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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Little Passports {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Do your kids ever surprise you with things they know that you didn’t realize they knew? I recently started a co-op preschool with some friends, and when it came time to say the Pledge of Allegiance on my day to teach, my 3-year-old son was able to recite the whole thing! I’m sure a few words were wrong and he has absolutely NO idea what it means, but I was just shocked that he could say it all! He also answered correctly that we live in the United States when I asked where we lived (though I was trying to get the kids to say California), but that one didn’t surprise me. I know that knowledge was due to our subscription to Little Passports.

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You may remember a bit about Little Passports when Heather Ann reviewed them back in January. But in case you are a newcomer to Dandy Giveaway, here’s a recap: Little Passports is a monthly subscription box geared towards ages 5-12 that follows the adventures of characters Sam and Sofia as they travel across the United States and throughout the world.  To join, you begin by selecting either the World Edition (ages 5-10) or the USA edition (ages 7-12). I was sent the USA edition, which is actually geared towards ages 7-12, and I couldn’t agree more. My 3-year-old son was thrilled to receive a package and learn more about the United States, but he definitely didn’t get as much out of it as he would have if he were even a few years older.

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When his welcome package came, we hung the map of the United States in his room and filled out a few pages in his Field Guide. He loved taking pictures with the “old camera” (it includes a disposable!) and the Scratch Book. A few weeks later we received an envelope with the first two states. It came with a book filled with fun facts, history and culture about Pennsylvania and Arkansas. There was also a postcard, stickers and a pop-out model from both states. My son loved putting the stickers in the field guide, but everything else was way above his learning level.

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For a 7-14-year-old, however, it is perfect! The book about the states is filled with mazes, games, word searches, pictures, and activities to teach loads of interesting facts about each state. An envelope filled with these goodies will come to your doorstep once a month–for up to 26 months if you do the whole United States!–and you can imagine your child’s excitement to open his package and learn! This would be perfect as a supplemental learning kit for public school or homeschooled kids, especially 5th- or 8th-graders learning about U.S. History.

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Subscription plans range from monthly plans ($11.95 a month) to 3-, 6-, and 12-month plans with discounted prices. Sign up for their newsletter online, and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to be in the know about the latest deals. Head on over to Little Passports to take a look at their options, then come back and enter below to win:

Win a 3-month subscription to either the World edition or USA edition!

 Entry-Form

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.
** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of October 15th, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Little Passports, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Somewhat Simple’s “Life According to Me” e-book {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My four-year-old misses the cut-off to start kindergarten in the fall by just 10 days, and it’s killing me!  We checked in to the school district about having him tested to start early, but we haven’t heard very positive outcomes from other parents who have tried in previous years.  When I figure, though, that I’ll be having a baby just weeks after school starts, that we’ll be visiting family for the entire month of January, and that we’re moving to another country in March, I guess that it really isn’t the worst thing to wait another year before sending him off to school.  (Plus, I think I would really miss him if he were gone for a full school day all week long!)

I do plan to homeschool him this next year for kindergarten, in hopes of him starting right into first grade next year.  I’ve taught elementary school before and have lots of resources and materials, and my little guy is a bright kid who is pretty far ahead in reading and math already.  One area, though, that I know is going to require some extra assistance this next year?  His writing.

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I came across the Somewhat Simple website through (what else??) Pinterest, and I’ve been hooked since I discovered them six months ago.  I added the site to my Google Reader page and have loved seeing lots of great ideas throughout the week.  They have lots of posts under categories such as Projects, Food, Home & Garden, Seasons & Holidays, Lifestyle, and Promotions, and I love browsing through the ads on their main webpage to find other sites with similar interests and content.

By the way, if you had been following Dandy Giveaway using Google Reader (which is no longer available as of the beginning of this month — boo hoo!), take a look at following us through Bloglovin’ or Feedly instead, along with keeping up through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  We don’t want you to miss out on our great giveaways and reviews!

