Wondering What to do with all that Stuff AFTER Christmas?

miniature toys littering the floor, child's arms with hand grasping one toy

 

AFTER CHRISTMAS CRUNCH

by

Dr. Valerie Allen

Not far behind us are the holidays with all the trimmings, which for the most part, are packed away, safe until the next season of joy arrives. What to do with all the extra “stuff that has accumulated? The children’s toys and knickknacks need to find a place in their already overcrowded rooms. It’s often difficult for children to decide what to keep and what to part with.

This is an opportunity for parents to help children learn and practice organization skills and decision-making. One topic of discussion can be the difference between what we need vs what we want. Children can also learn to appreciate material things, which make our lives safe and enjoyable, as well as gratitude toward those who provide for us. It is timely to focus on sharing with others. Parents can also encourage reuse, repurpose, and recycle to contribute to maintaining our environment and safeguarding natural resources.

Helping children cooperate with the task of organizing their belongings can be made easier with these few strategic steps.

Get Started

  1. Set aside a specific day and time to work with each child. When trying to decide what to keep, consider the child first and always allow him or her to select a few favorite toys for safe keeping. As a parent, you may also want to choose items that have sentimental value. These things should be set aside with assurances to the youngster that his or her “special” things will not be taken away.
  2. Next, consider which toys are still usable. If broken or missing pieces render them useless, it’s time to get rid of them. Consider the “play value” in light of the child’s age. If the toy is still in working order, but too immature for your child, it’s time to pass it on. Take a look at your child’s “interest level”; has your child played with this toy recently? Is it too simple or too complex for their maturity level? Leftover parts and pieces can be recycled into an arts and craft box for future rainy day activities.
  3. Get organized with large trash bags, tape, storage boxes, and zip lock bags of all sizes. Use permanent markers to identify items inside of bags and boxes. Repair and tape broken game boxes and book bindings. Put small game pieces, puzzles, books with audio tapes/CDs, and miniature toys into individual zip lock bags. Larger games can be kept together in storage boxes. Use the trash bags and separate the usable toys from those that have seen better days.

What To Do With It

  1. Toys should be kept in a safe place with easy access for your child. Low shelves with each item in view is a good option and safer than high shelves; a deep toy chest may work well for stuffed toys and dolls. Use clear plastic boxes to easily see the items inside and label each one.
  2. You may decide to have a yard sale and allow your child to participate. Be sure to discuss ahead of time the etiquette of customer service—no tears when an item is sold! No taking it back. Have your youngster price and tag items. He or she can also collect money at the “check out” counter. This is a good opportunity to use the proceeds to open a savings account for the child or allow him or her to use the money for a special purchase.
  3. Items in good condition can be donated to agencies working with children such as a homeless shelter, domestic violence program, day care center, library, community mental health center, health department, or the Head Start Program. Try to recycle as many items as possible.

The process of parting with the old to make room for the new can be a learning opportunity and a positive experience for your youngster. Taking these steps will provide maximum use and fun with their new items and put reusable items into good hands.

# # #

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She has published two books for children ages 7 to 12, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.” Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

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Talking Tales Catch that Chinchilla Helps with “Ch” sounds

Erica Graham Author Photo Award Winning Book

 

Hello, everyone!

I’m bringing you an author that I have shared with you before but she has a new book, Catch that Chinchilla, that I’d like to share with you today.

First, here’s more about Erica Graham…

The Talking Tales books are not only fun stories, but they serve a unique purpose. This exciting series is designed to help with speech development.

Each book in the Talking Tales series is focused on a different core sound in its naturally occurring word positions, thus increasing a child’s awareness and helping him or her learn how to properly produce the targeted sound.

Parents and caregivers are the most important people in a child’s life. For this reason, speech tips are included in the front of each book so that this series can be used in a home setting.

There are currently 5 books in the series. One of the most popular books in the Talking Tales series is “Talking Tales: Puppy’s Bubble.” This award-winning book focuses on multiple early developing sounds and is designed to encourage babbling and early words. Many parents have also commented on how much they enjoy using this book as a first reader due to the fun story-line and repetitive sounds.

