Want to know a fun way to build skills during lunch or dinner with your children?

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Then pick up Melissa & Doug’s, “Smarty Pants” card sets, from Pre-School to 5th grade!

There is nothing I love more then to find creative ways for my children to learn, especially when it challenges them.

Smarty Pants card sets promote so many wonderful age related activities that are curriculum based. From math skills, to puzzles & questions, these boxes are filled with a plethora of information!

You learn something everyday, & why not have fun doing so!

Check out Smarty Pants card sets @ www.melissaanddoug.com, or @ Amazon.com!

Happy learning!

Take it from a Mom Who is taking learning to the next level at dinner that is…lol!

Want a fun game to teach letters, numbers & sight words?

Then check out the, “Pop for Letters, Sight Words, Word Families, or Numbers” by Learning Resources.

Teaching your child letter & number recognition should be fun, not frustrating.

By learning through a hands on approach, is a great way for your child to learn.

Children benefit from a variety of ways to learn letters, & numbers, so why not play a fun game together?

The age level is 4+, and my son who is 8 1/2, still loves playing these games, & now with his 5 year old sister!

Go to www.learningresources.com to learn more about their educational games, or go to Amazon.com.

Take it from a Mom Who Knows!

Please help victims who continue to need help from Hurricane Sandy any way that you can!

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Want a fun way to teach your child how to count, or learn about patterns ?

Then make your own counters!

Children LOVE to make things with their parents, as well as love to do crafts!

To make counters, get colorful pipe cleaners, yarn, or string.

Make a knot on one end and tape that end to the table. (This makes it easier for stringing.)

Either use large beads, buttons, or even Cheerios, & string 20 of them.

Next, make a knot at the end, & there, you have a portable counter.

Great to put in your pocketbook, diaper bag, or car!

Your child can make patterns out of the beads, & it is a great way for teaching colors too!

Melissa & Doug sell a large beading set which I photographed below, perfect for toddlers (lead free paint :)).

Michael’s, Target or any craft store sell the items listed above, so check them out!

The counters help the older ones with math, & is great to use for addition & subtraction homework!

Happy beading!

Take it from a Mom Who Knows!

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Want a great way for your children to learn sight words, or study for an upcoming test?

Than make a word wall!

I feel that the kitchen is a great place, either on the window, or wall where your child can see them.

I bought sentence strips at Staples, or you can use white or colored index cards as well.

Use either tape, or my fave, Fun tack (which will NOT ruin your walls), on the back of the cards.

Each week when my children get new words, I add those to the wall for each child.

This way they can see them throughout the day, and test each other, too cute!

Children get more out of studying this way, versus sitting at a table while you hold the paper with their words, aka archaic! Lol!

Make learning fun, & your child will have fun too!

Take it from a Mom Who Knows!

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Want a great way to teach your children about saving $$$?

Take them to TD Bank!

We have various bank accounts, but opened a Saving Account for both of our children there.

The reason is that they have a great savings system for all ages, & make it so much fun!

Upon opening an account, ask the manager for a piggy bank for your child.

When it is filled up, go to the bank to the, “Penny Arcade”, and your children can make a prediction of how much money they think the have saved.

Afterwards, they get a print out of the change they put into the machine, along with the total.

This is a great way for children to learn about money, even at the age of three!

TD Bank also has great incentives throughout the year, so check in every now & then.

Happy saving!

Take it from a Mom Who Knows!

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Want to know about two anti-bullying/teasing & stranger safety DVD’s?

Well I have just the two!

A friend of mine & I did a DVD swap this summer, and the following movies I thought were fantastic!

With teasing and issues with bullying, it is important for children to see how it effects children, as well as the consequences!

American Girl has a DVD entitled, “An American Girl Chrissa Stands Strong”, which I highly recommend!

I sat with my two children ages 4 1/2 & 8 1/2, and discussed issues throughout the film, as well as afterwards.

The second DVD is entitled, “safe Side Superchick in Stranger Safety” by John Walsh from, “America’s Most Wanted”, & Julie Clark, the creator of, “Baby Einstein”.

This show gives great safety tips for children, as well as scenarios that could possibly happen.

What is important, is that you sit with your children and discuss issues throughout each video.

Children are very visual learners, so by showing them tools of this nature, they will have a better understanding of this material.

Go to your local library, Amazon.com, or Netflicks to purchase, or rent these two films.

Be safe, & enjoy these two films on a family movie night!

Take it from a Mom Who Knows!

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Want a great spelling tool for all ages?

BANANAGRAMS that is!

I was in Southampton at a store named, “Hildreth’s”, and found another great product!

BANANAGRAMS is a company that created small tiles, in which the object of the game is to make crossword grids to spell words.

What I LOVE is that it comes in a small, zippered pouch, which is perfect to take to a restaurant, friends house, etc.  It makes a great gift, favor, and is under $15!

All of the BANANAGRAMS products have won countless awards, and rightfully so!

This tool is a fabulous way to review your child’s sight or spelling words for the week, without pulling teeth too, lol!

The following games are some of the BANAGRAMS products:

*Apple Letters is for ages 4 and up (larger tiles)

*Pairs in Pears is for ages 5 and up

*Bananagrams is for ages 5 and up

*Double Bananagrams (comes with 288 tiles) -Love this versus the above.

*Zip It is a game of speed 2 player game to build a word grid against their opponent

*Fruitominoes is a fun way to play the traditional dominoes

I suggest going to their website, www.bananagrams.com to learn more information, & Amazon.com sells a trio set!

This is one of my favorites, so check it out!

Take it from a Mom Who Knows

Want a fun activity to do with your toddler or big kid in the rain?

I use to use these markers when I was a teacher for spelling words and facts. They are Crayola Window Markers (found at Target of course), washable, and lots of fun!

I usually tape paper on either side of the window, so that the ink doesn’t stain the wood. (Because they are washable they come right off, so don’t worry! 🙂

My children have been using them since they are 12 months old, and it is a great way to teach your child about shapes, colors, numbers, the alphabet, facts from school to study for a test, and so much more!

Want to get your child writing this summer?

I found these amazing sets by Crayola called, “Wild Notes”. It comes with a pen that writes in rainbow ink! They make Post It’s, index cards, and a variety of notebooks, all found in Target.

I purchased a small notebook for my four year old, and the larger one for my eight year old son.

To keep Robert writing daily this summer, I found a fun way to get him writing his summer experiences, without pulling teeth! 🙂 As for my daughter Jolie, she draws a picture and then I write a sentence which she dictates to me.

Children usually do not like to write over the summer, so by using tools like this, decorating a notebook with stickers, or using fun pencils, it makes learning fun!

The new brain development series flash cards for infant to age 5!

I came across an article about, “Smart Cards” to promote brian development in children from birth to age five (the most crucial time for when brain development occurs).

Each flip card set has 40 educational activities, as well as great techniques for your child.  They sell them individually or in sets, and it also comes in Spanish.

As a former educator, I can honestly say that learning from the world around you is what makes a child thrive.

Go to www.braininsights.com to preview this pick!

Enjoy!

Danielle