Friday, March 31, 2017

The SMURFS are Making a Comeback!

Who's ready for a new movie? On April 7, 2017, the SMURFS are coming back in their new film "SMURFS The Lost Village" to a theater near you. And to get you and the kids ready, here is some information about the film, the official movie trailer, and coloring sheets your kids will love.

"Best friends Smurfette (Demi Lovato), Brainy (Danny Pudi), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) and Hefty (Joe Manganiello) use a special map that guides them through the Forbidden Forest, an enchanted wonderland that's filled with magical creatures. Their adventure leads them on a course to discover the biggest secret in Smurf history as they race against time and the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) to find a mysterious village."

View the official movie trailer HERE.  And at the top of the page you will find coloring sheets and activities.

After you and your children enjoy the film, here is a parent discussion guide to help you quiz the kiddos to see how much they have absorbed from the film. Click HERE for the downloadable guide.

Parents, put this movie and opening date on your calendar -- your children will be happy you did!!!!!

Stayed tuned for more information about this movie opening.

Until then,
Happy Parenting,

Tania  :)

Photos courtesy of the official Smurfs movie site:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Keep Learning During Breaks From School With LeapStart

March is National Reading Month, Spring Break and soon the Easter holidays. Although you will have planned family activities, why not keep learning in this off-time from school? Whether your child is in preschool, kindergarten or the primary grades, LeapStart Interactive Learning Systems will keep the "learning" during your holiday breaks.  

Jam-packed with school and life skills for curious 2-7 year olds, the LeapStart activity books are designed to help build key skills and challenge kids to get ready for their next step in learning. The system works with a library of 16 re-playable activity books that get kids excited about a multitude of concepts from the ABCs, numbers, shapes and colors to reading, writing, social skills, science, technology, engineering, math and many more. Both LeapStart platforms work with all four levels of activity books for complete interchangeability and ability to find just the right level for each set of skills.

The LeapStart interactive learning systems include a portable kid-tough device with a downloadable Parent Guide that fosters the development of kids ages 2-7 with tips, tricks, and activities that parents and kids can do together. Each system comes with a sampler book: Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten designed for the younger platform and Kindergarten and 1st Grade designed for the older platform. Availability LeapStart Preschool & Pre-Kindergarten system (MSRP $39.99, ages 2-4) and LeapStart Kindergarten & 1st Grade system (MSRP $39.99, ages 5-7) as well as the 16 LeapStart Activity books (MSRP $12.99 each, ages 2-7) are available at major retail locations and online in the U.S.

I love this toy as you can upgrade with a variety of additional booklets (each sold separately) engaging your child in learning and stepping up to new skills. LeapStart is coming into my home for the spring holidays and continued use during the long summer months. Learning can be fun with the right tools -- from simple problems to critical thinking and even STEM learning. I thank LeapFrog for making such an innovative learning toy.

Leapstart on Amazon

Until later -- Happy Parenting,
Tania  :)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links or advertisements. I earn a small commission if you shop through them, which helps fund this website so I can continue to bring you informative and interesting content. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

How Do You Amuse the Kids on St. Patrick's Day?

Calling all teachers and parents:

Lads and lassies, get ready to celebrate a “wee-bit of fun” this March 17th on St. Patrick’s Day. 

Doing the shamrock stomp:  (baby & toddler)
Put on some music (like an Irish jig or McNamara’s Band) and invite your child to dance along with you.  For young babies, hold them in your arms while you dance.  Encourage him to come up with a variety of ways to move to the music.  To do the “Shamrock Stomp”, cut out large shamrock shapes from green construction paper.  Tape these to the floor.  Start the music and have your child move and jump from shamrock to shamrock.  This is a fun way for your youngster to express himself on St. Patrick’s Day and great for practicing large motor skills.  Masking tape on the floor can be another entertaining movement game.  Stick the tape on the floor to make a design, such as a zigzag, a circle, triangle or a star.  Let your child move along, over and around the lines as they please.

Click here to purchase this CD

How about the shamrock shimmy?  (preschool+)
Here’s a fun locomotion game to play with your child.  It’s even better if you can gather other family members or friends.  Cut several small shamrocks from green construction paper.  Write instructions on the one side like:  hop like a bunny, gallop like a horse, crawl like a snake, walk like an elephant, whistle like a leprechaun,  skip, walk backwards, etc.  Place these instructional shamrocks in a container on the other side of the room.  Play this like a relay race, as the first person runs to the pile, takes a shamrock and does what it says while returning to his/her team, then sits down. Station an adult to help read the instructions.  The next team member proceeds the same way until everyone has a turn.  Another fun St. Paddy game is “Irish Hot Potato.”  Sit all players in a circle.  Hand one child a potato.  Explain that when the music begins they will pass the potato to the person on their right.  When the music stops whoever’s holding the potato scoots out of the circle and playing resumes. Who will end up in the circle alone with the potato? Play some Celtic or Irish Jig music to get into the spirit, although any music will do.

Cover photo courtesy of Tumisu, CC0 Public Domain,

Quick shopping for materials you will need for these activities: