Playme Pat Bells Station

Photo from Timberdoodle.com

We ordered a Tiny Tot Customized Elite kit a few months ago. Part of that kit was the Playme Pat Bell station.

This review is 100% my own. We bought the kit and this toy with our own finances. This post is not sponsored by Timberdoodle or Playme.

I actually didn’t think too much of these bells when I saw them in our Timberdoodle Elite kit. I knew they where included in the kit and I knew kids needed and enjoyed musical instruments. What I wasn’t expecting was just how much both my kids (and my husband 😂) would enjoy the bells.

The bells are beautifully well crafted and made to last. The beechwood and bells are solid and have withstood being tossed, stood on, and dropped.

What I love is that each bell is an individual musical note, harmonized to allow your toddlers jubilant play to be more pleasing to your ears.

My 15 month old currently smashes the bells, which are thankfully harmonized and sturdy enough to withstand his excited play. My 5 year old is using the included color-coded song book to make music and is being provided an introduction to reading music. The box even comes with color-coded stickers so they will be able to create their own songs as they get older.

The Playme Pat Bells Station is a 2016 Toy Award – Spielwarenmesse Toy Fair nominee in the Baby and Infant category. And I can see why, they are amazing and so much fun to use for not only my children but my husband and I enjoy playing with the kids as well.

The Playme Pat Bell station takes the typical toddler xylophone toy and provided an superior toy that not only promotes creativity and fun, but also teaches an introductory to reading music and grows with your child past their toddler years and into their childhood.

You can find the Playme Pat Bell Station here: https://timberdoodle.com/products/pat-bells-station?utm_source=the_m_word&utm_medium=brt&utm_campaign=non-sponsored

You can find the Tiny Tot kit here: https://timberdoodle.com/collections/curriculum-kits/products/2020-tiny-tots-curriculum-kit?utm_source=the_m_word&utm_medium=brt&utm_campaign=non-sponsored

Fall Scarecrow Popsicle Stick Craft for kids

Adult crafted example 😊

With the way things are right now (COVID stress and all). I am excited to provide my kids with a simple cute craft that also provides some cute little decorations for the house this fall.

This post may contain affiliated links which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if an item is purchased through any link.

Supplies needed to make this Scarecrow Craft:

Popsicle Craft Sticks

Kids Paint – we used the brown and orange from this set

Googly eyes

Wood glue

Line up 8 popsicle craft sticks in a row. Next you will use the wood glue to glue a small popsicle stick diagonally from the top right corner to about 1 inch down from the top left corner.

My daughter decided she wanted to use match sticks instead of craft sticks 🤷‍♀️

We also stuck some painters tape on the back just to hold the sticks together. Than you will paint the diagonal stick and the space above it orange.

Glue on some googly eyes 👀

For his nose we painted a little orange triangle and we painted his mouth on with orange.

The finished product. Even though it doesn’t look like the little prototype I made her, my daughter loved every second of this little craft 🥰

Do you enjoy crafting with your children? Has COVID got you stressed too?

ZoLi Chubby Gummy Teethers

We ordered a Tiny Tot Customized Elite kit a few months ago. Part of that kit was these amazing ZoLi Chubby Gummy Teethers.

This review is 100% my own. We bought the kit and these teethers with our own finances. This post is not sponsored by Timberdoodle or ZoLi.

I had high hopes for these teethers from the minute I saw them listed in the Tiny Tot Elite kit. My son, 15 months, is a biter and he wont take a pacifier. He has never liked them. I had high hopes he would like these teethers and they would help satisfy his oral need while keeping him from biting others.

These teethers are unique. They are different than other teethers I have seen previously in stores.

Photo from Timberdoodle website

These teethers are easy for children to grasp and the unique honeycomb tip makes it easy for children to maneuver the teether just where they need it to relieve sore gums. Even those hard to reach back teeth are easy for children to reach with the ZoLi teether.

And the anti-choke shield helps ensure your child doesn’t get the teether too far back. WIN!!

Unboxing 🙂

I would recommend this teether to anyone with a teething toddler. The ZoLi teether does help curb my son’s bitting problem and it does an amazing job and soothing teething pain.

