Tot School Tuesday: Top 10 Back to School Books

Hello there and welcome to another Tot School Tuesday where I share kid-friendly crafts, activities, and educational ideas.

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If you’ve been around MFTM for a while, you know that I used to be an elementary school teacher (specializing in early childhood development) and you know that I LOVE children’s literature. Today I thought I would share my favorite top 10 back to school books. These books are great as read alouds for the little ones and great for the older kiddos to read themselves. These books can be found at your local library or you can book hoard like me and “buy all the books” on Amazon.

Top 10 Back to School Books

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneburg

A cute story about a girl named Sarah Jane who is nervous about the first day of school. The ending makes you laugh out loud and want to read it again.

Fancy Nancy: Jo-Jo’s First Day Jitters by Jane O’Connor

We LOVE Fancy Nancy in this house. With the fancy vocabulary and fun illustrations you’re sure to love this book.

I Am Too Absolutely Small For School (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child

Lola isn’t so sure about starting school but luckily her big brother Charlie is there to convince her that school is fun.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Such a cute story about a little raccoon seeking reassurance from his mother before his first day of venturing out in the world.

David Goes to School by David Shannon

David’s antics are sure to keep his teacher busy and the kids laughing.

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

We love Laura Numeroff books and this one is a must read for back to school season. Join the silly mouse as each item he needs for school leads to another that is just as important.

My Teacher Sleeps in School by Leatie Weiss

A cute story about the silly things students assume about their teachers.

Little Critter: First Day of School by Mercer Mayer

Little Critter has a lot to do to get ready for the first day of school and he is a bit nervous.

Franklin Goes to School by Paulette Bourgeois

Franklin is ready for his first day of school…until it’s time to get on the bus.

Countdown to the First Day of School by AnnMarie Harris

A cute book that counts down to the first day of school and talks about all the things you need to do to get ready for the first day.

There you have it… our 10 favorite back to school books. There are TONS of great children’s literature out there…I encourage you to snoop around your public library (I love searching for books online too). If you click on the titles of the books above, it will take you to directly to Amazon so that you can price check and read more about what the books are about.

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you find this post helpful while you are looking for new books to read with your kids. Be sure to link up your kid-friendly ideas, crafts and activities below and visit See Vanessa Craft for more Tot School ideas!



Tot School Tuesday: Suess-tastic Patterning

Hello friends and welcome to another Tot School Tuesday with See Vanessa Craft and Mine for the Making!
Since Dr. Seuss’ birthday was this past Saturday, my preschooler and I have been reading a LOT of his books. One of our newer favorites is The 500 Hats of  Bartholomew Cubbins. We don’t own this one, so it was fun to check out a Dr. Seuss book my daughter hadn’t read yet. 
I decided to use the theme of the hats in the story to make a learning activity for my preschooler focusing on patterning.
Supplies:
color card stock
glue stick
Silhouette or other craft cutter
~or~
a hat template to trace and cut by hand
Objective: 
The preschooler will complete 2-3 color patters and create their own patterns.
Instructions:
After I made the hats and we read the story together, I set up a couple of patterns for my preschooler to complete. For example, I laid out the hats: pink, blue, pink, blue and asked her to complete the pattern by handing her the rest of the paper hats. I started with only 2 colors and then built up to 3 when she was ready. 
After several times of her completing my patterns, I asked her to create her own. 
This was a great hand-on learning exercise to practice patterning (math concept) and it didn’t cost me anything (used materials I had on hand) or take up too much time to prepare. Plus, my preschooler loved it!
If you missed my other Dr. Seuss inspired projects, you can check them out here…
Now it’s time to head on over to See Vanessa Craft for more Tot School ideas and to link up your own Tot School ideas! We can’t wait to see what you and the kiddo(s) have been up to.

Seuss-tastic Chalkboard Prints

It’s the weekend…my favorite part of the week!

I plan on getting a TON done this weekend…how about you?

Today is a pretty special day… it’s my favorite children’s author’s birthday!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!

