8 Funtastic Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers

By Rebecca / August 14, 2017

The critically important concept of fine motor skills development for toddlers and preschoolers cannot be stressed enough. Efficient fine motor skills enhance a child’s ability to succeed in future academic settings with confidence, dexterity, and poise in addition to succeeding in performing the skills found in everyday life.

When children experience an inability to perform simple everyday tasks, their self-esteem can be immensely compromised, resulting in poor academic performance and limitations in social interaction with their peers.

Involving the use of the smaller hand muscles and hand-eye co-ordination, motor development is commonly found in basic activities, such as using pencils, opening boxes and lunch pails, and playing with Legos. For a child to be efficient in fine motor skills, they must be readily exposed to the daily opportunities to practice and perfect their skills, in order to influence the speed, agility, and outcome of the tasks performed.

Mastering fine motor activity skills are a part of the basic foundational framework that enables children to transition into becoming more independent when doing things like tying their shoes and feeding themselves. An inability to perform basic tasks often hinders children from necessary maturation levels needed to succeed in future grades.

fine motor activity skills image

Read on below for more valuable information on fine motor skills.

Many parents find themselves confused about what exactly fine motor skills are and how to successfully train their children into using them. At its most basic level, the definition of fine motor skills for toddlers and preschoolers is the daily and repetitive use of hands that serve to efficiently and quickly master the skills required for performing a wide variety of independent work in a successful fashion.

Examples of children using fine motor skills are:

  • Tying shoelaces, doing/undoing straps/buttons/zippers/snaps/belts
  • Hygiene - brushing teeth and hair, going potty
  • Eating and using utensils like a fork and spoon and opening and closing food containers
  • Using pencils to scribble, draw, write, doodle, and color
  • Using play scissors to cut and create shapes
  • Use of technology such as a computer mouse and stylus
  • Construction skills with blocks, Legos, and puzzles

The aforementioned fine motor skills are important may seem basic to many parents but are critically important in getting a child ready to grasp the concept of independence. Fine motor skills are essentially about exposure; exposure to basic life situations such as eating, bathing, communicating, and playing. When children are continuously exposed to these basic life situations, their ability to use their hands and visual senses become stronger, and as a result, their level of dexterity and confidence grows as they become better acclimated to handle new skills and situations found in later grade levels.

Examples of identifying a child struggling with fine motor skills:​

  • Lack of interest in using a pencil or scissors to cut shapes or draw and doodles
  • Avoiding opportunities to use fingers in play activities
  • Asking peers to draw, write, cut, or create for them
  • Ongoing preference for physical activity as opposed to learning activities or sit-down activities
  • Preference for non-interactive, passive activities like movie-watching over opportunities to use fine motor skills
  • Waiting on parents to tie shoelaces, help them get dressed, and fix other basic problems
  • Refusing to address personal challenges and asking parents instead of addressing it themselves
  • Expecting parents to help them brush teeth and go to the bathroom without trying to do so themselves
  • Refusing to use basic technology like a stylus or mouse

The situations listed above are indicators to parents and teachers that a child may be struggling with the implementation of fine motor skills. However, it is not a definitive list; other situations may present where a child could be struggling with fine motor skills even though they do most of the activities above. Use the above information as a guideline to survey your child and make estimations about their fine motor skills to see if they could use some improvement. By providing children with ample play opportunities, coupled with patience and ongoing parent interaction, a child’s fine motor skills can easily become perfected in a short amount of time.

Perfecting and mastering fine motor skills are paramount in getting a child ready to grasp the concept of independence. Fine motor skills are essentially about exposure; exposure to basic life situations such as eating, bathing, communicating, and playing. When children are continuously exposed to these basic life situations, their ability to use their hands and visual senses become stronger, and, as a result, their level of dexterity and confidence grows as they become better acclimated to handle new skills and situations found in later grade levels.​

Fine motor skills for toddlers:

  • Tummy time – A quintessential favorite activity for toddlers and parents, tummy time offers babies and toddlers their first experiences with dexterity and movement. Toddlers are able to spend time pushing up, swiping at objects in the air (such as nursery carousels and hanging toys), and moving from side to side as they roll and rollick in their toddler glee
  • Playing with smaller items – Providing babies and toddlers with simple stacking blocks, large beads, and single-piece puzzles will give them opportunities at safe, unencumbered play as they start self-mastering their fine motor skills from a very young age
  • Feeding with fingers – Toddlers will pick up food with their fingers in a simple grasp that is similar to holding a crayon or other coloring device. As such, letting your toddler finger feed as much as possible will guarantee future ease for your child in using writing utensils and more
  • Playing with Play Dough – Play Dough is a classic favorite among parents and children. Its mushy consistency and bright colors afford children endless delight while also helping them safely build hand and finger strength via resistance
  • Finger painting – Finger painting gives toddlers a creative outlet and allows them to use their fingers to develop fine motor skills in fun ways
  • Simple/One-piece Puzzles – Simple puzzles that feature one piece are safe ways to let children learn about object manipulation as they turn and flip the large puzzle pieces

Fine motor skill development differs vastly between children’s ages. What may be entirely appropriate for an eight-month-old might prove to be boring, irritating, and cumbersome to a two-year-old. For example, an eight-month-old can develop their fine motor skills by rocking about during tummy time but a two-year-old will desire a more hands-on and independent experience via drawing, playing with blocks, or cutting shapes with scissors.

While the development of fine motor skills remains the same in terms of mastering the use of the hands and fingers, the activities that school-aged children will engage in to achieve this mastery will be very different.

Read on below to learn more about some of the many activities preschool children will engage in to master their fine motor skills.

small hand muscles image

Preschoolers will perform tasks that require the small hand muscles to work in conjunction to result in efficient performance of movement. Tasks and areas of play that train the small hand muscles in the development of fine motor skills include the following:​

  • Writing and drawing – Provide a child with pencils in a variety of colors to let them use their imagination to draw, doodle, and scribble while they build their coordination and hand strength
  • Buttoning, tying, lacing – Practice with buttons, zippers, fasteners, snaps, and other things by opening and closing them to help build understanding, strength, and finger and hand dexterity
  • Cutting – With child-safe scissors, your child can safely cut out shapes for a fun way to build scissor-using comprehension and hand coordination
  • Beading – Large beads provide children opportunities to thread and make beautiful strands in their first experiences using creative expression
  • Using Legos – Legos will provide your child hours of fun and give them ample opportunities to build, construct, and survey as they use all sorts of muscle and hand movements to create their Lego projects
  • Coloring – With an array of colorful and vivid crayons, your child can express their inner artist and creative tendencies while using a variety of strengthening hand movements

Additional fine motor activities for toddlers and preschoolers:

  • Use empty water bottles and a handful of pom-poms and let your children play and push the pom-poms into the water bottle opening
  • Use empty bottles and fuzzy wire cleaners to let your children wrap the fuzzy cleaner around the bottle and poke at it
  • Use an empty box (cardboard) with holes poked into it for toddlers and preschoolers to poke and insert pom-poms and pipe cleaners into
  • Use ice cube trays and large colorful beads or pom-poms to encourage toddlers and preschoolers to sort, arrange, and organize the colors by the ice cube tray squares
  • Use contact paper to let small children stick things to it and create their own great works of art
  • Construct simple sensory bags that will provide young children with hours of exploratory fun
  • Let kids color match by providing them matching sets of colored beads and other play items
  • Give young children tissue paper that they can crumple, twist, and manipulate to their heart’s content

For those parents who are concerned about their child’s adeptness at learning fine motor skills, below are some simple activities that can be used in repetition to ensure your child learns the mastery of basic movements.

Basic activities for improving fine motor skills in the preschool years:

  • Clapping hands
  • Pasting objects on to paper
  • Manipulating a simple zipper
  • Manipulating a simple button
  • Building and constructing with ten or fewer blocks
  • Simple puzzles
  • Using pencils and crayons to facilitate color, drawing, and self-expression
  • Rolling balls of dough and “cutting” with hands
  • Playing with clothes pins by hanging pictures or pages onto a simple clothesline

To conclude, fine motor skills are vastly important skills that must be learned by children from an early age. The development of fine motor skills involves continuous, repetitive exposure to basic elements and components of a child’s life; from crayons and pencils for drawing, toys and blocks for playing, and Legos and beads for constructing these things serve to provide children with the opportunities of fine motor skill self-mastery.

Mastering fine motor skills enable children to succeed in their present-time grade but also prepare them for the challenges and new concepts that await them in future grade levels. For those children who are keenly adept at drawing, writing, communicating, building, cutting, and fashioning, the coming challenges of the following school year will come easy.

In contrast, a student who has not mastered fine motor skills will essentially be ill-prepared for many challenges. As their peers readily engage in classroom activities, these children lacking motor skills may experience low-self-esteem, a sense of panic and fear, or a feeling like they don’t belong.

It has become abundantly clear in early childhood education that the development of fine motor skills is integral to the success of all students. Mastery of these skills not only promotes a sense of autonomy and independence but also can result in healthy levels of self-esteem or conversely, degrading levels of self-esteem that potentially could last throughout a child’s formative years.

As such, the development of fine motor skills is of the utmost importance in any child’s education. Through the development of the fine motor skills, children are able to successfully complete important tasks such as bathing, feeding themselves, writing, communicating, drawing, playing, dressing, and more.

As these abilities continue to develop through time, it is the repetitive exposure to education materials, toys, foods, visual stimuli and other objects that keep these skills sharpened and efficient. With the strength and dexterity that comes from motor skill mastery comes from a sense of confidence that cannot be found elsewhere. The abilities of a child not only define their present-time experience but can serve as a blueprint for the rest of their lives. As such, it is of critical importance that educators and parents spend as much time as possible on the development and reinforcement of these all-important skills.​

Graphing Games: 5 Fun Data Handling Games for Kids

By Rebecca / August 10, 2017

At their most basic definition, graphs are visual representations of important data. Included within the major discipline of math known as data analysis and probability, graphing can be taught to children as a basic and linear method of organizing specific information in a clear, easy-to-understand, and interpretable way.

Graphs are an integral part of everyday life and are seen in use by businesses, government, newspapers, and magazines all across the globe. The widespread use of graphs is due to a graph’s ability to convey critically important information in a highly visual fashion that makes it easy to understand, translate, and extrapolate the importance and meaning from the data and various entries.

Graphs aren’t limited to use by adults, corporations, and other big entities. Graphs are also a fundamentally important part of early childhood education and are an essential component in the teaching and instruction of mathematics concepts. Through graphs, teachers are able to introduce broad or complicated mathematical concepts in an easy-to-grasp way for children. Through the use of color and decorative shapes, graphs can be fashioned to not only express important numerical information but also be used to sharpen focus for students and to create stimulating visuals that will help to keep them on track and paying attention to the board.

By using interesting worksheets, young children can enjoy constructing their own graphs will small sets of data points that they can count and compare as they work in a hands-on fashion in constructing the graph, interpreting the numbers, and making judgment calls about where to place numbers on the graph. This kind of all-in-one activity serves to reinforce mathematical learning while also promoting the strengthening of fine motor skills, and critical thinking, along with cognitive skills.

The importance of using graphs in early childhood education cannot be stressed enough. The use of graphs provides young children with important and pertinent education about mathematics while also reinforcing skills that be extremely helpful toward their academic success in later grades.

To learn more great information on awesome graphing games to incorporate into your child’s academic repertoire, read on below!​

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​Tips for parents and educators using graphing games and data handling for kids

  • Prior to engaging students with the topic of graphs (or charts), make sure that you set the stage appropriately and have any useful props, worksheets, tools, or toys nearby. A great example of using a prop can be found in teachers who employ “talking” puppets to maximize interest in the subject and command attention to what’s being taught in an effortless and efficient way.
  • Anticipate any questions you think children might ask you in regards to the material you will be presenting
  • Give students an opportunity to explore the “stage” or materials. As they poke, prod, and examine the various components associated with the upcoming lesson, their interest will be sustained as they have had the opportunity to incorporate senses on a multidimensional level
  • After teaching students the graphing and charting lesson, review the information with the entire class and ask specific questions of students in the form of “which ____ did the class like the best?” or “which _____ got the most votes?” and “which _____ did the class like the least? These specific questions can be easily answered by looking at the graph and having a basic knowledge of its visual representation of information
  • Ensure you follow up with students/children and question them about the graph. Ask them simple questions such as what they liked or disliked and what their favorite part was. Following up with students will serve to reinforce the lesson just taught and have it remain fresh in a student’s head to discuss later at home with parents.
  • Provide homework or take home sheets that revolve around that day’s graphing lesson so that parents can see the classwork and become involved with what their child is doing academically

Simple DIY games to introduce your child to graphing concepts

Before delving into classic graphing activities for children, trying out a quick and easy DIY activity based on viewing information will provide interest and stimulation to your child to get further invested in the topic of mathematics and charting the different data they will come across in their lives.

Make sure you have simple materials like large-cut poster board, tape, and colored construction paper “rectangles”

Easy process:

  • Find a locale that is perfect for car-watching. There may be a bit of traffic but you want to make sure it’s not too congested. Ensure that area is safe for sightseeing and at an appropriate time of day. With your child, sit on a bench or other comfortable sitting area.
  • Using a timer or your watch, sit quietly with your child and watch cars pass by for a total of 10 minutes.
  • Take turns with your child graphing the various colors of the different cars you witnessed coming. Do so by taping a construction paper “rectangle” on the bar graph so that the graph gets taller with the addition of each passing car in that same color
  • After ten minutes remain seated with your child and ask them some of the following questions: Which color car did we see the most? How can you be sure? Which color car did we see the least of? How many red, black, green… cars did we see? Did we see more white cars or black cars?

As your child answers these questions effortlessly based on their experiences of watching cars in conjunction with looking at the easy-to-view and easy-to-understand information on the bar graph, their mathematical reasoning is strengthened and their fine motor skills reinforced further with their new foray into graph making.

Graphing activities and data handling games for kids​

Graphing activities and data handling games are extremely prevalent in modern day education. Classrooms all across the world incorporate the learning of numerical data and its translation into charts and graphs from a very young age. Doing so ensures mathematically-savvy children who are well-prepared for the academic hurdles and challenges that face them in upcoming grade levels. Parents looking to bolster their child’s academic success are able to do so in significant ways by implementing repetitive learning of math and its most important concepts for children, like the learning of graphs and charts.

For preschool - and kindergarten-aged children, graphing activities and data handling games are mostly limited to collecting data and organizing it in a sensible and meaningful manner. Data and other relevant information can be garnered from simple household staples like cereal boxes, fruit, beads, and more, as children tally up numbers for assessment and then subsequently input them into graphs.

Though this process might seem overly basic, the reality is that preschoolers and kindergarteners are not only practicing graphing skills through playing graphing games but they are also delving into the world of data analysis, specifically statistics.

Many parents are able to immediately recognize the importance of simple bar charting activities once the link to complicated mathematics concepts like statistics is brought into the equation. When a parent shows a lack of enthusiasms for participating in data graphing games with their children, teacher’s must strong convey how critically important the matter is, and how it is a mathematical subject that must be practiced at home and at school in order to master the information and succeed at optimal levels in future grades.

Check out these graphing activities that can be used at or at home!​

Slightly more sophisticated than the super easy DIY graphing activities, these graphing games will have your child reading data like an expert in no time!

Tally bar-charts

Make a tally-style bar chart and ask children what their favorite cereal is. Have your child ask all of his friends and peers and to assess his data to put on his tally.​

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Use this basic tally to collect information on everything else you can think of from animals, colors, foods, and more. Using this data graphing game enables children to:

  • Collect information
  • Engage in surveying
  • Sorting and organizing
  • Reading graphs
  • Preparing graphs and tallies
  • Comparing results with peers

To chart many of the basic information that your child or student compiles, you are not limited to the use of a simply tally bar-chart. There is a wide array of graphs you can use to input your data including, but not limited to the following: Graphing Mat, Pocket Charts, and more sophisticated charts with extensive options.

In-school Data Handling Models and Games for Kids

A step up from the basic and simple games described earlier in this article, these data handling games encompass many models including bar charts, pie charts, pictograms, and tally charts.

Through the use of simple numerical values and easy-to-understand illustrations that are brightly colored, engaging, and promote interest, these data handling games are immensely important tools in getting children to understand the concepts of data analysis and to find meaning in the mathematical concepts they are studying.

Upon becoming proficient at data handling, adept children will assess their own data, and, subsequently, create their own graphs with the appropriate information.

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Venn Chart or Venn Diagram – a wonderfully easy-to-use resource where children can practice the sorting of multiples and more.

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Carrol Chart or Carrol Diagram – Another fun and easy-to-use diagram for children to play around with as they input their information and group things together in yes/no categories.

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Grapher is a popular kid’s game that enables students to create and design their own block graphs with specific information. Users are able to personalize their graphs by changing titles, scale, and colors.​

bar chart image

Bar Chart: The Game is an engrossing game for students based on the use of bar charts and graphs. Different playing levels are available after students have mastered the previous level. The game offers hours of educational fun and interactive activity, as children perfect their data collection understanding and fine-tune their motor skills.

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Sort the Shapes is a popular in-class game that centers on students sorting and organizing shapes within a stationary Carroll diagram. As students quickly match shapes, the game takes on an almost Tetris-like feel and provides ample amounts of educational entertainment.

At-A-Glance Benefits of Teaching Graphing Activities to Students

  • Graphs transform dull and droll numbers into exciting and easy-to-understand concepts
  • Graphs and data graphing games provide incomparable opportunities to seamlessly blend together math, reading, literacy, and social skills to best-prepare children for future grades
  • Reading and using graphs helps to develop fine motor skills and cognitive skills
  • Graphing games help children to build knowledge, skill, and confidence
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In classrooms of yesteryear, technology was not a luxury that was enjoyed by within educational settings anywhere. In the last two decades, technology has exploded across the globe and today, nearly every man, woman, family, and child have been exposed to all the latest technology has to offer, like cell phones, laptop computers, and myriad other handheld devices.

Technology has successfully made its way into mainstream households and is found to be as commonplace as other basic home elements such as refrigerator, sink, and living room space. With our population’s increasing use of technology and the Internet, computers have made their way into America’s classrooms and have transformed the way children are taught, the way they learn, and how they ultimately perceive the world around them.

Technology enables children to play educational video games that clearly and decisively express and impart meaning to complicated subjects that are not easily explained by a teacher’s lesson or lecture. Through the use of engaging characters, bright colors, and riveting dialogue, computer graphing games serve to teach children all manners of subjects in a quick and easy-to-understand fashion.

The continuous use of technology is fundamentally important to education. Not only are children learning important mathematical concepts such as data handling through computers but they are also developing their fine motor skills, expanding their environments, and ultimately building the knowledge, skills, and high level of confidence to succeed in future grades and life.​

The 6 Best Educational Blocks for Toddlers & Preschoolers

By Rebecca / August 10, 2017

Toddler building blocks are some of our best early childhood memories and are among the most beneficial gifts to give to children aged 18 months up to 3 years and provide countless hours of fun, engrossing entertainment while also providing opportunities to strengthen fine motor skills. When children master their foundational fine motor skills, they are able to further develop their cognitive thinking ability through simple problem-solving and the use of spatial intelligence while also establishing the beginning formations of their identity and self-expression.

