Tag: Parenting Tips

Pro-Development Play That Every Child Should Experience

While play for play’s sake is undoubtedly important, we also want to make sure that our children are getting the kind of development that helps foster them and makes them more likely to grow up happy, competent, and successful. As such, you might be wondering which toys are most likely to help them as they grow up. The answer isn’t as simple as picking out one single best toy, however. Here, we’re going to look at a range of options, each of which might be able to help your child develop in the direction that you’re aiming.

Link – Pixabay License

 

Teething and grasping toys

If your child is teething, then offering them some ways to help them soothe their pain is going to offer both you and them a little respite. However, rather than simply getting a teether alone, or something solely for teething like a pacifier, you can get something that engages their teeth and their hands at the same time. Teething and grasping toys have been becoming a lot more popular over the past few years. So long as they’re lightweight enough, they’re highly versatile and can help children develop some fine motor skills. Many of them are also multicolored, meaning that they can also help with colour recognition. That way, you can offer your baby some peace for their sore mouth while also getting their brain working.

Books that sing or speak to them

While reading to your own child and singing to them is vitally important when they’re young infants, you should also consider giving them toys that make noises and speak to them. Things like interactive books with nursery rhymes or recordings of lullabies can help get them used to communication at a very young age. The more you engage a child’s social side at their youngest, the better they will be able to grow their communication skills over time, as well. Interactive story and singing books combine this need by giving them things to reach for and touch, which helps develop motor skills such as their spatial awareness.

Play water mats

Water is a very entertaining plaything for young children, indeed. For one, sensory play is greatly important to their development, as we’re going to take a closer look at later. However, for young children, one of the big benefits of an age-appropriate water mat is that it encourages the extremely important activity of tummy time. Tummy time helps physically develop your child so that they can start to sit up, walk, and crawl. Furthermore, tummy time improves their ability to move around using their own arms, motor development skills that will continue to be more crucial as they get older. A good water mat combines tummy time with sensory play while offering your child a safe environment to play with water.

Pic – Pixabay License

Kinetic sand

One of the most important parts of development at an early age is getting a good idea of your own senses. The better we develop these senses as youngsters, the more benefits it can have for us in later life. How we interact with different materials and objects with different properties as children helps us get a better idea of how different forces work on those objects. For instance, playing with kinetic sand can help us build nerve connections in the brain when we are younger and can encourage scientific thinking and problem-solving. One of the best ways to understand how the world works is to get hands-on with it, after all.

Board games

While it’s important to choose the age-appropriate examples for your children, and some children might not be old enough to have the attention span to sit down for them, board games are generally great for childhood development. They are one of the kids toys that helps teach them about structure and rules in the greatest depth. This can be something as simple as snakes and ladders for children who are just getting into school, or chess as they’re getting into their adolescent years. More complicated board games then go on to help teach them about problem-solving and creative thinking, which can help them excel in the school and beyond. They’re also a great way to teach healthy competition in a stress-free environment so that they’re better able to deal with it elsewhere.

Creative play

Whether it’s things like markers, crayons, non-toxic paints or otherwise, let’s not underestimate just how important it is that you encourage your child to be creative. From as young as one year old, they are going to love getting hands-on and seeing all the things they can draw, paint, and even build. Creative play has a range of both intellectual and physical benefits. Learning to draw, for instance, helps to develop mathematic abilities in children at a very young age by helping them see, learn, and create shapes, as well as seeing how sizes and sorting works. The motor skills that get built up through drawing can be incredibly important for their ongoing physical development, as well. Creating with a range of materials is best.

Pic – Pixabay License

Playing pretend

It might seem like playing pretend is nothing more than just a fun pastime, but the truth is that it has a great impact on a child’s ability to use their imagination to come up with creative ideas. Furthermore, playing with dolls and teddies also helps them develop their social skills. By interacting in different scenarios and relationships, it gets them thinking about how people act with one another, allowing them to better intuit social situations as time goes on. This can then help them better co-operate and compromise with their friends as they get into school. They will better understand social cues, different tones, and even improve their language development by talking to their own toys.

