Books and Bibles for Kids: July Edition!

Welcome to our monthly feature, “Books and Bibles for Kids!” I get so many great kids’ books and Bibles to review and I want you to know about some of our favorites each month! I hope you enjoy these new finds!

Books & Bibles for Kids July 2013

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

For Little Ones

The Blessings Jar by Colleen Coble

Both grandmas have visited our house this past week and I’m reminded of how fortunate we are to have such loving grandparents for our boys. The Blessings Jar not only teaches children how to be more thankful, but also celebrates the special bond between grandparent and grandchild. This sweet board book is intended for children ages 2-5.

My ABC of God Loves Me

There is just something SO adorable about our littlest, Double J, carrying around these cute little padded board books that have handles now! And this one has a fabulous dual purpose – sharing God’s love with your little one AND teaching them the ABCs! I think the illustrations are so cute and so will your kiddos!

For Elementary Age

The Happy Hollisters by Jerry West

We discovered this series of chapter books through one of our language arts books this past year and it has totally captivated Big J since then! Written starting in 1953, the books follow the children of the Hollister family as they go on adventures and solve mysteries. We’ve found many of them at the library, but I’m considering buying the whole set because he loves them so much!

Christian Heroes: Then & Now by Janet and Geoff Benge

Big J was introduced to the world of biographies this summer with these inspiring stories of real Christian heroes and how they impacted the world for Jesus. He is just finishing up the one about George Washington and we’re going to read about Gladys Aylward next! This series would be ideal for children 8 years old and up, and even exciting enough to be of interest to early teens. There are many, many books in this series, so you can find a biography just about any child would enjoy!

Who’s Who and Where’s Where In the Bible for Kids by Stephen M. Miller

My husband has this book called How to Get Into the Bible that he’s had since before I knew him. It’s a great reference book for lots of biblical background, so I was excited to see the author had released a similar book geared to kids! The book features information on 100 important people and places from Scripture and is intended for 8 to 12 year olds.

Summer is winding down, so I would love to know the best book you and your kids {or just your kids} read this summer! Share your favorites!

 

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High Five Morning Routine for Kids

Two years ago, the lovely Laura Booz posted on her blog about her girls’ morning routine called the “High Five!” You can see my comment still on that original post where I said I was going to make my own for the boys right then. And I actually did!

We’ve been using that “High Five” routine for two years now. It was simple because they were 5 and 3. The five things on their hand were all things they could do mostly by themselves. I could just say, “Go do your High Five!” and they knew exactly what to do! It’s a lot easier to say that than list all of those things over and over again!

As the boys have grown up, I’ve seen a need to “grow up” their High Five as well!

The older two boys {7 and 5} and I sat down to talk through the different parts of their current morning routine and determine which of those things needed to happen EVERY morning.

Here is what we came up this time around:

High Five Morning Routine

These five things are to be done in order from left to right. Bible + prayer time is first because I want it to be the first thing they do each morning – now and in the future!

Once all five are completed, they get to slap the hand on the wall – actually high five the “High Five!” Boys love getting to hit anything, right?!  The rule in our house is no playing until the High Five is done! The boys each have an assigned daily chore which I prefer them to do in the morning, but we didn’t make it part of the High Five because some need to be done later in the day.

The High Five could be easily adapted for children of any age. Other things that could be included in your morning routine depending on age and time of year:

  • Pick up toys
  • Put pajamas away
  • Feed a pet
  • Get backpack ready for school
  • Wash face
  • Morning chore
  • Brush hair
  • Take vitamin
  • Hug Mommy & Daddy
  • Thank Jesus for today {original idea from Laura!}

Isn’t this a fun idea? I’ve found I felt less like a nagging mom in the morning when I just say, “High Five time!” It’s a morning routine that has worked for us for two years and I think it will stick around for a long time!

What would be on the hand for your High Five morning routine for your kids?

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Day & Night Cookies

When Big J was three, I started doing some preschool at home with him, and we started off each day with a Bible story, beginning at the beginning!

One particular day, we were talking about how God created day and night and focused on the colors black and white.

He needed something to keep him occupied and he loved baking with me {still does occasionally}, so we came up with this fun little recipe!

We took my mom’s classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and mixed it up a little to make “Day and Night Cookies.” I threw in a little bit of this and that I found in the cupboard. We were both quite pleased with the yummy results!

Day Night Cookies Oven

The “mix-in” proportions can be changed to suit your tastes – more Heath in my case! Raisins could also make a great “night” option.

