Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Product Review Time for Tots Learning Kits

This past winter I was looking for some indoor educational activities to do with JJ. Play is the most important activity for toddlers.  It is how they learn.  I wasn't looking for him to memorize his shapes, colors, or letters, I was actually looking to work on some fine motor skills.  I wanted him to practice picking up and working with small objects.  Fine motor skills are tough work, and often seem to be harder for boys.  A lack of fine motor skills can lead to poor tool manipulation, like scissor use, or handwriting problems later.  I came across this great company that makes learning kits. Time for Tots Learning Kits are for toddlers through young school age.  Nicole, the mom behind this company is a former teacher and reading interventionist.  There are different levels and themes.  There are also kits based on the alphabet and sensory tubs.  I originally ordered this kit for JJ.  We love it!  There are some activities he is too young for, but he still enjoys using the materials.  As a working parent, time is a precious commodity.  To find all of these materials, type up directions, laminate, and bag everything together, would take way too long.  Nicole has done all this for you!!!!  Since JJ is only 1, and I still can't trust him to not eat some small objects, I keep the bin away and pull out different activities as we want to play.  Whether or not, he is using them correctly, he is working hard and having fun.
Here he is working on matching shapes, by far his favorite activity.  He really works on lining them up exactly in the outline.  Working those fine motor skills!!!  
P.S. Ignore the crazy outfit.  This was a stay at home with daddy day:)

Another fun time learning about texture.  And yes, mommy had to help here, but he enjoyed manipulating the materials.

These learning kits are now my go to gifts for our birthday parties this year.  All of his friends are turning two, so they are at the perfect age.  My favorite thing is that Nicole will make them in any theme possible with the custom kit.  So far this year, we gave one friend the Sesame Street Kit for our Elmo loving friend, a Curious George kit for a Curious George party, a dog breed kit for a dog themed party, and a farm animal kit for a Old McDonald theme party.  I'm so excited to buy more for our summer parties.  Of course I also had to buy JJ a Thomas the Train themed kit when I found out Nicole could make those too.

JJ and his Thomas kit
  He loves moving the engines around.
Henry and his Curious George Kit

As JJ becomes better with them, and needs more, they also have Kit of the Month Clubs.  These come in different levels to meet your child's needs.  Not only does this bring variety to you monthly, it also helps save on shipping.  I can't say enough good things about these kits.  We work on them together, he also likes to manipulate the objects independently.  You can see the pride in his face when he places something in a space, right or wrong, and yells Mama!!  Nicole knows what is both educational and fun to these little guys.  Nicole also has a facebook page with more learning activities.  Check it out!

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