Category Archives: Learning & Education

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money?

Did you know that only 7% of US high schools require students to pass a basic finance test to graduate? And not only that, but the majority of parents received a grade of C or worse when it came to understanding basic finance themselves. So how can we as parents help our kids learn to manage money? BusyKid is the newest online and mobile platform for doing just that, and I’ve never been so excited to tell you about something, as I am about BusyKid!

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagement

~This is a sponsored post on behalf of BusyKid. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

I remember getting my first bank account and first credit card during my senior year in high school, at the same time I was working my first job. I was ready to get spending and buy whatever I wanted to buy without having to ask permission from my mom. But it wasn’t long before more credit cards came in and the debt kept growing and growing. I have since learned my lesson and paid down a lot of my debt, but I still wish I had done better from the start.

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagementIt’s estimated that today, less than 10% of ALL money in the world is coins and paper. We pretty much live in a cashless society, but the fact of the matter is we’re still teaching our kids about money by using coins, paper bills, and piggy banks. Sure, that’s okay at first, but once they understand the face value of each coin and paper bill, we need to do our duty to teach them about our cashless society and what it takes to actually earn that money. I’m talking budgeting, saving, investing, and taxes, and even responsibility, accountability, and time management.

This is where BusyKid comes in. BusyKid is a new online and mobile platform that acts as your child’s first job and payroll system. You create a profile for your child, customize a chore list for them (this is their “job”), along with an allowance amount for each chore, and when they’ve finished a chore they mark it as done. When Friday roles around, it’s your child’s payday, just like for most of us adults. From there your child has money to spend how they want (with a little guidance, of course). It’s a classic, but advanced earn and be rewarded system.

We created BusyKid because our children need to start experiencing the real world earlier when it comes to the basic financial practices of earning, saving, spending, sharing and investing. As adults we don’t get rewarded with TV time, computer time, stickers, stars or ice cream. Why should we do this with our kids? Eventually, they need to learn the importance of money.

-Gregg Murset, BusyKid CEO

Let’s walk through this with a quick step by step, because I absolutely love the concept of BusyKid.

Chore List

You have the ability to choose which chores you want your child to do and on what days. And if you’re not exactly sure what kinds of chores are suitable for your child’s age, don’t worry. BusyKid provides plenty of recommendations. As your child gets older, new chores will be added, but you still have the ability to customize the chore list as you go.

Each chore is also assigned an allowance amount. This can be anything you choose to be appropriate and whatever fits with your own family budget. Upon completion of the chore, your child marks it as complete and the allowance amount is added to their total allowance.

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagementPayday

Every Friday is payday, just like some jobs in the real world. You are paying your child’s payroll and do so by linking your bank account, debit card, or credit card to BusyKid’s payroll system. On payday your child can choose to request cash, or purchase fun retailer gift cards, or invest, or even have it “direct deposited” onto their BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Card (hello, real world!). Every payday you will receive a text message alert reminding you it’s payday, at which time you can approve payment or not.

Now, you can imagine there will probably be times when your child marks a chore as done, but didn’t actually do it. Obviously, you aren’t going to pay them for that undone chore. In the “activity” section you can see every chore your child has marked completed and in that same location you can disapprove any chore that wasn’t actually done. This will automatically adjust the total allowance amount.

Spending Their Money

As just mentioned, your child can choose to request cash, purchase fun retailer gift cards, invest, or even have it “direct deposited” onto their BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Card that they can use in-store or online. In addition to these options, they can also donate a portion of their earnings to charity if they’d like.

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagement

All of this is done within the BusyKid platform. Of course, you can still help guide your child with how to spend their money, but just imagine how much more real world experience they will have when it comes to budgeting, saving, investing, and spending. If you give your child the freedom to choose what they do with their money, they may not always make the right choice, but it’s better to learn from those fails now than as an adult.

Get Started

You’re probably wondering how much BusyKid costs to use and in all honesty, it’s very affordable. It’s just $14.95 per yer, per family. And if you want to give your child a BusyKid Spend Card (rechargeable VISA debit card), there’s an additional $5 per year fee, but I love the real world experience it can give to kids, so I think it’s worth it.

And for a limited time, two kids from each family that signs up will receive a free $10 stock. BusyKid really wants children to learn how to invest so they’ve decided to give them their first experience in dealing with the stock market.

How Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagementHow Will Your Kids Learn to Manage Money? | #BusyKid #allowance #moneymanagement

It’s never too early to teach children how to budget and effectively spend their money. My son is just 5 years old and wanted some useless toy (in my opinion) from his school’s book fair a few weeks ago. He asked his father for $5 to get it, to which is father replied he had to complete a chore to get the $5. Well, he ended up not finishing the chore and didn’t earn his $5.

Every time we go to the store my son is also asking for something, whether it be a new toy, a new shirt, or junk food. I always ask him if he has the money to buy whatever it is he’s wanting and the conversation stops there. BusyKid is the perfect platform for us to start teaching our son about earning money and the best possible ways to spend his earnings, and we’re all excited to get started!

Have you started teaching your kids about money?

Connect with BusyKid: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of BusyKid. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch #HolidayGiftGuide

When the kids need something to do, do you usually turn to electronics? I do. We have a variety of tablets and electronic gadgets the kids play with, and they watch TV all the time. In all honesty, we’ve never really set a limit on the amount of electronic or screen time our kids get. But we still realize the importance of simple creativity and Magic Sketch is helping our kids express their creative side.

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch | #MagicSketch #HolidayGiftGuide #GiftGuide #giftidea

~I received a sample to help facilitate this review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

It was a few months ago that I realized my son felt pressured to be perfect when drawing. I’d give him crayons and paper and tell him draw me a picture, or he’d draw on his chalk board or dry erase board, whatever medium he chose. He’d always ask me what to draw and when I’d request something he’d just stare blankly like he didn’t know where to start.

This was a little concerning to me because even if he drew a few lines or shapes and tried to make a picture of something, I would have went with it. But it wasn’t even that. He couldn’t come up with anything because he wanted his picture to look exactly the way it was supposed to.

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch | #MagicSketch #HolidayGiftGuide #GiftGuide #giftidea

If I wanted him to draw a car, he wanted his picture to look just like one of his Hot Wheels cars. I can’t even draw a car to look that realistic, but he didn’t even want to try. This was a red flag that we needed to work on his imagination and creativity, so that’s what we did.

Magic Sketch,  a colorful tablet/boogie board with a transparent LCD screen that allows kids to draw, play, create and learn, has been a big help with him lately. It comes with various drawing tools and stamps, as well as fun stencils – learning stencils, game stencils, and even art stencils.

Magic Sketch includes:

  • Magic Sketch Boogie Board
  • Protector Guard
  • 4 Styluses
  • 1 Roller
  • 3 Stamps
  • 20 Learning Stencils
  • 20 Games Stencils
  • 20 Art Stencils

 

 

My son’s favorite thing to do with his Magic Sketch, aside from writing his name, is tracing the art stencils. The stencils slide right into the Magic Sketch and because the screen is transparent, he can trace right over the stencil and create something amazing.

It caters a little more to his need to be perfect, but I’ve also noticed him trying to draw the images himself without the stencil. And erasing his artwork and starting with a clean slate is as easy as pushing the round black button. It’s like magic!

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch | #MagicSketch #HolidayGiftGuide #GiftGuide #giftidea

Kids Get Creative with Magic Sketch | #MagicSketch #HolidayGiftGuide #GiftGuide #giftidea

My favorite thing about Magic Sketch is it’s kid proof durability. It can be dropped, stepped on, spilled on, and none of this will affect it. Plus, the battery lasts for seven years! Thank goodness for no chargers or constant battery changes.

And just imagine how perfect it is to carry along during car trips, or to use at restaurants or in waiting rooms. You don’t have to worry about battery life, there are no annoying sounds, and your child is learning to express their creativity.

 

While we still have some work to do, my son has come a long ways with his creativity. Now that he’s started kindergarten he comes home with drawings all the time. Of course, I have to ask him what they are, but if he can give me an answer, I’m happy. I can at least now recognize his creativity is starting to show. And when he asks to use his tablet, he’s not talking about his electronics anymore, but is wanting to draw on his Magic Sketch.

Making Time's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide is in the works and this is your opportunity to gain holiday exposure. Spots will fill up fast so contact me today! #HolidayGiftGuide #HGG #giftideasMagic Sketch has helped my son so much that it’s earned a spot in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide. It’s the perfect gift for kids! Magic Sketch retails for $29.95 and can be purchased directly from the Magic Sketch website or Amazon.

