Ivy Kids: The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers

*This is a sponsored post.  I was compensated for sharing my honest opinions on this product.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Ivy Kids The perfect gift for preschoolers 500x922 Ivy Kids:  The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers

pinit fg en rect red 28 Ivy Kids:  The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers

 

If you are looking for the perfect gift for your preschooler that keeps on giving throughout the year, then you need to check out Ivy Kids.

 

Ivy Kids is a literature-based monthly subscription kit that comes packed with about a dozen ready-made activities based around the common theme of the book for the month (which is also included).  This is truly a wonderful resource, especially for busy moms who don’t have the time to prepare such thoughtful, well-planned, creative, educational activities for their kids.  Everything you need is included.  These kits truly make life easier.

 

Ivy Kids Kits would make the perfect gift for preschoolers because it is something that would continue all year long.  This would especially be a beneficial gift idea for grandparents and extended family!

 

I have had the opportunity to review four Ivy Kids kits based upon the books Mouse Paint, Jump Frog Jump, Color Zoo, and most recently Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom (you can see my other reviews here and here).  Each of the kits has been absolutely exceptional and my boys have LOVED the activities!

 

Here are just some of the reasons we love Ivy Kids:

 

  • There are enough activities to last you all. month. long.   I could not believe how many activities fit into such a small little box.  Although some of the activities are consumable (i.e. crafts), many of them are not, so you can repeat them over and over again.

 

IMG 4068 500x750 Ivy Kids:  The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers

 

IMG 4074 500x333 Ivy Kids:  The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers

 

 

 

IMG 4090 500x750 Ivy Kids:  The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers

 

  •  The quality of materials is exceptional.  In the past kits, we have received plastic color paddles and wooden shape blocks that we will use for years to come.  This kit came with an alphabet puzzle that can be colored.  And even the paper is amazing!

 

IMG 4101 500x750 Ivy Kids:  The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers

 

 

  • Each activity comes with thorough instructions and ways to modify and enrich, if necessary.

activities Ivy Kids:  The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers

 

  • You can add sibling kits for a minimal cost so that each of your children participate.  This would also be perfect for daycare or preschool classes!

sorting Ivy Kids:  The Perfect Gift for Preschoolers

 

 

 

Ivy Kids:  Get 20% off your first kit using the code “IVY20″ and through 12/31/14 and get past kits for 10% off (including the ones that I have reviewed).

 

What Does a Degree Mean to You and Your Family?

 What Does a Degree Mean to You and Your Family?

 

What does a college degree mean to you and your family? Is it uncharted territory in your family? An opportunity for a better future? A lifelong achievement? An example for your children?

 

For me and my husband, it was all of the above.

 

My husband was the first male to graduate from college in his family and eventually the first in his family to receive his Master’s degree. He paid his way through both his undergraduate and graduate degrees by working full time as a student and never once took out a student loan.

 

56bceebc 588f 11e4 9537 22000afd2dc7 What Does a Degree Mean to You and Your Family?

Our Family at my husband’s MBA graduation in 2010

 

I was the first female in my family to graduate with both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. My mom never finished her degree–once she and my dad got married, she worked so that he could go to graduate school and eventually to medical school. After my older brothers were born, she stayed home and they lived on about $400-$500 a month until he was in residency. Five kids and 37 years later, my mom says she always wished she would have finished her degree (I keep telling her it isn’t too late). :) Thankfully, my parents made my undergraduate degree a priority and paid my way for me. My husband and I paid for both of our Master’s degrees while working full time.

 

 What Does a Degree Mean to You and Your Family?

My Mom and me after my college graduation in 2005

 

Our degrees also meant that we were well-equipped for our dream jobs. From the time that I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a teacher. The idea of not finishing my degree never really crossed my mind because I knew that I had to have it to teach. I graduated with my Master’s degree 3 months after my first child was born and, ironically, the same month that I resigned from my position as a first grade teacher to be a stay at home mom. I have yet to officially use my Master’s degree, although I feel like I reap the benefits daily from the knowledge that I received. And one day, I will use it in the classroom setting again!

 

We are proud of the example that we have set for our children. My husband, especially, has demonstrated that it is possible to work your way through school with absolutely no debt. He is one of the hardest workers I know and I am so thankful for his example. Although we are already saving to make it a little easier on all three of our children, they will also have to make some sacrifices to make their college degrees possible.

I love the emotion portrayed in this video and I especially love the final woman portrayed as I missed my Master’s degree graduation since it was shortly after my son was born.  :)

 

With an online degree program, it is now easier and more affordable than ever to achieve your goal. Western Governors University is waiving your application fee using the code “TEACH”.

As a nonprofit and accredited university, WGU is reinventing higher education.  Western Governors University was founded by the governors of 19 states who came together to create a institution for higher learning that would be able to meet the needs of individuals–addressing the issues of budgets and time-constraints.  By implementing a competency-based model, WGU students utilize their precious time towards actual learning not just seat time while still receiving a diploma from an institution with the same accreditation as state universities and private colleges.