Building blocks

From toddlers to teenagers, there are different kinds of building blocks that incentivize learning more effectively than the vast majority of toys out there. Early age building blocks improve motor skills such as hand-eye coordination, ensuring that children learn how to reach out, place, and balance blocks so that they do not tip over. This exercise also stimulates their creative learning, getting them to think about and imagine how block placement will affect the overall structure. Of course, as they get older and the blocks can get more complex and create increasingly diverse and complicated objects, they get to thinking about long-term planning and improve their overall creative thinking. Playing with building blocks alongside your child also helps teach them how to share and how to take turns in play.

Balls of all size

Physical development is just as important a part of play as the mental side is. The sooner that you get your child involved in physical activity, the better. This applies to more than just fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination, as well. Getting up, running around, jumping, and the like are all going to help them physically develop so that it becomes easier to incorporate fitness into their lives as they get older. There is all manner of toys that can help with this, such as ride-on toys, tunnels, slides, and the like. However, one that combines the physical activity with the fine motor skills, both of which your child needs, are balls. No matter the size, so long as they are age-appropriate, balls can be some of the most beneficial toys for your child to play with.

Pic – Pixabay License

Early age computers

There is a lot of debate that goes on about just how much contact we should be letting our children have with technology and at what age they should be having that contact. There’s a good reason for this debate as well, as there’s increasing concern that technological addiction and the sedentary lifestyle it can involve is bad for the health of your child in a wide variety of ways. However, there is no denying that technology will play an increasingly large role in daily life and the working world as time goes on. Early learning computers can help children start getting used to this technology so that they take to it much more easily as they get older.

Other children

It’s not all about the toys. It’s important that you find the opportunity to have your child play with others. Many of the skills mentioned above, such as the ability to communicate, to read social cues, and to share while playing, aren’t going to be fully developed unless they’re tested out there in the field. Solo play and playing with family is important, but playing with new friends and other children will help your child get used to other relationships, as well. It’s recommended that you get them playing with other children before they get to school so that they can integrate and socialize more easily.

Of course, play and toys aren’t the only ways to foster the development of your child. Providing a safe and positive home that engages and encourages them is just as essential, but the examples above can at least help.

7 Signs Your Child is Athletically Gifted

If all the news herald today about athletes enjoying multi-million-dollar yearly contracts has done anything, it’s made parents acutely aware of any athletic prowess of their children. Whether a son or daughter is in high school or diapers, parents’ schedules are full chock of practices and sports training classes.

Many parents ponder their children’s success when it comes to raising athletic children. Is it best to raise a child in one sport or multiple sports? At what age should we start them? How do we find an athletic program? What follows are seven signs you better start looking into athletic shoes.

Is Your Child a Leader?

If your child demonstrates the ability to lead early in their life, you probably have a future athlete on your hands. These characteristics will often show, but you must watch for them. If they struggle between which toys to play with, you could have a leader.

Image Credit: Pexels

Do You Live in a Warm Climate?

According to a recent story in the Journal of Sports Medicine, the high number of professional athletes who come from California, Florida, and Texas indicates the benefits of warm weather on potential athletic development. By contrast, children who live in colder climates are often unable to practice their sports, putting their development on hold.

Tall Parents

Most athletes, especially at the professional level, are well over six feet tall, whereas the average American male is five foot nine inches. Want to know your child’s potential height? Just add both parents’ heights, divide the result by two, and then add 2.5 inches for boys and subtract 2.5 inches for girls.

Eye/Hand Coordination

Coordination is an essential skill for an athlete. Unfortunately, children are born with no coordination. It’s not until they are about six months old that they begin to understand the correlation between seeing and touching. Their ability to watch an object as it moves and transfer an object from one hand to another is an early indicator of coordination.

