Penguin and Pinecone Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kit Review

 Penguin and Pinecone Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits

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

We continue to be in love with Ivy Kids Kits.  These are by far the best monthly subscription kits I have seen.

Not familiar with Ivky 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.

This is a photo of the inside of the box, there is a fabulous reference guide on the box to show you all of the items and activities included at-a-glance. We were sent  “Penguin and Pinecone” for this review. 

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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!

Each activity has a very well written instruction and idea sheet.  I organize all of these in sheet protectors in a binder.  They come in these great plastic baggies, but this method works better for my brain.

I keep all of the bigger items in the box, and when we chose an activity, I go to the box and grab what we need.

 

Activities From Our Box…

I showed her the book first and she immediately curled up to read it herself.  I read it to her also.

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She LOVED it!

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We began by extending the story and making scarfs for the tree and the pinecone, just like the book.  She loved the little plush penguin and sled.

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Planting her own pine tree seed was a BIG HIT! I was hoping the seed would actaully grow, and thankfully it did!

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About 2 weeks later she has a sprout! We will plant it in our yard in the spring!

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We used the cute little walking penguin to play a game together using the included alphabet board.  She wound up the penguin and let him walk on the board, wherever he landed she had to think of a word that started with that letter!

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Any craft is her favorite craft.  She loved making the penguin bag and the snowflake mobile. The mobile took her awhile, each snowflake is laced!

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One of the best things about these kits is the organization.  The clear instructions allowed me to leave activities for my mom to do with her while she was babysitting one day!  They did the BINGO activity together and played the Feed the Penguin game with the cute little fishies.  Nanee even took some pictures for me!

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We explored a pinecone together and learned lots of facts about them!  She loved this!

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She spent SO long getting her pinecone craft just right.  We are planning to use it as a Christmas tree ornament!

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We ended with a bang, a very successful pinecone in water experiment.  She had to guess what she thought would happen to the pinecone after it was in water for awhile.  Based on what she had learned, she guessed that it would close up.

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It did!  She was amazed!  It closed up even more after I took this photo! 

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Her enthusiasm for these activities is through the roof, she loves her “box time” and begs me to do something from the box all the time! You can see ALL of the activities included in the box here!

We also loved our A House for Hermit Crab kit, which we reviewed a couple of months ago.

Ivy Kids Kit Review

 

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

Use code: IVY20

10% off all past kits during February 2016

Use code: IVYWINTER

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!



Magformers Review

Magformers Review

{disclaimer ~ Educents is a blog sponsor and provided Magformers for review}

Educents is the first online marketplace forhomeschool_ad300x25011 educational products. In just 2 years we’ve saved homeschoolers & parents over $20 million on much-needed educational products and resources for their students. We hope we can help you discover and save BIG on all the educational products you deserve! Discover thousands of educational items at the absolute BEST price available all at your finger tips!

Click here to browse and discover all our affordable deals.

I have seen Magformers all over the internet but we have never owned a set until now.  I figured my kids would love them, but we had tons of open ended building toys and I just could’t get myself to buy another.  So, when Educents asked us to review Magformers I was thrilled!!

If I am being honest, I wasn’t quite sure the 30 piece set would provide enough for my kids to really get into. Boy, was I wrong. They have thouroughly enjoyed this set and have done TONS with it!

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I video taped Ladybug {age 6} as she was first exploring with the set so you could see her authentic reaction and how well she was able to follow the guide.  I was mainly looking for the clarity of instructions, her ability to follow them, and how the actual pieces stayed in place. Take a peek below to see her building two different things, the video is less than 2 minutes, and shows her very enthusiastic reaction to her success!

 

Here is the photo version…

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She began with the simple cube and then added a roof of triangles.

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After experiencing great joy and success, she decided to go for something big! She did this all on her own, in the video I began taping at this point, but she laid this entire thing out by herself, only needing me to help where she miscounted one row.

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She was absolutely thrilled with the result and I couldnt believe how sturdy it was!

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My boys love the Magformers too. We have had random creations almost daily since we got these.  Here is one of my favorites, made by my 13 year old son for my 9 year old.

