One of their FAVORITE Toys ~ Magformers!

Magformers Review

{disclaimer ~ Educents provided the Magformers for this review. Affiliate links are included in this post.}

Educents is the trusted resource for every child’s education. Whether you’re looking for curricula and science experiments, or tips and ideas, we hope we can help you discover new ways to make learning fun! logo-highres126214

Click here to find innovative products and ideas created by a community of experts in education!

Last year we were sent the Magformers 30 Piece Rainbow set to review and all of my kids fell in love. Since then, they have been played with SO SO much and my younger two kids have asked for more Magformers to add to their set. Imagine my delight when we were asked to share Magformers again and got two new sets to review for Educents!!! This time we were sent two new sets; Inspire Set and Magnets in Motion Gear Accessory Pack.

Magformers -8980

 

I think she spent almost 2 hours playing with these on the day we opened them. I tried to take pictures of as many creations as I could, but even these don’t show all she made!

Magformers -8996

 

You can see she loved adding the gears, I definitely recommend adding this set if you own some Magformers already. It is an inexpensive way to add an entirely new element of play.

Magformers -9007 Magformers -9014Magformers -9009

Magformers -9080

 

I took several video clips of her in action and as you will see, she got very into sharing her creations!

 

My 10 year old loves these too. When he came home from gymnastics the night we got them he was so excited and asked to build for a bit right away! He built this awesome cross!

Magformers -9046 Magformers -9052

 

They play with these together a lot and now that we have more pieces, that goes much better! They made matching iguanas!

Magformers -9127

Magformers -9146

 

I think my favorite recently has to be the puppy playground. She made a swing, a slide and a rolling ride for her puppies.

Magformers -9286

Magformers -9277 Magformers -9293

 

Oh, and the skates. Love the skates.

Magformers -9111

 

Final Thoughts…

I highly recommend Magformers. I was so skeptical in the beginning, mostly because I thought they were expensive for what they were. Now that we have had them for awhile {the first set of 30 we have had for almost a year}, I have changed my tune. Not only has she played with that set of 30 continuously, it was even one of the ‘chosen’ toys to bring to the beach this past summer! We only allow a few toys to be brought on vacation and the box of Magformers was a huge hit! She has only intensified her love for Magformers since adding the extra sets and is begging for one of the themed sets with curved shapes for Christmas, like this Dinosaur Set or this Deep Sea Set. Who knows? Her wish just might come true!

Magformers are a great gift idea because you can easily start small with the 30 piece set and it truly is fun all on it’s own. Adding to the set over time just makes the fun grow!

Save on Magformers and more!

63884ac2

 

You can buy the Magformers Inspire Set here on Educents.

You can buy Magformers Magnets in Motion Gear Accessory Pack here on Educents.

See more Magformers here!

Remember ~ use code: GIVETHANKS for 10% off and Free Shipping!

Magformers at Educents



Q the Robot from EEME ~ Robotics for Kids

Q the Robot from EEME

 

{disclaimer ~ EEME is a blog sponsor and provided Q the Robot for this review}

I had seen EEME prior to them becoming a blog sponsor and honestly I avoided looking into robotics for my kids due to my own fears! It looked complicated and time consuming. Thankfully it was unavoidable when Q the Robot arrived in the mail for this review. I was a bit freaked out and my son was ecstatic! Originally I ‘assigned’ this review to my husband, again my fears overtaking me. He initially opened the box and was very impressed with the contents. I continued to be a bit freaked out by the loads of small parts.

EEME Q the Robot -5560

 

Well, my husband got busy, my son began begging and I gave in one day, fully prepared to have my day consumed with helping him. I can’t tell you how SWEETLY surprised I was once we logged into the instructions and I saw that this was mostly an independent thing!!!!  My son is 10 so he did need some help, but the videos are AMAZING.

EEME Q the Robot -5570

 

He was able to navigate it all on his own and ask for help when needed. I couldn’t believe how little he needed me!

EEME Q the Robot -5579

 

Little sister watched almost the entire time, she wants her own Q the Robot now!

EEME Q the Robot -5589

 

He completed the project over a period of about 3 days, working for about 3 hours total I would guess, maybe a bit more.

EEME Q the Robot -7469

 

Here’s a video I shared on Instagram of him using Q for the first time. He was so excited to see it work!

A video posted by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on

 

His completed Q the Robot! He had fun using the light to drive Q around and he loved the process overall. This was an excellent project for Krash on so many levels. Not only did he learn scientific skills, he got to practice his focus and processing skills while paying close attention to the details in the videos. If he didn’t listen and apply what was said, his robot wouldn’t have worked! For this reason, I am planning to continue these types of projects with Krash. It is a fabulous way for me to work on this area with him, with the added bonus of learning about robotics and electronics!

