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January 21, 2011

Winner - Target Read With Me IPAD Giveaway

A huge thank you to Target for initiating the Read With Me Program and for offering this IPAD giveaway!

The Winner is:

JDaniel4's Mom who said "I love reading to JDaniel after his afternoon nap. We actually read all day."


Happy Reading!

January 6, 2011

Winner - The Write Start

The Write Start

Jess who said...
I am excited to use your ideas with my 12-month old! He is already scribbling so this book will help prepare me for what is to come! Thanks so much!

Congratulations, Jess! You are going to love this book!

December 30, 2010

"The Write Start" Review and Giveaway

This Giveaway is now closed.

I couldn't put down my copy of "The Write Start" by Jennifery Hallissy. This book is perfect for parents who are trying to encourage and develop their young readers and writers.  Jennifer Hallissy believes that if you give children a solid foundation of writing basics, they will develop a love of writing that lasts a lifetime (which leads to benefits in other academic areas too).

In this book, she shares the secrets for supporting young writers, from the smallest of scribblers to middle-schoolers mastering script.  Jennifer gives you tips and techniques to support each level of writing and she also gives 52 activities that are easily implemented at home, adapted to your child's level. It is easy to read and refer to. I found myself highlighting and bending corners that I knew I'd want to look at again.

I really enjoyed the chapter that gave different suggestions on how to help your child build their motor skills to get them ready to write.  I also appreciated specific examples she gave about how parents can model writing and thinking about writing in simple and effective ways.

The part that impacted me the most was when Jennifer said, "Believe it or not, there is a direct link between being able to access the ideas tucked away in your mind and being able to access your writing tools and materials." So true! I grab pads of paper all day long to jot down lists and other ideas but I don't make B's tools as accessible. Her list of a "writer's pantry" inspired me to upgrade B's writing box to a new, special writing area for where he can keep his different writing tools.  Since, then he's been writing non-stop! 

Overall, I think this book is an awesome resource for parents. I have been very encouraged and inspired by it and know you will be too.  You can pick up your own copy of "The Write Start" here.

Do you want to win your own copy of

How to Enter:
Leave a comment and let me know how you'd use this book.
That's it! One comment and you are entered to win.  

*This giveaway is open to US residents only.

**I will select a winner using Make sure your email is enabled in blogger or leave it in your comment so I can contact you.

The contest starts now and ENDS Wednesday, January 5th at midnight. The winner will be announced here and emailed (your email must be enabled in Blogger or in your comments). The winner must reply to my email within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.

I was sent a copy of "The Write Start" to review. However, these views and opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any other way.

December 20, 2010

Target Read with Me and IPAD GIVEAWAY!

This giveaway is now closed.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Target, particularly the Dollar Spot! Now I have one billion other reasons to love them because Target believes every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, in addition to graduating high school. They feel so strongly about this commitment that they are planning to donate more than $500 million to support education by the end of 2015, which would bring the company’s total to-date education-related donations to more than $1 billion.

A significant chunk of this money is going toward programs that will help more U.S. children reach one of the most critical milestones on the path to graduation: reading proficiently by the end of third grade. In fact, research shows that at the end of third grade, school curriculum shifts from learning to read to reading to learn, and that students who can’t read at grade level by this time have trouble keeping up, and often fall behind. It is more difficult to close the gap after third grade, which is why there is an urgency to do everything we can to get and keep kids reading on grade levell!

Target is encouraging this focus on reading movement to start right at home! Just by reading on a regular basis we can encourage and instill a life long love of reading in our children! Target challenges you and I to set up a regular reading schedule with our kids.

When do you read with your children? Our routine is to read a book before nap and at bed time. I love that special time of snuggling up and reading! More than that I love when B refers back to a story we've read, pretends he is a part of the story, or find similarities in books we've read. I can't get enough of that! So much can come from enjoying books with our children!
Product Image Apple® 16GB iPad™ with Wi-Fi (MB292LL/A)
Target is giving one lucky Activity Mom reader a 16GB Wi-Fi enabled iPad and a selection of children’s books, a prize package valued up to $599.
This will definitely make it easier to get into a reading routine!

To Enter:
Leave one comment and tell us what your favorite children’s book is and/or your favorite time and place to read with your kids.

Good Luck!

This sweepstakes is only open to U.S. residents 18 years or older. A winning commenter will be drawn at random, using, after the sweepstakes closes on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 12:00am EST. The winner will receive a 16GB Wi-Fi enabled iPad and a selection of children’s books, a prize package valued up to $599. After the winner is notified, he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address, phone number and ages of their children, so that Target can ship the prize and select books appropriate for their children. If the winner does not reply in that time frame, he or she forfeits the prize and another winner will be drawn at random. Please note that we cannot ship product to a P.O. Box.

