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Scholastic KidQ App

With school in the air, it's hard not to think back to my own childhood. I still remember the school days I enjoyed: math, reading, gym class, lunch, music. It was so fun, and it's encouraging to see my boys feel the same way. One of the most magical places in an elementary school, though, is the library. Even as a little girl, I knew that a new adventure was just a few pages away. 

Scholastic has been a part of my life as a reader and continues to be one of the leading resources in literacy now that I am a mom. I love that their tagline is, "Open a World of Possible." How inspiring is that!  Today, as I work to support my boys in their love of reading and learning, Scholastic is putting out some of the best books and resources out there.

And, we are lucky that they are forward-thinking and up with technology. Did you know Scholastic offers apps for kids? THEY ARE AWESOME. These educational apps incorporate our favorite storybook characters in games that build reading skills. I recently checked out the Scholastic KidQ app.  And let me tell you: it was fun for both my boys AND for me:

The KidQ app for iPhone and Android facilitates conversation via fun Q&A's about the things that kids (and parents!) are the most curious about, like Why do we get goosebumps? and How do the bubbles get in soda? Each day, users receive a playful question that serves as a conversation starter along with the official answer. Families will have a blast as they compare their explanations to the facts!

 This app is a great way to interact with your kids and a safe way to let them use your devices.  I felt good about handing over the iPad to the boys because Instead of playing a video game, they were enjoying a learning experience. We used the app on our trip to the shore.  It was really fun to get my 6 year old's reaction to some of the questions.

I may be a boy mom, but I'm still a girl. And let me tell you, some of the facts we were learning blew my mind (and maybe made me react with a girly scream). For instance, we got the Question, "Why do mosquito bites itch?"  Are you ready for this? The Answer:  When they bite you, they inject their SALIVA into your skin!  EWWW!  The saliva prevents your blood from clotting so they can suck your blood.  EWWWW!  The saliva makes your skin itch.  EWWWW!

Ok - girly moment over.

I was even able to be a cool sports mom when I knew the answer to why they freeze hockey pucks before games!  (So they don't bounce!!)  But did you know what the 1st hockey pucks were made of?  FROZEN COW POOP. 

You'll learn this and so much more with the KidQ app.

This app is FREE to download.

For more on Scholastic, visit their website at http://www.scholastic.com.

________________
I am a contributor to Scholastic.  All opinions are my own.

The Memoirs of Winthrop Little - First-Ever Interactive Book-App

If your child has a library of books on their iPad, you are going to want to check out the latest interactive book App, The Memoirs of Winthrop Little. 

In his first interactive memoir, PJ and Winthrop have a major emergency! It’s Shay’s seventh birthday—a very important birthday—and they have to make sure everything is absolutely perfect.

PJ just can’t resist a simple temptation. When he gives into his bear instincts, they’re in big trouble. Download the app to find out what happens to PJ and Winthrop! 

Get the app to find out how the party went down. Also included our cookie and cake recipes to have your own Operation Birthday Cake with your children.

Recommended for children ages 6-10

Price: $2.99 on iTunes

Holiday Gift Guide: LeapFrog Creativity Camera

If your little one loves to take pictures, you want to check out the LeapFrog Camera!

LeapFrog Creativity Camera

Create, learn and stretch your imagination with photos! Designed for little ones with simplicity in mind, the LeapFrog Creativity Camera Protective Case & App combine the camera power of your iPhone or iPod touch with creativity-focused fun!

Your budding photographer can use 6 different modes to edit photos to make silly pictures, go on photo missions to create special albums and even play an exciting augmented reality game. This breakthrough app toy turns your device into the ultimate creativity camera.

Works with iPhone 4/4s/5 and iPod touch 4th & 5th generation (sold separately). Does not work with LeapPad or Leapster Explorer systems.

Appropriate for children ages 3 to 6 years.

Suggested Retail Price: $19.99

Get Ready for School Connecting Cards

Get Ready for School Connecting Cards

The kids are heading back to school this week! If you are like me, you worry that yor child will do well and think of all the ways that you can help them at home to help them succeed. Even at a young age, I worry that he will fall behind (a normal worry).

