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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

CordaRoy Sizes


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!

How We Print All of the Homeschool Curriculum

Print it all with HP Instant Ink

{Note- this is not a sponsored post, I bought our printer on Amazon and pay full price for Instant Ink. My Instant Ink referral link is used in this post. I have also used affiliate links for the products linked in this post}

Homeschoolers print a lot. We use a lot of ink. For our family, HP Instant Ink has been an incredible solution for our printing needs! We have had this specific printer for over 2 years now and it is still going strong!  It’s an HP Deskjet 8610, it is here on Amazon. I am using HP’s Instant Ink service and love it!

One of the BEST things about Instant Ink – each page counts as 1 page no matter how much ink you use! If you are printing full color pages this makes the subscription a HUGE savings! I wish I had this service back when I was printing loads of Tot School and Preschool printables!

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There are many HP printers that are compatible with Instant Ink, here’s the list from their site. Be sure to double check yourself on their site before purchasing. I copied this list in May 2017.

  • HP ENVY 4500 Series
  • HP ENVY 5530 Series
  • HP ENVY 5660 Series
  • HP ENVY 7640 Series
  • HP Officejet 4630 Series
  • HP Officejet 5740 Series
  • HP Officejet 8040 Series with Neat®
  • HP Officejet Pro 6830 Series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8610 Series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8620 Series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8630 Series

The basics of Instant Ink…

You sign up and they send you a starter pack.  When you use my referral link we BOTH get a free month of Instant Ink!!! You wait to install the starter pack until your initial ink runs out.  Your Instant Ink subscription does not begin until you install the first instant ink cartridge.

The printer connects wirelessly to HP and automatically tracks your pages printed and how much ink you have left.

New ink is sent to you before you run out, you don’t even have to think about it! The ink sent to you is “free” as it is included in your monthly cost.


Monthly Plan Options…

I am now on the $9.99/month plan for 300 pages. This also means I can roll over up to 300 pages to the next month if I don’t use them. I can go over 300 pages if needed an pay $1 over 25 pages. Below you can see the different monthly options.



If you are in need of a new printer, I highly recommend getting an HP printer that is compatible with their Instant Ink subscription service.