Parents! Vote Now to Help Kids Have More Fun – One Playspace at a Time

As parents, we spend a lot of time discovering creative ways to nurture our children’s curiosity. Luckily, being outdoors provides the perfect landscape, fueling young imaginations and creating endless possibilities for exploration, discovery and creativity. Children’s Claritin hopes to inspire parents to create innovative play spaces in their backyards, and communities.

Children’s Claritin also believes in the benefits of outdoor activity for children, and wants to help children get the most out of every day! They’re teaming up with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit, to help bring innovative playspaces to communities in need and you can help! By voting, you can help them pick the four community organizations that will receive Imagination Playground™. What’s Imagination Playground™? See imagination at play – watch last year’s winner enjoying Imagination Playground™.

Be sure to visit ClaritinVoteforPlayspaces.com where you can place your vote and gather playspace inspirations for creating your own backyard playspace.

While visiting the Children’s Claritin & KaBOOM! Facebook page, you can also:

  • Learn more about the twelve organizations you can vote for receiving Imagination Playground™
  • Download coupon offers
  • Locate a playspace near you

Vote now and help us pick the four community organizations that will receive Imagination Playground™. You can vote one time per day through 9/26/14. Click here for voting rules.

As a member of the Children’s Claritin Mom Crew, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use.  No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience.

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Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset Review & Giveaway

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In 2013, Vtech introduced Go! Go! Smart Wheels and they have been a huge hit with young children and to delight of my kids Vtech recently introduced Go! Go! Smart Animals!  There is a variety of wild Go! Go! Smart Animals that all light up, play music and fun phrases.  Vtech has also created several new playsets that coordinate perfectly with these new smart animals.  Best of all, Go! Go! Smart Animal playsets are compatible with the other Go! Go! Smart Wheels sets.  This allows for a lot of creative building!  We have the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset and it is loaded with fun features and comes with the cute Go! Go! Smart Rhino.  These animals all have wheels so they can Go! Go!  After putting together the Zoo Explorers Playset, it only took my boys a matter of seconds to run for their Go! Go! Smart Wheels Airport and start connecting the two playsets.  Our Go! Go! smart vehicles and animal were all soon in a parade of movement from one end of the playset to the next.

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Like all Go! Go! Smart playsets, the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset has seven SmartPoints throughout the track.  When the Go! Go! Smart animals roll over any of these locations, the animal will light up, make noise, play music, or say something!  The rhino that came with the zoo playset teaches the kids its name, colors, and other fun facts.  The Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset also includes a penguin figurine.  The penguin can sit in the igloo that comes along with the set so everyone can view it when visiting the “polar zone” of the zoo.  The zoo entrance has three buttons on the top of the arch that can be pressed to make music as well as teach the kids animal names, characteristics, and colors!  These colorful buttons are the shape and size of a small child’s toy piano.  Easy to press one at a time and they make the zoo entrance a fun place to play!

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The zoo explorers track pieces click together quite easily.  With the exception of a few large pieces, my kids can easily click the pieces together themselves and take them apart.  My hubby and I found the large orange pieces that make up the ramp on the zoo to be held together very well and we just leave those two pieces together even when we store it away.  I am actually happy these pieces are held tight together because my kids can play and bump into the ramp and it never falls apart.  My baby girl even sits right on parts of the track when playing and it has held up well to all types of creative play!

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Playing with the Go! Go! Smart Animals and playset help my little ones develop fine motorskills and language development.  Building and creating tracks and engaging in creative play gets all of my kids using their imaginations.  That is my favorite part!  Nothing makes this mom smile more than listening to creative dialogue between my kids while they are creating a pretend world and playing together.

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The Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset is intended for ages 1-5 but my 6 year old still loves to play with it as well.  Since we don’t have any of the other Go! Go! Smart Animals yet (a wish list has already been created), my kids use a few other animal toys to fill their zoo for all of their Go! Go! Smart Wheels to visit.  I love that all three of my kids can play together with this playset.  I don’t have to worry about choking hazards for my baby girl and all three of them are engaged and having fun together!

Buy It!

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The Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset is available for purchase online at the Vtech website as well as on Amazon.  If this is your first Go! Go! Smart Playset, I highly recommend purchasing an extra Go! Go! Smart Animal.  This will make your life easier if you have more than one child and/or for the times another little one is visiting your house.  Plus, no zoo can ever have too many animals!  The Go! Go! Smart Animals and playsets make great gifts. You won’t be able to open the box fast enough for your excited little one!