Catch that Chinchilla by Erica Graham of Talking Tales
“Talking Tales: Catch that Chinchilla” is the most recent book released in the Talking Tales series. This energetic tales begins with Fletch and Rachael as they wait to play with their new pet chinchilla. After Fletch’s impatience overcomes him, the escaped chinchilla quickly leads Fletch and Rachael in a chase across town. Will Fletch and Rachael catch the chinchilla before their dad returns? This humorous story is a great way for any parent or therapist to target the “ch” sound. There are over 115 examples of “ch” in various word locations to help improve speech development. This book also includes tips for parents who are working with the child’s speech at home.

Award-winning author, Erica Graham graduated from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville with her Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She also holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. As a mother, Erica understands the difficulty parents have finding time and ways to work on speech with their children. In her pursuit to create a fun easy way for therapists, children, and their parents to enhance speech development while promoting literacy, she has written a series of exciting children’s books. Each book focuses on a core sound used in the English language. Outside of writing and working as a Speech Language Pathologist, Erica enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and daughters, volunteering with the youth group at church, and a good cup of tea.

Thank you for joining me today and learning more about Erica and the fabulous children’s books she writes. Be sure and check them out and share with all your friends!

Here is my interview with Anita Kovacevic

Hi everyone, I hope you’re snuggled warmly in your homes if you live anywhere it’s cold. LOL. I’m sharing with you an interview with another children’s author whose books I’ve read and love. I think you’ll enjoy her interview and getting to know her better. And please check out her books!

authorsinterviews

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Nice to meet you.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

My name is Anita Kovacevic and I am in my mid-forties. (This feels like a job interview;), by the way.)

Fiona: Where are you from?

Believe it or not, I am from Croatia, a beautiful country in the South-East of Europe.

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

As for my education, I graduated English and Spanish Language and Literature from Zagreb University and have been teaching English ever since, to all age groups, beginning with three-year-olds.  I live with my family in a small town near the country’s capital. My husband and I have always told stories to our children and we use storytelling in our work (although he works in a…

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Happy New Year 2018!

sparkler on dark background

 

As 2017 draws to a close and 2018 stands before us filling us with hope, I just want to say a big thank you to all my family, friends, and followers who have joined me on this journey of writing for publication.

Officially being called a published author has been a lifelong dream finally fulfilled.

But, 2017 brought even more than I had ever dreamed when Little Birdie Grows Up won the silver medal in the Readers’ Favorite International Competition!! I’m now an award-winning author. I still can’t believe it as I type this.

In addition, my blog was listed as one of the top 100 blog sites for children’s books. I don’t write my blog to receive recognition but rather to share children’s books that I find inspiring along with other tidbits that I hope teachers and parents find helpful as they interact with children on a daily basis. But, to receive such a recognition is beyond my wildest dreams. And has spurred me on to continue to bring the best of the best in 2018.

This journey has brought me so much–I have learned more new things that I ever knew someone needed to learn (LOL!) and I have met some truly awesome people all over the world. I never knew my little world could expand in such a marvelous way.

Thank you! Thank you all for helping me, inspiring me, and sharing this journey with me. I am truly grateful for each one of you.

May 2018 bring you all you hope for and more!

 

As always, Wanda Luthman’s books that bring positive messages mixed with magical adventures are available on Amazon  at www.amazon.com/author/wandaluthman

3 Must-Have Books to Help Your Child Discover Jesus this Christmas

 

A Child in Search of Jesus by George Ettuparayil
Available on Amazon

 

 

Today, I’d like to invite you to meet Evangelist George Ettuparayil from India. He has written several books to make the Christian message of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit understandable to children.

He shares with you what each book addresses plus the awesome reviews it has already received in India.

And at the very end of this post, he offers a FREE Christmas Song to brighten and enliven you and yours this Holiday Season, just click on the link and enjoy!

 

THIS BOOK WILL HELP KIDS TO OPEN UP TO THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS.
IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME!
IT’S THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND JESUS’ LOVE.

A CHILD IN SEARCH OF JESUS.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/b007M8SQFO

Raven Howell .”George, this will certainly appeal to many children – and is entertaining enough to draw in the reader to your deeper messages. Nice going!”

