Sunday, May 31, 2009


I just sent out my latest Discovery Toys newsletter!!
If you would like to be on my mailing list, please contact me!!

Here's a taste of what this month's newsletter talks about:

Summer Days Sale
From June 1-July 15, we will be having our amazing Summer Days Sale! Some oldies have been brought back and some current products will be available for a deep discount!!
Let's take a look at the savings....

Summertime Traveling Fun
I'm sure you're planning lots of summertime fun and activities as well as some vacations for you and your family. Discovery Toys offers several products that will help you in your travels to help keep your kids occupied while also using their brain power!!
Here are a few ideas for you and your children of all ages...

Oh...I feel like such a tease with those ellipses**!! ;)

Don't forget to contact me to get on my newsletter mailing list and to book your party NOW to get in on our summer sale!!

**Aww, don't worry---you know I'll share the info here too! :)

Thanks, everyone!

Carnival season!!

Well, my elementary school had it's annual Carnival yesterday and we had a cool Discovery Toys booth. It was a lot of fun and there were so many kids with awesome face paintings--our 2nd grade and preschool teachers rock!!

My friends Myra and Elia helped me set up and Elia stayed to help me run the booth. I learned very quickly that Elia is *fantastic* at meeting people and she learned about the toys to help share the information with the parents so quickly!! And--she had so much fun, she's decided to join my team and become an Educational Consultant. Welcome!! I'm very excited!!

So, what did people look at? Well, My First Fairy Tales and Goldilocks were the first to go, and the Tooth Fairy Set sold out!! Zingo is always a hit, as was the Hello Hola phone (which goes on sale MONDAY during our amazing Summer Days Sale!!).

And, I reached a personal milestone!! The carnival helped me reach the second level of Success Start and that means I get my kit for FREE!! Feel free to ask me how you can too!

Next Friday, Elia and I are gonna do it all again at the carnival for another school in my district!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ode to a discontinued product: Mini Motors

One thing I'm learning about selling cool stuff is that, sometimes, awesome products come and go. Some are just put out to retire. So is the fate of Mini Motors :(

It may be discontinued, but, I'm using it in my classroom anyway!!
This month's theme is Transportation, so I'm using Mini Motors in a variety of ways:

Teaching Vocabulary
There are 6 different vehicle types, including cars, buses, trains, boats and airplanes. Playing with them and talking about them help young kids learn the labels.

Teaching Play Skills
Play skills don't come naturally to all kids, believe it or not! We model how to make the planes fly in the air, pretend kids are getting on the bus or how the boats splash and speed through the water.

Learning Colors
The vehicles come in a variety of colors, so we label the colors as we play.

Pre-Math Skills

Patterning yellow-blue-yellow-blue; train-bus-train-bus-train-bus These simple patterns help with developing pre-math skills by preparing children to observe patterns in the environment, including with numbers. Oh!! Reading involves patterns too!!
Sorting The kids can put all the planes together, all the blue vehicles together or all the vehicles that go on land together! Once they start seeing the the characteristics of the items, they can even start simple mathematics!!
Simple mathematics! 2 planes plus 1 car equal 3 vehicles! Cool!

Now, if you miss these amazing manipulatives for pre-math, fear not!! Busy Bugs is another manipulatives set that even comes with cards to show the kids how to pattern and do simple math!

And, to continue on the Transportation vocabulary theme, we also offer the Working Trio Dump Trucks, the Rough and Tough book set, the aptly named Plane Train and Automobile, Motor Works and even Hammer Away!

Happy motoring!!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday's Small Talk Six!

I'm really a blogging newbie and I've found some totally fun things as I've made my way through the blogosphere!! (Many of the blogs are ones I've found through MomDot's Blog Link A-Thon!).

One fun meme I've found is the "Small Talk Six," which is a fun getting-to-know-you meme where you can respond to each weekly topic with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, or 6 photos.

