Ready, Set, Go! Getting Kids Prepared for the New School Year!

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over! Many have already gone back to school, but mine are just shy of 2 weeks away from their start.  This year is particularly bittersweet with my last one, Lucas, Age 3, off to his first school year in Nursery. He couldn’t be more excited. He’s been walked through, and walked through those school halls since he was born. If he had his way he would have been in school years ago! One of the biggest questions has been, will he be ready?
aI recently introduced him to the Lakeshore Magic Board, a wonderful toy that allows him to practice writing his letters and draw simple words.  I presented it with the simple hope that he would enjoy playing while I found comfort in the knowledge that he would be developing his fine motor skills, and improving his writing and drawing skills.  My toddler had a blast with his Magic Board – recognizing his letters, and writing out words.  He was amazed that he could write his letters so neatly and was proud of himself for being able to use pictures and sight words to read his writing.

What was even more interesting to see was the moment my (almost) first grader took to this educational toy.  He told me that it was perfect for practicing handwriting and ultimately, he and his little brother played/learned together for over 45 minutes!

wowThe Lakeshore Magic Board box states that it is perfect for ages 3+, and my kids have proven this to be true.  What they seemed to like most about this toy was that they could each take turns practicing their letters and then quickly “erase” their work to move on to the next practice card.  What I like about it is that it is portable (just small enough to take anywhere), and includes 30 practice cards of both upper case and lower case letters that my children (regardless of age) can utilize to enhance their writing skills. I’m excited to introduce the other Magic Board Card kits  as they continue to learn and grow. I also love the portability of it, leave the tablet at home and bring the Magic Board!

For my older two, I’ve tried very hard to keep the learning going this summer and keep their minds fresh and utilized. They didn’t always make it easy. I tried to incorporate workbooks mixed in with their school summer assignments but was often met with responses like, “Why do we have homework?! It’s summer time!” So while I still stuck to the workbooks and homework assignments, I’m grateful for Lakeshore Learning and their many educational toys which makes learning fun. I’m not even sure my kids realize that Lakeshore Learning is an educational focused store as they take to it like a toy store, and they just LOOOVE going to the toy store.

A huge goal this summer was teaching Marcus, Age 6, who is entering 1st grade, all about Time & Money. While certainly you can utilize things like clocks around the home and your own wallet, if your kid is anything like mine, they love gadgets and toys. Cue in the Time & Money Smart Pencil Learning Cards. Marcus just loved the self-guided activities and I loved the easy to follow cues, positive reinforcement and instant feedback. He viewed it more as a game, while I knew he was definitely in learning mode. He also hugely appreciated that I wasn’t hovering over his shoulder while he was learning. We’re excited to try all the other Smart Pencil Learning Cards!

IMG_20160818_081013419_BURST001This summer my girl has spent a lot of time with her best friend Tyler. When they’re together I’m often impressed with where their imagination takes them and how creative they get when solving a problem and I was super excited to share with them the Create a Chain Reaction STEM kit Grade 3-5.  These soon to be 4th graders just loved kit. First they started with following the easy to follow diagrams but within a couple of hours they were designing their on combinations with “zip-lines” for the included bouncy balls. Of course her 2 little brothers loved watching and putting their creations to the test. Just the other day, I found Marcus trying to create his own chain reaction and I just swooned. There is a kit just for his grade level, but really they can be combined and integrated for more Chain Reaction fun!

So are they ready? I think so, thanks to Lakeshore Learning!

In partnership with Lakeshore Learning, we are super excited to provide this exclusive 20% Off coupon for Lakeshore Learning products and a chance to win a $25 e-gift card!

To learn more about fun Lakeshore Learning products, contests, coupons and more, follow Lakeshore Learning on:

{ disclosure: As long time fans of Lakeshore Learning, we are thrilled to be a blog ambassador for Lakeshore Learning and am compensated for my work. Although I received product free of charge, as always, all opinions expressed here are our very own.. The sweepstakes prize is provided for the winner free of charge from Lakeshore Learning.  }