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Final Thoughts…

I definitely recommend Magformers for a few reasons.  I love how sturdy they are, the creations don’t fall apart!  You can do a lot with a few pieces, we have the smallest set and it has already provided hours of play. I love the colors and the way you can add other sets onto your first set to keep expanding. The appeal to young and older kids is a big plus, it’s a great family toy. So much learning happens through play and this toy is no exception!

Want to Purchase Magformers?

Educents is offering an EXTRA 10% off for Magformers when using code: 1P10



Friends and Heroes Homeschool Bible Study Curriculum Review and Giveaway

Friends and Heroes Homeschool Bible Study Review

We have loved Friends and Heroes for many years now.  They are currently a blog sponsor and sent us their new Homeschool Bible Study Curriculum to review!  It was great timing as I was ready for something new to try with Ladybug who is almost 7 and in 1st grade.  After looking at the initial lessons, I was thrilled!

I began using the curriculum with her a few weeks ago and so far it is a good fit for her.  She already loves Friends and Heroes so she was naturally drawn to it and very excited.

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Here are some details about the curriculum itself…

HSB pack full spread

  • Lessons based on video adventures and Bible stories children love.
  • Easy-to-use homeschool Bible study curriculum designed for students ages 7-11 years.
  • Active, creative lessons that help kids learn while having fun!
  • Helpful teacher’s guide.
  • All materials are printable and reusable (PDF files) and can be used with multiple students simultaneously or over multiple school years!
  • Loads of FREE online resources on our Children’s Website at www.friendsandheroes.tv to supplement your class time.
  • Read even more about this curriculum here!

 

Our experience so far…

I printed the first few weeks of the student pages and am keeping the teacher’s guide on my computer to reference. I put her papers in a 3 ring binder to make it easy for us to read together. 

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Ladybug is loving our discussions and the movies especially.  She loves work like the word search shown below so I am pulling resources from the Children’s Website mentioned above.  The curriculum itself is mostly discussion so far, with a bit of writing from the child.  She is one who really enjoys writing activities {NOT at all like my boys}!

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Below you can see one of her activities, which she did after discussing the Bible story about Jesus and Simon Peter and the fish! We had a GREAT discussion which stemmed from the curriculum, all about the disciples and how Jesus called them.  Her assignment was to illustrate “Jesus Loves Me” and as she did, we discussed this in depth.

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One thing I really love about this new Bible Study Curriculum is the options for purchase.  You can choose a DVD, a digital download, a pre-printed curriculum, and one with or without the DVDs {in case you already own them}.

We will be continuing on with this curriculum after this review, she is really enjoying it and I am loving our discussions.  We already loved the DVDs so this is a natural fit for us. I look forward to digging deeper into the curriculum with her.  I am so glad we got the chance to review this and can continue to use it in our homeschool.  Stay tuned, I bet you’ll be seeing more about us using it on Instagram or in my homeschool wrap-up posts!

 

Special Offers!!

Even better, there is an awesome promotion going on right now AND a special just for my readers!  These promotional offers will expire Feb. 5, 2016. The discounts below include Friends and Heroes curriculum resources for homeschoolers and churches. This includes the Homeschool Bible Study Curriculum!

Special Offers:

· 10% off any purchase of $50 or more

· 20% off any purchase of $125 or more

· FREE USA shipping on orders of $25 or more

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Another bonus for you – with purchase, 1+1+1=1 readers exclusively can receive a special coupon to get $10 off their next Friends and Heroes order!

Giveaway

One of you is going to win 6 weeks of this awesome new curriculum {plus accompanying video}!

Enter using Rafflecopter below.  Giveaway ends February 3, 2016.  US and Canadian addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint Review and Giveaway

Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint

{disclaimer ~ Kwik Stix is a blog sponsor and sent us a pack to review, affiliate links are used in this post}

I thought we had all of the art supplies we wanted to have.  Boy, was I wrong! When Kwik Stix contacted us to become a blog sponsor I didn’t expect to be so impressed with these paint sticks!  Impressed is definitely the word.  The full review is below, but in short – yes, you want these!  They are an awesome addition to your art area!

So, what are Kwik Stix?