So here goes my

"6 things you love or hate about the ocean"

1. Me and my honey in Hawaii!! I think this was before I accidentally kicked the manta ray...Photobucket

2. Sunsets over the ocean are so very beautiful!!

3. Watching the waves crashing is so peaceful. I love driving up the coast and just watching the waves.

4. I've always lived on a coast, near the ocean, and somehow, I can sense the directions (east or west) when I know where the ocean is.

5. Ok, there are some things I don't like--the icky stuff that gets on you and makes you all sticky! Maybe I should'nt have taken the marine biology class---I know a bit more if what makes you sticky...

6. The ocean is very intimidating! There are so many things we don't know about it and it just goes on forever. It makes me a bit nervous.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's the Fabulous Blog Link A Thon!!

Thanks so much to MomDot for putting this together!!
Please check out these amazing blogs!! Ok, I'm off to explore them, too!

1. Lori@Not Always Charming

2. Fairy Blog Mother

3. Crazy Adventures in Parenting

4. Engineer a Debt Free Life

5. Sweet ‘n’ Sassy Girls

6. Good Golly Miss Blondie

7. SavvySuzie

8. For The Love of Baby!

9. Tammy@lovemy2dogs

10. Blessings Abound

11. Coupons, Deals and More

12. Hairstyles For Girls

13. Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy

14. A latte in the morning

15. KiddiesCorner Deals

16. 3 Kids and Us | Mom Blog

17. The Ohana Mama

18. Coupon Queens of Laurel Run

19. Today’s Journey

20. Eve @ Confessions of a Housewife

21. My Charmed Life

22. Laurie@DoubleBugs

23. Lisa @ Final Score boys3 girls2

24. New Sue Review

25. Suzanne Calling

26. Just For Me…and You

27. Time Slides By

28. Babes and Kids

29. Declutter a Little Each Day

30. Grocery Savings for Real Families

31. Life Starring Ellie and Eve

32. So Cute Crafts

33. Brea’s Mommy

34. Are Muffins Just Ugly Cupcakes

35. It’s A Beauty Filled Life

36. The crazy suburban mom

37. Donna’s World

38. Momma’s Gone Over the Wall

39. Mommy’s Quiet Time

40. Joyce (Saving My Cents)

41. My Trendy Tykes

42. The Not-So-Blog

43. Confessions From HouseholdSix

44. SiPPyCuPSand FiNGerPriNTS

45. Jennifer@CouponMommie

46. Shasta @ Crackers&Chaos

47. Giftfully Simple

48. Just For Fun

49. Digital Mommy

50. Me And Craig

51. Parenting Princesses

52. Shan@Last Shreds Of Sanity

53. Inside My Head

54. Petit

55. My Love Lucy

56. FreckleBox personalized gift

57. Baby Lulu Dress

58. Blog 4 Mom

59. 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

60. Jolly Mom

61. My Life My Journey

62. Maman And Gourmand

63. Jess - Life @ 30

64. The POSHpreneur

65. A Blog of Goodies

66. Christy aka The Write Gal

67. LookWhatMomFound

68. Peanut Butter & Smelly’s Dad

69. Lucy

70. Angry Julie Monday

71. The Mogul Mom Blog

72. Angela

73. Deal-ectible Mommies

74. Christy’s Creations

75. Lisa

76. Courtney@Booksnboys

77. Wannabe Supermom

78. Thre Craft Momma

79. Internet Toddler

80. Jennifer@Life is a Sandcastle

81. Kristen of La Dolce Vita

82. Cranberry Fries

83. Toni @ The Mud Bug

84. The Mom Buzz

85. Tricia @Nightowl Mama

86. Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls

87. Mommy Cracked

88. EclecticBird

89. Mama Mentor

90. Moomettesgram’s Musings

91. Moomette’s Magnificents Reviews

92. Moomettesgram’s Favorite Recipes

93. Diaries of a Domestic Goddess

94. Go Graham Go!

95. NerdFamily Things

96. NerdFamily Blog

97. Making Money Keeping Money

98. NerdFamily Food

99. Flying Giggles & Lollipops

100. Gena @ Morris Bunch

101. Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy

102. A Kindred Spirit’s Thoughts

103. Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House

104. D-Lo’s Lounge

105. Free Sample Freak

106. What Mommies Need

107. Mom of 2 Boys, Wife of 1

108. icefairy’s Treasure Chest

109. Cheaper Than Therapy

110. Therapeutic Reviews & Giveaways

111. Lily Bean Designs

112. Dirty Diaper Laundry

113. Dance Momma

114. JamericanSpice

115. Mombalance

116. A Pocket Full Of Buttons

117. Ordinary and Awesome

118. Reviews and Giveaways

119. Subjective Beauty

120. Tales From A Shopaholic Mommy

121. Mommiemayhem

122. IE Mommy

123. Nikki @ Blasian Baby Notes

124. Amber Woodward

125. Grammy Janet’s Place

126. Outnumbered 3 to 1

127. ShimmerMeBlue

128. Dev’s Favorite Giveaways

129. Joyful Money Saving

130. 1stopmom

131. A Modern Mama

132. PourSomeSugarOnMe

133. Fancast

134. Lollipop Baby

135. Lola & Ben

136. idoby2celebrants

137. Sue Jackson

138. Cackleberry Kids

139. Gifts By The Stars

140. Jemma

141. Handmade Kids

142. Ollie Rose

143. Babasfarmlife

144. Banquet Manager

145. Monkey’s Momma

146. This Mom Can Shop

147. EcoLabel Fundraising

148. Divine Chaos

149. baby kakes ink alphabet onesie

150. tee from recycle me

151. Elizabeth @ Suzy Q Homemaker

152. marla mandell bread (5/17)

