Put-Ups & Put Downs {eCourse Review & Giveaway}

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 11.23.59 AMPlayful Learning’s Put-Ups and Put-Downs is so much more than a product it’s an eCourse that will change your family for the better. When I was asked to write a sponsored review I jumped at the chance. The course is all about teaching your kids respect, the power of their words and why kindness matters.  We may spend all day telling our kids to be nice but we often fail to explain why nice is important and what happens when we aren’t. This course simplifies that for us while modeling the right choices for our kids.

Let me tell you about my experience with this course and not just why I liked it but how my son ( the real judge) did.

PL_Hearts

The first thing that you will notice about this course is that there are two sections one for parents and one for kids. You don’t have to be a teacher to help your child navigate this course , everything you need is there. The videos are engaging and the suggested books for further reading are spot on. After checking out the parent section I was pumped to dive in with my six year old son. I waited until before bedtime , we closed the door so the sounds of his sister in the bath wouldn’t distract him.  He was captivated. The fun and dynamic videos of children talking about feelings, and the power of their words grabbed him from the get go.  We paused the video countless times to give my son a chance to share his thoughts on what was being discussed . The extension activity went over great but the biggest hit was the little quiz . My son is a results kind of guy and for him doing the quiz was very important. For me it helped show how much he really absorbed.

Not only did Put-Ups and Put-Downs give us talking points it gave us a common language for specific actions and reactions. He begged to show his dad and re-take the quiz the next night.  He also couldn’t wait to print out cards to write Put-Ups on . This is my favorite one.

put ups

We took the Put-Ups and Put-Downs eCourse last month and since then I can tell you that our house has been a friendlier place. Even the most loving family has times when they aren’t as careful with their words as they should be and feelings get hurt. Practicing to be more respectful makes more sense when you understand what happens when you aren’t , this course helped teach my son that valuable lesson. I am excited to share this because it’s useful and important.

Now it’s your chance to check out Put-Ups and Put Downs .Check it out  here.

Enter for a chance to win!

One reader will get a free registration for Put-Ups and Put-Downs, a gift certificate so they can gift the course to a friend ,and Mariah Bruehl’s book Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder .

Enter Here

Fine Print

This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must enter your name and email address in the Google document on this page.  1 winning entry will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Wednesday May 22n at 8:00pm PST. The winner will receive one spot in the Put -Ups and Put Downs eCourse, a gift certificate for a friend and a copy of Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder . After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address for shipping their prize package,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings.   VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 
This post was sponsored by Playful Learning. The opinions expressed are mine and my son’s. The prize will be provided by Playful Learning .

 

DIY Mr.Playdough Face

lesson about emotions Done baby proofing? Have extra outlet covers ? Turn them into a lesson about emotions with these playdough faces!  This activity wasn’t planned at all, I went to the art closet to look for something, saw this unopened box of plug protectors and inspiration struck! We have used Mr.Potato Head pieces for play-dough before but this lets you create your own.  It’s a fun way to talk about feelings and conflict in a neutral setting. As you will see further down this activity opened up a few doors of discussion while we played.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some flat outlet covers, permanent markers and play-dough. Yes I love the store bought kind.
  2. Draw eyes on the plug covers with permanent markers. I asked my son to name some emotions and made those. you could also glue on googly eyes.
  3. Make some fun mouths , can you tell that one is a tongue sticking out? I am no artist!
  4. Noses – I thought I should tell you what they are just in case you can’t tell .
  5. Time to play! Oooh wait I should say that I waited a few minutes to make sure the marker was dry.
  6. He immediately made a grab for the angry eyes .
  7. When I asked why the guy was angry he said “He’s not angry just serious , he’s a police officer on duty.” I thought that was awesome as some police can look angry but I want my son to always feel like police are not intimidating and this craft let us chat about that and reinforce that police are there to help.
  8. This is the police man’s wife with a kiss on her cheek . I asked why she has a kiss he told me that husbands kiss their wives when they say thank you for making dinner. I totally wanted to jump in here with a lesson about how at our house that is the case but how cooking isn’t just for wives, but decided the fact that he is at least absorbing that gratitude is shown for every day tasks is good enough for today.