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Somewhat Simple offers a 30-page e-book entitled “Life According to Me” that will be perfect for my son to use in the upcoming months to spark some interest on his writing!  The fun colors and easy-to-read font make it perfect for young budding writers, and the topics for each day give a little more direction to those who would otherwise “have nothing to write about”.  The pages include questions and prompts about being kind, watching TV, surprises, hobbies, getting dressed, and more!  The open-ended nature of these questions make this book applicable for most school-age writers and also make for some great pre-writing for preschoolers.  Neither the colors nor the daily topics are too gender-specific, so this would be perfect for either boys or girls.  There are also sections for them to write notes to a parent/family member and then for that person to write back.

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And, a few of my favorite things:  (1) Life According to Me is only $5.95!!  (2) This e-book is sent electronically, meaning that you can print out the pages that you need/want and not worry about the others!  You also can print a number of pages for multiple children or for multiple books for the same child!  (3) The e-book pages can be printed using your color printer.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve bought e-books to download, only to find that it really is necessary to have them sent off to a printer in order to get quality pages.

pages.

Enter below to win a download of Life According to Me from Somewhat Simple — we’ll have TWO winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted  no later than the morning of Saturday, July 27th,  and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner  does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner  will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Somewhat Simple, but all opinions are  strictly my own.

 

Sneakin’ in Science {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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By this point in summer, I’m assuming that many of you have had your kids out of school for a couple of weeks, meaning that you’ve stayed up late, slept in the next morning, lounged and played at the pool, and have had endless sleepovers with friends.  And, if you’re anything like me, you’re realizing that you can only take the laziness for a couple of weeks before you crave a little bit of structure and routine back in your schedule again.

My little boy is in preschool for a couple of mornings a week, and our afternoons can get really long while we’re stuck in the house for a couple of hours while my youngest naps each day.  These afternoon hours are the only time that my four-year-old can watch movies and play on the computer, but we can only take so much of that each day before we start to feel like time is being wasted.  And, if you’re like me, your Pinterest board titled “Kids Activities” has about 200 pins on it with lots of amazing ideas — but you realize at 2:30 p.m. when you can’t leave the house that you don’t have all materials needed for those fabulous art projects, experiments, sensory activities, etc.

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If you’re in either one of these binds and are looking for something fun to sneak in some learning while having fun, Sneakin’ in Science is an excellent monthly subscription box that includes all materials needed for a great science experiment!  From my experience, science experiments seem to be the one-size-fits-all activity that can capture of the attention of kids of (almost) all ages.  We received these three activities in the mail:

subscription

April-Geodes/Mineral Dig Kit If you like collecting rocks and minerals then this month’s experiment is for you!  Not only will you get to search through soil to find samples of different minerals you’ll also get to crack open a geode to see the crystals inside.  You’ll get a mineral dig kit in which you will find samples of common minerals.  The mineral dig includes a guide to help you id the minerals you find as well as information about how they form and their properties.  You’ll also receive a geode that will need to be put into an old sock or bag to be split with a hammer (safety goggles and adult supervision are a must!).

**This was a good activity that my son did outside with my husband while I was teaching piano lessons, but I heard about it for the rest of the evening!  The most exciting part of this experiment for my four-year-old was trying to break open the geode with Dad, and they enjoyed using tools and magnifying glasses to see things inside.

april

May-Marshmallow Launcher Learn all about air and air pressure with this month’s experiment, a marshmallow launcher!  You will receive material to make a contraption that will launch marshmallows at least 8 feet.  You can put your materials together in the recommended way or experiment and design your own unique marshmallow launcher!  You also get stickers to decorate your creation along with some neat experiments you can try to learn more about air.

**Definitely the favorite of the three that we received!  We enjoyed following the directions to put together the marshmallow launcher itself, then we came up with some pretty fun games (try to get the marshmallow the furthest, closest to a certain point, to go over the couch, etc.).  Balloons are always a hit at my house, so we had some more fun using those to see how air and wind worked.

marshmallow

June-Sensitive Plant Plants can’t move on their own right?  This one can!  This plant moves on its own when you touch it.  Leave it alone and it goes back to the way it was.  You’ll receive about 5 seeds along with directions on how to plant them.  You are guaranteed to grow at least one plant or I will send you more seeds.  Learn how this amazing plant works!  If you like different kinds of plants you love learning about what it is like to be a botanist!