153. ozone socks 5/15

154. Belly Bumps to Baby Hugs

155. Hip T

156. ThenComes Baby

157. Homemade Gourmet

158. Fresh Pure and Simple

159. MomDot Mom Blogs

160. MomDot Mom Reviews

161. Bloggers Give Charity

162. Organic Baby Resource

163. Potamus Prefers

164. The Army Wife

165. Through Hazel Eyes

166. Frugal Rhode Island Mama

167. Just Jingle

168. And Twins make 5!

169. Frugal Plus

170. Christie

171. What Happened To My House?

172. Miracles on Mama Street

173. Heck Of A Bunch

174. Blog Designs by Susan

175. mommy23monkeys

176. Hanna

177. Got Kids Need Valium

178. Womb At The INNSANE

179. Katie & Kimble Blog

180. Kim @ Adventures SAHM

181. The Frugalicious Mommy

182. Penny Pinching Diva

183. Another day. Another thought or two

184. Beauty4Moms

185. Nikki

186. Little Miss Julia

187. Mrs Zeee

188. Cheryl

189. Frazzle Dazzle SuperMom

190. Florida Mealtime Savers

191. Inspiration Station

192. Mommy’s Kitchen

193. Saving with MamaNordy

194. Saving SAHM Sanity

195. A Little Piece Of Perfect

196. Nodin’s Nest

197. Lil Miss Eco

198. Laryn Strickland

199. HeatherMama

200. The Gerber Babies Blog

201. WhateverSuccess

202. Women Who Win

203. Kat @ The Burb Blog

204. Happy Healthy Families

205. Sweeps4Bloggers

206. dramaqueensmum

207. The Mom Trap

208. Multitasking Mama

209. Mama Michies Musings

210. Little People Wealth

211. Belly Beyond

212. Kim Kihega

213. Mom Fuse

214. Juanita

215. Adopt a Do

216. On the Refriderator Door

217. Christine

218. Little Diva

219. My Household Junk

220. I’m Here….Really

221. Brittany@The Greer 5

222. mary

223. Nicole @ Nicole’s Nickels

224. Lori Newman

225. Kris @ NSQSA

226. Debb

227. Shawn Ann’s World

228. Peke Moe -NZ made baby sleep sacks

229. A Simple Kinda LIfe

230. Sweet Serendipity

231. Bouncing Off The Walls

232. Jane Loedding

233. Msbuildingupdabenjamins

234. Msbuildingupdabenjamins

235. Msbuildingupdabenjamins

236. Musings from Me

237. Veronnica

238. The Adventures of Miss V

239. Mudd Kids

240. Mom Most Traveled family travel

241. Relishing the Dirt

242. Good, True and Beautiful

243. Deb @ Frugal Living and Having Fun

244. The Last Blog on Earth

245. A Wrestling Addicted Mommy

246. Rae

247. kimert@diaries of a coach’s wife

248. Dore’s Diaries

249. Blog by Donna

250. Lisette

251. Pillaging With Buffie

252. Mom of Faith


254. flutterbyechronicles

255. shelley

256. Life In A House Of Blue

257. kristen

258. Alex the Fey Thriller Series

259. MamaCheaps!

260. Donalacasa

261. A Jewish Journey

262. Anissa @ Our Chaotic Life

263. BethinNC

264. Stuttering Shell

265. Don’t Blink

266. Life is Sweet

267. Lisa

268. Sue@Stay At Home Mom

269. m.e (cathie)

270. Run DMT

271. Princess Ratbag

272. Michelle G

273. CF Mama @ Nathan’s Fight

274. Moody Mama Says

275. Laurie Ann

276. Cooking During Stolen Moments

277. A Simple Walk

278. Vanessa