You can find the ZoLi Teether here: https://timberdoodle.com/products/zoli-chubby-gummy-teethers?utm_source=the_m_word&utm_medium=brt&utm_campaign=non-sponsored

You can find the Tiny Tot kit here: https://timberdoodle.com/collections/curriculum-kits/products/2020-tiny-tots-curriculum-kit?utm_source=the_m_word&utm_medium=brt&utm_campaign=non-sponsored

2020/2021 School Year – Timberdoodle Kindergarten Elite Curriculum Kit

How Do you Choose the Perfect Kindergarten Curriculum for Homeschooling?

As a daycare owner and someone who has taught daycare for the last 15 years, I assumed that finding a homeschooling curriculum for my child this year would be a breeze.  Hahahaha….. no.  It was an overwhelming adventure. 

You want to choose the perfect curriculum right off the bat because you don’t want to be bouncing around and being inconsistent.  Also, curricula is not cheap and who wants to invest in something that wont be used?

But how do you choose?

If you’re like me, you read a tone of reviews to help you decide if a certain curriculum will work for your family. Then you spend hours looking at samples and texting every homeschool parent you know to find out what they use. And don’t forget about getting input from the homeschool Facebook groups that you have joined! Lol 😊

I want to help you simplify your task of choosing a kindergarten curriculum for homeschooling your kiddo. I will give you the rundown of what we chose to use this year and why.

I want to keep things simple for my daughter this year as she will be in kindergarten, but I also want her to develop her creativity, curiosity, and social skills.  I also want her to stay ahead in math, as that is part of the reason we have chosen to homeschool.

At this age kids still learn an incredible amount through play and exploration, which is why when I found Timberdoodle I fell in love. 

Timberdoodle

We are still awaiting our Timberdoodle kit, but I want to explain to you why we choose Timberdoodle, what is in the Kindergarten kit, and what Timberdoodle is. 

Timberdoodle’s Elite Kindergarten curriculum comes packed with amazing games, art kits, workbooks, and learning tools that cover almost every aspect of learning (if not all for at least some homeschooling families).

We are also planning on buying a customized Tiny Tot and Preschool curriculum kit from Timberdoodle for our 13-month-old son, but I will put that in a second blog post, as this one is already quite long.

Please know that this post is in no way sponsored by Timberdoodle or any other company.  We purchased this kit ourselves and are providing our opinion to try and help others make the best decisions for themselves and their families.

When I found Timberdoodle I fell in love with their hands-on, engaging, and multi-sensory materials. We went with the Elite kit because I love giving my child so many additional ways to learn and more ways to keep learning fun for her. However, if the Elite kit seems like more then your family needs, there are also Basic, Complete, and Custom kits that offer you core materials and more flexibility in choices. We technically chose a Custom kit as I needed first grade math for my daughter and I also couldn’t wait for some of the items, so I purchased them ahead of time on Amazon :/ lol

What is Timberdoodle?

Timberdoodle is a family owned company that offers both individual educational materials and homeschool curriculum kits for children birth through 12th grade.

They have an electric approach, meaning you will find traditional, Charlotte Mason (literature based), multi-sensory, classical, and hands-on learning styles provided. Their kits cover everything from the basic subjects to elite level (all the extra bells and whistles) and everything in between.

I love that they do all the work for me. They go out every year and look at what is available for secular and religion homeschoolers and they compile what they believe to be the best options into kits for us (homeschool families) to purchase. Not only that, but they provide a handbook and online scheduler to keep us on track throughout the school year.

So not only do they do all the work of finding the best options for me, but they then take the time to go through and break each item down into a weekly (or daily if you prefer) schedule.  Which means I don’t need to go find out how many chapters are in every book and what goes with what, they have done it for me. That is a WIN in my book 😊

Language Arts

The Kindergarten language arts is packed with learning to read and form letters. The elite kit comes with

  • All About Reading Level 1 Deluxe
  • Channie’s Easy Peasy Alphabet
  • Spelling You See, Level A
  • What Your Kindergarten Needs to Know
  • My Epic Life Word Book

I personally bought the What Your Kindergarten Needs to Know book off of Amazon a few months ago (one of those, I couldn’t wait things). I found the book super helpful in my daycare and love having the stories to read to my children and my daycare children.

