Online Preschool Programs at Home with EmbarK12

Embark12 Numbers

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of K12, the leader in online education for grades K-12 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. I have been thrilled with the opportunity to try out an online and in-home learning program with Sophia over the past couple of weeks. The EmbarK12 Program is a fabulous option for parents of children, ages 3-6, who are looking for programs to get ready for Kindergarten at home! Kindergarten readiness programs by K12. Try a sample activity today. Although Sophia goes to preschool, she only goes twice a week and thrives off of structured learning activites there and at home.  But honestly, between writing for my blogs, keeping up with housework and tending to two children, I struggle with having activities planned for her every day that she's home.  That's why I've been loving … [Read more...]

Kidoodle.TV – Educational and Entertainment Media for Kids

Watching Kidoodle TV

I participated in a Blogger Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Kidoodle.TV. I received a promotional item and a free trial as a thank you for participating. I've recently been on a major search for what tablet to purchase for my girls for Christmas this year.  Since our back-of-the-headrest DVD player gave out, I decided that investing in another tablet so they could each have one when traveling was the best option for us.  But which tablet was best?  I've had a look around at the major ones and ultimately decided on another iPad, but hate the lack of parental controls on most apps... except for one - Kidoodle.TV! This app, along with my understanding of the Apple ios already, made up my mind to invest in another iPad for the girls.  I am loving Kidoodle.TV as much as my girls are! First, let me tell you a … [Read more...]

Top Learning Tablets for Kids – VTech InnoTab 3S

VTech InnoTab 3S Pin

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and VTech blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. A month or so ago, I posted a question on my Facebook page about tablets.  I asked how many of my readers had tablets and if they allowed their children to use them.  I also asked if any had tablets specifically for their children. The reason I asked is because my girls use our iPad regularly, but I was looking for something a bit more kid-friendly, safe, and just for them.  Although I monitor them very closely now, of course, I know that as they grow, they're going to start using technology even more and honestly, I love it and am scared to death at the same time! A few readers actually mentioned the VTech InnoTab 3S by name when I asked that question!  I wasn't totally aware of the features of the … [Read more...]

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – a Must See in Gatlinburg, TN

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If you haven’t checked out my list of the Top 20 Attractions that you do NOT want to miss on your next visit to the Smoky Mountains, you should.  That’s because today’s post is all about one that made the list! One of the attractions that you definitely don't want to miss is the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies - ask anyone who's ever visited.  It's definitely a Must See in the Smoky Mountains. You may think that if you've seen one aquarium, you've seen them all... but, let me show you how our Smoky Mountains Aquarium stands out!  This aquarium is nestled right in the Smoky Mountains.  To get there, you'll go through the lovely Smoky Mountain Forest from Pigeon Forge into Gatlinburg, TN! The Aquarium is broken down into a few different locations - Tropical Rainforest, Ocean Realm, Shark Lagoon, Penguin Playhouse... and on and on. … [Read more...]

Improving Fine Motor Skills with Learn-to-Dress Animals

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Throughout the three years of this blog, my girls have been so blessed with great, new toys that are often educational and fun.  One of my favorite sponsors, whom I've worked with really ever since this blog started just happens to be who I am spotlighting today! Hearthsong is celebrating 30 years of being in the business of "Toys You'll Feel Good About Giving" and it certainly is true.  I love browsing their selection of toys - not only will you find sustainable, wooden toys, but also qu This time around we were sent the Learn-to-Dress Kitty from Hearthsong {free for review}.  Honestly, Sophia has been dressing herself for a year now.  She was way advanced on that skill, but some of the skills that require fine motor work are still a bit hard for her.  She gets so frustrated when her body can't do things her mind thinks it should be … [Read more...]

Dino Lingo: Teaching Toddlers a Second Language – Holiday Gift Idea

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 There are only 53 days until Christmas!  Are you ready!? The Dino Lingo program came into our house just 2 months ago and literally changed our lives!  Sure, that might sound a little dramatic, but it's completely true.  My daughters were able to learn their father's first language and even I've picked up on a bit too! I won't share my entire review with you, because you can find it here, but I will tell you that it's my favorite language learning program that I've seen before, especially for toddlers.  I love the way the DVDs totally immerse the viewer in the language. Speaking of languages, Dino Lingo comes in 43 different languages!  It was the one I chose, originally because there was a Tagalog {Filipino} set and I knew my daughters would absolutely love the addition of the dinosaurs! Another area that sets Dino Lingo … [Read more...]

