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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.

Rock ‘N Learn Language DVD {Giveaway}

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.

Hey all, I’m back! I took some time off to pack and unpack a house, but I’m back with a few more great giveaways for you and your family! The first is from a company we know and love here on Dandy Giveaway, Rock ‘N Learn.

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 Rock ‘N Learn is a company that creates educational DVDs for preschoolers through elementary-aged children, teaching topics such as math, reading, science, social studies, languages and test preparation. I’ve reviewed Rock ‘N Learn before on Dandy and liked the product. My kids enjoyed the movie and were learning at the same time, so that’s never a bad thing, right?

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What sets Rock ‘N Learn apart from other educational DVDs is their use of music in learning. With the Alphabet DVD that I reviewed last time, the characters would sing little songs for each letter which really helped cement the letter with the sound and other words that begin with that letter. I believe kids really can learn better through music, and my kids were definitely picking up on things quicker through the songs. However, this DVD was different.

Language DVD

I was sent a free copy of the “Learn a Language” DVD and was excited to see how quickly my children could learn new some new Spanish words through song (we chose to watch Spanish but there are five other languages on the DVD). But while where was a beat constantly in the background, they never sang any actual songs. The characters would point to or hold up a picture of an object (say a window) and then say the word in Spanish (“la ventana”). They would repeat each word twice and move on to another object in the room. They went through a whole house, pointing out common objects, and also went through the basic colors and numbers. They would repeat each section a few times as well to really cement the vocabulary.

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I was disappointed that there wasn’t any singing, but my kids’ learning surely didn’t suffer! My 2- and 4-year old both caught on right away, saying the picture word in English as they held it up and said it in Spanish. By the end of the 37-minute DVD they were repeating some of the words in Spanish, too! About 30 minutes in, they were starting to get a little restless and bored, but they had definitely picked up on some new words and new skills.

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Like I said, we chose to watch Spanish but you can also watch the same video with Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian, German and English as the language as well. Just think: you could teach your kid to speak 6 different languages for only $19.99! Rock ‘N Learn products can be found at teacher supply stores, specialty stores, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers. But if you shop through Rock ‘N Learn’s website, you can get 25% off your entire purchase with the code KR8822! So go fill your virtual shopping cart with the loads of educational DVDs that Rock ‘N Learn has to offer and start bragging about your trilingual baby genius 😉 Or enter this contest to win a DVD or CD of your own!

Win a DVD of your choice from Rock ‘N Learn!

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

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of May 13,2014, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Rock ‘N Learn, but all opinions are strictly my own. The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation. 

Rock ‘N Learn {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 kids learn from music. It’s scary how quickly they both can remember a song, a rhyme or even instructions when given in song form. I actually have to be really careful what we listen to on the radio because they will remember things after the first go-through, and it’s usually the things you don’t want them to remember! So when I found this company, Rock N Learn, I knew it was for us!

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Rock N Learn is a series of educational DVDs, CDs and Apps dedicated to teaching children through music. They sell DVDs that teach everything from early childhood learning to science, math, reading and even foreign languages. Most of the songs are all in the style of rock, but for math and social studies they also offer rap and country DVDs. Those are some our family would never purchase, but I’m sure someone out there would 🙂

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Their website is really easy to navigate–you can search for DVDs by Subject or by Age, and there is a special tab for their Mobile Apps, iBooks, and Albums available for download on iTunes. And the variety of products they offer is fabulous. Here’s just a sample: Phonics,  Money and Money Changing, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Getting Ready for Kindergarten, Math Word Problems, Physical Science, the Solar System, States & Capitals, and lots more. They also sell some of their Preschool & Kindergarten titles as Books with CDs, which my son is SUPER into recently, so I love that option.

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 I was sent a copy of the Alphabet DVD to review. My almost-4-year old has known his alphabet for a long time, so I thought he’d be bored with it. But the first time we watched it he was glued. I like that along with showing a picture of the letter (both upper and lower case) and saying the letter name, they show pictures of other words that start with that letter and spell out the word below the picture.  I think this helped extend the video from being just for “babies” to “big kids” (in his words). Another cool thing about this video was that at the end, once they’d gotten through all the letters, they had some letter games. One game was recognizing letters in different fonts, and another was the “Name Game,” where you stand up when the first letter of your name is on the screen. Also, at the very end they show how to write each letter on a chalkboard. This is especially appropriate for my older kid who is learning to write, but a little over-the-top for my two-year old who is just learning her letters. Because of that, I would say the video caters to a wide variety of skills and ages.