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They are solid tempera paint sticks, in lipstick-like tubes.  They dry in 90 seconds or less – we have confirmed this many times!  My kids are simply amazed by this. They don’t need water, are very low-prep, low-mess, and high-fun!

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I was concerned that they would run out quickly but I think I was wrong.  I twisted the stick up so you could see how much is in the tube.  I think they will last awhile and be worth the cost!

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The reason I wasn’t expecting to be impressed…

I thought they would just feel like markers. I couldn’t imagine how they could actually feel and look like paint.  I was wrong! The smooth gliding feel is totally different than markers and they give a vibrant look of paint. I found myself painting with them along with my kids.  For some reason they are very soothing to use, they slide on the paper easily.

In action at our house…

Recently we used our Kwik Stix with our Christmas Ornament printables.

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The thick lines on these ornaments made them a great fit for the thicker Kwik Stix. Even my biggest boy couldn’t resist joining us for a relaxing art time!

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The finished ornament decorating our homeschool room!

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Final thoughts…

I definitely recommend adding these to your art supply stash.  I wish I had found these earlier, I think they would have been great for Tot School and Preschool.  You can get Kwik Stix here on Amazon!

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The Giveaway…

Kwik Stix Giveaway

One of you will win a Kwik Stix – 12 pk (Assorted Colors), the same pack we were sent to review!

Enter to win using Rafflecopter below.  Open to US addresses only.  Giveaway ends December 27, 2015.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Times Tales DVD Review

Times Tales DVD Review Make Multiplication Fun

{disclaimer ~ Educents is a blog sponsor and provided a digital copy of Times Tales for review}

Educents is the first online marketplace forhomeschool_ad300x25011 educational products. In just 2 years we’ve saved homeschoolers & parents over $20 million on much-needed educational products and resources for their students. We hope we can help you discover and save BIG on all the educational products you deserve! Discover thousands of educational items at the absolute BEST price available all at your finger tips!

Click here to browse and discover all our affordable deals.

 

I did not even consider teaching Ladybug to memorize multiplication facts this year until we were asked to review  Times Tales from Educents. She has already learned the basics of multiplication {the how and why}, but I have not emphasized memorization of the facts at all.

I have seen these DVDs online and have mostly overlooked them until now. I recommend YOU do not overlook them! Be sure to watch our video below to get a peek inside and see my daughter recalling what she had just learned!

 

The Basics…

It’s a 2 DVD set, we focused on DVD 1. DVD 1 teaches 3×6, 3×7, 3×8, 3×9, 4×6, 4×7, & 4×8  and DVD 2 teaches 4×9, 6×6, 6×7, 6×8, 6×9, 7×7, 7×8, 7×9, 8×8, 8×9, & 9×9.  They recommend working with only DVD 1 facts for at least a week before moving on.  It doesn’t cover 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10 which isn’t a problem for us since those are so much easier for most kids. 

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Each number has a character and each multiplication fact has a story.  It honestly made NO sense to me until I watched it myself.  Below you can see the characters for 7×4. Mrs. Week {7} sat on a chair {4} to go fishing and she caught 2 boots and 8 trout.  See that?  7×4 is 28!  The story teaches a memory trigger that then helps recall the math fact. 

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Even if it sounds confusing, trust me, it works!  Well, it did for her!  She had never been taught any of these and honestly learned them from this DVD after 1 time through.  These video clips were taken the 2nd time she watched the DVD, only because I didn’t think she would get it the first time so I didn’t bother taking any videos for you during her first viewing.  We watched the DVD once last week and then again this week, once. She could retell the stories and answer the quizzes after 1 viewing!

Here’s a video peek inside

 

During her second viewing, we added in the flashcards and used the printable cubes to play with after the DVD!

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You can by the actual DVDs or the downloads.  You get two 30 minute learning movies and a set of printable items which include flashcards, a quiz {shown below}, crossword puzzle and dice {shown above}.

We used the quiz after we watched the DVD, played with the cubes, and reviewed the flashcards together.  She got them all right with no help!

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I am honestly a bit blown away, I wasn’t expecting it to work so well. If you are looking for a fun way to work on times tables, I highly recommend Times Tales.