Category Archives for Recommended Activities

Free Guide – My First Travel Plan

Children learn a wealth of skills by planning the family vacation.

They learn about researching and geography, they apply math and they practice their communication and negotiation skills.

Let them find cool places to visit, activities that they enjoy to do, manage the budget and plan an itinerary that the whole family would love.

Teach Your Kids About Money

Kids are never too young to learn responsibility, and this includes handling money. Teaching our children to handle their funds wisely now can have a great impact on how they will manage their finances when they grow up. There are many ways to do this like using money games for kids, but I prefer something that give them a realistic picture of what's happening in the world, and this virtual family bank called Famzoo is what I've chosen as a tool.

Why Teach Kids About Money

Let us face it, money is an important part of life. We need it if we want to live comfortably and securely. It is also needed for our kids' education, their health and well-being, and their entertainment.

Our children may be young now but, in no time at all, they, too, will be receiving their own paychecks, buying their own food and clothes, paying their own bills, and maybe even sending their own kids to school. How they will manage and cope largely depends on how we train them today.

Using Famzoo to Teach Your Kids About Money

The conventional way to teach kids about money is by giving them a regular allowance and a piggy bank. Some parents even try to have the young ones create a balance sheet to record their income, expenses, goals, and budget. However, this is usually too tedious and boring for some kids who prefer something more engaging. 

Famzoo solves this by allowing the family to have their own virtual bank with an individual account for each family member. You, the parent, are the bank manager and your kids are your clients, and you get to oversee how they use their finances. Depending on the rules you set, you can automate their allowance, pay interest on their savings, offer loans payable on installment, have a payroll for chores (and penalties for not doing their job), and even deduct money from their paycheck (akin to social security contributions) that will go to their savings. In other words, you are still in control even while teaching your kids responsibility.

Meanwhile, your kids can monitor their expenses and savings, budget their money, and split it into different accounts. Again, depending on what rules you set, they can also learn about interests, penalties, and so on.

FamZoo Prepaid Cards for Families

There are two account options that you can choose from:

· The prepaid card account is a MasterCard reloadable card that uses real money to back your child's Famzoo account. This can be used as a debit card -- to pay for purchases from certain merchants. This option for teaching financial literacy for kids uses a "parent funding card" as the source of funds.

· With the IOU account, you use Famzoo for tracking your children's finances but you keep their money elsewhere. For instance, your daughter hands you $50 that she got as a birthday gift -- you put the money in your wallet but you enter the amount in her IOU account, so her balance is $50. When she asks to have $20 from her savings (and you allow her), you hand her the cash and you log it in her account as a withdrawal. Thus, she will see that there's only $30 left in her account.

Famzoo can be used by kids of all ages. Many parents have seen how their children have become more aware and more responsible about their finances after they started using the app. They also like the convenience it offers as well as the options available, and the fees are reasonable given the valuable experience the service offers.

Money management for kids helps them appreciate the value of living within their means even while they are still growing up. It also teaches them to set up financial goals and find ways to achieve them by saving and investing. Moreover, they can learn about banking, wages, loans and interests, among other things, so they won't fall into the financial traps that many adults are struggling to get out of. There is no doubt that they will appreciate this when they grow up.

My Pretend Place: The Handy Dressing Up Box

Technology has deprived a lot of kids of the kind of fun that only physical play gives. Instead of building pretend forts, dressing up as doctors, or imagining themselves as medieval knights, they sit in front of the computer or use the tablet for hours on end. If you want your children, nieces and nephews, or grandchildren to become more active and experience the joy of pretend play, then you can subscribe to My Pretend Place, a company that will ship kiddie costumes right at your doorstep.

Why is Pretend Play Important?

Playing pretend or role playing is beneficial for our kids' development. It not only boosts their imagination and creativity, it also helps in the development of their language skills. Moreover, they learn to solve problems by trying to figure things out on their own (e.g., how to support a makeshift wall, what to use as pretend food, how much their "merchandise" should cost, and so on).

Apart from that, they get to experiment on social roles, learning to "walk a mile someone else's shoes," so to speak. Through pretend play, they develop emotional skills – learning empathy as well as healthy give-and-take relationships. When playing with other kids, they experience cooperation, negotiation, and getting along with others. It teaches them self-regulation and civility.

Moreover, we can observe how our kids view the people and the world around them. For instance, the way they act when they pretend to be Teacher or Dad can give us clues on how they think about their grownups. In other words, make-believe games allow our children to express their thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative.