EEME Q the Robot -7801

 

A Bit More About EEME

Q the Robot isn’t all EEME has to offer, there are monthly subscription projects and other project kits  There are also FREE interactive online lessons to teach your family the fundamentals of electronics. Sign up for FREE to access EEME’s online lessons.

Follow the EEME blog or find them on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

SPECIAL OFFER!

Using this link only, you can save 10% on Q the Robot! This offer ends 10/25/16 so act quickly!

Q the Robot Discount



Over in the Ocean In a Coral Reef Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits

Over in the Ocean 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  “Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef ” for this review.  Here’s ALL that was included in this kit:

Ivy Kids -4711

  • The award winning book Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes
    • Read along Bookmark: Use to assist with reading comprehension.
    • Create Your Own Coral Reef: Use the clay, sea creatures, and sea life provided to create your own coral reef. Let the beautiful artwork from the book inspire your clay creations.
    • Coral Reef Sticker Scene: Use repositionable stickers to create different coral reef scenes
    • 3 Dimensional Fish and Seahorse Ornament: Use puffy paint to create a 3D fish and seahorse decoration.
    • Sea Creature Bingo: Players take turns picking a card from the pile and calling out a sea creature. The player with the sea creature on his or her board collects the card. The first player to cover three sea creature spaces in a row gets bingo. 
    • Painting with Stencils: Use the stencil with watercolor paints to create a beautiful underwater scene with coral, seashells, and sea creatures.
    • Sea Life Exploration: Use your senses to explore the starfish, coral, and seashells included in this kit.
    • Starfish Observation: Use your eyes and hands to explore the top and bottom of the knobby starfish. Record your observations on the sheet provided. Read the starfish fact board to learn more.
    • Starfish Painting: After exploring the starfish, use watercolors to paint the starfish.
    • Coral Observation: Use your eyes and hands to explore the coral. Record your observations on the sheet provided. Read the coral fact board to learn more. (Size, type, and shape of coral may vary.)
    • Coral Painting: After exploring the coral, use watercolors to paint the coral.
    • Clay Imprints: Use the starfish, sea creatures, and seashells to make beautiful, detailed imprints in the clay. You can choose to create a keepsake with the clay by painting the imprint and letting the clay air dry.
    • All Around the Octopus Game: Select a sea creature pawn and travel around the octopus, collecting seashells along the way. The first player to reach the finish first wins!
    • Sea Creature Dominoes: Players take turns matching the sea creature dominoes end to end. Be the first to match all your dominoes and win the game.
    • Songs – Three Little Clownfish and Five Little Seashells: Use finger puppets and seashells to sings some fun songs about clownfish and seashells. These songs are a perfect accompaniment to the book.
    • Sea Creature Memory Game: Players take turns flipping over one number card and one sea creature card to find a match. The player with the most matches wins the game.

    Here’s a picture of it all out of the box!

Ivy Kids -4712

I organize the printables in a binder and keep the other stuff in the box as we work through the unit.

Ivy Kids -4716

 

Activities From Our Box…

My mom {Nanee} comes over once a week to hang out with us and Ivy Kids boxes have become a bit of a weekly tradition.  Nanee happened to come over the day after this one arrived and they dug through it together and chose some crafts to do right away, after reading the book!

Puffy paint sea creatures kicked off their fun together!

Ivy Kids -4764

 

She LOVED making coral out of the clay, painting real coral, and creating a coral reef – all with Nanee! During one of their activity days, my mom asked me if I had told my blog readers how much she loved these boxes!  She highly recommends them for grandparents who love to do things like this with their grandkids!

Ivy Kids -4771

Ivy Kids -4776

Ivy Kids -4782

Ivy Kids -4784

 

I tend to do more of the school-y stuff with her.  We played BINGO together! You can see her using the ducking from the Make Way for Ducklings kit! We pretended the stuffed owl and the duck were playing too.

Ivy Kids -5095

 

She loved the coral reef creature memory game! Since she is beyond learning numbers and number words, she focused on learning the names of the different sea creatures while we played.  I love how the activities can be adapted across many age/ability levels.

Ivy Kids -5135 Ivy Kids -5137

 

The octopus game was a big hit also, she loved the real shells that were included!

Ivy Kids -5139

 

Stenciling sea creatures was another favorite activity!

Ivy Kids -5153

 

We continue to just LOVE Ivy Kids and are thankful to have these boxes!

We also loved our A House for Hermit Crab kit, Penguin & Pinecone kit and Gotta Go! Gotta Go! kit

A-House-for-Hermit-Crab-Unit-Study-w Penguin-and-Pinecone-Unit-Study-with[1] Gotta-Go-Gotta-Go-Ivy-Kids-Kit-Revie[1]

 

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

Use code: IVY20

Over in the Ocean Ivy Kids Kit

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!



