forge; this fantastic company has won numerous awards for their games and it’s no wonder why. Beyond What’s in the Cat’s Hat, Wonder Forge has various Dr. Seuss puzzles and games, including an app-centric game called Fun Machine.

Dr. Seuss apps from Oceanhouse Media

And speaking of apps, Dr. Seuss has an app—quite a few, actually.  Oceanhouse Media has done a great job with bringing Dr. Seuss titles to iPhones, iPods and iPads.  While I love my technology as much as the next geek, there’s nothing quite like a real book.  Nevertheless, you can’t beat having access to a myriad of Dr. Seuss titles while on the go.  Green Eggs and Ham while in the dentist waiting room? Why not.  Fox in Socks while on a 2-hour road trip? Don’t mind if we do.  The best part of these apps is that they’re interactive where you can record your voice while reading and even share those recordings.  Oceanhouse Media has a number of Dr. Seuss classics in the $3-5 range, as well as a few free apps.

Dr. Seuss Camera

Another app that gets rave reviews from my favorite five year olds: The Dr. Seuss Camera, also from Oceanhouse Media. This app simply utilizes the iphone, ipod touch or ipad camera and frames the subject with several different Dr. Seuss characters and imagery.  Point, shoot, edit and create, this app is endless Dr. Seuss fun and is free.  This app is a great way to continue the Dr. Suess conversation and branch it out to digital media.  In fact, we took pictures of J’s entire class and the kids had a blast picking and choosing which characters they wanted to be.  Sally, by the way, was the class favorite—for boys, too!  Go, Sally!

I loved talking to the kids about my job today.  Since most of the kids aren’t reading quite yet, I didn’t bother telling them about NKT, other than the topics that I focus on.  It was cute getting questions from parents asking me if I work FOR PBS.  No, but I am a proud VIP.

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Navy and Mustard: on-the-go Baby Essentials

On the way to school this morning, my older son looked up at the sunshine and determined that Spring is almost here. It’s true; with just a few weeks of winter to go, Spring is, indeed, right around the corner.

And so, since many of my fashion and beauty writer friends (Vera of Lady and the Blog and Jill of Glamamom come to mind) have been sharing the vibrant trends to come, I was inspired to share just some of the many cool baby finds that have been hibernating in my inbox and bookmarks.

I’ve done styleboards and Polyvore boards before, but I’m finding that this is a great way to encourage fresh content while merging social media and fun graphics. I have to note that this particular board was inspired by the Stokke Xpory Winter Kit (which is still very much a necessity for most areas) and that super chic chevron Patemm Pad (which is exclusive to Pottery Barn this Spring.)

So, by the numbers, here are just a few on-the-go baby essentials inspired by these brisk days leading up to a sunny Spring!

1. Clek Foonf

You know how Natalie Portman says in The Garden State that the Shins song will change your life? Well, that’s what I’m getting from the Clek Foonf. Except it’s a car seat. Yeah. So, from what I’ve read and seen, the Foonf is a game changer in the car seat realm. As it should, car seat safety is constantly evolving, and from the reviews I’m seeing, the Foonf is being described as revolutionary. And when it comes to kid safety, who doesn’t want the best?
The seat pictured is called Dragonfly, and it’s one of the many color options of the Foonf. I felt this one had a modern, minimalist feel with its white base and mossy colored seating. Expect to pay top dollar for this sleek car seat that boasts the highest safety standards and features REACT Technology.

2. Thermos Tripoli Foogo Vacuum Insulated Soft Spout Sippy Cup

Sippy cups from Thermos are typically as sleek in function as they are in aesthetic. Foogo was always one of my favorites with my older son, so I’m glad this mainstay in the stainless steel sector has designs beyond licensed characters. Besides the sustainability, I always found that Thermos sippys are just as durable.

3. Skip Hop Treetop Friends Wise Owl Stroller Toy

I’ve been a longtime fan of Skip Hop because of their modern yet playful designs. I know the owl craze has been fading, but I love the colors and textures of this simple stroller toy.

