Friday, July 15, 2011

Learning Your Letters With the Alphabeasts

My son learned all his letters pretty early on and absolutely loves practicing his ABC's and the sounds each letter makes. Aside from workbooks, coloring pages and battery operated toys, I've been running out of ideas for great alphabet products. That is, until I came across the Alphabeasts. The Alphabeast line consists of 26 plush characters that each have an uppercase and lowercase letter on them. They also each have a name. Each character is different in shape and color and they motivate children not only to learn their letters but to get creative and try to create words.

Each Alphabeast is filled with polyester fill, two fleece letters (one upper, one lower), and are about 15" in height. They each have a collector's tag attached to them and they are completely washable. Created by two dads who wanted to provide children with an educational product that encourages adult interaction as well, the Alphabeasts are fun and loveable.
You can visit the Alphabeasts website at for more information or to order one (or all 26) of these cute little creatures!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Teaching Your Preschooler

In our area, many preschools begin their programs for children at the age of three. Four year old programs are still the most popular, but many parents are turning to three year old programs for early childhood education. I spent a good 6 months going back and forth on our choices, talked to a number of parents who had children a few years older than my son and did all my research on every preschool in the area. I figured I needed to know what programs were out there anyway since we were planning to sign our son up for preschool at the age of 4 so he would be ready for the long days of kindergarten. I finally came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to enroll my 3 year old in a year long structured program. From what I heard from other people, and what I've experienced myself with playdates, tumbling classes and storytimes is that it's all purely social for the most part at the age of 3. I decided to keep doing what I was doing at home, which was basically working with my son everyday for a short while to teach him his basics like letters, numbers, shapes, colors, patterns, etc. I couldn't see that enrolling my son in a preschool program at such a young age was necessary since they get to be kids so little before they're off to school all day anyway. To make up for the social time I have a rotating schedule of different classes that my son takes including a creative playgroup and gymnastics class. We also have a number of friends who have boys our son's age and we set up playdates often to keep him around other kids.
Fast forward to sitting down with my son and getting more involved in learning than we were before with the very basics. I needed some sort of resource that I could teach my son from aside from his library of books that we read regularly. I came across the Twin Sister's Productions learning workbook series and found that they're a great stepping stone for teaching your preschooler. While different levels are available, we started using the Preschool level. It comes with a 12 song CD as well that has songs that teach the ABC's colors, numbers, letter sounds and manners. My son loves the songs so much he makes me put it on every morning while we eat breakfast. After we've settled in for the day we get out some crayons and start working on a few pages of the workbook. The workbooks are very colorful and are designed to look more like an activity book or coloring book. Every page is chalk full of information that we can go over together and I can challenge my son with the work on each page.

The best part about the Twin Sisters workbooks is how affordable they are. The Preschool version is only $4.99 with the CD. I've done some shopping around at local bookstores and online to find the best teaching and learning products on the market and I have to say this price point is the best out there. Other books are longer but they don't really cover much more subject matter and the pages don't hold my son's attention as well as these ones do. These books definately make the process of 'homeschooling' my son easier and more fun. It's also been extremely successful as well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Potty Training Hands Free with The Little Looster

I potty trained my son when he was 2 1/2 years old. He's always been on the small side for his age so we used the little kid-sized pottys for quite awhile because he was pretty scared to climb up to the big toilet and use it with one of our padded seat covers. Once he had been trained for a little while he became much more comfortable going on the big potty but I was having a problem with getting him to use a step stool to get himself onto the potty. He was ready to learn this step of the process but it was hard for him to balance on a tiny little stool, turn around and scoot onto the toilet.

I came across The Little Looster and immediately thought it was a great product. Not only does this wrap-around design allow for a lot more space for a child to step up on, but it also stays out of the way if adults want to get into the bathroom as well. No more moving of step stools, pottys, seats and more.
The Little Looster retails for $34.99 and can be purchased on their website. It comes in white, is incredibly easy to clean and it allows kids to be hands free when they're on the potty. No more unnecessary touching of the toilet seat either (If you're a germ-a-phobe like me then this is a major plus!).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Keeping Your Little Monkeys Dry and Happy With Monkey Doodlez

I've accumulated a pretty nice stash of cloth diapers and swim diapers and I have to say that Monkey Doodlez has by far made the cutest product I've seen so far. They feature a great Tuck and Go system that eliminates you ever having to touch a soiled liner again. You simply remove the diaper, flip it over and toss the liner into the wash. Putting on a clean cloth diaper isn't bad but when you have snaps and whatnot to remove when the liner is soiled, it can make you think twice about those disposables. Monkey Doodlez eliminates this need.

The Monkey Doodlez swim diaper is a great product and can even be used as a cloth diaper alternate when you're almost out of regular ones and don't want to do the laundry that day. Such adorable patterns and pictures are available on the swim diapers.
Customers rave about the coverage of the Monkey Doodlez diaper system as they are great diapers but they also can be reused over and over again before needing to be washed because there is typically no leakage outside of the liner. A variety of colors and sizes are available from the brand. You can visit for more information or to purchase one of their products.