Pre-Order Amazon Book Price Guarantee

I have a third grader who is on the cusp of becoming a reader. I mean, he can already read. What I’m talking about, is becoming the kind of person who reads for fun, by choice. Building up that quality takes providing a steady stream of books your child wants to read.

It can be hard, because you have to force the start to many books that he doesn’t know he’ll like yet. And, then sometimes, you are wrong and the book you pressed your kiddo to read doesn’t turn out to be one they like. Too many strikes like that and you can end up doing the opposite of what you want, and make reading into a chore that they don’t want to do.

One solution is to get your kids hooked on books that are a part of a series, or trilogy. Probably the best one for young readers is the Magic Treehouse series. There are tons of those. By the time your reader gets through all of them, they’d be hooked on reading for life.

Unfortunately, for some reason, those books don’t seem to resonate with my kiddos.

Amazon Pre-Order Price Guarantee

Fortunately, many other children’s books are parts of on-going series. Unfortunately, if you hit your goal of creating a willing, and active reader, hitting the end of those series comes all too quickly.

So far, my reader has read through the end of several series, including the 13-Story Treehouse series, which has a new book in a 13-story interval every couple years.

26-Story Treehouse, 39-Story Treehouse, 52-Story Treehouse, 65-Story Treehouse, and coming next year 78-Story Treehouse, and so-on, so long as they keep making money.

He also is a big fan of the Dog Man series. So, when he finished both series we sat down and pre-ordered the next book in both series from Amazon so that he would have them right away when the came out. As an added bonus, the Dog Man one, called Dog Man and Cat Kid came out on December 26th, right when we need a little Christmas vacation reading!

Here is the really great part about pre-ordering from Amazon. First, they ship the book so that it arrives on the release date. In other words, we got it on the first day you can (officially) get it even if that meant that Amazon sent it out two days before the official release date.

The second cool part that I hadn’t really paid attention to is that Amazon has what they call a pre-order price guarantee. To encourage you to order the book right away (and from Amazon, of course) they don’t charge you right away. Instead, they wait and charge you when they ship the book. What’s more, is that the price they charge you is the lowest price that occurs between the day you pre-order, and the day it ships. In other words, there is no penalty for being eager and ordering right away. In fact, the earlier the order, the more likely you are to get the absolute lowest price.

Next up?

The Stick Dog series that seems to have captured his attention. The pictures are rudimentary stick drawings that break up the text, and give the illusion of not so many words per page while still having the entire story told in text. It’s brilliant really. He’s already read three of them, and there are a few left, but I get the feeling, that will be our next pre-order.



Posted in Save Money | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best Children’s Books for Young Kids

There are a lot of children’s books out there, but it can be tough to find the really great kids books.

For me, I don’t like the books that try too hard to be right on the nose with some lesson. Dinosaur Learns to Use The Potty, for example would be the kind of book that I’m not really interested in reading to my child. That doesn’t mean I don’t like books with good lessons and morals, but I think kids don’t respond well to children’s books that are too transparent.

The Best Kids Books for Young Children

  • Elephant and Piggie – Like it sounds, the Elephant and Piggie series of books starts two friends, an elephant, named Gerald and a pig named, well… Piggie. Each book is a ridiculous fun adventure that only occasionally ventures into that on-the-nose moral type of story, but even when it does, it’s fun and entertaining. Most of the time, there are silly adventures to be had. The books are by Mo Willems, who is the same guy who wrote another highly recommended set of childrens books that make great gifts, the Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus set of books.
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – The gimmick of this book is that you get to say “No!” to the book. Technically, you are saying no to the pigeon, but that isn’t important. What is fun about the book is the way the pigeon tries to talk you into letting him drive the bus, and even pouts when you keep telling him no. Of course, you don’t let him drive the bus, which has him sad, but the last page is a giant 18-wheeler pulling up and the pigeon goes, “Hey……” because he’d like to drive that now. Technically, this is a very young kiddo book, but older kids love the humor even when it’s beneath their reading level.
Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

Kids and New Pets

Adding pets to a family sounds pretty easy. I mean what kid wouldn’t want a cute, cuddly, new bunny, kitten, or puppy around the house. And, yet, there are a lot of gotchas to watch out for.

The biggest one is allergies. In a house with no pets, and no real chance to notice your child’s reaction to other pets, it can be very easy to overlook allergic reactions until the new pet is in your home. Of course, by then, it’s really, REALLY hard to back out of having a new pet.

Check for Pet Allergies Before Adopting

Adopting from an animal shelter is a great way to add a new pet to your family. Not only do you help and animal in need, but most shelters will put your and your potential new pet in a small room so you can see how compatible you both are.

Check out my Credit Karma review.

Intuitively, you’ll be looking at the pet the whole time. Is this the right puppy for us? Can these bunnies really be this cute all the time?

bunnies pets allergies

But, be sure and keep looking at your kids as well. In cartoons, people start sneezing the second they get near an animal they are allergic to. In real life, not all allergies are sneezing, and many allergic reactions take several minutes to get started. So, be sure to do a visual check on your kiddos not only in the beginning, but throughout your visit, and especially at the end.

