5 Ways to Calm First Day Jitters

18 Aug


Just as worried about your child’s first day of school as they are? Calm the jitters by implementing five simple strategies for keeping the whole family calm as children transition back to school. Here are five of our favorite stress busters for first-day jitters:

1. Practice Saying Goodbye

One of the most heart-breaking moments not only for your child but for you as well, is when you wave goodbye. Even if you know it’s not final, it can definitely feel like it to young children! That’s why it is important to practice goodbyes before children go back to school. Whether it’s dropping them off for a play date or taking off for a business trip, be sure to emphasize that goodbyes don’t mean forever and keep consistent by picking them up at a designated time. This fosters trust and a reassurance in your toddler that you are in fact coming back.

2. Hold on to Home

Help your child adjust to change by encouraging them to take something familiar with them to school. This could be something as simple as wearing one of your necklaces, taking a favorite teddy in their backpack, or even keeping a picture of the family in their notebook. Having something familiar to pull out during the school day can go a long way in calming children’s anxiety on the first day of school.

3. Scope Out School Beforehand

Having a first look before the first day of school is a great way to calm kids’ nerves. Giving children a visual of the classroom they will be stepping into allows them to better process the learning environment. Also, going out of your way to meet the teacher beforehand can smooth transitions as young children adapt to a new face and personality.

4. Talk It Out

Many times, children’s fears are a lot bigger in their minds than in reality. You can help them realize this by talking out their fears together. Ask them what they are most worried about and talk about ways they can overcome those fears and steps they can take to prepare for facing new challenges. Children will feel much more at ease when they have a plan for approaching their personal fears.

5. Pack the Perfect Lunch

A lot of children find comfort during lunchtime. Not only is it usually packed in a personal lunch box, but it’s also filled with familiar food they picked out with you. Be sure to include your child’s favorites for the first day of school as well as a note of encouragement that will remind them that you are not far. Sometimes, a little midday reassurance is exactly what a child needs to get through the rest of the day!

Hang in there as you and your children prepare for back-to-school! With a little preparation and establishing the school sleep schedule early, your child’s transition back into the classroom should be a breeze!

Finally, we have a few back-to-resources you don’t want to miss as kids prepare for their return to the classroom:


Don’t miss our Back-to-School Sale: 20% off one item on orders $75+ through August 31st. Enter code BTSREADY at checkout.

Back-to-School Resources:

Preparing Preschoolers for Back-to-School

11 Aug

Role of Talk

Looking at the calendar and wondering how August snuck up on you? Back-to-school is here and there are a few things you can do to give your preschooler a proper send-off!

Summer Math Review: That’s a Wrap


Brush up your little one’s math skills before they head back to the classroom. Opportunities for math learning can be found in every day activities like counting down how many days are left until the first day of school to helping you measure ingredients for special recipes! One of the easiest ways to do a quick review and practice with your preschooler is by using the Addition and Subtraction Wrap Ups. These string problems are great for self-correction and repetition!

Alphabet Case Study! Learn Letters with Hot Dots Jr.


Letter recognition, both uppercase and lowercase, is a big part of preschool! Prepare your child for the classroom with Hot Dots Jr. Alphabet Cards! The double-sided cards are great for visual learners as they learn to match letters and practice sequencing. The Hot Dots Jr. Pen is also an interactive tool for giving guidance as the canine pal cheers for correct answers and redirects children when they answer incorrectly. Letter learning has never been so fun!

Encourage Pre-Writing Skills with Personalized Pencils


You would be amazed by how much of a difference it makes in how enthused a child is about writing if they have their favorite character on their pencils! Allowing children to pick out their writing utensils is a great way to get them excited for the new school year and all of the writing and coloring that is surely on the way! We have a few colorful suggestions if you’re looking for something creative:

Stress Social Skills by Practicing Kindness and Cooperation! 


Interestingly enough, a 20-year study recently revealed that young children who are taught social skills like kindness and cooperation early were more likely to obtain higher education and hold full-time jobs. That’s why it’s so important to practice those life skills at home. We have a few tools for doing just that, whether it’s following Shubert through the Shubert Series Value Pack, playing Social Skills or Blunders with the family, or learning about classroom etiquette with I’m Ready for School!

Best of luck as you drop off your little one for the first day of school! For even more back-to-school resources, check out the posts below:

Homeschooling Resources for Parents

4 Aug


Preparing to get your kids back on a schedule as the school year looms ahead? Whether you are an experienced homeschooling parent or you’re new to homeschooling, we have seven select resources to add to your homeschooling tool kit:

82147Dominoes Jar: 

Dominoes are honestly one of our favorite learning tools for young learners. Not only can you teach toddlers their colors and how to sort accordingly, but they also provide math learning that grows with your child. Teach anything from simple subtraction and addition to fractions depending on your child’s age!

29190Play Doh Rainbow

Teaching the smallest of learners? A starter Play Doh set is always a great tool to have on hand! Not only does it provide opportunities for color recognition and sensory play, but it can also be used in art projects. Just browse Pinterest for all the Play Doh inspiration you can ever need!


