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    family fun, giveaways, holiday gift guide series, product reviews

    Holiday Gift Guide Series: Hideaboo Hideouts + An Instagram Giveaway!

    hideaboo-hideoutgiveaway

    5-4-3-2-1 blast off!  The kids absolutely LOVE playing in their new Hideaboo rocket ship hideout!  Created by an award winning teacher, Hideaboo hideouts help spark creativity and allow your kids to play independently or with each other. My kids love pretending they are astronauts in a rocket ship flying to outer space.

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    One of the best things about the hideouts is they are totally portable and can be placed in any part of your house or used on the go (as long as your bring your card table along with you).  We currently have our hideout in our living room, but the kids have played with it upstairs in their room too.  It’s perfect for keeping them occupied while I do things like cook dinner or fold the laundry.

    Hideaboo also provides you with FREE access to their printable library.  They’ve created activities, diy costume ideas, an adventure journal and printable puppets for each of their Hideouts! Your purchase comes with a code for free downloads of your printable activities and instructions.  How fun is that?

    Each hideout is made to slide over a card table and it’s super simple to set up and fold away for easy storage.

    Here’s what’s you get:

    • Includes ONE Hideout and ONE storage bag
    • Card table not included
    • Slips over standard card tables, 34″ w x 28″ h
    • Easy to setup and tear down
    • Durable, high quality fabric & machine washable

    These are the current hideouts available:

    • Happy Camper Hideout
    • Enchanted Castle Hideout
    • Underwater Submarine Hideout
    • Outer Space Rocket Hideout
    • Down on the Farm Hideout
    • Lemonade Stand

    The best part?  Our friends over at Hideaboo were gracious enough to sponsor a giveaway!  That’s right, you can choose ANY one of their hideouts if you are the lucky winner!  Pop on over to my Instagram page if you want to enter to win.  Good luck!

    Connect with Hideaboo!

    Website | Instagram | Facebook

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    children's books, giveaways, product reviews

    I’m a Pretty Princess Party Set + A Giveaway!

    I’m always on the lookout for positive, self-esteem boosting products for kids, especially ones targeted for black girls and boys.  My daughter will be turning 4 in September (where does the time go?) and she specifically told me she wants to have a princess themed party.

    Princesses are a loved part of many American girls’ culture, but it’s no secret there is very little representation of different races and cultures.  While I don’t restrict my kids to only play with certain toys or use specific products based on race, it is important for me to expose them to books, toys and products in which they can see themselves being represented.  That’s why I ‘m so excited I came across this adorable princess princess party set from Crystal Swain-Bates.  The party set is perfect for throwing a black princess party, birthday party, baby shower, or sleepover.

    I initially mentioned Crystal on my blog last year when I mentioned her awesome coloring books for black kids in the holiday gift guide that went viral.  Crystal is the author of seven fun black children’s books and the owner of Goldest Karat Publishing, LLC, a boutique publisher aiming to fill the ethnic diversity gap in traditional publishing.

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    Are you planning a celebration for your pretty black princess? Tired of all of the blond hair, blue eyed princesses that your daughter can’t relate to? Get this party in a box featuring a beautiful black princess named Makayla from the book I’m a Pretty Princess!

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    This set for 16 contains the following items:  (16)  9 inch plates, (16) 7 inch dessert plates,  (16) 9 inch cups, 16 pink and yellow balloons, 16 cupcake wrappers, and (1) pink tablecloth.  Also available is the “Big Hair Don’t Care” party set which is just as cute!

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    This set for 16 also contains the following items:  (16)  9 inch plates, (16) 7 inch dessert plates,  (16) 9 inch cups, 16 pink and yellow balloons, and 16 napkins.

    Remind your little black and brown girls of their sparkle by throwing them their very own princess party.  Click here to order a party set or browse some of the other amazing items available on the website including: books, coloring books, magnets, t-shirts, tote bags and more!  Use discount code “hereweeread” to get 10% off your purchases.

    Connect with Crystal Swain-Bates!

    Website | Facebook | Instagram

    The Giveaway!
    Our friend Crystal was gracious enough to sponsor this fabulous giveaway for a “Big Hair Don’t Care” party set.  Be sure to enter before the deadline.  Good luck!

    Big Hair Don’t Care Party Set

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    children's literacy, product reviews, subscription boxes

    Petit Mail Story Card Subscription for Kids + Giveaway!

    If you follow my blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about a variety of different subscription boxes and services for both kids and adults.  I love kids’ monthly subscription boxes because they offer unique educational experiences. They can give kids of all ages the chance to learn by doing fun projects, crafts and activities.

    Today I’d like to introduce you to Petit Mail!  Have you heard about these cute subscription story cards yet?  I met Alison, owner of Petit Mail,  last month on Instagram.  I saw a picture of the cards posted on her page and immediately reached out to her.  As a mom of two kids under the age of 4, I’m always on the hunt for different activities to do that incorporate both learning and fun.

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    Petit Mail is a monthly story postcard subscription for kids, ideally suited for preschoolers and early readers.  Each month, a story card arrives in a bright, fun envelope, addressed to your child.  Story themes follow the adventures of characters Oliver and Olivia, and encourage imagination, creative play and family connection.  Currently, there are only two characters available, but there are plans to expand the characters to include more diversity.

