4 Ways to Teach Kids How to Recycle

The other day I was able to convince my three-year-old to sit down and watch Blue Planet II with me on Netflix. He has a deep love for the ocean (like his mama), but he LOVES to watch Boss Baby, Hercules, and Coco on a loop. It was a grand achievement to get him to watch something outside of his core selection. As we progressed through the episodes, we came to an image of a sea turtle caught inside a pile of trash in the middle of the ocean. As David Attenborough dictated the life and hardships of this turtle, I saw an intense look of worry spread across my child’s face. He could not quite understand why this sea turtle was having to struggle. I had to explain to him that some people do not care for the sea turtles like we do and that others pollute the ocean, impacting all creatures living underneath the surface.

To say he was disappointed in the litterbugs of the world was an understatement. We continued to watch Blue Planet II when suddenly I was smacked across the face with one thought – I have yet to teach my son about recycling.

At this point in the story, I welcome your judgement, because I am ashamed of my actions. I started a Be Green club in high school for heaven’s sake; my son should know how to recycle.

It is never too early to teach our children how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We have taken a few actions within our household to implement environmentally conscious behaviors that even our one-year-old engages in. Here are the four ways you can introduce recycling to kids.

  1. Recycling container – We have introduced a recycling bin within the house to collect all recyclable objects. We would typically pile them up and take them out to the main bin on the side of the house, but by simply purchasing a storage container, the boys are excited to recycle. They almost fight to see who can put the recyclable in the bin first. WWE championship of recycling.
  2. Get creative – What’s the saying? “Someone else’s trash is another man’s treasure.” With an egg carton, toilet paper roll, and tabs from a can of soda you now have a lively robot, shark, or man-eating dinosaur. Making a creative moment out of recyclables makes learning just a little more fun.
  3. YouTube videos – There is nothing like some screen time to make my kids stop in their tracks. While there are some awesome TV episodes that focus on recycling, there are so many options on YouTube as well. The SciShow Kids channel on YouTube not only has fun and educational videos on a variety of topics, there is a great episode all about “How Recycling Works!” Jessi and her robot Squeaks are great at paving the way for my kids to make smarter decisions when it comes to waste and recycling.
  4. Matching games – My three-year-old is currently obsessed with matching games. Matching like recyclable items, such as aluminum cans, cardboard, plastic bottles, etc. teaches him what can and cannot be recycled. Finding the big green recycling symbol is the “special” match, so he’s always on the hunt!

Since we started this adventure to keep Mother Earth happy and healthy, my kids (at least my preschooler) is a little more conscious about his actions. Before he throws anything away, he asks, “can we recycle this mommy?” It doesn’t matter if you believe in global warming or not, we have a responsibility to take care of this planet. It is vitally important we teach our kids the importance of caring for the earth, so that it is a safe and wonderful place to live in for years and years to come.

How do you reduce, reuse, and recycle in your house? Let me know in the comments below.

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DK Book Wish List + Giveaway

Reading together and sharing stories is a necessity in my household. My nearly three-year-old will not go bed unless we read three stories. I know what you’re thinking, “three stories?!” Yes! I truly cherish my one-on-one time with my toddler. With an 8-month-old it can be difficult to give him all of the attention he wants, but our nighttime routine is OUR time, so I’m OK with three bedtime stories.

The majority of our bedtime reads come from our good friends over at DK Publishing. From touch-and-feel books to encyclopedias all the way to flashcards and experiments, DK publishing has all of the books you need to keep a well-stocked bookshelf for you and your kids.

We want to share with you four of our favorite and most anticipated DK publications (even though our list could go on and on).

Pop-Up Peekaboo! Farm

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Finding a book my toddler and my baby both love has proven to be a serious task in the past, but with the Pop-Up Peekaboo! Farm book, we can all sit down and enjoy a book together. Under each individual flap is a pop-up surprise guaranteed to create lots of laughs and giggles. My oldest son loves to point out all of the animals to his baby brother (insert a collective “aww” sound). The baby loves his bog brother and gives him is full attention during Pop-Up Peekaboo Farm time!

Dinosaur A to Z

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Now, I’ve talked about this book in the past, and well, it’s still a favorite for all us. Folks, we read the entire, YES, the entire Dinosaur A to Z book every.single.night. My toddler probably knows more about dinosaurs than the most well-known and well-educated archeologist in the world (no joke). He thoroughly enjoys seeing the beautiful artistic adaptations, and every turn of the page is like seeing the book again for the first time. If your child loves dinosaurs, I strongly recommend you get your claws on this book (see what I did there?).