Early Learning Flash
Card Set: 

Early literacy is so important in young children, especially as it is proven to be one of the biggest indicators of future success. Flash cards are a great way for visual learners to practice the alphabet, rhyming, and sight words.



Not only is Bananagrams fun to play for a variety of ages, but it also provides vocabulary practice as well as words for young children to begin learning by sight. (Not to mention, it provides spelling practice without needing a pen and paper!)

Blunders Game: 91249b

Teaching children social-emotional skills is just as important as academics when it comes to young learners. Blunders is the perfect board game as it provides fun for the whole family while simultaneously teaching children the do’s and don’ts of social interactions.

Smart Lab Growing! Green House:143795a

Why not add a greenhouse to your science unit? The Smart Lab Growing! Green House provides the perfect contained ecosystem for children to grow flowers in as they learn about photosynthesis and the different parts of plants. Be sure to check the plant’s progress every day for interactive learning!

Hucklebee A Smart-as-can-Bee
Preschool Game:143808a

Hucklebee™ is always a favorite for little learners!. As children interact with clapped hands, laughing, and hugs for the adorable plush bee, this preschool game teaches shapes and colors, counting, and following directions.

We hope you find these learning tools helpful as you prepare your home for the school year! For even more sites to browse for homeschooling support, check out the resources below:

Even More Homeschooling Resources for Parents:

Guide to the Best Homeschooling and Unschooling Resources
10 Best Apps for Homeschooling Parents
4 Favorite Homeschooling Resources
• The Homeschooling Community 

Making Math Fun for Summer!

28 Jul


Teaching math to your kids isn’t always the easiest, especially if children already have the mindset that math “isn’t fun.” However, with the right toys and a little imagination, math can be as fun as you make it! We have five ways you can incorporate math into everyday learning, so that children will find it fun!

1. Make It a Movie Night!


Movie nights are always a fun way to spend summer evenings, especially if you have good company and snacks ready to go. Why not add math learning to the mix with Count ‘Em Up Popcorn? This popcorn-themed sorting game will leave kids entertained as they build number sense and recognition. It’s a great way to put restless energy to good use as it keeps little hands busy during the movie!

2. Create a Play Store!

Want a fun way to teach simple addition and subtraction? Create your own play store! Whether it’s your child’s stuffed animals, storybooks, or frequently used household items, allotting price tags to different items and putting your child in charge of the Teaching Cash Register is a great way to teach money sense. Furthermore, it’s a fun dramatic play experience that can lead to fun-filled family interactions!

3. Take Shapes on the Go!


Taking a road trip for the summer? Put those hours to good use by bringing along shape sorters! The Counting Shape Sorter and the Multishape Sorter (9 Pieces) are both great toys for taking in the car to teach math skills as children roll along! Children will learn colors and shapes all while developing problem-solving skills as they count pieces out onto the appropriate pegs.

4. Encourage Sorting for Nature Finds!


Sorting is a great skill for toddlers to learn as preschool approaches. Enjoy the season by taking the concept outside! Go on a nature walk with your kids and have them collect small items for sorting. Items can vary from shiny rocks, to acorns, to fallen feathers. Once you’ve finished your nature walk, bring your child’s finds inside, come up with categories, and ask them to sort the items into Sorting Trays. Once finished, ask children to count how many items they have in each category for addition math learning.

 5. Cool Off with Number Fishing!


Spending your summer days by the pool or lake? Take along the Giant Fishing Set for bonus math learning! Children will build hand-eye coordination as they snag different numbered fish and total their catches! Ask children to sort fish into even and odd numbers or multiples of five for addition math learning.

We hope you’re finding time for math this summer with your kids! What’s your favorite way to make math fun? Let us know by commenting below or sharing on our Facebook page.

Kids Edition: Designing a LEGO® Room

21 Jul


It’s a fact: kids love LEGOS®. That’s why turning your child’s room into a DIY LEGO® room might be the best idea ever. We have a few tips and tricks you can use with your children to turn their room into a builder’s paradise! Get ready to build:

1. LEGO® Wall


You can’t have a proper LEGO® room without a design wall! Little builders need a space to let their imaginations run free! If you’re looking for a small space easy for young children to reach, we suggest the Removable LEGO® Wall. Browse our LEGO® DUPLO® selection to get started.

Dreaming a little bigger? Discover how to turn a whole wall into a LEGO® play space here: http://artscrackers.com/2013/06/21/decorating-tips-LEGO® -wall/

2. LEGO® Table


The next step is a colorful storage and workspace for collaborative play! We have just the thing with the LEGO® Table! All you need are three plastic drawer units on wheels, a 4-foot board (painted your child’s favorite color), a stool, and LEGO® bases to create the perfect building center! Find out how here.

