EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue

Thursday, February 4, 2021

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, January 29, 2021

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.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Developing Basic Questioning Skills in Young Children #TheLearningJourney

Understanding and answering basic questions is an important skill for language development, social skills, information collection, reading comprehension, and more. You may hear teachers and therapists refer to some of these basic questions as 'wh-' questions: who, what, when, where, and why. Modeling and practice are critical and it's never to early to start introducing these concepts to your toddlers and preschoolers through play-based activities! One of our favorite sets that we are highlighting this week is the Match It! Match My Ride puzzle card set from The Learning Journey.  

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Baby Shower Gifts: Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Cover #babygifts #MomtoBe

Now more than ever, healthy baby gifts are at the top of the list for parents-to-be and one of our favorite picks is the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Cover. This upscale cart cover provides a comfortable germ barrier for baby to sit in while Mom or Dad shop, using high quality materials to protect against bacteria and viruses found on shopping carts. It's easy to travel with and a breeze to place on the cart, providing a 360 degree protective coverage area. After shopping is done, simply toss the cover in the washer and dryer, so it's ready for baby's next outing! Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Covers are recommended for babies who can sit up unassisted, but be sure to check out their shopping cart hammocks for infants as well!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Baby Shower Gifts: Arabella Baby Just the Basics Bundle #showergifts #MomtoBe

Baby showers are a time of celebration and we are always searching for unique, high quality gifts that any new Mom-to-Be would be excited to receive. When we came across Arabella Baby, we absolutely fell in love with their baby line! From bandana bibs and bath sets to pacifiers and organizers, not only are the designs adorable, the products are made with functionality in mind. New parents appreciate time-saving gifts that are going to reduce the stress of everyday life. Arabella Baby's  Just the Basics Bundle, does just that. Check it out below!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

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! 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

2020 Holiday Gift Guide: First Concepts Board Books from Flowerpot Press #earlyreaders

This season, give the gift of reading to the little ones in your family! Early literacy skills begin with book exploration and shared discussion between you and baby, making board books the perfect gift choice for the holidays. Flowerpot Press has a wonderful collection of books for early readers that focus on first concepts to support early language development. We've selected a few of our favorites to share with you, and recommend taking some time to browse their full selection of books for school-age kids as well!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Inspirational Fine Art for Kids #OopsyDaisy

This holiday season, consider giving the gift of art to the children on your list! We whole-heartedly agree with the people of Oopsy Daisy who believe that a child's environment matters.  We love the idea of providing kids beautiful, inspirational art to build their self-esteem and values, while allowing them to develop their own appreciation of art in the process. Our favorite pick for the children in our family is the 5x7 Great Love Mini Framed Canvas by Bethany Joy. We absolutely love the bright, engaging colors and uplifting message that we try to instill in kids each day. Oopsy Daisy has an incredibly wide selection of art to choose from and you're sure to find the right piece to fit your child's personality as well. Check out our canvas below and take some time to browse their selection!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Mr. Chips Bingo Set and Yard Games #GIVEAWAY

We love gifting classic games that bring family and friends together. With outdoor activities more popular than ever, we're excited to have found indoor/outdoor games that are about as classic as it gets!  Our top pick this season is the ultimate Bingo set: Mr. Chips Rose Gold Party Bingo Cage Set with Masterboard, 7/8 Bingo Balls, 300 Chips, 12 Bingo Cards. The upscale design of this stylish set is sure to impress party-goers. Our favorite color is Rose Gold, but Mr. Chips offers four different options to match your taste. The size of this set makes it perfect for small bingo events or family gatherings. We like that it can be easily stored in smaller spaces, too. 

Another favorite of ours is the Mr. Chips' Dice Playing Set - Rollzee w/Scoreboard. If you like a larger-than-life twist on classic dice games we highly suggest it. This giant dice set is super versatile and the perfect travel gift for family vacations, weekends with friends, and more. Use the included scoreboard to play Yardzee and Yarkle, or play any of your own dice game favorites on a larger scale. The canvas travel bag makes it easy to toss in your luggage for ready-made entertainment.

Consider gifting these sets to a special person or purchasing them as a 'to me, from me' gift for yourself to bring everyone together during the holidays. Be sure to enter below for your chance to win a set of your own!