Do your kids struggle with creativity?

Connect with Magic Sketch: Shop

*I received a sample to help facilitate this review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Booktoberfest at Book Outlet

You guys know I love adding new titles to my kids home library every chance I get. And now is the perfect time to add A LOT of new stories. Why now? Because it’s Booktoberfest at Book Outlet!

Booktoberfest at Book Outlet | #Booktoberfest #BookOutlet #sale #books #promotion #discountbooks

~This is a sponsored post on behalf of Book Outlet. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Booktoberfest is an amazing opportunity to save 15% off sitewide at Book Outlet, from October 3rd at 10 am EST to October 6th at 10 am EST. I’ve already started browsing the kids section of the website and have generated a list of great books to add to my kids collection.

Booktoberfest at Book Outlet | #Booktoberfest #BookOutlet #sale #books #promotion #discountbooks

Booktoberfest at Book Outlet | #Booktoberfest #BookOutlet #sale #books #promotion #discountbooks

I’m looking for fun and non-spooky Halloween stories, beginning reader books, and even starting on Christmas gifts. Do you, or have you thought about doing the book a day tradition in December? You know, where you individually wrap 24-25 books and have your child choose just one to open each day in December, up until Christmas? Now would be the perfect time to get those books!

Booktoberfest at Book Outlet | #Booktoberfest #BookOutlet #sale #books #promotion #discountbooksThe prices at Book Outlet are already amazing, but with an extra 15% off, the deal is even sweeter. And that’s not even the sweetest it gets! Between now and October 2nd at 10 am EST, you can get a coupon for savings on top of the 15% off. Just head over to Book Outlet, register for and share the promotion, and receive your coupon via email.

I say, bring on the savings and all the new book adventures!

What kind of books will you be shopping for during Booktoberfest?

 Connect with : Shop | Facebook | Twitter

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Book Outlet. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir

Do you have a child who loves to help in the kitchen, but you can’t really find safe tools for him to use, or even kid-friendly dishes he can make? This is exactly how I feel about my son. He so badly wants to help me in the kitchen, but when I’m cooking there’s not much he can really help with. In the past few weeks, though, this has changed! I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to get kids cooking in the kitchen with a little help from Kidstir.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

~I received samples to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

What is Kidstir?

Kidstir is a monthly subscription box for kids that offers fun, kid-friendly recipes they can make themselves (mostly). Each month Kidstir sends three new recipes that are perfectly curated for little hands. Each recipe is hole punched to fit in the Kidstir cookbook binder, literally allowing kids the opportunity to build and create their very own book of recipes. How cool is that?!

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

And not only does Kidstir send the recipes, but in the box you’ll also find kid-safe kitchen tools. Think small ice cream scooper, plastic sandwich/spread knife, mini whisk, pot holder, etc. Each recipe comes with a kitchen utensil that needs to be used and if no utensil is included, then there’s always something extra special for that recipe, like themed stickers or straw toppers, depending on the recipe.

The 1st shipment includes:

  • A special cookbook binder to collect monthly recipes, foodie pages, games, and activities.
  • 3 step-by-step recipes covering all food groups.
  • 3 educational foodie pages.
  • 2 kid-sized cooking tools and themed activity materials.
  • A digital and printed shopping list.
  • 3 fun games and puzzles.
  • An e-newsletter packed with recipes and printables.

Kidstir in Action

There’s no surprise, my son is over the moon about having his own cookbook and being able to help out much more in the kitchen. And I’m not going to lie, I didn’t realize there were so many things I could be teaching my son about cooking and letting him do. Don’t get me wrong, there are still things I need to do, like cutting things with a knife, but since he started getting Kidstir I’ve been delegating a lot more cooking tasks to him.

A little over a week ago we went apple picking and it just so happens that one of my son’s new Kidstir recipes was Awesome Apple Crisp. It could not have been a more perfect time to give this recipe a try. So we pulled together all the ingredients, including our freshly picked apples and we got to work.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

While I still did the apple peeling and cutting, my son was able to handle the rest. I helped identify the correct measuring cups for each ingredient and from there he was able to create the crispy topping, mix it up, and put it all together. Then using the cute little doggy potholder that came in his Kidstir box to use with this recipe, he helped carefully put the dessert in the oven.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

The final result was delicious! The recipe included ingredients and directions for making our own whipped topping, but we cheated a little and bought store-ready whipped topping instead. Nonetheless, the whole family enjoyed our fresh picked apples and the Awesome Apple Crisp my son made, and we couldn’t have been more proud of his accomplishment. He was pretty excited about it too!

