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How to Help & Support Your Child’s Teacher this School Year

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Wet Ones, about supporting teachers this school year. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone’s kids have finally started school now. And in most areas – fall is in the air… The leaves are beginning to change, the air is crisper in the morning, and most important of all – Pumpkin Spice Lattes are available once again. {Yum, oh yum.} But, even though you’ve done the main back to school shopping, that doesn’t mean that your work is done – there are a ton of things you can do to help support the hard work that you’re kiddo’s teachers are doing throughout the school year.

How to help teachers all year long

How to help teachers all year long

We all know that for some crazy reason, our schools are almost always underfunded. Most of us would say that schools are one of the most important places for our tax dollars to go – yet unlike the DMV, the courts, or the police department, teachers buy huge amounts of supplies that are needed to do their jobs out of their own pocket. They work many hours off the clock, have to do tons of continuing education, and aren’t that highly paid. But, clearly, they do it because they love it – which is why they deserve our support, right? Here are some great ways to show support:

Teacher Appreciation Gifts that Rock [Read more…]


Getting Ready for School: 5 Fun Preschool Learning Tools

“Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves.” – Abbé Dimnet… I’ve always been addicted to learning. I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a kid – during the summer, in my middle school years, I used to go to our local library every week to search out interesting new finds. As I moved to high school, I would read at least a full book every single week – sometimes a couple of them. And now, as a mom, I still enjoy learning… Whether it’s building new skills to help me grow my online business, or discovering fun ways to teach Abby new things – I’m kind of a learning junkie. One of the most important things in the world to me is helping Abby grow into the kind of person who is curious… Someone who wants to learn, yearns to broaden their horizons, and enjoys expanding her mind. Which is why I am totally in love with a new set of tools we recently discovered, to help her prepare for preschool – they’re called Schoolies, and I think you’ll love them too!

Five fun preschool learning resources

Five fun preschool learning resources

Preschoolers will love meeting the unique and colorful cast of Schoolies characters, created by artist and designer Ellen Crimi-Trent and published in Priddy Books’ signature early learning formats. All of the books are totally interactive – with clock hands to move, stickers to add, cool fold-out scenes, and even wipe-away pages to practice their skills. The graphics are clean and bright, the design is modern and fun, and they really help encourage kids to get excited about learning new skills. Check out how much fun Abby has drawing and counting in the School Days book, and then see some of the other fold out and pop up action to0:

Learning is Fun with The Schoolies! [Read more…]


Unplug Your Kids: Lilliputiens Toys for Sensory Stimulation and Creative Learning

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso… As a blogger, I obviously see the amazing value of the internet – I’m constantly connected to the web on my smartphone, my laptop, my Kindle, my iPod… You get the picture. So I’m definitely OK with my almost 3-year old having some cool tech toys – she adores learning letters on her LeapPad, and the new Ubooly we’ve been playing makes acting out imaginary scenes super fun. But – I do still love toys that really help kids develop their imagination. Toys that are simple – but clever. So many toys these days have a million flashing lights and beeping noises and moving parts – it’s almost like they play themselves, and kids just sorta follow along. So, I’m super excited to share a new toy we recently tried out that I am IN.LOVE.WITH. She’s called Ophelia, she has 4 adorable chicks, and I think you’ll love her too….

Ophelia and her chicks - great unplugged play for kids [Read more…]


Rafflecopter Giveaway: Winners Choice from Rock ‘N Learn!!

Rock ‘N Learn – Rocks our Socks!

About a month ago, our family got the chance to review the new “Sight Words” DVD from Rock ‘N Learn. I was super excited to share it with the kids- The youngest little guy in my house just started Kindergarten, and is really struggling. I figured that this had the potential to be a BIG help!

A little about Sight Words:

Sight words are the most popular words in the English language- words like come and go, in and out, up and down, and you and me. The idea is that kids should learn to recognize these words on sight – helping to build a great base for their beginning reading skills!

The DVD is from the great people at– where you can find tons of other great DVD Videos, Audio CDs and iPad apps to “Capture Kids’ Attention and Get Results.”

I’d read great things about them, but this is the first time we’ve gotten to experience it for ourselves. I’m very happy to tell you- this video totally lived up to the positive reviews that I’ve read!

See it in action:

The Reaction in My House:

  • Abby: Abby is 14 month months, which is a bit too young for this video {it’s meant for Pre-K and up}- but she LOVES her Baby Signing Time videos, so I thought she might like these too. I was SO right! She giggles and claps, and dances along to the songs. It’s never too early to start learning to recognize words, right?
  • Little Guy: He’s the perfect age for this, and since he’s struggling with school so far, I was really hoping he’d like these. He was totally engaged with the video the whole time! And, even after a month of watching this a few times a week- he still loves it! He says, “Reading is ROCK AND ROLL!!” {Translation- his dad is in a rock band. He thinks that rock music is the coolest thing ever. So, if he says that something is rock and roll, that’s his highest compliment.} He seems to be really starting to grasp the words and their meanings, and is getting better with his skills when doing schoolwork too. So grateful that Rock ‘N Learn contacted us to try this out!
  • Big Guy: The older little guy in my house is 8, and is starting to become “too cool” for some of the things that interest his brother- making it a challenge to keep them both entertained. But- he really enjoys this video too! He is a really advanced reader, so he doesn’t really need to learn these sight words- he knows them. But he gets a big kick out of helping his brother learn them- and I think it really helps reinforce the meanings of words that he already knows. I love the way the words are taught in context- the character goes up when showing the word UP, then back down to show the word DOWN.
  • Me: These don’t drive me crazy, like many kids video’s do – which means that I love them! They’re really cute, the songs are catchy, and the educational value of them is very obvious. They keep all three kids entertained and engaged after school, they’re teaching the kids some wonderful reading skills, and they’re totally pleasant to listen to- I give Rock ‘N Learn – Sight Words a rating of 5 Suns out of 5!! {Remember, I don’t do “star” ratings, I do suns :)}

You can purchase your own copy of Sight Words on Rock ‘N Learn for $19.99. And bonus- use this special coupon code- JQ7711 – at check out, to save an additional 25% off of any purchase at Rock ‘N Learn!!

Win It!

One lucky Sunshine and Sippy CupsA fan is going to WIN their choice of DVD or CD from Rock ‘N Learn!! Use the easy peasy Rafflecopter form to enter to win! Good luck!!

[Read more…]