279. middleagedmom

280. Ramblings Of A Wannabe Writer

281. Oh My Baby

282. Fordcast Sunny

283. Lisa Miller

284. Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy

285. Bibs & Cribs {very cute stuff}

286. My Lil’ Budget Book

287. Misadventures in Baby Raising

288. My Mommy Said

289. Milk & Honey Mommy

290. Milk and Honey Mommy

291. Amy O’Neal

292. Parenting Children

293. A Girl And Her Life

294. MarieLynn Boutique Blog

295. Born Fabulous Boutique Blog

296. The Pitter Patter Boutique

297. Stephanie Deese

298. Brea’s Baby Boutique Blog

299. - Heather Manning

300. Kids Activities Blog

301. Two Little Whales Cloth Diapers & More

302. 3 boys & a dog

303. Karen ~Georgia Angel

304. JenniferB @ my not so hurried life

305. Shannon Blogs Here

306. A Virtuous Woman

307. Secrets of a Southern Kitchen

308. Dreamer

309. Lollipop Book Club

310. Mommie Daze Virtual Baby Shower

311. Heck Of A Bunch

312. MomSaves4U

313. Barely Domestic Mama

314. Emilie @ Baby Loving Mama

315. Professional Family Manager

316. Kathleen

317. Coaching The Family

318. Frugal Creativity

319. Easy Being Green

320. Dandelion Bubbles

321. Shelly aka The Attic Girl

322. Foxtoybox-Discovery Toys

323. Ashley @ Beauty4Moms

324. Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

325. Playground for Parents

326. World of Discovery

327. Kati @ Country Girl City Life

329. A Little Bit Nutty

330. Mahayla’s Mommy

331. Mommy Goggles

332. The Shopping Mama

333. If I Could Escape . . .

And check out #322!! Woohoo!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What's happening in my classroom?

This month's theme in my classroom has been Zoo Animals. We've had a lot of fun singing cool songs about "Going to the Zoo" (yay Raffi!!), playing with our zoo animals, making lots of animal sounds and working on cute projects.

One week was dedicated to pre-math concepts. That week, we counted animals, made AB patterns with zebra stripes and read the fabulous Discovery Toys product:

Counting with Animals!
This one little book is jam PACKED with educational concepts! Let's take a look:
Introduction to numbers- on the left side of each page, the numbers 1-5 are shown (one at a time as you turn the pages!). The coolest thing about this is the numbers look like Touch Math**! There are a number of dots on the numbers that correspond with the amount the number represents, which really helps those kinesthetic learners as they move their fingers to count. **disclaimer--it's not TouchMath--it just reminds me of this fabulous way of teaching numbers and math.

Introduction to shapes and colors- on the right side of each page, there are peek through holes that are in some of the basic shapes, like squares, circles, triangles. Oh!! And, the amount of holes corresponds to the number shown! And, guess what?! The peek-a-boo shapes show off colors that are on the secret "Lift and Learn" flap!

Lots and lots of opportunities for counting-inside the flaps, there are oodles of animals to count and, you guessed it, the amount of each animal corresponds to the featured number on the previous page!

Lots and lots of opportunities to see the numbers- while you and your child are reading, the book asks your child to find certain animals. This gives your child many chances to see the number in print.

Language and speech concepts!!
I know I've mentioned it before, but, presenting new words within categories is the best way to teach vocabulary and add words to that "filing cabinet" in the right place.

Articulation- Hooray for a multitude of multisyllabic words!! Many of my students leave off those pesky unstressed syllables when they are talking (so, "elephant" becomes "ephant"). Well, Counting with Animals has oodles and oodles of animals with lots of syllables!!
Elephants, butterflies, caterpillars, oh my!

And, as a person who works with preschoolers, I certainly appreciate the quality of Counting with Animals!! The book is very sturdy and strong to resist those busy hands who might get a little rough and accidentally rip the book. Also, the pages are laminated, which is so fabulous because, well, 3- and 4-year olds get kinda snotty!! Little sneezing kiddos are no problem with Counting with Animals!!-- Wipes off so easily!

Oh, and did I mention how affordable it is? $13.50 is a great price for such a high quality book!! Please checkout my website and get your own copy of Counting with Animals!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Check this one out, too!

Kiddies Corner Deals

Even more love!! :D

Spreading the love!!

I wanted to introduce you all to a cool website that shares everything MOM and KID!! Check it out!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Castle Marbleworks!

Y'know, you don't really know exactly what a child can learn from a toy until you watch them play with it, or until you see it for yourself. Rachel and I just spent quite a while playing with her brand new CASTLE MARBLEWORKS (with brief interruptions for kisses and dancing with Salt N Pepa--VH1 was in the background).

By the way, I got the CASTLE MARBLEWORKS for 50% off, just like any other customer can during the month of May. Ask me how!!

Here are some cool things I heard while playing with Rachel's CASTLE MARBLEWORKS :
"More balls"
"Mama find it"
"Woah, balls!"
"Watch the balls"
"Round and round"
"Thank you"

Top? Wow--I didn't know she knew that!

So, some cool concepts that can be taught using CASTLE MARBLEWORKS:
in, out, down, open, close (the door moves!), top, bottom, colors, counting to 3

Rachel also showed me how it is a problem solving activity when she tried and tried to make it so the balls wouldn't come out. It's also a motor activity when she moved her body all around trying to get the balls back out!
And, you know, even the jingly balls are fun to listen to as they move down the tracks, for some great auditory stimulation. :D

So, don't forget--during the month of May, you too can get a CASTLE MARBLEWORKS for 50% off! Ask me how.

Happy playing!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Life completely changes when you become a mother! Motherhood is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding jobs there is. Like the Army--the toughest job you'll ever love :)

When Rachel was just born and still in the NICU (she was a preemie), this song just struck me so much that I dedicated it to her. It brings me back to my headbanging teenage years, too :). I can't dedicate a song to myself on Mother's Day, so I'll share Rachel's song with you!!

What You Give by Tesla

Who's the one that makes you happy?
Or maybe, who's the one always on your mind?
And who is the reason you're livin' for?
Who's the reason for your smile?

I feel so lonely, yet I know I'm not the only one
To ever feel this way.
I love ya so much that I think I'm goin' insane.
I'm goin' crazy, outta my head.
Goin' crazy, outta my head.
Can't think about nothin' but your good, good love,
And what you give.

Now, ev'ry one needs somebody.
And you know, ev'rybody needs someone.
Well, and a-yes it's true!
Ev'rybody needs a special kind of love,
And you're the only one I'm thinkin' of.
You mean the world to me.
You are my only!


It's not whatcha got, it's a-what you give.
It ain't the life you choose, it's the life you live.
It's not what you got, only what you give, only what you give,
It's not whatcha got, a-but the life you live.
It's the life you live.