Benefits of My Pretend Place

My Pretend Place encourages role playing and make-believe activities. They offer themed boxes for kids 3 to 6 years old, each one containing a dress-up costume, an inspirational book, and craft or creativity items. The available themes are astronaut, ballerina, chef, construction, cowboy, doctor, fairy, firefighter, magician, ninja, pilot, pirate, princess, rockstar, safari, superhero, and veterinarian.

Each dressing up box will be sent to your home either every month or every 3 months, depending on the subscription you choose. You have two options when you subscribe. For the first one, you select the gender (boy, girl, or neutral) and the company will send you their favorite themes; for the second, you can select the themes you are interested in and put them in the order you want them delivered.

Along with the pretend play toys, your child receives a letter signed by a fictional character, which is a nice way to start their adventures in their make-believe world. The box also comes with a handle so it can be turned into a suitcase for all the items. This can be helpful in teaching children to pack away and care for their things properly.

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What Parents Say About My Pretend Place

My Pretend Place has received a lot of positive reviews from parents. Chris Acree, a mother of three, says in her review on My Subscription Addiction that even her eldest, a girl of 8, loves their Chef theme box. Tom, a father, also wrote on Hello Subscription about how much his son enjoys their Veterinarian pretend play toys.

In all, many parents say that their kids love not just receiving the packages but also playing with the items. They admire the quality of the products and the convenience of having them in one dressing up box over having to shop for the items individually.

If you want to encourage your kids to play pretend, then subscribing to My Pretend Place can be a good way to do it.

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Kids Books Subscription – Bookroo Box

There are parents who want to encourage their little kids to read but find that it’s not always an easy task. For one thing, there are so many titles to choose from and more are coming out everyday; for another, it takes time to review books to see which ones are suitable for children of a particular age. This becomes all the more difficult if there are no bookstores nearby and the kids have to tag along. Bookroo takes these obstacles away so parents can focus on reading to and with their children.

What is Bookroo?

Bookroo is a company that aims to help parents build their kids’ book collection. Every month, they deliver a Book Box containing either three board books suited for kids 0 to 2 years old or two picture books for kids 2 to 6 years old. Parents can also choose both packages, with the second at a discounted price, or alternate between the two. Subscriptions are for 1, 3, 6, or 12 months.

When the package arrives in the mail, the kids get to open what looks like gift-wrapped presents. Inside are the books that have been pre-selected and chosen because they are age-appropriate and enjoyable.

Give the gift of reading all year round! Get 15% off today at bookroo.com

The review process is done by 12 families with at least one parent taking a graduate degree at Stanford University. The parents and their combined 22 kids (0 to 5 years old) sift through different titles and rank them accordingly. Only the best – the ones most enjoyed by kids and parents alike – make the cut. The process leads to discoveries of great titles that are not widely known.

Why is Bookroo Good for Kids?

Reading is a very important activity for children since it helps build their vocabulary, comprehension, imagination, creativity, and self-confidence, and it is the parents’ job to encourage them to develop a love for books.

With a fresh set of titles each month, delivered by Bookroo right at your doorstep, the process of building your kid’s library becomes easier, more exciting, and more enjoyable. The whole family can look forward to regularly sharing new stories and meeting new characters and revisiting them over and over again.

What Parents Have to Say About Bookroo

Parents who left reviews on Cratejoy have nothing but good things to say about Bookroo. One of the many factors that they appreciate is, it’s a great way to discover new books. They like the fact that the ones they receive are unique – titles that they would otherwise not have found on their own. But the best part seems to be how excited the kids are when they open their “presents” and read right away.

Elementary school librarian Jessica Telesmanich said in one of her posts that her two kids love it when the new books arrive every month. The readers of her reviews agree, although one parent wishes that Bookroo would add books for big kids, too.

Reading is a fun activity that parents and kids can share, and Bookroo’s Book Box makes it even more exciting. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even family friends can also take part by giving it as a gift for the little ones.

Rent Books Online – Booklender.com Review

In this age of computers, tablets, and mobile phones, many parents forget the importance instilling in their kids the love for books. Technology and books do not have to go separately, though; instead, they can be used to complement each other. For instance, you can rent books online at Booklender.com.

What is Booklender.com?

Booklender.com is a website from which you can borrow books for yourself and your kids at a reasonable price. Their catalog, which you can browse on the web, has an extensive list of titles under different categories such as inspirational, biographies, science fiction, self-help, among others. To date, the book selections under Children & Young Adults total to more than 30,000, which include both fiction and non-fiction. Even children who have yet to learn or are still learning to read can enjoy listening to the more than 4,000 audio books available. Audio books can also be played during family time, while in the car, or even while doing chores. In other words, you can rent a book online for the enjoyment of the whole family.

