Friday, February 26, 2010

Member-Only Coupons for Babies/Toys R Us This Weekend

If you're a Babies R Us Rewards member, be on the lookout in your e-mail for a link to some member-only coupons good this weekend (through Feb. 28, 2010). If you're not yet a member, sign up to become one (it's free) and then you can print out and use the coupons.

Here are a few of the "entertainment" item coupon highlights:
  • 20% off baby gear (such as entertainers, jumperoos, etc.)
  • 20% off Step2 tables and slides (great for spring and summer) 
  • Several for discounts on toys at Toys R Us.
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Consignment Sales for Great Bargains on Toys and More

The time for spring/summer kids consignment sales is here! I LOVE going to consignment sales. They don't come often enough, in my opinion (generally, twice a year). Many of my daughter's toys and books (plus clothes!) have come from them--including some of her favorites from when she was a baby. After I've bought items at a sale, I'll often later see the same things at places like Target for three or four times as much as I paid.

Many cities have multiple of such sales, which sell clothes, toys, baby gear and more. Be sure to check out listings near you and be on the lookout for signs. Several cities list their sales on You can also find listings (and ratings) at If you're in the market for toys/games/activity mats/bouncers, be sure to check these sales out (for babies to young kids). They offer some great savings and many of the items look brand new. Before you go, check recall lists when shopping for toys; many sales try to eliminate those items, but they can only do so much. All battery-operated items are supposed to have working batteries in them for checking how they work. If they don't, I wouldn't buy the item unless it's a REALLY good deal and you don't mind taking the gamble. Also be sure all parts are included. And remember, one of the best parts about buying toys at consignment sales is the ability to try them out before you buy! If you're bored with it, chances are your child will be too.

And if you have items your kids have outgrown or are no longer enjoying, consider signing up to sell at a sale. I was a seller for the first time last fall and had a great experience. Having some extra pocket money (or money to spend on consignment items) is always nice. 

Share your tips for shopping at consignment sales! Also, I'll be posting some links for sales I know about on the Busy Little Monkey Facebook page. If you have some to share, add them there as well so it can become a resource for other readers.

UPDATE: Check out the Discussion tab on the BLM Facebook page to view or add to the list of reader-recommended kids consignment sales!
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Making Antennaes For Your Little Ladybug

My mom created cute ladybug antennaes for A's first birthday (which was a flower and ladybug theme). A still loves putting them on almost 9 months later. These are great for birthday parties or just for dress-up play. While little ones can't help put them together, they'll have lots of fun with the finished product!

Here's how to create them:
    1. Buy some narrow headbands (those found at a dollar store will work fine), pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and ribbon (mom used grosgrain; sticks well to the glue and doesn't slide on hair as easily. 1/4" is a good width).
    2. Hot glue about an inch worth of the center of one pipe cleaner to the center top of the headband. You'll then have to pieces sticking up acting as antennaes.
    3. Wrap the headband in ribbon, hot gluing small sections as you go. (Either butt the ribbon edges against each other or overlap them slightly so the headband itself doesn't peek through).  Go right over top of the glue-down portion of the pipe cleaners.
    4. Hot glue one pom-pom to the end of each antenna (they disappear a bit in the picture since they're black).

Like I said, this was to represent a ladybug, so mom made some with hot pink pipe cleaners and some with black. But you could certainly do any color you like to create butterfly, bee or other insect antennaes!

If you'd like to see a more up-close image of the antenna, just let me know.
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Free Activity Ebook

You can download a free ebook with activity suggestions for your kids: 100 Activities to Keep Your Children Happy. I haven't downloaded the ebook yet myself, so I can't vouch for the effectiveness of its title, but hey, worth a shot! You do have to first sign up for the Natural Parenting Tips newsletter. Sign up is located at the right top of the homepage. And if you don't want to remain a newsletter subscriber, remember to unsubscribe.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!
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Saturday, February 20, 2010


Joy at The Practical Mom Guide recently gave Busy Little Monkey its first blog award--the Best Blog Award! Joy has a great blog, so be sure to check it out.

The rules to accept this award are:

To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.
Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have recently discovered and think are great!
Remember to contact the bloggers you've awarded to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So here are the blogs I'm passing the award along to (in no particular order):
Trey and Lucy
"Deal"ectible Mommies
Safe Home Happy Mom
Lunchbox Limbo
Small Burst
"Deal"ightfully Frugal
Before the Baby Wakes
A Few of My Favorite Things
Candy and Cake
Homemaking Fun
The Mommyologist
Confessions of a Mean Mommy
Somewhat Simple
Baby Good Buys
Award!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, February 18, 2010

FREE Music Sampler of Favorites

More free kids' music! At, you can download a free sampler of The Best of Countdown Kids. Lots of classic favoites! The 10 songs include:

   "The Itsy Bitsy Spider"
   "Old Macdonald"
   "London Bridge"
   "The Alphabet Song"
   "Baa-Baa Black Sheep"
   "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"
   "The Farmer in the Dell"
   "Found a Peanut" (one I'm not familiar with!)
   "Hickory, Dickory, Dock"

Thanks, Freebies 4 Mom!
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

FREE Winnie the Pooh Story and Music Download

You can download a FREE Winnie the Pooh story and music from Clorox!

