Tag Archives: kids

10 of My Favorite Picture Books for Children


I love sharing books with my kids. When I think of some of my favorite picture books for kids, some are ones that I enjoyed as a child while others I discovered with my own children. Here are 10 of my absolute favorites.

The Giving Tree

Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

Go Dog Go

One of my absolute favorites as a child! Reading goes to the dogs in this timeless Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss. From big dogs and little dogs to red, green, and blue dogs, dogs going up and dogs going fast . . . who knew dogs were so busy?

Repeated laughter will ensue at the repeated question “Do you like my hat?” Like P. D. Eastman’s classic Are You My Mother? Go, Dog. Go! has been a go-to favorite for over fifty years, leaving audiences of all breeds wagging their tails with delight.

Goodnight Moon

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one—the little bunny says goodnight.

In this classic of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.

Harry The Dirty Dog

Another I loved as a child and my children do too!

There’s never been another dog as delightful–or dirty–as Harry.

This lovable white dog with black spots (or black dog with white spots) has charmed children for over fifty years. This childhood favorite is perfect for reading aloud before going to bed or avoiding a bath.

Where The Wild Things Are

In the forty years since Max first cried “Let the wild rumpus start,” Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children’s books of all time.

Lemonade In Winter

This is one of our favorites of newer books, we read this over and over and it is a favorite bedtime story for the coldest winter nights.

A lemonade stand in winter? Yes, that’s exactly what Pauline and John-John intend to have, selling lemonade and limeade–and also lemon-limeade. With a catchy refrain (Lemon lemon LIME, Lemon LIMEADE! Lemon lemon LIME, Lemon LEMONADE!), plus simple math concepts throughout, here is a read-aloud that’s great for storytime and classroom use, and is sure to be a hit among the legions of Jenkins and Karas fans.

 Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

On a train ride in 1966, the title phrase Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? popped into Bill Martin Jr.’s head. Later, he spotted an illustration of a red lobster in a magazine and contacted the creator, Eric Carle, to ask if he would illustrate his poem.

So began Eric Carle’s career as a children’s book illustrator–along with a life-long collaborative friendship with Bill Martin Jr. Since then, Brown Bear and the three companion titles, Polar Bear, Panda Bear, and Baby Bear, have gone on to sell millions of copies worldwide.

The Bear books are a cultural landmark and a key milestone in many children’s reading lives. And many adults today remember reading the Bear books themselves as well as the experience of reading them for the first time to their own children. Whether in a picture book or a reader, and now in eBook and audio, the same bold graphics and repetitive, rhythmic text have truly stood the test of time.

 I Wish You More

Our youngest actually has the personalized version of this book from I SEE ME! Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. The infallible team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have combined their extraordinary talents to create this exuberant book of endless good wishes.

Wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength, laughter and peace. Whether celebrating life’s joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of everyday moments, this sweet and uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich.
But you may not know how it happened.
So let me tell you.
It all started with the bear . . .

So begins Julia Sarcone-Roach’s delicious tale of a bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, it’s not until the very end that we begin to suspect this is a TALL tale.

The wonderfully told story, spectacular illustrations, and surprise ending make this Julia Sarcone-Roach’s best book to date. You’ll want to share it with your friends (and keep a close eye on your lunch).

10. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He went to sleep with gum in his mouth and woke up with gum in his hair. When he got out of bed, he tripped over his skateboard and by mistake dropped his sweater in the sink while the water was running. He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Nothing at all was right. Everything went wrong, right down to lima beans for supper and kissing on TV.
What do you do on a day like that? Well, you may think about going to Australia. You may also be glad to find that some days are like that for other people too.

 

So there you have 10 of my top Children’s Picture Books. What are some of your favorites? Please let me know in the comments.



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The Lion Guard is Available Now on DVD #Giveaway

If you haven’t heard, The Lion Guard is out now on DVD. Continuing with Simba and Nala’s second-born cub, Kion and his Lion Guard team as they protect the Circle of Life.

