Category Archives: Family Fun

Ultimate Summer Book & Movie Bucket List

summer book movie bucket list copy

Want to prevent summer brain drain this summer? The Homeschool Experiment has come up with an awesome resource for us: a summer book and movie bucket list! I’m so grateful she was willing to let me share this list with you!

Click to download!

These movies are all available via Netflix (streaming or DVD rental) and are “G, PG, or the equivalent.” It’s a huge list of family friendly books with movies to enjoy once you finish the book! She calls this “Movie Literature,” and I love it. Typically her family reads the book first and follows with the movie, but has a fun twist for series of books:

If it is a series of pictures books, we’ll read one a day for a week before watching the movie. If it’s something like Spiderwick, where the movie is based on all the books – we’ll read them all first. With others that have a movie for each book, like Harry Potter, we read them in order and watch the movies as we complete the books. And then other series that are chapter books, but only have one movie made like Judy Moody, we’ll just read the first book in the series.

You can peruse the whole list below (the links will take you to Amazon) or download the PDF here!
Be sure to swing by The Homeschool Experiment to say thanks! Please note:

Please review any books or movies to make sure they fit within your family’s standards before using them. The books are linked to Amazon, where you can find the author and publishing information. Also, some of the movies do not have the same name as the book. If that is the case, I’ve included the movie’s name after the book title.

The Adventures of Pinocchio*
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer*, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn* – The Adventures of Huck Finn
Alice – Alice Upside Down
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland*, Through the Looking Glass*
Amazing Adventures from Zoom’s Academy – Zoom
Anne of Green Gables*, Anne of Avonlea*
The Ant Bully
The Apple Dumpling Gang
Around the World in Eighty Days*
Arthur (series)
Babar the Elephant (series)
Baby Sitter’s Club (series)
Ballet Shoes
Bambi: A Life in the Woods*
Banner in the Sky – Third Man on the Mountain
Basil of Baker Street – The Great Mouse Detective
The Bear
Because of Winn-Dixie
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ*
The Biscuit Eater
Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses*
Black Beauty*
The Black Stallion
Blackbeard’s Ghost
The Borrowers
The Brave Little Toaster
Bridge to Terabithia
By the Great Horn Spoon! – The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin
Call of the Wild*
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlotte’s Web
Chateau Bon Vivant – Snowball Express
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car
Chrissa Stands Strong: An American Girl
Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, The Witch, & the WardrobePrince CaspianVoyage of the Dawn Treader
The Chronicles of Prydain – The Black Cauldron
City of Ember
Clifford the Big Red Dog – Clifford’s Really Big Movie
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court*
Curious George
The Dark is Rising Sequence
David Copperfield*
A Day with Wilbur Robinson – Meet the Robinsons
Doctor Dolittle*
Dream Days* – The Reluctant Dragon
Dumbo, the Flying Elephant
Ella Enchanted
Eloise (series)
Escape to Witch Mountain
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Freaky Friday
The Gnomobile
Great Expectations*
The Guardians of Childhood – Rise of the Guardians
Guardians of Ga’Hoole (series)
Gulliver’s Travels*
Hans Brinker, or, the Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland
Harriet the Spy
Harry Potter – Sorcerer’s StoneThe Chamber of SecretsThe Prisoner of Azkaban
Hatchet – A Cry in the Wild
The HobbitThe Lord of the Rings – Cartoon Version
Horrid Henry (series)
Hotel for Dogs
How to Eat Fried Worms
How to Train Your Dragon (series)
Howl’s Moving Castle
The Hundred and One Dalmatians
The Incredible Journey
The Indian in the Cupboard
The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Hugo
The Iron Man – The Iron Giant
James and the Giant Peach
Johnny Tremain
A Journey to the Center of the Earth*
Judy MoodyStink (series)
The Jungle Book*
The King’s Damosel – Quest for Camelot
Lassie Come-Home
The Last Unicorn
Little Lord Fauntleroy*
A Little Princess*
The Little White Horse – The Secret of Moonacre
Little Women*, Little Men*
The Littles
The Lost Ones – The Island at the Top of the World
Lottie & Lisa – The Parent Trap
Madeline (series)
The Magic Bed Knob, Bonfires and Broomsticks – Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Mars Needs Moms!
Mary Poppins
Meet Felicity: An American Girl – Felicity: An American Girl Adventure
Meet Kit: An American Girl – Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
Meet Molly: An American Girl – Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front
Meet Samantha: An American Girl – Samantha: An American Girl Holiday
Miss Spider (series)
Misty of Chincoteague – Misty
Monkeys, Go Home
Mother Carey’s Chickens* – Summer Magic
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – The Secret of NIMH
My Friend FlickaThunderhead
Nancy Drew (series)
The Neverending Story
Nicholas Nickleby*
The Night at the Museum
Nim’s Island
Nurse Matilda – Nanny McPhee
The Old Curiosity Shop*
Old Yeller
Oliver Twist*
One Thousand and One Nights* – The Thief of Bagdad & 1001 Arabian Nights
Oz – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz*, The Marvelous Land of Oz* – Return to Oz, Ozma of Oz*
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Peter Pan*
The Pickwick Papers*
Pippi Longstocking
The Polar Express
The Princess and the Goblin*
The Princess Diaries (series)
Ramona (series)
Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm*
The Rescuers
Robinson Crusoe*
The Secret Garden*
A Series of Unfortunate Events (series)
Seuss – The Butter Battle BookThe Cat in the HatGreen Eggs & Ham – Dr. Seuss on the Loose, Horton Hatches the EggHorton Hears a WhoHow the Grinch Stole Christmas!The LoraxThe Sneetches & Other Stories – Dr. Seuss on the Loose
The Sheep-Pig – Babe
The Spiderwick Chronicles (series)
Stuart Little
Swiss Family Robinson
The Sword in the Stone
The Tale of Despereaux
A Tale of Two Cities*
Thomasina: The Cat Who Thought She Was God
The Three Musketeers*
Toby Tyler*
Treasure Island*
The Trumpet of the Swan
Tuck Everlasting
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea*
The Ugly Dachshund
Uncle Remus & Brer Rabbit* – The Adventures of Brer Rabbit
Undercover Cat – That Darn Cat
The Water Horse
The Water-Babies*
We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story
Where the Red Fern Grows
White Fang*
The Wind in the Willows*
The Witches
A Wrinkle in Time
The Year of the Horse – The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit
The Yearling
*eBook available for free through Project Gutenberg