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Why Kidstir?

Kidstir’s mission is to educate, engage, and empower kids about good food and cooking, while spending meaningful time with their families. The kitchen is the center of many family homes, so it’s the perfect place to teach and spend time together. Kidstir helps give us parents a jump start on teaching basic cooking skills to our children and in turn, we’re spending quality time around something we love – food.

Get Kids Cooking in the Kitchen with Kidstir | #Kidstir #kids #cooking #kitchen #subscription

Besides, I am determined that none of my kids will leave home without being able to make themselves nice home cooked meals! I believe starting early is the best way to achieve this and with the help of Kidstir, it’s never been easier.

A Kidstir subscription starts at just $12.95 per month and you can subscribe on a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month basis. Are you ready for some kid-friendly kitchen fun?

Do your kids like to help in the kitchen?

Connect with : Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

*Thank you to Kidstir for providing boxes for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

5 Tips for Reading to Children + Giveaway

We recently added another new book to our children’s home library. Surprising, right? Haha! We love reading to our kids, but to say that they love to sit and attentively listen to the different stories, would be a stretch. Getting small children to sit still and focus on the story can be difficult to say the least, but I’ve found a few tried and true tips for reading to children that will work for any family!

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

~I received an advance copy of a new children’s book to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

1. Wordless Picture Books

Many parents may find picture books boring, but it’s actually quite the opposite. When you offer your child a simple picture book, it gives them the freedom to make up the story, or to tell you what’s happening in the pictures. This is a great way to help grow their imagination.

You can even ask your child questions like:

  • What’s happening in this picture?
  • Why do you think that?
  • What do you think will happen next?

2. Let Your Child Pick the Book

Kids are always going to judge a book by it’s cover. That’s their first impression of what the book is about, so having books displayed in a way that they can see the covers, will easily allow them to choose which one they may be interested in. By letting your child choose which book they want you to read, they’re more likely to stay tuned for the story.

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

3. Pick a Book Your Child Can Relate To

If you come across story time and your child doesn’t really seem interested in sitting down and picking out a book themselves, you can try picking out a story they can relate to. My kids don’t always want to sit down and read, but if I have one they can relate to, I can usually rope them into paying attention. That’s been exactly the case with their new book, Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash.

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkidsBenji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash is the story of a young boy, Benji, who has saved some banana squash seeds for months so that he can grow his own. When the ground is finally soft enough to plant the seeds, he gets right to it. Then he spends weeks and months watering, watching and waiting for something to happen.

Once the vegetable has finished it’s growing cycle, Benji has himself a whopping 24 pound banana squash. He proudly poses for a photo with his huge vegetable and then his parents cook up the banana squash for dinner.

This is the kind of story that resonates with my kids, as this was the first year we tried our hand at growing some vegetables in our own backyard. We started small, with just two tomato plants, but being able to nourish the plants for months, having them grow larger and produce tomatoes, and then being able to eat our little harvest, has been a fun experience for my kids.

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

They certainly didn’t have any 24 pound tomatoes, but it has still been fun for them to grow their own food. Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash is all about patience, love and perseverance, all of which are important lessons for kids. And gardening, whether one vegetable or many, is a great way to learn those lessons.

Even when not really in the mood to sit and listen to a book, my kids are still happy to hear the story of Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash. Think your child would enjoy it too? Scroll down and enter to win your own copy!

4. Try Short Stories

When you sit down to read to your child, it doesn’t have to be a super long story. Starting with short, simple stories will give your child a better chance of actually finishing the book. I’ve sat to read to my kids many times and only made it a few pages in because they get distracted and we never get to the end of the book. Shorter stories have helped solve this problem and we’re gradually working our way up to longer ones.

5. Use Fun Voices

Have you ever sat and listened to someone read aloud in a monotone voice? It can make even the best story, as boring as ever. When reading aloud, use fun voices to help your kids distinguish between the characters and to keep the story alive. Even as an adult, it’s important for me to imagine different characters speaking in different voices, accents and tones. The same applies to kids.

