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learning resources

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

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

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 or any other available retailer.

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

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!

Time Tracker Mini

Learning Resources Time Tracker Mini

One of the things we're working on in our house is to wash our hands for long enough to get rid of the germs!
Boston is totally not into it.  He fights with me to wash his hands...sigh...oh boys.  Literally.
This product from Learning Resources is awesome for hand washing.  It's a great timer that works for anything you do!  
The timer ranks from 5 minutes to 2 hours - in 5 minute increments.
It's great for classrooms too-and would likely make a great teacher's present!
Ages 3-18
Batteries required
Retail $20

Big View Bug Jar

Big View Bug Jar - Learning Resources

Adorable jars feature ladybug wings that open to invite little learners to investigate insects.


  • Big View Bug Jars
  • Durable plastic
  • Keeps living critters (and other matter) secure with a screw-on cap and air vents for live-critter observation
  • Makes a great store display or classroom set
  • Engages even those children who shy away from bugs, thanks to cute (and secure) design
  • Supports scientific observations with a 3.5x magnifying lens, hidden under the bug's wings
  • Grades PreK+
  • Ages: 3 +