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset!  This is a $39.99 RV!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (Est. time) on September 30, 2014.  This giveaway is open to residents in the U.S. only.  The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset and product information for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 38 Comments

Fit Made Fun with LeapBand and CLIF Kid Zbar Protein

I received free products in order to host the LeapFrog and CLIF Kid sponsored MommyParty.  The opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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This past Saturday we celebrated Fit Made Fun Day.  We hosted a party with the help of LeapFrog and Clif Kid.  Our party included hours of fun play which was motivated by the new LeapBand.  During the party the kids enjoyed yummy snacks such as popcorn, fruit, cheese, and the NEW Clif Kid Zbar Protein bars!

The LeapFrog LeapBand gets kids moving and having fun independently as well as together.  During the party I would often find a couple kids with their heads huddled around the LeapBand as they listen to what their next challenge will be.  If the LeapBand tells them to walk a straight line they quickly spread out and start walking.  Once they complete the task, they earn joules that allow them to unlock rewards.  The kids eat this right up.  Every earned joule is welcomed with excitement and motivates the kids to try yet another activity challenge.

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The stopwatch feature is a huge hit with kids of all ages.  I had no idea how much kids loved to be timed doing any skill or task!  During our party the kids were timing each other on the obstacle course my son created.  The kids were using the stop watch to see how many times they could run a lap and kick or throw a ball in 30 seconds.  Throughout the party the obstacle course was changed by the kids and we even ended up having a water balloon fight!

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Since the moment we opened the LeapBand, the stopwatch feature has been used daily by my kids.  My son timed himself hoola hooping at the Farmer’s Market.  He even created a workout of push ups, sit ups, stretches, and running that I had to do with him.  Each task had to be performed for the 30 seconds and he conveniently used his LeapBand stopwatch to time us during the workout!  The LeapBand even reminds you to take a drink of water after completing one or two activities.  I love this feature since most kids don’t want to take a break from having fun even if it is only for a few seconds to take a drink of water!

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Each of the kids had a chance to try out one of the LeapBands and get familiar with each of its features.  It is super easy to use and the kids ages 3 and up needed no help figuring out how to use the LeapBand.  My 16 month old daughter even loves the LeapBand.  She tends to get a bit button happy but loves to look at the colorful images on the screen and to get the LeapBand to talk to her.  She has also put the durability of the LeapBand to the test by dropping it on hard flooring several times and I am happy to report that the LeapBand had handled the abuse like a champ.

From an educational standpoint the LeapBand helps kids learn how to tell time on an analog watch.  My 3 year old loves to report the time to me ever since he got a LeapBand.  The Leap Frog LeapBand also does a great job of teaching kids about healthy choices with each task the kids engage in to help keep their pets happy.  Your child gets to choose one pet to care for and customize when you first get the LeapBand.  As your child unlocks more rewards, he or she will get to choose another pet.  My boys love this feature.  My oldest has 3 pets so far and my younger son has two pets.  They each chose different animals for their pets and customized them differently.  They even get to name their pets!

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If there is one thing all parents know, it is that there is an enormous amount of unhealthy snacks available on store shelves being marketed to our kids.  The Clif Kid Zbar has been one of my go-to snack bars for my kids because they are created with the needs of active growing kids in mind and are free of high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, trans fats, and synthetic preservatives.  It can be challenging to get my kids to eat enough protein on some days, so I was very excited to have my kids try the new Clif Kid Zbar Protein.  These new bars are free of the No-No’s that I listed and are loaded with vitmains and minerals while being disguized as a treat with yummy flavors such as Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip,  and Mint Chocolate.  The bottom of all of the Zbar Protein bars is coated in chocolate.  Yum.  Each Zbar Protein has 5 grams of protein and is made with organic whole grains.

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The Chocolate Chip Zbar Protein seemed to be the crowd favorite at our party but the older kids seemed to all love the Mint Chocolate Zbar Protein.  I personally love anything with mint, chocolate, or peanut butter, so I am loving these flavor choices!  As a busy mom, I am guilty of not always eating right and in need of more protein and fiber, so I find myself sneaking the kids Zbar Protein more times than I should share!  Time to restock our pantry with Clif bars for mom and dad and Zbar Protein for the kids!

