Monday, June 22, 2009

The Big Red...what?!??!

Ok, I have to admit...
When I saw The Big Red Shovel on our Summer Sale Days flier, I was pretty skeptical. What is an educational products company doing selling a *shovel?*

But then I thought about it.

Learning isn't all in our brains. Learning also comes from figuring out how our bodies work. We also need to develop gross motor skills! A ha!! That makes more sense!

Now, it's summer time when we are taking our kids outside more often to play at the park and to the beach. Really, I can't think of a better sand toy that I would want more than the Big Red Shovel. Why?
This thing is STURDY! It's one of those items that you really have to handle to realize just how well made and long lasting it is. In fact, it's so sturdy that I've heard of folks who live in snowy areas buying one to keep in their trunk in the winter in case they get stuck in the snow somewhere. It's NOT going to break.
And, it's far more compact than a regular snow shovel.

Yes! that's another selling point--the SIZE. It's small enough for little ones, but big enough for older kids. Really, it's just right! ;)

And, while your kid is playing with The Big Red Shovel, don't forget the concepts you can work on teaching them while you play with them...
Colors-- that's pretty obvious--it's red ;)
Size concepts-- Are you digging a big hole or a small hole? Is your pile tall or short?
Action words-- Digging, making, holding,
Social Concepts--Sharing and turn taking are hard for little ones! But, if they work together while they are working and take turns doing jobs, it just might work! Try to have one child digging while the other fills a bucket; then they can switch.

The Big Red Shovel is only available for short time and, once they're gone, they're gone! It's on sale for $7.50 (regular price is $9.99!).
Feel free to check out my website or e-mail me with questions!

Happy digging!

Would you like to know my favorite use for The Big Red Shovel? Digging out the packing peanuts from all of my Discovery Toys delivery boxes!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inside Out Puzzle from Discovery Toys

Ok, this is the COOLEST puzzle ever!! It's not your usual puzzle.

At first glance, it looks like a plain old puzzle in the shape of a house. But, when you take a closer look, you see the puzzle pieces are strangely shaped! That's because, when you take them out and flip them over, they are in the shapes of household items!!

The pieces (which include family members, a car, a clock, a bookshelf, a car, etc, etc!) can then be used in imaginary play as the family wanders around their house. Yes...when the pieces are removed, they reveal the inside rooms of the house! So cool!

How can you use this puzzle to increase language skills?
Well, first, it's a great way to teach vocabulary. What I do is put the puzzle pieces in a bag and have my students take them out one at a time and label what they see. Again, teaching words in categories is one of the best ways to teach vocabulary.

It's also a nice way to work on talking about the functions of objects. I have found that young kids who have a hard time talking about the functions of objects (for example, "tell me what you do with a clock") are kids who may continue to have trouble with listening and talking later on. So, as you are playing with your child, you can say things like "I am getting a book. I read a book. What do you do with a car?" and see if they can answer.

You can also work on conversational skills as you and your child are pretending. Have the mommy talk to the child and encourage your little one to do the same. Model good grammar skills and long sentences.

The Inside Out Puzzle is recommended for kiddos age 4 and up, but even my friends (who are MUCH older than 4...ahem...) enjoyed the challenge of this puzzle...even putting it together with the household items side up. We could have re-named it the Upside Down Puzzle...;)

The best thing?!? It's on SALE for the amazing price of $12.50. But, act FAST because once they are gone, they're GONE!!
Check out the Inside Out Puzzle here at my website or contact me with questions.

Keep on creating!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More school carnivals with Discovery Toys!

Elia and I had a fantastic time at another carnival put on by one of the schools in my district!! We met some great kids and chatted with other community members.

What product were people most interested in? Zingo!!

I LOVE Zingo!! Yeah, it's kinda like another game that rhymes with Zingo but starts with a B, so you pretty much get the idea!

Zingo comes with 8 double sided cards so many people can play at once. It also comes with a nifty-neato tile dispenser that makes this game FUN! Instead of just flipping cards over, kids get to work this cool contraption to get thier pictures--they slide the dispenser and, presto! 2 picture tiles come out!! Inside the dispenser are 72 heavy duty tiles that have pictures. As the kids take turns, they see if the tiles match pictures they have on their card.

How can I use this to enhance my child's speech and language skills? Excellent question!!

Vocabulary Development- Make sure your child labels the items as they come out the dispenser. If they aren't sure what the word is, give them a clue. For example, if they don't know "clock," make the "C" sound to see if that helps them find the word.

Increase descriptive language- Have your child tell you 2 or things about each picture tile. If they pick "dog," have them say "a dog has four legs and barks." Encourage them to use full sentences and help them if they need it. "what else" or "tell me more" are great ways to get him to say more!

Using grammatically correct sentences- As the tiles come out, have your child tell you a sentence using both words. For example, if they get "bird" and "tree," encourage them to tell you about them. They could say "the bird lives in a tree" or "the bird is flying to the tree." If they miss a word or use the wrong word, simply model for them the correct sentence by emphasizing the missing word. For example, if he says "cat running," you can say "yes! the cat IS running! He IS! He IS running." You feel like you're repeating yourself? That's a GOOD thing! The more we hear something said correctly, the faster we will learn!

Articulation-Ok, I admit, this takes a bit of planning. And, you need to be very aware of the sound your child is working on and if they are able to produce it at all. Ok, so, let's pretend you know that he's working on the "k" and "g" sounds and he can say it in words. Great! Now, go through the tiles and find words with "k" and "g" in them... cat, clock, frog, dog, etc, etc. and put them on the bottom of the piles so you are sure they will get them. Sneaky artic practice! I love it!

Oh, and here's a bonus-- all of the pictures include printed words! Hooray for literacy practice!!

Have a great time playing Zingo with your whole family! If you would like more information about Zingo or other games and products, contact me or visit my website.

Happy playing!


Discovery Toys Summer Sale

Ok, as promised, here is some information that was sent out in my newsletter this month. It's all about our amazing summer sale that has already started. Check back often to see some reviews of these products and how to use them in a variety of ways with any of the kids in your life!

Check out these amazing discounts!!


Check out the Sales brouchure here!

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:

Out of My Head-- At $10, you save $19.99!

Sticker Art Deluxe-- At $8.50, you save $4!

Hoppity Pop Sprinkler At $10, you save $20!

Geoville-- At $9, you save $20.99!

Inside Out Puzzle-- At $12.50, you save $6!

Jungle Tower-- At $10, you save $10!

Alphabet Train-- At $6, you save $3.99!

Roll-a-Rama-- At $7, you save $5.99!

Score Center-- At $15.00, you save $14.99!

Super Marbleworks Raceway Accessory
Set-- At $8.50, you save $7.49!

Hello! Hola! Learning Phone-- At 8.50, you
save $9.49!

Robotic Rover Science Kit-- At $6.50, you
save $3.50!

I'm Going Green CD-- At $6.50,

Quick Call-- At $8.50, you save $4.49!

Big Red Shovel-- At $7.50, you save $2.49!

The Brain Game-- At $15, you save $10!

Pretty amazing savings, if I do say so myself.
Oh, and act quick!! Once these items are gone, they are GONE!!

Contact me
ASAP to order or to ask any questions you may have!