Keep ‘Em Learning All Summer Long

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south florida parenting june
The June Edition of the South Florida Parenting Magazine is out.  It features lots of great ideas for summer including an article by yours truly.  Check it out!
Summer Learning FunSummer is a time for fun but that’s no reason for children to stop learning.  If children are given learning activities during the summer it will make the transition back to school much easier.  Keep your children’s minds active all summer with these ideas that turn summer activities into fun learning opportunities.
summer learning1. Blow up a beach ball and draw a line around the center of it like the equator.  Now write one number 0-9 in each of the colored sections.  Toss the ball around and when your child catches it have him/her add the two numbers that his hands are on.  Older children can multiply the two numbers.

2. Have a kiddie pool?  Fill it up and give kids various size containers- 1 cup, 1 pint, 1 quart, 1 gallon, etc.  Kids can play in the water while transferring water from one container to another.  How much water is needed to fill each container?  How many quarts fill a gallon?  If you have lots of kids over, make a relay race using a measuring cup to carry water across to a larger container like a gallon.  The team that fills their gallon container first wins.

3. Going out to a restaurant?  Have your child find various letters on the menu.  Have older children search for various words on the menu or have them read the menu to you.  Getting ready to pay the check?  Have older children figure out the tip and the change.

4. Have kids practice writing letters or words on the driveway with sidewalk chalk.  Older kids can write sentences or a poem with chalk.  Raining outside?  Use dry erase markers inside on a mirror the same way.

5. Set up a lemonade stand.  Not only will your children get to practice measurements and following recipe directions but they’ll also get to practice counting money and making change.

6. Children love helping in the kitchen so dig out some cookbooks and let your children go through them and pick recipes they’d like to do with you.  Older kids can read through the cookbooks while younger children might need some help.  Once you select a recipe, your little chef can practice measuring while helping you cook the recipe.

7. Make a summer journal where children can write what they do each day.  Younger children can draw a picture and write a few words while older children can write longer stories about their daily adventures.

8. Going on vacation?  Get out a map and have your child help you plot out your route.  Staying local?  Get a local map or print one from the internet.  Have your child plot each place he/she goes all summer with a colored dot.  By the end of the summer you might be surprised how much you got around.

9. Practice calendar skills by counting down to upcoming events, a vacation, the first day of school, etc.  Practice telling time- Going to the park at 3:00?  Have your child figure out how many hours until you go?  How many minutes until you go?

10. Read, read, read!   Read with your child as much as possible.  Have your child read to you, a younger sibling, or even a pet.  Set a goal for how many books you’ll read over the summer and a special reward for completing your goal.  Check with your local library to see if they have any summer reading incentive program for children.  Some banks and other companies also have similar summer reading incentive programs.  When your children are riding in the car have them read the signs.  Younger children who can’t read can point things they see such as letters, colors, etc.
Summer Learning Fun

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FREE Summer Learning and Fun For Families Online With Camp Wonderopolis

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Looking for some great, educational activities to keep your kids busy this summer?  Camp Wonderopolis has got you covered.  Camp Wonderopolis is going to be bigger and better and even more awesome than last year!

How could Camp Wonderopolis get any better, you ask? Let us tell you.

  • Set up your full Camp account with your own username and avatar.
  • This year is all about science (hello, EXPERIMENTS!), and here are the worlds we’ll be exploring:
    • Wonder Zoo (Zoology)
    • Wonder Amusement Park (Physics)
    • Wonder Woods (Biology)
    • Wonder Laboratory (Chemistry)
    • Wonder Dig Site (Geology)
    • Wonder Observatory (Astronomy)
  • For every Wonder you master, you’ll earn a Wonder Card. That’s right… WONDER CARDS! Can you collect all 42?
  • There are even going to be prizes for the most WONDERful photos and videos shared by campers.

So, what are you waiting for?! Preregistration is now open. Sign up today for your spot in Camp Wonderopolis, and we’ll see YOU in just a few weeks!

Explore. Imagine. Laugh. Share. Create. Learn. Smile. Grow.

Welcome to Wonderopolis®, a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages. Brought to life by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), our Wonders of the Day® will help you find learning moments in everyday life—ones that fit in with dinner preparations, carpool responsibilities, a stolen moment between breakfast and the bus, or within school curriculum and education programs.

