Make Education Fun – Even in the Hospital with Disney Junior Games

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#Ready4Preschool #CollectiveBias

Make Education Fun with Disney Jr Games

If you’ve not been following me on Facebook, you may not know that my 8 year old daughter is in the hospital with pneumonia, a complication of her asthma.  She’s having to be on continuous breathing treatment in the PICU, where they give her albuterol, steroids and regular chest percussion treatment to hopefully rid her lungs of all the fluid and mucous within.  The first  58 hours, she wasn’t allowed to eat or drink.  You can imagine how bored she was getting.  Thankfully, I had bought these Disney Junior games and they have really saved us, when we thought we were running out of things to do.

Savannah in Hospital

I had previously purchased these educational Disney Junior games at Walmart for my 5 year old daughter.  We homeschool and I thought she’d have fun practicing her writing and math skills with them.  After all, what little girl doesn’t like Mickey Mouse or Doc McStuffins?

Disney Junior Games - In Store

 

I bought the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Learning Schoolhouse Activity and the Doc McStuffins Alphabet Learning Activity.

Disney Jr Learning Schoolhouse Activity Doc McStuffins

We used the Learning Schoolhouse Activity here at the hospital.  When I first opened it up, I was a little worried.  It’s actually supposed to be for a Pre-K to K aged child, and here I was trying to occupy my 8 year old with it.  While some of the activities were a little young (like the ABC flashcards), we were able to improvise and have a great time with it.

 

Features of the Learning Schoolhouse Activity

 

Learning Schoolhouse Activity - #Ready4Preschool  #shop

 

  • Learn to Tell Time
  • Practice Handwriting
  • Build Math Skills
  • Learn the Map of the U.S.
  • Letter & Word Recognition
  • Pretend & Play School

 

We used the US Map to quiz her on her states.  I would think of a state that we’ve been to before or one that someone we know has moved to, and she would use her pointer to show me where that state is on the map.  She’s not very strong on her geography, so this was a great educational activity that also proved to be fun, as we told stories about these different places.  You can see where she’s pointing at California, the state I was just in last month for a blogging conference.

Disney Jr Learning Schoolhouse Activity 4

 

She also used the word and picture magnets to make stories on the built in dry erase board.  In fact, that spurred her imagination even further and she decided to make more stories and books for her siblings to give them when she got home.  You can see one of her short stories here.  Her handwriting is pretty messy as her hands were shaking the whole time, thanks to the medicine.

 

Disney Junior Games - Where to Buy

 

She practiced her time telling skills.  We have a clock in her hospital room and I noticed how she was doing really well at knowing what time it is.  We’ve done time telling with her math programs in the past, so this wasn’t new to her, but since we haven’t really practiced it this summer, it was a good chance to go over her clock skills and see if she could figure out what time it was.    She did great and is now almost a pro!

 

Disney Jr Learning Schoolhouse Activity 3

 

We’ve been in the hospital for 4 full days now and we’ve done so many things, we had thought we’d run out of fun stuff to do.  Even watching TV was boring her.  These Disney Junior games saved the day and I’m so thankful I accidentally left them in the van at the perfect time!  Savannah says she can’t wait to get home, so that she can play school with her little sister, Avery.  Since these were originally purchased for Avery, our 5 year old, she’ll get a lot of use out of them in our school year, while the older children are doing their own school work.  I love that they can use these to have fun AND learn.  After all, learning doesn’t have to be boring, does it?

 

If you’re interested in purchasing some, you can find them in the school supplies section at Walmart.  In addition to the ones that I mentioned above, you can also find:

 

  • Learning Easel Activity Center
  • Counting Learning Activity
  • First Words Learning Activity
  • Rhyming Learning Activity
  • Numbers Learning Activity
  • Colors & Shapes Learning Activity

 

 


Ooka Island – Teaching Reading the FUN Way!

Disclosure: I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this Ambassadorship via Splash Media Engagement. Any opinions on this post are 100% my own.

Learning to Read with Ooka Island Interactive Computer Program

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about this fun new downloadable computer program called Ooka Island that we are using to facilitate teaching reading to my 4 year old.  (Actually, she’s 5 now, she just had a birthday a few days ago.)  She has had very little reading instruction.  So far, in our schooling, we’ve begun some formal reading lessons, but she’s not real excited about them yet, so I had decided to put them on the back burner for a time.

When we were given the opportunity to try out the Ooka Island downloadable game, I was excited to have a way to teach her to read, without her really feeling like she’s being made to learn.  You know how some kids are….if they think that you’re trying to teach them something, they run in the other direction.

What Do I Think About Ooka Island?