Image Credit: Pexels

Fearlessness

There is a point at which fearlessness becomes stupidity, but it’s also true that athletes have a degree of fearlessness that others don’t. For example, that basketball player who attempts the difficult lay-up or the gymnast who isn’t afraid to try the seemingly impossible maneuver is a fearless athlete. Fearless children are often climbers, talkers, and much more that prove they aren’t afraid of failure.

Resilience

Does your child fall and never fail to get back up and try it again? Or, does your child try to reach something that’s too far away, only to try again? These things and more indicate early resilience in a child.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Quick Learner

Does your child pick things up quickly? Do they learn things fast? Being a quick learner is an excellent attribute for any athlete. Learning things like proper form is essential to athletic success, such as the basketball player who watches the form of a professional and attempts to copy it.

There are many more critical indicators of a child’s potential for success in athletics. These include their body type, competitive nature, and much more. In many cases, it’s difficult to determine which is a more important characteristic than another. And yes, there are those athletes who defy all the norms but become standouts against all expectations. It all comes down to the attitude of the child.

Normal Things That No One Tells You To Expect With A Newborn

Having a baby is one of life’s best parts, it’s a truly beautiful experience, that is unique to each person. With advice from others, books, professional advice and information readily available online, it’s no wonder that parents are able to get well and truly prepared for the arrival of their new addition. But are they really prepared for absolutely everything? 

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

 

Whether it’s unexpected things at the birth, countless sleepless nights because of baby day/night confusion, or more frequent feeding than expected, it’s all normal and perfect fine to feel a little lost. Usually, you will feel as though no one can help, and you’re doing wrong but that not the case. 

There are some worrying yet normal things that come with having a newborn, all of which are completely normal. Whether you’re a new parent or even a tenth-time parent some of the most normal things can sometimes leave you scared and concern, however, you have got this!

Have a look below at some of the completely normal yet scary things about newborns that people just don’t tell you about: 

Constant Sneezing 

For a newborn, the world is an entirely new place to be. Therefore, you need to be aware that their little nose is going to be a little extra sensitive to their environment. It may seem as though your newborn is sneezing all the time, but it’s a completely normal way for them to react to their new living environment. Sneezing helps then to get rid of any tiny foreign particles that may have made their way up into their nose. 

In their first few days, you may notice they are sneezing more, this is because there is extra mucus or amniotic fluid that is still sitting in their nostrils, this is completely normal. If you see any signs of temperature or wheezing alongside the sneezing, then give your health visitor a call as they may need to be seen.  

Jerky Or Sudden Movements

If this is your first child, then you may be a little bit supposed by the way that a baby moves. It’s likely that your little one will have rather jerky movements. Flailing limbs, and jumps a lot, and on top of that, it’s happening randomly. Relax, this is entirely normal. As they grow, they go through a number of developmental changes, one of which is their reflexes. After about three months of age, it will start to settle down. Heard of swaddling? This is one of the most common reasons babies are swaddled. 

Cradle Cap

This is something that is commonly seen on newborns and even some toddlers. It usually goes away very quickly, in fact, the first few months and it’ll be gone. Doing things like rubbing baby oil on to the areas it is every other day can help. Applying some baby oil using a fine baby comb will also help it to lift away. If it doesn’t go you may need to speak to your health care professional, but only if it is irritated or infected. It can be treated at home otherwise and is nothing to concerned about

Massive Poo Explosions

OK, so this is one that you may have heard of. People can’t help but share this story when you are expecting a new baby. However, what most new parents don’t realize is that they are much bigger and messier than you can imagine. Many new parents come across this with their new baby, all to different levels of the explosion, but it’s just something that you are never going to avoid. A newborn is well-known for having a runny and explosive poo, and it just seems to be a right of passage that every new parent must face. Don’t worry though, this is one of the most normal things you will experience with a new baby

Different Shaped Head

You and your baby work very well together to bring them into the world safely through the birth canal, so you shouldn’t be too worried about their strangely shaped head afterwards. Both you and your baby go through a tremendous amount of changes through childbirth and one of them is that their head shapes changes. It flattens slightly because it is malleable and soft, however, this is normal. In fact, it’s needed so that delivery can take place. It won’t be long before it starts to go back into a more normal shape. You should still be mindful that a baby can get a flat head is they are on their back too often, so try to lay them on the front and sides too. 

