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.

Ivy Kids: Monthly Literature-Based Activity Kits

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

 

Ivy Kids Literature Based Monthly Activity Kits 500x846 Ivy Kids:  Monthly Literature Based Activity Kits

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Ivy Kids:  Monthly Literature Based Activity Kits

 

Ivy Kids is a brand new monthly educational subscription box service for children ages three to eight.  I have had the pleasure of reviewing the first two kits (July and August) and I am truly amazed at all of the detail and attention that went into making these amazing literature-based activity kits!

IMG 7824 500x333 Ivy Kids:  Monthly Literature Based Activity Kits

 

 

If you are on the internet for any time at all, you most likely know that there are various options for monthly subscription kits available these days.  I have tried a few out in the past, but Ivy Kids is now my favorite (especially for preschoolers).  Here is why I think Ivy Kids is absolutely fantastic:

 

  • All kits come with a book!   Each monthly kit includes a high-quality children’s book in the kit itself!  We reviewed the first two months, so the books that were included were Jump, Frog, Jump! and Mouse Paint.  You can build your library while having a whole gaggle of activities to do as well!
    IMG 7825 300x450 Ivy Kids:  Monthly Literature Based Activity Kits

    What you see when you flip open your box!

     

  • The activities included in the kit are literature-based and centered around the included book.  Each of the activities included are based on the theme of the included book.  There is a wide variety of activities, hitting almost all of domains of early childhood development.
    IMG 7827 500x333 Ivy Kids:  Monthly Literature Based Activity Kits

    A guide to all of the activities included in July’s kit on the lid of the box

     

  • The kits are created by a Teacher Mom.  Taseea, the founder of Ivy Kids, is a Master-degree holding certified early childhood teacher who decided to stay at home after the birth of her second child.  She has both the education and experience to create a kit that appeals to little learners while also cognitively stimulating those growing brains!IMG 2876 500x375 Ivy Kids:  Monthly Literature Based Activity Kits
  • The activities are perfect for preschoolers.  Big Brother, who is six and will be in first grade in the fall, thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities, but they were most challenging and appealing to Little Brother, age four.
    IMG 7834 300x450 Ivy Kids:  Monthly Literature Based Activity Kits

    Little Brother enjoying the Lily Pad Line Jump

     

  • There are enough activities to last you all. month. long.   I could not believe how many activities fit into such a small little box.  Taseea has outdone herself creating about a dozen meaningful activities centered around one book and jam-packed into one month’s box!  We have had our boxes for about a month now and haven’t even had a chance to do all of the amazing activities!

    IMG 2879 300x450 Ivy Kids:  Monthly Literature Based Activity Kits

    These color paddles were a huge hit in our house. And, of course, they were included in the kit!

  • Everything (and I do mean everything) is included in the kit!  Unless the activity calls for water, you can expect to find everything you need for each activity in the box!  And the materials are very high-quality!  It sounds like a little thing, but I couldn’t believe the quality of paper…the mouse painting page below was printed on thick card stockIMG 2875 500x375 Ivy Kids:  Monthly Literature Based Activity Kits

 

Ivy Kids Literature-Based Activity Kits are perfect for busy moms who want to encourage meaningful learning using literature but simply don’t have the time to prepare the activities themselves.  They would also be perfect for preschool teachers to use in their classrooms as well (you would just have to make copies of the pages and grab some more materials).

Overall, I was extremely impressed with Ivy Kids!  I would highly recommend these activity kits to parents of preschoolers and kindergartners!

 

 Want to try out Ivy Kids?  You can preorder July’s kit now and save $5 off a month’s subscription or $10 off a 6-month subscription using the code “IVYLAUNCH” at checkout (coupon expires June 22)!  

The Cord Blood Collection Process with ViaCord

Disclosure:  This post is written by me.  All opinions are 100% mine.  In reviewing ViaCord’s cord blood banking service, I received a promotional discount.

What to expect when collecting cord blood from ViaCord 300x448 The Cord Blood Collection Process with ViaCord

 

(If you haven’t read the first two posts in this cord blood banking series, you can find those here and here.)

 

Once we made the decision to bank our daughter’s cord blood and then chose to use ViaCord to do it, we quickly received our cord blood collection kit in the mail.

 

IMG 2045 500x375 The Cord Blood Collection Process with ViaCord

 

 

As we were instructed, we packed the collection kit into my hospital bag so that it was ready to go when I went into labor.  Besides a small amount of paperwork we sent off ahead of time, there was absolutely nothing we needed to do up until the day our baby made her big arrival.

 

Thankfully, it was all packed and ready to go…because I might have forgotten it when we went to the hospital at 3:30 in the morning!

 

Once we arrived at the hospital, I informed my labor and delivery nurse that we would be collecting our baby’s cord blood and that they would need to get a small blood sample from me as well.  My husband gave her the kit and she (and the doctor) did the rest.

 

Baby Girl came fast.  To be completely honest, I didn’t pay any attention when the doctor collected the cord blood.  How in the world could I divert my eyes away from this precious face?!?!

 

IMG 5832 Version 2 500x333 The Cord Blood Collection Process with ViaCord

 

Once the doctor was finished, the hospital staff packaged everything up and sealed the box.

 

About half an hour after our baby was born (once things settled down a bit), my husband called ViaCord and they sent a courier who arrived within the next hour.  The courier then took the collection kit to the airport and sent it off to ViaCord.

 

We received notification that the collection kit arrived at ViaCord’s facilities the following day.  A few weeks later, we received a certificate from ViaCord verifying that the cord blood was being safely stored!

 

The process was seamless and not scary at all!  Honestly, I’m not sure how they could have made it any easier.  :)