Rainforest Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits

Rainforest  Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits

{disclaimer ~ Ivy Kids is a blog sponsor and sent us a kit for this review}

Our love for Ivy Kids Kits continues! These continue to be the best monthly subscription kits I have seen.

Not familiar with Ivy Kids Kits?

Ivy Kits are a monthly educational subscription for children ages 3-8 developed by early childhood teachers with children of their own. You can tell these kits were developed by people who truly know young kids.  The activities are awesome. Not only can you subscribe to a monthly kit, you can also buy past kits.

Each Ivy Kit contains instructions with ways to modify games to best suit each individual child and provide adults with questions to structure a child’s learning. There are enough games and materials in each kit to engage and cognitively stimulate a child throughout the month and can be replayed for years to come.

We were sent The Rainforest Grew All Around for this review.

Ivy Kids Kits (1 of 5)

In this Ivy Kids kit you will find:

  • The book The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell, is a beautifully illustrated story that introduces readers to the rainforest and is fun to sing out loud!
  • Read along Bookmark: Use to assist with reading comprehension.
  • Rainforest Animals: Included in this month’s kit is a collection of unique rainforest animals.
  • Rainforest Animal Matching: Match each rainforest animal figure with the card displaying the animal’s picture and name.  
  • Wooden Snake: Use the paints to decorate your flexible wooden snake and use the included snake figures as models.
  • Sounds of the Rainforest: Use the materials provided to create a rainstick, which is a musical instrument that sounds like falling water. 
  • Layers of the Rainforest: Place animal stickers on each layer of the rainforest board. Use the rainforest fact board to help you identify the animals that live in each layer. 
  • Rainforest Animal Scratch Art: Scratch off the colored coating on each rainforest animal to create colorful body parts and decorations on each animal. 
  • Kapok Pod Observation and Exploration: Included in this month’s kit is a pod from a real kapok tree that grows in the rainforest. Use your senses to explore the pod and record your observations.
  • Inside a Kapok Pod: Hit the pod against a hard edge and crack it open. Observe and explore the inside of the pod and record your observations on the sheet provided.
  • Planting a Kapok Tree in a Terrarium: Plant real kapok tree seeds in a terrarium  to mimic the humid rainforest environment.
  • Rainforest Animal Bingo: Cover all the rainforest animals on your board to win the game. 
  • Snakes and Vines: In this board game, players race their frog pawns up the kapok tree. Use vines for a short-cut but watch out for the snakes. The first player to reach the bromeliad plant wins the game.
  • Bromeliad Jump: Push down on the frog to make it jump onto one of the numbered bromeliad plants. Keep score of the numbers your frog lands on.
  • The Rainforest Grew All Around Story Retelling: Sequence the cards in the same order as the events happened in the story and then retell the story. 
  • Rainforest Diorama: Turn your Ivy Kids box into a rainforest. Create a rainforest scene inside the box with the rocks, leaves, twigs, and rainforest animals. Let your imagination run wild!


Activities From Our Box…

She really learned a lot from this kit, and really enjoyed the layers of the rainforest activity.



Once she finished she went on a hunt for all of the rainsforest animals in the book and created a place in our schoolroom to display her rainforest theme! 

Ivy Kids Kits (5 of 7)

Opening the Kapok seed was by far her favorite activity from this box. I was enthralled also!

Ivy Kids Kits (2 of 5) Ivy Kids Kits (4 of 5)

Ivy Kids Kits (3 of 5)


After opening and investigating, she planted the seeds! 

Ivy Kids Kits (5 of 5)


The kit came with mini rainforest animals, and she loved these! She even learned some new animals she hadn’t heard of before!

Ivy Kids Kits (1 of 7)

Ivy Kids Kits (2 of 7) 


Another super fun activity was making a rainstick! 

Ivy Kids Kits (4 of 7)

Ivy Kids Kits (6 of 7) Ivy Kids Kits (7 of 7)


This girl loves snakes and has many toy snakes. When she opened this box and saw a wooden snake inside, she was thrilled. She painted it and it now hangs out with her other toy snakes.  

