How to Make a Party in a Box


How to Make a Party in a BoxIt’s that time of the school year already…the end!  Summer is approaching (if you live in the south like we do, it’s already here) and it’s time for teacher gifts.  Now, I’m a teacher myself and get a few gifts and I’m not one bit opposed to getting a gift card.  Those are awesome and so appreciated!  With that said, I just can’t stop my creative side from wanting to do more.  I got this crazy idea in my head about a party in a box for Gav’s teachers and I had to run with it.  It’s so simple, can be relatively inexpensive, and it so fun!

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My Favorite Apps for Tots and Preschoolers

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These days you’d be hard pressed to find a kid that didn’t know how to work an iPad or phone.  Technology is just part of their everyday life now.  I’ve tried to make sure, however, that the iPad or my phone is something special rather than an everyday activity.  This keeps Mr. G from having too much screen time and it keeps his attention longer when he gets to play with it.  But I also don’t like to have just any random app on there.  I like for him to be learning, wether or not he realizes it or not!

So I thought, with Christmas coming up and many little ones probably getting a tablet or device of some kind, I thought I’d share some of our favorite apps that are both fun and beneficial for your tot or young kiddo.
Mr. G has been playing with this one for a while now and still loves it!  You pick from a variety of toys that are broken into pieces for your child to put back together.  I like that in addition to being a puzzle like game, it promotes problem solving since the toy has to be put together in a certain order.  This used to frustrate Mr. G but now he understands that if one piece doesn’t click in, that means there’s another one that has to go first.  Plus, once they’ve built the toy, they can play with it.  My personal favorite is the firetruck where you save kitty cats from houses.
This one is from the same app family as Build and Play but is good for the younger ones.  It works the same but the toys are more color coded and easier to put together.  
This is such a great letter app.  Each letter has a few words that it changes, or morphs, into with every tap.  It’s even fun for me!

Book Builder

This app is reminiscent of the “choose your own adventure” books from my childhood.  The story is narrated up to a certain point and then your child can push the buttoner where they want to go next.  The story can be different every time they listen to it!

Endless Reader, Numbers, etc

There is an entire series of apps under the search “endless”.  From numbers to letters, reading to word building.  Almost all of them have free versions and then, or course there are bundles and in-app purchases.  These are so great for learning the basics of math, reading, word and letter recognition, and I could go on and on.  Plus, Mr. G loves the funny sounds the letters and numbers make so it’s fun for him while he’s learning.

Curious World

Mr. G loves Curious George so I knew this would be a hit.  I love how much is in this app!  Puzzle games, number games, books, and educational videos.  It has a little bit of everything and a little fun thrown in too!

What are some of your favorite app for your little ones?
XO, Kelly

*all images from iTunes App Store

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Mommyhood // (Pre) School Days

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Where rounding out our fourth week of preschool for Mr. G and I still can’t believe my baby is in school.  Every time I drop him off I still can’t believe that a.)  I’m leaving my baby somewhere with people who aren’t family and b.) I have roughly 4 hours to myself.  It’s an odd mix of emotions.

Now that I know his teachers a little more, I definitely don’t feel the former so much, but it is just so weird not to have him in the car as I go to Starbucks down the street or get out of my car to do errands without taking 5 minutes or just head home to clean uninterrupted.  It’s refreshing and weird all at the same time.
I love everything about the whole process though, from packing his lunch to his folder of artwork each Thursday, even the phone call from his teacher so we could discuss how to work on Mr. G’s listening skills.  Now I’m not gonna lie, at first, that last thing made me sick to my stomach in anticipation but after the first few minutes I calmed down and had a great conversation with her.
I love dropping him off and so does Mr. G.  He gets to be unstrapped from his seat and go for a crazy ride completely unrestricted.  Seriously, I think it’s like a roller coaster ride for him!  We talk about putting on our listening ears for his teachers and walking feet and how much fun he’s going to have.  When it’s his turn to get out, he’s more than ready to go.  He hops right out, gives me a “Bye Mommy!” and off he goes.  No hesitation, not even on the first day, and so eager.
I love picking him up after (4 hours FLIES by oh so fast) and seeing him walk out with his teacher, giant backpack bouncing on his back.  His teacher opens the car door and I get a big “Hi mommy!”  whether or not he’s had a good day or a “not so great listening” day.  There is always a huge smile on his face because he has fun learning at school and he’s genuinely happy to see me.  I melt every time!
I can’t wait to share more of our preschool adventures, as I’m sure there will be plenty!
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Mommyhood // Am I THAT Mom?

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This morning was the open house for Mr. G’s preschool.  I was so excited last night, I had a hard time falling asleep, could have also been the extra cup of coffee I had at 5:00 before work but that’s beside the point.  I’m just so pumped about this milestone for my little man!  I can’t help it!

When we went on the the tour before we were even registered, I was excited.  When I got the letter for the open house, I was excited.  When I got the letter from his teachers…you see where I going with this right?  In the letter was an introduction to both his teacher and assistant teacher, some tips on packing lunches, carpool and classroom info, and a classroom wish list.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m the daughter of a teacher, maybe it’s because I’m so thrilled about the whole preschool experience, but whatever the reason, I HAD to buy everything on the list.

B2S emergency kit printable found HERE.

On top of that, I HAD to get them a gift.  Nothing huge, just a little something fun.  I’ve been seeing all of these little back to school gift ideas and it was definitely on my to do list.

I planned to bring it all to them at this open house since I knew we would be meeting them and I wasn’t sure how that first day of carpool was going to work.  I wanted to make sure they got all of it.  So I brought it with me and as I looked around, I’m was the only parent with a giant bag of stuff that I could see.  Add on the fact that I totally put my name on the room mom list and I began to think…I’m THAT mom.  The overzealous, gotta do everything mom.  Even while putting it all together, I was thinking that I was going to appear to be a suck up, an overachiever, whatever you want to call it.

But then I got to thinking some more and I thought, “So what?”  I’m excited for my child and this milestone he’s about to experience.  I want his teachers to have all the tools they need.  I know from my mother’s experience that teacher shell out A LOT of their own dough for their classroom, including supplies.  If I can help and take care of my child’s portion, make it a little easier on them, I will.  And as far as the gift goes, I didn’t make it a huge thing.  I just let them know it was in there, that we thought of them too.  I love to make people things. I like to give gifts when I can.

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So if I’m THAT mom, so be it.  I like being her.  It brings me joy to do these things and I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on.  I’ve read all the paperwork in his folder already, it’s not even nap time, and I’m planning different things I can do for each holiday party and what I’m sending in for Mr. G’s birthday!  There aren’t any food allergies in his class so the options are pretty much endless!

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