These are books that are supposed to be released as movies in the next year or so:
Ender’s Game (2013)
Ethel and Ernest (TBA 2013)
The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs (Epic, 2013)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (2013)
The Phantom Tollbooth (TBA 2013)
Punk Farm (TBA 2014)
Where’s Waldo?, series (Where’s Waldo, TBA 2013)


Arm & Hammer Tooth Tunes Review – #ToothTunes1D #spon

Arm & Hammer Tooth Tunes One Direction Toothbrush

My kids recently went to the dentist after a *ahem* rather long period of not going to the dentist. Not surprisingly, we are newly committed to their dental hygiene after remembering just how much those cavities cost to fill. It was perfect timing that I was asked to review the Arm & Hammer Tooth Tunes One Direction toothbrush!

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This toothbrush rocks – literally! The toothbrush we were sent to review plays its own song as your child brushes. To hear the whole song, they need to brush for exactly two minutes. (Hmm, isn’t that convenient?) My daughter loved rocking out to one of her favorite songs, One Thing by One Direction, as she brushed her teeth. Standing next to her, the music is fairly quiet but the sound actually travels through her teeth to her head. Like me, she can’t hear the music well unless she’s brushing her teeth. The Tooth Tunes website offers this explanation:

From the makers of the #1 kids battery toothbrushes, ARM & HAMMER™ Tooth Tunes™ features one of a kind Music in Your Mouth™ technology. This proprietary technology streams sound vibrations from the bristles of the toothbrush through the teeth, allowing kids to hear the music while they brush.

Tooth Tunes removes any battle associated with brushing their teeth. Whether you struggle with getting your child to brush her teeth at all, or simply can’t get her to brush for two entire minutes, this toothbrush takes those issues away. If your child isn’t a fan of One Direction, there are tons of other songs to choose from, including artists like Hot Chelle Ray and Queen.

Arm & Hammer Tooth Tunes One Direction Toothbrush

Good news for your kid if he or she is a fan of One Direction (and really, who isn’t??): Arm & Hammer Tooth Tunes is giving away 4 tickets to a One Direction Concert! Here are the details from Arm & Hammer:

  • Church & Dwight Co., Inc., is excited to announce the Brush with Tooth Tunes™, Rock with One Direction Sweepstakes! Enter for a chance to win the Grand Prize, four tickets to a One Direction concert in August 2013.
  •  100 First Prize Winners will receive One Direction prize packs, with One Direction merchandise.
  • To enter, follow the below steps:
    • Create an optional video of yourself or your kids brushing with One
      • Direction ARM & HAMMER™ Tooth Tunes™ for your chance to be
      • featured on! (A video is not required for entry.)
  • Visit, complete the registration form and click submit to be entered for your chance to win.
  • Enter up to once per week now through 6/30/13
  • Winners will be chosen July 201