In celebration of this special day, I have 4 fabulous freebies for you…

Aren’t they fun?

I used some of my most favorite Dr. Seuss quotes and turned them into fun prints! Ours are hanging in the play/homeschool room.

Thanks to my bloggy buddy, Michele of The Scrap Shoppe for the colorful chalkboard backgrounds!

As soon as I saw them, they reminded me of colorful Dr. Seuss books.

 {Download HERE}

 {Download HERE}

 {Download HERE}

{Download HERE}

These prints are free to download for personal use only. They are formatted as 8x10s but can be scaled down (I scaled mine down to 4x6s to fit into frames I had on hand).

And remember, if you LOVE it, PIN it!

Thanks for stopping by today, friends!

Enjoy your weekend : )

Also, the WINNER for the Thirty-One GIVEAWAY has been announced!
Check to see if you are the winner –> HERE.

Food-a-licious Friday {106} Truffula Tree Treats

It’s FRIDAY!!!
Woooohoooo! And it’s March already. Can you believe it? My baby turns five this month. And it’s so bittersweet. I love planning her birthday parties and watching her grow, but it all goes way too fast.
 If you follow me on Instagram, you have been getting sneak peeks of the party prep that’s been going down at my house. A little behind the scenes action, if you will. 
Anyway…
Since tomorrow is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, it’s only fitting our “recipe” has a little to do with him. 
I’m sure you are all fans of The Lorax, right? Well, today’s treat “speaks for the trees.”
Truffula Trees, that is. 
These little guys are so easy to make and only take a few minutes. My preschooler and I made them together after we read the book (again). 
Supplies/Ingredients:
Large marshmallows
White chocolate melts
Colorful sprinkles
Striped paper straws
How-To:
Melt chocolate melts according to the directions on the package.
Push marshmallows onto the ends of the paper straws.
Dip the ends of the marshmallows into the melted chocolate and then into sprinkles (I pour my sprinkles into small bowls to help with dipping).
Place Truffula Tree Treats into a jar or cup to keep them upright and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden a bit. 
*Kid made. Kid tested. Kid approved.*
We speak for the trees AND the snacks.
Have a great Friday, friends!
I’ll see you tomorrow for a few FUN freebies in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday!
And don’t forget to enter the Thirty-One GIVEAWAY that ends tonight!

Tot School Tuesdays: Turtle Stacking

Hello there and welcome to another Tot School Tuesday!
Every week See Vanessa Craft and Mine for the Making team up to bring you ideas you can do at home with your tot or preschooler.
Did you know March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’ birthday?!
One of my most favorite children’s authors is Dr. Seuss and as a child, Green Eggs and Ham was my favorite book.  When I was an elementary school teacher, 1-2 weeks in March were themed around Dr. Seuss. We own all but a few of his books and read them often. 
Another favorite Dr. Seuss book of mine is Yertle the Turtle. Have you read it? 
I won’t get the entire story away, but it’s about a turtle king how is a little too greedy. He orders the turtles to  stack themselves so that he can sit on top of them and rule over more. You’ll have to read the story to see what happens *winks*
I created a “game” for my preschooler to play after we read the story. I made 5 turtles, all different sizes, and mixed them up. I handed her the pile and asked her to stack the turtles biggest to smallest and smallest to biggest (aka: math concept- ordering). She loved this and continued to mix them up and stack them several times.
Aren’t the turtles cute?
I used blue and white card stock I had on hand and allowed my Silhouette to do the rest. Nice and easy and only cost me $0.99 for the image.
I’ll be sharing more Dr. Seuss fun throughout this week and next so be sure to stop back by!
Head on over to See Vanessa Craft for more Tot School ideas.
Feel free to share your Tot School ideas with us!
We can’t wait to see what you’ve been doing with your kiddos…

What to Expect + a GIVEAWAY!!

As most of you know, I am a creative mommy blogger. 
And if you didn’t know that…well now you do : ) 
Most times I share crafty DIY ideas and recipes, but I also like to share mommy adventures and moments too.

