This article has been updated from a earlier version posted 31 July, 2014.
The book slowly opens and two small people snuggle close and peer at the opened page.
“Start, Nan,” encourages Dakotah impatiently. Her sister just blinks her big, dark eyes and waits quietly. I smile. “Rosie the hen went for a walk.” The small heads bend closer and look intently at the picture on the page.
I love picture storybooks. I think that most people do, not just kids. I love the small number of carefully chosen words, condensed language, that create a simple story that draws in the reader. I love the wonderful illustrations that add so much to the narrative and provide feelings, atmosphere and humour without a word.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
‘Rosie’s Walk’ is certainly one of my favourites along with many others: Hairy Maclary, Where is the Green Sheep? Edwina the Emu, Harriet, You'll Drive me Wild and many others.
It’s helpful that some of these wonderful picture storybooks, like ‘You’re in the Wrong Book’ are now available at iTunes as storybook apps.
But what about Bible and faith-based picture storybooks? Well.. you'll be pleased to know that there is a growing range of wonderful Bible storybooks for different ages.
So... what do you need to consider when purchasing a Bible storybook for your kids or grandkids?
1. Truth matters. Yes, they are only little but, as parents or grandparents, we are still teaching God's truths to these little ones. These are not just stories. That doesn't mean that we need books that go into great detail and expound concepts and knowledge that are beyond the understanding of small children. The Bible stories still need to be biblically accurate, but age-appropriate .
2. Keep it short and simple. The words in the Bible storybook should be predominantly short, one-syllable words. They should be the sort of words we would use at home when we talk with our small children. The sentences need to be short. And the Bible story itself should be short.
I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that these little ones have a short attention span. As a general rule of thumb, think in terms of one minute for each year of age. If your toddler is 2 years old, he'll probably focus on something for 2 minutes, if you're lucky; 3 years old, you might manage to keep them seated and listening for 3 minutes. Keep it short. :) As your child grows, then the length of the Bible stories can grow, too.
3. Expect, even look, for questions. I know when my children, and my son in particular, were small they constantly asked questions. It was a constant refrain of "Why?" "Why?" "But why?" Questions are good. They need to understand, so they'll ask questions. Some Bible storybooks actually include simple questions with each Bible story. They are a great way to start your kids thinking through the stories. But add your own questions, too, after you've finished reading.
4. Kids love repetition. If your children enjoy the Bible storybooks you're reading, then expect to have to read it again... and again. And that's good! Repetition reinforces both the story itself and the Bible point that is taught through the story. A good picture storybook will often incorporate elements of repetition within the story.
5. Add some variety. A good Bible storybook is great. But a variety of great Bible storybooks is even better, especially as your kids learn and grow. While kids thrive on repetition (I forget how many times I've read 'Where is the Green Sheep') both your kids, and you, will appreciate having a change instead of reading the same Bible storybook over and over again.
Check out some of the quality choices below and check out the movie clips that follow. I'll be adding more book reviews or listing them in my newsletter as I find them. You'll also find reviews on Coffee Stories.
1. Read-Aloud Bible Stories.
This series is probably my favourite and wonderful for children 2 years and up. I know some people will choose a Bible Storybook based on colourful, detailed illustrations and sure- that is important when it's a picture story book. The pictures in this book are big, bright and bold. But it's more than just the illustrations. The stories in these volumes are very well written. There are just a few words on each page- perfect for little ones. Each story ends with a 'What did you learn?' page with just a question or two and a sentence to reinforce the Bible truth from the story.
The illustrations are great for young ones, too. But don't limit these books to the very young. I've read these stories to older kids and they enjoy them, too. And as they grow older they will read the books again for themselves.
Check out the start of one of these Bible stories.
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten men were very sick. They were so sick the doctor couldn't make them better."
You'll find more information in the video clips below.
I'd encourage every family with young children to include these Bible storybooks in their libraries and read them often to their little ones.
2. The Read-with-Me Bible
I really love the Bible picture storybooks by Dennis Jones. The ‘See With Me Bible’ (prequel to the Read with Me Bible series) is lovely. The Bible stories are told entirely with pictures. The expressions on the faces of the characters are a more graphic portrayal of what's happening in the story and the feelings and emotions of the characters than any words. Children love them- even your very little ones. So do I. I particularly love the story of the Lost Sheep. His character, emotions and personality shine through the each page.
I've spent many hours with my grandchildren looking at the pictures and telling the stories. As they've grown older, they tell me the stories. Unfortunately, The See with Me Bible is no longer in print (although you might find a second-hand one) but you can also enjoy the Read with Me Bible... equally good with simple text and wonderful illustrations by Dennis Jones. This book would probably suit your 3-5 year olds.
For my older grandchildren, I've now downloaded the Bible picture storybook apps by Dennis Jones. The first, Trouble! On the Road retells the story of the Good Samaritan, with some delightful animations. Joop is travelling to the annual Jericho Arts and Crafts Fair to sell his handmade birdhouses.
There are two versions to choose once you open the app: Read to Me or Read it to Myself. There are colouring pages, too, to involve the kids after the story has been read.
Read these books.. I'm sure you'll enjoy every page.
3. The Jesus Storybook Bible -every story whispers His name.
The stories, the descriptive and almost poetic language used, make this a wonderful book for children who are preschool age to perhaps 6 or 7 years old. Many would say that it's perfect for adults, too, and I wouldn't disagree.
It's been described as 'one of the best resources available to help both children and adults see the Jesus-centered story line of the Bible.' And it does so in a way that encourages children to learn of God's epic love for them and how they are a part of this amazing story, too. Children can understand that each story in the Bible is just a part of the bigger story and God's plan for them.
There are various book editions available as well as online videos of some of the stories. (See below)
4. Friends with God Story Bible I've reviewed the Friends with God Story Bible already here and LifeTree has highlighted part of this article, too. So I've included part of that review below.
“Yes.... another Bible storybook and I guess you're thinking... 'Hey, I have a Bible storybook for my kids or grandkids. Why would I need another one?' So....do your kids need it? I can certainly understand the question. It's one I asked myself initially, too. But then, what if your kids…
1. could actually feel a part of the story? Friends With God Story Bible is written in the first person. So your kids will hear the story from the protagonist's point of view, with all the emotions that go with that. It's not just a story. It's a recount and it will resonate with your kids in a meaningful way. They will feel connected, involved.
2. could hear personal stories of 54+ friends of God? This isn't just a handful of stories. It's enough for a whole year of exciting reading if you read and learn about one friend of God each week. And extra devotional material is included to help you extend each story beyond the pages of a book.
3. could also play Bible games and discover Bible facts? You'll find that this story Bible has an interactive element built in that works in conjunction with an app—IOS or Android. Throughout the story Bible are special icons—a smiling face. Your kids will have fun finding them, too. Simply download the free app. Then scan the page with the icon. You'll come face to face with friends of God plus unlock interactive games.
4. could collect and share digital cards of the friends of God? Not only does this connected app share more information and games, it enables your kids to win virtual collectible character cards. They'll learn even more entertaining facts about these Bible characters. They'll feel they really know them. And they can even add their own image to create their very own card.
5. could grow in their own friendship with God? They'll hear and share in the amazing stories when God stepped into the picture and everything changed. As they read this book they 'face lions, cross rivers, slay giants and stare into a glittering desert sky, awed by God making impossible promises come true.' And they'll realize that this same God wants to be friends with them, too.
So, yes.... my grandkids need this beautifully illustrated, interactive book and maybe yours do, too. :)”
- from article and review posted September 7, 2017.
Related products: Friends with God Devotion -Friends with God Sing-along songs - Friends with God Activity Book
5. The Action Bible This book is suitable for kids aged 9 to 12 years. As you've probably realised, it's not your typical picture storybook. But this is what you get when you combine the trusted English Standard Version Bible with the attention-grabbing illustrations from Marvel comic illustrator Sergio Cariello.
There are 215 fast-paced narratives in chronologial order. So it's not the book you'd encourage your child to bring along to a Bible study class or to follow along with in church scripture reading. But it does bring the scripture to life for this action-seeking age group of kids. If you're wanting to get your child into reading the Bible, this is a great way to do so.
There are also other version available for different age-groups: The Action Bible Storybook Bible- The Action Bible Study Bible - The Action Bible Handbook - The Action Bible Devotional
So.. are you looking for another quality Bible storybook for your kids or maybe your grandkids?