The song: "House At Pooh Corner" - Fred Mollin
The book: The Original Story of Winnie the Pooh - Long John Baldry (this is more of a "big kid" version of a Pooh story; lots of words!)

Thanks, Freebies 4 Mom!
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fun Items for the Dress-up Box

Many kids, boys and girls, enjoy dressing up. I know my Little Monkey does! And she's only 21mo. As I'm working on her new "big girl" room, I'm planning to include a box or trunk with some dress-up stuff in it. Here are some ideas for your little ones' boxes (Be sure whatever you put in is safe for them to play with and always supervise. Best to lock it up at night if they're in a toddler bed.):

  • Bead necklaces (make sure they're not a choke hazard)
  • Bracelets (A likes to use ponytail holders as bracelets)
  • Scarves
  • Gloves (A loves to put these on!)
  • Larger-size girls dress (not so big she'll trip over it)
  • Wedding veil (such as for a bachelorette party so it's not too long...or nice. A discovered the one I wore for my bachelorette party a few days ago. She preferred it as a skirt around her waist)
  • Headbands
  • Tutu
  • Hats (girly hats, baseball hats, fire hats, etc.)
  • Kids apron
  • Silk-flower leis 
  • Pom-poms (such as you get for free at football games)
  • Plastic fire hat (A has one and loves it!)
  • Cowboy hat and bandanna (pre-tied large enough so they can slip over their heads)
  • Pre-tied cape
  • Foam sword
 Obviously I'm not as familiar with what boys like to play pretend in! What other things do you (or would you) put in your kid's dress-up box?
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    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Sheet Turned Parachute

    I recently wrote about taking A to story time a few months ago. They often had a "parachute," which the kids and parents held onto and waved up and down. Some of the kids would crawl or run under it. It was fun whether they went in or just held on! You could easily recreate this with a lightweight sheet or another large, lightweight piece of fabric. Of course, this is an activity that's easier to do with more than one person, so it's a great way to get dad or the grandparents involved (or an older sibling). If you don't have a helper, you could always tie a corner or two to a chair or other object. Just grab at the sides or corners and wave your arms up and down (getting down to the floor adds extra excitement!).
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    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Baby and Toddler Classes for FREE

    I keep wanting to take A to a Gymboree-type class. I'm looking into community-based options because they're typically a lower fee (could include, music, tumble time, swimming, etc.). However, there are some offers at the "big name" classes where you get the first class free! Here are a few I'm aware of. If you know of others, let us know--even if it's specific to your area (just know where you are!). Other readers might be in that area too. As I learn of more, I'll add to the list.

    • Kindermusik When you sign up for your free class, you also get four free MP3 downloads of their favorite music 
    • Gymboree Play & Music 
    • The Little Gym (click on the Introductory Class or Free Introductory Class button, and then find your local gym to see if a free class is offered.)
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    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Big Apple Circus is Coming - Plus a Special Discount Just for You!

    The Big Apple Circus is in full swing! Performances start in Atlanta on Friday. Your little ones can see Bello the clown, a juggling artist, an aerialist, a trapeze artist, equestrians and more. The performance lasts 2 hours and 5 minutes, including intermission. Children under 3 are free with a paid adult. For updates and info, check out @BigApple_Circus on Twitter and the Big Apple Circus Facebook fan page.

    Check out the upcoming dates and cities:

    Feb. 12-28, 2010 - Atlanta (Stone Mountain Park)
    Mar. 6-27, 2010 - Washington, D.C.
    April 3-May 16, 2010 - Boston
    May 22-June 6, 2010 - Queens, NY
    June 11-July 4 - Long Island, NY

    Busy Little Monkey readers can get up to 30% off per ticket to the Atlanta performances. Deals for other cities will be forthcoming. I'll keep you posted! To purchase your discounted tickets to the Big Apple Circus in Atlanta:
    Online: and submit the code POP10 in the Promotional Codes box
    By Phone: CALL 888-541-3750 and mention code POP10
    In Person: Big Top Box Office 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily. No service fee. Bring a copy of this blog post
    *Offer good on select seat locations and performances. Must present this blog post to receive discount at the box office. Performance schedule subject to change. Offer is subject to availability; not valid on prior purchases; cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions. This offer can be revoked at any time. Discount amount varies. Limit 8 tickets per order. No refunds or exchanges. Telephone and Internet orders are subject to standard service fees.

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    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Fun Kids Music From Barenaked Ladies

    I first heard music from Barenaked Ladies' Snack Time on the Sirius radio kids station. Lots of silly fun! Many of the beats are great for kids to dance to, and the lyrics are even entertaining for parents. I haven't heard all of the songs in their entirety, but of the few I've heard, my favorites are the "Crazy ABCs" and "There's a Word for That." You can order the CD or do a sample listening at You can also order an MP3 version of the album or just individual songs.
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    Busy Ball Popper

    A has gotten into her Busy Ball Popper in recent months. At first, when the music came on, she'd run the other way! But now she loves putting the balls in and chasing them around the room when they escape. This weekend, with the help of my mom, she discovered she could put a balloon over the air hole and it would dance around in the air above...and then she tried to stuff the balloon into the ball hole.

    Right now, you can print a $5 coupon for the Busy Ball Popper on (along with other toys and games).
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    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Story Time Options

    Until a few months ago, A and I regularly went with a friend and her daughter to story time at a local library. It was more than just some lady reading a book aloud. They sang songs, blew bubbles, listened to stories and sometimes crawled under a parachute. Plus, the girls always enjoyed being with other kids. Check your local library to see if they have such story times (granted, some are better than others. Just takes some investigating and trial and error). If not, or in addition, chec
    Publish Post
    k out the story time offered by Pottery Barn Kids, Book Club. It's held every Tuesday at 11 a.m. (lasts 30 minutes). According to their site, members get an official Book Club card at their first visit; on your fifth, you get a special gift.

    Note: Time and date may vary based on your store. Be sure to call ahead to verify.
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    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Water Painting - No Aquadoodle Needed

    If your child likes to scribble with paint or crayons but you're not fond of the potential mess, go the water-painting route. You don't even need an Aquadoodle (although those are fun too--especially due to their large size). Just get out some construction paper (darker pages work best), and hand your child a wet paintbrush. Let her scribble to her heart's content! The paper will get darker wherever it's "painted." When it dries, you can reuse that same piece.

    If you have an Aquadoodle pen at home, you can take it and a piece of construction paper with you to entertain the little one at restaurants or anywhere you might have to wait.
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    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Valentine's Day Card Workshop for Kids This Weekend

    On Saturday, Feb. 6 and Sunday, Feb 7, 2010, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., all Pottery Barn Kids locations are holding a Valentine's Day Card Workshop (while supplies last). It doesn't list age restrictions, so you can always help the little ones make something for a loved one. Also, participants get 10% off select Valentine's Day items (must be used on the day of the workshop).
    Valentine's Day Card Workshop for Kids This WeekendSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Fun With a Tin Can, Balls and a Bathtub

    Last night my husband and I went to a hockey game with friends, and Little Monkey stayed with my parents. When we picked her up, she had to show us her new game. My mom had put an old, clean, large tin can (a bit larger than a large coffee can, although that would work too) in an empty bathtub. Then she gave A a small basket filled with practice golf balls (basically look like small Wiffle balls). Oh the fun that was had trying to throw the balls into the can! Of course, you could certainly set this up anywhere, but there was something about the "tinking" sound of the balls hitting the bathtub that was extra entertaining. Plus, it helped contain them when they bounced around. And while any balls could be used, these don't bounce too much and are light so that they don't damage anything.

    Just reminds us all to remember that the most fun can be had with the simplest things!
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    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    Activities and Coupons from Publix for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers

    If you have a Publix grocery store near you and you have little ones (or are expecting), be sure to sign up for their Publix Baby Club and/or Publix Preschool Pals. I've been a Baby Club member since my daughter was born, and it's been great! We've received a booklet of coupons about every quarter, often with coupons for totally free stuff (especially with our first set). Coupons will range from $1 off produce, dairy, meat or deli products to free rubbing alcohol to BOGO Free pacifiers. Some are for national brands while others are for Publix brand.

    With Preschool Pals, kids get prizes, an activity book at 2, and a CD-ROM at 3, plus more. Not sure what the coupon situation for this program is. There's no mention of them, but I'd be surprised if there weren't at least a few. My daughter's almost old enough for the Preschool Pals, but we can't register her until she's officially 2 (in May). Until then, we'll receive at least one more round of coupons from Baby Club for her, plus we'll start our new baby in it.
    Activities and Coupons from Publix for Babies, Toddlers and PreschoolersSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    Toy and Game Coupons from Hasbro and Playskool

    Right now, you can find quite a few great coupons for toys and games from Playskool and Hasbro for all ages at You can print these twice per computer. Print them now before they're gone!
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    Free Scrapbook Layout Ebook

    To document all the fun things you and your kids do, you might be working on a scrapbook (or thinking about it, like me!). If so, check out this free ebook you can download: 24 Simple Scrapbook Layouts.

    Thanks, Money Saving Mom!
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    Swiffer for Fun...and Actual Cleaning!

    Yesterday the Little Monkey discovered the Swiffer. My husband and I were working on clearing out a room to become her new "big girl" room, and we had it out after dismantling a shelf. She had fun for a good 15 minutes going around the rooms cleaning the floors. She likes the broom too, but this is much easier for her to handle (especially since it adjusts when it hits something, making it less likely she'll get hung up on something). Plus, it actually does some real cleaning versus just moving the dust around as she drags a broom along the floor. Guess I'll keep the Swiffer handy so she can help out. That's a win-win!

    And just FYI, if you need any Swiffer products, you can get some coupons on their site. Plus, there's a money-back guarantee on their products (who knew?).
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