October 31, 2009

$5 off $25 BRU Coupon

There is a new printable $5 off $25 Babies R Us coupon out.  Also, you should be able to stack it with the 15% off one item coupon you may have received in the mail this week.  It's glued to the front of the mailer (see photo below).  The combo would make a $25 item about $17.  Both coupons specify a "baby item", but can also be used at TRU.  The printable expires Nov. 6th and the mailer expires Nov. 25th. 

Leaf Sensory Tub

It's a bit late, but I finally got around to collecting some leaves to put into S's sensory tub.  We don't live in an area with big pretty fall leaves, but S still loves looking at them, crunching them, tearing them, dumping them...S and I also made a leaf rubbing together (hand-over-hand).  His eyes lit up when he saw the leaf appear as if by magic!

October 30, 2009

Deal-of-the-Day Sites

Sometimes I find good deals on baby and child gifts at the following sites.  They each work a little differently and have their own policies, but the basic idea is that they sell one item until it sells out, so you have to make a quick decision.  Warning:  you can make a regrettable decision, so when it doubt, it's better to pass up the deal ;)  Truth be told, I have only pulled the trigger once, but they are still fun to check out...

Babysteals:  "At BabySteals.com we sell one quality baby or maternity product every day at 50-80% off until it sells out. It's not just a deal, it's a steal! A 'BabySteal'!"

Kidsteals:  "At KidSteals.com we sell products from one hot brand each day at 50%-80% off until it sells out. One amazing steal a day at 9am MST and when it's gone, it's gone. Act fast because we sell out quick and slow fingers lose the race because it's not just a deal it's a steal! A 'KidSteal'!"

Kids.Woot:  "Like the other Woot sites: we offer a new deal every night at midnight Central time, in limited quantities at a discounted price. Only one product is available at any given time. If you want one, you click that big orange button that says I WANT ONE. When it sells out, or the next midnight rolls around, that deal is gone. No backorders, no rainchecks, no do-overs. And no, we don’t tell you what the next product is. What fun would that be?"

Mama Bargains:  "The word of mom says our deals are so hot, they're almost free! Every single item, ALWAYS 50-80% off it's retail value.  Here is the most important part of our website: WE OFFER MORE THAN ONE DEAL A DAY! We just do it one deal at a time. We don't list items at a certain time of the day, it's very random, mysterious and completely unplanned what products we will feature and when they will feature. You need to keep checking back throughout the day to find new deals, once one is gone, you will see another new deal immediately after!"

Green Baby Bargains:  "Welcome to Green Baby Bargains, where we dish out one incredible, eco-friendly bargain per day!"

ShnoopNote: not always a baby/kid product.  "Shnoop.com is an online store that focuses on selling general merchandise extremely cheap. We wanted to join the ever so popular "deal a day" sites because if you never try anything new, you'll miss out on many of life's great disappointments. We offer one item a day (Today's Shnoop), but unlike the other "item a day" websites we give you a chance to buy the previous days item as well until it is sold out."

October 29, 2009

Free Mozart for Baby and Toddler Downloads

The Munchkin site has free Mozart downloads for babies and toddlers.  Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Jack-o-Lanterns Have Feelings Too...

Using some more pumpkin die-cuts, I decided to draw different facial expressions on each one.  We named each feeling and made a similar face to express it.  S really only knows sad, happy, and surprised and while he can make the face, I'm not so sure he understands what it really means yet.  This was a great activity to develop his emotional vocabulary though because feelings can be a difficult concept.  It's important to me that I give S words to use to express what he's feeling.  For older children, you could give them the name of the feeling and let them draw what they think it would look like. 

I also used my Kodak $15 gift code to make a Feelings photo book. Each page has a feeling under a photograph of S expressing that feeling.  It was a lot of work searching through our photos and trying to match up expressions with emotions, but I think it will be worth it.  I can't wait for it to arrive!

October 28, 2009

Free Photo Prints

I never pay much for photo prints because I either take advantage of special offers via email or sign up with a new print provider that is offering free prints.  You must be a new customer/have a new account to take advantage of these offers.  I compiled a list of current free print offers to new customers.  I have not personally used all of the ones below (though I plan to).  You may have to pay shipping charges with some of the providers, but check to see if there is an "in store pick-up" option or a coupon code for free shipping first to make it completely free.  These can change overnight (in fact two changed while working on the post!) so this list may not be accurate in a few days, but here's what I found today:

CVS 50 prints

See Here (Fuji Film) 100 prints

Snapfish 50 prints

Shutterfly 50 prints

York Photo 20 prints

Clark Colorlabs 20 prints

Artscow 1,200 prints (spread out over time)

FotoTime 50 prints

I couldn't find a current offer for Photoworks or Winkflash, but they have in the past. 

Have you had a particularly positive or negative experience with one of the above?  Do you know of any other current offers?

Felt Jack-o-Lantern

I cut out a felt jack-o-lantern for S to play with a few days ago.  We tallked about the parts of the face and where each one goes.  As you can see, we still need some practice on correct placement, but it was a fun way to learn facial parts. 

October 27, 2009

FREE Leapfrog ABC Animal Orchestra Board Book

You can get a free ABC Animal Orchestra board book if you own a Leapfrog toy.  Just sign up and link to the toy you own here.  I did this several months ago and didn't think it was still offered, but it is!  The book can be used with the Leapfrog Tag Junior if you own one or plan to, but it can also be used as a regular board book.  It would make a great stocking stuffer!

Handprint Spiders

Warning: the how-to video below is a bit odd (in fact you may want to watch it without sound), but the idea is a cute one to do with little ones. I did it with S yesterday and plan to make one each Halloween to watch his spiders grow over the years!  Thanks, Julia!

Updated apology: Yikes!  I actually took the time and listened to the lyrics of the You Tube demo.  I am not very current on rap music.  Sorry!  Some of you may have thought it was hilarious (S.H.), but others may not have found it as funny so I took it down in case you fall into the latter category ;) 

To make the spider you just fold a sheet of black paper in half and trace your child's four fingers (no thumb) on the side with the crease.  Then cut it out and when you open it up, you should have eight spider legs! 

October 26, 2009

Cheap Seventh Generation Diapers

There is a great Amazon deal on Seventh Generation diapers right now.  It's complicated, so I will let Money Saving Mom tell you about it.

Packing Toiletries

Some of my home organization ideas are probably obvious, but I want to share this in case.  One thing I do to save time packing for short trips is keep a Ziploc bag of travel size toiletries packed at all times.  Then I can grab it and go.  I get my travel toiletries from free sample offers by checking Money Saving Mom and Freebies4Mom or for free from the trial size bins at CVS and Target using coupons. 

October 25, 2009

Toy Library Finds

I think I've told you how much I love our toy library and our trip on Friday was no exception.  I ran across two things that were perfect for us right now.  The first is a "color kit."  It was perfect since we have been talking about the color orange.  My only complaint would be that all the objects were typically orange.  I know there are orange frogs and perhaps lobsters are orangey, but...?  Anyway, I thought the idea was a great one though to do at home.  Just collect a bunch of objects of one color and place them in a basket together.  This wonderful blog has been doing that and creating a photo book of the collections. 

My other find was this copy of Stellaluna that came with a bat puppet.  I am so glad I ran across it because I love this book and completely forgot about it while learning about bats and owls this past week.   

October 24, 2009

Daddy Knows Best

My husband has been on top of the "Parent Hacks" lately.  First, he found ANOTHER use for breastmilk storage containers- to keep crayons in the diaper bag from breaking! 

Also, this past weekend we were out of town staying at a hotel and I meant to bring our baby monitor so we could keep an ear out for S from our adjoining friend's room.  Well, I forgot.  But since we have free minutes between our cell phones, we called each other and put the two on speaker phone and left one next to S's Pack-and-Play and kept the other with us!

October 23, 2009

Another Diecut Use!

Here's yet another use for diecuts- tape black bat diecuts to the inside of a lampshade for a spooky look in the evening!  Thanks, Julia and Martha Stewart!

Die-Cut Coloring Pages

I made a coloring page for S by tracing some die-cut leaves on blank paper.  We also sang "Autumn Leaves are Falling Down" and I gave him fall colors to use.  You could do the same thing tracing any die-cut shapes or even cookie cutters.

Note:  While I gave him a coloring page with specific colors to use, I also make sure to offer S plenty of open-ended art opportunities (i.e blank paper, color choice, material choice...).

October 22, 2009

Playskool Coupons

After I posted my Target trip with Mr. Potato Head, I realized I should let you know about the printable Hasbro/Playskool coupons that are currently out.  They don't expire until after Christmas, so I will keep an eye out from now until then for sales. 

These are the toys included:

-$10 Dance Cam
-$5 DinoRoars Hatchlings
-$10 DinoRoars Stompers
-$2 Mr. Potato Head
-$5 Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase
-$5 Mr. Potato Head Spud Buds
-$10 Musical Sit N Spin
-$5 Playskool Activity Ball
-$5 Playskool Busy Ball Popper
-$3 Playskool Gloworm
-$5 Playskool Step Start Walk’nRide
-$5 Swing N Score Baseball
-$5 Tumble N Twirl

Right now, the Musical Sit and Spin is on sale $20 at Target until Sunday, so you can get it for only $10 with the coupon and Mr. Potato Head is on price cut (not sure how long) for $7, so you can get one for only $5!  Some of these would make good toy donations for the holidays as well.