Do you do any of these when reading to your kids? What tips would you add?

Preorder Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash (available October 16, 2017)!


Enter to win an advance copy of "Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash!" | #giveaway #reading #smartkids #gardening

One lucky Making Time reader will win an advance copy of Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US, ages 18+ and ends on September 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

*I received an advanced copy of a children’s book to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy

Whether you’re sending your kids back to school, are trying to give them a head start on learning, or are looking for a tool to supplement their education, LeapFrog Academy is one you should definitely consider. I’ve tried my fair share of educational tools for young kids and LeapFrog Academy has quickly become my go-to.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

~I received a complimentary subscription to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

My son has been working with LeapFrog Academy for a few weeks now and it’s safe to say he’s a big fan too. As if we couldn’t get enough of everything LeapFrog already has to offer, we now have something to add to the list. And this one is pretty epic.

LeapFrog Academy is a monthly learning subscription designed for kids ages 3-6. It’s an interactive program that guides them through preschool, pre-K, and kindergarten activities, where they’ll not only learn school related topics, but life skills as well. Core skills include reading and writing, math, problem solving, science and the world, creativity, feelings and health.

 

With over 1,000 activities including books, games, puzzles, videos, music, and art, there’s a possibility your child won’t want to leave their Learning Adventure. The activities themselves are pretty fun and along the adventure your child will earn bonus opportunities and rewards as motivation to continue.

Some rewards include accessories to change their avatar appearance and collection pieces to build all kinds of fun stuff (castles, dinosaurs, etc.) When asked to step away from the program, my son has said many times, “But mom, I have to get a reward.” He’d play and learn all day if the device didn’t need charging.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

And speaking of, device compatibility happens to be one of my favorite features. In the past you’ve always been required to use a LeapFrog product for anything LeapFrog related, but LeapFrog Academy is available on the computer (both Windows and macOS), iOS and Android devices (tablets and phones), as well as LeapFrog Epic and Epic Academy Edition.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

My son started out on my Windows computer and after discovering the LeapFrog Academy app automatically uploads to the Epic after it’s added to your LeapFrog account, he quickly switched over to the Epic. If you purchase the Epic Academy Edition, the LeapFrog Academy app is already installed.

But can we rejoice for a minute that it’s available on iOS and Android devices?! If you don’t already own a LeapFrog Epic tablet, there’s no need to go out and get one. Just download the app on your existing device and you’re all set.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

And wait, it gets even better! And you may want to sit down for this. —– LeapFrog Academy does NOT require Wi-Fi. Well, at least not all features. Woohoo! Road trips and airplane rides, here we come!

To clarify a little, not every feature of LeapFrog Academy works offline, but as your child is going through their Learning Adventure they have the ability to choose their favorite activities (games, books) and make them favorites. If ever in an offline situation, those games and books identified as favorites (up to 24) will be available for use without a Wi-Fi connection.

In true LeapFrog fashion, you also have the ability to track your child’s progress. Just sign into the Parent Dashboard where you can choose and change your child’s Learning Adventure, see what your child has completed, along with their score and what they learned in the activity, and this is also where you manage the account and your child’s profile.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription
These are the Learning Adventures my son has already completed and it also shows me which adventure he’s working on now. I can click on any of these he’s completed to check his scores.

 

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription
This is one of the activities my son has already completed. If I want him to go back and try it again, I can adjust his Learning Adventure so he can do that.

 

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription
This is the Learning Adventure currently being worked on. I can see that my son is just starting this one and hasn’t completed any activities yet, but I know the types of activities he’ll be working on.

 

In just the few weeks my son has been using LeapFrog Academy, he has really been surprising me. Since he’s starting kindergarten next week, I started him with the Introduction to Kindergarten adventure, which he’s already completed and has moved on to other things.

Early Learning with LeapFrog Academy | #LeapFrog #LeapFrogAcademy #earlylearning #supplementaleducation #monthlysubscription

Yesterday he was telling me about the body’s intestines, and lungs, and the skull and brain, and biceps, and ribs, and heart, and oh. my. goodness. The boy is only 5 years old! I’ve overheard him doing multiple “Human Body” activities the past few weeks, each one a little different than the last, and he was really taking away some info from them.

