I love holiday books! Each season I bring out our themed collection to enjoy for a few weeks before putting…
Do you need ideas for activities to do with kids? Tried and true suggestions that real moms actually do? Here they are! We’re asking families to share their favorites, to help you find yours.
Are you following @littlebeebookclub on Instagram? If you’re not you should! Meaghan share the best books and most creative ways to engage your kids. We’re inspired daily by her posts and asked her to share more of her favorite things.
Hi, I’m Meaghan! Three boys call me mama; Maxwell (six) and twins Charlie & Jack (four). I’ve lived in metro Detroit nearly all my life, and my husband grew up in the Flint area. Having worked in childcare in Grosse Pointe throughout my college years, I knew it was a place I wanted to raise my own family. We moved here in 2015 and love the proximity to the lake, downtown Detroit, and Ann Arbor.
As a former elementary teacher (with grad studies in reading & language arts), I have a passion for early literacy and absolutely love children’s books. When the twins were just around 18 months, I decided to share my interests by organizing a ‘mommy and me’ book club with some local moms. We met in our home for circle time, a book related craft or hands-on activity, and (of course) snack time. I started sharing our gatherings on Instagram, and found it to be a wonderful way to connect with other moms. Eventually, I began offering book club boxes (a kit of children’s book with themed activities) for moms to recreate our gatherings at home. Most recently, I began hosting storytimes in local small businesses, and I look forward to being able to enjoy that experience again (hopefully) someday soon!
Here are some of my favorite things and places to share with my boys.
Favorite Ways To Spend Family Time:
- Breakfast Basket (our spin on the morning basket): Simply put, this is a basket of books (and materials) that we use to start our day with intention and connection. I include themed read-alouds for the month, as well as nursery rhymes & songs. I’ll also add in some hands-on activities, focused on letter knowledge, phonics, fine motor skills, and/or handwriting. Some mornings we might spend as little as 10 minutes with our basket, and others we might spend 30-40. I always notice that it sets a positive tone for the day when we begin this way.
- One of our favorite parts of our home is our backyard. We recently decided to take part in the 1,000 hours outside challenge. I quickly noticed the benefits of spending most of our day outdoors, including an increase in creative play and a decrease in asking for screen time!
Favorite Places To Go:
Favorite Bedtime Stories:
- Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
- Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
- The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
- Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
- The Frog and Toad Collection by Arnold Lobel
- Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Best Park/Playground: Rotary Tot Lot
This all-inclusive gated playground designed for ages 2-5 has been visited by young families for over 40 years. It was the first place I felt confident taking all three boys by myself when the twins were infants. The Tot Lot is currently being “re-imagined” and the plans include parent to child facing swings and structures for children ages 5-10. Many memories and friendships were created here and I’m so looking forward to the re-opening.
Best Movie/Television Show: PBS Kids
Best Annual Event: Racing for Kids
Racing for Kids is a Detroit-founded charity which provides funding to the health care needs of children and child health institutions. At the end of the summer season, RFK holds a street fair on “The Hill” in Grosse Pointe Farms. Attractions include racing vehicles & classic cars, a scavenger hunt, and inflatables.
Best Life-Saver: Kitchen Tools
I love products that foster independence. While my husband is certainly the chef in our family, the boys and I love to bake and make book-inspired snacks. Our Learning Tower has served us well for many years, allowing the boys to participate at counter level (including washing the dishes!). I also love kid-friendly tools that help build confidence in the kitchen.
Best Summer Destination: Water
Summer to us means being on or near water! You’ll find us at one of Grosse Pointe’s waterfront parks, or GPYC. We also take lots of weekend trips to visit the boys’ grandpa on Lake Fenton. It’s where my husband and I had our first home and where Max was born. We love the “up north” feel, for only a little over an hour drive. Another summertime favorite is going to farmers markets. We love picking out super fresh fruits & veggies (and flowers!). We like to start our Saturday morning with a trip to Eastern Market. When we’re a little north, we love to visit the Flint Farmer’s Market, which includes a cute kids area sponsored by the Flint Children’s Museum.
About Carrie Budzinski
Carrie Budzinski is the Vice President of LittleGuide Detroit. She grew up in Livonia and Detroit and continues to live life in both cities. Carrie loves exploring the city and finding hidden gems in the suburbs..