Get Ready for School Connecting cards will help! Each title in the series reinforces essential, age-appropriate skills, recognized by educators nationwide, through fun and engaging activities and worksheets. The Get Ready for School series builds confidence and skills so that kids feel prepared on that scary first day of school.

Each set contains 36 sturdy, double-sided, full-color cards in a bring and fun case built for little hands. The cards are designed with tongue-and-groove notches at either end so they can connect together in any combination a child can imagine.

Get Ready for School Connecting Cards are available for Pre-K, Kindergarten, First and Second Grade.

7 in 1 Rechargeable Solar Transformers

7 in 1 Rechargeable Solar Transformers

This is such a great way to get your little one intrested in Science! Not only does it open the door to learning about solar power and robotics, but it encourages creativity! Your child will have a blast choosing which vehicle to create. There are 5 choices:  Solar Car, Concept Car, Bulldozer, Dump Truck and Concept Racer!

Product Description: An innovative solar science kit that encourages children to exercise their sense of creativity and imagination. It features all snap together plastic parts (no screws, tools required), solar panel and accessories. It is incredibly easy to assemble the 7 different modules: 2 power charging stations and 5 different vehicles. The transforming rechargeable station has 2 output plugs, one for solar recharging and the other for battery recharging. Amazingly, the battery charging station can bring the selected unit to full power in about 5 seconds and the solar recharging station will fully recharge in approximately 120 seconds. The fun time - run time is approximately 50-80 seconds. Similar to OWI's other mini solar kits, if you have sun, you have power. 

Price: $26.95

Puppets on a Stick

Puppets on a Stick

Who doesn't love a puppet? The puppets from Educational Insights are fun, engaging, and educational. There are many uses for the puppets beyond dramatic play!

Product Description:

With silly faces, movable mouths, and endless possibilities, these three oversized puppets on sticks inspire dramatic play!

Ages 4-10 years.

Approx Retail:  $23.99

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids Game

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids Game

If you are looking for a fun and educational game for your child, this game is it! The 7 Habits of Happy Kids Game from Educational Insights teaches children great habits to live by. Add this to your next family game night!

Product Description:

A playful way to introduce, practice, and promote 7 kid-friendly principles of personal happiness. Share thoughtful, personal responses, and really listen to each other in this family-friendly game that includes game board, 7 character pieces, 7 token holders, 7 sets of tokens, 12 Wild Ernie tokens, and 1 pair of “Ear-Resistable” Jumper Rabbit ears

Ages 6-10 years.

Approx Retail:  $29.99

Nowhere to Go

Nowhere to Go

This is such a cool game from Educational Insights! It's easy to set up, get into, and fun for the entire family. One of the things I love is that it's transportable. Great for taking on vacation!

Product Description:

Trap your opponent in this step-by-step strategy game for two. Take turns blocking paths and crossing bridges until one player is completely cornered. Addictive fun— you’ll want to play again and again.

Ages 8-18 years.

Approx Retail:  $19.99

Tag: Get Ready For Kindergarten

Thank you to LeapFrog for sponsoring this review.  For more information about LeapFrog Tag Get Ready for Kindergarten, please visit their website #LeapFrogTag #spon

Tag: Get Ready For Kindergarten

KINDERGARTEN? REALLY?

Is that something I have to think about yet? lol.  Actually, I'm totally down with it. haha

Not because I wanna toss my kid to the curb for the bus-but because that means he's ready for the big boy school.

I can't believe he's 4.  And with one on the way?  I need all the educational materials I can get my hands on, ya know?

This mom thing is hard work sometimes.  

I mean, I love reading and teaching-but I'm NOT a teacher!  (I'm a theatre major for that matter....)

Get me to do crafts with my kid?  DONE.  But teach him MATH or READING?  Ugh...is there a class for me on that?

I guess I just don't value myself as much as I should. 

But I can honestly tell you-the Tag books & games we use, definitely give me the confidence to REALLY help Boston learn!

