Son #1 is 6 Years Old!

Son #1 –

The days are long, but the years are short. So very true. You turned six a few weeks ago, and I feel like you’ve grown up so much in the last year. You love Minecraft. You can do simple addition in your head. (You obviously got your excellent math skills from your dad!) You’re looking forward to Kindergarten (which finally started today – thanks Hurricane Harvey!) to do science and asked, “Are we going to make potions?!” I doubt it, but I hope you’re just as excited about whatever you actually do! I hope this is a great year for you, and you make lots of new friends. (I don’t foresee that being a problem, since you’ve always been outgoing and have never met a stranger…also NOT something you got from me!)

I love you so much!

– Mommy

Current stats:

weight: 49 lbs.
height: 3′ 10″

Shorts: size 5 or 6, depending on the brand
Shirts: size Small (6/7)
Shoes: size 13

Foods:
Likes – anything sweet 
Dislikes – red meat, most vegetables 🙁  

This year’s birthday interview – coming soon! (See last year’s interview here.)

Your Kid = Comic Strip Star!

**This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Friendstrip Kids. No compensation was received.

It’s a new school year. Gone are the carefree days of summer. Your kids are stuck in a classroom all day, learning useless facts for the next test…boooooring!

boredkid

So, when they get home (before they’re drowning in howework), break out your nearest mobile device and let their creativity soar with FriendStrip Kids!

This new app (now available in the App Store and Google Play!) lets you create personalized comic strips starring your kids. All you have to do is take a few pictures according to the storyboard provided. The special effects (provided within the app) will help transform the living room couch into say…a pirate ship! FriendStrip Kids currently has over 80 fully-customizable scenarios for you to enjoy, and all of the storyboards can be completed in less than 5 minutes, which is great for those busy weeknights!

Friendship Kids also has a CONTEST going on – you could win a free iPad mini! The entry rules are so easy! Check it out here!

{This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Friendstrip Kids. I received no compensation for sharing this information. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

What Gardening Can Teach Kids

The following article is a guest post from a fellow blogger.  No compensation was received.

We live in a fast world, don’t we? Just venturing into a Walmart on a Friday at 5 p.m. is enough to stress
me out. Everything is so immediate anymore: fast food, instant credit, breaking news.

I’m lucky to be raising my son in a town of less than 1,000 people where the pace is a bit slower, but we aren’t immune to twitter feeds and smart phones out here. That alone isn’t enough. I want to teach him that there are things in life worth waiting for. One of those is our recent foray into pen pals.

Another is planting a garden. This is our 2nd year and we’ve had both success and failure. I find, at least for me, gardening has a huge learning curve and I try and involve my son in this process as much as possible.Gardening offers a ton of benefits in many different life areas. It is an awesome educational tool. Here’s a list of its lessons and below that are the ways children can be involved.

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Garden benefits and lessons

Science
How plants grow from seed to fruit or veggie
Pollinators and their place in the world
The relationship between soil, sun, water and plants

Health

Growing food without chemicals
Exercise
Consuming more fruits and vegetables
Getting outdoors
Encouraging picky eaters
Avoiding food allergies
Personal investment in and connection to the food you eat

Environment

Eating local
Alternative pesticides if necessary
Reuse through collection of rain water
Recycling through use of old milk jugs for rain water
Physical connection to the earth
Participating in a long-time human tradition

Life skills

Persistence and determination
Patience
Problem solving and creativity
Hope and faith – it’s an act of faith planting a garden
Setting a goal and following through
Saving money by growing your own
Researching gardening methods & alternatives

Family bonding

Quality time together
Contributing to the household
Generosity by giving your surplus to family and friends
Experimenting with different ways of cooking the produce

garden (4)

Ways to involve young children

  • Planning – what to grow
  • Tilling soil
  • Digging holes
  • Planting seeds
  • Carry seeds/tools to and from garden
  • Watering
  • Pulling weeds
  • Applying organic pesticides (e.g. dish soap/cayenne solution)
  • Applying mulch
  • Collecting rain water in jugs
  • Putting in stakes or cages
  • Applying fertilizer
  • Harvesting
  • Cooking
  • Eating!

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Stephanie is mom to a spirited 7-year-old boy, self-employed with her husband and runs the blog, From the Burbs to the Boonies at http://www.burbstoboonies.blogspot.com about life in a small Kansas town, healthy habits, supplementing public school education, encouragement parenting, faith and getting families outdoors.

Real Kids Shades Giveaway!

Little Man has been rocking his Real Kids Shades this summer! Now your child can be safe and stylish in their own pair, for free! Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a pair of Real Kids Shades (your choice of size and style)!

photo

Fine-ish print: Giveaway runs from 12:01 am EST on Wednesday, June 19 – 12:01 am EST on Wednesday, July 3. Entering is easy! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. By filling out the form, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions linked in the bottom of the Rafflecopter. Must be 18 or older, and a resident of the U.S. or Canada only. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Winner has 48 hours after initial contact to claim prize.

RKSwinner

{Real Kids Shades provided me with two pairs of sunglasses in exchange for a review and giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own. The Practically Green Mom is not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

Fun in the Sun: Real Kids Shades {Sponsor Spotlight}

In preparing for a ton of Fun in the Sun this summer, it never occurred to me to buy my son a pair of sunglasses! (I know, I know…#momfail!) Luckily, Real Kids Shades came to the rescue and sent me a couple of pairs to try out (in exchange for this review, of course.) They’re also sponsoring a giveaway here beginning June 19th!  THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Real Kids Shades are top of the line in children’s eye wear, made exclusively for infants to 12-year-olds! All of their products have been strenuously tested to insure that they provide the best protection for your little one’s precious sight. They offer 100% UVA/UVB Protection, and the lenses are shatterproof and impact-resistant. The frames are secured on an adjustable wrap-around neoprene band to fit snugly around your child’s head, while protecting the eyes from peripheral light. (And the neoprene band allows them to float in the water…awesome!) They are also lead-free, BPA-free and contain no phthalates.

Little Man chose the Xtreme Element Shades to try out on our late afternoon walk. The pair we received are made for older children (3-7 years), so he can grow into them, but they’re way too big right now. That didn’t seem to bother him one bit, though! The Xtreme Elements line is also available for infants and toddlers (0-36 months), and comes with foam padding behind the frames for extra comfort.

RKS Xtreme

The My First Shades Toddler Shades were a much better fit on him. Designed for children 2-5 years old, they were more snug around his head. He wore them the whole time on the car ride to the park, but once we got there, he was distracted by playing in the sand, and the shades stayed mostly around his neck. I’m sure they will take a little bit of getting used to when he’s on the go. The My First Shades line also comes in infant sizes (0-24 months).

RKS Toddler

I am confident that these sunglasses will last us quite a while, and provide much needed eye protection year round. As adults, we think of sunglasses as accessories, but they really are necessary gear for everyone, everyday!

“UV rays can damage your child’s eyes anytime of the year. While the harmful effects are three times greater in the summer than winter, there’s still a high risk of sustaining serious eye damage in winter months. UV rays can also do a lot of damage on overcast and cloudy days.”
~ From Protecting Your Child’s Eyes From the Sun: What Every Mom Should Know

{Real Kids Shades provided me with two free pairs of sunglasses in exchange for a review and giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

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