Bernadette Powers -“Read it George….very modern Jesus will appeal to children for understanding and yet sticks to the nature and truth of the gospel. Also shows the most important aspect of Jesus….his abounding love. Good job George.”

Read online through amazon kindle for 1 $.

8000 COPIES SOLD IN INDIA.

 

Learn the Alphabet with Jesus by George Ettuparayil
Available on Amazon

 

TEACH KIDS JESUS’ FORGIVING LOVE-

Irma Raymond.- “I bought many copies of this book from Potta. For my kids as well as many others. Simply loved it! Thank you George, your book is really a blessing. May the Lord continue to use you for His greater glory.”
THIRD EDITION OF THE BOOK ON SALE.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XS3Z4zh

“Teach your kids A- B-C with this picture book inspired by words from the Bible. From A for Angel to Z for Zion, the writer uses live imagery alongside the holy words in the scriptures, to teach our children the English alphabets”- Kuruvilla chacko.

Buy Online in India through www.threadsandpetals.com

Read Online through Amazon Kindle for 0.99 $,

More than 5000 copies sold in India.

 

 

A Child in Search of God by George Ettuparayil
Available on Amazon

 

DID GOD PUNISHED ADAM & EVE?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C2jopa8

7000 copies sold in my state..

4th Edition On sale.

If God is love, why did He throw Adam and Eve out of Paradise?In his second bestselling picture book, writer & evangelist George Ettuparayil answers this question through the eyes of a child in search of God. Through the innocent questions of a child , the storey explains how misunderstanding is often root cause of distrust between loved ones.As also in our divine lives. Which is why we are not able to fully trust in our Heavenly Father.

“This book is ideal for people of all ages, wanting to understand God the Heavenly Father and His love for all of us.”-Kuruvilla Chacko.

Rev..Dr. mathew Vellanickal wrote the Foreword.

Read Online Through amazon kindle for 1$..

 

A Child in Search of the Holy Spirit by George Ettuparayil
Available on Amazon

 

A Child In Search Of The Holy Spirit.

Right from a young age, we are told to pray to God for prosperity , wealth, and good health. But what if we were praying for the wrong gifts all along?

In this bestselling book , writer George Ettuparayil introduces us to the most powerful truth of our times, God’s True Gift; The Holy Spirit.

Told in a picture format through the eyes of a child in search of the Holy Spirit, the book is a reminder that God made us in his resemblance and lives in us through our spirit. Only by accepting the love of the Heavenly Holy Spirit into our souls can we enrich our lives with God’s real gifts of wisdom , happiness, and peace of mind.

“This book is ideal for people of all ages, wanting to understand the true power of the Holy Spirit and its importance in our life as a Christian.” Kuruvilla Chacko.

Read online through amazon kindle for 1 $.

Another book by George, this one for adults…

 

Forgive & Love by George Ettuparayil
Available on Amazon

 

THIS BOOK WILL HELP PEOPLE STRUGGLING FROM UNFORGIVENESS. A MEMOIR

“THIS IS A GREAT BOOK”–Toni Erevia.
Ciaglo M Elizabeth “Thank you, George, your book, has the title of the example our Lord Jesus Christ showed us in His life on earth, Forgive & Love. The essence of pure, innocence of Jesus is Love & Forgiveness, each feeling walks hand in hand, without forgiveness, it is impossible to love, without love it is impossible to forgive. May The Most Holy Trinity, Blessed Mother, the Saints & Angels be with you always👏🙏✌💘💖😇👼🌈🌎🌍🌏

Anne Meyer – “George, I just read your preamble. You have written a wonderful book. May God bless you and your readers. 🙂

Joan Haselman. “Thank you, George Ettuparayil Author; I have your book and I love it.
Greetings from Lavender Bay in Australia. George, your niece very kindly gave me a copy of your book Forgive and Love. But when I thanked her for giving me the opportunity to read about you and your life journey she suggested that I send an email to you. Thank you for sharing what Jesus invited you to do, and sharing your experience of being set free.by His Spirit.
God bless.”
Phil Crotty S.J.