Wonder is for everyone. It can happen anywhere and at anytime. Connecting the learning we do in our schools, our homes, and our communities, Wonderopolis walks the line between formal and informal education. Each day, we pose an intriguing question and explore it in a variety of ways. Our approach both informs and encourages new questions, sparking new paths of wonder and discovery in family and classroom settings.

Wonderopolis is generously supported by funding from the Verizon Foundation, and we are a proud Content Partner of its Thinkfinity Community. A free online professional learning community, Thinkfinity provides access to over 60,000 educators and experts in curriculum enhancement, along with thousands of award-winning digital resources for K-12—aligned to state standards and the common core. 
Here, educators connect and collaborate through themed groups, blogs and discussions, sharing resources, and best practices that support 21st century teaching and learning. Camp Wonderopolis follows a new model this year, enabling programs, families, and individuals to customize their experience to their own particular needs. Campers will explore different tracks of science and build their vocabulary, background knowledge, and literacy skills along the way.

When you register as a Camper (kids of all ages) or a Counselor (parents, library staff, teachers), you will be able to:

  • Select your own avatar
  • Follow your own path through six tracks of scientific exploration
  • Engage in Wonder lessons and test your learning to earn Wonder Cards® (42 in all!)
  • Check out what other Campers are doing and share your own experiences on the Wonder Wall
  • Keep track of your Camp activities on your personal dashboard (Counselor dashboards will track individual and groups of Campers—perfect for parents, libraries, and summer learning programs)
  • Try out fun, hands-on activities with everyday items
  • Compete in photo and video contests for a chance to win Camp prizes

Be sure to pre-register now, and stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!

– See more at:

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Learning Is Fun With Rose Art and LeapFrog!

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leap frog productsLeapFrog has been a leader in educational entertainment for more than 15 years.  RoseArt and the MegaBrand family have partnered with LeapFrog to bring a whole new line of fun, educational products.  I just love when some of my favorite brands come together to make great products.  MegaBrand generously sent my girls a HUGE box of Leapfrog learning products and they are having so much fun with them this summer.  And as a mom, I like that they are still keeping their heads into math and writing with these great products, even over the summer.
leapfrog creative journalThe Creative Journal is great because it encourages children to practice writing with included stickers and story prompts.  It can be used at home, at school, or anywhere inspiration strikes!  With 88 pages, there is plenty of room to write down whatever comes to mind.  There is room to draw, too, and the primary rule helps keep handwriting neat.
leapfrog cursiveThe LeapFrog Cursive Dry Erase Practice Book is great for cursive practice at home or on the go.  The 16 page book is spiral bound and has durable  pages with a built-in lapboard making it easy to practice no matter where you are.  Dry erase pages make it a breeze to practice, erase, and practice cursive letters again and again.  Many schools aren’t teaching cursive anymore and I think that’s a shame.  My older daughter learned cursive in school and I am hoping my younger daughter does, too.  If she doesn’t learn in school, I am glad we have the LeapFrog Cursive Dry Erase Practice Book for her to practice on.
Leapfrog Dry Erase BoardThe double-sided LeapFrog Dry Erase & Chalk Board has both a white dry erase side and a black chalkboard side.  It comes with 1 dry erase marker and 2 sticks of chalk plus a convenient pouch to keep it in.  I love the versatility of this fun board.  It is 8.5″ x 11″ so there is plenty of room for my girls to write messages, draw, or whatever they want.  They especially like playing school with this board and giving each other problems to complete.
leapfrog dry erase markersLeapFrog also has a line of washable dry erase markers.  WASHABLE!  As a mom, that is important to me because I’ve had clothes stained from regular dry erase markers that don’t wash out.  My girls aren’t exactly neat so I like being able to give them washable markers so I don’t have to worry what they get the markers on.  And they love the bright colors of these markers.
leapfrog flashcardsI love keeping these multiplication and division flashcards in the car with us so my older daughter can practice her math skills when we’re out and about, waiting for a doctor appointment, or just have some time to kill.  The cards are double sided and durable which I like because my little one will be using these soon, too.
leapfrog play moneyOut of all the LeapFrog items we were sent to review, I think my girls like the Play Money the best.  They use it with a pretend store.  One shops and the other one pretends to be the cashier.  I love how they practice their money skills without realizing it.  They just think they’re having fun.  With 204 pieces to count, sort, and identify, this set keeps my girls busy.  And I love that it includes suggestions for games and activities to help reinforce money concepts.
Leapfrog telling time
This Telling Time practice book is great because it has dry erase pages for lots of practice and it has a clock on top with movable hands which makes it easier for children to visualize and understand.  This practice book breaks down the concept of telling time into four easy lessons: on the hour, half hours, quarter hours and minutes.  It is spiral bound for durability and my girls just think the clock on top is just plain fun to play with.
leapfrog printing numbers math and shapesleapfrog printing
My girls already know their numbers, shapes, and letters so I am giving the Printing, Numbers, Math & Shapes book and the Printing Book to my friend who has a 3 year old daughter who is just learning how to write her letters.  These books will be perfect for her.  The pages are sturdy and easy to write on.  And the Numbers, Math, & Shapes book also has fun activities to help reinforce numbers, math, and shapes.

