e-Book Bundle Sale !

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 This offer is now over. Each book linked below is still available through individual sales. Click through the titles to find out more.

On Saturday after announcing my brand new eBook for bloggers I promised that I’d have an exciting eBook announcement for those of you who aren’t bloggers. Well this is it. Brought to you by Melitsa of Raising Playful Tots and Cathy of NurtureStore, along with some of my favorite bloggers and authors, the Spring Learning Through Play special offer is now open – but for April 8th to April 14th only. Read on to see all the items included in the spring special offer – and start looking forward to getting your copies!

 

The Garden Classroom by Cathy James of NurtureStore
The Garden Classroom brings you fifty-two creative and playful outdoor activities, giving you a whole year’s worth of garden-based projects to enjoy with your children. Value $9.99

 

ScienceArts by MaryAnn Kohl of Process Art & Treasures of Childhood
ScienceArts inspires children to explore the world of science through art with open-ended experiments. 141 pages of art experiments amaze & delight children as they discover the magic of crystals, light, constellations, plants and more. All scientific reactions and concepts explained. Value $9.99

 

The Playful Family by Shawn Fink of Awesomely Awake
The Playful Family encourages and challenges busy parents to slow down and spend quality time together with their children, regardless of their age. With nearly 100 ways to connect, engage and play together this easy-to-read e-book is a must-have resource for any parent interested in becoming more playful and happy while raising children. Value $4.99

 

Connecting Family through Creative Play e-Workshop by Gina Kimmel of Connecting Family & Seoul and Katherine Lockett of Creative Playhouse
Connecting Family through Creative Play is a 30 day e-Workshop designed for families who wish to connect with their children on a daily basis through simple, creative play. These ideas are perfect for parents looking to find a balance between the everyday responsibilities and connecting with your child in meaningful ways that fit into your family’s daily rhythm. You will receive daily messages from us in your inbox with inspirations to play, ideas for connection, and resources to help spark your imagination, including access to a private Facebook community. {Please note this course is running April 29th 2013 to May 28th 2013 only and you must register on the course before May 15th 2013} Value $25

 

Alphabet Glue: Volumes Nine through Eleven by Annie Riechmann of Bird and Little Bird
Alphabet Glue is a downloadable e-magazine for families who love books, and aims to help more families to incorporate creativity, imagination and all things literary into their everyday routines. Each issue contains leveled book recommendations organized by theme, bookmaking tutorials, story-building activities, and hands-on projects that complement favorite titles in children’s literature or teach basic elements of science. Value $11

 

Alphabet Summer Learning Pack by Erin Wing of Small Types
The Alphabet Summer Learning Pack is a collection of flexible summer learning ideas organized around an “A to Z” theme. Use these resources to prevent the dreaded “summer slide” and build fun learning routines into your summer plans. Ideas are simple and flexible, so families can pick and choose the activities that work for their particular child and schedule. They provide opportunities to practice key literacy and math skills, and they leave plenty of time for lemonade stands and sand castles. Value $7

 

Pink and Green Mama Crafts: Backyard FUN by MaryLea Harris of Pink and Green Mama
Backyard FUN brings you 13 Art Lessons and Craftivities to create your own Backyard Fun Camp at home or in your classroom with step-by-step instructions, supply lists, and full color photos. The supplies for these fun and easy projects will come from your own art and craft stash, garage, hardware store, and recycling bin! Value $10

 

Alphabet Crafts by Allison McDonald of No Time For Flash Cards
Alphabet Crafts lets you create the alphabet from A-Z with fun crafts that promote more than just letter recognition. Kids will love making their own alphabet and forget that they are learning in the process. With 5 exclusive crafts never published on No Time For Flash Cards. Value $8

 

Alphabet Games by Malia Hollowell of Playdough to Plato
The Alphabet Mega Pack includes 12 hands-on games that teach children to recognize the names and sounds of letters – skills that are important for learning how to read. Each activity includes easy to follow parent instructions and helpful photos. The games are addictively fun for kids AND their families! Value $6