I’ve also seen him doing alphabet, counting, math, feelings, expressions, and life cycle activities. Many of which I’m sure I’d have a hard time teaching myself. I can’t wait to see what else LeapFrog Academy throws at him and for my toddler to get to an age where she can start using it too.

Ready to leap into learning? Sign up today for a free 1 month trial. The subscription is $7.99/mth after that and if you decide you want to cancel, you can do so at any time.

And by the way, I’m sure many of you have more than one child who would love to use LeapFrog Academy. One subscription allows up to 5 child profiles to be created!

What is your favorite feature of LeapFrog Academy?

Connect with : Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

*I received a complimentary subscription to help facilitate this post. As always, my opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.


Back to School Technology Savers

Whether you have a child in high school, or one heading off to college, technology is likely a big part of their back to school shopping list. Back to school tech doesn’t just include the primary product itself, like laptops and cell phones, but backup and protection accessories are necessary too. Through my own experience, I know that back to school technology savers should be on every techie students supply list.

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedock

~I received samples to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

I know first hand how important it is to protecting back to school technology. When I left for college I was gifted my very first personal laptop and successfully made it through class after class. But at some point my laptop completely crashed. I’m talking it got to the point  that I couldn’t even turn it on. Agh!

I mean, how was I going to finish major projects I had started? I didn’t have access to anything I had saved on my computer and being the typical college kid, didn’t think it was necessary to back anything up because ya know, this would never happen to me, right?  It was bad enough I had to fork up money for a new computer, so losing all my data on top of that was just a bigger kick in the pants.

And I hate to admit it, but this wasn’t the only time this has happened to me. Just a few years ago I had another laptop do the same thing and I lost tons of work, photos, everything. I certainly don’t wish this on anyone, college student or working adult, but sometimes it’s just an inevitable experience. However, it doesn’t have to mean you lose everything you’ve worked on.

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedock

With the OWC Drive Dock, simply remove the hard drive from the crashed computer and instantly gain access to everything that was contained on it, on another computer. Talk about a lifesaver! No kidding, this is a product I don’t think I will ever again be able to live without, especially considering my track record. Knock on wood, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before my current laptop takes a turn and I absolutely CANNOT lose all the data I have on it.

The same goes for those students who are working hard to achieve a higher education. If this same computer catastrophe were to happen, the OWC Drive Dock helps students work smarter, not harder. I’m all about that even today!

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedock

OWC Drive Dock Highlights ($69.75)

  • 2 drive bays for 2.5″ and 3.5″ hard drives or SSDs
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectivity
  • Up to 434 MB/s speeds
  • Independent power switches, and simultaneous operation (access 2 hard drives at once)
  • Internal power supply with universal compatibility
  • Mac and PC compatible
  • OWC 2 year limited warranty

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedock

Continuing with the discussion of laptop protection, I also want to mention NewerTech NuGuard Keyboard Covers. Compatible with Macbook, NuGuard Keyboard Covers are a fun and colorful way to protect the actual keyboard. There are 13 color options to choose from so the cover adds a little uniqueness to the laptop, but it’s also effective, as it protects against key wear, food, dust, and more.

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedockI don’t personally own a Macbook, but my boyfriend does and over the years he’s lost is “B” button, and as is typical with any keyboard, the key faces are starting to fade. Not to mention, keyboards can get really messy. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t eat or drink while on their computer and that sometimes means dirty, crumby keyboards. Not only is this an eye sore, but it can also affect the functionality of the keyboard as well. NuGuard Keyboard Covers protect against all of this!

NuGuard Keyboard Cover Highlights ($19.99)

  • Silky smooth surface texture for fast touch typing
  • Protects against key wear, food, dust, and more
  • Easy to clean – just rinse with water and dry
  • 13 color options to choose from

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedockNot only do students need to protect their ever expensive laptops, but cell phones fit right into that category too. This day and age, it’s rare to see a teen or adult without a cell phone on them somewhere. Besides, if you’re sending a child off to college, I’m willing to bet you’re a bit worried (just like when they started kindergarten) and want to be able to communicate with them whenever you want.

