A child’s mind is like a sponge, absorbing as much information as they can. Their minds thrive on stimulation, problem-solving, and kinetic learning.  But long days at school often leave our children tired and cranky. So how do we bring learning home this fall? It can be done with fun, innovative, hands-on learning, that feels more like playing than school work.  Reiterate your child’s learning at home with these awesome learning gizmos and gadgets.

Maybe shopping for school supplies doesn’t rank high on your list of summer fun, but with a box of supplies from OOLY, we’re not going to lie, the inner kid in us was all smiles and ready to get to work – draw, color, paint, and create!

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Of course some supplies will go with your child to school, but it’s always a great idea to keep a set of school supplies at home to encourage creative play. OOLY has an excellent selection of colored pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, paints, sketch book, pencils, and pens, to name a few…and has even gone one step further, making ordinary markers watercolor markers, and ordinary pens monster shaped gel pens. Every one of their items has a special twist, keeping the creativity and ingenuity going well after school is out for the day!

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For those of you with young kids still working on those fine motor skills, we love the Creatibles D.I.Y Eraser Kit – play, mold, form and bake to create a creature able to erase any pencil mistake. We also love the Left Right Crayons for our young lefty’s who are still learning how to properly grip a writing utensil. For a rainy afternoon, the Rainy Dayz Gel Pens are must, allowing the kiddos to temporarily create beautiful pieces of art work on your window or glass surfaces. Keeping a box of all of OOLY’s amazing art and craft goodies is our favorite way to spend any afternoon after school, creating, having fun, and letting loose!

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Octopus is more than a watch, it is an enabler of good choices and quality time management for kids. This time tracker empowers children to complete necessary tasks. We’ll pause while parents everywhere rejoice!

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Say goodbye to constant nagging- and hello to chore independence. The Octopus watch is a welcomed addition into any home, with its’ technology and ability to motivate children of all ages to consistency perform the tasks they need to be (and feel) successful on a daily basis. Octopus is great for children 3+ and comes in two fashionable colors: Red and blue. There is much to love about the Octopus watch, and here are a few highlights:

  • With over 700 icons to choose from, you can choose a customized schedule for your child to follow
  • A watch that motivates RESPONSIBILITY and INDEPENDENCE by giving gentle nudges on tasks that should be completed.
  • 3 different watch modes: icons only, digital click, analog click
  • Free app available on Apple and Android
  • Easy set-up and progress tracking
  • Rewards: Children will be rewarded through stars for completing their everyday tasks
  • Lightweight watch, making it simple to wear without feeling overwhelming on tiny wrists
  • Water-resistant which means no fears when it comes to splashes from washing hands and normal play
  • Charge through included chord or by light-up companion
  • This device is not: A touchscreen, a phone, or a GPS. Simply put: It does its job well, without all of the distractions of modern day interference.

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Unlike children’s watches that focus on counting steps or GPS’ing locational whereabouts, Octopus Joy instead serves as a tool to hold kids accountable for their actions. Octopus teaches responsibility, and the importance of keeping on task.

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School days don’t have to be serious school studies all the time. Sure… reading, writing, and arithmetic are important, but so is having fun. Likewise, learning doesn’t just come in a one-size-fits- all form.  Exercising our bodies is just as important as exercising our minds. In fact, many of the motor skills learned in play, carry over to those learned at school. After long days of learning, kids need to get outside and blow off some steam. The Razor A Scooter is an awesome way to do just that.

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The Razor OG has been around since 2000, becoming an American icon for scooters. The deck and T-tube are made from high-quality aluminum. The handlebars have the ability to adjust throughout the child’s life. The foam grips allow for a comfy grip as they cruise up and down the streets. Both the handlebar folding mechanism and rear fender brake are patented. The scooter arrives with no assembly required, meaning your little one can get to riding right away.

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If your little one is ready to change it up a bit and get the party started, then she needs the Spark Ultra.  The Spark Ultra boasts the same quality craftsmanship as the A Scooter but with a few extra add-ons. Want some extra pizzazz? All she has to do is simply step on the Spark Bar for a burst of glittering sparks. The light up LED wheels add an extra glow on the go- they feature the brightest light up wheels of all the Razors.

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We teach our kids about the importance of language, math, and science skills. However, exercise is as vital to brain development as typical school subjects. Our kids need to have the opportunity to be kids, and the Razor Scooter lets them do just that. Here’s to getting outside, exploring and having fun.

Razor A Scooter and Spark Ultra

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Lakeshore Learning is to education like Rodeo Drive is to fashion. Classroom teachers adore it, parents flock to it, and kids enjoy all that it has to offer. With back to school on the horizon, there is no better place to shop than Lakeshore Learning. From school supplies to games, books for all reading levels to games, writing utensils to math manipulatives, there is something for everyone. The Trace & Write Story Stencils make writing fun and inspire creative stories for even emergent writers. With 30 hard plastic stencils, everyone will find a story that they want to write.

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Whether stocking up for learning at home or outfitting a favorite classroom, Fishing for Addition Facts and Fishing for Subtraction Facts are engaging games that allow kids to fish for facts. Armed with a magnetic fishing pole and 75 magnetic fish, kids are able to practice their math facts while having fun. Another great collection to check out is the Dot & Learn series. There is no better way to practice beginning reading skills than with the Dot & Learn! Alphabet Journal. It combines the fun of using dot markers with the challenge of matching and sequencing the alphabet. Likewise, the Dot & Learn! Sight-Words Journal gives the opportunity to complete sentences and match, while learning 50 high-frequency words.

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Meanwhile, the STEM Challenge kits have options for all elementary ages. The Building Brick STEM Challenge for Grades PreK-1 gives step by step instructions so that children can feel successful by completing a building project on their own or with a group. With 253 building pieces, 4 marbles, and 20 different building challenges, hours will be spent working on brain development. The upper elementary counterpart, Building Brick STEM Challenge for Grades 3-5, challenges students to create a working drawbridge, design a windmill, and 18 other projects.

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If you’re lucky enough to be in a nearby zip code of Lakeshore Learning, you should stop by. That’s right! It’s more than just an online shop – Lakeshore Learning is a brick and mortar business with a storefront and endless inventory open and ready to play. They also offer free craft workshops for kids as well as teacher workshops.

When following the suggested school supply list for back to class shopping, you better believe that headphones are going to be on it. If you need to get headphones anyway, why not get the absolute best of the best? BuddyPhones PLAY are perfect for kids of all ages, in both fashion and fun.

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Our kids are growing up during a time that screens are prevalent and audio accompaniment is frequent. Although we can’t change the frequency of their audio input, we can protect their tiny earlobes. BuddyPhones is proud to offer safe audio in all of their headphone designs. This means that audio settings can be adjusted depending on the age of who is listening, and guarantees that levels don’t go higher than necessary.

In addition to the safety awareness that comes with volume limiting headphones, BuddyPhones has many other features to love:

  • 14 hour battery life
  • BuddyPhones PLAY can be used wirelessly
  • Foldable design allows for convenient carrying and storage when not in use
  • Microphone included
  • Anti-allergic ear cushions
  • Adjustable headset
  • Decorate your BuddyPhone PLAY with the included stickers
  • Each BuddyPhone includes: Stickers, Travel Bag, charging chord, BuddyCable with audio splitter

buddyphones-collageBacked by a design team who prides themselves on perfectionism and motherly instincts, BuddyPhones were created with all the bests in sensible headphones. With an assortment of accessories to choose from, each item can be customized with carrying cases, cushion pads, buddy cables, and more. There are also several pops of color to choose from so that each BuddyPhone can be selected with personalities in mind.

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Science and technology are slowly becoming the forefront in our education. The two subjects are often argued to be some of the most important subjects within the school. However, many schools still do not focus on STEM as being an important entity of education, thus leaving a gap that needs to be filled at home.

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When those kiddos are burnt out from long hours at school, filling this gap can be difficult. It can leave them tired and argumentative when it comes to facilitating any learning at home. However, at home learning doesn’t have to be a burden. Pai Technology creates teaching tools that stimulate the brain all while having fun.