 

Jenae Crowley What Does a Degree Mean to You and Your Family?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Western Governors University. The opinions and text are all mine.

Do you have a degree? If not, what is holding you back?

Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature-Based Kit

*This is a sponsored post.  I was compensated for sharing my honest opinions on this product.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Ivy Kids September Activity Kit based on Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert 500x852 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 

Have you ever wished you had an entire month’s worth of learning activities planned and prepped for your child but without the hassle of having to think of activities and get them ready???  Does it sound too good to be true?  Think again…I have just the solution for you!

Ivy Kids is a new monthly subscription service that offers litearture-based activity kits for kids ages three to eight.  Each month you can receive a box FULL of learning activities centered around a specific book AND the book is included!  Each activity includes differentiation for various ages and abilities.  With 10-12 unique activities, this kit will literally last all month long!

I am tickled with the opportunity to review the September Literature-Based Kit from Ivy Kids based on the book Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert.

IMG 05971 300x450 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 

This is my third Ivy Kids kit to review and they must keep getting better and better because this one was our favorite!  The book was short, informative, and interactive.  Some shapes were easily identifiable to my 4-year old and others (like the hexagon and trapezoid) were more of a challenge.  Both boys loved seeing how shapes can be used to make various animals!  And since it is a board book, even Baby Girl will be able to enjoy it.  The activities were meaningful and challenging to the ages and abilities of both of my boys.

 

IMG 0566 500x333 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 

 

IMG 0562 500x333 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 

Nearly all of the domains of early childhood development are included in this kit.  Each of the activities feel like games and kids don’t even realize how much they are learning!

 

IMG 0579 300x450 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 

 

Ivy Kids Kits are perfect for busy parents who wish to provide rich learning opportunities for their kids but simply don’t have the time to come up with these ideas themselves (let alone prepare them).  They are also perfect for families with multiple children as you can differentiate each activity to fit the development of your child!  These would even be excellent to use in centers at preschool or daycare.

 

IMG 0606 300x450 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 

I shared in my first review that I love Ivy Kits because of the high-quality materials that are used (even the paper is awesome).  The wooden shape blocks included in the kit are no exception…and will be able to be used for years to come!  My boys also loved creating shapes with these neat connectors.  I have never seen these before!

IMG 0601 500x333 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 

I appreciate the variety of activities in these kits…there are some activities that work on cognitive skills (such as patterning) while others allow kids to be creative!

 

IMG 0588 500x333 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 Little Brother made himself out of shapes and also made flowers, a house, and a baby (the two shapes laying by the tree).  :)

 

IMG 0576 300x450 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

Predicting the next shape in the pattern

 

I also love that Ivy Kids Kits are created by a mom:  A Master-degree holding certified early childhood teacher who made the decision to stay home with her kiddos after the birth of her second child.  I am so glad that she is putting her talents to use to benefit other parents/caregivers while providing for her family!

IMG 0610 500x333 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 

Here are just a few of the many skills targeted in September’s kit:

  • Shape recognition
  • Patterning
  • Classifying and sorting
  • Visual and spatial perception
  • Fine Motor practice
  • Letter recognition and formation
  • Graphing
  • Writing (for older kids)
  • Creative expression (making shape collage and animal puppets)
  • Problem solving

 

 

Finally, everything you need for each activity is included in the kit (right down to the glue stick)!   I LOVE that I can pull out the kit and there is absolutely ZERO prep work!!!  With a new baby, this makes my life so much easier!

 

 

Want to try out this kit?  You can still order this kit in time for September!     

Get 20% off your first kit with the code “IVYSUMMER20″!  

 

IMG 0593 500x333 Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature Based Kit

 Head on over to Ivy Kids and check out this amazing service!  

 

How Are Germs Spread?

*This is a sponsored post.  I was compensated for sharing this information from PURELL (in conjunction with the Mom It Forward Blogger Network).  

 

How are germs spread 500x782 How Are Germs Spread?

pinit fg en rect gray 28 How Are Germs Spread?

 

It’s August!  Which means that school is just around the corner!  It is an exciting time filled with new beginnings, new school supplies, and new friends.  But it is also a time when germs reemerge and get passed around from one child to another.  We decided to illustrate how germs are spread in a fun and engaging way that will hopefully help our boys to remember to practice healthy hand hygiene!

 

How Are Germs Spread?

IMG 0160 300x450 How Are Germs Spread?

Here’s what you’ll need:  a bottle of Purell, gitter, and a few willing participants.


 

IMG 0161 500x333 How Are Germs Spread?

Squirt some Purell on your child’s hands.

IMG 0162 500x333 How Are Germs Spread?

Pour some glitter on top of the Purell.

IMG 0166 500x333 How Are Germs Spread?

Have your child rub his/her hands together until there is glitter all over.

IMG 0167 300x450 How Are Germs Spread?