I also switched out the Spelling You See, Level A for All about Spelling Level 1. I believe both programs to be great. Spelling You See the student can do a little more independently and All About Spelling requires a lot more hands on approach from the teacher/parent.

Math

Math-U-See is the default (currently) in the curriculum kits. Math-U-See is a manipulative based approach that includes a DVD with lessons, student book, and instructor’s guide. If you chose a custom kit, you can swap for a different program or a different level of Math-U-See. This is the option we took, the kit comes with Math-U-See Primer Universal and we bumped up a grade and went with Math-U-See Alpha Universal based on our daughters placement tests.

Since we went up to 1st grade math, I also purchased the addition and subtraction wrap ups and the Mobi Kids tile game (which I bought from Amazon).

Thinking Skills

Timberdoodle’s focus on STEM and thinking skills are my favorite parts of Timberdoodle kits. The games are so interactive and promote learning in a fun an engaging way. The best part is, most of the games grow with your child as they have age ranges for instance from 3-7 years old.

I also enjoy how they have a good mix of workbook and play to help facilitate growth of thinking skills in young children.

  • Can you Find Me? Kindergarten (workbook)
  • Visual Perceptual Skill Building 1 (workbook)
  • Smart Farmer (game)
  • Gobblet Gobblers (game)
  • Story Time Chess (game) – my husband is the most excited for this one 😊
  • Little Red Riding Hood (game)
  • Kumon Kindergarten Logic (workbook)

History and Social Studies

History is the only part of the Kindergarten kit will differ between the secular and religious kits.  The Religion kit comes with Bede’s History of Me in addition to This Is How We Do It.  As we are secular homeschools we will not be getting Bede’s History of Me.

  • This is How We Do It (in Secular and Religious Kits)
  • Bede’s History of Me (in Religious Kit)

Geography

As like the other subjects, Timberdoodle does a great job providing items for all types of learners.  The Geography comes with hands-on puzzles, visual and tactile maze book, and a colorful workbook.

  • Skill Sharpeners Geography K
  • Six-In-One Geopuzzle Collection
  • Around the World Mazes
    • This is a book that Timberdoodle actually suggests that you allow your child to physically write in to do the mazes.

Science

First, I LOVE that Timberdoodle provides science for Kindergarten.  I have found so many curriculums (sometimes even public schools) that don’t add science into Kindergarten.  My daughter is so excited for science this year!  The Elite kit comes with an amazing body book, a coloring and activity workbook, and an experiment kit.

  • Show Me Science: Slime, Crystals & More Kit
  • Building Blocks of Science K
  • Look Inside Your Body

STEM

As I mentioned above, the addition of STEM and Thinking Skills in the curriculum are part of what makes me love Timberdoodle so much. The amazing hands-on materials help a child learn what and how something works.

  • ThinkPlay Gears & Chains Extreme (with pulleys)

Emotional Intelligence

These fantastic resources help a child be aware of their feelings and understand their feelings more. Kids are learning what is socially appropriate and how to decode other people’s feelings. This helps them in social settings later in life and will help them build meaningful lasting relationships later on.

  • Happy, Sad, Feeling Glad (doodle book)
  • What’s Going On Here? Conversation Cards

Art

My daughter adores art.  It makes her so happy and that alone makes it worth the money to provide art in her curriculum.

  • I can Doodle Rhymes
  • Push, Pull, Empty, Full
  • Djeco Bugs
  • Aquarellum Animal Postcards Painting Kit

Handbook and Learning Tools

Timberdoodle provides a physical handbook with every kit that is purchased. This is 100% a win in my book. The handbook takes you through the kit, comes with a reading challenge, a suggested reading list, and a sample daily schedule. It also comes with an online scheduler so you can customize your schedule to your family’s needs.