Are their eyes watering or getting red? Are they starting to get the sniffles? How about a dry hacking cough? All of these are signs of possible allergic reaction.

For the best test, be sure to really observe your kids right before going into the place with the pets. If their nose is already running, a runny nose at the shelter may not indicate and allergy. Be sure your kiddo holds the animal, preferably with short sleeves. Encourage them to play with the animal like they would if the new pet was at the house.

This close contact with the animal is what will set off the allergic reaction if there is going to be one. If possible, you may want to wait until the next day before adopting. Then, watch and listen on the car ride home. Are they congested? Are they itchy?

Not being able to get a pet due to allergies is a giant bummer, but nowhere near as big of a heartbreak of giving up an animal you’ve already brought into your house and started to love. Also, keep in mind that many places won’t take back animals at all, or at least won’t refund your money, so it could be a costly hassle as well.

Hopefully, your home can be pet and kiddo free. It just might take a couple of tries to find the animal that is right for you. If nothing else, there is always fish.

Posted in Parenting | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Cell Phone For Kids Xfinity Mobile

Like many people, my wife and I gave up our landline phone years ago, before we had kids. Our cell phones cover whatever we need, and frankly we don’t call much on the phone anyway. However, now that our oldest is starting to get to the age where maybe, they might be able to stay at home for a bit by themselves, we sure would like them to have a phone they could use in case they needed to get a hold of us.

In addition, it would make me feel a bit better if they could take a cell phone in their backpack when they ride to school. It isn’t far, but a quick text saying that they made it is comforting. Plus, there is always the chance that they might have a crash, or get a flat, or just flat out need a ride home for some reason.

The problem, of course, is wasteful spending. The cost of a landline phone is ridiculous. It adds nearly $30 per month to our Comcast bill, and getting it from CenturyLink ends up costing even more. A cheap cell phone might be the answer, but pre-paid cell phone minutes are weird to manage and often expire, and adding another line to our current cell phone plan costs a minimum of $20. That doesn’t sound like much, but when you are talking about a few dozen texts, and only a handful of calls, it’s pretty much a waste.

Xfinity Mobile Kid Phone

Here is where Xfinity Mobile comes in for our kid phone. Without meaning to, the company has given us the perfect option for getting our kiddo a virtually free cell phone to keep in touch with.

How to open a 529 college savings plan for your kids.

In order for this to work, you already need to be an Xfinity internet customer. If you are, then the “access charge,” or, “line fee,” is free. Neither my wife, nor I, use enough data to make unlimited worthwhile, so we signed up for the “By The Gig” version. The way it works is that you pay $12 per gig, shared across your plan. The kids won’t be using any data, and unlimited talk and text is free.

So, while the kid phone is technically part of the plan, it won’t cost us anything at all, because the access charge is free, and there will be no data usage!

All that’s left is the cost of the phone itself.

Thanks to an Xfinity sale that took $200 off the price of any phone, we were able to get the lowest-level Xfinity phone for just $1.

Add it all up, and we get a no-cost cell phone for just $1.

Being a parent is all about finding the best solution, and thanks to a plan that isn’t even designed for children, we got just what we needed for a kid cell phone.

Posted in Parenting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Current Happy Meal Toy Latest Update

Good parenting skills are key to avoiding things like temper tantrums, sulking, and most importantly of all, disappointed children which leads to disappointment for parents too. As a dad, good nutrition is important to me and my kids, primarily because I know how important getting the right foods helps kids stay healthy and grow strong.

On the other hand, having fun is very important to me too. And, as a fully grown adult who not only got an occasional McDonald’s meal when I was a kid, as well as one who ate there waaaayyyy to much in his twenties, I know that a Happy Meal here and there isn’t going to hurt my kids. When you way the fun of a trip to McDonald’s to get a Happy Meal against any nutritional detriments, fun comes out way ahead.

happy meal toy box

The catch to the whole thing is that the toy in a McDonald’s Happy Meal is an important part of the fun. Nothing puts disappointment on a little kid’s face like a crummy Happy Meal toy. That’s why I always like to know in advance what the current Happy Meal toy is.

Often the toys are tied to movies, but many of those won’t end up on the list of good movies for kids.

However, that does not necessarily mean that the current Happy Meal toy is no good.

Trick To Get Better Happy Meal Toy

If you have a younger child and the McDonald’s toy sucks when you go, there is a trick you can use to get a better Happy Meal toy free and easy.

The main Happy Meal toys are almost never “suitable” for children under 3. So, if you have a kid who is under, or even near 3-years old, just ask for the “under 3 toy”. This is a special Happy Meal toy that all McDonald’s restaurants keep on hand for parents who have young kids that don’t meet the official age requirements for the main Happy Meal toy. Don’t worry about making anyone grumpy, they have to have those toys anyway, and it is all the same to them, as long as you aren’t trying to be a weasel and get two toys out of your Happy Meal.

You can also find out the latest Happy Meal toys with the McDonald’s app. And, as an added bonus, if you’ve got more than one child, the app often has coupons Happy Meals, like a Buy One Happy Meal, Get One Free coupon that is on my app for this week.

However your lunch journey ends up going, have a fun day with your kids.

Posted in Feeding, Toys | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments