Posts by christy:

Check Out the New KidZoo Books App for Kids!



I recently had the opportunity to download a new, adorable kids’ reading app called KidZoo Books – an iOS app designed especially for kids that provides fun ebooks for kids – perfect for ages 2-8 years-old.

Created by an independent publisher based in Long Beach, KidZoo Books aims to provide ebooks that engage, entertain and educate young readers.

Fun ebooks for kids!

The KidZoo Books app is special because of its quality.

Once downloaded, your child will be looking at a fun kid’s “map,” that shows eight different book options they can choose from.  The first one, “Nimble Dr. Ned VS. The Spoon,”  is complimentary with the download…and then you have the option to purchase the other seven ebooks.

All the books are $1.99 – except for “My Brother And I,” which is 99¢, and “Cinnamon’s Busy Year,” which is $2.99. The bundle is priced at $10.99, which is the best deal!

Once your child reads “Nimble Dr. Ned VS. The Spoon,” they’ll want to play with more of the available stories.  That’s because each ebook has beautiful illustrations, background music, professional voice-overs, and interactive features.

There are three “read” modes, designed to grow with your child.

The first is “Auto-Play,” where your kiddo can just listen to the story.

The second mode is “Read to Me,” where your child can navigate forward and backward, as the story is being read out loud.

Finally, mode three is “Read Myself,” where the background music plays, but your child can read out loud (or silently to themselves), while navigating the pages.

The stories also have touch screen interaction, with sound effects.  Because what kid doesn’t love sound effects?!

Available ebooks on KidZoo Books

Here are the eight books you can read on this app:

Nimble Dr. Ned VS. The Spoon
How does a stuffy doctor get tricked by a silver spoon into helping a bumbling octopus?” Find out how, as Henrietta Meire narrates the story of Dr. Ned, who gets foiled at every turn by a clever little spoon, and learns a lesson in humility along the way.

My Brother And I
A younger brother has his doubts, but discovers his older brother really does love him after they are united against a bully. Dale E. Turner’s narration brings a story to life that may just bring a tear to your eye.

The Flight Of The Sunflower
A gentle breeze dislodges a tiny seedling from its sunflower mother, and sends it spinning through the air on a journey of discovery. Award winning illustration, soothing music and delicate narration by Graydon Schlichter, makes this story perfect for bedtime.

Don’t Let The Dead Bugs Bite
Jamieson Price narrates this ghostly tale of a terrified town as it reacts to ghoulish bugs who come back from the dead for a night of mischievous fun. Spooky music and sound effects top off this delightfully eerie romp!

Cinnamon’s Busy Year
Cinnamon and her friends, Tootie and Pip, enjoy the many holidays that make each month special, beginning with New Year’s Eve. Learn how cultural traditions shape holiday celebrations in this beautifully illustrated story with the upbeat narration of Katie Leigh.

The Moon Smiles Down
Henrietta Meire narrates this goodnight story of the moon watching over all creatures big and small as they prepare for sleep. Let your child drift into slumber as a soothing lullaby plays on after the story ends.

My Very Own Lighthouse
A little girl, with the help of her favorite toys, builds her very own lighthouse to help her daddy – a fisherman – make it safely home from sea. Vivid illustrations and Anna Kate Mohler’s narration, put the finishing touches on this tender story.

Swim, Swam, Swum
If you were a seal with a wild imagination, what kind of crazy adventures would you find yourself in? Join our slick seal in his madcap exploits, and learn how to conjugate verbs along the way. Delightful Caribbean music accompanies this story narrated by Anna Kate Mohler.

Try it out and download!

Download this adorable app today and check it out!

Paying it forward

The folks at KidZoo Books believe in giving back to the community…so now through December 2014, they are donating 20% of all purchased ebooks to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – specifically Moms In Training – a program that is specifically created by LLS to recruit moms who are passionate about fighting blood cancers and saving lives.

Tattling Vs Reporting

Tattling is second nature to my 4-and-a-half-year-old right now. He tattles on his sister, on the parent he’s not with, the dog…you name it, my little man tattles.  Although I know this is totally normal for kiddos to do, I realized it may be time to write a blog about teaching kids the difference between tattling vs reporting – and implement it at our home home, stat.

tattling vs reporting

Now, to be fair, my son doesn’t think he’s tattling. He’s just “sharing.”  And amidst some of his tattles, he really is “sharing” important information.

So I started thinking about how to best extract the necessary information from him, when it comes to safety issues or important tidbits, in his rambling of tattles and chatter.

Here We Go…

First, I sat down and asked him: “Do you know what it means to tattle?”