As for the learning tools, I originally though they were unneeded and silly.  Then I really got looking at them and was impressed at the level of detail Timberdoodle took to ensure every kit came with the items they thought are best.  The Write-Size pencils are designed with little hands in mind and the Eco-Pencils with the dot grips and triangle shape make it so easy for little learners to hold.

  • Faber-Castell Grip Colored Eco-Pencils
  • Write-Size Pencils
  • Grip Trio Sharpener (for the unique shaped pencils)
  • Deep Sea Pencil Case
  • Mad Mattr Craftsman Kit (I would almost personally put this under art, but Timberdoodle as it as a fidget item)

I’ll be providing a more in depth of each item as we use them.  I can’t wait to get started with school this year.  I really feel this kit will help my daughter, my young son, and I to keep up our excitement throughout the new school year.

Summer Blues

I am dragging today. It’s a beautiful sunny day out this mamma is burnt out.

I’m not sure what it is that’s got me down today. I remind myself we are blessed that I am able to stay home and run an inhome daycare while my husband works. However in these uncertain time it feel as if we are leaving our family exposed while keeping the daycare open.

Add that to my husband taking a new job next week and this mamma is already a little stretched in the anxiety department.

On a happier note, our son turn 1 year old next week. We are so exited to celebrate this milestone. However we will be celebrating it alone. Our state is back open but the increase in COVID cases has us decided to keep the “party” our ourselves and my parents who live next door to us.

How are you all handling this time? Any milestones that have had to be altered?

Free ABC Mouse during school closure

Look what I found today!

FREE HOME ACCESS TO ABC MOUSE!
Redeem code SCHOOL7771 for FREE access to ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy, Adventure Academy, and ReadingIQ during the period of school closure! ❤️😊😍

👉 https://www.abcmouse.com/Redeem for Early Learning Academy (for children Preschool Through 2nd Grade)

👉 https://www.readingiq.com/redeem/ for Reading IQ (for children in Preschool through 6th Grade)

👉 https://www.adventureacademy.com/redeem/ for Adventure Academy (for Children in 3rd through 8th Grade)

4 ingredient Hearty Chicken and Stuffing

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Supper made easy! Dump 4 simple ingredients into a crock pot, like this one I got it off Amazon. I love the turquoise color. 💕

With the weather turning colder and being so busy lately; I’ve been turning to my crock pot more and more.

Ingredients:
4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Can Of Cream Of Chicken Soup
1 Box Of Stuffing Mix
1/2 Cup Of Water

Here’s How To Make It!

Directions

Put your chicken into your crockpot. Pour chicken broth on top.

Next put your soup, stuffing, and water in a bowl and mix together. Spoon that mixture on top of your chicken.

Cook on low for seven hours.

Plate and enjoy.

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Leaking Breast Milk

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my privacy policy for more info.

Leaking breast milk is a common occurrence for new moms. It often occurs in the first few weeks after your baby is born. This is when you body is working out how much milk to make (establishing your supply). Typically if you have breastfed before the leaking is usually less or stops quicker then the first time around. However this was not the case for me.

You may leak while feeding your baby and even between feeds. It is very common to drip or even spray milk if the “let down relfex” is stimulated in any way.

Leaking often occurs:

In the last few weeks of pregnancy
If you go too long between feeds
From the ‘free’ breast when nursing
When your baby cries, if you think about baby or see a photo
In the shower
During sex
While sleeping

Leaking milk can be a small inconvenience and can also be a huge embarrassment. Kind of depends on the moment of when the let down/leaking happens. You may end up with more embarrassing moments if you have an overactive let down reflex or an oversupply of milk. In my opinion the most frustrating and honestly messy part of leaking breast milk is the unpredictability of it.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR COPING WITH LEAKING BREAST MILK

WEAR NURSING PADS

Wearing nursing pads is the best solution for immediate protection from leaks. The pad will soak up any leaks and protect your clothes from wet patches. One of my favorite nursing pads are these.

I don’t use nursing pads daily because I don’t enjoy wearing a bra when nursing. Especially if I’m just in my house. The bra gets in the way (for me) when nursing and honestly they are just uncomfortable.

