The one book young readers must have.

Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them All

Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them AllWhy is the Kindle the one book every child should have?

Our kids are inundated with electronics, ipads, xbox, computers, toy dogs they have to train, heck even Barbie is becoming digital. So I get the reluctance to buy one more electronic item for my kid! This one is very different though. I bought my kindle before my daughter was born, so I am guessing at least 8-9 years ago. It was one of the first ones out there, it does nothing but let me read books. Mine doesn’t have a built in light (the newer ones do) so I can snuggle down in bed with a book light clip and read to my heart’s content. It is so light weight that I could take it to the beach, read for hours in the bright sunlight and never worry about it running out of batteries. (This was before I had a child and could do such frivolous things as read on the beach.)

When I first brought it home I was so excited. First I walked around the house with it, had a Geek moment and pretended it was a Star Trek Data Pad for awhile. Next I bought a cheap leather case for it so it felt like a book in my hands. Now don’t give me that line “I need the feel of a real book in my hands” because it simply an excuse. I get it to some extent, I have kept a few special books in print, but this Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them Allreally does feel like a real book to me – minus the germs that come with a library book. My cover is so worn and is as comfortable as an old shoe. It’s the cover that holds all of my favorite books. Every single book I love in one light weight book cover! I have read 100’s of books on it and it’s been one of my favorite things. I think I would give up my ipad before I would give up my Kindle! I have now handed it onto my daughter (unwillingly at first), and it’s the best thing I have ever done. Here is why:

1. Free Books:

You can borrow library books over the internet for free! Having a young reader starting on chapter books is a tough time. TheyFree Books for Kindle at your local Library have no idea what type of books they like. Before I thought of handing over my Kindle we bought books that she decided were not for her and we raced back and forth to the library with books. Nothing like spending money on things you don’t need.

The Kindle makes it easy to hop on your computer, go to your local library page, find the link to eLibrary and from there you search for ebooks (you will need to have your library card number). My kid can now try all types of stories -so can you- and if she decides she doesn’t like it……No Problem….Return them without leaving the house! If she loves them, we can buy them on amazon way cheaper than in a book store.

If you are a member of Amazon Prime you can borrow books from the Amazon Loan Library for free too!

2. No more Lost Library Books:

Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them All

Never worry again about or losing library books, leaving them in the car or under the couch and forgetting to return them. Well, your Kindle can be left in all those places too, but the library will never know because the book loans go back automatically.

Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them All3. Less Dusting:

Found a book your kid loves? You can buy it and it is forever yours, tucked neatly inside this one book. No dusty book shelf required. How many times have I had to rearrange the book shelf because the book she wanted was there, but she has to pull all the books out to find it? Easy, it’s all in the Kindle. It really is the One Book to Rule Them All….uh…eh hem, I mean replace them all.

3. Promotes Independent Reading: Kindle Dictionary

The Kindle comes with a Built in Dictionary with Phonetic Spelling. I remember hating to have to sit with the dictionary, stop reading my story in order to look up words. Frankly, I just didn’t do it. The dictionary comes with a touch of the screen and doesn’t interrupt reading time at all. My daughter has recently gotten into the Percy Jackson series. There are all kinds of names and words in it that she doesn’t know how to say or spell. She can tap and hold on the unknown word and the dictionary comes up with the definition and the phonetic spelling. I love the way it promotes independence for our young reader!

I forgot to mention that you can adjust the size of the words for easy reading. I like it slightly larger so I can read without my glasses on. My daughter likes it larger as well so that it’s not so easy to lose her place while reading, which is sometimes a problem for kids who are just getting the hang of reading chapter books.

On a side note: If your child is interested in Greek myths, I recommend the Percy Jackson series by Rick Rhiordan, I wish I had written these myself!

 

4. Easy Travel:

Have you ever had this conversation? Me: “Let see, we are going out of town for a week,what books do you think she will want to read? Husband: “No idea, but we can’t take too many the suitcases are already full.” This is no longer a problem, all our books are in the Kindle and if we get desperate we can always download a new one from the library or Amazon whenever / wherever we want.

No Distractions Just Reading5. No Distractions:

This is my favorite point. My daughter cannot play mine craft, watch youtube, surf on the internet, chat, facebook or anything else on this device. Did I mention no Mine Craft? If this device were handed to me as a kid I would have thought that it was simply a magic book giving me amazing library access wherever I was! (Yes the geek stuff started early for me.)

