EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue

Thursday, May 12, 2022

STEM Toys: Targeting Speech, Language, and Occupational Therapy Goals using Blu Track

In our therapy clinic, we're always looking for ways to incorporate STEM activities into our sessions. Not only are they incredibly motivating for kids, they often help close the gaps in skills we are targeting by tying them into academic concepts. Even our youngest kids benefit greatly from age-appropriate STEM activities! This week, we're excited to share about one of our latest and incredibly versatile finds, Blu Track! Blu Track is a premium, patented, flexible, two-lane race track that brings hours of fun and creativity while exploring cause and effect and problem-solving opportunities. Even better, it's made right here in the USA.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Explaining Adoption through Storybooks: 'ABC Adoption & Me' by Gayle Swift #adoptionpicturebooks

For those of you who follow us often, you know that our family is on an adoption journey that has had many twists and turns. We are part of a strong network of adoptive families and how to talk to your child about their adoption story is one of the number one topics that comes up time and time again. We want to be open and honest with our child about how adoption has formed our family and we hope that talking about it from a young age through storybooks and age-appropriate discussion will help to create a sense of security. We are always on the look out for quality books about adoption and as it stands, we are a little disappointed in the amount of picture books that represent this genre. When we come across a story that addresses adoption in a sensitive and uplifting way, it's such an exciting win for us that we want to share it with everyone! "ABC Adoption and Me" by Gayle H. Swift and Casey H. Swift is just that sort of picture book. Whether you're an adoptive family or are looking for a special book to gift to a family you know, we think you'll like it as much as we do! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Teaching Basic Concepts through Reading: Clothing and Colors #ChronicleBooks #interactivereading #boardbooks

As a speech-language pathologist, parents often ask me how they can help their toddlers and preschoolers improve their language skills. For little ones who haven't yet developed strong vocabulary skills, working on basic concepts is my first answer. Basic concepts are essentially words that kids need to understand in order to participate in daily routines, follow directions, and participate successfully in conversations. Studies have shown a link between the ability of young children to understand and name these concepts and their future academic success. By this I mean naming body parts, clothing, colors, shapes, animals, early prepositions, etc. One of my favorite ways to target these skills with kids is through book reading, and Chronicle Books has an amazing selection. Two books that I'm going to recommend today are Touch Words: Clothes by Rilla Alexander and Matching Game Book: Colors by Stephanie Babin.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Gemma di Luna Luxury Wine Collection for Valentine's Day! #GemmaMoment

Wine is a must on Valentine's Day and Gemma di Luna sparkling and white wines are our top pick this holiday for their elegant design and high quality taste at an excellent price point. The blue bottles give off Tiffany & Co. vibes that feel extra special this time of year. From the Italian Prosecco DOC, Sparkling Moscato and Pinot Grigio DOC, it's hard to choose a favorite!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Explaining Foster Care Adoption thru Storybooks: Elliot by Julie Pearson #adoptionpicturebooks

Some of you may know that our family has begun navigating our way through the adoption process. We've decided to adopt through the foster care system, which is as exciting as it is daunting. With as many questions as we cross off the list, it still manages to grow longer rather than shorter. One critical question we're focusing on this week is:

How do we help our children feel secure in their foster care adoption story? 

Friday, April 1, 2022

Destress and Satisfy Sensory Needs with Squishy and Soothing Nee Doh #sensoryregulation #anxietytools

Those who struggle with anxiety and other self-regulation issues know the value of strategies and tools to help calm the mind and body. In our pediatric clinic, we find that many of our clients benefit from manipulatives and fidget toys. It helps them to manage emotional, sensory, and/or self-regulatory needs, and balance alertness, so that their brains are ready to focus and engage on tasks presented. As an adult, I find some of the same strategies helpful in my own life! One of the newest manipulatives that I've come across and can't put down is Nee Doh. This squishy stress ball has such a mellowing effect, that it's definitely worth talking about. Nee Doh comes in a wide range of shapes, colors, and themes, and I fully expect it to be a popular items with kids this season, so check it out below!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

STEM Toys for Kids: Promote Brain Development with Magformers Backyard Adventure! #CriticalThinkingSkills #CreativePlay

Imagination and creative play go hand-in-hand with brain development and STEM toys are the perfect way to introduce kids to creative exploration to help them develop a love for learning. Magformers is one of our favorite STEM toy brands and the Magformers Backyard Adventure set is fun for preschoolers and school-age kids alike. With 61 pieces included, the possibilities are endless and pieces are designed in a way that makes it easy for little fingers to build and connect without frustration. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

Building Literacy Skills: A Hands-On Approach with Junior Learning CVC ToolBox

Phonological and phonemic awareness skills are key to building a solid reading foundation. We're always looking for engaging, tactile approaches to help kids improve these skills and this week we are really excited to share about a fantastic set called the CVC Toolbox by Junior Learning. We love this kit because it provides hands-on learning activities and can be used as a direct instruction tool or an independent activity. Check out the CVC Toolbox below, as well as a brief explanation about literacy development and how to enhance your child's reading abilities.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

LOVEUARY is the new February on Hallmark Channel with the Original Premiere of "Welcome to Mama's" on Saturday, Feb. 26th at 8pm/7c!

Our Hallmark Channel Christmas movie fans are going to be so excited to hear about the new Loveuary line up in store for us all throughout the month of February. That's right, another month of incredible movies to love.  Tune in with us for the original premiere of "Welcome to Mama's" Hallmark Channel love story on Saturday, February 26th at 8pm/7c! We are thrilled to snuggle up and celebrate Valentine's Day and the entire month of Loveuary together. We all know that Hallmark Channel is where love happens!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Groovy Girl Gifts for Valentine's Day #Galentine #giftsforher

I love personalized gifts and Valentine's Day is the perfect occasion for them! Groovy Girl Gifts has a fantastic selection of personalized sets that are perfect for a favorite Galentine or special someone in your life. My favorite may be Cupid's Love Box. No matter the occasion, this shop always offers unique selections that you won't find in your regular brick and mortar stores. Check out one of my favorite boxes below to get an idea of the quality they offer...