I figured this was a great place to start.  Because I could ask him not to tattle a 100 times a day, but unless he really knew what it was, it would go right over his head.

He answered, “Talking mommy?  About a lot of stuff?”

Well, sort of. Okay, “problem 1” identified.  Define tattling for my kid.

I explained it this way:

Tattling is when you tell on someone who is doing something that maybe you don’t like or agree with…but isn’t hurting anyone or anything.  You are telling the information to get someone in trouble. 

Reporting is when you give an adult information – like mommy, daddy, or your teacher – that will help someone or keep someone safe.  

He mulled that one over.  I think we will have to reinforce this concept a lot during this process.

Tattling Vs Reporting Charts

I’ve seen some “Tattling vs Reporting” charts for kids…and one of my friends actually has a poster up in her house, defining the two.

It was time for me to pick a chart I liked.

And after searching around, I decided to try this one I found on Pinterest, via the website Lessons4Now.  I found this very simple, very easy to make T-chart on their site that explains the differences pretty simply.


My little man and I studied this chart together, and I read it to him.  Then, we talked about examples…

Me: “So if your sister walks out the front door without an adult, and you tell me, is that tattling or reporting?”

Him:  “Reporting!”

Me:  “If daddy cooks you peas for dinner, instead of giving you applesauce, is that tattling or reporting?”

Him:  “Definitely reporting, mommy!  I don’t like peas anymore.”

Okay, so we have some more work on this – lol. But I’m going to keep having these discussions with him, and ask him to tell me the differences between tattling and reporting….and if you have a little tattler, I encourage you to do the same.

I also printed this chart out, pasted it on heavy card stock, and taped it up in the playroom.  (It’s good reinforcement for my 1st grader, too).

Who knows….I may even throw in a reward chart for the first week or two, as extra incentive for him to correctly differentiate between the two!

How do you handle tattling with your children?  Any tips or tricks to share?

A Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends [Giveaway]

Day Out with Thomas 2014


I don’t know about you, but my 4-year-old son is obsessed with trains.  Obsessed. Especially with the beloved Thomas the Train and his best bud, Percy.

So when I learned that this year’s “A Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends” annual event in Perris, CA is showcasing a talking Thomas, AND including Percy in the fun, we were elated!

If any of you have little Thomas fans in your family, mark your calendars for next month and plan to make your own”Day Out with Thomas,” and enter to win four FREE tickets in our giveaway below!


All About “A Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends”

A Day Out With Thomas™: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014 offers families the opportunity to take a 25-minute ride with the famous #1 engine – Thomas.

And, for the first time, Percy, the locomotive, will be joining him at the Orange Empire Railway Museum.  When I told my son, his little eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. This is a big deal.

Oh, and I did mention that Thomas will actually be talking, right?!  Plus, you can meet Sir Topham Hatt®, the Superintendent of the Railroad. (Does anyone else think…”You’ve been a very useful engine”???)

You and your kiddos can spend the day enjoying a wide range of activities, like playing at train tables, participating in building activities, train artwork, temporary tattoos, train crafts, storytelling and videos.

There will also be games, coloring, live children’s music, a petting zoo, bounce houses, sing-alongs, a Thomas gift store…and that’s not even all of it.

Take a street car and trolley ride, and explore the amazing Orange Empire Railway Museum. More than plenty to do and see and enjoy while you’re there!

About The Orange Empire Railway Museum

The Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA (close to Lake Elsinore) is a fantastic destination spot for any train lover in your family.

In addition to special events, like this Day Out with Thomas, you can also meander through their museum…their website calls it the West’s largest collection of railway locomotives, passenger and freight cars, streetcars, interurban electric cars, buildings, and other artifacts dating from the 1870s.

A Day Out with Thomas 2014 Details 

Departure dates are Nov. 8, 9, 11, 15 and 16.

For ticket purchases and information, call the Orange Empire Railway Museum office at 951-943-3020 or visit

Please arrive no later than one hour prior to your scheduled departure. Tickets start at $21 for ages two and older and this is a “rain or shine” event.

A Tiny Oranges Giveaway!

It’s giveaway time!  They will be giving away a package of FOUR FREE TICKETS to A Day Out With Thomas™ the Tank Engine & Friends.”