Read on below to see some of the bestselling top picks for toddler building block products for ‘block play’ available today to make learning fun.

Our Picks: The Top Toddler Building Blocks​

1. 30 count colored and lettered Alphabet Blocks by Skoolzy

From Skoolzy, these Alphabet blocks come in an accessible size measuring one inch around and feature brightly labeled letters and borders that are pleasing to toddler’s eyes. The set comes complete with 30 imprinted blocks and is an excellent tool to have in your play arsenal to teach toddlers basic language skills and to also develop the use of their fine motor skills.

skoolzy alphabet blocks image

An included orange colored Skoolzy traveling backpack lets parents travel with the building block set easily and effortlessly for on-the-go educational opportunities wherever the family might be at.

Made from safe, non-toxic materials, this set from Skoozy is a highly recommended product that will offer your child vast opportunities for educational entertainment and plenty of time to improve dexterity and hand-eye coordination.​

Product Dimensions

Product Weight

Ages

1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches

13.6 ounces

Two to Five

Pros:

  • Washable and reusable backpack included
  • Improves dexterity, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination
  • Enables children to learn the alphabet while having fun
  • Additional activity guide online for download

Cons:

  • Missing or lost blocks are not readily available for purchase

2. Mega Bloks Deluxe Building Bag

Titled as the First Builders Big Building Bag, this set is the mega Lego set we have always dreamed of having since childhood.

mega bloks deluxe building bag image

With 150 blocks coming in a vast array of bright colors, this mega block set offers ample opportunities for entertainment, visual stimulation, the building of fine motor skills, and strengthening dexterity and hand and eye coordination.

Included are 80 larger sized building blocks that children can use to attach smaller blocks on as they construct their first child-sized buildings. Fabricated BPA-free and from top quality 100% safe commercial-grade plastic, the Mega Blok set from Lego will have your child enthralled while also providing them the utmost in safety.​

Product Dimensions

Product Weight

Ages

18 x 8 x 11.5 inches

0.6 ounces

One to Five

Pros:

  • 150 blocks included in a variety of sizes and in visually stimulating bright colors
  • Perfectly sized blocks for children’s small hands
  • Included reusable storage bag for easy and efficient cleanup and transportation

Cons:

  • Lower quality block construction than other competing sets on the market

3. Magnetic Wooden Block Set

This premium block set from Tegu features 42 elegantly constructed blocks with integrated 100% safe magnetic elements and are made to cultivate intellectual curiosity and inspire awe and wonder.

magnetic wooden block set image

The addition of the magnetic elements takes the activity of playing with blocks to previously unseen levels. With magnets, children can easily stack, create, and learn how to make massive size buildings that won’t teeter or totter in the way that regular constructions made from wood blocks will.

Without any need to attach or lock blocks together, kids are able to seamlessly compose the buildings of their dreams with an array of colors including sunset, various tints, and jungle.​

Product Dimensions

Product Weight

Ages

14.2 x 10.8 x 3.2 inches

4.4 pounds

One to Five

Pros:

  • Wooden construction is free from plastic parts
  • Incorporates unique colors and shapes
  • Distinguished by internal magnets that let children build and create in unique ways
  • No lead materials, non-toxic, all finishes are water-based lead, no plastic, non-toxic, water-based lacquer finish, no small parts

Cons:

  • Higher price point may make this item inaccessible for some buyers

4. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby's First Blocks

A classic favorite among households with young children, the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s first blocks features ten distinctive blocks in readily identifiable simple shapes like star, circle, and square that are vibrantly hued and made to be dropped within matching cutout shapes.

fisher price brilliant baby blocks image

These blocks are entertaining for children and will help to reinforce their fine motor skills along with their dexterity and hand and eye coordination. While children attempt to drop blocks into their associated slots, a wide-open and expansive bottom allows them to easily access the dropped blocks for more attempts at play.

This adorable product comes with a built-in handle that will allow your little one to tote their blocks around the house on their own to set down when they are ready for play.

With its very affordable pricing and internationally recognized Fisher Price name, the Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks should definitely be a routine part of your child’s play sessions.​

Product Dimensions

Product Weight

Ages

8.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches

15.5 ounces

Six months to eight years

Pros:

  • Children can match and drop familiar shapes into their respective slots in order to improve fine motor skills and coordination
  • Built-in handle enables children to tote around their own blocks
  • Internationally recognized brand name for children’s toys
  • Vibrantly hued, easy to grasp blocks stimulate the senses in multiple ways

Cons:

  • Small number of blocks in this set in comparison to other sets featuring dozens of blocks, shapes, and sizes

5. Earlyears Squeak 'n’ Stack Blocks Baby Toy

This innovative product from Earlyears features embossing on the sides of the blocks that will entice and engross young children and help to build their sensory perception skills along with their fine motor skills.

earlyears squeak n stack blocks baby toy image

Embossed shapes, characters, and various animals let children run their fingers over the detailing to add another dimension and depth to previously playing with plain wooden blocks.

Each side of the block comes embossed with a different theme to provide kids with endless entertainment as they engross themselves in learning and using different senses.

The Squeak and Stack blocks differ from traditional blocks in that there are no hard edges or angles. Instead, they are squishy and soft to the touch and allow children to grab them easily without posing any harm to themselves or their peers.

Constructed from an easy-to-clean vinyl material and coming with a convenient transportation bag, this product is an innovative and fun way to provide hours of affordable fun for your younger children.​

Product Dimensions

Product Weight

Ages

9 x 2 x 6.5 inches

11.2 ounces

Six months to two years

Pros:

  • A wide array of fun colors, engaging textures, and entertaining characters and animals
  • Provides multi-sensory play opportunities
  • Six sides of fun come on all blocks
  • Blocks are made from soft and squishy material that is easy for young children to grab and manipulate
  • Fun squeaking sounds
  • Effortless clean up requires just a wipe of the vinyl material
  • Included zippered travel case

Cons:

  • Soft and squishy construction is not conducive to creating taller buildings

6. Edushape Corrugated Blocks

This building block set from Edushape takes the concept of playing with blocks and turns it on its head! With large oversized, corrugated blocks with extra sturdy inner cardboard construction, this set provides children with exciting opportunities to construct buildings at sizes much larger than they experienced with traditional small wooden blocks.

Perfect for inspiring young architects at heart, this set from Edushape offers vast amounts of entertainment while ensuring that children develop coordination and motor skills.

Easy to clean, this set requires a simple wipe with a washcloth. Each block can support up to 100 lb and can safely provide your child with hours of autonomous fun.​

Product Dimensions

Product Weight

Ages

23 x 28 x 3.5 inches

10 pounds

18 months to 5 years

Pros:

  • A unique set comprised of extra-large and robust blocks that will let young children use their inspiration and self-expression in new ways
  • Colorful and vibrant hued blocks with easy to grasp corrugated edges
  • Fosters teamwork and interaction with other children
  • Softer surfaces make these blocks easy to handle and manipulate for building endeavors
  • Effortless clean up requires just a wipe with a clean cloth

Cons:

  • Higher price point may prove to be unaffordable for some families

Building block toys are a critically important and essential tool in a child’s development for a number of reasons. Of primary importance is the way that building blocks cultivate and strengthen fine motor and gross motor skills, spatial recognition, and hand and eye coordination. However, building block toys also serve to inspire, mesmerize, enthuse, and motivate children. Through the use of colorful imagery, vibrant hues, engrossing characters, kids are exposed to art and color in books and toys such as building blocks and are able to build upon their own preferences and modes of self-expression.

Developing a child’s self-expression is ultimately mostly about exposure to the many activities and child-friendly concepts that exist in the world. From books to toys, to age-appropriate technology, when children are immersed in new experiences, they can begin to learn what they like and dislike, and ultimately what they love and find a passion for.

Playing with building blocks is an essential part of growing a child’s self-expression, which many consider being as vitally important as the building of fine motor skills. Both self-expression and motor skills must be recognized as critically important and children must be afforded countless opportunities to develop both concepts as they make their individual transitions into kindergarten and later grades.

By providing children with building block play time, we enable them to become explorers and discoverers in their own right. As children make new discoveries about the world around them, they become increasingly more aware of meaning and begin to assign importance to things as they go about establishing their individual identity.

Often, younger children playing with blocks will be constrained by communicating because they have not yet learned to speak. Allowing these children to play with blocks gives them the chance to express themselves as they simultaneously learn and build the valuable motor skills they will need in future grade levels. As a consequence, it is vastly important that parents, teachers, and educators provide toddlers and young children a wide array of instruments, tools, and modes of play so that exploration and discovery can be fostered at all times of a child’s life, even when they lack the ability to speak.

As the importance of basic building blocks has become more readily apparent in recent years, toy manufacturers have responded by creating products that are far from the simple blocks seen in yesteryear.

Building blocks now come in an array of sizes, shapes, colors, and embellishments, as well as different materials. As a result, building blocks are no longer basic square toys but are multicolored, adorned with child-safe decorations, and come in a variety of materials that appeal to the touch and other senses. As such, building blocks can be bought and found for just about any child’s particular needs or desires. As they play with toys they find highly attractive; the child is also able to simultaneously learn in an invaluable and autonomous way through basic problem-solving skills, exploration, self-discovery, and more.

When it comes to increasing the imagination and levels of creativity and development of fine motor skills within your child, consider buying one of the basic block sets above. From Fisher Price’s incredibly affordable block set that features grab and go functionality to Tengu’s premium set that comes with handcrafted parts and components, there are block sets from both the lower end and higher end parts of the spectrum that can easily meet the needs of many families. With the wide-range of reasonable prices and the incredible array of options, there is a set available that can perfectly meet the needs of your child and yourself as you both begin the journey to creating a life full of discovery and enjoyment for your little one.​

The 5 Best Books to Get Kids Excited about Kindergarten

By Rebecca / August 8, 2017

Kindergarten has been an integral part of the U.S. elementary education system since its inception in 1837. Conceptualized by the educational philosopher, Friedrich Froebel, kindergarten became a locale in which children were recognized for their distinct individual needs and intellectual capacities.

Froebel was able to decisively determine through his exhaustive research that adolescent brain development grew at its greatest momentum up until the age of three. This finding subsequently led to his efforts in developing and retooling the early-childhood educational practices that existed at the time, with an emphasis being placed on the vast array of differing learning styles.

Froebel’s work has resulted in kindergarten classes and kindergarten teachers with targeted lesson plans today incorporating a wide spectrum of play-based activities that are child-centered and foster parent involvement. Through a multitude of activities such as music, games, and picture books, preschoolers are able to engage in activities that are pleasurable to their senses while also discovering how things operate and being able to assign meaning to those things.

In addition to making discoveries about the world around them, kindergarteners will develop their fine motor skills and spend significant amounts interfacing with their peers and learning valuable social skills.

Critically imperative to preschoolers and kindergarten kids is the introduction of cognitive-building tools in the form of books and other reading materials to get them reading - and enjoying reading - from a very young age. The experience gained from the incorporation of the early introduction of the library and reading leads to broader, richer vocabularies, and reinforces the relationship between reading and pleasure early on, which will, in turn, prove to be a boon for a child’s educational success.

It is fundamentally important for parents to be aware of the rapid connections being formed in their child’s brain every day for the first five years of their life. Up to 90% of connective brain developments occur by this young age and these connections form the essential building blocks and foundation for a child’s capacity to learn, experience, and grow on an intellectual level.

Books are an essential component and building block in a child’s intellectual foundation. A multitude of research dictates that children who are read to ultimately go on to become better adept at reading, building more extensive vocabularies, and succeeding in school from an early age. Providing literature-rich environments for children not only serves to help build their vocabularies and foster success in school but also provide extensive opportunities for children to discover their inner creative selves and learn to express their individuality in valuable ways.

As a starting point in many of the lessons that books teach children, the concept of determining importance is heavily stressed. Kindergarteners are encouraged to go above and beyond locating main ideas of texts and determining the importance or relevant value, which helps them to build valuable critical thinking skills for school and life.​

The Importance of Picture Books for Kindergarteners – At a Glance Chart​

Fun

​Entertaining

​Engrossing

​Rewarding

Provides literary experiences for kids that are entertaining and that they look forward to

Stimulation of visual senses via colorful images​

Provides interactive opportunities between parents and adults and children

Enables parents and adults to spend quality time with kids and discuss the pictures and words within stories

Reading comprehension is built through ongoing interactive reading experiences

Fosters dialogue and encourages children to voice their opinions and feeling

Assists in developing “story sense” skills

Through reading books, children are able to learn the different parts of a story, including the start, middle, and end and assign meaning to each part

Assists in conveying the concepts of cause and effect in an easy to understand fashion

Asking children prior to reading to look out for key words that convey a cause and effect relationship helps them build stronger reading skills for later

Provides a multi-sensory experience

Enables children to see, smell, and touch- encompasses all of the basic senses

Reinforces reading skills through repetition

Reading skills such as comprehension, phonemic awareness, and fluency are built through reading repetition

Develops language skills

Allows children to engage in practicing a wide range of language sounds and rhythm and rhyme

Catering to children’s love of art

Children love bright colors, drawing, and doodling. Reading from books that feature colorful illustrations provide additional enjoyment and inspiration for art-loving children

Effortlessly building understanding and reading comprehension through easy-to-understand basic illustrations

Illustrations provide assistance to children to determine and assign meaning to the story line

Featured below is a collection of titles geared towards kindergarten children that assist in helping them build reading comprehension, identifying main ideas, and determining importance. The titles have been carefully assessed for age-appropriateness, vocabulary, and illustrations, and are some of the most popular books used today by kindergarten educators. Read on below to learn more about these reading essentials that are found in classrooms everywhere.

kindergarten here i come book image

“Kindergarten Here I Come” is authored by D.J. Steinberg and Mark Chambers and is available in traditional text format as well as a Kindle edition. Geared towards children aged 3 to 5, “Kindergarten Here I Come” features vivid illustrations, bright colors, and an exciting storyline that will appeal to all children getting ready to make the transition to kindergarten.

The story centers around a young boy who is preparing to make the move from preschool to kindergarten. Throughout his excitement, he shares a dialogue with his enthusiastic mother, as they begin to prepare for his first day of kindergarten.

Young children will relate to the main character’s mounting excitement as he hurriedly prepares for school and ensures he has his new backpack, jacket, lunch, and school supplies.

Throughout the story, typical kindergarten milestones are described that serve to provide encouragement and motivation to incoming kindergarteners and the experiences they will face.

A basic staple in every kindergarten room and household with young children, “Kindergarten, Here I Come” is a classic that will resonate will parents and children alike.

the night before kindergarten book image

The Night Before Kindergarten centers around the first day of kindergarten. Have your children join the other kids as they get ready for their first day by gathering school supplies, getting their backpacks readied and posing for pictures as they say goodbye to mom and dad.

This cheery colorful book illustrates just how fun kindergarten really is and shows your child the multitude of enjoyable experiences that they will be looking forward to as they make their foray into traditional education.

miss bindergarten book image

This book also centers around the first day of kindergarten. Miss Bindergarten is working hard to get ready for her upcoming class featuring 26 brand new kindergarteners.

As Miss Bindergarten gets ready for her class, children are shown throughout the story getting ready for their first day with her as their teacher.

Adam Krupp wakes up joyfully excited for his first day, while Brenda Heath brushes her teeth in anticipation. Christopher Beaker searches for his lost sneaker. While Miss Bindergarten finishes decorating her classroom just in the nick of time as students start to file in.

This book is wonderful to showcase the process of getting ready for kindergarten, not only from a child’s perspective but also from the viewpoint of a teacher.

Note: The New York Times Book Review described this book as “Multifaceted and appealing” and can be enjoyed at home and at school.

the twelve days of christmas book image

This adaptation of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” gives parents and children a familiar look at the kindergarten transition. Going through the 2nd of Kindergarten (Christmas) all the way up until the 12th, this familiar wording engages children as they read about the new friends they will make in Kindergarten and the activities they will engage in such as jumping rope, making art, and playing at recess.

The experience of saying goodbye to Mom and Dad is illustrated as kids make their way to their first journeys on the school bus where they are taken to be the school to be met with their awaiting parents again at the end of the day.

This is a fantastic book that delves into the experience of transportation to school and alleviates the fear a child might face at having to say goodbye to their parents for the day by reinforcing the fact that their parents will be there to pick them up at the end of the day.

Authored by Tish Rabe, this vivid children’s book is just one of her many 160 titles for children available today.

kindergarten rocks book image

Kindergarten Rocks centers on main character Dexter who seemingly already knows all the ins and outs when it comes to kindergarten. Dex proclaims his knowledge is a result of being informed by his big sister Jessie, and he is not scared at all.

However, Dex’s stuffed dog Rufus is scared - only until he finds out that kindergarten actually rocks!

i can read book image

The I Can Read Series featuring Pete the Cat is authored by New York Times bestselling author James Dean. This series helps kids learn reading through phonics and brightly illustrated images that are engaging and fun to look at.

Assessed and approved by many phonics experts, the I Can Read, Pete the Cat series showcases repetitive examples of common words and differing vowels sounds.

Phonics is of particular importance in how they teach children the phonemic relationship between letters and their correlating sounds. A child who has mastered phonics and phonemes will find reading, spelling, and writing easier to master at grade-level and future grade levels.

This series is an excellent way to teach kids to master reading while rocking out to the lovable and enthusiastic Pete the Cat.

As mentioned early on, kindergarten is a distinctive place where children will make discoveries about the world around them, develop their fine motor skills, and spend time interfacing with peers and learning valuable social skills. Within the basic framework of integral kindergarten elements are the incorporation of cognitive building tools in the form of books and reading that serve to teach children myriad concepts.

Books and interactive reading experiences provide children with a wealth of opportunities to develop broader, richer vocabularies, to reinforce the relationship between reading and pleasure early on in life, and to strengthen the foundation for a child’s assured future academic success.

Many parents make the mistake of not completely understanding the fast pace at which their toddler’s brain is making connections every day. The rapid connections formed in a toddler’s brain are occurring constantly for up to the first five years of their lives, with up to 90% of connective brain tissue having been formed by that time.

It is imperative that parents do not underestimate the rapid growth of their child’s brain and take advantage of this singularly unique time in their child’s life to put into practice and reinforce basic reading skills and fine motor skills. The development of these two skills will not only assist children in succeeding at kindergarten but also help them ensure academic success in future grades.

Books also serve to widen a child’s horizons and to broaden their perspectives. Books take children to places they have never before envisioned or imagined, to discovering people, places, and things they never knew existed, and to teaching lessons about life and morality that were previously unfamiliar. Books encompass a wide variety of subject material like the ones listed above and many more that can be used to enrich a child’s viewpoint and expressive qualities.