You're the one that makes me happy. Oh yeah baby.
And you're the one always on my mind. And a-yes it's true.
You are my reason, my one and only that I've been livin' for
Why can't forever be forever and nothin' more. (To Chorus)

It's not whatcha got, it's a-what you give.
It ain't the life you choose, it's the life you live.
No, no, no, no, no!
It's not whatcha got, it's a-what you give.
And it ain't what it's not, but a-what it is!

Enjoy your day, Mommies!!


Friday, May 8, 2009

What are people buying?

Lately, several people have purchased the THINK-IT-THROUGH Tiles System.

This is a self-correcting learning system that really sparks kids' visual perception and cognitive skills as they are playing*.
(*They're really LEARNING--but don't tell them that!! They're having too much fun!)

There are several academic areas that the THINK-IT-THROUGH system focuses on, including math, language arts and science concepts and logic, reasoning and visual perception skills. There are a total of 20 books in the system, which can be purchased separately or as comprehensive sets. Each set is geared toward different age levels, too---but, if your child needs a bit of extra help, you can get the lower level books or you can get the higher level books for later! Activities in each book get progressively harder as your child learns the basic skills.

The Tiles Case is the magic of the system, though!! As your child answers the problem, they match the tile to the problem's correct answer and put it in the correct place on the case's corresponding letter. When they are done, they flip the case over and discover a pattern. If the pattern matches the one in the book, they've got it!! If not, they can see which problem they missed and go back and fix it on their own. How empowering!

And, because it's self-correcting, it really enhances your child's independent learning, which is a skill that he or she will need throughout their school years.

So, who has bought THINK-IT-THROUGH?
Moms! Moms who wanted a fun way for their kids to practice academic skills in a fun way! Moms who understand the importance of repeated practice of skills to make sure their child has *really* learned what was taught. Moms who realize that kids need to keep their minds sharp during summer vacation.

Teachers!! My friend at my school purchased the Complete Set with extra Tile Cases to use during her independent center times in her classroom. She looked through the books and saw the value in the extra practice this system will give her students. Her students will use THINK-IT-THROUGH both independently to boost their test-taking confidence, and with partners to work on their cooperative learning. Oh, and an added bonus of helping with standardized assessments and increasing test scores!! Awesome!

Check it out here and let me know if you have any questions by e-mailing me at

Happy learning!

Friday, May 1, 2009

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month!!

Recently during a Discovery Toys Training Call, Kelly Corbett did a great presentation on toys that therapists use, focusing on occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists. I added a bit of information to her section on how speech therapists can use Discovery Toys products, so I thought I would share that information with you!

So here we go...Cut and... Paste!! ;)

Receptive language (understanding what is said; following directions, answering questions)

Roll and Play (1 step commands; or, have them roll twice and do 2 step commands)

Pirate Pete Book/Once Upon a Story—since the story changes every time, it’s good for story retelling and asking what questions and the kids really have to use their listening skills

Baby Bear’s Bedtime—Helps with teaching prepositions

Castle Marbleworks—teach concepts down, in and out

EZ-Blocks—teach concepts on/off, tall, short

Expressive language (how kids use language, including vocabulary, forming sentences, making their wants and needs known)

Toddler Talk—for non-verbal kids to encourage them to make any sound..then they can hear themselves! (NOT for articulation therapy, though…the sound is too poor)

My Busy Day—teaches sequencing, story retell

Build A Book—for vocabulary development—categorizing/sorting items is a basic way to teach vocabulary.

Zingo—vocabulary building; therapists can have the kids make a sentence with the word

Wiz Kids—helps with word finding, categorizing items to build vocabulary

Pick Up Words—The kids can formulate sentences with the words they pick

Articulation (how kids form speech sounds)

Sounds Like Fun CD (I’ve been using “The Apple Song” for years and didn’t know where it came from!!) for phonological awareness

Measure Up Cups—therapists can put articulation cards under the cups. As the child picks up a card, they have to say the word as many times as the number on the cup (for example, they pick the cup with a “5” and the word is “spoon,” they have to say “spoon” correctly 5 times.

Check out these products and more at my Discovery Toys website
Also, check out more information about Better Speech and Hearing Month at ASHA's website