Big J had fun finding the black and white pieces as he ate the cookies. And looking back over this recipe, I think I’m ready to pop another batch in the oven!

Day Night Cookies

Day and Night Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mix-ins – here is my preference:
  • *1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • *1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • *1/2 cup toffee baking bits (such as Heath)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugars and shortening together.

Add eggs and vanilla.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients, adding your preferred mix-ins last.

Drop by spoonful on to a cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes until a light golden brown.

 

What would you throw into your version of “Day and Night Cookies?” 

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Hide and Seek Devotional {Giveaway!}

I have a lot of moms ask me about doing devotional time with preschool age children…

They won’t sit still.

They need variety.

Just sitting down to read a story doesn’t work every day.

How do I keep them interested?!?!

I’ve found a great resource to solve those preschool devotion-time problems!

The Hide and Seek Devotional includes 52 devotionals to help your child hide the Word in his heart and seek the Lord in his life – and it’s all laid out in a fun format for the parent and child!

The book goes through the alphabet twice – uppercase letters first, then lowercase letters – using Scripture, Bible stories, colorful illustrations, and even songs to fully engage your child in Bible time!

Prayers and activities add even more depth and engagement with your young ones!

And each devotional includes a memory verse, just perfect for little ones to tuck away in their hearts {and check off in the back of the book}!

To top it all off, when you buy the book, you also get a free audio download including songs to help with Scripture memorization! It’s the complete package!

With 52 lessons, the Hide and Seek Devotional would be a wonderful book to work through weekly over the course of a year. And it’s not just for preschoolers – early elementary age children will love this as well!

If you want to take a look in the book for yourself, just click here!

And after you check it out, come back over here to enter to win your own copy!

Just tell me in the comments how your children learn best – music, pictures, stories, hands-on activities?

For optional extra entries, you can share this post on Facebook and Twitter – just leave a separate comment telling me where you shared!

This giveaway will end Friday, August 31st at 9:00 p.m. CST! One winner will be chosen at random and notified by email!

*****

*I received this devotional to review because I am a Tommy Mommy. All opinions are 100% my own!

**This post contains affiliate links.

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God Is Good To Me {And YOU!}: A Video and Giveaway!

We’ve had a lot going on in our lives right now {in case you couldn’t tell by the crickets chirping here at the blog}!

Almost all of it has been wonderful, awesome stuff, but crazy schedules and many changes also come with a lot of stress.

Several times a day I need to step back {or go into the peace of the bathroom}, take a deep breath, and remind myself of one important thing…

God is SO good to me.

And now, thanks to the lovely and spunky Yancy, the kids and I have an amazing song running through our heads to remind us of that very truth!

Check out this special Yancy Blog Tour video just for all of you…

{Did you catch the sparkly piano in there?! So awesome!}

The kids have been dancing around to this and having so much fun! We loved Yancy’s first preschool CD & DVD, Little Praise Party: My Best Friend, so we are pumped about this latest album!

There is nothing better than music based on the Word of God that is fun for ALL of us to listen to {and by that I mean not annoying to adults}!

There is much fun to be had at Yancy’s website, including music and DVDs for kids of every age. I loved her album for older kids/teens called Stars, Guitars, and Megaphone Dreams – great energizing music!

Now, YOU have a chance to win a CD/DVD combo pack of Little Praise Party: Happy Day Everyday!

Leave a comment before midnight tonight telling me one way God has been to good to you lately! One winner will be chosen at random and notified by email!

And don’t miss out on the wonderful videos at the other stops on the Yancy Blog Tour:

Monday April 30
Impress Your Kids

Tuesday May 1
Mama Hall

Wednesday May 2
God Centered Mom

Thursday May 3
Homeschool Creations

Friday May 4
ModSquad

Saturday May 5
When You Rise

Sunday May 6
4tunate

Monday May 7
Inspired To Action

Tuesday May 8
Home With the Boys

Wednesday May 9
1+1+1=1

Thursday May 10
Muthering Heights

Friday May 11
MOB Society

Saturday May 12
I Can Teach My Child

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Little J’s Christmas Program

There are not many things cuter than a preschool Christmas program.

Our preschool really knows how to do it – short and super sweet!

These adorable kiddos were on stage for about fifteen minutes, and if you have preschoolers, you know that is the PERFECT length of time before potty breaks and Kleenex and other such things are needed.

Well, I guess one child needed a Kleenex during that time and another one wanted her mommy to put her headband back on, but otherwise there were very few interruptions!