And let’s face it, cell phones get dropped and sometimes put through the ringer (no pun in intended), so they need to be protected. NewerTech NuGuard KX Protective Case is the ultimate protective case and built to survive life, even college life. And guess what? It’s now available for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

NuGuard KX Protective Case Highlights ($49.99)

  • Revolutionary X-Orbing gel technology absorbs and evenly distributes kinetic energy
  • One piece design – hard shell integrated with soft interior core
  • Exceptional protection without being bulky
  • Fast and simple install takes only seconds
  • Easy access to all ports and buttons
  • Lightweight
  • Cross hatch texture design offers secure hand grip, yet easy pocket/purse removel
  • Backed by a best-in-class replacement NewerTech NuGuard KX lifetime limited warranty

Back to School Technology Savers | #OWC #NewerTech #backtoschool #technology #laptop #cellphone #keyboardcover #drivedockI’ve found that my favorite feature is the drop protection and actually tested it against a previous protective case. The test case didn’t appear to really protect against impact absorportion when hitting the ground, but the NuGuard KX actually has a bounce to it, absorbing the impact and protecting the phone.

And you might as well protect the phone screen too, with NewerTech NuGuard KXs Screen Armor ($19.99). Featuring triple layer X-Orbiting protection – protection layer, absorption layer, and adhesion layer – NuGuard KXs Screen Armor will keep the screen looking and functioning like new.

I can only hope that our children won’t destroy the technology we purchase for them, but I’m also going to be giving them the tools and accessories they need to help protect those investments. And I highly suggest you do the same with these back to school technology savers.

Do you have any technology loss horror stories? I’d love to hear them.

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*I received samples to help facilitate this post. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brands. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brands.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS
~I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Growing up, the children in the schools I attended were predominantly Caucasian, as am I. When I moved to Florida in high school that changed drastically. I attended a predominantly African American school, that was located in what was considered the “ghetto” of the city, but I am forever grateful for having that opportunity. It opened my eyes to new cultures, new styles, new food, new everything.

And it doesn’t stop there. After going to college and moving to various different places after that, I realized just how much of a melting pot the U.S. really is. Today my family lives in a neighborhood in which we are the minority. Both of our children are biracial and we are raising them to embrace their differences and uniqueness, as well as to recognize and welcome other peoples differences and uniqueness.




It’s okay to ask questions about others, especially as kids, because that’s how we all learn. When we see something or someone different, I love when my son asks a question. Whether it’s music, someone’s style, different food, anything. When he asks us a question about whatever it may be, I realize that he recognizes that difference, and acknowledges it, and wants to learn more about it.

And with Back to School season in full swing, everyone’s children are probably learning that they have classmates who are different from themselves, or maybe they’re even feeling like they are the different one. This is exactly what Dr. Soma Mandal helps children understand in her book, Sonya Sahni and the First Grade: It’s International Day!  Dr. Mandal has created a world where kids feel different, and that’s perfectly okay.

With this book, Dr. Mandal provides children with a new resource:

  • To be more open minded and develop friendships without preconceived notions.
  • To encourage our children to foster relationships with others based on acceptance.
  • To realize that everyone has their own unique set of struggles.
  • To provide support to those who feel left out or discouraged.
  • To offer guidance to children embracing their backgrounds who feel bullied.
  • And much more!

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS

Sonya Sahni, a first grader, feels torn between her Indian culture and wanting to fit in as an American. Of course, her parents want her to embrace her Indian culture, but the kids at school tease her. In one instance, her classmates make fun at the lunch Sonya’s mother has packed her because it’s traditional Indian cuisine and is different from the food they’re used to.

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS

Sonya’s parents are concerned and make a visit to Sonya’s teacher. The meeting results in something amazing, an International Day at school, where everyone in the class learns that each and every one of them are different and unique in their own ways, but they also have a lot in common. And in the end, Sonya realizes that she’s perfect just the way she is, embracing both her Indian and American cultures.

In this unique story, a little girl is the main protagonist who struggles with issues to grasp both sides of her culture. I hope to inspire children to accept their backgrounds and embrace their cultures. I want to live in a society where all children can live and welcome differences instead of tearing them down.

-Dr. Soma Mandal

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS

Since getting a copy of this book, my son has wanted me to read it over and over. He loves to see the different cultures represented with flags bordering many of the book’s pages. It’s nice to see him recognizing each child’s difference in the story, and I can only hope that he’ll accept and encourage his classmates to embrace their own uniqueness, and that he’ll embrace his own, when he starts school in a few weeks.

Purchase Sonya Sahni and the First Grade: It’s International Day! on Amazon for $12.99!

Do you have any tips for teaching children to embrace different cultures, as well as their own?