A Surprising Amount Of Hair 

If your little one is hairier than you expected don’t worry. As well as having hair on their head, a baby is born with more hair on their body than most parents expect. You will notice it on their back, shoulders, and even their feet. This is known as lanugo, it’s the first type of body hair made. Lanugo plays a crucial role in regulating a babies temperature in the womb. It’s certainly nothing to stress about, it will soon come away, and you won’t even notice it happening. Babies will lose most of the hair they are born with, including the hair on their head. Don’t panic though it luckily starts to grow back. Some quicker than others, but it does return. 

Spotty Babies 

This is most commonly known as ‘baby acne’. If your newborn has spots on their face, don’t get too worried about it. It just a reaction to your annoying hormones, and it will soon clear up on its own. You may also notice that they have little white spots Milk Spots’ or ‘Milia’ that aren’t related to the acne. They are just little bumps that are linked to their consumption of milk, they’re more common in bottle-fed babies but they will also disappear within a few weeks. 

The Scary Soft Spot 

Any new parent will be warned about the soft spot by someone at some point. It’s just a small area on the top of a babies skull that stays soft for months after the birth. Its purpose is there so their head can change shape for birth and the birth canal. You have to be careful of this area, but try not to stress about it, instead just be mindful and keep an eye on it. You will notice that you can see it moving, this is because their brain pulses inside their head, it’s a little bit tummy turning, but it is normal. If you have any concerns regarding the soft spot though, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare professional. 

Hiccups That Just Won’t Go

Hiccups may seem troublesome, however, they are extremely common for newborns. It will seem like they have them at every feed, to begin with, and yes it can seem scary, but it is completely normal. Your newborn is learning to breathe in their new environment, their ability to breathe and swallow hasn’t quite synchronized. As soon as they master this, the hiccups will start to appear less and less. 

Although for any parent, some of these can seem scary, they are all completely normal. There is always going to be something new to learn, and you will also pick up your own methods as you get to know your little one. Is there anything that you have experiences that were scary but normal with your newborn? Should they be on this list? Please share some of them in the comments section. 

Three DIY Toilet Paper Roll Crafts

The era of crafts has been in full bloom in our home as we look for ways to stay creative. It also just occurred to us that with our five-year-old being homeschooled, we have plenty of toilet paper rolls to use! Who knew that the rolls could serve another purpose; however, we sure found out quickly what fun could be had.

We of course searched for some ideas on Pinterest that never seems to fail us. We found three fun DIY crafts that your kids will love to do and it will also brighten someone’s day.

Adventure Butterfly

Materials Needed
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Goggly Eyes
  • Buttons
  • Construction Paper
  • Marker
  • Scissors and Hot Glue Gun
Instructions
  • First paint the toilet paper rolls with any color that you like. Once painted, set it aside to dry.
  • Pick a color for the wings from construction paper. First fold the paper in half. With a pencil outline the wings by using the middle part of the folder paper as the middle of the wing. This way when you cut out the outline the wings will be the same on both sides. 😉
  • We highly recommend for the adult to hot glue the wings onto the toilet paper roll, Googly Eyes and the pipe cleaner antennae for the child. This way the child does not get hurt.
  •  With a marker the child can add a smiley face. On some other butterflies, we added eyelashes by the eyes as we went overboard with our creation.
  • Then add the buttons as that is the fun part. We used self-adhesive craft buttons from the Dollar Store to make it easier. If you do not have buttons, you can use paint to add the design. We painted our fingerprints and placed them on the wings. It added a special personal touch.
  • Once all your personal touches have been added, you are ready to display or give them to someone you care about.
  • Extra: We added a little message inside the butterfly that said, “We will be spreading our wings together soon and onto our next adventure.”