Per the FTC’s guidelines on endorsements (, I must clearly and conspicuously disclose that I am working with Target, and am receiving compensation from Target for running this sweepstakes and Target is providing a prize for one of my readers.

November 26, 2010

Winner - Time for Tots Shapes Kit

Thank you to everyone that took time to enter this giveaway!

The winner of The Shapes Kit from Time for Tots is:
Airamty from My Princess World

Congratulations! We have emailed you with more details.

**Visit our Time for Tots Facebook Page to get the scoop on our one day only, Black Friday sale!

November 22, 2010

Time for Tots Giveaway

Do you want to win The Shapes Kit from Time for Tots?

The Shapes Kit

How to Enter: (pick one or pick them all - up to 4 ways to win) 

Who would you give The Shapes Kit to? (1 entry - leave a comment)

Time for Tots Facebook Fan (1 entry - leave a comment)

Already a Time for Tots Customer (1 entry - leave a comment with your Etsy name)

Follower of The Activity Mom and/or The Shafer Family Blog (1 entry - leave a comment)

*The winner will be announced here on Friday, November 26th.

Make sure to visit Time for Tots Facebook Page on Black Friday to get the scoop on our Black Friday Special!

October 3, 2010

Winner - 50th Anniversary Green Eggs and Ham Book

The winner of the 50th Anniversary Green Eggs and Ham Book is:

comment #4 - Kim

Thank you to everyone that entered!

September 22, 2010

Anniversary Edition of Green Eggs and Ham Giveaway

Have you entered your video in the "Ham it Up" video contest?

Do you want to win
an anniversary edition of Green Eggs and Ham?
Just leave a comment below and you're entered!

This giveaway will close at midnight on Tuesday, September 28th. The winner will be chosen by and contacted via email.  

I was given a copy of this book, but was not compensated in any other way.

July 14, 2010

Stepping Stones Together

Recently I was given the opportunity to try Stepping Stones Together, a reading program that is designed for parents to help their child (ages 3-7) with beginning reading skills. The Stepping Stones Together reading program uses an easy to follow, 6 step approach, which you and your child can complete in just 15 – 20 minutes a day. There are different levels and genres of stories, questions for each book, writing prompts, printable flashcards for additional practice, and extra practice ideas all in an easy to use online format.

What I love about my experience with Stepping Stones Together:

*It is personalized. You can pick genres of books that your child will be interested in and their name appears on each of the books.
*It is printable. You can print the books, writing extension sheets, word cards, incentive chart, certificates, and the 6 steps as a reminder.
*The step by step instructions are based on research and considered best reading practices.
*Online support for all of my questions.
*The characters and illustrations were interesting to B.
*The choice of printing out the book or saving it to your computer to read was a fun choice to offer B.


At first, B just wanted to hear me read the stories and he kept telling me I was in charge of the words. I was wondering if maybe it was too soon for him. I struggled with the balance of encouraging, but not pushing him. With the online support at Stepping Stones Together, I kept plugging along with small adjustments and then one day B agreed to read one of the books with his Dad on the computer. That’s all it took. From that day on, he has been excited to participate. He loves to pick which book we will read next and he is so proud to check them off of the list. He loves the option of reading it on the computer and enjoys the writing extensions.

We are coming to the end of level A. We could be reading level B books but he wants to make sure all of the boxes get checked off on his sheet so we will continue with level A for awhile longer. Stepping Stones Together has given B confidence. He has learned a lot of words, but more importantly he has been exposed to making predictions and answering questions about the story. It brings a huge smile to my face when he says, “Mom, we should look at the pictures to see what this book is going to be about.”.

Stepping Stones Together is offering a special deal right now for Activity Mom readers!
You can get a year of Stepping Stones Together (regular price $39.99) for just $19.99!

Go to the Become a Member page, purchase the $39.99 year program and put in the code "I want the deal". You will get a year of Stepping Stones Together for just $19.99!
Still not sure? Read more to find out if your child is ready for Stepping Stones Together?

July 11, 2010

Winner - Guidecraft Tabletop Puppet Theater

A big thank you to Guidecraft for joining our celebration and for providing this Center Stage Tabletop Puppet Theater to one lucky reader!

The winner of the Guidecraft Tabletop Puppet Theater is:
Megan from Out of Kadesh

Congratulations, Megan and thank you to everyone that entered!