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5 Easy Ways To Make Learning FUN This Summer

Summer is almost here (or if you are lucky, it has already arrived!)

For me, Summer is a time to really slow things down and be more present.  I’ve been thinking about Summer and the ways we can all still enjoy the slower pace, with a little bit of learning thrown in for good measure!

It’s going to be FUN!

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1. Take part in the Kids Summer Postcard Exchange

Postcards are an easy and fun way for kids to exchange snail mail.  Come on over to the International Kids Pen Pal group and match up with another parent to exchange a postcard this Summer.  I’m super excited about this one – we can’t wait to match up with families around the world, and send and receive some postcards!

3 month summer

2. Try a 3 month Petit Mail Story Postcard Subscription

Keep learning exciting with a fun story postcard arriving in your mailbox for June, July and August.

3 month subscriptions for Canada and the US are $21 (approximately $16 US) including postage.  International 3 month subscriptions are $24.

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3. Write a Letter to a Grandparent or Friend

Find someone in your life who would love to receive snail mail from your child (and who is likely to write back). Work on writing a letter and sending a drawing, painting, photographs in the mail.

This site has a great resource for teaching children how to properly address an envelope.

If you are looking for fun stationery sets for kids, check out these sets and digital downloads

 

4. Make a Summer Bucket List

Every Summer, NJ and I write a list of fun things that she wants to do.  We get a very short Summer season here, so we have to make the most of it!

Her wish list is always so simple, beautiful and filled with childhood wonder.  Things like:

  • go to the playground
  • pick flowers
  • have a picnic
  • buy an ice cream from the ice cream truck
  • run through the sprinkler

I’ll be sharing things from our list on Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to follow along.

My tip: Don’t forget to include some library outings on your Summer bucket list. Reading is such a great way to start or end Summer days, and great for a rainy day activity.

Petit Mail (1)

We are talking about book recommendations in the private group Pre-school Kids Reading Club (3-6) – join us over there for even more Summer Reading action.

 

5. Be Present For Your Kids

I’m making a pact with myself this Summer.  No screen time for me between the time I come home from work and the time the kids go to bed.  I’m going to have my kids help me stay accountable.

It’s Summer – we’ve got postcards and books and bucket lists to get to.

Here are some of my tips for successfully planning a screen-free weekend at home.

I’m planning some more Facebook live videos to talk about ways I’ve simplified, tried to cut down on the screen time, and more.  I’d love to have you with me.

 

Preschool Reading Club

Preschool Reading

Welcome to the Preschool Reading Club. One of my favourite things to do is share books that we enjoy reading at home, so I decided to create a preschool reading group for parents where we can share book ideas & recommendations specifically for our preschoolers and early readers.

Every week (or so, because..life) I’ll share pictures, or short video reviews of books that we are reading from both our home collection AND the library.

Preschool Reading

 

Let’s Connect

I’m Alison, a preschool mom, and I’d love to have you join us in the group.  Some reasons why I absolutely love sharing book ideas and inspiration with others:

  1. I’m a mom with 2 small children, a full time job and a part time business – sharing great reads helps to make my life easier, and who doesn’t want to make their life a little bit easier?
  2. I love to gift books.  My children receive books for almost every occasion, and I also gift books to my nieces.
  3. It’s great to have new things to look for, or request, when we go to the library.
  4. It helps me find our next great read!

If you have found your way to this page, I don’t think I need to talk about all the ways reading with your children in amazing.
Reading is the ONLY time my 3 year old son sits still during the day.  Once we settle down for our bedtime reading, I swear he could stay there, snuggled into me forever (and I probably wouldn’t mind!)

So what are you waiting for?

Join The Preschool Reading Club

If you follow along with my IG feed, or the YouTube channel, you will already know that I love sharing my book suggestions and recommendations.

In the Preschool Reading Club we will have more space for discussion and for you to share your book choices as well, PLUS I’ll be sharing some freebies and hosting Petit Mail giveaways as well from time to time!  Pop over to join the club, and I’ll see you there.

Preschool Reading

Discover The JOY of Snail Mail

Subscription For Kids

Petit Mail is the fun way to introduce a new generation to the joy of snail mail.  Created and written by mom and entrepreneur Alison Butler, each story postcard is packaged, stamped and addressed by hand.

 

Every month, your Petit Mail story postcard arrives in your mailbox in a bright, colourful envelope, addressed with your child’s first name.  There is always something new to discover!