This is why we call this the “Adventure Butterfly” as we hope it inspires our future adventures with our families. We have delivered many butterflies to our loved ones doorsteps and they have meant so much to everyone. Even my parents held back tears when they spoke with us on the phone on how touched they were with this craft.

Rainbow Inspiration

Materials Needed
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Blue Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Tissue Paper
  • String or Yarn
  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Scissors and Glue
Instructions
  • First paint the toilet paper rolls blue as we are representing the sky. However, feel free to be creative and add any color you would like. Place the roll on the side to dry.
  • Take a paper and draw a cloud and cut it out. In the cloud you can write any inspirational message. For our rainbow we wrote: “After every storm comes a rainbow.” Then place the cloud to the side.
  • The next step was cutting strips from tissue paper that we had at home. We didn’t have all the colors of the rainbow so we used a colorful one that we had. Once all cut out, place them to the side.
  • Take your string or yarn and cut a piece where you will use it to hang your rainbow.

  • Once the roll is all dry, make two holes on the side to insert your string or yarn through it.
  • Then glue your cloud to the front of your roll.
  • Add the tissue paper at the bottom by gluing it into the side of the roll.
  • Then hang it in a desired area or gift it to someone who may need a smile.

We call this the “Rainbow Inspiration” as a way to uplift us if we are feeling down. We have hung these on some of the doors in our home and I have looked at them a few times and they always make me smile.

Flowers of Joy

Materials Needed
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Green Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors and Hot Glue Gun
Instructions
  • First paint the toilet paper rolls green as we are representing the stem. However, feel free to be creative and add any color you would like. Place the roll on the side to dry.
  • Using construction paper, pick colors for the flowers. Design your flower and cut it. *Just make sure that they will be able to go in the slit in the toilet paper roll that will be created later.
  • With Green construction paper, we cut out leaf shapes and we used paint to add a dash of color. We then glued the leaves to the bottom of the toilet paper roll.
  • Then the tricky part which we recommend for the adults to do is create two slits on the top sides of toilet paper roll.
  • Taking your created flower design, insert it into the slits and now you have created your own Flower of Joy.

These flowers are easy, creative and the best part is that they will last forever. There is no watering needed or sunlight, these are the best flowers to have. We have displayed them on our front window of our home as a way to bring some joy to our neighbourhood.

There you have it! Three DIY crafts that you can do with toilet paper rolls. It is a great way to keep you and your children entertained. It also gives the famous toilet paper roll another purpose in their life.

We would love to see your creations and make sure to tag us @mommabraga or use the hashtag #MelAndNikkiCrafts. We will feature you on our page!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Tips To Help With A Newborn Baby

A newborn baby is something that can be quite challenging and likely be the most challenging thing you do in your life. As well as it being difficult, though, it presents a new chapter in your life where you are likely to have never experienced love quite like what you feel for your own child. During this time, it can be helpful to have some advice, so here are some tips to help with a newborn baby.

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Always Keep Your Hands Clean

Your baby is a lot different to a child and extremely different to an adult when it comes to their ability to fight out germs and illnesses. With a low immune system it means that they’re more susceptible to being ill, and therefore, it’s essential you’re always keeping your hands clean when handling a newborn. In the same respect, it’s essential you keep away anyone that might be ill because that can be easily passed on when it’s something like the common cold or flu. Family and friends will certainly understand, and most will also be aware that coming into contact with a newborn when you’re ill is always advised against anyway. As a parent, it’s good to make sure you keep your hands clean at all times whenever you’re handling your baby, whether it’s changing a nappy or feeding them.