Buy It!

The Leap Frog LeapBand and Clif Kid Zbar Protein are both available for purchase in stores and online.  The LeapBand can be purchased with the green wristband like the one featured here or it is also available in blue or pink.  The LeapBand is fun to use both outside and indoors, so this would make a great holiday gift to keep the kids active during the colder months of the year!

In exchange for hosting a Fit Made Fun party and sharing my experience online, I received Leap Frog LeapBands and Clif Kid Zbar Protein bars.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the products featured in this post.

Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid Review & Giveaway

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As a parent, it can be tough watching your child suffer from any pain associated with an earache.  Not only does an earache cause discomfort for your child, but the symptoms usually get worse at night often resulting in many sleepless nights. Luckily, Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid is the perfect solution for any child trying to conquer ear pain, ear pressure, inflammation, fever, and sinus or head pain.

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Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid has a great grape flavor yet is free of both dye and sugar!  This safe homeopathic formula works as fast-acting relief for infants and children ages 0-9 years, with no risk of overdose or drug interaction.  I love that I only need to keep one bottle in my cupboard since it can be given to all three of my kids.  This eases my mind since my kids usually are in need of pain relief in the middle of the night and we are half asleep and fumbling around for a source of pain relief!   Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid is also very easy to administer; simply give your child .75 ml orally and repeat every 8 hours.  It is advised to reduce the dosage with improvement or as directed by a healthcare professional.

Buy It!

Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid retails for $6.99 and can be purchased at CVS locations nationwide.

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a package of Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end on October 3, 2014.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  The winners will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received the Kids Relief Earache Oral Liquid and product information for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 9 Comments

My New Friend is So Fun! Review & Giveaway

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Another school year has begun!  New friendships will be made, more books will be read, more lessons will be learned, and our children will embark on new adventures with both new and old friends.   First grade has already been new and exciting for my little man.  It is his first year with his own desk and he has a new teacher that apparently enjoys one of our favorite authors here at The Children’s Nook, Mo Willems.  Over the years my kids and I have enjoyed reading about the adventures of several Mo Willems characters.  My oldest son learned to read with the help of the Elephant & Piggie early-reader series.  He has learn the art of the exclamation point thanks to Mo Willems.  My son adores these characters and since I find them very entertaining myself, I must admit I get just as excited for Elephant & Piggie time as he does.  We cannot step foot in a book store without my son thoroughly looking through each and every Elephant & Piggie book.  He has even illustrated and written his own Elephant & Piggie stories.  Needless to say, he was thrilled to discover his first grade classroom had an entire section dedicated to Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie books!  We have a serious love of these books.  They are easy to read and the characters are down right likable.  These stories are entertaining for all ages.  At the end of each story, Elephant & Piggie always leave us smiling.

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I am excited to share Mo Willem’s new Elephant & Piggie book, My New Friend is So Fun!.  This is the 21st book in this award-winning best-selling series!  In My New Friends is So Fun!, Piggie has found a new friend!  Will Gerald be ready to share his best friend?  Most friendships endure the challenge of welcoming a new friend into the mix and this story allows you to experience the many emotions these friends go through while trying to understand what this means for their relationship.  My New Friend is So Fun! is both sweet and funny.  The new characters are just as fun and likable as Elephant & Piggie and Willem’s has managed to leave a smiling yet again with this story.  What a relief to learn that finding a new friend does not mean you have to lose your old friend!

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Reader tip:  If you are new to Elephant & Piggie books, be sure to explore the illustrations on the inside front and back covers.  My kids love to find the Pigeon!

Buy It!

My New Friend is So Fun!, is available for purchase at retailers nationwide as well as online at several websites.

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a copy of Mo Willems’ new Elephant & Piggie book, My New Friend is So Fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (Est. time) on October 1, 2014.  This giveaway is open to residents in both the U.S and Canada.  The winner will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  The prize will be shipped via the sponsor.

I received a copy of My New Friend is So Fun! for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed. 

Posted in Featured Children's Books, Giveaways, Reviews | 35 Comments

NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color

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I can never resist trying new NYC products because they are so much fun and affordable!  New York Color Twistable Lip Color has a fun pen shape design.  My daughter is very intrigued by the design and often begs for an up close look at mommy’s crayons!  This design not only gives this lip color a fun look but it is also easy to use.  I am so impressed by how smoothly this lip color glides across the lips.  One quick swipe of NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color and my lips have a fresh new look.

