Penny Pinching Peach


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Animals At School

Baby School Scholar

Baby School Scholar

For anyone who is homeschooling and has children not yet old enough to participate in formal education, you know one of the biggest challenges is balancing the needs of the little ones with the ability to teach the older and allow them to concentrate. Thankfully, I had fun with a lot of preschool and baby school type activities with my oldest before she started kindergarten, and can adapt most of those ideas to use with my two year old little guy. I document a lot of them, because he has so much fun and he’s so doggone cute. 🙂 I was thinking that maybe someone else might find some of our little “baby school” activities useful in their own homeschool or quiet times with their kiddos, so I’m going to start sharing some.

One activity both of my little ones have loved is oversized animal flash cards. The exact ones I have are these Animals (Slide and Learn Flash Cards) that are really neat, but these are a nice, inexpensive set that will work for any of the activities I’m sharing using my flash cards Animals of All Kinds Flash Cards. I can come up with a lot of different activities using these, and easily keep a toddler happy with them for half an hour or more. Here are a few fun ones for you to try with your baby schoolers.

Big or Little

Big or Little

I have Bambam sort the cards by whether he thinks the animals are big or little. This is a good one for him to start the day with, because he’s good at it and it builds up his interest and confidence.

Another activity he enjoys is sorting the cards by whether they have fur or not. This is slightly more challenging for him, but usually not too difficult for him to reason out, which is a good thing.

Color Sorting

Color Sorting

For variety, I have him stack the cards according to the color of the trim. This one makes him have to focus on a completely different part of the cards, so he feels like it’s a new activity and it keeps him interested for longer.

Some other things we do with the cards are sorting them by the following categories: No feet, two feet or four feet? Can they fly or not? Is the animal a baby or grownup? Scary or nice? Pet or wild (I started with farm, pet or wild, but my kids think farm animals make great pets, so I dropped that. LOL)?

Can you think of any other games you can do with animal flash cards?

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Cheap Travel Tips

 

Cheap Travel Tips

Cheap travel Tips

With summer dawning, alot of folks are hitting the road for family vacation or visiting relatives. Since most of us are on a budget, I thought I’d share a few of the little things I do to save big when we travel.

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We like our caffeine when we’re on road trips, so instead of stopping everywhere for drinks, I make a big jug of sweet tea (Lipton, of course!)ahead of time and put it in mason jars in the cooler. It’s extremely inexpensive, and easily poured from jar to travel cup. We also pack jars of milk and juice for the kiddos, as well as water if we’re going somewhere with questionable water quality.

Anyone who travels with kids knows that plenty of snacks are a must. I make things like cookies (Try my recipe for Healthy Oatmeal Cookies here. They travel well for a few days.) and snack mixes, plus take things like boxes of raisins, apples and bananas. I also pack some emergency treats like lollipops for when the little stinkers start howling about being stuck in the car. Since they are a treat to our kids, they work well at buying some peaceful time. We still sometimes stop for an icecream cone or some local delicacy as a treat, but we aren’t tempted to grab convenience treats for inflated prices at bathroom stops when we already have plenty of yummy goodies to munch on.

If you can, pack some sandwiches, canned goods, and breakfast items to eat for breakfasts and lunches while traveling. Also, gather up coupons for various restaurants you may stop at on your travels. Often, you can sign up for birthday clubs (see my post here: Happy Birthday Freebies) and get some really high value coupons for various restaurants just for signing up, even before your birthday comes around.

If you have pets, and know someone trustworthy nearby who also has pets, try to work out a pet sitting trade with them. You watch their pets while they travel, and they watch your pets while you travel. This way, neither of you has to actually spend any money on pet care. Just make sure to walk them through how to care for your furbabies, leave a list of the basic necessities of their care, and leave everything in plain sight that they will need to taking care of your critters.

Always look for the coupon books that are available in any tourist area, and search online for savings ahead of time at any attractions you intend to visit. You can rack up some serious savings on tickets and shopping this way.

I think most of us know to check the coupon books or make reservations online at discounted prices to save on hotels,and I’m really trying to focus on the more obscure little ways to save, but it must be mentioned. Also, if you are a government employee, in public safety or any career like that, inquire into what discounts are available to you. You may be surprised at how much of a savings some hotels will give you for those careers.

What are your favorite little tricks for saving big while traveling? Traveling with little ones, check out my post Traveling With Little Riders!


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Doggy Loot…WOOF WOOF!!!

Woof!! Woof!!!

My Loot From Doggy Loot

My Loot From Doggy Loot

This is a great deal for my pet lover friends!! You’ve got to try this little place called Doggy Loot!

They have a rotating stock of discount pet items, which are mostly for dogs. A few items would be suitable for cats, as well. I ordered a pink flamingo Kong toy for my doggies for just $9 (when it is normally a $16 toy). Keep reading, and I am sure you can guess my out-of-pocket cost on this item. 🙂 However, this is still a great deal if you buy your dogs toys to play with, even if you are paying for it.

Squeak, squeak!

Squeak, squeak!

When it came in, my little girl was very excited to give it to her doggies. I was pleased with the quality and cuteness of their new squeaky chew toy. Our dogs, Ducky & Gypsy, were tickled pink with their new toy. They “argued” over it briefly & playfully before my older, stuffed animal obsessed Gypsy took her new “baby” into her doghouse with her puppy dog stuffed animal. She just sat there grinning for the longest time.

Happy about their loot!

Happy about their loot!

To sum it all up, Doggy Loot gets good reviews from me for speedy shipping, a good quality product, and arriving exactly as represented on the site. Now, how do you get a great deal for yourself?

First step, obviously, is to go to the site and sign up. You get a $5 credit just for joining! Once you do that, click “My Credit”, and then go to “Dogs”. Just for filling out your dog’s info, you get another $5 credit. Since most items are about $10 to $20 and shipping is free, this is a real steal! Please click my referral link here to join the fun: http://www.doggyloot.com/?rid=1332881

Happy doggy!

Happy doggy!

Please come back and let me know what you ordered and how you like it. I’m excited about this site! 🙂