Support The Baby’s Neck & Head

As a baby’s body is still growing, it’s important to support them in the right way in their early years. This means you want to provide them with as much support on the neck and head as you can. If you’ve ever held a baby before, you’ll always get told to support the head and neck. It’s important to do this because without that support, it could be harming the baby’s body in a number of ways. It can be nerve-racking as a new parent when holding your baby, but it’s definitely something you’ll become quickly used to when it comes to handling your own baby. It might seem terrifying at first, but you’ll learn how to hold it better when you’re with them 24/7!

Spend Plenty Of Time Bonding

These early times in a baby’s life are important because they’ve spent the better part of nine months or less in your body, and now they’re outside of it. Therefore, all their crying is likely due to being in this new environment where the temperature is different, and they’re not being fed as consistently as usual. Take this time to really bond with your child and get in all that skin to skin contact that they’ll be after.

You can take a look online to answer any questions that you might have on caring for your baby when they’re sick, like tips to help your congested baby breathe, and there’s also lots of information on best practices for bonding with your child.

Stock Up On Diapers & Essentials

With a newborn baby, it usually is the case that you’ll need to change their nappy on average ten times a day. And although that might seem impossible, it’s definitely accurate. Therefore, it’s a good idea to really stock up on diapers and essentials before you have your baby. Over that pregnancy period, try and get as many diapers as possible for those stages where they’ll go from newborn to toddler and until they learn to go pee themselves. Essentials like bibs are good to have because you’re going to likely go through a lot of them with all the mess they’ll make. Whether that’s through burping, feeding, or being sick. It’s better for it to go on a bib than on your clothes!

Always Place Babies On Their Back For Sleeping

One of the dangers that comes with babies is when they go to sleep. It’s essential that whenever you lay your baby down to sleep, you put them on their back. This is because it helps reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) that can occur in newborns. You also want to make sure that you avoid putting blankets on your baby until after a twelve month period. This is only because it’s more likely to cause suffocation if the blanket ends up on their face. This is the same for pillows so take caution.

 

Hopefully, these tips will help you with dealing with a newborn for the first time. Take your time, and don’t panic. It’s a new experience and one you’ll learn more about as you go.

 

*Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

How to Give Your Cat a Bath In Five Easy Steps

“How to Give Your Cat a Bath In Five Easy Steps is a delightful and hilarious story that all cat lovers will get a giggle out of.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Step one: fill the bath
Step two: put the cat in the bath
Step three: put shampoo on the cat
Step four: rinse the cat
Step five: dry the cat

Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing ANY of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath — it’s the whole house!

#MelAndNikkiReview

How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps made us giggle out loud. We are cat lovers and we know how much they just “love” baths so we were intrigued on how this clever girl could accomplish such a task. After following all five steps and a few more added, it was quickly learned that the best way to give a cat a bath is to actually let them to do it themselves. 😉

This story is fun, creative and illustrations are delightful. There is great detail in the illustrations and make sure to follow the cat’s path to see where he could be hiding. That was Nikki’s favourite part of the story was to see where he could be hiding.

“Mr. Flea is so funny momma! He does not like baths!” – Nikki, Age 5

We also really like this book as it allows us to work on Nikki’s reading skills. There are a lot of familiar words used that Nikki was able to pick up on which made us love this book even more. We can’t wait until she reads this book all on her own to us. We will just keep practicing. 🙂

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 meows out of 5! It was a purrfect story for our reading lineup and it can be for you and your little one too. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here. This is a great time to brush on some reading while we spend quality family time together. 😉

About the Author

Nicola Winstanley has always believed in the power of stories to bring comfort. She is the author of  The Pirate’s Bed, A Bedtime Yarn and  Cinnamon Baby, which won an honor prize for the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and was shortlisted for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Nicola lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with her family, one dog and one cat.