 

Raising a Creative Kid: Simple Strategies for Igniting and Nurturing that Creative Spark by Jillian Riley of A Mom with a Lesson Plan
Raising a Creative Kid will help you raise a creative thinker by simply setting up a creative environment, using intentional language, and nurturing mistakes. This easy read is full tips and tricks that will help you transform your environment into a creativity growth center. Value $7.99

 

5 minute reading tricks for raising rockstar readers by Amy Mascott of teach mama
Fifteen 5-minute reading tricks that cover everything from teaching names to what parents should say during read-alouds, from learning sight words to reading fluently. It’s about rolling out the red carpet for our rockstar readers. Now. Whomever you are, wherever you are, no matter how busy you are. Value $10

 

Parenting with Positive Guidance: Building Discipline from the Inside Out by Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute
Parenting with Positive Guidance gives you the tools for understanding your child’s behavior and effectively teaching and guiding your child toward increased self-control while fostering a healthy parent-child relationship. 100+ pages of information you can start using today! Value $9

 

Treasure Basket Play by Melitsa Avila of Raising Playful Tots
Treasure Basket Play lets you learn step by step how to make your own natural sensory baby play activity with a Treasure Basket. Includes case studies and interview with a sensory play expert on using Treasure Baskets. Value $8.95

 

Play Grow Learn Issue 2 by Christie Burnett of Childhood 101
Issue 2 of Play Grow Learn is packed full of playful fun with 55 pages and over 100 activity ideas. Includes ideas for creating family stories with internationally acclaimed author Hazel Edwards, an exclusive full colour, printable sea themed bingo game, 12 pages of active and outdoor play ideas, recipes, art, literacy, creativity, construction, imaginative play, books and more! Value $4

 

Spring Literacy and Math Activities and Games by Christine Lanyon of Scribble Doodle and Draw
Spring Literacy and Math Activities and Games includes 15 fun learning center ideas. Skills worked on include, addition to 8, patterns, counting to 20, measurement, number sequencing, abc order, writing 3 letter words, rhyming, syllables, compound words and more. Value $8You really are getting an awesome deal!

Check out the details below.

 

Learning Through Play Spring special offer

This special bundle of books is available for you to buy only between April 8th and April 14th. So buy it now or you’ll miss the deal!

I’ve read the books (and written one of them!) and I’m so happy to recommend this offer to you. These ladies really know their stuff and the books and resources are packed full of fantastic creative and practical ideas that you can use with your children. There are sixteen different authors joining in, bringing you over $130 worth of resources. And, guess what – you can buy the lot for just $9.99!

 

How to buy and download the bundle

You can buy the bundle on any device, including computer, Apple, Android and portable devices. You’ll get an instant download of the books and resources so you can start enjoying them straight away. The book will be sent to the e-mail address associated with your paypal account. The delivery system gives you 9 attempts at download within 120 hours, so you can buy now and do the download a little later if you prefer.

A note about mobile devices

Depending on the apps you have installed and your operating system you might be able to go ahead and download each book on your mobile device but if you have any doubts or problems, we recommend you use a computer to download the books and then share them to your mobile devices.

Happy Thanksgiving & Weekend Sale!

I hope you are having a great holiday if you celebrating Thanksgiving today. There is no new activity here today but… I do have a wonderful announcement.
My Alphabet Crafts eBook along with 12 other great resources have been bundled into one single download focused on Learning Through Play for only $9.99! They include early literacy, art, positive parenting and more. It’s this weekend only though. For more information about all the resources included and to buy your copy pop over to Play Activities .
Happy Thanksgiving!

Play – It’s Their Job

One of my biggest concerns about publishing No Time For Flash Cards is that all the content could give readers the impression that we are advocating strict, structured learning day in and day out for the very young child. Does this look strict or structured?

