EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Building Basic Concepts Through Play: Shapes and Colors #TheLearningJourney

As a speech-language pathologist and parent, I'm always looking for fun ways to practice basic concept skills with children. Parents often ask me what vocabulary they need to focus on and how they can help their toddlers and preschoolers at home. There are so many great ways to practice basic concept skills and two of my go-to choices are simply puzzles and board games. Puzzles and board games provide many language opportunities and afford children the attention they need to promote verbal communication. The Learning Journey offers a wide variety of fantastic ready-made, hands-on activities specifically created to encourage mastery of concepts such as shapes, colors, quantities, spatial relationships and more. This week, I'm targeting shapes and colors with many of my little ones, so I thought I'd share three of my top picks: Lift and Learn Colors and Shapes Puzzle, Play It! Race to the Rainbow game, and Match It — Fun with Shapes puzzle game. Check them out below!

Friday, September 15, 2023

How to Introduce Cultural Diversity and Embrace Inclusivity in the Early Years #MinilandEducational #multiculturaltoys

Instilling inclusivity in your children is best started from birth. The books we read, toys we choose, shows we watch and songs we sing can all have a deep, subconscious effect on the ideals our kids develop and cultivate as they grow. Often times, families instinctively select toys, books and shows that reflect the physical traits and culture found within the walls of their own home. While there's certainly nothing wrong with that, expanding your collection to include a wide variety of races and ethnicities is an easy way to teach children about differences and begin laying the foundation for acceptance and inclusivity. As we provide toy recommendations throughout the month, we're starting with one of our top picks, the Miniland Family Diversity Block set. Check it out below!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Watch "Divine Influencer" exclusively streaming on Pure Flix September 15th & Enter our Giveaway! #DivineInfluencerMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork

Pure Flix is the top Christian streaming service out there right now for quality television shows and movies that you'll enjoy watching with your whole family. Streaming on September 15th, "Divine Influencer" is a movie about humility, the power of prayer and trusting God to show us the direction for our lives. I was lucky enough to preview this movie and it may be one of my favorites so far! Check out the trailer below... 

About the Show
“Divine Influencer” is a movie about discovering your true purpose in life and recognizing that everyone from all walks of life are equal in God’s eyes. It's such a timely movie as the world of social media expands at a rapid pace. The message of this film is a reflection on how easy it is to live for the likes, the shares and the comments instead of living our lives for God or to serve others.

When an entitled influencer is humbled by losing everything, she begins working at a homeless shelter for a place to live. Olivia, a social media influencer, is celebrating her birthday and she’s behind on her rent. She accidentally posted a video of her bashing a product she represents and is fired. Olivia’s best friend moves into her position as an influencer for her former boss--that's gotta hurt! When she hears an interview with Andrew Geller, a top marketing executive, she quickly realizes she doesn’t have her own sense of purpose or direction. Olivia’s parents call and tell her they are selling all their belongings and are creating a nonprofit to further God’s kingdom. They tell her she’s on her own and they are no longer going to pay for her apartment and lifestyle. Olivia goes to her friend Kimberly and takes full advantage of her hospitality. Kimberly agrees to let Olivia stay there in exchange for pet sitting her dog and ball python. Shortly after, Olivia runs into Ryan, a high school classmate who she hasn’t seen in 10 years. He invites her to help serve dinner at the Rescue Mission he works at but she wasn’t really listening and thinks it’s a date. While at the shelter, Olivia documents and begins posting about the Mission. She soon learns more about Ryan and his work at the shelter and invites her back to volunteer again. Surprising no one, Kimberly kicks Olivia out when she returns and Olivia goes to Ryan and asks for a job as the Resident Advisor of the women’s dorm. Olivia makes an enemy out of Tara, another member of the Mission staff who wanted the RA job. I won't ruin all of the fun this movie has in store, but wow is it relatable! Suffice it to say, with God’s help, Olivia discovers her true purpose comes from serving others. It's is a movie about humility, the power of prayer and trusting God to show us the direction for our lives.

Cast List

Directed by Shari Rigby

Produced by Shawn Boskie

Lara Silva, Olivia (The Chosen)

Jason Burkey, Ryan (FEARLESS FAITH)

Jesse Metcalfe, Andrew (GOD’S NOT DEAD 2, ON A WING AND A PRAYER)

Micah Lynn Hanson, Tara (OVERCOMER)

Rebecca Koon, Flora

Joseph Curtis Callender, Charles


When an entitled influencer loses everything, she must humbly trust God to understand what the meaning of true influence is. Desperate, she takes a job at a homeless shelter only so she has a place to lay her head and quickly realizes the joy and purpose that comes from serving others.

