I'll never forget one of my close girlfriends asking if I had ever heard of Barefoot Books when I was pregnant with my William. Here I was trying to make a beautiful library for my baby-to-be and I hadn't even heard of one of the most amazing places to get some phenomenal books for my collection. She introduced me to Barefoot Books that day... and I have been one of their biggest fans ever since!
My mother was an English and Reading teacher for 30 years... she used to read to my sister and brothers and me every single night when we were children. We would be so excited to get "lost" in a story... it's been that way my whole life - books have become friends. I wanted to pass that gift on to my children because books are such a fantastic way to be able to see the world in a whole new way. It's all about imagination and creativity... the greatest gifts kids can experience.
Having 4 little boys now... and if you know my children, you know exactly what I mean... they love a good book. In this digital age, seeing my sons truly love to sit on the couch or front lawn or in bed and get "lost" like I used to as a child, it warms my heart. For me, it's time with my sons where nothing else in the world matters - and I love that.
I was so excited when Barefoot Books sent us 2 new books to read - Up, Up, Up, with singalong CD and The Story Tree with storytime CD, along with a Kids' Garden Activity set. We devoured the books immediately!
Up, Up, Up! (with singalong CD) by Susan Reed and illustrated by Rachel Oldfield was such a perfect book to read with the boys.
This book brings 3 friends around the planet in a hot air balloon. They see clouds, rivers, swimming creatures, birds, the moon... my sons were very intrigued by the book. It allowed us to talk about where they would want to go in a hot air balloon. Each of my sons gave a different answer - William wants to go to the moon. Alexander wants to go to Disney. Benjamin wants to see Star Wars. Henry wants to go where his brothers go!
The Story Tree (with storytime CD) narrated by Hugh Lupton and illustrated by Sophie Fatus was a book that my 2 older sons loved.
This book is filled with tales that the boys loved, all meant to be read aloud and all written so that my guys perfectly understood them. I will say, as a parent, I loved the follow-along CD. It was great to listen and capture the moments together while we listened along. The boys' favorite tale - The Three Billy Goats Gruff - we have probably read and listened to 50 times already!
But... perhaps the favorite item in the Barefoot Books box that came - Kids' Garden by Whitney Cohen, Life Lab Science Program and illustrated by Roberta Arenson. Kids' Garden is 40 indoor and outdoor activities and games that you can do with your children.
My sons literally jumped right in! There are 5-categories of activities: Exploring the Garden, Planting and Growing, Fun with Plants, Discovering Creatures and Creating Garden Art. My sons absolutely (positively) loved the Discovering Creatures category (as did my husband, too!). Our first activity was A Snail's Pace... armed with buckets, we went off into our yard to find some creatures. The goal of this activity was to see what creatures are the fastest. Like bees to honey... my sons found 4 worms under a rock. As the activity card called for, they put the worms in their bucket and then drew a circle in some dirt. They placed the worms in the circle and sat and watched which worm was the fastest to leave the circle! Alexander's won (which wasn't taken too well by his brothers, so we did the challenge 2 more times!)... which turned into a race of the brothers across the yard. And the best part... it's only $19.99! All this fun at such an amazing price.
We've done about 15 activities from the 40 cards... they are the most fun, engaging and delightful activities to do. I thoroughly enjoyed watching my sons have a blast, all while learning... such a beautiful combination.
Barefoot Books - you're one in a million!
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