It should also be noted that children who are exposed to reading and books at a young age develop into people who enjoy books and reading and see it as a pleasurable activity and not one that is cumbersome and boring. Starting reading early on and practicing interactive reading between parent and child is among the best things a parent can do for their child to ensure a lifelong love of reading, academic success, and the growth of strong fine motor skills.

Parents and children can read together before bed, at activity time, or after dinner. Whether reading time is scheduled or unscheduled, the time you share together with your child in these interactive experiences will reward the both of you in countless ways.​

The 15 Best Accounts to Follow on Teachers Pay Teachers

By sara / August 7, 2017

Teachers Pay Teachers is a community of educators that can come together and share their experience and wisdom with millions of their fellow educators. This is a very unique place where teachers can buy and sell teaching resources that they found to be successful in their classroom.

The founder of Teachers pay Teachers discovered that his students were more successful when he used ideas from other teachers but the only teachers that he knew were in his own school. Teachers pay Teachers brings teachers from all across the United States together and that is what makes it such a great place. Be sure to follow all of these great teachers to get products that will help you in your classroom.

Our list highlights 15 of the best teacher accounts that you should follow on the Teachers pay Teachers website. They offer wonderful materials that will be sure to enhance any classroom. Enjoy! 

15. Deanna Jump

Deanna Jump has been a teacher for 20 years and has gathered some of the best materials for kindergarten through first grade. She currently has over 300 products on the teacher pay teachers website. 

We recommend looking at her Digital Math Centers for Kindergarten. This will allow students to learn math while using technology at the same time. This is a very simple activity that you can do with your class and it requires absolutely no prep time. You will be able to print the activity sheets and then use the corresponding PowerPoint slides that are provided. 

14. The Moffatt Girls 

The Moffatt Girls have over 62,000 followers on the website. The creator of this page taught grades 4-6 so she has hands on experience with teaching those grades. She has products that range from grades k-6 and even some homeschooling books as well. There are so many products for many different subjects like language arts, graphic arts, holidays and much more.

The Moffatt Language Arts and Grammar bundle is highly recommended in her shop. This bundle includes so many activities and games that will help your students conquer the second grade. Your students will learn about different verb tenses, adjectives, compound words, contractions and much more. The best part about this package is that it is ready to go and requires no prep time.

13. Deedee Wills 

Deedee Wills is a teacher and curriculum developer. She has been teaching for over 16 years and most of that time has been spent teaching kindergarten. She has over 400 products on her page. A lot of her products are centered around literature, language arts and other english topics as well. You will be able to find fun new ways to get your students interested in reading and writing with these fun and exciting activities.

We recommend taking a look at the Lets Get Organized Classroom Management bundle. This package will be able to keep your classroom organzed. This book is chalked full of charts for daily routines and expectations that will show your students exactly what you expect from them each day.

12. Reagan Tunstall 

Reagan Tunstall is a teacher, educational consultant/speaker and she also spends her time as a curriculum writer. She has won teaching awards from her many years as a teacher. Her products will allow you to engage your students in learning. She offers products for grades K – 12 and even some non-grade specific materials that are good to have. Reagan also offers products that offer helpful tips to teachers. She has over 630 products so you will be sure to find the right materials for your classroom and your unique teaching style.

11. Lovin Lit

Lovin Lit has created a curriculum that uses technology to get students engaged in learning how to read and write. You will be able to reach all kinds of learning styles with these interactive lesson plans. She has products for students of all ages k-5.

We recommend looking at the Interactive Notebook Bundle. These products are good for grade 4 and beyond. This book is full of activities that will get your students involved with learning lit. This package comes with five different interactive notebook ideas including poetry, writing, grammar. Reading literature and reading informational text. This bundle is great for reading teachers for fourth or fifth grade.

10. Rachel Lynette

Rachel Lynette has over 50,000 followers and offers 450 products on her page. She has taught a large range of topics so she has lots of hands on experience in the classroom. She thinks that students should have structure but also freedom to do what they want. She wants her students to want to come to school and enjoy learning while they are in her classroom

We recommend her Back to School Task Cards. This bundle includes 180 cards that will help your students get back into the rhythm of school after summer vacation. They will help teach your students about restating the question, classroom rules and classroom procedures. This would be a great way for you to start the day so that students know exactly what is expected of them.

9. Amy Lemons

Amy Lemons believes that students should be taught the same thing in many different ways. This will help students with all different learning styles be able to learn in their own way. This style of teaching also helps students remember the lessons better. She has taught first, second and fourth grade so she is able to use her experience to help teach those grade levels.

We recommend looking at her Back to School bundle. This bundle is full of activities to get students back into school mode. Your students will get to know each other by playing cooperative games and many other fun activities. This will be a great way to kick off another great year.

8. One Stop Teacher Shop

One Stop Teacher Shop has a lot of hands on experience in the classroom. She has been able to take all of her experiences and turned them into a curriculum that teachers will love to use in their classroom. She knows what teachers need in order to help their students succeed and have fun while learning. She has lots of interactive reading and writing products as well as math.

We recommend looking at the Teacher Binder bundle. This is an editable and customizable binder chalked full of lesson plans that you will be able to add your own flair to. This binder will help you stay organized and keep your lesson plans all in one place. You will receive free updates to this binder for life. As trends in the teaching world change this binder will also change. This is a great resource for all teachers to have.

7. Teaching with a Mountain View

Teaching with a Mountain View believes that students should be curious and ask questions. She centers all of her teaching on her students to make sure that every student learns on an appropriate level. She has experience with third, fourth and fifth grade so many of her products center around those grade levels.

We recommend looking at her back to school math project bundle. This activity book has a road trip theme so that you will be able to keep the summer spirt alive. There are 15 pages that will help your student practice their math skills while they take a math trip across the United States. There are operations, problem solving, following directions, place value, money and decimal problems in this workbook.

6. Teaching with Love and Laughter 

Teaching with Love and Laughter has been a teacher for over two decades. She has taught primary school for all of that time so she has a lot of experience with those grade levels. She has a laid back style of teaching. She teaches with love and laughter everyday so that students respect her and enjoying coming to class every day.

We recommend looking at her Writing Activities bundle. This bundle includes 23 different posters and tons of writing templets to help improve your students writing level. Students will be given a writing prompt to help them start their writing activity and the posters will help inspire them to write. This package is good for kindergarten through third grade.

5. Ashleigh Smith

Ashleigh Smith loves to help other teachers reach their full potential. She is currently a teacher so she knows what helps kids learn. She has products for all ages so you will be able to find the right product to fit your needs. She has tons of materials to help your students learn about reading, writing, and arts and music.

We recommend looking into her All 30 Third Grade Reading Street Workbooks. This product was created to accommodate the 5 day work schedule. You will be able to give your students one of the workbooks on Monday and have them finish it by Friday. Each day students will complete two activities. You could use this as classwork or even homework.

4. Cara Carroll 

Cara Carroll has over 50,000 followers on the website. She was a teacher for over 15 years and she had gain lots of hands on experience during that time. She has taught kindergarten, first and second grade but now she spends her time working with teachers as a teacher consultant. She helps teachers come up with challenging lessons that will also be hands on and fun.

We recommend looking at her Back to school bundle. This bundle is perfect for kindergarten or first grade. Teachers that have not complete their first month of back to school prep will really love this product. There are games and activities for all subjects and these lesson plans will ease students back into school. This bundle is full of great ideas to help you start the school year off right.

3. Runde's Room

Runde’s Room has over 300 items to offer her customers. She has won awards for lesson plans from SMART technologies so she has a lot to offer teachers looking for materials to use in their own classrooms. She incorporates technology in her classroom so she will be able to provide different ways for you to use it in your own classroom as well.

We recommend looking into her interactive math journal. This is the most popular interactive notebook on the teacher pay teachers website. This is a great resource for fourth graders and it will help them improve their math skills immensely. This product includes 38 hands on activities that will get your students involved with learning math. This is a fun way for students to keep track of their progress over the course of a year.

2. Jennifer Findley

Jennifer Findley currently has over 600 products on her page. She has experience teaching intermediate levels but you will find products for all ages in her store. She offers tons of english and literature products as well as math, science, history and many more subjects. Her products will help teachers give students the resources they need to achieve at a high level.

We recommend looking into her third grade weekly reading homework bundle. This will help you plan homework for 36 weeks. There are so many different topics and activities for your students to do. There are fairy tales, character traits, poetry, informational text and many more topics. You will be able to help improve your students reading level by giving them these well thought out homework activities.

1. Tara West 

Tara West is a kindergarten teacher and she also specializes in writing curriculum. She always felt like her students were not getting all of the information that they needed so she decided to come up with her own balanced curriculum. Her products have been tested in the classroom and she knows that you will see results in your very own classroom.

Tara’s KinderReaders bundle is highly rated in her shop. This is a very well thought out program that will help you teach your students how to read. This bundle is full of great ideas and well flash cards and games that will help your students learn to read. You will be able to help your students as they get better at reading because this bundle includes materials for NR (non-readers), AA, A, B, C and D level readers.

The 6 Best Exercise Games & Indoor Activities for Kids

By Rebecca / August 1, 2017

Exercise is imperative for people of all ages. The benefits of moving around are plentiful and will lead to a healthier way of life. Most people just think of children exercising as a way to burn off their extra energy so that they will get a good night’s sleep. However, it is much more than that.

According to Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, regular exercise in children helps improve muscle development, promotes heart health, helps strengthen bones, reduces the risk of chronic illness such as type 2 diabetes, improves mental health, and regular exercise also has positive influences on academic performance.

Several organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that young children and adolescents have at least an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. This will ensure that a healthy lifestyle is being met and will also promote healthy habits that last into adulthood. With handheld devices increasing the amount of time kids spend in front of a screen, it’s important to establish healthy habits and mental well-being early on. Finding fun ways to do so, even if it’s inside, is providing your child with a plethora of benefits! Here are loads of great ideas that go beyond a simple ball or hula hoop:

Indoor Trapeze Bar and Swing

indoor trapeze bar and swing image

When the weather decides to be less than favorable, especially during winter time, kids usually have little outlet for their energy that won’t also drive adults up the wall. The Indoor Trapeze Bar and Swing changes all of that. The trapeze bar fits inside a standard door frame and can withstand up to 135 pounds (the door will still close with the bar set up!). The swing and trapeze rings strap onto the bar to bring the playground indoors! This is wonderful for families who do not have a lot of yard space or for those in apartment complexes. The trapeze bar allows for kids to build and tone muscle, improves hand-eye coordination, and also improves balancing skills.

The trapeze rings and bar are especially helpful to kids who are beginners in gymnastics or who are interested in the sport. The recommended ages for the trapeze bar and swing are 3 to 10 years old. Due to being suspended above the ground, make sure your child is using the Indoor Trapeze Bar and Swing under adult supervision.

Yoga for Kids

Yoga for kids might sound a bit odd to a few, but it is definitely a great indoor activity that will get your little ones to move their busy bodies with excitement. Yoga has many health benefits for kids—it’s not just an adult activity! It builds strength, improves flexibility, helps with balance, coordination, concentration, focus, and attention skills. Not only does it have these physical benefits, but there are mental benefits as well! Yoga helps calm the nerves which help kids with their self-regulation skills. It also aids with their creativity with self-expression and their imagination. All in all, yoga for kids will provide an all-around sense of well-being for your child.

yoga for kids image

There are various resources for kids yoga and the Yoga Spinner Game is a great place to start. The game builds upon teamwork skills by having multiple players in the game. Depicted on the spinner and cards are multiple yoga poses that children can easily perform and also some more challenging ones. Whatever yoga pose the spinner lands on, the kids must do that pose and hold it for ten seconds. If the player can hold it for the full ten seconds, they can keep the card. The objective of the game is to be the first player to obtain a card in each of the colors: Red, white, blue, and green. There are more exciting features of this game as well, like partner cards that involve two-players to perform together. There are 54 playing cards in all with various yoga poses for everyone to try. 42 of the poses are for individuals to try and 14 of them are for two players to do together. The age recommendation for the Yoga Spinner Game is five years old and up. In order to get the most out of the game, find a non-slip surface to play on or with the use of yoga mats. There are special yoga mats made just for kids with fun colors and pictures on them! Also, do not forget to stretch before playing the Yoga Spinner Game!

Indoor Parachute Games

Every student loves walking into physical education class and seeing the bright, multicolored parachute waiting for them. Almost all young children who attended public school has memories of the games played with a parachute. The parachutes can be used indoors as well as outdoors. Obviously, inside of a gymnasium, there is plenty of room to run around and play with a large parachute. What about using a parachute at home? Can it be done? Of course it can!

indoor parachute games image

Parachutes come in many sizes and can be used in a few different ways that will get kids up and moving around. However, games are best played with a small group. You can play tag with the parachute by having everyone lift the parachute up and yelling out a child’s name. That child then has to run underneath the parachute and make it to the other side before the parachute starts coming down. If the parachute touches the child before they make it to the other side, they have been “tagged.”

Another game that can be conducted is turning the parachute into a “turtle.” Have everyone get on their hands and knees underneath the parachute. Using teamwork and without crawling out from underneath the parachute, make the turtle shell (the parachute) move about. You can also play a musical version of a merry-go-round. Everyone holds onto the edge of the parachute and can either jump, run, skip, or walk in a circle as the music plays. When the music reverses, everyone must turn and go the opposite way with the parachute. Last, but certainly not least, another fun game that can be done indoors with a parachute is to avoid the snakes! Place jump ropes, pool noodles, or something of the sort in the middle of the parachute. Have the kids shake the parachute so that the “snakes” move and jump around.

The object of the game is to not have the snakes touch you. The kids have to bring their side of the parachute up when a snake comes near them to avoid being bit by the poisonous reptile! With many parachute games, children can use their imagination and creativity! It is a perfect balance of physical activity and mental stimulation.

Foam Pogo Jumper

A classic outdoor activity is jumping on a pogo stick, which has been around since 1918! However, pogo sticks can be very dangerous and can lead to serious injuries. According to a study conducted by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), the average number of injuries caused by pogo sticks each year is 1,322 in the United States alone. Luckily, there is a much safer alternative on the market that can also be used indoors!

foam pogo jumper image

The Foam Pogo Jumper is made entirely out of foam, drastically reducing the pogo stick’s usual safety issues. The base of the Foam Pogo Jumper will not scuff hardwood floors either when being used indoors due to the foam and it also contains dual speakers that emit squeaking sounds with every hop!

​The stick is made of elastic bungee cord and will stretch to adjust to different heights. The handles, which are spongy and soft, have LED lights in the ends that flash red and blue when someone is jumping on the pogo stick. Not only is this pogo stick safer, indoor-friendly, and will get your child moving, there are physical advantages to jumping on a pogo stick as well! Pogo sticks help strengthen core muscle groups in the stomach, legs, and backside. It is also a great cardio workout.

Make a game out of it and pin kids against one another to see who has the highest number of jumps during a certain time span. That can also be a great way to practice counting numbers into the double digits!

Monster Monkey Bar Tower

Playgrounds and kids go together like peanut butter and jelly. It can be hard sometimes to pry your kids away from the playground. Sometimes children cry, run, or throw a tantrum when told they have to leave. However, now you can bring the playground equipment inside! The Monster Monkey Bar Tower is an indoor jungle gym that will fit perfectly inside of a play room, living room, bedroom, basement, or classroom.

monster monkey bar tower image

The pieces of the Monster Monkey Bar Tower are easy to put together and it is also portable! Each tube is made from a durable plastic that interlocks. The connectors have double self-locking springs for added structural durability. The tower can withstand up to 150 pounds, making it the ideal activity for busy toddlers.

While burning off some of their energy, the kids will gain important skills such as balance; they are strengthening muscles in the arms and legs, and also improving hand-eye coordination. The tower can also be used to play unique games. Add creativity by having your child color in fish that you draw or print out. Attach the fish to strings and hang them from the bars or put them on the ground in the middle of the structure. Have your little ones go fishing! Add numbers to the fish to make it a math learning experience as well! How many fish can they catch and can they count to the number that's written on the fish? You can also throw some blankets over it and create a fort or igloo! The possibilities are endless with a little imagination.

Fitivities

Activities and games that the whole family can get involved in are wonderful ways to help build or improve strong family connections and relationships. For children, it will also help them improve their ability to work in a team and, depending on the game or activity, will help them with learning to share with others. The same can be said when playing with friends or classmates as well!

fitivities image

Fitivities is a multifaceted activity that blends together board games and exercise for a fun time with a small or large group of people. The game is for anyone six and up and can host between two and 24 players! With over 20 exercises for kids and family members, Fitivities is a perfect way to spend some time either indoors or outdoors.

Fitivities comes with a large game mat that is durable for outdoor use, four dice, four team shoe markers, and four spinner cards. The game works with teams, each team competing against one another. Each team gets a foam shoe which will mark their place on the game mat. When you spin the spinner, it lands on a number of repetitions (or the action to go back to a certain spot on the board!), and when you roll the die, you get how many spaces to move on the board. Whatever exercise the shoe marker lands on, the team (or just an individual) must perform it with the number of repetitions the spinner landed on.

The most interesting part of Fitivities is that each team does not take turns, they are playing at the exact same time! The object of the game is to be the first team (or person) to make it the whole way around the game board.


Exercises can be modified for those who cannot perform an exercise in full. The game promotes a healthy lifestyle by getting people moving! It is a great source for cardio, muscle building and toning, increasing flexibility, and more! It is a good idea to go over all the exercises before playing because the game is about being the first to finish, so everyone should know the moves beforehand to make the game fair. Fitivities has won several awards, including the Creative Mag’s Game of the Year and Mother’s Choice.​

The 10 Best Educational Movies That Kids Will Enjoy

By Rebecca / July 31, 2017

We all know how fun games and movies like Toy Story are but sometimes it is better to get kids interested in more educational movies. Teachers have the unique ability to harness the power of visual learning tools such as movies and educational films to bring about an array of intellectual stimuli that serve to engage, motivate, and, most importantly, inspire children.

Educational films are a highly effective means of delivering in-class subject material in a way that is powerfully thought-provoking and engaging. Through vibrant onscreen characters, rich dialogues, and interesting story lines, children’s films are able to add to educational environments in singularly unique ways.

Through careful assessment, teachers are able to assign artistic and contextual merit to particular films in determining their relative value to their classrooms. By considering class-specific curriculum, student ages, and historical elements within films, educational picks can be shown during class time that will serve to bolster learning through open discussion, question and answer sessions, relevant projects, and response reading.

In addition to the above, teachers might provide students with a handout to fill out during the film or after the film is over in order to reinforce what was learned and to further stimulate future classroom discussions.