**Our seeds are planted and we can see growth, but we haven’t gotten to the stage where we see the plants close up — we’re (impatiently!) waiting!  Our neighbors are growing a garden in their backyard, though, so both of the boys enjoyed this experiment so that they could plant something and take care of it the same way they’ve seen our neighbors work with their plants.

June

There is a Sneakin’ in Science subscription plan to fit every budget:

One Year Plan: Includes a new experiment each month for a year.  One time payment of $120.00

6 Month Plan: A new experiment each month for 6 months.  One time payment of $62.00

3 Month Plan: A new experiment each month for 3 months. One time payment of $34.00

Monthly Plan:  One month.  This option does not renew itself.  If you would like to receive additional months you will have to choose this option again.  $12.00 monthly.

All prices include shipping and taxes. No hidden costs.

Head on over to Sneakin’ in Science and take a look at some great science experiment idea on their blog, their pictures of fun science in action on Facebook, and their subscription options along with birthday party offers at their website!

Website / Blog / Facebook

**I was provided review materials from Sneakin’ in Science, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Little Passports {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My husband recently was screened and pre-approved to do Marine Security Guard duty at an embassy, and we’re now waiting for orders to the schoolhouse and then on to our adventure around the world!  We’re all excited at the prospect of living abroad again, but my four year old son is over the moon at the idea of traveling to places he’s seen only on his world map and on the computer.  You might remember from this post and this post that he loves to learn about geography, so when I saw Little Passports, I knew that this would be perfect for him — especially now that we’re getting ready to travel ourselves!

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Little Passports is a monthly subscription box geared towards ages 5-12 that follows the adventures of characters Sam and Sofia as they travel across the United States and throughout the world.  To join, you begin by selecting either the World Edition (ages 5-10) or the USA edition (ages 7-12).  **I recognize that my son is a little younger than the ages listed here, but he learned all the states and their capitals and most of the countries and their capitals on his own through online games, books, and movies from the library — I figured that this would be able to capture his attention just fine.  🙂

hiw-world-edition

“Every month, follow our characters Sam and Sofia as they embark on a new country adventure. Your first month’s Explorer Kit arrives in a suitcase and contains everything your child needs to get started: a letter from Sam and Sofia, a map, a passport, stickers, access to online games and more. Country specific packages filled with fun souvenirs, letters, stickers, photos, activity sheets and more arrive every month thereafter.”

hiw-usa-edition“With your USA Edition subscription, Sam and Sofia travel to and experience the wonders of all 50 states.  Kick-off your USA adventure with the first month’s Discovery Kit which includes a letter from Sam and Sofia, a USA Field Guide, a USA scratch book, a map, and a camera.  Sam and Sofia then travel to two new states every month and send an activity-packed travel journal with stickers, postcards, pop-out models and access to online activities.”

We chose the World edition, and I loved that Sara from Little Passports asked for my son’s name to put on the package.  He was so excited to receive a box just for him, and he couldn’t wait to open it up and see what was inside!  He LOVES the suitcase and immediately put the stickers on the outside to decorate it.  We read through the letter together and put the world map up on his wall.

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We also went online with his special code and registered him on the Little Passports Boarding Zone with his own Member Name and password.  From there, he was able to access World Trivia, World Continents, and a World Map Puzzle – he sat for an hour playing the games on there!

You can only imagine his excitement when I told him that this wasn’t just a one-time deal; he could expect another package from Sam and Sofia next month also, only this time with special souvenirs and pictures from a specific country!  We’re both excited to see what will come in the next few weeks!

Subscription plans range from monthly plans ($11.95 a month) to 3-, 6-, and 12-month plans with discounted prices.  Little Passports would be a fun surprise for your own kids, the perfect gift for those near and far away, and an excellent supplement to homeschool curriculum.

Little Passports is offering a 3-month subscription to either their World edition or USA edition for one Dandy reader!  Head on over to Little Passports to take a look at their options, then come back and enter below to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.
** The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the evening of Saturday, February 2nd, and emailed within 24 hours. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Little Passports, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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