Isn’t that great news?!  If you win the tickets, you request your date…request a morning (9 to 9:30 a.m.) or afternoon (after 2:30 p.m.) preference…and they check for availability and choose the specific time.   GOOD LUCK!
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5 Cute (and Easy) Halloween Crafts for Kids


I found these absolutely darling, super cute Halloween crafts for kids on Pinterest, and had to share with you – what’s your favorite?  Here are my five top crafts I can’t wait to do with my kiddos this month…

5 Cute Halloween Crafts for Kids


The Paper Plate Pumpkin

Seriously so cute for littles to make – you can have them tear apart the orange construction paper (great for fine motor skill practice!) to create the “pumpkin” effect on the paper plate, and trace their little handprint for the “leaf” at the top.

Check out this blog for more details:

DIY Ghost Decoration

This is my type of easy craft.  White poster board (or card stock), a handful of cotton balls, and black felt or construction paper.  Boom.  Super cute, super simple.

Check out this blog for more details:

Pumpkin Stamp Art

This craft is so fun…because it involves letting the kids make stamp art with paint.  And my kids LOVE paint.  Pretty simple instructions, including simple household items, like an empty to lit paper roll.  The stamping part is good for kids of all ages…but your bigger kids can actually help you make the stamp.

Check out this blog for more details:

Paper Cup Spiders

Styrofoam cups, black and orange paint, multi-colored pipe cleaners, goggly eyes, paint sponges…and a lot of creativity!  My 1st grader can’t wait to try this one.

Check out this blog for more details: 

Easy Halloween Popsicle Stick Puppets

You can make just about any spooky shape, animal, or object with this craft.  Have you kiddos design what the want, decorate, cut it on. and glue it to a possible stick.  Easy peasey!

Check out this blog for more details:

Do you have any fun kid Halloween crafts to share?  If so, please comment below!

Check Out Artimus Art!

Artimus Art


I was excited to have the opportunity to talk with Dana at Artimus Art, and learn all about their unique and fabulous way of preserving children’s artwork.

Because if your kids are anything like mine, they come home with handfuls of special projects, arts and crafts, and precious scribbles almost everyday.  I lovingly display them, paste them up on our art wall, the refrigerator, hang them on their bedroom doors…and then safely “tuck them” into a big box.  In the closet.  Or worse.  I (shhhhhhh) recycle them.

Artimus Art takes your child’s artwork and creates a beautiful keepsake for your family – in the form of a gorgeous, museum-quality, customized, oversized, hard cover book.

How it works – collecting the artwork

I am totally guilty of snapping quick pictures of my kiddos’ adorable artwork with my iPhone.  Most of the time, the photos sit on my phone and either get uploaded to my computer and electronically filed (when I remember), OR get deleted to create more space on my phone.

Plus (inevitably), the pictures are low res, and many times, grainy.  Especially when I do take the time to print them.  Ugh.  Not really what I was going for in the memory preservation department.

Artimus Art actually sends you an art collection box (with return postage included!) after you purchase a package from them, and you can gather all of your favorite kid projects and ship them back.  No hassle. (Don’t worry, you’ll get the artwork back when they ship your finished art collection book.).

Since this is such a professional, quality project, I suggest creating your book by either your child’s chronological age, by their school year, or even by a bundle of their school years together (i.e. Preschool Years, Kindergarten – 3rd Grade, etc.).


Now the magic happens.  When the artwork arrives at their facility, you will be notified that it’s arrived safely.  They will start scanning the artwork, and post to your own private online gallery. You will receive an email indicating that the images are posted.

Once your art images are posted to the web gallery, you can log in and customize your 11″ x 11″ book.  A nice, big, shiny, thick coffee table book.

You can even create a dedication page – how cute is that?!

All of their production and binding is in-house only.  Which means you are getting the highest level of quality possible.  You will be notified via email during each phase of the book-making process.

Tis the season…to get going!

This is definitely an investment of your time – it is a project that takes at least eight weeks (sometimes more, depending on your own timeline and shipping timelines), from art collection to delivery of your new book.  So if you have your eye on this fabulous art book for holiday presents, now’s the time to start!

And yes, you get discounts for printing multiple copies of the book, so think grandparents, godparents, aunts and uncles, close friends…whoever would love a copy of your child’s amazing, one-of-a-kind artwork.  The extra books range from $45-$65 (for each book), depending on the total package you purchase.

You can check out their packages and prices here.

Want to gift someone this wonderful art keepsake?  Visit Artimus Art online and purchase a gift certificate.

Still have questions?  Read their FAQs or email

Plus…they have a new blog – all about art!

Artimus Art is launching a brand new blog (coming soon!), dedicated to the subject of art and how it relates children.  You can read about ideas for displaying your child’s artwork, art therapy for children, activities and projects to do with your kids…and the list goes on.  Watch for new blog entries!

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