While films geared towards children’s education convey classroom material in an interesting delivery, there are myriad other benefits that exist as well. Children’s films work to entice children into discovering newfound passions and cultivating those interests in academic and life pursuits

Read on below to learn about the ten best educational movies that kids will enjoy

The Men Who Built America

the men who built america image

Audience: 5th graders and up

The Men Who Built America is centered on the personal motivations and ambitions of famous industrial titans who rose to power during the late 1800s. Men such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P Morgan came to shape much of American history with their capitalist virtues. Coming together as an impossibly powerful elite group of associates, these men wielded power over presidential elections, economic and social policy, and many of the formative events that marked our nation’s history, including but not limited to the Civil War and World War I and the Great Depression.

Notes: This is a three-disc documentary that includes footage never before seen on TV, including special features such as:​

  • Completive Nature
  • The American Dream
  • From Richer to Rich
  • The Rise of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • Monopoly
  • The Every Man
  • Carnegie
  • Traits of a Titan

America the Story of Us

america the story of us image

Audience: 5th graders and up​

Perfect for the teacher who wants to educate students on the making of America and the formations of American history, America the Story of Us takes a comprehensive look at the last 400 years in the U.S. and explores the formative events, innovative ideas, and trailblazing people that comprised the foundations of this country.

This educational film touches upon a multitude of vastly important subject matter, from history to business, to society and race relations. With in-depth interviews given by public figures such as Meryl Streep, Tom Brokaw, Colin Powell, Buzz Aldridge, Donald Trump, and Brian Williams, students learn in a highly visible and emotionally compelling way what it means to be an American.

This film is done in the documentary style and is student-friendly for grades 5th and up. Featuring 12 assorted chapters; this expansive documentary is just over nine hours long and delves into a wide breadth of subjects.

It commences one hundred years after Columbus’s arrival and finishes in the present time. Throughout the expansive amount of time, historical events, and societal developments that proved to be transformational to this nation are delved into.

Critically important subject matter included in this film:​

  • Early American transportation via covered wagon and wagon trails
  • The building of the transcontinental highway
  • The lives of abolitionists, slaves, frontiersmen, patriots, pioneers, immigrants, inventors, entrepreneurs, Native Americans and more.
  • The Japanese-American experience/internment camps
  • Engineering feats including buildings fabricated from steel
  • The landing on the moon
  • The Revolutionary War and its divisive impact

Bonus features:

  • George Washington
  • American Revolution
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Civil War
  • Transcontinental Railroad
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Henry Ford and the “Model T”

The Story of All of Us: Mankind

the story of all of us mankind image

Audience: 5th graders and up

The Story of All of Us: Mankind takes a unique and intriguing look at history through a global lens and beyond. Starting with the Big Bang 13.7 million years ago, this educational film encompasses a thematic approach to what defines that start of “our” story as humans.

This highly visual take on ancient history will enrapture students as they learn about the Homo sapiens struggle for sustainability on the parched African savannah. Utterly vulnerable, without essential physical elements such as teeth, jaws, speed, or dexterity, these early Homo sapiens were forced to become reliant on innovation and communication in order to adapt and survive. Those learned survival instincts enabled them to succeed in the face of uncertain extinction and pave the way for a precarious future marked by the creation of fire and farm crops.

As viewers, we are shown how the innovations of fire and crops were essential building blocks that would prove to shape the destiny of mankind as we know it.

Important topics covered include the following:​

  • The ways in which technology advanced the human race throughout the world
  • The transformation from hunter-gatherer societies to global citizenry
  • The Ice Age
  • Farming techniques
  • The significance of the movable type invention
  • Space exploration
  • The Industrial Revolution

Sid the Science Kid

sid the science kid image

Audience: Preschool and Kindergarteners

Sid the Science Kid is a wonderful option for teachers looking for educational movies that cover the concept of Science. Starring Sid the Science Kid, this curious kiddo attempts answer the wide range of basic questions that young children have about why things work the way that they do.

Using simple scientific principles to answer the array of questions he has, Sid enlists the assistance of friends, family, and his friendly teacher, Susie. With his oversize magnifying glass and big, gregarious smile, Sid is a highly engaging figure that will enthrall and capture the attention of the youngest of viewers.


​Go Diego Go: Animals Around the World

go diego go animals around the world image

Audience: Kindergarteners

Go Diego Go: Animals Around the World is an educational movie that centers around the adventures of Dora the Explorer’s eight-year-old cousin Diego.

Throughout his adventures, Diego rescues animals from perilous situations and helps them become safe and secure. Important concepts related to basic science, names of animals, simple geography, and environmental facts are abundant in this film that has garnered much acclaim for its bilingual Latino main character.

Since its inception in 2008, Go Diego Go has been nominated four times for NAACP Image Awards.​


Finding Nemo

finding nemo image

Audience: Kindergarteners

Finding Nemo is an internationally recognized film with highly relevant educational themes about fish and the underwater world. Based on a father’s journey across the Pacific Ocean as he searches for his son, viewers are treated to a delightful range of vibrantly colored visual stimuli in the form of brightly hued fish, turtles, coral reefs, and anemones.

Finding Nemo is an excellent choice for teachers looking to provide their students with messages about the importance of family, love, and devotion.​


School House Rock

school house rock image

Audience: Kindergarteners

School House Rock is a classic educational film that has been popular in classroom settings for decades. Featuring a multitude of short animations and educational music chapters, this series provides an upbeat and engaging mode of learning.

In this series, children learn about topics such as science, grammar, reading, history, and society through popular songs like Round the World.” “The Shot Heard.” No More Kings,” “Fireworks,” and “Preamble.”

With its array of catchy tunes, School House Rock remains a classic even in modern times.​


A Little Princess

a little princess image

Audience: 2nd grade and up

A Little Princess is a story beloved by schoolchildren far and wide. Based on the life of a little girl named Sara Crewe and her life at Miss Minchin’s boarding school, this movie covers themes of compassion, kindness, and empathy.

When Sara’s powerful father goes missing, she finds herself robbed of the privilege she once enjoyed as a result of her father’s status. With her possessions taken from her, Sara is forced to become accustomed to the life of a servant and experiences great poverty as a result. Despite her tragic circumstances, Sara maintains a positive outlook on life and continues to exhibit kindness and empathy to all those she encounters.

A Little Princess is a wonderful film with an engaging story line that will rivet 2nd graders and up. Providing critically important education elements on the themes of humanity and kindness, this movie is an integral part of classroom education and has withstood the test of time.​


The Incredibles

the incredibles image

Audience: 2nd graders and up

The Incredibles is a film that is based on the head of the family, Mr. Incredible. Mr. Incredible’s experience with the Superhero Relocation Program finds him making a career switch to a salesman, while his wife Elastigirl takes on the seemingly normal role of a stay-at-home mom and wife whose main roles are raising her children and preparing dinner. Their newfound “normal” personas are in stark contrast to their previous lives as superheroes.

However, the Incredible’s life of normalcy changes swiftly when a super villain named Syndrome comes on to the scene. Through a show of family unity, the Incredibles’ family teams up to fight the evil syndrome.​


Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

willie wonka and the chocolate factory image

Audience: 3rd graders and up

Roald Dahl’s famous “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is a timeless favorite that even adults remember with fondness. The main character Charlie is one of the lucky recipients of a winning golden ticket and is awarded a trip to the awe-inspiring chocolate factory that is owned by Willie Wonka.

Charlie is but just one recipient of a golden ticket, as four other recipients happen to exhibit spoiled and obnoxious behavior that is often unethical and self-serving. The four obnoxious children find themselves experiencing many losses during their trip to the chocolate factory, with Charlie prevailing through his unrelenting honesty to ultimately win the grand prize.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been an enduring favorite amongst teachers for its themes of honesty and integrity and for the many lessons it imparts to student viewers.​


Educational films are immensely valuable learning tools that can be effectively used for all ages from preschool to 5th grade and beyond. By providing rich dialogue, captivating story lines, and intricately constructed characters, students are able to learn about important concepts, such as morality, honesty, hard work, and empathy for others. Moreover, students are able to learn educational concepts such as mathematics, language, reading, history, and social studies through these types of films.

Movies that serve to educate ultimately bolster and stimulate classroom-wide discussions and increase participation and interest levels. Pertinent materials can be used to augment the film experience, such as handouts, Internet activities, art projects, response papers, and collective class projects, in addition to vocabulary and spelling lists and “main idea and supporting detail” worksheets.

Educational films are also useful in terms of extending the class period in an effective way. By using engaging films that promote student engagement and interest, boredom is staved off, and children are not peering towards the clock. A strategically timed movie that coincides with the end of class time is a great tool a teacher can use to fill up any lapse in classroom time while ensuring that students remain on task and engaged.

In today’s day and age, teachers are well aware of the advancements in technology and increasing interest in digital media. By harnessing the power of media in conjunction with educational endeavors, teachers are able to create alternative educational experiences that serve to augment existing curriculum in incomparable ways.

Through careful assessment and creative inspiration, the sky is the limit in terms of educational films teachers can choose from and present to their students. The use of educational films as tools of instruction is a necessary component in today’s classroom education models that make use of technology to provide children with valuable learning experiences that will remain with them throughout their education.​

The 15 Best Cookbooks for Children

By Rachel Romonosky / July 14, 2017

Getting your children in the kitchen from a young age will help them develop healthy eating habits early on in life. These cookbooks for children are full of quick and easy meals and are a great way to get your children involved in making the food that they eat. They will have so much fun preparing and cooking the meals that they might not even notice that most of these dishes are actually good for them. Cooking is a great way to spend time with your family and they will be proud of the food that they make at the end of the day.

Methodology: We ranked these books by the following criteria:

  • Reviews
  • Sales
  • Price​

Kid Chef: The Foodie Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Culinary Skills for the New Cook in the Kitchen is by Melina Hammer. This book is full of delicious and nutritious foods that your children will be able to cook for the family to enjoy. This book will teach your kids more than just how to cook a great meal, it will also be able to teach them kitchen basics that they can use for the rest of their life. They will learn skills like how to handle a knife safely as well as how to use the stove without getting burned and so much more.

The Complete Children’s Cookbook has 150 simple recipes for your children to master. Each recipe in this book is complete with pictures to help walk your children through the steps. This book will also teach your kids that it is important to be safe when they are using dangerous tools in the kitchen. At the end of this book your children will have basic cooking skills that they can use the rest of their life and they will make delicious dishes that the whole family will enjoy.

The Children’s Quick and Easy Cookbook is by Angela Wilkes. This cookbook is the perfect way to get your children into the kitchen. This book has step-by-step instructions for each tasty meal. This book has a total of 60 recipes that the whole family will enjoy. There is everything from quick and easy snacks as well as simple meals that your children will be able to cook on their own. This book is perfect for the little chef in your life.

The Everything Kids Cookbook: From Mac n’ Cheese To double chocolate chip cookies was written by Sandra K. Nissenberg. This cookbook will allow your children to show off their creativity in the kitchen. They will be able to impress the family with all of the delicious meals that are not only healthy but, also taste amazing as well. This book is unique because it offers trivia and other puzzles that will test your children’s knowledge about food and cooking in general.

The Kids fun and Healthy Cookbook is by Nicola Graimes. It is so important for your children to learn how to eat healthy foods at a young age. This will help them understand how food affects their body so that they will have a good relationship with healthy eating when they get older. This book will be able to teach them amazing dishes that are actually good for them as well. These recipes are fun and easy to complete. With 100 recipes in this book there will be something for the whole family to enjoy.

ChopChop The Kids Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family is by Sally Sampson. This book is full of nutritious and inexpensive foods that your children will enjoy making. This book is filled with tips for new chefs to learn. There are foods from all over the world so your children will be able to learn about other cultures through cooking. This book will quickly become a family favorite because of all the delicious foods your family will get to enjoy together.

The Do it Myself Kid’s Cookbook Nothing Hot, Nothing Sharp is by Laurie Goldrich Wolf. These are the perfect recipes for kids to complete all on their own without using tools that might be too dangerous. Your kids will be so proud when they cook a meal for the whole family to enjoy. There are 50 different meals that include salads, sandwiches and desserts complete with pictures that your children to choose from.

The Betty Crocker Kids Cook! Has 60 simple recipes for all three meals of the day. The recipes are fun and easy for children to make. There are beautiful pictures that will help give your children an idea of what each dish will look like when it is completed. This book will teach your children basic cooking terminology as well as methods for using different utensils. You will be able to see so much pride when your children make dinner for the whole family to enjoy.

The Mom and Me Cookbook is perfect for moms that want to get their children in the kitchen. There are perfect snacks for after school as well as delicious meals to cook for dinner. This book will teach your children tips and tricks for cooking as well as how to cook healthy foods. This book is perfect for kids ages 4-8 years old. Cooking is a great bonding experience and they will be able to learn a lot of skills that they will be able to use for the rest of their life.

The International cookbook for kids is by Matthew Locricchio. The recipes in this book are from France, Italy, Mexico and China. There are 60 different dishes that will be able to teach your children about different types of foods that people in other countries eat with their families. This is a fun way to teach your children about geography and the foods people eat around the world. This book uses many unique ingredients that will be able to diversify your children’s palettes and develop their tastes. There are many safety tips that will teach your children to handle dangerous tools with care. These dishes are very easy to make and will be enjoyed by the whole family.

Garden to Table: A kids guide to planting, growing & preparing food is by Katherine Hengel. This book is all about cooking healthy foods that are fresh out of the garden. This book is unique because it will teach your children about keeping a garden so that they can use the food that they harvest in a fresh and healthy dish. There are over 30 recipes for your children to cook using basil, carrots, green beans, leaf lettuce, potatoes and tomatoes. This book will be perfect for the aspiring gardener in your life.

Cooking class: 57 fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!) is by Deanna F. Cook. Are you tired of struggling to get your children to eat healthy foods? This book will teach your children how to cook healthy foods that they will actually enjoy eating. Each recipe will give your kids the confidence to cook with fresh and healthy ingredients that you might even be able to find in your own garden. Your kids will love using their imagination to create dishes like egg mice or insects made out of vegetables.

The Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook is for ages 5 to 12. There are 65 carefully selected recipes that will be perfect for kids to cook as well as eat. This book is very unique because your kids will be able to learn how to cook a recipe from a character that are telling a story. Your children will be able to easily be able to follow along and cook an amazing dish that they can be proud of.

The Star Wars cookbook by Robin Davis will be perfect for the little Jedi in your life. This book will teach your children how to be a force in the kitchen when they cook Princess Leia Danish Dogs or Wookie Cookies. This book will teach your children tips for using kitchen tools with care so that they do not get hurt. The recopies include dishes for all three meals of the day as well as snacks and sweat treats.

Taste of Home Kid-Approved Cookbook: 328 Family Tested Fun Foods has so many wonderful dishes to choose from. Cooking will never be boring because there are so many foods to choose from. This book will open your children’s minds and help create a love of cooking. This book is perfect for all ages and there are different recipes for all levels of cooking. Your children will be able to make everything from veggie cheese sticks to pigs in a blanket and so much more.

The 25 Best Educational Videos for Babies

It is important to start teaching your children basic skills very early on in their life. These videos are targeted towards babies ages 1 – 3 years of age. YouTube is becoming a very popular platform to watch videos on and it can be a great resource for parents that are looking for educational videos for their babies to watch. This list of 25 Educational videos for Babies will be able to help your baby learn the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes and more. These videos will engage your baby and keep them entertained while they are also learning at the same time.

We ranked our videos by the following:

  • Views
  • Likes
  • Subscribers ​

ABC Songs for Children can be found on the KidsCamp channel on YouTube. This video will start out with a unique alphabet song. It is sung by the main character which is a little girl called Elly. By the end of this video your baby will learn the phonics of each letter which will be able to help them learn how to pronounce words when they start to get older. The animations in this video are simple but the songs and motions of the characters will make your baby want to keep watching this video time and time again.

  • 71,400 Views
  • 180 Likes
  • 1 Million Subscribers

Learning body parts is a video on the Toys 4 Us channel on YouTube. This video points out each part of the body. The body part is repeated multiple times so your children will be able to follow along. They will be able to see the part of the body which will help them be able to identify it on their own body. The narrator of this video has a very soothing voice that will keep your child engaged in what they are saying.

  • Views 231,980
  • Likes 386 
  • Subscribers 64,000 

Body Parts Song can be found on the Freedom Kids channel on YouTube. It features real life kids that will be able to teach your babies the different parts of the body. Your children will be able to follow along with the song and move and point out different parts on their own bodies. This is a fun way to help your children learn about their body.

  • Views 253, 495
  • Likes 300
  • Subscribers 4,000

Learning to Write Numbers with Cute Activities is on the KidsBabybus channel on YouTube. This video will help children learn how to write their numbers before they start kindergarten. This video is full of games and fun activities that will allow your children to follow along and start practicing how to write. This is a fun way to teach your children their numbers. This video is about 10 minutes long and will have your children interested in learning how to count the whole time.

  • Views 330,000
  • Likes 280

Animals Learn to Count video is on the popular Kids TV channel on YouTube. The channel has over 3 million subscribers and continues to grow each day. This video is perfect for the little animal lovers in your life. The main characters of this video are animals and they will teach your children how to count to 10. This video is 26 minutes long and there are many different songs that will teach your little ones to count.

  • Views 358,000
  • Likes 280
  • Subscribers 3 million

This video is called Parts of the Body and it can be found on the HooplaKidz channel on YouTube. This video will show your kid what each part of the body is called and it will also show what each part of the body is used for. Your children will be able to follow along with some of the activities that are shown so they can learn more quickly. By watching this video your children will be able to learn the parts of the video from other kids that are just like them.

  • Views 500,000
  • Likes 401
  • Subscribers 54,000

ABC Animals Song for Children can be found on the Baby Kids Show channel on YouTube. This video goes through various words that start with each letter of the alphabet. These different words will help your baby learn each letter quicker. The tune of this song is very familiar and it will be fun for your baby to learn. The graphics are very simple but the enjoyable nature of the song will keep your baby entertained. This video is 40 minutes long and will go through the alphabet multiple times teaching your baby all kinds of words that start with each letter.

  • Views 1 Million
  • Likes 1,100
  • Subscribers 587,000

18. My Body Parts Song

My Body Parts Song can be found on the Elearnin channel on YouTube. This song will point out each part of the body in a way that your children will be able to remember. The song will quickly show your child where each body part is located by pointing directly to it and also showing a close up look in a smaller picture.

  • Views 1 Million
  • Likes 2,200
  • Subscribers 101,000

17. Body Parts Intro

This video is called Body Parts Intro and it can be found on the MagicBox English ELS Kids Channel on YouTube. The animations are really cool for this video and they will be able to show your child where each part of the body is located. The narrator says the part of the body and then she specifically points to where the part is located on the body.

  • Views 1.1 Million
  • Likes 943
  • Subscribers 891,000

16. The Numbers song

The Numbers song can be found on the Farmees channel on YouTube. Your baby will be able to sing and dance along with this upbeat song. This video starts out with teaching your little ones how to count but as the video goes on they will be able to learn so much more. Children that love animals will absolutely love this video because the main characters are all animals that can be found on a farm.

