Kids Kindle for Young Readers!

Earlier, I have posted about setting up a library of books at home for little kids. As you raise a reader, You may end up buying more and more books. In the tech world, It would be nice to have a kindle reader for easy access from anywhere. Your local school district or libraries support the kindle reading activity. The best thing that we can do for little kids is reading and giving the gift of unlimited reading.

Kids School Calendars, Reminders and Schedules

To keep our kids on track we need to set up a tech calendar that alerts them. I was thinking of smartwatches for this option. But, that wouldn’t be an ideal solution if you think like me. I would like to minimize screen time or any electronic devices that are attached to young kids.

Alexa echo dot for kids is perfect for preschoolers/kindergartners. I would say it’s an ideal option that is screen-free and simple solution for Elementary school kids who work on their own schedules or from home through distance learning. You can sync with your school district calendar, including Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Google, etc. and join classes on time. It’s working great for us. Our school district uses Teams and we manage her outside school activities on Google calendar. We set up both on Alexa echo dot for kids just to remind her a few minutes before her schedule starts. It’s designed for kids in mind and must have in their room.

Besides reminding her, other skill she enjoys on Alexa is the riddler skill, fun, and creative skill, and listen to the awesome PBS kids podcast “Alexa, play Wow in the World”. The best part is once you buy the device these are free and requires no additional subscriptions. Are there are other free and must try Alexa skills for kids? please leave a comment.

Echo Dot Kids Edition, Designed for kids with parental controls – Rainbow.

Home School Setup for Remote Learning – “Back to School” from Home

This virtual or online school year 2020 has given us a lot to plan ahead before school starts. Schools are about to open and we are rearranging and setting up my daughter’s room for a remote learning environment and it’s not quite easy. We have been researching for a while with a few desk options that fit her room for elementary school setup.

Here are a few must-haves in desks to setup home classroom environment

  1. Smart, sturdy desk to hold the laptop screen for remote learning. One storage drawer. One or Two deep cabinets for books and supplies.
  2. caddy for pencils/pens.
  3. kids & environment friendly for ages 3 -8
  4. storage space.
  5. wood-material

My daughter’s starting kindergarten this year. That’s exciting for us! Her desk needs an upgrade for this virtual school year. So, We decided to get this KidKraft Kids Study Desk with Chair-White. It seems to be perfect for her needs and fits great in her room. Good for storing books, artwork, supplies, and workbooks and there is enough room to hold her laptop (for now). We are considering getting her a bigger all-in-one touch screen computer+monitor. To make it easy for her to mute and un-mute without having to use the mouse.

Kids Distance learning desk with storage. All-in-one touch screen computer + monitor.

We are still not down with our research on the best computer setup. So far this is the one we have landed on. We will do a separate post once we figure out the best product and why we think so. Please do leave a comment on your budget/kid-friendly desk options that works for your family. It would be greatly helpful for all families. Thanks!

Set up Home Library to develop young minds!

Raising a reader starts very early. Even before arriving they can hear things around them. It would be a good idea to read out loud to your unborn. Research says reading books to infants and toddlers helps and supports their speaking skills, vocabulary, and to get ready for kindergarten. Setting up a library at home is exciting for any parents who want to raise a reader. If you want to discourage screen time and encourage book reading I would be happy to share some of my experience with you. My little one was exposed to fabric books since she was an infant. When she turned 1 we started reading books to her. We saw a significant difference in her interest in books. Without a book reading, she won’t go to bed. It helps to identify letters, phonics for them early in their life. Over time we started collecting books of her interest and started setting up a library for her at her playroom. This little bookshelf came in very handy to help her keep things organized.

Today, she is 5 years old and reads a lot for her age. We are amazed when she figures out complex words even when she encounters the first time. Is she a natural? No, we don’t think so. We are sure it is because we started early. Thanks to her pediatrician, who recommended reading books to her since her infancy. Read a lot! We think this is the best thing we did for her in the early years. If you are interested in her collection, leave a comment and happy to post the list of books with links to purchase.

Raising a reader & Starting a library for preschoolers and kindergartners

Pretend & Play for ages 3, 4 & 5 years.