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I love that NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color leaves my lips with both color and shine.  I have two very different shades of Twistable lip color.  The Canal Street Coral lip color works great for my summer look.  For some reason this has been the summer of coral for me.  I just can’t get enough of that color!  The Roosevelt Island Red lip color is a pretty shade of red that is not over the top and leaves my lips looking less unnatural than most red lip colors.  This color will be great for fall and winter.  NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color is available in a wide range of colors and the packaging for this lip color puts a fun twist on applying lip color with ease!

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Follow New York Color on Twitter and Facebook to keep informed of sales, promotions, and new products introduced by NYC.

Buy It!

You can purchase NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color at mass merchandisers and chain drugstores nationwide.  The Family Dollar in my city even carries NYC products!  Go here to find a list of retailers near you that carry NYC Lip Stain.

I was provided NYC Lip Stain free of charge for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

WORLDFOODS Sauces Review

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WORLDFOODS offers 65 different sauces, dips, and marinades all inspired by the tastes of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, China, and India..  With the help of master chefs, nutritionists, food tasters, and everyday users WORLDFOODS is proud to say these sauces will conveniently bring flavor and spice to your meal one bottle at a time.  Best of all, WORLDFOODS only uses authentic herbs and spices along with 100-percent natural, fresh ingredients to create each of its unique flavors.  When I first opened up a bottle of WORLDFOODS Singapor ‘Xin Zhou’ Noodle Sauce, I was surprised by the wonderful aroma of spices I could immediately smell.

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WORLDFOODS sauces are perfect for individuals with dietary constraints. Each of their products are allergen and gluten free!  They are also free of added oil, trans fat, artificial ingredients, preservatives, or food flavor enhancers.  If you don’t already have a go-to recipe you could use with these sauces, WORLDFOODS conveniently lists several recipes under the description of each and every product on the WORLDFOODS website.

Buy It!

The retail price for WORLDFOODS sauces varies based on retailer.  Get a $1 off coupon to use on your next purchase of WORLDFOODS sauces.  Head over to the WORLDFOODS website to print your coupon and find a store near you that carries these sauces!

Follow WORLDFOODS on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed of new sauces, recipe ideas, and giveaways!

I received product information and this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the products I reviewed.

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Back to School with Oré Originals

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Oré Originals has everything your little one needs to be prepared for lunch this school year.  With fun new designs, the SugarBooger Zippee! Lunch Tote and Flip & Sip cup add a little fun and a whole lot of functionality to meal time.

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We have the Ocean Zippee! Lunch Tote as well as the Ocean Clear Flip & Sip Cup. They are both great quality items.  The Zippee! Lunch Tote easily holds our larger food containers.  This lunch tote has an inside mesh pocket to hold an ice pack or other food items.  You will also find an ID tag on the inside for convenient labeling.  The Zippee! also has an outside pocket that will conveniently hold a snack item or a special note to your little one.  The inside of the lunch tote has an insulated interior that can be easily wiped down if food spills inside.

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The Ocean Clear Flip & Sip is made of high quality Tritan making it impervious to odors and stains as well as shatter and scratch-resistant.  This cup is also clear so your curious little one can see what drink is in the container.  The images on the cup are super cute and my little one gets compliments on his cup wherever we go with it.  The cup has a nice slender design that fits nicely in my diaper bag and other cup holders.  The Flip & Sip also comes with a removable carabiner that allows you to quickly clip the cup to a bag or stroller.  Sugarbooger thought of everything when designing the Flip & Sip.  The bottom of the cup is shaped perfectly so the straw can reach the bottom allowing for my son to actually drink all of his beverage.  I have actually noticed that my son has been drinking more fluids since we got the Flip & Sip.  The drinking spout is easy to use and he simply loves to drink from his Ocean cup!  Sugarbooger even included an extra straw with each Flip & Sip.  I love this!  Now if a straw is lost or damaged, the cup is not useless.  Each and every one of these brilliant design features help make that mad rush out the door so much easier.

Buy It!

The Zippee! Lunch Tote and Flip & Sip are both available for purchase online at Oré Originals.

