Still Playing School: November 2013

Origami Owl Independent Designer Staci Murray - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 17 Comments
On the second day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, a $20 gift certificate for Origami Owl!

I just love the look of the black lockets!  I would have a hard time deciding whether to keep the gift certificate for a necklace for myself or gift it to someone for the holidays!  What would you do if you won? Do you already have a locket that needs new charms?

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Adrienne's Herbals - 12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 9 Comments
On the first day of giveaways, Still Playing School gave to one lucky reader, a prize basket from Adrienne's Herbals and Brownstone Station Massage & Bodywork!  Adrienne is my massage therapist (turned supportive reader and friend) whom I raved about in my Show & Tell feature!

Anytime Santa asks what I'd like for the holidays, I tell him a gift certificate for a massage with Adrienne Mohn at Brownstone Station Massage & Bodywork!  I want one for Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Easter, and my birthday, too, please!
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Fall Scene Diorama

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!
Using a recycled gift box, E created her first diorama this weekend!

First, she painted the grass and sky.  She could hardly wait for the paint to dry to continue working on the project.  She asked several times if it was ready yet so this activity was highly motivating for her!
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A Month of Elf on the Shelf Ideas

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 5 Comments

Our elf Dodee (pronounced dough-dee) arrived last year right before D was born.  While I was guaranteed to be up at least once a night with a newborn and an elf I was often completely out of the creativity needed to make Dodee's antics fun.

This year, I have the whole month planned in advance.  I've alternated easy and more involved adventures in the calendar below.
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12 Days of Giveaways

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 8 Comments
We've had a great year of giveaways here at Still Playing School!  We are so thankful for all of the items and services we've had a chance to review and share with you!

Now our favorite small businesses will be returning with amazing prizes for you to win again starting on Black Friday for our 12 Days of Giveaways! 

From November 29th to December 10th, I'll feature a giveaway a day.  Instead of having a whole week to enter you'll only have 48 hours!  We're going to be giving away prizes fast and furiously to get them to you (hopefully) before the holidays.  They will all make great gifts, but you'll probably want to keep them for yourselves. 

You can get a head start on entering by liking Still Playing School on Facebook.  This will be the mandatory entry for all of our giveaways!  Then, as you read, you can just click that you've already liked us and you're in!
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Top Ten Games for Ages Five and Under

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 4 Comments
Board games teach a variety of skills such as turn taking, academic concepts, and the dynamics of winning and losing.  Some of my very best memories from childhood were made around a board game.  I could hardly wait for E to be old enough to join in the fun so here are several that we have already started playing together.  These are our top ten board game suggestions for kids under the age of five.

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A Hello From Her Sister

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 3 Comments

I promised E a piece of her Halloween candy on the way to pick up our CSA share.  I randomly grabbed a safe-t-pop which have looped handles.

In the car, I unwrapped the purple candy to hand back to her and noticed that it had the letter V on it.  I didn't say anything.
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Indian Corn Patterns on the Light Table

We created festive fall patterns on the light table by making Indian corn with transparent counters! You could also do this off of the light table with regular colored chips.

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Foot Print Cornucopia Thanksgiving Craft

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!

We made a Thanksgiving cornucopia with E's foot print!  We love hand and foot print crafts.  I am thankful to have them to compare how much the kids have grown.  They make cute and festive holiday decor!

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DIY Acorn Letter Manipulatives

Natural treasures are abundant this time of year! We love to craft, play, and explore with acorns. I turned our collection into DIY letter manipulatives.

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Rockabye Baby Review & Giveaway

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 15 Comments
I've been a fan of Rockabye Baby music since before I had children of my own.  Shortly after the company started back in 2006, I would purchase their lullaby renditions of my favorite rock bands (like The Eagles) to play in my kindergarten classroom.

The soothing melodies were the perfect background music during our writing workshop.  My kindergarteners never knew that I was singing along to The Beatles Strawberry Fields Forever in my head as I checked their journals.  I didn't have to listen to kid targeted music that I didn't love!  The songs are familiar to any fans of the bands, but if you don't know the music they are still soothing, lyric-less lullabies.

As soon as E started sleeping in her own bedroom, she had music playing for naps and at night.  I dug out my Rockabye Baby CDs again to indoctrinate introduce her to amazing artists at a young age.  She sleeps to the best classic and alternative rock so the songs will be familiar to her when I play the original versions for her in a decade or so.

Rockabye Baby sent us four new albums to add to our collection!  We received Elton John, Michael Jackson, Jay Z, and Silverchair. We've been listening to these in the car (I love Yo Gabba Gabba, but there is only so many repetitions that this momma can take.) where E sometimes catches me adding in the lyrics when singing along!

Isn't the teddy bear cover art adorable, too?

Search your favorite bands and artists on their website to listen to some samples of the lullaby versions of your favorite songs. Be sure to check out the clever written lyric infused details above the sample music! You can create a wishlist for yourself (and your kids, too, of course)

You won't be disappointed by their selection of more than 50 albums as they are always adding new music. Follow Rockabye Baby on Facebook for news on their latest releases!  You'll definitely want to include one  as a baby shower gift if you know the parents' musical tastes or get a digital download gift card for them if you don't!

Rockabye Baby is generously offering to give away the same four albums we received to one lucky reader. Enter to win using the Rafflecopter below!

We received four albums for this review, but all opinions and enthusiasm are 100% are own!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thanksgiving Sensory Bin

Who's hungry? Our kids would love to serve you from their Thanksgiving Sensory Bin! This invitation to explore provided lots of tactile input as well as opportunities for pretend play!

Thanksgiving sensory bin play for kids
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21 Days of Gratitude: Support While Grieving

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: 6 Comments

Joining other bloggers for the first 21 days in November, this post is part of the 21 Days of Gratitude series. Each of us will be sharing a quote related to gratitude with the purpose of highlighting the positive in each day.

Yesterday our daughter should have turned two, but she isn't with us any longer.  My gratitude for not only her 2.5 days of life in 2011, but also for the outpouring of virtual love and support is overflowing today.  It was a joyful day of remembrance.  Thank you for keeping us afloat when the burden gets too heavy.  Your words, thoughts, and pictures of Violet's name heal our hearts just a bit as we miss her year after year.

Will you hold your babies a little bit tighter today, smell their hair, and soak in an extra bit of thankfulness that they are here with you in memory of Violet?

Please join us each day as a blogger will share a quote (and sometimes an activity) with you.  The schedule is here with all of the info for you to join in.

These are the wonderful bloggers joining in the 21 Days of Gratitude: Inspired by Familia, Upside Down Homeschooling, Still Playing School, Makeovers and Motherhood, P is for Preschooler, The Educators’ Spin On It, Toddler Approved!, The Connection We Share, Mama Pea Pod, Mum in the Madhouse, Mama Miss, Plain Vanilla Mom, Tips from a Typical Mom, Learning with Mouse, Preschool Powol Packets, Kids Yoga Stories, Dirt and Boogers, Local Fun for Kids, Positive Parenting Connection, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, The Good Long Road, Bits of Positivity, JDaniel 4's Mom, The Eyes of A Boy
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Violet is Two

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: Be the first to comment!

Happy birthday, baby girl!  

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