 

Learn More About Petit Mail Story Postcards Here

Non-Toy Gifts For Kids

It seems like many of the conversations I have with other moms lately revolve around the STUFF we are trying to get rid of.
For the past year, I’ve been on a decluttering spree and a move toward simpler, more minimalist living and for the past few years, my mind always comes back to KIDS GIFTS AND TOYS.  I try to maintain some level of control over what comes into our home (within reason), and we donate old toys on a regular basis.
Non Toy Gift Ideas For Kids
I don’t know about you, but my kids don’t need much.  They play happily for hours with the simplest of things – what they really want is for someone to engage and interact with them.  I always cringe a little on the inside when I hear other parents talking about their playrooms full of toys that never get used….it feels so wasteful.
There are other posts out there with non-toy gift ideas for kids, but they all seem really generic, like “a zoo membership”.  I wanted to come up with some really practical, creative ideas that are a little more specific. My hope is that you find these inspiring, and that you can use some of these ideas for your own gifting this year.

5 Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kids

 

What do you think?  Would you try any of my ideas?
Think about a way to find gifts that “keep on giving” while making it fun.
I hope these 5 ideas sparked your imagination!

Non Toy Gifts for Kids

 


Petit Mail is a bright, fun snail mail story postcard subscription for kids ages three to early reader.

Petit Mail Story Postcard

Discover The JOY of Snail Mail

Petit Mail is the fun way to introduce a new generation to the joy of snail mail.  Created and written by mom and entrepreneur Alison Butler, each story postcard is packaged, stamped and addressed by hand.

Every month, your Petit Mail story postcard arrives in your mailbox in a bright, colourful envelope, addressed with your child’s first name.  There is always something new to discover

Learn More About Petit Mail Story Postcards Here

The Jolly Postman and Other People’s Letters: Kids Book Review

The Jolly Postman Book Review (1)

 

A parent favourite from my IG feed always seems to be posts I share about books we love. I particularly love books that have a snail mail theme to compliment Petit Mail.

Book Review: The Jolly Postman And Other People’s Letters

I love this interactive children’s book – filled with envelopes that can be opened, letters, postcards, birthday cards and more.  Follow the postman as he makes his way through the world of children’s fairy tales, making mail deliveries – and you can read the mail!

Watch My Full Book Review Of The Jolly Postman

Isn’t this so much fun?
If you’re interested, you can find the book here*: https://goo.gl/d2NGAa

The Jolly Postman and Other People's Letters Children's Book Review

Join The Preschool Kids Reading Club

I regularly share book suggestions, reading ideas and more in my preschool kids reading club group on Facebook.  Plus sometimes I share freebies and other fun content.  I’d love to have you join us there.

Petit Mail (1)

 

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase using this link, a small percentage will go toward supporting this blog

Printable Sight Word Flashcards

Do you have a child who is learning to read? Check out this free set of Printable Sight Word Flashcards….a gift from me to you!

printable sight word flashcards

My daughter NJ is learning to read right now, and I have to be honest, sometimes it’s a challenge.  She LOVES being read to, we read together every night, but she is less motivated to read on her own.

One of the reasons I created Petit Mail was to make reading fun and exciting.

Your story postcard arrives in the mailbox, you open up the bright envelope in excitement and read together.  Key words are highlighted and I try to keep the sentences simple for early readers.

This month, I created a set of printable sight word flashcards to go along with the new “Milo Loves Reading” Petit Mail story postcard.  This sight word flashcard set is perfect for reading practice at home with a bright background and featuring Petit Mail characters.

Let’s create a whole new generation who LOVES READING!

Sign Up For Your Printable Sight Word Flashcards Here

 

Sign Up Here

 


 

Petit Mail is a bright, fun snail mail story postcard subscription for kids ages three to early reader.

Petit Mail Story Postcard

Discover The JOY of Snail Mail

Petit Mail is the fun way to introduce a new generation to the joy of snail mail.  Created and written by mom and entrepreneur Alison Butler, each story postcard is packaged, stamped and addressed by hand.

Every month, your Petit Mail story postcard arrives in your mailbox in a bright, colourful envelope, addressed with your child’s first name.  There is always something new to discover

Learn More About Petit Mail Story Postcards Here

Kids Pen Pal: Find A Pen Pal For Your Child

Did you have a pen pal as a child?
I did – she lived in Australia and I loved learning about her life.
Kids Pen Pal Cover

International Kids Pen Pal Group

For quite a while now, I’ve been thinking about starting a Facebook group so that parents can connect with other parents and find a pen pal for their child in another part of the world.

So, I finally did it.

Join The International Kids Pen Pal Group Here

Let’s learn about different places around the world (or even in our own country) – it’s one of my favourite things about pen pals. You can spark new conversations and new learning, just by reading a letter!