Brush with Tooth Tunes™, Rock with One Direction Sweepstakes Rules:

  • No purchase necessary
  • The sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are 13 years of age or older

For official rules, visit

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And finally, my 9-almost-10-year-old gives her review: “It’s AWESOME!” For further motivation and inspiration for toothbrush battles, check out my free “Brush Your Teeth” printable!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mom It Forward! network. I received compensation and/or product for this review. As always, the opinions stated are 100% my own.

The Salt Lake City Home Show

Do you ever go peruse your local home show? This weekend at the South Towne Expo Center there is an AWESOME home show going on. I happen to be sort of an expert on home shows, because I drag my kids there ALL the time.

My husband’s family business, Stanfield Shutter, can be found at the home show! My super cute hubby works half of every home show, so I load up the kids, say hi to him, then browse the aisles of the show. Frankly, I do it to get out of the house while he’s working until 10 pm, but the kids load up on freebie candy while I get discounts on home repairs, services, and more. My kids love their bags of swag, and I love the home show-only discounts.

THIS Saturday, guess who else will be at the show? The totally adorable, totally ADHD (go Team ADD!) Ty Pennington. Get some design tips from his free workshop, or just sit and stare dreamily while your kids, hyped up on sugar, run around in circles.

Come to the home show, and stop by Stanfield Shutter for their KILLER home show deal. Just be sure to tell the sales guy Sarah sent you–its probably my husband! Get more details HERE and discounts for show tickets!

10 Kid Apps for 10 Extra Minutes of Sleep (For You!) iOS, Android, and Kindle

Top Ten Kid Apps For 10 More Minutes of Sleep

In Mom life, there is little more of value than an extra ten minutes of sleep. Today I have for you my top 10+ apps for kids–so you can get 10 more minutes of sleep. Hand your kid your tablet or phone in the morning and hit the snooze button, Slacker Mom!

Prerequisites: easy to play so your child needs little to no help navigating the app. I’ve focused on toddler and preschool apps today, but leave a note if you’d love to see apps for the older kids! The following apps are in no particular order. All apps except as noted have free trials too!

Note: I don’t have an iPad or iPhone, and I don’t have an unlimited app budget. I have a huge app wishlist but I simply can’t buy them all today! I’ve listed apps I have tried and love for Android. They are available for iOS as well, but I haven’t used them personally. Please leave a comment if you have an app that works for your kiddos!

Kid Mode by Zoodles – this is the first app I download on any device! It locks your phone with a customized screen. Your child taps on their picture and is launched into a play zone. Zoodles browses the best of Web videos and brings age-appropriate content to your child. Depending on your device, you can also let your child send and receive video mail safely, add apps like those below, and even record personalized stories with the subscription. Available on: AmazonGoogle Play, App Store,  and your home computer.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox and Monkey Math – a fantastic choice for preschoolers, this app initially frustrated my younger toddler. However, this app is so engaging, she returned to it over and over. Eventually, she actually began learning her colors and other basic skills to be able to play it with no problems! My four year old loves these apps too, and I love the menu-less interface. Monkey Math is a bit harder for my two year old (working on not hitting the tablet in frustration!), but with the positive reinforcement I predict she’ll be a numbers whiz is no time. Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

Dr. Panda Restaurant and Dr. Panda Hospital – I admit, I have put off upgrading these apps to their full versions (though my kids beg for it!) because, well, it’s not super educational! In these apps they role play a doctor or a chef in charge of either seating patients, assessing and caring for their symptoms, or seating their patrons, taking their orders, preparing their food and serving them. There’s little creativity required of them, but for an app to keep the quiet for those golden ten minutes? A pure winner for sure. Amazon, Google Play, App Store

My PlayHome – this is another role playing app, but maybe just because I’m a girl, even I find myself tinkering along with them on this one! The app is essentially a dollhouse (with a Caucasian family on the Lite version). In the living room, you can open the windows, turn lights on and off, turn on the ‘TV’ or perhaps start a CD in the stereo. In the kitchen you can ‘feed’ your little family, do a load of laundry, or boil some water for a hot cup of tea. I don’t see my girls playing with it like our real dollhouse, but it does entertain them for quite awhile! Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