4. Aden+Anais Brilliant Blue Swaddle

Parents know, especially in the infancy stage, a great blanket and/or burp cloth are diaper bag staples. Based on conversations I’ve had on Twitter and simply by walking around the city, Aden+Anais Swaddles have reached a cult-like status among parents because of the versatility of these muslin swaddles. Before Beyonce introduced Blue Ivy to the world with an A+A swaddle in the backdrop, many of us were using these lightweight blankets to wipe up barf, use as a nursing cover, stroller shade and, yes, even as a swaddle. Just as glamorous as Bey, right?

5. Stokke Xplory and Winter Kit

As a devoted Stokke fan, naturally, I adore just about anything this Norwegian company conjures up. Truly. We invested in the Sleepi crib for our oldest and haven’t looked back since. The Xplory, however, sets the bar higher for strollers—quite literally. It boasts a higher seat, giving baby a better view of their new world and more opportunity to interact with their caregivers. The Xplory is noted for its comfort and maneuverability, which is particularly important for families who consider their strollers their main mode of transportation.
For those of us who are still wearing heavy coats and snowboots, the Stokke Winter Kit is, perhaps, an essential for your stroller arsenal. From the sheepskin edged rim to the warm muffs, the Winter Kit is both functional and stylish for baby and parent.

6. Itzy Ritzy Snack Bag in Social Circle Blue

Reusable snack bags are just a few of my favorite items that make sense for families on the go. Whether they’re Annie’s Bunnies or baby puffs, reusable snack bags like these from Itzy Ritzy help diminish waste and add a little flair to the diaper bag.

7. Navy Chevron Patemm Changing Pad Pottery Barn Kids

If there was ever a diaper-changing essential, the Patemm Pad is it. A round changing pad that actually accommodates your growing child AND all of the accoutrements? Say no more. Patemm Pads not only have stylish prints, but they’re also mom-invented. This chevron print is exclusive to Pottery Barn Kids this Spring, so be sure to grab one while you can.

8. timi & leslie diaper bag Sophia – Lemon Yellow & Shadow White

Beyond the color scheme on this board, style and function are the other overlapping themes. Timi & Leslie diaper bags are synonymous with style while remaining functional. Like many other moms on the go, I don’t have time to switch from diaper bag to work or evening bag. Seriously. One of the greatest compliments is when a non-mom friend compliments my diaper bags, thinking they’re “regular” bags.
The Sophia bag in Lemon Yellow and White, which is part of the Convertible Collection, is a roomy bag with a variety of pockets, yet maintains a sleek satchel silhouette on the exterior. I like that this bag looks like leather, but is a vegan-friendly material. And going back to functional, I’m absolutely loving the clutch that’s included. It’s all about the details!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Through his quirky rhymes and colorful characters, for generations, Theodor Geisel–best known as Dr. Seuss–has urged us to climb mountains, hop on pop and speak for the trees. And today, the world celebrates what would have been the beloved author and illustrator’s 108th birthday.

Cat in the Hat Birthday

Kids of all ages have been celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday this week with enthusiastic celebrations, including nationwide reading campaigns. Although Seuss may have lent his creativity to other fields before flourishing with children’s books, his legacy continues to live on—so much so, not only have his books been reprinted over and over, but his characters have come to life on the big screen, stories have been turned into board games and his rhymes are the subject of an amusement park!

Above all the hoopla that Dr. Seuss’ stories have generated over the years, his messages still ring true all these years later. And if we were to remember anything he said, perhaps the most important message Dr. Seuss shared was this:

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

For a few minutes or hours today, be sure to pick up a few books and read to the kids!

Just a few of our personal favorite Dr. Seuss titles are: Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hears a Who and Cat in the Hat.  You can’t go wrong with classics like these!

Cat-in-the-Hat-a-thon

I talk a big game about reading to the kids and making sure you disconnect as much as possible, but the truth is, I’m a big advocate not only for reading and writing, but for learning all together.  I love that our kids have the option of supplementing their lessons with intuitive games online, interactive apps, as well as educational programming.  And since we’re talking about Dr. Seuss, the Cat in the Hat which airs on PBS Kids, is no exception.