I was glad to see this statement right on the Kindle homepage. It sums up my feelings about it and there is no truer advertising statement.

“No distractions

By design, Kindle is purpose-built for reading and creates a sanctuary so you can lose yourself in a book. Unlike tablets and phones, Kindle doesn’t distract you with social media, emails, and text messages.”

I am off to replace the Kindle I gave to my daughter with the All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers.

 

The calendar is filling up quickly! Please make sure that we don’t miss your next event and submit your event today!

Click Here for the full list of upcoming events! or scroll down for this weeks events!

Diary of a Rogue House CatDiary of a Rogue House Cat

Have you ever had a pet that just seemed to cause havoc at every turn? Has your cat ever knocked over glasses, hidden your keys or generally created chaos for no apparent reason? Have you ever wondered what on earth your pet could be thinking? Baby Girl the Rogue House Cat explains all her crazy and funny actions in her new diary. Her journey to become a good house cat will help explain why cats do some of the things they do. I hope you enjoy her antics as much as I do.

Thank You for you support!

Available on Amazon in Print and on Kindle

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

How you can help keep this site running.

If you have found this site helpful and want to keep me writing please use the Donate Button on the right side of this page. This helps us pay for our domain, ip address and hosting, maybe even a cup of coffee as I sit at Panera searching for more free events. Some sites require membership fees in order to pay for their site. We really want this information to be free and available to all. Thanks for your support!

If you would like to learn more about our partnership opportunities Contact Us today!
[logo-slider]

Click Here for the full list of upcoming events!

Diary of Rogue House Cat

Diary of a Rogue House Cat

I wanted to share some fun news! I finally published a book! It’s little and a bit silly, but I think it’s cute. (My 7 year old likes it for what that is worth.) This project is certainly a learning experience! It is available on Kindle US and Kindle Europe now and I am working on the print version at the moment. The print version should be available for purchase within the next 3 weeks.

Diary of a Rogue House Cat

Have you ever had a pet that just seemed to cause havoc at every turn? Have you ever wondered what on earth your pet could be thinking? Baby Girl the Rogue House Cat explains all her crazy and funny actions in her new diary to help explain why cats do some of the things they do. I hope you enjoy her antics as much as I do.

Free Preview

Get a preview of Diary of a Rogue House Cat by Cynthia Yates Buckley. The book will be available to purchase in about 3 weeks. https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1179567

Amazon Kindle US

If you like the preview and just can’t wait to read it, the book is available on Amazon Kindle right now.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0161QL9AQ?keywords=diary%20of%20a%20rogue%20house%20cat&qid=1445352453&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Amazon Kindle in the UK

Diary of a Rogue House Cat is now available on Amazon Kindle in the UK! So all our British friends can feel free to share the link around. I would very much appreciate it! It is only £1.99!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0161QL9AQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

How you can help keep this site running.

If you have found this site helpful and want to keep me writing please use the Donate Button on the right side of this page. This helps us pay for our domain, ip address and hosting, maybe even a cup of coffee as I sit at Panera searching for more free events. Some sites require membership fees in order to pay for their site. We really want this information to be free and available to all. Thanks for your support!

If you would like to learn more about our partnership opportunities Contact Us today!
[logo-slider]

Click Here for the full list of upcoming events!

Teach Me Apps by 24x7digital #AvoidTheSummerSlide

Teach Me 1st Grade

Teach Me 1st Grade This is another app that in my opinion is 100% educational!  It is part of our summer screen time strategy.  My daughter has to earn screen time by spending time on one of 4 educational apps of my choice or by reading her chapter book.  “No Mine Craft for you until you have edjamekated yerself kid!”  Yes, I am just that mean!

So the Teach Me Apps are great! They offer Teach Me Toddler, and Teach Me’s for K-3rd.  They also have a new one called Teach Me Math Facts.  This summer we are finishing up Teach Me 1st Grade and starting on (hopefully) 2nd Grade.