Complete with a crew of unlikely heroes: Bunga the honey badger, Fuli the cheetah, Beshte the hippo and Ono the egret. Follow the adventures of this heroic band as they use their unique abilities to protect the Pride Lands and maintain the Circle of Life. This series also features Simba, the spirit of Mufasa and the hilarious antics of Timon and Pumbaa.

Join Kion and His Friends on their Adventures in the Pride Lands as they Learn Lessons of Leadership, Teamwork and Trust! You are sure to go wild for all the ferocius fun! Whether the Lion Guard team is tracking a rogue leopard, foiling tricky jackals or facing stubborn crocodiles, Life in the Pride Lands is always hevi kabisa“-totally intense! 

This new DVD, features five new episodes of Disney’s The Lion Guard and is packed with laughs, music, beloved characters and heart, The Lion Guard: Life in the Pride Lands is a must-own for the entire family! Includes Five FREE Exclusive Silicone Bracelets! Bring home this heroic adventure on Disney DVD TODAY!

Episodes:

The Rise of Makuu (featuring guest star Blair Underwood as the voice of Makuu)
The Kaputana Celebration
Bunga and the King
Never Roar Again
The Imaginary Okapi

Bonus: Music Videos:
• A Trail to Hope
• Teke Ruka Teleza

“It’s UnBungalievable!” Shorts
• Who’s Quicker?
• Who’s Hungrier?
• Who Has Better Hair?
• Who’s Cuter?
• Who’s Louder?
• Who’s Mightier?

Would you like a chance to win this DVD? If so, enter our giveaway below.

Giveaway:

is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a . Thank you  for the review product and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

The Lion Guard: Life in the Pride Lands DVD Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Open to US residents

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Fuel Your Child’s Imagination with Magformers! #HolidayGiftGuide #Giveaway

My kids love to build things and they love magnets! That is why we just love the Magformers line of products. My kids have been having fun with them for years! We recently received the 22 Piece Space Wow Set. As soon as they saw it, they were so into it that they would not even look up at the camera.

Build spaceships and rockets with Magformers Space WOW 22Pc Set. Beginner builders can blast into space with the new astronaut character! Add antenna and wheels to create space buggy or search for extra-terrestrial life by building a space station. Great for young minds to learn about constructing cube nets, patterns, shapes and colors!

The original Magformers WOW Set is perfect for beginner builders to create a wide variety of vehicles with the help of 39 activity cards! Lay your MAGFORMERS® on the cards and then pull them from 2D into 3D! Great for young minds to learn about constructing cube nets, patterns, shapes and colors!

 

Features

  • 2 geometric shapes.
  • 39 activity cards.
  • Compatible with all MAGFORMERS® shapes and accessories.
  • Neodymium Rare-Earth Magnets for guaranteed connectivity.
  • BPA Free HQABS Plastic.

As a parent I really like toys that allow kids to get creative. With this set they can follow one of the cards or build their own creation. I also appreciate how you can add other sets and increase the building options. My kids can spend hours with these sets.

Forget the latest toy fad that will be history come January 1st, get your child something they will play with for years and hand down to their own kids!

Would you like to enter our giveaway for a chance to win one of these sets? If so, just enter below. We love Magformers so much we are adding them to our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide at Mommy Ramblings!

Giveaway:

Magformers is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a Magformers 22 Piece Space Wow Set! Thank you to Magformers for the review product and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Magformers 22 Piece Space Wow Set Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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It is the 50th Anniversary of “Charlie the Tramp” #Giveaway

 

Did you enjoy the Frances books by Russell Hoban that are illustrated by Lillian Hoban? I always did as a child and read them to my little ones. I had never heard of the book Charlie the Tramp written by the same author. I admit, I chuckled when I heard the title and read the excerpt below:

Tramps just tramp around and have a good time.

They carry sticks with little bundles tied to them.

They sleep in a field when the weather is nice, and when it rains they sleep in a barn. 

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I bet you are chuckling a bit now or at least smiling. It is funny to read that and think that this is a real children’s book that was originally published in 1966. The book is about Charlie, a young beaver. One day when his grandfather comes for a visit and asks Charlie what he wants to be when he grows up, Charlie tells his family that he wants to be a tramp.