Rent Audiobooks

Why Rent Books for Your Kids?

Books are important because they help not only in developing a child’s vocabulary and language skills but also in enhancing their imagination and critical and analytical thinking. Reading stimulates their mind, increases their knowledge, builds their confidence, and helps in developing independence. Non-fiction books gives them factual information while fiction books open up worlds for them. Moreover, books provide hours of entertainment and helps in relaxation.

However, regularly buying new books for your kids can put a dent in your pocket. It also becomes a problem when you don’t have a lot of space to keep them. The solution is to rent books online, which is less costly than buying, read and enjoy them, then return them so there’s no issue about storage.

What People Say About Booklender.com

Many customers who like book renting online are recommending Booklender.com. They like not only the fact that they can discover new authors but also because the company’s customer service is highly commendable.

Maureen, a parent from Orlando, Florida, particularly likes that the books for kids are categorized by age. If you look at the list, the books are divided into ages 0 to 2, 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 to 12 years old, into fiction and non-fiction, and then by topic. The mom of three opted to borrow six books from the online booklender at a time, which is shipped to their home along with a prepaid envelope for use when she returns what she borrowed.

How It Works

There are different plans available so you can select which one suits your budget and lifestyle best. For instance, if you choose the unlimited plan, you have the option to receive paperback books, audiobooks, or a combination. You can then choose the number of books you want to receive at a time and whether you want to pay monthly, semi-annually or annually. You can also opt to rent titles individually.

Rent Audiobooks

Browse the catalog for the books you want. You can put 10 to 15 titles on queue, and the company will send the next set of books once you send the current set back.

Book renting sites like Booklender.com are a good alternative to libraries and bookstores. With no due dates, free shipping, and the option to cancel anytime, the book renting service is an excellent choice to keep your kids – and the whole family – reading.

15 Children Books That Teach Valuable Life Lessons

"In a good book the best is between the lines."

I love to use stories to pass through important life lessons as they turn boring messages into interesting ones and they are subliminal. Here I have selected my favourite ones that I recommend parents to buy for kids or to read to them.

“The Monster at the End of This Book” by Jon Stone

Lesson: This book teaches young kids to never fear the unknown. As scary as uncertainty is in life, sometimes not knowing what’s in store for in the future can be a very rewarding and exciting experience.

This book is inspired by the famous children’s TV show “Sesame Street.” The story centres around one of its characters, Grover. We love the hilarious storyline and beautiful illustration, on top of it suggesting a very good attitude to deal with uncertainty.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst

Lesson: This book reminds readers that for every one bad day comes a series of better and happier days. No matter how difficult and challenging life may be, there’s always a rainbow at the end of the tunnel.

This book is an all time favourite and kids just love them. We like this book because it tackles real-life situations and feelings that can be experienced and felt by both children and adults. It’s a book that’s worth to keep and that your kids can read whenever they come across a bad day.

“The Way I Act” by Steve Metzger

Lesson: This book teaches readers the importance of knowing how children should act in certain situations. It also serves as a reminder that the ways we act affect those around us. Therefore, it is a must to act as a responsible and compassionate individual.

“The Way I Act” has sold millions of copies worldwide. It reinforces the importance of acting in a certain way. We love all the action examples connected with life traits such as friendly, brave, considerate, curious, etc.

“Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh

Lesson: “Harriet the Spy” is one of the children’s stories that can instantly serve as a reminder for children to embrace whatever it is that makes them different. In a world where everyone seems to be trying so hard to fit in, this book challenges young readers to stick to who they really are.

“Harriet the Spy” has been dubbed as a children’s classic and a “milestone in children’s literature.” It is perfect for kids who have felt like an outcast at least once in their lives.

“Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren

Lesson: Lindgren’s book “Pippi Longstocking” teaches readers the value of believing in their talents, as well as the other things that they can do. As long as you are using your skills correctly, you can help change the world.

“Pippi Longstocking” is one of the most popular children’s stories of all times since its conception in 1945. These quotes from Pippi will surely show you how much she’s believing in herself!

  • “Don’t you worry about me. I’ll always come out on top.”
  • ‘He’s the strongest man in the world.’  "Man, yes,' said Pippi, 'but I am the strongest girl in the world, remember that.'
  • 'I don't think you have a very nice way with ladies,’ said Pippi. And she lifted him in her strong arms — high in the air — and carried him to a birch tree and hung him over a branch. Then she took the next boy and hung him over another branch.