What’s your favorite play dough activity at your house?

Paper Plate Emotion Masks

emotions lesson for preschool

Getting kids to talk about feelings is not always easy, one way to do it is to make it into play. These emotion masks can be elaborate  with colors or simple and black and white like ours . The goal of this activity isn’t to have award winning art work, instead it’s to play with and open up a dialogue about feelings with your kids. We had a great chat about feeling sad which would have not otherwise come up. Have you blogged bout emotions? Ways to teach about them? If you have one link your post up below!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 1/2 a paper plate per mask. We made only 4 emotions because my son at 4 is still pretty basic about how he feels and most emotions get lumped into these 4 : happy, sad, angry and silly. You will also need popsicle sticks ( or tongue depressors), crayons or markers , scissors and tape. I had crayons out expecting my son to want to color them… but alas he went minimalistic with this one.
  2. Start by cutting the plates in half.
  3. Write the emotion on the back, if your child is beginning to read have them help you read it, if not make your face look like the emotion and ask your child if they can guess. Talk about each emotion, but don’t lecture.
  4. I made the noses as per my son’s request and made two emotions.
  5. He made the other two. Yes that’s a permanent marker, my heart was skipping a beat while he used it.
  6. Tape the sticks on.
  7. Play with the emotions. We had fun making our eyes one emotion and our masks another.

Book

Inspiration for this craft came from The Way We Feel , we read it on my iPod and you can too with  MeMeTales’   Free Mobile Reader App .  We are celebrating e-books from this brand new app  all week !

The Way We Feel
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The Way We Feel

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Add Your Post

Add your post about feelings, emotions and how to get your kids talking about them here:

DIY Board Book About Feelings

make your own board book for babies

My son and I had a blast making this photo board book for my 9 month old daughter. Not only is the book entertaining for her , creating it was a lesson about emotions and giving to others for my son.  All in all it was a family project that gets played with a lot.

  1. Gather your materials .To start you will need to take photos of different emotions .  This is a great chance to talk about each of these feelings with your kids. I sat my son on the couch and we chatted between pictures. It was such a wonderful talk , we shared what makes us happy, sad, worried etc… and really listened to each other. We also made lots of silly faces!
  2. Now after printing out the pictures you will also need an old board book, contact paper, card stock , scissors, a marker and double stick tape. Let me explain why I used a book and paper instead of just laminating sleeves like I have before like for the Eye Spy Book.  My daughter likes to put the book in her mouth. I don’t let her just chew on it but the laminated pages can be really sharp if you get it at the right angle on sensitive gums. So I opted for the board book. If you are making this for older kids a simple laminated book would be great.
  3. Next write out the emotions with marker on the card stock ( of course if you have a printer you can just use it). Cut.
  4. Time to do the layout. My son helped choose the paper from our stash and I taped pieces of card stock on each page to cover the existing illustrations. Add the photo and emotion.
  5. Cover with contact paper . I cut mine so it covered the paper but didn’t go all the way to the edge .
  6. Fill the whole book.
  7. Make a cover page, I tried to get my son to help but he was busy playing pretend spy( Oh and that is my art closet packed up behind him… we are down to the basics until we move).
  8. Let your baby explore!  She lit up and unlike most books she didn’t immediately try to eat it. She gently explored touching her brother’s photos. Success!

