Friday, September 20, 2013

MagicBlox Online Kids library: Read Great Books for Free!

This is a Sponsored Post. I received compensation in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own

I would love for my children to have a vast home library! Like most families, however, purchasing and storing hundreds of books is out of the question. We use the local libraries, but are never able to visit as often as we would like.

Recently I was introduced to a kids book library that you can 'visit' at any time of the day or night! is an online children's library that features over 600 titles for ages 1-13 years. Every week new books are being added by Authors and Publishers from all over the world.

The cost is as exciting as the variety of fiction and non fiction titles!  Read one new book each month for free!  Upgrade to unlimited family access for less than $4 a month.

The site is bright, fun and easy to navigate. All of the books can be previewed on the homepage. Browse by Reading level or Subject. Looking for a less traditional story time? Search by feature such as Narration or Music. Many titles are also offered in a bilingual format so they can be also read in Spanish, Italian, and French.

Once you have selected your title, click on it to launch the book reader. If it is not yet on your reading list you are able to preview several pages before deciding if that is going to be your book selection for the month.

The first book we selected was 'The Tangle Fairy' by Seema Barker. The illustrations by Kirsten Richards are as cute and colorful as they would be in a physical book. My daughters loved how the reader made it look and sound like the page in the book was actually turning! Currently we use MagicBlox on our PC. I was excited to hear that there is a MagicBlox app coming soon for iOs and Android Devices.
Magicblox fits our need for a low cost and portable way to access kids book. An added bonus is the
chance to discover books we may not see in our local library!
Along with Traditional publishers Magicblox works with authors and independent publishers from all over the world. Every book is reviewed and categorized before it is uploaded to the library so you can be sure your children will be reading quality books.

Visit MagicBlox childrens' library to view all the great titles and register for your free membership today!

Be sure to tell your friends and earn a free month of full access (see site for details).
Disclosure: I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although the post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wizard of Oz unit inspired by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Our preschooler has been a Mickey Mouse fan for a long time. This week Disney Junior is premiering the Wizard of Oz themed episode and Mini Piwi is excited! She begged for the DVD but we knew it would be on TV soon enough.

Now that it is here, I am surprising her with a Wizard of Oz theme. I am sharing our plans now so you can use these resources with your Mickey fans. We will be incorporating the following into our fun this week.

The Wizard of Oz (Anniversary Ed. for Young readers) adapted by Beth Bracken. In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz film release, Capstone younger readers have released a condensed and illustrated version. The title is filled with amazing stills from the movie and Beth Bracken does a great job at squeezing the film into 30 pages. It gives younger kids a taste of the story without the aspects that scared me as a kid (... the flying monkeys still kind of creep me out).

Last year we used some of the printables from the Wizard of Oz preschool Pack from Homeschool creations. I have pulled this out again and the scare free book the unit is based on The Wizard of Oz (Keepsake Stories).

From Homeschool Creations
I will also be including a few activities from Mickey Preschool Pack from 1+1+1=1.

From 1+1+1=1
Here are two trays I prepared to begin the unit with.They both use printables from the Wizard of Oz preschool Pack from Homeschool creations.
Beginning letter match! A while back I picked up two sets of these Magnetic letters at the Dollar Store. We often match with them on the fridge! After the letter Matching activity we will follow up with the letter tracing sheet included in the pack.

Measure the Yellow brick Road. We are going to use several types of Math manipulatives to measure the distance between Dorothy and the emerald city on this sheet. You could also use coins, beans, beans etc.

Our crafts will be based on what each character is asking the Wizard for:

  • Dorothy is asking to go home so we will make a cute 'Home is where the Heart is craft' at Think Craft Blog.

  • The Scarecrow hopes for a brain so we will be 'using our noodles' to string up some pasta pattern jewellery.

  • The Tin man wishes for a heart and so we are going to make one using our hands as I found at Hand and Footprint Art. The poem, to go with it, is too cute!

  • The Lion needs courage and so we are going to make a list of ways we can show courage and then create a bravery award.
Update: I have also found a link for the Printables from Disney to promote the original DVD release. You can find it here

I have a few more tricks up my sleeve for this unit as well. If they go as planned then I will have pictures and more ideas ready to share soon!

This post contains affiliate links to the titles of the books and DVDs.