Monday, June 29, 2015

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- June 30th, 2015

Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaways
The Longest Ride Bluray US only Ends 7/13

Ergo Chef Knife Set US only Ends 7/20

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #53: June 25, 2015

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around June 25th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Can you believe Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is a year old already? It doesn't seem possible. I have enjoyed reading everyone's posts from the past this year. It has also been great taking a stroll down memory lane on my blog. Would you join me for another year of great memories?

I have reviewed some great products in the past (and continue to do so). I thought it would be a neat idea to choose review posts this year and highlight some of these great products again.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. 

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted June 18th, 2013
Princess Palace Treasure Box Review

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Heather from Compared to Who? shared:

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wordless Wednesday:June 24th, 2015 (w/linky)- Happy Birthday Amelia!

I can't believe Amelia is 7 years old already. Where has the time gone?

Happy Birthday 7 year old Amelia!

Tabitha decorated with ribbon before Amelia came downstairs.

Buying her very own bubbles with her birthday money. She was so excited to be paying for it by herself.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

Tots and Me

Littles Learnng Link Up: June 23, 2015

Welcome to Littles Learning Link Up. Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (at the beginning of the month)
  • A guest post featuring crafts, activities, tips, snack ideas or other early childhood topics. (toward the end of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my preschoolers and/or early elementary children.
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child.

We have continued watching the fun My Animal Families videos on SmartKidz Media. A few weeks ago, I share our Chimpanzee Fact Books. Now, we have been learning about dolphins. However, we have not finished our projects yet. I have not been able to focus on school work real well this past couple of weeks because I have been worrying about a surgery that I will be having tomorrow (I am writing this post Monday evening, so when this gets posted, I will be at the hospital). We will have to get our project finished when I get home and I will be posting about it in a future Littles Learning Link Up.

For now, I would like to invite you to stop by my review of SmartKidz Media to see all the fun you will find on their site, and to see what we thought of it.

Now onto:

Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 10 wonderful posts linked up. I will be picking one randomly selected post to share, plus the top clicked-on post.  

This week's randomly selected post is:

Mosswood Connections shared Bird Study Unit.

The following post had the most clicks:

Katie from A Little Pinch of Perfect shared Baking With Kids: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Fruit Pizza (Cookies).

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on my Toddler Ideas or other relevant board, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Sunday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.


Educating through Entertaining Videos and More on SmartKidz Media {A TOS Review}

SmartKidz Media Review

We had the opportunity to review SmartKidz Media thanks to the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  We were given a full year subscription to their SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers.  This digital media resource is chock full of wonderful videos for the entire family, plus there are books and games as well. It is a wonderful way to supplement your child's education and expand your own knowledge as a parent.

We were able to use SmartKidz Media on the computer and by streaming through the WiiU.

When you first log in to  the site, you will see this menu at the top of the page:

From this page you have access to all of the videos that are found in the "Family Media" section. This section is broken up into two parts: World of Discovery and Music & Fine Arts. 

World of Discovery is further broken down into the following sections:
  • Animals and Wildlife
  • Action Sports (which is coming soon)
  • Documentaries and Culture
  • Health and Fitness
  • History
  • Lifestyles and Cuisine
  • Science
  • Travel and Adventure
Music & Find Arts is further broken down into the following sections:
  • Classical Music
  • Cultural Music
  • Jazz and Blues
  • Relaxation
The "Reading and Learning Center" section is also shown at the top of the screen. As you can see, there are eight categories to choose from. Once you click on any of these subtitles, you will go to the page for that section. 
  • Mighty EBooks Collection
  • Baby Signs Program
  • My Animal Family
  • Quick Find Study Guides
  • Learning Special Needs
  • Living Skills Program (coming soon)
  • Ready Set Sing
  • Fun Zone
Each of these sections has multiple learning opportunities. We have enjoyed some of the animal videos in the World of Discovery: Animals & Wildlife section. The children love watching about baby animals. Each video shares footage of multiple animals.

Our favorite section has been the "My Animal Family" section. There we can learn about five different animals. Each animal has three different videos that focus on them. The Video Storybook follows the daily life of a baby animal while the adventures are being narrated by a child.  These videos are 10-15 minutes long. The next video for each animal is called Fun Facts and is 7-10 minutes long. There are many interesting tidbits shared, such as where they live, lifespan, physical characteristics, what they eat, how they communicate, and more. The final video for each animal is called Story Songs. Catchy songs combine with great BBC video footage, and are about 3 minutes long.

To date, we have learned about Chimpanzees and Dolphins from the "My Animal Family" section. We have made little unit studies out of them. I used the information from the Fun Facts section to write out information for the children to copy, and to give the children questions to answer orally. We made Chimpanzee Fact Books, that I shared about in my Littles Learning Link Up post a few weeks ago.

We are currently working on our project to go with dolphins. I will be sharing all about it in a future Littles Learning Link Up post. 

In the Health and Fitness section, I found a couple of fun exercise videos to try out with the children. Our favorite is the "Aerobics and Exercises For Kids." It is actually 53 minutes long, but we have used it for about 20 minutes at a time. I thought using this video a couple of times a week would be a great way to change up their phys ed. time. 

I did try the Baby Signs Program, but I decided it was really too babyish for all of the children. Not that that is a bad thing. It does say "Baby Signs." I just thought I would see if they would get anything out of it. I can definitely see younger children enjoying the videos that feature animated babies signing, perhaps children who are 1-2 years old. Unfortunately, they weren't for us. I would LOVE to see sign language videos for older children as we have done signs in the past and I really would like them to learn some more. 

Another place the children enjoy is the "Fun Zone." There are games, puzzles and jokes/limericks/riddles. We needed to use this section on the computer Flash was necessary. I had fun finding hidden pictures in the "Find the Hidden Treasure" pirate game. The girls enjoyed using their memories to "Dress the Divas." Even Harold spent some time playing the "Let's Play Hide and Seek with Mice in Cups" game. This was a memory game where he had to remember which cup the mice were in. 

There is so much more for us to explore. Now that we are done with lessons for the summer, I foresee us spending a lot more time exploring the site. There are some sections I plan to preview before allowing the children to watch, such as the cultures section. There are even some that I figure will be great for me, including the Cuisine videos where you are shown how to make a dish along with the recipe. My husband is anxiously awaiting the Action Sports videos. We were glad to hear that they will be added shortly and additional videos will be added periodically. 

A word of caution, I did notice in the science study guide section that there is mention of evolution and billions of years. 

All in all, we have enjoyed SmartKidz Media. It is a wealth of information which we are going to have a year to explore.

SmartKidz Media can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Don't forget to stop by and see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about this great digital library.

SmartKidz Media Review
Crew Disclaimer
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