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Book Review: Same, Same but Different

The book review series focuses on children's books with a snail mail or letter-writing theme, because WE LOVE SNAIL MAIL!

Book Review: Same, Same but Different

This book is a treasure for kids ages 3-6 and I wish I had bought it sooner. 

The story follows simple and easy to read pen pal letters of Elliot in the United Sates and Kailash in India.  

The vibrant colours are so engaging and it encourages my kids to think about things outside their own front doors and a small taste of other cultures.

Watch my full Book Review of Same, Same but Different:

This is my first attempt at video blogging, but I plan to create more!  Be sure to click in to my new YouTube channel and follow along if you'd like to get updates when I post new videos and book reviews.

Interested In This Book?

You can find full Same, Same but Different book information here: 

Interested in finding a Pen Pal for Your Child? 

The Petit Mail pen pal group is open to parents around the world.  Connect with other parents, find a pen page of the same age in another country.  
Exchange letters and learn from one another.
We can't wait to have you - request to join the group below.

Kids Pen Pal: Connect And Find A Pen Pal For Your Child

Did you have a pen pal as a child?

I did - she lived in Australia and I loved learning about her life. 

International Kids Pen Pal Group

For quite a while now, I've been thinking about starting a Facebook group so that parents can connect with other parents and find a pen pal for their child in another part of the world.

So, I finally did it.

Join The International Kids Pen Pal Group Here

Let's learn about different places around the world (or even in our own country) - it's one of my favourite things about pen pals. You can spark new conversations and new learning, just by reading a letter!

See you in the group,

Kids Pen Pal

20 Things To Do With Kids In St. John's, Newfoundland (& Surrounding Areas)

Fun things to do with kids in St. John's

1. Book a Fairy Door Tour - an enchanting experience for kids and kids at heart (personally, I enjoy it JUST as much!) discover fairy homes in the woods in the heart of St. John's (Pippy Park) with a guided tour.

2. Visit Freak Lunchbox on Duckworth Street in St. John's for a sugary candy rush!

3. Visit the Watershed Coffee Shop on the wharf in picturesque Petty Harbour - sit outside with a drink and a treat and watch the water traffic go by!

4. Ride the Trolley Line - a seasonal bus service that offers hop-on, hop-off service at various points throughout downtown St. John's, including Signal Hill, the Johnson Geo Centre, and the Railway Coastal museum.  Our kids don't normally take public transit, so the bus ride itself is also a real treat!

5. Visit the outdoor community splash pads in St. John's at Bowering Park, Bannerman Park or in Paradise at Paradise Park. In winter, skate The Loop or go to a family skate at one of the many arenas.

6. Drive to the Southern Shore and take a hike to the LaManche Village suspension bridge - we love this hike and try to visit once a year.  Take a picnic and stay awhile.  There are often seals or otters lounging in the pools under the bridge.

7. Try indoor swimming and splash pads at the Mount Pearl Summit Centre, the YMCA of Northeast Avalon or the Paul Reynolds Community Centre.

8. Take part in a family activity at The Rooms (usually on the weekends).  Children 5 and under are free!  Our kids love to explore the exhibits, and there is always something new to see.

9. Go for a nature walk along Rennies Mill Trail - this is a great walk along part of the Grand Concourse Trail - look or bridges, waterfalls, ducks and other wildlife.  Also a great spot to have a nature exploration walk.

10. Get ice cream at Bergs or Moo Moo's - there are now several Berg's locations, but as a local, the ONLY Bergs option is the original location in Manuels CBS. Or check out Moo Moo's ice cream on King's Road as another great option.

11. Join the Kid Friendly Activities in St. John's Area Facebook group for lots of great ideas, including a lot of date-specific events and activities throughout the year.

12. Visit Lester's Farm - see the animals, ride the mini tractors and take part in seasonal activities, like berry picking and the corn maze.