  • Views 1.1 Million
  • Likes 943
  • Subscribers 891,000

15. Learn Colors and Shapes Creative Dough

Learn Colours and Shapes with Babys shape sorting with creative dough fun for kids can be found on the Happy Funny Kids Toys Pretend Play channel on YouTube. This video is very interactive. If you have play dough and shapes you and your baby will be able to follow along at home. Babies will love watching shapes be made with clay. This video will teach your little one shapes as well as colors.

  • Views 2 Million 
  • Subscribers 266,000

14. Learn Shapes

The Learn Shapes video can be found on Farmees Kids 3D Nursery Rhymes channel on YouTube. This video will teach your children shapes, ABCs and many other lessons as well. Any child that loves animals will love this video. The idea is that these animals are in school and they get together to practice what they learn in school. This will help your children get used to the idea that they will be starting school soon. The animation style is very unique and beautiful. This video is over an hour learn and will be able to hold your child’s focus until the end.

  • Views 2 Million
  • Likes 2,100
  • Subscribers 891,000

13. Phonics song – Learn Alphabet ABC

Phonics song – Learn Alphabet ABC can be found on the Nursery Rhyme Street channel on YouTube. This video is very repetitive and will be able to show your babies the alphabet by going over words that start with each letter. This video is very colorful and has very unique animations. It also has a very catchy tune that will stay with your child long after they watch this video.

  • Views 2 Million
  • Likes 1,500
  • Subscribers 383,000

12. Learn Shapes for Babies and Many More

The Learn Shapes for Babies and Many More video can be found on the JamJammies channel on YouTube. This video will teach your children many different things like colors, numbers and much more with popular nursery rhymes and other songs. The animations are very colorful and entertaining to watch. There is lots of movement and other activities that your children will love to watch. This video repeats things over and over again so your children will be able to learn very quickly.

  • Views 4 Million
  • Likes 2,200
  • Subscribers 111,000

11. Best Learning Colors for Toddlers

The Best Learning Colors for Toddlers Video is on the Sparkle Spice channel on YouTube. This video will be very entertaining for your children who love learning with fun toys. The narrator uses toys to teach children their colors with many different popular toys that your children will find to be really entertaining. The narrator talks in a very calming voice and she also uses repetition to help your children learn.

  • Views 10 Million
  • Likes 11,000

10. Chant the Alphabet

This video can be found on the Busy Beavers channel on YouTube. This song has a unique approach to teaching your baby the alphabet. It has a chanting format so one person will say a letter and then you will hear other people repeat the letter back. This will give your baby a chance to get involved with the song by repeating each letter after the leader. This video has constant motion so they will keep you baby engaged until the end.

  • Views 11 Million
  • Likes 6,100
  • Subscribers 2 Million

9. Color Songs Plus More Children’s Learning Songs

Color songs Plus More Children’s Learning Songs can be found on the Little Baby Bum channel on YouTube. Your baby will love the beautiful animations in this video. It is very colorful and they will be entertained until the end. This video is 36 minutes long and it will teach them things like colors, abc’s, shapes and much more. The songs in this video are very repetitive which will help your baby learn very quickly.

  • Views 12 Million
  • Subscribers 9 Million

8. Learning Colors for Babies and Toddlers Paw Patrol Race Cars Preschoolers Learning

Learning Colors for Babies and Toddlers Paw Patrol Race Cars Preschoolers Learning Video can be found on the Sparkle Spice channel on YouTube. This video will teach your baby colors and shapes using toys from the popular tv show Paw Patrol. This video will entertain your children as they learn important lessons at the same time. The narrator of these videos takes a unique approach to teaching your children because she uses toys that your children already love in an educational way.

  • Views 12 Million
  • Likes 10,000

7. Learn about Shapes with Elly

Learn about Shapes with Elly is a very cute video that can be found on the KidsCamp channel on YouTube. The narrator is a little girl names Elly and she will teach your children different shapes. She is able to show your children different shapes by making simple pictures with them. This video is about 12 minutes long and it will be able to show your children shapes in many different ways that will help them learn the shapes very quickly.

  • Views 14 Million
  • Likes 10,000
  • Subscribers 1 Million

6. Colors & Shapes DVD

The Colors and Shapes video can be found on the Busy Beavers channel on Youtube. This video is very repetitive and it will help your baby learn their colors and shapes really quickly. There are a variety of activities that your baby can follow along with when they watch this video. The narrator talks about different things that are a certain color to help kids associate an object with a color. This is a fun video that your baby will love. 

  • Views 16 Million
  • Subscribers 2 Million

5. Color Nature

Color Nature can be found on BabyFirst TV Learn, Colors, ABCs, Rhymes and more channel on YouTube. The Color Crew are crayons that will teach your children basic colors. This video is 20 minutes long and shows the main characters coloring many different pictures. This video has a very artistic style to it and the little artist in your life will really enjoy this video.

  • Views 49 Million
  • Likes 30,000
  • Subscribers 591,000

4. Numbers counting to 10 collection Vol. 1

Numbers counting to 10 collection volume 1 can be found on the Busy Beavers channel on YouTube. This is an extremely popular channel with 2 million subscribers. Your baby will love the catchy songs that will help them to count to 10. This video is 30 minutes long and it goes through many different ways to count. There are a lot of animations that will keep your baby interested while they learn how to count at the same time.

  • Views 67 Million
  • Likes 52,000
  • Subscribers 2 Million

3. The Numbers Song

The Numbers Song can be found on ChuChUTV Nursery Rhymes & Kid Songs Channel on YouTube. With over 7 million subscribers this channel is quickly becoming very popular with parents and teachers a like. This video is 4 minutes long and will be able to teach your baby how to count from 1 to 10. This video has a very hip-hop style to it that will get children up and jumping around.

  • Views 81 Million
  • Subscribers 7 Million

2. ABC SONG 

ABC SONG is a video on the ABCkidTV channel on YouTube. This video Is 50 minutes long and has many different ways to teach your baby the alphabet. This video starts out with the letters being the main characters and as the video progresses there will be new ways for your children to learn their ABCs. This video is very beautiful and colorful so it will be very fun for your baby to watch.

  • Views 446 Million
  • Likes 1,5000
  • Subscribers 383,000

1. Color Songs Collection Vol. 1

The Color Songs Collection volume 1 can be found on the Busy Beavers channel on YouTube. This video is full of fun chants, songs and lessons that will teach your little ones their colors. These upbeat melodies are sure to have them dancing and singing along. This video has had much success in classrooms all over the world so it is sure to help teach your children as well. This channel is very popular on YouTube because children love learning with Mr. Beaver.

  • Views 600 Million
  • Likes 338,000
  • Subscribers 2 Million

The 15 Best Children’s Books About Telling the Truth

By sara / June 30, 2017

Honesty can be hard to come by these days. We need to raise the next generation of honest people in the world. The best way to do that is to teach them young. This list of books will be a fun and easy way to teach your children the importance of being honest. These stories will also show that even a tiny lie can hurt someone or cause a lot of harm. These books can be something you read at night before they go to bed. This list of books will help you start a conversation with your children about integrity and how to tell the truth. These are the 15 Best Books about Honesty. 

The criteria that we used to choose these books are:

  • Sales
  • Reviews
  • Popularity​

David Gets in Trouble is by David Shannon. This book is all about not making excuses when you do something wrong. David is a little boy who says “Its not my fault” or “It was an accident.” During the course of this book David finds out that he always feels sad when he lies and that he will feel better if he is honest. Any children that love David will absolutely love this book and it will leave them laughing while they learn an important lesson at the same time.

Pinky Promise: A Book About Telling the Truth is by Vanita Braver. This book is about Madison a young girl that accidentally broke her mother’s camera. She did not want to get in trouble so she told a lie when her mom asked her about the broken camera. This book will teach your children that it is better to tell the truth when they accidentally break something.

13. Liar, Liar

 Liar, Liar is by Gary Paulsen. This is a book about a boy that lies all the time. He lies to make life better for those around him. His lies start to catch up to him and his parents, friends and teachers find out that he lies all the time and they are not very happy about it. He learns that it is finally time to start telling the truth because that will make his life ever better than when he lies.

Telling the Truth: Learning about Honesty, Integrity, and Trustworthiness was created to help teach children how to be more positive, honest people. This book will help teach your children about character building as well. This book comes with a CD that goes along with the book that includes a narrator and songs that go along with the story. Get this book to teach your children about the importance of character building so that they will grow into honest adults.

 The Stories Julian Tells is by Ann Cameron and Ann Strugnell. Julian is a great storyteller. He is always making up stories to entertain other people even if that means he has to tell a lie. He has the ability to make his little brother believe anything he says. Will Julian stop telling his brother lies that keep getting them both into trouble? Read this book with your children to find out.

The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot is by Scott Magoon. The pictures in this book are very fun and beautiful. Your children will love this hilarious twist on the Boy Who Cried Wolf. There are many unexpected twists and turns as this book quickly unfolds. Your children will learn the importance of telling the truth when they read this book. They will also learn to be careful when they tell a lie because it just might come true.

 Molly the Great Tell the Truth is by Shelley Marshall and Ben Mahan. This book shows children that it is important to tell the truth even if they are a superhero. The main characters are Ben and Molly and when they try on the courageous cape and the clever crown they become Super Ben and Molly the Great. Your kids should check out this book so they can follow Molly and Ben though their big adventure about telling the truth.

The Honest-to-Goodness Truth is by Patricia C. McKissack. This book will teach your children that it is important to tell the truth but they need to be careful not to hurt someone’s feelings by being brutally honest with them. The main character is Libby and ever since she started telling the truth everyone seems to be mad at her all the time. She quickly learns that telling the truth is not always the right thing to do. Sometimes it is better to be quiet.

The Empty Pot is by Demi. This book takes place in China. The main character is Ping and he loves to plant flowers and he is really good at it. The emperor of China also loved flowers and he was going to pick the heir based on who could plant the best flower and bring it to him. Ping tends to his flowers everyday hoping that he can produce the best flower. When spring comes Ping does not have any flowers so all he has to show the King is an empty pot. Read this book with your children to see how Ping is able to be rewarded for his honesty.

Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie is by Laura Rankin. This book is about a little girl named Ruthie. One day while she was at recess she finds a camera on the playground. She really wants to keep it even though she knows that it’s not hers. Ruthie tells her friends and her teachers that she got this camera for her birthday so she can keep the camera. This lie wears on her all day and she finds out that telling the truth is more rewarding than telling a lie. This book will teach your children that telling the truth will keep them out of trouble and help clear their conscience.

The Big Fat Enormous Lie is by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and David McPhail. This is a very creative story that will show your children what can happen when they lie. This book follows a little boy that keeps telling lies until they grow into this huge monster that he has to find out how to get rid of. He quickly finds out that the only way to get rid of this huge monster that he has created is to finally tell the truth.

The Berenstain Bears and the Truth is by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Brother and Sister Bear lie after they broke their mothers favorite lamp. This little lie grows and grows until it gets out of control. They finally realize that the only way to make things right again is to tell the truth. They learn that none of this would have happened if they would have told the truth from the beginning. This book teaches your children the importance of telling the truth as soon as something happens so that they do not make the situation worse.

Let’s Be Honest is by P.K. Hallinan. This is book is full of colorful and beautiful illustrations. This book will show your children is ok to make a mistake as long as they own up to it and tell the truth. The main message of this book is that the truth will set you free. This book will teach this important lesson in a way that your little one will enjoy and remember.

Victory Vault is by Jake Maddox. This book is about a gymnast named Kayla. Kayla is a very good gymnast and she finds herself facing a very important vault at her gymnastics meet. She ends up missing the vault and the only one that noticed was her best friend. Kayla now has to decide if she wants to keep her best friend or the trophy she won for a vault that she did not even do. Read this book to find out if Kayla tells the truth or if she keeps the trophy.

Eli’s Lie-O-Meter: A Story about Telling the Truth is by Sandra Levins. This book is all about learning the value of being an honest person. Eli has a bad habit about telling lies. Most of these lies are little fibs but sometimes Eli finds himself telling a big lie. There is an event in Eli’s life that finally helps him decide to finally tell the truth. Read this book with your children to find out what that event was and why Eli finally decided to tell the truth.

The Best 2017 Summer Reading Books K-5th Grades

By sara / May 22, 2017

It’s every kids favorite time of the year…SUMMER VACATION. That means that they will have a lot of time on their tiny little hands. Reading is a great way to spend some of their newly discovered free time. Reading will help them increase their reading level and it will also help them calm down from the excitement of the summer.

Some of these books are weird and funny while others are full of fantasy and adventure. You will be able to help your children find the books that they love to read. The books on this list are targeted for grades K-5. Each section of this list is separated into two grade levels because we know that reading levels fluctuate. These are the Best Summer Reading books for Kids.

Kindergarten-First Grade

1. Big Cat

Big Cat is by Ethan Long. This book is perfect for anyone that is just starting to read because it has a very simple vocabulary. The main character is an oversized cat who has a loving family. There are two kids that love to smother him with hugs and kisses. They also like to dress him up in silly clothes and dance around the house with him. Big Cat does not enjoy these kind of activities but he continues to go along with it because he loves his family very much.

Little Big Horse Where's my Bike? Is by Dave Horowitz. This book is about a little horse that wants to go on a big adventure. He just got a new bike and one of his friends took it without asking. Of course the friend breaks the bike and then Horse has a big decision to make. Should he stop being friends with Pablo or should he forgive him? This book has a very simple vocabulary that is perfect for level 1 readers. Your children will also learn a valuable lesson about forgiveness.

Trucks Line Up is by Jon Scieszka. This book is about the trucks in Trucktown lining up when they hear different colors and characteristics. The main truck in this book is Pete. He is a very unique truck that does not have any of the characteristics called by Jack truck. Once Pete makes it to the line there is a huge parade of all the trucks in the town. This fun read will teach your kids that it is ok to be different.

See Pip Point is by David Milgrim. This book is about a cute little robot who has to save his friend Pip the mouse when he is taken away by a strong wind. Pip wanted to borrow Otto’s red balloon the only problem is the balloon is way too big for the tiny little mouse. Otto needs to find help from Zee the Bee to save his friend Pip from flying away. This book is perfect for k-1 reading level because it has a simple vocabulary and a very entertaining plot.

Aggie the Brave is the third book by Lori Ries. The first two books showed us the friendship between Ben and his pet Aggie. Now Ben has to learn how to be brave when Aggie has to go to stay at the vet for a whole night. These best friends have never spent a night a part so now he will have to come up with a way to survive a night without Aggie. After Aggie comes back home Ben will have to take care of her and make her feel better. This book will be perfect for your level one readers. It has a very simple vocabulary and the pictures are very cute.

Meet Mo and Jo is a very simple chapter book written by Sarah Lynn. This is a book about two cavemen brothers. Each short chapter of this book will take your children on a different adventure. The first chapter is about the two brothers trying to find the source of a peculiar stench. The second chapter of the book is about Mo and Jo’s favorite game, hide and seek. Your children will absolutely love these two cave brothers and all of their wild adventures.

Mr. Putter & Tabby Walk the Dog is by Cynthia Rylant. Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby volunteer to walk the neighbor’s dog Zeke for a week after his owner hurt her foot. After a few days of being pulled around the neighborhood and being wrapped around every tree Mr. Putter has had enough of that crazy dog Zeke. Mr. Putter and Tabby have to find way to make it through the rest of the week of walking Zeke. Your children will love laughing along with these silly characters as they try to come up with a way to survive a week with Zeke.

Junie. B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus is by New York Times bestselling author Barbara Park. This book is about a kindergarten girl named Junie B Jones. In this book she is starting school for the first time and she is a little nervous about it. She is also scared to ride the bus because she thinks it is full of mean people. This book will help anyone who is a little nervous to ride the bus for the first time. This is a short chapter book and is perfect for level 1 readers.

The Princess in Black is by award winning writer Shannon Hale. This book is about a princess named Magnolia. She is a regular princess by day but she has a secret. She turns into her alter ego The Princess in Black when the monster alarm sound. Then she becomes a tough Princess who saves the day by stopping monsters. This book will show anyone that even a princess can be tough.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue is by Kate DiCamillo. This book is about a pig named Mercy Watson who lives inside the house with his family. He is full of adventure and loves hot buttered toast. He goes on an adventure in his neighborhood to look for fresh toast. He gets into all kinds of trouble on his big journey. This book is short and your kids are sure to fall in love with this silly little pig.

Second and Third Grade 

Bird and Squirrel on Ice by James Burks. This book is about a bird and a squirrel that land in the South Pole during a snowstorm. A penguin that lives in the South Pole thinks that Bird and Squirrel has come to save the day from this huge hungry killer whale. Will they be able to save the day or will they become food for the hungry whale?

Galaxy Zack Hello Nebulon is by Ray O’Ryan and Colin Jack. This book is perfect for any kids that love learning about space because it is about a little boy that moves to space from Earth. He meets all kinds of aliens at his new school. On his first day of school he meets a new boy from space that loves adventure as much as he does and they quickly become best friends. There are a lot of differences between space and earth but Zack is learning to love space. This book is full of simple vocabulary and exciting illustrations.

Dragon Slayers Academy: The New Kid at School is by Kate McMullan. Wiglaf is told that he will become a hero so he sets out to fulfill his destiny. In order to do that he enrolls in the Slayers’ Academy. There is just one small problem, he hates blood. How can you become a hero dragon slayer when you hate the sight of blood? This book will show your children that they can make their dreams come true if they work hard enough.

Recipe for Adventure: Naples! Is by the popular chef Giada De Laurentiis. This book is about a girl named Zia Donatella who goes to live with a family in Naples. Zia loves to cook and she wants to show the family that home-cooked meals are better than eating fast food. Zia believes that food can transport you to new parts of the world, like Naples. These characters go on all kinds of crazy adventures to find the perfect ingredients to cook an amazing meal.

The Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark is the first book in the series by Mary Pope Osborne. Jack and Annie find this magic tree house and before they can find out where it came from they find themselves on a prehistoric journey. They got transported to a land full of huge dinosaurs. They have to find a way to get home from this magical adventure before dinner time. This book is perfect for kids that love adventure and learning about dinosaurs.

The critter club is by Callie Barkley. This is a cute little book that is perfect for level 2 readers. This book takes place during spring break. Amy is the only one not doing anything exciting during her free time. She just gets to go to work with her mom. Her mom is a vet and gets to help sick animals get better. Amy is really excited to be around animals all day, Amy quickly learns that something strange happened to one of the dogs in her neighborhood so she creates the critter club to help all of the lost pets that are in her neighborhood.

Tuesdays at the Castle is by Jessica Day George. This book is about a princess named Celie. She is faced with an interesting challenge involving her castle. Every Tuesday her castle comes to life and starts magically getting rid of rooms in the castle. One day her parents and brother go missing and Celie is the only one that can save them. This book is perfect for level 2 readers that love reading about magic and princesses.

Zeke Meeks vs The Putrid Puppet Pals is about a third grade boy named Zeke Meeks. He is the only one in his whole class that is not into the newest trend. Zeke loves playing basketball but everyone else would rather play with finger puppets instead of playing with him. Even his best friend Hector would rather play with puppets than play basketball. What’s with these puppets anyway? Zeke gives it a try and finds out that the puppets are just as boring as he feared. Will Zeke be able to find someone to shoot hoops with him or will he have to play with the putrid puppet pets.

Lost! The Dog Called Bear is by Wendy Orr. Logan and his family are moving from the country to the city and he will miss everything that he has to leave behind. When he gets to the city he meets a new friend named Hannah. She has always lived in the city and has always wanted a dog of her very own. Logan has a dog named Bear that he loved very much. Your kids will love going on this journey with Logan and his new friend Hannah. They go to the Rainbow Street Shelter and run into lots of entertaining animals. This book is perfect for the little animal lovers in your life.

The Lonely Lake Monster is by Suzanne Selfors. This book is about two kids that go to Dr. Woos imaginary creatures. They get to interact with so many crazy creatures. They were told to stay inside the building but being the curious kids they are they do not listen. Pearl finds a monster in peril on an island. She has to come up with a way to save the monster before it is too late. This is a really fun book that will have your children’s imagination running wild.

Fourth and Fifth Grade​

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is by J.K. Rowling. This is the first book in the Harry Potter series. In this book Harry Potter is introduced to the fact that he is a wizard like his parents. Harry goes to a magical school where he will learn more about his magic. He meets two new friends and they go on many different adventures during their first year of school. Harry Potter learns about his strong connection to the wizarding world and what lies ahead in his future.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) is by Rick Riordan. This book will follow Percy Jackson on the most dangerous journey of his life. He has to get back the most powerful weapon of mass destruction. To do this he will have to travel across the country and fight a bunch of mystical creatures that are trying to get in his way. To top it all off he has to watch out for the people that he trusts the most because he was warned that one of his friends would betray him along the way. This book is full of adventure that your kids are sure to love.

The Land of Stories is by Chris Colfer. This book is very unique because it mixes the present day with a fairy tale land. The main characters are twins named Alex and Conner. They get to enter the stories that they were always reading about when they were growing up. They get to go on so many adventures in this magical world the only problem is they need to get home. They come across many roadblocks that make their journey home a lot harder than they ever imagined.

The Tail of Emily Windsnap is by Liz Kessler. This book is about a 12-year-old girl that discovers that she is half half human and half mermaid. She has always loved the water but her mother always tried to keep her away from it. Emily wants to find her dad so she can learn more about the mysterious life that she has been missing out on. Emily encounters many obstacles on her way to find her father. This book is perfect for any children that love mermaids and learning about the ocean.

Amulet: The Stone Keeper is the first book in the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi. This is a graphic novel that your children are sure to love. The main characters are Emily and Navin who have been sent to live with their mother after their father tragically dies. The house that they moved into seems to have crazy creatures living in it. They are forced to go into a creepy door in the basement when their mother is sucked in by a crazy monster. They do not want to lose her too so they have to be brave and save the day.

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat is by Lynne Jonell. This book is about Emmy who was an extremely good girl that always does what she is told. She even does chores without being asked. Sometimes she likes to sit by the rat because he likes to get into mischief. The incredible shrinking rat takes her one journeys that she would not go on alone. Your kids will love reading about this unusual pair of friends that get in trouble together.

Flora & Ulysses is by New York Times Best-selling author Kate DiCamillo. This book is hilarious and your children will love laughing along with the zany characters. Flora loves to read comic books because they make her laugh and forget the pain from her parents’ divorce. One day she hears a strange noise outside her window. It was the neighbor who had just hit a squirrel when he was cleaning with the vacuum cleaner. The squirrel now has super powers and oddly enough he can write poetry. This book is heartwarming and will show the true power of love. This book will help kids understand divorce while it makes them laugh at the same time.

The Secret Zoo is one of many books in the series by Bryan Chick. This book is perfect for kids that love animals. The main characters in this book are Noah and his sister Megan. They live next door to a zoo and they have noticed that something crazy happens at night. The animals leave the zoo and wander around the neighborhood. Noah notices that his sister goes missing so he has to enlist the help of his friends Richie and Ella to find her. All they have to go by are some random clues that lead them into the mysterious zoo.

Spy School is about a middle school boy named Ben Ripley. He is a very smart kid that hopes he can become a C.I.A Agent when he grows up. The only problem is he doesn’t exactly seem like the secret agent type. He is a little bit awkward and nerdy. Ben is enrolled in a school that is focused on science which is perfect for him. He soon learns that this is a secret school for C.I.A agents in the making.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is one of many books in the series by Jeff Kinney. Greg Heffley is going to middle school and he is very nervous about sharing the halls with kids that are way bigger and tougher than him. The style of this book is unique because you feel like you are really reading someone's diary. Your kids will be able to go along with Greg as he tries to make it through middle school. This is a short chapter book and is geared towards 4th and 5th grade kids that are getting ready to transition into middle school. 

The 20 Best Educational Toys for Toddlers

By Rebecca / May 22, 2017
Best Educational Toys for Toddlers at an Early Stage
Best Educational Toys for Toddlers at an Early Stage

What Makes a Toy a Good Educational Option for Your Developing Toddler's Mind?

From building toys to challenging coding games that encourage children to solve problems, educational toys are targeted at the right age range, the stir the imagination and offer peace of mind to parents who want their children to learn through fun.

  • Has the capacity to be played with in many different ways, multiple times
  • Challenges a child to think, feel, do, and ask questions
  • Should contribute to the development of the child's social, emotional, physical, and mental skills
  • Appeals to the child's natural talents, interests, size, and abilities
  • Overall appearance is engaging with a variety of different shapes, colors, sounds, and textures
  • Fits your preferences, knowledge, is safe, and doesn't break the bank

There are thousands of toys on the market for toddlers. Here is a list of some of the most highly recommended and reviewed educational toys to help your little one grow!

Top Twenty Educational Toys for Toddlers

1.) Onshine Colorful Educational Wooden Toys Game Baby Toddlers Toys Circle Bead Wire Maze Roller Coaster

Onshine Colorful Wooden Educational Toys

Rating

5.0

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps build early shape, color, and size differentiation skills, learn basic count. This kit trains a child with thinking ability, hand, eye, and brain coordination ability.

Pros

  • Brightly colored and cheerful, solid wooden activity cube
  • High-quality wood that is polished smooth
  • Minimal assembly required
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Activity cube includes five different activities
  • Removable and reversible top with bead maze

Cons

  • Has three little shape parts that are separate from the cube and may become easily lost

2.) Melissa & Doug K's Kids Pull-Back Vehicle Set – Soft Baby Toy Set with 4 Cars and Trucks and Carrying Case

Melissa & Doug K's Kids Pull-Back Vehicle Set

Rating

4.9

Ages

9 months – 4 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Develops sensory, fine motor, gross motor, problem-solving, language, social, and emotional skills.

Pros

  • Self-rolling wheels makes it easy for toddlers and infants to play with
  • Removable cloth covering makes it easy to clean
  • Brightly colored and patterned
  • Includes four soft toy vehicles: School bus, family car, fire truck, police car
  • No assembly required
  • BPA-free
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Do not leave alone with child unsupervised due to some small parts being possibly swallowed such as the detachable wheels
  • Does not run as easily on carpet in comparison to flat, hardwood floors

3.) LEGO DUPLO Creative Play All-in-One-Box-of-Fun 10572

LEGO DUPLO Creative Play All-in-One-Box-of-Fun 10572

Rating

4.9

Ages

3 years – 5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: develops their counting skills, fine motor skills, and their creative thinking skills.

Pros

  • Brightly colored blocks, two window elements, wagon base, a dog, numbered bricks, and a LEGO DUPLO Toy boy figure
  • Comes with a storage box
  • Easy to clean
  • BPA-free
  • Works with other large LEGO DUPLO sets
  • No noise

Cons

  • Small parts that can be potential choking hazards
  • No instructions to build other things

4.) Kinslent 30 Pcs Construction Building Blocks Toys, BPA Free, Magnetic Max Stem Educational Game - 3D Concept Preschool Learning Set

Kinslent 30 Pcs Construction Building Blocks Toys

Rating

4.9

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Develops their fine motor skills, shaping perception about size, sequencing, comparing, creative thinking, pattern recognition, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, decision making, and social skills.

Pros

  • BPA-free
  • Safe to use and thoroughly test to prevent any choking hazard
  • Bright and colorful pieces
  • Includes a 12-month product warranty
  • Endless fun and possibilities with the variety of shapes
  • Easy to clean and play with
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Should not be given to children under three due to potential choking hazard

5.) Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks with Wooden Storage Tray

Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks

Rating

4.9

Ages

3-8 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Basic math concepts, organizational skills, sequential skills, stimulates creativity, hones basic motor skills, and spatial relations.

Pros

  • Safe to use and comes with a wooden box for organizational purposes
  • Endless play and possibilities for construction
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Natural-finish, with smooth, sanded edges to prevent splinters

Cons

  • Slightly expensive price wise
  • Might be slightly hard to clean due to being made from wood material

6.) LEGO DUPLO My First Farm 10617, Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten Large Building Block

LEGO DUPLO My First Farm 10617

Rating

4.9

Ages

18 months – 5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps develop basic construction skills.

Pros

  • Safe to use and endless play
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with a variety of brightly colored blocks
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Can be combined with other LEGO DUPLO sets
  • No noise

Cons

  • No instructions

7.) Educational Bath Toys for Toddlers-One of the Biggest Foam Baby BathTub Toys – Foam Alphabet Letters and Animals (26 Puzzles-52 Items)-Safe and Colorful Premium ABC Foam Letters for Kids

Educational Bath Toys for Toddlers

Rating

4.9

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps teach phonics, spelling, vocabulary, reasoning and color matching skills.

Pros

  • Easy to use, clean, and play with
  • Large colorful letters/animal shapes
  • Lifetime money-back guarantee
  • Materials are all non-toxic and safe to use
  • Can be used in and outside of the bath
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • No noise, no mess comes with a small bag to keep all of the letters/animals in

Cons

  • Do not leave child unsupervised with the letters due to chewing and potentially swallowing pieces of the letters/animals

8.) Chore Reward Chart for Kids - Easy Effective Way to Motivate Good Behavior and Teach Responsibility. Magnetic Star Chart with Hanging String and Magnetic Backing

Chore Reward Chart For Kids

Rating

4.9

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: teaches responsibility and encourages kids to do their chores with positive reinforcement, as well as teaches better behavior and the importance of goal setting.

Pros

  • Customizable for your child
  • Brightly colored and easy to read
  • Interactive, fun to use and easy to clean
  • Easy to display/hang up
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Small magnets and parts that are potential choking hazards for young children

9.) Spot It Alphabet

Spot it Alphabet

Rating

4.8

Ages

3-15 years old and older

What it can be used for/to teach: learning ABCs and colors, develops visual perception skills, attention to detail, and fine motor skills.

Pros

  • Brightly colored letters
  • Comes with a rule booklet
  • All parts are safe to use
  • Great to take along for travel and road trips
  • Comes in a little storage tin
  • Offers three different challenge levels for endless fun
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Cards are not waterproof

10.) LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket

LeapFrog Shapes And Sharing Picnic Basket

Rating

4.8

Ages

6 months – 5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps build fine motor skills as they sort, match, stack, empty, and fill. It also teaches shapes and colors.

Pros

  • Endless fun and interactive audio responses, instrumental sounds, and other sound effects
  • Brightly colored shapes and objects
  • Easy to clean up and store
  • Parts and pieces are easy to clean
  • Batteries are included (3 AA batteries required)
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Batteries required
  • Makes noise
  • Has some parts that may be a potential choking hazard

11.) Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! Activity Book, 3-Pack - Animals, Alphabet, and Numbers

Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! Activity Book, 3-Pack - Animals, Alphabet, and Numbers

Rating

4.8

Ages

3-6 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps learn animals, letters, shapes, number, colors, and how to write their letters/numbers.

Pros

  • Reusable pages and refillable water pen make for endless fun
  • Great for travel and road trips
  • Compact and easy to store when not in use
  • Easy to clean and no mess
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Pictures are brightly colored when wet
  • Not easy to tear making them a durable, lasting activity books

Cons

  • Requires water to use the pen

12.) PicassoTiles 60 Piece Set 60pcs Magnet Building Tiles Clear Magnetic 3D Building Blocks Construction Playboards

PicassoTiles 60 Piece Set 60pcs Magnet Building Tiles

Rating

4.8

Ages

3 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Encourages creativity, teaches fine motor skills, and social skills.

Pros

  • Endless fun and variety of building options in 3D
  • Easy to clean, store away, and easy to use
  • No noise
  • No batteries required
  • Comes in a nice variety of shapes and bright colors
  • Great for family and group bonding time

Cons

  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Some parts such as the magnets may be possible choking hazards

13.) Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle

Rating

4.8

Ages

3-6 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps with hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.

Pros

  • Easy to clean, store away, and put together
  • Has a beautifully colored solar system image when finished building the puzzle
  • Made of durable cardboard
  • No noise
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Will need a bit of space to build the puzzle

14.) Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks with Canvas Bag

Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks with Canvas Bag

Rating

4.8

Ages

2-6 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps assist in teaching animals, letters, numbers, and symbols.

Pros

  • Contains letters and a variety of animals, numbers, and symbols
  • Brightly painted, wooden blocks
  • Safe to use
  • Easy to store away
  • No noise
  • Safe, non-toxic paint, and wood materials used
  • Made locally in the USA
  • Great to take on road trips and travel

Cons

  • May be hard to clean due to being made from wood materials
  • Fairly expensive price wise

15.) Melissa & Doug Wooden Make-a-Cake Mixer Set

Melissa & Doug Wooden Make-a-Cake Mixer Set

Rating

4.8

Ages

3-5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Encourages creative thinking, imaginative play, teaches basics of cooking, promotes memory, and number skills.

Pros

  • Made of wood, plastic, and metal materials
  • Safe to use
  • Easy to clean, store away and use
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • No batteries required

Cons

  • Comes in a cardboard box
  • Makes a bit of noise

16.) Large 43-Piece Drawing Stencils Kit, Perfect Creativity Kit, and Travel Activity

Large 43-Piece Drawing Stencils Kit

Rating

4.8

Ages

4 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps with creativity while promoting hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and problem-solving abilities. It also teaches shapes and letters.

Pros

  • Comes with a wide variety of stencils
  • Comes with colored pencils
  • Easy to use and clean up after
  • No noise
  • Comes with a little case to store the stencils
  • Great for travel since the carrying case doubles as a mini desk
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Made of non-toxic, BPA-free materials
  • Stencils are durable for long-lasting artistic fun

Cons

  • Some pieces may be a potential choking hazard
  • A lot of pieces and parts to keep track of

17.) LEGO DUPLO My First Train Set 10507

LEGO DUPLO My First Train Set 10507

Rating

4.7

Ages

2-5 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Helps develop basic construction skills.

Pros

  • Safe to use
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with brightly colored train, blocks, and figures
  • Has an automatic shut off timer after two minutes
  • Tracks do not conduct electricity

Cons

  • Makes noise
  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Not compatible with LEGO 9V trains, use with DUPLO trains only
  • Requires three AA batteries

18.) B. Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set

B. Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set

Rating

4.7

Ages

2-6 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Teaches problem-solving abilities, creative thinking, and imaginative play. Helps develop empathy and the importance of caring for others.

Pros

  • Comes with a storage case to keep all parts and pieces together
  • Safe to use
  • Packaging is recyclable
  • Brightly colored and great for endless play
  • No noise
  • No batteries required

Cons

  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Small parts that may be a potential choking hazard for those under the age of 3 years

19.) The Learning Journey My First Match It, Head and Tails

The Learning Journey My First Match It, Head and Tails

Rating

4.7

Ages

2-15 years old

What it can be used for/to teach: Teaches problem-solving skills, animals, and builds self-confidence.

Pros

  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Colorful illustrations of the animals, great for a first puzzle
  • Puzzle is self-correcting since each cut is different for each animal
  • Easy to clean up after and store away
  • Durable pieces
  • No noise

Cons

  • Pieces can be lost making the matches no longer usable

20.) The Learning Journey Match It! Upper & Lower Case Letters

The Learning Journey Match It! Upper & Lower Case Letters

Rating

4.6

Ages

4 years old and up

What it can be used for/to teach: Teaches ABCs, animals/objects, lower and upper case letters.

Pros

  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Self-correcting, no two puzzle cuts are the same
  • Colorful illustrations
  • Great first puzzle and is made of durable materials
  • Easy to clean up and store away
  • No noise

Cons

  • Pieces can be lost making the matches no longer usable

Conclusion

Depending on your budget, preferences, and the age of your child there are plenty of great educational toys that can offer a wide variety of teaching skills and personal development. The educational toys most recommended from this list are the classic toys like Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks With Wooden Storage Tray, Large 43-Piece Drawing Stencils Kit, Perfect Creativity Kit and Travel Activity, and The Learning Journey Match It! Upper & Lower Case Letters. All offer endless play, creative thinking, ample teaching moments for your little one and are all fairly inexpensive, quality options for what they offer for you and your child.

The Importance Learning Through Song

By sara / May 15, 2017

Isn’t it amazing how you can remember all the words to Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, but you can’t remember where you put your car keys? There is a reason why all those old children’s classics have stuck with you over the years and something you did thirty minutes ago is completely gone from your memory.

Songs are a great way to help anyone learn and remember, and they are an awesome tool used by teachers all over the world. An important part of any preschool classroom, singing contributes to teach behavior, basic skills, and social skills. Preschool songs also use rhymes to help children to learn vocabulary and communication skills. 

If you sing to your child at home, children will enjoy that time and the interaction with you. When you change your vocal tone or vary up the song, it helps your child learn the natural sounds of language. Using different rhyming words helps children to tune in their ears to sound of the word and learn how we blend and combine sounds together to create words.

Importance of teaching your children Nursery Rhymes 

Teaching children nursery rhymes will help them be better readers later on in life. When singing nursery rhymes, we naturally speak more clearly and slowly than we normally would which is a good way for children to learn the words and understand how they are formed. They also love to imitate you, so have fun with the songs by making funny face and movements to match the words, and they will have lots of fun doing them with you.

We all know that preschoolers love repetition; I mean how many times do they watch Frozen? We all know that repetition is the key to learning, so take advantage of this great teaching tool to help them learn all kinds of new skills.

Studies have shown that children who love music and who sing and rhyme regularly also tend to have an easier time learning to speak. They have already developed the vocabulary to express themselves, and they also become more creative and confident. School is also easier for them, especially reading and spelling.

Research has also shown that children who are better readers tend to be able to keep a steady beat. Rhyming and singing enable children to hear a steady beat, so when you are rhyming and singing with your child, remember to clap along with the beat. This will give you child the ability to feel the beat while they are clapping, tapping, and marching along.