About the Illustrator

John Martz is an illustrator, cartoonist and designer. He is the author and illustrator of Evie and the Truth About Witches, Burt’s Way Home and A Cat Named Time and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. John is the art director for Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, and he lives in Toronto with his wife and one dog. No cats.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt

“The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt has puff, puff, chug, chug into our hearts and just in time for Easter!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Easter’s here! The Little Engine is on the hunt for eggs, and the clown has written a serie of riddles for her to follow. Will the Little Engine crack the code? She’ll have to work together with her friends and, most importantly, believe in herself!

“Happy Easter,” toots the Little Engine.
“What a great day it is,” says the toy clown.
“Are you ready to have some fun?”
The toy clown has a surprise for his friends.
“It is time for an Easter egg hunt!” he says.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt is delightful and sure to please your young reader. This story is part of the Penguin Young Readers Level 2 which we loved as Nikki got to practice her reading skills with this story. The levels determines which reader it is best suited for and a description is provided at the back to help guide parents. This is the first time we have read a book from the Penguin Young Readers and we absolutely love it! Makes me want to check out many more.

With this particular story we got to follow the amazing and classic character, The Little Engine as she is on an egg hunt with her friends. We love the clues that are given as they search as it gives the reader a chance to guess themselves. I have to say that Nikki was much better with the riddles than I was (I am definitely a little rusty). The illustrations are vibrant and they provide great clues to help the young reader read. We know with much more practice, Nikki will be reading me this story before I go to bed. 😉

We give The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt 5 eggs out of 5! It offers simple text, clever riddles, and adorable illustrations which is perfect for emerging readers. It also provides eggspiring ideas for your own Easter hunt at home. I think this year I will provide riddles for Nikki’s egg hunt so that she can practice reading and have fun at the same time. 🙂

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here as it is great for children ages five to eight.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny

“The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny is the perfect story to treat your little ones this Easter season!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Blue is a Tooth Fairy, and he’s ready for his next mission! All he has to do is collect a lost tooth, leave a coin in exchange, and return to the Tooth Fairy Command Center. Easy! But when he gets to the house, he realizes it may not be so simple. That’s because it’s the night before Easter! The Easter Bunny is there to do his job and he makes it clear that he works alone. Can Blue convince the rude rabbit to let him stay, or will he have to hop out in a hurry?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny takes us to an epic battle between Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. A fun, creative story with illustrations to match is what you can expect from this great children’s book. It even offers that dash of humor that will have you and your little ones giggling. The battle is fierce and you wonder who will come out the winner. At the end, everyone is the winner as new friendships are formed. What better way to truly win a battle, but to rise with friends by your side.

We definitely loved this story and as a parent I have to say that I love the detail that the tooth fairy has left a coin under the pillow. It sure is much more manageable then the twenty dollars that some tooth fairies have been leaving behind. 😉 Also loved the letter with photo that Blue and the Easter Bunny left behind for Veda and her brother – perfect detail to complete the story.

“I love how the Tooth Fairy saved Easter and it was a happy ending for everyone.” – Nikki, Age 5

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 Easter eggs out of 5! It brought creativity to the magical world of tooth fairies and bunnies that will have you reading it over and over again. It certainly got us “eggcited” for Easter as we celebrate as we social distance this year. But this book sure did bring us some great joy!

This book is perfect for Easter as it will offer the giggles you need after eating all those Easter treats! If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Jasmine Green Rescues Series

“Jasmine Green Rescues is a new chapter-book series that will capture the animal lover’s hearts and just anyone who loves great stories.” – Momma Braga

Jasmine Green Rescues Series Synopsis

Meet Jasmine Green, an aspiring veterinarian who adores animals, in a heartwarming new chapter-book series.

Jasmine Green loves animals. Her mother is a veterinarian. Her father is a farmer. And her brother and sister are…well, they’re mostly annoying. But being in the Green family means seeing and taking care of animals all the time. In the first two books of the series, author Helen Peters and illustrator Ellie Snowdon introduce clever, caring Jasmine and some lovabale animals while capturing the beauty and bustle of a family farm. Reminiscent of James Herriot’s and Dick King-Smith’s classic stories, yet thoroughly modern, the Jasmine Green series is perfect for animal-loving readers.