Little J loves preschool and his teacher, but he gets very solemn and shy when I’m dropping him off. See the look on his face?

Crazy at home, solemn in public – that’s our Little J! His teacher says that shyness wears off pretty fast once class gets going, but that look on his face just cracks me up!

He did all of the actions throughout the program – SO adorable! He did not sing a single word until the last song, Silent Night, but that was more than enough to make this Christmas-loving, former music teacher mama grin from ear-to-ear.

Besides, I know the boy can sing from his belting of “FA LA LA LA LA” from the backseat of the van :)

And at least he wasn’t picking his nose or lifting up his shirt – nothing to end up on America’s Funniest Home Videos! We were very proud of how focused he was despite the twirling and waving and so on surrounding him!

And he looked so stinkin’ handsome in his Sunday best…

Love these guys! And even when all dressed up, they’re so goofy together…

Those grins get me every time.

Since it was his special night, Little J got to pick somewhere to eat for dinner, so we all enjoyed some Applebee’s to wrap up the night!

Christmas programs – just another reason to love this time of year!

Have you been to any Christmas programs this year? Any funny stories?

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Friday Fun: Alphabet Caps

This is such a simple idea, but I never thought of until my friend Megan mentioned doing it with her kiddos!

I’m trying to stock up on things for Little J to play with while Big J and I do school, or even activities we can do together at varying levels, and this is the perfect thing!

We started by collecting plastic bottle caps from milk, water bottles, juice, etc. We had some lovely friends and family who collected as well, which grows your stash quickly!

I believe we collected over 100! That gives you 3-4 sets of the entire alphabet, plus extras to work with!

A few tips:

*Make uppercase and lowercase letters. I tried to keep it pretty even, but now I’m wishing I had more lowercase to spell out words correctly!

*Make extra lowercase vowels – you will often run out!

*Leave some blank so you can write on them when others get lost or you need ANOTHER D or P or B!

*Let your kiddos play with them on their own before directing any activities. I was surprised by how much Little J enjoyed just sorting through them and saying the letters!

Then find or make up activities to do – letter sorting, forming the full alphabet, uppercase and lowercase matching, spelling and much more!

Put them in a bag or container, label it and add to your activity shelf!

Learning letters can be fun and this costs little to no time or money for you! Win win!

Thanks again for the idea Megan {also a fellow homeschool newbie this fall}!

Have a happy and blessed weekend!

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The Graduate

Wednesday night, he took a big step…

and graduated from preschool!

There were adorable songs being sung and this mama was so grateful for a preschool that teaches a love for the Lord right alongside letters, numbers and manners.

I definitely teared up as they sang “Thy Word.” Oh my heart.

And then they got their diplomas…

Of course, my pic of him actually GETTING his diploma didn’t turn out, but you can just barely see it in his hands there!

Big J and his buddy E were not in the same class, but they have been friends since birth and her parents are some of our closest friends. So fun to share the day with them!

And he was blessed to have TWO amazing teachers this year…

Mrs. K was his teacher from the beginning of the year and he loved her right away! She did a wonderful job encouraging and teaching him -he grew so much right away!

She left at the end of January to have that precious baby boy in the picture and now gets to be a stay-at-home mom! I am so happy for her!

Mrs. W came when Mrs. K went on maternity leave and Big J adored her as well. Changing teachers mid-year can be really rough. but not in this case!

Mrs. W was so sweet and encouraged Big J in his blossoming reading skills. We were so thrilled to have another sweet teacher to finish out the year!

Big J will miss his wonderful preschool, but he is ready to start kindergarten right now! We are so excited for Little J to be a part of the same preschool next year!

Happy graduation Big J! We are so proud of you!

*****

In other news, this is what we’re up to with the little guy today…

Big brother picked out a bunch of stickers to try to encourage him…

A good effort, but not working so far…9:10 a.m. – one accident and no potty in the chair.

We shall overcome.

Happy weekend to all of you!

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Saturday Seeds: Psalm 34:10

Resources mentioned:

Music from Seeds Family Worship, Vol. 1 – Seeds of Courage. Listen online for free here!

Get 20% off your Seeds order or pre-order their sixth album, Seeds of Character, now!

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Saturday Seeds: Jeremiah 33:3

Resources mentioned:

Music from Seeds Family Worship, Vol. 1 – Seeds of Courage. Listen online for free here!

Free printables from Bible Story PrintablesJeremiah 33:3

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