13. Get creative together at Clay Cafe Avalon,

14. Feed the ducks at Bowering Park or Quidi Vidi Lake.

15. Play family Mini Golf at Sir Admiral John's

16. For  families with older kids - North Atlantic Ziplines is a fantastic family experience and a great day out for thrill seekers!

17. Spend a morning or afternoon at Topsail beach or Middle cove beach.  Take a picnic, find the perfect beach rock, dip your toes in the ocean if you dare.

18. Take a day-trip to the Salmonier Nature Park - a wildlife sanctuary within an hour of the city

19. Visit the marine touch tank and watch the seals at the Ocean Sciences Centre in Logy Bay - this is one of my favourite free ways to spend an afternoon, and the kids love it!

20.  Hike the North Head trail from The Battery to the top of Signal Hill - I just completed this trail with my 6 year old on a beautiful, sunny St. John's day!  I definitely recommend an average or above fitness level, and arriving prepared!  Parks Canada rates this trail as "strenuous/challenging" Adequate footwear is a must, as the trail is rocky and steep. Be sure to keep your children close, as there are a couple of points on the trail with precarious drops to the ocean.  I have lived here my entire life and I never get tired of those views - magical.

Excited about an upcoming visit to St. John's with your kids, or just want a fun new way to read together? Experience a FREE Petit Mail e-postcard story "Oliver visits St. John's", delivered to your inbox and addressed with your child's first name.

Story postcards (including Oliver visits St. John's) are ideal for children ages 3 - early reader.

Oliver Visits St. John's is a short story featuring some of Oliver's adventures in Newfoundland, including:

  • finding St. John's on a map, 
  • visiting a lighthouse and
  • meeting a Newfoundland dog
Sign up to receive your free Oliver Visits St. John's story postcard. 

Once it arrives in your inbox, read together with your child, and use the story as a starting point to learn other things about St. John's. 

Happy Exploring!

Inspired Childhood: Simple Play Spaces

I recently saw Emily post photos of her play room in the minimalism + motherhood Facebook group and I knew I had to ask her to share the inspiration with you here. 

"My children play so much better, more peacefully and for longer periods of time when they are not lost in a sea of toys. There is also less clean up which is nice because I spend less time cleaning and more time with my family"

 "It has made a world of difference to have a play room full of open ended toys!"

"Physical clutter is mental clutter and it's amazing to see how much better my children play in atmosphere that is free from clutter. It's also made us appreciate quality over quantity"

"A favourite is our Melissa and Doug rainbow stacker. That thing gets SO much love here!"

You can find Emily on Instagram @raisingtherussos

Join The Kids Summer Reading Club

As a mom, I look forward to warm Summer days with less of an agenda.  

I'm in the process of creating a Summer fun list - a big list of things that I would love to do together as a family this Summer - simple things like hikes, making homemade ice cream and running through the sprinkler. I'll be sure to share the completed list with you!

One thing we always keep up with over the Summer months is reading together.
  We'll plan trips to the library and maybe even take part in a Summer reading program.  

Summer is the perfect time to try Petit Mail, and this month, you can join the Summer Reading Club and receive a story postcard in the mail for June, July and August.

Reading Club for Kids

This special edition 3 month subscription is a great way to try Petit Mail. Each month, your child receives a colourful envelope in the mail, addressed in their name.  

The story postcard themes over the Summer are: 

Olivia Plants A Garden
Oliver Goes Camping
Olivia's Science Project

The full colour, double sided stories encourage reading skills, imagination, creative play and learning.  

Kids LOVE to receive mail of their very own. 

The Summer Reading Club costs $7 per month, $21 total (including postage costs - that's right, there are none of those hidden shipping charges at checkout!)

Don't delay - order by June 10 to join the club

pssssst: USA customers - do you want to know a secret?  Petit Mail is sold in Canadian dollars, so with today's exchange rate, Petit Mail costs less than 16 US. If you've been thinking about trying a subscription, now is a great time!