I know I've bought many over the years. Some in my bookcase look bright and vibrant, almost as if I'd just bought them yesterday. Others look battered and warn; some have a few pages hanging from the covers.
Those are the ones that we've read and re-read over and over. Their vibrant illustrations have grabbed my kids' (and grandkids') attention and excited their imagination. The pages have held stories of a loving God who knows and deeply cares about each one of those young, captured readers. And the words have continued to live in their young hearts and minds. Yes, some of these Bible storybooks have been special.
I hope you'll find some of these suggestions will excite the hearts and minds of your kids, too, and make them excited to learn more about the amazing God they have read about in these storybook Bibles.
Please take a moment to review some of the suggestions in the vidoe clips below. I hope it will help you decide which books you will buy for your family.
I really hope you enjoyed this family article and that it helps you choose the Bible picture storybook that best suits your kids and family. Don't forget, there are other reviews, updates, exclusive news plus a library of resources for those who join our VIP group and receive my regular newsletter. I'd love to have you join us. Please sign up below.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself.
If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Fear not! Your iPhone is safe if you're using this. 😉
Sponsored by: Case Haven
"Nan, I'm swimming! Can you see me?"
"No honey, you're on the phone. Send me a picture."
Within minutes I'm looking at my cute grandson as he laughs and splashes in the small waves of 1770 beach.
Yes, it's amazing technology- simple enough for even young children to take photos. It takes them no time at all for their little fingers to find Peppa Pig on YouTube. And, it's easy for them to expertly handle the device's controls and play the amazing games and apps.
But, in those same small hands, it's easy for those devices to bounce down stairs, drop to the floor, or sink beneath the water at the beach.
And there's nothing cute about a smashed screen.
So, it makes sense to kid-proof your device before handing it over to those eager, slightly sticky, fingers.
You might think it would be safer to armour-clad your iPhone or Samsung. But fortunately, there are some amazing options that look as good as their protection.. and they do look great!
Protection that looks a million dollars
If you're looking for something that combines a touch of elegance with excellent protection, then consider the classic good looks of genuine leather iPhone cases and covers. Rest assured that, all holes and cutouts are precisely located to allow access to all your phone's buttons, speakers and ports.
If you're heading to the beach, a high-quality, protective water-proof case is a wise choice. It means that you have peace of mind while swimming or snorkeling up to 2 metres. And, it's also shock proof, dirt proof, snow proof and scratch resistant... did I mention, kid-proof?
Plus, an anti-reflection glass means that your photos will be clear and high-quality.
Consider a screen protector
Last, a glass screen protector is worth considering, too. I haven`t actually done this but I`m thinking it would be a sensible investment in the protection of my iPhone. Rather than the older style screen protectors and their problems, (agghhh.. tell me about it) these curved edge-to-edge tempered glass protectors cover the whole screen.. and no bubbles.
When you consider the cost of these amazing pieces of daily-use technology, why take chances? When your family includes small, excitable, energetic little people, accidents happen, and happen often. A bit of added protection is certainly key to your peace of mind.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ...though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
'Variety's the very spice of life,
My Inbox has swelled with the overwhelming number of emails, this week. Sure... with Black Friday deals and other holiday offers promoted at every turn, the increased influx of emails is understandable.
But, it's been a lot to sort through. At the same time, there has been an interesting variety of ideas, resources and gifts that I've come across, too- ideas that have brightened my day and warmed my heart.
I've just highlighted four below and I hope they will interest you, too.
8 Strategies Super-Successful High Achievers Use to Prepare for the New Year
This is an incredible download...
More than 30 thought leaders, influencers, and high achievers all share their top strategies for starting the year off with a bang.
You can get the whole PDF (no cost) here:
You'll recognize many of the names as they include multiple best-selling authors, speakers, and leaders of their respected fields. People like: Tony Robbins, John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Marie Forleo, Andy Andrews, Jeff Walker, Amy Porterfield, Lysa TerKeurst, Andy Stanley, Chalene Johnson, Lewis Howes, (and many others)
It's all available here: http://bestyearever.me/a20579/2017ebook
Advent is hope, a reminder of a promise that has already come to pass.
This year you're invited to celebrate Advent alongside Kayla Aimee and infuse a little hope + humor into your holidays through reading An Anchored Advent.
This FREE series of short e-votionals will appear daily in your Inbox and includes free Celebration set of family conversation cards and 8x10 art prints to download and use.
