Easter Basket Ideas ~ Best Books and DVDs

This post is originally from 3/10/2013 — we still love and read these books and watch these movies all the time, though, so I wanted to share them in case you’re looking for a few awesome fillers for this year’s basket!

Ready or not Easter is *right* around the corner! This year it’s March 27–so it’s an early one! In addition to the classic candy and toys my two favorite items to include in my kids Easter Baskets are Books and Movies. Here are my favorites this year for putting your kiddos Easter Basket!

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Let There Be Light by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

As you might be able to tell immediately from looking at the cover, Let There Be Light is not your typical re-hash of the story of creation. Illustrated by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Tillman the illustrations bring a level of fantasy and whimsical to Genesis 1.

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Preschool Book – Bumper Wipe Clean Activities

Preschool Book Bumper Wipe Clean Activities
I can’t say no to anything that = educational + Bible! So I happily signed up to review this great wipe clean book. All adorable kiddos, squiggly lines, and extra markers are my own.

As I’ve mentioned before my favorite kind of preschool activity books are the write-on, wipe-off kind! Not only is it much easier for kids to be able to master things when they’re able to repeat them, these books, when made well, are perfect for passing along to siblings!

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Bible Stories Painting Book 2

Bible Stories Painting Book 2
Legalese Nonsense: Since Amber loves to paint I will always say yes when offered a chance to check out a great painting book! All buddy artistic talent, careful evaluations and paint splotches are our own.

Bible Stories Painting Book 2

I have really been enjoying the Candle Children’s Book series–especially their workbooks like My Very First Noah’s Ark Playtime and My Very First Easter Story Sticker Book. I hadn’t gotten a chance to check out any of their painting books before now, and since painting is one of Amber’s very favorite things I was looking forward to seeing how Bible Stories Painting Book 2  held up to our testing!

This vacation has been a little bit different, as we have been spending most of our days over at my Grandma’s house. While the extra time with her has been great it’s also meant that I’ve been left scrambling to come up with things to occupy my kiddos in a small space without a lot of resources.

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My Very First Noah’s Ark Playtime

My Very First Noah's Ark Playtime
Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I have a problem when it comes to books–especially children’s books–and ESPECIALLY Children’s Work Books. I see them and I must have them. So when I was offered the chance to review Noah’s Ark Playtime I just *had* to say yes! All thoughts on books, arks, and gingerbread is my own.

My Very First Noah’s Ark Playtime

When it comes to pretty much anything I love getting “the most bang for my buck”. This applies to children’s work books and storybooks, as well! I usually look for books that can be reused over and over again–like dry erase books can–or ones that can be used again once they’re all done playing with them–like workbooks that double as story books or have games, recipes, or activities that can be done over and over again. Books that are the best combine any number of the above items, and of course have to be good quality and cute as well. What can I say–I have high standards!

My Very First Noah’s Ark Playtime: Activity Book With Stickers happily falls into that hard to reach bracket! Cute and fun it does a good job of telling the well known story of Noah’s Ark. What makes this retelling special (since we already have several versions of this tale) is what it includes along with the cute retelling.

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The Whale Tells His Side of the Story – Funny Twist on the Story of Jonah

Hey God there's some guy named Jonah
Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: How could I pass up a book with a whale saying he was going to throw up on the front when it was offered to me to review? Clearly I needed to share it with you all and affiliate link it to Amazon in case you must check it out also. As always, all nitpicky opinions and Sunday School remembrances are my own!

The story of Jonah is one of the most well known in the entire Bible. If you have children and you go to church at all, they have probably heard this story more than once–and most likely have heard it over and over.

That’s why when I saw The Whale Tells His Side of the Story: Hey God, I’ve Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up! I knew I that love it or hate it I needed to check it out!

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Five Unique Baby Shower Gifts That You’re Overlooking ~ Refresh Your Soul

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I was provided with copies of the Refresh Your Soul Materials pictured (Deny Yourself by Lisa Chan, Waiting in Wonder, and Prayers for Every Day–all from different companies) so that my soul could also be refreshed and I could pass along the goodness to you! All pondering, happy feelings, and fabulous pictures are my own!

Being a new mom is wonderful, exhilarating, breathtaking. It’s also exhausting, draining, and overwhelming. And you swing through these seeming paradoxes on a moment by moment basis which ads to the crazy of it all even more! That’s why I think that it’s *so* crucial for all new moms to make sure that they don’t let their spiritual walk slide during this time of life–which is just oh SO easy to do! Here are 3 sweet gifts to help Moms feed their spirit when they need it most!

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My Very First Easter Story Sticker Book

You might remember that I just did a post on the Best Books & DVDs for Easter Baskets –well I just found one more book that I need to add to that list thanks to a book I was recently sent to review!

My Very First Easter Story Sticker Book is a very cool combination of a preschool style sticker workbook and a children’s story book.

Throughout the book there are “missing” pictures that your child has to find and match the stickers that go there. Amber spent a good 45 minutes doing this one afternoon and she absolutely loved it!

The ONLY thing that I didn’t love about the book was that the stickers are on the thinner side and for some with little ends I had to peel them up for Amber because they ripped otherwise. Not incredibly surprising considering the very inexpensive cost of the book (right now you can buy it for just $5.99!!) but I did want to mention that.

The illustrations are darling and I loved that it told the *entire* story of Easter beginning at the triumphal entry, covering Jesus visiting the temples, the last supper, the betrayal, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Most children’s books cover only one aspect of the Easter backdrop story-not all of them, so that was a very cool thing about this book.

Not only do they cover everything they do it in a way that makes it easy to understand and evokes deeper conversation about the events with the parents. Amber and I got into a very interesting discussion about Jesus throwing over the tables in the temple since that wasn’t a story she’d heard of before this. In addition to the storyline each page is broken up into the main storyline on top and then suggestions on the bottom that are kind of like a study book question section-if you’re reading to a younger child (like when we read the book to/with Tyler) you might just use the bottom section, for an older child you might use just the top, or for an elementary school child you might use it all at the same time. For the last page (pictured above) it sums up Jesus life in 8 little squares which is pretty cool as well!

For everything it includes this really is an amazing buy and I would highly recommend including it in your child’s Easter basket this year! Be sure to check out the other reviews on Amazon as well–so far it has 5 stars!

Nicole Elliott

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage

Being a kid can be pretty scary! Both Amber and Tyler have had times where they’ve been afraid of different things (loud noises, scary bugs, and the dark to name a few!) In Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage our good friend Howard (we have quite the collection of Howard books now!) deals with these very scary things! In fact he gets so frightened at one point that he decides that he’s never going to leave his room again!

Through a little bird friend Howard discovers that just because you’re afraid it doesn’t mean that you’re not BRAVE! Being brave means doing things in spite of your fear, and that’s just what Howard learns to do–from loud noises to scary dogs Howard conquers his fears one by one–even his biggest fear of all–going to a new school!

So what is a 5 year old’s take on the book? Here is Amber’s review–verbatim:

“I think that when Howard learned about courage that he was very happy. I learned that so many things {from the book} and if I don’t be brave, I can’t be brave. But when I have my dreamlight, then I can learn about courage, and that’s how I learned about that book! “

This is the perfect book for any child since every one struggles with fear from time to time, I love how the concept of being brave is broken down in an easy way for them to understand in this fun book!

One lucky winner will receive their very own copy of Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage!

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Nicole Elliott