Ivy Kids (1 of 1)


There aren’t pictures of everything she did because she enjoyed much of the kit with her grandma. There was BINGO, Scratch Art, and more! This was one of our favorite kits ever! I know I have mentioned this before but my mom and I both highly recommend these kits for grandparents who might want something fun to do with grandkids.

You can buy this kit here!

We also loved our A House for Hermit Crab kit, Penguin & Pinecone kit, Gotta Go! Gotta Go! kit, Over in the Ocean, Dog’s Colorful Day, Are You a Ladybug?, and Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats!

A-House-for-Hermit-Crab-Unit-Study-w Penguin-and-Pinecone-Unit-Study-with Gotta-Go-Gotta-Go-Ivy-Kids-Kit-Revie[1]  Over-in-the-Ocean-Unit-Study-with-Iv[2] Mrs.-McTats-and-Her-Houseful-of-Cats[1] Dog's Colorful Day Ivy Kids Kit Review[3] Ladybug Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits

20% off your first kit for NEW Subscribers to the monthly subscription kits!

Use code: IVY20

A huge thanks to Ivy Kids for sending us these kits to review. If you are looking for a simple way to do unit studies with your young child, I highly recommend Ivy Kids Kits!

When you subscribe to Ivy Kids, each month you will receive a very well organized kit containing a book and ten or more activities based upon the story. Everything you need to learn and play is included in your kit. I mean EVERYthing. These kits are incredible!

TypeTastic! ~ Play Your Way Into Typing!

TypeTastic Typing for Kids

{disclaimer ~ this is a sponsored post for TypeTastic!}

Have you wanted to teach your kids typing skills? I know I have and out of the blue I got an email asking me to review and share a FREE site focused on teaching typing skills through games for elementary students. TypeTastic! is a fabulous fit for my daughter who is 8, and we love it! You too can give this program a try for free!

TypeTastic! (1 of 1)

First, what is TypeTastic! and what makes it different from other typing programs for kids? TypeTastic! takes a new, pedagogic approach which guides the child step by step resulting in fluent keyboarding skills.

The keyboard is mapped into nine, color-coded groups. For children, it’s much easier to memorize the keys in groups than individually.


It is no secret that kids love learning by playing colorful, cute games. However, good learning games must have a clear, pedagogical approach and build on each other forming a solid learning path. In the first Keyboard Builder game, the kids will start by actually building a keyboard which will help them to map out the keyboard visually. The next Frog Pond Patrol game guides your eye movements to find the correct key effectively. In the third Cupcake Bugs game, kids start actively remembering the location of the keys with the help of visual key groups.

TypeTastic Games

After this, the kids move on to tapping the actual keyboard, and the upcoming games in development now will introduce how to type words and sentences fluently.

TypeTastic for Schools {including HOMEschools}

Teachers {including homeschool teachers} can now sign up to use the Ad-free Edition for free for the 2017-2018 school year and the foreseeable future. After the trial, it’s up to the teacher to decide if they want to pay a small subscription fee or keep going for free by switching to an ad-sponsored mode.

TypeTastic for Schools

They also offer a broader, subscription-based Typing Quest K-12 Keyboarding course that includes all TypeTastic! Games, dashboard, reporting, SSO, etc. TypingQuest can be found at www.typingquest.com.

The mission is to make TypeTastic! available for everyone. That’s why TypeTastic.com is completely free with Coppa compliant ads. Kids can just go to the site and start practicing right away. However, we also know that many teachers would prefer to go ad-free and to serve the needs of our TypeTastic! community better, we are offering Ad-free Edition for Schools. The Ad-free Edition has all the 150+ levels available at TypeTastic.com, just without ads, and more games are already on the way. All you need to do to access the Ad-free area is register!

My plans are to have my daughter {currently 3rd grade} work through the TypeTastic! program for free to help improve her keyboarding skills! She loves it so far and has little idea how much learning is going on while she is playing games on the computer!

Sign up for your AD-free edition here!


Lauri Toys ~ A Longtime Favorite for Early Childhood and Beyond!