Teach Me 1st Grade Fish Store Reward Area
The fish swim away when you touch the tank

This app is bright and has loads of little animated graphics that help to keep the kids engaged.  There are several play areas, where the kids can “spend” the coins they have earned answering questions.  Coins can be spent on things for a fish tank in the Fish Store, or in the Art Shop.  Coins are fairly easy to earn and the rewards are not too spread out so they work as great motivators.

Teach Me 1st Grade Math Problem. Teach Me 1st Grade Math Problem.

   I like that the kids have to write in their answers, for added printing practice.  They don’t just get to click on the correct answer, they have to write the numbers or spell the word on the lined writing space.  I have seen an improvement in my daughters printing due mainly to this.  She has been very lazy about taking her time and writing neatly, and this app demands just that. It is not a bad idea to pick up on of those stylus pen thingies (that is the technical term) for older kids.  A finger will work either way.

I also like that it switches back and forth between math problems and sight words and spelling.  I think it helps keep it interesting.

Teach Me 1st Grade Mastery Levels.
My daughter and I both benefit from being able to see her progress in math, spelling and sight words.

The curriculum looks like it covers the basics and appears to meet the major benchmarks for learning in each grade.  My daughter likes it and really doesn’t mind doing it, even though she knows this is, for us, the summer version of homework.  She says that she wishes her homework during the school year were like this!

This app appears to be best for reviewing materials.  It does give hints, but they don’t really tell you how to get the answer, it just gives you the answer.  This really isn’t a problem though, but as we all know, practice makes perfect.

Gus on the Go: A Language Learning Adventure App Giveaway & Review

Gus on the Go

The Giveaway will run 2/19/15 – 3/5/15.

Click Here for a Rafflecopter giveaway of Gus on the Go

Gus on the Go  a Language Learning Adventure Review & Giveaway

 

Gus on the Go

This App is brilliant!  There are no other explanations!  Gus on the Go is without a doubt the best learning app I have come across.  Go get it now, I love it!  I bought it on a recommendation from a friend and I am so happy that I did!

This is the first App that I have reviewed, not because I haven’t found fun apps, but because I had not yet found one that, that in my opinion, had learning the learning outcomes that I want to see.  Gus on the Go changed that for me.  The learning outcomes are clear and strong, and the entertainment level knocks it out of the park and keeps kids coming back.

Gus on the GoGus on the Go has 26 languages and the kids learn 89 words in each one version.  I kid you not, my daughter (7 years) blew through this thing in a few sittings. Not because it was too easy, but because it was so much fun! (What’s more, I didn’t mind!)

The balance between learning, practice and fun is exactly right with this app.  Each section introduces you to new words with cartoon graphics.  In order to go onto the next level, you have to earn trophy’s by playing fun mini games.  The games are activities like recognizing a Gus on the Goword in French (I bought the French one) then popping the corresponding balloons with the correct animal in them, or participating in a horse race by knowing the correct vocabulary words.

The graphics are colorful, clean, and engaging and the games are simply fun, so fun that my daughter didn’t want to put it down.  Heck, I wanted to play it too!  I was surprised at how quickly she learned the vocabulary words and she is actually retaining them.

Gus on the GoThe only problem with it is that we want more!  More levels, vocabulary and sentence structures please!  I sent an email over to the nice folks at Gus on the Go and told them how much I love their app, but could they please hurry up with some more levels?  The lovely Alice wrote back explaining that the Gus on the Go Team is actually only 2 people (yes, the two of them created this amazing learning tool). She and her counterpart Yono are working hard on the sequel that will teach short sentences using stories.  With any luck it will be available early this summer.  All I can say is that my family can’t wait!

It gets even better!  Alice is giving us 5 iOS promo codes to give away to randomly chosen winners!

The Giveaway will run 2/19/15 – 3/5/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway of Gus on the Go

Gus on the Go is available on Itunes and Android Play Store.

My Little Pony Friendship Train Set Video Review

My Little Pony Friendship Train Review

The My Little Pony Friendship Train Set has actually been a big hit in our house! The neighbor boy has even played with it alongside my daughter, which I thought says a lot.  Check out our my video blog review to see the details.  I have placed a few links below with good deals on the different size train sets.

Take a moment to rate our video and let us know what you think!

Big Toy Box Review Video: Fisher Price Kid Tough Camera

Big Toy Box Review: Fisher Price Kids Tough Camera

We are proud to present the first of many video reviews!  Enjoy!