One study wanted to see if the better reader theory was true even with differences in class background, so they studied 64 children from different socio-economic backgrounds. The results showed a strong relationship between children that scored well at age four with rhyme test also scored at a high reading level at age six. This result was independent of other factors and further signified the importance of using preschool songs as a teaching tool.

Importance of Preschool Songs

So, what can a few preschool songs teach your child? Well, quite a lot including:

Love of Language ​

One of the most valuable gifts you can give you child is a love of language. That’s why it is so important to sing and rhyme with your child. When you child has a love of language, book, and songs, she will have formed a solid foundation for learning for the rest of her life.

Just taking time each day to sing rhymes with your child, either preschool songs or silly songs you make up, can have a significant impact on her long term. You can work in these songs as you play together or even at bedtime as a lullaby.

And it doesn’t just have to be rhyming. You can always just have fun with words and language by making up nonsense words or doing fun word play games like ‘I-spy’. It may just be a game now, but you are creating long-term benefits that will help them throughout life.

A Love of Music​

Children love music, they love to sing, and they love to dance. We all know that a certain song can often get a preschooler grooving like no other can. Since children often seem to be born with their love of music, it’s not something you need to teach them; it is just an innate response to dance to music. So, it is worth taking advantage of that inclination they already have and use it in a teaching setting.​

Learning New Concepts ​

If you want to teach some basic skills, adding songs to your lesson plan can help to reinforce these skills. Repeating certain skills like the alphabet and colors will help to make sure that your child is getting enough exposure to these skills. Teachers can also use songs to teach good behavior and social skills. So, remember, songs aren’t just for fun, they can teach pre-reading skills and many other skills children will use throughout life.​

What child doesn’t like to wiggle their way through a song? Songs about body parts are especially entertaining and a great way to teach little ones how to identify and learn the names of the parts of their body. With these ten fun preschool songs, you can encourage fun family time, help your child to expand her vocabulary, or, if you are a teacher, use them as a brain break. No matter what, kids will love getting up and moving to these catchy songs.

Children have an enormous amount of energy that parents and teachers are always looking to burn off. Preschool songs that involve a lot of movement are always a great addition to children’s playtime. Movement songs will help kids work on their gross motor skills and are good for midline activities. These songs are not only fun to move to, but they also suggest movements for each song that correlate with the music and words.

Wiggles can be very hard to ignore and deal with, so it’s a good idea to be prepared with some movement songs that embrace the wiggle and turn it into a fun-filled learning activity. Not only are they a good tool for parents during playtime, but teachers will love using them during circle time. A fun-filled movement song is an awesome way to start the day and get the kids smiling and energized.

If you are a family that loves music, this is a great playlist of preschool songs to play on a car ride or just have on in the background as your child plays. If you enjoy a little more interactivity, there are free printable downloads that will help you learn the songs so you can help teach them to your little one so you can sing them together.

Circle time is a great time for teachers to use a fun song that will get the kids moving. Depending on what time of day you have circle time, you may want to help energize them to start their day, or you may need to help them get all the wiggles out so they can concentrate on planned activities. This site also includes a link for free printable song sticks that you can keep on hand to let children choose which song they want to sing. When kids are offered a choice in the activity, they feel empowered, and that helps them to learn more.

When thinking about preschool songs, don’t forget there are tons of Bible songs that kids love to hear and move along with. These songs can be fun for playtime and riding in the car. Sunday School teachers will also find them useful in their classrooms to help the kids focus on their Sunday School lesson in case they start to squirm.

Children learn a lot through songs which are evident from all the traditional children’s songs that have been around for hundreds of years. Information through songs help children to retain lessons better, and this list of songs help children have fun, be active, and give them the foundational knowledge they need to excel in Kindergarten.

The 8 Best Earth Day Activities for Kids

By sara / April 21, 2017

Earth Day is an awesome day to get into your craft closet. You know all those egg cartons and paper towel rolls you have been saving? This is the perfect time to explain recycling to your children and help them create crafts that represent the theme of the day.

If you haven’t been stashing away recyclables in your craft closet, dive into your recycle bin. This is an easy and frugal activity day, so make the most about teaching your children to take care of our environment.

Why is Earth Day Important? 

Teaching our children to take care of the earth and their environment is a vital lesson that shouldn’t just be restricted to one day. Earth Day helps us to understand the necessary lifestyle changes that will help to make a positive impact throughout the year.

Our planet is known as the Blue Planet because of the immense amount of water that it holds. Because of this, the Earth boasts a vibrant and complex ecosystem where organisms can interact with each other and their environment. It’s important to teach children to take care of what is really a fragile place.

As information becomes more readily available, we have been learning how not taking care of the environment is affecting the earth. Children can learn that even the little things they are capable of can make a big difference in preserving the earth and its resources.

Earth Day Facts

  • Once cover 14% of the earth's land surface with experts predicting that the remaining rainforest will disappear in les than 40 years. 
  • Every day, according to experts, we lose 137 animal, insect and plant species. 
  • Tons of pollution, including toxic chemicals is released into the air, water and land every year, 
  • It is important to celebrate Earth Day and to educate everyone about taking care of what we have as well as teach people what we are losing by acting in non-environmentally friendly and energy inefficient ways. 

What is Earth Day?

Annually celebrated on April 22, Earth Day is celebrated all over the world with various events that demonstrate people’s support for protecting the environment. It was first celebrated in 1970 and today it is celebrated in over 193 countries and is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

Many places all over the earth celebrate Earth Week with a week full of activities centered on the world’s environmental issues. March for Science is happening in 2017 on Earth Day which will be followed by People’s Climate Mobilization on April 29.

Earth Day Accomplishments 

Here are a few landmark accomplishments that may not have ever happened without Earth Day:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is established in 1970
  • The Clean Air Act of 1970
  • The Clean Water Act of 1972
  • The Endangered Species Act of 1973
  • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976
  • The Federal Occupational Health and Safety Act that is aimed at " in-plant pollution"

What Has Happened Since Then? 

Succeeding Earth Days have helped to make people more aware of the importance of sustaining life in our fragile world and why it is important to actively protect our environment.

  • Almost non-existent 40 years ago, many people now practice recycling
  • We have now developed energy efficient forms of energy like CFL light bulbs
  • Catalytic convertors became mandatory in 1975 for all cars in the U.S., plus new hybrid and electric cars have been developed
  • Levels of acid rain have dropped in the U.S. by 65% since 1976 and SO2 emissions have been lowered by 40%
  • We now have control of the depletion of the ozone layer 

Getting Kids Involved and Excited about Earth Day 

Children are learning new ideas every day, and they will be very influential in how the earth is treated in the future. They also want to help and please others, so they will be all about helping out the earth. This is a great teaching moment that we can pass on to our children and they can pass on to theirs.

Lifestyle Changes 

One of the great things about Earth Day is that you can make changes for more than just that day. When you start to educate your family about Earth Day, you learn about activities that can be done all year long. You can learn great ways to conserve that can help reduce your energy bills and teach your children responsibility and how to implement change along the way.

Reduce

It is easy to teach your children about turning off the light and using less water in an effort to conserve your resources and reduce fuel emissions. Turning off the faucet while they brush and taking walks or riding bikes instead of driving are easy lessons that the kids will remember.

Reuse

Make a game out of looking for things around the house that you can reuse or use for craft projects. Also, accepting secondhand clothing and buying used household items can teach kids a valuable lesson on reusing things. Donating your still working items to organizations in need will also make an impact on how they view throwing things away.

Recycle ​

You should already have a designated waste bin for recycling, if not, you need to get one. It is an easy concept to start with small children by creating small waste bins with magazine pictures of the recyclable items that go in them on the sides. This is a visual lesson that is easy for a young child to grasp and they will enjoy separating items like plastic and paper if you show them how.

Are you planning on celebrating Earth Day with your kids this year? If so, here are a few craft ideas that will help you plan a fun-filled celebration with your kids that will also help to teach them what the day is all about.

Earth Day is all about taking care of the earth. This watering can craft is made easily from an old milk jug that teaches kids about repurposing household items to become a useful pot for new plants, flowers, or even trees.

This fun-filled activity does require a template that the children are encouraged to paint with watercolors, so that you can still see the writing through the paint. It also encourages kids to think about different ways they can help the environment including recycling, composting, and planting trees.

Here is a simple and creative craft to use on Earth Day. Google eyes and small green and blue crepe paper squares are glued to a paper plate while arms and legs are attached to the sides. A cutout heart is placed on the crossed arms creating a delightful earth craft that is filled with love.

This Earth Day craft uses colored salt dough to create an awesome photo keepsake. Your child simply presses down with a handprint of a rolled out circle and a heart shaped cookie cutter to press out a hole in the center. Once it is baked, you have a thoughtful photo keepsake.

The Earth Day Tree craft is a good use of several recycled materials including cardboard. This craft not only allows children to explore their creativity, but also helps them learn about different trees as they decide on what tree to make.

Looking for a cute Earth Day craft that will also capture the size of their hands? This craft includes both of your child’s traced hands holding medium sized hearts that are painted blue and green. The cutout fingers are bent to look like they are holding the hearts and keeping them safe.

This is an easy paper plate craft that requires a little paint and some glue. Simply paint the plate blue and glue small pieces of green tissue paper for the continents, trace your child’s hand onto brown cardstock, and cut out a simple red heart to glue into the center.

This very easy and super inexpensive craft uses only coffee filters and markers. Children are encouraged to color the coffee filters with a blue marker and then lightly spray the filter with water to create a water effect. Green markers are used after the filter is dry to show the continents on earth.

The 10 Best Easter books for Children

By sara / April 12, 2017

These books are perfect last minute items for your children’s Easter baskets. They are going to be full of sugar from all the fun Easter activities and these books are a perfect way to calm them down from all of the excitment. These books are perfect to read to them before or after the bunny visits your house. Some of these books will spark your children’s imagination and others will answer their questions about the true meaning of Easter. These are the 10 Best Easter Books for Children.

We ranked these books based on the following

  • Sales
  • Price
  • Reading level

Pinkalicious: Eggstraordinary Easter is by bestselling author Victoria Kann. Pinkalicious wakes up to an exciting note from none other than the Easter bunny himself. She finds that the note is actually directions that will take her on a fun scavenger hunt with the whole Pinkerton family. This book is a fun way to set up a scavenger hunt of your very own for your children to wake up to on Easter morning.

Thomas and the Easter Eggs is one of the classic little gold books and it includes everyone’s favorite train, Thomas. Thomas has to come up with a way to save the Easter egg hunt from being a complete and total disaster. This book is recommended for children ages 2-5 and anyone that love Thomas the train. This book is full of beautiful images that your children will love. Read this book to find out if Thomas can save the day or if this will be the worst Easter of all time.

How to Catch the Easter Bunny is by Adam Wallace. This book will be an instant classic in your family as soon as you read it. This is a fun story about trying to catch the Easter bunny. During the course of this book the main character sets all kinds of silly traps in order to get ready for the big day. Once all these traps have been set all that is left to do is wait for the perfect opportunity. Will these traps actually work? Will the Easter bunny finally get caught? Read this book with your family to find out.

Llama Llama Easter Egg is the perfect size and durability for the hands of little readers. This book is very short and the pictures will be able to hold your child’s attention until the end. The “Llama Llama” books are full of fun rhymes that are easy for your children to follow along with. This book is about Easter and all of the fun and colorful things that are involved with the holiday like brightly colored Easter eggs and yummy treats.

God Gave us Easter is by Lisa Tawn Bergren. The main character in this book is a young cub that is celebrating Eater with her family. She begins to ask her parents questions about this special holiday and what it is truly about. This book is perfect for children that have questions about the religious background of the holiday. This book explains Easter in very simple terms that will be easy for your children to understand.

Duck & Goose Here comes the Easter Bunny is a fun book for the curious little ones in your life. Duck and Goose go on an adventure to find the Easter bunny and your children will be able to go along for the ride. The question is will they actually find the Easter bunny? You will have to get this book and find out. Your children will love this book and all of the bright colors of the illustrations.

The Night Before Easter is by Natasha Wing. "Twas the night before Easter, just before dawn,Not a creature was stirring out on the lawn.” This book is a spinoff from the popular Christmas Story “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. This book centers around the Easter Bunny and what he does the night before Easter. This book could be the start of a fun new Easter Eve tradition before your children go to bed.

Happy Easter Mouse Is By Laura Numeroff, the author of the popular book “If you give... series”. This book has a very interactive and will have your children engaged until the very end. This book will follow the Mouse around his house as he tries to figure out who is leaving him Easter eggs. This art in this book is very colorful and is perfect for young children who love to look at pictures.

Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure is by James Dean. This book follows Pete the Cat on a fun filled Easter quest. This book is perfect for your little ones that have not learned to read yet because this is a picture book. This book is full of beautiful illustrations that your children will love. On this adventure Pete the Cat will help the Easter Bunny. This book comes with stickers and fun Easter activities that will help them celebrate Easter.

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story is by Jan and Mike Berenstain. This is a great book for any children that love the Berenstain Bears. This book will help teach your children that Easter is about more than just candy and fun Easter toys. Mama and Papa teach their children about Jesus and his resurrection and how his sacrifice is way more important than any candy that they could ever get in their Easter basket.

The 10 Safest and Most Educational Smartwatches for Kids

By Rebecca / April 3, 2017
Safe and Educational Smartwatches for Kids

Kids these days are growing and advancing alongside new wearable technology that is designed to keep them busy, connected, and knowledgeable. Smartwatches are gaining in popularity and have many integrated features that range from a simple calculator to motion sensors and video recording functions.

The materials used to make these watches are durable and designed to withstand the rough and tough use a child will put it through. The batteries have long lives to ensure that your child can enjoy it throughout the day without the worry you may have of them breaking it or casting it to the side like a toy that is not valued.

Smartwatches are wearable technology that can provide hours upon hours of entertainment for children and young students alike while allowing the parent to keep track of them via GPS or monitoring their Internet and physical activity throughout the day. Some smartwatches come with parental control features to provide the parent with improved peace of mind knowing that their child is safe while offering them a way to learn organization and responsibility in the process.

Additional features that you can find with most smartwatches are Android and iOS compatibility. Many of the smartwatches have apps that can allow a parent to put parental controls on the watch to ensure the child’s safety. These features go hand in hand with GPS tracking and location so you can know where your child is.

Consider the compatibility that you are looking for when purchasing a smartwatch. Typically, if there is no phone compatibility, then your child will not be able to use calling functions or message features.

Giving your child a smartwatch means you will be letting your child become even more connected and they will be physically attached to their device. However, a positive side of this would be knowing that your child is safe by utilizing the family tracker apps and it gives you an additional opportunity to discuss safety measures with your children.

Finally, a lot of smartwatches allow children to track their activity levels which will help them see the potential of fun fitness. It helps the child learn to exercise more by encouraging activities that require physical energy. If they can track the progress, they are making it may, in turn, provide them with the motivation to continue exercising because it will be a fun thing to do.

The following are reviews of the best kids’ smartwatches that are both safe and educational for your child:


Smartwatches for Children Under Five Years of Age

LeapFrog LeapBand

The LeapFrog LeapBand watch is one of the first activity trackers that are designed for children. It includes fifty active challenges and parental controls on LeapFrog Connect so that the parent can set play times, challenges, and more. It is designed for children as young as four years old.

Product Dimensions

2” x 2.5” x 1.8”

Product Weight                          

5.6 oz

Compatibility

Games compatible with Apple iOS devices 6.0 or higher and Android devices 4.03 or higher, and LeapFrog Wireless tablets

Pros

  • Includes fifty fun activities that encourage physical activity
  • High-resolution screen and adjustable band
  • Water resistant
  • LeapFrog Connect enabled
  • Kids can earn points with the games to unlock new pets and pet toys
  • Kids can pick 1 out of 8 virtual pets and choose its name and color

Cons

  • Wristband is on the smaller side although it is adjustable
  • Poor battery life

Kurio Watch

The Kurio Watch is a real smartwatch that uses a high-resolution touch screen. It has 256 MB of internal memory along with an added 32 G of memory in the micro sadhu card slot. It features productivity tools such as an alarm clock, calculator, calendar, contacts, and activity tracker and has over twenty different games and apps. The games can be played in single player mode or 2 player mode and you can also use the built-in motion sensor to play active games.

Product Dimensions

7.9” x 3.1” x 4.8”

Product Weight                                              

4 oz

Compatibility

Android and iPhone via Bluetooth

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Allows parental control when connected with Bluetooth
  • Kids can accept phone calls from friends and family
  • Parents can enter in critical information in the Case of Emergency App
  • 0.3 MP camera and video

Cons

  • Battery drains quickly
  • Screen can be easily damaged if dropped
  • Currently only available for Android. iPhone compatibility only through Bluetooth technology

Smartwatches for Children Under Ten Years of Age

LG GizmoPal 2 VC110 Verizon Wireless Child Wearable SmartWatch

The LG GizmoPal has a wearable and kid friendly design that includes a dedicated call button, LED status indicators, Auto Answer function, and it is Android and iOS compatible. The child can call and receive calls from up to four authorized phone numbers which make it safe to use and it utilizes easy preset identifiers such as “mom” and “dad” to notify the child who is calling.

Product Dimensions

7.4” x 3.7” x 1.8”

Product Weight                                                

5.6 oz

Compatibility

Android and iOS

Pros

  • Includes a GPS tracking feature
  • Great starter watch for younger children
  • Great overall fit and comfort ratings
  • Only an extra $5 a month to access it with your wireless plan
  • Up to four caregivers can access the GizmoPal through the hub

Cons

  • Location is approximate, not exact
  • The watch does not show time. Must press a button to view the time

Orbo Kids Bluetooth Phone Pairing Smartwatch with Rotating Camera

The Orbo Kids Smartwatch helps to teach your child how to read while providing hours of entertainment with its touchscreen. It features a built-in tiltable camera so that your child can take photos and save them to the watch. It also comes with a micro USB cable for fast and easy charging. It also includes interactive activities and games and is comfortable to wear and kid friendly.

Product Dimensions

5.7” x 4.1” x 3.2”

Product Weight

5.6 oz                                      

Compatible

Bluetooth phone pairing

Pros

  • Can use Bluetooth to pair with any cell phone
  • Portable and wearable format
  • Three games that sharpen memory, reflex, and musicality
  • Up to 16 activities with simple touch and swipe interface
  • Easy-to-clean rubber exterior
  • Built-in tiltable camera to capture photo and video
  • Easy charging and impressive playtime per charge

Cons

  • Not waterproof or water resistant
  • Very simple and basic games; not challenging
  • Can be difficult to navigate through functions

VTech Kidizoom Kids Smartwatch DX

The VTech Kidizoom Kids Smartwatch DX includes fun games and activities for children including three action games and a motion sensor. It features an alarm, timer, and stopwatch and has a calendar feature and calculator. It has a digital and analog display with over fifty clock face designs and is splash and sweat proof. The wristband can also be adjusted for wrists between 5.4 and 7.75 inches. It includes ample space for memory, video camera, and recorder, voice recorder with voice-changing effects and an easy-to-use touch screen.

