July 19, 2024

Getting Through These Last Few Months of Winter…

Wow, feels like winter has been here forever… O, how I look forward to getting outside with the kids again. Going to the parks, going swimming, long walks down to the lake to feed the ducks, bike rides on the trail, & time with friends. It is almost here… I can feel it. Come on Spring!!! While we wait, I wanted to share some products that have gotten us though these winter months. My three year old and six year old love these over and over again! If you need something to get you through the last few weeks of winter, why not give one of our favorites a try!!!

My Six Year Olds Faves:

Above you see my son working on a maze book. He has loved mazes since he was four. This keeps him busy for a good thirty minutes. I have found that the Kumon books are the best. The maze books are colorful and so full of detail to hold his interest. The book he is doing above is about Mazes around the world. They highlight icons in different countries and make a maze out of the icon. The back of the book has a World Map that shows you were each icon is in the world. Just an added bonus. Here is the book we love:

Also my son loves these cutting books. You actually create something out of what you cut. Very cute!!!

The teacher is me highly recommends the Kumon books. You can see more below and Super Fun Mama wrote a great review here.

These are also great practice in the summer months to stay fresh.

One of my Three Year Olds Faves

We love, love, love, love this product!!!! You will see my daughter below playing in the sand. I found these on Amazon and wasn’t sure if I should buy one for her for her birthday. I am glad I did. She plays with her mermaid sandbox all day. Yes, you may get sand on your kitchen floor… but live a little! It comes with a thematic mat that I put down on the table and then place the box over the mat. She has a blast filling the little bucket with blue sand and hiding the tiny shells in the sand. All the little pieces you need are included! Around $20 may seem high… but you can do what I did… buy one and then make up other themes yourself using items from the dollar store.
Below are links to some.

I love Leap Frog products and so do my kids… I am not a big fan of sitting the kids in front of the TV. TV is a privilege in my house and usually is earned. I try to limit TV to 1 hour a day for both my kids & usually no TV on Saturdays. My daughter was not aloud to watch TV till her second birthday. There are exceptions; if we are traveling or at a friends house I do not keep track of TV time. Also they often will watch TV when they are at my gym or at the grocery store… those times I do not count. My reason for less TV is research based and is another blog for another day. However, quality shows is what I look for. This DVD below is the best… If you have only one DVD in your house, get this one. We have had it for four years and I my daughter & son knew their letter sounds by 18 months partially due to this DVD.

This is one of the best learning DVD’s I have seen. It will be a great watch for the Pre-k to first grade classrooms. The DVD teaches the letter names. Most importantly, it teaches the letter sounds in a creative way. Viewers see the letters, hear the letter names, they see a picture/video that represents the sound each letter makes, and the viewer hears a catchy tune to match the letter sound. For instance, the letter C is shown in a cold environment with ice hanging from it. The letter comes to life by shivering and stating that it is /c/ /c/ /c/…. old. Then the characters in the story sing the catchy Leapfrog song; “The C says/c/, the C says /c/, every letter makes a sound. The C says /c/. This DVD/VHS is marketed towards parents to use with their PreK to First grader, but all teachers need to know about this video and share it with their class. It would be a great review or introduction to letter sounds. Teachers could also use the catchy phrases and visual representation of the letter sounds in their lessons by creating activities or visuals based on the video. Students will see the sounds letters make, hear the sounds, and sing the sounds. This video combined with strong phonics based classroom instruction will help reach a variety of learning styles and lead your students on the path to becoming strong readers.

Reading is a must at our house. We always read to each child at least thirty minutes a day. Now that my six year old can read himself, he also reads to us at least 10 minutes a day. Besides us reading aloud to the kids, here are some of my daughters favorite read alongs. These are great because they are short enough to keep her attention and she can hear the turn the page signal. About three months ago she started reading these independently. All I have to do is turn the CD on.

My son (six years old) is a big fan of the Disney Read Along Sets seen below.

Well, I hope you found something that will make the winter months go by quickly at your house.