I became a mommy almost five years ago at the age of 23. As a first time mommy, I had SO many questions flooding my mind…
What kind of foods should I be eating?
What kinds of physical activities are okay?
How often should I see my OBGYN?
When do I get my first ultrasound?
And the list goes on…and on and on. Luckily, a couple of my sweet friends got me what came to be my favorite book… What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Talk about an answer to my prayers (and my doctor’s too, I’m sure, with all of the phone calls I made in my first couple of weeks of pregnancy). I kept the book with me…everywhere I went! Next to my bedside table, on my classroom desk, in the passenger seat of my car…I’m telling you, I LOVED this book (still do!).

What to Expect When You’re Expecting became my go-to book for questions, note-taking, and even helped me prepare for my next doctor’s visit. Lots of highlighting and folded down corners to show how loved this book was. You an only imagine how excited I was to open What to Expect the First Year at my baby shower! I only wish I would have known about the book What to Expect Before You’re Expecting earlier on… I’m actually re-reading it now, since my husband and I are trying to conceive again. 
These pregnancy guide books are packed FULL of helpful information. Not only is it easy to read and understand, but navigating through the books are a breeze. I can easily flip to the index to find exactly what I need info on. I HIGHLY recommend these books to all mommies and future mommies. Can you guess the first gift I purchased for my sister when we found out she was pregnant? You got it! What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a loved book in this family. 
I have exciting news for you today, friends!
What to Expect is giving away the 3 book set to one lucky MFTM reader!
That’s right, if you win you get all 3 books…
What to Expect Before You’re Expecting, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and What to Expect the First Year.
This book set would make a great edition to your own library or would make the PERFECT gift for the next baby shower you attend (or heck, give it as a Christmas gift!)
Here’s how to enter…
Giveaway ends on Dec. 18th at midnight and the winner will be announced right here on the 19th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Handmade Holidays: Life of Pi Gift Basket

I’m so excited to share today’s gift idea with you! Although it’s not completely handmade, I did pick out and coordinate a gift basket with fabulous products from World Market. We’ll call it semi-handmade. This basket is perfect for the avid reader, movie watcher, and dreamer of world travel!

I LOVE a good book-turn-to-movie, don’t you?! Right now World Market has exclusive Life of Pi products! Have you read the book or seen the movie yet?

Life of Pi is the story of an Indian boy named Pi, a zookeeper’s son, who survives a
disaster at sea and is thrown into an epic journey. While adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another a
fearsome Bengal tiger. The movie opens in theaters November 21, 2012. 
You can watch the trailer for Life of Pi here: http://www.lifeofpimovie.com/#!/watch-trailer
I took my girl with me to World Market and we had a good time putting our Life of Pi gift basket together.
It was easy for me to put together the gift basket just by using the fabulous products from the World Market Life of Pi display. I found a beautiful basket…
And filled it with various Life of Pi products such as the book, ornament, and tea. I added a few other goodies to make this gift basket even more fabulous.

Wouldn’t this be the perfect gift basket for an at-home date night? Dinner, tea, snacks, and a new book to cuddle up with…in preparation for the movie of course. 
(I have to read the book before I see the movie…how about you?)
Here’s the whole basket put together…
Who would you make a Life of Pi gift basket for? 
Now let me tell you about the AWESOME Life of Pi Sweepstakes


The Life of Pi Sweepstakes

  • Grand Prize package includes: a dream trip for 2 to India and a $1,000 World Market Gift card. There will also be 3 runner up prize winners that will each receive a $500 World Market gift card!
  • The Life of Pi Sweepstakes runs from 11/17 – 12/28.
  • If you share the sweepstakes with 5 of your friends (via FB share or email) you can receive 5 additional bonus entries. This is part of the registration process when entering. Users can also enter daily for more chances to win.

Visit World Market 

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™, but all my opinions are my own. http://cmp.ly/3/KqtZiE.