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The family asks him why he does not want to do the work of a beaver, cutting down trees, rolling trees in the water and building dams. Charlie tells them it is too much work and he would rather be a tramp. So his father lets him try it out. The first day Charlie acts like a tramp returning home to do some little jobs for a meal and sleeping in the field.

On he second night he hears the stream calling to him and before he knows it, he naturally did what beavers do and built a dam that turned that stream into a pond like his father and grandfather make. He worked so hard, he went to sleep and missed breakfast which worried his family. They went to look for him and saw the new pond. When they found out Charlie had built it, they were impressed and happy that Charlie was following in their footsteps.

Mother hurried home to get a big breakfast of flapjacks and maple syrup on the table before the men came home.

Although this 50-year-old story may make us giggle, the message is as true today as it was then. Don’t we know young people who lack the ambition and drive to do more than just the bare minimum needed to survive? I could go on for a long time about this but I will spare you. I think the message is important, take pride in doing things that you have a talent and ability for. Don’t take the easy road but strive to be the best you can be!

Plough editor Sam Hine says, “As a parent of young children I’ve rarely found new books of this quality. So, like many other parents, I find myself returning to the books of my own childhood. Among these Charlie the Tramp was a hands-down favorite. We’re thrilled to acquire the rights to this timeless classic and make it available to a third generation.” You can purchase this book on Amazon.

Giveaway:

If you would like a chance to win your own hardcover copy of this book, just enter the giveaway below. Good Luck!!!

Charlie the Tramp Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

 

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How to Enjoy America’s #1 Dressing Guilt Free! #NothingHiddenHere

This is a sponsored post and I was compensated by Tessemae and received product samples as part of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. As always, all my views and words are 100% my own. 

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As a parent, I am concerned about the products I use, the food we eat and the environment we live in. With young kids who are picky eaters, it can be very frustrating. I make compromises, I try to buy the healthiest options of food they like and pick my battles. So, I understand that they want dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and I buy the healthiest ones I can find. I am glad they like salad but then I get concerned about all the sugar, preservatives and artificial ingredients that are in the dressings and dips they use.

Perhaps you can imagine my excitement when I recently discovered Tessemae Ranch and Caesar dressing and dip.

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Did you know Ranch is America’s #1 dressing? It is, Tessemae makes their ranch dressing with only clean, simple, real ingredients. You might be wondering how it tastes, I can tell you it is the most delicious Ranch dressing I have ever tasted and the best part is, my kids think so too. My youngest even ate 2 bowls of salad at dinner! I also tried their Caesar dressing and dip and it got rave reviews and left clean salad plates all around our dinner table.

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With Tessemae’s Ranch dressings, we can savor all the incredible flavor guilt free. They make 25 different dressings, marinades and condiments using real, whole sourced food ingredients that are USDA organic! This is something I feel great about and want to let everyone I can know.

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You can stay in the loop with Tessame on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Tessemae is available at Walmart, I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

 


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A Building Kit That Teaches Kids About Engineering! #Giveaway #HolidayGiftGuide

My kids are very interested in building things, when I saw the Survive the Quake Engineering Kit, I knew they would love it. I was not wrong, this great kit puts their building skills to the ultimate test. They need to build structures that will survive an earthquake! quake

Building on the earthquake simulator that simulates quakes in 5 levels of intensity they have to think about what kind of structures will remain standing despite the shaking. The kit comes with 30 plastic building blocks in a variety of shapes and sizes. quake-1

I really like all the information that is in the activity book. It talks about engineers who design buildings to withstand earthquakes, the reason earthquakes occur and more.quake-book

I think this would be a great kit to have in a classroom as well. My kids really like this and they quickly learned the best way to build buildings that could withstand even a level 5 simulated earthquake.

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See our video below:

We like this set so much we are adding it to Mommy Ramblings’ 2016 Holiday Gift Guide. If you think this looks good, you can enter to win one of these kits below.

Giveaway:

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Lakeshore Learning is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a Survive the Quake Engineering Kit! Thank you to Lakeshore Learning for the review kit and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Survive the Quake Engineering Kit Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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New PJMasks Products Just In Time For Holiday Shopping!

