Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review ~ Clued In Kids Treasure Hunts


Do your kids love treasure hunts?  Mine sure do!  Any game involving searching for hidden clues, figuring out puzzles and finding goodies is something that will be a big hit here.  So I was really excited to have the opportunity to review 2 treasure hunt games from Clued In Kids.  We received Homework Reward Treasure Hunt and Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt, both were PDF versions.

The Homework Reward Treasure Hunt is intended for use with 1 to 10 children.
The Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt is geared for ages 4 to 104, great for the whole family!  Both currently cost $5.99.


Who Is Clued In Kids?

Clued In Kids was started by Helen Bertelli who was inspired by the British TV show Treasure Hunt.  Helen's childhood dream job was to create treasure hunts.  That does sound like a wonderful job doesn't it!  Well Helen started making these treasure hunts for her children and sells them so your children can enjoy them to.

Clued In Kids has treasure hunts available for many topics including Thanksgiving, Halloween,Christmas, Winter, Pirates, Princess, Slumber Party, Multiplication and nutrition themes.
Some of these are available pre-printed and some are available as downloadable PDF files.

Each PDF file was 8 pages long.  This included 12 treasure hunt clue cards, 2 to a page.  As well as a cover page and instructions and the last page is a reminder of where you have hidden the clues and answers to help your children if they get stuck.

The Homework Reward Treasure Hunt included activities of unscrambling words in different ways.  Some were mazes that you followed to find letters to build the answer with.  Others were pictures that equalled letters to build a word with, some were written back wards.  Some activities had pictures to find the odd object for that place and that is where the next clue would be.  One activity was making a paper air plane!

f464d889-0fee-4296-9e5c-c606ada36630_zps00c2ba20 The Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt was very similar.  There were fill in the blank word puzzles.  You had to figure out the Thanksgiving theme word in each line to solve the vertical mystery world.  Very much like a cross word puzzle!  There were some easy math puzzle and a lot of Thanksgiving trivia.

These treasure hunts were very easy to use.  I printed out the clue sheets and cut them apart.  Each card has a "Hunt Leader" note on the bottom to tell you where to hide the clue.  At the top of each clue is also a place to write a persons name.  This is a great idea if your doing a treasure hunt with more then one child.  Especially if it's a larger group!  I labelled the easier clues with the younger children's names, the ones that were a little harder for an older child.  This way it was fun to search for the clues and not just the fastest person get them all spree.

It took me about 15 minutes to print, cut a part, label and hide the clues.  Hiding places are all through out the house.  Some of them for the Thanksgiving hunt were with bikes, hairbrushes, in the freezer and in the pantry.

The Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt is really geared to an American Thanksgiving not our Canadian one.  That was ok though, because our kids are familiar with some of the American Thanksgiving traditions and history.  Some questions needed a little help from mom and dad.

What do the kid's find at the end of the treasure hunt?  That is completely up to YOU!  Some ideas are candy treats (maybe chocolate coins for treasure!), art supplies, a pizza supper, new movie really what ever you think your child or group would enjoy.

Our children ages 12 10, 8, 7 and 5 really had fun working together on their treasure hunts!

Would you like to try out a treasure hunt with your children?  You can receive the printable Homework Reward Treasure Hunt FREE  for joining Clued In Kids newsletter!

Clued In Kids is also offering special Christmas treasure hunt cards.  You can read more about this on their blog.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkins, Garlic and Sickies Oh My!

It’s been a crazy week here.  It started out really nice, on Sunday the weather was very cool and windy but at least it wasn’t raining!  We harvested some of the pumpkins that were ready, dd7 was so happy.  She planted and grew them herself.   So we started to cook them down.

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The kids had fun scooping out the seeds and “gloop” and getting it ready to roast.  Then they rinsed the seeds and set them aside to bake later.  Yummy!