When readers see our children make crafts, dig in tubs of beans and participating in adult driven activities daily on the blog it can give the impression that we are all doing this all day but really what our kids do for the majority of the day is what kids should be doing, playing.

Today I am devoting this post not to a tutorial of any craft, tips for sneaking adult directed learning in to a game or activity instead it’s just pictures of my kids at  play. No mom directed agenda just kid directed ( sometimes mom RE directed though) fun and learning. Learning? Yes learning! Children are always learning and you don’t need to have a strict agenda all the time, take time to  just play.

I admit having taught and lead children through directed and facilitated play for so long I revert to teacher mode a lot ( especially if I have an extra kid at my house) so I have had to chill out and just follow. It’s awesome.  We do mama directed activities most days , sometimes we do 3 or 4 but then sometimes we go days and days without, but we play every day. Remember that play is their job! Let them get to work .

So I ask you:  What did you play today?

Play is Learning


Crafts and art projects are a great way to spend time with your child exploring and learning but for young children (0-5) it really should be the icing , not the cake. Most of the things kids this age should be doing should be open ended, play, exploration and with less boundaries than most crafts offer. I get asked almost daily about a schedule and about how much time we use up doing crafts and the reality is usually less than 30 minutes a day is spent at the kitchen table doing structured learning. Here are some of the other things we do – please feel free to share yours too .Oh and don’t worry , your children are learning while they play , they are always constructing and connecting many concepts and skills while they “work”.

Here is our list of fun play activities we have been into lately, with my tips on how to make it work and how to keep the fun going with those tricky toddlers.

  • Play outside, I know this seems like a no brainer but I find I go in cycles, I take him to the park every few days then I don’t for ages. When we go and there is no one else there , we play follow the leader, hide and seek and chase. It’s a great workout for me and he naps well after it !
  • Dress up. I don’t leave all of our dress up stuff out all the time, when I do they don’t get played with, if I put it away and bring it out all at once we end up playing with it for 30 minutes happily. Our collection is just starting with s few costumes, some beads, hats and the bunny ears you see above. My son loves using my husband’s clothes too.
  • Book Festivals are big right now in our house. We gather a pile of books, and snuggle in my bed while reading each book. ( I didn’t really read Twilight to my toddler ).
  • Block cities, castles and of course toddler-zilla. Build it up and knock it down, don’t fight it, embrace it and make sure that no one is getting bonked , bu you have to admit blocks scream to to knocked down. If you have a child like mine who can get pretty upset if his tower gets knocked down , teach them that it’s okay , you can rebuild. I have found that simply saying ” Oh let’s rebuild” and not really coddling him but acknowledging his frustration has worked for us. If you have a tip, share!
  • Animals. We love the aquarium, zoo and our local marine science center, visits are short but still worth it , but even if you don’t have that you probably have a pet store or good old Walmart. Trust me on a rainy day a few goldfish can save your sanity!
  • House. This hasn’t surfaced yet at our house but when I was nannying 2 little girls I spent most days from 4-5:30pm playing some form of house. Make believe is a great way to teach and learn about your kids, it’s fascinating to listen to what they say when they are playing “roles”.  Or choose another pretend play idea that appeals to your child and run with it.
  • A kid size hike is always fun, most towns and cities have pathways in parks that will let your little one explore some nature freely !
  • Cooking! Real food, wood food it doesn’t matter this is a great way to spend time with your child . My son loves to play with wooden mushrooms but I can’t sneak real ones into him in go figure!
  • Children’s Museums. As a teacher I loathed going on field trips, they are logistical nightmares with preschoolers, but I love it now that I have one hand to hold not 20 heads to count. Click here to find one in your area.
  • Sensory fun : Water, sand,rice, oatmeal, the options are endless. Add some measuring cups or favorite, coffee scoops and you are good to go ! We have made tons of sensory tubs  you find a great one with just the right theme for your child.

Of course they can also always just play, a box is always fun !