** Safety Notice : Only you can decide what is safe for your baby. This book is made to be used with an adult caregiver , it is not a baby toy. **

Thanksgiving Activity and Craft

Thankful Box

Thanksgiving Craft

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada and although we didn’t celebrate with a big turkey dinner we did make this thanksgiving craft, took time to think of things we are thankful for and share them at dinner.  At the dinner table  last night each family member wrote what they were thankful for , and added it to the box.  We didn’t keep ours a secret but you could. Our plan is to fill the box up over the next week and read it over dinner on Sunday to celebrate all we are thankful for.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a cardboard craft box ( a show box covered with paper would be great too), some markers ( one permanent), glitter, scissors and plain paper.Thanksgiving Craft
  2. Cut a slot in the lid. Thanksgiving craft
  3. Write the words ” I am thankful for…”  in permanent marker on the lid.Thanksgiving Kids Craft
  4. Have your little artists decorate the box with crayons or markers, you could use paint too, we didn’t because we wanted to use it shortly after but if you have the time to wait for it to dry, go for it!Making A Thanksgiving Kids Craft
  5. Don’t forget the lid!Thanksgiving Kids Craft
  6. Grab the glitter. I think glitter makes everything a little more special  , and a box like this deserves some glitter… or a lot. We only added it to the lid because I didn’t want it interfering with my son being able to open and close the box.Glitter!
  7. Let dry.
  8. While the glitter is drying write out a few things  you are thankful for. These were my son’s – I didn’t coach him one bit, I admit I thought he’d say he was thankful for Hondas before anything but he mentioned his parents and great friends . I would encourage never saying ” No” to any suggestion, model the things you are trying to get your children to be thankful for but let them come up with their own. You can’t force this- but you can lead by example.I am Thankful for you
  9. We folded our papers and popped them in the “dry enough” box.Thanksgiving Kids Craft
  10. We read these notes out at dinner and added more, which was when we decided to write more each dinner for a week then read the whole lot on Sunday.

Books

Thanksgiving in Canada is similar to the holiday in the United States, although we don’t have pilgrims, don’t watch football all day , and don’t line up for sales the next day either!  Our celebration is a celebration of the harvest, yes we eat turkey and cranberry sauce and each family has their own traditions. These books work for Thanksgiving in both countries, something that is useful for the many families like mine that is both Canadian and American. Also I couldn’t resist adding my favorite book about home, if you aren’t familiar with Canada I urge you to find this book and flip though, it’s a great cheat sheet or introduction to Canada! All book lists include affiliate links to amazon.com. 

 

A Plump And Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman is such a cute and funny book about a town that needs a turkey and the lengths they go to to find one, including trickery!  The town is sadly outwitted by the turkey and end up eating shredded wheat for thanksgiving. The illustrations kept my little man interested even though the story’s humor was above his head.

**Edited for 2009** Much of the humor is still above my wee man’s head although I was reminded how much this book’s dark humor makes me giggle.  He was a little off put by the idea of the towns folk eating the turkey and was relived when he escaped before they shoved him in the oven. I like that he is starting to understand that the meat he eats is actually a cooked animal, we take that for granted but for many young kids this is a huge realization!

Thanksgiving is For Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland is book that explains what Thanksgiving is, and gives lots of examples of things to be thankful for. I like this book although I could go without the page where the narrator is thankful for lollipops, all the other things are wonderful like a teacher’s encouragement, grandma’s hugs, and sunny days and to me the lollipops sorta fall flat. Easily skipped over if you are not keen on it but the book as a whole is valuable teaching tool about thanksgiving.
** Edited for 2009** I wrote the above review last year when my son was not quite 2, now at almost 3 he loves this book and I think reading it recently has really helped him understand what the concept of being thankful is. Also he loves the part about lollipops. Go figure!

M is for Maple, a Canadian Alphabet by Mike Ulmer. This book will make you feel proud to be from Canada if you are Canadian and teach you something about your neighbour if you aren’t . It will also teach your children things about the country they live in and why we feel pride when we hear names like Terry Fox, Anne with an E and Gretzky! I love this book and have since I first read it during teacher’s college in Thunder Bay, if you can be happy about being in Canada during a very cold Thunder Bay winter you can be happy about it anywhere.