Tag Archives: kids

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.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017

This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Danone Nations Cup World Final at Red Bull Arena. I cannot express how great of a program this is for kids ages 10-12 and encourage you to attend the event if you ever get the chance. It was a three day event, where kids from 32 different countries worked their butts off, and the results are finally in!

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

~I received complimentary tickets to attend the DNC 2017 to help facilitate this post. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

First off, these kids may be young, but their talent is beyond measure. I never knew kids could be so talented. I mean every single game was entertaining. The kids had hustle, heart, true skill in the game of soccer, and they really pushed themselves. There’s no doubt in my mind I was watching at least a few future professional soccer players.

And I won’t make you wait until the end of this post to find out who the winners were. Mexico took the trophy for the boys division and Brazil took the trophy for the girls division. Congrats to those teams! (Just check out some of these official photos to see how hard these kids were playing.)

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

What really blew me away was that every team, no matter what ranking they were working to place, played their hearts out. If you knew you weren’t going to come in first, would you still give it your all? These teams did! All of the kids had true dedication to their countries and teammates, and the games were very inspiring to watch throughout the day.

But the DNC World Final wasn’t just a day of soccer games. We got to spend have some fun at the Activity Village right outside the arena. Every Danone brand was present with freebies, coupons, prizes, and games.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

There were quite a few things the kids could do to enjoy the day, like a virtual reality penalty kick, the Danimals Ninja Challenge (obstacle course), photo opp with Spiderman, music, dancing, hula hoops, face painting, and there was even a dairy station to meet a real cow and also practice milking a cow (no, the kids didn’t practice on a real cow, but it looked pretty cool).

On top of that I got to attend the DNC press conference where the CEO of Danone, Emmanuel Faber, and the DNC US Ambassador, Abby Wambach, talked about what the DNC means to them and what they hope children will take from the experience.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer
These kid reports from different countries got the chance to ask some questions.

Faber reiterated that the DNC is all about courage, believing in your dream, working hard to achieve that dream, excelling, be your best self, teamwork, fairness, and more. These are all characteristics he hopes the kids who participate in the tournament learn and continue to practice in their lives.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

From Wambach, it’s easy to get inspired. She spoke about how as a kid she played in different nations, which gave her the opportunity to believe in bigger dreams and realize there’s something bigger than just her. There are different people in different countries with the same dream. Soccer is a universal language, so while we may not be able to communicate verbally, the game of soccer is no different.

This is something the kids who are participating in the DNC are starting to realize. Thirty two countries come together to play a single sport, and while they speak different languages and may not be able to communicate well, it’s completely different on the field.

One of the things that really hit home was when Wambach mentioned that “kids need to know how to fail.” My son hates losing. It’s win or lose, and he always wants to win. But failure is a part of life and gives us an opportunity to practice and come back stronger. If there’s no failure, there’s no room for improvement and I hope that my son will always find room for improvement, as should all of us, and especially our kids. Wambach didn’t always win and wasn’t always at the top, but those failures helped her to come back better than before.

Danone Nations Cup World Final 2017 | #DNC2017 #BelieveInYourDreams #soccer

Between all of the games, the activities and the press conference, it was a jammed packed day of family fun. I can only hope they’ll plan to host it in the US again in the future, so we can go back for a second time. Who knows? Maybe the next time the US hosts, my son will be playing.

Do you have a child who’d like to participate in next year’s Danone Nations Cup?

Connect with : Website | Tickets | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

*I received complimentary tickets to the DNC 2017 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.

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.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating

Do you have a picky eater on your hands? I certainly do and getting him the nutrition he needs is a challenge I’ve been experiencing for some time now. He has his favorite foods, the only ones he’ll eat, and they do not include any form of fruits or vegetables.

At this point I have absolutely no idea how his little body is even growing. So anytime I come across something I think he’ll enjoy and will give him the nutrition he needs to grow, I’m first in line to give it a try. Our newest addition to his diet is Daily Sunshine by Beachbody.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

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

Beachbody is known for quite a bit – P90X, Insanity, and the 21 Day Fix workout programs, as well as Shakeology nutrition shakes. But adults aren’t the only ones who need to keep their fitness and nutrition up. Kids, and especially picky eaters like my son, may have the fitness aspect down, but are lacking in the nutrition department. That’s why Beachbody created Daily Sunshine, a nutrition shake for children!

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

The first thing to tackle is taste because we all know that’s most important when it comes to our picky eaters. Daily Sunshine is available in two kid-friendly flavors, strawberry banana and chocolate, and I’d say these are a pretty good start to getting my son to try one. He’s not too keen on chocolate in general, but loves strawberry banana flavors so I knew he’d try it. The chocolate is going to waste either, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Each Daily Sunshine shake is a perfect blend of fruits and vegetables, plant based protein, and healthy fats. It’s literally a 3-in-1 power shake for kids.