Oré Originals provided me with a Zippee! Lunch Tote and Flip & Sip cup for review purposes only.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the product I reviewed.

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Silikids: Silicone Accessories for Kids Review & Giveaway

Silikids

Silikids, Inc. is the first mom-founded brand which focuses on creating children’s products that are toxin-free, hypoallergenic, and made entirely out of silicone.  Therefore, I was thrilled to learn that Silikids recently introduced an all new product line of silicone accessories made just for kids.  This innovative line of feeding products includes the Siliskin Sippy 8oz., a Siliskin Top, Silibib, Siliskin glasses, Siliskin Bowl, Silispoons, Silibags (snack bags), and Silimap!

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We had the opportunity to try the new Siliskin Sippy this summer and I am in love with this product!  The Siliskin Sippy comes with an 8oz Siliskin glass as well as a Silitop.  My baby girl is now 16 months old and she has been using this sippy for several months now.  The Silitop has a small slit on the center of the drinking spout that opens with just the slightest pressure.  This cup seems to provide the perfect flow of liquids for my little girl.  She loves to drink out of this cup and does so with ease.

July 2014 474The Siliskin Sippy has also proven to be very durable.  My little girl has dropped this cup a few times and the Siliskin has absorbed the fall leaving the glass in perfect condition.  My baby girl is teething in the worse way right now, and the Silitop on her cup has endured quite a bit of chewing.  She loves the way it feels on her sore gums and I am happy to say the drinking spout still looks as good as new.

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We have actually been using Silikids Siliskin 6oz glasses for years.  These silicone skins are amazingly durable.  Our oldest siliskin is as looks as bright and new as our newest siliskin.  It has not faded or stretched out in any way.  My son loves the fun design and bright fun colors of the siliskins.  As a mama concerned about what chemicals may be found even in BPA Free plastic cups, I personally love that these Siliskins allow my little man to drink from an actual glass cup!  Not to mention, I find the design and colors of the Siliskins to be pretty fun as well!  The 60z Siliskin glass allows my son to drink from a “big kid” glass while providing a much safer experience than a bare glass.

Connect with Silikids on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to stay informed of new products and promotions.

Buy It!

The Silikids collection is available at specialty juvenile products stores nationwide including Giggle and online at 2modern.com, diapers.com, amazon.com and at www.silikids.com.

Win It!

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One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a two pack of the 6oz Silikids Cups!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (Est. time) on September 11, 2014.  This giveaway is open to residents in both the US and Canada!  The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received the Silikids 6oz glass and Siliskin Sippy for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone and based off of my experience with the products I reviewed.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 16 Comments

The Good Ms. Padgett: If We Must We Must CD Review & Giveaway

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The Good Ms. Padgett has been mesmerizing my children with her songs for years now.  You may recall we featured The Good Ms. Padgett Sings The Little Red Hen CD a couple years ago and I am happy to let you know that The Good Ms. Padgett has released yet another fun album my kids love to sing along to in the car.  Her latest album, If We Must We Must, is a collection of playful and sweet songs that are easy to sing along with and full of fun lyrics.   In fact, the first time I played this CD for my kids, my son was already singing along to, Trees Don’t Need Sippy Cups, before the song was even over!  As you may have guessed by the title of the sippy cups song I just mentioned, the song titles are just as fun as the lyrics!  This is a great album that my family enjoys from beginning to end.  In fact, singing along to the last song on the album, Bedtime Castle, is the perfect way to get ready for bedtime with little ones!

The If We Must We Must album has become a part of our car ride routine almost as much as seat belts!  Between The Good Ms. Padgett’s beautiful singing voice and her soft words spoken during some of the songs, she always keeps my children’s attention.  Each song has either a beautiful melody or a fun beat that I enjoy and I often find myself dancing in my seat and singing along with my kids as well!

Buy It!

The If We Must We Must album is available for purchase on CD as well as streaming at The Good Ms. Padgett website.

Win It!

One lucky reader at The Children’s Nook is going to win a copy of The Good Ms. Padgett If We Must We Must CD!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will end at 12:01 a.m. (Est. time) on September 17, 2014.  This giveaway is open to residents in both the U.S and Canada.  The winner will be selected by random.org and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

I received The Good Ms. Padgett If We Must We Must CD for review purposes.  All opinions are mine alone.

Posted in Giveaways, Reviews | 16 Comments