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Pai Technology‘s Circuit Conductor Kit is an excellent tool to encourage STEM learning. The Circuit Conductor teaches children about electricity, currents, and magnets through hands-on learning. Kiddos can learn about the flow of electricity using 12 different electrical function blocks and insulated wires to build circuits. Scan the circuits with their free app, to enhance learning even further. The Circuit Conductor Kit will facilitate learning on many levels, including problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

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Having a growth mindset allows you to see the potential, follow your dreams, and know that all things are possible. Isn’t that what we as parents all want for our children? Big Life Journal sets out to do all of those things by implementing and teaching a growth mindset.

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A valuable aspect of this journal is finding a journal buddy. This person can be a parent, grandparent, teacher, or family friend. The journal buddy acts as a companion and is able to offer real life experiences which can guide questions and discussions. Time together is a valuable way to grow and bond with one another, and Big Life Journal is the perfect excuse to do just that.

Big Life Journal is broken down into 26 weeks, with two weeks being dedicated to each important theme. The themes (or topics) are all vitally important, with a few examples being listed below:

  • Be positive
  • Believe in Yourself
  • Dream Big
  • Failure is Learning
  • You Are Not What You Have
  • Be Persistent
  • Follow Your Heart

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This self guided journal is a great tool for self reflection, but also for building connections. It combines writing, illustration, discussion, reading, and thinking. These skills are not only important in everyday life but vital in pushing yourself to be the best version of YOU. As you head back to a busy school year, let Big Life Journal be the glue that brings your family back together and allows you to grow in infinite ways.

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If you’re like us, you couldn’t wait to start displaying your kid’s artwork when they went off to school for the first time. Then the artwork took on a life of its own and before you knew it, your entire refrigerator, playroom and living room were covered with your child’s work. Sure, you could take a picture of these tiny treasures and save it to an app, but there’s something about the texture of paint on construction paper that capture memories like nothing else.

So, how do you display your children’s artwork without it taking over your entire home? The answer is Articulate Gallery.

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These open faced frames allow you to show off your child’s latest project in an instant. In fact, it’s so easy, a child can do it. Simply slide your child’s latest piece of art into the slot on the side/top (depending on how you hang it), and you’re all set.

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The insert is about ¾” deep which means that the Articulate Gallery frames can easily hold several pieces of paper by sliding the new ones on top. And, for all those macaroni, tissue paper, pipe cleaner and marshmallow creations – the open, glass-free front means 3D artwork is no problem.

We particularly love “The Double Gallery” since we have two children. Although not well divided in the photos above, each slot allows the kids to show off their latest works of art. By seeing their artwork properly showcased, we are helping to build their confidence.

Articulate Gallery Side View

Typical frames can get expensive and are difficult to change out. These frames allow you to easily rotate your kids’ artwork (or latest achievements) and encourage their creativity. Articulate Gallery frames are the “back-to-school” gift that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Teach My is all about learning. Their products are made to get kids off the screen and learning- all while playing! To prepare your child for the upcoming school year, Teach My has several different learning kits available to your child’s age and developmental level. From 6 months to 6 years old, Teach My is focused on making learning fun.

The Teach My Preschooler Learning Kit is designed for children ages 3 years and up. It has tools to help teach your child reading, writing, numbers up to 100, and early math skills. Some of the tools include:

  • 10 readers
  • 60 flashcards
  • 1 Magic Drawing Board
  • 72 Print Transparencies
  • 101 Train flashcards
  • 2 posters
  • An add/subtract flip book
  • Foam numbers and number sentence tools
  • A teaching guide for parents
  • …and more!810754000047

The Teach My Preschooler Learning Kit is a great way to get your children ready for the school year or to supplement preschool learning while at home. The best part is that your kids won’t even realize they’re learning- they’ll be too busy having fun!

Learning doesn’t have to be tedious or conventialnal, in fact, it can be the opposite.  Learning is the gateway to the future and celebrating it in ways that make it fun for all types of learners is the best way to learn.  Have fun this fall when you bring these products home for the ultimate learning experience.

Loving this Back to School Guide? Stay tuned for all our awesome 2018 BTS guides coming soon!

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