Joan Haselman- “I have read this book and I also believe it is a great book. Forgiveness is a part of the Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness. When we forgive, our own hearts are healed and we are free to move forward in what is right and just. We still bear the sorrow, but we are given the gift of JOY to triumph over that same sorrow.”

Brian Bleske Sr.- “Read the first 3 chapters George , very good I must say . Your story like others who have witnessed Jesus’s love often leave many feeling isolated in a world gone mad and controlled by many anti-Christs.”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006BMGNLG

21,000 Copies sold in INDIA.

The Bible talks about Forgiveness 105 times.
Experience Peace beyond belief by Meditating Jesus’ love.

Buy Online in India through http://www.threadsandpetals.com Read online through

Amazon Kindle for 1 $.

 

MUSIC

George also shares a beautiful song about Jesus and Christmas–Listen now on YouTube

Celebrating Awards Galore

a large crowd of people celebrating outdoors by throwing colorful things in the air

 

Hi, everyone,

I’m sorry for the late post today but ’tis the season. Is everyone else feeling overwhelmed?

I have some good news to share and hopefully, you’ll celebrate these milestones along with me.

Reviewers' Choice, Gold Badge from Readers Review Room (silver ring around the edge, wording in gold on a blue background)

 

First, my first children’s picture book, Little Birdie Grows Up, just received another accolade! It earned a Gold Badge from Readers Review Room (RRR)!! This is the highest honor an author can earn from RRR. Here’s the link. I feel very humbled and blessed for this recognition. I know little birdie is jumping up and down in his nest today as he hears this.

Top 100 Children's Book Blog Award (gold medal hanging on red ribbon)

And in my email inbox this morning, I received a lovely email telling me that my blog has been chosen as a top 100 children’s book blog! I’m blown away at this and am so glad all my blogging is reaching a wide audience and that the world wide web feels it is a value on the internet. Here’s the link.

I never mean to come across as boastful so I do hope that you feel the spirit behind this post is just to celebrate milestones and not be boastful.

I do not take any milestone for granted in this wonderful journey of being a children’s author. I work hard and I hope that shows in everything I do.

Happy Holidays!

 

Little Birdie Grows Up is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and Audiobook. Here’s the link.

Bonus Author’s Corner: Christmas In Florida by, Author Wanda Luthman

Patty Campbell challenged me to write a winter post about how I celebrate the holiday season in Florida. I’d like to share it here on my blog as well. She gave me permission.

Campbells World

Christmas In Florida
By
Author Wanda Luthman

Good Saturday morning campbellsworld visitors, and readers everywhere.

Since, Mother Nature has decided to grace many those of us who do not, have the good fortune to live in Florida with her presence in the form of snow, I thought I’d share this wondrously warm post, from Author Wanda Luthman.

I hope you will check it out, and if you would please, give it a share.

Make sure to stick around all the way to the end to see what other awesome things Wanda writes.

And now, Wanda…

You know when it comes to the holidays in Florida, some people don’t like that it isn’t cold, and it isn’t snowing and all but me, well, I love it! I grew up in freezing St. Louis, MO. I mean I would absolutely freeze at the bus stop waiting for my school bus. I would…

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Paisley the Goat, a children’s picture book

Rocio Monroy, children's author of Paisley the Goat

Hi, everyone!

I recently found this cute book online and reached out to the author to ask her to share a little about herself and her book. Please welcome Rocio Monroy!
Rocio Monroy was born and raised in Mexico, where she graduated as an Industrial Engineer in 2009. She came to the U.S with an Au Pair program and got to travel around the country. After she met her husband, she finally settled in St. Peters, Missouri. Ever since she has been studying English as a second language and creative writing. In 2016, Rocio won a scholarship to study at the Children’s Book Academy.

As an Author, she writes stories for tiny readers with big hearts. Her big inspiration is her three children who teach every day how to follow her dreams. She enjoys every moment of her life and likes to write about it. Her favorite thing to write about is bilingual characters that have the ability to make kids laugh. She strongly believes that books have the power of changing the world. This is the reason she spends a lot of time reading, visiting libraries, and writing stories to help make this world a better place.