Have that child go around the room, shaking hands with friends/other siblings and touching a few surfaces.

IMG 0169 500x333 How Are Germs Spread?

After every child has been included and multiple surfaces have been touched, have the children look at their hands and around the room to see if they can find glitter.

IMG 0173 500x333 How Are Germs Spread?

Tell your children that germs are kind of like the glitter on your hands…except germs are invisible.  Every time we touch another person or a surface, our germs get passed around.  Some of these germs can make us really sick.  Then have your child wash his/her hands with soap and water and see what happened to the glitter.  There might still be a little bit left, but the majority of the glitter gets washed away.

 

Germs are not for sharing How Are Germs Spread?

Read Germs Are Not for Sharing:  This is a great book for teaching young kids about the importance of proper hand hygiene.

One thing to mention to your kids after trying this demonstration and reading this book is that washing your hands with soap and water is always the best way to clean your hands and get rid of germs.  But sometimes we don’t have quick access to soap and water, so using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (like Purell) helps to kill the germs on our hands and keep us from getting sick!

 

Back to School with Purell

 

IMG 9556 300x450 How Are Germs Spread?

Our bottle of Purell that we decorated on Day 1 of the 30 Day Challenge!

 

Have you been keeping up with the Purell 30-Day Challenge?

In a study conducted by the makers of PURELL Hand Sanitizer, absenteeism caused by illness was 51 percent lower in classrooms that used PURELL Hand Sanitizer regularly and implemented a hand hygiene educational program, versus classrooms that did not.

Since not all classrooms have easy access to soap and water, pick up an extra PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer pump for your child’s classroom while you’re shopping for back-to-school supplies – their teacher will thank you!

 

There is still time to join the 30-Day Challenge!  Be sure to visit the Purell Advanced 30 Day Challenge website, FacebookTwitter and Pinterest to get started!

 

 

 

*Once again, this is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PURELL (in conjunction with the Mom It Forward Blogger Network).  I was compensated for sharing this post.

PURELL 30-Day Challenge

*This is a sponsored post.  I was compensated for sharing this information from PURELL (in conjunction with the Mom It Forward Blogger Network).  

 

IMG 9230 300x450 PURELL 30 Day Challenge

 

Germs are a major concern with a new baby in the house.  We have always encouraged hand-washing with our children, but as of late I have come to rely heavily on hand sanitizer.  Our boys have a tendency to consider “washing their hands” as rinsing with a spray of water for 2 seconds (or less).  Because I can’t be there every time they wash their hands as I am tending to the needs of a new baby, PURELL has literally become one of my best friends.

We have a large bottle of PURELL in the kitchen, entryway, and beside Baby Girl’s changing table.  I also have a small bottle in my purse and in the diaper bag.  RSV and Influenza were both pretty bad in our area this past winter/spring when Baby Girl was brand new.  I felt so much safer armed with PURELL.

 

Why Not Just Wash Your Hands?

Obviously, this is still the best way to stop the spread of germs.  However, sometimes soap and water isn’t readily available.  And as I mentioned above, sometimes kids can be lazy hand-washers and we can’t always be by their side to ensure they are effectively washing.  This is when a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (like PURELL) is most effective.  I have also been known to use a baby wipe and a squirt of hand sanitizer to clean off tabletops when we are out to eat!

 

More Reasons to Trust PURELL

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other leading health organizations, proper hand hygiene is one of the most important preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of illness and infection.
  • Scientific outcome studies provide evidence that hand hygiene, including the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer like PURELL, reduces our risk of getting sick.
  • A recent study conducted by the makers of PURELL demonstrated that the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can significantly reduce the transfer of a virus to the hands, and prevent germ transfer via commonly touched surfaces in the household.

 

 

PURELL 30-Day Challenge

To gear up for heading back to school, PURELL has created a 30-Day Challenge with 30 days of prizes!  Beginning Monday, July 14, a challenge for each day will be shared.  Some of these will be fun (decorating a PURELL bottle and sharing a picture) and some will be silly (sharing a video using PURELL at a summer barbecue).  You can download the list and reference it throughout the month.

The prizes for the challenge will include:  PURELL Products throughout the month, 8 $100 Visa Gift Card Weekly Winners, and 30 Grand Prize Healthy Family Prize Packs.

 

Here’s how to enter:  

Visit PURELL’s Facebook page on Monday, July 14th (or visit Purell.com/30daychallenge).  Download the list of challenges and check in with your progress!

You will receive:

  • 1 entry for signing up for the challenge
  • 1 entry for friends who enter the challenge (limit 10 entries)
  • 1 entry for each day that you visit the Purell Facebook page or 30 Day Challenge page
  • 5 entries for videos, 2 entries for photos, and 1 entry per story read.

 

 

Be sure to visit the Purell Advanced 30 Day Challenge website, FacebookTwitter and Pinterest to get started!

 

 

*Once again, this is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PURELL (in conjunction with the Mom It Forward Blogger Network).  I was compensated for sharing this post.