My First Animals – Touch and Feel Picture Cards

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My toddler is at the phase in life where he likes to learn new things, because he loves the praise that comes along with learning something new. The My First Animals – Touch and Feel Picture Cards is the perfect addition to our daily routine. Within this compact display are 16 colorful early learning cards your toddler will LOVE! Who doesn’t get excited when they see kittens and puppies?

How to be a Scientist – GIVEAWAY

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I grew up in a household with a dad who has his doctorate in analytical chemistry and I had no desire to learn science. The idea of going to my biology or chemistry class gave me an upset stomach. When we got our hands on Steve Mould’s How to Be Scientist book, I got excited about science. Oh how I wish they had this book when I was going through science classes. No matter how old your kids are, teaching them the importance of the sciences is essential. Who was Marie Curie? How do you make a compass? What is energy? These are all things you can learn in this gorgeous and educational book.

We love this book so much we wanted to give away a signed copy of Steve Mould’s How to be a Scientist.

Here’s how to enter:

Option 1

Follow us on Instagram @makingmillmama
Tag a friend in the comments section
For an extra entry, share the post in the your Instagram story

Option 2

Follow us on Twitter @makingmillmama
Like and Retweet
 

If you do both option 1 and option 2, you will have double the entries. This giveaway is not affiliated with DK Publishing, Instagram, or Twitter. The giveaway will run from Thursday, December 21, 2017 to Sunday, December 31, 2017 8:00 PM EST. The winner will be direct messaged if they are the winner and the book will ship following the New Year holiday. This giveaway is open to both US and International. Good luck!

What are your favorite DK Publishing books? Will you get your hands on these awesome books? Let me know in the comments below.

Follow DK Publishing:

Facebook – @dkbooks.us

Instagram – @dkbooks

Twitter – @dkpublishing

Website – www.dk.com/us/

Toddler Time – Get Qurious

My two and half year old is very smart. I know what you’re thinking, “he’s your kid, and of course you think he’s smart!” Well that is true, but he really is very smart and needs to be challenge beyond basic spelling and counting songs often provided to preschoolers.

Like many children, my son enjoys the time he has to play on his tablet device. He loves watching his favorite shows and even playing learning games on his iPad during downtime. My son has been playing the same learning games over and over again and has memorized all of the potential outcomes. It wasn’t until we got our hands on Get Qurious, that he was excited to tackle new learning challenges.

Manu the meerkat and his friends from the Get Qurious app make learning on the iPad exciting once again. This is not your typical learning app; it is an augmented reality app. Get Qurious requires participation on the tablet device (camera is needed) as well as outside of technology. The digital world and the real world can come together as one.

We had the privilege to expand our minds with the Get Qurious Explorer Box. This box unlocks magic with new and exciting ways to play. There are four crafted games you can play with your kids through the Get Qurious Explorer Box. In your box you will receive the following:

  • 16 Double-Sided Cards
  • 4 Role-Playing Masks
  • 2 Double-Sided Treasure Hunt Maps

Build a story with the beautifully illustrated cards and listen/read along with the story as it’s played back, create a rocket ship built to take down asteroids and collect treasure, become a character in a story by wearing a mask, or go on an animated 3D treasure hunt. Adventure is endless with Get Qurious. The Get Qurious app is designed for children ages 4-8 years.

Many parents feel a hesitation to introduce technology to their kids at such a young age. As a mom that was once hesitant I understand, but Get Qurious is a phenomenal way of slowly introducing technology into your child’s life. It creates a safe space where they can learn to properly navigate digital devices while also forming their creative sides through digital education.

Playing by his/herself or with friends, Get Qurious is a great way to engage your kids in creative and thoughtful learning. Get your hands on Get Qurious by going to:

Website 
Facebook – @getquriousapp
Twitter – @getquriousapp
Instagram –  @getquriousapp

Make sure you download the app and order your Get Qurious box. There are many Get Qurious box options to choose from, so why just choose one? Get your kids excited about learning TODAY!

You can now pre-order the Get Qurious Nature Box and Get Qurious Adventure Box. You will love this app just as much as your little ones, guaranteed!