*****
3 year old using Kid Tough Camera for Bird Watching.
Description:  I thought this camera was going to be really, really bad!  I once had a tiny thumb drive camera that took grainy fuzzy terrible pictures and I thought this was going to be the same.  It is much, much better than that!   Now, to be fair, it is not super high quality by any means, so don’t get your hopes up too high.  However, I was pleasantly surprised at how clear the photos taken with the Kids Tough Camerawere.  Outside is the best use for this camera, as it does not have a flash, so indoor photo’s tend to be grainy, more blurry and darker.  I have posted here some of the photo’s I and my 3 year old have taken with it to give you an idea.  The camera comes in pink and blue.
Assembly Time:  None.  You do have to add 4 AAA batteries and buy a cord separately to download the photos.


Value for Money:  This item runs between $30 and $40 bucks.  My daughter loves it!
Photo Taken by a 3 year with Kid Tough Camera.

Age Appropriateness:  The box says age 3-7 years.  We got it for my DD for her 3rdbirthday and she took to it like a fish to water and although the age/safety recommendation does not advise it, I probably would have felt okay with her having it earlier.  It has dual eye pieces so that you can look through it using both eyes (much easier for kids) or use the view screen.

Durability:  It is a plastic construction and seems pretty durable.  My DD has already dropped it several times.  The lens is set deep into the camera so it is harder to accidentally get finger prints on it.

Educational ValueThis is a great way to develop creativity and hand/eye coordination.  My DD loves to take pictures the way that we do!  She has also carried it along on our hikes to take pictures of wildlife. It is a great way to introduce a birding activity to a child.  She feels really important using it, I actually caught her giving it to a friend and then very patiently giving a “mini photo lesson”.  It is amazing how quickly kids pick up these things.  So far we love it.
Taken by a 3 year old using the Kid Tough Camera.
Taken by a 3 year old using the Kid Tough Camera.
Taken by a 3 year old using the Kid Tough Camera.
Taken by a 3 year old using the Kid Tough Camera.
Taken by a 3 year old using the Kid Tough Camera.
Taken by a 3 year old using the Kid Tough Camera.

Fisher Price Cheer for Me Potty Review

*****
Description:  (There is a newer less expensive version of this I have the link below)
I love this product!  The Cheer For Me Potty sings when the little ones go in it, it also clicks when they “flush” the handle.  Those of you who have potty trained know the importance of getting to one quickly when the little one shows signs!  I tucked this potty away in a quiet corner of our family room and it works great!  We sang the songs together when she used it and she loved it.  Fisher-Price has many different potty’s available, so pick one that you think will interest your child.  The newest version of this potty lights up as well as sings.
I kept it available for her to use for a long time so that she wouldn’t have to get me to take her to the bathroom.  It helped to give her independence to be able to go more or less all on her own.
It is really easy to clean too.  Just lift out the pan and pour into the toilet.
Assembly Time:  None, it does take batteries although we have been using it regularly for over a year and have never had to change them.
Value for Money:  I paid around $30 for ours and I wouldn’t pay more, however we used it regularly for well over a year and it still works great.   Great Value!
Age Appropriateness:  If you are ready to start potty training then this is appropriate!
Durability:  It is a plastic construction and seems pretty durable.  I don’t have any concerns about it lasting.
Educational Value:  Potty training is an important step.  It can’t be rushed or forced.  Here is a great link to get ideas on how to start with your child.
I also liked this article on Positive Reinforcement Potty Training.  The Author is a former animal trainer and took the same approach to potty training as I did.  It is great advice!