Lauri Toys for Early Childhood

{disclaimer ~ Lauri is a blog sponsor and affiliate links are in this post}

If you’ve been reading my blog since our Tot School days you know how much we have loved the Lauri brand in our home. We own many Lauri favorites and have recommended them for years. Recently I got a fun email which has led to a new partnership with Lauri Toys! I just love when I get to work with a company I already loved, and can share even more with you!

If Lauri is new to you, here’s a quick video showing more.


To show you just how long we have used and loved Lauri Toys here’s a collage I made showing the toys in action with my kids over the years! Notice how young they are!

1 1 1=1 Loves Lauri Toys


We have loved and recommend this trusted brand for being one of the best for open-ended play, cost, and durability. I have recommended the Lauri brand in my early childhood gift guides for years!


New Action Stackers

Imagine my daughter’s delight {and my son} when Lauri sent us a brand new toy for her to play with! Not only a new toy but one that added on to a Lauri set we already owned, making it even better!

Our package included the Action Stackers which are great on their own, or can be added to any of the Lauri Stacking Peg sets.

Lauri Toys (13)


My son, who is 11, got in on the action too. Anything that extends a building toy to have movement is a win in his book! I’m not even sure what this was, but he certainly knew.

Lauri Toys (5)


My 8 year old daughter built many amusement park rides one day, and her Squinkies fit perfectly into the peg holes, so they got to ride!

Lauri Toys (11)


You can see a video here from Instagram.

A post shared by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on



CordaRoy’s Convertible Beanbag

CordaRoy's Convertible Beanbag Review

{disclaimer ~ we were provided a CordaRoy’s Beanbag for review and our affiliate link is used}

We recently added a CordaRoy’s Convertible Beanbag to our home and we are in love! We have been beanbag fans for years and this one is totally different than our others! This one opens up and there’s a BED inside!

CordaRoy's-1-2 CordaRoy's-1-4

We have had it for awhile now and have used it for at least 5 sleepovers so far. The kids LOVE it! We chose the Full size and I am so glad we didn’t go for Queen! The full is huge and easily sleeps two kids, or even 2 adults if necessary – we’ve just had kid guests recently. Each time we have had kids sleepover, my kids ask to keep it up for a couple of days so they can sleep on it. They love the fluffy bed.

Our dog is a big fan too, we may have to get her one!


The chair aspect is awesome and we mostly keep it in our hallway reading nook. Someone is sitting in it several times a day.


Children or animals.

CordaRoy's-3 CordaRoy's-4

Ours is the Full Sleeper Chenille in Slate. You can see all of the available sizes here on the CordaRoy’s site.

CordaRoy Sizes

See lots of videos here, that help you see each size and how it converts into a bed!


The inside is filled with memory foam pieces, which allow it to easily conform into a bed. We all love this beanbag and personally I just love that we have an additional full size bed that doesn’t have to be put into ‘storage"’ when not in use. I love things that serve multiple purposes! If you have kids who like to have a comfy spot to read and also like to have friends sleep over, I highly recommend taking a look at CordaRoy’s.

Busy Bags Kids Will Love Book Review

Busy Bags Kids Will Love

As many of you probably know, the early childhood years are my favorite. I love watching young children learn new concepts in fun and engaging ways. My friend Sara from Happy Brown House is a fellow early childhood educator and former Kindergarten teacher just like me! We connected years ago online and in person and have been friends since! She recently wrote a new book and I have the opportunity to share it with you thanks to the review copy she sent to me!

I was sweetly surprised when I opened the book to not only find 52 different busy bag ideas but loads of early childhood information. Many of you are probably familiar with the busy bag concept and have even created some for your kids. I am a huge fan of saving time and having loads of ideas all in one place. This book not only provides that, but also an awesome reference guide as you move through the early childhood years with your child.

Busy Bags Kids Love Book Review-2

Here’s a portion of one of the activity pages so you can see the simple and clear layout. I love photos and there are LOTS!

Busy Bags Kids Love Book Review-3

If you have a friend with young ones may I suggest a gift idea? Buy this book, make up a few of your favorite activities and bundle it all together in a gift basket! What busy mom of little ones wouldn’t love that? I am personally past the little ones stage of life and trying to think of ways I can help support the moms in my life who have the younger kiddos.

Grab your copy at the following places online!