This year when we planted our watermelon, we had a real surprise!  The seed grower must have had a cross pollination happen because we ended up with some weird mix of watermelon and gourds!  Many of them were striped on the bottom like a watermelon.  Interesting! When we cut them open the kids thought they smelled like a watermelon to.  No we didn't eat them, since I don’t know what they were crossed with.

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Then hubby and I planted our garlic.   We bought garlic from a local farm stand, so it should grow well in our area.  It was enough to plant just over half a row in our garden.  I would like to get some more before it gets to cold.

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But on Monday some of the kids started to show signs of a cold, by Wens. afternoon we were all flat out sick.  So not a lot has happened around here since then!  The living room has looked like a sleep over party all day as we’ve been curled up watching videos.  To sick to really do much at all.  Most of what we watched was on T.V. or something we already owned, but when the kids are sick I’m grateful that I can rent something “new” with our cable company with out having to go out.  We enjoyed watching the Disney documentary Bears we watched this a few times!  It’s super cute and the kids learned a lot about the life cycle of bears and other animals they encountered in the show.  We watched Pocahontas 2, ok not really educational at all but they loved it.  The last one I rented was Secretariat, it was a good movie about one of the best race horses ever.  My second oldest dd is horse crazy like her momma.  I was surprised but all the kids enjoyed watching this one.

Some of the kids are starting to feel a little better, some are still knocked out and I’m some where in the middle. LOL  I feel better then I did yesterday, but I think that’s because hubby was home and I was able to get a lot of sleep.  Hopefully we’ll have this bug kicked soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review ~ Middlebury Interactive Languages


Earlier this summer I found out that we would have the opportunity to review one of the foreign language courses from Middlebury Interactive Languages.  I talked to our daughter about what language she would like to learn and she chose French.  I received Elementary French 1 intended for grades 3 to 5.


What Is Middlebury Interactive Languages?

Middlebury College Language Schools have been teaching languages for nearly 100 years to educators and business leaders.  They designed Middlebury Interactive Languages to be an online interactive language curriculum for grades K to 12.

Middlebury Interactive Languages offer courses in:


I decided to go with Elementary French 1 because although we have studied some French over the years, it's been a while and I thought dd12  had forgotten some of what we had learned.

I can say that dd is LOVING learning French with Middlebury!  Middlebury Interactive uses an immersive approach to learning languages.  At first my daughter found this very frustrating, but by the end of the first lesson she was loving it.
Her first lesson started off right away with watching a children's story all recorded in French.  It was the story of Little Red Riding Hood.  At first her perfectionist personality took over.  She couldn't understand what the story was saying and was frustrated.  Then I explained to her that it's ok, she is not expected to know what the story is saying right now.

After watching the video the program moves into a lesson that teaches a few words from the video. Then the video is watched again, now the child can understand some of what they are watching.  Then there is another activity to practice more words from the video story.  There are activities to repeat back what you hear, to sort and match words and pictures. Quizzes are spaced throughout the units and the results are recorded in the Gradebook.  The Gradebook is easily accessed at the top of the page in the menu tab.


In the past when we have learned languages I've used book based resources or tape recordings.  I have to say that we are enjoying this type of interactive language program much better.  I find that our daughter really enjoys using the program and wants to complete more then one unit a day.  I love that the Middlebury Interactive lessons are completely self paced.  If your child needs to move at a slower pace they can, although each course is 6 months/1 semester long.

There are two versions of Middlebury Interactive lessons available.  The version we received to use was with out a teacher and the price for that is $119 for 6 months.   Their is also a version that comes with a teacher and that is $294 for 6 months. 

Middlebury Interactive Lessons are intended to be used with one student.  However  we are using this with more then one student.  When our younger children ages 8 and 10 are interested they sit with our older daughter and watch the lessons together.  Then they take turns entering answers in the activates.  They also have fun "teaching" each other the words they have learned.  Since Middlebury Interactive is intended for use with only one student, it only records the grades for one student in the gradebook.  At this level of work we really are not using numbered grades for this type of work.  So having the kids share the course works well for our family.  If you need individual grading then you would need to have a separate subscription for each child.