Learning to Read with Ooka Island

Ooka Island has been awesome!  It introduces her to words and sounds, just by playing games.  Once you’ve played so many games, you earn a book.  The book can be read to you OR you can choose to let your child read it herself if she’s made it to that skill level yet.  After the book, your child plays a couple of short games, asking questions all about what was just in the book (reading comprehension, anyone?).  I love watching to see if she was actually paying attention and how much she’s picked up.  Once she earns the book, she is not given a choice to go on and play a game until she has spent some time playing the book activities, solidifying what she’s just learned in her own little head.  Best of all, I love that this reading program, makes learning fun and allows her to work at her own pace.  If she wears out, she can put it aside and start again another day.  She’s always looking for the opportunity to play Ooka Island!

What Does My Child Think About Ooka Island?

OokaAd_Square4

When we asked Avery what she thought about Ooka Island, she said she loves it (and without any hesitation at all!).  I asked her what her favorite part was and she said she likes the Cave of Sounds.  In the Cave, she is taking a ride on a railroad car, listening for sounds.  As soon as she hears the sound, she hits the spacebar.  If she’s right, she gets to keep moving.  If she’s wrong, she has to wait until she gets it right.  Even though the Cave of Sounds is her favorite, she loves nearly all of the games!

 About Ooka Island Adventure

Ooka Island is a reading comprehension tool focused on improving children’s reading skills from 4-7 years of age.  The design of the program allows children to work at their own pace and directs the program based on where they are in their development.  Ooka Island is tech-based, game driven and keeps kids engaged in learning.

Ooka Island is an interactive computer program that you download to your PC or MAC that assists you in teaching your child to read.  It is made for children ages 3-7 years old.

Ooka Island contains everything a child needs in one big learn-to-read adventure, including:

- 80 hours of research-based curriculum for preschool to 2nd grade
– An integrated, science-based approach to the five pillars of reading
– Over 500 sequenced lessons with 7,000 discrete learning objectives
- Guided progression through 24 levels in a variety of 3D, virtual world environments
– A built-in e-Reader designed specifically to teach reading with highlighting and narration
- 85 original Ooka Island e-Books, leveled and sequenced from preschool to 2nd grade
- A fun and engaging learning flow cycle that motivates and supports each child’s journey
- Comprehensive online progress reporting for parents and educators
- Access to the Ooka Bookstore featuring all 85 e-Books and guides in print
- Free motivational tools, workbooks and a musical soundtrack app in iTunes

For more information, feel free to take a look at this video below:

Special Offer

If you’d like to try Ooka Island out, you can get it for 30% off of the normal price using this link.

Also, once you’ve signed up, you can get  workbooks that provide hands-on activities that foster word identification, sentence construction, sequencing, and story comprehension. Ooka Island workbooks are available for free and are easily downloaded!

Be sure to connect with Ooka Island by following them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


10 Yummy Valentine’s Day Recipes

 

10 Valentine's Day Treats - Yummy, Yummy!

We’re in the stages of planning our annual homeschooler’s Valentine’s Day party.  I’ve been looking for yummy recipes to try out at the party and thought I’d share a few of the great ideas that I’ve run across.  Some of them are perfect for your own families, while others are great for entertaining and parties.  Take a moment to check them out!

1.  Krispie Treat Pops

These don’t look like they’re too difficult but they turned out super cute!

Valentine Krispie Treat Pops  Apron Strings & other things

 

2.  Valentine’s Homemade Pizza

My kids would think this is so much fun!

 

Valentine's Homemade Pizza

 3.  Whole Wheat Valentine’s Cupcakes

 4.  Rainbow Pancakes

These are about the cutest pancakes I’ve ever seen.  She even tries her hand at making Rainbow syrup!

Valentines Day Pancakes, DIY with Food coloring to make a happy festive and fun breakfast suprise

 

5.  Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Who doesn’t love cheesecake?  These would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day sweet treat!

 

6.  Valentine’s Day Heart Cakes – Naturally Colored

These delicious looking cakes, actually get their color from beets!

valentine day cake with beet puree

 

7.  Easy Sweet Heart Tarts

These cute tarts only take 3 ingredients.  Plus, you can get your kids involved in the fun of making them!

 

8.  Homemade Gummi Hearts

Only 4 ingredients in these super cute gummi hearts!  Use a silicone pan to mold them.

Homemade Gummi Hearts http://www.mamamiss.com ©2013

 

 

9.  Valentine’s Day Brownie Mini Cupcake

These would look great on the table at your Valentine’s Day party!

Valentinte's Day brownie mini-cupcakes

 

10.  How to Make Rock Candy!

Aren’t they adorable?  It’s hard to believe they’re homemade rock candy!
How to make Rock Candy recipe

 

11.  This last one is not a Valentine’s Day post, but I felt it was a great one to share for ideas on how to show Christ’s love!  Our American holidays have become so commercialized, sometimes we forget the real reasons we do the things we do.  Check out:

Christ’s Valentine

Don’t forget to grab your free Valentine’s Day idea book, too while you’re here.