Disclosure: I received the products listed above to facilitate my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.



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DIY Mini Activity and Games Tin

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altoids tin Do you have empty mint tins (Altoids) around your house or in your purse and you’re not sure what to do with them?  Why not make a mini activity and games tin?  Here are just a few fun ideas and what is great is that they fit so well in a purse, pocket, or backpack.   You will need an Altoids tin and a package of magnetic sheets.  No mater what game or activity you are going to turn your tin into, clean out the tin first and cover the top and bottom with cardstock to create a blank surface to play on.
Do you have daughters?  Why not make magnetic dress-up dolls?
You can print paper dolls from this site here.  They print the perfect size to fit into the mint tin.  Purchase magnetic sheets to put the dolls and clothes on.  You can print the dolls and clothes right on the magnetic sheet but you will have a lot of wasted space.  I suggest you print them on regular paper, cut them out, peel back the protective paper on the magnetic sheets, and stick the dolls and clothes as close together on each sheet to avoid wasting space.  Cut around the figures and viola!  Magnetic paper dolls that stick well to the tin.  Cute, aren’t they?
P1130536P1130531 P1130532 P1130534I started making my own game boards for various games to fit inside our tin but then I found a site that already has great game boards done for you!  Artists Helping Children has printable game boards that fit inside an Altoids tin.  There is even a sheet of printable game pieces, too!  Awesome!
P1130542 Want to make a magnetic poetry set?  Grab some old magazines and start cutting out words.  This is a fun project to do with kids.  Let them read the words before they cut them out.  Once you cut the words out mount them on the magnetic sheet and cut them into individual magnets. P1130547You can even use this little tin for some learning games.  Print out letters for your child to spell words and mount them on magnetic sheets.  You can also have them match word endings like -at, -an, -ot, etc. and have them make words.  Great of squeezing in a little learning on the go!
P1130551Print a set of numbers and math symbols your child can practice math problems.P1130553If you are combining various games and activities in one tin, try putting the pieces of each game in a separate little plastic baggie.
These are just a few of the ideas I have come up with.  I am going to give my girls empty tins and see what they come up with, too.
Do you have an idea?  Please share it!
If you like this post, please pin it!

UPDATE~ I found these mini activity books and mini sticker albums at Dollar Tree that would make great additions to any activity tin.





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Bubble Guppies Animal School Day app Review

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Kids love Bubble Guppies, and kids also love animals! So what happens when you mix Bubble Guppies and animals? Bubble Guppies Animal School Day app! It is such a cool app.  Not only is it super interactive, it has tons of learning packed into a fun learning method. You can click on all the different animals of the animal kingdom and you can learn everything about them directly from the Bubble Guppies. If you like a frog you can learn everything there is to learn about frogs, not only by listening but by being involved in learning activities to learn about frogs. Whether its an ostrich, shark or tiger your kids can learn everything there is to know about animals.

What a better way to learn than by playing along with your favorite cartoon and taking part in puzzles, games other kind of interactive activities, this is sure to keep your little ones smart and quite for quite a while! Head over to the App Store and download Bubble Guppies Animal School Day!

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