There's Magic Out There: July 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Making learning Fun playing pretend School with Disney Junior #Ready4Preschool

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Summer has been flying by for us this year. I think its because my munchkin will be going full day now to school for the first time that naturally every precious moment is just zooming past us. This has been putting thoughts in my mind as to how ready he will be for school and if I will be ready to let him go. Over the years we have practiced his ABC's and his 123's but I worry about the challenges of this new year and I knew that the time was now to get in some extra school practice. I was determined to find activities to help my munchkin get ready for school and luckily I spotted a plenitude of Disney Junior Educational items in the School supply aisles in Walmart conveniently placed for our needs. 
It was just what we needed! Packaged were these neat sets with characters that we knew and loved such as Jake and the Never land Pirates and Disney Mickey Mouse Club house. Thats when the idea came to my mind that the best way to get ready for school would be through play! We would make our own pretend school and Learn and play as we got ready for this big new year!
There was plenty to choose from at Walmart from the Disney Junior back to School items for our Summer time play school. Here are some from what you can choose from as you get #Ready4preschool : 

Learning Easel Activity Center
Learning School House Activity 
Counting learning Activity
First Words Learning Activity 
Rhyming Learning Activity
Alphabet learning Activity
Numbers learning Activity
Colors & Shapes learning Activity 

I grabbed one of each bag set and off we were back home to get ready! 

In just a couple steps... Ta-da! Our own little School nook!
I set out the items from one of the sets and showed my Munchkin how to use them. They were clear and concise and easy to use. Each set came with waxy crayons to use that could be used on an included cleanable board to practice the activities on. They were bright and fun! 
These activities are more of a parent child work together kind of work. They have some writing, some sight words practice and sounding out and more depending on your own childs needs. They were easy start off points for further learning such as ball rhymes with___? And now spell those words and look for the picture that matches the word so you get an all around visual/text/writing connection. I appreciated this since each child learns differently and while my child may be more visual yours may be more vocal so we can all connect somewhere in the middle. 
And of course just like in school we mix work with fun and have different lessons and activities per day. So we did a short time at each station. We are major Dino fans here at home.
After a break... back to some learning with First words and Mickey Mouse. Did you check out my cuties Zebra drawing? If you look you can see that each one of those red/mickey circles is another word opportunity so this activity can be done multiple times and you still wont go through all the words! 
We then took some time to create some Art! Artistic Expression is very important! If you are curious my son said this is an ocean. Inside the ocean there are sharks and fish and squids and even a scuba diver. I love how its not just a drawing for him. He makes it into a story and hopefully soon he will be able to write these stories down and give them even more life. 
Next we had a little math time using the counters and again the connection between the visual number, written number and the counters enforces number learning. Short and sweet and can be moved around to do various times. 
Lastly we laid out all our blocks and set out to build a town for dinosaurs and cars to go through. As we built things we discussed the shapes we were using, the colors of the blocks and how many we were putting on top of each other to build a stairway or bridge and so on. You cant imagine how much fun you can have while incorporating learning into the playing. 
All in all each day can be a new learning adventure! Incorporate new activities {centers} and lessons and add on while making sure to not forget that your children are little and they have plenty of time to learn. While you want them to be smart you also don't want them to remember there childhood as one boring school lesson so approach each day with fun and plenty of play. That way from an early age your child will develop a love of learning that will only grow and flourish! 
In what ways are you incorporating learning into your summer? Have you checked out the Disney Junior back to school items? What is working for your little ones? Are you ready for the new school year? 
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cooling off this Summer at Splashtown San Antonio #SplashtownSA

Disclosure: My family was provided with free tickets to Splashtown San Antonio for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All thoughts, opinions and pictures are all my own. 
Summer has already started with its harsh sun and high temperatures here in San Antonio. With a little one at home off for summer vacation I need places to go that are fun for kids and family friendly but most importantly a great place to cool off and Splashtown has it all. 

I will be honest and say I cant believe I have never been here before! I was under the impression that it was all water slides and mostly for teens and older so I was nervous about going. What if there was nothing fun for my kiddo to do?

We get here and from a distance all you see is high water slides and I get worried. But as soon as we get closer and step inside I see water fun everywhere! 
This guy right here is Tube Tyler! Hes going to be your friend today since he is everywhere and will be important for picking out what areas are best for your family. 
As you can see from the map there is plenty to do! With over 50 rides and attractions you'll have a hard time being bored. 
A major positive I saw as we got close to the kids water area was life vests! Bunches of them in various sizes on racks around every corner. Perfect to keep your little ones safe.
When my kiddo saw Kids kove he was so excited he ran right in! 
Just look at this beautiful sight! Water fun everywhere!
As you step into Crystal falls the water starts getting deeper and the slides start getting taller! 
 While you are there at crystal falls be sure to stop and have a fun game of water basketball. A little too deep for my kiddo but definitely fun! 

Around the corner there are plenty of picnic tables and covered areas and seats plus snacks! Actually there is plenty of seating areas everywhere you look and all with good cover from the sun. 
 I was surprised to find that they have a basketball court outside plus a sand volleyball court.
But dont worry because they also have a water volleyball court which comes in handy during this heat!
 Check out all the water tubes for the fun rides! They even had pool noodles which all come in handy when you are floating down the Siesta Del Rio!
 It was my sons first time getting into a tube and he did awesome! So awesome we decided to try our luck out at the wave pool and there we had a blast!  
The waves were super strong and fun! The splashes were hilarious and extra fun on a tube. 
I cant wait to go back to check out a Dine in Movie! Coming up this month of July is Iron man, The amazing Spiderman, Thor, Teen beach movie and to start off August is The Lego movie! 

While I could post tons more photos {Trust me my water camera is full of them} you really just have to come over and check it out on your own. There is a ton of tall and wacky water slides plus more fun for all ages. I like that it has everyone covered from little to big.

Be sure to check them out for Birthday party packages, day care days, youth days, and they can even accommodate corporate group events. So there are many possibilities for fun!

Hope you are having an awesome summer and keeping cool! Have you checked out Splashtown before? 
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