As an Official PJ Masks Blogger, I am really excited to share some new products in the PJ Masks Line. My kids love PJ Masks and if yours do too, you will love these new products. See my video below for the reveal of these newest wonders.

 

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The PJ Masks Collectible Figure Set is available at Toys “R” Us and includes Catboy, Owlette, Gekko, Luna Girl and Romeo. All figures are in dynamic action poses so your kids will be able to act out creative scenes with the characters.

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The PJ Masks Night Sight Game by Wonder Forge is fun for kids and adults to play. I played this with my sons and what I liked best is that we are playing as a team to stop the mischievous Romeo from stealing the city’s toys.
My boys are very competitive so this team game of us against Romeo was a welcome change to the distress that happens when you have one winner. This game also has fun masks that let us see the hidden toy pictures. This is a fun memory team game that would make a great gift.

 

 

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For creative fun the PJ Masks Crayola Color and Sticker Book. There are so many great 2 sided coloring sheets as well as sheets of stickers. My kids love to color so these are perfect for times when they want to just sit down and spend some time creating their own masterpieces.

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Having a budding reader the Ready To Read Book, Time To Be A Hero lets kids join their favorite heroes as they work together to save the day in this Level 1 Ready-to-Read based on PJ Masks, the hit preschool series airing on Disney Junior!

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Comment and let me know what you think of the new arrivals.

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My Mom Confession-I Hate Halloween!

There, I said it! I am not one of those moms who obsesses for months over the perfect costume. I don’t look forward to going out trick or treating with my kids. It is not that I don’t enjoy being with my kids, it is just that there is so much I would rather be doing with them. In fact, it is their happiness that keeps me doing it. It is nothing religious or anything like that. As a kid it was fun, but it was not over the top fun. When we were done trick or treating, I was glad it was over and actually liked answering the door for the kids and handing out candy better.

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The weather in upstate New York is so unpredictable. I can remember so many Halloweens where my kids had to go trick or treating in winter coats. You could not even see their costumes. It would be raw and bitter cold and you would go to as many houses as you could before your ears froze off. Of course our neighbors are few and far between as we live in a rural area so that means driving and with little kids that means buckling them in and out of car seats every 2 minutes. Car seats with costumes is not fun, car seats with costumes and winter coats is excruciatingly not fun.frost

On the years when the weather is nice, it is tolerable once we arrive at a quaint neighborhood in town. There we can park and walk from house to house. We meet up with friends and it is enjoyable, for a while.

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Once the chill creeps in and the kids start comparing who got what and bickering over the fact, that one got a Snickers and one got a Kit Kat at the last house.  Soon after that I will make the announcement that we are going to the last 2 houses and calling it a night. Sometime they moan that they want to do more even though their buckets are overflowing with candy and sometimes they are just as glad to be done. As soon as we get to the car, you can see their exhaustion and they are happy to be headed home.

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The worst part is when Halloween falls on a weekday. Of course, this year, it is not only on a weekday but that weekday is Monday! It is getting dark earlier, the kids don’t get off the school bus until 4:10 pm. If we are lucky their teachers will not assign the usual mountain of homework. It will still be an immediate rush to get them dressed and in the car to head out to a Trunk or Treat in town and then to that little neighborhood and hit our neighbors who want so much to see the kids and always have special things for them.

After that it will be a rush home, fighting about who got what and why can’t they eat any more candy. Then it will be showers and bedtime. After that, I will be so grateful we survived and we don’t have to think about this for another year! Oh wait, where was dinner? Where does dinner fit in here? See what I mean? It is crazy! Does any parent really enjoy this?

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Let me not forget to mention, Halloween comes on the heels of a jam-packed weekend of a Halloween Parade we all marched in down to the youth center where there were games, cider, donuts and more. On Sunday, the last soccer game of the season was on despite the torrential rain and chilly weather. Everyone was drenched, freezing and wanting to get home and warm. We all had to wait until the awards and the party was finished.

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So there is my big confession, I don’t like Halloween! There would be no argument from me if it was cancelled. If it cannot be cancelled, I wish we could all agree to celebrate it on the last Saturday of October, so no one needs to juggle all this on a school night.