Thanks, Saving with Shellie!

Target $3.96

Mr. Potato Head (for Christmas)
$6.99 on price cut
- 2.00 (printable)
= $4.99

Chex Mix (x3 in checkout lanes)
= free

Alexia Cruchy Snacks
- 2.25 free bag coupon (mailer)
= free

Reach floss (x2)
- 1.00 ( 10/18 RP)
 = free

Black gloves (dollar bins to make puppets with, stay tuned)

Kotex pantyliners (20 ct in travel bins)
- 1.00 (mailer)
= free

Glade candle tin and refills (Buy 5 Glade winter fragrances, get $5 Target gift card promo)
$2.50 each x 5 = $12.50
- $1.50 (x3 found in tins)
= $3.00 OOP and earn $5 gift card and $5 rebate
*Note:  This deal is a little complicated so I will link you to my source, Couponing to Disney.  I did scenario #2 and plan to do the SC Johnson $5 rebate

Used a $5 gift card from previous trip

Total OOP = $3.96 and earned another $5 gift card and will earn $5 SC Johnson rebate

Ball Chute

I did this activity with S when he was about a year old and he loved it then.  I tried it again today and he was just as interested.  I just taped a cardboard mailing tube (a wrapping paper one would work if you have smaller objects) at an angle to the shelves in our playroom with blue painter's tape.  We have tried using balls of varying mass, toy cars, and other small objects.  We have also put a basket at the bottom to catch the ball, but he also likes to see how far it will keep rolling. 

This is S trying to make it go "up" the chute- a lesson in gravity!

Thanks, Montessori Mama!

October 21, 2009


Yesterday I pulled out my old teaching files to see if there was anything in the Halloween one for S and there wasn't much since I taught fourth and sixth grades, but I did come across this owl paper bag puppet template.  We colored it together and then had fun flying, hooting and "eating mice".  I came across a similar template here if you are interested.

Our timing of the puppet was perfect because I received an email on Sunday from Tara at Raising Itty Bitty Bookworms that I had won her Friday Giveaway- a copy of Baby Owl's Rescue by Sylvan Dell Publishing.  These books are beautifully done, very educational, and each has suggested teaching activities.  S is a little young for it now, but he will enjoy the owl pictures and it will be a wonderful book to grow into.

Free Parenting Subscription

No longer available...

Go here to request a free 11-issue subscription to Parenting Early Years

Thanks, Money Saving Mom and Julia!

October 20, 2009

Free Kodak Gallery $15 Gift Code

Kodak Gallery is giving away 300,000 $15 coupon codes.  I just received mine via email!

They are distributing them to the first 100,000 to register between Oct. 20 and 28, the first 100,000 to register between Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, and the first 100,000 to register between Nov. 6 and Nov. 13.  So if you miss the first window, try again on Oct. 29th. 

Thanks, Freebies4Mom!

More Halloween Matching

I printed this ghost matching game yesterday from childcareland.com.  I printed two copies of the first page only (the following pages are more advanced).  One page is to be used as the "mat" and the other I cut up to make "cards".  I was out of cardstock so I backed it with black construction paper and plan to laminate it soon before it takes too much toddler abuse.  S really enjoyed doing it this afternoon.  He hasn't mastered it yet, but caught on to the idea.   The website has a ton of free printables here and I am certain this is not the last activity I take from it.  Thanks, Activity Mom!

October 19, 2009

Opening and Closing

I plan to introduce this to S later this afternoon.  I will model for him opening each "container" and taking the dino out.  We will also reverse the process and close the dino inside.  This should reinforce "open/closed" and "in/out" and it's good fine motor practice.  I would prefer to use small sports or Halloween objects since we are talking about those two topics this month, but dinos was all I had on hand.

Thanks for the idea, The Wonder Years!

October 18, 2009

CVS $0.53

It seems I went for things that were "good deals" this week as opposed to freebies and as a result used a lot of ECBs.  There is one thing in particular I wanted to share.  CVS has this new Green Bag Tag (bottom left in photo) that you can buy for $0.99.  You attach it to a shopping tote and get it scanned each visit.  You can earn 1 ECB for every four visits.  I figure once it has paid for itself in a few weeks, it's a great way to earn more ECBs and remind me to bring my own shopping bag. 