See you in the group,

Alison

Petit Mail is a bright, fun snail mail story postcard subscription for kids ages three to early reader.

Petit Mail Story Postcard

Discover The JOY of Snail Mail

Petit Mail is the fun way to introduce a new generation to the joy of snail mail.  Created and written by mom and entrepreneur Alison Butler, each story postcard is packaged, stamped and addressed by hand.

Every month, your Petit Mail story postcard arrives in your mailbox in a bright, colourful envelope, addressed with your child’s first name.  There is always something new to discover

Learn More About Petit Mail Story Postcards Here

5 Reasons To Choose Gift Subscriptions For Kids

Our kids. They want our attention. They want us to spend time with them. They want to know we are there, close by, engaged with them.
As a full-time working outside the home mom, I feel like my time for presence is SO limited. That’s part of the reason why I created Petit Mail – a story card to read together, a link and ideas for easy activities we can do together. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with activities on the spot – it’s a little easier with a helping hand. Plus, snail mail is the MOST FUN. Don’t you agree?
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Here’s a list of my Top 5 Reasons to Choose Gift Subscriptions for Kids

Reason 1
Gift subscriptions keep giving well past the initial “open”.  It is the age-old “gift that keeps on giving” when something new and fun arrives in the mailbox each month.
Reason 2
Kids LOVE to get mail. Mail with their name on it. Bright, colourful mail.  It can be a really joyful experience, especially the first time a subscription arrives.
Reason 3
During gift-giving times, especially during the holidays, there are SO. MANY. TOYS. Yes, the toys are exciting for a short period of time, but often lose their appeal quickly. Subscriptions do not add to the pile.  They offer something deeper.  See reason 4.
Reason 4
Subscriptions spark learning and imagination in a fun way. They encourage creative play and quality time spent together as a family. They are the perfect non-toy gift.
Reason 5
Subscriptions offer you the ability to give the best gift of all – your presence.  Your presence while you read together each month and your presence in the parent-child activities your subscription provides.

Petit Mail is a bright, fun snail mail story postcard subscription for kids ages three to early reader.

Petit Mail Story Postcard

Discover The JOY of Snail Mail

Petit Mail is the fun way to introduce a new generation to the joy of snail mail.  Created and written by mom and entrepreneur Alison Butler, each story postcard is packaged, stamped and addressed by hand.

Every month, your Petit Mail story postcard arrives in your mailbox in a bright, colourful envelope, addressed with your child’s first name.  There is always something new to discover

Learn More About Petit Mail Story Postcards Here

What Really Matters?

 

I get asked this question all the time
“How do you do it all”?

I’m never quite sure how to respond.

I mean, what, exactly, is “it all”?
I used to provide a somewhat lengthy response

“oh, you know, I don’t watch much TV….I have a very supportive husband who does a LOT….my house isn’t really that clean……..etc”.

Lately, I’ve changed my answer.  Now I say “you always have time for the things you put first”.  It sums up all of the above, and more.  It says everything I want to say, without having to explain myself too much, and, most importantly, it’s true.

Parenting is always a challenging undertaking.  As far as I can tell, that never stops.
There are beautiful, magical, heart-warming days, and there are days when you feel like you will never come up for air again.

Lately, I’m focusing more on the little moments with my kids. The moments that I feel I can have some control over.

These moments, the moments where I put down my technology and spent 15 minutes drawing with my daughter.
These moments, where we keep our weekends as free as possible so that we can enjoy family time together.
These moments, when the supper table is magically free from whining, stalling and other general unpleasantness and we can talk about our days.

Focus

I’m focusing here, in these moments, and it has made me a lot calmer, and a lot happier.

I’m putting quality time first.

I plan ahead, so I’m less rushed.
I schedule carefully, so we don’t overcommit.
I say no to some things, to make room for other things.
Always full of big ideas, I save many of those ideas for later.  There will be time for those things, they don’t all have to happen right now.
I try to let go when things don’t go quite according to plan.
I simplify.
I make time for reading together. For playing together, even if that means that all of the laundry doesn’t get finished today.
I make time for myself, which makes me a 100% better parent.

You always have time for the things you put first.

 


 

Petit Mail is a bright, fun snail mail story postcard subscription for kids ages three to early reader.

Petit Mail Story Postcard

Discover The JOY of Snail Mail

Petit Mail is the fun way to introduce a new generation to the joy of snail mail.  Created and written by mom and entrepreneur Alison Butler, each story postcard is packaged, stamped and addressed by hand.

Every month, your Petit Mail story postcard arrives in your mailbox in a bright, colourful envelope, addressed with your child’s first name.  There is always something new to discover

Learn More About Petit Mail Story Postcards Here