Block Party Giveaway: The Vintage Pearl

This giveaway is now closed. Check back on July 4th for the winner!

Welcome to the Simple Living Media Summer Block Party! We’ve got 20 giveaways across the entire network this week to give you plenty of chances to win!

So let’s get started with a fabulous prize from The Vintage Pearl, a family-owned company handcrafting beautiful jewelry.

The Vintage Pearl was started by mother of four Erin Edwards. She and her husband Ryan create unique handstamped necklaces, bracelets, and keepsakes using sterling silver, freshwater pearls, and birthstone crystals. Their creations are truly amazing and beautiful.

From The Vintage Pearl website: [Read more…]

10 Picture Books that Teach Important Life Lessons

Today I’m guest posting at Simple Mom on one of my favorite topics–books.

From my post:

“Often as parents we get consumed by the details of our days–life speeds past while we try to catch up and just keep everyone fed, clothed, and healthy. Sometimes the rush of our busy routines leaves little time leftover to contemplate and discuss life’s important issues with our children.

When, exactly, are we supposed to find the time or the words to talk about meaningful topics like injustice, simplicity, death, or faithfulness?

Thankfully we can walk into any library and have abundant assistance to tackle life lessons with our little ones. All we have to do is open a book, enjoy it together, and let a natural discussion unfold.”

Read the rest over at Simple Mom!

Weekend Links

“Do not train children to learn by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” ~ Plato

Vacations and Field Trips for Children of Varying Ages

Written by monthly contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

All of life is learning. Our children can learn so much, academically as well as socially, by a simple trip to the grocery store as well as by completing a math lesson amidst the distractions of a sibling.

And summertime is no different. Whether it’s exploring on the beach, strolling through a museum, or even waiting in line at Disneyland, our children are always learning about themselves, others, and the surrounding world.

However, some learning experiences, like gutting a fish on a camping trip, are more appropriate for certain ages than others. And in a large family, there’s the rub. We are eager to share the world with our children, particularly on vacation and family field trips, but with a large family or even two children born many years apart, it can be challenging to create experiences appropriate to all the ages and stages of our children.

  • What if the baby can’t handle such a long day in the mountains?
  • What if the older children are bored at the children’s museum?
  • What if it’s just too hard to take everyone to that amusement park?

Take heart — families with a range of children’s ages can foster meaningful vacations without too much extra effort. [Read more…]

Living History Museums: Going Beyond Textbooks

Written by Kara Fleck, editor of Simple Kids.

Would it surprise you to learn that my family and I are time travelers? It is true!  Our mini-van recently became our personal time machine when we visited one of our favorite local living history museums, Conner Prairie.

Living history museums are a way to interact with history, up close and personal, and in some cases at the very spots where the original events occurred.

A visit to a living history museum moves education beyond the page of a textbook. They offer a chance to experience history with your five senses: you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the past.

Many living history museums provide an opportunity to interact with performers who portray the thoughts and feelings of their characters while demonstrating the daily chores, pastimes, and politics of the era.

If you’re planning a field trip to a living history museum, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your visit:

[Read more…]