This latest one "Get Ready For Kindergarten" Is probably one of my favorites.  

It pretty much covers every single subject besides recess!  This little book is so full of content.  From reading, science, math, social studies and culture.  With all that-I can cover the recess part! lol

This book is a really great value too.  It's only about $14 and provides hours and hours of education and entertainment for kids.

We love to take our Tag System wherever we travel.  It's small, compact and travels well both in the car and on a plane!  (You can hook up earphones to the System to avoid annoying siblings and other travelers.)

BIG fan of Tag.  My favorite of all the Leapfrog Products.

What is your favorite book?

 

 

Growums Gardening Kits

Growums Gardening Kits

If you have a garden already or are just starting up, have your children join in on the fun with their very own Growums Garden. There's definitely something magical to a child when they can grow and eat their very own watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, tomatoes and more!

Each Growums kit contains the starter soil and seeds for one of 6 themed gardens–Herb, Taco, Stir Fry, Ratatouille, Pizza or Salad. And once the seeds are planted, the gardening project is just beginning. They can then move onto the Growums website, where children can register their garden online! The colorful cast of vegetable characters provide tips to help the garden grow, step by step instructions on how to care for the garden, videos, and weekly emails explaining more about garden growth and care.

Available for $9.99 per kit at participating retailers and independent gardening centers.

Spot It!

Spot It!

This card game is loads of fun! Challenging for both children and adults. Your babysitter will even love to sit down with your child and play Spot it! 

There is always one, and only ONE, matching symbol between any 2 cards in this party game. Spot it and you win! A sharp eye and a little bit of speed is all it takes to become a Spot it! master.

Speed is definitely the key here. Match them fast! This game is great for perception and matching skills. Typical game play is 10-20 minutes with four different variations: The Tower, The Well, Poison Gift, and Hot Potatoes. 

Learn how to play The Well below with Spot it!

Retails for about $14.99

For ages 6+ 

Buy it @ Toysrus.com.

Poptropica 30-Inch Deluxe Inflatable Blimp

Poptropica 30-Inch Deluxe Inflatable Blimp

Believe it or not, this thing is an actual toy blimp in a box. Now, it actually doesn't go up, so manual, fun "labor" is involved. But kids will have loads of fun physically playing with the blimp rather than just the online version (www.poptropica.com). Now don't get me wrong, the website is fantastic and full of engaging quests, stories and games for your child. Check both out why don't ya!

Travel to the edges of Poptropica and beyond with your own inflatable, 30-inch Poptropica blimp. Players who get the Poptropica blimp will unlock an exclusive in-game adventure! 

For ages 6+ and retails for $29.99. 

Take the Poptropica quest! 

Dinosaurs A to Z

Dinosaurs A to Z

This book brings Dinosaurs to life!

Written by Andrea Posner-Sanchez and illustrated by Terry Izumi, Meet 26 dinosaurs—one for each letter of the alphabet—in this Dinosaur Train™ alphabet book.  Buddy, Mr. Conductor, and the other Dinosaur Train™ characters from the hit PBS Kids® animated series introduce dinos from Apatosaurus to Zigongosaurus! Young paleontologists-in-training will love learning cool facts about 26 amazing dinosaurs. This awesome non-fiction book with a sturdy padded cover makes a great gift! 

Ages 3-5; SRP $11.99; 30 pages.

Purchase it now online at Barnes & Noble

 

Pizza Mania™ Early Math Game

Pizza Mania™ Early Math Game

Ciao! Suddenly I wish I was in Italy. Or we can just chat about Learning Resources Pizza Mania.

I love this game. It is uber simple to understand and each game goes quickly, about a minute. There are two levels of play for an added challenge so younger, and older can play. For the younger players it is great for listening, as they have to add and subtract the toppings. The second level is called Pizza Panic, where there is more of a challenge as the speed is increased. More than one player can win so it isn't a competition and keeps children focused on the game and not a race.

It comes with four pizzas, a total of 48 toppings (pepperoni, mushrooms, olives and peppers), and a talking chef with volume control (he needs 3 AA batteries not included).