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The animation is nothing spectacular, but it kept my kids interest for the 35 minutes of the DVD. The songs were also less “rock” and all started to sound the same after a while, but again, my kids enjoyed it and I know they were learning, so I can handle it. Let’s just say it’s not a DVD I would pop in and watch on my own time 🙂 Here’s a sample of the Alphabet DVD I reviewed. You can preview most DVDs on the individual pages on their website.

Rock N Learn products can be purchased at Rocknlearn.com and on Amazon.com. The prices are pretty reasonable–$19.99 for DVDs, $12.99 for CDs with Books, $3.00 for Books, and some Apps are even free!  They even sell some DVDs in groups, like the 1st & 2nd Grade Collection, at a discounted bundle price. Right now Rock N Learn is offering YOU a discount code for 25% off on any products on their website. Just enter the code JQ7711 at Checkout.  But for one really lucky reader, they are offering a DVD or CD of your choice!

Enter to Win a Rock N Learn DVD or CD of your Choice!

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

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of November 30, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Rock N Learn, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Little Passports {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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Do your kids ever surprise you with things they know that you didn’t realize they knew? I recently started a co-op preschool with some friends, and when it came time to say the Pledge of Allegiance on my day to teach, my 3-year-old son was able to recite the whole thing! I’m sure a few words were wrong and he has absolutely NO idea what it means, but I was just shocked that he could say it all! He also answered correctly that we live in the United States when I asked where we lived (though I was trying to get the kids to say California), but that one didn’t surprise me. I know that knowledge was due to our subscription to Little Passports.

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You may remember a bit about Little Passports when Heather Ann reviewed them back in January. But in case you are a newcomer to Dandy Giveaway, here’s a recap: Little Passports is a monthly subscription box geared towards ages 5-12 that follows the adventures of characters Sam and Sofia as they travel across the United States and throughout the world.  To join, you begin by selecting either the World Edition (ages 5-10) or the USA edition (ages 7-12). I was sent the USA edition, which is actually geared towards ages 7-12, and I couldn’t agree more. My 3-year-old son was thrilled to receive a package and learn more about the United States, but he definitely didn’t get as much out of it as he would have if he were even a few years older.

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When his welcome package came, we hung the map of the United States in his room and filled out a few pages in his Field Guide. He loved taking pictures with the “old camera” (it includes a disposable!) and the Scratch Book. A few weeks later we received an envelope with the first two states. It came with a book filled with fun facts, history and culture about Pennsylvania and Arkansas. There was also a postcard, stickers and a pop-out model from both states. My son loved putting the stickers in the field guide, but everything else was way above his learning level.

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For a 7-14-year-old, however, it is perfect! The book about the states is filled with mazes, games, word searches, pictures, and activities to teach loads of interesting facts about each state. An envelope filled with these goodies will come to your doorstep once a month–for up to 26 months if you do the whole United States!–and you can imagine your child’s excitement to open his package and learn! This would be perfect as a supplemental learning kit for public school or homeschooled kids, especially 5th- or 8th-graders learning about U.S. History.

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Subscription plans range from monthly plans ($11.95 a month) to 3-, 6-, and 12-month plans with discounted prices. Sign up for their newsletter online, and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to be in the know about the latest deals. Head on over to Little Passports to take a look at their options, then come back and enter below to win:

Win a 3-month subscription to either the World edition or USA edition!

 Entry-Form

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.
** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of October 15th, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Little Passports, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Little Pim Language DVDs {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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There are several things in life that I learned while I was younger, decided I was “too busy” for them, quit, and now regret it. Playing the piano is one (seriously, what was I doing when I was 12 that made me “too busy” to practice?!), and learning Spanish is another. I took three years of Spanish in high school, and two semesters in college, but never kept up with it by practicing, so naturally, most of the Spanish I know is reduced to the menu at Taco Bell. Scientific research has shown that babies, toddlers and preschoolers are born able to learn more than one language with ease, so it makes sense to expose your children to language learning at a very early age. With this in mind, Little Pim was created.

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Little Pim was created by Julia Pimsleur Levine, who was inspired by her own bilingual childhood. She knows how important it is for children to be bilingual in our global world and developed a new method of learning called The Entertainment Immersion Method. According to the website,

“Each of our educational DVDs has a unique, child-friendly theme, such as eating, playtime and feelings. The method teaches 360 words and phrases, providing the essential building blocks for language learning. A child only needs 500 words to be considered “conversational” in a language. Babies, toddlers and kids respond enthusiastically to Little Pim’s format, which combines animated and live-action videos.” 