Paisley the Goat, a children's picture book, written by Rocio Monroy and illustrated by Eugene Ruble

Paisley the Goat, by Rocio Monroy makes a great bedtime story. It is a sweet picture book about a goat having trouble falling asleep. Paisley the goat puts on her sleep mask and attempts to count sheep, but she can’t find a spot for herself and takes a walk on the beach.During her walk, she finds multiple items that she can count to help her calm down for a nights rest. By the time she reaches ten, she is relaxed enough to fall asleep. Charming and calming, Paisley the Goat is a fun counting book that will engage young readers. This book helps to settle down the wildest of critters. You can probably relate if you have kids and the little ones won’t lie down or unwind. Paisley the Goat will be perfect as a wind-down time read, that reinforces numbers one to ten.The little ones will love this vibrantly illustrated story and will love the opportunities the book provides to teach counting skills. Counting from one to ten is not easy for children, although Paisley the goat will make things easier for them.

Eugene Ruble’s illustrations are full of personality. The artwork matches up well with the author’s eccentric and humorous story. Having a paisley colored goat adds a wonderful dimension to Ruble’s already energetic drawings. Children will be drawn into the artwork and enamored by all the creatures they find. Besides children learning to count to ten – using ordinary outdoor objects – the story includes gentle ways in which a person can find the rest he or she needs, adding ideas to a child’s mind as to how to sleep when they don’t feel tired. And this without Mom or Dad telling them to go to bed. The bird adds to the charming humor when sleeping right beside the goat, acting as a close friend would. Paisley the Goat was recently published on August 2017 by Guardian Angel Publishing and it is available at numerous online bookstores including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository and Guardianangelpublishing.com

Below are the links where you can purchase this awesome book!!

And please, if you purchase the book, consider leaving a review. Reviews truly help books be seen by other who might also enjoy it and they are very much appreciated by the author.

amazon link: http://a.co/47DHDom

 

And here is how you can connect with Rocio…

Website: http://rociomonroy.myfreesites.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rociomonroyauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RocioMonroyauth/media
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rociomonroyauthor/

Thank you, Rocio, for sharing about yourself and your book with us today! Happy Holidays!

Thoughtful Gift-Giving

Craft items (paper, scissors, ruler) people's hands cutting and creating

 

Thoughtful Thursday

For today’s post, I want to discuss thoughtful gift-giving.

There is so much pressure to purchase gifts for others that they want and will enjoy. Sometimes trying to figure this out can cause undue stress and actually take the fun out of the holidays.

 

 

My husband comes from a large family. When they were younger and no one had much money, they would hand-make ornaments for each other. We have beautiful ornaments made from yarn knitted into angels, wood painted as toy soldiers, and pictures of family members glued to plastic frames. I wasn’t a part of the family when this tradition was occurring, but I love getting out the ornaments each year and thinking about the person who made them. Thinking about how much fun it must have been sitting around with the kids and cutting and gluing the ornaments together. The conversations they must have had about who they were making that ornament for and the laughter that surely ensued.

wooden star and wooden tree ornaments on a blue background

 

I continued the tradition when my daughter was young by making ornaments too. We loved going to the store and picking out the type we wanted to do from the craft aisle. We bonded over making them as we created something with our own hands to give. We thought about each family member. We would attach these to the presents we were mailing as a sort of additional decoration to the present. It was fun and it was a “thoughtful” gift.

That to me is what the holidays are about–spending time with your children, thinking about those you love and sending them good wishes, and making wonderful memories together. I just don’t think you can find that in the store. When you rush around buying stuff are you really thinking about the person you are buying the present for? Are you hassled by the crowds and how much money you are spending? I know I am.

Sugar cookies cut into stars on cutting board with a cookie tin nearby that says, "Cookies & Sweets for you"

My daughter is grown now and we don’t make ornaments together anymore, but one tradition we have continued is baking cookies. We bake several varieties and we put them in tins and give them to our neighbors and various others. We laugh, we make a mess, and we think about others.

This season I want to encourage you to create something to give to someone else and not just purchase an item. I would like to invite you to come back and post how doing this made you feel. If you already have a tradition like this, please share it with me here.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Here’s to thoughtful gift-giving this year!