“Oh, The Places You Will Go!” by Dr. Seuss

Lesson: Dr. Seuss’ book teaches children the importance of being in charge of their future. “Oh, The Places You Will Go” posits that every person has the capability to control his or her own destiny.

This book was the last book that was published by Dr. Seuss shortly before his death. What makes this book interesting to read is the fact that it has several positive themes like controlling one’s life, taking responsibility for one’s actions and always keep moving forward no matter what.

“Amelia Bedelia” by Peggy Parish

Lesson: This book teaches readers that not everything in life needs to be taken literally. After all, every person has a different way of communicating his or her thoughts. Therefore, understanding should always be applied to all sorts of interaction with other people.

Amelia Bedelia is the protagonist in Peggy Parish’s series of books. It offers hilarious storylines centered on the main character. It is also very well-written as it combines a mixture of dialogues, action and illustration.

“Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans

Lesson: This book teaches readers to never be fearful of anything. Even though Madeline is the smallest girl among the 11 other girls at the convent school, she didn’t get scared easily. The book also teaches the importance of valuing education and respecting the elderly.

“Madeline” was first published in 1939 and is well-loved by many. It has been included in some school curriculums across the globe. Bemelmans’ illustration in “Madeline” is very detailed which makes it even more attractive to readers.

“Corduroy” by Don Freeman

Lesson: The book “Corduroy” teaches readers the importance of always being assertive. When something doesn’t go as planned, one should always find ways to make things right again. Additionally, this book also serves as a reminder to everyone that friends shouldn’t be selected based on looks, but on personality.

“Corduroy” follows the life of an adorable bear by the same name. A girl named Lisa wanted to buy him, but he wasn’t in tip-top shape. This book is very relatable since most children have at least one stuffed bear that they love dearly.

“The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf

Lesson: The book “The Story of Ferdinand” teaches readers the importance of understanding that being different from the majority isn’t always a bad thing. When faced with specific types of trying situations, staying true to oneself is the key to solving problems and staying genuinely happy.

“The Story of Ferdinand” has been sold at various bookstores for more than 70 years now and for good reason. We like this children’s book because the tone and the story is very spot on. Not to mention, Ferdinand is very lovable character because of his unique attributes and personality.

“The Sweetest Fig” by Chris Van Allsburg

Lesson: This book teaches readers the importance of being kind to people and animals – most especially those who can’t give us anything in return. It also serves as a reminder to always be careful what one wishes for.

“The Sweetest Fig” is a hilarious book that stars Monsieur Bibot. He’s arrogant, annoying and cruel to both human being and animals. We like this book because it is relatable yet unpredictable. The book’s illustrations also stand out because they are unique and colorful.

“Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld

Lesson: “Uglies” serves as a reminder that not everything in this world should be defined by one’s beauty. Since nobody can be regarded as perfect, imperfections should be embraced and celebrated.

This New York Times best seller book wouldn’t be included in the list if it isn’t well-written, relatable and memorable. Just that the first few chapters may seem quite repetitive (the last few pages are where all of the actions and lessons can be found) and it’s more suitable for older kids of 7th grade or above.

“The Baby-Sitters Club” by Ann M. Martin

Lesson: This book teaches readers that anything is possible as long as you set your mind into achieving it. Regardless of age, there really are no limits to a person’s dreams. In fact, the more you think it, the more you can be it.

“The Baby-Sitters Club” is a series of books written by Ann M. Martin. It follows the lives of Kristin Thomas and her friends who formed a baby-sitter’s club where they took care of young children. Each of the books in the series is considered to be exciting because they tackle new issues and are also set in different locations.

“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

Lesson: The book “The Giver” teaches readers the importance of not changing one’s self just to fit in. The book also serves as a reminder to appreciate the world we live in by using all of our senses properly.

This book is a young-adult dystopian novel that was first released in 1993. A year later, the book won the prestigious Newbery Medal. It focuses on the inevitabilities of growing up, as well as the importance of trusting oneself and others, a perfect relatable read to help the growth of young people into adult.

“The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Lesson: “The Secret Garden” teaches readers to never be confined by ones limitations. It also reminds readers that even the meanest of individuals have a soft spot and it’s only a matter of time for it to be unleashed.

Burnett’s book is a popular children’s classic that has been read by millions of people across the world over the course of time. We like this book because it is written in a very straightforward manner. However, Burnett didn’t write the protagonist Mary as a bad person even though she had tons of bad qualities.