Healthy Toy Food and Fruit: Melissa and Doug Play-Time Fruit Review

*****
Description:
I really do love Melissa and Doug products!  When I got my little on her kitchen, I was appalled at some of the items that were in the play food toys.  I really didn’t want her to have “junk food” items to play with.  I wanted her toys to reflect her healthy diet.  Melissa and Doug have solved that problem!
Melissa and Doug Play-Time Fruit comes in a fun wooden case.  It has 9 pieces of solid molded plastic fruit.  It really does look beautiful!  We also have the M&D Food Groups and love it.
Assembly Time:  No assembly required.
Value for Money:  This item runs between $13 and $20 bucks.  You can get the cheap plastic sets for cheaper, but I am happy to pay a little extra for well made items.   I wanted to keep the “Junk Food” like chips and soda out of her daily exposure.
Age Appropriateness:  The box says age 3 to 6 years, however I can see kids playing with these much longer than that.
Durability:  As I mentioned above, they are made molded plastic and very solid and durable.
Educational Value:  A great way for kids to learn to identify different kinds of fruit.  The fruit can be used to learn to identify colors and sort them.  The healthy options also prevent kids from thinking that things like chips and soda are a normal part of a healthy diet.  Keeping “junk food” toy items out of the play room helps enforce the idea that they occasional treats and not things that should always be found in a kitchen.

Healthy Toy Food and Fruit: Melissa and Doug Food Groups Review

*****
Description:
I love these products!  When I got my little one her kitchen, I was appalled at some of the items that were in the play food toys.  I really didn’t want her to have “junk food” items to play with.  I wanted her toys to reflect her healthy diet.  Melissa and Doug have solved that problem!
Melissa and Doug Food groups come in four wooden crates and have with 21 pieces of food from all four food groups.  The items are well made and the fruit especially is beautifully painted.  We also have the Playtime Produce Fruit.
Assembly Time:  No assembly required.
Value for Money:  M&D Food Groups runs between $18 and $20 bucks.  You can get the cheap plastic sets for cheaper, but I am happy to pay a little extra for well made items.   I wanted to keep the “Junk Food” like chips and soda out of her daily exposure.
Age Appropriateness:  The box says age 3 to 6 years, however I can see kids playing with these much longer than that.
Durability:  The toy food is wooden and has held up well so far.  There has been no hint of paint chipping or damage.
Educational Value:  The four crates provide a great way to work on sorting.  I placed index cards in the bottom of the crates and she place the food into the correct groups.  The healthy options also prevent kids from thinking that things like chips and soda are a normal part of diet.  Keeping them out of the play room helps enforce the idea that they occasional treats and not things that should always be found in a kitchen.

Fisher Price Smart Bounce & Spin Pony Review

*****
Description:
The Smart Bounce and Spin Ponycomes with the bouncy pony and a wireless game box that connects to your TV.  I got this for my daughter for her first birthday.  The guidelines say that it is for 12M -24 months and up.  At 1 year old she didn’t really get that there was a connection between what she was doing on the pony and what was going on on the TV.  Luckily there is a setting where you can just bounce on the pony with music and sound effects and that is what she liked most for about 6 months.
Assembly Time:  This to me is the best part!  It was completely assembled!  You just plug it into your TV (2 plugs) and it’s ready to play!
See!  2 Plugs!  Easy!

Value for Money:  Smart Bounce and Spin Pony runs around $90.  There are cheaper ones like the Bounce and Spin Zebra that do not include the TV game portion, however I would advise spending the extra money as it extends the length of time your child will be able to use it.  My daughter is about to turn 3 and still asks to use it at least once a week.  If all we had was the bouncy pony I don’t think she would still be interested in it.

It does require batteries, but they seem to last really well!  I have replaced the batteries in the Pony only once and the box twice, but that was because I forgot to turn it off.  It lasts longer if you do that!
Don’t think that once they get to level 3 that they won’t play the lower levels either.  She still likes to play all the levels.
Age Appropriateness:  Dead on!  Although if your 24 month old is not able to get on and off the pony by themselves you may want to hold off until she can.
Durability:  It is a plastic construction and seems pretty durable.  My kid and her friends have given two solid years of abuse and it still works great.  It does seem to squeak a little more though.
Educational Value: 
Here are the levels as printed on the Fisher Price Website:  They are pretty much dead on for appropriate educational guidelines for the age groups.
12M+ Level 1: Action/Reaction
With every bounce or spin of the roller, baby makes something happen! Hear songs, learn about animals and their sounds, first words, greetings and more.
18M+ Level 2: Learn and Play
As baby grows, so does the learning! Discover letters, numbers, shapes and colors in a fun and engaging way.
24M+ Level 3: Active Learning
Lots of games, lots of active learning! For example: make the pony “jump fences” as you count along and collect rewards.   
Teaches: Game play, Word recognition, Counting, Actions and words, Kinds of weather, Comparisons, and Following directions.