You'll likely connect with this Bible Verse throughout the show:

    • But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. – Luke 12:48 (NIV)

    • In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

    About Pure Flix

    Pure Flix is a one-stop shop for faith and family-friendly movies and shows where you can confidently stream in your home with the entire family. With new premium and exclusive original entertainment choices every week, Pure Flix streaming service has the largest variety of high-quality, curated, positive, encouraging, wholesome movies, series and kids' content in one service. Pure Flix is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, alongside AFFIRM Films.

    Win It!
    The generous people of Pure Flix have offered to giveaway one three-month subscription to a lucky Across the Avenue reader. Enter below for your chance to win! This giveaway is limited to US winners only, and only to those who have NOT won a subscription in the last 6 months.

    Your Home for Wholesome Faith & Family Streaming Pure Family. Pure Fun. Pure Faith. Discover more at

    Disclosure: Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

    Friday, September 8, 2023

    Teaching Character Education through a Diverse Book Library at Home

    Diversifying your child’s library is so important. It helps them to learn about others, promote positive character traits, and strengthen their identity and self-confidence. This week, we received an excellent holiday book box that is the perfect start to any library. This bundle is from Cardinal Rule Press and many of the books even include reading strategies and discussion suggestions inside! 

    Friday, August 25, 2023

    STEM Toys for Kids: Magformers Stick-O City Set #ProblemSolvingSkills #Basic Concepts

    In our therapy clinic, we're always looking for ways to incorporate STEM activities into our sessions. Even our youngest kids benefit greatly from age-appropriate STEM activities. This week, we're excited to share about one of our a super fun finds, Stick-O City Set by Magformers. Recommended for kids ages 36+ months, this hand-on set allows toddlers to explore tactile learning using magnetic play. Each piece uses magnets that can rotate in different ways, allowing the creations to stick together easily as kids build. This eliminates much of the frustration that other building sets bring for little ones and gives them a better free play experience. 

    Monday, August 7, 2023

    Indulge in Spooktacular Treats this Halloween with eCreamery Spooky Scoops Ice Cream!

    One of our favorite ice cream brands, eCreamery, has just released their Spooky Scoops 4 Pint Ice Cream Collection for Halloween and it’s “to die for”! Each bite is frightfully flavorful—the perfect way to welcome in Fall!

    Monday, July 31, 2023

    Invest in High Quality, Affordable Kids Clothing with the Olive + Scout Mystery Bundle

    Moms and Dads are going to be really excited about the latest deal we’ve found from the high-end children’s clothing shop, Olive + Scout. Head over to their online store to check out their Mystery Bundle, which includes three to four surprise items for $35! We haven’t found a deal this good in a really long time. For those who are unfamiliar, Olive + Scout is a family-run baby clothing shop with super stylish designs. (After seeing some of the items in our package, my husband wished they made these clothes in adult sizes, too!) With this Mystery Bundle, it was really fun to see what Olive + Scout picked for us, and the material exceeded our expectations. It’s so high quality, our little one will get use out of these adorable pieces for a long time to come. It’s worth taking the time to browse their entire collection of clothing, which ranges from 3-6 months to 5T.

    Friday, July 21, 2023

    Support Your Baby's Brain Development with Sensory Play #CreativeKids #motorskills #languageskills #developmentalplay

    As a pediatric therapist, I'm always interested in finding quality developmental toys that target important speech, language, cognitive and motor milestones. Early sensory play is a critical experience which is often overlooked by parents. It helps to build important foundational skills in infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. This week, I gave the Creative Kids Sense and Grow Sensory Magic Tissue Box a try with my little one as we worked on object permanence, joint attention and motor skills. It was a fast favorite for him and allowed us to play together in many different ways. 

    Wednesday, July 12, 2023

    Watch "Eleanor's Bench" exclusively streaming on Pure Flix Now & Enter our Giveaway! #EleanorsBenchMIN #PureFlix #PureFlixVIPAmbassador #MomentumInfluencerNetwork


    You all know that Pure Flix is the top Christian streaming service out there right now for quality television shows and movies that you'll enjoy watching with your whole family.  Streaming right now, you're not going to want to miss their latest awesome series "Eleanor's Bench" by AFFIRM Originals. I was lucky enough to preview this series and I'm already hooked! Check out the trailer below... 

    Tuesday, June 13, 2023

    Watch "God's Country Song" exclusively on Pure Flix, June 16th, & Enter our Giveaway! #GodsCountrySongMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork


    Pure Flix is the top Christian streaming service out there right now for a reason! You'll be excited to find quality Christian television shows and movies that you'll enjoy watching with your whole family. One of our favorites for the kids is Veggie Tales. We love that we can watch it as a family or feel comfortable letting our kids watch it while we cook or clean around the house. 

    This summer, cool off from the heat and get ready to watch one of Pure Flix' latest films, "God's Country Song". The film is by AFFIRM Originals and it's available on Pure Flix on June 16th, 2023. Check out the trailer below...