You won't want to miss this opportunity and I'm sure you'll want to learn more about Kayla Aimee.
Beautiful woven bowl from Pillow Talk
These woven range of hampers and baskets include both natural textures and stylish, functional storage ideas.
But the woven bowl design is beautiful at this time of year particularly for flower and gift hampers.
With a diameter of almost half a metre, there is ample room for an amazing gift as a special presentation or as a gift for a family.
Find the pictures below of the finished gift hamper.
(I'll be providing full instructions for creating this gift in an upcoming article.)
The woven basket bowl is a wonderful container for a gift hamper or substitute another regular basket for this type of presentation.
Hullabazoo! a picture storybook for kids 3-8yrs
This is a beautiful book. The illustrations are amazing and the story is exciting... and it's in verse so the kids will really love the rhythm and meter as it's read aloud to them.
'It's a perfect day for a trip to the zoo. But Lochlan and his dad haven't counted on a cage of clever crocs and their cunning escape plan.'
It's actually been created by two sisters but this book, their first, is great!
Buy it for your kids or grandkids, but I'm sure you'll enjoy reading it yourself before you hand it over to the kids.
I hope you'll enjoy this small selection of items and, with Christmas so close to hand, perhaps you'll find them useful as gifts or as resources during this holiday season. And... I'll be presenting a new batch of interesting finds next week so don't miss it.
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend or link to. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I ofttimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.
Plus, when you order thought my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
Wow! This week has gone so quickly. But it's been fun, too. We've had birthday parties, family commitments, new courses to try and books to read.
How has your week been? Busy too?
Well... just in case you've missed it, I've listed just 4 fun things that I noticed and enjoyed this week. You can find the full details below but, just in summary, you'll find an interesting and helpful home app, a gratitude journal that it great for the beginner or those who regularly journal.. plus it includes doodling and drawing ideas and colouring pages.
There's a wonderful online drawing course that will teach you how to create your pet's portrait using pencils. (They look amazing!) And... last, you'll find the link to a wonderful chia pudding with grain-free granola. It's delicious and.. it's gluten-free! A real winner, in my books!
(This email contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.. at no cost to you. Thanks for your support in this way.)
So.... what about your week? What did you discover or enjoy?
Remember, 'Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.'
Please note: I received a free pair of sunglasses to evaluate and review for this article.)
My grandson loves trying on glasses. He's not very old but once he discovered glasses, that was it! There's just something about peering through the lens of a pair of glasses that he finds irresistible.
So, if anyone thoughtlessly leaves their glasses lying around, you'll quickly discover them perched on his nose and an impish grin on his face.
Here he is wearing his mother's glasses and looking pretty pleased with himself.
Now, I don't know about you, but wearing glasses does not hold the same appeal for me. Neither do I enjoy choosing new glasses or sunglasses. Sure.. they all look great on the advertising posters with glamorous models sporting the latest designs. But, let's face it, those models would make anything look good.
But, living in Australia, my sunglasses are essential when venturing outdoors, whether it's a summer or a winter sun. I need them just walking out to the car!
At last, the secret to buying sunglasses is revealed.
I've discovered the quickest and easiest way to buy sunglasses, and prescription glasses, too. No longer do I waste time at the sunglasses counter or visiting the optometrist trying on countless pairs of sunglasses. Now, I've found a much easier way and it's actually much cheaper, too.
5 simple steps to buying your best ever sunglasses.
Step 1: First of all, I think it's really helpful to know what type of glasses or sunglasses are best for the shape of your face. You might know that already but if not, it will save you lots of time and effort when you search for the right pair of glasses.
You can find plenty of online sites that will provide you with that information but this chart will make it pretty simple and clear to work out.
Step 2: Visit GlassesShop.com where you can choose from hundreds of high quality, chic fashion frames and light, durable glasses and sunglasses. You'll have no problem finding just the right style for your face shape. And the glasses frames come in many different colours and materials.
So, step number two involves choosing either sunglasses or prescription eyeglasses. It's good to note that you can order prescription sunglasses, too. You'll need to input your latest prescription from your optometrist but that's easily obtained.
Step 3: Narrow your search. You'll find plenty of choice options at the GlassesShop.com and first is, Men - Kids- Women. It's good to note that durable, light-weight prescription glasses area available for kids because an extra pair is great to keep on-hand, as I remember well.