I love how the show has an emphasis on science and exploring creativity.  Sally and Nick, no doubt, are fun role models for curiosity and exploration; and that Cat, well, he’s knows a lot about that!  And today, in honor of Dr. Seuss birthday PBS is celebrating wit a Cat in the Hat a thon on PBS Kids.  So, after you read your favorite books, be sure to check it out!

I’m so honored to be chosen as one of this year’s PBS Kids VIPs.  This group is a collection of parent bloggers and social media enthusiasts like me who are just as passionate about learning and quality children’s programming.  So, stay tuned for all the PBS Kids-related goodies.

Giveaway

I’ve got two fun Cat in the Hat prize packs from PBS Kids up for grabs!  It contains a Cat in the Hat Book based on the series, a dvd of episodes from the show and a $25 credit to the PBS Kid’s stores!  Just comment below or send me an email to tell me about YOU and YOUR kids’ favorite Dr. Seuss book.  Extra credit: share on the NKT page about how your kids celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

P.S.

For those that have been wondering where I’ve been…I had a baby last month! I’ll spare you the “I was so sick song and dance,” but poor baby was/is a little sick. (Knock on wood) It’s nothing major for now, but it’s been enough to keep this momma down and out. I’m slowly but surely getting back into the groove of things. So, please bear with me as I swat out the cobwebs and get things up and running again.  It’s awesome to see you here! Thanks for hanging out.

So here’s baby boy #2′s debut on NKT: internets, meet Joshua Ellis! At just a month old, not surprisingly, he’s a fan of Dr. Seuss and books in general :)

Joshy Dr. Seuss

Royal Wedding Fever

Despite the excessive media coverage of Will and Kate’s nuptials, it was hard not to ignore the elaborate details that came together for the whole world to see.  I originally had this post scheduled to post yesterday—before the wedding.  Obviously, that never happened.  And since the wedding happened today, I thought I’d share a few kid-related items that gave a nod to Prince William and the now Princess Kate’s Royal Wedding.

Kate Middleton Paper Dolls

As a little girl, I can barely remember Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ Royal Wedding, but what I do remember was THAT dress.  And perhaps, just like many of us thought of Will’s beloved mother in her gown 30 years ago, I’m willing to bet a generation of little kids will forever remember just how beautiful Princess Kate’s dress was today.

Princess Kate’s dress was a secret leading up to the moment she stepped out onto that Royal red carpet.  The Wedding watchers of the world let out a collective gasp when she revealed that lace and satin gown designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. I thought she looked demure and elegant, with the classic lines and modern details.  As one of the many people gawking at Kate’s dress, to get kids on the dress action, I particularly love Disney Family Fun’s paper dolls that you can print out online.  It’s basically the Disney princesses’ dresses with a brunette Princess that looks somewhat like Kate. Grab the glitter pen, crayon and help the kids create their versions of Princess Kate’s wedding dress.  If only there was a Wills Paper Doll to go along with Kate!



Lego Royal Wedding

Speaking of Wills…have I ever mentioned how much I love when people create Lego Art?  Or my love of Lego Mini Figures?  Check out the creativity of this Lego Royal Wedding featured over on BBC.  My favorite is I Thee Wed, although the real church scenes were much more romantic!  Be sure to check out the rest of the scenes!

Playmobil Special Correspondent

Playmobil has been cracking me up over on their FB page. They’ve had “Sarah” as a special correspondent covering the Royal Wedding all week.  Hilarious!

Quick Review: Vordak the Incomprehensible

One new book that I’m currently loving is Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World.  Geared to tween-aged boys, Vordak hilariously highlights the most important How-Tos on becoming a supreme Supervillain.

In this 197-page tongue-and-cheek manual, Vordak speaks to his minions on important topics like perfecting the supervillain laugh (MUHAHAHA!), choosing the lair that’s right for you and how to spot your arch-nemesis.  Vordak is a funny read with brilliant graphics that channel the same sort of hijinx that one would find in a Phineas and Ferb episode.