Toddler Time – Dinosaurs A to Z

I don’t know about your kid, but my child is obsessed with dinosaurs. He has a stuffed dino companion (also known as Anton) that he takes with him everywhere. When you mention the word dinosaur he starts to roar saying “dinooooosaur, rooooooar!” (there is quite a bit of over dramatization). I can’t supply enough dinosaur stuff in my house to maintain my son’s dino fix.

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DK Publishing has come out with the perfect book for anyone who loves dinosaurs, Dinosaur A to Z. American Museum of Natural History educator, Dustin Growick, has created THE “visual dictionary for little dinosaur enthusiasts” and may I add, for the parents of the soon-to-be archeologists as well. I can’t get enough of it myself.

Dinosaurs A to Z

The bright and colorful pages within this large hardback book come alive with specially commissioned CGI images. The drawings are so gorgeous that I like to keep it out as a coffee table book. It’s such a beautiful and educational piece of literature. Dinosaurs that I never even knew existed pop out of the page. Have you heard of an Argentinosaurus? Me either!

With more than 150 dinosaurs listed, you guessed it, from A to Z, you are bound to learn something new. Each dino is a categorized from size, diet, environment, and even attitude. My son can point to each dinosaur and tell me if it’s “a bad guy” or a “good guy” (as he likes to define them).

Dinosaurs A to Z is an easy and fun way to make bedtime an educational adventure. Don’t you want your kid to feel like an explorer?

We are in love with this book! You can get your copy starting in October or you can pre-order it today by following this link >> https://www.dk.com/us/9781465463142-dinosaur-a-to-z/ <<

ROOOOOOOAR!!!

Website – DK Publishing
Instagram – @dkbooks
Twitter – @dkpublishing
Facebook – DK Books

A Toddler’s Review: Touch and Feel Books (DK Publishing) + Giveaway

If you’ve had the opportunity to sit down and read my son’s last toddler book review, you have an understanding of how serious he takes his reading and book selection. Take a moment and visualize a two-year-old sitting behind a giant oak desk, dressed in an Armani suit with horned rimmed glasses, pensively looking over his latest review assignment. In essence, that description sums up my son. Every time I look at him pacing back and forth in front of his bookshelf, carefully selecting his book, and thumbing through each page, I see the face of the next James Wood (New Yorker).

Recently my son was presented with a selection of DK Publishing Touch and Feel books focused around animals. When he caught a glimpse of the baby bunnies on the front of Baby Touch and Feel: Animals, his eyes lit up. Along with the constant desire to learn shapes, numbers, and colors, my son loves to point out and mimic animals. Aside from a good book, when there is a baby animal involved, my son is instantaneously hooked.

The following four books from DK Publishing are the perfect additions to your baby and/or toddler’s personal library as well as the last minute touch you need for your child’s Easter basket this year.

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The Easter Bunny will thank you for bringing these selections to his attention. He’s already hopping around all over the place, he doesn’t need to struggle with basket filler ideas as well.

Pop-Up Peekaboo! Farm

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We recently took a trip to the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, North Carolina, and my son was surrounded my countless farm animals. When we had to leave and head back home, he was devastated to say goodbye to the cows, goats, and pigs. I’m fairly certainly he still longingly calls out for them in his sleep.

When I presented him the Pop-Up Peekaboo! Farm, the sadness that once filled his deep chestnut brown eyes disappeared. When we sat down together and slowly turned the pages and lifted the flaps for the pop-up surprise, he giggled with joy from the anticipation of the reveal. When he learned the chicks were hidden behind the pile of eggs, you would have thought I presented him with a popsicle in every flavor, a meet-and-greet with Peppa Pig, and his long-lost pacifier – pure excitement!

Baby Touch and Feel: I Love You

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When I became a mother the first thing I told my husband is that our son will know how much we love him. We’ve successfully told our son “I love you” countless times every single day, and now he’s returning the sentiment. Not only is he saying “I love Ma” and “I love Da” he is now encouraged to express love towards baby brother who will be making his appearance any day now.

As parents, it’s important that we teach our children about how to properly show love and respect to those in their lives. Baby Touch and Feel: I Love You, is the perfect aid in promoting the feelings and understanding of the phrase “I love you.”

Baby Touch and Feel: Animals + Giveaway

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My son eagerly grabs for his copy of Baby Touch and Feel: Animals every night. We’ve read this book so many times, he could probably recite all of the animals in order from memory. He screams the name of each animal directly into my ear (I may have lost partial hearing) and feels each animals with a giant smile on his face.

