I am so very excited to share today's post with you! And, a giveaway too!
But first...let's start here...Remember way back, a year ago...yes, I know, it's hard to remember back that far...
Well, let me refresh your memory...cue fade into the past with twinkly stars all a flutter...
Last year at this time we were in the middle of Make it Up, stories and stuff by kids and their parents...In case you need a little refresher (or if you missed it the first time around) here is a link for all of the posts in the series. We had so much fun last year with all of the great stories and crafts that everyone made. We were on a storytelling roll...
And then...we sloooowed down. I'm not sure what it was exactly. Maybe everyone got busier. Maybe it was because the summer ended and we weren't spending time outside going on as many adventures. Maybe it was just because there was a shift in our play modes, more book reading, more independent play, less storytelling...
But, I am happy to say that over the summer our storytelling senses returned, not quite as often as they had the previous summer, but we were telling them.
And then, we went to the beach...and on our way to the beach we got a special surprise for the trip, a few Sparkle Stories...and we were inspired again.
Sparkle Stories are online audio stories for children and families and we love them!
We heard our first (At Home with Martin and Sylvia) story early in the morning in the car as we headed to the beach. We needed a break from the music and the constant changing of activities, from etch-a-sketch to drawing to peg doll playing, etc., in the back seat.
We all got quiet and listened...
Since that first story we are hooked. We have enjoyed so many of the different Sparkle Stories. There are five different story lines to choose from for ages 3-10! But really, those ages are just a guideline, because you want to know a secret...I love listening to them as much as the kids do!
As a child, and now as an adult, I love listening to the story telling of Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion. Violet and Henry have enjoyed listening to them as well and refer to it as "silly radio", but, as you may know, those stories are often filled with adult themes. I've always wished that there were child friendly audio stories for them to listen to as well...
And we have found those in Sparkle Stories. Listening to stories gives children a chance to sit still, to listen, to "fall into" the story. It gives them a chance to visualize the story and the characters on their own.
So far we have mostly been listening to and getting to know Martin and Sylvia Stories about a brother and a sister and their adventures, imagination, school lessons, neighbors and more. These stories are sweet and funny (I often find myself giggling). Violet and Henry enjoy them so much, in part because they see themselves in these characters. Martin and Sylvia are our friends and come up in conversation often. Martin and Sylvia have inspired us to go on treasure hunting adventures... And always have us wanting to try and explore new things and places.
We've also had a brief trip into the magical Willowbee Tree listening to the two stories from the sample pack. The Willowbee tree stories are about three children who find a magical tree, a tree that takes them to far away places and on far away adventures...
And, most recently, we've been learning about a few new animal characters from the Junkyard Tales series in their seasonal Halloween audio book. Oh the curiosity of Benjamin Thompson the cat and the mysteries and excitement he finds..it's hard not fall in love with him and his friends!
Another one of our favorite times to listen is at the end of the day during dinner preparations. The time of day where everyone begins to tire and patience is sometimes wearing thin...I suggest a sparkle story and Violet and Henry cheer! They curl up on the couch and listen quietly.
It makes me smile to see them enjoy these stories so much. I am so glad to have found them and am excited to listen more.
We currently have a subscription to At Home with Martin and Sylvia which means that we get a new story every Friday! The stories follow the course of the seasons and the changes in weather and activities so we are often able to draw on our own personal experiences while listening. But, aside from subscriptions, there are many other ways to listen with their sample story packs and audio books, plus there are podcasts to enjoy as well!
David and Lisabeth have created such an amazing cast of characters for children (and their parents) to listen to. I promise you that you will love and enjoy these stories so much as a family, we do!
Please go an check out their blog too for announcements, free stories, and hands on activities as well.
So, now that I've got you wanting to listen...as I mentioned at the beginning...Lisabeth and David have been so so generous and have offered to giveaway their two Halloween audio books, Martin & Sylvia and the Junkyard Tales Halloween stories!
That's six Halloween themed stories for you to enjoy as you plan and make your costumes and decorations or just to get in the "Halloweeny" mood!
How to enter: Leave a comment below...tell me what is your favorite part about fall right now?
For additional entries: Like Buzzmills on FB, Like Sparkle Stories on FB, follow me on Bloglovin' (or Feedly, or however you'd like...) Leave a comment letting me know which additional entries you did.
There are up to four entries per person possible!
Giveaway is open from now until 10/22 midnight EST.
Good Luck! And, in the meantime head on over to give some of the stories a try!
***The Giveaway is now closed***
The winner is...
oh I never tried an audio books before! I used to love them as a kid and the kids listen to a few at school, but I never thought of actually getting some for the house! My favorite thing about fall is all the beautiful colors surrounding us.
Congratulations Celina! Look for an email from me soon!