Daily Sunshine Features:

  • Non-GMO
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free (vegan)
  • Gluten free
  • Low glycemic
  • Contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives
  • 4 out of 5 pediatricians approve the formula

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

My son actually likes smoothies and shakes when they have the right flavors in them, but mixing up a smoothie every day can be pretty tiring. Daily Sunshine takes nutritious shakes to the easiest level ever. All you have to do is add a packet of Daily Sunshine to 8 oz. of water, and mix it up in the shaker cup.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

In a matter of minutes my picky eating son has a nutritious shake that’s he loves, and that I love giving him. He’s been enjoying one either in the mornings before school, or as an after school snack. I’m starting to think he only needs one in the morning because his afternoon energy has been through the roof lately.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

Not Just for Kids

Oh, and Daily Sunshine isn’t just for kids either. If you want to get on the healthy action, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t. We got a combo pack that includes both flavors. I already mentioned my son isn’t a big fan of chocolate, but he loves the strawberry banana. So, to make sure nothing goes to waste, when he gets his shake, I get one too. He takes the strawberry banana and I take the chocolate. It’s a really great way for us to actively partake in healthy nutrition together.

How to Enjoy Daily Sunshine

There are so many ways to enjoy Daily Sunshine – the quick and simple shake method with 8 oz. of water or milk (my son likes his in milk); blended into a smoothie (I sometimes mix the chocolate flavor into a peanut butter and banana smoothie); or however you want to incorporate it into the day. If you’re kids don’t like shakes or smoothies, think outside the box too. Try adding it to pancakes or muffins, or something with a similar taste so it blends easily.

Daily Sunshine is a Nutritious Solution to Picky Eating | #Beachbody #DailySunshine #pickyeater #nutrition

Purchase Options

I’m going to be honest. I personally find Daily Sunshine to be pretty pricey, but on the other hand, can I really put a price on my son’s health? I mean, he actually likes it!

  • Daily Sunshine Sampler (2 packets of each flavor – 4 total) = $19.99
  • Daily Sunshine Combo Pack (12 packets of each flavor – 24 total) = $129.99
  • Daily Sunshine Strawberry Banana OR Chocolate (30 serving bag) = $129.99
  • Daily Sunshine Shaker Cup = $6.95

Do you have a picky eater?

Connect with : Website | Shop | Facebook

Connect with : Website | Facebook | Twitter

*I received a sample 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.

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?

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*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: 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.

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.


6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene
~Thank you to Mouth Watchers® for providing product to the Making Time family and to Dr. Ronald Plotka for these amazing tips.~

With it being back to school season and all, it’s a good time to think and talk about routines. One thing that should be in everyone’s daily routine is oral hygiene. As adults, we know the importance of oral hygiene, but getting our kids on board can be a little difficult to say the least.

Dr. Ronald Plotka, the founder of Mouth Watchers®, has a few tips for us parents on how to teach our children that good oral hygiene is essential to their health and well-being.

1. Stay away from sugar.

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit this one is hard. While sugar is an awesome treat for the taste buds, it’s definitely not a treat for teeth. So keep candies, cakes, ice cream, and pastries limited to special occasions.

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene

2. Skip soda.

For some this may be hard, but for my family it’s actually not. My kids are ages 2 and 5, and to this day neither one of them has had soda. On the other hand, I do enjoy a nice fizzy soda every now and then, but right now my kids recognize it as mommy’s drink and know they can’t sip from my cup. If your kids want something with a little flavor, try offering them flavored water or juices that are low in sugar.

3. Fill up on fluoride.

Fluoride is good for little pearly whites. In fact, fluoride toothpastes reduce cavities in kids from 15% to 30%. Even the fluoride in public water supply reduces cavity rates by up to 40%. Good thing we drink the filtered water from our fridge!

4. Set up a schedule.

Oral hygiene should be part of any good routine. Try making it a family affair and have everyone brush their teeth at the same time. I’m not saying get the whole family in the bathroom at once because hey, that just ain’t happening, especially in this house. But while you’re brushing your teeth, have your kiddo practice brushing his. All it takes is a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on his Mouth Watchers® Youth Manual Toothbrush.

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene

My son is so used to me brushing his teeth that he doesn’t even want to try it himself, and that is not going to fly anymore. He needs to learn how to properly clean his own teeth and take control of his own oral hygiene.

5. Make it fun to floss.

Let’s take a poll. How many of you actually floss on a daily basis? Or even floss at all? I’ll admit that I am definitely slacking in the floss department. Make flossing fun by creating a fun flossing activities or a reward chart.

One activity I saw not too long ago, that peaked my interest, was using a Mega Block and putting some peanut butter between the pegs. Then give your child a string of yarn to floss the peanut butter out from between the pegs. It’s just like flossing teeth, but on a bigger and obviously more fun scale! If you want to make it more challenging, try using a LEGO and letting them use actual floss.