Evan-Moor Geography Books Review

Evan-Moor Geography Review

{disclaimer ~ Educents is a blog sponsor and provided the 5th Grade Geography book for review, I bought the K-2 book on my own}

Educents is the trusted resource for every child’s education. Whether you’re looking for curricula and science experiments, or tips and ideas, we hope we can help you discover new ways to make learning fun! logo-highres126214

Click here to find innovative products and ideas created by a community of experts in education!

As you may have seen in our 2nd and 5th grade curriculum choices posts, we are giving Evan-Moor Geography books a try! We had great results using Evan-Moor Science books last year and I decided to simplify geography this year.

2nd Grade -5161

When I bought the Beginning Geography book I wasn’t completely certain about my choice, but as I began planning I was excited about my choice. Now that we are 3 weeks in, I am confident this was a good choice for her this year! It is low-prep {mostly no-prep}, simple, engaging and educational.  We did a much more high-prep geography last year with our study of the United States and other countries so I wanted to change things up this year. This workbook is a perfect fit!

Evan-Moor -5170

Once I realized I loved her book I began looking at what Evan-Moor had for 5th grade and stumbled upon the book we are using. Educents sent me the 5th grade book for review and it too has proven to be a great fit! My video below explains more about why I love this book for my 5th grader. It also is low-prep, simple and educational.  I won’t say he is quite as enthusiastic about his book but most 5th grade books aren’t nearly as exciting as 2nd grade workbooks!

Evan-Moor -6175

 

Sometimes it is easier for me to show you, so I made a video sharing our yearly planning guide and a peek inside of each book.

 

As I mention in the video, I created year-at-a-glance plans for each of these books.  I like to see what the year will look like and keep a master record of where we are at. I build my weekly lesson plans {I only plan one week at a time} off of these master plans.  You are welcome to download my plans if you are using these same books! Just click on each graphic to download the PDF files.

Evan-Moor Beginning Geography Plan     Evan-Moor Daily Geography 5 Plan

 

Evan-Moor Geography

You can buy Evan-Moor 5th Grade Geography here on Educents.

You can buy Evan-Moor Beginning Geography here on Educents.

See more Evan-Moor products here!



Teaching Textbooks Math Works For Us!

We Love Teaching Textbooks Math

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}

Both of my boys have used Teaching Textbooks math for 2 years now. Our daughter is starting this year!  I get asked a lot about this choice for our family and wanted to share our thoughts!

We came from Calvert Math and Singapore Math, and the short answer to the change was simplicity. I needed a more student-directed math rather than a teacher-intensive math program.

Levels we have used…

For Krash ~

For PacMan ~

Ladybug is just beginning Math 3 this year for 2nd grade! So far it is her favorite subject and I am hoping the love continues! I am listening in on her lessons as she adjusts to the computer and I am so impressed with the lessons. I love continual review for math and really feel TT gives just enough without going overboard.

2nd Grade -5011

 

Before we made the decision to use Teaching Textbooks, I researched and I researched, and I researched more. Seriously, I probably read every blog post and review out there. In the end we decided to give it a try and my husband and I decided if we didn’t feel it was thorough enough and their end of grade test scores suffered we would revaluate.

8th grade -2456

 

We have revaluated and are sticking with Teaching Textbooks! It is working for our boys and their test scores are proving that so far! Our state requires testing so this year we used the CAT online and I took a screenshot of their math scores so you can see. Krash scored in the 99th percentile and Pac scored in the 94th percentile. I took screenshots from their results page.

MAth 2016 Pac Math 2016

 

A bit of background about my boys. Pac is actually our natural learner, he learns easily and math has always been a subject he doesn’t mind and even enjoys most of the time. Krash struggles with auditory processing so we really like the visual portion of TT for him and it HAS helped. I honestly wasn’t expecting Krash to do so well on his end of grade test, he sweetly surprised us! His Dad does math with him and often they go over the lesson together in the book before he goes to the computer to actually listed to and do the lesson. This extra step has really helped him.

We have no plans of switching math programs for any of our kids and hope to use Teaching Textbooks all the way through. We are very glad it ended up being a good fit for our family, especially since we can reuse the levels with each of our children.

If you are curious about Teaching Textbooks and thinking of making the switch, they have placement tests for you to use!

Teaching Textbooks Placement Tests

 

On another note ~ we have been using TT for 2 years now and are thrilled that they just launched an affiliate program!  Since Teaching Textbooks knew we already used and loved their curriculum, they asked me to be an ambassador which means I get to host giveaways and share special offers with you!  Stay tuned for our first giveaway this month! Subscribe to our daily or weekly wrap-up blog posts to be sure not to miss it!