Nursing pads are available as either disposable or reusable types. The disposable kind are convenient as they are single use and require no maintenance. You will however need to purchase them on a regular basis which can add up over time. In an emergency cut a sanitary pad in half and it will do the same job.

Don’t forget to if you are using nursing pads to change them regularly as moist conditions can leave you more prone to fungal infections, such as thrush.

FEED REGULARLY

When your breasts are engorged (feel full and heavy) they are more likely to leak. Feeding more regularly should help cut down on the number of leaking incidents. This will also help cut down on blocked ducts, mastitis, and other more serious breast abscesses.

EXPRESS YOUR MILK

This is my typical go to option. Since my son eats pretty regularly (every 2-3 hours). I pump when I start leaking to help avoid leaking again. It also helps ensure that I don’t get engorged. If you don’t own a breast pump try hand expression. Hand expression is most useful if you are able to nurse baby soon. However, if you are away from baby for an extended period of time, like at work, then a manual or electric breast pump is your best bet. I have this Spectra S2 with Tote and Pink Cooler. I had a Medela Pump in Style with my first baby and I never could pump more then an ounce total (both breasts). With the Spectra I seem to be having more luck and even have a small freezer stash with our son.

APPLY PRESSURE

These LilyPadz NUDE Silicone Nursing Pads are my favorite option to help prevent leaking. They attach to your breast so you don’t have to wear a bra. You can even wear them in the shower to prevent the shower from stimulating a let down.

These nursing pads apply slight pressure to the nipple and are less noticeable than regularly breast pads. Be sure to regularly nurse or express milk or the milk will collect and still leak out of the “pad”.

COLLECT/CATCH IT

When feeding on one side, the other side will typically let down. You can use a breast pad, towel, burp cloth, etc to catch the milk from the leaking side. Or you can use a haakaa. A Haakaa is a brand of silicone breast pump. I have this one. A silicone breast pump will collect the milk that leaks from the breast the child isn’t feeding from. You can then put this milk in the fridge or freezer for later use. Or feed it to baby if he/she is still hungry.

Let me know if you have any other tips or suggestions.

Halloween Sensory Noodles

Fun Halloween sensory activity.

The kids will LOVE to play with the squishy, icky, noddles. We even made extras in rainbow colors to eat for lunch. YUMMY

We made our sensory bin noodles in orange and purple for halloween.

The kids had a blast playing with the noodles and letting them slip and slide through fingers, cups, and tongs.

To make all you need is spaghetti noodles, food coloring, olive oil, and ziplock bags.

  1. Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the directions on the box.
  2. After they are cooked, drain the water and rinse with cool water.
  3. Coat the noodles with olive oil (but you don’t need a lot!).
  4. Divide the noodles into Ziploc bags for different colors.
  5. Drop food coloring into the bag of noodles and mix around. (I let the kids do mix the noodles)
  6. Let it sit in for a few minutes.
  7. Pour them into a bin and let the kids play with them!

As long as they are put the noodles in the fridge after playing; you can play with them for about a week.

Sick Mommy; Crock Pot Rescue

With a 4 year old and a 2 month old this breastfeeding mommy has come down with pneumonia and laryngitis 🤦‍♀️

At some point we all find ourselves sick and miserable with small children relying on us to suck it up and put their needs first.

These last few days have been rough and we are spending a lot of time cuddling and watching TV. I know so much screen-time isn’t good for them, but we do what we’ve got to do.

Since I’m breastfeeding there isn’t a ton of options for over the counter relief and Doc has put me on a breastfeeding friendly antibiotic to fight the pneumonia, but this all means I still feel like crap. Lol

Thank goodness for crock pots! I own this one

Ingredients

1carton (32 oz) chicken broth

3cups shredded chicken

Pepper, Salt, and garlic to taste

6oz (1/2 bag) egg noodles, (cooked)

Directions

  • Add all but noodles to crockpot (broth,water, chicken, and seasonings.
  • Let cook on high for 4 hrs or low for 8 hrs
  • Take out chicken and shred
  • Put back in crockpot
  • Add more chicken stock or water if broth is too thick
  • Add cooked egg noodles
  • Enjoy
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