There are other search options available to help you quickly and easily locate the glasses best for you: frame shapes, materials, lens available (single, bi-focal and progressive), shape, lens width, colour and price range.
Step 4: Now, comes the fun part. You can take a closer look at any glasses or sunglasses style that interests you. Clicking on an image provides you with much more information but also enables you to check out how the glasses would look while wearing them. You can choose a supplied model's face and see the glasses on or... upload your own photo to see just how you would appear in the glasses before you make a final decision.
Step 5: Check out any special promotions. GlassesShop.com specialises in great deals and regular promotions so It's wise to check out any deals before you finalise your order.
With that in mind, I have a special coupon code GSHOT50 that you might like to use. This code means you can have 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded).
Then, order your new glasses or sunglasses.
With the ease of ordering and the reasonable prices, you could easily order a couple of pairs of different but trendy frame glasses. For example, the Pearland Wayfarer- floral design pictured above is currently listed for $29.95. If you choose single lens, whether distance, computer or reading, the price remains the same. (Bifocal or progressive lenses incur a small additional cost.) But with a special promotional deal, you can pay even less!
I've loved my new sunglasses (see above) and was really surprised how light-weight they are.. wonderful to wear. The parcel took a little longer to arrive than I expected, but delivery times will vary according to where you live. (Australia always to seems to take longer, I've found.)
Check it out.. I'm sure you'll enjoy your new glasses or sunglasses.
Disclosure: I am compensated, at times, to provide an opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though I receive compensation for my review, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.
How HappyCalc Puzzles can help teach maths skills
Are you searching for quality games, toys and activities for your next grandkids' visit? Are you and the kids tired of the same old board games and puzzles?
I have grandkids whose ages range from babies to 14 years and finding quality resources for them all is not easy. Sure, there are plenty to outdoor activities and fun for everyone and the older ones tend to entertain themselves.
But I was happy to discover HappyCalc, an attractive puzzle game/activity from an Australian company, and it's great for anyone 3 years and over.
We've heard it before: 'Play is the beginning of knowledge.'
In fact, for children, play is essential for learning. So I was interested in the HappyCalc maths puzzle. It promised to provide an exciting space themed challenge for multiple ages that would encourage understanding and learning.
Bright colours and exciting illustrations create interest
So... I watched closely to see the response of the kids when I placed the puzzle box on the table.
I didn't initially give them any instructions or guidance. But the bright colours and exciting illustrations on the puzzle pieces immediately caught their interest. They laughed at the characters and space creatures. "It looks cool!"
"How do I play?"
The next question was, "What do I do?" I avoided a direct response and soon the younger ones were sorting the pieces into colours and numbers and then joining pieces together to create space craft.
There's no wrong way to play
The pieces, 138 of them, all connect so there's no right or wrong way. In fact, that was one of the comments by my older grandson. "I actually like this. What I like about this is that you can use any of the pieces. I like this a lot."
Kids can create their own maths stories
After they had played alone with the puzzle for a while, I started linking together some pieces and adding to their creations. The puzzle number pieces are different sizes so I linked a '5' and '1' next to the '4' + '4' and '8' that Dakotah had already created. Then we tried adding some other puzzle pieces to fit in her '8' story. She tried another '4' but found that she need a '2' puzzle piece to fit the space.
Once she could see how to make the number pieces in different ways, she worked on her own addition creations.
"This is such fun. I love it," she said.
My observations and review of HappyCalc?
The people at Fun Comet have worked hard to create this new and exciting resource for kids that encourages them to explore maths concepts through play. It's fun and holds their attention and interest while encouraging learning. I really like the space theme, characters, bright colours and illustrations.
And... there's no boring rote learning involved, no rules to fight over while playing, and no one to tell them they're doing it wrong.
It would be a wonderful resource for home-schooling families.
As the people from Fun Comet state: "We are passionate about teaching kids critical skills that will help them master maths in an engaging way.'
Check it out and keep a box handy for the next time your grandkids visit. They'll enjoy it. In the words of one of my grandsons, "It's a thing. Yeah, it's a thing!" Apparently, that's pretty good. :)
You can find out more and order HappyCalc online and it's currently being sold at a discounted price, so be quick!
This resource was provided for my honest review.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.