3. LEGO® Character Display


Does your child love LEGO® characters but struggle with losing them? Put those unique creations on display with the LEGO® Mini-figure Storage Shelves! Start building with ¾ wood, Quick Hold glue, and LEGO® base plates. Find out how here.

Love Star Wars? Check out our LEGO® Star Wars collections including the Imperial Star Destroyer:

143087a4. LEGO® Key Holder


Is finding the misplaced house key or school lanyard becoming a morning routine for your child? Never lose keys again with the simple but effective LEGO® Key Holder! Make it even more interactive by adding your child’s favorite LEGO® mini-figures: http://imgur.com/WmuA0

5. LEGO® Soap and Hand Sanitizer


Washing hands becomes fun for kids with creative Soap and Hand Sanitizer! Simply remove labels from clear soap and hand sanitizer and drop in your children’s favorite blocks or mini-figures! (Don’t blame us if your child spends too much time in the bathroom!)

6. LEGO® Chargers

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 3.29.48 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-20 at 3.29.59 PM

Need help keeping chargers organized? With the quick addition of LEGO® base plates and your child’s favorite characters, chargers will be easy to find and use for little hands! Find out how here.

Want even more DIY LEGO® inspiration? Check out the creative sites below:

Creating a Science Lab at Home!

14 Jul


Does your child love watching the Discovery Channel and reading National Geographic? Then it’s time to bring children’s natural curiosity to the table by creating a science lab at home! Here are a few simple steps you’ll need to know to create a space for scientific discovery:

1. Choose Your Space Wisely

It’s important that children help you pick out their science space as they’ll be spending the most time in it. Be sure the space you choose has a flat surface for children to work on (since we all know how messy science can be), a window, as many experiments require sunlight or documenting weather patterns, and comfortable seating. Here are a few fun ideas for personalizing the lab:

  • Add plants on the desk or tabletop, so that children have examples of nature right in front of their eyes!
  • Hang posters for science inspiration. 
  • Include a bookshelf. One shelf can be dedicated to science supplies by adding trays, baskets, or tote trays for tools and instruments.

2. Stock up on Science Books


Every great experiment starts with research! Make sure your kids are stocked with books full of facts and figures about their favorite areas of research, whether it’s Bengal tigers or the Milky Way! It’s also beneficial to have a book full of science lessons children can use as a starting point for future discovery! Here are some of our favorite suggestions below:

3. Pick Out Tools for Discovery


Every scientist has to have the proper tools! Here are a few of the basics you may want to consider for your child’s science lab:

  • A Basic Starter Kit– goggles, test tubes, and tweezers are necessary tools of discovery when it comes to children launching into different types of investigation. The Primary Science Set is a great place to start!
  • Smart Lab Get Growing! Green House – teach children the plant lifecycle by planting seeds and watching them grow with the Smart Lab Get Growing! Green House.
  • Microscope- from the simple GeoSafari Talking Microscope to the more sophisticated GeoVision MicroPro, taking a closer look always leads children to new, exciting discoveries about the world around them!


4. Start Experimenting! 

There are so many areas of exploration children can dive into! Whether it’s ant lifecycles, dinosaur bone excavation, or studying solar power, we have a few choice kits you can start your child learning with:

What will your child’s first experiment be? Share with us by commenting below!

Revving It up for Summer! Ride-Alongs for Kids

7 Jul

shutterstock_285562799Are your child’s feet always running one hundred miles per hour? Help them burn off some of that energy with our favorite ride-alongs for kids! We have five suggestions your children will love to race down the driveway, around the neighborhood, or even in the house! From Cozy Coupes to Micro Kickboards, check out our favorites below:

1. Micro Maxi Scooters!

Pick a color and hang on tight! The Micro Maxi Kickboards are the perfect ride-along, providing stability as kids roll. Invest in the Micro Mini 3-in-1 Scooter for a toy that grows with your child to provide years of exercise and fun! Choose from blue, pink, and green below:



2. Cozy Coupes!

Vroom, vroom! Watch as kids take off in their very own Cozy Coupe! Choose from the stylish Sport Edition for speed, the Tikes Patrol Edition for police practice, the Truck Edition for some serious four-wheeling, or the Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Edition to keep with tradition:


3. Little Tikes Go & Grow Lil’ Rolling Giraffe!

Build balance and coordination with the easy-to-ride and adjustable rolling giraffe! The rolling giraffe has a special grow-along seat that makes adjustments easy, perfect for children ages 1-3.


4. Wheely Bugs!

Looking for a set of wheels appropriate for infants? Then Wheely Bugs are just for you! The Bee and Lady Bug Wheely Bugs help promote gross motor skills and provide an added layer of sponge for padded protection. Babies will love sliding backwards, forwards, side to side, and round and round!


5. Motorcycle!

This little red bike is perfect for active toddlers! Four wheels provide balance while the realistic headlights and taillights make little ones feel like real-life motorcyclists! And of course, easy-grip handles are included for little hands.


Don’t forget the helmets! We also have an excellent selection of toddler-sized helmets to keep children safe while they ride this summer:


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