Category Archives: Age 3-5

Madelyn Loves Reading Thanks to iPad App Bookboard

Bookboard iPad reading appI cancelled cable about a year ago because I was so frustrated with the kids always expecting to be able to watch tv, then they’d turn into zombies when they were allowed to watch something, then they turned into evil little monsters when I told them to do something while they were watching tv.   Since I cancelled cable, I’ve had to come up with ways, creative ways, to occupy my 7-year-old.  My 14-year-old occupies himself by doing stuff outside, but my daughter has a difficult time finding things to do even though she has a gazzilion toys.  I was told about an iPad app called Bookboard recently that encourages children to read.  I’ve tried dozens of reading apps with my daughter but she never stuck with any of them.  I purposely didn’t right this post until she had been using the app for a month to be sure that it really was different and she still enjoyed it after that long.

Bookboard iPad app

For children who are inundated with fast-paced video games and television shows, reading has become a chore rather than a delight. The myriad benefits of reading–increased vocabulary, more developed analytical and critical reasoning, improved memory and focus–are useless if a child never picks up a book. Fortunately, not all electronic devices are detrimental to the habit of reading: one iOS app, Bookboard, has reimagined the concept to enchant and encourage young readers to explore the infinite world of reading.

Bookboard iPad app reading

Bookboard is especially appealing to children who have not yet fostered a love for reading. The gaming features (collecting new ebooks and unlocking items) provide an incentive for kids who are struggling with reading to continue to practice. And, of course, children who are already avid readers will enjoy using their skills to earn new titles to explore.

Bookboard is designed for readers up to age 12, and includes over 400 ebooks that are unlocked gradually the more a child reads.   My daughter responds well to incentives and the Bookboard app offers just that.

Madelyn reading Bookboard iPad app

You can download a 30-day free trial of Bookboard to explore its features and test out its unique motivational approach to reading. If you like the app, the pricing options for a full subscription are pleasingly affordable. A monthly subscription runs just $8.99 per month. A six-month subscription costs only $29.94, which works out to less than $5 a month. Considering many hardcover books run $30 or over, accessing Bookboard’s extensive library for the same price is a great deal.


Gift subscriptions to Bookboard can also be purchased for friends or family whose children will appreciate the gift of unlimited reading. A full year’s subscription only costs $54.99.

Bookboard subscribers enjoy other features of the app, including offline reading capabilities. Bookboard allows you to download up to twenty books at a time for your child to read at their leisure, no matter how far they are from a WiFi hotspot. Subscribers also have access to audio books which allow children to tap words or blocks of text to hear them read aloud.

If you are looking for a new way to encourage your child to read, give Bookboard a try. Its goal-based approach might just transform your reluctant reader into a bona fide bookworm.

Connect with Bookboard

A 7-Year-Old Girl’s Dream Shopping Trip at OshKosh B’gosh + 25% Off Coupon!

*I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for OshKosh B’gosh. I received a gift card to facilitate my shopping trip and to thank me for participating.

As strange as it may sound, I rarely take Madelyn with me when I buy her clothes.  I’d rather buy a bunch of clothes and bring them home for her to say yay or nay to and try on at home, than deal with the potential whining about trying clothes on and me taking too long.  On that note, last week I was brave and took Madelyn to the OshKosh B’gosh store.  I expected whining.  I expected chaos.  And I got it.   Not because she didn’t want to try clothes on.  It was the opposite this time.  She wanted to try on everything!  We were at the store for 2 hours.

When we arrived at OshKosh B’gosh, two employees greeted us. One asked what we were shopping for and one told us about the amazing doorbuster items.   My jaw dropped when she told me that the fleece pullovers were just $9!  If I wasn’t there to buy outfits for school, I would have grabbed a dozen pairs of fleece pants and pullovers and been done with our shopping trip.

OshKosh B'gosh doorbuster sale

After perusing the doorbuster items we made it to the racks of clothes.  Madelyn put three outfits together in a matter of minutes.. then five.. and more and more.   Oh my gosh they were cute outfits too!  I quickly got down on my knees and explained to her that while I would love for her to have a velvet dress with an adorable turtleneck to pair with it and tights, my goal with this shopping trip was to buy her a couple of outfits she could wear to school.  While I was talking to her, I saw her eyes focus on something behind me.  Boots.. “the most super-adorabalist boots EVER” she said…sort of like that new word she came up with earlier this week; fancasual.  She’s on a roll with the interesting new words. That was the end of that conversation.

While she tried on the boots, I found jeggings.   I have bought Madelyn several pairs of jeggings in the last year and she’s worn holes in all of them.  When I picked up a pair of OshKosh’s jeggings, I realized that the jeggings I had bought were not nearly as good quality as OshKosh B’gosh’s.  Their jeggings are thick and seem very durable.

Madelyn paired a knit cardigan from OshKosh B’gosh that she had with one of the outfits we bought, creating this adorable outfit.  This is my favorite of the outfits she picked.  It is practical for school and it will also make a cute holiday outfit.

OshKosh B'gosh little girl outfit

Oh, and aren’t the boots adorable? The boots are regularly $50. I initially told Madelyn she couldn’t get the boots but when she put the effort into putting them on with every outfit she tried on and I saw just how freakin’ cute they are with everything.. I caved.  I was sure the boots were going to put us well over our $100 limit.. but seeing as how our entire purchase was just $96, they didn’t!

I could not believe how many items we were able to get with our $100 gift card at OshKosh B’gosh!  Seriously.  I took a photo to show you just what we bought with $96!

OshKosh B'gosh shopping spree

This is what we got for $96!

Pretty great, right?

OshKosh B’gosh Coupon!

Because I want you to get the same amount of stuff that Madelyn did for just about $100, here is a coupon for 25% off your purchase of $30 or more!

OshKosh B’gosh has offered a special coupon for 25% off a $30 purchase for The Mommy Insider readers! This coupon can also be redeemed online or in your local OshKosh B’gosh store.

OshKosh B’gosh coupon

It was tempting to use my gift card to buy holiday clothes for Madelyn but she can make any outfit look festive with accessories…she’s better at that than I am.. so we refrained on buying ‘holiday specific’ items and went with fun, functional, and comfortable everyday clothes. We’ll be back soon (we got a coupon with our purchase) so maybe we’ll stock up on holiday clothes next time! Here are a few cute pieces that would be great for holiday outfits.

OshKosh B'gosh holiday clothes

Connect with OshKosh B’gosh on Twitter and Facebook!

Alicia, The Mommy Insider blog author

5 Fancasual (Fancy + Casual) Dresses For Little Girls Sizes 4-14

Madelyn, my 7-year-old, informed me a few days ago that she is ready to clean her closet of any dresses she hasn’t worn in a few days.  A few days?  She said that if she hasn’t worn them in a few days they aren’t a favorite and should be given to a little girl who will appreciate them.  Seriously, I thought.. she actually heard something I said?!

So, we went through her closet and took out a bunch of stuff most of which was too small and she took out a few dresses that were not too small but she hasn’t worn more than once or twice.   I had to accept that we were getting rid of relatively unworn pieces but we will deliver them to Goodwill and I’m sure there’s a little girl who will love the dresses as much as I did when I bought them for Madelyn.

girl's dress wishlist

I asked Madelyn to come up with a list of what she wants and doesn’t want in “fancasual” dresses.  That ended up being quite the project.  She got a whiteboard and dry erase markers and asked me to make ‘want’ and ‘don’t want’ columns then she spouted off a list of characteristics she’s looking for in a dress.  Maybe she should be a dress designer after all.  I have always thought career choice was an odd one but now that she’s getting older and better able to share her thoughts with me, I see it.

Here are the columns.  I was a good listener despite some of her strange requests like ‘gross, uncomfortable stuff’.  I wanted so badly to ask what dress she’s owned that was gross or had uncomfortable stuff on it?  Really?

Two more  questionable characteristics in her ‘don’t want’ list are blah and ugly sleeves.   As we went through her old dresses I asked if each was ‘blah’ or had ugly sleeves.  What’s an ugly sleeve anyway I asked?  She said “it’s one that’s puffy or has things dangling from it”.  Ok.   We didn’t come across a dress with ugly sleeves so apparently I haven’t made that mistake yet.

Here are 5 dresses that Madelyn hand-picked that meet most of her ‘want’ requirements.

You’ll notice that blue from the ‘don’t want’ column was ignored when it came time to actually choosing dresses. 🙂

Fancy casual dresses for little girls

1 – Splendid ’Sparkle Lux’ Dress  | Available in girl’s sizes 7-8, 10, 12, 14 – $68

2 – Soprano Beaded Peter Pan Collar Sleeveless Dress icon| Available in sizes 7-8, 10-12, 14, 16 – $42

3 – Ella and Lulu Striped Floral Dress icon | Available in sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – $38

4 – Truly Me Stripe Hooded Dress icon| Available in sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – $54

5 – Ella and Lulu Colorblock Dress icon| Available in sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – $38

Madelyn was a little concerned about the beaded collar on dress #2 but when she saw that it is called a Peter Pan Collar, she agreed that might be the best dress ever!


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What is your daughter’s dream dress?  I’d love to know what she says if you ask her! It might be different that you expect. I didn’t expect unicorns and no ‘ugly sleeves’… that’s for sure!

Alicia, The Mommy Insider blog author

Girl’s Fashion Guide: 4 Glittery Headbands on Etsy

I love Etsy.  I find the most unique, fun, and inspiring things there.  Most of the time I go to Etsy to browse midnlessly but today after getting a request from my daughter to get her a glittery headband I went straight to to find some!

I was not disappointed!

I found the cutest headbands, some that I would even consider wearing when/if my hair is long again. Hair accessories are something that every little girl seems to collect and actually use, unlike pencil toppers.. that’s another story, so I don’t mind her having an abundance of them. 🙂

Here are a few of my daughter’s favorite glittery headbands on Etsy:

(These items are available now – today – but due to the nature of Etsy, they may not be available long)

Glitter headbands on Etsy

1 – Wide Glitter Headband – $10
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2 – Non-Slip Thin Glitter/Sparkle Headband lined with Velvet – $5.25
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3 – Glitter headbands – 3 for $7.50
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4 – Red Glitter Headband – $20
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Is your daughter into glittery things?  Have you found a super cute headband online?  Share with us in the comments below!

Little Girl Fashion Guide: 4 Adorable Ballet Flats for Little Girls

Gone are the days when little girls run around in ‘play shoes’ all day, every day. Now little girls, at least mine, want to wear cute shoes whenever they can.  My daughter plays dress up and when some girls might want to wear mom’s high heels, my daughter is perfectly happy in a pair of sparkly ballet flats.

Here are a few of my daughter’s favorite ballet flats.. as of today. 🙂

Little Girl Ballet Flats

1 – OLD SOLES Kids’ Cruise Ballet Shoes (Powder Pink) at – $60

2 – Lelli Kelly Kids’ Fiocco Fluo Shoes (Orange) at – $40

3 – Cole Haan Kids’ Air Tali Buckle  Shoes (Black) at – $64

4 – Sam Edelman Kids’ Fiona (Silver Glitter) at – $50

Does your daughter have a favorite shoe style?

Alicia, The Mommy Insider blog author