***

Head on over to Delicate Construction to see what she’s sharing for Happy Handmade Holidays today!
And don’t forget to enter the handmade GIVEAWAY!

Fancy Paperclip Bookmarks

Hey friends!

Did you have a good weekend? My dad fixed the air conditioner in my car so we had a GREAT weekend. NEVER take your vehicle’s ac for granted. Never EVER. It’s pretty much in my top 5 things to be most thankful for. What did you guys do over the weekend?

I also organized a bit over the weekend. I added to my August calendars (yes…that was supposed to be plural), worked on meal planning, made a list of the projects I am going to knock out this week, and planned out our first unit for homeschool (that we are starting today…wish us luck!).

I do love to be organized…but there are few things I do to make planning and organizing more fun (nerd alert!). If I think it’s fun, I’m more apt to stick with it. Here are some of the things I do that maybe you already do or maybe you’ll want to try to make organizing more fun for YOU

-Get a pretty planner to keep with you at all times 

(I recommend Much Ado About You planners. Honestly my favorite planner EVER).

-Use colorful pens 

(I like the thin Sharpies)

-Washi tape important events 

(I got my washi from Target but you can order it online and get it at most craft stores)

-Bookmark pages in your planner so you can flip to them easily

(I like to make pretty bookmarks)

Speaking of pretty bookmarks, did you see the adorable Button Bookmarks that Jamielyn from I Heart Nap Time made? Jamielyn’s bookmarks actually inspired the bookmarks I am going to share with you today…

Supplies:

-paper clips

-paper flowers

-rhinestones

-baker’s twine

-washi tape

-felt

-scissors

-glue gun and glue sticks

I used supplies I already had. I highly suggest looking through your craft and scrapbooking stash to see if you can find anything to dress up those paper clips.

The steps are pretty simple…

For the baker’s twine bow bookmarks, I simply tied a bow (knotting it first) and trimmed the ends.

For the washi tape bookmarks, I trimmed down the tape and wrapped it around the top of the paperclip. Then I just trimmed up the end with my scissors.

And for the paper flower bookmarks, I layered the paper flowers and glued with hot glue. I glued a small piece of felt on the back to hold the flower in place.

So cute, right?

Now my bookmarks feel so fancy…especially in my adorable Much Ado About You planner.

Thanks for stopping by today!
I hope you have fun organizing this week.

Wait!
Have you entered the current GIVEAWAY going on right now?
Head on over for your chance to win a surprise package from my shop valued at $25!!

Campus Book Rentals

 
I just recently heard about Campus Book Rentals, an online rental store for college textbooks.
How great to be able to rent your textbooks and then send them back when you’re done with your class! I can say from personal experience that I still have a ton of college textbooks sitting on a shelf in my garage collecting dust. What a great resource this would have been for me 10 years ago!
 
Some perks from using Campus Book Rentals:
 
-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods
 
Campus Book Rentals also donates to Operation Smile with each textbook that is rented!
 

The Hunger Games {printable 2}

You didn’t think I was only going to create one printable in honor of The Hunger Games movie, did you?
Well friends, it’s Friday and I am betting if you didn’t see the movie last night then you are planning on seeing it sometime today. 
Me? 
I’m waiting out the crowds until next week. In the meantime, I created this printable (in 2 color choices) to keep my Hunger Games mojo going : )
{download HERE}

{download HERE}
This is one of my very favorite quotes from The Hunger Games, so I just had to create a printable using it. Do you remember who said this?

Source: google.com via Kara on Pinterest

That’s right.
My girl, Katniss.
Talk about girl power : )
We’ve been full of The Hunger Games this week!
In case you missed anything, check out…

Like it? 
Please Note:
-Printables are a gift for MFTM readers. Please follow my blog before you download.
-This is an 8×10 jpg. but can be sized down.
-Please do not alter, sell, or claim as your own.
-If you share this printable on the Internet, please link back to MFTM.

Linking up to my favorite parties!