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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Hot Dots Jr. Reading and Math Sets by Educational Insights {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Cabin fever, anyone?  My kids are practically climbing walls.  We had such a good daily trip-to-the-park routine going, but the cold weather can’t tempt any of us to stay out longer than we have to.  I feel like we’ve already played to capacity with all the indoor toys we own, so an opportunity to review a new (and education!) toy from Educational Insights came at the perfect time.

logo01Education Insights is a wonderworld of award-winning toys and games.  You can search by subject, category, theme, or brand to view ingenious after ingenious, and the variety of products is so vast.  From Sprout & Growâ„¢ Wonder Soil® to a 40 Smencils® Set, you’re bound to find just what you had in mind to foster a budding curiosity in your child or student.


After reading what this Hot Dots set is all about, I was 100% confident that my toddler would be interested, intrigued, and then excited to figure it out.  Marking pens, lights, sounds, and numbers is a winning combination with him.  These Dots Let’s Master sets are activity books and markers that range from grade levels Pre-K to Grade 3 in reading or math.


We reviewed the Hot Dots® Jr. Let’s Master Pre-K Math, which is intended for children ages 3-6.  I thought it was completely developmentally appropriate for my 3-year-old.  As you can see below, when the correct dot is pressed with the “puppy marker”, as my son calls it, it lights up in green and a positive statement can be heard.  If the wrong dot is pressed, you hear a “try again” or “that’s not right”.  I feel like the instant feedback is so encouraging and motivating for my boy to keep trying and to keep answering correctly.


There are 100 lessons of a big variety.  He’s not just counting and adding things; there are activities like picking out what things are similar, what happens next, and picking out shapes.  Some of these activities are hard to figure out what to do if you can’t yet read the directions, so having a parent near by to read the directions and explain the task is ideal, and this only makes this set more appealing to me.  This has become a learning activity that we can do together, where my son doesn’t get frustrated and it is easy to move on to another lesson, or go through the whole book if he wants.


In all, what a great toy!  The activities are not grueling for kids and the talking light-up pen is just the ticket!  I also love that this activity is completely transportable.  Its a notebook and a pen.  Everyone can fit that in their purse or backpack, and this could even make a great activity for a car ride.

And how affordable!  Each set is $24.99 and currently available exclusively at www.educationalinsights.com.

Visit Educational Insights at www.educationalinsights.com to purchase your own Hot Dots set.

Follow them on Facebook and sign up for the Educational Insights newsletter HERE.

One winner will receive: One Reading or Math Hot Dots for Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grade 1, 2 or 3.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

School Zone {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My son is almost 4-years-old and is already starting on the path to reading. He is recognizing words, signs, logos and letters everywhere we go. This would be great if he were going to start Kindergarten next fall, but because he is a December birthday, he will have to wait ANOTHER YEAR to start. As in, he won’t be starting Kindergarten until Fall 2015. I have him enrolled in a co-op preschool with some friends this year, but I’m still unsure how we’ll spend the next year after that learning without getting bored. Hello, workbooks and flashcards, and Hello, School Zone!


School Zone is a family-owned company that is dedicated to creating the best pre-school and elementary products for supplemental learning. They are best known for their flash cards and workbooks, but they also sell books, software, activity books and electronic learning. Their products are all developed by teachers and educators and are constantly updated to reflect the latest standards, teaching methods and best practices. They have so many workbooks and flashcards for phonics, letters, spelling, sight reading, cursive, math, fractions, science, etc., that I could go crazy buying up their whole store and be set for at-home learning for the next 6 years! Their website is nicely laid out so that you can search individual products (software, for example) or you can pick a level (say, 1st grade) and search products specifically aimed at that learning level.

We were sent the Start to Read Early Reading Program (Level 1) book collection, Beginning Reading Software, and Bedtime Alphabet Flashcards to review.


The Start to Read book collection ($24.99) comes with 5 Beginning Reader Books, 1 Read-Along & Songs CD, 1 Comprehension Book and 1 Parent Guide. The books are short and easy to understand, with lots of rhyming passages and great illustrations. The CD reads each book twice through; once with sound effects and music so kids can listen to the story and understand it, and a second time with just the words, so kids can focus on reading the words along with the CD. My son really enjoyed being able to “read” the books by himself and when I asked him questions from the Comprehension Guide, I found he’d absorbed most of what he’d read.


The Beginning Reading Software ($9.99) features interactive versions of two of the books from the Start to Read collection (“Jog, Frog, Jog!” and “Nine Men Chase a Hen”). My son wasn’t as interested in the books because I think he was a little burned out on the stories, and, with the advent of App Books, the technology wasn’t that exciting to him. What he did like was the Dictionary, which gives verbal and illustrated definitions of the words in the stories, and the Create A Story game. He spent a good hour picking out pictures, drawing on them and then stringing together pre-chosen words and phrases to make his own “story.”


The Bedtime Alphabet Flashcards (on sale now for $7.99) are the most innovative part of the package. The set features flashcards of every alphabet letter (plus a few random animals and objects) and each picture/letter is scored to be popped out. Once popped out, the cards double as stencils in the day and shadow puppets by night. A mini flashlight is included with the set so you can learn in the dark with the interactive cards. This was by far my son “Ralph’s” favorite part; he waited patiently all day but couldn’t wait until it got dark enough to play with his flashcards in his room at night! I love that these cards have more uses than just as a flashcard. My only complaint would be that they’re pretty thin and flimsy, and a few pieces were ripped in trying to pop out the letters and shapes. But overall, we love them!


All School Zone products can be purchased online at SchoolZone.com and come with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.  Connect with School Zone on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube to be aware of the newest products and deals. Right now, School Zone and Dandy Giveaway have paired up to offer you the same Learning to Read Set that I reviewed (book collection, software and flashcards), so enter below to win!

Click the Button to Enter the Giveaway!

13 FB Enter to Win! Btn_Orange


** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

**The giveaway will end October 12, 2013. The winner will be announced by School Zone. 

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by School Zone, but all opinions are strictly my own.


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