Connect with Sonya Sahni and the First Grade: Website | Facebook | Twitter

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Help a Child Prepare for Back to School with a Single Click

Help a Child Prepare for Back to School with a Single Click | #backtoschool #BTS #KidsinNeedFoundation #Target #Yoobi #schoolsupplies

One thing I always see across social media during Back to School season, is how ridiculous school supply lists are and how expensive it all can be. I wish those parents would look at this cost as an investment in their child’s future. Is it really that bad of an expense to help your child succeed in life?

No! No, it is not.

On the flip side, how about the families who just literally can’t afford to buy school supplies? As a parent, I feel for those children and know that many teachers foot the bill out of their own pockets, because they want those children to have the same opportunity to succeed as everyone else in their classrooms.

 

Well, guess what? With a simple like and/or share of this Facebook video, you can make a difference in those children’s lives too. For every like or share of the video, Target will provide a backpack filled with school supplies to a child who needs it.

It’s a small gesture on your part and takes just a second to do, but will provide a major impact on the future of our children’s generation.

And I also want to give a big shout out to Yoobi for helping fill these backpacks and to the Kids in Need Foundation for making sure the supplies reach the children who need them. This initiative would not be possible without them.

Need to register your child to participate in this program? Visit the Kids in Need Foundation for more info!

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*Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Entertainment That Educates + #NCircleEntertainment Giveaway

Entertainment That Educates + Giveaway | #NCircleEntertainment #education #learning #giveaway #entertowin
~Thank you to NCircle Entertainment for providing DVDs for review. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Children’s minds take in more than we can ever imagine. They watch everything we do. They copy how their friends act, as their energy feeds off of each other. They learn through play, fun, and adventure. The world and every little thing in it is educating our children in some way or another, and the shows and movies they watch are no different.

As school nears, and for many has already started, formal learning and education is soon to be in full swing. Whether you have kids in lower elementary school, are homeschooling, or even have toddlers and pre-K aged kids at home, the NCircle Entertainment August DVD releases will help keep the fun and learning going at home too.

Check out the new fun, adventurous, and educational releases I’ve added to my own kids’ collection this month.




What to expect!

All of these entertainment options get those little gears moving, get your kids asking questions, learning new things, and taking adventures in lands they’ve never experienced before.

Your children will learn things like why the moon only comes out at night, how a whale stays under water for so long, what makes a car go fast, and many more of the world’s mysteries (at least the one’s that children haven’t figured out yet).

They’ll also learn some of life’s greatest lessons, like when and how to ask for help, how to say you’re sorry, why it’s good to tell the truth, and the true meaning and happiness of friendship.

My kids absolutely love Molang and The Little Prince, so I knew these would be instant hits (they watched the entire season of Molang as soon as they got their new goodies). Lily’s Driftwood Bay and The Day Henry Met __ ? are both new to us, but the kids are loving them so far.

 

Lily likes to take adventures on Driftwood Bay, an imaginary island. Each day Lily’s imagination is sparked by something that washes up from the sea, and she’s taken away to Driftwood Bay, where she and her friends have fun exploring and learning new things.

Entertainment That Educates + Giveaway | #NCircleEntertainment #education #learning #giveaway #entertowin

Then there’s Henry, a knowledge seeking 4 year old, who loves to ask questions of anything and everything. Do you ever find yourself talking to objects, like asking the car why it keeps running out of gas? No? Maybe that’s just me. Talking to objects is exactly the way Henry learns how and why things work the way they do.

When school is over for the day, or my daughter wants something fun to watch while her brother’s at school, all I have to do is pull out one these fun and educational DVDs for a little entertainment. Want the same for your kids? Enter to win all four NCircle Entertainment August releases (plus a cute book) using the giveaway form below.

Which new release would your kids like?

Connect with In this new DVD, Autumn Journey: Guess How Much I Love You, your children will follow Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends on 6 autumn adventures. Enter now for a chance to win your very own copy! #giveawayWebsite / Facebook / Twitter


Enter to win all 4 new educational DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment! | #giveaway #NCircleEntertainment #entertowin #DVD #learning #education

One lucky Making Time reader will win a copy of all four August releases (shown in photo), as well as a Molang book! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on August 31, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

*I received samples free of charge from NCircle Entertainment as part of their Brand Ambassadorship. My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.