French gift set

Little Pim is the leading method of teaching children a second language, and I can see why! We chose to review a DVD in Spanish and were sent Disc 6 of the Spanish series, “I Can Count!” The first time we watched it, my 3 1/2 year old was hooked. He laughed at the Panda and his friends, and seemed to be really engrossed in the Spanish parts. When the movie was over, I saw him look at me, get a sneaky look on his face, then walk over to the DVD remote. I didn’t know what he was doing (obviously something naughty), until he pressed the play button and started the movie over again! The second time through he was repeating phrases and actually counting in Spanish. I couldn’t believe it! We’ve watched it a few times since, but haven’t watched it in a week or so, yet just today I heard him count his chicken nuggets in Spanish at lunch!  I am sold.
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Each DVD is around 30 minutes long, and features silly cartoon sections with Little Pim and his friends, and then the instructional parts with videos of real people and things. The quick cartoon pieces with Little Pim and his friends are fun and instantly hooked my kids,  keeping them interested. The Spanish instruction parts are pretty clear, showing a video of something, sometimes circling it in red, and then saying its name in Spanish. Most of the time my son would know what it was they were pointing to, though occasionally it was slightly unclear; for instance, he’d say “feet” but they were really saying the word for “toes.” Luckily, the DVD comes with subtitles in English so I could read along and help him out. You can see samples of videos in every language here, or you can watch a short video about Little Pim below:

Little Pim has so many products to choose from, including Gift Sets in all languages, Digital Downloads so you can watch the DVDs on your smartphone or tablet, and Apps in several languages for the iPhone/iPod, iPad and LeapPad. If you follow Little Pim on facebook, twitter and pinterest, you can receive special discounts and offers. If you can’t decide which set to buy just yet, enter our giveaway to try one out first!

Enter to win a DVD in the language of your choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.
** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of August 17th, 2013 and will be emailed within 24 hours. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Little Pim, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Sneakin’ in Science {Review}

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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By this point in summer, I’m assuming that many of you have had your kids out of school for a couple of weeks, meaning that you’ve stayed up late, slept in the next morning, lounged and played at the pool, and have had endless sleepovers with friends.  And, if you’re anything like me, you’re realizing that you can only take the laziness for a couple of weeks before you crave a little bit of structure and routine back in your schedule again.

My little boy is in preschool for a couple of mornings a week, and our afternoons can get really long while we’re stuck in the house for a couple of hours while my youngest naps each day.  These afternoon hours are the only time that my four-year-old can watch movies and play on the computer, but we can only take so much of that each day before we start to feel like time is being wasted.  And, if you’re like me, your Pinterest board titled “Kids Activities” has about 200 pins on it with lots of amazing ideas — but you realize at 2:30 p.m. when you can’t leave the house that you don’t have all materials needed for those fabulous art projects, experiments, sensory activities, etc.

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If you’re in either one of these binds and are looking for something fun to sneak in some learning while having fun, Sneakin’ in Science is an excellent monthly subscription box that includes all materials needed for a great science experiment!  From my experience, science experiments seem to be the one-size-fits-all activity that can capture of the attention of kids of (almost) all ages.  We received these three activities in the mail:

subscription

April-Geodes/Mineral Dig Kit If you like collecting rocks and minerals then this month’s experiment is for you!  Not only will you get to search through soil to find samples of different minerals you’ll also get to crack open a geode to see the crystals inside.  You’ll get a mineral dig kit in which you will find samples of common minerals.  The mineral dig includes a guide to help you id the minerals you find as well as information about how they form and their properties.  You’ll also receive a geode that will need to be put into an old sock or bag to be split with a hammer (safety goggles and adult supervision are a must!).

**This was a good activity that my son did outside with my husband while I was teaching piano lessons, but I heard about it for the rest of the evening!  The most exciting part of this experiment for my four-year-old was trying to break open the geode with Dad, and they enjoyed using tools and magnifying glasses to see things inside.

april

May-Marshmallow Launcher Learn all about air and air pressure with this month’s experiment, a marshmallow launcher!  You will receive material to make a contraption that will launch marshmallows at least 8 feet.  You can put your materials together in the recommended way or experiment and design your own unique marshmallow launcher!  You also get stickers to decorate your creation along with some neat experiments you can try to learn more about air.

