The boys have always been go, go, go. They want to do everything, see everything, and explore everything that there is to explore. A few weeks ago, we took the boys to the Sci Tech Discovery Center in Frisco, Texas. The wind was cool that day, but they needed to get some energy out, so this was the perfect family outing. The discovery center is the perfect size for exploring different exhibits without having to walk everywhere. It is open and spacious, and we all really had a fun afternoon there.
This digital age classroom post was brought to you by Follett. All opinions are my own.
I remember when the Captain was a baby, it was strongly advised to not let babies see any screens until the age of 2. We have always practiced moderation with screen time, but I have found that age appropriate, educational shows and games can be very beneficial to little ones. On top of that, these kids are growing up in the digital age, so they really should be prepared for using technology. Granted, there is plenty of time to learn how to use technology after the age of 2, but like I said, moderation with screen time and actually talking to and interacting with your kids while they are having screen time is so beneficial!
The Captain started 1st grade in public school last week, and I was happy to see that he still had paper textbooks and workbooks. I am equally as happy that his school uses desktop computers and tablets in a traveling lab. I want him to be using technology at school! I do know that there are some kids who only use digital textbooks, and while that's okay, I have compiled a list of five benefits of using paper workbooks and textbooks in the digital age classroom.
I am so excited about the newest movie from Disneynature! "Monkey Kingdom" is coming to theatres on April 17, just in time to celebrate Earth Day 2015. My boys are excited about this movie, because they are in love with animals!
About the movie:
Life is an adventure for Maya, the clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey in “Monkey Kingdom,” Disneynature’s new feature film set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya’s world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated extended family. Like all families, Maya’s has more than its share of colorful personalities—and she’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world. When their longtime home at Castle Rock is taken over by powerful neighboring monkeys, Maya's whole family retreats, and she uses her street smarts and ingenuity to uncover untapped resources amidst strange new creatures and unsettling surroundings. Ultimately, they will all have to work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya can hopefully realize her dreams for her son’s future.
Featuring a rich variety of characters, including a mischievous mongoose, simple-minded langur monkeys, predatory leopards and monitor lizards, “MonkeyKingdom” is narrated by Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), directed by Mark Linfield (“Chimpanzee,” “Earth”) and co-directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Chimpanzee,” “Bears”). With music from award-winning composer Harry Gregson-Williams ("The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," “Shrek” movies), Disneynature’s eighth True Life Adventure—the follow-up to 2014’s “Bears”—swings into theaters April 17, 2015.
And to make the educational message stick further, download the free activity pages in the Educator's Guide.
Did you know?
- For every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2015), Disneynature will make a donation to Conservation International to help protect monkeysand other endangered species in their natural habitats.
- “Monkey Kingdom” is the sixth theatrical release for Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years. The label was launched in April 2008 to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to capture a variety of wildlife subjects and stories.
- The first five big-screen releases under the Disneynature label—“Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats,” “Bears” and “Chimpanzee”—are among the top six highest grossing feature-length nature films of all time.
- Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary filmmaking, producing 13 True Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, including “Seal Island” (1948), “Beaver Valley” (1950), “The Living Desert” (1953) and “Jungle Cat” (1958). The films earned eight Academy Awards®
Watch this "Thank You" clip from Disneynature:
Will you be seeing "Monkey Kingdom" this weekend?
We are going through a major slump in the homeschool area these days. November and December are jam packed with the three boys' birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, travel, and more. It is hard for me to stay focused on what I am supposed to be doing, but it is even harder for the Captain. Understandably, he and D would rather be playing, making Christmas crafts, or talking about our plans for the holidays. It is times like these that I want them to enjoy learning and have fun without even realize they are practicing their math skills and learning.
1. Let them get involved and ask questions. If you're shopping, let them create a list. Let them weigh some apples. Let them add the items with a calculator. If you're baking, talk about what you are doing. Let them help, if possible. I KNOW it can be stressful to let littles help, but letting them dump in a cup of flour is not going to hurt anything, I promise. Talk about how four 1/4 cups make a whole, just like four quarters make a dollar. Another good idea is to talk about how many miles to Grandma's house, how long it will take, etc. Talk about math and other subjects and repetition will make it stick!
2. Have them create a book. Staple some printer paper together, lay out some markers, and let them draw and write to their heart's content. Tell them to write a story and illustrate it. Make it a gift for Grandma or even you and your spouse for Christmas. They will put more effort into it if they are allowed full creativity and ownership and even MORE if it is a gift.
3. Quality learning apps. I have always believed that using technology for education is a good thing. The boys can sometimes learn things from apps that I have a hard time explaining. Last week I downloaded a new app – Mickey's Magical Math World from Disney Imagicademy for this purpose exactly. It has been great for the Captain! It is great review and because D is always looking on, it's a great learning tool for him, as well. The games are created where you need to use your math skills, but you don't even realize you're using math!