“A Piglet Called Truffle” Synopsis

While helping her mom on a house call, Jasmine visits a new litter of piglets and discovers a forgotten runt hidden underneath its brothers and sisters. Poor little piglet. It’s so tiny that it can’t even drink! Its owner refuses to rescue it. So it’s up to Jasmine to save the pig…secretly. What will happen if someone finds out?

“A Duckling Called Button” Synopsis

While walking in the woods, Jasmine and her best friend, Tom, find a nest of orphaned duck eggs. The eggs need lots of care. Hatching them is hard work. Can Jasmine keep the eggs warm and safe? With a little love and luck, the Green family farm will have a fluffy duckling friend for life.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Jasmine Green Rescues has found a soft spot in my heart! These first two books in this new series, Jasmin Green Rescues, is absolutely wonderful. Both books had a great storyline and full of love for animals. Such sweet stories and I really love Jasmine Green which you can’t help but love. By the end of both books, I wanted a Duck named Button and a Pig named Truffle! 😉

To me personally the book gave us the message on the importance of rescuing animals especially those in trouble and adopting animals from the shelter. That message is so important as adopting should always be the first place to find your furever friend. Reading the books reminded me of the love we had for our late cat, Lily who we adopted and loved so much. I know when we are ready for a new one, we will be taking the adoption route.

If you are looking for a sweet series for your young readers to be immersed with, then I would recommend this one. I loved the extra touches added to the books such as the Q&A on the back with the main character Jasmine and it also gives you a sneak peak at the next upcoming books in the series. It makes me excited to see the next books in the series and I know they will be just as great especially since I loved the first two.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this series 5 stars out of 5! A must read for all young readers aged seven to nine.

To purchase a copy of A Piglet Called Truffle, click here.

To purchase a copy of A Duckling Called Button, click here.

About the Author

Helen Peters is the author of numerous books for young readers that feature heroic girls on farms saving the day. She grew up on an old-fashioned farm in England, surrounded by family, animals, and mud. Helen Peters lives in London.

About the Illustrator

Ellie Snowdon is a children’s author-illustrator from a tiny village in South Wales. She has a master’s in children’s book illustration from Cambridge School of Art. Ellie Snowdon lives in Cambridge, England.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time is another amazing Emily Windsnap adventure awaits for young readers in this latest Liz Kessler book!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

When Emily makes a wish on a magic stone, she gets a glimpse of what the future holds – and it’s a disaster! She tries to make things right, but each trip through time takes Emily to a future where things turn out badly for either the humans of Brightport or the merpeople of Shiprock. Plastic pollutes the ocean, garbage overflows the landfills, and the two towns are no longer getting along.

Emily realizes she can’t save her hometown and the ocean alone, but with help from her best friends, Shona and Mandy, she’ll have to find a way to get humans and merpeople to work together. Will Emily be able to create a better future for everyone, including herself? This new adventure gives readers a glimpse at what Emily and her friends could be like as grown-ups, with a fresh stort that explores how uniting communities can make a future that’s bright for everyone.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time has everything you can expect from the author, Liz Kessler.

Adventure awaits as Emily wishes and travels to the future to save the day. Loved how the story flows and the vivid descriptions of the futures are amazing.

My favorite takeaway from this book is the importance of recycling and keeping our oceans clean. Great message to pass onto tweens in this latest Emily Windsnap story.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 wishes out of 5! It brings all our favorites together: adventure, love, magic, heroine and a great message. A must read for sure!

This novel is great for young readers from 8 to 12. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

About the Author

Liz Kessler is the author of the best-selling Emily Windsnap series, the Philippa Fisher series, the novels North of Nowhere and A Year Without Autumn, and a series of early readers about Poppy the Pirate Dog. She lives in Cornwall, England.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.