**Definitely the favorite of the three that we received!  We enjoyed following the directions to put together the marshmallow launcher itself, then we came up with some pretty fun games (try to get the marshmallow the furthest, closest to a certain point, to go over the couch, etc.).  Balloons are always a hit at my house, so we had some more fun using those to see how air and wind worked.

marshmallow

June-Sensitive Plant Plants can’t move on their own right?  This one can!  This plant moves on its own when you touch it.  Leave it alone and it goes back to the way it was.  You’ll receive about 5 seeds along with directions on how to plant them.  You are guaranteed to grow at least one plant or I will send you more seeds.  Learn how this amazing plant works!  If you like different kinds of plants you love learning about what it is like to be a botanist!

**Our seeds are planted and we can see growth, but we haven’t gotten to the stage where we see the plants close up — we’re (impatiently!) waiting!  Our neighbors are growing a garden in their backyard, though, so both of the boys enjoyed this experiment so that they could plant something and take care of it the same way they’ve seen our neighbors work with their plants.

June

There is a Sneakin’ in Science subscription plan to fit every budget:

One Year Plan: Includes a new experiment each month for a year.  One time payment of $120.00

6 Month Plan: A new experiment each month for 6 months.  One time payment of $62.00

3 Month Plan: A new experiment each month for 3 months. One time payment of $34.00

Monthly Plan:  One month.  This option does not renew itself.  If you would like to receive additional months you will have to choose this option again.  $12.00 monthly.

All prices include shipping and taxes. No hidden costs.

Head on over to Sneakin’ in Science and take a look at some great science experiment idea on their blog, their pictures of fun science in action on Facebook, and their subscription options along with birthday party offers at their website!

Website / Blog / Facebook

**I was provided review materials from Sneakin’ in Science, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Mama May I {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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When I was going to school for my degree, I took a Theories of Child Development course where we discussed Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development, Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development,  and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  I loved the course and the different schools of thought, and one of the theorists’ ideas rang true with me from the beginning:  Maria Montessori.  Montessori’s theory of child development stresses independence, working with materials to construct learning, and creating a prepared environment conducive to that learning.

I loved Montessori’s ideas then, but I have especially been drawn to her theories since having my own children.  I love the materials and “works” that she suggests, and I’ve tried to think of those ideas as I purchase activities and toys for my boys to use.  I’ve discovered some amazing blogs over the past couple of years that give suggestions for implementing these Montessori theories at home, and I’ve loved using them for both of our boys.

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When I found the Mama May I shop, I was in heaven!  These handmade learning toys are based on the theories of both Montessori and Waldorf — they are perfect for open-ended play and learning, and the shop has something for all ages.

“Inspired by these little explorers, and her understanding of Montessori and Waldorf methodologies, Jessica Perkins [founder and principal designer] began making all of her creations with the belief that children make sense of their world through sensing their world. After years of making, creating, and gifting her creations to friends and family, Jessica decided to start selling her goodies. Since the launch of Mama May I in 2009, Jessica’s passion for artistic expression through toys has blossomed into a business supported by mama’s and papa’s all over the world.”

Here are a few of my favorites from Mama May I, along with the description for ways the activity can be used for play and learning:

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For babies, the Tiny Tickler!  “A great way to introduce parts-of-the-body vocabulary and directions like top, bottom, left, and right all while building a healthy sense of ego and engaging her desire to play.”

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For toddlers, the Sensory Color Sorting Playset is a great activity to distinguish between different colors and textures.  It includes wooden coins with the name of each color, ribbon, paper, felt, buttons, rocks, and paint swatches to match to the right color on the mat.  It’s also a great activity for objects you have around the house!

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For preschoolers, the Flip Mat!  We received this transportation set from Mama May I, and I LOVE it!  I was so impressed with the quality of the fabric material, and the wooden coins are thick and smooth.  Both of my boys played with this together, and I loved that we could just roll it all up together and stick it in my bag for on-the-go play.  There’s also a farm play mat, a market play mat, and a zoo play mat that caught my eye.

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For big kids, the Story Starters is a great learning activity to combine literacy and fun!  “A beautiful collection of hand stamped images inspire the Who. What. When. and Where. While you and your story maker share in the delight of creating the WHY.”

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 These Make-a-Match wooden coins is one of my absolute favorites, as it is small and portable and can be used by ALL ages.  These are also thick and smooth (like the ones for our play mat), and they can be used for fun open-ended play or to play a matching memory game.

Mama May I is offering two sets of these Make-a-Match wooden coins to TWO Dandy readers!  There are a variety of choices for these sets, to include space (shown above), forest friends, dinosaur, transportation, vegetable, Philadelphia, farm, zoo, space, beach, nature, fruit, and monster!

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

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of April 2nd and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Mama May I, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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