There are five major areas of Mickey's Magical Math World: Shapes, Sorting, Add & Subtract, Problem Solving, and Count Along. There are different levels to each area, which makes it great for the boys. I am also able to track and monitor their progress with the Disney Imagicademy: Parents' App.
Mickey's Magical Math World is a fun-filled space adventure where kids can explore, recognize, and identify shapes with Mickey's Rocket Build. Minnie's Robot Playground is where kids play with numbers and patterns. This part is great for D! Other areas are Donald's Alien Number Line, and Donald's Sleepwalking Aliens, where kids make patterns and use sorting skills with Goofy.
I mentioned the Parents' App earlier. Imagicademy: Parents is a free app that allows parents to connect with other parents in the Imagicademy community. It also gives us parents inspiration and ideas to encourage our children to learn and grow. And of course, it allows us to monitor our child's progress and see their creations!
I'll be honest in that I do not like to pay for apps because the Captain goes through them so quickly. However, Mickey's Math World is very engaging and there are many different parts to explore. He loves to play it!
Download Mickey's Magical Math World (exclusively for Apple iPad) and Disney Imagicademy: Parents today and keep kids learning and engaged over the holidays! Also explore the Imagicademy website. Imagicademy is the new learning brand from Disney created for families with children ages 3-8. The purpose is engaging and enriching children through the power of imagination and creativity. The interconnected system of apps will build on each other to reinforce learning concepts in immersive and playful ways.
Imagicademy has great advice, apps, and activities to encourage learning and togetherness with your kids! You can also sign up to receive news, updates, and special offers. There is a free community parent portal, free Disney Store events, books and magazines, and hands-on learning tools that extend the digital experience to the physical world.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
This Earth Day post was brought to you by Oriental Trading. All opinions are mine. This post contains affiliate links.
Earth Day is April 22nd and we are prepared to learn! Oriental Trading provided us with complimentary educational materials to facilitate plenty of lessons about the Earth, how to take care of it, and the fabulous things the Earth does. The boys have really enjoyed using this awesome stuff to have fun and learn.
I always thought that Oriental Trading Company was just for parties and Vacational Bible School, but it's so, so much more. I went to check out their recommended products for Earth Day and came up with so much stuff.
We started our Earth Day fun by planting DIY seed pots and the Watch It Grow Plant Viewer:
The boys and I loved watching the seeds sprout and roots go down into the soil. We love our garden, and this brought so many more teachable moments concerning the life cycle of a plant!
There is just SO much STUFF that parents and teachers can use to teach. Educational products are always so expensive, but I was impressed with the cost at Oriental Trading. A four pack of life cycle posters was only $5.99. Huge, full color posters like this one:
Then we began talking about how it is our responsibility to take care of this Earth that God gave us. The Captain loved coloring these Earth Day magnets for our fridge, to help remind us to recycle and go green!
Globes are cool. Every kid loves globes. But an inflatable globe? SO MUCH FUN! We can search for countries and continents on the globe and talk about the oceans, then take a break to toss it in the air. This was the boys' favorite part of our Earth Day study:
We also found an awesome sorting game that really got us thinking about recycling. The Learn to Recycle Activity Boxes was tricky, but so much fun. We divided up the items to be recycled and talked about each piece and what it was made of.
Lightbulbs, cans, and even worms were part of this fun game!
I am so thrilled that I discovered all the great, well priced teaching tools at Oriental Trading. Check it out for all of your supplies needed for teaching, homeschooling, Sunday school, holidays, VBS, and more!
Happy Earth Day!
This post brought to you by K12, the leader in online education. All opinions are 100% mine.
Having two preschoolers at home with a newborn is hard. Trying to keep both of the boys entertained and still learning is quite the challenge. I don't want them sitting in front of the TV all day, but Baby Brother always gets first dibs on Mommy. I like the idea of having a ready-made, go-to program that the boys can turn to for educational learning. There is a great online company that is here to help me and millions of other parents of kids who are eager to learn: EmbarK12 Online – Over 830 interactive activities to engage your preschooler. and EmbarK12 Comprehensive- Online and hands-on preschool program for your early learner. EmbarK¹² preschool online programs provide a fun, interactive way of learning to prepare your kids for school and to develop a lifelong love of learning.
There are two choices when deciding what program would be best suited for your little ones, EmbarK¹² Online and EmbarK¹² Comprehensive.
Features of EmbarK¹² Online include:
- age-appropriate online activities
- a variety of educational interactive multimedia and games
- 12 units of activities, covering Math, Language and Literacy, and topics from the world around them
- music, songs, videos, and friendly engaging activities
- geared for kids ages 3-6
- $59 for a 12 month subscription (see discount code at bottom)
Features of EmbarK¹² Comprehensive:
- Over 1,200 age-appropriate activities
- 18 thematic units covering Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Music, and Art
- Over 450 online multimedia rich activities
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- 18 digital guides that outline the objectives and activities of each unit
- winner of five distinguished awards
- based on National Research Council, American Psychological Association, National Reading Panel, National Math Panel, and American Educational Research
- $286 a year and all of the upgrade kits, including hands-on manipulatives
Kindergarten readiness programs by K12. Try a sample activity today. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
From now until March 6, 2013, you can receive a 50% off discount on EmbarK¹² Online. Just use promo code: EmbarkSpecial. ($29.50 after discount is applied.)