    Parents and children can read each story card together and use the monthly adventure as inspiration for family time activities. Oliver is putting on a puppet show? You can too. Story topics include science, nature, reading, art and more.

    With so much of our days filled with technology, it’s a wonderful treat to receive paper mail – children LOVE finding envelopes in the mailbox addressed just to them.  (My children are no different.)  Some months include little bonus extras, like stickers or bookmarks and every story card includes a link to additional content for parents with activity tips and suggestions.

    When our story cards came in the mail my kids were happy to see their names printed on the envelopes.  My son received the story card entitled ‘Oliver Loves Reading’ and my daughter received ‘Olivia’s Science Project’.

    The activity on the back of my son’s story card was to go to your local library and have a library scavenger hunt.  We haven’t done this yet, but I’m looking forward to doing it!  My daughter’s activity on her story card was to mix two colors together to make a new color.  We had fun using food coloring to mix blue and red to make purple and blue and yellow to make green.

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    Parents and caregivers might find Petit Mail to be a very affordable gift subscription. Canada and US subscriptions cost just $6 per month (including postage) and international subscriptions are also available.  Subscriptions can be purchased for 3, 6 or 12 months, and make a great non-toy gift for kids.

    Parents can find out more about Petit Mail at: http://petitmail.ca

    Petit Mail Shop: http://www.petitmail.bigcartel.com

    Sign up for the Petit Mail newsletter here!

    Connect with Petit Mail!

    Instagram | Facebook

    Sounds great, is there a discount?
    Yes, there is!  Here Wee Read Subscribers and readers can save $10 off a 1 year (12 month) subscription using code HEREWEEREAD until May 31, 2016!

    How about a giveaway?
    I’m glad you asked!  One (1) lucky winner will win a Petit Mail story card of their choice.  You can choose between the following themes:

    • Oliver Explores Art
    • Olivia’s Pen Pal
    • Oliver Loves Reading
    • Olivia The Superhero
    • Oliver Learns About Fossils
    • Olivia’s Science Project
    • Olivia Builds A Boat

    Enter today!  Giveaway ends Thursday, April 28, 2016.  Good luck!

    Petit Mail Story Card Giveaway

    Disclaimer: I received two complimentary story cards in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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    product reviews

    Interactive Growth Charts for Kids Plus a Discount!

    Sometimes when I look at my kids it doesn’t seem like they’re growing that much.  I think that’s because I see them everyday so I don’t notice the difference as much as a person who hasn’t seen them in a few months.  It’s only when I look back at photos from previous months/years that I notice they are in fact growing like weeds and it sort of makes me want to burst into tears!  I love the fact that they are growing and learning new things and coming into their own, but its happening so quickly.  If you’re a parent, I am sure you understand.

    Since I never had an official growth chart growing up, I knew I wanted one for each of my children.  As a kid, I remember having a wall in our apartment where we would measure how tall we were. It was always so fun to see how much we had grown. But then we moved and the wall went away… as did our “growth chart.” I wanted something for my kids that could move with us, but was still simple and easy to store. The interactive growth chart from PaperRamma is perfect because it simply rolls up and you can store it away.

    Here’s the proof image I received which shows the entire growth chart from top to bottom.
    CharnaieGordon_Proof

    I recently came across PaperRamma and instantly fell in love with their interactive, info-graphic style growth charts for kids.  They are so beautiful, chic, and modern.  Gone are the days when you just used a growth chart to record your height…that’s so 20th century!  With this growth chart, you can keep track of milestones, favorite things, first words, birth stats, and more!

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    Each chart is customizable and printed on canvas. You can pick the colors, customize with your child’s name, pick a world or US map and can pick almost anything to put at the top for design from flowers to a graphic that fits your nursery decor.

    I love the overall concept behind this growth chart – it’s a keepsake you can move from home to home (or room to room) with you.  You can also write down notes (using an oil-based marker or pen), add photos and remember all those cute and funny moments for the whole family to look back on.

    My growth chart arrived within a few days in a sturdy cardboard package and I couldn’t wait to get it open!  Once out of the package, I was instantly impressed with it. The colors are beautiful and the design is flawless.  I can tell the chart was made to last.  Their design gurus use rich, vibrant inks which will help to preserve the design for years to come.

    I truly love the interactive growth chart we received and it is so much nicer and more creative than the other charts I had been finding in stores and online.  I’m sure it’s something my children will also treasure for years to come.  Order a personalized growth chart for your little ones today before they grow any more!  Makes a great gift for holidays, birthdays, or baby showers.

    Interested in ordering a chart?  Well, you’re in luck!  Our friends at PaperRamma have graciously provided a discount code for all of my readers to use.  Just visit their website to browse their collection and use the code READ10 in order to receive 10% off of their collection interactive growth charts.  Offer ends Jan 31, 2016.

    Connect with PaperRamma!
    Website
    Facebook
    Instagram

    Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary growth chart in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

    Your turn:  How do you guys document your kids growth and milestones… or do you?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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