Drawing Pad – hands down, my favorite coloring app on Android. I’m in love with the textures of different mediums like crayon and marker. It’s so realistic, in fact, I learned the hard way that not coloring on the tablet with REAL crayons is an important conversation to have with your toddler. For coloring book apps, I’ve got the Color & Draw HD app high on my wishlist! Drawing Pad: AmazonGoogle Play, App Store. Color & Draw HD: Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

Intellijoy apps – the puzzle app alone has occupied my toddler for cumulative hours om end. The connect the dots app (toggle between ABC’s or 123’s and more!) encourages alphabetic order awareness. And holy smokes, Android users need to check out their Learn to Read app! Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

 The Cat in the Hat by Oceanhouse Media – This app takes real books (think Dr. Suess and Berenstein Bears) and has turned them into multimedia presentations. Your child can select Read It Myself, Read To Me, and Auto Play. Auto Play is my favorite for my toddler as it performs like a mini movie for her. In Read To Me, the words are highlighted as the book is read aloud. (Looks like some nifty new features for iOS, too!) Amazon, Google PlayApp Store, and more! 

Spinlight Apps – it’s not easy to find apps as beautiful and educational as Spinlight turns out. I love these apps. I’m so excited they brought their content to Android. From AlphaTots for toddlers to Operation Math for the older kids, these apps are brilliant, simple, and fun! (Homeschoolers, don’t miss TableTots!) I wish Spinlight offered a trial version of their apps so you’ll have to take my word on this one! Amazon, Google Play, App Store.

Starfall Learn to Read – if you have a preschooler, you likely know and love Starfall has been bringining their awesome content to iOS for awhile now but has more recently began to focus on Android as well. My only complaint is that not all the iOS Starfall apps are on Android (yet!) but my four year old is thrilled to have her favorite characters on my tablet too. Amazon, Google PlayApp Store

Super WhyFinally! PBS Kids is finally bringing content over to Android! So far Super Why and Play at Home With Daniel are the only released on Android, but they’re pretty great. My kids don’t know Daniel, but we are huge fans of Super Why at our house. Note, there aren’t any trial versions of these apps. Amazon, Google Play, App Store. Edit: since writing this, several more apps have been released on both Google Play and Amazon! 

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate, and when you purchase through the Amazon links above I get a very small portion of the proceeds.

Any must have apps that need to be on this list? Leave the app name, as well as your operating system below! (iOS, Android, Kindle, or other.)


An Unpinnable Halloween

I believe my daughter is waving to her reflection in this picture, and my toddler is grinning at a stranger in the distance.

I went to bed last night with delusions of grandeur, thinking I would wake up early and surprise the kids with some Pumpkin Pancakes (like these on the Idea Door!).
I woke up tired, grumpy, and late.

I believe my daughter is waving to her reflection in this picture, and my toddler is grinning at a stranger in the distance.

In this picture you’ll notice three girly girls, dressed up in costume. We were so late in getting ready that I missed the chance to take a photo of my son, and my oldest daughter was rushed out the door with her hair in a sloppy ponytail because we couldn’t find the brush and she was going to be late. No time for cute cowgirl braids. As she ran out I admonished, “Keep your hat on so no one sees your hair!”

Nicole, Abigail, and I went to the annual costume parade at the school but got there late, and missed Rebecca actually parading around. Instead we sat in the hallway with her and watched the other children go by on their way back to class, as Rebecca’s class was one of the first to go. (Frankly, I preferred this to getting there super early and waitingwaitingwaiting to catch a glimpse of my kid before she’s gone!)

Oh well. I’m a slacker. I decided I would make a cute little Halloween themed lunch. (These mummy pizzas are adorable, but the cookie cutter pumpkin sandwich is more my lazy style.) I would be awake, alert, and could master a little Halloween fun. We didn’t start school till just before noon and rushed through it before my daughter came home from her short day at school…

… then I realized I was out of bread, so we just reheated baked potatoes for lunch.

Our traditional pre-trick or treating bowl of piping hot chili will be waylaid by the fact that I didn’t have the ingredients for chili on hand.
Carving pumpkins? Didn’t buy ’em.
Decorating the house? Decorations were in storage… sure hope we get our Christmas decor out before February.

This blog is officially unpinnable, as far as this Halloween is concerned.

I’m just keeping it real for you. If you ever feel like less-than-the-best because of those cutesy, crafty moms on Pinterest who deck out their porches and create crafts for the season and bake up a storm, all in the name of enjoying a holiday with their family, I just wanted to let you know: you’re not alone.

Are you a slacker Halloween mom?

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