This post has been brought to you by Little Pim. All opinions are mine.
The boys are of both Argentine and Mexican descent, and their grandparents and many of our relatives speak Spanish. Hubby can hold his own in a conversation in Spanish, but isn't fluent, but he really wishes that he was. We have talked about how we want the boys to learn Spanish and be comfortable speaking Spanish with our relatives, but they have yet to learn much. That's why I was excited to review Little Pim's Spanish learning DVDs.
This post was brought to you by BabbaCo. All opinons are mine.
The Captain is 4 1/2, the perfect age for learning while playing and having fun, and responsible enough to help out with things like cooking and science experiments. D is getting there, at 2 1/2, but anything his brother loves to do is game! We were given the opportunity to try out the newly designed Babba Box from BabbaCo, Kitchen Science. We had tried the Babba Box before and really enjoyed it. It provided a couple of hours of fun and learning, which is always welcome around here! This Babba Box was no different. It was even more wonderful than the one before!
The boys and I had so much fun with the different science experiments. I enjoyed the fact that most of the materials come with the kit, so all I really needed to gather up was water, vinegar, and baking soda. There were four different projects to complete, and we were having so much fun that we complete them all in one afternoon. From make your own bouncy ball, to an overflowing volcano….there was SO much learning to do! Babba makes it easy, too, because they provide an education book, instructional cards with pictures, and also questions to help kids think further and really encourage learning.
I think the boys' favorite project was the volcano, which was so much fun and really, pretty easy. And I love that BabbaCo recommends doing the projects on a cookie sheet so the clean up is easy, too.
There are three different subscription offers for the Babba Box, so check out the website for pricing information and to start your subscription today. You can also check out previous boxes and see what's coming up. With a new theme and adventures every month, kids are guaranteed to LOVE the Babba Box. Check out BabbaCo on Facebook and Twitter, too!
Right now, you can get a free month of ABC Mouse online Early Learning Academy! ABC Mouse offers a full online curriculum for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten in the subjects of reading, math, science, social studies, art, and music. Children can start anywhere and move through the curriculum at their own pace! ABC Mouse has won numerous awards, including the Parent's Choice, Teacher's Choice, and Mom's Choice GOLD awards! Get your first month FREE! CLICK HERE.
Back when I was a kindergarten teacher, we always had a unit studying the life cycle of different insects and animals. We used the Ladybug Land from Insect Lore to teach our students about the life cycle of ladybugs and the kids LOVED it. Captain Fussybuckets has been really into bugs, insects, and butterflies lately, so I knew it was the perfect time to introduce him to the Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore!
We were sent a Butterfly Garden habitat with live Painted Lady live caterpillars to review. The caterpillars came, safe in sound in a little plastic jar (with holes, of course!) and enough food to last them through their journey to becoming a butterfly! The directions say to not remove the lid and to keep the caterpillars out of direct sunlight, so we were careful with the little guys!
They were so tiny when they first arrived!
But they grew more and more each day! Definitely very much like the caterpillar in the boys' favorite book: "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle!
After about a week, the caterpillars went to the top of the jar, where there was a little paper disc attached to the top. They started working on becoming a chrysalis!
One little overachiever was the first to turn into a chrysalis:
The rest soon followed, and it was time to remove them from the plastic jar and fasten the paper disc into the Butterfly Garden, which has mesh sides and a zipper so when they do turn into butterflies, they can't escape!
We went on a family camping trip for two days, and I decided against taking them with us, because this was such a vital time for them, so I left them some orange juice in case they "hatched" from their chrysalises while we were gone. And sure enough, when we returned, I heard flapping butterfly wings in the Butterfly Garden! The Captain was SO excited and we put them outside to release them! They were slow to leave their home, but within the hour, all five butterflies had flown away. But a couple hung around to make some awesome memories for Captain Fussybuckets first. How beautiful is this butterfly??
So sweet! What a terrific, educational lesson for my boy!
I'll definitely be buying more caterpillars in the future for our Butterfly Garden because this was such a magical experience!!!
You can purchase your own Butterfly Garden with live caterpillars for $12-$20 at Amazon at Insect Lore! Follow Insect Lore on Facebook and Twitter! While you're at the Insect Lore site, check out all the other cool stuff they have to offer like a Live Praying Mantis egg case, a free Butterfly Garden app, live silkworm eggs, and much more!
Insect Lore is giving one Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader their own Butterfly Garden with live caterpillars! Just complete the Rafflecopter form below to win! Giveaway ends April 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM, central time!
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