6. Say goodbye to pacifiers.

Now, I’m not one to judge the way other parents do their parenting. We’re all different and I respect that, but I will say that when I see kids who have to be at least three years old still with a pacifier in their mouth, I start to question things. The presence of a pacifier can harm the development and growth of the mouth and teeth. Prolonged use can cause changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth and create problems with tooth alignment.

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene

So get rid of that pacifier as soon as possible! Luckily, my son was done with his by about 15 months and my daughter never even took to a pacifier, so we never had a problem there.

Start teaching good oral care at an early age. Encourage your kids by practicing healthy hygiene habits at home and with help from Mouth Watchers®! With the antimicrobial and flossing bristles that make up Mouth Watchers® toothbrushes, the whole family will feel like they just visited the dentist.

How are you teaching your kids good oral hygiene habits?

Connect with : Website | Facebook | Twitter

6 Tips for Teaching Kids Oral Hygiene #MouthWatchers #oralhygiene

Shop Mouth Watchers®: Travel Toothbrush $5.99 | Youth Manual Toothbrush $4.99 | Power Toothbrush $24.99 | Year Supply Adult Toothbrush $20.99

*Thank you to Mouth Watchers® for providing product to the Making Time family and to Dr. Ronald Plotka for these amazing tips. 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.


The Child with the Long Curly Hair, That’s My Son

The Child with the Long Curly Hair, That's My Son #heisnotagirl #ihaveason

I’m kind of at a breaking point with this topic and need to clear the air. I can’t leave the house without someone mentioning how cute my girls are. My kids are my world and I love them dearly, and I want the world to love them too, for who they are.

I enjoy all of the compliments because my kids ARE cute. But what bothers me is that many people think or automatically assume that my oldest, the one with the long curly hair, is a girl simply because of the long hair.

He is not a girl. Yes, he has long, beautiful, curly hair. But he is a boy. I do not have two daughters. I have a son and a daughter.

The Child with the Long Curly Hair, That's My Son #heisnotagirl #ihaveason

I try not to let this bother me and I know I’ll still have to deal with it for years to come, but when I say this happens every time we leave the house, I’m not exaggerating. I could literally record myself saying, “He’s not a girl. This is my son,” and have it ready to play at any moment.

And it’s not everyone who compliments him, that assumes he’s a girl. Some people can see he’s a boy and ask questions like if we’ve ever cut his hair. Or they’ll ask how old he is, wondering how long his hair’s been growing. And sometimes I’ll even get asked about tips for managing it because other people are dealing with the same type and texture of hair with their own children, and it is not easy to manage.

But for those of you who think my son is actually my daughter, please just take a moment before you comment. If you take a closer look you’ll see that he is dressed like a boy and he looks like a boy. If you’re not sure, you can still compliment without being gender specific. Instead of using “daughter” or “her,” use “child.”




“I love your child’s hair,” is the perfect compliment. And when I respond, I’ll likely say “his” or “he,” and that’s your clue that he is in fact a boy.

If you DON’T take that moment before commenting, don’t get upset when I correct you, because I WILL correct you. No, I’m not interested in your unwanted advice. No, I’m not going to cut his hair so he will look like a boy. And if that’s your response, I promise, you will get more than you bargained for. He already looks like a boy. A boy with long, beautiful, curly hair. The cutest boy you’ll ever see (my opinion is definitely biased, but you get my point).

The child with the long curly hair, that’s my son.

The Child with the Long Curly Hair, That's My Son #heisnotagirl #ihaveason

The Child with the Long Curly Hair, That's My Son #heisnotagirl #ihaveason

The Child with the Long Curly Hair, That's My Son #heisnotagirl #ihaveason

The Child with the Long Curly Hair, That's My Son #heisnotagirl #ihaveason

So now that I’ve gotten that off my chest and if you’re now wondering –

When my son was smaller and his hair started getting out of control, I said it was time to cut it. But Daddy had other plans, so here we are five and a half years later and our son has never had his hair cut (unless you count the time he had a horrible tangle that I just couldn’t brush out so I snipped it).

My son’s hair has become a part of him. I have no idea what he would look like without it, but I imagine I wouldn’t even recognize him. The curls, the length, the way it frames his face, the way it looks in a pony tail or a bun, the wild frizz and tangles we deal with daily, it’s part of who he is. And I’m pretty sure if we were to cut it, he wouldn’t know how to react either.

Maybe he’ll grow up and keep his long locks. Maybe he’ll decide enough is enough, and cut it. Maybe he’ll even donate it. Whatever he chooses, it’s one thing we’re giving him the freedom of choosing on his own.

The Child with the Long Curly Hair, That's My Son #heisnotagirl #ihaveason

*Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.