For ages 4+ and retails for about $24.99. Start the Pizza Mania, but it now.

Super Sorting Pie

Super Sorting Pie

More food, more colors, more fun! Learning Resources Super Sorting Pie is now famous for winning "The Learning Magazine’s 2012 Teacher’s Choice for the Classroom award”;  “Dr. Toy, Best Vacation Product” and the “Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold & SNAP Awards,” this product is hot out of the oven!

Use this wonderful set in your playroom, homeschool room, or even the classroom. It teaches early numbering skills, sorting skills by colors and/or fruit shapes. Visual clues that slip under the bottom of the pan assist your child. It is easy to keep things organized and easily packed away with a pie crust top that conveniently becomes a bowl to also hold counters.

Included is 60 counters (five different colors of apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, grapefruits, apricots and plums), durable plastic pie, removable divider, 3 double-sided sorting cards, 2 jumbo tweezers and Activity Guide.

For ages 3+ | Grades preK+

Priced around $27.99. Get it at Learningresources.com or any other available retailer.

Thinking about this is making my mouth water, where's the apple pie?

Smart Snacks® Peek-a-Boo Color Muffins

Smart Snacks® Peek-a-Boo Color Muffins

Who's hungry? You probably will be after hearing about Learning Resources Peek-a-Boo Color Muffins. 

These tempting baked goods provide dozens of opportunities for creative and active learning! Play with five realistic muffins to help children learn their colors as they match each muffin cup with their prospective fruit filling. The muffin tops pop on and off to help strengthen those little fingers. A rotating stand keeps things organized, stored and ready for the next adventure. Includes 5 durable plastic 2-piece muffins, and 5 fruit fillings.


For ages 2+ and costs around $17.99. Buy it now.

Learning Resources Time Tracker mini

Learning Resources Time Tracker mini

This is the coolest visual timer I've ever seen.  I picture this as the perfect homework helper for when your child has timed math quizes, standardized testing, and a general way to help them manage time. Wait a minute, don't we all need something like this?

Also perfect for teachers! Just set it and go! You and your students will reach for this super simple timer to support a variety of classroom activities.

It offers unique visual and auditory indicators, including a warning alarm.  Operates easily with just 2 dials: total alarm time and warning time.  Provides flexibility with total alarm time range of 5 minutes to 2 hours, in 5-minute increments.  Counts down until the colored light glows and the alarm sounds.  Supports visual-only timing when you adjust volume or turn off the sound completely.  Requires 3 AAA batteries.

For ages 3 to 18 and retails for or around $19.99. Buy it now on the Learning Resources website.

P.s. It was voted as Learning Resources Top Ten 2011 Staff Picks!

Learning Resources Pretend & Play Pro Chef Set

Learning Resources Pretend & Play Pro Chef Set

You may have a little chef on your hands with this chef-inspired set from Learning Resources.  It's practically like the real thing!  I almost wanted to know where to get my own chef set, wink wink.

Pretend and Play Pro Chef Set is the perfect gift for kids.  This is a best value product as your kid will get lots of gadgets to play with, lots of ideas to share and lots of learning too!  I really recommend this product to moms wanting to ensure that their kids just don’t play, but they learn and play!  The entire set includes deluxe stock pot, saucepan, spatula, spoons, 2 lids, and oven mitt and even play foods!  Kids can also take note on their menu and ingredients with the 'write and wipe activity guide.'

For ages 3+ and retails for about $24.99. I want it!

Math Slam

Math Slam

Read the question, jam to the beat, scan the possible answers, and slam the one that’s correct Better move quickly, though, each game of 10 questions is timed – the faster you get through the questions, the better your score! Incorrect responses are recycled until they are correctly answered. Three levels, flashing lights, and fun sound effects keep players interested. Ages 6+ (works on number order, addition, subtraction, algebraic addition, triple number addition and subtraction)  Retail:  $30

REVIEW:

Ok-so this thing is SERIOUSLY cool.  I mean, I CAN USE IT!!!  Trust me when I tell you my math stinks.