Product Dimensions

0.6” x 8.8” x 1.8”

Product Weight

11.2 oz                                                                 

Compatibility

None

Pros

  • Adjustable wristband
  • Helps teach simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery and included micro USB cable
  • 3 fun activities, 5 games, 3 action challenges, motion sensor
  • Lots of memory for photos and videos
  • Promotes activity by tracking the number of steps the child takes

Cons

  • No smartphone or Bluetooth capability
  • Slightly larger than expected
  • Cannot make or receive calls

Lemfo Q50 Smart Watch

The Lemfo Q50 Smart Watch is made of an environmentally-friendly material with lower radiation and a security gel polymer battery to protect your child’s eyesight. It has low consumption and high brightness. It allows two-way calling, SOS Emergency Calling, GPS location with SE tracker app and real-time location tracking. It has a security fence, fitness tracker, pedometer, voice chat, and alarm warnings.

Product Dimensions

8.19” x 1.42” x 0.43”

Product Weight

1.44 oz

Compatibility

Android and iPhone

Pros

  • Can set up monitoring number
  • Choose activity areas for your kids on the APP Maps
  • GPS+LBS Accurate Location with dual-mode positioning
  • Two-way communication and electronic fence
  • Acceleration sensor and low power management

Cons

  • Interface could use some improvements
  • Must be on an active call to adjust volume
  • Instructions are poorly written

Smartwatches for Older Children-Grade School

Pebble Smartwatch

This Pebble Smartwatch is ideal for older kids and is compatible with both Apple (ioS 6 and higher) and Android devices (OS 4.0 and higher) It has a rechargeable battery that can last between five and seven days on a single charge and has many notification and app features. Your child can view notifications from email, SMS, Caller ID, and calendars and can even control music on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and others.

Product Dimensions

3.8” x 3” x 2.6”

Product Weight                              

1.3 oz                      

Compatibility

Apple iPhone and Android Devices

Pros

  • Can access downloadable apps that suit hobbies, interests, and lifestyles
  • Pebble timeline collects all information and arranges it in an easy-to-read chronological view
  • Can be easily personalized with a variety of downloadable watch faces
  • Wristbands can be swapped out for different sizes and styles
  • Long-lasting battery, user-friendly operation, and easy-to-read screen
  • Straightforward and wearable design with a scratch-resistant display

Cons

  • Some limitations with apps and features when used with iOS
  • Low power display and processor
  • Charger has to be plugged into the corresponding port at the correct angle

Samsung Gear G2 Smartwatch

The Samsung Gear G2 Smartwatch is at the higher end of the price spectrum, but it features a dual-core 1.0 GHz processor, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 4GB internal memory. You can choose from different premium finishes to find the right style and look for you, and there is a wide selection of customizable watch face designs. It is compatible with most Android smartphones that are Android 4.4 and higher. It features a larger watch face and battery with a thicker face and it stays connected for longer.

Product Dimensions

2” x 1.7” x 0.5”

Product Weight

1.3 oz                                                   

Compatibility

Android 4.4 and higher

Pros

  • Built-in wireless charging
  • Customizable watch face designs
  • Includes a wireless charging dock
  • Supports GPS Navigation
  • 1.2-inch display

Cons

  • Watch band that is included may be too small
  • Higher price point

Alcatel Smart Watch

The Alcatel Smart Watch is fully customizable. The front casing and both bands can be swapped out for a more personalized look. It is compatible with most smartphones and has a 1.22-inch display screen that is smudge and fingerprint resistant. It is also water, dust, and shock resistant and the battery lasts longer than most other wearable devices.

Product Dimensions

4.2” x 3.7” x 4.2”

Product Weight

7.2 oz                                                                                     

Compatibility

Android, Android 4.3, iOS, iOS 7

Pros

  • Fully customizable design
  • Water, dust, and shock resistant
  • Push notifications
  • Health- and fitness-based option

Cons

  • None found

Indigi Smart Watch and Phone 2-in-1

The Indigi Smart Watch is a GSM unlocked phone that works with any GSM wireless carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Straight Talk. You can connect it to your smartphone via Bluetooth and you can also synchronize with the phonebook on your phone. It is a good starter smartwatch for older kids and even has Smart Anti-lost technology that allows you to activate an anti-lost function so that the watch will ring or vibrate if the smartphone gets to be 10-20 meters away.

Product Dimensions

2.3” x 1.5” x 0.5”

Product Weight

3.5 oz

Compatibility

Bluetooth, Android 2.3+, iOS 4.0+

Pros

  • Built-in camera
  • Color touch screen
  • Calls, Caller ID, Messaging, and notifications
  • Remote camera shutter, built-in mic and speaker
  • Pedometer, sleep monitor, and sedentary reminder
  • Audio player, FM radio, Image viewer, music streaming

Cons

  • Works with iPhone iOS but with limited features

Take into consideration your child's interests when choosing the smart watch that would be right for them. The watches designed for older children include more functions like calendars and calculators and the watches designed for younger children have more games and provide numerous entertainment options. All of the reviewed watches are affordably priced and are built to withstand the wear and tear and play of a child.

The Best Child Safety Soft Toy Storage Options

By Rebecca / March 31, 2017
Child Safety – Soft Toy Storage

Toddler toy storage is an essential organizational element that most parents need to consider if they don’t want to step over their kid's toys every time they walk into a room. It is also good practice for developing clean and neat habits for the kids as they grow older. It is important, however, to find the right toy storage for younger children that is safe while remaining convenient and helpful around the house. In this article, we'll take a look at the best soft toy storage solutions to ensure child safety.

If you have little ones, then it may be better to steer clear of storage options with hard plastic or wooden edges or anything else that can potentially harm your child. Soft toy storage is ideal and will not hurt any of the kids. There are no sharp edges or corners and the materials used are lightweight and will not hurt a child if they were to fall over or if the little ones (or little devils!) were to pull it down.

There are many different toy storage ideas available including cubby holes with bins, hanging storage, and plush toy bags. When looking for safe toy storage idea to the traditional plastic and wood toy box, you will want to consider if the storage solution is customizable, expandable, easy to clean, sturdy, and durable. A versatile storage bin makes it easier to organize your children’s toys and books without having to worry whether a standardized bin will fit where you need it to. Expandable bins are perfect for larger items and are usually reinforced to retain their shape.

Finding easy to clean storage is also important, especially considering the mess any child is capable of making. A bin that can be wiped down with a damp cloth or sponge is ideal for smaller children.

Finally, before purchasing new bins and storage for a child’s bedroom or playroom, take an inventory of what you will need to place in the bins so you can get an accurate number in mind. Some types of bins are better for storing specific items. Larger bins can hold books, hanging storage can hold stuffed animals, and smaller bins can handle smaller toys like blocks or dolls.

Bins with fun designs that are easy to drag around are great for smaller children and encourage them to play and pick up their toys when they are finished. Starting these habits early on are good in helping your child learn responsibility and cleanliness.

Considerations when Buying Soft Toy Storage

  • Durability and versatility
  • Washable and easy to clean
  • Soft with no sharp edges or corners
  • Easy for the child to get to
  • What items will need bins?
  • What colors, shapes, and designs will engage your children and make cleaning a more fun and enjoyable experience?

The following are the best soft toy storage solutions to ensure child safety:


Soft Toy Storage for Toddlers

Three Sprouts Storage Box

These storage boxes are made from polyester and have reinforced cardboard sides that help keep the shape when items are added. The boxes fit most shelving units and cubbies and can also be used alone for storage. The material can easily be spot cleaned which make it an ideal option for a younger child’s room or nursery and they come in many different designs with your child’s choice of animal.

Product Dimensions

13” x 13” x 13”

Product Weight                          

1.7 lb

Materials

Polyester/canvas material

Pros

  • BPA-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Latex and lead-free
  • No sharp corners or edges
  • Very sturdy and high-quality construction
  • Easy to spot clean

Cons

  • May have slight color difference than what is seen online
  • Higher price point per box

Toy Storage Basket and Toy Organizer

These toy storage baskets can be used to store several different items in your child’s room or nursery like diapers, clothing, stuffed animals, arts and crafts supplies, books, puzzles, etc. They are strong and durable and made of canvas, so they are long lasting. They have metal wires placed around the rim to hold the shape of the basket, but these edges are covered with the canvas material. They are durable and sturdy enough that the child can drag them around and they will retain their shape. They come in a variety of colors and designs that are sure to fit any décor.

Product Dimensions

15” x 9” x 11”

Product Weight                                              

0.2 oz

Materials

Canvas

Pros

  • Colorful prints and designs that your children will love
  • Can store a variety of different items
  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • Easy to store and foldable when not in use
  • Handles that make it easier to carry

Cons

  • May have larger dimensions around the top than listed
  • Higher price point per basket

Soft Toy Storage for Preschoolers

Rope Cotton Storage Baskets

Rope Cotton Storage Baskets are handcrafted with 100% organic cotton rope that is both safe and healthy with no added chemicals. The baskets are soft to the touch and are lightweight and flexible and are extremely safe for children. They are eco-friendly and non-toxic storage solutions made from FDA grade material that will not scratch a child’s skin.

Product Dimensions

13.8” x 8.1” x 4.5”

Product Weight                                                

2 lb

Materials

100% cotton rope

Pros

  • Large capacity baskets
  • Natural and eco-friendly materials
  • Safe for children and soft to the touch
  • Includes handles for comfort and convenience
  • Practical and versatile

Cons

  • High price point per basket

Mesh Toy Pop-up Hamper in Red with White Lid Numbers

The Mesh Toy pop up hamper is perfect to use as a toy organizer, stuffed animals, and even laundry. It is made of foldable mesh and has a lid that can be easily detached. The material is breathable and the hamper is safe to use in any child’s room or nursery.

Product Dimensions

15” x 14” x 2”

Product Weight

5.6 oz             

Materials

Foldable and breathable mesh

Pros

  • Can fit toys, stuffed animals, or blankets
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Affordably priced
  • Fun and kid-friendly color and design
  • Cover attaches easily and can stay open

Cons

  • Limited color options

Soft Toy Storage for Grade-Schoolers

Cotton Rope Storage Organizers, Multifunctional Organization

These storage organizers can help maintain clutter and are great for stuffed animals, towels, blankets and sheets, and other smaller items. The material is soft but firm and can stand on its own and are 100% eco-friendly and safe for use around children. There is nothing on the bins that will scratch your child or the floor and are completely safe for children to play with and drag around.

Product Dimensions

12” x 8.8” x 3.3”

Product Weight

1.4 lb                                               

Materials

Cotton rope

Pros

  • Soft and eco-friendly materials
  • Natural and handmade
  • Long-lasting durability
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Thick and not droopy; stand up on their own

Cons

  • May have small defects and irregularities because they are handmade
  • Possibility of creasing after delivery, but it will go away with time

6. Bigso Soft Storage Box with Lid, Large

Bigso Soft Storage Box with Lid

These storage boxes would make the perfect addition to any child’s bedroom and feature a stylish soft-sided organizer that is ideal for storing toys, pillows, blankets, and more. They are strong and durable and are made from cardboard and polyester, and they are easy to clean. They can fold flat when not in use. They offer any household a functional and versatile storage solution. They come in three different size options: Small, medium, and large.

Product Dimensions

17.7” x 13.4” x 9.8”

Product Weight

2.8 lb

Materials

Polyester and cardboard

Pros

  • Functional and versatile
  • Strong and durable construction
  • Easy to clean
  • Can be stored flat when not in use
  • Comes in three different sizes

Cons

  • Higher price point per box

Toy Hammock-Storage Net for Plush Toys and Stuffed Animals

The toy hammock provides an easy and safe way of storing all of your child’s stuffed animals and plush toys so that they are out of the way but still accessible. It offers a nice display for the toys while keeping them up and off the floor. It can also hold bathroom toys, pillows, and playpen balls effectively. The nets are easy to install and are made from super durable elastic bands and netting.

Product Dimensions

11” x 4” x 4.2”

Product Weight                              

8 oz             

Materials

Elastic and netting

Pros

  • Comes with the hooks needed to install it
  • Custom-designed by a mother
  • Strong and durable elastic band and netting
  • Stretches out to four feet for a lot of extra storage space

Cons

  • Smaller than expected even when stretched out

Delta Children 4 Pocket Hanging Wall Organizer

The Delta Children 4 Pocket Hanging Wall Organizer features a hanging storage option printed with subtle polka dots and contrast piping. It is ideal for storing smaller toys and other accessories. It easily and effortlessly hangs over the door or it can be attached to the wall with hardware that is provided. It is well made with no sharp edges and is safe to use in any children's bedroom or nursery to keep the room clean and organized while minimizes the clutter.

Product Dimensions

13” x 3.5” x 36”

Product Weight

1.1 lb                              

Materials

Canvas with cardboard reinforcement

Pros

  • Four decently-sized pockets
  • Can hang over the door or be attached to the wall with included hardware
  • Different color options that can be coordinated to fit into any room
  • Can be paired with other pieces for a more cohesive look
  • Durable and sturdy construction

Cons

  • Hooks are less than desirable and too thick
  • Hard to reach the taller pocket if you are shorter
  • Pockets are too close together

The Warm Home Durable Fabric Storage Bins

These durable fabric storage bins are perfect for the nursery, closet organization, and toy storage. They are made from a natural fabric material with sturdy linen construction. They have a rope handle that makes it easier to slide the bins in and out of shelves or cabinets, and they are collapsible for easy storage when not in use. They are also extremely easy to clean. Simply wipe them down with a damp cloth or sponge. The reinforced panels allow you to store heavier and bulkier items.

Product Dimensions

15.7” x 11.8” x 8.3”

Product Weight

1.5 lb                                                                            

Materials

Natural fabric material

Pros

  • Stylish design and sturdy construction
  • Stabilized base made with reinforced panels
  • Thick handles that provide optimum tension and comfort
  • Folds for easy storage when not in use
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • They do not come with lids

Furinno Non-Woven Fabric Soft Storage Organizer with Lid

These non-woven fabric organizers with lids are foldable and are lightweight, large-capacity bins that provide the answer to any small storage problems. They come in fun colors and designs that are perfect for a child’s bedroom, playroom, or nursery and they can hold toys, games, crafts, clothes, books, and so much more. They are functional and suitable for any age and help to cut down on the amount of clutter around the home. They are soft to the touch, yet durable and fit perfectly into any space.

Product Dimensions

10.6” x 15” x 10.6”

Product Weight

1.4 lb

Materials

Non-woven fabric and cardboard

Pros

  • Large capacity bins with lids to make storage easy
  • Folds down when not in use for easy storage
  • Available in an array of styles and designs
  • Sewn-in handle so they can be pulled effortlessly from shelves
  • Durable and sturdy design

Cons

  • Slightly bigger than expected
  • Color may be off from what is pictured

There are many different solutions when it comes to toy storage and there are alternatives to the traditional plastic or wooden containers that are safer for children, as well as being eco-friendly and washable. Most of the storage bins and boxes can be neatly stored on shelves or can be used in cubbies for additional storage space. The possibilities and style choices are endless. They provide safety while still ensuring functionality, durability, convenience, and versatility.

The 20 Best Spring Songs for Kids

By sara / March 29, 2017

Not only does singing and dancing play an important cultural role in our lives, but it also plays a significant role in our development. Music plays a part in celebrations, holidays, movies, and worship. Children see it on a daily basis, and it helps them learn many things as they grow.

Music is an instinctive way that parents can soothe and calm their children, help them to go to sleep at night or help them feel safe and secure when they are scared or get hurt. Music is also a part of games and playtime, helping to teach them their ABC’s or the parts of their bodies. After you have heard “Let It Go” for the hundredth time, you will have no doubt that music will remain a constant part of your child’s enjoyment of life.

The best part of music is that it can help to create academic achievement since it inspires many areas of your little one’s development through language, motor skills, and overall literacy. Not only does it help your mind and body to work together, but it also allows you to practice self-expression, strengthen memory skills, and most important of all, it gives us joy.

Children, in particular, love moving and dancing to music. Toddlers especially love repetitious songs that use words and memorization. Silly songs is especially entertaining for toddlers, and they love songs where they can clap and tap along.

Preschoolers just love to sing to be singing, they aren’t at all self-conscious, and they want to be loud and heard by all. The best songs for preschoolers have words and melodies that are repetitive with a definite beat that wants them to do certain actions. They love finger plays and nursery rhymes, plus songs that have familiar things to them like animals and toys.

Studies have shown that children who have learned eight nursery rhymes songs by heart by the age of four will usually be the best spellers and readers in their class by the second grade. So, why are nursery rhyme songs so helpful in a young child’s development?

  • They are a great way to teach early phonic skills which most schools use as the main way to teach reading.
  • Children are given an opportunity to practice language rhythm along with pitch and volume.
  • They expand children’s imagination.
  • They teach a clear sequence of event.
  • Often becoming children’s first sentences, nursery rhymes are easy to repeat.
  • They improve a children’s vocabulary, and they are an early form of poetry.

Here are a few Spring Songs to help entertain your little one or, if you are a teacher, they can be a helpful brain break to help transition your class to their next lesson.​

20. Spring Song by HappyKids

After a long hard winter, it is time to celebrate the arrival of warm weather and all the new life that spring brings with it. Spring Song will get kids up and dancing as they get excited about the Spring Season.

19. Spring is Here by The Learning Station

The Learning Station combines music with movement to create a fun song for kids to learn about the change in season. Spring is Here allows children to dance, sing, and play along as they learn all about the signs of spring. This is also a great song for any English as a second language (ESL) children's learning programs.

18. Can You Plant a Bean by Dance ‘n Beats

Dance 'n Beats combines songs with research-based movements that is designed specifically for children between the ages of two and six. Can You Plant a Bean not only teaches kids how plants grow, but it uses 21 key movements that encourage physical fitness and help children increase muscle control?

17. Spring Song for Children

One way to teach children learning English as a second language is an educational and fun-filled song about the coming season. Spring Song also comes with lyrics and worksheets that help reinforce the educational lessons of this song to help young children learning English in preschool and early elementary.

16. Spring Arrival by Little Fox

Spring Arrival is an animated song that is part of the Little Fox’s award-winning library of songs and stories that are developed at different learning levels. Spring Arrival is perfect for those children that are learning English as a second language (ESL) to work on their vocabulary with a fun-filled song.

15. Singing in the Rain by The Learning Station

If you are looking for a fun action song that involves dancing and silly movement, Singing in the Rain is the perfect song for children of all ages. This is a great brain break song that can be used when introducing spring as a season, and it allows them to actively participate while they learn.

14. The Caterpillar

Not all kids’ songs have to be high energy. If you are looking for a good song for music therapy, The Caterpillar helps kids work on language concepts, gives plenty of opportunity for creative movement, and is perfect for kids with special needs, especially those on the autism spectrum.