Oh, one more thing, I am not a huge fan of birthday parties either.

 


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These Are Songs To Uplift, Heal & Empower Children and Families

Growing up in New Jersey, Jennifer Paskow spent hours in her bedroom singing songs from Annie, The King and I, The Sound of Music, Oliver! and other Broadway shows, alternating with sitting at the piano with her clipboard, writing songs in the mode of Carole King.

With admiration for Raffi and his child-honoring philosophy, and inspired by the spirit of her favorite album from childhood, Free to Be … You and Me, Jennifer Paskow’s objective with Make A Circle was to make a recording that would feel like a hug for humanity. Produced by Don Boyette (Michael Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Gary Clark, Jr.) and mixed and mastered by Robert Carranza (Jack Johnson, Beck, The Mars Volta, Los Lobos, Ozomatli), the album achieves and far surpasses Jennifer’s goal.

 

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Make A Circle leads off by showcasing Jennifer Paskow’s rich, honeyed voice on Make A Circle, whose central message is to extend your love to others by learning to love yourself. The “love” theme continues with “The I Love You Song,” a peppy and very danceable straight up ode to affection. “On The Inside,” an anthem to self-esteem, encourages young people to look within to discover their intrinsic value. “Listen to Your Heart” sets its lyrics to a musical heartbeat and encourages a contemplative looking within for answers.

You can watch Jennifer sing Make A Circle HERE.

“I Am A Tree” connects us to one another and Mother Earth by presenting the metaphor of a tree connecting to the earth as an emblem of the oneness of all things, while “Celebrate This Day” urges physical movement to express the sheer joy of life. Continuing the celebration theme, Jennifer Paskow’s version of “This Little Light of Mine” is a manifestation of traditional hand-clapping gospel exuberance.

Celestial bodies receive their due in the wrap-up of this beautiful album. The soothing sounds of “Hello Moon” depict the wonder of being connected to nature and the universe, while “Long Time Sun” is an Irish blessing that Jennifer Paskow often sings at the end of the classes she teaches.

A trained music therapist and children’s music and yoga teacher, Jennifer Paskow has been an exponent of healing since she was a child. When not recording or performing publicly, Jennifer can be found teaching music at preschools and in a variety of “Parent and Me” music class settings, teaching yoga to kids living in shelters, and sharing her music with hospitalized children and their families as a volunteer with the acclaimed organization The Art of Elysium. Says Jennifer, ”Singing for kids in the hospital is a real highlight for me. I always walk away feeling joyfully inspired and rooted in my purpose. I’ve been doing community service since I was nine years old, and the ideas of giving back and supporting my community are deeply ingrained in my being. I believe in the interconnectedness of all life and that, as we give, we are receiving.”

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MAKE A CIRCLE TRACK LIST:
Make A Circle
The I Love You Song
On The Inside
I Am
Listen To Your Heart
I Am A Tree
Celebrate This Day
This Little Light Of Mine
Hello Moon
Long Time Sun
The I Love You Song (acoustic)

Make A Circle will be available on iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby.

 


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Finally a Pinto Horse That You Can Keep In Your House!

 

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What kids would not like their own Pinto Horse? How about one sized small enough you can keep it in the house and large enough to handle 150 lb riders? If you think it sounds good, how about no stall clean up duties are needed. You probably think it is not possible but it most certainly is. Magic Cabin’s 28″ Pinto Horse is all you need!

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This beautiful horse is as much fun to care for as it is to “ride.” When it is all decked out in its removable saddle and bridle, kids can use it for a chair, stool, or magical mount that carries them boldly into imagined adventures. The beautifully patterned brown and white Pinto features a handsomely detailed Western saddle. Take a look below at some photos I took of this great horse toy.

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This horse is a lot of fun and my kids love it! It also make a great prop for photos for parents and photographers. If you are looking for a very unique and sure to be loved Holiday Gift, this would fit the build perfectly and it is going to be added to our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide when it debuts next week. Horse is for ages 3 and up. Total measurements of the horse are 31″ x 9″ x 28″.

 

Check out all the other great items available at Magic Cabin. So what do you think, can you see what a great gift this would make?

 

Magic Cabin


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