We let him take two books to bed. When he clutches Baby Touch and Feel: Animals and snuggles up with his stuffed alligator, Anton, he goes to bed a little happier than the night before. I will sit and watch him through the baby monitor and hear him say “Kitten!” (giggle), “Puppy!” (giggle), “Tiger!” (giggle), etc.

My son loves Baby Touch and Feel: Animals so much, he wants to share the love and giveaway a copy.

ENTER TO WIN YOUR COPY OF
BABY TOUCH AND FEEL: ANIMALS

Really Feely Farm

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As I stated earlier, my son has a deep love for animals, in particular farm animals. The Really Feely Farm fills his constant need to be close to his farm brethren. Not only do the pictures of the animals have a tactile component, every illustration has something to feel. He truly enjoys pointing out the pig’s snout, the duckling’s beak, and the cow’s shiny nose.

With only five animals, this book leads to countless minutes of fun and education with the little one. We often read through this selection three or four times. When my son says “Book! Mine!” you know you have a hit on your hands folks.

DK Publishing’s Touch and Feel Books are not only exhilarating to a two-year-old critic (and mom!), but they are also extremely educational.

When I asked my son if he would recommend these books to all the toddler’s out there, he said “Yes! BOOK! Duck, Doggie, Monkey. MINE!”  Well, that says it all folks. You won’t regret the decision of adding these books to your child’s library.

** MAKE SURE YOU ENTER THE DK PUBLISHING
TOUCH AND FEEL – ANIMALS BOOK GIVEAWAY **

A Toddler’s Review: Top 5 Books

My kid is particular (leaning towards OCD) and our bedtime routine is something that cannot change. If it were to change, I truly believe the world would cease to exist, at least to my toddler.

We start-off with bath time, progress to moisturizing, get our jammies on, grab our beloved blanket and stuffed Alligator (a.k.a. Anton), and snuggle up on the reading chair with three books of his choice. His selection of books is a well-thought-out process and usually leans towards the educational side.

I thought it would be fun to have my toddler review his top five favorite nighttime books of the moment. So, I asked him, “what do you think of this book?” The comments made are his opinions and his opinions alone (with mom’s thoughts added in as well).

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jr/ Eric Carle

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“Red bird! Red bird!” he exclaims in excitement. The anticipation builds-up and once he sees the next animal, the look of joy takes over his face. This book has really helped him in pairing words together. We went from not wanting to communicate at all, to now being unable to stop, especially during reading time.

Fliptastic Colors – DK Publishing

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[Jumping up and down in glee] “Book! Red…flowerrrr, BUG, Berry!” This new addition to the library (thank you Uncle Aaron) not only encourages his identification of colors and objects, but it also works on his hand-eye coordination. Each page flips in a different direction keeping your little one on their toes. It easy for them to just keep flipping through, but this “fliptastic” book requires them to really pay attention.

First 100 Words Board Book – Roger Priddy

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This is an oldie, but a goodie. When all else fails this book is guaranteed to delight. “Train! Choo, Choo [pumping his arms up and down] …Yellow [d]uck, quack, quack.” With a collection of actions, objects, and animals, he points out each and when appropriate adds in the accompanying sound. I’ve never seen him as focused as he is when goes through all 100 words.

*This book gets a mom’s all star stamp of approval*

I Love You Stinky Face – Lisa McCourt

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“MINE” is screamed at my face when I try to put this book back on the shelf. He clutches it over his heart like a character out of a Jane Austen novel. Instead of me reading it to him, he reads it to me. Passionately he captures the intensity of each of the personalities of the main character. He also loves that there is an alligator on the front cover like his stuffed best friend, Anton.

The Pout-Pout Fish – Deborah Diesen  

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SPOILER ALERT – I have read this book so many times, I could recite it to you word-for-word without hesitation. In tandem, he and I say “blub, bluuub, bluuuuub” and when Pout-Pout Fish realizes he is actually a Kiss-Kiss Fish, my son’s face lights up, because he knows he is going to get SMOOCHES! Whenever he’s not feeling well, he runs over to his bookshelf, grabs the Pout-Pout Fish, and says “Peas, Ma!” How can you say no to that sweet baby?

My son’s library of books is extensive, but the selections listed above are his favorites. Not only do they get my seal of approval, but they get the approval of a two-year-old, and let’s be honest folks that says a lot!