My Toddlers are Learning Tagalog with the Dino Lingo Language Learning Program

Dino Lingo Language

I have always wanted to learn a second language.  I tried to learn Spanish in high school, but it just didn't stick.  It seems that most experts agree the younger you can teach a child a second language, the more likely they are to grasp it. Depending on if you're a regular reader of SEBG, you may or may not know that my girls are half-Filipino.  Rob {the hubs} was born in the Philippines, Pampanga to be exact, and moved to the US when he was 10.  Although Tagalog {Filipino} is technically his first language, he hardly speaks it.  He can, but just chooses to speak English 99.5% of the time.  The other .5% is when he's conversing with a family member that doesn't speak English as well. So, when a lovely reader let me know about a Kids Language Learning Program that her toddler … [Read more...]

My Baby is Going to Preschool and We Get to Go Back to School Shopping for the First Time

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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kohl’s. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating. I can't quite believe this sweet little girl of mine will be going to preschool in just a little over a month. Seriously, where have the last three plus years gone?  It seems like only yesterday, I was a tired, stressed out new Mom with a tiny baby depending on me and I had no clue what in the world to do... Now, I'm a tired, usually not-so-stressed out Mom {ok, sometimes a bit stressed} with two young girls and still have no clue what to do on most days! There's one thing that I'm not confused about at all - it's how smart my sweet Sophia is.  She thrives on learning.  Now, I'm not claiming … [Read more...]

Encouraging Confidence in Toddlers

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I'm a totally different parent this time around.  I'm much more relaxed, go with the flow, and less anxious about what Moreaya is going to get into next.  Don't get me wrong, she gets into and on top of everything... but I'm not so stressed about it.  We deal with it when she does and move on.  With Sophia, I kind of hovered so she couldn't ever do those things.  This time around it's just different.  As soon as Moreaya started showing interest in feeding herself, I let her.  No matter the meal or the mess, she did it.  I thought I was just being smart, and a little bit selfish - because if I had to feed her, then I always ate a cold dinner.  Turns out, I was doing something really good for her. Encouraging her Confidence. Now, I … [Read more...]

Time for Your Checkup with Doc McStuffins

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From the moment that we saw the first Doc McStuffins episode, Sophia and I have been Doc fans.  I sang those songs constantly - in my head and out loud - for the first few weeks.  They are just so darn catchy!  If you haven't sang them in your head, well, then I bet you've never watched the show. And if you haven't, you're missing a super cute show.  2012's #1 cable TV series in Kids 2-5, "Doc McStuffins" tells the story of a nurturing six-year-old girl who heals stuffed animals and broken toys out of her backyard playhouse clinic.  Assisting Doc at the clinic are her trusty team of lovable stuffed animals including: Stuffy, an overly proud dragon; Lambie, her cuddly best friend lamb; Hallie, a jolly and caring hippo nurse; and Chilly, a snowman who spends … [Read more...]

Gardening With Kids: 8 Ideas to Get Your Child Involved

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I was inspired to write this post as Sophia, Moreaya, and I have connected over our garden this year.  I'm thankful for this opportunity to share with my children as a part of a project with The Home Depot.  This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot. We've always had a garden - since the first Spring that we moved into our house.  The first year our garden was great, but we were just learning.  The second year, I was 8 months pregnant, so I didn't help Rob much.  After Sophia was born, I really didn't help much - someone else kept me a little busy.  Last year, our third with a garden, I had an almost 2 year old and a 4 month old... still not a ton of time to devote to raising more living things! This year, oh this year, we have enjoyed our garden to the … [Read more...]

Spring Butterfly Craft

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I was inspired to write about a fun Spring Butterfly Craft that Sophia and I made while participating in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Elmer’s. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. There are some days that I miss working in child care.  Not that I miss kids, because obviously I have two that keep me busy, but I miss the crafts.  As the Director, I made sure that my staff and the children had a ton of craft supplies at their fingertips every day.  Crafting is so important to kids.  They feel a sense of accomplishment when they've created something.  Not to mention the joy they get with spending time actually making it. So, lately I've been making Crafts at Home a priority - like it … [Read more...]