Kids love to pretend & play by watching grownups. My daughter watches me cooking in the kitchen and pretends the same with her own things. To support her play & creativity we researched a few kitchen playsets and found that fits with our space and budget. There are so many to choose from. The one we bought is Step2 Lifestyle Fresh Accents Kitchen. It makes a boiling & sizzling sound when a pot/pan is placed on the stove and more. Comes with 30-piece accessory set phone, 10-pc play food set, pot, and pan w/ lids, dishes, bowls, silverware, and salt and pepper shakers. To help and support your child’s creative play with them by taking turns in role play. Here are a few ideas to add on.

  • Restaurant Role Play: Be a customer in your child’s own restaurant! Let them tell you what is on the menu and place your order. Make sure to ask them lots of questions as they get cooking and give special requests to encourage their critical thinking.
  • Make sharing the clean-up responsibilities fun with your little one. Pretend washing and putting dishes away when playtime is over will help foster good habits, show an example of teamwork, and a bonus is motor skill development!
  • Cooking Show: Give your little chef 5 minutes to prep their favorite pretend meal and think out how to present it to you. Create a mini cooking show by taking a video of them recreating their pretend dish, talking you through each step so you can make it too! Continue the pretend play by making “episodes” of the cooking show to watch with your family and friends! If you shoot one and upload, do add a comment with a link to your video! We would love to see our ideas come alive.

Pretend & Play helps kids to be creative. Also, helps to improve fine motor skills, social skills, language skills & critical thinking skills

Creativity + Role Play

Pretend & play gets kids engaged in storytelling as they act out new scenarios and communicate what imaginary things are going on – a great way to flex creativity and language skills. Play kitchens present kids with so many ways to practice their motor skills, like grasping and using small accessories and utensils, opening and closing doors, and turning oven knobs.

Physical + Motor Skills

Play kitchens present kids with so many ways to practice their motor skills, like grasping and using small accessories and utensils, opening and closing doors, and turning oven knobs.

Language + Social Skills

Role-playing requires kids to engage in storytelling as they makeup scenarios and communicate with others about what role they’re playing. They also have to react and build off of what the other person said or did.

Critical Thinking

Running into problems while playing, like trouble closing the refrigerator door when too many items are placed inside or trying to swivel the faucet over a full sink, allow children to think through problems and craft solutions.

Please post your comment on what you think about other play kitchen sets that work with your kids. It would help parents and families to decide when planning to buy one. Thanks!

Lego Organizers For Your Kids

Summer is here. Kids are at home. It’s fun and challenging at times. Disorganized toys and legos are for sure all over the place. We all are learning & finding ways to keep our kids organized when and while they are working with their favorite LEGO creations at home.

Have you experienced that sharp pain as you accidentally step over a lego? Have you or your kid get frustrated finding that one piece on their creative activity. We have at our home. Lego time was more about hunting for the pieces than building.

After hours of research, I was glad to find one of the IRIS USA, Inc products. Works excellent for our 5-year-old. We sorted by shape for easy lookup. It’s working great and she absolutely needs no help from us. It takes her seconds to find that next piece!!

If you purchase this and find it useful, please leave a comment for other parents like you.

Lego organizing storage cabinet. Sorting by color or shape

Here are few LEGO Storage cabinets/boxes

IRIS USA, Inc. MC-360-TOP 6-Drawer Storage Cart with Organizer Top, Black

This cabinet is cute and easy to find for lego brick pieces for beginner little kids.

Cooperative Board Games for Little Kids

These pandemic days are challenging for parents to keep kids engaged and off from the screen. After research, I found some interesting activities that help kids & parents to learn their emotions when things don’t work their way. Parents can support their emotional growth by catching it right away and providing feedback.

The interesting part of it is we can identify frustration and emotions of beginner little players who are brand new to board games. We can use these to teach them so much!

Here are a few things that board games help my kid to understand – it’s okay to lose or win, you do not win always, persistence is important and it is important to finish what you start and there are rules to follow.

Here are few board games that worked with us and our friends & family

  1. stone soup by peaceable kingdom
  2. Peaceable Kingdom Hoot Owl Hoot – Cooperative Matching Game For Kids
  3. Peaceable Kingdom Race to the Treasure! Award Winning Beat the Ogre Cooperative Game for Kids
  4. Outfoxed! A Cooperative Whodunit Board Game for Kids 5+