Coke 12 pk (x4)
4 for $13.00 and earned 3 ECBs

Cottonelle 12 roll toilet paper
- 2.00 (mailer)
= $3.99

Glade Fragrance Collection candle
- 3.50 (printable no longer available)
= $3.49 and earned 6.99 ECBs

CVS Green Bag Tag

Used 21 ECBs

Total OOP = $0.53 and earned $9.99 ECBs

Traveling Purse

We drove a few hours out of town this weekend and I packed a "purse" for S to entertain him on the drive.  I just took random objects (an old cell phone, hair clip, a watch that beeps...) put them in pockets and in the wallet for him to rummage through.  Don't worry, I kept a close eye since some of these objects could be a potential choking hazard.  I saw this idea on a blog recently, but now I can't seem to find it, so I apologize for not giving credit where credit is due!

October 17, 2009

Milk Jug Ghosts

I got thie idea to make these milk jug ghosts at Family Fun.  I know they look a bit "junky", but I liked that it gave our milk jugs another use before recycling them, they were free to make, and I don't have to store them year-to-year.  S must really like them because the other day we finished off another gallon of milk and he said "boo" to tell me to make another one (or he thinks a milk jug is called a "boo").

October 16, 2009

Books on Record

My wonderful mother saved a lot of our childhood games, toys, books and amongst the collection are these Disney books on record.  I used to listen to them on my Smurf record player.  Well, we my husband has a record player and I put one on the other day for S.  I loved it and S hated it.  Perhaps in due time...

October 15, 2009

Coupon for FREE Happy Baby Organics Food

No longer available...

Go here to print yours and here to find a retailer near you.  These are likely to go fast.  Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Foam Stickers

I picked "Sports" as our October theme since it's football season, but I have been getting too distracted by Halloween and haven't done much with it, so I saw these foam stickers at Michael's the other day and bought them to come up with an idea later.  I made another matching activity since S caught onto the Halloween die cut one quickly. 

I also let him just stick them on paper (I gave him the odd colored ones).  We have used regular stickers in the past, but his tiny hands have a hard time with them, but the foam ones were perfect!  I peeled the backing partly away and let him finish it before he stuck it onto the paper.  It was great fine motor skill practice.  After I wrote his name and date, he wanted to write his "ABs". 

Any other foam sticker ideas out there for little ones (because I have a lot left over)?

October 14, 2009

Thomas the Tank Engine $1.99

Learning Curve has Thomas the Tank on sale for $1.99.  Shipping is free through 10/16.  The site may be running slow due to volume.  He would make a great stocking stuffer!  Thanks, Saving with Shellie!

Autumn Leaves are Falling Down

We did a new felt board activity a few days ago and S liked it, but not as much as "Five Little Pumpkins".  I got the song from the book, The Encyclopedia of Infant and Toddler Activities, that I checked out from our toy library.  I know I really need to work on my freehand cutting.  I could print out a template, but I always try to do things like this in a rush because I get excited to try it immediately. 

Autumn Leaves are Falling Down
(sung to the tune of "London Bridges")

Autumn leaves are falling down,
Falling down,
Falling down.
Autumn leaves are falling down,
All through the town.

Red and yellow, orange and brown,
Orange and brown,
Orange and brown.
Red and yellow, orange and brown,
All through the town.

October 13, 2009

Free Sample of Little Duck Organics Snacks

No longer available...

Go here to request a free sample of Little Duck Organics Snacks.  Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Die Cut Pop-Up Book

This morning I thought of another use for my extra die cuts.  You can make a pop-up book with anything though.  For those of you who have never made a simple pop-up book, I will attempt a tutorial below:

1.  Materials.  Scissors, glue, pop-up figures, paper (the number of pages you want plus one sheet for the cover).

2.  Fold all pages in half and cut two slits (about 1 1/2 in. apart) in from the crease in the middle of the page (unless you want your pop-up to be off center).  Note:  If you click on the photo above, you can enlarge it to see the slits.

3.  Fold the tabs inward.

4.  Place your pages inside your cover and glue the outsides of each page to the next page and to the front and back cover.

5.  Glue your pop-up figures to the front (not top) of each folded in tab.

6.  Add text if desired. 

You can make a pop-up book for anything (tell a story, use photographs, make a pop-up greeting card, teach a concept...).  You can also use more than one tab per page.  Just cut two slits per tab.  Enjoy!

Die Cuts

My mom made these Halloween die cuts for S (if you don't have access to a machine, you can just cut some free hand) and I came up with these two activities over the weekend.  The first is a matching game.  I lay all four cut outs on the floor in front of us, then I hand him one of them and ask him, "Can you find the other ghost?"  He then lays the ghost in his hand on top of the one on the floor.  This is repeated with each one.  I modeled this a few times for him before I let him try and thought aloud, "Hmm?  No, that's a cat.  Oh, look.  There's the ghost!"

The other thing I did with them is make stick puppets.  He likes to "fly" the bat and say "boo" or "meow" with the ghost and cat.