I've been very impressed by Middlebury Interactive Languages and I plan to use this program again when we need high school level language programs.  I would recommend Middlebury Interactive Languages to any child wanting to learn a foreign language.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun

Last weekend was our Canadian Thanksgiving and we had so much fun!  Hubby the kids and I spent  Friday cooking.  We like to do as much a head of time as possible so we can try and visit with our friends.  So Friday we made dinner rolls, coleslaw, cranberry sauce and prepped the sweet potato casserole and dressing so it could be just popped into the oven on Saturday. We had a great day visiting with friends on Saturday, then Sunday we took the kids out to the park for a nature hike.  It was cool in the morning but started warming up half way through our walk.

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Baby girls first long walk at the park.  She loved it and was so ready for a nap by the time we were done. lol IMG_3939 IMG_3940 IMG_3942 IMG_3944

Yes dd’s jacket is to small.  Silly girl grabbed the wrong coat and we didn’t notice until we got to the park. LOL! IMG_3946

I LOVE the fall wild flowers and leaves.  They such a pretty colour this time of year. IMG_3949 IMG_3951

Finding treasures AKA pine cones. IMG_3952  IMG_3955  IMG_3958 IMG_3964 IMG_3973

Finding caterpillars    IMG_3981

Looking at but and woodpecker damage on trees. IMG_3982 IMG_3984

It was a fun weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish all my fellow Canadian family and friends a very happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review ~ Get to Know Apostle Paul by Nancy I. Sanders


Get to Know Apostle Paul is part of the Get to Know series of books written by Nancy I. Sanders.  This series also includes Get to Know Jesus, Get to Know Mary and Get to Know King David.  Get to Know apostle Paul is a biography for children.  It is 120 pages long and done in full colour.  It focuses on the life and character of Paul and uses photos, maps and many visuals to help children understand the story of Paul’s life. 

Chapters include:

  • A Boy Named Saul
  • A Hebrew of Hebrews
  • Destroy the Church!
  • The Road to Damascus
  • Preaching in the Synagogues
  • Christians: Followers of Christ
  • The First Missionary Journey
  • The Jerusalem Council
  • The Second Missionary Journey
  • The Third Missionary Journey
  • Appeal to Caesar
  • From Paul in Rome
  • Timeline of Paul
  • Glossary
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Source Notes
  • Student Resources
  • About the Author

(Disclaimer Amazon affiliate link)

What Do I Think?

We really enjoyed reading the book Get to Know Apostle Paul.  It is an easy to manage paperback book, but the pages are a good quality thick paper and glossy.  The book Apostle Paul is filled with beautiful photos and maps including full page photos that give children a wonderful visual to connect with.  I really liked that there is a lot of review through out the book but it is done in an easy way.  At the end of each chapter is a short summery of what was just read.  It also includes interesting facts and vocabulary definitions.  These are done in a different colour text then the reset of the chapter and help to grab the children's attention.  This is a wonderful Christian biography for children.  I would think it would be good for ages 8 and up or used as a family read aloud with younger children.  I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series!


Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I Love The Colours Of Fall ~ Photos

We have had such nice warm weather this past week, but the colours of fall are still starting to show!  Our dogwood bush is starting to turn a scarlet red.


IMG_3602Frost has hit the pumpkins, but the plants are still hobbling along.  The smaller pumpkin is almost turned all orange but the larger one has a ways to go still.   Dd7 is so very happy that her pumpkins grew and produced this year.  She is looking forward to helping me cook them down soon.  We’ll have to make lots of pumpkin bread and of course pumpkin pie!IMG_3594 IMG_3595 IMG_3596

Dd10 has been having a lot of fun taking photos with my camera lately.  Below are some photos of  “fall” she taken this week.IMG_3625 IMG_3719 IMG_3686 IMG_3704 IMG_3705 IMG_3706

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